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    Default [3.5] Custom Prestige Class: The Eldritch Pactmaster (Warlock/Binder PrC)

    Okay, folks, so I looked for a custom warlock/binder prestige class for a little while, and couldn't find one I liked, so I thought I'd try my own hand at creating one. It's based loosely on the Anima Mage PrC, but I made a few substantial changes that I thought were in balance with the rest of the game. Let me know what you think!

    The Eldritch Pactmaster

    The combination of being a product of a supernatural pact made by one of your ancestors and your experiences continuing this tradition with the forlorn vestiges of the void have made you an expert at striking deals with otherworldly entities. Perhaps you were drawn to soul binding as an avenue for understanding your own nature; perhaps you discovered that nature through your experiments binding vestiges. Either way, you are more than simply talented at pactmaking—you are a master.

    ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
    Skills: Bluff 4 ranks, Diplomacy 4 ranks, Intimidate 4 ranks, Knowledge (the planes) 8 ranks
    Feat: Skilled Pact Making
    Special: Ability to bind 2nd-level vestiges, eldritch blast +2d6

    Invocations: At each level, you gain new invocations known and an increase in caster level and eldritch blast damage as if you had also gained a level in the warlock class. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained.

    Soul Binding: At each level, your soul binding ability improves as if you had also gained a level in the binder class. Your eldritch pactmaster 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.

    Master Pact Making: At 1st level, you gain a +4 bonus to your binding checks to bind vestiges. This stacks with the bonus from Skilled Pact Making.

    Supernatural Blast (Su): At 2nd level, you can use a bound vestige to augment your eldritch blast by temporarily giving up access to its powers. Using supernatural blast is a swift action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

    Choose one of the vestiges to which you are bound whenever you activate this ability. You lose access to all the abilities and powers granted by the chosen vestige upon activation and do not regain them for 5 rounds. You can then transform any eldritch blast you cast that round into a supernatural blast. A supernatural blast does damage equal to your eldritch blast, and still requires a somatic component to cast, but is in all other ways considered a supernatural ability rather than a spell-like ability, and thus is unaffected by spell resistance and spells such as minor globe of invulnerability and spellturning (but it can still be nullified by an antimagic field). You may apply eldritch essences and blast shapes to your supernatural blast the same as you could for your eldritch blast. You cannot use this ability if you do not have a vestige bound, or if you do not currently have access to its abilities.

    Supernatural blast is usable a number of times per day equal to 1/2 your eldritch pactmaster level, rounded down (e.g. 1/day at 2nd level, 2/day at 4th, 3/day at 6th, etc).

    Vestigial Awareness (Su): Beginning at 3rd level, you can convince your bound vestige to focus on alerting you to danger rather that reveling completely in the sensations that it perceives through your pact. Whenever you make a good pact with a vestige, you gain a +2 bonus on initiative checks for the duration of the pact.

    Pact Augmentation (Su): At 5th level, you may select one additional ability from the list of pact augmentation abilities available to binders (ToM, p. 11). At 10th level, you may select two additional abilities. These abilities stack with any you receive from your other binder levels.

    Vestigial Resilience (Su): At 10th level, you can will a bound vestige to focus all its supernatural energy on replenishing your wounds. Once per day, as a free action, you can enter a state that lasts for 2 minutes. While in this state you give up all powers and abilities granted by that vestige, but gain fast healing equal to the vestige's level/3, rounded up (e.g. a 2nd-level vestige grants fast healing 1, a 4th level vestige grants fast healing 2, and a 9th-level vestige grants fast healing 3). This ability stacks with any fast healing you may already have from other sources (including fiendish resilience).

    Last edited by Tedesche; 2010-06-29 at 12:21 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Custom Prestige Class: The Eldritch Pactmaster (Warlock/Binder PrC)

    Can you make the font a little bigger? It currently really hurts my eyes to read the text, and I'm sure others can say the same.

    First thing I've noticed is that the class has the classic problem of theurge classes, which is that it requires 3 levels of each entry class. Except, in this case, you can get in via Binder 1 with Improved Binding. I'd suggest changing it to requiring just one level of each class so that you're not forced to split your levels between the two classes and so entry is less painful. This would also allow you to focus on binding rather than be forced to focus on invoking.
    Last edited by PId6; 2010-06-29 at 12:19 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Custom Prestige Class: The Eldritch Pactmaster (Warlock/Binder PrC)

    Can this be moved to Homebrew, perhaps? That'd be the correct location for it, and you'll get solid feedback there.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Custom Prestige Class: The Eldritch Pactmaster (Warlock/Binder PrC)

    Quote Originally Posted by PId6 View Post
    Can you make the font a little bigger? It currently really hurts my eyes to read the text, and I'm sure others can say the same.
    Done.

    Quote Originally Posted by PId6 View Post
    First thing I've noticed is that the class has the classic problem of theurge classes, which is that it requires 3 levels of each entry class. Except, in this case, you can get in via Binder 1 with Improved Binding. I'd suggest changing it to requiring just one level of each class so that you're not forced to split your levels between the two classes and so entry is less painful. This would also allow you to focus on binding rather than be forced to focus on invoking.
    Three levels of each base class seemed like the game standard, at least for casters. Plus, with the Improved Binding feat, you can get there by 5th Level. Go Warlock 3/Binder 3/Eldritch Pactmaster 3/Hellfire Warlock 3/Eld. PM +7 and you're doing damn fine to me, it seems. Making it so it only required one level of each to qualify for seems a bit...overpowered, don't you think? I mean, who chooses a prestige class at 3rd Level? I suppose you could increase the level requirement by leaving the prereqs the same though.... I dunno, I'll have to wait and see if other people agree with you. Thanks for the response though!

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    Default Re: [3.5] Custom Prestige Class: The Eldritch Pactmaster (Warlock/Binder PrC)

    Quote Originally Posted by arguskos View Post
    Can this be moved to Homebrew, perhaps? That'd be the correct location for it, and you'll get solid feedback there.
    Good point. I'll repost it there.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Custom Prestige Class: The Eldritch Pactmaster (Warlock/Binder PrC)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedesche View Post
    Done.
    Thank you. Much better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedesche View Post
    Three levels of each base class seemed like the game standard, at least for casters.
    3 levels of each is a game standard, but it's also a bad one. Theurges are usually terrible without early entry, because you're horribly gimped compared to singleclassed characters. A Wizard 3/Cleric 3 is about half as powerful as a Wizard 6 or Cleric 6, and will be utterly terrible until you get at least a few Mystic Theurge levels going. Nobody should have to suffer through that. Later Theurge classes like Ultimate Magus and Eldritch Disciple (both in Complete Mage) are designed far better and allow 3/1 entry instead of 3/3.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedesche View Post
    Plus, with the Improved Binding feat, you can get there by 5th Level.
    Yes, early entry allows you to get in without 3/3. However, a class shouldn't require early entry in order to be functional, and Theurge classes like Mystic Theurge do require that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedesche View Post
    Go Warlock 3/Binder 3/Eldritch Pactmaster 3/Hellfire Warlock 3/Eld. PM +7 and you're doing damn fine to me, it seems.
    Yes, at 19th level that build is pretty good. How about at 6th level? A Warlock 3/Binder 3 is basically half as powerful as either a Warlock 6 or a Binder 6. Having to play through the early levels is just horrible on anyone intending to become a Theurge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedesche View Post
    Making it so it only required one level of each to qualify for seems a bit...overpowered, don't you think?
    No, I do not. You can see examples of this both in later WotC books (all of the Theurges printed in Complete Mage, for example), and in most homebrew fixes to early WotC Theurges, like this Cerebremancer. It's not overpowered at all.

    Now, to comment on a few specifics:

    Supernatural Blast - There's no reason why this should be limited use per day. It's not that powerful to allow at-will, and is already limited since you must sacrifice your vestige abilities and can only use it about once every 5 rounds. I also don't think this should require a swift action to activate, but that's less important.

    Vestigial Resistance
    - This is a really bad capstone. You get, at best, 60 HP worth of healing once per day, while forfeiting your vestige abilities during that time. In comparison, Buer, a 4th level vestige, grants you infinite Fast Healing. The 10th level should give you something special, rather than something you can duplicate and surpass with a 4th level vestige.

    Skills - Why is Use Magic Device not here? That's one of the warlock's best abilities; this class should definitely advance it.
    Last edited by PId6; 2010-06-29 at 12:51 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Custom Prestige Class: The Eldritch Pactmaster (Warlock/Binder PrC)

    Hmm...you make some interesting arguments. If I were to change it to 1st-level vestiges and eldritch blast +1d6, but leave the other prerequisites as is, you would still have to wait until at least 5th level to enter (due to the Skilled Pact Master feat), no? But it would allow you to focus on one or the other base class more. There's already a bias towards Binder, because he can get the 4 ranks in Diplomacy straight away, while the Warlock has to waste skill points on 1/2 ranks. That would mean a heavy incentive to at least start as a binder, and maybe even go one-level-dip of warlock at the last moment. I was sort of hoping I could avoid that, and keep the PrC amenable to both types of progression equally.

    Making supernatural blast have unlimited uses seems like it would make Vitriolic blast useless by comparison. Supernatural abilities are great in that they completely ignore SR. Being able to apply that template to ALL of your other essences and shapes ad infinitum seems a bit overboard, no?

    I had forgotten about Buer. You're right, I'll have to come up with something else for the 10th level ability.

    As for the lack of UMD, I was kind of thinking that giving the class another set of infinitely-usable abilities was good enough, and that allowing rampant access to magic items would balance things out, but now that I think about it, it's not that crazy. I'll add that to the class skills list, thanks.

    EDIT: Sorry, forgot about the 5-round limitation on supernatural blast. I suppose that might be a pretty good counterbalance, but with the right vestiges, you could chuck out other supernatural attacks in the intervening rounds. Mmm...maybe, I dunno. Have to wait for more feedback on that.
    Last edited by Tedesche; 2010-06-29 at 01:15 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Custom Prestige Class: The Eldritch Pactmaster (Warlock/Binder PrC)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedesche View Post
    But it would allow you to focus on one or the other base class more. There's already a bias towards Binder, because he can get the 4 ranks in Diplomacy straight away, while the Warlock has to waste skill points on 1/2 ranks. That would mean a heavy incentive to at least start as a binder, and maybe even go one-level-dip of warlock at the last moment. I was sort of hoping I could avoid that, and keep the PrC amenable to both types of progression equally.
    The thing with Theurge classes is that you want to maximize one side of it as much as possible. A Wizard 5/Cleric 1 is far better than a Wizard 3/Cleric 3, because spellcasting (and to a lesser extent invoking/binding) becomes quadratically more powerful as you go up spell levels.

    This is okay, though I'd suggest making both sides equally supported so that you can come in either as a Warlock 4/Binder 1 or a Binder 4/Warlock 1, depending on their character concept. Maybe just get rid of the Diplomacy requirement, since this is awfully skills-heavy for a non-skill-based PrC.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedesche View Post
    EDIT: Sorry, forgot about the 5-round limitation on supernatural blast. I suppose that might be a pretty good counterbalance, but with the right vestiges, you could chuck out other supernatural attacks in the intervening rounds. Mmm...maybe, I dunno. Have to wait for more feedback on that.
    If you had those other supernatural attacks, how much difference does one extra Eldritch Blast add? Making an EB supernatural just doesn't add all that much to be worth limiting it to X/day, especially when you can only use it once per 5 rounds. You just ignore SR, and maybe an AoO. That's it. For something that can be done once per 5 rounds and bears a cost, it's awfully tame.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Custom Prestige Class: The Eldritch Pactmaster (Warlock/Binder PrC)

    Okay, here's the redux.

    The Eldritch Pactmaster

    The combination of being a product of a supernatural pact made by one of your ancestors and your experiences continuing this tradition with the forlorn vestiges of the void have made you an expert at striking deals with otherworldly entities. Perhaps you were drawn to soul binding as an avenue for understanding your own nature; perhaps you discovered that nature through your experiments binding vestiges. Either way, you are more than simply talented at pactmaking—you are a master.

    ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
    Skills: Bluff 6 ranks, Intimidate 6 ranks, Knowledge (the planes) 8 ranks
    Feat: Skilled Pact Making
    Special: Ability to bind 1st-level vestiges, eldritch blast +1d6

    Invocations: At each level, you gain new invocations known and an increase in caster level and eldritch blast damage as if you had also gained a level in the warlock class. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained.

    Soul Binding: At each level, your soul binding ability improves as if you had also gained a level in the binder class. Your eldritch pactmaster 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.

    Master Pact Making: At 1st level, you gain a +4 bonus to your binding checks to bind vestiges. This stacks with the bonus from Skilled Pact Making.

    Supernatural Blast (Su): At 1st level, you can transform any eldritch blast you cast into a supernatural blast. A supernatural blast does damage equal to your eldritch blast, and still requires a somatic component to cast, but is in all other ways considered a supernatural ability rather than a spell-like ability, and thus is unaffected by spell resistance and spells such as minor globe of invulnerability and spellturning (but it can still be nullified by an antimagic field). You may apply blast shapes to your supernatural blast the same as you could for your eldritch blast, but not eldritch essences. After you use this ability, you may not use it again for at least 5 rounds. At 3rd level, this delay decreases to 4 rounds, at 5th to 3 rounds, at 7th to 2 rounds, and at 9th to 1 round. At 10th level, you may use this ability as often as you like, including multiple times a round (e.g. using a quickened supernatural blast in addition to a normal one). You cannot use this ability if you do not have at least one vestige bound or if you cannot use any vestige abilities.

    Supernatural Invocation (Su): At 2nd level, you may invoke any invocation you know, other than eldritch blast, as a supernatural ability rather than a spell-like ability, Thus making it unaffected by spell resistance and spells such as minor globe of invulnerability and spellturning (but it can still be nullified by an antimagic field). Doing so requires a standard action, any semantic or verbal components specified by the invocation chosen, and disables the use of that invocation for 5 rounds. You cannot use this ability if you do not have at least one vestige bound or if you cannot use any vestige abilities (such as when within an antimagic field).

    Vestigial Awareness (Su): Beginning at 3rd level, you can convince your bound vestige to focus on alerting you to danger rather that reveling completely in the sensations that it perceives through your pact. Whenever you make a good pact with a vestige, you gain a +2 bonus on initiative checks for the duration of the pact.

    Suppress Sign (Ex): At 6th level, you gain suppress sign, as the binder ability. If you already had this ability, you may now suppress or reveal any number of your bound vestiges' signs as a free action instead.

    Bonus Feat: At 4th level and again at 8th level, you may choose a bonus feat from the following list: empower spell-like ability, heighten spell-like ability, maximize spell-like ability, quicken spell-like ability, sudden extend, sudden maximize, sudden quicken, sudden silent, sudden still, sudden widen, empower supernatural ability, enlarge supernatural ability, extend supernatural ability, widen supernatural ability, sudden ability focus,

    Pact Augmentation (Su): At 5th level, you may select one additional ability from the list of pact augmentation abilities available to binders (ToM, p. 11). At 10th level, you may select two additional abilities. These abilities stack with any you receive from your other binder levels.

    Vestige Bloodpact (Su): At 10th level, you can make a pact with any vestige of your choosing that binds a portion of the vestige to you permanently. To perform the pact, you must summon the chosen vestige, and spend 8 hours negotiating with it. At the end of this time, you must succeed on a binding check; failure means the vestige rejects the terms of your pact, and you may not summon that vestige again for a week. Success means you may choose one of the vestige's granted abilities, which henceforth becomes permanently bound to you, usable even when the vestige is not fully bound. This pact does not count as having a vestige bound for the purposes of calculating how many vestiges you can bind at a time or for any feats or abilities based on having bound vestiges (including supernatural blast, supernatural invocation, and vestigial awareness). The bloodpact is too weak to allow the vestige to influence your actions or personality (as per the vestige's description), but you now bear the vestige's sign permanently, and may only choose to suppress it for a number of hours per day equal to either your invocation caster level or effective binder level, whichever is greater. Only one vestige bloodpact may be made, and once it is made, it can never be undone.

    Last edited by Tedesche; 2010-07-06 at 07:08 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Custom Prestige Class: The Eldritch Pactmaster (Warlock/Binder PrC)

    I like it. Powerful, but not overpowered. It's definitely better than a singleclassed warlock, and maybe better than a singleclassed binder, but still nowhere close to something like an Anima Mage. Vestige Bloodpact is a very interesting capstone.

    Nitpick: For Supernatural Invocation, you wrote "semantic" rather than "somatic."

    Another Nitpick: Tables made using the {table] function generally look nicer than images.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Custom Prestige Class: The Eldritch Pactmaster (Warlock/Binder PrC)

    Didn't know there was a table function, thanks for the tip, and the grammar lesson too.

    As for its comparison to the anima mage PrC, I always felt like that class didn't really add too much in terms of unique abilities to the wizard class, let alone the binder class. Wizards and sorcerers are simply better than warlocks as base classes though, no matter which way you slice it, so from that end I see your point. The vestige metamagic ability—which allows you to persist three 9th-level spells per day eventually—is the only one I considered truly powerful. Vestige casting is nice, but not great.

    Anyway, the point here was to blend the two base classes into one as much as possible. I kind of still feel like the class is better taken by characters that are primarily warlocks though, as most of its key abilities focus on adding the "supernatural" modifier to invocations. I couldn't really think of suitable ability that had the flavor of "eldritch power adding x to vestige abilities." The closest I came up with was one that sacrificed the use of eldritch blast for the duration of a pact in order to bind one additional vestige above the maximum allowed by the character's EBL, but that seemed like it would discourage people from taking it as a warlock 4/binder 1 build. Any suggestions?

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    Default Re: [3.5] Custom Prestige Class: The Eldritch Pactmaster (Warlock/Binder PrC)

    One possible idea is to allow applying Eldritch Essences/Blast Shapes to Su abilities granted by vestiges, possibly at the cost of making that essence/shape unusable for the same duration it takes for the vestige ability to recharge. For example, you can apply Sickening Blast to Acererak's Paralyzing Touch to also force a Fort save or be sickened. You might have to go through the list of essences/shapes to explain how they'll work with Su abilities though, and only abilities with 5 round recharge time should be allowed to use essences/shapes.

    Example:

    Eldritch Spear - Makes your Su abilities have more range. Touch range abilities become 30 ft range touch instead. Abilities with a range already can now target up to twice the normal range.

    Frightful Blast - Enemies affected by your vestige ability must make a Will save or be shaken for 1 round.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Custom Prestige Class: The Eldritch Pactmaster (Warlock/Binder PrC)

    I thought about that, because it's similar to the eldritch spellweave ability of the eldritch theurge. Thing is, it would require going through all he vestiges and their granted abilities (if only to look for rule snags), and would also probably favor blaster binders, as opposed to scouts/healers, etc.

    What about the ability to use a vestige ability that has a recharge time of 5 rounds or less, but instead apply the recharge time to an invocation instead? Doing so would terminate any ongoing effects of said invocation, obviously.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Custom Prestige Class: The Eldritch Pactmaster (Warlock/Binder PrC)

    That could work, though I'm not sure if being able to spam a single ability pretty much permanently is too strong. You should make it suppress existing invocations rather than terminate them though.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Custom Prestige Class: The Eldritch Pactmaster (Warlock/Binder PrC)

    The reason I made it terminate the effects of those invocations is so that the character can't use an invocation like see the unseen, which lasts 24 hours, and then use it as a vestige ability battery, while its effects remain. Are you simply suggesting that it suppress the invocation's effects for 5 rounds, and that they resume immediately when that time is up? Eh...maybe. Not sure I see much of a difference there, honestly.

    I'm thinking of these powers in relation to what the base classes could normally do, not what tier it'll put the eldritch pactmaster in. One of the main problems for a binder is that, after using his favorite ability, he can't use it again for 5 rounds (which can be a long time—the battle is often over by then!). With this ability though, he can use vestige powers more frequently by sacrificing his invocations instead. I figured this would be particularly useful to binders, because you can always change your bound vestiges at the start of the day; hence, when you know your invocations aren't going to be of any use to you, you can instead use them to power the abilities you specifically choose for the job. Does that make it seem better?

    Also, I'm realizing that binders really are quite a bit better than warlocks, due simply to their versatility as characters. For that reason, I was thinking about adding and/or switching in an ability that allows you to sacrifice the use of a vestige or some of its abilities for extra eldritch blast damage. Thoughts?

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    Default Re: [3.5] Custom Prestige Class: The Eldritch Pactmaster (Warlock/Binder PrC)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedesche View Post
    The reason I made it terminate the effects of those invocations is so that the character can't use an invocation like see the unseen, which lasts 24 hours, and then use it as a vestige ability battery, while its effects remain. Are you simply suggesting that it suppress the invocation's effects for 5 rounds, and that they resume immediately when that time is up? Eh...maybe. Not sure I see much of a difference there, honestly.
    The difference is that you don't have to spend actions to restart them. Not a huge difference, but noticeable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedesche View Post
    One of the main problems for a binder is that, after using his favorite ability, he can't use it again for 5 rounds (which can be a long time—the battle is often over by then!). With this ability though, he can use vestige powers more frequently by sacrificing his invocations instead. I figured this would be particularly useful to binders, because you can always change your bound vestiges at the start of the day; hence, when you know your invocations aren't going to be of any use to you, you can instead use them to power the abilities you specifically choose for the job. Does that make it seem better?
    You should probably limit how often you can do this. Perhaps start with a limit of using one invocation this way at a time, and go higher as you level up in the class (to a maximum limit of 2 or 3, or perhaps one per invocation level). Otherwise, it's a bit too good to just sacrifice a bunch of least invocations you never use anyway and keeping your favorite abilities permanently usable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedesche View Post
    Also, I'm realizing that binders really are quite a bit better than warlocks, due simply to their versatility as characters. For that reason, I was thinking about adding and/or switching in an ability that allows you to sacrifice the use of a vestige or some of its abilities for extra eldritch blast damage. Thoughts?
    Perhaps sacrifice all of one vestige's abilities in order to Empower, Maximize, or Quicken an EB?
    Last edited by PId6; 2010-07-10 at 06:21 PM.
    Rogue Handbook | Warmage Rebuild | Diablo's Assassin | Revised Classes
    Potpourri Creation Contest II Winner: Desert Martial Adept Substitution Levels
    Potpourri Creation Contest III Best Characterization: Edward the Sly's Lucky Spells
    Prestige Class Contest XXI Submission: Child of the Seelie Court

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