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View Full Version : [3.5] Summoner base class



kharmakazy
2009-10-25, 05:10 PM
So... I hobbled together a base class based loosely on a homebrew class I used to play but that was eaten by the WoTC forums.

Summoner
Class Skills

The summonerís Class Skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Knowledge (Arcana, Dungeoneering, History, Local, Nature, Religion, The Planes) (Int), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Points at 1st Level
(6 + Int modifier) ◊4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level
6 + Int modifier.

D8 hit dice

http://i33.tinypic.com/bej41k.jpg

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the Summoner

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Summoners are proficient with all simple weapons, with all types of armor (light, medium, and heavy), and with shields (except tower shields).




Summoning (Sp): As a full round action, that provokes an attack of opportunity, a summoner may summon any creature in his Summoner's Notebook. A summon is the equivalent of a spell whose level is equal to one-half the summonerís class level (round down), with a minimum spell level of 1st and a maximum of 9th when a summoner reaches 18th level or higher. A summon last for a number of rounds equal to the summonerís level + his/her Cha. Modifier. A Summoner may only have one creature summoned in this way at a time.

It appears where you designate within 30 ft. (+ 5 ft./2 levels) and acts immediately, on your turn. It attacks your opponents to the best of its ability. If you can communicate with the creature, you can direct it not to attack, to attack particular enemies, or to perform other actions.

A summoned monster cannot summon or otherwise conjure another creature, nor can it use any teleportation or planar travel abilities. Creatures cannot be summoned into an environment that cannot support them. A summoned creature may be dismissed at any time by the summoner as a free action.



Summoner's Notebook

A summoner's notebook contains information about creatures he has encountered. A summoner may not summon any creature not recorded in
his notebook. A Summoner's Notebook may not contain any creature whose CR exceeds the Summoner's Maximum CR Known. In order to record a creature in his notebook, a summoner must first spend 1 full round studying the creature. The summoner must then make a relevant knowledge check vs 10 + CR of the monster. A failed attempt indicates that the summoner was unable to record the creature in his notebook and must find another specimen if he wishes to try again.

A summoner's notebook starts off containing a number of summons equal to Summoner class levels + Int modifier.

Summoned Ally (Sp) : Starting at 5th level, A summoner gains the ability once per day to summon a more permanent companion. This ability functions as the summoner's Summoning ability, with the exception that the player may summon a creature as a Summoner of his class level - 3 for 24 hours. This Summoner may continue to use his summoning ability while Summoned Ally is active.

Imbue Item (Su): A Summoner of 2nd level or higher can use his supernatural power to create magic items, even if he
does not know the spells required to make an item (although he must know the appropriate item creation feat). He can
substitute a Use Magic Device check (DC 20 + spell level) in place of a required spell he doesnít know or canít cast.
If the check succeeds, the Summoner can create the item as if he had cast the required spell. If it fails, he cannot complete
he item. He does not expend the XP or gp costs for making he item; his progress is simply arrested. He cannot retry this
Use Magic Device check for that spell until he gains a new level.

Panlingual (Ex): A Summoner of 10th level or higher can speak and understand the language of any intelligent creature, whether it is a racial tongue or a regional dialect. Panlingual does not enable the Summoner to speak with creatures who donít speak.

Persistent Summons: At 11th level, the summoners summoned creatures become particularly tough to dispel. Add 2 to the DC of any caster level check made to dispel the conjurer's summoned creatures. At 15th level, this addition to the DC increases to 4.


Thoughts?

Teutonic Knight
2009-10-25, 05:53 PM
I have several thoughts.

First, isn't it inconvenient to only be able to summon one monster at a time, while wizards with summon monster spells can have multiple creatures out on the field?

Second, if the summoner can only summon from his notebook, how does he summon outsiders that he has never seen. Seems funny for a summoner to walk up to a conjurer and ask, "Can you please summon an elemental so that I can study it for a few rounds, then copy it into my notebook, and have a chance I failed and studying it and make you summon another creature?"

Third, the creatures you summon, are they always under your control? Shouldn't the creature make a saving throw verses your save DC to resist your control. (Malconvoker from CS.) For example, if a summoner wanted to summon an evil-outsider, wouldn't the evil outsider try to break free of your control, kill you and proceed to wreck havoc on the world you brought it too?

Fourth, more abilities needed in general.

Fifth, what does item creation have to do with summoning monsters?

Sixth and final, you are making a homebrew after the summoning monster part of conjuration. Does that mean an evoker and a transmuter stand-alone homebrew could also work? I do not think so.

There, my thoughts.

Your comments?

kharmakazy
2009-10-25, 06:07 PM
First, Yes it is inconvenient.

Second, He doesn't summon outsiders he has never seen. That's the idea.

Third, Yes they are always under your control. No they don't get saves. They are no more in control of their actions than a cloudkill spell.

Fourth, I didn't want to add too many abilities to the mix, as at higher levels the spells and abilities of summoned creatures will be various and possibly broken if played by a cheesy player.

Fifth, I envision the class making wands and things to help support his summoned creatures, and this seemed like a good method considering he has forgone standard spellcasting. I figure it makes as much sense as the warlock.

Sixth, This can stand alone just fine. I see no reason why an evoking or transmuting class couldn't either.

Teutonic Knight
2009-10-25, 06:21 PM
Fine, then narrow item creation to those things, or you will have players using that to make items for themselves.

You should do something about that first inconvenience. Like maybe more creatures at higher levels?

Can you explain the maximum CR known and the Summoned Ally table.

Solaris
2009-10-25, 06:21 PM
One thing I'm doing with my summoner is basing it off of the XPH's Astral Construct and providing the class with a bunch of abilities/spells/whatever to boost its summons. Just an idea.

kharmakazy
2009-10-25, 06:24 PM
Fine, then narrow item creation to those things, or you will have players using that to make items for themselves.

You should do something about that first inconvenience. Like maybe more creatures at higher levels?

Can you explain the maximum CR known and the Summoned Ally table.

Maximum CR known refers the highest CR creature you can have in your notebook.

The Summoned Ally table is a referece to let you know at a glance the highest level Summoned Ally you can have at a given Summoner level.

I suppose some manner of "or dX creatures of X CR or lower" could be implemented, but I've never had any trouble holding my own in combat with this class with just the one creature.

Omegonthesane
2009-10-25, 06:35 PM
Honestly, my first thought is that he needs some means of adding creatures he has not personally seen to his notebook. Maybe he independently researches a monster or two every level depending on his INT modifier, or something to ensure he's calling level appropriate things.

Balance-wise, what are you balancing this against? Seriously, I'm too much of a noob to know where, on the spectrum from 20 CW Samurai to 5 Druid/10 Planar Shepherd/+5 Druid (or 5 Wizard/10 Incantatrix/5 Shadowcraft Mage) you were going for.

Teutonic Knight
2009-10-25, 06:35 PM
So at 2nd level, a summoner can know a CR 1 creature, but cannot summon it until level 5?

And where are the summoned creatures drawn from, especially if they originate from the Material Plane?

kharmakazy
2009-10-25, 06:43 PM
So at 2nd level, a summoner can know a CR 1 creature, but cannot summon it until level 5?

And where are the summoned creatures drawn from, especially if they originate from the Material Plane?

No, the summoned ally chart is for his 5th level ability. He can summon any creature he knows. So a level 20 summoner could summon a CR 19 Wyrm white dragon for 20+Cha mod turns. He could also summon a CR 16 Planetar ALL DAY as his Summoned Ally.


Summoned Ally (Sp) : Starting at 5th level, A summoner gains the ability once per day to summon a more permanent companion. This ability functions as the summoner's Summoning ability, with the exception that the player may summon a creature as a Summoner of his class level - 3 for 24 hours. This Summoner may continue to use his summoning ability while Summoned Ally is active.


And for all intents and purposed the creatures are created from the aether.

Teutonic Knight
2009-10-25, 06:48 PM
Much better thank you.

There was something else but I forgot, so I will get back to you on that later.

Teutonic Knight
2009-10-25, 11:37 PM
Oh yeah, where do his summoning powers come from?

kharmakazy
2009-10-26, 01:41 PM
Oh yeah, where do his summoning powers come from?

What do you mean? Like, arcane or divine? or like.. flavorwise? They are spell-like, so I don't think it really matters in the first case. In the second case, I don't have all the flavor text written out yet, I'm worrying about mechanics at the moment.

GNUsNotUnix
2009-10-26, 02:08 PM
Hmm. The summoner is oddly reminiscent of a Pokemon trainer.

Are there any more specific limits on what he can summon? I can see this getting a little awkward if, say, he decides to start summoning people he's met. Yeah, it sounds like a great idea to summon your buddy who has a great sword arm, but what's to stop you from summoning your childhood rival every couple of minutes, just to be a jerk?

What happens when summoned creatures die in battle? Do they zap back to where they were at full health? If not, isn't this something like murder by personal draft? If so, haven't you just found a great torture method?

To be fair, some of this cheese is just part of the general cheese of D&D summoning, but summoning creatures from the same plane makes it hard to ignore.

Maybe you meant that summoners only specify the species of creature, and not the individual? In that case, how do you deal with creatures whose CR or attributes vary greatly with the individual (such as humans)?

The idea is neat, I'm just clear on the entire execution.

kharmakazy
2009-10-26, 02:26 PM
The concept is more that the summoner records a sort of.. archetype of the thing he is summoning and sort of... creates a copy from the aether. He is causing xeroxes of creatures to suddenly exist. When they die or are dismissed they don't go back anywhere, because they never were anywhere. They just cease to be.

GNUsNotUnix
2009-10-26, 06:20 PM
Okay, so he's a somewhat nihilistic Pokemon trainer.

This creation/destruction bit sounds less like summoning and more like playing god. Maybe you could say he has to dissect these creatures ritualistically or something. I think it would add an interesting flavor.

Fiery Diamond
2009-10-26, 06:38 PM
Okay, so he's a somewhat nihilistic Pokemon trainer.

This creation/destruction bit sounds less like summoning and more like playing god. Maybe you could say he has to dissect these creatures ritualistically or something. I think it would add an interesting flavor.

No, it doesn't sound more like playing god. It just isn't perfectly in line with the standard expectation for D&D summoning, which is not a problem at all. Plenty of stories/games have the concept for summoning being pulling the aether into a solid form. There is nothing that says the standard expectation for D&D summoning is better, even in a D&D setting.

kharmakazy
2009-11-08, 06:50 PM
Edited: I seem to have forgotten to assign a hit dice.

Playing this in a game ATM. Level 7. It's obvious at this point that CR is not a terribly good measure of the strength of a monster...

This class can be VERY broken in the wrong hands, or completely useless with a DM that favors encounters with multiple creatures with lower CR, or who actively keeps the player from encountering monsters with useful abilities.

At this juncture, my gelatinous cube sees way more action than any of my other summons, despite the fact that it is 3 CR under my max. And a human commoner makes an excellent rogue if you don't care if he lives or not... Open that door! Run straight forward while flailing your arms and screaming!

In short, it has been a lot of fun to play.