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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Summon Houserule

    Hey guys! I just implemented the following house rule in my campaign and it VASTLY improved the play experience for my wizard - I think it's a pretty balanced but much more interesting way to manage wizard Summon spells (the daily, summon a creature variety. IE Summon Fire Warrior etc)

    Rules:
    1) Summons have hit points equal to your bloodied value (IE half your hit points), and if they die you lose a healing surge (This rule is unchanged from the official version.)
    2) If your summon is healed by an ability that allows it to spend a healing surge, you can spend the healing surge on it's behalf (Also an unchanged official rule.)
    3) Summons may make both a move action and a standard action every round (Before it required you to spend your actions (minor to move them, standard to attack with them))
    4) Summons are Sustain Move
    5) Summons act on their masters initiative.
    7) Ignore the Intrinsic Nature sections of any summon power.

    The net result is that summons actually move and feel like a separate character, but since it basically Dazes you it keeps the power level down. I think this more accurately balances something like Summon Fire Warrior with Flaming Sphere, although I am concerned that Summon Dust Devil would be a little strong (not that I have anyone using it, so that's ignorable for now).

    I already told my player this (during the time the boards were down) so I can't change it now, but I thought I would post it in case someone else out there was looking for a good summon houserule.

    Or someone is looking for a chance to tell me I'm an idiot - feedback is appreciated as well!
    Last edited by Erom; 2011-03-17 at 12:05 PM.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DwarfFighterGuy

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    Default Re: Summon Houserule

    Just so long as you understand that there was a reason why summons use the summoner's actions. In previous editions, summons got their own set of actions, which meant that a summoner became essentially multiple characters. It slowed the game down, took the spotlight away from other players, and made summoners overpowered. Now, using a move action to sustain sort of counteracts this; you can have two summons active at a time, and still have a minor action. But, it means that if your player needs to perform any complex action, or gets stunned or dazed, he loses the summon which is essentially his schtick.

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    Gralamin's Avatar

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    Default Re: Summon Houserule

    Consider if I summon two things in the same encounter, using my standard and move actions to sustain them. This, with your change gives me: 2 standards and 2 moves a round for free. Since summon's standard action powers tend to pretty good, I would imagine this change is overpowered, as you have basically doubled the mobility and action usage. Throw in some of the more broken summon powers, and this could lead to, say, 8 attacks a round. Too good.
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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Summon Houserule

    I'm curious how you are getting 8 attacks? That seems like the exact kind of corner case that would break something like this.

    And yeah, I lived through playing with 2nd and 3rd editions summoners who turns got silly fast with mountains of creatures on the board, thus the 2 summon maintenance limit (and even that is risky, since stun/daze would force you to lose one...). If my group ever played past heroic (they don't) I was thinking of adding an epic tier feat that would let you maintain a 3rd...

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Summon Houserule

    If you were stunned you have no actions to sustain with so you would lose both summons with this rule.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Nu's Avatar

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    Default Re: Summon Houserule

    Have you considered house-ruling Wizard summons on an individual basis to have more instinctive actions, like the Druid summons (which are, in my opinion, quite good for the most part)? This could accomplish what you're going for here in a way that's perfectly in-line with existing mechanics.

    With that said, do keep in mind this will likely increase the power of Wizard summons by quite a bit.

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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Summon Houserule

    Quote Originally Posted by Nu View Post
    With that said, do keep in mind this will likely increase the power of Wizard summons by quite a bit.
    Given that they were drastically underpowered compared to other wizard dailies, this is definitely intended.

    I'll look into the Druid mechanics.

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    Nu's Avatar

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    Default Re: Summon Houserule

    Quote Originally Posted by Erom View Post
    Given that they were drastically underpowered compared to other wizard dailies, this is definitely intended.

    I'll look into the Druid mechanics.
    Ones I particuarly like are Summon Pack Wolf (great synergy with the wolf animal companion), Summon Giant Toad (imo this level 1 summon outshines many high level summons purely because it has good reach and never harms your allies), Writhing Henge (as I'm reading this, it attacks six times on command--and you can do it as a minor action with Primal Summoning Expertise), and Summon Elder Pack Wolf (better version of the level 1 pack wolf).

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    Gralamin's Avatar

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    Default Re: Summon Houserule

    Quote Originally Posted by Erom View Post
    I'm curious how you are getting 8 attacks? That seems like the exact kind of corner case that would break something like this.
    Anything like Summon Stormstone Fury, Summon Marlith, or worse multi-classing for Writhing Henge.
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    Kurald Galain's Avatar

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    Default Re: Summon Houserule

    Quote Originally Posted by Erom View Post
    I think it's a pretty balanced but much more interesting way to manage wizard Summon spells
    Hm, that's an interesting statement. There are basically two kinds of wizard summons: the ones from Arcane Power (that don't have an intrinsic action) and the ones from Dragon Magazine (that do). Broadly speaking, the former tend to suck, and the latter tend to be very powerful.

    So basically your change would make the former better, and leave the latter mostly unchanged. I think that's good. Of course, being forced to spend your move action on moving the summon every turn is an obvious drawback. The biggest drawback is that if you stun or drop the wizard, his summon goes poof.

    I think it's a good houserule, but Flaming Sphere is still going to be better than the L1 summons.
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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Summon Houserule

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    I think it's a good houserule, but Flaming Sphere is still going to be better than the L1 summons.
    I'm glad to hear you say that, because my short term goal with this house rule was "Make Summon Fire Warrior close to Flaming Sphere in power without going over"

    @ Gralamin: You make some good points, but I think I will not change this house rule considering it breaks at high level and I doubt the campaign will get above heroic tier. I guess it would be best to change something for higher level play.

    I think the strongest double summon would be something like Hell Hound and Dust Devil at the levels we're dealing with, and I'm not sure that would be worth the double daily versus just getting one or the other and being able to use spells yourself.

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