Many incredible mages exist throughout the multiverse. They have unlocked the secrets to incredible power, twisting magic into spells rarely seen by fellow spellcasters… if at all. Those of great power tend to be reclusive, for a powerful mage makes many enemies. Some even take their magic to new and epic levels. Whether they become archmages, demigods or just powerful spirits locked in some dimension; some yearn for a student to pass their work onto in some capacity. After all, while some magical secrets should die with their creator, other gifts should be passed on.
The Ancient Magi Patron provides one such method. Those in service to the ancient magi are typically scholars of the arcane, seeking ways to expand their knowledge and craft. Many are devotees to the very arcanist they serve, while some are just greedy and desire to steal forgotten magic for their own benefit. More often than not, their arcane superior is aware of their intentions and will use them accordingly. Many ancient magi aren’t even on this plane anymore. Many of them have long since passed away or are locked in other realities. Some have been stranded in the Astral Plane, effectively frozen in time; while others are permanently sealed in unknown demiplanes. Some lucky ones dwell on material planes, but try to make their presence as nuanced as possible. Great mages like Mornenkainen and Elminster are examples of such magic-users.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Looking back, I wasn’t really too happy with my original draft. The general idea was solid, but I tried to make it feel too much like a binder vestige instead of a patron. Plus, some of the mechanics were made when I didn’t fully understand the warlock class. Now, some of the ideas here are heavily experimental. Giving a class ability to cast a certain spell 1 – 2 per day… and at the strength of the warlock’s level? That might be a bit strong, but I wanna see where I can develop this. None the less, I wanted to make a warlock patron that carries both a bit of sorcerer and wizard flavor to it. Plus, I created a quick-n-easy class variant for those of us who are nostalgic for the Archivist from the 3.5 Book, “Heroes of Horror”.
CLASS VARIANT – ARCHIVIST:
This variant is simple, treat the warlock as a collector of occult lore, rather than pact-based servant of an otherworldly force. Furthermore, your spells are based on Intelligence rather than Charisma. You also require a basic spell book. Taking the Tome-based Pact Boon is supplementary on top of this, requiring a different tome. Alternatively, this boon causes the book of shadows to meld with your own, but might require a ritual to do so.
Otherwise, you can treat the Archivist very much the same as a Warlock. However, allowing them to research spells might put them as a slight advantage and take from the Wizard a bit much. DMs may wish to keep the archivist flavor and the Intelligence stat, but make them function exactly like Warlocks otherwise.
Expanded Spell List.
The Ancient Magi 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.
Ancient Magi Expanded Spells
- 1st Magic Missile/Chromatic Orb
- 2nd Alter Self/Knock
- 3rd Flame Arrows/Protection from Energy
- 4th Evard’s Black Tentacles/Polymorph
- 5th Teleportation Circle/Wall of Force
Level 1 – You may learn 1 additional level 1 spell from the wizard spell list. This does not count against total spells you learn. In addition, you gain a special bonus pact magic slot for that spell alone. This pact magic slot can be upgraded to a maximum of 5th level, much like a regular pact magic slot. Upon casting it, you must take a long rest before using it again.
Level 6 – You have learned how to maintain composure when casting under immense stress. When your concentration is broken after failing a concentration check, you may use your reaction to ignore the failure. You must take a short rest to use this ability again. Furthermore, this only applies to one failure. If you fail again during the same round, your concentration is still considered broken.
Level 10 – Your master has taught you deeper secrets within the magical arts. If you are capable of casting rituals, you may half the time of one once per short rest. In addition, your Traditional Spellcraft slot can be used twice before requiring a long rest.
Master of Sorceries
Level 14 – The magi has entrusted you with the ability to make your magic truly strong. When expending a slot to cast a spell. You may treat it as being cast one spell slot higher, for all intents and purposes. You may not apply this effect to your Traditional Spellcraft slot. Also, upon using this ability, you must take a short rest or long rest before using it again.
Adept of the Elements
Prerequisite: 12th level
Your studies of elemental realms and powers has given you the knowledge to resist its powers. You can cast absorb elements at will as a 1st level spell, without expending a spell slot.
You can cast catapult once using a warlock spell slot. You can’t do so again until you finish a long rest.
Wake the Dead
Prerequisite: 5th level
Calling upon your patron, you bring life to a dead corpse. You can cast animate dead once using a warlock spell slot. You can’t do so again until you finish a long rest.
ART: Grand Avatar by Don Maitz; Archivist – Wizards of the Coast
Made by Doctor Necrotic, for Doctor Necrotic Media. All rights reserved.