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View Full Version : Say D&D Was Real - Being a PC in a 21st Century World: Glyphstone's Story



The Glyphstone
2011-03-26, 11:08 PM
Part of a collaborative writing project, exploring what life would be like if reality were suddenly partially overwritten by the ruleset of D&D 3.5e. Other writers include Cogidubnus (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=189905), Swiftmongoose (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=192262), Tychrist1 (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=192409), Herpestidae (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=192799), and Zolkabro (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=192267).



Update The First: In Which Delusions Are Dismissed

Today was supposed to be relaxing. A boring, lazy weekend, the last one I’d have before classes started up again. I had a full class load, and didn’t see a lot of leisure time in the immediate future, so I had intended to make the best of every minute I had left.

Murphy, naturally, had other ideas.

I was kicking back, streaming a movie with some cold pizza and hot popcorn and generally feeling quite satisfied with myself, when a bunch of noise from my dorm suite’s common room came through the door. Considering that it was shut, and I had my headphones on, that was a feat. It sounded like my suitemates, talking excitedly about something on the television, and they weren’t stopping anytime soon; rather than just crank the volume up, I paused the movie and wandered out to see what was making them so vocal.

The screen was tuned to local news, with the headline banner “Terrorist Attack On City Hall” spread across the bottom. The bubbly, peroxide-infused newscaster was spouting mostly irrelevant sound bites, but I managed to get the gist of the situation. A hour or so ago, some sort of lunatic had managed to sneak a homemade flamethrower of some sort into City Hall, and tried to torch the place. Being made of stone for a hundred-odd years had put a resounding “NO” to that plan, but a bunch of tourists had gotten some nasty third-degree burns before security guards took the guy out with his sidearm. How he’d managed to sneak a flamethrower past the metal detectors wasn’t explained, but they had camera footage of the attack. They played the clip again, and that’s when things got interesting.

It was grainy black-and-white, but clearly showed the man – a bit ratty-looking , but clean shaven, entering the camera view from the security turnstiles. He was wearing a windbreaker, long-sleeved shirt, and jeans – definitely no flamethrower in sight as he paused, helpfully dead center in the camera’s focus area. One hand went into his pocket, and he pulled something out in his palm; a few moments later, and I’ll be darned if he didn’t have his hands outstretched with a cone of black and white flames spewing out of them. The first blast caught a group of photo-taking gawkers and some political posters, but the footage was silent. I was a bit thankful for that as he turned and spewed fire out of his hand again, this time hitting the fringe of a tour group that was trying to flee past him. Three more people went down slapping at burning clothes and skin; one was a kid, sixth grade at the oldest. Thankfully, the man didn’t get a third shot – you could see him jerk as bullets took him in the chest from two different angles, and he crumpled.

The other guys were alternately gawking at the footage and high-fiving each other as the newscaster took over again, mixed approval for the security guards interspersed with occasional comments about foreign crazies and the poor burning bystanders. I’d seen something different, though, and retreated back to my room rather than listen to any more jokes about barbeque sauce. The official story was a homemade flamethrower – but you had to pass through a metal detector to get into City Hall, and anything you brought with you went through an X-ray machine. And by the looks of it, he hadn’t been spraying fire out of something hidden in the sleeves of his jacket either – it’d been coming right out of his clenched hands. He might have palmed a lighter and a compressed can of gasoline vapor or something…but what it really looked like was a Burning Hands spell.

That thought lasted for about a round – I mean, six seconds. Then I shook my head, reminding myself that I was letting idle fantasies get away from me again. D&D was a game, magic wasn’t real, and a Sorcerer hadn’t just attacked City Hall. I sat down at the computer, ready to finish my movie, when my GChat pinged. It was one of my friends from the university gaming club, with a URL link to another news site and the text “Dude, you have to see this.”


Update The Second: Brought To You By The Letter N

Apparently, Philadelphia wasn’t the only city having an interesting day. Roughly the same time as the ‘terrorist attack’ on City Hall, some picnickers in New York City Central Park had been rather rudely interrupted by an enraged gorilla, actually killing two of them before it ran off into the trees. It was sad and scary, but a crazed zoo escapee wasn’t very high on my interesting list, and I told Ralph exactly that. His response was another link, this time to some blogger’s site, telling me [It wasn’t a gorilla, man.]

The obliging fool I am, I followed the link. They were some pretty high-quality photos of Central Park, complete with the ‘gorilla’ – huge, whitish silver…and sporting four clawed arms. I stopped breathing for a bit, trying to reconcile the fact that I was looking at pictures of a Girallon with the fact that Girallons didn’t exist outside the Monster Manual.

I wasn’t crazy – at least, no more than usual. Somehow, my wildest bored dreams were coming to life. D&D was real, or at least becoming so. People were sprouting class levels from nowhere, and monsters were appearing like in a really bad sci-fi movie. I typed back, [Is that what I think it is?] His answer came immediately, [Yeah – and guess what? I’m a Monk! I totally woke up this morning and could do crazy Kung Fu moves! What are you?]

What was I? Oh, the possibilities were endless. I was a master optimizer, I knew every rulebook and splatbook back to front. If we could pick our classes, or at least if I got lucky, this would be incredible. [I don’t know, I’ll have to experiment.] Definitely experiment, and that meant getting out of my dorm room and my Halo-obsessed suitemates. It was fairly easy to find a deserted space of grass between buildings, with it still being term break, and I definitely wanted privacy to test out whatever new powers I’d developed. To start with, I tried throwing a few kicks, calling up muscles I hadn’t used in close to three years, and almost fell over. That ruled out Monk, at least; I hadn’t found a random book of spells on my dresser that morning, so Wizard was highly unlikely. A surreptitious look around to make sure no one was watching, before I stuck out my hand and muttered, “Lightning bolt!”. Zilch. ”Color Spray.”Nada. ”Magic Missile?” Nothing. Not a sorcerer then…considering my actual charisma was close to rock-bottom, that had been a long shot. Maybe if I wrote myself a character sheet, I’d be able to pick something.

One library visit later and ten cents poorer, and I was staring a shiny blank 3.5 character sheet. I filled in my name, age, and height/weight first – but then it was almost like something took over. My hand darted over the page, filling in blanks like I was in a trance, until I blinked and stared at a completed sheet with my name on it, feeling the bottom drop out of my heart in despair. Was I a bard? A rogue? A psion, maybe?

Human Expert 1. An NPC class. I was like Redcloak, entirely defined in existence by my lack of a player character, or in this case, a player character’s powers. Staggered but not dazed, I wandered out of the library and found a bench to sit on, staring into space for a minute or two before I recovered with a bit more focus. I wasn’t the foremost optimizer in my club and chairman of RPG coordination for nothing…if anyone here could build a good Expert, it was me. It could have been worse, to be honest. I could have been a Commoner – or worse, a Samurai or Truenamer. Expert wasn’t horrible, particularly as I scanned over the rest of my sheet. Above average physical stats, high Intelligence, Average wisdom, and an absolutely horrid Charisma score, as expected. I definitely couldn't lift the weights my Strength indicated though, so I took a look at the Feats section. Sure enough, I had Flaws - Murky-Eyes and Overweight, the latter of which was apparently a refluffed Feeble. Harsh, and naturally, the attached bonus feats were Skill Focus (Knowledge: D&D) and Greater Skill Focus (Knowledge: D&D). Thanks, me.

For skills, I’d picked mostly Knowledges, but still had class ranks in Climb, Jump and Tumble – relics of my martial arts training from pre-college, most likely. Autohypnosis had ranks as well, which was odd but made sense; I had a fairly good memory for random trivia. Spot, Listen, and best of all, Use Magic Device. No ranks as of yet, but it was marked as a class skill. My Charisma penalty would hurt that, but it was still the best skill in the game. I’d just have to find some magic items to use first.

Unfortunately for me, I was jerked out of my reverie by a couple of screaming freshmen, terrified out of their wits as they ran past down the path. A few seconds later, what looked like a hobo went tearing after them…except even the nastiest, filthiest hobo didn’t have tusks, and they didn’t usually carry falchions. Another orc followed the first as I just stared, and they disappeared around the science building. Then another couple of students came pelting along, only to stop in front of me this time. One was big and muscled, in a football jersey and carrying a thick branch that must have been broken off a tree; the second had a switchblade in each hand, and the third was unarmed except for the cross pendant dangling from one clenched fist, also the one who spoke up.

“Hey! Orcs, big ugly things with tusks and swords. Did you see where they went?”

Still bemused, I nodded and pointed after the monsters. “Yeah, they were chasing a couple of freshmen. Hopefully they don’t get cornered by the construction fences.”

“Thanks, man.” The trio ran off, as what I presumed to be the cleric barked orders at his friends. “They’re strong, but dumb; if they crit with those swords though, you’re probably dead. Todd, don’t try to Power Attack, your base damage will be enough to kill them, and if it’s not, Fred’s backstab will…” A rogue, fighter, and cleric then. Melee-heavy, but pretty resilient, and I’d at least pointed them in the right direction. I…

I wasn’t just an NPC.
I was a quest giver.
No – no, this wasn’t going to work at all. I refused to be defined not only by my lack of class abilities, but by a purpose of existence in giving directions to those who did. PHB2 had retraining rules, and I was going to use them. A phrase I’d used frequently in college came to mind, though in a context I’d never expected to use it.

Time to hit the books.


Update The Third: A Reference For The Rest of Us

Three hours of poring through every book I owned, and I’d narrowed down my options. Apparently, retraining worked differently than the initial class selection or assignment – if you were replacing an existing class level, you had to actually put in the work for it, instead of it being an instantaneous process like leveling up or multiclassing. How I knew this was a mystery, but it was a pretty big limiter, since the routes to instant power were pretty rare, and they all involved getting power from someone or something else. Sorcerer was out of the question, and my Lawful Neutral alignment barred me from Paladin. Pun intended, there was no way in hell I was willing to choose Warlock. Then my eyes fell on the Tome of Magic, and I got to thinking…what about Binder? Sure, vestiges were supposed to be creepy as all get-out, but they didn’t ask for much, and there would be a lot of them to choose from. Considering how detached I felt from the rest of humanity most of the time, hanging out with vestiges might suit me. And with my stat spread, I was going to be at best decent in anything, so versatility would be important. Another roll for Autohynosis – I couldn’t actually visualize what I had ‘rolled’, but I knew the feeling of success or failure – and I was scribbing edits to the piece of paper that represented me. When the trance broke, I was now looking at myself as a first-level Binder…and apparently, gestalted with Factotum. I hadn’t intended that, or even known it was an option, but I wasn’t complaining. Unfortunately again, I was now a binder without anything to bind. Tome of Magic told me a lot about the various vestiges, but not the specifics for summoning them. Those would be written somewhere else.

The university library was unusually busy for a break weekend – at least a dozen people or more, scattered over the tables poring through large and heavy books. Some looked like they were bound in leather, which was decidedly odd…nothing in the library collection was that old, or had been until today. Probably spellbooks then – handy, but I doubted the kind of books I was looking for would be in the card catalogue. I unobtrusively drifted upstairs and towards the back. Midway through the history section, one particularly dusty-looking tome caught my eye, both for the layer of dust and the line of odd symbols along its spine. Liber Paciscor was the title; I pulled it off the shelf, flipped it open at random, and found detailed step-by-step guidelines for invoking Haures, the Dreaming Duke. That vestige specifically was way out of my league, but some of the lesser ones weren’t. I needed to find a private space to work. The library had study rooms in the basement, and they were mostly soundproofed, so I hefted the pact book under one arm and ventured back downstairs, choosing the room furthest from the staircase and shutting the door securely behind me. For good measure, I barricaded the door with the small study table, then hunted a black Sharpie marker out of my backpack and carefully, hesitantly started drawing a seal on the tiled floor.

It was slow going, made worse by my need to stop and check my work against the diagram in the book every few inches. If the seal in question hadn’t been so simple, it probably would have taken forever – as-is, I spent almost fifteen minutes getting it just right. I’d improve with practice, hopefully. On to step two: the actual summoning. Book in hand, I read the short invocation printed there, and stooped down to touch my fingers to the outer circle. “Aym, Queen Avarice, appear so that I might strike a bargain with thee.”

Initially, nothing happened, and I started to inspect the seal diagram for errors. I had to stop, though, as it suddenly filled with a layer of swirling translucent mist like someone had smuggled in a block of dry ice. It was only ankle-deep, and strangely confined inside the outer ring…then she appeared. Out of the mist, a thick, powerful woman’s body rose up, wrapped in incredibly fancy jewel-studded clothing and robes. The resemblance to a squat, somewhat plump human ended at her shoulders and waist. Below, she sat atop two thick, coiled worm-like tendrils instead of legs; above, she had one humanoid head atop her neck and two more sprouting from her shoulders – a lion, and a bull. Ugly, and more than a bit intimidating, but the Liber Paciscor had been written more like Pact Magic For Dummies than the dry arcane tome that its pretentious title would indicate. The instructions for bargaining with Aym were straightforward, and I was prepared.

She looked at me, one hand clutching her glowing branding iron, the other arm flexing as it held the lion’s jaws shut. ” Ye hae called me frae naethin', human, an' spick naethin'. whit dae ye offer me 'at is worth mah time?” Huh. I guess dwarves really did sound like Scottish people. Or maybe that was my imagination, since dwarves probably didn’t speak English, and I could understand her perfectly.

“I offer you more than gold, Queen Avarice. I offer you life, the chance to life and experience the world outside oblivion.” As instructed by the book, I took a gold coin – a Sacagawea dollar, the only one I owned – and laid it down just outside the pact circle. Her eyes glittered, and she leaned down to swipe at the coin with the brand in her hand, only to find that the red-hot instrument could not cross the ring I had inscribed. She made several more attempts before giving up, returning to look at me with greedy eyes.

“A ruthless an' feel a body, ye ur. an' whit is th' price 'at ye tak' fur thes bargain?” That was harder to translate, but I got the gist of what she was saying.

“Only the gifts that you offer to any who carry you within them, Queen Aym. Your unrelenting stride, fiery aura, and the shattering touch of your hand. Share with me your powers, and you will live again for a day as I do.” She was silent for several seconds, even as the bull’s head tossed back and forth nervously while the lion’s head trashed helplessly beneath her grip.

”We hae a deal 'en, human. spirit tae sool, we ur sealed as a body. hauld it yer hain.” Hesitant again, I did so, placing my open palm flat against the air on the very edge of the ring she was confined to. As she reached out with the branding iron, I felt the subconscious tug of a ‘die’ being rolled, and the sinking feeling of failure coincided with the sudden burning pain against my hand as the brand made contact. It was all in my mind, but still hurt – I yelled in pain, stumbling backwards against the wall and clutching my hand. Even as I did so, Aym vanished, dissolving into thin air, and a star-shaped mark of reddened tissue appeared on my palm. A poor pact then, but that was only to be expected. I’d chosen Aym carefully too, since her sign could be concealed and her influence on me wasn’t going to be terribly obtrusive like some of the others. I could still feel her, though, a very odd sensation similar to knowing that someone is right behind you and peering over your shoulder, but never seeing them if you turn around. It’d take some getting used to for certain, but for now I felt like going to test my new abilities out.


Update The Fourth: Timesharing Your Soul For Fun And Profit

The quickest way to do that was going to find a random encounter. I could always hope to run across something weird like the orcs, but that couldn’t be counted on. I decided to go looking for trouble instead – one ‘benefit’ to living in a major city like this was that trouble wasn’t far away. Philadelphia was better than it used to be, but it still had its bad spots, and lots of them. The boundaries of Campus Security’s patrol area were right up against one of these bad spots, so I cheerfully wandered off into the dregs of Philly, a juicy, obvious, and apparently oblivious target for any of the less savory inhabitants of the area.

Unsurprisingly, it didn’t take long. The entire city was on edge, even the parts that hadn’t worked out what was going on. It only took me two shortcuts through allies before I heard a voice behind me.

“Hey buddy…”

I turned around, and found a common-grade street thug – a few years older than I was, dressed in low-hanging pants and a ragged T-shirt. The blade in one hand looked deadly enough, though; a kitchen knife if I guessed right. That was hopeful, since it meant he probably had NPC class levels to be using a simple weapon. Rather than get stuck in, though, I decided to try a different tactic at first. I only had 8 hit points, after all – two lucky hits could do me in. “Buddy yourself, homeboy. What do you want?”

He licked his lips, eyes sort of bloodshot as he stepped closer. Probably a druggie then. “This alley has a toll to pass – your phone and wallet. Pay up quick, and I won’t stick you.”

I had to laugh…he had no idea what he was dealing with. To him, I was just another stupid rich college student, but the mockery made him confused and angry. “I’m serious, punk! Gimme your stuff or I’ll cut you!”

He wanted my stuff? My stuff!? I’d be dead and in pieces before I gave him a penny! No, he’d be dead and in pieces before he got a penny of mine! I’d rip him to shreds, melt him to ashes, and take whatever he had to be my own! I’d…wooooah there. Calm down. Aym was right though, it was time to stop messing around, with how he was waving that knife.

“I’ve got a better plan, homie. Howbout you put the knife down, and walk away, and I won’t hurt you.”

This threw him for a loop, but he recovered and waved the knife threateningly. “What’s a fat cracker like you gonna do? Sit on me?”

I responded by theatrically snapping my fingers, and simultaneously activating my Halo of Fire ability. Out of nowhere, crackling flames ignited around my ankles and spread up to cover my entire body in a sheath of fire. “No, I think I’ll cook you alive and dump your ashes in the Schuylkill.”

He paled, and stumbled backwards as I took my own step forward. “Oh…oh God…you’re one of them? You’re one of those freaks! Get away from me, man! I won’t hurt you, just go away!”

My smile widened, and I reached out with a hand enveloped in flames not even singing my bare skin. “Knife. Down.”

The ‘dice’ rolled for the Intimidate check; I still had my Charisma penalty, but the skill ranks and circumstance bonus for being on fire were hefty. It felt different this time, a sort of counter-pressure as he reflexively made his opposed ‘roll’, failing horribly. His response was a mixture of babbling and swearing as he threw the knife down and pelted out of the alley, screaming in terror. I just stood there – for a moment, nothing happened, then all of a sudden I was swamped with a sudden blast of the most intense feeling I’d ever experienced. It was like swallowing a huge mouthful of pure sugar while having Red Bull injected straight into my veins – amazing, fantastic – and short-lived. That must have been what gaining experience felt like, and I LIKED it. No wonder adventurers persisted in their suicidal dungeon delving, the experience could be addictive. I’d have to keep myself in check, but for now, there had to be more thugs lurking around somewhere.


Update 4.5: Too Sleepy For a Witty Title

The rest of the afternoon went by relatively smoothly. I was able to pull the ‘man-on-fire’ stunt on two other thugs, with another heady rush of XP each time. My fourth victim, though, must have been already hopped up on crack or something when I ran into him. He didn’t even stop for words, just came at me swinging a pocketknife wildly. I ducked the first attack, and came up wrapped in flames again – he was already coming around on the backswing, though, and didn’t slow down. Dodging out of the way didn’t work as well this time, and I felt the edge of the knife slice into my arm.

Aside from the presumably non-lethal damage of martial arts sparring, the worst injury I could remember suffering was splitting my forehead open on a table as a small child…so when that knife gashed me, it HURT. Judging by the junkie’s scream of pain, the flames had seared him pretty badly as well; still, I reacted instinctively by striking back at him open-handed – my body weight and positioning were too far off to throw a proper punch, but all I needed to do was touch him. Another scream, and he crumpled to the ground limply as flames licked at his clothing, and I clutched at the seeping gash on my bicep. It was fairly shallow as wounds go…at least, it didn’t seem to have cut muscle and and definitely hadn’t reached bone. The junkie was in worse shape than I was, naturally – unconscious, and ‘bleeding’ out from his burns. Letting him die was further than I wanted to go just then, but there was no water in sight. Plenty of dirt in an alley, though, so I settled for kicking some dirt and slapping at him until the flames went out, his ragged breathing steadying.

Right about then, the rush hit me. It was the biggest one yet, and seemed to go on longer, culminating in a satisfying fuzziness instead of the tingling hunger for more that previous XP gains had given me. At a guess, I assumed that beating the junkie had earned me a second level, though it wasn’t until I got back to my dorm room (after bandaging my arm with a piece of the junkie’s shirt) and tranced into a new character sheet that I was certain. Interestingly, my Charisma score had gone up to 10 at some point; the only explanation I could work out was that the success of my hunts had been a major self-confidence boost, enough to equate to a stat increase. Still, I’d lost at least two hit points from that fight, and had definitely gone through my fair share of encounters for the day. Tomorrow could only get weirder, so I made a sandwich from the fridge and went to bed.

Hiro Protagonest
2011-03-27, 09:40 AM
Expert isn't that bad. Light armor is my favorite type anyway, simple weapons aren't that bad, and six skill ranks per level is good.

The Glyphstone
2011-03-27, 10:16 AM
That's what "I" was thinking too, right up until I started handing out quests to 'real' PCs.:smallyuk:

Zolkabro
2011-03-27, 10:35 AM
Oh, man, this is BRILLIANT! I love it, it's a fantastic take on the idea. This could well be the best one yet!

I love the whole idea of it. Hilarious idea to make him a quest giver, and I love the way he reacts when he realises.

I'm not sure what class he's going to be, and the clever thing is that because he already has a class (but is going to change it) we have almost no clues whatsoever as to what his class will be.
I've got loads of ideas, but no way to narrow it down to just a few classes...
You've given us a right puzzle here, Glyphstone!

Cogidubnus
2011-03-27, 03:21 PM
That was thoroughly enjoyable :smallbiggrin:

What's going to be more entertaining is filtering this information via Youtube and GitP to my characters over their next week.

Notice how none of them have gone near the internet for two days? Bound to change eventually.

Gorgondantess
2011-03-27, 03:35 PM
I feel really, really sorry for your friend, being a monk and all.:smallfrown:

Hazzardevil
2011-03-27, 03:36 PM
:smallamused:Wow, I think I have a rival I can possibly beat at story writing. very interesting and you have given me some ideas for the plot.
Edit: Placing bets on what he'll retrain into! I'm expecting factotum.

The Glyphstone
2011-03-27, 04:21 PM
:smallamused:Wow, I think I have a rival I can possibly beat at story writing. very interesting and you have given me some ideas for the plot.
Edit: Placing bets on what he'll retrain into! I'm expecting factotum.

You got half of it, at least. Congratulations.


I feel really, really sorry for your friend, being a monk and all.:smallfrown:

He loves Monk - or at least, the guy he's based off of does. Even if he's weak, he'll be happy with it.

Gorgondantess
2011-03-27, 05:54 PM
You got half of it, at least. Congratulations.

...He's going to be a gestalt character?

The Glyphstone
2011-03-27, 06:34 PM
...He's going to be a gestalt character?

Everyone else is - blame Cog, he started it.

Tychris1
2011-03-28, 02:32 PM
Oh great, ANOTHER gestalt monk.

And I think you left me out in the OP.

The Glyphstone
2011-03-28, 02:58 PM
I don't think you had started when I wrote that.

If I decide to make 'Ralph' a recurring character/party member, he's the sort of person that would Gestalt Monk and Swordsage, for double the kung fu action.:smallcool:

Tychris1
2011-03-28, 03:20 PM
Ummm......... I created my first update on the 25th, you made yours at the 27th. I made mine before you made yours.

The Glyphstone
2011-03-28, 08:00 PM
I said when I wrote it, not when I posted it.:smallyuk:

EDIT: Third update is finished, working on the fourth.

Hiro Protagonest
2011-03-28, 08:24 PM
What book is factotum in?

The Glyphstone
2011-03-28, 08:36 PM
Dungeonscape, Aka It's Dark Inside. A very fun book, except for some of the monsters - they let some hack writer design an acid-breathing shark and shoved it in there.:smallsmile:

Hiro Protagonest
2011-03-28, 08:39 PM
Dungeonscape, Aka It's Dark Inside. A very fun book, except for some of the monsters - they let some hack writer design an acid-breathing shark and shoved it in there.:smallsmile:

So that's what that joke was in OotS!

Herpestidae
2011-03-28, 08:57 PM
So that's what that joke was in OotS!

Yeah.. .That Hack writer? Rich Burlew. Probably never heard of him.

Zolkabro
2011-03-29, 10:19 AM
I love the new part.
But I admit, I'm very unfamiliar with Binders. Could somebody fill me in?

Cogidubnus
2011-03-29, 12:22 PM
You excel, Glyphstone. If it was only slightly less impressive, I would feel upset at being outdone on my own project. As it stands, you simply make me love your writing.

Also, acid-breathing sharks are the best thing ever.

Hiro Protagonest
2011-03-29, 12:51 PM
I love the new part.
But I admit, I'm very unfamiliar with Binders. Could somebody fill me in?
I'm pretty sure it's somewhere in between the 4e warlock vestige pact and the eberron elemental binder. But I don't have tome of magic.

Zolkabro
2011-03-29, 01:05 PM
I'm pretty sure it's somewhere in between the 4e warlock vestige pact and the eberron elemental binder. But I don't have tome of magic.

Neither do I. I only have two non-core books.
Could somebody who does please tell me about Binders?

The Glyphstone
2011-03-29, 01:16 PM
I love the new part.
But I admit, I'm very unfamiliar with Binders. Could somebody fill me in?

It's in Tome of Magic, rgarded as the only good thing printed there. The concept is a person who makes temporary pacts with things called vestiges - basically, entities that for one reason or another technically don't exist anymore; they're not alive or dead, 'surviving' outside of reality until someon calls them back. Binders make deals with these beings, allowing them to basically piggyback on the binder's soul for a day. The binder gets to draw on a set of thematic powers related to the vestige's history and personality, and the vestige gets to experience the real world again for a bit, if secondhand.

Mechanically, it's a very versatile class, generally a low Tier 3 - there's 32 different vestiges of varying power levels (you get the better ones with more binder levels), and you can choose 1-3 of them to bind each day. If you manage to establish dominance during the bargaining, it's a "good pact", and you suffer no penalties. Otherwise, a "poor pact" lets the vestige influence your behavior in small ways, and you manifest a physical change somewhere on your body. Some vestige powers can only be used if you show the sign (Amon's horns give you a gore attack, for example).

Zolkabro
2011-03-29, 01:22 PM
It's in Tome of Magic, rgarded as the only good thing printed there. The concept is a person who makes temporary pacts with things called vestiges - basically, entities that for one reason or another technically don't exist anymore; they're not alive or dead, 'surviving' outside of reality until someon calls them back. Binders make deals with these beings, allowing them to basically piggyback on the binder's soul for a day. The binder gets to draw on a set of thematic powers related to the vestige's history and personality, and the vestige gets to experience the real world again for a bit, if secondhand.

Mechanically, it's a very versatile class, generally a low Tier 3 - there's 32 different vestiges of varying power levels (you get the better ones with more binder levels), and you can choose 1-3 of them to bind each day. If you manage to establish dominance during the bargaining, it's a "good pact", and you suffer no penalties. Otherwise, a "poor pact" lets the vestige influence your behavior in small ways, and you manifest a physical change somewhere on your body. Some vestige powers can only be used if you show the sign (Amon's horns give you a gore attack, for example).

Okay, very interesting, thanks a lot!
This seems like a very cool class.

Is it kind of like a Soul Splice? That's the idea I have. Not exactly like one of course, but the same kind of idea.

The Glyphstone
2011-03-29, 01:28 PM
Vaguely similar, though bindings are strictly limited to 24-hour spans, and can't be ended early except through a specific feat or outside intervention. Also, the potency and duration of most of your vestige-granted abilities is dependent on binder level, so unlike a soul splice, it actually matter how powerful you are normally - higher-level vestiges will only answer the call of sufficiently high-level binders.

The important bit to remember is that vestiges are strange - some of them may have been humanoids when they were alive, but they're something different now. Even a soul splice is picking up a dead person as a hitchhiker, but binding opens you up to something much more alien.

Zolkabro
2011-03-29, 02:33 PM
Very interesting...
I think I'd like to play one of these in a while, but my old D&D group had to split up and nobody else I know plays. I don't know where I could.
I haven't played D&D in a while, and I miss it. :smallfrown:

The Glyphstone
2011-03-29, 02:46 PM
does PbP not work for you for some reason?

Tychris1
2011-03-29, 02:52 PM
Nice, binder. Like allowing demons to possess you.... only less dangerous and evil inducing.

Is there a wiki of some kind with the Binder more thoroughly explained?

The Glyphstone
2011-03-29, 03:01 PM
Nothing that I know of, and it'd probably be illegal anyways since the class isn't OGL.

Zolkabro
2011-03-30, 10:27 AM
does PbP not work for you for some reason?

It's not that it doesn't work for me, it's just that in all three of the PbP games I've taken part in, people rarely posted, and eventually just stopped posting without saying they were quitting, until eventually it was just me left.
And that's including the DM! In my first ever game of D&D, the DM posted ridiculously rarely, driving the players insane.

After those three games I just got fed up with it and decided that PbP wasn't going to work.

Jallorn
2011-03-30, 11:35 AM
It's not that it doesn't work for me, it's just that in all three of the PbP games I've taken part in, people rarely posted, and eventually just stopped posting without saying they were quitting, until eventually it was just me left.
And that's including the DM! In my first ever game of D&D, the DM posted ridiculously rarely, driving the players insane.

After those three games I just got fed up with it and decided that PbP wasn't going to work.

That happened to me for about a year before I found stable games. Unfortunately, that's a hazard of PBP. But stick with it, you'll find at least one group to play with. Admittedly the only reason I stuck with it is because I've never been able to form a RL group here.

Yeah, hi, I'm lurking here to keep an eye on this very interesting and thus far well written story.

The Glyphstone
2011-03-31, 08:51 PM
Update 4 is loaded.

Zolkabro
2011-04-01, 11:17 AM
Hmm, is his alignment going to be affected by the spirit?
Good part though, nice and intense.

Lemonus
2011-04-01, 05:43 PM
I guess you would get a circumstance bonus to Intimidate checks if you're on fire.

DragonOfUndeath
2011-04-01, 07:41 PM
Probably a - on Diplomacy though

Herpestidae
2011-04-01, 11:54 PM
Probably a - on Diplomacy though

You can't debate with the guy who's on fire.

DragonOfUndeath
2011-04-02, 12:04 AM
Thats a good point, but try making a peace treaty when your head is on fire, no-one would want to risk it.

ragingrage
2011-04-03, 08:18 PM
Severe minus to bluff checks

Pants on fire! Pants on fire! :smallwink:

The Glyphstone
2011-04-03, 09:12 PM
No, Diplomacy gets a bonus when you offer 'not being set on fire' as a trade concession.:smallbiggrin:

Zolkabro
2011-04-04, 10:02 AM
No, Diplomacy gets a bonus when you offer 'not being set on fire' as a trade concession.:smallbiggrin:

You know, I couldn't agree more with Zombimode and Cog about you.

DragonOfUndeath
2011-04-04, 09:20 PM
Wouldn't that be just making an Intimidate check to get a bonus to Diplomacy?

Herpestidae
2011-04-04, 09:26 PM
Wouldn't that be just making an Intimidate check to get a bonus to Diplomacy?

"If you do what I say, I won't set you on fire" =\= "Do what I say, or I will set you on fire."

DragonOfUndeath
2011-04-04, 09:33 PM
When you are negotiating with someone who is on fire, I don't think you will point that out.

Zolkabro
2011-04-19, 11:32 AM
Bump!

This thread had fallen onto the next page of the Arts and Crafts section, so I thought I had better put it back into view or it would get lost.

fizzybobnewt
2011-04-19, 06:32 PM
Isn't bumping illegal?

The Glyphstone
2011-04-19, 06:44 PM
A bit bogged down with life atm.

Zolkabro
2011-04-20, 11:00 AM
Isn't bumping illegal?

I'm pretty sure it's allowed.
Glyph, you're a mod. Is bumping allowed?

The Glyphstone
2011-04-20, 11:39 AM
*shifty-eyes*

According to the rules, it's Minor Spam if it does nothing but bump the thread - "bump" or "this" or "+1" are given examples. But this is why we have multiple mods, for conflict of interest problems like this one:smallfrown: - there's always the Report Post button if you think a rule has been violated.

Zolkabro
2011-04-20, 12:30 PM
Well, I think that seeing as this thread is now alive again (which is what I was trying to accomplish), I think it was beneficial and should not be counted as spam.

Dragon Elite
2011-04-21, 09:46 AM
Great story, Glyphstone! I loved you descriptions of EXP-as-crack, they were funny.

Rheios
2011-04-23, 03:33 AM
I very much like what you've done so far. Paticularly starting you character/self(?) off with npc levels. I find it pretty creative. And I love both the binders and factotum class as they are, without a doubt, two truely epic classes. I'm looking forward to the first Arcane spell you pop off. Especially if its on an enemy PC who thinks they have you on the ropes.