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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    TheLogman's Avatar

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    Exclamation Binding, Shadowmagic, Truespeech, Why not?

    As I meander through the forums, I find almost no mention of the Binders and Shadowmages, and no mention of all of the Truespeakers. Why not? Is it because True-Speaking gives you too few spells? Why not bind? Is it because it is too varied and not specific enough in any one ability? Is it just that the entire book is regarded as not optimized, and the magic systems too weak? Am I crazy for actually liking the Truespeech class, and actually playing it once?
    Last edited by TheLogman; 2007-04-28 at 07:31 PM.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Binding, Shadowmagic, Truespeech, Why not?

    There are a few threads on them.

    Overall, it has to do with two things:
    1) Everything in it is only supported in one book. Wizards have core, the PHB2, some stuff in the DMG2, Complete Arcane, Complete Mage, the Spell Compendium, and so on and so forth. Even, say, the Duskblade, which appears in PHB2 and has no other books directly supporting it, benefits from generic combat and magic feats in other books. Shadowcasters have ToM, and can't even use the generic stuff in other books very well.

    2) Tome of Magic stuff is a step down in power from the rest of its niche. The Binder is regarded as the Warlock-who-doesn't-suck; the Shadowcaster is a slightly inferior sorcerer (fewer spells known, spell power varies slightly, but, overall, I think the Mysteries tend to be equally or more powerful than their equivalent spells. An exception can be made for their dispelling, which they get a level late); and the Truenamer is also a Warlock, but this time with a (admittedly large) uses per day limit, and a good chance that their action is going to be wasted, especially against the big boss fight.

    I see the Shadowcaster as a decently built class that could compete with a core caster in the caster-only stuff and in a support role; it won't dominate the battlefield, but it won't draw the monster's attention off the fighter. The Binder is more of a tricks specialist.

    The Truenamer is a design problem. First, of course, is that there is no reason to use a lower-level Utterance over a higher one, since the DC isn't any different and the higher-level one is more powerful. Actually, zeroeth is that, quite often, its action is simply worthless, even before the enemy attempts a save. Fighters have multiple attacks per round, and can threaten the enemy (unless they're archers) and take AoOs or make the enemy reconsider tactics; Truenamers don't even get that, since they can't afford to stand in melee. Second is that they absolutely must pump Truespeak as high as it will go, otherwise they suck against things of equal CR (nevermind bosses), and that a lenient DM might let them add things WotC didn't account for, and that gets ridiculous.

    Third is that, in a typical adventure, you fight a whole bunch of mooks at the beginning of the day. The Truenamer can deal with these things easily. At the end, you come up against the boss. Now the Truenamer has the Law of Resistance on all of his good Utterances, and the enemy has a CR some points higher than his level. He can't do anything, and might as well have just sat out the boss fight. Even the PCs are harder to affect (with, say, Word of Nurturing) than the mooks were, and the Law of Resistance has likely rendered the helpful Utterances worthless. The Truenamer can't contribute against enemies of a higher CR than the party, and that's when the party needs everyone contributing.
    Last projects, from years back: Lesser Disciplines (Tome of Battle). Also, Never Behind the Curve (multiclassing).

    Some of my current work is under the name IGTN on D&D Wiki

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Binding, Shadowmagic, Truespeech, Why not?

    Binder is pretty good, but not able to be built into cheese or broken. The Shadowcaster is decent, but needs work, which I have explored and modified the class some to make it on par with other classes. Here is my thread concerning Shadowcasters.

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    HalflingRogueGuy

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    Default Re: Binding, Shadowmagic, Truespeech, Why not?

    Binders are certainly fun (I'm playing on in a PbP game right now) but since all their material is in Tome of Magic, it's not like there's very much to say about them. They do get mentioned on the Char Op boards sometimes, as Wizard X/Binder 1/Anima Mage 10/Full Arcane Caster Y is a very strong and flexible build.

    JaronK

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    Default Re: Binding, Shadowmagic, Truespeech, Why not?

    Binders are cool because they they emulate all the anime/fantasy characters with the right choices.

    Fantasy Samurai who strikes every enemy he moves by?
    Binder 8/Samurai 1 with Paimon (dance of death allows move +attack every enemy once and can be 1/5 rounds) and
    a. Savnok: +1 Full plate with DR 3/piercing
    b. Dahlver-nar: Na bonus =Con bonus + Shield self (make other take 1/2 your damage will negate if not willing)..

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Binding, Shadowmagic, Truespeech, Why not?

    So the Truenamers are out because they suffer quickly after multiple encounters, and all three suffer from lack of support from any other books, and are less desirable then say, a Wizard or even a Fighter.

    So what can we do to fix this? Could someone give me tips on how to create Feats/Prestige Classes/Truenames/New Vestiges, so that I could maybe make these classes a little better at a time through HomeBrew?

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    Default Re: Binding, Shadowmagic, Truespeech, Why not?

    Designing your own vestige
    http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/dd/20060324a
    http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/dd/20060407a

    Three new psionic vestiges
    http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/psm/20070119a

    There is also a new vestige in Dragon Magic called ashardalon he is an 8th lvl vestige.
    Stupendous Man drawn by Linklele

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Binding, Shadowmagic, Truespeech, Why not?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheLogman View Post
    So the Truenamers are out because they suffer quickly after multiple encounters, and all three suffer from lack of support from any other books, and are less desirable then say, a Wizard or even a Fighter.

    So what can we do to fix this? Could someone give me tips on how to create Feats/Prestige Classes/Truenames/New Vestiges, so that I could maybe make these classes a little better at a time through HomeBrew?
    For truenamers, I would revamp the system so that you only need to succeed on a 10+CR or 15+CR, making it so that you don't need a 20 to have a chance of a spell working. Of course, then you get the problem of having them not need to roll a die to affect someone.

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    Default Re: Binding, Shadowmagic, Truespeech, Why not?

    There is a build on the WotC forum that shows it is more than possible to build a highly effective Truespeaker. Custom items of +10 to Truespeak cost a mere 10,000 gp. Exemplar loads abilities and bonuses onto your Truespeaking, and actually makes a great deal of sense. Human Paragon and Able Learner make it possible to advance other classes whiles still improving your Truespeaking. The Truespeaker is underrated.

    THAT said, it is still a rather inferior class. The exceedingly limited scope of its utterances makes it like a very watered-down sorcerer. Each utterance does have dual functions—healing and hurting options are combined into one utterance, for example—but it doesn't remedy the fact that it knows about as many utterances as a warlock, but each one requires checks and allows saves where a warlock would just be blasting away. When you find a class that is inferior to warlock—in any respect other than endurance—you know it needs a bit of a tweak.

    Binding magic, I admit, I have looked into only slightly more than Shadow Magic, which I have barely skimmed. Binding seems like a fascinating flavor mechanic, and strikes me as an excellent dip class, or a good class to work into a melee/spellcasting advancement class, even if it's only +1/2 CL advancement, since the vestiges often feature useful melee abilities.
    Good grammar is hot.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    smile Re: Binding, Shadowmagic, Truespeech, Why not?

    Maybe a feat or two could be added for Truenamers, something like a feat that allows you to reduce/ignore the Law or Resistance, or something that allows you to take 10 on a certain Utterance once a day. Out of the three classes, it seems like the Truespeakers are the class that is the weakest. However, taking into account that the List of Truenames is so small, and the speed you learn them is so small, maybe the answer is to just let them have more Utterances, and write more of them.
    As for that Binder stuff you posted, that really helps.
    Last edited by TheLogman; 2007-04-29 at 02:15 PM.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Binding, Shadowmagic, Truespeech, Why not?

    Quote Originally Posted by MeklorIlavator View Post
    For truenamers, I would revamp the system so that you only need to succeed on a 10+CR or 15+CR, making it so that you don't need a 20 to have a chance of a spell working. Of course, then you get the problem of having them not need to roll a die to affect someone.
    I'd probably make it a level + int check, and allow a special Skill Focus for it. Truename Training makes all classes contribute to Speaker Level, instead of just Truenamer and Truenaming PrCs. Remove the Amulet of the Silver Tongue. The Universal Aptitude utterance specifically applies to Truenaming, possibly at reduced effectiveness. DC increases for "meta-utterance" feats and special applications of utterances are halved (round up). The Law of Resistance, Personal Truenames, and the like are unchanged.

    DC 10 + CR + Utterance Level for Evolving Mind. This is the baseline. Bonuses outside will likely scale faster than Utterance Level, though; this makes the Empower/Extend feats useful.

    We want to make it so that, at all levels, using a top-end utterance on a top-end enemy is roughly equally difficult. Crafted Tool kicks in at 4th level, just after 2nd level utterances. Thus, a 1st-level Crafted Tool Utterance is equivalent to a 2nd-level Evolving Mind Utterance, and should have the same (or roughly the same) DC. The Crafted Tool reaches 5th level just after Evolving Mind 6th, so the same principle applies.

    DC 11 + Item Caster Level + Utterance Level for Crafted Tool. Thus, a level 1 CT utterance is DC 12+CL; a level 2 EM utterance is DC 12+CR. Nonmagical objects get a DC of 20+UL.

    Now we need to do the Perfected Map. It doesn't have targets with a value that easily scales by level, so we have to count Utterance Level quite heavily for this.

    At 8th level, you're fighting CR 8 enemies, and using 3rd-level Evolving Mind utterances; this totals to DC 21. You also get your first Perfected Map Utterance. Your Perfected Map upgrades every 4 levels, and you add 1 level to your Evolving Mind lexicon at the same pace. Thus, your DCs should rise by 5 each time (at level 20, your EM utterances are DC 36, 15 above what they were at level 8, and your Perfected Maps are 15 above initial).

    A base DC of 21 or 16 looks ugly, so I'll start with 15. The Perfected Map thus becomes DC 15 + 5*utterance level.

    The baseline is, of course, adjustable.
    Last projects, from years back: Lesser Disciplines (Tome of Battle). Also, Never Behind the Curve (multiclassing).

    Some of my current work is under the name IGTN on D&D Wiki

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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Binding, Shadowmagic, Truespeech, Why not?

    I've found that using the following equations seem to work pretty well.

    Lexicon of the Evolving Mind: DC = 15 + CR + (2x Utterance Level)
    Lexicon of the Crafted Tool: DC = 15 + Caster Level + (2x Utterance Level)
    Lexicon of the Perfected Map: DC = 20 + (5x Utterance Level)

    They let the Truenamer have a fair chance of being able to hit the DCs without having to search high and low for every type of bonus under the sun. The highest DC (assuming CR 20) is 47, and a 20th level Truenamer with max ranks (23), Skill Focus (+3), Int 28 (18 start, +4 from level, +6 from Headband of Intellect for a +9 bonus) and the +10 amulet has a total roll of 45. Even without the amulet and the headband they can hit 47 on a roll of 14.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Binding, Shadowmagic, Truespeech, Why not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deper View Post
    I've found that using the following equations seem to work pretty well.

    Lexicon of the Evolving Mind: DC = 15 + CR + (2x Utterance Level)
    Lexicon of the Crafted Tool: DC = 15 + Caster Level + (2x Utterance Level)
    Lexicon of the Perfected Map: DC = 20 + (5x Utterance Level)

    They let the Truenamer have a fair chance of being able to hit the DCs without having to search high and low for every type of bonus under the sun. The highest DC (assuming CR 20) is 47, and a 20th level Truenamer with max ranks (23), Skill Focus (+3), Int 28 (18 start, +4 from level, +6 from Headband of Intellect for a +9 bonus) and the +10 amulet has a total roll of 45. Even without the amulet and the headband they can hit 47 on a roll of 14.
    I set up my equations for it being a level + int check, not a skill.

    If it's a skill, then you have two options:
    Reasonable DCs, in which case those who search for every bonus under the sun can repeat the same utterance endlessly and are much more powerful than expected.
    Ridiculous DCs, in which case you have all the problems I was fixing.

    The fix is to make it something other than a skill.
    Last projects, from years back: Lesser Disciplines (Tome of Battle). Also, Never Behind the Curve (multiclassing).

    Some of my current work is under the name IGTN on D&D Wiki

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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Binding, Shadowmagic, Truespeech, Why not?

    Quote Originally Posted by I_Got_This_Name View Post
    I set up my equations for it being a level + int check, not a skill.

    If it's a skill, then you have two options:
    Reasonable DCs, in which case those who search for every bonus under the sun can repeat the same utterance endlessly and are much more powerful than expected.
    Ridiculous DCs, in which case you have all the problems I was fixing.

    The fix is to make it something other than a skill.
    Either works. Making it work like Wild Empathy means that anything that improves intelligence based checks will still drive it up, so you can still get some ridiculous Truenaming checks in your system if the person decides to go looking for them. For example, an Illumian can get an automatic +3 just for his race alone.

    In either system its up to the DM to put their foot down on insane Truenaming checks. Making it a Wild Empathy-type ability doesn't change that, but the lower DC's that it entails means you get away with far more for far less. A +3 bonus is far more useful in your fix than it is in mine.

    Either option works, but just like any type of abuse the DM needs to know when to put his foot down.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Binding, Shadowmagic, Truespeech, Why not?

    Have any of you actually Run/played these or are these just the repeated concerns of the community?

    Secondly, out of the two i would have thought the rule against spamming ( The one preventing multible copies of a spell with a duration from working )would have been the worst off of the two laws? I kind of figured that that law of increased resistance would result in a loss of action , of which they are preety much guaenteed anyway against a boss so it was kind of a moot point?

    Third has anyone actually done up a percentage chance of success for mook, level, and boss encounters? encompensing appropiate items and all

    Lastly, I've seen a few suggested changes to the DC system, Has anyone considered giving a flat bonus to the Truenaming in the True namer class? Something Like + Level? ( Like Bardic music or something simular) if so how did it work out. I got one now and i want to ensure that suckiness does not ensue

    Logo
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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Binding, Shadowmagic, Truespeech, Why not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Logos7 View Post
    Have any of you actually Run/played these or are these just the repeated concerns of the community?
    Yes I have tried out both the original equations and the ones I'm suggesting. The adjusted equations work quite well and you don't have to start changing feats around or any other DC modifier in order to match them.

    Secondly, out of the two i would have thought the rule against spamming ( The one preventing multible copies of a spell with a duration from working )would have been the worst off of the two laws? I kind of figured that that law of increased resistance would result in a loss of action , of which they are preety much guaenteed anyway against a boss so it was kind of a moot point?
    Most abilites don't last that long so while something is in effect, the Truenamer is usually taking a moment to boost an ally or hitting the boss with something else.

    Third has anyone actually done up a percentage chance of success for mook, level, and boss encounters? encompensing appropiate items and all
    For these, no. But it isn't hard to do.

    Lastly, I've seen a few suggested changes to the DC system, Has anyone considered giving a flat bonus to the Truenaming in the True namer class? Something Like + Level? ( Like Bardic music or something simular) if so how did it work out. I got one now and i want to ensure that suckiness does not ensue

    Logo
    ... Um... that's exactly the system I_Got_This_Name suggested, in post 11, not 5 posts ago. You might want to go back and read it.
    Last edited by Deper; 2007-05-13 at 09:42 AM.

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