Through special methods known only to binders, you can contact a vestige and make a pact with it. At 1st level, you can make a pact with one vestige at a time. At higher levels, you can form and maintain pacts with multiple vestiges simultaneously, as shown on Table 1—1. You must complete the summoning and binding process with each separately, so each has its normal chance to influence you. You bear the physical sign of binding for each one. Your effective binder level, or EBL (your binder class level plus any soul binding bonuses you receive from prestige classes or other sources), determines the maximum level of vestige you can summon, as well as all other functions related to binding vestiges. This value equates to your binder class level, as given on Table 1—1, for this purpose. If the vestige you are trying to contact is of a higher level than your indicated maximum, you cannot summon it.
To contact a vestige, you must draw its unique seal visibly on a surface (generally the ground), making the image at least 5 feet across. Drawing a seal requires the ability to mark a surface and 1 minute of concentration, and the act provokes attacks of opportunity. A seal not used within 1 minute of its drawing loses all potency, and you must draw a new one to contact the vestige. A vestige might also have other requirements for contact, as noted in its entry (see The Vestiges, page 16).
Once the seal is drawn, you must perform a ritual requiring a full-round action to summon the corresponding vestige. During this time, you must touch the seal and call out to the vestige using both its name and its title. The ritual fails if you cannot be heard (for example, if you are within the area of a silence spell). Otherwise, a manifestation of the vestige appears in the seal’s space as soon as you fi nish the ritual. This image is not the actual vestige; it is merely a figment an illusion that cannot harm or be harmed by any creature. Creatures that interact with the image or study it carefully automatically recognize it as illusory. The summoned image ignores everyone but you. If you fail to address it within 1 round, it disappears. The vestige speaks in whatever language you used to call it.
To make a pact with your summoned vestige, you must make a binding check (1d20 + your effective binder level + your Cha modifier). This process requires 1 minute, but you can choose to make a rushed binding check as a full-round action at a —10 penalty. The DC for this check is provided in the description of each vestige (see pages 16—49). You must make your perilous pact alone; others cannot aid you in any way.
Whether the binding check succeeds or fails, you gain the powers granted by the vestige for 24 hours. During that time, you cannot rid yourself of the vestige unless you possess the Expel Vestige feat. Success or failure does, however, determine other aspects of the pact. If you fail the binding check, the vestige influences your personality and your actions, and you are said to have made a poor pact. (Specifically, the vestige’s presence changes your general demeanor, and it can force you to perform or refrain from certain actions.) If your binding check is successful, the vestige has no control over your actions and does not influence your personality. In this case, you are said to have made a good pact.
While under the influence of a vestige, you must adhere to its requirements to the best of your ability. If you are conscious and free-willed, and you encounter a situation in which you cannot or will not refrain from a prohibited action or perform a required one, you take a —1 penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, and checks until that vestige leaves you. If you are influenced by more than one vestige, you must act according to all their infl uences. If you fail to fulfill the requirements of more than one vestige or disobey a single vestige more than once, the penalties stack.
As long as you are bound to a vestige, you manifest a specifi c physical sign of its presence, as given in its entry. This sign is real, not an illusory or shapechanging effect, and someone using true seeing perceives it just as it is. You can hide a sign by mundane or magical means without penalty, or you can prevent it from appearing at all if you have the suppress sign ability.
Vestiges are bound to your soul by the pact. They cannot be targeted or expelled by any means except the Expel Vestige feat, nor can they be suppressed except by an antimagic fi eld or similar effect.
The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against any supernatural power granted by a vestige is 10 + 1/2 your effective binder level + your Cha modifier.