June 22, 2020

Binder Redux

Base Class
Comments from the Finger: The epic conclusion to the Rebinding article series is finally here! If you want to see even more vestiges and subclasses, check out The Complete Binder!

The binder is a band new class which lets you redefine your playstyle each day by attuning to the spirits of dead gods and heroes. These spirits from the past, called vestiges, afford their own features and traits, and each has a backstory all their own, drawn from the margins of world mythology. Their revisionist stories shine a light on tragic tales from across time, and ground the binder's personalities in genuine myth. If you want to play a character that can truly slide into any role, the binder is the class for you!

To make the class a little easier to approach, I've included a handy-dandy cheat sheet for the vestiges:

Vestige Cheat Sheet

Mastery: If you have mastery in a skill, you can treat any result of an ability check using it as 10 or your binder level plus your Charisma modifier, whichever is higher.

  • Prof Deception, Persuasion + 1 skill for each other vestige
  • At will disguise self
  • bag of holding
  • 1/short charm person

  • Prof Martial versatile weapons and shields
  • Always use two handed die for versatile weapons
  • Reaction After you take damage, gain 5 temp HP + 5 for each other vestige, until the start of your next turn
  • Bonus action 1/short Make one additional melee attack. On a hit, deal + binder level damage

  • 2 wizard cantrips + 1 for each other vestige
  • Reaction Resistance to spell damage
  • Speak all languages
  • 2/day any detect magic, feather fall, floating disk, fog cloud, mage armor, magic missile, shield, sleep, thunderwave, unseen servant +1 use for each other vestige

Hou Yi
  • Prof martial ranged weapons
  • Mastery Wisdom (Perception)
  • Fighting Style Archery
  • Use Cha for ranged attacks and damage
  • 9/long Arrow deals +1d4 fire damage and explodes. Targets within 5 feet must succeed a Dexterity save or take half damage

  • Prof martial weapons
  • Fighting Style Great Weapon Fighting
  • Use Cha for attacks and damage with heavy weapons
  • 1/long enlarge/reduce (no concentration)

  • At will fire bolt
  • Bonus action Jump 10 feet without provoking. Deal 1d4 + Cha fire damage around where you start
  • Resistance fire
  • +Cha to fire damage rolls
  • 2/long burning hands, scorching ray
  • 1/long heat metal, fireball

  • Prof martial finesse weapons, hand crossbows
  • Fighting Style Dueling
  • Extra Attack
  • Use Cha for attacks and damage with finesse weapons
  • Bonus action Cha/long Move 15 feet without provoking

La Diablesse
  • Action A creature makes a Wis save or is frightened for 1 turn. Bonus action, concentration, extend this 1 turn
  • Action A frightened creature within 60 feet uses its reaction to run away from you. It can then repeat its save against the fear effect
  • 1/turn When a creature fails an Int, Wis, or Cha save, deal 2d8 psychic damage
  • 2/day bane, darkness
  • 1/day fear, phantasmal killer

  • 1/turn Add d8s to damage (up to Cha mod) to a hit, and take 3 damage for each die added
  • Max HP increases by binder level + Cha mod
  • When you are hit by a melee attack, attacker takes Cha piercing damage.
  • Bonus action 1/short heal binder level

  • At will misty step
  • Double jump distance, halve falling damage
  • Whenever you are hit, roll a d20. On a 20, the attack misses.
  • Teleport into a creature: it takes 1d4 force damage for every 10 feet you teleported (max 5d4)
  • 2/day dimension door
  • 1/day blink, teleportation circle

  • Natural weapon 1d4 slashing, magical. Bonus action attack. +2d6 damage if you already hit that target
  • Spider climb
  • 10 foot reach
  • Make opportunity attacks against any creature that moves within your reach
  • 1/short Opportunity attack has advantage and doesn’t take a reaction

  • Action Melee spell attack, deal 4d6 necrotic and heal equal HP
  • Each undead must succeed a Wis save before attacking you
  • Conjure bones or a corpse
  • At will false life (self only)
  • 3/day animate dead
  • 1/day create undead

  • Prof Martial axes and hammers
  • Extra Attack
  • Reaction Make a weapon attack against an attacker within 5 feet
  • Bonus action 1/short Enter rage for 1 minute. Resistance to physical damage. Advantage on heavy, versatile, and unarmed attacks. Attacks against you have advantage. Move 10 feet and attack again on kills.

  • Creatures you deal damage to can’t regain HP until next turn
  • When you are hit by an attack, you have advantage on your next attack against that creature
  • Reaction Reflect a condition back on source creature
  • Reaction 1/long Prevent a legendary or lair action

  • When you fail a save, roll a d6. Instead succeed on a 6.
  • You don’t provoke flying opportunity attacks from creatures you have attacked this turn
  • Flying speed of 60 feet
  • 1/short +6d8 necrotic or radiant damage on a hit

  • At will magic weapon
  • Passive detect magic
  • 3/day counterspell, dispel magic
  • 1/day antimagic field (does not interfere with vestige features), true seeing

  • Mastery Intelligence (Arcana), Intelligence (History), Intelligence (Nature), Intelligence (Religion)
  • Pick one 2 beads of force, a necklace of fireballs (2 beads), an oil of etherealness, a potion of gaseous form, or a potion of invisibility
  • Pick one a carpet of flying, a cloak of the bat, a flame tongue, gauntlets of ogre power, an instant fortress, a ring of regeneration, a ring of telekinesis, a sun blade, or a wand of wonder

  • Resistance all damage
  • Move through creatures and objects as difficult terrain
  • Action 1/long Creature you touch makes a Con save, taking 10d10 + 50 necrotic, or half on a success

  • Speed increased by 10 feet
  • Ignore difficult terrain, walk across fluids
  • 1/long wish, then replace Qadir with a vestige of 3rd level or lower


  1. Sad to see that Stygian Seal, the only Binder subclass that I've used, lost it's really amazing ability to either summon a weapon or make a barrier (barrier being situationally useful) being replaced with a minor anti-AOO ability. Reason I say this is because Legion's Lodge gets the Guidance Cantrip and the Shillelagh cantrip if they take the right spirits along with a Cha bonus to Minor Spirit damage, Crimson Binding can be more versatile and gain advantage every once in a while, and Stygian Seal gets Darkvision and Anti-AOO
    Also it's Ritual of the Aegis ability kinda sucks because you lose your source to a good unarmed AC if you take 10 damage (when you get it

    1. The Stygian Seal's ability had a lot of overlap with the Blade Spirit, which also allowed for the spontaneous creation of weapons and shields. The sort of short range teleport they get at 3rd has a lot of combat utility, acting as a free Disengage, and fits with the larger theme of the Void allowing one to slip between dimensions.

      The intent for all of the 10th-level ritual features is to provide a temporary buff for combats in which you have a few minutes to prepare in advance. Generally, the Ritual of the Aegis shouldn't be your primary source of AC if you intend to get in close; rather, it should act as a comfortable buff until you start taking damage.

  2. I understand that the Ritual of the Aegis is meant to be a 1/long rest ability, right? If so, I think the whole subclass has been considerably nerfed. I must agree with Yoshiro, the loss of the ability to create voidstuff weapons (not even shields or void bubbles) really undermines the effectiveness some of the martial builds that would otherwise be possible. That ability gave the subclass versatility that the others possess (by focusing on the widening of major and minor spirits available), and now it's a one trick dog, that would mostly benefit from standing away with the spellcasting vestiges, exclusively (which the Order of the Crimson Binding can pull off much better) or kiting/shooting with K'sir and Hou-yi because of the lack of a weapon with greater damage than 1d6 at early levels except through DM discretion. In my opinion, the Binder isn't one to hoard weapons, but should be able to have an available weapon if necessary, and the Stygian Seal was the subclass to provide that. That said, I'd include a similar ability to the main class if only to give that versatility to the WHOLE class, or add it to the basic melee Vestiges (Dyogena and/or K'sir).

    1. Ritual of the Aegis is not 1/long; it's at will, requiring a 10 minute ritual, and the created temporary hit points last until you finish a long rest. As for weapons: remember you can still conjure weapons using the Blade Spirit!

  3. Also, what is the reason for getting rid of K'Sir as a Vestige? I understand you switched the City of Dreams for Hammurabi, but K'Sir hasn't been given a replacement

    1. Oh, I should have mentioned this up top! K'Sir hasn't gone anywhere; he's alive and well in the Complete Binder. I got a good amount of playtest feedback from new players being overwhelmed with the number of vestiges on offer, so cut the number available in the basic version of this class to make the learning curve easier.

    2. Any changes on K'Sir or Rostam that we shpuld know about? Also, what prompted the change in Dyogenas Legion Tactics?

    3. No changes to K'Sir or Rostam! They are some of the few vestiges which received absolutely no changes. Dyogena's previous version of Legion Tactics was very hard to remember in practice, since it gave a niche benefit in narrow circumstances. Nobody I spoke to remembered it in playtesting. The new version better supports her intended role as the Sword and Board and versatile weapon vestige.

  4. I'm guessing Dyogena's reaction is also limited? Otherwise you'll almost never take any damage...

    Korine says "double just distance".

    Overall, looks good.

    1. Dyogena's reaction procs *after* you take damage, and I've changed this on the cheat sheet. Good catch on Korine as well!

  5. What happens to a transformed Blade Spirit if you let go of it? Can you transform it into a weapon then give it to someone else? And when it is a weapon, does it count as magical?

    1. By RAW, you can give it to someone else. It's not magical.

  6. So a 9th level binder can cast wish once per long rest? I feel like I must be reading that incorrectly..

    1. Read the class table. 9th level vestiges are only unlocked at 17th level - all vestige levels unlock at the same levels a full caster would get the same-numbered level of spells.

  7. [OFF]

    Sorry to ask about that in this post, but I was using your homebrew Alchemist Redux in the 5e.tools website, and the subclasses just don't show itself. Could you try to fix that? Or won't you have any access to fix it?

    1. I never gave permission to post our classes on that site. Thanks for bringing it to my attention; I'll be looking into this.

  8. Great job! I've been going through the complete book and was wondering what happens if an an Avatartist and their Avatar are both caught in an area attack like fireball. Does the Avatartist their normal is damage, plus half the amount the Avatar would?

    1. Correct! The avatar is a very strong tanking entity, but is fairly weak if both of you are caught in the same AoE.

    2. Great. Thanks for the help!

    3. Actually, just to confirm, the Avatar uses their Binder's ability scores for any checks, attacks, and saves, right?

  9. Looks great so far! I do have a couple inquiries, however:

    - I notice that there is a limit to the level of vestiges you can bind at certain levels in Binder, as shown on the class table. However, this is not addressed at all in the description of the Soul Binding class feature. Those who may be unfamiliar with what the column signifies on the table might need clarification.

    - This might seem small, but it feels that the Wisp minor spirit feels rather weak. Why make the wisp only visible to yourself for a short period of time if you can just dissipate it at will? Is it for the sake of sneaky damage output with poison (which, frankly, gets rather weak as a damage type when one is fighting stronger enemies)?

    - For the Order of Crimson Binding, both Vestigial Skill and the using of a Trait for Ritual of the Crimson Brand do not seem as if they can offer a lot of benefits, as Hou Yi and Döpple are the only vestiges that offer mastery. Aside from perhaps the Complete Binder (which I cannot view as I don’t have the money), the Order of Crimson Binding is easily outpaced in terms of power by the other subclasses as a result of this aforementioned problem.

  10. Im a little confused by the wording of the "deep binding" feature for the crimson binding subclass. when it says "the total level of vestiges you can have bound increases by 3" and for example If im level 20 does that mean that i can have 3 additinal vestiges bound to me in addtion to my 4 or does it mean that all the vestiges levels combined must be eqaul to or less than 20 + 3

    1. I think it means that the level of vestiges you can choose to bind to increases by 3 levels, meaning at 14th level, when you would normally have access to all levels of vestiges, essentially allowing you to access 9th level vestiges early. It seems particularly powerful, and I think it should just be additional vestiges bound instead of level, however it's not my creation, so I'm not going to push it further.

    2. It actually just means that the addition of all your Vestiges' levels is increased by 3, so at level 14 you can Vestiges of up to 17 added levels instead of the usual max total of 14 (for example, two level 7 vestiges and a level 3 vestige)

  11. Is this an edit to the Complete Binder, or an addition?

    1. This is a reduction of the Complete Binder! The Complete Binder has more vestiges and more subclasses.

  12. Can a Binder bound to a Spellcasting Vestige like Lexicon or Evocatia attune to items with the Spellcasting or Wizard levels requisite? Same with other classes these Vestiges replicate, like rogue, fighter, druid, paladin...

  13. Hi! I was wondering how you would reflavor the vestiges for Eberron?

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