Consolidated Binder Handbook (3.5e Guide)/Tips and Tricks

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Tips and Tricks[edit]

Old Advice (from previous handbooks)[edit]

  • Buer's small granted heal is useable an unlimited number of times per day. This means that a binder can heal the party back to full during dowtime without wasting any of the primary healer's valuable resources.
  • If you suffer a large amount of ability damage or drain and cannot rest, you can use Expel Vestige and then bind Naberius to heal.
  • Combined with the Negotiator bonus feat and a Binder's natural emphasis on Charisma, Naberius can make a character an formidable diplomat.
  • Savnok's Move Ally ability can be used to bypass some terrain obstacles (which may be even harder to overcome in full plate) by trading places with a more mobile ally such as a summoned raven or earth elemental (as long as they are visible). This could also be used to break a grapple or other confine.
  • Balam's Cunning can be used to re-roll a Truespeak skill check every 5 rounds (or every 4 if you include Favored Vestige and Rapid Recovery).
  • Paimon's Death of Death ability can be used to trigger Skirmish damage.
  • Balam's and Geryon's gaze attacks can be combined for 4d6 continuous damage every round, and leave you free to perform other actions.
  • Amon's and Orthos's Breath Weapons can be used to qualify for Metabreath feats (Maximized Breath Weapon plus Empowered Supernatural Ability anyone?). This is debatable, RAW: see the first CustServ quote below.
  • Naberius can be used to offset the ability damage caused by the Festering Anger (Book of Vile Darkness) disease.
  • Naberius is also the main way the Hellfire Warlock overcomes the Con damage they take.
  • A Deathshead can be created using the Create Undead spell and a Murder of Crows may be summoned using the Summon Swarm spell. Though this is not useful to a pure soul binder, an Anima Mage (or any other caster with those spells) can take advantage of this.

New Advice (not in the handbooks, but maybe in the threads)[edit]

  • The Veil of Allure (Sandstorm) grants a +2 save DC to all charisma-based supernatural abilities.
  • Ashardalon's Greed, along with a few ranks in Appraise and some magic items, could easily get you up to the Epic DC 50 needed to detect magic items.
  • Ashardalon'g Fear effect actually lasts so long that by the time it no longer effects the enemy, you could've already used it two more times (15th level, the earliest you can bind him).
  • The Triad gives +5 Diplomacy and +5 Sense Motive, as well as Bardic Knowledge, making it a great social / interaction vestige.
  • If you can get some ranks in UMD, or if you are using the Heterodoxy variant and started as a Cleric, you should bind Buer and use a Wand of Shield Other when available. You get fast healing, and can heal yourself in the back of the party w/
  • Otiax's Air Blast ability works as a melee touch attack even up to 10' away; there's nothing in the rules that says you can't use Power Attack with this (it's like the Wraithstrike + Power Attack combo). 2d6+BAB is pretty good damage, imo. Go into it fully equiped w/ a shield. Tenebrous can add 4d8 cold damage to the attack, and specifies you can use it for a full round (at least when it gets to 4d8). Combine w/ Leap Attack + Shocktrooper, Chupoclops for pounce, and Andras for imp. crit in a 16 BAB build and you get 2d6+4d8+32 damage per hit (4d6+4d8+64 on a crit), and can still be 10' away from them. Shax's Sea Strike can add another 2d6 damage to one hit. Not bad if you just got MDJ'd in the World's Largest Dungeon. Air Blast may or may not work w/ Power Attack: its a strict DM call (not even RAW or CustServ can answer the question, apprently).
  • Arete some nice defense beyond having Buer bound: being able to heal oneself of 2d12 HP once per day (or more, w/ a crystal), having DR 5/-, and +4 to any save is really nice.
  • Dahlver-Nar can be a great way to keep dead things dead at low level. Gaseous Form is a particularly nasty way to keep recurring villains in a fight, for repeated encounters. In fact, any creature with any kind of incorporealness or any kind of heavy DR should be targeted with the Shield Self ability. Don't forget that you can deny yourself your Dex bonus anytime you want, and that a Sneak Attacking Rogue will do a ton of damage to you, if you so desire.
  • Knights of the Sacred Seal become Outsiders at 5th level as a Su ability. This goes away if you unbind your patron vestige. If you have Karsus bound, its time to start using a wand of Alter Self, as you get access to a ton of really useful abilities in outsider form (how would you like +18 natural armor, for example?).
  • I was rereading Zagan's abilities, and I just got to say, wow. It is THE vestige to be facing high level humanoid parties. Grapple the wizard, then use Aversion against the melee types. Just hope they don't have an active Freedom of Movement going!
  • How about charming a monster you don't like and making it your ally with your half-elf bard diplomancer cohort (or some other way..) and send the monster to the Ethereal plane forever? This could be accomplished with "Animal Friend: [Eurynome] All animals automatically friendly with you" so you can dispose of animal monsters chasing you down (that dinosaur causing you trouble? ). Just found this, but it seems like you can use this "Command or Suggestion: [Naberius] Command within 30 ft or suggestion (if BL >= 14) . 1/ 5 rnds." to make a enemy your friend, command him to get naked (don't want to lose his loot after all) and then teleport to the Ethereal plane and switch places with him.
  • Speaking of Eurynome, the always friendly animals are a great way to increase your fighting power. If you party w/ a Druid or Ranger, convince them to have a high Handle Animal, and you can train every animal you encounter. How about a bunch of ally fleshrakers?
  • Army building can start at 6th: Tenebrous's Rebuke ability can get you undead. 6th level is important, as you can control Shadows. Build your shadow army, just as all the necromancer-types. Combine with Leadership, and you easily can have tons of minions. How do you get a Shadow? Pay a spellcaster to cast Summon Monster 5, have it kill a squirrel, and wait d4 rounds (have the summoned Shadow command the created one not to attack). Then Rebuke.
  • A big problem of being a Binder is not knowing what you are going to face the next day. Since knowing is half the battle, The Triad is winning it before it begins. Use Call to Mind plus Bardic Knowledge plus Dantalion to get huge bonuses on knowledge checks. Combining it with Naberius, and using the Con skills to get Knowledge: Local will turn you into a local kingpin immediately. Oh, and let you find out what is happening the next day, who's planning what, etc.
  • Binders can do the trapfinding role, but it isn't easy. Karsus grants Detect Magic at will, which can reveal magical traps, and then can use the dispelling touch ability to try to dispel it. Mechanical traps are still a problem, though: Able Learner, a starting level of Rogue / Scout / Ninja, and planning on maxing Search and Disable will work, and late levels Ashardolon adds your Binder level to Search checks (alternatively, Shape Soulmeld and Open Chakra: Theft Gloves will get you trapfinding too, but it won't add the relevant skills). Just stick with Karsus, and take the mechanical trap damage like a champ.
  • Haures's Major Image does NOT require concentration to maintain: the effect is as the spell, but it automatically lasts Binder level rounds. Make the Image of a house, or wall, in the middle of your battlefield, and control it as normal. Nothing like a Tarasque jumping out of the ground to really scare the bejeezus out of your enemies, but what also works is to have the opposing party start dropping like flies... they won't know what the heck is going on.
  • Tenebrous's Deeper Darkness effect, unlike every other form of concealment, doesn't have the critical words: "you cannot hide in it". Thus, it allows you to get precision damage off much, much easier: its about the equivalent of Hide in Plain Sight.

Maximizing Save DCs[edit]

Straight from Gerdreg:

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—Gerdreg

Handy CustServ quotes[edit]

Vestige granted feats and abilities weren’t intended to qualify one for prestige classes or other feats
—CustServ, http://boards1.wizards.com/showpost.php?p=11326619&postcount=181
The save DC for the psionic Vestiges is ½ BL + Cha
—CustServ, http://boards1.wizards.com/showpost.php?p=11231204&postcount=162
Marchosias’s Death Attack requires Sneak Attack or Sudden Strike from some other source, and this was as intended
—CustServ, http://boards1.wizards.com/showpost.php?p=11278319&postcount=172
Binders can't bind multiple copies of the same vestige,

Ipos's Planar Attunement clarified, and, Binders can revert back and forth between the Outsider type and their original type (hello, Alter Shape abuse... bring on Karsus!)

—CustServ, http://boards1.wizards.com/showpost.php?p=11427332&postcount=16
It is ENTIRELY up to your DM on whether Power Attack can be used with Otiax's Air Blast ability
—CustServ, http://boards1.wizards.com/showpost.php?p=10606961&postcount=133
Nobody knows how the Item Creation ability of Astaroth is supposed to work; talk w/ your DM
—CustServ, http://boards1.wizards.com/showpost.php?p=11769670&postcount=65
Paimon's Dance of Death, although intended to work only on melee, works equally well w/ ranged RAW
—CustServ, http://forums.gleemax.com/showpost.php?p=14399439&postcount=7999
Zceryll's Summon Alien ability was supposed to mimic the Summon Monster spell in all ways except for the ability to get multiple lower-level creatures (not a Cust-Serv answer, but from the designer himself)
—CustServ, http://forums.gleemax.com/showpost.php?p=13128772&postcount=121