Not a fan of the Warlock pacts mentioning specific characters

I love when a role playing game is rife with lore.  For example, 2E D&D was rich with generic universe lore: "what are these races, classes, spell effects, and what do they mean in the D&D multiverse"

However, I'd much rather specifics stick to the source books.  So I'm not really fond with the specific lore associated with the Warlock's pacts.

Granted, any DM can replace Verenestra with whatever Fey creature is in their campaign, but having that in the core rules taints the general D&D lore in a way that's hard to get out of both my and my gaming group's collective heads.  I'd much rather it say that it's a pact with a fey lord, consult your DM for the details.

I didn't like this in 4E either, with the Feywild, etc.  Not that I played much 4E.

Thoughts?
I like it a little bit.

However, I would like it if Fey Pact wasn't so geared to the idea of zapping beauty, what if a Fey-Lord doesn't want beauty but instead wants material wealth? What if they Fey Noble wants teeth?

Verenestra is a nice jump off point for this discussion. Especially considering that they turned the deities from Packet 1 into Domains in Packet 2. Instead of Pelor its now Sun and instead of Moradin is now War. 

It would make sense in Playtest Packet 3 that Verenestra would change to generic Fey Noble. 

In the end I would like to see at the bottom of these pacts and domains recommended deity or patron. Because I don't really have a good job naming characters and sometimes I need a crutch to lean on.
Ant Farm
I mentioned something like this in a thread earlier, but the short answer is yes, I agree.

I don't mind entities that are so bland you can easily rename them; the cleric domains look to be going in this direction.  Pelor, Amaunator/Lathander, Apollo/Helios, Ra, Quetzalcouatl, etc. could all be covered by the Sun domain.  But Verenestra, with her peculiar combination of charm, teleportation, and selfish beauty, is too specific.  Great for a setting supplement, bad for a core rulebook.

"Edison didn't succeed the first time he invented Benjamin Franklin, either." Albert the Alligator, Walt Kelly's Pogo Sunday Book  
The Core Coliseum: test out your 4e builds and fight to the death.

I also think it's poor design to make a pact that mechanically appeals to players of heavily social, "pretty" characters, but then fluffwise makes it impossible to be "pretty."

Who does this pact appeal to?  I predict that almost nobody will take this pact as soon as there's another option available.  The charming wart-face is not a concept any but a very select few would ever want.
I also think it's poor design to make a pact that mechanically appeals to players of heavily social, "pretty" characters, but then fluffwise makes it impossible to be "pretty."

Who does this pact appeal to?  I predict that almost nobody will take this pact as soon as there's another option available.  The charming wart-face is not a concept any but a very select few would ever want.



  I have to disagree with this. Social characters do not have to be pretty. Consider Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and some of the other recognizable American presidents. By todays standard of beauty most of them are average or below. We remember them for their charisma and oratory abilities instead. On top of that DnD is a universe where of different races each with their own concept of beauty.
  I particularly enjoy the design of the warlock. What is the character willing to sacrifice for power? We may well see another fey pact later on that plays into a different aspect of fey lore. You may be right in that less people may be inclined to play a charming, but ugly character. There is potential here for the people who do enjoy these types of characters though.
  To the OP, specific names can always be changed. Also, the sorcerer only got dragon bloodline in this packet. We really have yet to see the different types of pacts Next will have.
  To the OP, specific names can always be changed. Also, the sorcerer only got dragon bloodline in this packet. We really have yet to see the different types of pacts Next will have.


Hopefully we'll get both versions of the Star Pact as well; anyone else remember the article in which the Star Pact's designer was completely blindsided by all the players' repurposing it as the Cthulhu Pact?

Yes, I am mythos-savvy to know that it would actually be the Azathoth pact, but I figure there's a few people here who still aren't. 
It's good to have a default with specific names and such.

But they need to explicitly allow you to change that.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Firstly, I agree that using certain named characters from lore does not really have a place. Using generic templates is one thing but using the name of a very specific arch-fey, for example, is railroading the DM a bit in what kind of world they can create. My group, for example, uses a completely original house setting, as I think the majority of groups do. Using names imposes of these kinds of worlds and can limit the creativity that forms them.

On the point of the Fey Pact itself, I disagree. As Nulein said, Charisma is not beauty, it is personal magnetism. One can be ugly and charismatic at the same time. Also, each race has its own idea of beauty. A scarred, battle weary female dwarven warrior would never be considered beautiful in human or elven society but would likely be a person of desire in her own, dwarven, society. Furthermore, the same character could even have a high charisma score, and it would not be out of place.
What else could I add to this discussion except this: I did not realise that about the star pact, or hear about it till just now. Thank you for sharing.

AD&D 1st Edition Character (Simplified)

BIOGRAPHY
Name: Brother Michael
Adventuring Class: Cleric
Adventuring Experience: 1446 out of 1501
Bonus Experience: 10%
Languages Known: Common, Orc, Elven.
Alignment: Lawful/Neutral Good
ABILITY SCORES
Strength: 10
Dexterity: 10
Intelligence: 11
Charisma: 11
Constitution: 14
Wisdom: 16
WEAPONS: HIT; MEDIUM; LARGE
Footman’s Flail: 1d20; 1d6+1; 1d4
Hammer (Thrown): 1d20; 1d4+1; 1d4
Sling: 1d20-3; 1d4+1; 1d6+1
MAGIC
Today’s Prepared Spells: Cure Light Wounds x2, Command x1
Spells Spent: Cure Light Wounds x1
Other Cleric Abilities: Turn Undead
Spell Failure: 0%
Magical Attack Adjustment: +2
DEFENSES
Armor: 5 (-4 Armor, -1 Shield)
Maximum Health: 10
Current Health: 9
CONSUMABLE ITEMS
Water Skin
7 Days of Trail Rations
7 Pints (Flasks) of Oil
1 Ounce (Vial) of Holy Water
4 Parchments
12 Sling Bullets
6 Pieces of Silver
8 Pieces of Twine

having that in the core rules taints the general D&D lore in a way that's hard to get out of both my and my gaming group's collective heads. 

I totally agree. I wish they would keep the fluff generic in the core game. Specific flavor is what sourcebooks and modules are for.

D&D Next - Basic and Expert Editions

I firmly believe that there should be two editions of the game; the core rules released as a "Basic" set and a more complicated expanded rules edition released as an "Expert" set. These two editions would provide separate entry points to the game; one for new players or players that want a more classic D&D game and another entry point for experienced gamers that want more options and all the other things they have come to expect from previous editions.

Also, they must release several rules modules covering the main elements of the game (i.e., classes, races, combat, magic, monsters, etc.) upon launch to further expand the game for those that still need more complexity in a particular element of the game.


Here's a mockup of the Basic Set I created.



(CLICK HERE TO VIEW LARGER IMAGE)
  

Basic Set

This boxed set contains a simple, "bare bones" edition of the game; the core rules. It's for those that want a rules-light edition of the game that is extremely modifiable or for new players that get intimidated easily by too many rules and/or options. The Basic Set contains everything needed to play with all the "classic" D&D races (i.e., Human, Dwarf, Elf, and Halfling) and classes (i.e., Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard) all the way up to maximum level (i.e., 20th Level).

The Basic boxed set contains:

Quick Start Rules
A "choose your own way" adventure intended as an intro to RPGs and basic D&D terms.

Player's Handbook
(Softcover, 125 pages)
Features rules for playing the classic D&D races and classes all the way up to 20th level.

Dungeon Master's Guide

(Softcover, 125 pages)
Includes the basic rules for dungeon masters.

Monster Manual
(Softcover, 100 pages)
Includes all the classic iconic monsters from D&D. 

Introductory Adventure
(Keep on the Borderlands)
An introductory adventure for beginning players and DMs.

Also includes: 

Character Sheets
Reference Sheets
Set of Dice


Expert Set

A set of hardbound rules that contains the core rules plus expanded races and classes, more spells and a large selection of optional rules modules — that is, pretty much everything that experienced players have come to expect. Each expert edition manual may be purchased separately, or in a boxed set. The Expert set includes:

Expert PHB (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus 10 playable races, 10 character classes, expanded selection of spells and rules modules for players.)
Expert DMG (Hardcover, 250 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus expanded rules modules for DMs.)
Expert MM (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes an expanded list of monsters and creatures to challenge characters)


Expansions

These expansion rules modules can be used with both the Basic and Expert sets. Each expansion covers one specific aspect of the game, such as character creation, combat, spells, monsters, etc.) 

Hall of Heroes (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes a vast selection of playable character races and classes, new and old all in one book)
Combat and Tactics (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes dozens of new and old optional rules for combat all in one book)
Creature Compendium (Hardcover, 350 pages.$35 Includes hundreds of monsters, new and old all in one book)
The Grimoire (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes hundreds of new and old spells all in one book)





A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage

A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage and Hit Points

In my personal campaigns, I use the following system for damage and dying. It's a slight modification of the long-standing principles etsablished by the D&D game, only with a new definition of what 0 or less hit points means. I've been using it for years because it works really well. However, I've made some adjustments to take advantage of the D&D Next rules. I've decided to present the first part in a Q&A format for better clarity. So let's begin...

What are hit points?
The premise is very simple, but often misunderstood; hit points are an abstraction that represent the character's ability to avoid serious damage, not necessarily their ability to take serious damage. This is a very important distinction. They represent a combination of skillful maneuvering, toughness, stamina and luck. Some targets have more hit points because they are physically tougher and are harder to injure...others have more because they are experienced combatants and have learned how to turn near fatal blows into mere scratches by skillful maneuvering...and then others are just plain lucky. Once a character runs out of hit points they become vulnerable to serious life-threatening injuries.

So what exactly does it mean to "hit" with a successful attack roll, then?
It means that through your own skill and ability you may have wounded your target if the target lacks the hit points to avoid the full brunt of the attack. That's an important thing to keep in mind; a successful "hit" does not necessarily mean you physically damaged your target. It just means that your attack was well placed and forced the target to exert themselves in such a way as to leave them vulnerable to further attacks. For example, instead of severing the target's arm, the attack merely grazes them leaving a minor cut.

But the attack did 25 points of damage! Why did it only "graze" the target?
Because the target has more than 25 hit points. Your attack forced them to exert a lot of energy to avoid the attack, but because of their combat skill, toughness, stamina and luck, they managed to avoid being seriously injured. However, because of this attack, they may not have the reserves to avoid your next attack. Perhaps you knocked them off balance or the attack left them so fatigued they lack the stamina to evade another attack. It's the DM's call on how they want to narrate the exact reason the blow didn't kill or wound the target.

Yeah, but what about "touch" attacks that rely on physical contact?
Making physical contact with a target is a lot different than striking them, so these types of attacks are the exception. If a touch attack succeeds, the attacker manages to make contact with their target.

If hit points and weapon damage don't always represent actual damage to the target, then what does it represent?
Think of the damage from an attack as more like a "threat level" rather than actual physical damage that transfers directly to the target's body. That is, the more damage an attack does, the harder it is to avoid serious injury. For example, an attack that causes 14 points of damage is more likely to wound the target than 3 points of damage (depending on how many hit points the target has left). The higher the damage, the greater the chance is that the target will become seriously injured. So, an attack that does 34 points of damage could be thought of as a "threat level of 34." If the target doesn't have the hit points to negate that threat, they become seriously injured.

Ok, but shouldn't armor reduce the amount of damage delivered from an attack?
It does reduce damage; by making it harder for an attack to cause serious injury. A successful hit against an armored target suggests that the attack may have circumvented the target's armor by striking in a vulnerable area.

What about poison and other types of non-combat damage?
Hit point loss from non-physical forms of damage represents the character spitting the poison out just in time before it takes full strength or perhaps the poison just wasn't strong enough to affect them drastically, but still weakens them. Again, it's the DMs call on how to narrate the reasons why the character avoids serious harm from the damage.

If hit points don't don't represent actual damage then how does that make sense with spells like Cure Serious Wounds and other forms of healing like healer kits with bandages?
Hit points do represent some physical damage, just not serious physical damage. Healing magic and other forms of healing still affect these minor wounds just as well as more serious wounds. For example, bandaging up minor cuts and abrasions helps the character rejuvenate and relieve the pain and/or fatigue of hit point loss. The key thing to remember is that it's an abstraction that allows the DM freedom to interpret and narrate it as they see fit.

What if my attack reduces the target to 0 or less hit points?
If a player is reduced to 0 or less hit points they are wounded. If a monster or NPC is reduce to 0 or less hit points they are killed.

Why are monsters killed immediately and not players?
Because unless the monsters are crucial to the story, it makes combat resolution much faster. It is assumed that players immediately execute a coup de grace on wounded monsters as a finishing move.

What if a character is wounded by poison or other types of non-physical damage?
If a character becomes wounded from non-combat damage they still receive the effects of being wounded, regardless if they show any physical signs of injury (i.e., internal injuries are still considered injuries).

Ok. I get it...but what happens once a character is wounded?
See below.
 

Damage and Dying

Once a character is reduced to 0 or less hit points, they start taking real damage. In other words, their reserves have run out and they can no longer avoid taking serious damage.

  1. Characters are fully operational as long as they have 1 hit point or more. They may have minor cuts, bruises, and superficial wounds, but they are are not impaired significantly. 
  2. Once they reach 0 or less hit points, they become Wounded (see below).That is, they have sustained a wound that impairs their ability to perform actions.
  3. If they reach a negative amount of hit points equal or greater than their Constitution score, they are Incapacitated. This means they are in critical condition and could possibly die.
  4. Characters will die if their hit points reach a negative amount greater than their Constitution score, plus their current level.

Unharmed: 1 hp or more
Wounded: 0 hp or less
Incapacitated: -(Constitution) to -(Constitution+Level)
Dead: Less than -(Constitution +Level)

Wounded
When the character reaches 0 or less hit points they become wounded. Wounded characters receive disadvantage on all attacks and saving throws until they heal back up to 1 hit point or more. This allows for a transitory stage between healthy and dying, without having to mess around with impairment rules while the character still has hit points left.

Incapacitated
Characters begin dying when they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution score. At which point, they must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw on each of their following turns (the disadvantage from being wounded does not apply for these saving throws).

If successful, the character remains dying, but their condition does not worsen.

If the saving throw fails, another DC 10 Constitution saving throw must be made. If that one fails, the character succumbs to their wounds and dies. If successful, the character stabilizes and is no longer dying.

Finally, if a dying character receives first aid or healing at any point, they immediately stabilize.

Dead
Characters will die if they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution, plus their current level. Thus, if an 8th level character with a Constitution score of 12 is down to 4 hit points then takes 24 points of damage (reducing their hit points to -20) the attack kills them outright.

Other than initially being setting-specific, it creates a real risk of Verenestra becoming genericized like "kleenex" or "thermos", much like how nobody has any idea who the hell Melf or Bibgy were.

It's not a Pact with Verenestra.  It's a Verenestran Pact.  Who or what Verenestra is or was has become buried by the Pact ability-set itself.
On the point of the Fey Pact itself, I disagree. As Nulein said, Charisma is not beauty, it is personal magnetism. One can be ugly and charismatic at the same time. Also, each race has its own idea of beauty. A scarred, battle weary female dwarven warrior would never be considered beautiful in human or elven society but would likely be a person of desire in her own, dwarven, society. Furthermore, the same character could even have a high charisma score, and it would not be out of place.

What Charisma actually means is irrelevant.  When is the last time you saw a "social-fu" character that was ugly?  Ever?  I haven't.  In 20 years of roleplaying, every single player that showed the slightest interest in playing a remotely social character has wanted to be pretty.  I'm not saying being pretty helped with the "socialness" (though it does in many games, like World of Darkness, for example) just that the desire to be social and the desire to be pretty were correlated.  

having that in the core rules taints the general D&D lore in a way that's hard to get out of both my and my gaming group's collective heads. 

I totally agree. I wish they would keep the fluff generic in the core game. Specific flavor is what sourcebooks and modules are for.




Ok.  But Warlock and Sorcerer are not 'core' classes they way they are defining them.  Only the four basic classes are.  Warlock and Sorcerer are optinal classes.

So they are keeping the core generic.

Carl
I seem to be somewhat in the minority here, but I actually really loved seeing a specific entity referenced with goals and a sense of personality. It reminded me a lot of my favorite class/splatbook from 3rd edition -- the Binder from the Tome of Magic. The class was unique and memorable because it centered around making bargains with very specific entities for power -- just like the way the Warlock is described here.

While the flavor for the Warlock class has always focused around infernal (or at least dubious) bargains and deals, I wanna know who I (or my players) are cutting these deals with. If it were just "Fey Lord" I'd find it really dull, whereas the entities themselves in the Tome of Magic really had a lot of appeal and let me pick and choose favorites. I think that having a specific creature who has wants and needs (such as stealing away beauty), makes it a much richer role-playing experience.

If the Patrons just become generic, I feel this class would really lose a lot of flavor and uniqueness.

...besides, how difficult is it to change the name to be something specific for your campaign setting?
Could they not just include generic ones, like Fey Pact, and then have a sidebar for each one with an example creature (like Verenestra), usable by DMs and players who don't feel like creating their own? The Pact could have all the meaty stuff like teleportation, while more flavor-y things like the wart could appear in the sidebar.
I love when a role playing game is rife with lore.  For example, 2E D&D was rich with generic universe lore: "what are these races, classes, spell effects, and what do they mean in the D&D multiverse"

However, I'd much rather specifics stick to the source books.  So I'm not really fond with the specific lore associated with the Warlock's pacts.

Granted, any DM can replace Verenestra with whatever Fey creature is in their campaign, but having that in the core rules taints the general D&D lore in a way that's hard to get out of both my and my gaming group's collective heads.  I'd much rather it say that it's a pact with a fey lord, consult your DM for the details.

I didn't like this in 4E either, with the Feywild, etc.  Not that I played much 4E.

Thoughts?


I both like and dislike it. 

Verenestra (who, FYI, dates back to 2e) is a VERY specific example. It's all about her. Which is a bit much. 

I'd like it to be generic, as you say, so I can replace with my own archfey or Queen of Faerie or Fairy Godmother.
But, on the other hand, I accept that some people might want a more detailed framework to use when making their own fey. Or might just want a quick character and not care about the flavour. Or not feel comfortable with their world lore or adding content and would like a little extra hand-holding. 

With that in mind, I'm okay with how it's persented, as we can replace what we don't like. But in the final product I'd like to see a list of sample archfey and what they trade in exchange for power. 

5 Minute WorkdayMy Webcomic Updated Tue & Thur

The compilation of my Worldbuilding blog series is now available: 

Jester David's How-To Guide to Fantasy Worldbuilding.

Could they not just include generic ones, like Fey Pact, and then have a sidebar for each one with an example creature (like Verenestra), usable by DMs and players who don't feel like creating their own? The Pact could have all the meaty stuff like teleportation, while more flavor-y things like the wart could appear in the sidebar.

This is what I'd like to see. Leave the wart to that sidebar and just leave in that feypact level one leaves a small mark on the character. This could be a tattoo, birthmark, odd scar ect that can easily be hidden (give e few generic examples). Let the generic warlock pick and leave the specific examples in the specific patron section. You could also add the power fluff here too. Say the level three ability is instead a show of eldritch might or a horrifying visage or a distracting illusion instead of base 'beguiling presence'. All seem pretty fey to me.

Sunds like win/win to me. 

See, I have to disagree with everyone here. I don't want to see it go back to the 4E style of "Generic Fey Pact," "Generic Infernal Pact," "Generic Star Pact," etc.

I like the idea of one Fey Lord giving one set of powers, while a different Fey Lord may give an entirely different set of powers. I don't want a single Fey Pact that is stretched to fit all Fey lords. Rather, each Fey Being you can make a pact with gives you a different set of powers.

Likewise, I want to see a Mephistopheles Pact that is noticeably different from, say, a Dispater Pact or an Asmodeus Pact.

However, I also want it to be pointed out....that any and all fluff is only a suggestion and that creative DMs and players should feel free to refluff to their hearts' content. This needs to be spelled out in the Warlock's description, because some people don't think they're allowed to refluff unless the book tells them they can.
D&D Experience Level: Relatively new First Edition: 4th Known Editions: 4th, 3.5 --- Magic Experience Level: Fairly skilled First Expansion: 7th Edition Play Style: Very Casual
Ok, here's the obvious solution:

Give generic titled pacts like, I don't know, "Dark Temptor Pact," "Autumn Whispers Pact," "Balefire Pact," etc., that are tied to what the pacts actually grant you, rather than who they're with.

Give a broad category of trades for power instead of specifics.  Instead of automatically giving a wart, gold eyes, and scars, simply say that the pact causes cosmetic changes.  Suggest those three things, but also include stuff like streaks of white in your hair, super pale or otherwise discolored skin, odd colored eyes, differently patterned scars, hairlessness, or whatever else you like.

Then, at the end of each entry, list specific entities that grant the pact, with the specific trades they demand.  So, the charm/disadvantage to attackers/teleport pact would have Verenestra listed at the end with the specific wart/gold eyes/scars mentioned.  But nothing would stop you from taking a charm/disadvantage to attackers/teleport pact and trading something else instead.
It's good to have a default with specific names and such.

But they need to explicitly allow you to change that.


While you don't need WoTC's permission to change whatever you want in your campaign, a reminder about it could be put in a sidebar i suppose.
Hm... Second Question:
community.wizards.com/dndnext/blog/2012/...
 
I got sold a little bit on this post for having the pacts the way that they have been shown, with a specific character in the Lore. However, I do think that generic might be the way to go, but maybe make mention of one of the most prominent pact dealers in the description just so players get the idea.

 
Ant Farm
Ok, here's the obvious solution:

Give generic titled pacts like, I don't know, "Dark Temptor Pact," "Autumn Whispers Pact," "Balefire Pact," etc., that are tied to what the pacts actually grant you, rather than who they're with.

Give a broad category of trades for power instead of specifics.  Instead of automatically giving a wart, gold eyes, and scars, simply say that the pact causes cosmetic changes.  Suggest those three things, but also include stuff like streaks of white in your hair, super pale or otherwise discolored skin, odd colored eyes, differently patterned scars, hairlessness, or whatever else you like.

Then, at the end of each entry, list specific entities that grant the pact, with the specific trades they demand.  So, the charm/disadvantage to attackers/teleport pact would have Verenestra listed at the end with the specific wart/gold eyes/scars mentioned.  But nothing would stop you from taking a charm/disadvantage to attackers/teleport pact and trading something else instead.

This is very good.

I'd actually take it a step further.  Mention that each power should be accompanied by minor changes, then present a bullet list of examples, e.g.:



  • Cosmetic deformities: A wart, scars, unusual hair loss, discolored skin patches, albinism, a white lock of hair

  • Otherworldly cosmetic changes: Impossible eye, hair, or skin color (in whole or in patches/streaks); subtle clouds of smoke, shadow, sparkles, or light; vestigial horns, fangs, wings, or claws

  • Vocal changes: Unusually deep or high-pitched, echoing or reverse-echoing, accompanied by a subtle sound effect

  • Gradual changes in height, slowly gaining or losing about 2 feet of height (assuming initial human size, less for shorter races) over the course of the character level


Etcetera.  Then at the end of the sidebar, list some example entities, powers they are likely to grant, and changes they are likely to inflict.

"Edison didn't succeed the first time he invented Benjamin Franklin, either." Albert the Alligator, Walt Kelly's Pogo Sunday Book  
The Core Coliseum: test out your 4e builds and fight to the death.

Having an explicit name hurts the concept, I believe. Doesn't an explicit name feel more like a binder thing, and the physical manifestations of binding are being cheaply shoehorned into the warlock? Mechanically and powerwise it is a decent class but it really misses the mark.

Shouldn't somebody who pledges to evil Deviltry value intellect in contractual negotiation, somebody who pledges to Feydom would value Charisma because the abilities are in line with charisma, influence, physical ability and the core casting stat, class abilities and suggested backgrounds work off Charisma.  

Edit: That is one thing I did enjoy about Dungeons and Dragons 4E. Even if one path were stronger, say Intellect over Charisma, if you didn't want to play a genius Warlock but rather a demagogue charismatic Warlock, you could. Same with the Warlord.  
As I am a big of lore in general, at first I supported having the specific names in the pacts. But I've been quietly developing a little campaign setting for 5e and this is when I finally decided to switch sides. When creating custom material it might get a little annoying trying to work in all these predefined NPCs, to me at least.
My two copper.
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