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Author Topic: The Fiendbinder Handbook  (Read 12913 times)
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Ramaloke
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« on: October 16, 2010, 06:23:17 PM »


-Introduction-

The Fiendbinder has always been one of my favorite prestige classes. It is quite possibly one of the most flavorful prestige classes written, it just has the unfortunate stigma of being published in the Tome of Magic. Specifically the truenaming section, which everybody shies away from on general principle. However, if you want to control demons and fiends, the only other major contender for "top spot" in my mind is the Malconvoker, and while I love the malconvoker, it cant pull off some of the tricks the Fiendbinder can (that's ok though, the Fiendbinder is no Malconvoker either).

-The Good And The Bad-

Good: Really neat and flavorful demon summoner themed abilities. The ability to fulfill multiple roles via your minions. Bringing muscle to the table. Diplomacy as a class skill. Good Will Save.

Bad: d6 HP (if you were a cleric), 2+Int Mod Skills, Limited Skill List, Poor BAB, Fort and Ref Saves, and worse of all the loss of 3 caster levels.

-Requirements-
Alignment: Any Nongood
Skills: Knowledge (the planes) 10 ranks, Speak Language (Abyssal & Infernal), Truespeak 10 ranks.
Spells: Ability to cast Summon Monster IV.

As you can see there is some annoyance involved in qualifying for the prestige class. Namely the Truespeak part. Its a terrible skill that is (unfortunately) at the core of this class. There are a few ways to get access to the skill and none of them are especially good. You can take a feat, you can dip factotum, or you can be a human with human paragon. The feat is likely the best choice as the class looses 3 caster levels over its progression, and a dip in factotum or taking human paragon means you wont be getting 9th level spells.

The best classes to enter the class with are probably Wizard or Archivist. The wizard gets a nice HD Bump by jumping into Fiendbinder (d4 to d6). Both have the benefit of intelligence based casting, and the extra skill points will be useful.

-Class Features-
Bind Fiend (Su): This is what it's all about, the main feature of the prestige class. By researching the truename of demon or devil you can bind it to your will. This requires ranks in truespeak, and every command you give one of your minions takes a standard action and a truespeak check (more on this later). The biggest benefit of this is the fiends that you bind don't go away. There is no duration to this ability, and there is no limit on how many fiends you can have bound at one time (barring gold and time). This will be discussed in detail below. One bit thats important to note is a bound fiend cannot use its summoning abilities, so no chain summoning shenanigans.

Call Forth Fiend (Sp): This is a neat ability you get at 3rd level, it lets you (with a truespeak check) call a fiend as a standard action. It hangs around for one round per fiendbinder level. You can call forth any fiend on the fiendbinder list. You just have to know it's truename.

Bind Tormented Soul (Su): You get this ability at 5th level. With a DC 30 truespeak check you, as a swift action, gain the ability to continue to act past 0 hp, and you don't die past -10. This only lasts for 3 rounds, so its more of a stopgap than immortality. One of those things that rare comes in handy, but when it does, it really shines. If you are advancing into epic, this becomes more interesting.

Gift of the Archfiend (Su): You get this ability at 9th level. Once per day as a standard action  you can make a DC 35 Truespeak check to get either Baatezu traits or Tanar'ri traits for minute/class level. It will cost you 1,000 Gp to learn the truename of either a Baatezu or a Tanar'ri, so spending 2,000 Gp on this ability will cover you on both fronts. This is nice if you need immunity to fire, poison, or electricity, or the ability to see in magical darkness. There are some minor resistances and DR too, but they aren't as nice as the other stuff. There is a useful trick involving this that will be discussed under the "Black Tactica" section.

Double Command (Ex): At 9th level you can give two commands as one standard action by bumping the truespeak check by 5. If you have the Mother Cyst feat this is largely useless, otherwise it's very important.

Archfiend's Favor (Su): You get a +5 bonus on charisma based skill checks with demons. Its actually 1/2 class level, but since you get it at 10th level *shrug*.

Summon Fiends (Sp): At 10th level you can take a full round action to summon 1d6 bone devils, 1d4 barbed devils, 1d6 vrocks or 1d4 hezrous.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2010, 12:17:29 PM by Ramaloke » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2010, 06:23:31 PM »

-Skills-

Truespeak: Obviously you will need this, max this out. Get a masterwork tool for a +2 bonus as well.

Knowledge (The Planes): Max this one out as well, this is the skill needed to do truename research.

Bluff: If you can get this as a class skill, do so, as you'll be dealing with demons and devils. Its a good idea to be able to trick them.

Diplomacy: Same with Bluff.

Sense Motive: You'll need to know if your minions are lying to you.

Concentration: Max this one out as well. Everybody knows how useful this is, and the Swift Concentration skill trick is a boon to any caster.

-Feats-

Truename Training: Sadly, this feat is almost a requirement. Truespeak is a requirement to enter the prestige class, and outside of that it will be largely useless. The problem is the skill isn't on many skill lists. You can dip Factotum, or if you are a Human you can get it as a class skill via Human Paragon, but other than that, you will probably need this feat.

Trueame Research: The usefulness of this feat depends on how many fiends you plan on binding and on whether or not you have alternate means of obtaining truenames. When researching a truename you have to make a number of truespeak checks equal to 1/2 the creatures hit dice. Each check is going to cost you 1,000 gp (and one week of time).With this feat you can cut that down to 500 gp, access to a library will cut it in half once again. Remember, when binding you have to research the truename ($$$) and then bind the fiend ($$$).  So a Marilith (the nastiest thing we can bind) has a built in research cost of 8,000gp, and binding it is 34,000 Gp. 42,000 GP for a marilith isn't terrible, but when you factor in giving it equipment, it can become expensive. Generally though I shy away from this feat, but if you are strapped for cash this is useful.

Demonic Mastery: A +2 bonus on charisma checks for binding (not relegated to demons, mind you, all bindings benefit), and a +1 CL bonus on any spell that summons a demon can be useful. More notable is the feat second in the chain.

Extract Demonic Essence: So wait, let me get this strait. If there is a demon near you ("Come here my sweet Succubus, I need you to sit on my lap while I do some work"), any magic item you craft or spell you cast has it's XP Cost halved? Wishing for 2,500 xp is allot better than spending 5,000. Requires two item creation feats and Demon Mastery. I recommend scribe scroll and Craft Contingent Spell. Then we can put contingencies on all of our bound fiends at a discount. Damn, thats nice isn't it? This is even better if you put it on a cohort.

Improved Initiative: You have to tell your minions what to do before they do it. The sooner you can do this, the better.

Mother Cyst: Oh, you tumor you, so benign, and helpful. The Mother Cyst feat from Libris Mortis is possibly the single most important feat for you to get. This feat gives you access to several spells that are both nasty and useful. The spell we want is "Necrotic Tumor". A 7th Level spell that will replicate Dominate Monster... permanently. With this spell you can avoid all of those nasty limitations like "Truespeak Checks" or "Commanding your Minions as a Standard Action." ***NOTE*** Some people find that the addition of necrotic tumor obviates the need for the Fiendbinder's main ability. The idea being that you could technically necrotic tumor planar binding'ed outsiders and keep them around indefinitely which is, generally, more advantageous than using the Bind Fiend class feature, and you can do so without loosing caster levels over the course of the fiend binder prestige class. The important things to note though that Necrotic Tumor is a Permanent spell, which means it can be dispelled (and any tumored balors will proceed to rip your face off it it gets dispelled), and that it is available to your average wizard at level 13 (you'll have access to it at 15). By that time you've been blithely binding fiends for 6 levels.

Practiced Spellcaster: You loose 3 Caster Levels over the course of this prestige class, that hurts, allot. This helps though.

Leadership: This, as always, is a good idea. For you it's actually an even better idea... unless your DM will let you use some of the black tactica below. Having a cohort is handy, but when your fiends can possess people, its like having unlimited cohorts without the need for the feat. If your DM doesn't let you use the black tactica pick up Leadership and an Artificer Cohort. Give him Truename Training, Demon Mastery, and Extract Demonic Essence. Properly built he'll be able to research all of your true names and craft items for you, your party, and your bevy of fiends, and at a massive discount, something like 32% of Market Price.

-Spells-

Extract Gift (Fiendish Codex I): This spell is amazingly useful to you, since the demon you'll be extracting the essence from is going to be your minion. For 100 GP and 4 Exp you get the benefit of a permanent Status, and Rary's Telepathic Bond on your teammates, and they get a +1 enhancement bonus to a skill the fiend has. Normally a Rary's Telepathic Bond costs 2,500 XP and a permanency spell. If you use the Possession bit in the black tactica section this gets even better.

-Items-

Work In Progress
« Last Edit: October 20, 2010, 05:46:46 PM by Ramaloke » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2010, 06:23:44 PM »

-On The Binding Of Fiends-

Ok, so now that we are a Fiendbinder we can get busy with the binding. First we have to research the truenames of the fiends we bind. There are a couple ways to go about doing this. If you have a liberal DM we can just Planar Binding our target and force it to tell us it's truename. You'll want to tip the scales in your favor with debuffs if you go this route. Here is a list I am blatantly stealing from Treatmonk's Guide to Mastering The Malconvoker.

Quote from: Treatmonklvl20
Enchantment:
2nd: Touch of idiocy (PHB): 1d6 loss to CHA
2nd: Rebuke (SC): Shaken subject (-2 Ability checks)
2rd: Mechanus Mind (SC): Gives a bunch of bonuses, but -2 to CHA checks
3rd: Suggestion (PHB): Possibly just suggest the creature agree to your terms
4th: Charm Monster (PHB): Make the creature want to be your ally
4th: Crushing Despair (PHB): -2 to ability checks
4th: Geas, Lesser (PHB): 1 day/level up to 7HD - force them to accept your terms

Transmutation:
2nd: Eagles Splendor (PHB – Abj): +4 Cha (enhancement)

Necromancy:
1st: Cause Fear: (As Rebuke)
2nd: Scare: (as cause fear or Rebuke)
2nd: Ray of Sickness: Cause sickened effect (-2 to ability checks)
4th: Bestow Curse: Use 2x. Lower CHA by 6, then lower ability checks by 4
4th: Enervation: Negative levels (-1 to ability checks per level lost)

With the proper application of debuffs the target should cough up it's truename rather easily. If your DM just threw a book at you, then you'll have to do it the other way. Pump your Knowledge (The Planes) up, and research them names! Then go to a library. It'll cost you 500gp (twice that without the library) and a week of time per 2/hd of the fiend you want to bind. If you fail the check you've wasted some money, so use spells and items to help you out there.

Another possibility is asking the Planar Binding'ed Fiend to help you inconvenience a rival. Bind up a succubus and ask her if she knows the truenames to any succubi who she'd like to embarrass or get out of the way for a while. Some Diplomacy and/or Bluff rolls might be appropriate here.

Now that we have the name we need, and we get down to binding our fiend. This is a simple process, you just pay a set amount of gold. You dont even need to make a roll, its just automatically successful.

-The Fiends Themselves-

At each level the fiendbinder gains a new type of fiend to bind. It's important to note that even though the table lists the standard demons and devils, there is nothing that says we can't bind an advanced version of the same fiend. Doing so just means you'll have to deal with a harder truespeak check. This is something you'll want to discuss with the DM, since the fiends will become less and less useful to more you level, but if you can advance them, well, they can retain allot of their potency.

Babau Demon: This is the first fiend that you can bind. For 2,700 GP you can get a slimy little demon to eat your foes. He has 7 Hit Dice, two claw attacks and a bite. He also sneak attacks at 2d6. He is nice and sneaky, with open lock and disable device, and a hide and move silently of 19. Another bonus is the at will darkness, and dispel magic. Note that if you want to play with a babau and you aren't a fiendbinder you have to wait till 13th level (14 for sorcerers), and cast Summon Monster VII. For 4,200 GP (with the research cost) you are getting a permanent 7th level summon hanging around, five levels early. Not too shabby.

Succubus: Your second level bind, she costs 3,600 GP. She has a nice Energy Drain ability which can come in handy, change shape ability so she can look like anybody you want (and fulfill your most dastardly desires! Feel free to have her walk around as a sexy asian chick if you like), tongues, telepathy, flight and her spell likes. At will charm monster, detect thoughts, and suggestion.

Hellcat Devil: This is sort of a meh bind. Invisibility in well lit areas is nice, but it doesn't have any spell likes to use. It does have pounce and rake, and it attacks at +13 so its a decent scout/melee. It can grapple with improved grab too. Overall though, I'd rather more spell likes.

Vrock Demon: Oooh happy dance. For 6,600 GP you can get this baby which has Flight and Claw/Claw/Bite/Talon/Talon. Also spores is a nice damage over time effect it can do as a free action. Spell likes are Mirror Image and Telekinesis at will, and 1/day heroism. Dance of Ruin is nice if you can bind 3 of them. Stunning Screech is also nice, a 1/hour 30 foot burst stun. Remember to stay out of the range of Stunning Screech and Dance of Ruin.

Cauchemar Nightmare: Holy Flying Mount Batman! +23 to Hit with its Hooves (2d6+10 +1d4 Fire), and a bite attack, 90ft. Fly speed and then we get down to the really good parts: Astral Projection and Etherealness at will. Yes, two ninth level spells at will... at 13th level. This baby costs you 8,800 GP, and is a decent excuse to pick up some ranks in Ride.

Retriever Demon: Things just keep getting better and better! A huge construct, 4 claws and a bite, and a free eye ray each round (12d6 Cold, Fire or Electricity, and the last does Petrification!), can find anything you've seen with perfect accuracy. Improved Grab is just gravy. At 11,000 GP, this is a better option than any other 10HD ish construct.

Hezrou Demon: This is sort of lackluster at this point. Chaos Hammer and Unholy Blight at will, the stench ability can be both boon and a hinderance. Improved Grab too. A strait up bruiser but not a terribly powerful one. It does have Gaseous Form 1/day and blasphemy 3/day. Too bad it's caster level is only 13, good for disabling annoying things. You can snag this guy for 15,000 GP.

Barbed Devil: Fear effect on hit, hold person, major image and scorching way at will. Overall it is sort of meh. You can get this guy for 20,000 GP.

Ice Devil: Wow. This guy makes up for the Hezrou and the Barbed Devil. A High AC, Regeneration, Fear Aura, Slow effect on the spear or tail, and the Spell likes! Wow, the spell likes are so awesome. Cone of Cold, Fly, Ice Storm, persistent image, Unholy Aura, Wall of Ice, all at will! At 26,000 GP this guy is a STEAL!

Marilith Demon: This is the capstone. Forget about the actual capstone, because this is really it. Six hands! A Massive attack routine, improved grab, constrict, and True Seeing. The Spell likes are Align Weapon, Blade Barrier, Magic Weapon (Yay!), Project Image, See Invisibilty and Telekinesis. An Excellent use of 34,000 GP.

-Advancing Your Fiends-

There are Several ways to improve your fiends, lets discuss those now.

Increasing Hit Dice: The truespeak DC is actually based on 15 + (2xCR), and using this formulae we can figure out how to command more advanced fiends. That babau demon might start looking rather poor by the time you get a few more levels. For each 2 HD you add to a fiend you increase its CR by 1. Each CR bumps the check by 2, so on a 1 for 1 we can improve our fiends. This way we can select their feats and distribute their skill points as we need.

Equipment: Your fiends stick around, this is amazingly beneficial because now we can equip them. Giving your fiends armor and weapons will greatly increase their damage potential. Try giving your succubus a cloak of charisma, for example.

Buffs: Any buff that your fighter would like, your fiend is likely to like just as much. This makes group buffs even better. If you have a cleric in the group you should convince him to go the reach spell + chain spell buff route.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2010, 09:03:18 PM by Ramaloke » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2010, 06:23:55 PM »

-Black Tactica-

*cracks fingers* Alright, so this is where we get to the really fun parts. The tricksy tricksy stuff.

Possession:
Crack open your copy of Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss. Now flip to page 21. Demonic Possession. Notice this bit:

Quote from: Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of The Abyss, Page 22
A fiend with this ability has a Challenge Rating 2 higher than standard fiends of its kind. For example, a succubus with the possession ability is CR 9 rather than CR 7.

Now read it again, and think on the possibilities. Yes, for a measly 2 CR increase your fiends can possess something or someone. This is an amazingly powerful ability that you should not use unless you and your DM are on good terms as he will gleefully stab you to death if you aren't.

This opens up so many options.

The simplest option is to have one possess you for a +4 Profane bonus on your casting stat. For 3,600 GP you get the equivalent of a +4 Tome of Intelligence, and it stacks with your enhancement and inherent bonuses, and interestingly enough, I dont see any limitation on the number of fiends possessing any one creature. It is entirely possibly to get a +4 Profane bonus to every one of your stats, and you can have them all use the Aid Another action for every skill you attempt to use.

As mentioned Earlier, Extract Gift is a useful spell, and it is even more useful if the demon that the gift came from is possessing you. Having a direct line to the thoughts of the demon that has Rary's telepathic bond, and Status effects on all of your party and minions basically means that you have those abilities as well, not to mentions the fiends natural Telepathy, and possibly even Tongues.

Other options include sending them out to possess your enemies, and since you control the demon you basically just got a free cohort. Need an artificer? Go find one to get possessed, need a cleric? Go get one. It doesn't even matter if the possessing demon has a relatively low DC for the possession ability since you will be there to debuff the possessee. Even better, eventually you wont need to debuff the possessee at all. Each successful attempt increases the DC to resist by 1.

Another option is to have it possess items. A possessing demon can bump up the effectiveness of a item by 2,000 GP per hit dice. This means that a succubus (which costs 3,600 GP) will net you a 12,000 GP item. This is so damned useful. They can also control a magic item.

Interestingly enough when your fiends are off possessing things, they leave their physical body behind. This is actually a good thing. Normally if a bound fiend moves more than one mile from you it has a chance to break free. By leaving their body with you, they never move more than one mile away. I like to Flesh to Stone + Shrink Item the bodies into chess pieces, and carry them along with a chessboard. Then you can play Demonic Chess while your minions are out controlling the nobles in the city. If they ever betray you or become to dangerous you can just smash the chess piece and they die.

Advancing Your Fiends... With Class Levels?: As mentioned above, the cost for advancing your fiends is 1 HD for a +1 to the DC of your truespeak check. While advancing their HD is pretty nice, advancing them with class levels is obviously even better, especially when we consider that nonassociated class levels are still given at a 1:1 ratio, up to the fiends hit dice (because any further class HD are associated at that point). You can, for example, give your succubus levels in Ur-Priest or another such fast advancing class.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2010, 11:57:49 PM by Ramaloke » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2010, 06:24:04 PM »

-Builds-

Here are some very generic builds, using no flaws and no taint rules. These are also built under the assumption that we are not using the options presented in the "Black Tactica" section.
Human Wizard 7/Fiendbinder 10/Wizard 8-10
LVL01-   Truename Training
BONUS   Mother Cyst, Scribe Scroll
LVL03-   Improved Initiative
BONUS   Quicken Spell
LVL06-   Demon Mastery
LVL09-   Practiced Spellcaster
LVL12-   Craft Contingent Spell
LVL15-   Extract Demonic Essence
LVL18-   Spellmantle
BONUS   Twin Spell

Conjurer 3/Master Specialist 04/Fiendbinder 10/Master Specialist 5-7 (Rapid Summoning & Enhanced Summoning Variants)
LVL01-   Truename Training
BONUS   Mother Cyst, Augment Summoning
LVL03-   Spell Focus (Conjuration)
BONUS   Skill Focus (Spellcraft)
LVL06-   Leadership
BONUS   Greater Spell Focus
LVL09-   Practiced Spellcaster
LVL12-   Quicken Spell
LVL15-   Heighten Spell
LVL18-   Twin Spell

Human Archivist 7/Thaumaturgist 3/Fiendbinder 10
LVL01-   Truename Training
BONUS   Mother Cyst, Scribe Scroll
LVL03-   Spell Focus (Conjuration)
LVL06-   Greater Spell Focus (Conjuration)
LVL09-   Augment Summoning, Practiced Spellcaster
LVL12-   Demon Mastery
LVL15-   Craft Contingent Spell
LVL18-   Extract Demonic Essence

Human Archivist 2/Human Paragon 3/Ur-Priest 5/Fiendbinder 10
LVL01-   Truespeak Training
BONUS   Mother Cyst, Scribe Scroll
LVL03-   Spell Focus (Evil)
BONUS   Iron Will
LVL06-   Practiced Spellcaster
LVL09-   Improved Initiative
LVL12-   Twin Spell
LVL15-   Quicken Spell
LVL18-   Heighten Spell

Cohorts
Human Cohort Artificer 17
LVL01-   Truename Training
BONUS   Demon Mastery, Scribe Scroll, Brew Potion
LVL03-   Extract Demonic Essence
BONUS   Craft Wondrous Item, Legendary Artisan, Craft Magic Arms and Armor
LVL06-   Truename Research
BONUS   Craft Wand, Extraordinary Artisan
LVL09-   Magical Artisan (Scribe Scroll)
BONUS   Craft Rod
LVL12-   Craft Contingent Spell
BONUS   Exceptional Artisan, Craft Staff, Forge Ring
LVL15-   Magical Artisan (Contingent Spell)
BONUS   Extra Rings

Kaorti Sorcerer 1/Fiend of Possession 6/Fiend of Corruption 6
LVL01-   Brand of the Nine Hells
BONUS   Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Ribbon Dagger),   
LVL03-   Mark of Nessus
LVL06-   Improved Initiative
LVL09-   Ability Focus (Possession)
LVL12-   Free
LVL15-   Free
« Last Edit: October 17, 2010, 05:12:57 AM by Ramaloke » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2010, 06:24:14 PM »

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« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2010, 08:35:55 PM »

I look forward to this. A couple of initial thoughts:

The adaptation section covers binding different fiends. Essentially, you can bind any fiend with a CR equal to your character level -2 (or -3 if it has "unique, special abilities, like a chain devil).

Also, one of my favorite entries is via a rapid advancement PrC, such as Ur-Priest. The most flavorful entry is via Nar Demonbinder, and while it's not absurdly powerful, you're essentially trading being a wizard for being a Pokemaster.
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« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2010, 08:36:52 PM »

Excellent!
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« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2010, 09:53:03 PM »

Good, Big Grin I dont see enough fiendbinder love, so Im glad at least two people are interested in this handbook. This is my first, so feel free to suggest anything and everything you can. Also, thoughts on the black tactica so far?
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« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2010, 11:00:53 PM »

i did`t even knew this PrC until I read this Guide. Actually, I want to play one right now!! Thank you, and good work!!
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« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2010, 05:16:57 AM »

Added a builds section, and included some cohorts as well. They are a bit rough and could probably stand to see some refinement, also, none of them use flaws.
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« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2010, 03:56:40 PM »

I'm not entirely sure that Fiendbinder/Necrotic Tumor is synergistic. The Fiendbinder's main draw (as you present it) is getting an outsider minion that potentially lasts forever as a class feature, which is all well and good. The thing is that if your DM is letting you get away with Necrotic Tumor shenanigans, a straight wizard also has access to outsider minions that he controls forever - just Planar Bind something, Tumor it, and order it not to go home when its service is complete. For this reason, it seems like the Fiendbinder should be most recommended in games where Mother Cyst/Necrotic Tumor is not an option, either due to level or DM fiat (because not every DM is going to be thrilled with Necrotic Tumor.)
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Uriel_Ventris
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« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2010, 07:05:33 PM »

I'm not entirely sure that Fiendbinder/Necrotic Tumor is synergistic. The Fiendbinder's main draw (as you present it) is getting an outsider minion that potentially lasts forever as a class feature, which is all well and good. The thing is that if your DM is letting you get away with Necrotic Tumor shenanigans, a straight wizard also has access to outsider minions that he controls forever - just Planar Bind something, Tumor it, and order it not to go home when its service is complete. For this reason, it seems like the Fiendbinder should be most recommended in games where Mother Cyst/Necrotic Tumor is not an option, either due to level or DM fiat (because not every DM is going to be thrilled with Necrotic Tumor.)

Necrotic Tumor makes it so you aren't having to waste a standard action *every round* to tell one fiend what to do for that round...
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« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2010, 07:18:37 PM »

I can sort of see your point but just because a feat is useful without the prestige class doesn't make it less valuable with the prestige class. Any help is going to well... be helpful.

The fact is, greater planar binding is already game breaking, its not surprising that it can be even more game breaking. If you were to sit down with your DM and explain that your character focuses on Necrotic Tumoring GPB'ed outsiders in order to get permanent balor buddies he's probably going to have a conniption fit. If you sit down and tell your DM that you are going to Necrotic Tumor your bound fiends from the Fiendbinder, the conniption fit will at least be shorter.

A fiendbinder is still powerful without the feat, as you can give "standing orders" to your bound fiends. Like "Guard Me, Guard the Cleric, and Guard the Rogue", then if you are attacked they will retaliate appropriately, which should include the use of any of their spell likes and such as that is their normal behavior in combat.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2010, 07:23:37 PM by Ramaloke » Logged

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Benly
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« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2010, 07:20:04 PM »

Necrotic Tumor makes it so you aren't having to waste a standard action *every round* to tell one fiend what to do for that round...

It certainly does! I'm not saying that a fiendbinder with Necrotic Tumor isn't better than a fiendbinder without Necrotic Tumor. As you point out, Necrotic Tumor is flat-out superior to the fiendbinder's method of control, which is presented as also being the fiendbinder's main draw. What I'm saying is that because of this, if Necrotic Tumor is available, a wizard (or whatever class you would have entered fiendbinder with) using Necrotic Tumor is flat-out superior to a fiendbinder with or without Necrotic Tumor, unless there is something else the fiendbinder brings to the table that I'm missing.

I can sort of see your point but just because a feat is useful without the prestige class doesn't make it less valuable with the prestige class. Any help is going to well... be helpful.

The fact is, greater planar binding is already game breaking, its not surprising that it can be even more game breaking. If you were to sit down with your DM and explain that your character focuses on Necrotic Tumoring GPB'ed outsiders in order to get permanent balor buddies he's probably going to have a conniption fit. If you sit down and tell your DM that you are going to Necrotic Tumor your bound fiends from the Fiendbinder, the conniption fit will at least be shorter.

If you have a DM who is okay with Necrotic Tumor abuse for fiendbinders but not wizards, that's fair enough. It just seems more likely to me that a DM either will not be okay with Necrotic Tumor at all, or won't care about your Necrotic Tumor shenanigans, rather than falling into the sort of in-betweenish zone.

That said, I do semi-agree in that the fiendbinder is something DMs are more likely to be okay with than Necrotic Tumor in general - you're giving up three caster levels for your permanent fiends. It just feels like if you're a fiendbinder with necrotic tumor, you're not playing a fiendbinder anymore. You're playing a wizard who traded three caster levels to broker a deal with the DM to let you cast Necrotic Tumor, which completely overrides and makes irrelevant your primary fiendbinder feature.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2010, 07:23:45 PM by Benly » Logged
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« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2010, 07:25:19 PM »

Necrotic Tumor is a "Permanent" effect, which means it can be dispelled. If you have a bunch of greater planar bindings at your side and you get hit with an area dispel you could find yourself in a rather sticky situation. If the fiendbinder gets hit with an area dispel his fiends are still his.

-edit-

And Necrotic Tumor is a 7th level spell, you cant cast it until 13th level unless you use some questionable shenanigans. This still leaves the fiendbinder access to more reliable binds than a strait Planar Binding user earlier in his career.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2010, 07:30:35 PM by Ramaloke » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2010, 07:50:18 PM »

Necrotic Tumor is a "Permanent" effect, which means it can be dispelled. If you have a bunch of greater planar bindings at your side and you get hit with an area dispel you could find yourself in a rather sticky situation. If the fiendbinder gets hit with an area dispel his fiends are still his.

-edit-

And Necrotic Tumor is a 7th level spell, you cant cast it until 13th level unless you use some questionable shenanigans. This still leaves the fiendbinder access to more reliable binds than a strait Planar Binding user earlier in his career.

The level thing doesn't hold water for me because by the time the fiendbinder can cast it, he's been the loser for two levels already and is at best partially caught up with it. During the time before a wizard can cast it, the fiendbinder is of course in a better situation - but the fiendbinder can't cast it at that point either, so it's not really relevant to the fiendbinder's build at that point. What it comes down to is "If Necrotic Tumor is available, it is something that makes the fiendbinder outdated at 13th which he can try to catch up with two levels later. If it's not available, it's not relevant one way or another."

That said, the dispelling thing is an interesting point I hadn't thought of. I'm not sure it's enough to carry the class in a Necrotic Tumor situation, but it does make a nice layer of extra insurance.

I guess what bothers me is that the guide has a certain tone of "Necrotic Tumor saves the prestige class!  Love" - all the builds you post have Mother Cyst at level 1. The thing is that introducing Mother Cyst into the equation just makes fiendbinders worse by comparison - in my opinion they shine best in situations where the DM doesn't allow Necrotic Tumor shenanigans even though such shenanigans make the class stronger. It's kind of weirdly counterintuitive, but there you have it.

(Incidentally, is there any good reason to be taking Mother Cyst at 1 in those builds? The first couple of Cyst spells as I recall are not very good, and you would be doing better with one of your other feats at those levels. Mother Cyst requires "caster level 1st" but doesn't have the "can only be taken at first level" requirement, so I'm pretty sure that's a minimum and you can take it whenever.)

All that said, I do like the guide. I just feel like Mother Cyst is a mixed blessing at best.
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« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2010, 08:10:29 PM »

Take 4 levels of Dweomerkeeper, and voila, your tumors are now Supernatural, and not subject to dispelling.
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« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2010, 08:11:52 PM »

No, there isn't any particular reason to take mother cyst at 1, and I'll be putting up some more varied builds, I was writing that stuff at like 3 in the morning, ish Smile.
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Uriel_Ventris
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« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2010, 06:29:27 AM »

Saying that Necrotic Tumor usage is a shenanigan is basically DM fiat. Plain as that.

Yes the DM can prohibit anything he/she darn well pleases, but saying "Oh no, you can't use that particular combination because X unbalances Y..." just shows that the DM isn't working hard enough. Rolls Eyes
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