Talk:Manny Green, the Twisted Tycoon (3.5e Vestige)

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Holy Molly! You just broke the frigging economy, 10 grands with no real efforts every day at level 7 is kind of silly. In fact it would be very silly still if it was level 20, or double that. In fact it silly at any given point point in the fucking game. Also that rifle has no range, no critical, no ammunition capacity listed (or which type of ammunition it uses) and deal an insane amount of damage. That's like 5 medium greataxe, much stronger than a Sniper Rifle, Portable Railgun or even a Portable Howitzer, it is only narrowly beaten by the Siege Cannon but immediately trump it by a factor of two when within 20 ft. In fact I made a rifle that could be a useful template, an Elephant Gun, which is fairly similar to a large caliber hunting rifle (because it is, well mine is a carbine). --Leziad (talk) 01:07, 13 December 2015 (UTC)

Well, I haven't decided exactly what kind of gun Manny's rifle is; I just know I want it to be a large rifle. When I decide exactly what gun it is, that'll define the range, critical, ammo capacity, etc. I just read the elephant rifle page, and that is my top choice right now, but I'm still looking over the firearms. I do want it to deal a huge amount of damage, though, as it's supposed to be able to devastate even the beefiest of characters. However, I wasn't exactly sure what level Manny would be available at, and, yeah, character level 7 is much too low for the sort of damage I want Manny's rifle to do. I'll have to raise the vestige level and/or tone the damage down. Though last I checked, using ranged weapons in close-range combat is kind of risky.
Also, Manny's influence is intentionally cumbersome and prone to getting you in trouble. Seriously, he tries to make you dominate and/or slaughter anyone with magic healing powers. Including clerics and paladins. Binders have a poor enough relationship with organized religion as is... I'll let you do the math. --Luigifan18 (talk) 03:28, 13 December 2015 (UTC)
I think the crux of your problem is "vestige gives you money" and "holy shit WBL broken". -- Eiji-kun (talk) 03:30, 13 December 2015 (UTC)
Manny's a businessman. I want him to pay binders for serving him. (Though, I had a bit of a hard time deciding how much he'd pay; my first impulse was 5,000 gp, but I figured that wasn't enough.) --Luigifan18 (talk) 03:44, 13 December 2015 (UTC)
Yep, echoing Eiji. How the hell does he give you money anyway? He doesn't exist anymore. Manny isn't a business man, Manny is dead, he has no money. It only a 'vestige' of him that left, an echoes, vestige have no agenda. Their influence is that, it a vestigal influence of their power. Well back on the rifle, 4d12 isn't a 'large rifle', the sniper rifle and elephant gun are stated at 4d6, this is about twice as strong and four time as strong within 20 feet. Both of those, have drawback and require feat expenditure to use properly. This one, as far as I know, has none. Imagine the utter nightmare of fighting a guy getting iterative attacks with that thing, dealing about twice as much damage as people who expended feats and stuff to be good with their high quality firearm.
Then the vestige gives 10k AND makes you act like a total asshat; in fact, it breaks the WBL on the condittion that you act like a massive asshat. This is not a balancing factor, I dislike things that force you to act like an asshat. I dislike things that break WBL. Do the math, two bad things do not make a good thing. Also it's absuable as shit, like seriously, imagine a bunch of bandits capturing a binder and forcing him to bind Manny over and over again. The influence doesn't matter cause the Binder is bound (oh oh) in chains and the bandits are rich as fuck. Oh, by bandits, I mean, player characters. --Leziad (talk) 03:51, 13 December 2015 (UTC)
I didn't spell it out on the page 'cause I didn't think I'd need to, but what money Manny has as a vestige, he only has 'cause binders gave him that money for bonuses on their binding checks. It is entirely possible for him to run out, and in that scenario, nobody can get money by summoning Manny until somebody pays him again.
And Manny's rifle will have most of, if not all of, the limitations of whatever firearm I decide it's going to be, which right now is either a sniper rifle or an elephant gun. I haven't finished that feature yet, calm down! --Luigifan18 (talk) 04:24, 13 December 2015 (UTC)
Ah, good. I suppose then that since he gets this money from binders (even though he doesn't exist by definition), one just needs to figure out how much cash he does. A simple thing for DMs. Just determine all the binders in the world and for sake of ease, estimate how much money they have given him, account for different currencies, taxes, variances in economic systems, etc. And do this. Across the entire multiverse. No problem for the DM at all.
Or we can say, "effectively he has unlimited cash".
That one ability is so bad, so absurd, I literally haven't even seen the rest of the vestige. That one ability is hilariously broken. It's technically even broken if it was only 1 gp due to its unlimited nature, but the fact that it is 10,000 gp just multiplies the brokenness to the point of satire. The WBL is crying. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 06:01, 13 December 2015 (UTC)
Hey, I wanted to make sure the process of forming a pact with Manny would be unique, since he was a businessman in life and would approach forming a pact like it was a business deal. In fact, I made the binding DC rather high in order to encourage paying Manny to get a bonus on the binding check. Do you have a better idea for how to handle it? --Luigifan18 (talk) 16:52, 13 December 2015 (UTC)
Yes, actually. Though I think the issue of having monetary effects is a slippery slope, if you're going to do that I suggest you think in terms of discounts rather than gaining money. You are le expert businessman and all. Say that you got 100g off any purchase of 101g or higher (so you're not getting things free, this is the way you get unlimited loops). You can keep the pay to lower the binding DC thing, and probably lower the numbers there a bit. 10k is a lot of money, and this is basically a consumable resource, so we're looking at what's good for consumable resources at the level you'd get him. I forget when 4th level binding is available: 7th? 8th? Find the WBL of that and go say... 10%, maybe 5% of that to figure what is a reasonable budget for a consumable resource such as lowering the binding DC. This way you don't have to worry about "how much cash does Manny have?" That cash is just gone, which isn't an issue in the long run and doesn't require one to think outside the scope of the party.
Whatever you set the numbers to, you'll want to avoid anything being free to avoid unlimited anything. You could do it by percentage too, like 25% off all purchases, but if you do that be careful. All binders will bind this whenever they go shopping, and I don't think that's a good idea.
One other thing you can do is that the more money you donate, the stronger effects become. Say you've given 500gp to Manny, your "material component". Thus your gun fires bullets anywhere up to a value of 500gp. You may want to cap it so someone doesn't nova, sink all the money they can into a single bind, and then walk around shooting unlimited +5 vorpal exploding nuclear death bullets every round for 24 hours. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 00:37, 14 December 2015 (UTC)
I like your idea of powering up the rifle, it's very cool. And the idea of novaing is actually one I support; Manny would dearly want to be able to kill absolutely anyone who he considered to be a threat to his interests. (I haven't written up the legend yet, but trust me, he was a murderous bastard. He had a Hydreigon and would try to feed people to it, for Christ's sake!) However, I upped this to a level 5 vestige because the rifle's damage was a bit too hardcore for character level 7. --Luigifan18 (talk) 04:42, 14 December 2015 (UTC)
Novaing is a bad thing. You should not be proud of that. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 07:36, 14 December 2015 (UTC)
This rifle deals more damage than a frigging siege weapon, double that of a Advanced Cannon within 20 ft. --Leziad (talk) 07:42, 14 December 2015 (UTC)
So? That's kinda what it was meant to do. Manny's main nemesis, Annie Belnades, is Made of Iron to a degree that borders on Super Toughness, and can easily heal herself to peak condition unless exhausted or unconscious. (Granted, her healing powers take a bit of time to work and run off her vitality, so overusing them tires her out, but still, she's amazingly hard to kill.) So Manny wanted his main weapon to be able to wipe even her out. Which basically translates to "ludicrous damage". --Luigifan18 (talk) 02:22, 15 December 2015 (UTC)

(revert indent)

Alright, so he want to kill someone with lotta hit point. That his intent. Fair enough. However that rifle deal too much damage for any man-portable weapon, given you can probably full-attack with it. It just deal too much damage, this is to the point where any DM seeing those number would laugh and never allow the vestige. Even in high powered game, this is problematic as you gain a firearm vastly vastly more powerful than the magical gears other players invested in. Say I am playing a fighter, using an elephant rifle (which I invested a feat to use properly), Eiji is playing a marshal with two colt pythons (which he invested two feats to use properly), UK is playing a warlock who deal about 5d6 at this level (investing many class level). Then the binder player show up, bind a vestige (and get paid), gain a massively overpowered gun and proceed to shoot the cleric.

The binder essentially invest nothing, therefore it is natural that they gain inferior abilities to the classes that actually invested permanent resources. --Leziad (talk) 03:00, 15 December 2015 (UTC)

Gotta say, with the gun damage being so over the top, it just smacks of special snowflake fan wank, and your justifications seem flimsy at best.
Oh, and the excessive links. I can do it too. Er... you know we're all aware of the site, right? It does nothing for us. You have reached maximum overmeme saturation. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 03:10, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
Sorry to break it, but as ridiculous as the damage is. It not killing anything moderately tough in one-shot, it not even an overkill. While 8d12 is way too much even for a single attack, it just... I have my doubt it could kill a 5th level barbarian with 14 Con in a single non-crit hit, nevermind someone who is supposed to be super-tough. It just not something that can be replicated in dungeon and dragon without being severely unbalanced.Honestly just make it a regular sniper rifle with automatic uncapped greater magic weapon, you could add a bonus enhancement of another as well. Remember it a free weapon, it not supposed to be better than the stuff other paid for at the same level. --Leziad (talk) 17:32, 20 December 2015 (UTC)


As a teaser for Manny's story, I'll reveal this much; he's very similar to Lysandre from Pokémon X & Y. Only instead of going completely omnicidally bonkers, Manny just became utterly cynical and selfish. --Luigifan18 (talk) 02:15, 15 December 2015 (UTC)

Toxic Influence[edit]

Here is the tale of a party in a land far away in the past far away. It started with a party of six:

Crying Owl, the Neutral Evil Tiefling Rogue.

Faith Manchester, the Neutral Good Human Cleric.

Ysmir, the Lawful Evil Giant Wizard.

Sol-Eiji, the Chaotic Neutral Plushie Sorcerer.

Eleonor Silvermoon, the Chaotic Good Elf Ranger.

and finally Manny Green, the Pokemaster.

The tale starts in the Drunken Vestige Tavern, where our adventurers first band together. Their job is simple; for a good amount of money, they are to track and kill a lich. Eleonor will act as tracker, Crying Owl will provide stealth, Manny will provide minions, Soleiji and Ysmir will provide arcane spell support, a good-aligned cleric, Faith, is hired to handle turning and divine spell support. A single day in the adventure and Manny and Faith enter conflict, when during his ceaseless attempts to employ her, she reveals that she refused to be paid for her service; the debate heats up and the party has to split them. During the second day, he again enters conflict, this time with Eleonor, when she revealed she had limited healing abilities and thus he attempted to blackmail her into working for him. Sadly, she was an elf, and used her elven instinct to elf herself out of the blackmail.

While other party members enter in conflict, like Crying Owl and Faith or Ysmir and Eleonor, they all understand that their job is worth more than the money they will receive. The lich needs to be put down. However, Manny has no such limitation; he is so extremely greedy and selfish that he is causing trouble with pretty much everyone. A week in the job, he notices Ysmir possesses some lesser artifact beans that heal anyone who eats them; he attempts to purchase the beans, but Ysmir refuses. They are later stolen and the Giant has a good idea on who did it.

After stealing from the party, entering conflict with party members again and again, everyone is getting tired of his shit. However, things get especially bad when their cleric, the only divine caster they had and the only person who could turn undead, is found dead and partially eaten. The party, close to the lich by now, decide it is in their best interest to simply raise her from the dead and settle things later. Sol-Eiji uses a scroll of True Resurrection he kept for emergencies; Manny immediately attempts to buy the scroll, which Sol-Eiji simply uses and prances away. This marks him as an enemy. When interrogated, Faith has no idea who killed her; there was simply a loud bang.

The party confront the Lich, and using their combined might and tactics, they overcome it. With no one dead, but many wounded and out of resources. The party decide to immediately turn against the Pokemaniac that made their journey so much more difficult, and he is slaughtered by the mostly evil party.

The problem with influence that is so nefarious is that you will be harmful to the party, even if you bring a lot of powerful abilities to the table. No party would put up with a Binder under Manny's influence. Of all the sample characters, most of them had some way to use healing. Some of them also violated other clauses of his influence, such as not accepting payment. If an article encourages a behavior that makes it so much harder to play in a group game, then that article should be revised. Especially when the article doubles down on enforcing said behavior. Many of the other vestiges in the sample party also had similar influence, Ysmir has you treat everyone as tools, Crying Owl has you disobey and twist orders. Those are not as problematic as they are vague, and most of all their binding DC are lower (even Ysmir who is 8th level). --Leziad (talk) 04:16, 15 December 2015 (UTC)

Well, that does sound sort of like how Manny might behave, though he would most likely not attack those he considered to be allies or underlings. --Luigifan18 (talk) 13:41, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
Well maybe Manny himself, but I made this situation using vestiges as characters and them behaving as their influence make other behave. Perhaps this is a somewhat extreme case, but it still very very harsh and specific influence. --Leziad (talk) 13:52, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
Ysmir and Crying owl are probably way worse people than Manny too, as a disclaimer. --Leziad (talk) 13:53, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
Ysmir was certainly a worse person than Manny. Crying Owl is more debatable (Manny actually sounds like the sort of person she'd target), but she was at least as bad.
And the influence being so harsh and specific is partially there to counteract the monetary gain of forming a bad pact. Every influence violation costs you 1,000 gp, so if you keep violating the influence, you don't make any money at all. And since following the influence is a great way to make enemies (as you rightfully pointed out), and getting all the money you were paid taken away results in greater influence penalties... yeah, binding Manny can very well end up backfiring. And I see absolutely nothing wrong with a risky option being stronger than the safer alternative; otherwise, why would you take the risk?!? --Luigifan18 (talk) 14:09, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
If something is especially risky or situational, it should be more powerful than a safer, more general-purpose effect of the same level. For instance, Life-Terminating Bite is an 8th-level maneuver that inflicts instant death without even allowing a saving throw, but it can only be used when you are pinning someone. The high power is justified by limiting the circumstances in which it can be applied. Life-Terminating Bite has a weaker variant, Tiger's Finishing Bite, which is the exact same thing, except it's a 4th-level maneuver and does allow a saving throw. (Furthermore, both Life-Terminating Bite and Tiger's Finishing Bite are precision-based effects, meaning that they suffer most of the limitations of a rogue's sneak attack, such as being ineffective on creatures with immunity to critical hits.) Phantasmal Killer is also a 4th-level death effect (specifically a spell), but requires the target to fail two saving throws in order to actually kill them, making it more prone to failure than other 4th-level spells. Holy Hold is a 5th-level spell capable of doing massive damage or immobilizing subjects for several hours, but it can't do both at once and works on a time delay; it can only do damage in an area with lots of inanimate objects, and the immobilization aspect is impractical without the 9th-level spell time stop. Finally, Holy Bolt is a 1st-level spell that can do as much damage as stuff like Polar Ray or Meteor Swarm... if you spend several rounds charging it up first (and by "several rounds", I mean "a couple of minutes"), making it impractical outside of ambushes. Furthermore, you can only charge it up for so long before you risk having it blow up in your face, meaning that it's not even worth using in an ambush unless you can predict when your opponents will show up and start charging at just the right time. Oh, and it's single-target, too.
Basically, I think an effect can get away with being ridiculously strong for its level if there's some element of risk or restriction to keep it in check. So whenever I design something that's more powerful than the norm, I make sure to make it either dangerous to use or only usable in specific situations. And in Manny's case, the risk is that his influence is rather restrictive, and obeying his influence makes people hate you, so sooner or later you're going to have someone way above your weight class howling for your blood. After all, Manny himself met his end by getting shot in the head, and to be honest? He totally had it coming. --Luigifan18 (talk) 17:17, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
The Monetary gain from forming a bad pact is a horrible idea and should be removed. It also not how vestiges work both in the lore or in the game. Secondly, set-up and drawbacks only account for so much, somethings cannot be balanced by adding them. You cannot make a LA 0 race that has +20 to one stats but -5 to all others. That rifle is just weird and the drawback is having an horrible toxic influence that is bordering on mind control. I do not know of any GM who would allow this vestige in the game. Especially if you can just get 6,000 GP out of nowhere as low as level 8th. --Leziad (talk) 14:10, 10 December 2017 (MST)
Again, you lose the gold by disobeying the influence. So if you want to keep the cash, you have to either stay far, far away from healers or make a f**kton of enemies. --Luigifan18 (talk) 20:06, 14 December 2017 (MST)
Eiji binds Manny the Wealthbreaker and goes shopping. He buys 10,000 gold worth of ice cream, and eats it all. As he waddles out, he runs into a cleric. Manny insists he starts shit, but Eiji is like "Hell naw dwag, you're a moron." Pact broken, Manny goes to collect his 10k back but too late, it's already digesting.
2ez gg. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 20:59, 14 December 2017 (MST)
Then he would take other gold on your person. Or, if you had no gold, it's double penalty time. Have fun flubbing all your attack rolls, saves, and skill checks. --Luigifan18 (talk) 21:52, 14 December 2017 (MST)
The penalty is temporary, the wish scroll you used the gold for is not. What stopping someone from just chain bidding him while in isolatiuon? --Leziad (talk) 00:48, 15 December 2017 (MST)

(RESET INDENT) How you gonna take my gold Manny? You don't exist! You're a splinter in my brain and through belief I have given you only a fragment of power.

Plus, I'm a murder hobo. I have no gold. I'm a crazy binder boi who is binding you for free cash and the joy of screwing you over! Plus, that's not even a mechanic in the vestige anyway so it's a moot point. Penalties? I'm not out adventuring right now. I'm on off time, getting free gold. I made a sweet deal with the local wizard: I give him 10k a day for a month, and afterwards he gives me the BFG 9000 and Armor of Invincibility. Then I adventure, never touching Manny Two Scoops again until I get some more off time, and get more sweet loot.

Getting money is broken. Kill it. Kill it with fire. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 01:02, 15 December 2017 (MST)

Hm. I want to keep the "getting money" aspect because I want binding Manny to be unique, but I will have to do something to address the abuses you've brought up (even though stopping munchkins from running rampant is the DM's job, I certainly want to make it easier for them). Maybe impose a cap on how many times you can get money from Manny before going on an adventure or otherwise putting yourself in a situation where you could potentially violate his influence, or have him take your magic items if you start blatantly ripping him off, or even cause backlash damage to you if you egregiously exploit him. After all, he's paying you because he's hiring you for your services (read: advancing his agenda of complete economic domination), and if you take his money and then don't do jack squat to serve his interests, he's going to be understandably pissed off. --Luigifan18 (talk) 13:02, 15 December 2017 (MST)
Why not take the idea I gave earlier? That is, you don't get money, but rather a discount on your purchases of a certain amount. For example, if you spend at least 101gp on anything, he'll cover 100 of it so you only pay 1. You can always justify that as he is giving you cash on a as needed basis, and by doing it this way if you screw him over your discount supply runs out: it only works when you actually buy things.
This, mind you, can still be broken if the numbers are wrong but at least it kills the infinite cash abuse. Just gotta set some good numbers. Mind you this also still has the downside of always being bound when you go a-shopping, but then it's at least no worse than the WotC vestige which gives you item creation feats (and thus is never bound until you need all the discounts on your gear). -- Eiji-kun (talk) 15:58, 15 December 2017 (MST)
But discounts would be a vestige ability, not a special, unique quality of the pact-forming process. --Luigifan18 (talk) 07:01, 25 December 2017 (MST)
Yes! Exactly! That's where these things belong, even if they were a one-time thing. It's like saying "But I won't be able to put the spell fluff in the Range section". Of course! -- Eiji-kun (talk) 13:09, 25 December 2017 (MST)
I know nothing about vestiges but out of curiosity, can you annihilate one? Scrub it from reality like a bad stain? Because this guy would likely receive that treatment from most of my characters. I can think of an Eldrich Horror who's a master shapeshifter, manipulator, acts like Lucifer Morningstar and drives people to her feet with maddening whispers for fun, and even SHE would find his behavior disgusting. Given, she has numerous redeeming qualities, but naming them wouldn't make my point.-SecondDeath777 15:15, 25 December 2017
You cannot. A vestige is something of a running joke; it is all the stuff that has been deleted from canon or the timeline for various reasons. For example, monsters from previous editions which don't exist in this edition, or some bloke who gets lost in the void, or someone so utterly destroyed nothing but a memory is left. They don't actually exist, but are more of some kind of collective hallucination that the binder can actually draw power and abilities from. Thus, two binders both binding White Owl aren't metaphysically storing the same being, they're just channeling the power that they believe White Owl had. Vestiges aren't people. This, incidentally, is also a fluff reason why I opposed that one class designed to remove vestiges by making them exist again, since the vestige isn't tied to the person it was based on. And as proof: Tenebrous. That's Orcus, during a stint where he was dead for a bit and under a new name and appearance. Orcus got better and returned, but Tenebrous the Vestige still exists because it is its own idea. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 13:59, 25 December 2017 (MST)
Ah. So not by brute force. No worries, though. Killing an idea is hard, but it's been done. Said aforementioned Cthulu Cutie dabbles in erasing memory, and paired with the right effects, she could probably edit him out of the fabric of time. Or, if you're feeling crazy, you could always employ a tactical apocalypse. Not that it'd be easy, but hey, no kill like overkill. -SecondDeath777 17:50, 25 December 2017

→Reverted indentation to one colon

I have just implemented a clause to prevent abuse. If you let Manny "hire" you and then egregiously avoid putting yourself in a situation where you could violate his influence, or spend all the money and then proceed to violate his influence without giving him any chance to take his money back, he will be extremely annoyed and not let you form another pact with him for a month. Do it again, and he won't let you form a pact with him for a year. Do it a third time, and you can never form a pact with him again. I may or may not have him swipe your gear as well. --Luigifan18 (talk) 19:06, 9 September 2018 (MDT)
That.... still doesn't actually fix it. It means that Manny's purpose is to supply 10-30k free over your wealth by level. It is the most optimal thing to do with him. And vestiges still don't exist, they still don't have any substance. Nothing cannot swipe your gear anyway, and Crazyhobo McMoneybinders still doesn't care to carry any when he's busy ripping off his vestiges.
There is a way to do "He funds you" without actually having him manifest gold out of thin air or worrying about debts, and it's not this way. You can still do it through the discount system above. -- Eiji-kun (talk) 19:59, 9 September 2018 (MDT)