Improving Summoned Creatures

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Posts: 718

Improving Summoned Creatures

Post#1 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:37 am

Hi all,

I am thinking of making summons less a waste of a spell slot - maybe this idea could be developed/explored further?

We currently have an Animal Companion code that scales the animal companion based on a pet "caster level" from 1-50. I've played with Animal Companions, and although they lose effectiveness very badly in event server (due to getting Morded mostly), overall the scaling seems rather appropriate.

Hence, why not implement the same scaling function for all the (currently) useless Summon spells (Summon Creature, Create (Greater) Undead, (Epic) Gate, etc...)

To make a dedicated summoner more useful, and open up other building options, we could re-purpose the following feats:

Augment Summoning - Makes summons/Animal companion immune to dispels (especially Mord's). This will help keep the Animal Companion relevant in high level areas.

Mirror Golem and Mastery I-III are changed to Summoning Mastery I-IV. Open this feat line to other casters (Nature/Divine/Bards/Warlocks).

At baseline, all summons will start with a " very low" value for HP/AC/Saves etc, and the exact value will depend on caster level.
Summoning Mastery I-IV pushes these values upwards (how it does so TBD).

To make the Summon spells actually feel more powerful when casting a higher level one, the type of creature summoned and potency of its special abilities (e.g. a skeleton is crit immune, a fire elemental does fire damage) should also scale with the exact summon spell being cast.

Balance Issues:
Although a scaled summon can be very powerful, getting a decent one would require significant investments in feat and caster levels.

Characters are limited to 1 summon at a time anyway, and cannot spam them. This also stands as a replacement for a Golem or an alternative to the Shadow Simulacrum rather than an addition.

You still need to burn spell slots to cast the summon, and spontaneous casters will have to give up spells known to learn summons should they want to summon.

Being a spell, re-summoning a new creature should the old one die overcomes the issue with Golems being a waste of 4 feats once it goes down. This makes it advantageous over a golem, which loses its effectiveness past Server 2 due to their re-castable nature.

Posts: 17

Re: Improving Summoned Creatures

Post#2 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 12:05 pm

I think this sounds like an excellent idea when the devs have time. It will give more variety to leveling builds.

Could augment summoning add something like 5 hp regen per turn, but applied like a set bonus?

Tom D
Posts: 34

Re: Improving Summoned Creatures

Post#3 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 12:07 pm

I really like this KC. Summons can be really fun.

Good points:
* Feat intensive to be really good at it - parity for other powers
* Looks like it will scale appropriately so that I can't just rely on my summons
* Really like the ability to re-summon - hate when my golem dies. :)

* Let's consider keeping Golem instead of replacing it. Some people like the golem. :)
* Be careful labeling anything as "useless" - Create Greate Undead is very helpful for some levels. Maybe useless at L40?

Posts: 1556

Re: Improving Summoned Creatures

Post#4 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 4:29 pm

Points of note:

Currently a summoned creature is based on a creature ID attached to the spell. (Or feat for pet users)

So, lvl 1 summon will bring a 5? HD monster (say a wolf)

So, using a lvl 3 summon will bring in a higher wolf (15?).

Each summon is a unique creature, made to a specific HD with set feats. All a summon spell does is summon that creature ID and let’s you control it. The same concept applies to pets.

So, there are many Earth elementals. From 5-30 Hd depending on if your using a low lvl spell or 9th circle elemental swarm.

Do you guys want more / different summon options? Or are you guys wanting a separate piece of code that applies effects to your pet/summon based on feats? Or a concept that allows some feats to apply non-dispellable like effects to pets/summons based on feat specialization?
Administrator, Dungeon Master

Posts: 718

Re: Improving Summoned Creatures

Post#5 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:01 pm

The idea is to re-use the code that Brumm developed for the animal companion/golem for summoned creatures.

This code modifies the creature's attributes (AB, HP, AC and others) via a script post-summoning, so the exact blueprint of the original summoned creature is not that important.

Posts: 1556

Re: Improving Summoned Creatures

Post#6 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:58 pm

I could be way off but I think the whole summon beef system was a piggyback off of AGhosts summon beef-up from the initial Druid/SS set.

Totally doable but would need to work on feat IDs and tie these summon/pet/companion feats to a more substantial effect.

This is something the council should table as it would be very intensive to write (for me). I think it’s a great idea. It would make summoners a thing and perhaps bring life back to Warlocks in unforeseen ways. (Maybe to much since they can endlessly summon).
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Posts: 2315

Re: Improving Summoned Creatures

Post#7 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:44 am

I think I can pull something like that off pretty quickly. I'll take a look at it when I get the time and make suggestions on the CAB then.

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