Friday, August 28, 2020

GLOG Class: Monster Binder

Based on Scrap Princess's commentary on the Summon Monster spell here:, here's a class based on monster summoning that's hopefully more interesting.

First GLOG class I've made. Balance not guaranteed.

GLOG Class: Monster Binder
Starting Equipment: Blank deck of tarot cards, iron chain, bludgeon)
A: Monster Bind, Monster Summon
B: Monster Tap, Monster Recall
C: Monster Specialist
D: Unleash the Horde OR Release the Beast


Monster Bind: The core skill of the Monster Binder is to bind monsters in cards for later summoning. A card with a monster bound in it will display that monster surrounded by appropriate symbolism. A binding attempt can be made by spending a round addressing a monster, declaring your intent and authority to bind it. To see if the attempt succeeds consult the table and modifiers below:

Binding Attempt (2d6):
3-: The binding fails, the monster breaks free of any holds on it, and you can never attempt to bind this monster again
4-6: The binding fails and the monster breaks free of any holds on it
7-9: The binding works, however when summoned the monster will follow only the letter of any orders given to it
9-12+: The binding works and the monster will obey you when summoned without any malicious interpretation of orders

-2 for every HD the monster has past your Monster Binder templates
-2 if the monster has 50%+ HP left
-2 if the monster is able to flee from you
+2 if the monster is surrounded by a circle of stuff it is either weak against or desires (e.g. fire for a troll, blood for a vampire, etc.)
+2 if you can beat the monster in a personal contest appropriate for its nature (e.g. one-on-one duel/wrestling match, rhyming contest, prank war, game of chess, etc.)
+2 if you make an offering of 1 HP of your own blood for every HD of the monster

You can have one monster bound at a time per Monster Binder template.

Monster Summon: Once you've got a monster bound you can draw on its card to summon it. Summoned monsters must be given orders to follow, and may interpret these orders maliciously based on their nature and the degree of success of the binding attempt. Summoning a monster expends its card. Summoned monsters are not damaged even if they were when bound.

In combat a summoned monster lasts 1d6+[template] rounds.

Out of combat a summoned monster lasts 1d6+[template] ten-minute turns.


Monster Tap: You can draw on an ability of a bound monster without fully releasing it. For a single round you can gain a single ability of a monster whose card you're holding. This ability could be an attack, movement mode, special power, immunity, etc.

Tapping a monster's ability has a 1-in-6 chance of expending its card, increasing to 2-in-6 the second time you've tapped a monster's ability that day, then 3-in-6 the third, and so on.

Monster Recall: If you've bound a monster before and know its name (or are able to name it for monsters that are too unintelligent or esoteric to have names), then once per week you can call on it and attempt to bind it again. While the monster counts as spiritually present for the purposes of, for example, a prepared binding circle, it physically remains wherever it currently is unless bound. Dead or destroyed monsters can't be recalled.


Monster Specialist: Choose a broad class of monsters (undead, demons, giants, goblinoids, oozes, etc.). From now on you're a specialist in binding them. Gain a +2 on attempts to bind this class of monsters, and you can use Monster Recall on them once per day instead of once per week.


On attaining template D choose one of the two abilities below:

Unleash the Horde: You can attempt to bind a number of identical monsters into a single card. For the binding attempt the HD penalty applies based on the sum of these monsters' HD.


Release the Beast: For a single monster in your collection at a time the HD penalty to a binding attempt starts applying beyond twice your Monster Binder templates rather than beyond your templates.


  1. I made a similar thing a long time ago, but this one is much better

    1. Thanks. Can you give a link to yours I couldn't find it on your blog?

      I don't know if its possible to say whether this one's good or not without testing it in play. Really depends on whether the gameplay loop of capture monster => use monster to get better monster holds up, and isn't too egregiously under/overpowered.


      Saker Tarsos used it in my SHIELDBREAKER campaign (weren't we just talking about that sword / shield dynamic yesterday?) and it worked reasonably well, but I think that had more to do with he and I having somewhat similar sensibilities and the way I run my games, and not because it's actually a well designed class at all.