The binder’s back, baby.

From the Middle Finger of Vecna (despite the name 😉 ), an updated version of the 3e binder, a sort of not-quite warlock.

I’m really impressed! It certainly has some nits to my eye (their “not-quite-a-cantrip” permanent character power system has an option that you can select at 2nd (character) level granting access to 2nd (spell) level effects; misaligned!), but on the whole, it does a great job of giving us a nice character type I’d be thrilled to play.

Binders aren’t spellcasters. Mostly. They do cast spells, but they prepare a small number of vestiges instead, and the vestiges grant access to spells and powers in a bundle. That document gives appropriate subclasses for all sorts of binders: binders that are more fightery, binders that are more spellcastery, binders that double down on the binding, and so forth. Vestiges are split into levels just-like-spells, and their apex powers are frequently usable only once per day, and come with new proficiencies, resistances, tricks, and suchlike. Because the power comes in big blocks and is so strongly flavored, there’s a natural tendency to let that power define your character. But in D&D that seems like it’s always a risk: the fighter only gets so many feats; the 5th level wizard’s defined by fireball, the 1st level cleric their cure wounds.

Of course, it’ll never get open sourced. Every page drips with flavor, and a lot of that flavor is specific to D&D. Wizards of the Coast owns ’em.

It’s a tragedy, really.

I was going to wind this up with “use this to build clerics” — where the vestiges become enlightenments, where the mental traits they give you become vows — but then I didn’t, because that deserves real content, and the content it requires is just as encumbered with intellectual property as the vestiges, really.

Besides, then I’d have to say that Odin is 9th level, and Geb is first level. Or Mercy is level 3, while Chastity level 7. There’s something there, but it took those guys 55 pages to get their opus out.

 

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About lackhand

I was born in 1984 and am still playing games, programming computers, and living in New York City. View all posts by lackhand

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