View Full Version : Soul Binding - mortal souls

2010-11-18, 08:22 AM
I'm kind of floating the idea of allowing a Binder player in my game to bind the souls of people. Earlier in the campaign, he received a thinaun dagger as a boon (if you didn't know, thinaun weapons can store a single soul within them).
So, how should I go about this?
I have a rough guideline I think I'll follow, but I'm open to ideas to improve this concept.

Mortal Vestiges
A mortal vestige is the soul of a previously living being. Constructs, swarms, undead, and outsiders cannot qualify as mortal vestiges.

Name: The name of the deceased soul. Some mortal vestiges identify themselves with nicknames or by a secret alias.
Seal: If the deceased's soul is bound or contained (such as, within a magical circle, a gem, or a thinaun weapon), or if the soul is present and willing (in the case of a helpful ghost) no seal is required. If the binder is attempting to bind a soul on another plane of existence, he must either travel to the plane or call the soul to him using magic (such as, the lesser planar binding spell). If a mortal vestige is unwilling to be bound, he is allowed a will save to resist the binding, at a DC equal to the binding check. If he succeeds the will save, he may opt to instead allow himself to be bound, with the benefit that he may exert an influence upon the binder.
Vestige Level: This is the mortal vestige's ECL or character level (whichever is higher).
Binding DC: N/A; no minimum required, but the binding check may be opposed by the mortal vestige's will save.
Special Requirements: Some mortal vestiges require the binder enter into a contract to benefit from their abilities. This varies, but is usually some task or form of activity.
Manifestation: Most mortal vestiges appear as they did in life, but some have appearances related to the nature of their demise.
Granted Abilities: A mortal vestige imparts one major ability and two minor abilities,
Major Ability - A primary class feature, special attack, or special quality that was possessed by the mortal vestige in life. Example: Sneak attack, favored enemy, bardic knowledge.
Major Ability - A power or racial ability the mortal vestige possessed in life, either naturally or through a template. Example: A breath weapon, flight, or a natural weapon.
Major Ability - A single spell or spell like ability the mortal vestige possessed in life. This ability is useable as a standard action. If the ability scales according to level, use either the mortal vestige's caster level or HD, or your binder level (whichever is lower). Spell like abilities imparted as a major ability have a recharge time based on the casting or activation time and the duration. Treat the recharge time as being roughly five times as long as either the activation time or the duration (whichever is longer). Spell like abilities or spells that have costly material components or large experience costs (or spell like abilities that duplicate spells that have costly etc) may not be selected as a major ability. Example: Fireball is cast as a fireball by a wizard of the vestige's level, with a recharge time of 5 rounds. Wish may not be selected as a major ability.
Minor Ability - Access to two class skills, and a bonus to those skills equal to the vestige's level OR the ability to use and take 10 on those skills in threatening circumstances.
Minor Ability - A feat or proficiency the vestige possessed in life. One prerequisite of the feat can be ignored. Example: A binder may gain the benefit of Precise Shot, without knowing Point Blank Shot.
Minor Ability - A single racial quality that was possessed by the mortal vestige in life, if he was a member of a LA 0 race. Example: darkvision, low light vision, a +2 racial bonus to an ability score.

Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions?

2010-11-18, 11:20 AM
I'd put a feat tax into being able to do that.
while feat taxes are normally NOT a good thing, I'd make it at least one feat (more than usual, if feats are normally required) in order to bind "mortal" souls as vestiges.

It's a cool idea, though. I can imagine myself using one of those thinaun weapons to punch holes in a (VERY high leveled) victims hands, then having similar holes manifest when I bind it's soul. That. would. be. Bad. Ass.

2010-11-18, 02:32 PM
The vestige level is untenable. An eight level barbarian shouldn't be a fifth eighth level vestige because then you have to have a binder level of 17ish to bind him. That's not very helpful as it encourages you to beat up people who are trivial to you just so you can use the ability. Make the vestige level equal to half their ECL and it's more reasonable.

It'll take some balancing on a case by case basis, and it's not how binders normally work so I would second the call for this to be a feat. It's really cool though.

2010-11-18, 06:50 PM
Actually an 8th level barbarian would be an 8th level vestige.
Yes, that's deliberate. Soul splicing should be less powerful than normal binding. It's an addition to the standard binding rules, to improve flexibility and open up options, but not necessarily to open up power. And it works out, since at higher levels a binder can bind more than one vestige at a time.

2010-11-18, 11:52 PM
Well, binding an 8th level barbarian would only rage as:
an 8th level barbarian.

While I've not got a good feel for a binder, or even any class, I'd say if your only class features gets you weakish ones, you need a strong boost, so I'm leaning towards agreeing with glimbur, that it should be half ECL.

On the other hand, that would leave it as only a 4th level vestige, and while I don't know what level that would leave it at, that's not the only benefit they get from that vestige, not to mention other vestiges. I'd think at full ECL=vestige level, the binder would get several vestiges at that point, all just as or more powerful. If it was just like an 8th level wizard, a 4th level barbarian, and whatever else (and/or more or less), It would be stronger than all of them, working as a team.

I'm not actually sure who's side I should be on. Chrono32 says it's "weaker" on purpose, but...
I'a mll nonfused cow.