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2009-03-28, 06:03 PM
Utterdark Binder

ďThere is a new power rising, free from the constraints of the old. See how it spills from the Northlands! Soon we shall know all secrets the Utterdark holds.Ē

-Sara VíIndi- Binder apprentice.

This is the first homebrew-ed thing Iíve done, and itís part of a campaign setting Iíve got planned. The basic premise involves a magical civilisation near/at its peak. For some unknown reason an expanding field of liquid, magical darkness. The scholar-mages have named this the Utterdark, and while it doesnít directly do harm, it coats the lands it covers in never-ending darkness. The expansion has stopped and some more curious mages have began to study properties of the Utterdark; with some mages learning how to wield a fraction of the unknown power of the North. This particular class is mostly based for NPCís but may be available for PCís if it works.

Utterdark Binder
{table=head]Level|Base Attack<br>Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

1st|
+0|
+0|
+0|
+2|Fundamentals, Chilling aura, Clumsy Fumbling

2nd|
+1|
+0|
+0|
+3|Walk in Darkness

3rd|
+1|
+1|
+1|
+3|Sap strength

4th|
+2|
+1|
+1|
+4|Sap Will, Freezing Aura, Fumblings

5th|
+2|
+1|
+1|
+4|Walk in Nightmares

6th|
+3|
+2|
+2|
+5|Walk in Shadows, Near Mastery

7th|
+3|
+2|
+2|
+5|Walk Unseen

8th|
+4|
+2|
+2|
+6| Adeptness

9th|
+4|
+3|
+3|
+6|Utterdark Calling

10th|
+5|
+3|
+3|
+7| Absolute Chilling Aura, Utterdark Ascendent [/table]

Hit Dice: d4.

Requirements

Skills: Knowledge (Arcana): 8 ranks

Knowledge (The Planes): 8 ranks

Spells: Must be able to cast 3rd level arcane spells

Other: Must have been trained by a higher level Binder, must have lived for at least a month in the Utterdark.

Class Skills
[As Wizard]

Class Features

Weapon/Armour Proficiency: An Utterdark Binder gains no additional proficiency with weapon or armour.

Fundamentals: Tapping into the Utterdark grants certain abilities, but it cuts off other avenues of power. When a binder reaches first level s/he loses any ability they had to previously cast arcane spells. However, the binder gainst the following abilities:

Darkvision out to 60 feet. If the binder previously had darkvision, s/he gains no extra benefit.
Darkbolt: The binder gains the spell-like ability to project a bolt of Utterdark, which deals damage (of a nonspecific energy type) according to level.

Level
1-2: 4d6
3-4: 5d6
5-6: 6d6
7-8: 7d6
9-10: 8d6
The binder may cast the spells Chill Touch and Cause Fear at will.
Chilling aura: The air around a binder is perceptibly colder, and their eyes seem a little darker and distant, unnerving to those unused to meeting them. As a consequence at first level, the binder gains a +2 bonus to Intimidate checks.


Clumsy Fumbling: The Utterdark is a newly discovered power, and not much is known about its use. Occasionally, the binder may find it outstrips his wildest expectations in terms of power. However it may also ebb and fall short. At first level, the binderís caster level = previous spellcasting class + binder level - 5 + 1d6.

Walk in Darkness: At second level, the binder can cause Utterdark to curl about him, fluid-like, giving them the ability to cast Darkness and Invisibility at will.

Sap Strength: At third level, the binder can project a ray of black light at will as a spell like ability that saps strength, functioning as a Ray of Enfeeblement.

Sap Will: At fourth level, the binder can projects an aura of dismay at will as a spell like ability that blackens mood, functioning as the spell Crushing Despair.

Freezing Aura: The air around the binder drops to more frigid temperatures. As such, a fourth level binder gains the ability to cast the spell Chill Object at will. Chill Object functions as the spell Chill Metal but any non-living material may be the target, not only metal.

Fumblings: The binder becomes more adept at handling the Utterdark. At fourth level the binderís caster level = previous spellcasting class + binder level Ė 3 + 1d4.

Walk in Nightmares: At fifth level, the binder can reach out and touch a dreaming mind. They may cast the spells Dream and Nightmare at will as spell like abilities.

Walk in Shadow: At sixth level, the binder can move through shadows as easily as a man crosses a room. As such they can cast the spell Shadow Walk as a spell like ability at will.

Near Mastery: A sixth level binder has unprecedented control over their newfound abilities, yet they continue to be surprised by the occasional unpredictable aspect of their magic. The binderís caster level = previous spellcasting class + binder level Ė 2 + 1d3

Walk Unseen: The binder can now cause the concealing Utterdark to swarm over his allies, granting them invisibility and can cast the spell Mass Invisibility at will as a spell like ability.

Adeptness: The Utterdark holds no secrets from an eighth level binder. The binderís caster level = previous spellcasting class + binder level.

Utterdark Calling: At ninth level, a binder can create the semblance of life and objects by forcing together the liquid night. Effectively, they can now cast the spell Shades as a spell like ability at will.

Absolute Chilling Aura: The air around the binder now drops to painfully low temperatures. Water freezes solid as they pass. Any creatures in 5 feet of the binder takes 1d4 points of cold damage per round. The binder cannot suppress this effect, but so much exposure to the frigid Utterdark has granted the binder cold resistance 5.

Utterdark Ascendant: The binder becomes something more than human. Once per day they can enter a state called the Utterdark Ascendant for one minute, dispersing into pure night. During this time, the binder gains damage reduction 10/-. Fast healing 5, a fly speed equal to their land speed with perfect manoeuvrability.

Pyrusticia
2009-03-28, 11:46 PM
This looks really interesting, both as a class and a campaign setting. I don't suppose this is a PbP game you're using this for?

There are a couple of comments I have, though...


Fumblings: The binder becomes more adept at handling the Utterdark. At fourth level the binderís caster level = previous spellcasting class + binder level Ė 4 + 1d6.

Near Mastery: A sixth level binder has unprecedented control over their newfound abilities, yet they continue to be surprised by the occasional unpredictable aspect of their magic. The binderís caster level = previous spellcasting class + binder level Ė 3 + 1d4

These don't make sense. With both of these abilities, the binder has a 50% chance of having a reduced caster level. Fine. The problem is that at 4th level, they have a 33% chance for increased level, whereas at 6th level they only have a 25% chance for increased level. Even worse, at 4th level they have a 16.7% chance for a +2 CL, whereas a 6th level is limited to +1 CL. To fix this, I'd recommend staging down a die each time (so it starts at d6-5, then d4-3, then d3-2).


Walk Unseen: The binder can now call up swirling concealment that masks himself and his allies, and can cast the spell Mass Invisibility at will as a spell like ability.

Is this one ability, or two? The way you've phrased it makes it sound like they can do two things...call up a swirling concealment (like a Fog spell, or something similar), and cast invisibility. Not sure if that's what was intended, though.


Absolute Chilling Aura: The air around the binder now drops to painfully low temperatures. Water freezes solid as they pass. Any creatures in 5 feet of the binder takes 1d4 points of cold damage per round. The binder may suppress this effect at any time.

Hmm...this looks good, but I'd suggest a slight change, for fluff reasons. Make the aura at level 9 unsuppressable (they are now infused with cold, and can no more change that then a normal human can change the fact that they emit heat). To compensate for this, give them Cold Resistance 5 at the same time. It's not enough to make a big difference at that level, but it means that high-level Binders can hang out without taking damage from each other.

Bookmarked
2009-03-29, 05:17 AM
Thanks a lot, you've been really helpful!

I've edited your dice suggestion into the Fumblings. I was tearing my hair out with numbers trying to make it work, and to my great shame, I forgot that d3's existed. Well, they do...but they don't...uh...

As for clarifying fluff here and there, I like your suggestions. One thing I'm trying to go for is power unknown. In the whole setting, there's probably going to be only a handful of binders at high(er) level, but masses of lowbies. I'm thinking that none of them have even reached 8th-10th level yet. Perhaps the highest will be a 7th level binder just starting to come into their own. They're a new group, playing about with power they have no idea about and making shocking discoveries.

The setting I'm using is one of my own invention, but I'm borrowing so much from here and there-it's not surprising it sounds a little PBP-esque.

DracoDei
2009-03-30, 02:47 AM
I assume you roll for caster level seperately each time it matters? Rather than, say, at every level up?

Bookmarked
2009-03-30, 04:41 AM
Yep. I know it adds some dice rolling and makes for a little more clunky work, but I couldn't think of another way to reflect randomness fairly. You don't think the text needs clarifying in that respect?

DracoDei
2009-03-30, 11:26 AM
Well, it doesn't sound like too much dice rolling to me. Clarification would be good.

Baron Corm
2009-03-30, 03:15 PM
I don't think any PC would be fooled into giving up all of his spells in exchange for the ability to cast a few specific spells. However it seems pretty balanced for an NPC class.

I'm not sure if you are aware of the warlock base class from Complete Arcane, but it's pretty similar to this. They have an invocation called Utterdark Blast which makes me believe that you have heard of them... but then I'm wondering why you didn't just use them.