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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Binders and Vestiges in 5E

    Ok, so I definitely know this has been done before, but I've been working on a little adaptation of the Binder class from Tome of Magic and thought I would share it here and see if anyone has any feedback. The class is still a work in progress. There still several vestiges to complete but I think the essence of what I have in mind is clear.

    Binder (New 5E class)

    Please do let me know what you think...

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Orc in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Binders and Vestiges in 5E

    Ready set go!!!!!

    So first of all, there are a few things to note. (FULL DISCLOSURE: I've never played 3.x editions, so I won't pretend to know how they work)

    In a few places, you mention Bluff and a couple other social skills that don't exist anymore. The social skills are now the following: Deception, Intimidation, Persuasion, and Performance. If I'm remembering correctly, there might have been one or two other skills mentioned in there that are different in 5e.

    It looks fun, but there are a few things that are a little... ok one thing is a balance issue, and another thing is kinda frustrating.

    Frustrating: It seems like all the Neutral/Good flavored vestiges have much more annoying Signs or Influences than the Evil ones. A lot of the Evil ones just (with exceptions) change your eye color or make you have a sweet tattoo on your chest, while the Good ones (with exceptions) give you some disfigurement like hoofs.

    Balance: It's a port, so I don't know how much was you and how much was the original, but some internal consistency would be a good idea. The Signs and Influences can't seem to choose whether they are mechanical or flavor effects. Here's my advice!

    Make the signs be perfectly non-mechanical. That sign that makes you suck at spellcasting is the worst. Signs that make your skin be funny, or that give you horns, great! Or, alternatively, make all of the signs have minor mechanical effect, like the extra finger one or the hoofs one. Whichever you pick, make it consistent.

    Write out the Influences in 5e lingo, like Madness effects.

    "Influence: While hosting (vestige here), you gain the following Bond and Flaw. Dwarven Goodwill: I give a coin to any dwarf whose name I learn. Scrooge: I refuse to give away anything, and haggle to fractions of a copper."

    If I think of something else, I'll let you know!

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Nifft's Avatar

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    Default Re: Binders and Vestiges in 5E

    Neat implementation.

    I like how the vestiges scale in potency as you advance.

    I will note that, from a cursory glance, some of the Boons seem a lot weaker than others.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Binders and Vestiges in 5E

    Thank you, both, for your feedback. It looks like I still have quite a bit of work to do but I knew this would be quite a big project. Some of the material is copied from a 4th edition attempt to convert the same idea and so a few of the skills and things appear to have filtered pasts the editor (me).

    Frustrating: It seems like all the Neutral/Good flavored vestiges have much more annoying Signs or Influences than the Evil ones. A lot of the Evil ones just (with exceptions) change your eye color or make you have a sweet tattoo on your chest, while the Good ones (with exceptions) give you some disfigurement like hoofs.
    The boons and influences are lifted almost unmodified from the original material but I have to say, I had never really made this connection before. I've always thought most of the Vestiges have a creepy aspect, even the ones that are ostensibly not that evil in nature. As I go through the edits I'll look out for trying to even this out a little thematically.

    Make the signs be perfectly non-mechanical. That sign that makes you suck at spellcasting is the worst. Signs that make your skin be funny, or that give you horns, great! Or, alternatively, make all of the signs have minor mechanical effect, like the extra finger one or the hoofs one. Whichever you pick, make it consistent.

    Write out the Influences in 5e lingo, like Madness effects.

    "Influence: While hosting (vestige here), you gain the following Bond and Flaw. Dwarven Goodwill: I give a coin to any dwarf whose name I learn. Scrooge: I refuse to give away anything, and haggle to fractions of a copper."
    I'll definitely take this on board and give both the boons and influences some thought. They need a little more generalisation and to be more 5th edition'ed but that's just a matter of redrafting I think.

    I will note that, from a cursory glance, some of the Boons seem a lot weaker than others.
    boons are definitely the hardest part to get right. Essentially, I'm writing like 30 class features, and trying to make them vaguely comparable. But that's what makes the process fun. I just love the thematics of the original binder a lot and I'm really trying to catch the nature of that class while getting it a bit more balanced (which I'm not sure it ever really was in third edition).

    I like how the vestiges scale in potency as you advance.
    That was very much my desire from the word go. Make sure every Vestige has a role to play throughout at least most of the levels in the same way that 5E makes sure that most low level spells continue to have a role to play even at high level.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Orc in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Binders and Vestiges in 5E

    Yeah you're making like a million class features haha

    One thing that is helpful when homebrewing a class is to start with a little. My personal strategy would be to pick like 5 vestiges and balance them, then add the others.
    I would decide some specifics, like this:

    Name of Vestige
    flavor text
    Specific Summoning Reqs
    Manifestation
    Sign
    Influence 1 (personality quirk)
    Influence 2 (new flaw or bond)
    Boon 1 (passive benefit)
    Boon 2 (passive benefit)
    Favor 1
    Favor 2
    Special Favor

    That way you're working with a formula. If each vestige has the same number of things, balance will be much easier.



    When it comes to the Soul Sculpt thing, the "evil guy who enslaves" and the "nice guy" one both get the standard 3-4 archetype-specific features, but the nasty guy gets spellcasting (very limited, but still!!) as one of his. It is a good idea to remember that a spell is basically a class feature. That's why 5e wizards have such a barebones class table. They are always getting new spells. Essentially what I'm saying is that the Binder class gives the bad guy objectively more class features than then nice guy. And that doesn't even go into the lack of synergy between the nice guy's extra abilities.

    Lots to think about!

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Binders and Vestiges in 5E

    As one of the guys who helped build the big 5e Binder project on the boards here (This one here), I have a couple pieces of advice:

    1. Keep the powers granted to the binder by virtue of their CLASS to a minimum, or make them mostly benign/ribbons. You want the majority of powers the Binder has to come from the Vestiges, because that is the interesting part.

    2. Make two of three vestiges first, and balance those, then apply the same kind of formula to the rest of your vestiges.

    3. Make sure your binder has some way to contribute every round. Ours didn't in early playtesting, and that's when the "Minor Spirits" ability showed up, allowing him to feel relevant in every encounter.

    4. Don't let flavor corrupt your balance, and don't just port things DIRECTLY from 3.5. We ran into a LOT of that way back when.

    Also, don't let yourself get weighed down by how big of a project it is (and it certainly IS a big project): It took us over a year to get ours done.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Binders and Vestiges in 5E

    Thank you everyone for your wonderful feedback. You've given me a lot to think about. I'm currently doing a big overhaul of everything I've done so far and will be trying to incorporate some of your ideas. As you've suggested I'm going to try to focus on getting a small selection of vestiges worked out and then expand from there. Its a bit more organised than I usually am so we'll see how that goes.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Binders and Vestiges in 5E

    I have put up a 2nd draft. Still a lot of vestiges incomplete but I've done a complete overhaul of the class itself and the archetypes and changed the way I'm presenting vestiges to bring them more in line with 5E.

    Binder PDF 5E

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