Death Note (5e Subclass)

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Death Note[edit]

Warlock Subclass

The power to direct death is perhaps one of the greatest pursuits of magic. Imagine being able to name something and kill it just because you desired to do so. Such is the power that drives warlocks to choose this path of patron. The patrons who hold death notes are, by necessity, deity-level entities capable of killing with precision on the drop of a dime. They will often have the domain association of death, as well as roles that involve killing or passing, like Nerull. The nature of this pact derives from a similar root of onomancy practiced by wizards. If one knows the true name of a creature, they can present it to their patron and have their patron eliminate said creature. That is perhaps the most powerful part of the death note pact. However, warlocks enter this pact often seen as little more than playthings. Their patrons are rarely so lax to give the power to declare oneself an executioner freely.

Additionally, these patrons usually utilize something like a tome to act as the intermediary to exchange the names of targets, meaning most warlocks, if not all, of this pact are often also tome users. This is not a mandatory rule, but it is very typical. Some patrons, like deities who are also warmongers of death, may give a weapon instead that manifests the names of the ones to die with the blood smeared on its blade. Because a warlock needs to be able to say, as well as write the names of the ones they desire to harm in a powerful language, the holders of this pact will also never be illiterate.

On Truenames: Truenames are from older editions of DnD and reintroduced to 5th Edition via the UA onomancy school. They embody ancient words of power that are inherently tied to the soul or existence of something. In addition to named, sapient creatures, even objects and simple, unintelligent beasts have such a name. However, the names for sapient creatures are the unique sort that can be adequately specified and used in this subclass. While unintelligent creatures like beasts and plants do have truenames, they are more like general terms than special names.

Expanded Spell List

The death note 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 inflict wounds, ray of sickness
2nd phantasmal force, shadow blade
3rd bestow curse, fear
4th compulsion, locate creature
5th contagion, negative energy flood
1st Level
6th Level
10th Level
Death's Book

At 14th level, you gain the powers over death to deem one to die by name. As a bonus action, you target one creature you can see within 60 feet of you. The target must make a Wisdom saving throw against your spell save DC. On a successful save, nothing happens. On a failed save, you mentally learn the charmed target’s truename or the fact that the target lacks a usable truename. Using the truename, you can inscribe it into your patron's book as an action. The creature whose name you inscribed then dies immediately. You must finish a long rest before using this trait again.

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