The Warlock is a popular Dungeons & Dragons 5E class, yet one of its most beloved aspects is underdeveloped in Baldur’s Gate 3. This is because the Patrons that supply a Warlock’s power are barely present for the protagonist of the custom routes, with only Wyll being shown some attention from the denizens of the other planes.
According to Larian Studios, the Warlock was the third-most-popular character in Baldur’s Gate 3 at launch. The Warlock is also popular in D&D 5E, as they’re an arcane spellcaster class that’s easy to manage (due to their lack of spell slots), while they have an interesting backstory baked into their powers, as they rely on an extradimensional Patron for their supernatural abilities, having cut a deal with one of them in the past.
Warlock Patrons Are Barely Part Of Baldur’s Gate 3 (Except For Wyll)
You select your subclass when you create a Warlock in Baldur’s Gate 3. For the Warlock, their subclass involves choosing their Patron, which determines some of the spells you can add to your list and grants you special abilities throughout your progression. The three Patrons on offer in Baldur’s Gate 3 are The Fiend (a demon or devil of great power), The Great Old One (a Lovecraftian horror from the Far Realms at the edge of reality), or The Archfey (a fairy ruler one of the Domains of Delight, with the power of a demigod.)
Once you select your Patron for Tav, they will have a minuscule role throughout the story. Occasionally, you’ll get Warlock-specific dialogue related to magical events, but your Patron never shows up in the story, nor do they send emissaries to do their bidding. Your choice of Patron will mostly affect your abilities as you level up.
The only major exception is Wyll, either playing as him via the Origin character system or taking him on as a party member. Wyll’s Patron sends a “handler” named Mizora, who appears as part of his storyline and is involved in several quests. Mizora is an awesome character, and attempting to break out of Wyll’s Pact is one of the highlights of his storyline. It’s a shame that the other Warlocks couldn’t have had something as interesting with their Patrons.
Why Patrons Are So Popular In DnD 5E
One of the reasons why Warlocks are so popular in D&D 5E is because you get to tie a powerful character into their backstory. Many DMs will encourage a player to come up with ideas for their Patron so that they can appear during the story and throw a spanner in the works. A Patron can also save the party when they get into trouble, so long as they don’t mind being indebted to a powerful supernatural being.
Some DMs will create Patrons for their players, allowing them to tie the character into their world. The reason for their servitude to this higher power is usually an important part of the character’s backstory, as everyone needs a reason to sign on the dotted line and become a magical servant.
Baldur’s Gate 3 ignores this aspect of this class, as the reason for Tav becoming a Warlock is left to the player’s imagination. Your Patron could be anyone, and their role in the story is so small that they could not have been mentioned.
How Patrons Could Have Been Implemented Better In Baldur’s Gate 3
Mizora’s presence in Baldur’s Gate 3 shows just how important a Warlock’s Patron can be. While giving all three Pacts as much attention as Wyll’s storyline might not be feasible, they could still have been implemented interestingly.
For The Fiend, the player character could belong to an enemy of Wyll’s Patron, giving them more solutions for dealing with Mizora. Giving them a demon Patron could be interesting, considering the eternal Blood War in which demons and devils are engaged throughout the D&D multiverse.
For The Great Old One, the Far Realms are said to be the home of the Mind Flayer empire, so the player character has the greatest connection to Illithids when they take this Pact. Giving the characters unique dialogue when dealing with Omeluum or the wounded Mind Flayers you encounter in Act I could help cement their connection to the Far Realms and offer further hints about events that will happen later in the game.
For the Archfey, the player encounters a powerful fey during Act I, as Auntie Ethel is a hag who has already bound a mortal with slippery contracts. Calling on your Patron to help resolve the situation could offer greater insight into the Feywild and how things work there as you deal with Auntie Ethel on her terms.
Your Patron would also show a great interest in the world-changing events of your quest. Having your character communicate with them at night in the Camp via an emissary or through dreams could give the player a chance to learn what their Patron wants, giving the hero a chance to obey their master, or tug at the leash, and defy them in search of greater power.