5e Character Archetypes: The Nirvana Cycle (Warlock)

The Nirvana Cycle

Whether a solid devotee to the forces of good or an acute mind attempting to subvert the powers of good for their own gain, some Warlocks choose to make a pact with an entity of the good-aligned planes. A Nirvana patron is seeking agents to bring tranquility, understanding, and compassion to the world, or other times is trying to enlighten a particular Warlock. Many of the powers granted by this patron explicitly deal in balance, healing, and harmony, many a Warlock has turned the technicalities of their patronage to their advantage. 

Some patrons and warlocks of this archetype would describe their path as “Salvation for the unlikely”.

Presence of Nirvana

Upon taking their oath to the Nirvana patron, the Warlock gains the ability to bring aid to the dying. The Warlock gains Spare the Dying as well as the ability to cast False Life. Once the Warlock casts False Life using Presence of Nirvana, they may not do so again until they complete a short rest. If the Warlock casts False Life or a spell 1st level or above that grants hit points to a dying creature which is hostile to the Warlock, the Warlock regains one spell slot. Should that creature come to harm by the intentional action or inaction of the Warlock within the next hour, the Warlock loses one spell slot the next time one is available. After they have regained a spell slot using this ability, they may not do so again until they have completed a long rest.

Blessing of Spells

The Nirvana Cycle lets you choose from an expanded spell list when you learn a warlock spell. The following spells are added to the warlock list for you.

1st: Healing Word, Sanctuary

2nd: Aid, Warding Bond

3rd: Mass Healing Word, Revivify

4th: Divination, Polymorph

5th: Hallow, Reincarnation

Joyous Gaze

Beginning at 6th level, the Warlock’s connection to Nirvana steadies as they become a conduit of peace and compassion. As an action, the Warlock can utter a word of Nirvana to heal a creature within 60 ft. A Pact of Nirvana warlock has a total number of hit points they can heal equal to their Charisma modifier multiplied by their Warlock level. They regain all of these hit points upon completing a long rest.

If a hostile creature within 60 ft. would be dealt damage, the Warlock may use their reaction to speak a word of Nirvana, healing that creature as damage is dealt. Doing so expends no healing from the Warlock’s Joyous Gaze. Each hit point healed by the Warlock, up to its maximum hit point total, replenishes the Warlock’s Joyous Gaze pool of healing by that many points. After regaining Joyous Gaze healing points this way, the warlock cannot replenish more healing points until they complete a short rest.

Bestow Forgiveness

Beginning at 10th level, your patron has given you knowledge of the inner turmoils of your fellow creatures. In the moments before a fatal or damaging attack to yourself, your thoughts flash to the motivations of your opponent. By expending your reaction and uttering “I am sorry” in Celestial, a flash of light averts the blow. The creature’s attack, spell, or ability is nullified and the creature is healed for an amount equal to half of the damage they would have dealt to you. The creature may not attack you until you or your allies make an attack against it or the creature makes a Wisdom saving throw. It is granted a new save at the beginning of each of its turns, with a difficulty equal to 8 + your spellcasting modifier. Once you have used this ability, you may not use it again until you complete a short rest.

Abrupt Reincarnation

Upon reaching 14th level, the Warlock’s patron grants them a limited view of creature’s past and future forms within the cycle of reincarnation. With a word, they can force a living creature or soul to revert to one of its past or future forms, as True Polymorph, except it can only transform creatures into other creatures. Souls or intelligent targeted by this effect will have their old form become lifeless and their new form created in the nearest unoccupied space to their current location. Souls return to their previous container or attachment when the spell completes unless their new form is permanent. Once the Warlock has used this ability, they may not do so again until they complete a long rest.

The following Pact and Invocations are available to warlocks of all archetypes:

Pact of the Aura

The Warlock’s Patron grants a boon, allowing the Warlock to act as a conduit to the energies and powers of their patron. By taking on different aspects of their patron, the Warlock seeks to empower themselves although this power leaks into the space around them. The Warlock may have up to one aspect active at a time.

Upon taking this pact, the Warlock chooses three aura aspects from below to represent the influence their patron has on them and their surroundings. They may change or channel an aspect as an action. Ceasing to channel an aspect is a free action. Whenever the Warlock could lose one spell to learn another, they may also choose to forgo one aspect of their aura to gain another.

  • Escape: Those inside this 60 ft. aura may move an extra 10 ft. when making the Disengage action.
  • Rebuke: Creature’s within this 30 ft. aura may make an opposed Strength check against the Dexterity or Strength of those they hit with a melee attack. On a success, the creature pushes its target back by 5 ft. + 5 ft. for every 5 by which they succeed on the check.
  • Focus: All creature’s within this 60 ft. aura can expend their reaction in order to gain advantage on a Charisma, Intelligence, or Wisdom saving throw.
  • Endure: All creature’s within this 60 ft. aura can expend their reaction in order to gain advantage on a Constitution, Dexterity, or Strength saving throw.
  • Repose: Living and dead creatures within this 60 ft. aura die and decompose more slowly. The living have advantage on death saving throws while the dead decompose at 1/10th the normal speed.
  • Confuse: All creatures within this 30 ft. aura make Charisma, Intelligence, and Wisdom saves at disadvantage. They may negate this effect for one save by expending their reaction.
  • Weaken: All creatures within this 30 ft. aura make Strength, Constitution, and Dexterity saves at disadvantage. They may negate this effect for one save by expending their reaction.
  • Rejuvenate: Those within this 30 ft. aura regain an additional hit point per die of healing they receive.
  • Withstand: Targets within this 30 ft. aura reduce damage taken from targeted  melee attacks by 1 point, to a minimum of 1.
  • Refuge: Targets within this 60 ft. aura reduce damage taken from targeted ranged attacks by 1 point, to a minimum of 1.
  • Wither: Reduce all healing received within this 30 ft. aura by one die size.
  • Rot: All within the 60 ft. aura have disadvantage on death saving throws. Corpses inside the area of effect rot ten times as quickly.
  • Destroy: Targets within this 30 ft. aura take 1 additional point of damage from all targeted attacks.


Vicious Compassion: Prerequisite Patron of Nirvana. 

You may choose to deal nonlethal damage with your cantrips and pact weapon. Should you do so, you roll that damage with advantage.



Malicious Armistice: Prerequisite Eldritch Blast Cantrip, 5th level or higher.

If you would target a creature with your Elidritch Blast, you may instead attempt to apply a sanctuary effect on the creature instead. It makes a Wisdom save against 8 + your spellcasting modifier. If it fails, the creature must refrain from attack for one minute or until a creature attacks it. If it attacks before the effect ends, the creature takes damage equal to the maximum damage of your Eldritch Blast, plus other Invocation effects. On a successful save, the creature is dealt the minimum damage from your Eldritch Blast with no sanctuary effect or other Invocations.

Eldritch Aura: Prerequisite 9th level or higher, Pact of the Aura.

You may choose to have your Eldritch Blast affect all creatures within your active Aura instead of a target creature. The eldritch power is channeled through your patron, amplified, and sent back through your aura as a burst of energy. All creatures within your Aura must make a Dexterity save against 8 + your spellcasting modifier in order to reduce the damage by half and avoid any other effects of the Eldritch Blast. The damage and effects of your Eldritch Blast affect you as well.

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