"Let's make a deal."
Image credit MamonnA of deviantart.com
Power comes in many shapes and sizes, but perhaps the most underrated and most useful of all is the power of persuasion. Convincing other people to do your work for you is way better than actually having to learn to do stuff yourself. Gramarists who discover this tend to delve into more exotic ways of getting people to do stuff for them, and those who delve deep enough and dark enough might become contractors
. Contractors are gramarists who have reached an agreement with the powers of the Lower Planes to requisition fiendish labourers and Outside help. Beyond these terms, contractors also learn to spread their talent for coercion to the great forces beyond the cosmos, the vestigest hat lie between Planes. A contractor is a master of manipulation, deception, and above all else, control.
To become a contractor you must meet all of the following requirements.
: Any two ALCH principles
: Bluff 8 ranks, Diplomacy 10 ranks, Knowledge (the Planes) 3 ranks
: Must make contact with a high-ranking entity from the Lower Planes
: Must be specialized in Alchemetry
Skill Points at Each Additional Level
: 6 + Int modifier
: The contractor's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Autohypnosis (Wis), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (architecture and engineering) (Int), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Knowledge (the Planes) (Int), Knowledge (psionics) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Listen (Wis), Open Lock (Dex), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
|1st||+0||+0||+0||+2||Binder's Pact, Fiendish license, Obedience Sigil|
|10th||+5||+3||+3||+7||Alchemastery, solomon's key|
All of the following are class features of the contractor.
Weapon and Armour Proficiencies
: As a contractor, you gain no additional weapon or armour proficiencies.
Fiendish License (Ex)
: As a contractor, you have a fiendish license to do business on the Lower Planes, which gives you some precedent and prestige in negotiations with Outsiders from those regions. Your fiendish license is an actual piece of ID that you need to carry on you whenever you want to make use of any of the abilities it authorizes. You gain various abilities based on your fiendish rank, which is the sum of your class level and your Charisma modifier. Only permanent changes to your Charisma result in an increase in your fiendish rank. This rank is also what various baatezu can detect your rank as, as described in Fiendish Codex II
|Fiendish Rank||Licensed Ability|
|13||Not in it for the Money|
Binder's Pact (Su)
- Silver Tongue: Your dealings with the denizens of the Lower Planes have granted you some insight into their manipulation and deal-making techniques. You gain an unholy bonus to Diplomacy and straight-up Charisma checks equal to half your class level, and this bonus is doubled against Good-aligned creatures.
- Faust's Enclosure: To conduct a deal you need to lay down certain ground rules, which is difficult to do when people can just teleport away from you. At will you can use magic circle against evil and dimensional anchor effects as spell-like abilities. Your caster level for these effects is equal to your Hit Dice.
- Negotiation: You've been authorized to contract fiends for assignment in the Material Plane. You can use a lesser planar binding effect at will as a spell-like ability and with a caster level equal to your Hit Dice. You can only call Outsiders with the Evil subtype with this binding, and you gain a +3 bonus on the Charisma check to compel them to do your bidding if the task or assignment furthers the aims of your fiendish patron.
- Overseer: It's important to make sure that a job gets done and done well. You can include a clause in your bindings that allows managerial oversight. If you beat the opposed Charisma check on your negotiation ability by at least 5, you can initiate a sense link effect with the fiend at will. Your manifester level for this effect is equal to your Hit Dice. Fot every 4 ranks beyond 6, you can link to an additional sense simultaneously.
- Outside Insurance: It always pays to have insurance. If you beat the opposed Charisma check on your negotiation ability by 10 or more, you can place the fiend on retainer as insurance. The fiend is dismissed from immediate service, and they can keep any payment you've offered them. However, if a specific set of circumstances occurs (such as your death, but really anything that's specified during the binding) they are placed under a geas to follow a specific set of instructions determined during the negotiation. Once they have fulfilled the instructions, they are released from the geas and the transaction is complete.
- Talented Negotiator: The Hit Die limit for your negotiation ability increases to 12 HD.
- SOP: It's standard procedure to have the personal identification of any fiendish employee on file. If you beat the opposed Charisma check during your negotiation ability by 5 or more, the fiend is obliged to give you their name. If you beat the check by 15 or more, they are compelled to tell you their truename, if they know it.
- Expert Negotiator: The Hit Die limit for your negotiation ability increases to 18 HD.
- Not in it for the Money: You can now pay for service in a currency that fiends actually care about: souls. Instead of money or gold, you gain a bonus on the Charisma check for your negotiation ability if you present the fiend with a soul (trapped such as with a trap the soul effect) equal to +1 for every 6 Hit Dice of the trapped soul. Speaking of which, you're now authorized to collect souls. Once per day per point of your Charisma modifier, you can use a trap the soul effect as a spell-like ability with a caster level equal to your Hit Dice.
- Grand Negotiator: The Hit Die limit for your negotiation ability increases to your ranks in Diplomacy (if that would be greater than 18).
- Indentured Service: There's no service like continual service. For every 10 points you beat the opposed Charisma check of a negotiation by, the fiend is compelled to assist you for one additional task beyond the first. Extra tasks are determined after the initial roll, and can be only as hazardous or dangerous to the fiend as the initial task.
: Your powers of negotiation are not just limited to fiends and atomic spirits. They extend into the furthest reach of the unknown, souls. At 1st level, can enter a Pact with creatures trapped inside a Obedience Sigil. The Contractor can only make a pact with creature he can bind.
The Contractor is free to talk with the trapped creature. He can then try to convince a trapped creature to do the Binding willingly. This generally results in a bargin between the creature and the Contractor. The cost can be gold, souls, a deed in return, experience and more. The exact details depend on the trapped creature and the pact so the specifics are determined by the DM and player.
To make a Binder's Pact with a trapped creature; a Contractor can either force the creature into submission or try and persuade it. Either way the Contractor must then make a Will Check + half his Effective Binder Level (round down) to the check (DC is Base DC of the Deed + 1/2 Trapped Creatures Spell Resistance + Trapped Creatures Will Save). Failure on this check release the target from the Obedience Sigil.
If the trapped creature is willing then the checks DC is only the Base DC.
What a Contractor can only bind a soul to a deed .
Once bound to an act the creature then must then do the deed. Once the deed is complete the soul is free. A pact can also be ended by the Contractor who created it as a swift action.
To determine how powerful you can make the effects your binding is dependent on your EBL (Effective Binder Level), your Effective Binder Level is equal to your Contractor Level plus any additional modifiers.
A Contractor can have a number of pacts determined by level plus half your intelligence modifier (Rounded Down). If the creature is willing, then this pact doesn't expend a Pact, instead 1 slot is expended for every three willing pacts.
If a Contractor already possessed this ability, it stacks for the purposes of EBL and number of Pact Slots.
A Contractor can create an Obedience Sigil as a full-round action. This appears as a non-mobile ring which has a rune in the center. A Obedience Sigil is invisible except for the Contractor who created it, but if activated it loses this trait and becomes visable.
The size of a Obedience Sigil is determined by a Contractor's Effective Binding Level. The table below notes the maximum size the can be created, but a Contractor can choose to create smaller Obedience Sigil's.
|1-4||5 ft. by 5 ft.|
|5-8||10 ft. by 10 ft.|
|9-12||20 ft. by 20 ft.|
|13-16||40 ft. by 40 ft.|
|17-20||80 ft. by 80 ft.|
If an Outsider, enters a Obedience Sigil the Contractor immediate becomes aware of this and can spend an immediate action to activate the Obedience Sigil.
Once activated the creature can't exit the circle by physical or magical means. An Obedience Sigil can be dispelled as a free action by the Contractor that created it, or by a third party casting Dispel Magic or similar spells (In which case its caster level is equal to the Contractor's class level)
A Contractor can only have a number of Obedience Sigils equal to his Contractor level in existence at one time. A creature can try and escape the Sigil once every day as a full-round action. To escape it must succeed on a Will Save (DC=10 + Effective Binder Level + Wisdom Modifier). If it succeeds on the escape it is no longer bound by the Sigil.
You can trap summoned creatures in the Obedience Sigil but they only remain inside the binding one week or the spells duration (Whichever is longer), if a Contractor hasn't successful made a Binder's Pact with the summoned creature within the allotted escape time, it immediately escapes (No save required). If the Contractor succeeds on a Binder's Pact within the duration, the summoned creature must remain until the Pact has ended.
Once a creature is bound or escapes then the Sigil disappears. If not dismissed or used (by successfully binding a creature or the creature escaping) the Sigil will last indefinitely.
: Your fiendish insight allows you to delve deeper into your command of the atomic. In particular, the elder engineers of the Lower Planes can lend you their advice about the highest forms of metal. At 2nd level and every two levels thereafter, you learn a new discovery
which relates to the discipline of Alchemetry from the following list.
Principles of Gramarie
- Amazing Alkahest: Your alkahest is an incredibly great solvent. Any alkahest solution that you create can now dissolve any inanimate object, not just a planetary metal. Otherwise, this follows all of the same rules for dissolving a planetary metal.
- Continual Carmot: Carmot that you create now provides not only preservation, but restoration as well. Any object under its effects repairs itself at a rate of 1 hit point per round. Similarly, any creature under its effects gains regeneration 1.
- Lethargic Lead: Enclosures surrounded by your cursed lead are now extremely slow, to the point where they have an equal and opposite effect to that of quicksilver. Objects and structures made from your cursed lead now experience time at a slower rate than other materials; for all purposes, they experience one round for every two normal rounds. Spaces, creatures, and objects completely enclosed by your cursed lead experience the same effect
- Mysterious Moonsteel: Moonsteel that you create is partially made out of moonbeams. It weighs nothing at all, no matter how much of it there is. Anything inside of a moonsteel enclosure is treated as being under a perpetual blink effect.
- Oefficient Orichalcum: You must be at your 10th class level to select this discovery. Orichalcum that you create is especially great at channeling puissance in it. Circuits that are set up between a wood transformer and a battery made out of your orichalcum no longer lose an ebb to inefficiency in the transfer. In addition, your orichalcum can now hold twice the number of ebbs that the same volume could normally hold.
- Phlegmatic Phlogiston: Your phlogiston is especially pfiery! The heat aura around it radiates out an additional 5ft., and the area that would have been in the aura before now burns white-hot at a temperature of 2,000 degrees Centigrade.
- Platinum Standard: You must be at your 10th class level to select this discovery. You can now transmute other metals into platinum with ALCH 286, but at a 10:1 ratio (that is, you only end up with 1/10 the volume you started with). The DC for platinum is 65.
- Quixotic Quicksilver: Your quicksilver's especially quick. Quicksilver's elemental time trait now applies to anything that is touching at least half a cubic foot of quicksilver (479 fluid ounces).
- Square-Cube Law: Learning this discovery allows you greater insight into the nature of three-dimensional structures. Your ALCH principles can now target any applicable body which has a volume of no more than 81 cubic feet and a weight of no more than 350,000 lb.
- Sublime Sunmetal: Sunmetal that you create is now extremely radiomantic. It produces an aura with a radius of 5ft. (plus 5ft. for every size category of the sunmetal body beyond Medium) in which its handling effect occurs. The negative levels from the sunmetal exploding are now equal to one-tenth of the ebbs channeled into it (minimum 10 negative levels).
- Very Irregular Properties: Energy exists not in a vacuum, but in conjunction with other kinds of energy. Discovering this allows you to place two ALCH 202 qualities on a given body at the same time.
: You continue to advance your study of gramarie. At 2nd level, and again whenever indicated on the class table, you learn a new principle of gramarie that you qualify for. At 7th level you gain access to Doctorate-level principles, and can refer to yourself as a doctor of any discipline you attain that level of knowledge in.
Solomon's Key (Su)
: At 10th level, your talent in negotiating extraplanar favours has reached its zenith. Whenever you make use of the spectroconstruction class feature, you're no longer just calling up unskilled labourers. Instead, the spirits you invoke are borrowed from the souls of architects and engineers who wound up in the Lower Planes. Spectroconstruction now allows you to craft things which require intricate craftsmanship, using your Diplomacy check instead of any necessary Craft check for the labour. In addition, you can trade regular labour for a single preparation on your behalf of ALCH 101, at a rate of 100 hours of unskilled labour for every use of the principle over the half-hour of spectroconstruction.