There are currently four options for your level 3 Warlock Pact in Dungeons & Dragons 5E. You may not have picked Warlock to get a spellbook, but the Tome will give you that option! By unlocking the Book of Shadows, you add plenty of power to your character. The Book is not only an effective utility tool, but a good defensive option too! So, if you want to maximize Pact of the Tome 5e in D&D 5E, we can help you out!
Pact of the Tome 5E Guide
The Pact of the Tome grants the grimoire ‘Book of Shadows.’ This book contains 3 cantrips from any class, which don’t have to be from your spell list. You can cast those cantrips at will as Warlock Cantrips. Replacing your Book of Shadows takes 1 hour. Your patron provides everything, including the pages of the book and the three cantrips. The book is destroyed when you perform the ritual to replace it or when you die.
This is actually the best Pact if you don’t want to invest any Invocations into your pact.
Warlocks are reliant on their cantrips. Eldritch Blast is ridiculous, and most Warlocks only get to learn 4 options over the course of their entire career! That means that most Warlocks only get to choose between a mere 3 cantrips. While you have some good options, they aren’t myriad. And many of the good ones are offensive, damage dealing options like Green-Flame Blade and Toll the Dead.
This Grimoire doesn’t only grant you 3 additional cantrips. They let you choose from any list! You can get spells like Spare the Dying for emergencies, Guidance for out-of-combat aid, or Druidcraft for utility.
The cantrips you choose should change to help your party the best they can, or help yourself if your party has all angles covered. The Warlock tends to suffer a bit out-of-combat, so things like Druidcraft, Guidance, Minor Image, or Message can make you a better asset to social scenarios.
The reason why this is the best pact is because 3 cantrips actually scale rather well into the endgame. Cantrips are very handy to have around, and Warlocks don’t get access to many. This book gives you a wider variety of options while allowing you to focus on swapping your actual Warlock spells.
However, if you have free Invocation slots, the Book suffers from not having the best options in the world. It has one legitimately great one, and the rest are okay? It’s not the best pact for an Invocation-Light build. That honor goes to Chain or Talisman.
Good Subclasses to Use
The Tome is a solid choice for any non-Hexblade Warlock. The Tome’s best cantrip choices add utility and out-of-combat help to the Warlock’s toolkit, which is sorely missed from almost all of the Warlock’s subclasses.
There are a few that benefit a touch more than other Subclasses. Subclasses with low utility end up benefiting from the Tome a bit more. They have less to do out-of-combat, so they can spend more time with Guidance or Prestidigitation. These include the Fathomless, Fiend, Genie, and Undead. These combat-ready archetypes (Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything for Fathomless and Genie, Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft for Undead) enjoy the additional cantrips the most. They need that extra firepower so they can have problem-solving tools outside of fights. They also benefit a lot from Eldritch Blast, which requires a ton of Invocation support to be an absolute powerhouse.
The only subclass that hates the Tome is Hexblade. Hexblade is far too reliant on Pact of the Blade to dip their toes into reading a book.
The pact of the Tome currently has four unique invocations. We only recommend using one of them, but they all have a bit of use.
Aspect of the Moon allows the Tome user to be immune to sleep, both natural and otherwise. This allows you to keep watch all night. Alternatively, your Wizard can cast Alarm. Or you can keep a shift. Anything to give you another Invocation slot. This is an alright choice if you have no other choices but… C’mon.
Book of Ancient Secrets gives you two 1st-level rituals from any class list. You can cast them as rituals. You can also put other rituals into your book and cast them as rituals. This is interesting. There are a few strong ritual spells, like Alarm, that you can cast with these slots. Other options include Find Familiar or Identify. As you explore, you can add summoning rituals, Augury, Contact Other Plane, and other random options to your list. This can grant you a lot of utility, and is not as bad as it may seem! Not a bad pick for a Warlock who is bored outside of a fight.
Far Scribe allows you to write someone’s name on a page, up to your proficiency bonus. You get to cast the Sending spell to that target. Considering you normally use Sending on your party members, this isn’t abysmal. Good information and combat preparation. If your party is planning a big split soon that might overcome the range limit of Message, this should be on your mind.
Gift of the Protectors is weird. Extremely strong, and a must-have for Tome wielders, but still weird. It’s a strictly defensive buff, allowing you to keep someone from dying by having their name on a page. If they get K.O.’d but not killed, they drop to 1 health instead. This happens once per day, and you can have another of names equal to your proficiency modifier on the page. Keeping your Cleric off the ground is critical to winning fights, and this adds another layer of safety to battle that you can’t ignore. This is a strong contender for taking Tome in the first place. But, it is kind of random that it’s here. Talisman probably deserves something like this.
The basic invocations aid Tome a lot. We recommend stacking Eldritch Blast invocations and then taking Gift of the Protectors. Far Scribe is optional.
Otherwise, you can grab things like Beguiling Influence or Bewitching Whispers to help you outside of fights. If you’re worried about your in-fight durability, then Armor of Shadows or Fiendish Vigor might be wanted.
Wrapping up the Pact of the Tome
The Tome might be the best scaling pact that doesn’t require a ton of Invocation dedication. Cantrips are legitimately solid tools! However, that shouldn’t keep you from trying out the Far Scribe and Gift of the Protectors options. Those are great tools that Warlocks need! Try this out the next time you think Warlocks are too combat-focused, and you’ll see how good they can be outside of combat!