Is the Binder class any fun to play?

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The thread title says it all: will a player have fun with a binder character?

First of all, I should preface this question will a little info. I'm currently running a mini campaign for a group of hard core D&D players who are not really into 4e. Some of them are trying it for the first time, while others played it on release, disliked it, but want to give it a second chance. As a whole, this group is very RP heavy and in fact we often go several sessions without any combat at all. When combat occurs, they do like to have fun and play it to the max, but these guys are as far from char-op as you can get.

This week I killed off one of the PC's and the player is rolling up a new character (yes, they wanted rolled ability scores... as per the optional rules in PHB1) and has decided he really likes the flavor and RP potential of the Binder.

So... he's heard the Binder is miserable in combat, but he's wondering if that's just a char-op point of view and would the class be any fun to play in a group that couldn't care less about min/max. Let's assume 75% of our table time is RP/exploration and 25% combat.

If anyone has actually played a binder, I would appreciate your input. Thanks.
I tried, once.  Was for a simple oneshot, and it did its job well enough.  The 2 target blast with the push was actually rather useful, as the entire thing took place in a tower and there were lots of...falling hazards.

But even that felt wimpy compared to any other controller I'd ever played.  It didn't feel much different than a straight Warlock, except for the part where it did less damage.

It can be fun.  But if you're going in expecting it to be really cool and stuff, sometimes you might be disappointed.
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I plan to try one.  The main reason for that is, I'm considered the party munchkin because I tend to take combat oriented options while other people take...what I consider less optimal feats and choices.  My thought is, if I play a binder, I can min-max it to my little heart's content and I am not going to outshine other people.

They look like decent skill monkeys too.
I will preface this by saying I have never seen one in play and think they don't probably work as well as most other warlocks or controllers.  But they don't look useless or anything, mostly just not as good. 

The fey one in particular looks fun, with a good bit of dominating for a heroic tier PC.  And the star one looks like it has some potential as well.
ive played a straight binder a few times and had fun, but my fave is a hybrid fey binder/paladin bc you can do some 'catch 22' type hijinks. theyre not my fave or anything but if you get creative with them, you can certainly build some serviceable pcs. i like the fluff on them too.
I plan to try one.  The main reason for that is, I'm considered the party munchkin because I tend to take combat oriented options while other people take...what I consider less optimal feats and choices.  My thought is, if I play a binder, I can min-max it to my little heart's content and I am not going to outshine other people.

They look like decent skill monkeys too.



I am actually the oposite, i am the kind of player that prefer classes that need less optimization to be "competitive", because that way, i can spend all those feats on cool/fun stuff that make my character concept shines even more.
I plan to try one.  The main reason for that is, I'm considered the party munchkin because I tend to take combat oriented options while other people take...what I consider less optimal feats and choices.  My thought is, if I play a binder, I can min-max it to my little heart's content and I am not going to outshine other people.

They look like decent skill monkeys too.



I am actually the oposite, i am the kind of player that prefer classes that need less optimization to be "competitive", because that way, i can spend all those feats on cool/fun stuff that make my character concept shines even more.



Hitting more often and doing more damage are fun to me.  I don't need to take feats to give my character variety and flavor.
The thing you have to remember about the Binder is you have to ask yourself, "Why am I not playing a Warlock?". The straight Warlock has access to most of the Binder powers on top of much better feat support and, of course, curse which allows for better control than the actual Binder. Fluff can always be changed, so you might want to talk to him about playing a Warlock with Binder powers if he's set on playing one.
The thing you have to remember about the Binder is you have to ask yourself, "Why am I not playing a Warlock?". .



i would say that the major reason is bc the binders have at-wills that cannot be selected by the warlock. in my case the at-wills were crucial for what i wanted to be able to do, otherwise i would have indeed gone straight warlock. 
Can a Warlock do everything a Binder does, but better, and a Wizard provide more control and encounter-ending effects? 

Yes.  

That doesn't make the class non-viable though, you might just get a little outdone in the cool stuff department. 
The thing you have to remember about the Binder is you have to ask yourself, "Why am I not playing a Warlock?". The straight Warlock has access to most of the Binder powers on top of much better feat support and, of course, curse which allows for better control than the actual Binder. Fluff can always be changed, so you might want to talk to him about playing a Warlock with Binder powers if he's set on playing one.



For me personally, the fact that the warlock is so much better then the binder is the reason to play the binder.  I'm a bit of a min maxxer at heart, and sometimes I steal a bit of the limelight from the other members of my party because my characters will out perform theirs. 

Did I force them to pick feats that are (in my opinion) bad?  No.  BUT, that being said, the fact that they made choices they wanted to, makes them have fun with their character.  The fact that my character made with combat bonuses always on (this is part of the problem...my group tends to take a lot of conditional feats and items) coupled with the fact that I play a striker, leads to the perception that my character is somehow overpowered (I /should/ out damage the fighter by a significant amount).

From my perspective, I shouldn't have to intentionally nerf my own character so that I am not outshining people.  If I start doing that, /I/ won't be having fun.  If I start off with a class that's...limited...I can min max to my little heart's content and I shouldn't be stealing anyone's thunder.  I'm fine with that, I just want to be allowed to let my character grow from whatever it is starting out to whatever I can make it into.  Picking a weak character like a binder allows me to cheese it up as much as I want without feeling guilty for having my fun.
One thing to be careful of is that the gloom pact binder creates a lot of zones which block line of sight for everyone, which can often hinder your party as much as or more than it hinders the enemies. Such abilities have nifty RP possibilities outside of combat, though.

binder fluff is pretty cool, definitely, but that makes it all the more disappointing when its mechanics don't actually reflect that fluff in any way. Most of the powers are pretty boring. 
I have played both warlock and binder once. I found the binder more effective and fun. I didn't particularly enjoy either though. 

Binder fluff is definatley pretty cool.  

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"

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I'm currently playing a Binder Warlock and I'm loving it.  Most of the attacks rely on CHA so I made my character a bit of a fast talker and trained him all the Charisma related skills (Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Streetwise...).  I've had a great time out of combat trying to talk my way out of dangerous situations or finding other solutions to "locked door" problems, rather than just smashing it down.  Really makes for some interesting backgrounds for him.  I went with him working in a tavern his whole life which explained how he's so skilled in gaining information from people.  But it lends itself to many other options.

In combat, I've also found him super useful and effective.  Now I'll be honest and I haven't looked into comparing it to the regular Warlock.  But not knowing what goes on there, I've been very happy with the Binder.  

I went with the Star Pact which gives very cool At-Will powers Mind Shadows (Standard) and Hidden Lore (Free).  Hidden Lore is sweet because you turn invisible whenever you kill someone or someone dies next to you which gives you a -5 to incoming Attacks, don't provoke opportunity attacks, and you gain Combat Advantage to all enemies.  So it's very fun running around the battlefield trying to kill someone each round so you remain invisible.

Mind Shadows has been my most useful attack for teaming up with my rogue and other classes that require Combat Advantage.  It's versus Will which is always nice in an undead campagne, and when you hit, that enemy can't see any creature 3 or more squares away.  This means that our rogue can get combat advantage with her Xbow and still get to roll her 2d8 sneak attack bonus.  It also forces ranged attackers closer into the battle.  As well, any attack it tries to do against characters 3 away get a -5 to attack due to the Total Concealment.

So that combined with the Eladrin's Fey Step and most of my attacks doing d10s, I've had tons of fun playing a Binder running around invisibly and popping up places out of danger.  I don't have experience comparing it to anything so that could be why I'm enjoying it so much, but none the less it works for me.
I got a whole binder full of warlocks.

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two things:
The Heroes of Shadow book is a 1/2-rumped mess.
Where are you people finding fey binder info?

The binders have much better at-will powers. Sometimes they have a power that looks better than the normal warlock powers. For fun, though, the straight warlock has been more fun to play.
I took a feylock and dual pact:Gloom for reasons of fluff and fun. But having tried it out that way, I can safely say I'm not interested in playing a full Binder until I've done some of the other, regular classes.

But if you want to try something that has almost no support in the way of feats, magic items, clarifications, or alternatives (unless there's been something in DDI that I missed), then the Binder (and anything else in HoS) is perfect.
See dragon 406 for the fey binder.  Its a mix of party friendly AOE, forced movement, and some domination.  Some invisibility and dazing gets thrown in for a few of the powers and the boon is an enemy attack debuff.

Main flaw is that a lot of the damage is poison, but it also has some psychic damage powers.
Neat.
Did they every get around to any other support for anything in the HoS book?
A shame that actual 4Ed Binders arn't near as interessting and fun as the Binder in the Tome of Magic from 3.5Ed.

Would have been cool.
Searched this thread for something about the binder being full of women, came away disappointed.