When building a genie warlock in DnD 5e, consider the following characteristics and buildouts:
- Try a genasi or tiefling build.
- Pact of the Talisman, Rebuke of the Talisman, Protection of the Talisman
- The Genie Patron abilities and extended spell list
- Dao spells
- Djinni spells
- Efreeti spells
- Marid spells
- Choose warlock spells to compliment genie spells.
- Mystic Arcanum, Eldritch Master
Warlocks who choose The Genie as a patron have made a pact with a powerful noble genie, granting them elemental affinities, a Genie’s Vessel and an extended spell list. Depending on the genie—Dao, Djinni, Efreeti or Marid—this warlock taps into the elements earth, wind, fire or water. This character takes on more genie traits as they level, so let’s tap into this theme further for the character.
Before we jump in, you can try your genie warlock in Genre Bomb’s first premade adventure, Dead Man’s Tale. Click here or below for more info.
Try a genasi or tiefling build.
I want to lean into the mystical, elemental theme of this character. Naturally, the variety of genie-like genasi fit each of these elemental builds (earth, wind, fire, water). Or I could lean into the fiery tiefling’s Charisma boost and inherent spellcasting.
The genasi are connected to the elemental planes of air, earth, fire or water, gaining a +2 Constitution bonus. Each variant gains an additional +1 to an ability score connected to their element. Earth genasi gain +1 Strength with Merge with Stone and Earthwalk. Air genasi gain +1 Dexterity with Mingle with the Wind and Unending Breath. Fire genasi gain +1 to Intelligence with Fire Resistance, Darkvision and Reach to the Blaze spells. Finally, water genasi gain +1 to Wisdom with Amphibious, Acid Resistance, Swim and Call to the Wave spells.
However, tieflings come with a +2 Charisma/+1 Intelligence ability modifier and inherent fire spells. Connected with the fiery Efreeti genie, tieflings become fire spell masters. Hellish rebuke is an inherent spell tieflings learn at level 3, dealing 2d10 fire damage against enemies who hit me with an attack. Of course, they get try a Dexterity saving throw. This devilish character fits the darkness of the warlock and the fiery nature of a Efreeti genie.
Pact of the Talisman, Rebuke of the Talisman, Protection of the Talisman
My warlock pact is an item given to me by my patron that gives me certain abilities. For The Genie patron, the Pact of the Talisman fits this character’s theme and abilities.
Pact of the Talisman is introduced in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything and gives me 1d4 to add to a failed ability check. This inevitably gives me a bard or rogue-like ability to be a skill mule when needed. However, I can only use this ability a number of times equal to my proficiency bonus per long rest.
Now, I can stack extra abilities with my talisman using Eldritch Invocations.
Rebuke of the Talisman will be my first Eldritch Invocation, as it only requires the Pact of the Talisman to perform. When the wearer of the talisman (probably me) is hit with an attack, I’ll use a reaction to deal damage and push the enemy 10 feet back. The damage only equals my proficiency bonus, but the pushing effect is a great way to escape enemies.
Then, level 7 grants me Protection of the Talisman, which adds 1d4 to a failed saving throw. Now, I can use this talisman to pull myself out of tough magical effects, stunning effects or falling prone.
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The Genie Patron abilities and extended spell list
Taking The Genie as a patron gives my warlock an expanded list of spells and genie like abilities. First, I’ll go over the genie abilities.
Genie’s Vessel is a Tiny object that holds my genie and gives me a handful of abilities. This vessel can be an oil lamp, urn, ring with a compartment or other housing object. With this vessel, I can perform bottled Respite and Genie’s Wrath.
Bottled Respite gives me the ability to magically vanish into the vessel, with the object dropping as I do. The inside of the vessel looks a bit like a hookah lounge, but I can hear everything outside. I can stay inside a number of hours equal to twice my proficiency bonus, so I’m thinking this is a quick escape option.
Genie’s Wrath adds my proficiency bonus to attack damage once during each of my turns. The damage type is connected to my element.
Elemental Gift (level 6) gives me resistance to damage depending on my genie type—bludgeoning (Dao), thunder (Djinni), fire (Efreeti) and cold (Marid). Plus, I gain a flying speed of 30 feet for 10 minutes, floating like a genie.
Sanctuary Vessel (level 10) enhances the Bottled Respite ability to include my party. Up to 5 willing creatures can disappear into the vessel with me. Also, everyone who stays inside for at least 10 minutes gains the benefits of a short rest. My proficiency modifier will be added to the HP they regain if they decide to use Hit Dice on the rest.
Limited Wish (level 14) gives me a free use of a level 6 spell from any class. However, I’ll need to finish 1d4 long rests to replenish this ability.
Genie Spells—the extended spell list for all genie warlocks.
The Genie gives me an expanded spell list when choosing my warlock spells. Now, I can customize my warlock with spells normally outside a warlock’s reach. These spells include:
- Detect evil and good (1st-level spell): Detect an aberration, celestial, elemental, fey, fiend, or undead within 30 feet. Plus, I can tell if a nearby object is consecrated or desecrated.
- Phantasmal force (2nd-level spell): Create an illusion no larger than a 10-foot cube making sound or smell.
- Create food and water (3rd-level spell): Create 40 pounds of food and 30 gallons of water. I like to think this is desert-survival related.
- Phantasmal killer (4th-level spell): Convince a target its worst fear is trying to kill it. The target is now frightened and must make a Wisdom saving throw at the end of each of its turns. On a failed save, they take 4d10 psychic damage.
- Creation (5th-level spell): Create materials no larger than a 5-foot cube of vegetable matter, wood, minerals or metal.
- Wish (9th-level spell): One of the most ultimate spells. Essentially, I can copy any other spell 8th-level and lower. The possibilities are near endless—from regaining party health to creating items worth 25,000 GP.
Choosing a Dao Genie grants me resistance against bludgeoning damage at level 6 (Elemental Gift). Plus, a variety of earth-based spells are available to me.
- Sanctuary (1st-level spell): Cast a ward on a creature. Now, enemies must make a Wisdom saving throw before attacking the warded target. Otherwise, they have to choose a new target. The spell ends as soon as the warded creature attacks or casts a spell that affects an enemy.
- Spike Growth (2nd-level spell): Spiky thorns make a 20-foot radius area of difficult terrain. Moving 5 feet through this terrain deals 2d4 piercing damage.
- Meld into Stone (3rd-level spell): Merge with a slab of stone that can fit my whole body. I can see outside and cast spells on myself. However, hearing anything outside has disadvantage on a Perception check. If the stone breaks or shrinks, I’m expelled for 6d6 bludgeoning damage. If the stone is destroyed, I take 50 damage.
- Stone Shape (4th-level spell): Reshape a piece of stone Medium size or smaller (Weapons on the fly, a useful item). Or reshape a 5-foot area of stone (for passages, peep holes, etc…)
- Wall of Stone (5th-level spell): Create a wall composed of ten 10 X 10 panels that is 6 inches thick. Each panel has AC 15 and 30 HP.
The sky-based djinni grants me resistance to thunder damage at level 6 (Elemental Gift). Also, my spell list is expanded with spells of thunder, wind and light.
- Thunderwave (1st-level spell): Each creature in a 15-foot cube must make a Constitution saving throw or be pushed 10 feet back and take 2d8 thunder damage.
- Gust of Wind (2nd-level spell): A line of wind 60 feet long and 10 feet wide blasts in a direction of my choice. Enemies must make a Strength saving throw or be pushed 15 feet back. Plus, enemies must spend 2 feet for every 1 foot of movement.
- Wind Wall (3rd-level spell): A 50-foot long, 15-foot high, 1-foot-thick wall of wind appears within 120 feet of range. Each creature inside the wall must make a Strength saving throw or take 3d8 bludgeoning damage. All strong wind effects are in play for flying and ranged attackers.
- Greater Invisibility (4th-level spell): I or a creature I touch becomes invisible for 1 minute.
- Seeming (5th-level spell): Make an illusionary disguise for myself or an ally. The disguise doesn’t hold up under physical inspection—as objects will move through the illusion. Unwilling creatures affected by this spell must make a Charisma saving throw to deflect the spell.
The fiery Efreeti Genie grants me resistance to fire damage with Elemental Gift. My bonus spells are all fire power.
- Burning Hands (1st-level spell): A 15-foot cone of flame forces enemies to make a Dexterity saving throw or take 3d6 fire damage.
- Scorching Ray (2nd-level spell): Create 3 rays and make an attack with each. 1 target or multiple. Each ray deals 2d6 fire damage.
- Fireball (3rd-level spell): Send a blast of fire that explodes in a 20-foot radius. Each creature in the radius must make a Dexterity saving throw or take 8d6 fire damage (half as much on successful saves).
- Fire Shield (4th-level spell): Make a warm or cold shield of flame that circles the body. Warm shields resistance to cold damage, and the cold shield offers resistance to fire damage. Plus, attackers who hit me take 2d8 fire or cold damage and I shed 10 feet of light.
- Flame Strike (5th-level spell): A 10-foot radius cylinder that is 40 feet tall forces all creature within the space to make a Dexterity saving throw or take 4d6 fire damage and 4d6 radiant damage.
The Marid Genie grants me resistance to cold damage, with control over water and weather.
- Fog Cloud (1st-level spell): Create a 20-foot radius sphere of fog, disrupting vision inside the area.
- Blur (2nd-level spell): I create a blurry illusion around myself, giving disadvantage to attacks against me. However, creatures with blindsight or truesight can see through the spell.
- Sleet Storm (3rd-level spell): A 20-foot tall, 40-foot radius of sleet and freezing rain, making the ground difficult terrain. Creatures who start their turn here must make a Dexterity save or fall prone. Also, the area is heavily obscured, and spells lose concentration on a failed Constitution save.
- Control Water (4th-level spell): Control water in a space up to 100 feet in space on 1 side. Options are to flood, part water, redirect flow and create whirlpools.
- Cone of Cold (5th-level spell): A blast of cold air forces each creature within a 60-foot cone to make a Constitution saving throw or take 8d8 cold damage.
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Choose warlock spells to compliment genie spells.
Given the opportunity, I’m going lean into my special list of spells for this warlock. However, I need to consider my other spell options from the basic warlock list. These spells should balance out the effects of my genie spells—adding damage, defense or adventuring options as needed.
The Dao Genie warlock should consider chill touch, poison spray, arms of hadar and witchbolt for direct damage-dealing options. Plus, hellish rebuke and armor of Agathys can return damage to those foolish enough to attack me. Of course, charm person and illusory script would play well off my genie side.
The Djinni Genie could add similar damage dealing options—eldritch blast and witch bolt for something stormy. Plus, hex would be a great option to give enemies disadvantage on Strength checks when I cast wind spells.
The Efreeti Genie comes with plenty of firepower, needing defensive spells like blade ward and protection from good and evil. Again, I’ll choose classic warlock selections to flavor my fire slinger—hex, charm person, unseen servant.
Finally, the Marid Genie could use spells that relate to the sea and weather—lightning lure, misty step. Plus, I’ll want direct damage options like eldritch blast and witch bolt to complement my field effect spells from the class.
Mystic Arcanum, Eldritch Master
To wrap up this warlock build, I’ll use my base class’s high-level abilities for magic enhancement.
At level 11, my genie grants me a Mystic Arcanum—a special 6th-level spell to cast for free. I’ll need to rest between uses, but I’ll gain higher-level spells as I hit level 13, 15 and 17.
Finally, Eldritch Master grants me a connection with my patron genie to recover all expended spell slots from my Pact Magic feature.