Binder fix

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Cross posted in House Rules & Homebrew.  After poking around a few threads, I have a "fixed" version of the binder class.  Here's my unofficial errata:

- Change Shadow Twist to read as follows (changes in itallics): "You gain a +1 bonus to ranged attack rolls and area attack rolls against any enemy that has no other creatures adjacent to it or that only has a creature you summoned next to it."

- Drop Shadow Walk and add the features Binder's Curse and Shadow Summons.

- Change the trigger for all binder pact boons to read: "Trigger: An enemy affected by your binder's curse is reduced to 0 hit points or fewer."

Binder's Curse: You gain the Binder's Curse at-will power.

At-Will * Arcane, Shadow
Effect:
Once per turn as a minor action, you can place a Binder's Curse on the enemy nearest to you that you can see.  The curse lasts until the end of the encounter.  The curse lasts until the end of the encounter.  When a creature affected by your Binder's Curse would regain hit points or gain temporary hit points, reduce the hit points regained or temporary hit points gained by 2.  Increase to 4 at 11th level and 6 at 21st level.  In addition, you gain an extra benefit based on your pact:
  Gloom Pact: When you or a creature you have summoned hit a target affected by your binder's curse, the target takes a -2 penalty to all defenses until the start of your next turn.
  Star Pact: When you or a creature you have summoned hit a target affected by your binder's curse, the target treats all creatures as having concealment until the end of your next turn.
  Fey Pact: When you or a creature you have summoned hit a target affected by your binder's curse, the target takes a -2 penalty to all saving throws until the end of your next turn.
Special: This power counts as warlock's curse with regards to feats and paragon paths.

Shadow Summons: You can trick extraplanar beings into servitude and bind them with your master's power, whose influence gradually seeps into your summons.  Whenever you gain a new daily power, you can instead choose a daily power with the summoning keyword from any class.  The chosen power must have a level, and its level must be your level or less.  That power gains the Arcane and Shadow keywords, and you can use your Charisma modifier in place of any other ability score the summoned creature normally uses for attack and/or damage rolls.  In addition, all creatures you have summoned gain an aura 1.  Creatures in the aura are treated as if they had your Binder's Curse placed upon them.

Design Notes:

- I went for a more summoning-oriented class, because that's really what I think when I hear "binder."  Someone who binds extraplanar beings into servitude.  Which is sort of an inversion of the standard warlock class - reversing who is master and who is servant.  Though of course, with such strange beings a binder summons, who's to say that he or she really is the master they think themselves to be?

- Allowing the class to poach summons from other classes was easier than writing a bunch of new summoning powers, plus it suggested some new flavor, though I'm not sure I wrote it well.  Notice how the summons add the arcane and shadow keywords but don't remove any previous power source keywords?  So if you use a summoning power that was originally from the invoker class, it's still a divine power as well.  What I'm trying to say is that the binder is literally poaching from other classes.  When he summons an angel, he's actually tricking that angel into responding to his call, pretending to be a properly empowered servant of the god in question.  Once said angel has arrived, a trap is sprung, and said angel is bound into service by the power of his patron.  So your patron is literally stealing angels and corrupting them for their own service.  I really like that idea.  It really fits the dark, sinister nature of the warlock/binder classes, and I think it adds to the tone of binder patrons.  The Dark Lord, Archfey, or Star Spawn you serve is a precocious creature, looking to add to its retinue by stealing from others.  Though it does make it harder to justify a good-aligned binder.  After all, each angel you bind is one more that you're intentionally causing to fall and become corrupted by your master.  You may not easily fit in with a party with this flavor, but flavor is mutable, right?  On a side note, I really like the wizard summons with Symbiosis and Instinctive Effects.  If I were more ambitious, I'd make binder summons like these.  But for now, I like the implications of stealing your summons from other sources.

- Encounter Powers.  I didn't touch these.  I know they could use some work, but Binder's Curse helps make them more controller-y.  Plus, if you go with druid or certain wizard summons, their instinctive effects still get the boost.  A typical turn for you may now involve dropping an at-will or encounter power (gaining the benefit of your Binder's Curse) and then your summoned creature hitting with its instinctive effect, also gaining the benefit of your Binder's Curse (with its new aura, if nothing else).  I figure that's a simpler way of fixing it than fixing every single bad binder power.

- Binder's Curse = Warlock's Curse.  Pretty simple.  Makes for a nice model for how pact boons should be triggered.  Gives control as a class feature, something only the Protector druid gets currently.  Plus it allows some existing warlock support to carry over.  I always liked the Accursed Coordination feat conceptually, but didn't think it was really worth it.  But with a Warlock's Curse and Binder's Curse side by side, I suddenly see it as a lot more interesting.

- Things I thought of doing.  Maybe I'll add them if this isn't good enough/something is seriously broken here.  A higher level ability that makes your summoned creatures immune to your area/close attacks.  Or maybe just "Your attack powers automatically miss your summoned creatures."  I think that also nicely builds off the taint of your power seeping into your summons.  Other ideas were allowing you to use your summoned creatures as the origin square for your binder powers, and maybe a feat to allow your summons to gain temp hp when you gain the benefit of your pact boon.  Just things to play around with.  For now, I'll see how this alpha version turned out.

So let me know how this looks.  Hopefully I'm on the right track, but I really don't know.
I really like the idea of the Binder's Curse, it fits nicely and makes sure the Binder actually has access to some kind of control on every attack.

Poaching summons is interesting fluff and a nice shorthand, but beyond an initial playtest, it's probably worth writing up some of your own... but there's nothing to say they couldn't still be fluffed as angels or other outsiders tricked into your service.  For an easy version, you could just refluff the Protector Druid's summons, since they're built with similar control functions in mind.

That Fey Pact save debuffer might be pretty intense at low levels, especially if you're working with another controller who gets a lot of mileage out of forcing failed saves (and heck, who doesn't?)  I haven't played enough controllers to say how the balance on it actually works out though, so I'll leave that judgment to better number crunchers. 
You should also include items for interaction with Binder's Curse as Warlock's Curse.  Numerous items specifically call for the Warlock's Curse, and so far, you've only explicitly listed it as being a replacement in regards to Feats and Paragon Path powers in your write-up.  You say Binder's Curse = Warlock's Curse, but explicitly stating it in the special section on the power will alleviate many homebrew issues.

Bargle wrote:
This is CharOp. We not only assume block-of-tofu monsters, but also block-of-tofu DMs.
 

Zelink wrote:
You're already refluffing, why not refluff to something that doesn't suck?
The biggest fix needed isnt in mechanics (though this is still important) but in the system that allows such poor quality design to make it into print and the skills/training of individuals who believe this level of design quality is good enough.
The biggest fix needed isnt in mechanics (though this is still important) but in the system that allows such poor quality design to make it into print and the skills/training of individuals who believe this level of design quality is good enough.



I guess D&D should never have been made then. Every edition of D&D has been riddled with examples of poorly thought out design, from BECMI to Next (from what I have been reading in the Next forums).

D&D is not, and never has been, an elegant system, with 4E showing the most elegance, not the least.

The biggest fix needed isnt in mechanics (though this is still important) but in the system that allows such poor quality design to make it into print and the skills/training of individuals who believe this level of design quality is good enough.



I guess D&D should never have been made then. Every edition of D&D has been riddled with examples of poorly thought out design, from BECMI to Next (from what I have been reading in the Next forums).

D&D is not, and never has been, an elegant system, with 4E showing the most elegance, not the least.


Not what I am talking about. What I am talking about is editing, process, skill training, oversight. I am talking about improving the process and the skills of those within the process not about doing away with the system.
The biggest fix needed isnt in mechanics (though this is still important) but in the system that allows such poor quality design to make it into print and the skills/training of individuals who believe this level of design quality is good enough.



I guess D&D should never have been made then. Every edition of D&D has been riddled with examples of poorly thought out design, from BECMI to Next (from what I have been reading in the Next forums).

D&D is not, and never has been, an elegant system, with 4E showing the most elegance, not the least.


Not what I am talking about. What I am talking about is editing, process, skill training, oversight. I am talking about improving the process and the skills of those within the process not about doing away with the system.



Then, as I said, it is a "system" that has been in place from Tactical Strategic Review to TSR, Inc to Wizards of the Coast. The same "system" also exists in other publishing houses, from FASA to Games Workshop to Hero Games to White Wolf.

"It seemed like a good idea at the time" is oft heard in all walks of life, not just the gaming industry.

Binder's Curse is good. We had a similar Idea we called Binder's Bane which was a minor action repeatable version of orb of imposition essentially. 
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