Warlock Patron – The Vanquished


Hello, everyone! Villain Month continues this week with a slightly late entry. This warlock Patron revolves around unfinished business and the dead who won’t rest until their task is completed. The villain who inspired this subclass was not a willing participant in this scheme, but your character might even seek out a patron willing to cut a deal to complete some task in the domain of the living.

Warlock Patron – The Vanquished

When a powerful entity in the world is extinguished, there is a chance that it escapes the afterlife that its fate would dictate. Evading the afterlife is no small feat, so a vanquished entity must quickly bond itself to a mortal host. Such beings may seek to complete a goal they had in life, or to make right a wrong they have committed so that they may be judged favorably after their final passing. Whatever the case, their bond with a mortal is sealed until that mortal also perishes. Such entities may be powerful demon lords, defeated angels, greater fey, or even strong-willed mortals with unfinished business on the mortal plane. The mortal host for this vanquished spirit remains largely in control of their actions, and whether this relationship would be adversarial or cooperative will depend on the personalities of host and spirit.

Expanded Spell List

The Vanquished lets you choose from an expanded list of spells when you learn a warlock spell. The following spells are added to the warlock spell list for you.

Spell Level Spells
1st Detect magic, false life
2nd Locate object, spiritual weapon
3rd Bestow curse, spirit guardians
4th Death ward, locate creature
5th Geas, raise dead


Spirit Manifestation

Starting at 1st level, your patron begins to inhabit your body, hiding from the forces of death. However, when you are reduced to 0 hit points, your patron manifests as an ethereal spirit within 5 feet of your body to defend their vessel. This Spirit Manifestation uses your statistics, except for your hit points. At the start of your turn, if you are still dying, your Spirit Manifestation may take a turn.

On your turn, you do not roll death saving throws. Instead, when this Spirit Manifestation would take damage, you roll a death saving throw. If you fail a death saving throw in this way, you do not have to roll another until the end of your next turn.

If you are stabilized, your Spirit Manifestation dissipates, returning to your body to hide from its enemies once more.

Vestige’s Armies

Starting at 6th level, you can summon the loyal minions of your patron to your aid. You can create a number of ghostly images equal to your proficiency bonus within 30 feet of you. When you move on your turn, these minions may also move up to your speed. Creatures friendly to you within 5 feet of a minion have advantage on attack rolls made against creatures within 5 feet of that minion.

Each minion has an Armor Class equal to your spell save DC, and use your ability modifiers when making saving throws against magical effects. If a minion would take damage, it dissipates.

You cannot use this ability again until you complete a long rest.

Slip Death

At 10th level, you can tap into your patron’s memories to evade certain death. When you would fail a death saving throw, you may instead choose to succeed and regain a number of hit points equal to your Warlock level.

You cannot use this ability again until you complete a short or long rest.

Identity Subsumed

At 14th level, you have learned to leverage the abilities granted to you by your patron to their fullest extent. As a bonus action, you can channel your patron’s spirit to enter a state of possession for up to a minute, allowing them complete control. While you are possessed in this way, you gain the following benefits:

  • When you would take damage, you may instead choose to fail a death saving throw.
  • You cannot fail a third death saving throw while possessed.
  • When you use a warlock spell slot to cast a spell, the level at which it is cast increases by 1 for each failed death saving throw you have made.
  • You gain proficiency in up to 3 skills of your choice. If you make an ability check using any of these skills, you may add 1d12 to the roll for each failed death saving throw you have made.

You cannot use this ability again until you complete a long rest.

Some artwork © 2015 Dean Spencer, used with permission. All rights reserved.

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