I haven't seen anything in the PHB or the DMG (although I admit I haven't looked in every nook and crank) to the effect that a warlock can displease their patron. Warlocks seem to be just free to do whatever they fancy.

Contrast this with the cleric, that also has a patron that grants their magic, but enforces a particular ethos. A cleric can displease their deity and be punished.

Is there any way for a warlock to displease their patron? Or are they free to act as they will?

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    \$\begingroup\$ RAW there is no mechanical penalty for a cleric that goes against their god either. Why do you say it is "enforced"? \$\endgroup\$ – Szega Sep 21 '17 at 14:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ What's your real question here? Pretty clearly, any sentient can displease any other sentient. Are you asking for rules for mechanical effects? \$\endgroup\$ – SirTechSpec Sep 21 '17 at 14:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ If your question is different from the dupe I linked above, please re-write it to clarify what you're looking for. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Sep 21 '17 at 15:32

That depends on how the DM wants to role play the patron, or not

Is it possible? Of course its possible.

You don't need a rule in a book to have a patron react unfavorably, or favorably to the Warlock. Consider the Epic Boon passages (DMG, p. 231) and decide whether the patron could grant, or withhold, Epic Boons at that level of play. The rules text implies that different patrons have different attitudes, negative or positive, towards their warlocks. Likewise, each patron has a different sort of MO, as this answer explains very well.

Some patrons collect warlocks, doling out mystic knowledge relatively freely or boasting of their ability to bind mortals to their will. Other patrons bestow their power only grudgingly, and might make a pact with only one warlock (PHB p. 108)

Patrons aren't a stat bloc monster in the MM by default (unless an MM equivalent demon/devil/celestial is the specific patron). They are left "soft around the edges" to provide a lot of room to work. (Role playing, even).

Otherworldly Patron (PHB p. 107)

At 1st level, you have struck a bargain with an otherworldly being of your choice: the Archfey, the Fiend, or the Great Old One, each of which is detailed at the end of the class description. Your choice grants you features at 1st level and again at 6th, 10th, and 14th level.
Pact Magic Your arcane research and the magic bestowed on you by your patron have given you facility with spells.

Two different (general) attitudes toward rule books

  1. I can't do it unless the book says so
  2. Unless the book prohibits it, I can do it.

DM's using approach number 2 have a lot more flexibility to make their world/game/table interesting. Beyond that, the 5e DMG holds the DM as master of rules (DMG p.5) The patron does as the DM decides, and may or may not react to the Warlock with displeasure or approval.

What makes for the most interesting story, or adventure hook?

Otherworldly Patrons (SRD p. 51) The beings that serve as patrons for warlocks are mighty inhabitants of other planes of existence—not gods, but almost godlike in their power. Various patrons give their warlocks access to different powers and invocations, and expect significant favors in return. Some patrons collect warlocks, doling out mystic knowledge relatively freely or boasting of their ability to bind mortals to their will. Other patrons bestow their power only grudgingly, and might make a pact with only one warlock.

Warlocks who serve the same patron might view each other as allies, siblings, or rivals.

The Fiend
You have made a pact with a fiend from the lower planes of existence, a being whose aims are evil, even if you strive against those aims. Such beings desire the corruption or destruction of all things, ultimately including you. Fiends powerful enough to forge a pact include demon lords such as Demogorgon, Orcus, Fraz’Urb-­‐‑luu, and Baphomet; archdevils such as Asmodeus, Dispater, Mephistopheles, and Belial; pit fiends and balors that are especially mighty; and ultroloths and other lords of the yugoloths.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It is very funny when you vote to close a question (with the reason that there cannot be an objective and good answer) but answer anyway... and the answer is actually objecive and good enough. just some food for thought. \$\endgroup\$ – Mindwin Sep 21 '17 at 15:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Heh, that is somewhat amusing, since I was just going to leave a comment but then decided that answering was the better idea. Should have waited on that close vote response, I'd not have made it once I thought through the response. That said, I think that point SirTechSpec made about the previous Q&A is correct, and maybe I should have looked about a bit before answering. Glad you liked the answer. (Obviously, I owe you a beer). \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Sep 21 '17 at 17:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oops, another mistake: @Nautarch's comment. Not my day, it seems. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Sep 21 '17 at 17:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ I flagged my own question as a dupe, and left to the mods to decide to either swap the close reason or leave alone. EDIT: it seems it is now closed as dupe. :D - onto the next Q&A my dear friend. \$\endgroup\$ – Mindwin Sep 21 '17 at 20:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think a story hook that could also be considered is the Patron taking a "Let's see what you've got" attitude. It's a bit of a trope, but with good reason. Patrons seem to give power for their own amusement, watching a mortal try to use the paltry (in comparison to the patron itself) power they were given in rebellion could possibly receive an "I haven't been this entertained in a long time." type response. The Fiend description (by my read) implies that the Fiend might seek to corrupt you against your own will. So you fighting back just adds to the fun. \$\endgroup\$ – Luke Sep 22 '17 at 2:06

This is up to you and your DM during character creation

The basic introduction to the Warlock in the PHB (pp 105-106) states with my emphasis:

A warlock is defined by a pact with an otherworldly being. Sometimes the relationship between warlock and patron is like that of a cleric and a deity, though the beings that serve as patrons for warlocks are not gods...More often, though, the arrangement is similar to that between a master and apprentice. The warlock learns and grows in power, at the cost of occasional services performed on the patron's behalf....

As you make a warlock character, spend some time thinking about your patron and the obligations your pact imposes upon you...Your patron's demands might drive you into adventures, or they might consist entirely of small favors you can do between adventures...What kind of relationship do you have with your patron?...

The section continues, with further ideas on how to work with your DM to understand the import of the pact in your character's adventuring career.

The possibilities are truly endless here, but you can come up with something together that makes sense for your character and the world they're playing in.

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