Binders and the Toller Level One Classless Eclipse Build

   Today it’s another request – how to build a Binder in Eclipse classless d20.

   Once again, the quick answer is that you can’t; Binders have not (to my knowledge) been released under the Open Game License. Of course, nothing prevents you from using Eclipse to build a very similar character – although, as is the nature of Eclipse, the base build is going to be considerably more versatile.

   Ergo: the Toller Level One Build:

   The Toller calls upon the supernatural energies of various “essences” – forces or entities that can send fragments of themselves to inhabit mortal hosts. While hosting such essences, the Toller can draw on portions of their power. Tollers come in a wide variety of flavors, depending on what sort of essences they draw upon: a totemistic shaman is very different from a scholar who draws on arcane entities from beyond the known planes, and he or she is different in turn from a demonologist.

   Tollers are often subject to social prejudice; many people see little difference between voluntarily hosting a fragment of some supernatural essence and the foulest of possessions. The bizarre personality changes that many of them undergo lends credence to such stories as well.

  • Disadvantages: (Select three disadvantages for 10 CP).
  • Duties (typically to an organization, feudal lord, or as agreed to with the game master, +2 CP/Level).
  • Total available character points: 48 (Level One Base) + 10 (Disadvantages) +2 (Duties) + 6 (Level One Bonus Feat) = 66, 18 of which (from disadvantages, duties, and the bonus Feat) may be spent outside of the Adventurer framework restrictions.

   Basic Attributes: Variable. The Toller will want a good Charisma, but other attributes are up for grabs. If they want to be melee combatants with supernatural powers to back them, Strength and Constitution are probably in order. If they want to sneak around and rely on enhanced skills, Intelligence and Dexterity come next. Wisdom, of course, is handy in practically any build.

   Basic Purchases (30 CP):

  • Proficient with All Simple Weapons (3 CP) and Light Armor (3 CP).
  • +8 Skill Points (8 CP)
  • +2 each on two selected Saves (12 CP)
  • d8 Hit Die (4 CP)
  • Initial BAB +0 (0 CP).

   Special Abilities (36 CP):

   Tollers possess the ability to draw on the powers of peculiar entities or forces, allowing a portion of such essences to inhabit their bodies with them. This may be good, evil, or indifferent, depending on the nature of the essence drawn upon – and the powers of any given essence may be drawn on for any purpose.

  • Tolling: Path of the Dragon: Shaping (Specialized/only as a prerequisite, 3 CP), Pulse of the Dragon and Heart of the Dragon II, both Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect (can generate effects of up to level three, 24 CP). Only (Level/2 + Cha Mod) specific abilities are available at any one time; the abilities come in thematic sets (as approved by the game master; you must be using all the abilities of one set before you can begin choosing abilities from another set and only a limited number of sets are available to any given Toller), the abilities may have a minimum interval on how often they can be used or be otherwise troublesome, each set of abilities often comes with troublesome influences or personality traits (the user may either attempt an appropriate skill check when calling on a particular essence to avoid such problems or rely on will checks when the relevant situations come up; simply ignoring such requirements will result in a morale penalty of -1 on attacks, saves, and checks per essence offended or defied), and may have a minimum character level at which it becomes usable, and the abilities selected may only be changed via a brief ceremony four times per day. Power sets are detectable, may be incompatible, and the ceremonies to tap into them may have various minor special requirements and props. These are rarely, however, especially burdensome.
    • This ability can be upgraded to support more powerful abilities at a cost of +12 character points per step to make effects of levels four to six available and +24 character points per step to make effects of levels seven to nine available. Most characters never get past level six or seven abilities.
    • So how many essences are there? Or, at least, how many are available to a particular Toller? After all, there could be a near-infinite number of suitable entities and forces out in the greater multiverse. In Eclipse, where characters are free to come up with their own Essences to channel, this represents a problem. Ergo, in practice, Tollers will know how of a number of essences equal to their rank in a relevant skill. For example, a Toller who calls on totem animals for their powers might use Knowledge/Nature. This will, of course, present low-level Tollers with a dilemma: should they opt to learn of many lower-powered essences that they can call on immediately, or should they learn of more powerful essences to improve their options later on?
  • Secondary Tolling Benefits: While hosting an essence, a Toller gains certain minor abilities from it. Double Enthusiast with Adaption: Specialized and Corrupted/changes only when summoning a new entity, only to abilities associated with that entity or to a limited set of basic enhancements (Usually Immunity/Energy Types, Resistance, Defender, Warcraft, Improved Initiative, Damage Reduction, Grant of Aid, and Augment Attack, as well as specialized variants thereof, 9 CP). This ability provides 6 CP worth of special abilities associated with a particular essence while the user is tapping into it.

   The Toller does bend the basic Adventurer Template a bit, since it has three more character points invested in the Path of the Dragon than would normally be permitted (and the use of the Path of the Dragon is always a bit of a caution sign in itself) – but it shouldn’t be a problem provided that the game master is careful to keep an eye on the abilities of the various essences that he or she approves. Fortunately, the use of certain excessively helpful abilities – such as Healing – is already limited by the restrictions of the Path of the Dragon itself.

   Further Advancement: Well, the Toller will certainly want decent sized hit dice, good saves, some BAB – probably looking at about the +15 level – and decent skills. Beyond that, it really depends on what kind of essences the character specializes in – but if he or she takes a few which enhance melee, a few for skills, and a few for magical talents, he or she will be able to fill in for a lot of other character types in a pinch. A Toller will never be as good at a particular role as a true specialist, but it’s hard to be worse at doing a particular job than a character who isn’t there.

   Lets see now… The original Binder class would require 87 CP spent on Tolling (maxing out at what looks like about level seven effects), 45 CP spent on Secondary Tolling Benefits, 90 CP spent on BAB, 90 CP spent on Saves, 46 CP spent on Skill Points, 18 CP spent on three Bonus Feats, Proficiency with Simple Weapons and Light Armor (6 CP), 80 CP spent on 20d8 Hit Dice – and a set of specific benefits:

  • Immunity/Fear (Uncommon, Minor, Major, 3 CP).
  • Luck/Specialized in rerolls on saves against enchantment spells and effects (6 CP).
  • Immunity to Energy Drain and Negative Levels (Common, Major, Major, 9 CP).
  • Immunity/Mind-Affecting spells and abilities (Common, Severe, Epic, 33 CP, since this subsumes the Immunity to Fear).

   That comes out to 513 CP, out of the 504 available. Of course, the Eclipse Toller has a wider selection of abilities, is easily revised, more flexible, and effectively comes with the “Expel Vestige” feat for free. Subtracting that cost brings us down to 507 CP, which is a pretty good match for a base Eclipse character (and it’s always nice to see that the costs match up, since the Tome of Magic didn’t come out until a year after Eclipse did).

   Oh, I forgot: the standard Binder comes with the Outcast disadvantage, worth 3 CP. That gives us an exact match; 504 CP spent out of 504 available.

   An Eclipse character will probably have a few more CP to play with though, since pretty much all of them take some extra disadvantages, duties, or restrictions – but that isn’t really required to match the base build.

  • Eclipse: The Codex Persona is available in print HERE and in a shareware .pdf version HERE.

Federation-Apocalypse Session 71b: No Accounting for Marty

   Marty paused for a moment… Something had reminded him of Limey… Oooh, Limey; THAT was what he’d been feeling guilty about! He’d been keeping the little laptop immobile a lot more since he’d gotten shot, and the poor kid must be getting pretty bored. Besides… He’d forgotten to get him put on the payroll with the accounting department!

   Did he dare attempt it? Terry Jenkins was pretty formidable, and she had a habit of only allowing payment-by-challenge to keep costs down. Would even his smartclothes and genetic upgrades be enough to save him from her wrath? She had the resources of two departments to work with now!

   Come to think of it, that kind of stress wouldn’t help with her temper either. He could see it now; “You want her to spend money? On a device that hasn’t even been through an interview!?! AND is still in training???!!! HAVE AT YOU!!!!!!!!”

   On the other hand, he could see Limey in that situation trotting out his favorite spell again – Polymorph! Porcupine most likely. That wouldn’t stop her, but at least it would limit her options to working from underfoot while he tried to forge the records – and she would too. Former raid champions were not known for their patience or restraint. That was why she had remained a freelancer for so long.

   He might be able to get by her – but did he dare try to fill out the paperwork himself? He wasn’t an initiate, he didn’t know the occult skill of accounting… THE HORROR… Still, how could he let the little guy down?

   He would have to make the attempt.

   Battling Business World Accounting is the occult skill of affecting people’s abilities and natures through their financial status – although a variant form for bureaucrats that works on people’s personnel records exists. In either case, the records fight back- and practitioners of either variant must take the “Insane” disadvantage (or take it again if they already have it). Most accountants are simply neurotic. Jenkins, however, has a tendency to go in for insane overkill on the violence typical of Battling Business World. She inflicts a broken nose for bumping into her in the hall and disembowelment for changing her specifications (before the specifications incident, she’d gotten along with Gelman quite well). Battling Business World is violent, but – unlike Jenkins – most people are good natured about it.

   “The numbers dance in your peripheral vision… they call you… they want to make you just like them… Jooiiinnnn usssss… Addddd usssss uppppp…. Let ussss mullltipllly youuuuu…”

   Hmph. If he was going to try to do some accounting, he really ought to try visiting heaven, hell, and faerie first (if only to get more of those super-speed bestowing Pixie Stix). They kept getting involved anyway, and next to messing with accounting, they should be comfortingly safe and reasonable. Kevin had links to all those realms anyway…

   Besides, he’d kind of always wanted a tour of the afterlives. People from Battling Business World normally never got to see any of them! Once in awhile somebody hit you so hard that they knocked you out of your body – but you never got past the entrance foyers before you got reeled back into your body for another go-round.

   He could hardly wait to see what kind of Identity those places might issue to HIM. Kevin probably already had one – the kid seemed to have Identities almost everywhere, he took form from the dimension he was occupying as easily as a blob of warm wax – but who knew what kind of angel He’d make?

   Back in the New Imperium, the Thralls Kevin had assigned to the Singularites dutifully relayed the request that the group try and track down and recover the kids from Ealor.

   Kevin’s reaction wasn’t all that respectful… What the hell?! How crazy were these people? It wasn’t like the powers the kids had gotten were anything major! And they’d reacted by trying to keep the kids locked up in quarantine? Of course they’d run away! They’d been keeping them so safe-and-protected that they’d been smothering! Stupid parents and Child Protective Services!

   OK, they might have to take the job – it was one of the kinds of jobs that Amarant Solutions was trying to dominate the market for – but it was still stupid and should NEVER HAVE BEEN NECESSARY. They’d have to drag along some of the Child Protective Services bunch – and maybe some of the parents – to show them what the Manifold was like!

   Marty kind of thought that they all needed a good strangling after running away like that. OK, moderated to let them survive it in view of the local natural laws, but still… Wait, had they used that witchcraft ritual to make pacts with Kevin first? If they had, then strangling them would just send them to Kadia! No problem! Well… that still wouldn’t go over well the bunch on Ealor now would it? They were so over-protective about their kids.

   Jamie was mildly amused – but thought that that sort of thing could wait. A small group of kids who had run away and were possibly in danger were a very low priority compared to tens of thousands of kids who were DEFINITELY in danger through no fault of their own. If half of them were dead by the time that anyone got around to rescuing them, well, the survivors would have learned an important lesson. Children who’d been warned, were old enough to know better, were currently being kept safe, and who still ran away into dangerous situations, were the proper victims of evolution anyway. Being brought back on a leash would be quite appropriate.

   A’ikana sighed. She could sympathize with the parents – and Child Protective Services had only been trying to do their job in the face of something quite unprecedented. Still, sixty-odd lost kids weren’t a particularly high priority in the face of a multidimensional war. Of course, since some of them apparently were would-be followers of his, the situation might well catch Kevin’s attention – it fit his profile pretty well – which might or might not be a good thing. It depended on whether his contributions elsewhere would exceed his inevitable trouble-making, and there was really no way to know that.

   Oh well. They had a siege to break at the moment, undead to destroy, and a multiple set of apocalypses to stop. There really wasn’t time for trivial side issues right at the moment.