Summoner and Witch -- first impressions


Round 2: Summoner and Witch


I give these classes both an 'A+' for flavor.

The Summoner gets an 'F' for game balance. I can think of about six different reasons why it is broken.

It needs to lose a lot to be a reasonable PC class. For starters, I see no need for it to have a better BAB or HD than a wizard, or to get access to light armor.

The Eidolon and the summoned monster SLAs should be either/or. Having both things plus the summoners own spells is just too much. I would suggest that a common point pool be used to both purchase access to the SLAs and to the Eidolon evolution pool.

The Eidolon has a huge potential for abuse, due to it's high natural armor bonus plus the ability to stack armor on it. It will be difficult for a DM to create enemies that can hit this thing that won't absolutely destroy the party fighter.

Having all these minute per level SLAs creates the possibility for the summoner to stack up a bunch of summoned monsters prior to a fight, easily doubling the parties ability

I saw where Sean Reynolds posted that the the thought behind the summoner was a PC that could 'solo' in D&D. The problem is, creating this ability in a PC results in the potential for great upstaging and abuse when the campaign is not a solo campaign.

There's also the time factor...a summoner with an eidolon and a summon monster or two up has as many actions as the rest of the party combined. It's his turn to go half the time! I think that's unfair to the other players.

Ken


Oh, and don't even get me started on making Haste 2nd level and greater Invisibility 3rd level. All sort of unintended consequences fall out of this choice. For example, rogues can now buy potions of greater invisibility. I would suggest that both of these spells should stay at their regular levels. Why should a summoner be better at casting either of these spells than a Bard?


While I kind of agree that dropping a spell that previously could not be made into a potion into "potion range" is a potential cause for concern, why do people feel they have to get so worked up over these things?

Can't we just state that its potentially a problem and leave it at that?


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kenmckinney wrote:
Oh, and don't even get me started on making Haste 2nd level and greater Invisibility 3rd level. All sort of unintended consequences fall out of this choice. For example, rogues can now buy potions of greater invisibility. I would suggest that both of these spells should stay at their regular levels. Why should a summoner be better at casting either of these spells than a Bard?

The rogue can only buy what you allow him to buy, does everyone have a magicOmart in their campaigns? I mean really if you are worried about rogues with improved invis potions its a painfully simple fix, there are none bam done. And if a summoner brews up some potions in the party, well he could have just cast the spell so basically he trades the rogues (drinking the potion) action for his. This isnt a reason to eliminate the very typical drop in level for some spells in a slower then normal casting progression.


I don't know, I'm kind of against the Summoner getting these spells before the bard too. I'm not against him having them, I just don't see a reason to give them earlier access. They have the exact same spell progression as the bard -- the bard doesn't get these spells early... so I feel the summoner shouldn't either.

EDIT: Not to mention the summoner would now gain haste before the wizard and greater invisibility at the same time as the wizard. That doesn't exactly smack of "Lesser magical power due to focus" to me.


Abraham spalding wrote:
I don't know, I'm kind of against the Summoner getting these spells before the bard too. I'm not against him having them, I just don't see a reason to give them earlier access. They have the exact same spell progression as the bard -- the bard doesn't get these spells early... so I feel the summoner shouldn't either.

Agreed.


well another thing my DM noticed that could be potentially Overpowered is the fact that the eidolon could be immune to all the basic energy types at level 7 making it godly vs spellcasters and dragons. one way to be balanced could be to make that one limited to 2 immunities max or each time you take it doubles the point cost to get it ie (1 immune = 2 points, 2nd immune = 4 points (total 6)3rd could be 6 points (12 points))

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I completely agree with the balance issues that everyone has already brought up. After all, for every DM that house-rules certain class features or bans an item, there is another DM that doesn't. An really, as the consumers, we shouldn't be expected to fix errors in game design on a case-by-case basis!!!

Good design should be inherent in the rules as they are presented (and sold!) to us.

I really like the concept behind the summoner class, but it needs some work before it becomes playable, especially its spellcasting (dominate monster as a 6th-level summoner spell is a little crazy to me, even if it's only one level before the wizard).

If the class is about summoning creatures, then let it summon creatures, but really, loosely associated effects, like invisibility and the wall spells, are just silly. In fact, it almost makes it seem as if playing a conjuration or transmutation specialist wizard is a little obsolete . . .

Otherwise, I LOVE the witch! Good job guys!

Its flavor kind of borders on an almost Mediaeval perspective on witches straight out of the Malleus Maleficarum, which is really quite nice and fitting for almost any Western setting. I just hope that the game has evolved beyond external misconceptions of "D&D = Devil Worship" . . . !


well i think my DM wants to be evil after reading about the summoner to show why he thinks its way to powerful >.< our party (6 level 7's) vs a level 11 summoner

8 for energy(all elements immune) , 3 for DR, 2 for armor, and 2 for weapon

so his eidalon will have 30 ac and 27 flatfooted AC >.< and our magic users will not be able to hurt it >.<

*glares at evil DM* lol but meh its gonna be fun (going to convince the party to kill the summoner only and ignore the eidolon)


I am really digging the Summoner but I am rather worried it's just too good. I've only built test builds so far since they released it Monday instead of Friday. Without even looking at the summoner himself the eidolon is very strong. I built one at level 6, 10 and 14 since we usually cap out around 14. All are Quadrupeds

Level 6:
At level 6 he's a real monster. With large size and sinking a few points into more str you can get it up to 28. throw a few more points making the bite better and you get +15 to hit for 2d6+13 damage. Throw Power Attack, vital strike, and Improved natural attack (bite) in there at that is pretty ugly - +13 6d6+19. Only 55 hp but still pretty decent. That's excellent damage against CR6 mobs.

Level 10:
At level 10 the fun begins. Much the same as before but shift a few points from Str to Con, and add the Con poison. His physical stats are now 30/16/21. +20 to hit and 2d6+15 for damage. Again with power attack and Vital strike we have +17 6d6+24. Not a big difference but we now have a nasty poison that does 1d4 con damage every round. Add the ability focus feat and your poison has a DC of 22. Fairly tough for a CR 10 encounter.

Level 14:
At level 14 there is a bit of a problem. While huge size is tempting its often tough to drag a huge pet through a dungeon with you. Which is a shame since a huge critter continued from above is pretty awesome. Around this point you start to fight lots of high fort save bad guys and I'm not sure if Poison is still a good way to go. I'm thinking a grappler might be better.

One of the things I dig the most about the Eidolon is you have the option to completely rebuild him every level. You can try out lots of different options to see which is most effective. Its fine to make the eidolon over specialized since its really only half your character and if you encounter a situation where your pet is useless you can just summon something else.

The transposition ability is great. There was a spell in 3.5 that worked similarly and it led to some very creative battlefield tactics.

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