I am run a Random Dungeon of TPK with my players. It gives me, as the GM, a chance to test out things I couldn't introduce in our main campaign without worrying about killing a beloved character. It also gives my players a chance to test out new builds. Tonight I put them up against a lvl 9 summoner and his eidolon.
I found that the summoner worked well as a controller, and buffer for the eidolon. He used a ranged weapon when not casting, and tried to stay hidden. I built him with Spell Focus(conjuration), Augmented Summoning, Resilient Eidolon, and Extra Evolutions. Most of my spells were to boost my AC and buff (cat's grace, shield, etc), heal my eidolon, and debuff (ray of sickening.)
The eidolon wasn't too overpowered, but the combination of the eidolon and the summoner was devastating. At level 7 you get Black Tentacles. I had a flying eidolon with energy attacks. Once I had the party trapped it was over pretty quickly. (I built the summoner and eidolon around the concept of black tentacles and ranged attacks.)
Your summoner and eidolon are going to be pretty powerful. I would say take spells that let you buff your party and help them to shine as well.
D20 Star Wars used a similar system (wounds/vitality). Heroic characters had wounds and vitality. This would be PCs and BBEG. Mooks and creatures just had HP equal to constitution score. I would say replicate that here. Drop the xp for mooks a step, because they die easily. Follow the xp guidelines for PC class characters for your BBEGs.
My campaign has one dedicated gunslinger, but everyone carries firearms. The NPCs use a lot of cover and concealment, and also grab the occasional gun. The party's ability to put out tonnes of damage means I can throw more at them, which is fun for me.
Still, it is the half-orc barbarian and his adamantine great axe that does most of the one-shoting. He has consistently ruined boss fights by crit'ing at the right moment. The gunslinger can't touch him for damage.
I'm also more worried about the ninja with the invisibility trick, and a bag of holding full of entanglements.
I like the variety that the archetypes allow. They have also saved a lot of house ruling and level dipping. I have a player who wants to be a monk, but without the alignment restriction. There's an archetype for that. However, it would be nice to have options to help characters develop more organically.
Isn't the bard the healer/buffer minimal melee class?
Cantrips are useful, and on occasion guns jam or get taken away. It also lets him cast a range of useful spells throughout the day instead of having to worry about hoarding his 3 spells. (Unless I missed something, at lvl 2 he can only cast three lvl 1 spells in a day. The SpellSlinger doesn't get extra spell slots from the School of the Gun, or even something like force missiles to be used 3+INT times per day.)
The spell list is still the default Magus spell list, but after looking at your conversion I see your point. Thanks.
Have you considered the Myrmidarch archetype? Try a Myrmidarch half elf that takes exotic weapon prof firearms and combine it with amateur gunslinger. I'd also say just let him swap out some of his arcane pool powers for similar ranged abilities and allow him to take a few deeds as feats. Right now he's got a lot of power with no synergies. Ranged spellstrike combines very well with weapon spec firearms.
My player wants to be a gnome. Apparently a gun totting David the Gnome amuses him. I admit, it is funny when the half-orc barbarian chucks him at enemies.
The Myrmidarch is still primarily a melee fighter. Not really the flavor we're looking for.
I am debating ranged spellstrike over arcane gun, but there are two things I really like about arcane gun.
1.) He doesn't have to burn a feat for the firearm weapon proficiency. It's built in.
2.) I like the inherent risk with arcane gun. There is always a chance that the gun will break, and possibly explode. That keeps the character from running amok with his spells/gun.
He also has to attune a specific weapon each day. He can't drop his rifle, grab a pistol, and go to town. That encourages him to think through his character and get into more role-playing than dice rolling.
One of my players wants to play a "gun-totting battle mage." I thought the magus class would be great for this, but there doesn't appear to be an archetype that incorporates the use of firearms. Instead we have the spellslinger, which he isn't too happy with. He wanted to take a level dip into cross-blooded sage/protean sorcerer to regain cantrips and a few useful spells. That seems too complicated to me, so I proposed altering the magus class.
Essentially I swapped out spellstrike for arcane gun and moved that to a 1st level ability. I bumped spell combat back to level 2, and I dumped mage bullets to let the arcane pool take over. I also swapped out some of the magus arcana for gunslinger deeds.
I know others on the forums have offered conversions which were something of a combination of the gunslinger and the arcane archer.
After reviewing what has been said here, I don't think atonement is necessary in this case, but I think it does require a warning. His motive was to save his animal companion, which is a "good" motive. His method was to sacrifice a summoned creature that would not permanently be killed.
While I agree that Druids aren't clerics, and that nature is largely indifferent to what it kills (see earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, volcanoes, tornadoes), he is supposed to be neutral good. There is an implication of respect for life there.
The warning will be twofold. I will have his particular deity visit him while he prepares his spells and impart a vision of the falling pony.
The party is going to break into a nearby master chymist's lair. Apple the Traumatized Pony (thanks Jak) will be among the chymist's test subjects. This should impress upon him that he is summoning real creatures.
Both the mount spell and the summoning spells are in the conjuration school.
I clearly missed this reading through the rules. Thanks for pointing it out.
Still, my group thought it was hilarious and quite awesome to drop a donkey on a zombie (or skeletal champion as the case may be.)
This will be out in future games, but I'm sure they will find a way to drop more defenseless animals on unsuspecting creatures. I can foresee the druid summoning the donkey onto a roof and ordering it off, or having the barbarian push it off. My players are kind of evil that way. (The cleric had to stop the orc barbarian from cooking and eating some Tengus that they fought and killed.)
Jak the Looney Alchemist wrote:
May I quote you in my next session?
My initial thoughts were along the same lines. I mean, he's sending a bear out to fight zombies. There's a very real possibility that it will be killed and/or eaten.
I think the difference here is that he specifically wanted to summon the donkey as a disposable weapon.
On the other hand, he was doing it to save his bear.
Jak the Looney Alchemist wrote:
The stiff warning sounds like a good idea. I think I'll have the donkey "haunt" him for a while.
I skimmed this when the druid player told me what he wanted to do. I determined the donkey (medium creature) would do 2d6 (being less dense than a medium boulder, but still no fun to have dropped on you.) The druid made the touch attack, and the champion failed the save. The druid rolled a twelve for damage.
moon glum wrote:
I hadn't read that as literally support their weight, but more as, "if they can't breathe the air, they can't be summoned." Thanks for pointing that out, though.
My mistake aside, how should I treat the druid's act of deliberately summoning a creature with the intent of killing it? He did it in defense of his animal companion, but the donkey was essentially intended to be used as a bludgeon. Does that count as failure to revere nature?
My primary question is does a druid summoning a donkey in the air over a monster, specifically to have it drop on said monster and crush it, constitute a failure to revere nature?
A little background on me:
I'm new to the fantasy genre of role playing. I ran a D20 Star Wars campaign ten years ago that lasted about a year and a half. I hadn't roleplayed or GMed until about a year ago when I played a brief 3.5 game which fell apart because two players dropped out. Three of us wanted to continue without them, but the GM wanted to play rather than run it. I picked Pathfinder. We've been playing once a month for a while, but I'm still rather new to it. I'm not too familiar with the conventions of druids.
Background on the question:
I'm running a campaign in which my players are trying to prevent a zombie plague from sweeping their world. (My players want to, and I quote, "hit things with an axe.") They were sent to purge a small settlement that has been completely overrun by bloody skeletons and a few skeletal champions. There were a lot of skeletons spread out through several buildings. If they had used stealth they could have easily taken them all in small groups. My PC's decided the best way to handle the situation was to cause a massive explosion to draw all of the skeletons out, and then pick them off from the rooftops. They were ultimately surrounded by 48 skeletons and five skeletal champions.
The group is pretty diverse. PCs are a lvl 3 drwarf fighter, half-elf cleric 3/monk 2, half orc barbarian 3/summoner 1, gnome spellslinger 1, and a half-elf druid 2. The druid has a small bear as his companion. It's also a high magic game, so they have an insane amount of magical gear available to them. (This is to offset the numbers of plague zombies and skeletons they encounter while attempting to save their world. I'm sure it's a rookie mistake on my part, but they are enjoying it, and it hasn't proven to be problematic.)
The explosion started a fire in the building they were set up on, and in the subsequent scramble to jump to another nearby building the bear fell into an alleyway and was immediately surrounded. The fighter and barbarian jumped down to protect the bear. The druid, spellslinger, and cleric provided cover from above. They did pretty well, until a series of bad rolls a few rounds in. The bear was about to be attacked by a skeletal champion and three bloody skeletons. The druid went before the champion and figured his best bet was to crush the champion with something. He summoned a donkey (the largest summon he had available) above the champion, and as high up as he could (40 feet, ten for the building he was on and 30 for spell range.) The fall killed the donkey outright, and seriously damaged the champion. A follow up shot from the cleric finished it.
Ultimately, their plan worked. They lured everything in close enough that the cleric was able to cast consecrate and channel a few times to drop more than half of the skeletons. A judicious use of the fire they started, a lot of cleaving and power attacking, and creative (and thankfully less explosive) use of their magic items mopped up the rest.
While dropping the donkey was awesome (it has started a meme in our group) I need to know if I should have the druid atone? I'm inclined to let it slide, but it could present an opportunity for more role playing instead of blowing things up. (They have set fire to sooo many things.) I'm not going to force them to stop hitting things with axes. I enjoy it as much as they do. I just want to provide some variety.
I think we can all agree that Piazo does more to make content freely available to players than most companies. They drew the line at allowing editing of their pdfs, and they want to include watermarks. Big deal.
I understand Piazo wanting to protect their investment. They've put in a lot of hard work (and they've made most of it freely available during their betas.) They solicit, and use customer feedback. Nearly the entire content of the core manual, advanced-players guide, and bestiaries are available on-line, minus graphics. They can't get more customer friendly (unless they start sending free pizza and beverages to the homes of GM's. Vic, you should get someone on that.)
Spahrep has a point. He's a legit customer, and he can't cut and paste the pdf how he wants. Still, given all of the other concessions Piazo has made, we can let this one slide.
Additionally, you can copy and paste specific entries from the SRD that Piazo maintains online, and makes freely available, into a single file. You can save that file as a pdf and load it on your iPad, Xoom, iPhone, Droid, or whatever. (I keep a file of NPCs and creatures for upcoming sessions on my phone so I don't have to lug the bestiaries, or worry about internet access if I'm GMing outside of my home.) That requires about six minutes of work on Spahrep's part, and doesn't break any laws.
It is actually more effort to pirate Piazo's content than it is to use what they make freely available. Companies don't get more consumer friendly than that. (Though we won't turn down free pizza, and maybe a massage.)
Thanks Piazo team. You're awesome. (And honestly, I think we owe you some pizza and beer.)