Let's say you have Str 14 and Dex 12 with Weapon Focus: Morningstar (not too unlikely; it's what my Savage Tide binder has. Weapon Focus: Something is implied for every low-level binder who wants to go KotSS someday, which is to say every low-level binder.) Even with Paimon bound, your rapier is +3 to hit and 1d6+3 damage (average 6.5) while the morningstar is +3 to hit and 1d8+3 damage (average 7.5). Andras's improved critical helps the damage issue a little, but then you don't get the Weapon Finesse bonus so the rapier is only +2 to hit, and the improved critical is unreliable even against enemies where it works (which of course is nowhere near all the enemies you'll encounter).
One thing that you absolutely have to remember for the binder is that just because a vestige gives you proficiency, nothing says you have to use it. The morningstar is about as good as most of the martial weapons you'll get from vestiges and better than some, and money you spent on weapons you can only use with one vestige bound is money wasted any time you don't bind those vestiges.
I'm not sure you got my point: The longspear, properly used, is an absolute zombie destroyer. Zombies have no ability to move and attack in the same round unless they charge, which means you can deal double damage plus an AoO every round with a longspear - even with their damage reduction, that's more than the sickle gets you (especially since the sickle, as a light weapon, can't be two-handed for extra damage.) It is absolutely superior to the sickle in that as well as zombies, it has a high level of utility for other fights.
If you really feel nervous about the DR, see if you can get the fauchard from Dragon Compendium - it's essentially a slashing longspear. It can't be set against a charge, but it's a slashing weapon that you might actually want to use against non-zombie enemies.
argh busted link!
Yeah, I just don't see it being that important one way or another. I'll add it to the list.
Which isn't a big deal, the zombie thing or the rapier thing?
The rapier thing is potentially dangerous advice - unless you're already a Dex-focused build, sinking money into a magical rapier powerful enough to matter at any given level will eat a considerable amount of that level's funds for very little return.
As for the longspear vs. sickle thing, it's really not a huge issue, but the longspear is broadly useful enough that it definitely deserves to be on the list before sickles do, and possibly/probably (not having tested it yet) above rapiers.
I don't really see how its dangerous advice. But, ok, you've won me over. I'll change the list for 1st level around. Any other suggestions?
I just thought of some cheese, maybe it works maybe it doesn't. Certain vestige granted abilities use Su abilities at your effective binder level, or it just isn't defined what level you use them at. Would your EBL stack with Practiced Spellcaster (or Manifestor) for these purposes?
BTW, Zcerryl, I've determined, is broken. I'm not using it ever again.
Alien form: While bound to Zceryll, you gain the pseudonatural template (page 161 of Complete Arcane).
Alien Mind: Your mind is alien and does not work like that of a normal mortal. You are immune to confusion, insanity, and weird spells. In addition, you receive a +1 bonus per four binder levels on saving throws against mind-affecting effects.
Bolts of Madness: You can fire a ray that dazes an opponent for 1d3 rounds. You must succeed on a ranged touch attack with a range of 100 ft. + 10 ft./binder level. A successful Will save negates the effect. Once you have used this ability, you cannot do so again for 5 rounds.
Summon Alien: You can summon any creature from the summon monster list that a sorcerer of your level could summon. Any creature you summon with this ability gains the pseudonatural template. Thus, at 10th level you could summon any creature from the summon monster I-V list. When you reach 14th level, you can summon any creature from the summon monster I-VII list. You can only summon creatures that can be affected by the pseudonatural template. Once you have used this ability, you cannot do so again for 5 rounds.
Telepathy: You gain the telepathy ability with a range of 100 feet (as described on page 316 of the Monster Manual) and the Mindsight feat (as described on page 126 of Lords of Madness).
edit: Post #121, top of page 5
edit #2: Also, your "when you bind him" is technically incorrect - if you read the fluff, Zceryll is female. So.. "when you bind her". Sorry, it's not really a big deal, but it bugs me a little when people ignore that. Aym, too.
Another good enhancement for Binders is Sudden Stunning from the DMG2. Binders will routinely have insanely high CHA mods, which determines the number of times per day the ability can be used, as well as its save DC.
Its a weapon enhancement, so I don't know which it would be considered. Its not even a +# add-on, its a flat-rate cost with a scaling effect.
Stoooopid powerful for Binders. I usually add (un-)Holy Surge as well, it uses a similar mechanic. I don't have my books with me right now, so I can't get you the particulars, but I'll post them when I can (obviously within the normal usage guidelines).
Thanks for that; I didn't remember that. I still think all the abilities collectively are too powerful.
I'd just rather not use it :P
Well, continue posting your adventures. I thought it too powerful, but maybe I was just jumping on the "all day powers too good!!! nerf! nerf!" bandwagon.
Actually, the summoning isn't ungodly downtime power. You can only summon monsters that can have the pseudonatural template applied to them - in place of the fiendish template. So creatures that normally can receive that template get this one instead, so no djinni, demons, devils, angels, etc.
You can only summon creatures that can have the psuedonatural template applied to them.
This is the case with the ability as listed in the article, although per the designer clarification:
"Any creature you summon that is eligible (the significant majority) has the pseudonatural template (and yes, that means you can summon a pseudonatural celestial badger if you like)."
Which seems to indicate that it is intended to be possible to summon creatures which are ineligible for the template. Since the rest of the designer clarification stuff serves to actually render Zceryll playable, I tend to think allowing incorporeal summons (of which there are few) is a minor enough tradeoff.
Oh, I see your point. You are saying that "Any creature you summon that is eligible (the significant majority)" suggests you can summon things that are otherwise ineligible, correct?
I was also looking for PrCs that are really focused on one spell that the Binder could emulate via vestige granted abilities.
Shadowcraft Mage (Haures' Major Image)
It would be incredibly broken, though. So, y'know. There's that.
Even an Enchanter/Master Specialist with SF, GSF, Fey Power, the Veil of Allure, and so on ? They Charm better than you, at least.
Don't get me wrong - I love Binders, and the DCs of the Su abilities are great, but the DCs of the SLAs do not seem out of reach.
Shadowcraft Mage specifically references spells. Haures' Major Image ability is not a spell, it merely acts like one.