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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Stycotl's Avatar

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    Default Archon of the Forsaken (binder/warlock prc)

    Inspired by my desire to combine the binder and warlock, and a passing interest in creating some sort of conglomeration of Abaddon, Samael, Ahriman, the Maghariyyah, and the Outer Gods—among other things.

    Archon of the Forsaken



    The archons of Seklas are a cult of secretive witches and warlocks bent on the ascension of their lord, Seklas, who is also known as Maprapnetra, the Destroyer, and the Poison of the Gods. Esoteric lore speaks of Seklas as the unwanted offspring of the gods, a gargantuan, tentacled worm or serpent with three leonine heads, so alien and vile in nature that he was struck down to the darkest corners of creation. The archons believe that Seklas is destined to rule the multiverse, to ascend above the pantheons and Outer Gods, and make of them his servants and vassals. The archons are to be his personal aides, and their tradition states that they are imbued with some of his divinity, given them by the Destroyer in order to carry out his work throughout the multiverse.

    There is only one problem with that goal: Seklas is said to be imprisoned within his own afterbirth somewhere in the Far Realms, pushed aside and forgotten by his deific creators. As of yet, none of the archons have ever been able to find and free the godthing. Though his delirious, roving mind calls to them and answers their summoning and binding rituals, he is in a state of perpetual incapacitation, unable to even move his stricken body from its rotting confinement.

    In order to free Seklas, the archons believe that they have to find both the portals and ley lines that lead to his place of imprisonment within the Far Realms, and his mothergod, the being that created and then rejected him. Only with her sacrifice can Seklas be freed. To this end they toil with fanatic zeal, searching, studying, and plotting. They are passionate scholars, devouring historical and occult texts, journeying to ancient ruins, deciphering forgotten languages—all in the hopes of locating their master, and his traitorous goddess.

    Becoming an archon of the forsaken

    As the archons claim a portion of the divine essence of their lord, only one with a fiendish heritage of some sort can enter this prestige class. A heritage derived from the abomination is abnormal as far as ordinary warlocks and witches are concerned, in that Seklas has never produced progeny. None of his descendents are actually his offspring. Instead, in his musings and mental wanderings, he becomes aware of those calling upon his name. He offers a shadow of his soul to those that bind themselves to him, and those that twist the already dark eldritch magic to his cause. Mechanically, the Fiendish Heritage feat is the key to becoming an archon. It is unimportant as to whether the character already had the feat or not before learning of and seeking out Seklas—if previously inherited from demons and devils, the heritage now becomes that of Seklas, though it has the same game effects.
    Class qualification is fairly narrow; one must be a multiclass warlock/binder, though it does not matter which class the character favors most. They are both two sides of the same face—that of one of the unholy angels devoted to a lost and bitter god.

    HD: d6

    Entry Requirements
    Patron: Seklas
    Alignment: Any nonlawful, nongood
    Skills: Knowledge (arcane) 9 ranks, Knowledge (the planes) 9 ranks, Knowledge (religion) 9 ranks
    Feats: Eldritch Occultist, Fiendish Heritage (Special), Skilled Pact Making
    Invocations: Ability to use warlock invocations
    Soul binding: Ability to bind vestiges, including Seklas, the Lost.

    Class Skills: Bluff, Concentrate, Craft, Decipher Script, Diplomacy, Disguise, Gather Information, Intimidate, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (history), Knowledge (the planes), Knowledge (religion), Profession, Sense Motive, Spellcraft, Use Magic Device
    Skill-points per level: 4+Int modifier

    Archon of the Forsaken
    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Bonus Feat, Father to Son

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Acid Resistance 10

    3rd|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Wisdom of the Planes

    4th|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Form of the Forsaken

    5th|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Malevolence of Maprapnetra

    6th|
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Bonus Feat

    7th|
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Harness the Destroyer

    8th|
    +6
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    |Acid Resistance 20

    9th|
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |Creation and Obliteration

    10th|
    +7
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Mind of Destruction[/table]

    {table="head"]Level|Invoking|Soul Binding
    1st|+1 of existing invoking class|+1 of existing binding class
    2nd|+1 of existing invoking class|+1 of existing binding class
    3rd|+1 of existing invoking class|+1 of existing binding class
    4th|+1 of existing invoking class|+1 of existing binding class
    5th|+1 of existing invoking class|+1 of existing binding class
    6th|+1 of existing invoking class|+1 of existing binding class
    7th|+1 of existing invoking class|+1 of existing binding class
    8th|+1 of existing invoking class|+1 of existing binding class
    9th|+1 of existing invoking class|+1 of existing binding class
    10th|+1 of existing invoking class|––
    [/table]


    Weapon and armor proficiencies: Seklas’ archons are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, as well as light armor—but not shields.

    Invocations: At each archon level, you gain new invocations known, access to more powerful invocations (least, lesser, etc), and an increase in caster level as if you had also gained a level in the warlock class (this includes eldritch blast). You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained.

    Soul Binding: At each archon level except for 10th, your soul binding ability improves as if you had also gained a level in the binder class. Your archon 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 that you can bind. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a binder would have gained.

    Bonus Feat: At 1st level, and then again at 6th level, the archon can choose any binder-specific feat, any metamagic feat that would apply to his invocations and eldritch blast, any item creation feat, or any Fiendish Heritage feat, so long as he meets its prerequisites.

    Father to Son (Su): Obsessed with his own abandonment, Seklas has styled himself as a devoted, if not distant, father to all of his archons; he pours into them as much of his essence as he can in his weakened state. At first level, anytime the archon is not bound to at least one of Seklas’ vestiges, he suffers a dramatic depletion of mental and physical tenacity, taking a -2 penalty to all saving throws. However, when he is bound to one of Seklas' vestiges, he gains a +2 bonus to all saving throws. At higher levels, whenever he is bound to both vestiges of Seklas at the same time, he gains a +4 total bonus as his bond with the Destroyer is strengthened.

    Resistance (Ex): At 2nd level, the archon gains acid resistance 10. This stacks with any acid resistance that the archon has through racial, feat, or other class abilities. At 8th level, this becomes acid resistance 20.

    Wisdom of the Planes (Ex): At 3rd level, owing to his extensive studies, the archon begins to truly understand the relationship between the multiverse and the lingering force of the vestiges he binds. He gains a synergy bonus to binder level checks equal to +1/5 ranks of Knowledge (the planes) that he possesses.

    Form of the Forsaken: At 4th level, the archon has learned to become a minor avatar of Seklas, growing into a likeness of the Poison of the Gods, and gaining some of his strengths and weaknesses. This ability is a 5th-level, greater invocation that transforms him into a tentacled, serpentine monster. His face remains recognizable, though now distorted by leonine features, a heavy jaw with sharp fangs, and a thick mane of tangled, gray fur. He remains the same size, but gains a +4 enhancement bonus to Strength and Dexterity, 4d8+12 temporary hit points, a +8 racial bonus to climb and grapple checks, a primary bite attack that deals 1d6 damage, and three secondary tentacle attacks that deal 1d4 damage. The tentacles drip with foul poison, dealing 2d4 initial and secondary Wisdom damage (Charisma-based) to anything that they touch. This invocation lasts one round per class level. If he is bound to Seklas, the Lost, when using this invocation, the tentacle attacks have 10 feet of reach. If bound to Seklas, the Destroyer, when using this invocation, it is cast as an 8th-level, dark invocation, the bite does 2d6 damage, the tentacles do 2d8 damage, and the poison does 2d6 Wisdom damage, as well as 2d6 initial and secondary acid damage (halved with successful save), and any critical hit with a tentacle or bite attack channels an eldritch blast through it as with horrendous blow. After using this invocation, the archon cannot use it again for six hours, and is fatigued until he receives treatment or adequate rest.

    Malevolence of the Forgotten God: At 5th level, the archon has learned to smite his foes with Seklas’ boiling anger. This ability is treated as a greater (5th level) eldritch essence that can be applied to his eldritch blast once per encounter. A victim of this eldritch essence must make a Will save or suffer the effects of the enfeeble spell, as the alien wrath of the Destroyer pierces its soul and destroys its intellect. Along with affecting Intelligence and Charisma, this ability drops the target’s Wisdom to 1 as well. This essence cannot be applied to an eldritch blast that affects more than one target per use.

    Harness the Destroyer (Su): At 7th level, the archon learns to channel both of his arts simultaneously, combining the dark magic of the warlock with the imbued strength of the Poison of the Gods. From now on, when bound to at least one of Seklas’ vestiges, and using any vestigial ability with a five-round recharge, he can cast any known invocation or eldritch blast as a swift action by adding another five rounds to the recharge of the vestigial ability (he cannot use it again for 10 rounds). If he is bound to both of Seklas’ vestiges, he can do so by only adding another two rounds to the recharge of the vestigial ability (he cannot use it again for 7 rounds). This ability can be used a number of times per day equal to the archon's Charisma modifier.

    Creation and Obliteration: At 9th level, the archon has made a breakthrough in his understanding of Seklas, and his communication with the godthing. He can now bind Seklas, the Destroyer, whether he would normally be allowed to bind 8th-level vestiges or not. Note, the archon cannot bind any other vestiges of this level if he would not ordinarily be allowed to do so by virtue of his effective binder level. If the Archon at any time takes any of the feats in the Favored Vestige feat chain for Seklas, the Lost, or Seklas, the Destroyer, it counts for both vestiges.

    Mind of Destruction (Su): Known as Anjra Maniiu, or less formally as the Godkiller, this is one of the archons’ greatest secrets—other than their existence as a whole in the first place. By 10th level, the archon has learned his place among Seklas’ scheme in the universe, and has ignited a firestorm of divine potential within his own soul, drawing strength from Seklas’ imbued essence, and readying himself for the coming conflict with a divine entity. He can utilize the power word kill spell once per day as a spell-like ability. For every point of Constitution damage that he is willing to take in sacrifice to Seklas, he can raise the caster level of the power word by +1, and affect a creature with 20 hit points over the normal limit (example: Rhotan sacrifices 10 points of Constitution damage in order to gain a +10 to his caster level of the spell-like ability, and enable it to affect a creature with up to 300 hit points). If the archon sacrifices more than 5 points of Constitution damage in this way at one time, he must immediately make a Fortitude saving throw, using your new Constitution modifier (DC of 10+Charisma modifier+sacrificed Constitution points), or lapse into a coma with a duration equal to the time necessary to heal his first point of Constitution back. Nothing short of a wish or miracle can heal this sacrificed points of Constitution any faster than natural rest—not even Naberius’ vestige. The archon cannot sacrifice a number of Constitution points in this fashion greater than his archon level. Archon legend states that there is a way for multiple archons to enact a ritual with the power of the Anjra Maniiu that will be able to strike even a god to its knees. But this ritual is as lost to the planes as is their deity.

    *********

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    Seklas' Machinations and Plots

    The Poison of the Gods jealously watches over his precious few archons, whispering in their minds when he can summon the strength on his own, eagerly answering their binding rituals, and anxiously awaiting the day when he can throw down the bands of his captivity and take his rightful place among the planes. Initially a stranger among the Far Realms, Seklas has, after his eons of imprisonment, become one with the denizens of that dark, alien place. Though born of pantheistic gods, a being of the known planes, he is now an Outer God, one of the mysterious, unknowable beings that reside only in the deepest of mortality’s nightmares. Seklas does not begrudge his followers the opportunity to continue binding other vestiges. Indeed, he sees them all as future resources, slaves to empower his archons, and therefore, commodities that should be taken advantage of.

    Playing an Archon of the Forsaken

    An archon of the Poison of the Gods is an elite being, one blessed with great talent and power. But you are not without your enemies. Worshipping—and indeed, trying to bring about the eventual ascension of—one of the most abominable beings in existence, is not without its dangers.

    You did not seek out the archons—they found you. After years of dark dreams, fervent study, and spectral insight, you finally found knowledge of one vestige above all that stood out in tantalizing promise of power and glory. You have bound many of the thrown-away spirits of the multiverse, and all have been useful to you. But none of them have resonated within your being in quite the same way as Seklas. Here is power, potential unlimited. After learning to bind the Destroyer, dark and sinister figures approached you and demanded your fealty to the Poison of the Gods. Even if it seemed you had a choice, you would hardly have resisted; the dark god’s call had thoroughly enthralled you. Your acceptance into the order was the most pivotal decision you have ever made, and now you carry on the work of a truly divine being, a templar dedicated to a great cause.
    Combat: As an Archon of the Forsaken, you have some potent abilities at your command. First of all, your blood is potent, and you share the strength of some truly formidable otherworlders, whether those are demons, aberrations, or even fey. Your eldritch might is well fortified with your binding magic. More than that though, you have been blessed with the strength of one of the most powerful beings in the multiverse, the one destined to bring about the death of the gods. Use those gifts to their utmost effect; he has given you the occult knowledge that you need in order to find your foes' weaknesses, and he has given you the weapons with which to reduce those foes to shattered, mindless wrecks. You are not a front-line combatant however, and barring the occasional use of your avatar form, you should rely on ranged attacks, spells, and invocations.
    Advancement: The archons have no formal structure; there is no formally recognized leader. The most powerful archon in existence at any given time is generally the de facto authority on all matters of true import, and that position has changed numerous times over the centuries.
    Resources: Though the archons are indeed a cohesive group, they operate singly with only the rarest exceptions, and cannot be counted as allies or friends in the mundane emergencies and conflicts of the world. Only when the situation directly affects the outcome of Seklas' discovery or ascension will the other archons accept such camaraderie.

    Archons of the Forsaken in the World

    Seklas? Maprapn... what in the Hells are you blathering about, idiot?
    –Archmage Bolicray, Master of the Planes, Sigil

    Archons are not your typical adventurous heroes. They do not generally go on quests to save the daughter of the village's mayor or the world. They would rather be out searching the corners of creation for their master, and the one that birthed him–and bringing about the end of the Age of Mortals. As such, they have a hard time relating to normal societies, though they might find themselves comfortably at home in a daelkyr's parlor, or charging the gates of Celestia with a horde of demons and aberrations.
    Daily Life: Much of the archons' days are spent in obsessive study. They know that Seklas is somewhere, and that eventually they will find him. It is only a matter of time. When they are not perusing ancient tomes and studying celestial observatories, they can be found furthering their cause in other means, whether that is assassinating their enemies, raising funds, exploring newly discovered ruins, etc.
    Organizations: The archons work autonomously for the most part, keeping to themselves and their own work in order to avoid the attention of powerful entities and organizations. Only rarely do they actually convene, and even then only in small groups. All communication other than this is executed through magical methods; they do not trust to messengers and other mundane means. There will only be one predestined time in history that all existing archons convene, and that will be to drag the bound mothergod of Seklas into his miserable den and allow him to feed.

    NPC Reaction

    There are few outside of your secret circle of archons that even knows the names of Seklas, or the stories of his birth and banishment. Even ignorant of your devious goals (which they most likely equate to bringing about doomsday), most mortals and immortals alike would recoil from the foul stench of your nefarious art anyway, driven as most are to hate and fear binding rituals and the black magic of warlocks and witches.

    Archons of the Forsaken in the Game
    Archons make excellent villains, with their goals of destruction, but they can also be excellent allies to the unaware or the apathetic, as they recognize the need for contacts and allies in the world.
    Adaptation: This class could be adapted without to much hassle to different systems. Though the soul binding is fairly central to the concept, the invoking of eldritch magic is not necessarily the only class out there that has an innate manifestation of power. Sorcerers, Favored Souls, and even others could certainly provide an efficient variation to this class, though such classes would probably have to lose more caster levels than does the warlock, dependent upon the strength of their abilities.
    Encounters: Player characters will find the archons to be either knowledgeable contacts, or cunning foes. If the players blunder into the middle of the archon's work, they might find themselves beset upon by dark magic and shadowy aberrations.

    Sample Encounter

    Individual (EL 10): The party has stumbled upon an old labyrinth of catacombs, recently discovered during renovations of castle dungeon. Though sealed for many years, the catacombs show signs of recent excavation. As they explore, the PCs discover many pictographs and stelae depicting the creation of a hideously strange, serpentine god. No sooner than they set about looking for valuables, a shadow-cloaked mass of fangs and tentacles erupts from the walls, accusing them of trespassing and thievery as it tears into them in a frenzy of violence.
    Group (EL 17+): A fledgling archon was destroyed by a group of heroes in some newly discovered, maze-like catacombs more than a month ago. The heroes returned to the surface, telling tales of lion-headed serpents etched into the walls of the catacombs, along with scenes of the end of the world. Word of this site has reached the ears of one of the oldest of the archons, and he is now excited that the resting place of a dormant maprapnetra might have been found. Calling together a choice few of his archon associates, this elder will not yield for anything to slay any trespassers investigating the secret catacombs, and he will certainly not give up the opportunity to find out if one of the tentacled heralds of Seklas truly is hibernating within the area.

    Last edited by Stycotl; 2011-02-21 at 10:28 PM.
    my own diabolical experiments (homebrew)

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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Archon of the Forsaken (binder/warlock prc)

    I like the flavor a lot. A few minor comments:

    There should be some minor benefit at first level of the PrC. Right now one doesn't advance binder or warlock abilities and just gets a penalty to saves. Maybe have their DC to bind Seklas, The Lost reduced to 20? This fits well with Father to Son.



    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    Mind of Destruction (Su): Known as Anjra Maniiu, or less formally as the Godkiller, this is one of the archons’ greatest secrets—other than their existence as a whole in the first place. By 10th level, the archon has learned his place among Seklas’ scheme in the universe, and has ignited a firestorm of divine potential within his own soul, drawing strength from Seklas’ imbued essence, and readying himself for the coming conflict with a divine entity. He can utilize the power word kill spell once per day as a spell-like ability. For every point of Constitution damage that he is willing to take in sacrifice to Seklas, he can raise the caster level of the power word by +1, and affect a creature with 20 hit points over the normal limit (example: Rhotan sacrifices 10 points of Constitution damage in order to gain a +10 to his caster level of the spell-like ability, and enable it to affect a creature with up to 300 hit points). If the archon sacrifices more than 5 points of Constitution damage in this way at one time, he must immediately make a Fortitude saving throw, using your new Constitution modifier (DC of 10+Charisma modifier+sacrificed Constitution points), or lapse into a coma with a duration equal to the time necessary to heal his first point of Constitution back. Nothing short of a wish or miracle can heal this sacrificed points of Constitution any faster than natural rest—not even Naberius’ vestige. Archon legend states that there is a way for multiple archons to enact a ritual with the power of the Anjra Maniiu that will be able to strike even a god to its knees. But this ritual is as lost to the planes as is their deity.
    You should specify that a) you cannot engage in more con damage than you have con (this prevents massive novaing followed by ressurection) and b) You cannot use this ability if you lack a con score or if the con damage is any way blocked.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Archon of the Forsaken (binder/warlock prc)

    I would lose all respect for any DM who would allow a player to take more con damage than he has con, personally. Doing that is munchkinry at it's best (worst).

    That said. I agree with the fact that the first level in this class is pretty much... A dead level. I think you should move the "not improving Binding/Invocations" to level 9, when you learn to bind a very powerful vestige in spite of being or not able to bind 8° level Vestiges.

    Also, small question.

    Soul binding: Ability to bind 2nd level vestiges
    Special: Must have learned of Seklas, and successfully bound his minor vestige, Seklas, the Lost.
    Seklas, the Lost. You put him as a 3° level vestige. What's the point of having to be able to bind 2° level vestiges and also succesfully bind a 3° level vestige?
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Archon of the Forsaken (binder/warlock prc)

    cool points. thanks for the insight. i missed completely the dead-levelness of level one. lemme get back to this when i get back from school...

    aaron out.
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    Wiggum, checking— “Well I'll be damned.”

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    Default Re: Archon of the Forsaken (binder/warlock prc)

    ok, dead level--check

    constitution issue in godkiller--check

    prc prereqs as far as soul binding capability--check

    i value the input a ton, as i would never have cuaght those on my own. so keep it coming; i'm sure there is more that needs to be fixed.
    my own diabolical experiments (homebrew)

    my deviantART

    my alter ego

    Campaigns
    Watchtower––Volume III (running since 2008)

    Announcer— “Your cable television is experiencing difficulties. Please do not panic. Resist the temptation to read or talk to loved ones. Do not attempt sexual relations, as years of TV radiation have left your genitals withered and useless.”

    Wiggum, checking— “Well I'll be damned.”

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Archon of the Forsaken (binder/warlock prc)

    An extra feat. Ok. Shame that first level still sucks.

    Oh, yes, of course. How does this first level interact with the Eldritch Occultist feat? Because the class pretty much kills it's use.

    Or just makes it so that you will never have to take another Binder level, just Warlock levels. Oh well.

    Another detail.

    Acid Resistance at levels 2 and 8. Add with any other existing source. 10 and 20.

    Hmm...

    This can get high enough to be considered immunity already.

    How about Fire resistance 5 and Acid resistance 5 at level 2, followed by Fire and Acid 10 and level 8? Still adding with other sources the character might have, of course. It makes a lot of sense when you see the ability granted by Seklas, the Lost.

    Also, Form of the Forsaken.

    The save for the poison (10 + 5 + Cha modifier?) or (10 + 8 (Seklas bound) + Cha Modifier) right?

    And... 2d4 and 2d6 wis damage sounds awfully high for something you can use once a round for... Hmm... Least of 11 rounds?
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    Default Re: Archon of the Forsaken (binder/warlock prc)

    An extra feat. Ok. Shame that first level still sucks.
    actually, an extra feat isn't that bad. there are some nifty binder-specific feats out there, and the hackjob feats that can be bought by a warlock are decent as well. also, i can't make it too powerful, and father to son was important to have as a 1st level ability.

    Oh, yes, of course. How does this first level interact with the Eldritch Occultist feat? Because the class pretty much kills it's use.

    Or just makes it so that you will never have to take another Binder level, just Warlock levels. Oh well.
    in essence, yes, it does make so you never really need another level in binder, which in a lot of ways is a suboptimal class to begin with. one of the cooler classes as far as mechanical and flavor potential, and goes hand in hand with warlock, but still weak. i've seen a lot of games where a warlock auto-gestalts with binder for the synergy. this class and the requisite feat was just to give that option to people that aren't playing in a game where gestalt is the answer to generally weaker choices.

    Another detail.

    Acid Resistance at levels 2 and 8. Add with any other existing source. 10 and 20.

    Hmm...

    This can get high enough to be considered immunity already.

    How about Fire resistance 5 and Acid resistance 5 at level 2, followed by Fire and Acid 10 and level 8? Still adding with other sources the character might have, of course. It makes a lot of sense when you see the ability granted by Seklas, the Lost.
    this one i'm not set in my ways on. i wanted acid resist by itself cuz it seems thematically correct. and since i was cutting the warlock down to one element, i figured i'd raise it to be generous. and i did forget to say that it stacks with other, permanent forms of resistance. would you guys rather see fire and acid as opposed to just one? i would have to lower them. resist 5 at lower level, then resist 10 at higher, stacking with other sources.

    Also, Form of the Forsaken.

    The save for the poison (10 + 5 + Cha modifier?) or (10 + 8 (Seklas bound) + Cha Modifier) right?

    And... 2d4 and 2d6 wis damage sounds awfully high for something you can use once a round for... Hmm... Least of 11 rounds
    ?

    poison is usually con-based, so i didn't even bother specifying. but now that i am thinking about it, that would be kind of mean, considering that both binders and warlocks have to pump about every spare point into charisma as it is. i will specify charisma-based.

    and the damage... hmm (pondering). form of the forsaken is gained at 10 hit dice aprox (warlock 4, binder 2, archon 4). so i was aiming for 5th level ability strength. then, at 15 hit dice, the form becomes an 8th level ability, so i needed to boost it considerably. let me look at it closer for a bit. the only other thing that i am worried about is that this prc might be enterable (if that is a word) at earlier levels with straight warlock, taking soul binding feats. let me double-check that, and get back to this.

    thanks again, aaron out.

    EDIT: forgot. going back to that eldritch occultist feat: even just with the 4th level warlock/2nd level binder before entering into the prc, you get 6th level binding (3rd level vestiges), and immunity to fear while bound. that is not too shabby, especially when you consider that you will still have 4 levels left over to reach 20th when you are done with the prc. take four more levels of warlock if you want in order to end up with 17th level invoking, 19th level binding, and the slippery mind feature.

    so all in all, not too bad. yeah, it requires a feat to do it, but i didn't want to jam so much into the prc that it could have filled a 20-level base class if it were expanded. and though i feel that this is pretty balanced (less powerful than the big three: wiz/cleric/druid, but with more choices and options, and more overall capability than a lot of the other classes that currently suffer from being too weak (including binder and to some degree, warlock). i am still willing to hear others' opinions (and welcome them actually).

    EDIT-EDIT: ok, doublechecked to see if it were possible to sneak into this prc before 7th level, and it isn't. i forgot that i ahd specified that you need both the deceive item ability (level 4 warlock), and the pact augmentation ability (level 2 binder). not to mention the skill reqs. later tonight, if i have time, i will tally up all of the abilities of a 20th level character: warlock 4/binder 2/archon 10/ warlock 4, to see what kind of toys you'd get to play with in total.
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    Default Re: Archon of the Forsaken (binder/warlock prc)

    this prc is undergoing some changes, after further critiques by fellow playgrounders and a tiny bit of playtesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by DragoonWraith View Post
    I am, admittedly, not intimately familiar with Warlocks, I just noticed this when I looked up to see how many Invocations they usually get so I could try to judge how balanced giving them another three was.


    No, you misunderstand me. I'm commenting on what it would be like to actually play this class at level eight. At level 8, you have the binding of a 3rd level Binder, the invocations of a 4th level Warlock, a penalty (Father to Son), and a bonus feat. I'd rather be a 7th level character with 4th level invoking and 3rd level binding than I would like to be an 8th level character with the same invoking/binding, an extra penalty, and a bonus feat. You increase in power by gaining your 8th level (marginally), but you're now supposed to be fighting encounters of a CR higher than you were - and I don't think you've gained enough in the transition from 7 to 8 to be as good against CR 8 monsters at 8 as you were against CR 7 encounters at 7. Your powers have barely improved, while your enemies' have considerably more so.
    this is the issue with any dual progression though, whether or not they have a dead level as far as the progression actually goes. further, there is precedent to nerfing dual progressions–however, this is an issue that i will tackle at the end of the post, because my philosophy has changed in the last year or so about it.

    The usual reason for losing an advancement level early is to prevent dipping that avoids the loss. This is a non-issue for theurgic classes, because anyone doing them has already committed themselves to the class.
    that does not make it a nonissue, especially since your example is the best scenario, not the only scenario. either way, i'll get back to that toward the end.

    Even if you have to endure a level without advancement, presumably no other class is going to offer anything that really improves your unique build.

    Why? Some types of things, this is good (Tome of Battle maneuvers, for example; gaining a new maneuver at a higher level is better, so giving up a maneuver known early is better than giving up one late), but not for most things. This is such a case: if you're going to lose a level of advancement, after 10 levels it's all the same, but before you've lost it, you're doing better off. Since you are substantially behind the curve at 8, losing it then is a bad idea. You should lose that level at the point where you would have pulled ahead of the curve - which is not the case at the 1st level of the PrC. It might be at the 4th level, when you gain a fairly powerful class feature (effectively an extra Greater Invocation), or it might be at 9th level, when you gain a very powerful class feature (an extra Dark Invocation), or maybe at 10th level, when you gain what seems to be an extremely powerful class feature (potentially; I'm not really sure how powerful that is, but as a capstone it should be). That's my argument.
    i like dead progression levels at the beginning for precisely the reason that you mentioned–to prevent dipping–if they are going to be there at all. i don't actually like dead levels. but if i am critiqued and persuaded that i need a dead level, i put them in the beginning. i don't like them later, and think that it is arbitrary to do so.

    Unfortunately, while I am sorely tempted to doubt it, I'm not familiar enough with either Binders or Invokers to say. I simply suspect that those features are only barely worth losing 3 levels of invoking and 4 levels of binding, and certainly not worth losing 4 and 5.
    you don't think that a potentially unlimited power word kill is reason enough to lose a level? you don't think that a vestige that at higher levels pretty much gives you the half farspawn template (among a plethora of other things) is decently powerful?

    that is where i would disagree; but to each his own.

    However, I suspect we should move these posts to the other thread... I should have posted in the other thread to begin with...
    i agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by PId6 View Post
    I am not too familiar with binders (apart from Naberius dips), but I know more than enough about warlocks to say that 3 least invocations, one lesser, and a 2d6 eldritch blast is far from enough to get by at level 7, much less 8.
    agreed, but again, this is the same issue with any theurgic prc.

    And since I know that binders get much better vestiges as they level up, I absolutely agree with DW that the class gives entry way too late and that the dead level is certainly not necessary.
    that seems to be saying, "since wizards get much better spells as they level up, i agree... that class entry is too late and dead levels are unnecessary."

    ...which to me does not compute.

    binding and invoking are medium to weak pregressions to begin with when compared to spellcasting. but they still offer some of the basic advantages of spellcasting. this means that i need to take into account the balance of full progressions, or in the case of a theurge, almost full progressions.

    regardless of power, having full two progressions would be ridiculous, but we don't have to worry about that so much; we are worried more about the equivalent of a gestalt 14th level invoker/13th level binder and its balance implications.

    Right now, the class is virtually unplayable at 7-8 and takes a long time to catch up.
    yet again: this is the case with any theurge. if you are all really that worried about on-level power early in the game, don't play a theurge. they all have this weakness.

    You're better off just requiring a single least invocation for binder 3/warlock 1 entry and just get rid of the dead level. It's highly unlikely that such would be overpowered.

    Edit: Yeah, moving over to the other thread is probably a good idea.
    no way in hell am i making this prc available at 5th level. period. now, could i be a little more flexible about the actual binder/invoker levels? probably. if i keep the skill ranks the same, but lower invocation/vestige requirements, it will allow the individual a few more options than just binder 3/invoker 4. they could do 1/6 or 2/5 or something.

    just realized that i am mixing up my numbers, but whatever–the point remains.

    Quote Originally Posted by ozgun92 View Post
    An advice I'd have is, move invoker-progression L1 to L1.
    You still have 9/10 progression for both, with invoker having L2 empty, and binding having L1 empty. No more dead level, not a majorly better class, but still solves the 'CR8 at 8th level will be damn hard' problem.
    it took me a moment to figure out what you were saying, but this is actually an idea, and i would be ok doing this.

    however, going by all of the reviews so far, i am willing to bet that i could get away with raising this to full binder/full invoker, and not too many people would complain. if that is the case, then awesome! if not, then i will stagger the dead level casting progressions.

    anyone else want to analyze the balance issues of full binding/invoking in this class? i'll give it a few days and if no one raises any reasonable objections, i'll change it.

    if i do end up keeping a nerfed progression, then i'll stagger it and then have to think of a niftier ability for first level to replace the bonus feat.
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    Default Re: Archon of the Forsaken (binder/warlock prc)

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    this is the issue with any dual progression though, whether or not they have a dead level as far as the progression actually goes. further, there is precedent to nerfing dual progressions–however, this is an issue that i will tackle at the end of the post, because my philosophy has changed in the last year or so about it.
    [...]
    agreed, but again, this is the same issue with any theurgic prc.
    Not mine. Yes, this is a problem with almost all WotC theurgic PrCs. As a result, people don't take them. They're not good PrCs, in fact mention of any of them is usually responded with a bit of Admiral Ackbar.

    The reasons for this are as follows:
    • Absolutely useless between 4 and about 10.
    • Always behind.
    • Unable to maintain dual progression once the PrC is finished.
    If your theurgic PrC still has these problems, then I don't think it's ever going to be worthwhile. If you're trying to balance it against the Mystic Theurge or similar, I'd suggest that you may want to consider upping the desired power point - because Mystic Theurge effectively kills both of the entry classes. Losing three levels of spellcasting is not worth gaining some levels of a different type of spellcasting. Similarly, I can't imagine that a bit of invocation is going to be worth losing four levels of binding.

    Now, as I said, almost all WotC theurgic PrCs have these problems. Which you also point out. This is not a good thing, and I think part of the point of homebrew is to avoid such problems. A PrC should be balanced such that it is worth what it takes to get into it, and no more. Most caster PrCs are too powerful, because they do not cost very much, and they often give a lot. Most theurgic PrCs are too weak, because they cost way more than they get. You lose three (or in your case, four) levels from each side, which is huge, and your progression never catches you up, even if you have both.

    The exception, however, is the Ultimate Magus, generally the only theurgic PrC that isn't considered a complete and utter trap. You enter on Wiz 4/Sorc 1. That's a whole lot better than the usual Wiz 3/Sorc 3. If you're working on a Theurgic PrC, I strongly recommend careful consideration of what the Ultimate Magus does right.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    that does not make it a nonissue, especially since your example is the best scenario, not the only scenario. either way, i'll get back to that toward the end.

    i like dead progression levels at the beginning for precisely the reason that you mentioned–to prevent dipping–if they are going to be there at all. i don't actually like dead levels. but if i am critiqued and persuaded that i need a dead level, i put them in the beginning. i don't like them later, and think that it is arbitrary to do so.
    You lose spellcasting progression because otherwise the PrC only gains and loses nothing. Theurges always lose, and hard. They rarely need to lose more. Moreover, if they do not take all of the levels of the theurgic PrC, they are losing still more. That is why this is not an issue - if you've qualified for a theurge, you are taking all 10 levels, because it's the only way you are going to get anything for having qualified. You've already given up a ton, you need to make the most of it - and that means getting both sides as high as possible. The only time someone would leave the class is if the lost spellcasting progression came at the last level - more on that later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    you don't think that a potentially unlimited power word kill is reason enough to lose a level? you don't think that a vestige that at higher levels pretty much gives you the half farspawn template (among a plethora of other things) is decently powerful?

    that is where i would disagree; but to each his own.
    I hadn't really read the Vestige; presumably any Binder could take that Vestige, so it's not a unique feature. If this isn't the case, I'll go back and read it.

    But yes. The capstone is extremely powerful. In fact, I really don't think it's a good idea to have at all - and here's why. In general, I don't think it's overpowered - even with full progression - because one's Con isn't usually that high - there are other concerns. But you've given them the opportunity to really optimize Con for a ridiculously powerful attack, and what it comes down to, I think, is in the hands of the average player, it will be rarely used and have limited effectiveness; in the hands of a munchkin, it will be overpowered. I haven't really played with the numbers exactly, but I think it's really hard for such a thing to turn out just right, where it is useful but not broken. So I think the mechanics there need work.

    That said, it is a really good idea (having the improved Power Word: Kill, I mean, not the specific mechanic), and could quite possibly justify the lost progression. The thing is, it doesn't justify the lost progression until level 10. Before level 10, if you've already lost the progression, you're hurting without any compensatory benefit. If you want to keep this power, and want to continue to lose progression at all, I'd seriously consider making it lost at 10. Give players the choice: extremely powerful ability, or continue the progression of one side or the other. If the ability is powerful enough to justify losing progression at all, then it should be powerful enough that players may choose to sacrifice some more progression for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    that seems to be saying, "since wizards get much better spells as they level up, i agree... that class entry is too late and dead levels are unnecessary."

    ...which to me does not compute.
    If you made that statement about the Mystic Theurge, it would be 100% true. Mystic Theurge is a trap, for exactly those reasons.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    binding and invoking are medium to weak pregressions to begin with when compared to spellcasting. but they still offer some of the basic advantages of spellcasting. this means that i need to take into account the balance of full progressions, or in the case of a theurge, almost full progressions.

    regardless of power, having full two progressions would be ridiculous, but we don't have to worry about that so much; we are worried more about the equivalent of a gestalt 14th level invoker/13th level binder and its balance implications.
    Important note: Gestalt 14th level invoker/13th level binder, minus a bunch of class abilities, plus some more (but probably not as good as a gestalt of those two, but I could be wrong there), playing at 18th level. Huge difference there. I am not certain about your class features, but if there were no class features then this class would be considerably underpowered.

    Just like Mystic Theurge, except worse because you need to enter a level later than even MT.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    yet again: this is the case with any theurge. if you are all really that worried about on-level power early in the game, don't play a theurge. they all have this weakness.
    For no good reason. There is no reason why your class should have the same problems WotC's theurge's do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    no way in hell am i making this prc available at 5th level. period.
    I think you are wrong, I think making it enter-able at 5th would be a very good start to improving this class.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    now, could i be a little more flexible about the actual binder/invoker levels? probably. if i keep the skill ranks the same, but lower invocation/vestige requirements, it will allow the individual a few more options than just binder 3/invoker 4. they could do 1/6 or 2/5 or something.

    just realized that i am mixing up my numbers, but whatever–the point remains.

    it took me a moment to figure out what you were saying, but this is actually an idea, and i would be ok doing this.
    If you're going to do that, make it +Binder at 1, and full dual progression for the rest. That gets you 4/4 progression at 8, and therefore the two are even. Still hurts, a ton, and I still think it's underpowered, but at least its even.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    however, going by all of the reviews so far, i am willing to bet that i could get away with raising this to full binder/full invoker, and not too many people would complain. if that is the case, then awesome! if not, then i will stagger the dead level casting progressions.

    anyone else want to analyze the balance issues of full binding/invoking in this class? i'll give it a few days and if no one raises any reasonable objections, i'll change it.

    if i do end up keeping a nerfed progression, then i'll stagger it and then have to think of a niftier ability for first level to replace the bonus feat.
    The progression is definitely way behind. You don't need to worry about that - if it were not for class features, you could have full dual progression for 14 levels from 6 instead of 10 levels from 8 and still be underpowered. The real question is whether the class features are balanced.

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    Default Re: Archon of the Forsaken (binder/warlock prc)

    And I'd like to mention that in comparison to Mystic Theurge, this is still weak. Mystic Theurge at least still has spellcasting; this does not. Neither binding nor invoking comes near the potential power of spells. Mystic Theurge at least progresses two tier 1 classes, has full progression, and begins at 7th level. And it's still quite weak. This applies to a tier 3 and a tier 4, loses a level, and effectively begins at 9th. It's underpowered compared to an underpowered class.
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    Default Re: Archon of the Forsaken (binder/warlock prc)

    Quote Originally Posted by PId6 View Post
    And I'd like to mention that in comparison to Mystic Theurge, this is still weak. Mystic Theurge at least still has spellcasting; this does not. Neither binding nor invoking comes near the potential power of spells. Mystic Theurge at least progresses two tier 1 classes, has full progression, and begins at 7th level. And it's still quite weak. This applies to a tier 3 and a tier 4, loses a level, and effectively begins at 9th. It's underpowered compared to an underpowered class.
    first off, there is no way in hell that this is "underpowered compared to an underpowered class." you either have a screwball concept of game balance or are using hyperbole as a point of argument. neither of them work.

    second, with a dead level, it is effectively starting off at 8th, not 9th level. if this is not what you meant, or you don't agree with this, then explain it.

    third, *any* class with *any* kind of casting (even truenaming for crying out loud) is more powerful than the traditionally underpowered classes (classes with no casting form whatsoever).

    fourth, therefore, a class that advances both invoking and binding, even though they are not the most powerful casting forms, has a huge advantage over just about any class that has no casting form whatsoever.

    and fifth, you can't just look at the casting forms of a class that has class abilities. this class has abilities that made a number of people initially think that it was overpowered. so, feel free to analyze the class abilities and then tell me that they are underpowered.

    this doesn't change my goal to get rid of the binding/invoking dead levels, but good grief...
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    Default Re: Archon of the Forsaken (binder/warlock prc)

    missed one.

    Quote Originally Posted by DragoonWraith View Post
    Not mine. Yes, this is a problem with almost all WotC theurgic PrCs. As a result, people don't take them. They're not good PrCs, in fact mention of any of them is usually responded with a bit of Admiral Ackbar.
    obviously some people do take them. it is an understandable problem, but that doesn't mean that no one takes them.

    i don't mind tweaking things to work. but i still have to build some of these according to some type of precedence.

    The reasons for this are as follows:
    • Absolutely useless between 4 and about 10.
    • Always behind.
    • Unable to maintain dual progression once the PrC is finished.

    epic 10-level prc progression. "problem" fixed.
    If your theurgic PrC still has these problems, then I don't think it's ever going to be worthwhile. If you're trying to balance it against the Mystic Theurge or similar, I'd suggest that you may want to consider upping the desired power point - because Mystic Theurge effectively kills both of the entry classes. Losing three levels of spellcasting is not worth gaining some levels of a different type of spellcasting. Similarly, I can't imagine that a bit of invocation is going to be worth losing four levels of binding.
    this really depends on what the point of your build is. moreover, worthwhile is extremely subjective, and means different things to different people.

    i agree that it is not optimal, and that it is something i would like to fix (in a reasonable manner). i do not agree that it makes it inherently bad.

    Now, as I said, almost all WotC theurgic PrCs have these problems. Which you also point out. This is not a good thing, and I think part of the point of homebrew is to avoid such problems. A PrC should be balanced such that it is worth what it takes to get into it, and no more. Most caster PrCs are too powerful, because they do not cost very much, and they often give a lot. Most theurgic PrCs are too weak, because they cost way more than they get. You lose three (or in your case, four) levels from each side, which is huge, and your progression never catches you up, even if you have both.
    "balanced" also means different things to different people, but one of the points of a dual progression is that it is inherently better than a single. therefore, i think it is ridiculous to assume that we should correct theurge prcs to make them as good at any one of the original classes that they are based off of.

    The exception, however, is the Ultimate Magus, generally the only theurgic PrC that isn't considered a complete and utter trap. You enter on Wiz 4/Sorc 1. That's a whole lot better than the usual Wiz 3/Sorc 3. If you're working on a Theurgic PrC, I strongly recommend careful consideration of what the Ultimate Magus does right.
    i don't think that it does it right, pointing to my above paragraph. it is certainly more powerful. but considering that we are talking about the almighty wizard, with almost functionally full caster levels, adding on an almost full progression of almighty sorcerer levels and casting as well, i think that it is absurd. if it were two of the lesser caster progressions, maybe it could work.

    You lose spellcasting progression because otherwise the PrC only gains and loses nothing. Theurges always lose, and hard. They rarely need to lose more. Moreover, if they do not take all of the levels of the theurgic PrC, they are losing still more. That is why this is not an issue - if you've qualified for a theurge, you are taking all 10 levels, because it's the only way you are going to get anything for having qualified. You've already given up a ton, you need to make the most of it - and that means getting both sides as high as possible. The only time someone would leave the class is if the lost spellcasting progression came at the last level - more on that later.
    again, it depends on the build that you are trying for. if you really want a wizard that can cast 9th level spells, but don't care if he only gets one of them, and wants a few cleric or druid spells along with it, then some of the theurge classes are just fine even just taking a few of the prc levels.

    i have already said that i am fine making this full caster level. that takes care of the immediate issue, but i do not think that it is appropriate to make sure that they both end up at full casting ability; that is what gestalt is for.

    I hadn't really read the Vestige; presumably any Binder could take that Vestige, so it's not a unique feature. If this isn't the case, I'll go back and read it.
    this is what i am talking about. some of you guys waltz into homebrew threads without even having read the class entries. there is no way that you can tell if a single casting progression is balanced in a class, much less a dual progression, if you haven't analyzed it against the class features, including bab, hit points, skill points, and saves.

    But yes. The capstone is extremely powerful.
    no kidding?

    In fact, I really don't think it's a good idea to have at all - and here's why. In general, I don't think it's overpowered - even with full progression - because one's Con isn't usually that high - there are other concerns. But you've given them the opportunity to really optimize Con for a ridiculously powerful attack, and what it comes down to, I think, is in the hands of the average player, it will be rarely used and have limited effectiveness; in the hands of a munchkin, it will be overpowered. I haven't really played with the numbers exactly, but I think it's really hard for such a thing to turn out just right, where it is useful but not broken. So I think the mechanics there need work.
    see, this is why i bring my stuff to the boards; not so that people can try to critique it without even reading it, but because sometimes you help me find things that i have missed. i will go through and try to figure out if this ability needs any more limitations than it has.

    That said, it is a really good idea (having the improved Power Word: Kill, I mean, not the specific mechanic), and could quite possibly justify the lost progression. The thing is, it doesn't justify the lost progression until level 10. Before level 10, if you've already lost the progression, you're hurting without any compensatory benefit. If you want to keep this power, and want to continue to lose progression at all, I'd seriously consider making it lost at 10. Give players the choice: extremely powerful ability, or continue the progression of one side or the other. If the ability is powerful enough to justify losing progression at all, then it should be powerful enough that players may choose to sacrifice some more progression for it.
    now this is a reason that if i was going to include a dead level for casting progression, it would make sense to have it at a level other than first.

    If you made that statement about the Mystic Theurge, it would be 100% true. Mystic Theurge is a trap, for exactly those reasons.

    Important note: Gestalt 14th level invoker/13th level binder, minus a bunch of class abilities, plus some more (but probably not as good as a gestalt of those two, but I could be wrong there), playing at 18th level.
    it is possible, but i am pretty sure that the class abilities gained in the prc are better than both warlock and binder class features combined for the appropriate levels.

    but again, it is possible. the only thing that makes it questionable in my mind is the ability in gestalt to stagger level progression if you aren't using fractionals, in order to pump bab and saves.

    Huge difference there. I am not certain about your class features, but if there were no class features then this class would be considerably underpowered.

    Just like Mystic Theurge, except worse because you need to enter a level later than even MT.
    no kidding. good thing there are class features, huh?

    For no good reason. There is no reason why your class should have the same problems WotC's theurge's do.
    except that i don't currently have the patience or desire to try to fix wizards' problems. further, if i fix the dead caster level, that is sufficient for me with the arguments that have been presented. if later cases bring new arguments to the table, i will consider those as i have these.

    I think you are wrong, I think making it enter-able at 5th would be a very good start to improving this class.
    not gonna happen. i think that prcs available at 4th and 5th level are kind of ridiculous. even 6th is questionable, in my opinion. i realize that this runs the same problem that many of your arguments have, in that it is subjective. but luckily i am the guy making the class.

    If you're going to do that, make it +Binder at 1, and full dual progression for the rest. That gets you 4/4 progression at 8, and therefore the two are even. Still hurts, a ton, and I still think it's underpowered, but at least its even.

    The progression is definitely way behind.
    the progression is supposed to be behind. if it is one level farther behind than it should be, then i think it is reasonable to say that it is way behind, but that issue has been dealt with. the rest of it will remain behind.

    You don't need to worry about that - if it were not for class features, you could have full dual progression for 14 levels from 6 instead of 10 levels from 8 and still be underpowered.
    i'm not really sure what you are trying to say here; your syntax is a bit weird. if you are saying that i don't need to worry about filling in level one to offset dead level binding/invoking, then i'd agree–because i have already said that it isn't going to have that dead level.

    if that is not what you are trying to say then you have lost me.

    The real question is whether the class features are balanced.
    great! now maybe someone can analyze those...
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    Default Re: Archon of the Forsaken (binder/warlock prc)

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    first off, there is no way in hell that this is "underpowered compared to an underpowered class." you either have a screwball concept of game balance or are using hyperbole as a point of argument. neither of them work.
    A 'traditional' Mystic Theurge (read: Wiz 3/Clr 3/MT 10) is effectively a Tier 4 class - it's versatile, certainly, but its power level is just low. In case you're unfamiliar with the term, a Tier 4 class is this:
    Tier 4: Capable of doing one thing quite well, but often useless when encounters require other areas of expertise, or capable of doing many things to a reasonable degree of competance without truly shining. Rarely has any abilities that can outright handle an encounter unless that encounter plays directly to the class's main strength. DMs may sometimes need to work to make sure Tier 4s can contribue to an encounter, as their abilities may sometimes leave them useless. Won't outshine anyone except Tier 6s except in specific circumstances that play to their strengths. Cannot compete effectively with Tier 1s that are played well.

    Examples: Rogue, Barbarian, Warlock, Warmage, Scout, Ranger, Hexblade, Adept, Spellthief, Marshal, Fighter (Dungeoncrasher Variant)
    Note, this is a class that has entry from two Tier 1 classes, and becomes Tier 4. That's what losing 3 levels of spellcasting does. The Warlock is a Tier 4 class to begin with. The Binder is a Tier 3, which is better, but you also lose more levels of Binder.

    So, looking at the progressions alone, this class is objectively weaker than a Mystic Theurge, which objectively speaking, an absurdly weak casting PrC (you are correct, it's a casting PrC and therefore despite its shortcomings is still capable - but that's really more a testament to the huge power disparity between Wizard and, say, Rogue, that a Wizard can lose as much as he does going MT and still be about on par with a Rogue). From this perspective, PId6's statement is accurate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    second, with a dead level, it is effectively starting off at 8th, not 9th level. if this is not what you meant, or you don't agree with this, then explain it.
    The class requires four levels of Warlock and three levels of Binder. Thus, level 1 comes at total level 8. But since level 8 is all but a dead level, you don't really see any benefit from the class until level 9. That was PId6's point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    third, *any* class with *any* kind of casting (even truenaming for crying out loud) is more powerful than the traditionally underpowered classes (classes with no casting form whatsoever).

    fourth, therefore, a class that advances both invoking and binding, even though they are not the most powerful casting forms, has a huge advantage over just about any class that has no casting form whatsoever.
    Not necessarily. Note that Warmage is also Tier 4, right there with Rogue, Scout, and the Dungeoncrasher Fighter. Truenamer doesn't even get a Tier, it's that bad (though subsequent efforts have suggested this may be at least somewhat mistaken). A Warlock is often little better than an archer (though your Warlock doesn't get Eldritch Blast and therefore couldn't do that). All three Tome of Battle classes are Tier 3 - same as a Binder.

    Regardless, you can't fix the caster/fighter disparity with a single prestige class. Prestige classes are relatively easy to balance - make them a roughly power-equivalent choice for the entry class(es). Thus, your Archon should be roughly as good as a full-class Binder or full-class Warlock. There's some power disparity between the two, certainly, but somewhere in between should give a reasonable target.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    and fifth, you can't just look at the casting forms of a class that has class abilities. this class has abilities that made a number of people initially think that it was overpowered. so, feel free to analyze the class abilities and then tell me that they are underpowered.

    this doesn't change my goal to get rid of the binding/invoking dead levels, but good grief...
    I agree. I cannot judge your class abilities terribly well, and I've only tossed out some vague ideas on them. I can only really talk about entry (it sucks), and progression (it's not great). Ignoring class abilities, there is absolutely no good mechanical reason for any Binder or Warlock to take this class. Which is a shame, because those two classes have incredibly synergistic fluff, and a theurge of the two is a great idea.

    Personally, I think a theurgic class should do two things - progress both sides, and offer minor abilities specifically focused at causing synergy between the two sides. The Ultimate Magus provides an opportunity to use the Wizard class's strong suit (knowledge of hundreds of spells) to improve the Sorcerer class's strong suit (spontaneous casting), via the ability to cast Wizard spells known through Sorcerer spell slots. This is excellent, because it provides a mechanic for the two sides to actually combine, instead of just being a disjointed pseudo-gestalt. My Cerebremancer tries to do the same things - it gives the character opportunities to use power points to cast spells and spell slots to manifest powers, allowing the two casting abilities to overlap and improve one another.

    None of these abilities is worth anything without having both sides, which makes the class unique and useful.

    In your case, you have added class features that are powerful on their own, but offer little synergizing between the two classes. That's a valid choice, certainly, but I think it makes things harder to balance - especially when one of those abilities is as powerful as your capstone is.
    Last edited by DragoonWraith; 2009-09-10 at 04:51 PM.

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    Default Re: Archon of the Forsaken (binder/warlock prc)

    Quote Originally Posted by DragoonWraith View Post
    A 'traditional' Mystic Theurge (read: Wiz 3/Clr 3/MT 10) is effectively a Tier 4 class - it's versatile, certainly, but its power level is just low.
    a 20th level ranger or dungeoncrasher or binder or maybe even warblade, crusader, or swordsage is still going to get his ass kicked by a theurge equivalent of a 16 sorcerer/16 wizard or whatever it ends up being.

    In case you're unfamiliar with the term, a Tier 4 class is this:
    i know what it is.

    Note, this is a class that has entry from two Tier 1 classes, and becomes Tier 4. That's what losing 3 levels of spellcasting does. The Warlock is a Tier 4 class to begin with. The Binder is a Tier 3, which is better, but you also lose more levels of Binder.
    i disagree with the idea that a full theurge is tier 4. tier 3 i could see as arguable, but whatever. i have already stated what i think about that.

    So, looking at the progressions alone,
    i thought that we had agreed that this is a bad idea...

    this class is objectively weaker than a Mystic Theurge, which objectively speaking, an absurdly weak casting PrC (you are correct, it's a casting PrC and therefore despite its shortcomings is still capable - but that's really more a testament to the huge power disparity between Wizard and, say, Rogue, that a Wizard can lose as much as he does going MT and still be about on par with a Rogue). From this perspective, PId6's statement is accurate.
    bull. when you say "underpowered compared to an underpowered class," it becomes a comparison with a monk or unspecialized fighter.

    The class requires four levels of Warlock and three levels of Binder. Thus, level 1 comes at total level 8. But since level 8 is all but a dead level, you don't really see any benefit from the class until level 9. That was PId6's point.
    ah. i was confused as to what he meant. note that this is irrelevant anyway, since full progression has been edited in.

    Not necessarily. Note that Warmage is also Tier 4, right there with Rogue, Scout, and the Dungeoncrasher Fighter. Truenamer doesn't even get a Tier, it's that bad (though subsequent efforts have suggested this may be at least somewhat mistaken). A Warlock is often little better than an archer (though your Warlock doesn't get Eldritch Blast and therefore couldn't do that). All three Tome of Battle classes are Tier 3 - same as a Binder.
    a truenamer can do many things well. he has to sprint in order to keep up with those that walk idly, but he can do them. warlocks are certainly weak compared to some classes, but they can easily hold their own if built and played optimally–even without hellfire warlock–and i do seem to recall specifying that the archon's eldritch blast progresses (yep, just checked; it's there), so i don't know where you are getting this from.

    Regardless, you can't fix the caster/fighter disparity with a single prestige class. Prestige classes are relatively easy to balance - make them a roughly power-equivalent choice for the entry class(es). Thus, your Archon should be roughly as good as a full-class Binder or full-class Warlock. There's some power disparity between the two, certainly, but somewhere in between should give a reasonable target.
    but that doesn't mean as good as a binder at binding, or as good as a warlock at invoking. again, that is part of what you give up for the versatility of a theurgic class.

    either way, i think that this prc is more powerful than a straight run in either one of the classes, so it is a moot point to me.

    I agree. I cannot judge your class abilities terribly well, and I've only tossed out some vague ideas on them. I can only really talk about entry (it sucks), and progression (it's not great). Ignoring class abilities, there is absolutely no good mechanical reason for any Binder or Warlock to take this class. Which is a shame, because those two classes have incredibly synergistic fluff, and a theurge of the two is a great idea.
    aaaaand this is why we are not communicating very well here. you can't reasonably analyze a class without taking its class abilities into consideration. you and p are stuck on *one* class feature from two relatively lightweight base classes. you are missing the forest for a single tree.

    "Ignoring class abilities, there is absolutely no good mechanical reason for any Binder or Warlock to take this class."

    no kidding? that might be a good reason as to why i thought i should throw ten levels worth of other class abilities in there.

    Personally, I think a theurgic class should do two things - progress both sides,
    but if you think that means full progression, then you are lost in that tier chart of yours.

    and offer minor abilities specifically focused at causing synergy between the two sides.
    your opinion. i agree to an extent, and there are actually a couple of abilities that synergize between the two. but i don't see a need to make sure that *every* ability given them is directly tied to either or both the base classes. some of them stand by themselves.

    The Ultimate Magus provides an opportunity to use the Wizard class's strong suit (knowledge of hundreds of spells) to improve the Sorcerer class's strong suit (spontaneous casting), via the ability to cast Wizard spells known through Sorcerer spell slots. This is excellent, because it provides a mechanic for the two sides to actually combine, instead of just being a disjointed pseudo-gestalt. My Cerebremancer tries to do the same things - it gives the character opportunities to use power points to cast spells and spell slots to manifest powers, allowing the two casting abilities to overlap and improve one another.

    None of these abilities is worth anything without having both sides, which makes the class unique and useful.

    In your case, you have added class features that are powerful on their own, but offer little synergizing between the two classes.
    though i disagree here and think that you therefore still haven't read all of the class features, i understand what you are saying. my point again was not to make sure to tie all of this guy's abilities to his binding/invoking ability.

    That's a valid choice, certainly, but I think it makes things harder to balance - especially when one of those abilities is as powerful as your capstone is.
    i don't think that it makes it any more complicated actually. i could certainly be alone in that opinion, but it seems pretty straightforward.
    ___________________________

    ok, edits made: incorporated full binding/invoking progression (maybe it's now a tier 3.5 instead of a 4), and changed the limit for the power word kill augment from 1/binder level to 1/class level, almost cutting it in half. that means that pre-epic, an archon cannot sacrifice more than 10 con for a +10 caster level and +200 hit points affected.
    Last edited by Stycotl; 2009-09-10 at 05:23 PM.
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    Default Re: Archon of the Forsaken (binder/warlock prc)

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    a 20th level ranger or dungeoncrasher or binder or maybe even warblade, crusader, or swordsage is still going to get his ass kicked by a theurge equivalent of a 16 sorcerer/16 wizard or whatever it ends up being.
    It ends up being Wiz 17/Clr 13 (or vice versa), because you only get 10 levels of dual-progression. It also has considerable MAD, so the chance of a bonus 9th level spell is low. So a single 9th level spell per day. If that spell is Time Stop - perhaps. It'd be interesting to see, certainly. But level 20 is perhaps a poor choice of comparison: by 20, your Wizard has attained the highest spell level, which is huge. When you're behind by a spell level, you are very behind. So a Wiz 16/Clr 13 MT versus Warblade, Swordsage, or Crusader 19? I'm fairly confident that it would be a reasonably even fight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    i thought that we had agreed that this is a bad idea...
    It is, but it's just me being honest. I do not feel comfortable judging them. Sorry.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    bull. when you say "underpowered compared to an underpowered class," it becomes a comparison with a monk or unspecialized fighter.
    MT is considered underpowered. I know PId6 considers it to be so, because he and I discussed such things when I created the Cerebremancer. And this is (barring that capstone and extreme Con-boosting munchkinry) weaker than Mystic Theurge. Sooo... that was his statement.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    ah. i was confused as to what he meant. note that this is irrelevant anyway, since full progression has been edited in.
    Fair enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    warlocks are certainly weak compared to some classes, but they can easily hold their own if built and played optimally–even without hellfire warlock–and i do seem to recall specifying that the archon's eldritch blast progresses (yep, just checked; it's there), so i don't know where you are getting this from.
    Ah, missed that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    but that doesn't mean as good as a binder at binding, or as good as a warlock at invoking. again, that is part of what you give up for the versatility of a theurgic class.
    Very true. But the failing of Mystic Theurge is not just that they have lost spell levels - it's also that they do not gain enough to fix things, because the two sides don't work together well. You can still only cast one spell per round, so a wider selection often doesn't matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    either way, i think that this prc is more powerful than a straight run in either one of the classes, so it is a moot point to me.
    I don't think so.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    aaaaand this is why we are not communicating very well here. you can't reasonably analyze a class without taking its class abilities into consideration. you and p are stuck on *one* class feature from two relatively lightweight base classes. you are missing the forest for a single tree.

    "Ignoring class abilities, there is absolutely no good mechanical reason for any Binder or Warlock to take this class."

    no kidding? that might be a good reason as to why i thought i should throw ten levels worth of other class abilities in there.
    Well, I did state this from the get-go. The reason I stated it from the get-go is simply from the standpoint of honesty - the progression itself is very weak. That's all I was trying to tell you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    but if you think that means full progression, then you are lost in that tier chart of yours.
    My cerebremancer does not have full progression, one side loses 3 levels and the other loses 1, plus what is lost in pre-reqs (a total loss of 6 and 2).

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    your opinion. i agree to an extent, and there are actually a couple of abilities that synergize between the two. but i don't see a need to make sure that *every* ability given them is directly tied to either or both the base classes. some of them stand by themselves.

    though i disagree here and think that you therefore still haven't read all of the class features, i understand what you are saying. my point again was not to make sure to tie all of this guy's abilities to his binding/invoking ability.
    OK, then this is a perspective difference. I brought my perspective to the discussion; it doesn't mesh with yours. That's OK. I just wanted to make sure that you understood my perspective; it's now clear that you do, but have your own. That's fine.

    Like I said, personally, I'd literally make everything tied to the invoking/binding. You don't want to do that, which is going to make my advice less helpful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    i don't think that it makes it any more complicated actually. i could certainly be alone in that opinion, but it seems pretty straightforward.
    Oh, the mechanics aren't complicated. Judging the balance is harder, however, because it's uncapped.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    ok, edits made: incorporated full binding/invoking progression (maybe it's now a tier 3.5 instead of a 4), and changed the limit for the power word kill augment from 1/binder level to 1/class level, almost cutting it in half. that means that pre-epic, an archon cannot sacrifice more than 10 con for a +10 caster level and +200 hit points affected.
    Hmm. I seem to have misread that; I missed that it had a cap at all. Or forgot about it, because now that you mention it I remember reading that. Sorry about that.

    Hrm. It's a powerful feature, but not as powerful as I thought. I also reread Power Word: Kill - [Mind-Affecting], eh? OK, considering immunity is easy, the sacrifice is significant, etc etc, yeah. It's not nearly as powerful as I thought it was - which was my mistake, sorry. It's a very valid capstone, but not so much as I thought.

    I'm much more comfortable considering the ability now. Before I was trying to think of various ways it could be abused by boosting Con, and I'm just not a good enough CharOp'er to know how risky this was - how high one might pump Con. But that's no longer a big fear.

    I'll reread everything again to make sure I've got it right, and I'll try to comment more on the actual abilities, instead of focusing solely on the progression...

    EDIT: OK, reread everything again.

    Maybe add an invocation to somehow improve your binding? Just a thought. Again, though, that's my style of theurgy, not yours, so you may not be interested. But you have a thing where you weaken binding to favor invoking, so a reverse ability might be nice.

    Oh, one thing: How long does Form of the Forsaken last? Is there a standard time for invocations that I'm unaware of, or did I just miss that, or is it in fact missing? You have the recharge duration, but not how long the ability itself actually lasts, that I can see.

    I think the class is pretty good, now that it has full progression, once you're done with it. Not convinced that it's as good as going the full binder or warlock, but certainly good, in terms of giving you unique abilities that are actually worth something.

    But low levels are still horrific. I'd seriously consider making it a 15-level PrC, delaying most of the class features several levels, but make it enterable earlier. Just so you can actually play the class at low levels. This class is going to be miserably weak until (at best) 12th, when compared to the straight classes. Before 8, you're really looking at trouble. Consider changing the Warlock requirement to "Knowledge of at least two Invocations", shaving two levels off of that requirement, first level give Father to Son, second could even be dead, third gives a bonus feat, and then the same progression you have there except maybe the last two abilities get pushed back a few levels (keeping Mind of Destruction as a capstone). Maybe some non-progressing levels; no Binder progression when you get that Planes ability, no Warlock progression when you get Form of the Forsaken, etc? I'm not even really suggesting that you gain more levels of either class, just want the loss of levels spread out some more, because otherwise any Archon in play before level 12 is very underpowered.
    Last edited by DragoonWraith; 2009-09-10 at 06:10 PM.

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    Default Re: Archon of the Forsaken (binder/warlock prc)

    i'm just gonna comment on this:

    You can still only cast one spell per round, so a wider selection often doesn't matter.
    read the 7th level ability. sure, it makes so that you can't utilize that vestigial ability again until the battle has likely ended, but it is the binder/invoker answer to some of the celerity-like abilities that arcanists get. in my mind, there is little better way to synergize two classes than letting them both work at the same time. not something you'll be doing a lot of, but it shouldn't be anyway.
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    Default Re: Archon of the Forsaken (binder/warlock prc)

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    i'm just gonna comment on this:



    read the 7th level ability. sure, it makes so that you can't utilize that vestigial ability again until the battle has likely ended, but it is the binder/invoker answer to some of the celerity-like abilities that arcanists get. in my mind, there is little better way to synergize two classes than letting them both work at the same time. not something you'll be doing a lot of, but it shouldn't be anyway.
    Uh. I was talking about the Mystic Theurge.

    Anyway, feel free to ignore the first half of my post; a lot of is based off of some misconceptions about how your class worked. Try reading from below where it said "EDIT" - I hope that stuff is more constructive.

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    Default Re: Archon of the Forsaken (binder/warlock prc)

    EDIT: OK, reread everything again.

    Maybe add an invocation to somehow improve your binding? Just a thought. Again, though, that's my style of theurgy, not yours, so you may not be interested. But you have a thing where you weaken binding to favor invoking, so a reverse ability might be nice.
    wisdom of the planes doesn't seem strong enough in this respect? or is it that it just comes too late? i could see that ability at first level, especially since it scales with level (or at least with skill points, with level).

    Oh, one thing: How long does Form of the Forsaken last? Is there a standard time for invocations that I'm unaware of, or did I just miss that, or is it in fact missing? You have the recharge duration, but not how long the ability itself actually lasts, that I can see.
    it's a long paragraph, but it's in there in the middle; 1 round/lvl.

    I think the class is pretty good, now that it has full progression, once you're done with it. Not convinced that it's as good as going the full binder or warlock, but certainly good, in terms of giving you unique abilities that are actually worth something.
    thanks. i still think it outweighs straight binder or invoker, especially since one of the requisite feats combines the first 6 hd of some abilities from both classes. but, as i said earlier, both binders and invokers can hold their own when played well. they aren't autowin classes like druids, clerics, and wizards, but they are potent.

    on that note, since i am tampering with the exact allocation of binder/invoker levels necessary for the class, i changed the eldritch invoker feat to include eldritch blast. i actually had thought that i had included it originally, but apparently not. i took out the soul guardian progression though, to balance it.

    But low levels are still horrific. I'd seriously consider making it a 15-level PrC, delaying most of the class features several levels, but make it enterable earlier. Just so you can actually play the class at low levels. This class is going to be miserably weak until (at best) 12th, when compared to the straight classes. Before 8, you're really looking at trouble. Consider changing the Warlock requirement to "Knowledge of at least two Invocations", shaving two levels off of that requirement, first level give Father to Son, second could even be dead, third gives a bonus feat, and then the same progression you have there except maybe the last two abilities get pushed back a few levels (keeping Mind of Destruction as a capstone). Maybe some non-progressing levels; no Binder progression when you get that Planes ability, no Warlock progression when you get Form of the Forsaken, etc? I'm not even really suggesting that you gain more levels of either class, just want the loss of levels spread out some more, because otherwise any Archon in play before level 12 is very underpowered.
    note that the class does give two free invocations, as well as a few free vestigial-like abilities.

    i'm not going to make it larger than a 10-level class, but i will look more seriously at the lower level weaknesses.

    one of the abilities that i have thought about incorporating would be to say that by the time the archon can bind seklas the destroyer (the 8th level vestige), that seklas the lost (3rd level) becomes permanently bound, and no longer takes up one of the precious few spots with which he can bind a vestige. that still doesn't do anything till higher levels, but it does augment binder abilities.
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    Default Re: Archon of the Forsaken (binder/warlock prc)

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    wisdom of the planes doesn't seem strong enough in this respect? or is it that it just comes too late? i could see that ability at first level, especially since it scales with level (or at least with skill points, with level).
    I actually am not really sure how powerful that is or not; I thought EBL only affected whether or not you had to deal with the vestige's influence (which isn't really that serious); does it affect other things?

    But at any rate, that's not really what I meant. It's not that you're particularly lacking binding-specific stuff (at first I thought you were, but then I reread and realized that you're really not), it's just that I think a theurgic class should be able to use each side to empower the other side. You can currently go one way with that, improving invoking by sacrificing a vestigial ability, but you can't go the other way with it. I feel like you should be able to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    it's a long paragraph, but it's in there in the middle; 1 round/lvl.
    OK, missed that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    thanks. i still think it outweighs straight binder or invoker, especially since one of the requisite feats combines the first 6 hd of some abilities from both classes. but, as i said earlier, both binders and invokers can hold their own when played well. they aren't autowin classes like druids, clerics, and wizards, but they are potent.
    I certainly am not maligning either the Warlock or the Binder, definitely. They're excellent classes. But as for that feat.. wow. That seems... really good. That would make an excellent class feature. Actually, three required feats is a lot, especially if the class is going to be available earlier: perhaps give that as a bonus feat at level 1, rather than require it? Regardless, that does a ton for the class that I had not realized. Excellent feat, there.

    EDIT: Actually, I take that back: making it a bonus feat would suck, because then you can't have it before you get into this class - and that feat does a ton of stuff to make that process suck less. So ignore that suggestion.

    The reality is that both Eldritch Occultist and Skilled Pactmaker are pretty much obvious for any character that does this. I'm pretty sure none of them will ever not take those feats. So having them as pre-reqs isn't that onerous. The fiendish heritage thing I would probably remove if I was adapting this for use in a campaign with different fluff from yours, but I can see why that's important because of the fluff around the class.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    on that note, since i am tampering with the exact allocation of binder/invoker levels necessary for the class, i changed the eldritch invoker feat to include eldritch blast. i actually had thought that i had included it originally, but apparently not. i took out the soul guardian progression though, to balance it.
    Huh? I'm not sure what you're referring to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    i'm not going to make it larger than a 10-level class, but i will look more seriously at the lower level weaknesses.
    Mm. High levels can be a problem too. If you make the investment to get into a theurgic class, and then suddenly you can no longer continue advancing both, well, that's rough. The Eldritch Occultist does do a lot for that, though... Don't really know. Plus there's the concern about getting that capstone too early; it's better than a 9th level spell (not exactly the most powerful 9th level spell, but a 9th level spell nonetheless); you probably don't want that to be gotten before level 17... But I'm glad you're looking to get in earlier. Though Eldritch Occultist makes things much easier than I had thought.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    one of the abilities that i have thought about incorporating would be to say that by the time the archon can bind seklas the destroyer (the 8th level vestige), that seklas the lost (3rd level) becomes permanently bound, and no longer takes up one of the precious few spots with which he can bind a vestige. that still doesn't do anything till higher levels, but it does augment binder abilities.
    That's an excellent idea, but yeah, definitely not solving the early game problem.
    Last edited by DragoonWraith; 2009-09-10 at 09:37 PM.

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    Default Re: Archon of the Forsaken (binder/warlock prc)

    Well, DW has said everything I'd say and more, so I've nothing else to add. Just going to say good luck and hope this goes well.
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    Default Re: Archon of the Forsaken (binder/warlock prc)

    i am not thinking of making the prc attainable earlier than 7th level. what i was saying that i would do is change the prereqs so that it can be biner 6/warlock 1, or binder 4/warlock 3, or some other combo. right now it is strictly binder 3/warlock 4, which is a little harsh for people that want to emphasize the binder side.

    at that rate, the capstone isn't available till 16th level, which is ok by my book.

    maybe instead of making the 3rd level vestige permanently bound at 8th level, i could do it earlier, like 1st or 2nd. i would have to rewrite the father and son ability, but that is doable.

    i could add eldritch occultist as a bonus feat instead of a prereq. i hadn't considered that. i will look into it.

    the part that you didn't understand was the brief description of the feat change that i made for eldritch occultist (though i accidentally called it eldritch invoker).

    as far as an ability that uses invocations to improve binding, that is a good idea, though i don't yet have any brainstorms. i will try to come up with something.

    thank you both for the input. aaron out.
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    Default Re: Archon of the Forsaken (binder/warlock prc)

    Two comments:
    First a question: Everyone keeps saying you need 4 levels of warlock and 2 of binder to enter this prestige class. Now the Eldritch Occultist feat gives you the ability to bind 3rd level vestiges (gained at 5th level normally) but it says nothing about increasing your invocations known. The problem here is that the class's prerequisites state that you require lesser invocations and according to Complete Arcane warlocks don't get this ability until 6th level, so wouldn't you need to be a Warlock 6/Binder 2? Personally with the Eldritch Occultist feat that isn't much of a problem for character power since you can still bind the most powerful vestiges and have full eldritch blast.
    Secondly at 20th level a character with this class would have invocations of a 16 level warlock as well as the eldritch blast of a 20th level warlock and ability to bind vestiges as a 20th level binder (although reduced pact augmentation abilities). In addition they'd have all the abilities of the prestige class. This seems a little powerful, although when compared to a completely optimized wizard or druid it might not be too bad although it seems better than even a gestalt warlock/binder would be.

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    Default Re: Archon of the Forsaken (binder/warlock prc)

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    i am not thinking of making the prc attainable earlier than 7th level. what i was saying that i would do is change the prereqs so that it can be biner 6/warlock 1, or binder 4/warlock 3, or some other combo. right now it is strictly binder 3/warlock 4, which is a little harsh for people that want to emphasize the binder side.
    Definitely an interesting idea. The best way to do that is to require binding and invoking, but the rest of the requirements should just be skill rank requirements. I don't think anyone's gonna go Warlock 1/Binder 1/something else 5/Archon. That just doesn't make sense. And Eldritch Occultist does a ton for making a Warlock/Binder multiclass work even before you take the PrC, so the late-ish entry is OK-ish.

    I'd still want Archon 1 to happen at ECL 6, personally. That's when most PrCs start, and it's a good level for it. But with that feat it's not so bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    at that rate, the capstone isn't available till 16th level, which is ok by my book.
    Yeah, that's probably fine. A 1/day SLA isn't as good as an actual spell, so a level early, especially with that particular spell, isn't too bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    maybe instead of making the 3rd level vestige permanently bound at 8th level, i could do it earlier, like 1st or 2nd. i would have to rewrite the father and son ability, but that is doable.
    I'm not familiar enough with Binders to judge properly, honestly. There's a lot of concerns on both sides here, and I just don't really know. Sorry. Depending on the power disparity between higher and lower vestiges, the importance of having extra vestiges, etc etc., it could go either way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    i could add eldritch occultist as a bonus feat instead of a prereq. i hadn't considered that. i will look into it.
    I don't like the idea so much because Eldritch Occultist does so much to make getting into the class suck less.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    the part that you didn't understand was the brief description of the feat change that i made for eldritch occultist (though i accidentally called it eldritch invoker).
    Oh.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    as far as an ability that uses invocations to improve binding, that is a good idea, though i don't yet have any brainstorms. i will try to come up with something.
    I'll think about it too.

    Maybe an invocation to temporarily bind an extra vestige? Dunno.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    thank you both for the input. aaron out.
    Thanks for putting up with my less-than-helpful advice earlier, good luck!

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    Default Re: Archon of the Forsaken (binder/warlock prc)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaydos View Post
    Two comments:
    First a question: Everyone keeps saying you need 4 levels of warlock and 2 of binder to enter this prestige class. Now the Eldritch Occultist feat gives you the ability to bind 3rd level vestiges (gained at 5th level normally) but it says nothing about increasing your invocations known. The problem here is that the class's prerequisites state that you require lesser invocations and according to Complete Arcane warlocks don't get this ability until 6th level, so wouldn't you need to be a Warlock 6/Binder 2?
    that's all changing anyway, but it is possible that i got the numbers wrong. wait until i get the new numbers up, and then do the math.

    Personally with the Eldritch Occultist feat that isn't much of a problem for character power since you can still bind the most powerful vestiges and have full eldritch blast.
    Secondly at 20th level a character with this class would have invocations of a 16 level warlock as well as the eldritch blast of a 20th level warlock and ability to bind vestiges as a 20th level binder (although reduced pact augmentation abilities). In addition they'd have all the abilities of the prestige class. This seems a little powerful, although when compared to a completely optimized wizard or druid it might not be too bad although it seems better than even a gestalt warlock/binder would be.
    gestalt is difficult to compare, especially with number differences in bab and saves. but this class was specifically designed to merge both binder and warlock. warlock is a fun but supbar class. binder is fun, and is more competent than warlock, but is still lacking in some areas.

    some dms houserule warlocks to have full binding abilities, and some even make them auto gestalt from the beginning, with all class abilities of both classes. that is farther than i would go as far as balance is concerned, but that still doesn't add up to a wizard, druid, or cleric.

    either way, i feel that both classes are underpowered, so i don't have an issue with combining them.

    Quote Originally Posted by DragoonWraith View Post
    Definitely an interesting idea. The best way to do that is to require binding and invoking, but the rest of the requirements should just be skill rank requirements. I don't think anyone's gonna go Warlock 1/Binder 1/something else 5/Archon. That just doesn't make sense. And Eldritch Occultist does a ton for making a Warlock/Binder multiclass work even before you take the PrC, so the late-ish entry is OK-ish.
    i will probably get around to fixing this today...

    I'd still want Archon 1 to happen at ECL 6, personally. That's when most PrCs start, and it's a good level for it. But with that feat it's not so bad.

    ecl 6 is debatable; anything lower is out of the question.

    Yeah, that's probably fine. A 1/day SLA isn't as good as an actual spell, so a level early, especially with that particular spell, isn't too bad.


    I'm not familiar enough with Binders to judge properly, honestly. There's a lot of concerns on both sides here, and I just don't really know. Sorry. Depending on the power disparity between higher and lower vestiges, the importance of having extra vestiges, etc etc., it could go either way.
    yeah, i still don't know how i'm going to run this one, but it is in the works.

    I don't like the idea so much because Eldritch Occultist does so much to make getting into the class suck less.
    wait, you don't like the idea of having it as a prereq, or as a bonus feat?

    Oh.

    I'll think about it too.

    Maybe an invocation to temporarily bind an extra vestige? Dunno.
    it is harder to come up with one to help binders, because all of their abilities are so varied, depending on what vestige they have bound.

    Thanks for putting up with my less-than-helpful advice earlier, good luck!
    your input has been very helpful. there were some things that we were miscommunicating on, but as many of them were my issues as were yours.

    thanks for putting up with my sarcasm.

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    Default Re: Archon of the Forsaken (binder/warlock prc)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaydos View Post
    Two comments:
    First a question: Everyone keeps saying you need 4 levels of warlock and 2 of binder to enter this prestige class. Now the Eldritch Occultist feat gives you the ability to bind 3rd level vestiges (gained at 5th level normally) but it says nothing about increasing your invocations known. The problem here is that the class's prerequisites state that you require lesser invocations and according to Complete Arcane warlocks don't get this ability until 6th level, so wouldn't you need to be a Warlock 6/Binder 2? Personally with the Eldritch Occultist feat that isn't much of a problem for character power since you can still bind the most powerful vestiges and have full eldritch blast.
    Ack, you're right.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaydos View Post
    Secondly at 20th level a character with this class would have invocations of a 16 level warlock as well as the eldritch blast of a 20th level warlock and ability to bind vestiges as a 20th level binder (although reduced pact augmentation abilities). In addition they'd have all the abilities of the prestige class. This seems a little powerful, although when compared to a completely optimized wizard or druid it might not be too bad although it seems better than even a gestalt warlock/binder would be.
    Yeah, I didn't realize how much EBL did. Hmm. That... might be rough. Full Eldritch Blast progression is cool, that doesn't seem overpowered (in fact, I feel like pretty much all Warlocks require at least that, but full Binding seems perhaps too strong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    gestalt is difficult to compare, especially with number differences in bab and saves. but this class was specifically designed to merge both binder and warlock. warlock is a fun but supbar class. binder is fun, and is more competent than warlock, but is still lacking in some areas.

    some dms houserule warlocks to have full binding abilities, and some even make them auto gestalt from the beginning, with all class abilities of both classes. that is farther than i would go as far as balance is concerned, but that still doesn't add up to a wizard, druid, or cleric.

    either way, i feel that both classes are underpowered, so i don't have an issue with combining them.
    While I generally agree, I do feel like a PrC should be balanced against the entry class(es), and it does seem like you're gaining a lot and (apparently) losing little-to-nothing. I didn't realize that EBL affected the level/number of Vestiges you get; that's significant. My unfamiliarity with the Binder class is showing here, a lot. All of my comments earlier were going by the assumption that you were losing a lot of Binding/Invoking progression, and while you're still losing the latter, you're not losing so much of the former. Now I see why people suggested non-progression levels... I'd now be in favor of maybe... 3? levels that progress the Warlock side without progressing the Binder side, considering that feat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    wait, you don't like the idea of having it as a prereq, or as a bonus feat?
    If you have it as a Bonus Feat, anyone who gets it early is "missing out". But you really want it as soon as you can. In fact, I'd lower the requirements on it - it scales with your levels and is retroactive, so getting it earlier just means you don't have to live without it so long. Warlock 1/Binder 1 seems like a sufficient requirement, honestly. Then something like "Pact Augmentation, ability to cast Detect Magic at will, Knowledge (The Planes) 8 ranks" to enter Archon. Maybe 10 ranks. Maybe a different skill. Whatever. At this point, you're pretty darn awesome.

    As you enter Archon, you have full binding, full Eldritch Blast and Damage Reduction, and have lost at least two levels of Invocations. You start to lose the Damage Reduction abilities, however (good), but you continue to gain full binding. I think Binding should probably also lose two levels, to match what was lost in Invocations. Probably at 4 and 10, the levels when you get the most significant class features. 9 is really good, too, but losing on 9 and 10 would be weird and unbalanced, so 4 is better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    it is harder to come up with one to help binders, because all of their abilities are so varied, depending on what vestige they have bound.
    Aye, I understand that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    your input has been very helpful. there were some things that we were miscommunicating on, but as many of them were my issues as were yours.

    thanks for putting up with my sarcasm.

    aaron out.
    No problem, thanks for putting up with my repeated mis-reading of the class, the feat, and the entries...

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    Default Re: Archon of the Forsaken (binder/warlock prc)

    ok. i ended up giving it one dead level (at 10th) as far as soul binding is concerned. i still don't think it deserves more than that, but whatever.

    i also switched around the binding and invocation prereqs so that they are more flexible; the only strict part is that you still have to be able to bind seklas, the lost (3rd level).

    there were still a few other changes i was thinking about, but i'm gonna have to reread the whole thread to remember what they were...
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    Default Re: Archon of the Forsaken (binder/warlock prc)

    The big thing is that Eldritch Occultist gives full binding progression for Warlock levels, so lost binding progression can only occur during the Archon levels. I think the abilities are strong enough to justify a few lost levels. I just thought you'd already lost levels, not realizing how much the feat did.

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