View Full Version : The Bound [3.5 ToB PrC] (PEACH)

2010-04-10, 10:26 PM
"The weight of the world seems but a feather compared to the regrets I bear." --Alika, one of the Bound

Chance is uncaring and ruthless, capricious, chaotic, dangerous. A cruel twist of fate can rob a girl of her family or a man at his chance for vengeance. Law and order are bastions of hope against such unsympathetic dangers, but even the law can be twisted against its defenders. Such is the misfortune that leads a man or woman to become one of the Bound.

The Bound are the most stalwart defenders of law, bringing order to the most chaotic of foes. They wear their chains as a symbol of their own failures, but also as a badge of service, as a public promise that the law will be upheld.

To become one of the bound, the primary requirement is to have been forced to do what you personally want least. The king required by law to execute his best friend, the knight who must leave his love to die in order to protect the many, the guard who must let the murderer go because of loopholes in the law, all might qualify for becoming one of the Bound.

However, one's reaction to these unhappy circumstances is also key. The king might pardon his friend, whatever the law says; such would not be one of the Bound. The guard might let the murderer go, but take no responsibility, blaming the law and those who wrote it, absolving himself of any part in the injustice. Such would not make one of the Bound.

The one who becomes one of the Bound might be the knight, who following his love's death, punishes himself for allowing this to pass, binding himself in chains and bearing the weight of his regret wherever he goes, a constant reminder of his failure. This is one of the Bound.

Any lawful.
Martial Maneuvers
Any two Martial maneuvers, including at least one Stance.
Base Attack Bonus
Law Devotion(CChamp)
Escape Artist 4 ranks.
Martial Lore 8 ranks.
Use Rope 4 ranks.
Must have been forced by duty, honor, or obedience to law, to actively engage in activities that caused deep personal anguish and regret, or prevented by the same from doing what one had sworn to do.


Class Skills
The Bound's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Autohypnosis (Wis), Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Disable Device (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Martial Lore (Int), Open Lock (Dex), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), and Use Rope (Dex).
Skills Points at Each Level: 4 + Int

Hit Dice: d10

_Level_ |
_BAB_ |
_Fort_ |
_Ref_ |
_Will_ | _Special___________ |
_M. Known_ |
_M. Readied_ |

1st |
+1 |
+2 |
+0 |
+2 | Chains That Bind |
+1 |
+1 |

2nd |
+2 |
+3 |
+0 |
+3 | Bound in Iron |
+1 |
+0 |

3rd |
+3 |
+3 |
+1 |
+3 | Chains of Regret |
+1 |
+0 |

4th |
+4 |
+4 |
+1 |
+4 | Bound by Sorrow |
+1 |
+0 |

5th |
+5 |
+4 |
+1 |
+4 | Chains of Honor |
+1 |
+1 |

6th |
+6 |
+5 |
+2 |
+5 | Bound by Oath |
+1 |
+0 |

7th |
+7 |
+5 |
+2 |
+5 | Unbreakable Chains |
+1 |
+0 |

8th |
+8 |
+6 |
+2 |
+6 | Bound in Blood |
+1 |
+0 |

9th |
+9 |
+6 |
+3 |
+6 | Chains of Destiny |
+1 |
+1 |

10th |
+10 |
+7 |
+3 |
+7 | Bound by Fate |
+1 |
+0 |

Armor and Weapon Proficiencies
The Bound does not gain any proficiencies with any armors. The Bound may select any one weapon associated with the Chthonic Serpent discipline that he is not proficient in, and gain proficiency in that weapon.

One of the Bound adds his full class level to his Initiator Level.

At 1st level, and every level thereafter, one of the Bound may learn any maneuver of a level he may learn from the Army of One (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=103406), Chthonic Serpent (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=131567), Quicksilver Aegis (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=86266) and Stone Dragon disciplines.

At 1st, 5th, and 9th level, a Bound gains the ability to ready one extra maneuver.

Stances Known

At 3rd and 7th level, he may learn any Stance of a level he may learn from the Army of One, Chthonic Serpent, Quicksilver Aegis or Stone Dragon disciplines.

Chains That Bind (Ex)
The Bound wears a chain wrapped around his body, as a symbol of both his own failures and the failures of the laws that he upholds. It is a simple, mundane chain; it must be at least as long as the Bound is tall (chain weighs 1 lb. per 5 ft.), though several smaller chains which add up in length to his height are acceptable. There is nothing in particular special about the chains, and they may be replaced by any other chains if necessary. Any chains worn by the Bound will maintain the same properties, even the supernatural ones he receives at higher level, as the magic comes from the Bound and his sacrifice, not the chains themselves.

This chain gives a -1 armor check penalty, a +6 maximum Dexterity bonus to AC, and an arcane spell failure chance of 5%, though none of these penalties stack with any actual armor the Bound may be wearing (if the Bound is wearing armor, use whichever penalty is worst). Even if the Bound is not proficient in any armor, he is never considered to be lacking proficiency in the chain, and if unarmored, the chain actually provides a +2 Armor bonus to AC (the Bound is still treated as unarmored for the sake of features that depend on unarmored status, however). Further, the Bound takes no armor check penalty of any kind on Escape Artist checks.

One of the Bound wearing his chains gains a bonus on grapple checks equal to his class level. He may replace his Strength modifier with his Dexterity modifier on grapple checks, and further add his Constitution modifier to grapple checks.

In addition, all maneuvers learned by the Bound from his class levels, including the stances, may only be used while wearing this chain. Many of the Bound's class features similarly require that the chain be worn. In addition, being without the chain gives the Bound a -2 penalty on all saving throws, attack rolls, and damage rolls.

Bound in Iron (Ex)
At 2nd level, the chains worn by the Bound begin to offer some protection: as long as he wears them, he gains SR 10 + his class level. He also gains a +2 bonus against all fear, charm, and compulsion effects.

Also, any damage that a Bound of this level deals during a grapple may, at his choice, be non-lethal. He takes no penalty for doing so.

Chains of Regret (Su)
The Bound has sworn himself to the law despite its failures, and he is painfully aware of its limitations and its susceptibility to unforeseen chance. He stands as a defender of order and a foe of chaos, and so is equally capable of imbuing his attacks with law and cutting through the protections of chaos.

By 3rd level, his attacks with any weapon associated with the Chthonic Serpent discipline may count as Law aligned or Chaos aligned for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction, at the Bound's choice, so long as he is wearing his chain.

However, any damage reduction he has becomes vulnerable to lawfully aligned attacks. This penalty remains in force even if he removes the chain he bears.

Bound by Sorrow (Ex)
Whenever a 4th level Bound is wearing his chain and in a Chthonic Serpent stance, any enemy he grapples cannot use Freedom of Movement to escape.

The Bound is also considered one size larger than his current size for the sake of grapple checks.

Chains of Honor (Su)
The Bound's honor has become so strong that he can bind others by their words. At 5th level, one of the Bound wearing his chain may, once per day, use a Swift action to cause all speaking such that the Bound may hear them to be incapable of deceit. This effect is obvious to all under its influence, and they automatically know that not only can they not lie, neither can anyone else under its effect, including the Bound. This lasts for a number of minutes equal to the Bound's class level.

Further, the Bound is so used to wearing his chain that it no longer encumbers him, and the chain's check penalty, maximum Dexterity, and arcane spell failure are waived. Further, any armor that the Bound has worn alongside his chain for at least a week has its check penalty reduced by 1, its maximum Dexterity bonus to AC raised by 1, and its arcane spell failure reduced by 5%.

However, intentionally breaking his word or breaking or even bending the laws of any authority the Bound considers valid (typically one of the same morality as he), causes the Bound's chains to fall from his shoulders, bringing with it all the penalties that entails. The Bound may spend a full-round action rebinding himself with the chains, but they have a 5% chance of falling off each minute while the Bound continues to engage in any such unlawful activity.

Bound by Oath (Su)
The Bound of 6th level may choose, as a Standard Action while grappling using a weapon associated with the Chthonic Serpent discipline, to attempt a grapple check opposed by the opponent's Will save. If successful, the Bound's enemy is subjected to the effects of a Hold Monster spell, with a DC equal to 10 + his class level + his Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution modifier, whichever is highest. Unlike the spell, however, this effect is not a Compulsion and is not Mind-Affecting, as the creature is bound by Law, not by Enchantment, and it remains in effect for as long as the Bound retains the grapple. The Bound can only use this ability if wearing his chain.

Unbreakable Chains (Ex)
When grappling with a weapon associated with the Chthonic Serpent discipline, a 7th level Bound deals Constriction damage equal to his class level plus the difference between his grapple check and his opponent's. This damage stacks with any other Constriction damage that the Bound may deal, but if not wearing his chain he does not receive this feature.

At this point, however, the Bound's chains simply will not stay on during unlawful activity. They may be carried, but not worn, and the Bound takes all of the usual penalties for not wearing them. Once he has ceased unlawful activities, he may rebind himself, but the process takes a full minute.

Bound in Blood (Ex)
An 8th level Bound may, while wearing his chain, be simultaneously in one stance from the Chthonic Serpent discipline, and in one stance from any other discipline. He may enter any such pair of stances as a swift action, and may change or end one or both as a swift action as well.

Chains of Destiny (Ex)
At 9th level, a Bound wearing his chain is considered two sizes larger than his current size for the sake of grapple checks. His Constriction damage from the Unbreakable Chains ability is also doubled.

On the other hand, the Bound's chains are so violently opposed to chaos that unlawful activity will make it impossible for the Bound to wear them. Rather than fall off, they bind him, automatically pinning him. The Bound himself will be unable to remove them, though others can with ease. Once removed, the chains cannot be replaced until the day after such unlawful activity has ceased, after the Bound has gotten eight hours of rest, and rebinding them takes a full hour to complete.

Bound by Fate (Su)
By 10th level, a Bound is capable of rendering the harshest judgment upon his foes. When grappling any Chaotic or Chaotic-aligned creature with one of the weapons associated with the Chthonic Serpent discipline, he may attempt, as a Standard action, to make a Grapple check at a -10 penalty. If successful, the target of his grapple is subject to the effects of an Imprisonment spell. This ability functions only if the Bound is wearing his chain.

One of the Bound has already chosen the law over personal desires, at great cost. Every Bound has lost or failed someone grievously on a personal level because of their commitment to society, and the chains they wear are symbolic of their regret for this. For the most part, the Bound do not dwell on this failure too heavily; they tend to be more pro-active, seeking to spread and strengthen law and order. The Bound typically hope that by doing so, the loss of those they have failed will not be in vain.
Combat: The Bound also do the binding. They are exceptional at grappling, and the Chthonic Serpent discipline can allow them to do a great many things with the chains that are their weapons as well as their armor. The Bound are also symbols of justice, and are so capable of using nonlethal force when appropriate.
Advancement: Typically, one of the Bound would seek to continue to improve their ability in grappling, and to expand their knowledge of the Chthonic Serpent discipline. Though this discipline is their specialty, however, they certainly do not eschew others, as many disciplines have abilities that are useful to them.
Resources: The Bound are typically loners, though the ritual of binding oneself in chains is one they share. For the most part, Bound ones would be friendly with each other, helping where possible, but most consider their tasks - their penance - to be a solitary endeavor. Two Bound would likely not travel together more than temporarily.

"Don't know the full story, but it seems he did what had to be done, when no one wanted to be the one to do it, and it seems that he'll spend the rest of his life hating himself for doing it. But he'd go right ahead and do it again if it had to be done."

-- Captain Serrenten of the Guard, explaining who the stranger in town with the chains was.

The Bound are the most tragic, but most devoted, defenders of law and order. Their use of the Chthonic Serpent discipline is to bind chaos as they have bound themselves - to strangle the corruption so that the light of order might shine through. They are extremely no-nonsense about the task, however, and grimly determined to do whatever is necessary.

A special note on the evil lawful Bound: they do exist. It may seem odd to imagine an evil character feeling the kind of remorse that the Bound center around, but it is not unheard of for devils to bind themselves in chains after a notable failure, to remind themselves of what they must never do again. The chains serve much the same purpose as they do with other Bound: as a reminder and as an atonement. The chains are their vow that they will never again let anyone else take control of any situation. On the other hand, Kytons wear chains because that's what they are. A Kyton would likely not use chains as a symbol of regret, and therefore is not really like one of the Bound.
Daily Life: In daily life, the Bound simply wander, looking for places and people to protect from the cruelty of chaos. Many border on the ascetic, and while few go all the way to poverty, their lifestyle is notably spartan.
Notables: No one knows who the first to bind themselves in chains was. The practice, as a form of atonement, can be dated back longer than anyone can remember, even among the longer lived races. Many have done so since, but most of the myths and legends about them are so forgotten as to be almost worthless.
Organizations: No particular organization of the Bound exists, but many of the Bound are also Paladins, Knights, or Crusaders, and are generally held in high esteem by any martial order that values law and order. Nevertheless, they are standoffish and even among the most stalwart defenders of order, their dark demeanor can be offputting, and the Bound are often uninterested in remaining with their former comrades.

NPC Reaction
Those who do not know what the Bound's chains symbolize see them as very odd, potentially dangerous. The Bound are grim, aloof, and can be difficult to deal with; there is nothing light-hearted about them. Those who do know why one would bind himself in chains, however, are hard-pressed to have anything but respect for them. Even the chaotically inclined are often impressed by the Bound's dedication to law, even if they disagree with it.

The Bound are, at their core, a Prestige Class devoted to the Chthonic Serpent. Like the Bloodclaw Masters for the Tiger Claw discipline, the class will appeal to specialists rather than generalists. However, they do have access to some other disciplines, which can augment their Chthonic Serpent abilities. They also receive more maneuvers than any ten-level Prestige Class in the Tome of Battle, but are built with drawbacks that can make taking the class a very difficult choice.

From a roleplaying perspective, the Bound are tough, jaded, and determined. This is not a class for a light-hearted character, but one plagued with a very troubled past. The requirements for the class are designed to require either an extensive backstory, or some extremely dramatic campaign moments.
Adaptation: The campaign setting doesn't really influence the Bound very much. Any setting in which, say, a Paladin or Knight might be found, one of the Bound could fit nicely. They're meant to be rare and unusual, and no organization of them exists to adapt.
Encounters: The Bound are typically wanderers who try to fight chaos at all fronts. While a lawful good Bound would likely gruffly accept a chaotic good character, provided they were more good than chaotic. However, any 'agent of chaos' who flaunts the laws just because, rather than to achieve a moral goal that the Bound himself agreed with, would probably find himself wrapped in the Bound's chain and awaiting justice. A neutral or evil lawful Bound most likely would not tolerate any sort of chaotic behavior.

Sample Encounter
The Bound rarely serve as simple magistrates or guards, as other guardians of law and order do. The Bound typically take the fight to the forces of Chaos, and so it is most common to see the Bound in wild places, seeking to tame them.
EL 11: Alika is a quiet, mild-mannered Elf. Contemplative and reserved, he nevertheless is quick to prevent unlawful behavior. Mostly, he seeks to atone for what he has done: though the banishment of his brother Orin was necessary, for the safety of the world itself, his own banishment for this betrayal was similarly necessary, and Alika does not hide from the responsibility for what he has done.

Alika CR 11
Male Elf Swordsage 5/Bound 6
LG Humanoid (Elf)
Init +8, Senses: Listen +5, Spot +5
Languages Common, Elven
AC 27, touch 21, flat-footed 21 (+6 Dex, +3 Wis, +6 armor, +2 deflection)
hp 111 (11 HD)
Fort +12, Ref +14, Will +14
Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
Melee +1 Axiomatic Spiked Chain +16/+11/+6 melee (2d4+1, +2d6 against [Chaotic] enemies, +4 with Chthonic Serpent maneuvers)
Base Atk +15, Grp +29
Atk Options Discipline Focus (Weapon Focus), Discipline Focus (Insightful Strikes), Chains that Bind, Bound in Iron, Chains of Regret
Special Actions Bound by Oath
Combat Gear Potion of Enlarge Person
Extraordinary Abilities Discipline Focus (Weapon Focus), Discipline Focus (Insightful Strikes), Quick to Act +2, Chains that Bind, Bound in Iron, Bound by Sorrow
Supernatural Abilities Chains of Regret, Chains of Honor, Bound by Oath
Maneuvers and Stances Known (IL 11th):
Stances--Careful Chains (3rd), Coils of Rapture (1st), Crushing Weight of the Mountain (3rd), Transcend the Flesh (1st)
Strikes--Boa Strike† (3rd), Binding Constrictor (1st), Choking Python† (5th), Emerald Razor (1st), Insightful Strike (2nd), Merciful Blow (1st), Stone Vise (2nd), Strike at the Heart† (4th)
Boosts--Blurred Bonds† (4th), Legion of One† (6th), Surging Law† (5th), Vanguard of One (3rd)
Counters--Dance of Chains (2nd), Imperator's Rebuke† (5th), Moment of Perfect Mind (1st), Reap What Has Been Sown† (4th)
Disciplines: Army of One, Chthonic Serpent, Diamond Mind, Golden Saint, Quicksilver Aegis, Stone Dragon
† Readied Maneuver
Abilities Str 12, Dex 22, Con 18, Int 10, Wis 16, Cha 8
SQ Immunity to Sleep, Low-Light Vision, Elven Weapon Proficiency (Longsword, Rapier, Longbow, Composite Longbow, Shortbow, and Composite Shortbow), +2 to Listen, Search, and Spot checks, free Search checks for secret doors within 5 ft.
Feats Weapon Finesse, Adaptive Style, Law Devotion, Blade Meditation (Chthonic Serpent)
Skills Balance +11, Concentration +16, Diplomacy +4, Escape Artist +4, Listen +5, Martial Lore +8, Search +2, Spot +5, Tumble +20, Use Rope +22
Possessions Combat Gear plus +1 Axiomatic Spiked Chain, +1 Light Fortification Mithral Breastplate, Amulet of Health +2, Chains (5 ft.), Circlet of Wisdom +2, Cloak of Resistance +2, Gloves of Dexterity +4, Ring of Protection +2

Image adapted from The Father's Son (http://switchvalentine.deviantart.com/art/The-Fathers-Son-67102580) by SwitchValentine. Used with permission. All credit to him for the image, and many thanks for permission to use it. The Sample Bound is very vaguely based on a character of the same name by Maurexen (http://maurexen.deviantart.com/). All credit to her for the simple backstory I've based on the original character.

This class tied for 4th in the 56th GitP PrC contest, "Live and Die by the Sword". I have copied it here for further critique.

2010-04-10, 10:30 PM
Archive of commentary and critique (and responses) from the GitP PrC Contest Chat Thread I:

All seriousness aside, I like it. I avoid grappling like the plague, so I'd never use it, but it seems balanced, and it's certainly flavorful. I'd let one of my players use it, sure.

The only three things that stick out at me would be...
(A) at first level, your primary class ability is a penalty. I mean, you get +1 BAB, +2 to two saves, and a maneuver known and readied, not to mention grapple bonuses, so on second thought it's fine, nevermind that one, I only have two things that stick out at me.
Yeah, making the initial level be something of a penalty was meant to make it less of an "obvious" take, since initially it didn't have any Feat requirements and 4 ranks in two skills seemed just too easy. I'll have to tone it down now that I've added the Law Devotion requirement, though, I think. More on that in response to Kallisti.

So real (A) would be that, while not allowing them to use any class abilities while not in the chains is fine, forcing them to keep track of which maneuvers they learned with this class seems a little much. I don't think it would be a problem to let them use their maneuvers without the chains.
The reason I did that is because the class gives a lot of maneuvers. It's a 10/10 maneuver progression; that's matched only by the Swordsage itself. Maybe a more normal progression would make more sense, though.

And (B) would be the constricting damage from Unbreakable Chains could get a little ridiculous. Seeing as it's based on an opposed roll, and not to mention the fact that he's certainly going to be optimized for grappling, if he happens to roll really high and his opponent happens to roll really low? There could be some crazy damage happening there. With Chains of Destiny it only gets higher.
Yeah, unfortunately I have very little experience with grappling, so I'm not sure. The real issue is humanoids and monsters, I think. Some monsters have utterly ridiculous grapple checks. Colossal vermin typically have like +50. The Tarrasque has +81. I think the answer is to not make it based on the opposed check, so it doesn't do nothing against these creatures.


The flavor is...obscenely awesome. If you don't tone it down, you'll hurt somebody. Best flavor so far, although Djinn's entry looks like it'll be awesome too once it's finished.
Wow, thanks! Took a long time to get the flavor where I wanted it. Glad you like it.
Quite welcome. This is probably the best take on the "Knight-penitent" archetype I've seen in an RPG, and I love my mental image of a Bound in combat.

I'm less fond of the mechanics.

It's focused on chain weapons and uses the Chthonic Serpent discipline, so it seems like it'd encourage a high-dexterity character
Huh... Chthonic Serpent certainly is intended to make Dexterity-based grapplers possible, but I'm sort of surprised that you expect the discipline's PrC to be good at it. Still...

Besides, looking at your picture he's wearing robes, not armor
This is true. Mostly, it comes down to being the only even remotely appropriate image I could find (and honestly, though the lack of armor is not exactly as I pictured it, I love the way that image looks. Really captures the remorse I was going for). Still, considering that it is the image I have, I'll reconsider Chains that Bind.
I...totally failed to pick up on that, sorry. Most of the Chthonic Serpent "soft weapons" are the kinds of things I'd expect to see on a Dex build, like a TWF, Trip or AoO build (or a TWF Trip AoO build, which is what I'm running for Long Shadows and Bright Steel), but after reading the maneuvers more closely I can see a Str-based character doing well with it. Which reminds me, I still need to find a way to use Dex instead of Str for grappling and tripping... But OK, for a Str-based build Chains that Bind is much less of a deal-breaker. I think +6 is fair, especially if the Max Dex gets waived about halfway through the class. That way if you go in immediately it'll be a minor penalty, but if you delay entering it could be a pretty significant penalty until you hit that mid-level. Which for such a flavor-focused class works well.

but it gets a max dex bonus of +4, which really really hurts. Chains That Bind is too massive a penalty to make the class worth it to Dex builds. [...] Chains That Bind makes unarmored fighting much, much more likely to get you killed. Armor Check Penalty is fine, though. If I were you, I'd increase the Armor Check Penalty by maybe 4 or 5 points, or more if you feel it's necessary, and leave off the max dex bonus.
I agree with all of this, it's just a question of intent. Honestly, the +4 was meant to be a minor penalty, much in the way that -1 armor check penalty or 5% ASF is minor. Assuming I wanted to keep any max Dex, what would be an appropriate number? EDIT: I made it +6. Let me know if that is still too much impediment. You'll note that Alika is now Dex-based.
See above, and I still haven't looked at the build for Alika. I will soon, though.

What if I made the chains themselves a kind of armor, giving a Deflection bonus to AC? EDIT: Gave +2 Armor bonus.
Sounds good.

Not saying that I'm not going to do things exactly as you say - I'm tempted to - but I'd like to consider my options, and so input on this would be nice.
Of course not. It's your class, do what you think works, not what I say. Besides, somebody else probably disagrees with me about some of this. You can't please everyone, so please yourself first.

Bound In Iron is decent, but nothing to write home about since it's based off class level and not character level. It'll stop being relevant pretty quickly. I'd use 1/2 HD, instead, if I were you. That's more standard anyway.
Uhh... 10 + 1/2 HD ranges from 13 to 20, from level 7 (2) when you get the ability to 20 at level 20. 10 + Lv. ranges from 12 to 20, from level 7 (2) when you first get it, to level 15 (10) when you finish the class. You get the same numbers, but more quickly. How would 1/2 HD improve things?
I meant total character HD. You first get the ability at 11th character, 6th PrC. So it'd range from 16 to 20 as written, and 15 to 20...wait...and this is why math and I don't mix. The standard formula is 10 + 1/2 HD + Attribute, and the problem was lack of attribute. OK, nvm, you already fixed that. Ignore me, I only pretend to be stupid.

Chains of Regret is kind of cool, but won't have too much mechanical effect.
Just seemed fitting. You're also getting a Stance at that level, so it seems OK.
As I said, cool ability. They don't all have to be powerful. In fact, a few abilities that are more flavorful than useful are usually a good idea. That said, you don't get any of the real powerhouse abilities until 6th--although Bound by Sorrow at fourth is a very nice boost that covers one of the most critical weaknesses of the build, it won't come into play very often, it'll just be a lifesaver when it does--so I'd worry about the Bound beginning to lag behind. That's why I think you should keep the maneuver progression full--to keep the character at regular ToB power levels until he really starts to shine midway through.

Besides, full maneuver progression is a nice boost, but the ToB multiclassing rules are very forgiving and there's always Master of Nine, or True Master of Nine if it's allowed, for a character really thirsting for manevers. Besides, the class is highly flavor-focused, so dips being abused is highly unlikely.

Bound By Sorrow is more like it. I like that one.
Well, Freedom of Movement is one of the immediate and obvious problems with grappling. I figured I had to deal with it somehow.

Size issues are the other problem. So boom.

Chains of Honor is also pretty cool, and more likely to get used than Chains of Regret, but the mitigation to the penalty from Chains That Bind is not enough to make up for having a relatively-low max dex bonus on a class like this.
That's actually a typo; I meant to waive the max Dex of the chains at that point, too. Does that make it better? EDIT: Fixed this typo.
It works pretty well now. It'll be a penalty just large enough to make itself felt, but by the time you've amassed enough power for it to be a major issue, it'll be gone.

Anyway, I rather like the effect of Chains of Honor. I felt like a class like this needed a way to make everyone absolutely certain he was telling the truth - and a way to make others equally truthful. I actually made it 1/day so that the Bound can lie without everyone being like "Why don't you use Chains of Honor and prove you're telling the truth?"
I wondered why it was limited like that. Good call. Besides, limited-use means it'll have a lot more dramatic power when it's used, which is a good thing for any class, especially a flavorful one.

The DC on Bound By Oath is pretty low, but it's at-will so I'm not entirely sure how that works out. Still, it won't last very long since Hold Monster allows a save every round.
Oops, that should have an ability modifier in there somewhere, shouldn't it? And maybe a higher base than 10. Will fix. EDIT: Left the base at 10, but let you use Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution for the DC - any of your grapple-improving abilities.
See my above math fail. Letting you use whichever modifier seems generous, although not overbalancingly powerful. I'd be wary of allowing Constitution, because it's harder to justify fluff-wise, but it's your call. Mental scores are more traditional for this kind of power, so I'd at least toy with the idea of basing it off wisdom, but again, up to you.

Unbreakable Chains is a good one.
Heh, that ability went through sooo many iterations. I tend to like it too, but DaTedinator brings up some really good points about the possible disparities between grapple scores...
Ehh, true, I suppose. Grapple isn't too hard to pump. I'd consider changing it to maybe d6's of constrict damage based off your Use Rope (from Chthonic Serpent, since none of the maneuvers seem to require the skill), Grapple score, BaB, or Str/Dex score, with maybe a small bonus for having acted perfectly in accordance with alignment for the past 24 hours or a similar flavor bonus.

Bound in Blood is a good one.
Of course, that's pretty standard for a ToB PrC at this point, I think. Heh, I like it, anyway.
It's a classic, yeah, but only because it works.

Chains of Destiny is good.
Yeah, I was really unsure of the penalty there. But I felt like it was really fitting, and I wanted some drawbacks to the class. I'd love more feedback on that system there. I should clarify that it's eight hours of rest after he's stopped being unlawful. EDIT: Added this clarification.
Well, it makes sense. I see the Bound going through the class knowing the law is not perfect and knowing he's had to violate it, but wishing he hadn't, and getting closer and closer to the perfectly lawful being he wishes he were while still being able to do what he has to if he absolutely must. This latest just means he needs a partner-in-crime to unbind him.

Bound by Fate is a very nice capstone. I might increase the penalty to -15, though, since thanks to Unbreakable Chains he's already got a +8 Size mod. Unless Unbreakable Chains stacks with Bound By Sorrow.
Doesn't stack, will clarify that. EDIT: Did clarify that.

I want him to be able to use it on big beasties, too, though... I think I'll make the penalty scale depending on the law/chaos alignment of the target.
Right, opponent's size mods, I forgot. Still, with Coils of Rapture...no, Coils halves all size mods. A scaling penalty is a good idea. Maybe a floor of five (or probably higher) with an additional penalty for neutral targets and another for lawful targets.

All in all, most of the lower-level abilities are too weak and Chains That Bind is way too harsh, but other than that I like it.
Well, lemme know what you think about my responses; I'm not sure I agree about all of them that you say are too weak. Certainly Bound by Oath requires a higher save, but other than that? As for Chains that Bind, will think about how I want to change that one.

EDIT: I've updated it a bit, more feedback would be nice. Alika's now a Swordsage, and I think it's increased his power considerably. Thoughts?
Well, I hadn't really considered the impact of full BaB and full maneuver progression, so with the cap for Chains that Bind raised I say it looks pretty good.

Kuma Kode
2010-04-10, 10:38 PM
I'm not really sure about the balance of the abilities, since I'm not particularly familiar with Tome of Battle, but it seems mostly okay crunch-wise...

Unbreakable Chains is ironically chaotic, as it can do ridiculous damage if the enemy rolls very low and the Bound happens to roll high, or close to none if the two roll close together. They'll make fantastic mage/rogue neutralizers.

Otherwise, I like the idea of the class, and it sounds like it would be fun to play.

2010-04-10, 10:53 PM
I'm not really sure about the balance of the abilities, since I'm not particularly familiar with Tome of Battle, but it seems mostly okay crunch-wise...
I'm sorry to hear that; I do heavily recommend it.

Unbreakable Chains is ironically chaotic, as it can do ridiculous damage if the enemy rolls very low and the Bound happens to roll high, or close to none if the two roll close together. They'll make fantastic mage/rogue neutralizers.
Heh, unfortunately... not that chaotic, which is actually part of the problem, as DaTedinator points out. For a Bound to have a +50 or higher Grapple modifier is not hard to imagine... for a Wizard to have a -2 Grapple modifier is even less difficult to imagine. That's a huge disparity even if the Bound rolls a 2 and the Wizard rolls a 19... I need to fix that one.

Otherwise, I like the idea of the class, and it sounds like it would be fun to play.
Cool, thanks!