The Bound

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Special thanks to Casey Peavler, for the great feedback and for being the best idea bouncing wall a guy could ask for.

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Some accrue magic through rigorous study, spending years understanding the cosmos and the elemental weaving of the universe. Others find themselves thrusted head first onto the sorcerous path, suddenly and without warning the host of powers they were ill equipped to use. Most of them become little more than husks, their souls drained from the energy. But a rare few survive, and are able to contain the powers within themselves. They are known as the Bound, for they have been able to keep their Sorcerous Souls from crushing their Mortal Spirit. It is not gone – not completely. It will always be a part of them.

OVERVIEW

Playing the Bound: You are a magic casting class, but you can’t use your spells with abandon. Every time you use a damaging spell, you invoke a point towards your Sorcerous Soul. Whenever you use a moderate or weak spell, you invoke your Mortal Spirit. The Spirit keeps you in control, while if you unless too much of your Sorcerous Soul then you will lose control of your character and will unleash the Beast Within.

Ability Scores: The Bound makes use of Intelligence and Charisma for most of its spells. Intelligence is used for all Spirit-based spells, while Charisma is used to fuel the Sorcerous Soul. You tend to keep a close distance to your targets, so having a couple of points in Constitution so you aren’t 1 shot isn’t a bad idea.

The Bound gets a +2 bonus to Intelligence or Charisma, so long as it doesn’t stack with your racial bonus.

Races: Any of the Races have the potential to be one of the Bound. Humans have the highest number, just because they are the most populated race. The “natural races”, such as the Elves, Gnomes and Aasimar do not seem to possess as many Bound as some other races. There are some Ironforged who have been Bounded.

Backgrounds: One of the Bound can share backgrounds with any of the other spell casters – they all use magic, after all! However, one of your Backgrounds should cover just what exactly your Sorcerous Soul, and how you managed to acquire it. Did you make a pact with some strange entity, where you possessed at birth? Is it a curse? How did you learn to control the Sorcerous Soul?

Icons: There is something unsettling about the Bound, as if they are a ticking time bomb. As such some of the most “pure” Icons, such as the Priestess, Great Gold Wyrm, Elf Queen and High Druid, prefer to keep their distance. However the more militaristic, such as the Crusader and Emperor, or those that wander down darker paths, such as the Diabolist and Lich King, welcome the presence of the Bound. And the Archmage will take just about any spell-caster that isn’t trying to intentionally destroy the Empire.

GEAR

At 1st Level the Bound will having an abundant of trinkets on them. A runic necklace, a bead armlet, symbols of saints. These help the Bound stave off the influence of the Soul, but as they gain in levels, and better understand their relationship, your Bound will throw most of these away. However one thing every Bound needs is a good weapon – and not something weak like a dagger or a very firm book. You can’t just go around casting spells willy-nilly, or else the Soul will take over. A balance of hitting things and invoking spells is the name of the day for the Bound.

However, don’t think the Bound is likely to be in plates or chain mail. That sort of armor is far too cumbersome. The Bound spent more time keeping witch hunters at bay, and understanding how to control their Sorcerous Soul, then they did in martial training.

Armor: As mentioned above, the Bound did not have time to learn how to wield heavy armor. And even if she did, she would probably find it too impractical to use.

Type Base AC Attack Penalty
None 10
Light 11
Heavy 13 (-2 attack, both to weapons and spells)
Shield +1


Weapons:

The Bound don’t use spell books, or crystal orbs, wands or staves. Their body is the conduit for their power. So instead a Bound is more than welcome to use any variety of weapon that they wish. However, the reality is that most Bound are not the greatest weapon masters on the planet. In fact, they spent more time just trying to make sure their Sorcerous Soul didn’t tear them apart. So many Bound – or at least at the very beginning – just use very simples, like an axe, short sword or mace.

Bound Melee Weapons:

One-Handed Two-Handed
Small 1d4 dagger 1d6 club
Light or Simple 1d6 shortsword, bludgeon 1d8 spear
Heavy or Martial 1d8 (-2 atk) longsword, scimitar 1d10 (-2 atk) greatsword

Bound Ranged Weapons

Thrown Crossbow Bow
Small 1d4 dagger 1d4 hand crossbow
Light or Simple 1d6 javelin, axe 1d6 light crossbow 1d6 shortbow
Heavy Martial 1d8 (-1 atk) heavy crossbow 1d8 (-1) longbow

BASIC ATTACKS

Melee Attack
At-Will:
One enemy
Target:
Intelligence + Level vs AC
Hit:
Weapon + Intelligence damage
Miss:
Damage is equal to level
Spirit Earned: +0; unless on HIT you roll a +12 on Hit or Attack, then you earn a SPIRIT +1.

Arcane Attack
At-Will:
One enemy; Close or Ranged
Target:
Charisma + Half of Intelligence + Level vs AC
Hit:
Weapon + Charisma + Double of Current Soul Rating
Miss: Damage is equal to level
Soul Earned: +1

Ranged Attack
At-Will:
One enemy
Target:
Dexterity + Level vs AC
Hit:
Weapon + Dexterity Damage
Miss:
None.
Spirit Rating: +0

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Wait, we’re using Intelligence to attack?

Yeah, okay look, here’s the deal. You know the Monk from 13TW? The class that pretty much nobody is happy with? Ya, do you know why nobody is happy with him? One reason is that you need to split up your ability scores 4 ways – Constitution so you can take hits, and Strength, Dexterity and Wisdom to do all your powers and spells! I’m avoiding that problem by just using Intelligence to have you do attacks and for spells that let you keep control of your Sorcerous Soul.

I mean it is written in the DND Bible (which only exists in your head) that Intelligence can ONLY be used for spells in battle. I get that, we have attributes for a reason. But I had a choice between either adhering to tradition, or making a class that is fun to play. Just as a reminder though, 13th Age encourages you to reskin and reflavor things. Heinsoo and Tweet say all the time for players to reflavor spells and powers to fit their characters. So let’s just stretch out that logic to work towards Intelligence here too in this case.

There are dozens of ways you can spin it. Intelligence is used to control the Soul right? Well, not using your spells (ie attacking with something cold and made out of steel) means you are not using a spell to fuel the Soul. Thus, attacking things instead of invoking means is just another way you are controlling the Soul! Thus, Intelligence for Basic Attacks. See; anything can work!

BOUND LEVEL PROGRESSION

Bound Level Total Hit Points Total Number of Feats Invokes Discovered Level-up Ability Bonuses Damage bonus from Ability Score
Level 1 (6 + CON mod) x 3 1 adventurer 2 Ability modifier
Level 2 (6 + CON mod) x 4 2 adventurer Ability modifier
Level 3 (6 + CON mod) x 5 3 adventurer 2 Ability modifier
Level 4 (6 + CON mod) x 6 4 adventurer +1 to 3 abilities Ability modifier
Level 5 (6 + CON mod) x 8 4 adventurer

1 champion

2 2 x ability modifier
Level 6 (6 + CON mod) x 10 4 adventurer

2 champion

2 x ability modifier
Level 7 (6 + CON mod) x 12 4 adventurer

3 champion

2 +1 to 3 abilities 2 x ability modifier
Level 8 (6 + CON mod) x 16 4 adventurer

3 champion

1 epic

3 x ability modifier
Level 9 (6 + CON mod) x 20 4 adventurer

3 champion

2 epic

1 3 x ability modifier
Level 10 (6 + CON mod) x 24 4 adventurer

3 champion

2 epic

+1 to 3 abilities 3 x ability modifier

 

BOUND STATS

Ability Bonus +2 Charisma or Intelligence (different from racial bonus)
Initiative DEX mod + Level
Armor Class (light armor) 11 + middle mod of Con/Dex/Wis + Level
Physical Defense 11 + middle mod of Str/Con/Dex + Level
Mental Defense 11 + middle mod of Int/Wis/Cha + Level
Hit Points (6 + Con mod) x Level modifier (see level progression chart)
Recoveries 8
Recovery Dice 1d6 x level + Con mod
Backgrounds 8 points, max 5 in any one background
Icon Relationships 3 points
Feat 1 per level

CLASS FEATURES

The SOUL and the Spirit: The Bound is constantly trying to keep the balance between the Mortal Spirit and his Sorcerous SOUL that is just dying to get out. Whenever a Bound uses an Invoke, depending on the spell, they will earn a point for either their SPIRIT or their SOUL. SOUL comes with several benefits, such as bonus damage to their Arcane Attack, and most of your big hitting spells will give you several SOUL Points. Being on the receiving end of a Critical Hit will also give you a SOUL Point. However, too much and you will lose control of your character for a certain period of time.

A Spirit point takes away a SOUL point, and vice versa. You could rationalize it as SPIRIT being an addition, and a SOUL being a subtraction (so if you have +3 written down somewhere, that means you have a SPIRIT value of 3). OR you could just print out my BALANCE OF POWER tracking sheet and staple it to your character sheet.

Adventurer Feat: Arcane Attacks make full use of the Intelligence Modifier.
Champion Feat:
+6 is needed with a Melee Attack to earn a Spirit Point.
Epic Feat:
Every point in SOUL gives you another point in damage; every points in Spirit takes away 3 damage dealt to you.

Fury Unleashed: Remember how I said if you have too many points in THE SORCEROUS SOUL that you will lose control of your character? Well the point in which you lose control and the fury of your SOUL is unleashed is tied to your Charisma modifier. Have a +5 Charisma? Then you can have 5 SOUL points before you lose control.

There are several ways to gain SOUL points. The easiest way is to use an Arcane Attack or an Invocation that is tied to your SOUL. These will always give you at least 1, although some SOUL Invocations will provide you ways to earn multiple SOULS with a single use. Every time you deal a Critical Hit, or are dealt a Critical Hit, you will also earn another SOUL point.

However, when you do lose control you essentially become a monster controlled for a period of time by your GM. He may attack an enemy or one of your allies at his discretion. The amount of turns this lasts for is determined by your Character Level tier.  Your current health pool and turn order remains the same.

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THE SORCEROUS SOUL

The exact nature of the Sorcerous Soul varies for each of the Bound. However, each of them have been contained by the Bound, are restrained, and are eager to escape. They are pure energy, and when they are unleashed the Bound’s eyes glow with power. Their freedom is a finite thing, but they will use the time to cause as much chaos as possible.

Level Attack Attack Bonus AC PD MD
1 6 10 17 15 11
2 7 14 18 16 12
3 8 21 19 17 13
4 9 28 20 18 14
5 10 36 21 19 15
6 11 42 22 20 16
7 12 56 23 21 17
8 13 76 24 22 18
9 14 100 25 23 19
10 15 116 26 24 20

 

Character Tier Sorcerous SOUL Duration
Adventurer 4
Champion 3
Epic 2

 

Adventurer Feat: Whenever you transform, the Escalation Die immediately goes up by 1.
Champion Feat:
All attacks by the Sorcerous Soul attacks 1d3 Nearby Targets.
Epic Feat:
You have gained full control of the Sorcerous Soul. You can transform from and into it with will, and the Escalation Die reduces the amount of SOUL Points you need to transform.

Parasitic Vitality: The Sorcerous Soul refuses to allow you to die on your enemies’ terms. Most likely reason being that if you die, the Soul dies with you. Whenever you are on death’s door, roll a hard save (16+). On a success, you are restored to half of your health.

Adventurer Feat:  The hard save is reduced by 1 for every Soul you possess.
Champion Feat:
Upon a successful recovery you feel rejuvenated. Your next roll has a double Escalation Die bonus.
Epic Feat:
You receive a buffer that absorbs damage. The damage absorption is 10 for every SOUL you have.

Invocations: Unlike most spell-casters, which must meditate and choose their spells every day, the Bound gain new spells at 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th and 9th level. These are always available, and some of them can be casted multiple times in a single turn.

Adventurer Feat: Every SOUL Point reduces the difficulty of all SOUL Invocations by 1.
Champion Feat:
Until the Escalation Die reaches +3, all SPIRIT Invocations receive an additional Spirit Point.
Epic Feat: SPIRIT and SOUL are in full cooperation. You can spend a SOUL to add another die to a SPIRIT Invocation, and vice versa.

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I just want to say that it is up to the player to decide what the Sorcerous Soul when it is unleashed looks like. I know I picked art that made it seem pretty monstrous, but that is just my idea. Let the player in the end.

Also, I would like to suggest that the character’s journey to understand his powers should be reflected in his relationship with his Sorcerous Soul. In my games, I have them be antagonistic at first, pretty much enemies. By the end, they should come to an understanding.

I also like the idea of having the Bound have to go on a small quest, a detour, every time they advance from a Tier. Let this quest reflect somehow his connection with the Soul, and try to get the rest of the party involved in their friend’s journey.

1ST LEVEL INVOCATIONS

An Eldritch Orb

And the woman dressed in rags stepped forth from the crowd and stood against the warlock. She summoned forth a barrage of a black light, and the vile mage screamed as if his very essence was torn from him.

At-Will
Ranged
Sorcerous Soul Invocation
Soul Gained: 1 for each use
Target: 1 Nearby enemy
Attack: Charisma Modifier vs AC
Hit: 2d10 magic damage + 2 more for every SOUL + Level
Miss: Damage equal to your SOUL
Details: You can add another damage die if you are willing to add on an additional SOUL.

3rd Level Spell     3d10 magic damage + 5 more for every SOUL
5th Level Spell     6d10 magic damage + 10 more for every SOUL
7th Level Spell     1d6 x 10 magic damage + 25 more for every SOUL
9th Level Spell     1d6 x 10 magic damage + 40 more for every SOUL

Life Through Animation

“I saw this wizard, real hedge mage going by his garments, and with a flick of his wrist a bunch of nails flew from the wood walls and pinned the drunk to the table. He didn’t look like no psionic, but I guess what else could he have been?”


At-Will
Ranged
Mortal Spirit Invocation
Spirit Gained: 1
Target: 1 Nearby Enemy
Attack: Intelligence Modifier vs AC
Hit: 1d6 physical damage
Miss: Level Damage

3rd Level Spell     3d6 physical damage
5th Level Spell     6d6 physical damage
7th Level Spell     1d4 x 10 physical damage
9th Level Spell     2d4 x 10 physical damage

3RD LEVEL INVOCATIONS

Impenetrable Aegis

“The mad wizard of Piorteth could not be killed. Swords pierced him and still he spoke his incantations of doom. He was sealed away, and the heroes could still hear his damnations.”

Recharge 16+ After Use; 12+ After Battle
Sorcerous Soul Invocation
Soul Gained: 2; 1 for each additional die
Target: Self
Effect: Roll 2d6. Record the number; you absorb the amount and are healed whenever you take damage. Is not considered a recovery.

5th Level Spell     5d6
7th Level Spell     2d4 x 2
9th Level Spell     5d4 x 2

Illuminated Edge

He slid his hand across the flat of his sword, and it began to glow like the moon. He cut through the usurper like he was air.
Recharge 16+ After Use; 12+ After Battle
Mortal Spirit Invocation
Spirit Gained: 1; and an additional 1 for every Critical Hit when Illuminated Edge is in effect.
Target: Your Weapon
Effect: Roll d4 + Intelligence Modifier for bonus damage with all Basic Attacks. Lasts for as many turns as your Intelligence modifier.

5th Level Spell     2d6 + Intelligence Modifier bonus damage
7th Level Spell     3d4 x 2 + Intelligence Modifier bonus damage
9th Level Spell     3d4 x 4 + Intelligence Modifier bonus damage

5TH LEVEL INVOCATIONS

Whip of Shadows

She pulled the girl from the grips of the giant with a whip made from foul magic. The girl’s flesh was burned and scarred, but she was saved.

At-Will Close-quarter
Sorcerous Soul Invocation
Souls Gained: 1
Effect: You can perform a combination of a Basic and Arcane Attack (so 1 of each, 2 Arcane Attacks, or 2 Basic Attacks). Think of it like those Double Strength Monsters that can attack you two or three times in a single turn. Souls and Spirits are earned from these Attacks, and are granted after each attack.

7th Level Spell     Remove 2 dies from Arcane Attacks, but multiply the damage by 2.
9th Level Spell     Remove 2 dies from Arcane Attacks, but multiply the damage by 3.

Invisible Weaponry

Death could not be seen, but it came to them all the same.

At-Will
Mortal Spirit Invocation
Spirit Gained: 1
Effect: Your weapon turns invisible, providing you with two d20’s to roll with every Hit, but you lose 1 damage die. Lasts until you want it to. Does not work against Double-Strength, Triple-Strength, or Large monsters.

7TH LEVEL INVOCATIONS

An Extra Hand

A clawed, ethereal hand sprouted from his shoulder. It glowed with arcane energies, and unleashed death upon his foes.

At-Will
Sorcerous Soul Invocation
Soul Gained: 1 plus another 1 every other turn (so, for example, if you do it when the escalation die is at +1, then you gain another point at +3)
Effect: At the beginning of every round the Hand unleashes a magical barrage on a random target, dealing d20 + CHA vs AC for Hit, and 20 + CHA x 3 for damage.

9th Level Spell     The Hand deals a bonus attack to whatever attacks the Bound. Deals 10 + CHA for damage. Always Hits.

Every Path is a Door

The limits of the physical world meant nothing to her. She passed through mountains as if they were air.

At-Will
Mortal Spirit Invocation
Spirit Gained: 1, and an additional 1 every time you are Staggered or use a Recovery
Effect: Allows you to use 2 Quick Actions every turn, and increases your AC by 1 for every 5 you possess. Decrease all your Hit Escalation bonuses by 1 and remove 1 Recovery roll die.

9th Level Spell     Increases your Critical Hit range by 3

9TH LEVEL INVOCATIONS

Archon Diablo IIIArchon

He was magic in its purest form. He became one with the planes, and the world shook in his wake.

Activates at Escalation +5
Of Sorcerous and Mortal Invocation
Souls and Spirits Gained: 5
Effect: For a moment, you and the Sorcerous Soul fuse together. You are able to cast 2 spells every turn, regardless of their requirements, all DC is reduced by 3, and Arcane Attack becomes a non-turn consuming Quick Action.

After you are staggered, are reduced to 0 health, or after the battle is over, you return to Human form. Hit die is given a -3 penalty and all Attack die are reduced by 1. Parasitic Vitality is disabled for the rest of the fight.