[SoP] Conjuration Questions for world building.. And not screwing over players.


Advice and Rules Questions


I was recently setting up the idea that some major casting traditions in a setting, and particularly that all "Divine" casters gain something akin to the Bound Creature boon. (Basically the idea that both witches and clerics have a familiar as their magical focus)

The Problems are... In no particular order
1: Conjuration Archetypes and Bound Creature. Specifically something like Familiar came to mind for them since it was literally based on the idea of familiars, but.. For a creature that always is around you what exactly is the point of an archetype that reduces summoning costs if you never have to summon it?
2: Low Casters: I don't want low casters to end up kinda screwed by what is supposed to be a boon. Seeing as Half Casting progression means they gain half as many companion hit points as a full caster would, going from about 92 by 20 CL to about 44. or about 68 by grabbing boon companion) Granted I wasn't necessarily expecting them to be battle companions, but I still wouldn't want your Paladin or similar (again anyone using divine powers of Warlockey) to end up losing their bound companion basically every single session. And on top of this the fact that in general a low caster could spend half of the talents they'd get over their entire adventure just to set up the fluff of what their companion is supposed to be. Or even worse spend half their precious talents just trying to make up for the fact that their eidolon is basically tissue paper.
3: I get that conjuration is generally seen as one of the most powerful or at least one of the most annoying spheres (It's basically an Eidolon after all) so I want to be highly cautious about doing anything that might end up overly buffing bound companions in any major way, seeing as that really could break the game in a way.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm not really familiar with conjuration archetypes, but please remember one cardinal rule: Wizards, whatever the stripe, are one of the most versatile and powerful character classes in the game.

So, no need to buff them at all, and a few minor nerfs aren't going to destroy the character class in comparison to other, objectively weaker classes.

If you want several categories of PCs to have a familiar for world-building / setting reasons, no problem. But familiars aren't supposed to be fighting assistants at all. So usually their actual hit point totals are irrelevant. Any spellcaster who makes the decision to put their familiar in danger deserves the risk of losing it.


Wheldrake wrote:

I'm not really familiar with conjuration archetypes, but please remember one cardinal rule: Wizards, whatever the stripe, are one of the most versatile and powerful character classes in the game.

So, no need to buff them at all, and a few minor nerfs aren't going to destroy the character class in comparison to other, objectively weaker classes.

If you want several categories of PCs to have a familiar for world-building / setting reasons, no problem. But familiars aren't supposed to be fighting assistants at all. So usually their actual hit point totals are irrelevant. Any spellcaster who makes the decision to put their familiar in danger deserves the risk of losing it.

I probably should have been more specific on a lot of things here, and I'll go over your specific points..

[spoiler Point 1: "Hit Points are irrelevant, Any spell caster who puts their familiar in danger deserves the risk of losing it"] The way I was handling 'familiars' was by using the Bound Creature Boon from Spheres of Power's Casting Traditions, rather than using the standard familiar rules.
Your magic is tied to a magical creature, who shares essence and power with you.

You gain the Conjuration sphere (or the Extra Companion talent if you already possess the Conjuration sphere), and a companion who serves as the source of your power. Unlike a normal companion, this companion is not an extraplanar, and you may choose upon gaining the companion what creature type it possesses (although it does not gain the immunities or other qualities of its creature type). Your companion’s first (form) talent should reflect its creature type. This bound creature cannot be summoned or dismissed, and costs no spell points to use. You do not suffer a chance of failure from the Focused Casting drawback so long as your bound creature is on the same plane as you and is within Long range (400 ft + 40 ft per caster level). If your bound creature dies, you suffer a chance of spell failure as outlined in the Focused Casting drawback until you gain another bound creature. You cannot bond with a new creature for 30 days or until you gain another level, whichever comes first. The new bound creature must be the same creature type as your previous bound creature.
(Emphasis Mine)[/spoiler]
Granted it is still true that someone who throws an actual familiar into trouble is probably doing it wrong, but with the fact that it dying means that your character goes a whole MONTH Having to make a pretty hefty concentration check (DC 20 + 1/2 the caster level) literally every time you want to cast a sphere effect, and 1/2 casters only get half as many hit points on their familiar as normal, that's a lot that can go wrong.[/spoiler]

Conjuration Archetypes:
Conjuration Archetypes are actually called Companion archetypes, my mistake, and they do this.
Quote:
Upon gaining a Conjuration sphere companion, you may select archetypes to apply to it. Once selected, the archetype cannot be removed from that companion. Each companion may have different archetypes. A companion may have more than one archetype as long as the archetypes do not replace or modify the same features or abilities.

The Familiar archetype in particular does this.

Quote:
Your companion only gains half its normal Hit Dice (rounded down), but has the spell point cost to summon it reduced by 2 (minimum 0). If the companion would normally only have 1 Hit Die, it still has 1 Hit Die, but receives half its normal hit points (rounded down, minimum 1).

If a bound companion doesn't take any spell points to summon, does this ability do anything at all?

The Overall Worry:
The Overall Worry is less about Wizards getting a nerf, since Wizards/incanters/other full casters taking the Pactmage casting tradition aren't going to have much trouble keeping their bound companion alive, and it can even act as bodyguard to an extent with its 3/4 bab, d8 hit die, and access to abilities from natural armor to shield and weapon use and etc. My worry is those like the Paladin and the Ranger and the Mageknight and the Armorist that decide they want to make a pact and take the road of the divine, because their ability to cast spells are already weaker than wizards, and end up with baggage that more powerful casters have no problem with.

Caster Level: Spheres of Power's Caster level is based on your class. So Wizards gain full progression, inquisitors and the like gain 3/4 progression, and Paladins and the like gain 1/2 progression. In Conjuration Specifically, they gain Hit Dice at 3/4 CL.

Talents: Incanters and Wizards both gain a total of 32 talents across their career. (including the 2 that their base gives them) and so they could afford to deck out their companion some. Sorcerers, Soul Weavers, Fey Adepts, and other full casters that aren't incanters or wizards gain 22 talents by level 20 (and including the +2 that every sphere caster gets in their first sphere class level.) Mid Casters like Hedgewitch and Inuqisitor gain 15 talents, one of which would probably be spent on the Boon companion talent in order to have their companion up to snuff with the full casters. And Low Casters get 10 talents.

It's a generally well balanced system and I love spheres as a whole, but Conjuration is one of the most CL hungry spheres out there, and I wouldn't want to end up having players just totally never play a paladin or the like ever because of the (And Half Caster Martials already kinda get shafted when looking at Spheres of Might alongside them since they get the least martial talents as well) fact that their focus companion dies once a session.

Liberty's Edge

If I gather what you are wanting to do correctly it's just kind of bad. You're forcing specific builds at worst and seriously hindering diversity at least.


ShadowcatX wrote:
If I gather what you are wanting to do correctly it's just kind of bad. You're forcing specific builds at worst and seriously hindering diversity at least.

I mean... It seemed better at least to go for it having a casting tradition instead of forcing everyone who wanted to go divine to lose class features... I just wanted to make casting traditions in my setting interesting and I think bound companion is an interesting ability but I don't want to screw anyone and that issue of hindering diversity is why I was asking this in the first place, how do I keep the fluff whilst also keeping the idea intact.

Liberty's Edge

Casting traditions aren't tied to class. Someone can pick the cleric class and take wizard casting tradition. Part of that I because, as you see from this, not all classes gain equally from a casting tradition.

What I would recommend is sit down and consider what casting traditions exist in your world. Make a list of several and some notes about them and how they work. Think of some NPCs for each tradition, and not just boring wizards of the wizard tradition but think a paladin wizard or the like and what those people would be like.

Those traditions are the main traditions of your world. Easily recognized, omnipresent, that kind of thing. If PCs make their own tradition, it can easily be worked in, even if it's just seen as a back water hillbilly style. That makes your world have continuity through out but still allows PC's to do their own thing.


ShadowcatX wrote:

Casting traditions aren't tied to class. Someone can pick the cleric class and take wizard casting tradition. Part of that I because, as you see from this, not all classes gain equally from a casting tradition.

What I would recommend is sit down and consider what casting traditions exist in your world. Make a list of several and some notes about them and how they work. Think of some NPCs for each tradition, and not just boring wizards of the wizard tradition but think a paladin wizard or the like and what those people would be like.

Those traditions are the main traditions of your world. Easily recognized, omnipresent, that kind of thing. If PCs make their own tradition, it can easily be worked in, even if it's just seen as a back water hillbilly style. That makes your world have continuity through out but still allows PC's to do their own thing.

I guess it's kinda silly that I assumed someone would choose one casting tradition over others for fluff's sake, but that was kind of my assumption. Casting Traditions aren't bound to classes, but the idea that someone wants to be a Divine Caster and as such goes for the Divine Caster Tradition is, and the idea that someone who wants to be a divine defender of a church as paladin mageknight or similar is possible

Liberty's Edge

Warriorking9001 wrote:
ShadowcatX wrote:

Casting traditions aren't tied to class. Someone can pick the cleric class and take wizard casting tradition. Part of that I because, as you see from this, not all classes gain equally from a casting tradition.

What I would recommend is sit down and consider what casting traditions exist in your world. Make a list of several and some notes about them and how they work. Think of some NPCs for each tradition, and not just boring wizards of the wizard tradition but think a paladin wizard or the like and what those people would be like.

Those traditions are the main traditions of your world. Easily recognized, omnipresent, that kind of thing. If PCs make their own tradition, it can easily be worked in, even if it's just seen as a back water hillbilly style. That makes your world have continuity through out but still allows PC's to do their own thing.

I guess it's kinda silly that I assumed someone would choose one casting tradition over others for fluff's sake, but that was kind of my assumption. Casting Traditions aren't bound to classes, but the idea that someone wants to be a Divine Caster and as such goes for the Divine Caster Tradition is, and the idea that someone who wants to be a divine defender of a church as paladin mageknight or similar is possible

If they want to be a divine caster they will take your divine casting tradition. Or they will make something similar to it and incorporate the difference into their back story.

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