I'm making another homebrew of a Final Fantasy summoner. This is a standard "please rate, review, comment, and please use for your own purposes as you will" post.
It's inspired primarily by FF11 and FF14, but I'm trying to take inspiration most of the games. My design goals are:
* Make it feel like a normal Pathfinder / 3.5 class.
* Have it summon monsters ala the typical D&D summon monster spell, including Ifrit, Leviathan, Ramuh, etc. The summons stay out and fight as normal monsters, doing natural attacks or spellcasting from a limited spell list. The summoner class itself gets no further abilities.
* Each FF summon has a fixed stat progression that improves with summoner class level, similar to the eidolon of PF summoner, except that the FF summons cannot stay out all day.
* Each FF summon should feel at home and not out-of-place in a D&D Monster Manual / Bestiary.
* Include all of the iconic FF summons, but use some discretion in order to get my other design goals.
I'm pretty far along. I'm close to something that is play-testable. I'm just missing feat selections for most of them (I want to pick feats that are typical of monsters out of the PF Bestiary and D&D 3.5 Monster Manuals), and some of the spell selections of the individual FF summons could be improved.
I might still add a few more FF summons, but I have stat'ed up most that I personally care about. Some of the FF summons that I have stat'ed up, I'm sure that they could be done much better with a completely different direction.
Also, the power of the summons themselves might need to be toned-up or toned-down. I'm got them all in the right ballpark, but the last few steps take the longest amount of time, and would probably take substantial play-testing.
There is a huge amount of material that I've written. Basically, a new monster manual entry for over a dozen FF summons. I would copy-paste here, but that would be impractical.
Here is the root google drive folder that contains it all. Everyone should have permissions to add comments to all documents.
This is a work in progress. I will do changes whenever I feel like. If you see anything that you want to use, you probably should make a copy.
Phew. It's super, super complicated. Every time you level up you need to recalculate what appears to be literally hundreds of numbers, since you can summon any avatar, and they all have about a dozen level dependent variables, including picking feats! You essentially need to level up 14 different characters at every level. That works fine in a computer game like final fantasy, but on paper that's a no go.
What might work would have the various summons not level up, and just get a better avatar at higher levels. Or maybe something like "the avatars use the summoners BAB, hip points" or something, so that you can sort of swap them around.
Also, the summoner them selves is basically not a character... you are really only playing the summons. Also, your only ability is to summon that creature, which takes a whole round to do. If someone so much as sneezes in your direction your summoning will fail, and you have no backup options. Or someone has a single "dispel magic" which undoes your entire class. Way to likely to be totally useless in a lot of fights.
It definitely matches the theme from those games, but I think you are going to have to make compromises to make it actually playable in Pathfinder. In the end, you're going to have the summoner class, which is already pretty close in flavor while being playable.
Thanks for the feedback.
I wonder if it's possible to simplify it drastically as you suggest. Maybe I could just have them be re-skins. Your particular idea to make each summon have a fixed level, and a replacement progression scheme, that seems interesting too.
I was also particularly moved at your point about how vulnerable the class is to a simple dispel magic spell - I'm thinking that I should add a defense against that, such as an ad hoc "your summoning gains +X against dispel magic checks".
> In the end, you're going to have the summoner class, which is already pretty close in flavor while being playable.
I guess I'll express some disagreement that it's quote unquote 'close enough' in favor, but again thanks for the feedback.
Also, I have spreadsheets for all of this, and if I ever tried to play this, gods willing and gods have forgiveness on my DM, I don't think it would be that much work for me. Leveling up the summons is quick enough IMHO for me.
I was thinking about the presentation that D&D 3.5 Monster Manual used for true dragons. They used tables for all of the stats: ability scores, size, AC, attack, damage, etc. I could take a similar approach. That could be a much cleaner presentation that could address some of your concerns.
|Edward the Necromancer|
I have only taken a quick glance at this, but I have a few thoughts.
The Mana Point System seemed kind of odd to me at first, but the Bard gets bardic music, the barbarian gets rage, Magus has Magi Points, and the Gunslinger gets Grit. So nothing too unusual here.
The Primals themselves remind me of a Druid Animal Companion only more powerful. But considering that this class does not get spell casting seem alright. EXCEPT that instead of getting a single companion, you can have multiple, AND instead of simply being a meatshield the Primals are comparable to outsiders with a LOT of special/spell like abilities. Yes you have to summon them but assuming you are not killed off in the first round that is not much of an issue.
While I never played FF11 or FF14, I have played Final Fantasy Tactics, 1, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 13. So I do have some thoughts about Summons/Primals.
If you wanted to go the 6/7/9 route, the Summons COULD be basically like a Buffed up Summon Monster/Nature's Ally Spell. It has a stat table that remains largely unchanged, with weaker summons being available at lower levels and stronger summons being available at higher levels. THIS would save a LOT of book work. You could also balance this out by having stronger Primals cost more MP to summon and weaker Primals cost Less MP to summon. Because as it stands now, this class will take A LOT of book work.
The 8/10 route is what you are doing at the moment, where each summon levels up with the character. Which not only puts extra work on the Player Having to Stat out each monster AND level them up with the character. BUT also on the GM who has to be able to go over not only your character, but also how ever many summons you have. Honestly, IF I were GM'ing and you came to me with this class, I would be extremely uncomfortable letting ANYONE use this.
There is also the fact to consider that in most of the FF games, the Summoner can do something secondary besides just summon monsters. In both 9 and 10, the Summoner(s) can also use White magic. In Final Fantasy 4 Rydia can cast Black Magic. Granted in most Final Fantasy Games, the Summon is simply a more powerful and costly Spell.
Which bring me to my next issue. Besides summoning Primal, what can the Primal Summoner do? Even The Summoner can cast a few buff Spells and fight along side the party and their summons. This is a personal thing, but if my character is just standing around not being able to do anything while the rest of the fight is going on kind of seems like a waste.
So this would be my recommendation.
-let the Primal Summoner cast spell but keep them to 6th level spells, like the Summoner. This could also allow for more uses of the MP (augmenting spells :D) besides just summoning the Primal.
-Tone down the Primals themselves. Make them similar to a Buffed Up Summon Monster Spell. Keep the 1 minuet per summoning/casting per level, heck make it 10 minuets/level per casting. BUT instead of having the summons level up with the Primal, simply have some Primals be more powerful than other. Which can be balanced out by having the weakest Primals only cost 1 MP to summon, with a gradually increasing MP cost to summon the stronger Primals.