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    Mithril Leaf's Avatar

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    Default Squishy Binder PrC: PEACH

    The Bound Scholar



    "I am currently studying Amon, the fire breath is pushed beyond it's normal levels by the application of my studies."
    -Shamus The Firey, Dragonborn Binder


    Bound Scholars are binders which have taken up the extensive study of a specific vestige. They use this knowledge to boost their vestige granted abilities and fight more effectively.

    Becoming a Bound Scholar
    To become a bound scholar, one only needs to take levels as a binder. Some binders find it helpful to study as a cloistered cleric prior to this, although it provides no benefit for bound scholars beyond the knowledge.
    However, to become a bound scholar, it does require that a binder is willing to devote herself to a single vestige for extended periods of time, although not permanently.

    ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
    Skills: Concentration 8 ranks, Knowledge(arcana) 4 ranks, Knowledge(history) 8 ranks, Knowledge(religion) 4 ranks, Knowledge(the planes) 4 ranks
    Feats: Favored Vestige (first studied vestige)
    Special: Able to bind a 4th-level vestige

    Class Skills
    The Bound Scholar's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff(Cha), Concentration(Con), Craft(Int), Decipher Script(Int), Diplomacy(Cha), Gather Information(Cha), Intimidate(Cha), Knowledge(all skills, taken individually)(Int), Profession(Wis), Sense Motive(Wis)
    Skills Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier

    Hit Die: d4

    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Studied Vestige, Friend of Favored, Hefty Devotion, Soul Binding +1

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Applied Knowledge +1, Soul Binding +2

    3rd|
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Skilled Learner, Soul Binding +3

    4th|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Applied Knowledge +2, Soul Binding +4

    5th|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Applied Knowledge +3, Free Binding, Rapid Binding, Soul Binding +5[/table]

    Soul Binding: At each bound scholar level, your soul binding ability improves as if you had also gained a level in the binder class. Thus, your bound scholar levels and binder levels stack for the purpose of determining your bonus on binding checks, the effectiveness of your vestige-granted abilities, your ability to bind higher-level vestiges, and the number of vestiges you can bind. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a binder would have gained.

    Studied Vestige (Ex): As a bound scholar you devote yourself to a single vestige in order to learn it's secrets. At level one you form a personal link with the vestige that you possess the favored vestige feat for. This vestige is the sole recipient of all bonuses from the bound scholar class.

    Change Studied (Ex): At every other level (including levels other than bound scholar levels) you may change your studied vestige, as well as the favored vestige feat and it's corresponding feat tree, to any other vestige you can bind. After completing such a study, you create a tradable manuscript about the vestige which grants a +5 bonus to all binding checks made with the completed vestige.

    Friend Of Favored (Su): You need not worry about making bad pacts with any vestige that you have the favored vestige feat for. You may also hide or reveal the vestige's sign at will, as the suppress sign class feature.

    Hefty Devotion (Ex): You need to bind with your studied vestige in order to study it and receive it's benefit. By entering the agreement that gives you the chance to learn from the vestige in depth, certain requirements are set. Any time that you don't have your studied vestige bound, you take a -4 penalty to your effective binder level for all purposes, including level of vestige that can be bound. You may always summon your studied vestige however.

    Applied Knowledge (Su): The secrets you have gained from studying your favored vestige allow you to enhance the binder level of that vestige beyond the feat. At level 2 you can boost the vestige's binder level by an additional +1 (for a total of +2). At level 4 and 5, it gains another +1 bonus (for a total of +4 including the feat at level 5).

    Skilled Learner (Ex): Your studies have granted you a bonus to your knowledge skills. You gain a bonus to all knowledge checks equal to 2 x your bound scholar levels.

    Free Binding (Su): By removing all bonuses to your EBL, you may bind your studied vestige without occupying a binding slot.

    Rapid Binding (Su): You have found the secret of directly summoning a vestige. When you have successfully made an agreement to study a vestige, you may freely expel or rebind it as a full round action.

    Playing a Bound Scholar
    Bound Scholars make greater pacts with vestiges to learn more about them and gain more of their powers. However, the agreements they make require keeping them bound to gain the advantages their knowledge would grant them. Because of their ability to complete their study, they can periodically upgrade their chosen vestige. Sadly, their study only offers them full benefits when they've made the proper agreements in full.
    Combat: Due to the low BAB and hit die of a bound scholar, they typically stay in the far back of the party during combat. Typically a mix of ranged attacks and debuffing make up their combat prowess. A few use the buffed powers of their studied vestige to make passable melee character.
    Advancement: Bound Scholars most often continue progression as binders, occasionally advancing as Knights Of The Sacred Seal or as Scions of Dantalion, occasionally both.
    Resources: Bound Scholars can generally rely upon other binders they meet, especially other bound scholars. To find others of their kind can be hard at times though. They are often assisted in return for their in depth knowledge of potential vestiges.

    Bound Scholars In The World
    "He taught me to how to bind Naberius and keep him in line. Helped me get this fancy hat for half off."
    -An unnamed but dazzling binder


    Bound Scholars are binders first and foremost, thus should be treated appropriately for their part of the world. Oftentimes this is some form of persecution, largely from the hands of relgious orders. Among other binders, bound scholars are considered fill the role of mentors or preachers of the merits of given vestiges. Some binders consider them fools for trading their strength of body for strength of mind and their versatility for devoted power. As a rule of thumb, they are well like among binders though.
    Daily Life: The binder typical begins a day by binding their studied vestige again, so that they can begin their lessons for the day. Then they bind whatever other vestiges seem likely to assist them over the course of the upcoming day.
    Notables: There aren't any confirmed bound scholar notables throughout history, but sometimes wizard or cloistered clerics have something that doesn't quite fit the normal abilities of such a class which would lead to the belief that they were a bound scholar in disguise.
    Organizations: It is most of the time too dangerous for binders to form any sort of organized group. However, in societies that tolerate binders, they often fill the role of sages and knowledge keepers in groups of binders.

    NPC Reaction
    Most common people don't know of the art of binding, limiting their reaction to Bound Scholars. However, religious orders often persecute binders with bound scholars holding a special place as knowledge banks of the heretical arts.

    Bound Scholars In The Game
    Bound Scholars focus on a single vestige and will probably stack a bunch of buffs on a solid chosen vestige. Since they'll pick a well scaling vestige for this most likely and can change it up every other level, they are fairly good for blasting. They lack in melee though, which is a fairly common and viable tactic for binders.
    Adaptation: If binding is common practice you could possible make them into some sort of base class variant akin to the cloistered cleric.
    Encounters: Bound Scholars hang in the back with the wizards and debuff or blast away.

    Notes: Pretty please don't combine this with bloodlines. Unless you're playing in a game with killer gnomes and blastificers, in which case go ahead and be a wizard 1/ bloodline 3/ binder 1/ anima mage 1/ bound scholar 3/ knight of the sacred seal 1/ scion of dantalion 1 and bind zcyrell to summon monster IX every 4 rounds at level 11. Don't tell your DM I said that though.
    Last edited by Mithril Leaf; 2012-09-07 at 07:59 PM.
    If you see me talking about Shaper Psions, assume that anything not poison immune within 100 feet will be dead.
    Quote Originally Posted by kardar233 View Post
    I was going to PM you about it because I wanted to know, but then you posted it later. Elegant solution. Watch out for Necropolitans.
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    Mithril Leaf's Avatar

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    Default Re: Squishy Binder PrC: PEACH

    Bumping it up, tell me if you love it, hate it, think it's balanced, unbalanced, or whatever. Some feedback would be wonderful.
    If you see me talking about Shaper Psions, assume that anything not poison immune within 100 feet will be dead.
    Quote Originally Posted by kardar233 View Post
    I was going to PM you about it because I wanted to know, but then you posted it later. Elegant solution. Watch out for Necropolitans.
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    Default Re: Squishy Binder PrC: PEACH

    Mechanics aren't bad, but it seems to be nigh identical to the Knight of the Sacred Seal PrC, which also focuses on a favored vestige, ecept the Knight has better HD and BAB progression and arguably save progression, as well as some slightly better class features, although this also has its areas to shine.
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    Default Re: Squishy Binder PrC: PEACH

    I'm not fond of Hefty Donation. I'm fine with requiring you to always have X vestige bound to benefit from the class features of a binder prestige class, but Hefty Donation is a massive kick in the teeth. Demanding two vestige slots is a very large penalty to my mind, and I'm not convinced this class is worth it. Worse, if we take a literal reading to it, Hefty Donation's EBL penalty can make the binder no longer able to actually bind the studied vestige at all, meaning that a single class binder would be objectively superior.

    On a relatively minor note, you seem to have forgotten to update the table after you decided that Applied Knowledge would progress every level save 3rd. Also, I suggest you split apart the 'change studied+favored vestige' and the Soul binding class feature.

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    Default Re: Squishy Binder PrC: PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Vauron View Post
    I'm not fond of Hefty Donation. I'm fine with requiring you to always have X vestige bound to benefit from the class features of a binder prestige class, but Hefty Donation is a massive kick in the teeth. Demanding two vestige slots is a very large penalty to my mind, and I'm not convinced this class is worth it. Worse, if we take a literal reading to it, Hefty Donation's EBL penalty can make the binder no longer able to actually bind the studied vestige at all, meaning that a single class binder would be objectively superior.

    On a relatively minor note, you seem to have forgotten to update the table after you decided that Applied Knowledge would progress every level save 3rd. Also, I suggest you split apart the 'change studied+favored vestige' and the Soul binding class feature.
    Keep in mind that Hefty Devotion only applies until level 3. I've updated the ability so it makes more sense. Thoughts now?
    If you see me talking about Shaper Psions, assume that anything not poison immune within 100 feet will be dead.
    Quote Originally Posted by kardar233 View Post
    I was going to PM you about it because I wanted to know, but then you posted it later. Elegant solution. Watch out for Necropolitans.
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    Flumph

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    Default Re: Squishy Binder PrC: PEACH

    It is underpowered and possibly damaging to an overall binder. While ignoring the fact that all it gets is an arcane caster frame with better skills what you walk away with is a +3 binding level to one vestige while being able to bind or expel it as full round at which you take a -4 penalty to everything else when it is gone. There is also the issue of it occupying two slots for a few levels on a class that is already begging for more. There is little reason to take this much of a hit for the benefit of one vestige known much less this hit.

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    Default Re: Squishy Binder PrC: PEACH

    Studied Vestige makes it sound like the "Soul Binding" stacking only works with that Vestige, which contradicts the fact that it effects the number of vestiges you can bind, as well as a few other things.

    EDIT: "Change Studied" should be a 1st level ability of the class.

    I thought "Surpress Sign" was a decision you made when you bound each vestige, rather than swapping any time you felt like it?
    Last edited by DracoDei; 2012-09-06 at 07:29 PM.
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    Default Re: Squishy Binder PrC: PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Tome of Magic
    At 2nd level and higher, when you make a good pact, you can choose not to exhibit the physical sign that normally accompanies a pact with a vestige. You can suppress or reveal the sign at will as a swift action. With a poor pact, you gain the powers of the vestige, but you cannot suppress its sign. You show it for the duration of the pact and are influenced by it as normal.
    Nope! Incidentally, this means that Friend of the Favored does nothing more than ensure that you automatically make a good pact with a vestige you favor. Or at least I can't think of any build off the top of my head that lets you take only one level in binder before plunging into prestige classes.

    I still don't feel like anything this class gives can compare with the cost of one of your very few simultaneous pacts you can have. While I may be alone in thinking this, I don't think its a good design choice to make a character weaker than they were before taking your class for a few levels before letting them not suck again.

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    Flumph

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    Default Re: Squishy Binder PrC: PEACH

    What you need to do to make this PrC worth it is expand binding. First I say bump it up to d6, there is no reason why this class only should have an arcane caster frame. Secondly, I think you could make some use out of the knowledge skills to discover more about the vestige. This wouldn't necessarily have to equal new abilities for every vestige but maybe increase what is already given.

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    Default Re: Squishy Binder PrC: PEACH

    Alright, bam. Boosted it's power level fairly significantly. Check it out.
    If you see me talking about Shaper Psions, assume that anything not poison immune within 100 feet will be dead.
    Quote Originally Posted by kardar233 View Post
    I was going to PM you about it because I wanted to know, but then you posted it later. Elegant solution. Watch out for Necropolitans.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Squishy Binder PrC: PEACH

    It is better, gives a little more on hand versatility and coincidies with its theme more.

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    Default Re: Squishy Binder PrC: PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Amnoriath View Post
    It is better, gives a little more on hand versatility and coincidies with its theme more.
    About on par with the rest of the binder PrCs?
    If you see me talking about Shaper Psions, assume that anything not poison immune within 100 feet will be dead.
    Quote Originally Posted by kardar233 View Post
    I was going to PM you about it because I wanted to know, but then you posted it later. Elegant solution. Watch out for Necropolitans.
    My Homebrew Signature such as it is.

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    Flumph

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    Default Re: Squishy Binder PrC: PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Mithril Leaf View Post
    About on par with the rest of the binder PrCs?
    I would say so, you give an extra vestige while also having the option to be a little more ahead of the curve in scaling abilities and can do so with different vestiges over time.

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