June 24, 2016

Book of Binding

The 5e Binder is the result of a year-long collaboration on the Giant in the Playground boards, which is actually where I (the Finger) and Submortimer (the Palm) met. We've poured countless hours into its development, and it's finally time to call the Binder complete.

The binder represents a new type of spellcaster. Rather than learning spells, a binder negotiates with vestiges, remnants of spirits that exist in the void outside reality. In exchange for sharing his body and soul with these spirits for a short time, the binder gains some of the powers they had in life. Essentially, the binder can switch and choose his powers, and party role, daily.

Now, I understand this class might be intimidating to pick up due to the sheer number of vestiges on display, so we've included a number of tools to make it easier: at the beginning of the Vestige Codex chapter, there's a table detailing every vestige and its powers to help you familiarize yourself with your choices. Then, at the end of the PDF, there are printable Vestige Cards, which summarize the powers and abilities offered by vestiges. These can be printed out on standard 8.5"x11" paper and put in trading card sleeves to play the class with only a one page character sheet and a small deck of cards.

It's customary on Middle Finger of Vecna for us to provide a plaintext version of all of our material, but due to the sheer scope of this class, we've posted the 5e Binder and Vestige Codex on GiantITP boards, where they can be accessed without downloading anything. If you have a comment or question about the class, posting it here will help you get a response.

Last, but not least, if you like this type of offering, consider following us on Patreon, since it's this type of support that allows us to chase such ambitious projects and bring them to life.



Changelog: 6/26/16: Suppress Sign: Moved to subpoint under Pact Magic, no longer in table
Minor Spirits: Now uses consistent wording for cantrips
Patron's Aegis: 5 + binder level, not Charisma score
Amon: Amon's Horns: Typo fixed
Dahlver-Nar: Share Harm: Reworded
Ronove: Far Hand: 'You' make a Charisma check, not the hand
Aym: Golden Halo: Duration fixed
7/7/16: Ronove: was missing Sprint and Ronove's Endurance features in PDF
8/11/16: Vestige Cards: Karsus was missing resistance to spell damage
8/21/16: Quick Build: Edited to better represent a successful Binder stat array
Minor Spirit: Ghost: Specifies ranged spell attack roll
Naberius: Noble Bloodhound: Feature added; was missing in the PDF
Aym: Golden Halo: Reworded
Tenebrous Domain: Spells: Typo on 'destructive wave'
Cards: Changes made to Savnok, Tenebrous, and Halphax
4/27/17: Aym: Golden Plate: Your speed is not reduced in any armor, regardless of proficiency
7/8/27: Minor Spirits: These have been changed to all be spell attacks.
Aym: Golden-Fisted Rule: Reworded for clarity
Ipos: Flash of Insight: 60 foot range
Ipos: Ipos's Influence: You can choose when it's triggered
Primus: Lawful Strike: Reworded -- only triggers on turns that you make one attack
Andras: Smite Foe: Does not work when you already have disadvantage
Tenebrous: Sense the Shadows: See in darkness to a range of 120 feet and sense creatures within 30 feet
Geryon: Devil's Sight: Range 120 feet
Balam: Balam's Cunning: You can make this roll even after the DM decides if the roll succeeds or fails
Xanathar: Sleep Ray: Can be woken by a creature within 5 feet of it

111 comments:

  1. I am sincerly excited about this. Like a little kid on Christmas morning. Well done! I haven't read it all yet but I think I know what I'll be doing for some time now.

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    1. I'm glad you're excited! And, just to get this out of the way for everyone that feels the same way: consider supporting us on patreon! It makes projects like this possible and we definitely appreciate it!

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  2. Just to be sure, all the minor spirits that do attacks, do you add your charisma modifier to the damage, or did you guys thing it was too much?

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    1. Minor spirits do just the damage listed -- you don't add your Charisma modifier. After all, it's a bonus action attack roll; we didn't go crazy.

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  3. Ever since you posted this on Patreon I have been slowly making my way through this massive book and it's magnificient. I can't wait to play one of these guys

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  4. Maybe I'm just missing something, but is there a rule for how many Vestiges you are capable of picking from? Do you simply gain access to all Vestiges at the appropriate level, or do you pick from a smaller list that you know the arcane rites and offerings to give to them?

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    1. In a mechanical sense, you know all the vestiges you are capable of summoning. From a roleplay perspective, you need to know a vestige's name, title, and seal (and perhaps a special ritual.) Your DM can decide that you need to do some research to learn one or more of these things before you can summon a vestige

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    2. Alright, was just wondering if there was a rate you personally would advocate like the number of spells known by more traditional casters.

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    3. Frankly, the class is just more fun if you have access to lots of vestiges. You can't bind many at a time, but having the ability to choose your role freely makes this class a joy to play, so I'd advocate playing with all of them available to you.

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    4. I have the same question about Minor Spirits. there's a reference about changing known spirits (i.e. "When you gain a level in this class, you can choose to replace a minor spirit you can bind with another."), but there's no starting number of Spirits known. Am i missing something, or do I use the same procedure descrived above with Vestiges?

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    5. You start with one minor spirit, and get additional spirits as you gain levels in the class. You don't really reselect your minor spirits as you do your vestiges; you just know a number of them, which you choose, and can switch between your active one as a bonus action.

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  5. Are spells gained from vestiges cast at the minimum level, or is it like a warlock?

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    1. Some spells in there mention being cast at certain levels but most don't. I'd be inclined to think they are cast at minimum, but i would hope otherwise

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    2. Spells without a specified level are cast at the lowest level possible. This is true in general for D&D, and it is true for all cases in the Binder

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  6. Arshaladon, Pyre of the Unborn would be a really cool 9th level vestige

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    1. Woosh! That reference went right over my head.

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    2. Ashardalon was a powerful dragon (red, I think) who nearly died in battle with a druid, replaced his heart with a balor, sustained himself by consuming unborn souls, and ultimately became a vestige. He featured in a couple of adventures back in the 3rd edition days.

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  7. Hey guys, quick question here. For Paimon The Dancer's "Lord of the Dance" feature, Performance is listed as a Dexterity based skill, while in the PHB it's listed as Charisma based. In addition, would the Dancer's Grace still apply to performance, since it isn't Dexterity based?

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    1. Dex (Performance) is intentional, using the Skills with Different Abilities variant rule, pg. 175 PHB. Dancer's Grace only applies to Performance when it's being used in conjunction with Dexterity -- it has no effect with the normal use of Charisma (Performance)

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    2. Awesome, thanks for clearing that up. I'm super excited to play this!

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    3. I've been playtesting it for a while, and it's a blast. Use the vestige cards if you get the chance!

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  8. I have been looking for this ever since I got a taste when I got a chance to try it in a 3.5 adventure. Multiclass options are 13+ Cha, weapon/armor profs yeah?

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    1. I'm not sure I added rules for multiclassing into the binder from another class. Requirement is 13 Charisma, and you get proficiency with ritual implements.

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  9. Do unarmed strikes count as melee weapon attacks?

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  10. Hey man, I don't know if you remember me. The_Doctor? I was there too. Good job finishing this.

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    1. Hey, long time, no see! Of course we remember you -- I gave you a shout out on the table of contents page!

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  11. Now the only thing I need is the Totemist and my list of homebrew requests is empty!

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    1. Also, I don't see anything mentioning it, so I guess you coudln't use the dexterity modifier for Ipos's Cold Iron Claws?

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    2. Currently, Cold Iron Claws uses Strength to hit and damage, but you can make this Dexterity if you also bind Ronove

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    3. Damn. I already have a 3 vestiges I want to use together, and because of this, Ronove comes as a 4th one. Welp.

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    4. This is very much the joy and challenge of the binder -- you want to bind lots of vestiges at once, but you have to make touch calls on which ones you bind each day.

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    5. Totemist looks pretty cool. Kinda sad I didn't know about it back in the 3.5 days.

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    6. Magic of Incarnum is pretty high up there on the list of things I want to port over to 5e, but it would need a very carfeul hand: it's a pretty complicated system, even moreso than the Binder, and getting something like that simplified to the point that it fits in 5e WITHOUT getting rid of the overall feel of the class can be a significant challenge.

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    7. I keep coming back to this comment to see if there are any news on incsrnum lol

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  12. Since there is not any discussion about the feats, I want to chime in - is there any chance you could fit in a small edit to Mage Hunter that says something about "Your training allows you to identify creatures who have cast spells in the last 24 hours, with no check required"?

    The recent Unearthed Arcana:Feats made me think, in a game with these rules and the current wording, it is implied that people with Mage Hunter are the only ones who can identify the lingering essence of spells, preventing someone without it from having a check adjucated.

    Thank you for your time.

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    1. You make a good point, but I would argue that this is just the sort of thing that normally WOULD require at least an Arcana check.

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    2. Right, but it is a matter of (as said in the UA) making it so the feat doesn't read as ONLY someone with the feat can make the attempt. (As presently, it does and that clashes with the now explictly stated feat design). Adding "with no check required" just keeps things airtight and future proof.

      While I wholeheartedly agree that is an arcana check normally, the present feat simply states you can do it. Someone who isnt playing VH might pick up this book at their table and think, "Man, getting to root out casters is cool. But I need the feat to do it at all?"

      With the slight rewording, you open the door for someone to narratively grow into becoming so familiar with spellcasters they no longer need to roll.

      In an edition where what a skill check covers is nebulous (especially arcana), saying 'It should be common sense that this is an arcana check!' doesn't hold as much water as it does in pathfinder. For the same reason that the second version of Fell Handed was a good feat vs the original terrible, restrictive one.

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    3. Just so we're clear, the point of contention is this line:

      "You can instantly identify a creature that has cast a spell within the last 24 hours."

      I don't think your logic really checks out in this case. After all, if the party barbarian asked if he could sense if a creature had cast a spell, I'd flat out tell him 'no', even with an arcana check. Understanding a spell that has just been cast, or otherwise knowing a spell has been cast recently, is different than picking up the faint aura that a spell leaves on a creature. This feat allows the subtle practice of identifying an undercover spellcaster, and I don't think that should be allowed to all characters, even with an arcana check. After all, how should a normal character go about doing that?

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    4. Moreover, there's the other way of reading this, which is that this allows you to do it /instantly/ as opposed to gradually, with a check. I think this interpretation is up to DM discretion.

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  13. Will there be some Binder backgrounds created later on?

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    1. It is something I intend on later, though the lovecraftian update backgrounds (especially the cultist) would work amazingly.

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    2. Aaah this is true. Alright thanks for the reply:D.

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  14. This reminds me of a Witch class I found on "Unearthed Arcana reddit" I cant figure out which one to impliment in my Campaign, Do you think both would work? (The Witch is like a combination of this and a Wizard/Druid)

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  15. I am currently playing one of these guys and have noticed that Ronove's Information within the PDF differs from her abilities in the GITP forums and from what is said on her card at the end of the PDF.

    Specifically her abilities "Sprint" and "Ronove's Endurance" are missing from the PDF Entry.

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  16. We are LOVING this class at our table. Question about minor spirits--when minor spirits make ranged attacks (such as the poltergeist) while the Binder is engaged with a melee enemy, is the minor spirit subject to the same disadvantage to attack rolls as a normal ranged attacker?

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    1. I'm glad you like it, I always had a blast playing it too. By RAW I'd say no, because you are the one engaged in melee, and your minor spirit is the one making the attack roll, using your modifier

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    2. If you want to go by class design, yes. "Minor Spirits" aren't entities in their own right as far as mechanics are concerned, unlike, say, a familiar; they're supposed to be sort of an extension of you.

      That being said, we left that vague. just remember that a minor spirit, unless otherwise stated, is always hovering close to you, so anything that would put YOU in melee range, would put IT in melee range as well.

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  17. might be a typo for eligor "Passive: Mount takes half damage on a failed save, and half on a successful one"

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    1. Sure enough -- just a typo in the cards though. It should be none on a success.

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  18. So, with Renegotiation, does the total level limit apply to all your bound vestiges, or just the new ones? The way this is written makes it seem like, at certain levels (5th, 7th, 9th and 10 upwards), you could renegotiate to get higher level vestiges. e.g. at 5th level you could have a 3rd and a 2nd, but renegotiate to expel the 2nd and bind another 3rd? (upwards of 10th level this starts to get absurd). I assume that this is not the intention, but the alternative seems quite weak since, in the same scenario, if the level cap is for all bound vestiges then, on renegotiation, the 2nd level would be expelled but you could not bind another in it's place since you're already at the level cap with the kept vestige. Could you help me understand the intention of this please?

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    1. The vestige level limit (total level of vestiges is less than or equal to your binder level) is /always/ in play. When you renegotiate, you can trade out vestiges with a level sum of half your level.

      Here's an example:

      At 10th level, I'm bound to a 5th level vestige, a 4th level vestige, and a 1st level vestige (5+4+1=10). I renegotiate my 4th and 1st (4+1=5) level vestiges for a 3rd and a 2nd level vestige (2+3=5). My total vestige level is still less than or equal to my class level, so I'm fine.

      Does that make sense?

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  19. I just want to say thank you for posting this. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to make an Npc for it. Cooincidently, my pcs had just been tasked with delivering a letter to a sage. Said sage turned out to be a cracked binder I need the woods, but I digress. The point is that when the party encountered him, he was bound to AusKar and terrified of women and blades. The partys reaction to him was to draw blades and have the two female spellcasters ready spells. Cue the comedic chase scene where the binder teleport around only to be caught over and over again by the rogue and dragged back to the party. The point is they won't ever forget him.

    To sum that up, thanks for posting such a well designed and entertaining class that creates interesting roleplay.

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    1. You're welcome! If you ever get the chance to play this, I recommend it. I've never had more fun playtesting a character.

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  20. I started playing a Fetchling Binder following my Gladiator's death in Out of the Abyss. We're only level six, but I had a blast with the different powers, and freaked out an ally using Share Vestige (he thought he was being possessed).

    Karsus's Arcanaclast feature seems to be missing from his card, however.

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    1. I'm glad you're liking the class! It was seriously the most fun I'v'e had playtesting something. It might be the most fun thing to play that we've written.

      I'll fix that card soon

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  21. Do you plan on creating more Binder content (subclasses, vestiges, etc,)? You have released extra content for the Alchemist, for example.

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    1. Eventually. There's a lot of stuff that got cut from this class for one reason or another, and I could totally revive some of it, especially some of the silly vestiges that didn't make the cut.

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  22. Rules clarification: for the Empty Vessel feature of the Occult Fate, does the undead function normally after the Extra Vestige has expired? Does it then remain a standard zombie or skeleton under your control, becoming hostile after 24 hours? Or does it return to lfielessness after the vestige inside it departs?

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    1. Without a vestige, the corpse is no longer animated, and becomes a mundane corpse.

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  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  24. A few further nitpicks:
    The vestige Savnok is named "Sanok" on his card.
    The ghost minor spirit does not specify an attack roll. By RAW, I would assume the 1d6 necrotic is unavoidable and the Wisdom save is just for the fear effect.
    For the Tenebrous cleric domain, their spell list includes "destructive energy" at fifth. Is this supposed to be destructive wave?
    Naberius's card has "Action: sense most influential creature around." There is no mention of this in his vestige description.
    Tenebrous's card neglects to mention that the spell blink is once per short or long rest.
    Savnok's description says the damage reduction passive applies only to atttacks. The card just says all damage. I assumed the former was correct? So the likes of fireball would be unaffected.
    Perhaps specify on Halphax's card that imprisonment can only take the burial or hedge prison options.
    I'm a little confused about Aym's Golden Halo. It says it wears off when the spell attack is made. So that's effectively both an action and bonus action for melee firebolt? The card also does not mention that the attack ends the effect, and the main vestige description does not mention whether the spell attack takes an action.

    Finally, from my admittedly limited playtesting my main concern about this class is how MAD it is. In order to actually change hats without sacrificing function, you would need to max at least two scores (Cha and Dex/Str). Using standard array, this would not happen until very late in the campaign (16th or 19th). While that's great news for the 20th level binder, the class suffers at role changing earlier on. Mine in Out of the Abyss capped her Charisma as soon as possible, but had a Dex too low for any reliable offense other than spells. Her choice of roles was then backrow caster or melee caster (thanks to Savnok), but each one brought poor offenses and the melee binding choice was lacking some utility. More than half of the available vestiges were unusable. Now, one could just get several stats to 16 and perform hat changes when needed, but you will nearly always be noticeably outperformed by other competent players.

    In short, my first impression in gameplay was that the class may have missed its intended functionality (role changing) in exchange for being able to be built very different from PC to PC. You can have a Cha-based caster binder. You can have a Dex-based melee fighter binder. But you can't switch between the two on the same character.

    The vestige Eligor's strength boost gave me an idea that could soothe this issue if the role-changing capability was to be salvaged: vestiges that increase certain ability scores, perhaps at the cost of others. By pinning a +1 Dex, -1 Cha on a few vestiges like Paimon and Malphas, for example, you could change from the charismatic caster to the skilled duelist without having to literally change character sheets. It could also be a more potent tool of showing vestige influence: you actually become, statistically, more like the vestige.

    Overall, I still really like the binder. I love how I can make two different characters of the same class and have them be absolutely nothing alike in battle. But it doesn't seem to perform as advertised, as the character who can change their role completely from day to day.

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    1. First of all, thank you so much for your notes: I'll be very soon making a lot of edits to correct these mistakes.

      On the Binder being MAD, I'd agree with you to some extent. In my playtest, I used a more medium set of scores (16 Str and Cha, 14 Con and Dex, with a human and an ABS) and things worked nicely. If I /had/ tried to first get 20 Cha, it would have been a struggle to play anything other than a spellcasting-focused binder.

      And, yes, with a number of scores at 14-16, I was outperformed in combat by fighters and in spellcasting by spellcasters. But that's the /intent/. You pay for being non-specialized by being good, but not amazing, at everything.

      In fact, we designed this class to be Cha/Str or Cha/Dex, depending on how you want to generally play (which makes this pretty similar to the paladin in terms of MADness.) It's possible, but difficult, to switch between these, but generally, you'll have to make your binder better at the unarmed strike / Sneak Attack style of fighting, or the heavy armor / heavy weapon style. There's still a ton of variation in this range, but you are going to be more constrained the more you want to optimize one side of the spectrum.

      We thought about fluctuating ability scores with vestiges, but we decided that this couldn't be the norm in vestige design, since it made it too difficult to switch between vestiges. After all, imagine recalculating your attacks, hit points, skills, and saves every time you rebind your vestiges. (I mean, you might do /some/ of these with current vestiges, but not /all/ of them every time.) It would just end up being too unwieldy.

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  25. For the Novice Occultist feat, do you have to pick a specific vestige when you take the feat to bind to each time, or can you select any first level vestige each time you bind like a regular binder?

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    1. This is intended to be a specific 1st level vestige.

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  26. The Eldritch Fate 13th level feature Anima Mark includes the effect "You can choose to cause any spells you cast with a range of Self to affect your bonded creature as well." Does this just mean I can target it instead of me, or does it allow me to twin any spell with a range of self for no cost? I assume the former, but by RAW saying "as well" rather than "instead" implies the latter.

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    1. The latter. This is functionally similar to the Paladin being able to share his self-targeted spells with his mount.

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  27. This is my favorite class from 3.5 and I love how you guys put it together. I've seen some other 5e adaptations that are pretty good but overall they just regurgitated the same 3.5 rendition. My thing is none of the classes from 3.5 are exactly the same now so why should the binder. You guys did it perfectly. I messaged you on giant play ground about the Karsite race. I really think it would make a great addition to this. PLEASE! Lol

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    1. I'll take a look at it soon, see if maybe we can do that some justice!

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  28. Can you choose the same minor spirit twice to stack Guardian Spirit's bonus making it a +2 to AC and use the shield spell twice per short rest instead of +1 and ounce per short rest?

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    1. No, you cannot bind more than one of the same minor spirit.

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  29. I absolutely adore the flavor of this, especially since I get bored playing the exact same character for months at a time. While I was designing my first binder, I was a little puzzled as to how spellcasting works for the binder. I see that this class has the option of beginning with a component pouch or an arcane focus, but I didn't see that any of the builds are capable of using a spellcasting focus in place of the material component. Is the arcane focus just for flavor, or does it serve a useful purpose for the class?

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    1. Specifically for the Eldritch Fate, which does get a spell list and slots.

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  30. Hey, I know it's a bit late on this post, but I was wondering how exactly you guys went about balancing the vestiges? I was thinking about making a custom vestige for my campaign, but I'm not exactly sure how I could balance it. Any tips?

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    1. In general, vestiges always had a mix of combat bonuses, exploration bonuses, and social bonuses. Most (if any, it's been a while) do not provide skill proficiencies, and spell effects are roughly on par with spells of the same level. Beyond that, it's a numbers game, and making sure that the effects don't overlap too much with other vestiges nor that they synergize too well.

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  31. Hi there

    I just wanted to take the time to thank you for building this, I haven't had much experience when it comes to multiple editions in fact I started with pathfinder, one day I was going through third party classes and I came across the Binder and fell in love with it, however by this point my local community had started to move onto 5th edition and this saddened me, I've played a few characters here and there but haven't felt like they were a class that I resonated well with, and not to long ago lo and behold I found this while looking for ways to play a Binder in 5th Edition and while im waiting for a session (that will allow me to use homebrewed/third party things) to open up I've been building the idea of playing this class and while I'm not sure what race to go for (although I'm thinking of trying one of yours) I am defintaly looking forward to playing it and thought i would take this chance to thank you for making it.

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    1. Your welcome! We tried our very best to make something that's fun and easy to play in 5th edition. I hope you enjoy playing it as much as we enjoyed writing it. Tell you friends about this one -- it's a bit of a hidden gem, even around here.

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    2. Yeah, this was a big ordeal, but it was such a passion project for us, and it's what brought me into the group as a primary writer. The Finger, the Thumb(I think, sorry Ben, it's been a long time!), an associate of ours on the GITP boards, and I all worked on this for right around a year before we were done with it, and it went through a TON of revisions. Play it often, I look forward to playing one in my next game!

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  32. Hi Great class by the way but there is one thing that confuses me about pacts. I didn't see it mentioned anywhere but if you make more than one poor pact do you end up with multiple ideals and personality traits? This seems like it would be a challenge to rp and in some cases would make your character have opposing ideals. Is there an official rule regarding this?

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    1. That's actually a big part of the fun!

      Roleplaying a bunch of different personality traits and flaws was a blast when I was playing a binder. You can basically take it in a direction of playing a different character every day if that's your speed.

      If two personality traits complete oppose one another, swap one of them for a flaw or idea (whatever else the vestige is packaged with.)

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    2. Thank you for the clarification, the idea of opting for a flaw instead seems cool as you could technically change every aspect of your character after a bad series of rolls.

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  33. Fantastic class, just started playing it today and so far it's a lot of fun! So thanks for making it, and making it available.

    Few thing I noticed though:

    The Pact Negotiation feature doesn't list how long a Vestige remains bound. Until you take/finish a long rest? 24 hours? Are they indefinite until expelled with Renegotiation?

    It also doesn't specify if you *need* to bind vestiges immediately after a short rest, or if you can wait until later in the day. If the latter, it also doesn't specify if you can bind over time.

    For example, a 5th level Binder can be bound to two vestiges at once. Could they wake up, bind one, go out adventuring and then two hours later spend a minute to bind another one? Presuming they adhere to all other binding limits like level totals etc

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    1. Vestiges that are bound with Pact Negotiation are bound until you rebind vestiges following a long rest. If you don't rebind vestiges when you finish a long rest, you keep your currently bound vestiges -- you don't lose their abilities because you didn't Pact Negotiate.

      You can Renegotiate up to half your vestige levels immediately following a short rest once per day.

      If a 5th level binder chooses to only bind one vestige (say, a 2nd level vestige), their only other chance to bind a second vestige (say, a 3rd level vestige) would be after a short rest, when the binder chooses to Renegotiate.

      Hope that answers your questions!

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    2. It certainly does, thank you!

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  34. Can on hit effects like Malphas's sneak attack, Paimon's dance of death, or Marchosias's death attack stack? If so you can do some crazy damage on just one hit.

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    1. I'd have to re-check those specific effects, but so long as they aren't the exact same named effects, they should stack.

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  35. Aym's Golden Plate feature barely seems to work as written. It says your speed is not reduced when wearing armor you are not proficient with, but that does not appear to be an effect of not being proficient with armor. So the only corner case where this ability is functional is if you wear chain mail, splint, or plate, lack the strength to move in it at full speed, AND lack proficiency with heavy armor. Have I missed something?

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    1. So this is a weird thing that has to do with armor rules. Even if you're proficient in heavy armor, you also need to have a high Strength score or you move more slowly (that's what the Strength column of the armor table is about.) Aym only gives you proficiency with Medium armor, so this is a solution to a problem you /don't/ have until you multiclass or use a vestige that gives you Heavy armor.

      So, it's functional, but it's a feature that is more likely to pay off down the road when you get better armor from other vestiges -- in other words, it's a synergy feature.

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    2. It still seems wonky to me. It states that you are not slowed when you wear armor you 'aren't proficient in', but if you were to bind, say, both Aym and Savnok, the fact that Aym gives Medium armor proficiency would mean that Savnok would give Heavy armor proficiency. So even if you didn't have the requisite strength to move at full speed, you now have proficiency, so as written the Golden Plate feature would do nothing. AND on top of that, Savnok's Call Armor feature already covers not having the minimum strength. Do any other Vestiges give heavy armor? I've looked, but I couldn't find any.

      And anyway, wearing armor you aren't proficient with would be TERRIBLE for this class, as many of the Vestiges' abilities give you the ability to cast spells. And per the PHB: "If you wear armor that you lack proficiency with, you have disadvantage on any ability check, saving throw, or attack roll that involves Strength or Dexterity, and you can't cast spells (emphasis mine). So even if you were benefitting from not being slowed in heavy armor you aren't proficient in, you would still be completely shooting yourself in the foot by doing so. There's still plenty of other reasons to bind Aym, I'm just confused by what seems to me to be a complete trap option. As always, there's every possiblity I'm not seeing something! Thanks for your reply.

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    3. Oh! Now I see it -- the 'not' is a typo. (I literally misread this last night when I went over it.) In fact, I'll remove that clause about proficiency altogether, since it won't make this ability powerful by any measure.

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    4. Glad to see I'm not going crazy XD thank you for looking into it. Personally, I'm going to be changing the feature for my players to also include a doubled carrying capacity, as I find the image of someone bound to Aym lugging around a ton of loot to be really evocative. Thanks for making such an awesome class! I was always sad that I never got to play a Binder in the 3.5 days.

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    5. I hope you enjoy it! I playteted it for a few months and it was a blast -- be sure to use the vestige cards for maximum playability.

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  36. Is the third bullet point of the Blade Spirit minor spirit meant to have a mechanical effect? It says you can change the shape of the weapon, but the spirit itself never actually prescribes the weapon as a physical, usable item. Is it meant to be like Pact of the Blade like I assume?

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    1. That's basically the intent, yeah. I'll change the description to make it a little more explicit.

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  37. Long comments incoming.

    Okay, so. I'm going to let one of my players use this in my upcoming campaign. I'd like some clarifications if you don't mind, brace for dumb questions:

    How much do ritual implements cost and weigh?

    With the Occult Fate's Share Vestige, is a creature intended to be able to have as many vestiges shared with it as it can find generous binders or is it supposed to be limited in some way?

    With the Twisted Fate's Otherworldly Form, is the additional benefit (Dire, Impervious, Wings) meant to apply all the time or just in the same feature's aberration form?

    With the Cherub, Imp, and Poltergeist minor spirits, am I meant to add the ability modifier to damage with the bonus action attack things? I ask because these three are weapon attacks rather than spell attacks like the rest.

    In Aym's Golden-Fisted Rule, is the advantage on Intimidation meant to apply specifically to dwarves just like the disadvantage on Persuasion or to all Intimidation checks? This probably seems obvious but I'm getting tripped up by standard English syntax.

    Is Haagenti's Cleave intended to be unlimited like it currently is?

    What is the range on the truesight granted by Ipos' Flash of Insight?

    Is Ipos' Influence meant to trigger automatically like it seems to now or is it meant for the binder to be able to pick when to activate it?

    Is Paimon's Dancer's Grace meant to apply specifically to Dexterity *skill* checks (i.e. only Acrobatics, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth) like it reads now or more broadly to Dexterity *ability* checks, similar to the Champion/Bard features that give you half your proficiency bonus to stuff?

    Primus' Lawful Strike might be worded a little oddly, or perhaps I'm just reading it wrong. "When you make a single melee attack on your turn, you can deal an additional 1d6 force damage on a hit." Is this meant to mean that it activates once per turn when I make a melee attack, or literally that it activates on turns during which I only make one melee attack?

    Is Andras' Smite Foe meant to be unlimited in the amount of additional attacks you can make with it? Also, this is just personal opinion, but it seems odd to use disadvantage instead of a -5 penalty, because if some other unrelated circumstance is causing you to roll with disadvantage anyway (standing in pitch blackness), there's no reason not to use this feature on all of the attacks you make on that turn.

    Savnok's Savnok's Armor's damage reduction doesn't stack with resistance, but what if I do happen to have resistance? Can I pick which benefit is more advantageous to me when someone rolls damage against me?

    Is the ability to see normally in nonmagical darkness in Tenebrous' Sense the Shadows meant to have a range like the similarly-worded warlock ability Devil's Sight?

    Same question as above for Geryon's Devil's Sight.

    In Balam's Balam's Cunning, I reroll before I know if the roll is a success or not, correct?

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    1. And while I'm at it, typos and other stuff:

      The binder is allowed to start with an arcane focus, but to use an arcane focus instead of a component pouch, you need an explicit Spellcasting Focus feature, which the binder doesn't have.

      In Dahlver-Nar's "Legend" text, "drive him mad" should be "drove him mad".

      Aym's Golden Halo is missing "melee" before "spell attack".

      Ipos' Influence: "When an ability you granted to you" has an extra "you".

      Malphas' Turnfeather's Skill: "before using it again" would read better as "before doing so again" in this context.

      Paimon's Lord of the Dance: "Perform" should be "Performance". And just to pick nits, "dance-based checks made while dancing" seems a wee bit redundant.

      Paimon's Masterful Footwork: "Perform" should be "Performance".

      Xanathar's Sleep Ray is probably meant to specify that a creature taking an action to wake a creature affected by the ability must be within 5 feet of the target, right?

      Xanathar's Death Ray is missing a "ranged" before "spell attack".

      Kas' Blinding Strike: "After using this ability, you cannot do so again until you take a short long rest." is missing an "or".

      In Kas' "Legend" text: "Kas, meanwhile was" is missing a comma.

      Otiax's Bonus Proficiency: "While bond to Otiax" should be "While bound to Otiax".

      Chupoclops' Ghost Touch: "damage reduction" should be "damage resistance".

      Chupoclops' summoning flavor text: "Only of the potion of the massive body" has an errant "of". Also, the end of the flavor text cuts off mid-sentence.

      In Acererak's "Legend" text, "Negative Energy Plan" should be "Negative Energy Plane".

      Ronove's Far Hand, Leraje's New Moon Arrows, and Balam's Balam's Cunning only say "[finish/complete] a short rest" when they should say "[finish/complete] a short or long rest".

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    2. I just noticed you already answered the question regarding damage rolls for minor spirits in the comments, so never mind on that one.

      Also, one more thing, how much money does a binder start with if using starting wealth instead of starting equipment?

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    3. Thanks so much for the comprehensive comments! I've fixed a lot of your questions (changes should be up shortly.) To answer some of your questions:

      Ritual Implements cost and weigh as much as thieves tools

      Occult Fate Share Vestige: You can only bind one shared vestige to a willing host, since this feature expends the daily use of your Extra Vestige feature.

      Twisted Fate: Otherworldly Form: Your chosen benefit only applies while you are in your aberration form.

      Minor Spirits: These have been changed to all be spell attacks.

      Aym: Golden-Fisted Rule: Reworded for clarity

      Haagenti: Cleave: Yup, should be unlimited.

      Ipos: Flash of Insight: Fixed -- 60 foot range

      Ipos: Ipos's Influence: Fixed -- you can choose when it's triggered

      Paimon: Dancer's Grace: Ability checks, not skill checks

      Primus: Lawful Strike: Reworded -- only triggers on turns that you make one attack

      Andras: Smite Foe: Fixed so that it does not work when you already have disadvantage

      Savnok: Savnok's Armor: When you have DR or resistance already, you choose whichever benefit you wish (normally the more advantageous one)

      Tenebrous: Sense the Shadows: See in darkness to a range of 120 feet and sense creatures within 30 feet

      Geryon: Devil's Sight: Range 120 feet

      Balam: Balam's Cunning: You can make this roll even after the DM decides if the roll succeeds or fails

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    4. Thanks, Finger. I wasn't familiar with the original binder but we're a couple sessions in now and it's been interesting to watch.

      One thing though, that wasn't the intent of my question about the Occult Fate's Share Vestige. I know an individual binder can only use this feature once per long rest, I was wondering if a single creature could collect multiple vestiges from this feature from multiple *different* binders.

      Speaking of the Occult Fate, when does the undead created by Empty Vessel lose access to the abilities of the Extra Vestige you imbued it with? Same question with Share Vestige. My guess is that it's whenever you, the binder, would lose access to it as if you had bound it to yourself, correct?

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    5. One more: What does "living creature" exclude in Tenebrous' Sense the Shadows, Zagan's Serpent's Senses, and the Domain of Tenebrous' Disrupt Life? "Living creature" is (as far as I know, I could be mistaken), not explicitly defined in any of the books and is rather something that is specified every time the phrase is used. Chupoclops' Soulsense already references exclusion of constructs and elementals, for example.

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    6. I had a feeling I wasn't understanding what you were asking about with regards to the Occult fate. If there is more than one binder around with Share Vestige, by RAW they can all give vestiges to one host. Frankly, I never considered this would happen in a game, so I didn't exclude it in the wording. I can't imagine it'll be a balance issue, however.

      The Empty Vessel undead only gains those powers as long as the Extra Vestige would normally be bound if it were bound to you. So, yeah, normal time limit.

      Living creature is just meant to refer to all creatures -- anything with statistics. It's not meant to evoke something specific mechanically or exclude any creature types.

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  38. One more typo:

    Otherworldly Patron Karsus lore: "Unfortunately, as a now divine soul, he was not accepted into any afterlife, ad was doomed to an eternal existence in the void." "ad" should be "and".

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  39. regarding the influences each of the vestiges give if a poor pact is made, does the DM decide which influence or both affect your character?

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  40. Hi there. Been looking at this class recently and think its amazing. But would deities like Asgaroth (that dragon creation deity) be things that would be worked on in the future? I say Asgaroth because I am infatuated with him, and because he is a fairly dead god (being split into Bahamut and Tiamat, his blood becoming the Dragonborn race), so thus fulfills a fair amount of the requirements for being a vestige. Basically a Tenebrous situation.

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    1. Eventually, we are going to do a OGL compliant version of the Binder; until that happens, we are not likely to add anything to this book or the systems contained within. That said, a dead dragon god vestige is right up the alley of this class. It wouldn't be Asgaroth, since that's probably WOTC owned, but something like it wouldn't be out of the question.

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    2. So, an update to this class is in sight? Perhaps a few new vestiges to allow firearms, or some conforming to Dark Matter? Just asking because this is hands down my favourite class of all time. I absolutely love pairing it with a Changeling.

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    3. I wouldn't say "in sight"; it's gotta be something that the patrons pick when it comes up on a poll. The OGL version of the binder will be more like a new class from the ground-up -- all new vestiges of our own making. The vestiges from the original binder will still be here, but the new one might use some of those mechanical points to do its own thing (like, you can expect the new binder to have an archery-focused vestige, which might conflict somewhat with the one here).

      So, more like an overhaul, rather than an update, but I promise it's only going to be good things.

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  41. I super love your creation, might I ask, is there any possibility for making a subset to this class that allows them to summon these bound spirits and maybe hold their concentration to have them battle? This would probably be the best makings of a summoner akin to Claus (Tales of Phantasia) or a FF Summoner... there's so many of us seeking such a class :D :D :D

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    1. Hmm...so sorta Pokemon/Persona/Jojo's Bizarre Adventure style stuff?

      That's a neat take. When we redo this to be 100% OGL, I'm gonna seriously look at that.

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