Presenting my Binder Fix

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[edit: fixing syntax and function errors in the feature]

When my PCs in my current second game were building their party, naturally the roles the first three party memebers (out of a party of five) were attracted to were all strikers. Undecided Conventiently a solution to the obvious problem herein presented itself when the player who wanted a Warlock stumbled upon the section detailing the Binder sub-class in the copy of PoHoS that I am carry to games. I deliberately avoided mentioning that this class is reasonably regarded by the community as drastically underpowered because I didn't want to discourage him latching onto the RP part of his character because A: I needed to avoid another Striker in the group; B: I can always alter or add stuff later to bring this build to balance, as I am confident I have found most of the solution in this additional future.

After completing less-than-exhausting research (lazily flipping through books and adding up bull crap numbers) I have found what I am confident will make the Tiefling Binder in one of my groups bring as much to the table as any other controller and give him a flavor all his own, all while enabling him to draw feats from prior content and have his character fit inside of the very attractive lore fluff that was presented in the disapointing afforementioned book recently released.

The following feature I propose added to the features listed under the Binder's level 1 features, replacing nothing. Absolutely no one will disagree with the notion of adding a fifth feature to balance out this class. It is simply down one feature from the other 'lock builds.

Binder's Bane
A Binder learns to harness the fell energy surrounding her targets so that she can redirect this magical energy into the spells she uses against her hapless enemies, sustaining negative effects she places on them while aiding her allies in applying their own devious tactics to the very same target.  You have this feature in place of the Warlock's Curse feature used as described in the Player's Handbook, but you still meet the prerequiste of Warlock's Curse for the purposes of aquiring feats and paragon paths.

Once per turn as a minor action, you can place a Binder's Bane on the enemy nearest to you that you can see. A bane-inflicted enemy is more likely to remain hindered or punished by you and your allies' attacks.  Each enemy afflicted by a Binder's Bane takes a -2 penalty to all saving throws. In addition, once per turn as a minor action you can designate a creature you can see that you have applied a bane to. If you do so, you can change a single effect on that creature so that if it the effect would fade at the end of your turn, that effect now fades if the creature succeeds in a saving throw at the end of your turn. Otherwise, the effect persists until the end of your next turn instead and you are free to attempt the effect again during that and any other subsequent turns.

A Binder's Bane remains in effect until the end of the encounter or until the bane-inflicted enemy drops to 0 hitpoints or fewer.

You can place a Binder's Bane on multiple targets over the course of an encounter; each bane requires the use of a minor action. You can’t place a Binder's Bane on a creature that is already affected by your or another character’s Warlock’s Curse or Binder's Bane.

Obviously there are several snags with this, but above all else I am fully confident this is not overpowered at all when looking through the Binder powers available in PoHoS. As far as whether there is something more devious available in other materials, I would love to hear about it from the board. 

So you gave a class a permastun? Or dominate? Or any other status? I mean dont get me wrong I love the direction. I think it just needs some tweaking. The second part of bane should be a second power.

Bane's Toll: Minor action, target one creature affected by your binder's bane.(power description) Special: Once you have used this power on a creature you may not use it the subsequent turn.

Something like that. =P
Edit to above post: Once you have used this power on a creature you may not use it *on the same creature* the subsequent turn. And apologies for the double post. I cant edit posts from my phone.
you're right, I left out a sentence from the sheet I wrote it on, I'll fix it tomorrow
there I fixed it so it forces a saving throw instead of simply extending the effect, although I'm still not entirely convinced that's potent enough. I went through about seven versions of this before I could find one I was happy with
What exactly is supposed to be wrong with the Binder? I've seen plenty of people say this, but haven't seen the reasons given yet.
Hammarsjkold, I don't personally own HoS (I flipped through in the game store and the content looked especially unimpressive), but here's the consensus:

The Binder gives up Warlock's Curse without really gaining any solid control in return over the O-Warlock, and his powers simply don't measure up in AoE and control potential to the solid controller classes.  Additionally, he's a low-damage, ranged controller with a primary class feature that triggers off of killing an enemy or being adjacent to an enemy when it dies.  Aside from minion sweeping, those are exactly the things a Binder should be focused on *not* doing.

If you're not convinced, take a cursory look at the powers and features of a Binder at level 5 or 10 or 15 compared to, say, an Illusionist Mage.  It just doesn't really bring much to the table. 
What exactly is supposed to be wrong with the Binder? I've seen plenty of people say this, but haven't seen the reasons given yet.

Eh, I'll just quote myself of the reason/rant I gave on another topic on this forum.  This is just about Binder vs. Warlock/Hexblade, and it makes me depressed enough before even touching Binder vs. Other Controllers.  In fact, I CAN'T bring myself to try to compare the differences between Binders and the effectiveness of any other controller without giving up in disgust unless its a direct comparison to Seeker.  Even then, I favor the Seeker as a controller over Binder, due to Grappling Spirits and Biting Swarm's hit effects and its ability to shift as a Minor Action to get out of Melee safely.
Binder basically fails of providing any more control then the O-Warlock and Hexblade counterparts.  Considering its loosing the damage features the other two Warlock-subtypes have, thats a major fault.

Daily Power control?  Hexblades reign supreme, providing the same benefit as any other Warlock sub-class with added damage to any damage roll by default.  O-Warlocks with feats win in the end by amplifying various control measures on said Dailies and some Encounter powers, even if a few trades some of their Curse damage for extra control.  Binder has nothing but vanilla.

Encounter Power control?  O-Warlock wins, followed by a Gloom Pact Hexblade.  Many O-Warlock powers have considerable control to begin with, and being able to choose freely really keeps things going.  While O-Warlock misses out on the auto-riders that Binders get, most are not noticable or controlling.  The only one I noticable miss is Star's Shadow Tentacles zone of difficult terrain, but that has to compete against Chains of Levistus, Arms of Hadar, Grasp of the Iron Tower, Witchfire(Fey), and Cursebite in control of various types.  Gloom Hexblade just starts with Daze UEoNT encounter power vs. 1 or 2 creatures, enough said.

At-Will Power control?  This is the only spot that Binders truly compete against the other Warlock-types.  Binder(Gloom) has that Echoing Dirge, which can turn into something very nice and is the only that stands out (Two targets and C.Blast to ignore Concealment!).  Binder(Star)'s Mind Shadow is ... Conditional.  Against artillery, its great in defending your allies...but not yourself.  If your allies get into melee though, its worth disappears as a control.  Shadow Claws, looks decent at first, and IS decent with Lasting Frost.  Still, this is forced to compete with Hexblade and O-Warlocks.

  • Eldritch Strike?  Slide 1 thats boostable by a Staggering Weapon.  Let me just say, this is notable amount of slide by Paragon.

  • Flesh Rend(Gloom Hexblade)?  Eldritch Strike upgraded.  All that needs to be said.

  • Dire Radiance?  Comparable to Shadow Claws in control.  Trading auto-effect and any move for much more painful off-turn damage and boostable by Master's Wand of Dire Radiance.

  • Eye of Vestige?  Literally depends on what Pact you have going, but some of those contain quite a chunk of control.

  • Eyebite?  Reverse Mind Shadow, protecting yourself rather then allies.

  • Hand of Blight?  Feats for usually 1/Encounter boost for a control effect, on top of CA.

Only Binder(Gloom)'s Echoing Dirge really stood out apart from this crowd, with its 2 targets being a C.Blast to ignore certain disadvantages ranged/melee powers get.  Mind Shadows is really effective though, if you are in a party of pure ranged characters, facing a Solo, and with an ally who applies Slow/Immobilize at range.  Yes I know, too restrictive.

Class Features?  Its a Warlock.  Plus Pact Lore(Level 4).  Minus Warlock's Curse.  Swapping for Alternative Prime Shot, lacking compatability for Called Shot in Paragon.  Worse, Shadow Twist (Prime Shot alternative) has no possibility of kicking in when your melee allies are engaging your target.  Pact Lore itself doesn't add any control, just a touch of resistance and a little extra.  Dark Vision on Gloom is nice, but +2 arcana and religion for Star Pacts, unless you are trying to max out Arcana for a specific reason.

Pact Boon?  The Worst Trigger For A Controller.  You can only reasonably get your Pact Boon if you wipe out a minion, usually by a burst/blast...but you only get that on some of your SET encounter powers.  Gloom Pact at least gets to possibly hit 2 creatures at-will, but its not something to expect to go off.  I doubt a controller is really supposed to finish off a normal monster, or be in MELEE.  Strikers tend to finish/kill things, if not the Defender.  Controller usually should be targetting a new monster by then, to stagger/control it before the allies get to it, in my opinion.

THAT is just comparisons of control of Binders to other Warlock-subtypes.  Its even harsher when one compares a Binder to another Controller class.
Edit:  Even my Gloom Pact Build.  Taking the same ruling, one can go Mage with Int/Wis/Dex stats and end up doing the same thing but to every enemy in a C.Blast 5 rather then just 2 creatures.  All it trades is the damage.

TLDR:  The only controller advantage that Binder has over Warlock and Hexblade is Gloom Pact's Echoing Dirge's ability to target 2 creatures at-will.  Considering just how much it LOOSES when compared to Hexblades and Warlocks and that other controllers can target more then 2 creatures at-will if they wish, any player is better off playing a Warlock or even a Hexblade over a Binder for similar amount of control.

As for Binder' Bane?  I like the concept, even if I'm hesitant do to the potential breaking it could cause.  Of course, looking how things are now there really isn't any breaking because the only effects that meet the requirement are ones the Binder themself places down on an enemy.  Made further easier to accept since the at-wills and encounter powers are even SET for the Binder, thus making this easier to grapple with....Yeah, I do like that idea.
Well I like YOU. Laughing
I approve of this idea. It certainly helps bring the binder more in line with the expectations of labeling it a Controller.  MIght need some refining, but works well enough for my table.
What if you just gave the Binder the Wizard's Orb of Imposition power? (altered to fit of course) And maybe let her keep the Curse damage too.
What if you just gave the Binder the Wizard's Orb of Imposition power? (altered to fit of course) And maybe let her keep the Curse damage too.

Um. I was actually unaware of this feature until this post. Good point, but the Bane works better overall, and it has fit into my campaign well thus far.
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