Warlock hasn’t gotten a lot of love for their Level 3 pact choices in Dungeons & Dragons 5e. Ever since the Player Handbook, Warlocks had to choose between three pacts. While they were good choices, it is strange that there was never another printed. That is, until Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything came out and offered a new option! The Talisman is our newest choice and grants you a lovely protective charm to use. Our Pact of the Talisman 5E guide will explain what it is and how to use it!
Pact of the Talisman Warlock
The Pact of the Talisman allows the wearer of said talisman to add a d4 to any ability check made by the wearer. They can do this a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus. If you lose it, you can perform a 1-hour ritual to receive a replacement, which destroys the previous amulet. It turns to ash if you are killed.
For the purposes of the guide, the person who is wearing the Talisman shall be called the Wearer. They can be yourself, or anybody else you give the Talisman to.
This is a bit of a slow start. This d4 isn’t even a reaction, which is great! But you are heavily limited on how many times per day you can use it. At the start, this ability has as much power as casting Guidance before a skill check does. So, if you want this to be better than the Tome, you’re going to want to invest in it!
Investing in it is actually not an awful idea. It’s a defensive tool, and you can place your talisman on someone else to give them benefits.
Overall, the Talisman has some interesting benefits, but if and only if you spend some Invocations to improve it. If you don’t then the Tome – with the Guidance spell – is significantly better.
Good Subclasses to Use
The Pact of the Talisman offers a variety of defensive buffs, making it good for a supportive build. Realistically, you will need to spend 1-3 Invocation slots in order to make the Talisman better than just having a Tome. So, make sure your build can support losing invocations to make up for it.
Eldritch Blast builds can still survive. But, you’ll likely want to do a build that focuses more on casting big spells that can change the flow of battle rather than dealing damage. The Celestial and Archfey warlocks both do this quite well. Great Old One is also solid at using the Talisman to keep enemies away from you while you control them with your psychic abilities.
Otherwise, the Talisman is open enough that it can survive on any non-Hexblade Warlock. What’s important is what your teammates need for survival. Since the Talisman can be used to buff allies, squishier friends might want its protection (or its d4 to skill checks!) for emergencies.
The Talisman has three unique invocations that belong to it. Two of them are great, and the other is perfectly serviceable.
Rebuke of the Talisman gives you a very easy reaction. It forces a target who attacked the Wearer back 10 feet, with a small dose of psychic damage on top. This can dissuade attackers from targeting the Wearer. It can also keep them safe from getting attacked multiple times by a violent melee attacker. It’s less useful against ranged attackers or spellcasters. But, it can have some funny interactions where the ranged attacker was barely in range and you push them out of it. That’s not likely, but still!
Protection of the Talisman allows the Wearer to, Proficiency Modifier per day, add a d4 to a saving throw. This vastly improves the combat power of the Talisman. Adding a d4 to a saving throw without expending a reaction or having any real setup is pretty great. It has pretty heavy limitations per day, but that’s the only real downside. Give this to whoever might be in the most danger, and you’ll be a big help.
Despite being the highest level ability, Bond of the Talisman just isn’t that great. It might save you in specific situations, but most parties just aren’t that split up. What you can do is give this to someone at a camp, use Invisibility to scout, and then they can teleport back if they get into trouble. This is somewhat niche. If you think this’ll be handy, try to use your level up bonus to trade out a different invocation for Bond.
For Non-Talisman Invocations, you might want to build support synergy. Things like Devil’s Sight will allow you to see in the dark. This lets you set up Darkness combos with your team, as long as they can find ways to see in darkness. You can also get supportive invocations like Dreadful Word or Mire the Mind to further support your party.
Conclusion: Pact of the Talisman
That’s it for our Pact of the Talisman 5E Guide. If you want more warlock content, don’t forget to check out our pact of the chain guide.