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.

One Response

  1. […] Tollers: characters who summon essences into themselves […]

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