If you ask which class to take to play a summoner, you will very often hear "druid". I agree that the Summon Monster spells are not the best spells the wizard list has to offer, and so I want to propose a way to make wizards an interesting choice for someone who wants to play a summoner. First I will propose the option of subschool specialization for wizards, and then present a feat that will make this option suck less.
A wizard specialized in a subschool can prepare one additional spell of his specialty subschool per spell level each day. He also gains a +2 bonus on spellcraft checks to learn the spells of her chosen subschool.
The wizard must choose whether to specialize and, if he does so, choose his specialty at 1st level. At this time, he must also give up two schools of magic different from the one that contains his chosen subschool (unless he chooses to specialize in a subschool of divination, in which case he needs to give up only one other school), which become his prohibited schools.
For other game purposes, such as qualification for a feat or prestige class, a wizard specialized in a subschool is considered to also be specialized in the school that contains his subschool.
This is actually worse than school spezialization, but it gives you access to the following feat:
Improved Elemental Summoning (Feat) You are specialized in summoning elementals, and the creatures you summon are stronger than what would otherwise be possible. Prerequisite: subschool specialization (summoning) Benefit: You add the following elementals to the list of creatures you can summon with the Summon Monster spells:
Elemental Monolith (CA)
The Ancient Elemental and the Elemental Noble are elementals that are not in any book, but are included here to continue the progression.
Other feats might be invented to summon outsiders or other types of creatures. The spell Summon Elemental Monolith is in the spell compendium with an additional material component that costs 100gp and the requirement that the caster must concentrate on the spell for the duration, but it is otherwise the same as the Summon Monster spells. So this shouldn't be overpowered at that level. The wizard pays for this in losing access to two schools while not getting the full benefit of specialization and in having to take a feat to get the goodness. The summon spells get pretty good for their level, especially for the lower levels.
What do you think? Overpowered, underpowered, worthless? Would you take it? Any comments?
Last edited by Irrealist : 04-09-2008 at 07:58 AM.
So now to the task of interpolating the stats. They should lie between the Elder Elemental from the MM I and the Elemental Monolith from CA. HD was pretty easy, I just added +4 per "step", which conveniently gives +3 BAB. Initiative and speed remain unchanged.
According to the MM, +4 HD gives +1 CR, so I still need to account for the other +1 CR.
I improved Str by +2 for the Ancient and Int by +2 for the Noble, instead of the +1 they should get for the +4 HD, and I increased natural armor by +2 for both. The changes in the MM advancement don't seem that huge either.
All elementals have the feats of the Elder Elementals from MM, plus those listed here.
At a players request, I am trying to come up with a nice feat for the shadow subschool. To make the extra spell per level viable, I first need to ensure there is at least one good spell on every level. On level 1 there is Net of Shadows from Magic of Faerun. From level 4 upwards there is shadow conjuration, shadow evocation, shadow walk, greater shadow conjuration, greater shadow evocation and shades.
I consider letting shadow specialists take darkness and deeper darkness as bonus specialist spells for level 2 and 3. Now I need a nice feat.
One possibility is a +1 to DC that stacks with Spell Focus and Greater Spell Focus, but that is kind of boring. Maybe something to make shadow spells harder to dispel?
I think the feat makes this handful of spells quite a bit better. The question is: would you consider playing this version of you wanted to play a summoner? If you have an idea how to make it better, please tell me.
Not to take away the chance of you giving me darkness and deeper darkness, but there are several Illusion (Shadow) spells of 2nd level in PGtF, and a third level spell in Complete Arcane, Shadow Binding.
There are a few Illusion (Shadow) spells out there that aren't Shadow Evoc or Shadow Conjure.
You still count as a school specialist for things like the variant specialist, so picking up the variant spontanteous summoner conjurer variant would be pretty good for a summoner.
Also, I'd suggest having a different feat for someone who doesn't want to summon elementals.
Feat: Multiple summons
Benefit: You are so capable with your summoning spells that the number you summon is increased. When casting any Summon Monster spell, increase the number of creatures summoned by the following table.
Old number Summoned New number summoned
Special: This feat can only be taken if you are a Conjuration (Summoning) subschool specialist
Special: This feat cannot be taken in conjunction with Improved elemental Summoning
Interesting, although you may want to look at the homebrewed Summoner specialist caster class (post 3 of the thread). The class was intentionally modelled on what the Warmage did for Evocation super-specialism, the Beguiler for Enchantment, the Dread Necro for Necromancy, etc. It was created by the same guys who did the "Dungeonomicon", so may seem a little high-powered for some tastes.
i don't have much in the way of help for the summoning dealie, but i can help out with the shadow subschool. i already had a list of all those spells gathered for something i was doing, and it might help out here.
Organized by wizard/sorcerer level, with other able classes and their level in parentheses:
It seems a bit harsh to have to give up two schools for only getting bonus spells from a subschool. You might want to consider having someone only give up a single school.
It does seem a bit harsh, but I think giving up evocation for an extra summon monster at each level is a real no-brainer. That means it is probably overpowered, and I think even more so than my version is underpowered.
I'm not sure about the multiple summoning, but it's a possibility. I'll think about it some more.
Here is my proposal, copied off of the chains of disbelief from UA.
Tenacious shadows (feat) Your shadow spells are closer to reality than those of other casters. Prerequisite: subschool specialization (shadow) Benefit: Even if a viewer disbelieves an illusion(shadow) spell created by an illusionist using this variant and communicates the details of the illusion to other creatures, those other creatures do not receive the normal +4 bonus on their saying throws to disbelieve the illusion. Furthermore, even when presented with incontrovertible proof that the illusion isn't real, creatures must still succeed on a Will saving throw to see objects or creatures that the illusion obscures, although they get a +10 bonus on the saving throw.
Last edited by Irrealist : 05-22-2008 at 08:14 PM.