The story I've devised for my char is that he started searching for certain answers in "forbidden lore" (to quote the PHB), struck a pact with a Fiend, but after a while, realised the Fiend couldn't give him what he was looking for. So, he started looking elsewhere (stopped taking levels in Warlock), which raises a question: How can I RP "breaking off" from my Patron?

The ideal answer will provide precedents from the DND universe (either lore/story or class/mechanics). More generally, I'm looking for something along the lines of this answer, especially the quoted section, where the character justifies/describes why she is not her class.

The relevance of that answer has to do with the player successfully detaching the character story/background from the class. I'm looking to achieve a similar detachment: keep my character developing through a varied path without feeling like I've left a gaping hole in his story.


As far as I can see, there are only three ways out of an infernal pact to end:

  1. Break the pact.
  2. Complete the terms of the pact.
  3. Failure to complete the terms of the pact.

Breaking the Pact

Breaking the pact can be very interesting story wise, and how the pact is broken might tie into the new class, and the DM gets all kinds of story hooks he can pursue.

Complete the Terms of the Pact

Perhaps the agreement with the fiend isn't a "your soul forever in exchange for power," but instead a "Complete this task/list of tasks and I will grant you power." Upon success, he lets you go.

Failure to complete the Terms of the Pact

You tried, desperately, to complete the pact and failed. The patron is angry, and turns his back on you (without bothering to remove what he's already bestowed).

In the MM, page 51, a demon is described as

regarding any mortals in its service as tools to use and then discard at its whim, consigning their mortal souls to the Abyss.

Which supports abandonment upon breaking or completing the pact. Breaking the pact, however seems like more fun story wise, and while I don't know any D&D lore about it, but there are cases of it in literature to pull from.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Since I don't have an actual answer different from this one, I offer an addendum on the Complete the Terms of the Pact: It is likely that the patron will continue to contact the character either posing as a "protagonistic" actor trying to offer more power or as an "antagonist" trying to get back at the warlock for turning their back. It is very likely that the patron will try to make the latter look like the former as well. \$\endgroup\$ – Aviose Dec 7 '15 at 15:16

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