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D&D 5E Binder Class Interest Check?


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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
a Medium
and
a Conduit

I think; although 'conduit' makes me think of electric cables more than ghosts/spirits.
Those could work.

I’m working on really esoteric sounding names for my Swordmage, stuff that sounds like you might see it either in a manual of fighting by someone like Thibault, or as the name of a secret Hermetic Order of some kind. School of The Goetic Circle, School of The White Lotus, School of The Noble Compass (four noble elements), etc.

I wonder if similar naming wouldn’t be appropriate here.

Order of The XYZ, perhaps?

My assassin has Guilds named for supernatural monsters, like the Manticore or the Wraith or the Doppelgänger, and their tactics and tools match their namesake to some degree.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
As a big fan of the Ars Goethia, I'd suggest going with the term ''Key of XYZ'' for the archetypes name. The ''Key'' you use/chose (aka how you deal with the Vestige) indict, in-fiction, how and why you manipulate the Seals of the Vestiges.

Key of the Demonologist (Constantine)
Key of the Ghostwise (ghostbusters! or shaman, I see dead people etc)
Key of the Incarnum (summoner)
Key of the Stars (Chtuhlu Mythos, 4e star-lock)

and I'd vote for an Int class. Its all about making intricate and complex Seals to bind weakened Powers: even if your tough, even if your a smooth talker, should the Vestige break the Seal and somehow recovers from its bound state, you are dead meat. Only someone with a perfect understanding of the hermetic knowledge of binding has chance to reach level 2 :p
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
As a big fan of the Ars Goethia, I'd suggest going with the term ''Key of XYZ'' for the archetypes name. The ''Key'' you use/chose (aka how you deal with the Vestige) indict, in-fiction, how and why you manipulate the Seals of the Vestiges.

Key of the Demonologist (Constantine)
Key of the Ghostwise (ghostbusters! or shaman, I see dead people etc)
Key of the Incarnum (summoner)
Key of the Stars (Chtuhlu Mythos, 4e star-lock)

and I'd vote for an Int class. Its all about making intricate and complex Seals to bind weakened Powers: even if your tough, even if your a smooth talker, should the Vestige break the Seal and somehow recovers from its bound state, you are dead meat. Only someone with a perfect understanding of the hermetic knowledge of binding has chance to reach level 2 :p
My concept for the con score is that they are channeling the power through themselves physically, after basically using rituals to bind the sort of power to their bodies that sorcerers are born with.

Like, imagine an arcane ritual where you bind part of the essence of a dragon into an elixir made with your own blood, and drink it. That speaks to me of a power that burns out those not strong enough to contain it.

And it’s fun to have the summoner class be extremely hard to break concentration on.

Also also, Sorcerers should cast with Con, IMO.

But...I might compromise and make them Int with con save proficiency, and maybe an ability to risk exhaustion to turn a failed Concentration save into a success.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
My wife suggested something I hadn't thought of.

Perhaps the Binder can burn their Hit Dice to fuel their magic?
A modal invocation system would probably work well for a Binder class. Something that lets you swap between "active" soul binds, and eventually gain the ability to have more than one "active" soul bind at certain levels (11th, etc). You can even use small invocation trees, like:

Vestige of the Shadow King
Prerequisite: Binder Level 5.
As an action, you call upon the vestige of Larloch, the Shadow King and remove the benefits of any other vestige. While this vestige is active, you gain advantage on all Charisma (Deception) checks. Additionally, whenever you hit with the Ray of Frost or Chill Touch cantrips, the target understands they have been damaged, but cannot determine you are the source of it.

Whispers of the Shadow King
Prerequisite: Vestige of the Shadow King
While Vestige of the Shadow King is active, casting the Suggestion spell does not require verbal or material components. You may cast the Suggestion spell once per short rest without expending a Binder spell slot.
I like that, and that type of thing definitely needs a specific name that can be referenced for rules like, "You can only have one XYZ active at a time". Perhaps this is where the term Seal is appropriate? So, Seal of The Shadow King? Hell, you can even have Lesser Key of The Shadow King, and then a Greater Seal of The Shadow King. That sounds hermetic as hell.
The vestige of Apollo (Greek god) grants one creature, chosen by the Binder, a bonus to archery weapons, which become magical and gain a +1more bonus to to-hit and damage rolls. Arrows may be imbued with one of three powers - doubled, accurate, or exploding - which the archer can pick each turn. The archer can "ignore the Loading property" (as the Crossbow feat) so he can rapid fire while under the vestige's influence.

Out of combat, the vestige of Apollo grants the target creature proficiency with the Medicine skill.

Is this something like what you had in mind?
Hmmmm....

Okay! I think that the Invocation ability could be called Seals, and the seals that imbue you with the some part of a greater Power are Vestiges? Or the other way around? Either way, I like the idea that a subset of those features are big abilities that imbue you with power in a specific way. A separate kind can be the "big badaboom" I was talking about before. 1/LR you can call upon the name of the Great Wyrm Xalathrexylgaratat. You disapear from your space, shunted into a demiplane, and in your place is the visage of the Great Wyrm. It has the following actions available to it.
Give it actions, reactions, and one or two options for Legendary Actions.

IDK, maybe the structure of the class isn't right for having all of these and spellcasting, but we will see when I have a chance to actually write up a draft of levels 1-6.
 

Samloyal23

Adventurer
I'm not sure we need a separate class for Binder; I'd prefer "The Vestige" as a Warlock patron and give the subclass more 3.5e Tome of Magic Binder-like qualities a la the Hexblade patron does above and beyond for Bladelocks.
I don't see how that would make sense, because Binders dominate and coerce their vestiges to gain power, and they frequently switch vestiges. A warlock makes a deal with single Patron who gives him access to magical shortcuts for its own purposes.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
My concept for the con score is that they are channeling the power through themselves physically, after basically using rituals to bind the sort of power to their bodies that sorcerers are born with.

Like, imagine an arcane ritual where you bind part of the essence of a dragon into an elixir made with your own blood, and drink it. That speaks to me of a power that burns out those not strong enough to contain it.

And it’s fun to have the summoner class be extremely hard to break concentration on.

Also also, Sorcerers should cast with Con, IMO.

But...I might compromise and make them Int with con save proficiency, and maybe an ability to risk exhaustion to turn a failed Concentration save into a success.

Agreed on the sorcerer.

I you go with the idea of binding with physical, tangible means (potions, items, physical seals) instead of an intangible process of soul fusion, I agree that Con would make sense (probably Con + Wis) for the sheer strain on the body when being forced to contain a Power.

Speaking of which, a mix of Artificer + Warlock in both theme and mechanic would be pretty mean. I wish the Artificer was not as much mech/tech-oriented as it is, so it would better support more medieval/gothic themes, such as rune-carver, totemist, blood/tatoo mage and goethic binder. I myself, created a Shaman archetype for the Artificer, using the old idea of Incarnum Sould-melding, creating items from beast and monstrosities and gaining some of their traits.

anyway, good work as always.
 


Iry

Hero
I think that the Invocation ability could be called Seals, and the seals that imbue you with the some part of a greater Power are Vestiges?
I would stick with Invocation. That's an accurate word for what the Binder does, and obeys the KISS rule by keeping the terminology familiar.
Lesser Key and Greater Key are great names for the specific Invocations, though!
I don't see how that would make sense, because Binders dominate and coerce their vestiges to gain power, and they frequently switch vestiges. A warlock makes a deal with single Patron who gives him access to magical shortcuts for its own purposes.
Yeah. Hot swapping vestiges was not the core of the Binder class, but definitely a thing they could do. Binders could absolutely be built upon the Warlock chassis, but have enough difference that they should probably be their own class. Binder is to Warlock what Sorcerer is to Wizard.

As for subclasses, I vote one for channeling power into yourself, one for better hot swapping between vestiges, and one for summoning since the OP really seems to want a summoner (and I'm cool with that). I will always imagine the Binder summons like Ray Harryhausen skeletons from Clash of the Titans. Which is fitting, since that's exactly what the Teeth of Dahlver-Nar do, and Dahlver-Nar was a canonical vestige.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I keep circling back to wondering if I could make a ritual caster with invocations and no spell slot Spellcasting at all work...

I know I want the class to have ritual casting from level 1, and find familiar on its list, and subclass gives you what you are good at binding at level 1, and then you get better at it when you get your vessel at 3.

none of that necessarily requires normal Spellcasting.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
I don't see how that would make sense, because Binders dominate and coerce their vestiges to gain power, and they frequently switch vestiges. A warlock makes a deal with single Patron who gives him access to magical shortcuts for its own purposes.
4e used the Binder term for a more Wizardy-style Warlock and also had a separate Vestige-Pact Warlock for in Arcane Power.

It's not too far off the mark; it really speaks more to your interpretation of Warlock and how the pacts work.

You're speaking very specifically to the Tome of Magic Binder from 3.5e, but Binder has a longer history than just that one splatbook in 3.5e. Ultimately, it's really not that different, but I can see where you might get hung-up on the idea that your patron must be a single entity.

I could very easily see "The Vestige" patron for Warlocks being a class of beings that you can switch between and change your focus on, and maybe they each have their own invocations you can lean into or something of that nature.
 

Iry

Hero
Frankly, I think Subclasses should have the possibility to changing your casting stat. I can see a Warlock subclass that translates and finds loopholes in an ancient contract (Int), a Wizard sublass that finds and draws upon leylines (Wis), a Cleric that inspires others through deed and word (Cha), and a Sorcerer that draws upon the heritage of his blood (Con).

That last one is a bit of a joke, you see.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
Frankly, I think Subclasses should have the possibility to changing your casting stat. I can see a Warlock subclass that translates and finds loopholes in an ancient contract (Int), a Wizard sublass that finds and draws upon leylines (Wis), a Cleric that inspires others through deed and word (Cha), and a Sorcerer that draws upon the heritage of his blood (Con).

That last one is a bit of a joke, you see.
I could also see an Aberrant Mind Sorcerer using Int instead of Cha.

Or even a full Psion built by swapping Cha for Int in the Sorcerer class.
 

Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
I keep circling back to wondering if I could make a ritual caster with invocations and no spell slot Spellcasting at all work...

I know I want the class to have ritual casting from level 1, and find familiar on its list, and subclass gives you what you are good at binding at level 1, and then you get better at it when you get your vessel at 3.

none of that necessarily requires normal Spellcasting.
Audience expectations

Intrigued player: What does a Binder do?
You: A Binder uses magic to draw power from almost-forgotten spirits
Player: If he uses magic, where are his spells?

Certainly you can design a Binder without spells - to be a 'Warlock variant' much like a spell-less Ranger variant - but if you advertise the class as 'a spellcaster' then people will expect a spell list for the class, as a guide to the "flavor" of the Binder based on the spells available.

I can see creating a Binder via Invocations or via spells; either way is good by me, and equally valid.
My knowledge coming in is the 4e Vestige'lock but I missed the 3e Binder. I'm thinking about how to make 'what is a Binder's shtick?' intuitive for people without much background in the concept.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
Audience expectations

Intrigued player: What does a Binder do?
You: A Binder uses magic to draw power from almost-forgotten spirits
Player: If he uses magic, where are his spells?

Certainly you can design a Binder without spells - to be a 'Warlock variant' much like a spell-less Ranger variant - but if you advertise the class as 'a spellcaster' then people will expect a spell list for the class, as a guide to the "flavor" of the Binder based on the spells available.

I can see creating a Binder via Invocations or via spells; either way is good by me, and equally valid.
My knowledge coming in is the 4e Vestige'lock but I missed the 3e Binder. I'm thinking about how to make 'what is a Binder's shtick?' intuitive for people without much background in the concept.
Spells don't necessitate Spellcasting.

For example, Warlocks don't have Spellcasting, but they do have Spells.
Warlocks instead have Pact Magic. Which, by the way, is the magic category that 3.5e Binders used (fyi, Clerics and Paladins were said to use lesser Pact Magic due to their solemn vows and oaths).
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Spells don't necessitate Spellcasting.

For example, Warlocks don't have Spellcasting, but they do have Spells.
Warlocks instead have Pact Magic. Which, by the way, is the magic category that 3.5e Binders used (fyi, Clerics and Paladins were said to use lesser Pact Magic due to their solemn vows and oaths).
I figure you mean well, so I say this with respect. I’m not here for semantics, pact magic is Spellcasting.

Anyway, for now I will stick with pact magic, but I think they will gain ritual casting at level 1, and a vestige, and their subclass, and get pact magic at level 2.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
UPDOOT:

Level 1: You gain
  • a Goetic Key, which is a book that contains your secrets and is a casting focus,
  • Ritual casting (find familiar and 3 or 4 other level 1 spells, learn new spells like a Wizard)
  • your Binding Seal (subclass),
  • and 1 Vestige.

level 2, you get a second vestige, 2 spell slots, and pact magic, with a twist. You learn and prepare spells. You learn 2/level, can explicitly learn more during downtime via a new downtime activity, and can learn more during play like a Wizard or ritual caster, and prepare 1/2 level + Int spells. You don’t need to prepare spells to cast them ritually.

Level 3, vessel. I’ve decided against making them overlap with warlock pact boons, but they’re still gonna be kinda similar in role. Only 2 I have a clear image of are the instrument, which buffs summoned creatures and spells that control or banish creatures, and The Impliment, which is a ceremonial weapon usually a dagger, scythe, sickle, spear, glaive, or whip, that empowers you directly and allows you to be tougher and fight better.

Level 5, optional variant rule available to all Pact Magic spellcasters, gain a spell slot at level 5.

level 6, Subclass ability. Beefy boost.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Bell, Blade, and Bowl, are the tools of the Binder.

All Binders can use these tools, but each must choose one to focus on, a vessel for their power, in order to progress beyond the realm of the petty dabbler.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
So, I’ve been hard at work on the Binder, but haven’t posted here about it.

Here’s an updoot.

The class is still d6 HD, but now casts with Int, and has become even more of a ritualist.

Level 1, you get your Binding Seal (subclass), ritual casting with a Wizard/tomelock style book called a Goetic Key, and 1 Vestige of Power. Part of the ritual casting feature is that your rituals use three ritual tools, those being a musical instrument, a bladed weapon, and a receptacle of liquid, ie a Bell, Blade, and Bowl.

Level 2, you get Pact Magic, with 2 spells slots, and you prepare your spells and can learn new ones in the same way as with your ritual spells, and another Vestige. You can use the above ritual tools as Spellcasting focus for your spells.

Level 3, you get your first Vessel, which is one of three ritual tools. Your Vessel is a magic item that you can summon to hand at will, can be replaced as a 1-hour ritual, etc.
  • The Vessel of The Bell, gives you Int to concentration on conjuration spells and on Spellcasting ability checks made as part of casting a spell, such as that of Counterspell or Dispel magic.
  • The Vessel of The Blade, gives you an extra cantrip that requires an attack against a single creature, and you can cast it as a melee spell attack that also counts as a melee weapon attack, as an action. The wording is being tuned to make it do what I want, but the idea is you cast chill touch with you dagger or glaive or scythe and it has the reach of your weapon, including any thrown range, and you can use it any time you could make a melee weapon attack, and it works with smite spells and the like.
  • Vessel of The Bowl, gives you an extra spell slot
Each vessel also allows you to learn a short list of spells, and has Vestiges that require a given Vessel. You can choose a second vessel at 9th level, and a third at 13th, eventually mastering all three ritual tools.

As you level you gain Vestiges at the same rate as warlock invocations, except at level 9, where you get a second vessel instead, and possible at a couple other points where I’ll add in some advanced ritual magic.

At levels 5, 11, 15 and 17, you gain Seals of The Greater Vestige. These “replace” the warlocks mystic arcanum, and are greater summoning abilities that you can use once per short rest. You gain a Seal known, and can only ever use a given one 1/day, but you can gain more seals known and basically prepare them like a spell.

Level 18 gives a base class capstone called something like Seal of The Final Gate or something, and level 20 is your final subclass ability.

Vestiges: an example generic vestige is the Reigns of The Erlking, which grants you the ability to speak to and understand predatory beasts, and grants proficiency in Survival and Animal Handling.

Others might grant the ability to cast a spell at-Will or as a ritual, steal ideas from warlock invocations, or grant abilities normally reserved for monsters. I’d like to include stuff that is a “ritual you can perform as part of a short or long rest” as well. Still others might increase the power of common ritual spells, like doubling the strength and duration time of Unseen Servant and allowing you to burn a spell slot to give it the ability to attack, with numbers based on spell level, or cause Alarm to force a save vs Stunned on intruders.

The second main set of Vestiges are Vestiges of The 9 Circles, which give you access to higher level spells. Eg, Vestige of the 6th Circle lets you learn 1 6th level spell, and allow you to cast a 6th level spell 1/day. You can learn more 6th level spells by adding them to your Key, but you can prepare 1 6th level spells and cast it once per long rest.

The last variety of Vestige or vessel vestiges, which require mastery of a given vessel.
A blade Vessel might boost your melee prowess with access to spells known you couldn’t otherwise get, and/or some other buff, flavored so it’s a significant magic item.
 

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