Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Deal or No Deal?

I enjoy the concepts of classes that derive their power from their personal relationship with a specific entity
that you can talk to. However, it seems like many classes that fit the bill in 3.5 or Pathfinder really want you
to overlook that defining relationship in favor of treating the vestige or patron like a spellbook.

BINDER (witch, occultist, petitioner, channeler)
Contract, +1 implicature
1 free slot per day
Bargain for Second Magnitude
2 free slots per day
Dupe, +1 implicature
3 free slots per day
Bargain for Third Magnitude
5 free slots per day
Artifact Channel, +1 implicature
7 free slots per day
Bargain for Fourth Magnitude
11 free slots per day
Two Minds, +1 implicature
15 free slots per day
Bargain for Fifth Magnitude
21 free slots per day
Undying, +1 implicature
27 free slots per day
Bargain for Sixth Magnitude
35 free slots per day
Starting Skills: any one expertise, implicature, and one other.
Contract: You have bargained with a supernatural entity or entities for magical power. This will require skill tests for later magnitudes, but it is assumed that you’ve managed to already work out a deal for first magnitude spells. All spells you know are recorded in magical, ethereal contracts, which you study each day. When you consult your contract, you decide which spells you will be able to cast that day and how many times you can cast each one. For each casting of a starting-level spell, you must commit one spell slot. Later magnitudes cost a number of slots equal to their magnitude.
Later that day, you may try to bargain with your patron to cast more spells. You get a penalty equal to the number of attempts you’ve made to bargain for more spells that day, as well as the number of spell slots you want from the patron. See the “bargain for magnitudes” entry for rules on bargaining with your patron.
Your patron teaches you two spells per level, and for a negotiated cost can teach you more, if you have a scroll, tome, or similar artifact to study from. It is totally impossible to break free from your patron, but if you do you will become more powerful than your wildest dreams.
If you have one patron, you get a +3 to implicature tests to bargain with it, but you are restricted to learning spells of its domains (see the Gods and Patrons chapter.) You are also bound by one of its taboos of your choice. If you consult multiple patrons, you may learn spells of any domain, but are bound by two random taboos from the table below. The DM may choose to have you randomly select new taboos every level.

Table 9: General Taboos
1. Cannot eat meat. 
2. Cannot lie. 
3. Cannot touch a dead body. 
4. Cannot sleep indoors 
5. Must flagellate self daily (1d4 damage) 
6. Must engage in hedonistic acts whenever possible. 
7. Must follow the law. 
8. Must accept all challenges and wagers. 
Bargain for Magnitudes: A binder cannot even learn a spell unless they are initiated into the appropriate magnitude. Once they achieve the appropriate level, they may make an implicature test to bargain with their patron. They get a -2 penalty for each degree of magnitude they are trying to be initiated into.
  • If you fail, pick three. If you succeed, pick one. If you succeed by 10+, pick zero. You must fulfill a random taboo until you next level up, you must perform some minor quest incidental with your current business, you must endure a curse until you level up (such as babbling, penalty to a primary stat, or compulsive singing.)
Dupe: You may use implicature to bargain as a standard action, but it only convinces the mark for up to one minute. This cannot be used in combat or other hostile situations.
Artifact Channel: Channeling a little magic from your connection to your patron, you may use magic items as a wizard of half your level.
Two Minds: Whenever you make a mental test, roll twice and take the better result.
Undying: Wounds do not render you unconscious or incapacitated. You are alive and standing until you’re dead.

Patrons in Sweetheart D&D are minor spirits, vestiges, outsiders, demons, angels, or ascended familiars. Unlike gods, they are much smaller-time and have a more immediate relationship with the binders who channel them. Most bargains with a patron should be fully roleplayed. A binder can summon an illusory form for their patron to speak with, each one identifiable and unique. A DM strapped for ideas might consult the Lesser Keys of Solomon. Below, several example patrons (and their taboos) are listed.

A typical patron will have:
  • Two of the following domains: ritual, illusion, transformation, fire, curse, necromancy, charm, angel, demon, summoning, shadow.
  • Two of the following domains: healing, disease, ooze, liquid, flesh, blood, soul, spirit, item, weapon, bone, emotion, dispel, conjuration, flight, radiation, speech
  • Four taboos to choose from.
  • A manifestation and a personality. In negotiations, a patron is remarkably hung-up on their taboos, but they often have other desire and interests as well. While friendship is almost certainly off the table, a patron and their binder can develop a rapport for a time if they have compatible personalities.

Flicker: fire, shadow, speech, soul
  • Must wear a red ribbon in your hair
  • You can no longer feel heat.
  • Cannot enter a church.
  • Cannot allow yourself to be imprisoned.
Tzetkhal: ritual, curse, healing, disease
  • Cannot acquire a new pair of shoes.
  • Must speak with every horse you see.
  • Must avenge slights.
  • Cannot turn away a guest or someone seeking sanctuary.
Canorod: Illusion, demon, ooze, emotion
  • Cannot touch what you love
  • All animals are dogs to you.
  • Cannot relax without your back to the wall.
  • Must insult people periodically.
Inner Sister: necromancy, transformation, blood, flight
  • Must always reciprocate romantic overtures.
  • Cannot look at your own reflection.
  • Must dress as lavishly as possible.
  • Physically harmed by when others are self-deprecating.
Zohariel: angel, charm, conjuration, dispel
  • Cannot speak.
  • Each time you take a life, you must pray for their soul that night.
  • Cannot harm a priest.
  • Must always forgive.
Ublthu: summoning, curse, radiation, disease
  • Cannot look someone in the eye.
  • Cannot attack an unready foe.
  • Must speak your mind.
  • Must drink to excess when able.
Ashur the Ephemeral: charm, fire, item, speech
  • Must wear a blindfold at night.
  • Must always seize an opportunity to boast or expound.
  • Cannot admit wrongdoing.
  • Cannot cross running water.
Baron Zutherasc: ritual, shadow, spirit, weapon
  • Cannot cut your hair.
  • Cannot have a consensual romantic encounter
  • Must seek violent solutions.
  • Must whisper.
Fus: demon, angel, conjuration, blood
  • Cannot harm a wild animal.
  • Cannot cast spells with your eyes open.
  • Must try to barter every time.
  • Must try to taste any wound you see.
The Scholar Princess: fire, illusion, dispel, emotion
  • Cannot enter a cellar or basement.
  • Cannot thank anyone.
  • Cannot trust anyone with a beard.
  • Cannot be swayed by warnings.
Aoulosh Blackwell: ritual, transformation, conjuration, healing

  • Cannot harm an innocent.
  • Must educate the willfully ignorant.
  • Must at least read the title of every book you come across.
  • Must find an apprentice to train to become a philosopher king.

A binder’s access to spells depends on whether they have one patron or multiple. Binders with one patron may only cast spells from the binder list with at least one matching domain. Binders with many patrons may select from the full list. Binder spells of the “patron” domain may be cast only by binders with a single patron.
Spell Name
Alter Disease
Disease, ritual, healing
You may use use expertise (nature) to bargain with diseases, convincing it to act differently as per the implicature skill.
Alter Form
Illusion, transformation
You take on the appearance of another humanoid, with a degree of precision commensurate with your knowledge of them. This spell requires concentration.
In just a few seconds, you set a wide area (maximum radius ten feet) ablaze. If the material affected is normally flammable, the fire spreads quickly. Otherwise, it peters out in a couple minutes.
Become Ooze
Transformation, ooze, liquid
You can affect your body or parts of your body, as well as carried items, as though they were a viscous liquid. This lasts an hour. This spell requires concentration
Bind Heart
Ritual, necromancy, flesh, blood, heart, curse
You pull a willing or bound target’s heart from its body, still beating. They become immune to critical hits and aging, but if anyone bearing the heart deals damage to it, they instantly die.
Bind Soul
Ritual, soul, spirit, item
You pull a dead or dying target’s soul into an item or animal. So long as the vessel is intact, the soul does not go to its usual afterlife. Possession of this soul gives a bonus to some things, notably the seance spell targeting the particular soul.
Channel Chaos
Transformation, patron,
Cast six spell slots worth of binder spells with the transformation domain or the domains of your patron. You do not need to know them. You must observe all of your patron’s taboos until the spell ends, which is not until your patron decides it ends. Your patron has direct control of your body, and resisting their will requires a charisma test.
Charm Person
One target treats you like their friend. You can cast this spell at fourth magnitude to affect a group of people.
Call Up
Ritual, angel, demon, outsider, summoning
You pull a powerful outsider out of the void. It is uncontrolled, and if you haven’t done prior research you have no idea what it’s capable of.
Clinging Shadow
You target a space up to 50 ft. away. All characters within 15 ft. of the center must test dexterity or take 2d6 damage and become entangled. Saving inflicts half damage but still entangles them. This spell requires concentration
Contact power
Ritual, spirit, angel, demon, outsider, patron
You invite a foreign intelligence from the void of another plane to briefly inhabit your body. It can speak, but do nothing else. The creature can answer questions, but may require a bargain to give the juiciest details.
You afflict the target with a deadly and contagious disease.
Bone, blood, necromancy, emotion, weapon
First (cantrip)
You summon a bone dagger out of your wrist. It deals additional damage if you truly hate the target. Typically this would be +1 for an ideological foe, +2 for a nemesis, and +3 for a former lover who spurned you.
Dispel leadership and tactics
All leadership and/or tactics spells before you end. If they were cast by a higher-level caster, you must make a spellcraft test, modified by their level, to succeed.
Dispel nature
All nature spells before you end. If they were cast by a higher-level caster, you must make a spellcraft test, modified by their level, to succeed.
One target treats you like their master. You can cast this spell at sixth magnitude to affect a group of people. This spell requires concentration.
You throw a bursting bead of fire up to 50 ft. All characters within 15 ft. of the center must test dexterity or take 4d6 damage. Saving inflicts half damage. This spell requires concentration.
Fire Blast/Shadow Blast
Fire, shadow
You throw a bolt of fire (or shadow) up to 50 ft. Make a ranged attack to deal 2d6 damage.
False Bilocation
For the next six hours, create a clone of yourself. It acts in ways you plausibly would, and can accept simple instructions, but cannot attack, cast spells, or do anything that requires a roll. If attacked or forced to make a roll, it disintegrates. This spell requires concentration
Fool’s Gold
Illusion, conjuration, item
Creates 10 gold coins per level you possess, which disappear after an hour.
Ritual, necromancy, disease
Feed the flesh of sapient creatures to a dying creature; they become a ravenous, intelligent undead creature that is favorably disposed to you.
Grow Claws
Transformation, animal, shadow, bone,
Your hands distend into sharp nails. Your unarmed attacks deal 1d6 damage, and you may attack twice in a round with them.
Grow Tendrils
Transformation, shadow, ooze
Tendrils grow from your body. You can be actively holding everything you carry. Whenever a foe within 20 ft. of you moves, you may attack them. This spell requires concentration
Grow Wings
Transformation, flight, angel, demon, animal
Grow bulky wings that allow you to fly more quickly than a bird for up to one hour. Your flight speed is 60 ft. You can prepare this spell at a higher magnitude to fly 30 ft. faster per additional magnitude. This spell requires concentration
Heart’s Desire
Conjuration, illusion, item
Create any object, which disappears after an hour.
First (cantrip)
You start a small fire. If the material affected is normally flammable, the fire spreads quickly. Otherwise, it peters out in a couple minutes.
Illusion, Charm
Target doesn’t perceive you. If you cast another spell or attack, this spell ends. You can cast this spell at fourth magnitude to affect a group of people.This spell requires concentration
Transformation, shadow
You become a living shadow, with the consistency of water. Additionally, you are invisible while in near-darkness. This lasts an hour. This spell requires concentration
Juggle Fire
For the next hour, you can grab fire and toss it up to 50 ft. This does not allow you to create fire.
Kindred Spirits
One creature treats you as a friend. It must be a creature which somehow shares a temperament or significant similarity with you.
First (cantrip)
Any person within 30 ft. of you whom you are not aware of must announce their presence.
Destroys a non-flammable, non-magical item. This spell requires concentration.
Mutation (physical)
Ritual, Transformation, radiation
The target gets a random sorcerer physical mutation. This lasts for 12 hours.
Mystery (combat)
The target gets a random loresage combat mystery. This lasts for 12 hours.
Illusion, Charm
No one finds your appearance strange or alarming. This lasts for 6 hours. This spell requires concentration
Necromancy, flesh, blood
First (cantrip)
You gain DR 1 for the next ten minutes, and are immune to pain.
Object Impermanence
Target must be looking at something to remember it. Lasts up to an hour. This spell requires concentration.
The target tests wisdom or becomes willing to hear you out for at least a minute. Fails if they are threatened. This spell requires concentration.
Necromancy, spirit, ritual
You channel the departed spirits of those who have died in the area, or who otherwise have a connection to your location. Through you, they may converse and can answer questions, thought they may require bargaining for the juiciest information.
Rune, conjuration
First (cantrip)
Magically impresses your personal sigil. Can jam doors or give spirits attempting to break their prisons disadvantage on rolls.
See No Evil
Illusion, Charm
Target cannot perceive you or anyone you are interacting with. Lasts ten minutes. This spell requires concentration
Secret Combination
Ritual, curse, Charm
You and the target cannot betray the other’s confidence regarding any conversation immediately following the casting of the spell. You may cast this spell at fourth magnitude to target a group. This spell requires concentration
Slip into Shadow
dimensions, shadow
You “slip” into a nearby shadow, emerging at another nearby. If the original shadow was dim, the new one may be up to 1000 ft. away. If it was properly dark, it may be up to 1 mile. You may cast this spell at higher magnitudes, each time doubling the distance. This spell requires concentration.
Speak with Sin
Charm, divination, sin, spirit, angel, demon, speech
You may have a mental interaction with personifications of a target’s sins. The conversation takes one real-world instance, and while you may bargain or manipulate with these entities, they can’t actually do more than give minor circumstantial modifiers to their owners behavior.
Steal Face
Transformation, illusion, curse, flesh
You steal the visage of a target for one hour. If the creature is living, they get a constitution save to resist. Failure means that they can still see, breathe, etc. but have an utterly generic face for their race and ethnic extraction. This spell requires concentration.
Summon Hound
Summoning, shadow, angel, demon
You summon a magical dog for one hour per slot invested.
Summon Imp/Solar
Summoning, angel, demon
You summon a somewhat stupid, but loyal, small flying outsider for one hour per two slots invested.
Summon Soldier
Ritual, Summoning, angel, demon
You summon a strange errant outsider for one hour per three slots invested.
Summon Tempter/Redeemer
Ritual, Summoning, angel, demon, sin
You summon a flying, charismatic outsider for one hour per three slots invested.
Summon Judgement
Ritual, Summoning, angel, demon
You summon an uncontrolled force of moral nature for one hour per five slots invested.
Curse, patron
Choose a taboo of your patron. The target must test intelligence or be bound by it for a day.
Charm, curse
You render a person, event, or object literally unspeakable in a target. This is permanent until shaken free by magic or sufficient accidental spilling of the beans.
Necromancy, flesh
You levitate something that is made of meat, and can throw it. A human-sized meat body can be thrown 30 ft., doing 1d6 damage to it. Living targets get a constitution test to resist it, moving only 5 ft.
Ritual, necromancy, curse
You create from the cadaver of someone who died violently a new, strange, martial intelligent undead.
Ritual, necromancy, flesh
Inject a dead body with a certain blend of herbs and animal fat. It rises the following night as a mindless, herding, undead.
Zombie Parts
Ritual, necromancy, flesh
Inject body parts with a certain blend of herbs and animal fat. They rise the following night as a mindless herd of undead bits.

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