The Spirit Patron and the Pact of the Totem

Thrusk upended the horse leather pouch and several small humanoid figurines tumbled out onto the rough dirt floor of his tent. The orc studied them where they lay, noting the ones laying on their backs, on their sides, and the few who landed standing up.

Watching closely were Hruk the warchief and his five advisors. They were silent, letting the shaman study the idols with anticipation. Thrusk closed his eyes for two breaths, then scooped the figures up and put them back into the pouch.

“Well?” asked Hruk, his knuckles turning white as he gripped the arms of his wooden chair.

“The omens… are not in our favor,” said the shaman. The advisors looked to each other worriedly, murmuring. Thrusk continued. “However, with a proper sacrifice, the spirits may aid us.”

The following is very much a work in progress. While some eye has been kept on balance, it is entirely non playtested. This is my attempt at bringing in a Shamanic archetype into 5e using the Warlock. I wanted it to feel very different from a Druid or otherwise Nature based class with divine magic. Instead I wanted to give it a primal feel, giving hints to a primeval spirit otherworld.

I would really appreciate your feedback. Currently I am hoping to replace some the additional spells (drawn from the Cleric and Druid spell list) with new Warlock spells meant specifically for the Spirit patron. Please tell me what you think!


Warlock Patron: Spirits

A Warlock is a character that has gained their magical power through a pact with a powerful entity. The Player’s Handbook describes rules for choosing such patrons as the Archfey, the Fiend, or the Great Old One. The Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide provides a further option in the Undying, an undead entity. This small module will allow the warlock to choose as her patron the Spirits of the natural or animistic world. These may be ancestor spirits or protective minor entities of a tribe that either she belongs to, or one that has long since disappeared, leaving only these whispering remnants behind.

The Spirits patron isn’t generally considered to be one powerful entity, but rather a culmination of the character’s communion with the ancient spirit world of a primeval people. Sometimes called shamans, those who commune with these spirits often gain otherworldly insight as well as the ability to entreat the spirits to aid her tribe or allies, or to hex her enemies.

The rules for The Spirits as a Warlock patron are provided below.

The Spirits

Through the ancient rites of a tribal society you have been able to commune with the spirits of the otherworld. These spirits might be ancestors of the tribe, they may be otherworldly entities only seen as strange symbols carved on totems or fetishes, or they might be the tortured souls of the dead who seek redemption and escape. Their goals aren’t often hostile or evil; their motivation is often the protection of their chosen people, or to bestow wisdom on those who commune with them. Their relationship with the Warlock then is not as manipulative as perhaps other pacts are.

Expanded Spell List

The Spirits allow you to choose from an expanded spell list of spells when you learn a new Warlock spell. The following spells are added to the Warlock spell list for you.

Spirits Patron Expanded Spells

Spell Level     Spells

1             Sanctuary, Shield

2             Gust of WindSilence

3             Clairvoyance, Speak with Dead

4             Divination, Conjure Minor Elementals

5             Planar Binding, Conjure Elemental


Starting at 1st level, the Spirits grant you the ability to commune with them in order to see what you otherwise might not. You can enter an induced state by standing completely still (or sitting), and can see into the ethereal plane in the area around you that would normally be able to see. Moving or otherwise acting breaks the effect. In addition if making a Wisdom (Perception) or Intelligence (Investigation) check, if you enter this state for 1 minute, you gain advantage on the check.


Starting at 6th level, you can entreat spirits to protect an ally from harm. If you or an ally you can see becomes the target of an attack, you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on that attack. Until the beginning of your next turn, any other attacks against you or that ally are also given disadvantage.

Once this feature is used, it cannot be used again until you have completed a long or short rest.

Spirit Ward

Starting at 10th level, you have become so communed with the spirits of the otherworld that they actively seek to protect you from harm. You gain resistance against necrotic damage, and incorporeal and undead creatures have disadvantage on all attacks against you. You also gain advantage on Charisma checks involving the communication with ghosts or similarly spirit type creatures.


Starting at 14th level, as an action, you are able to thin the layer between this world and the next, causing a wind of otherworldly energy to emit from you and sweep across the battlefield.

Every hostile creature within 60′ of you must make a Constitution Saving Throw against a DC equal to your spell save DC. Any who fail take 1d10 psychic damage and are frightened (save ends, DC 10). Additionally, any ally or friendly creature within 60′ of you may use a hit dice to recover Hit Points.

Once this feature is used, it cannot be used again until you have completed a long or short rest.

New Pact: Pact of the Totem

At 3rd level, when choosing a pact, a Warlock may choose the Pact of the Totem, gaining the following features:

During a long rest, a Warlock may make a number of totems, idols, or fetishes equal to their base Proficiency bonus (2 at level 1). These are small figurines, statuettes, carved idols, pieces of jewelry, tied twigs, or other such crafted object that depict aspects of their patron. An Archfey fetish may be a carved wooden leaf or a gilded flower; a Fiend totem might be a onyx idol depicting a blasphemous demon; a Great Old One fetish could be a small bas relief of an abominable creature or a small piece of meteoric metal that is impossible to place; a Spirit totem could be a small stone carved depiction of the animistic spirits of an ancient people.

These totems are imbued with the power of your patron, and can be carried on your person or given to other creatures to hold. You, allies, or creatures that are otherwise friendly can use a totem they carry with a bonus action. Once doing so, until the beginning of their next turn, when they make an Attack Roll, Saving Throw, or Ability Score Check they may roll 1d4 and add the result to the roll. Using the totem destroys it.

When you next take a long rest, any totems you have left lose their power.

Additional Eldritch Invocations

The following Eldritch Invocations are added to the list for Warlocks to choose from:

Idolatry (Pact of the Totem)

When you take a long rest and prepare your totems, you may prepare an additional number of totems equal to your Charisma modifier.

Sacred Fetish (Pact of the Totem, 5th Level)

When the totems you make are used, the user of the totem may spend one of their Hit Dice to recover Hit Points instead of the normal effect.

Totemic Ecstasy (Pact of the Totem, 12th Level)

When the totems you make are used, the dice used to add to dice rolls is a d6 instead of a d4.

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