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    Default The Summoner (3.5 PrC, DONE!, PEACH)

    The Summoner

    Prerequisites:
    Feat: Spell Focus (Conjuration), Augment Summoning
    Skills: Speak Language (Abyssal, Auran, Aquan, Celestial, Infernal, Ignan, and Terran)
    Class Feature: Minor Esoterica (Conjuration) or access to the Summoner Domain
    Spellcasting: Ability to cast summon monster iv


    Hit Dice: d4
    Class Skills: Concentration, Craft, Knowledge (Arcana), Knowledge (The Planes), Profession and Spellcraft
    Skill Points: 2+Int per level

    {table=head]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special|Spellcasting

    1st|+0|+0|+0|+2|Inspired Summoning|

    2nd|+1|+0|+0|+3|Summon Combat Training|+1 spellcasting class

    3rd|+1|+1|+1|+3|Summoner's Feather Fall|+1 spellcasting class

    4th|+2|+1|+1|+4|Scoutmaster Summoner|+1 spellcasting class

    5th|+2|+1|+1|+4|Decoy Summoning|

    6th|+3|+2|+2|+5|Summoning Potential|+1 spellcasting class

    7th|+3|+2|+2|+5|Superior Augment Summoning|+1 spellcasting class

    8th|+4|+2|+2|+6|Combination Summoning|+1 spellcasting class

    9th|+4|+3|+3|+6|Master Summoner|+1 spellcasting class

    10th|+5|+3|+3|+7|Summons Combat Mastery|+1 spellcasting class
    [/table]

    Class Features:

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A summoner gains no additional proficiencies.

    Inspired Summoning (Su): A summoner is able to call upon her vast reserves of power and use them to call on stronger allies to aid her in battle. Any creature the summoner summons with a summon monster spell gains bonus racial hit dice equal to the summoner's class level.

    Spellcasting: At every level except 1st and 5th, the summoner gains access to higher level spells, new spells per day, spells known, and an increased caster level as if she had gained a level in a base class she had that could cast summon monster iv. If she had multiple such classes, she must choose one to advance.

    Summon Combat Training (Su): A summoner's knowledge and comprehension of conjuration [summon] effects allows her to improve the combat prowess and flexibility of any monster she summons. Starting at 2nd level, any monster the summoner summons with a summon monster spell gains a bonus fighter feat that it qualifies for of the summoner's choosing. This requires no additional action on the summoner's part, but is treated as if the summoner had cast heroics (Spell Compendium) on the monster(s) she summoned. The summoner need not actually cast the spell, nor even have it prepared or know it or be able to cast it at all. However, the effect can be dispelled, as if the summoner had cast it, with a caster level equal to her caster level.

    Summoner's Feather Fall (Ex): A summoner must retain total calmness. After all, she's the only one who can actually save the damn world, between the useless meat shield, the sneaky rogue and the ranger who has to beg for silver-tipped arrows because she didn't study how to throw fire with her hands when she was a kid instead. Therefore, even when she's falling from a thousand feet, she uses her magic to solve the problem.

    Starting at 3rd level, a summoner can shorten the duration of one of her summon monster spells to 1 round, but gains the ability to cast it as an immediate action while falling in midair. The creature she summons must be one that has a fly speed, but it appears under her and catches her as a free action. A creature that is summoned in this way cannot attack for the duration of the spell.

    Scoutmaster Summoner (Ex): A good summoner doesn't just use her summoned allies as warriors. Starting at 4th level, any creature(s) the summoner summons using her summon monster spells gains a sacred (if the creature is Good or Neutral) or profane (if the creature is Evil) bonus on its Hide, Move Silently, Listen, Spot, and Survival checks equal to its HD. It also gains the Track feat as a bonus feat.

    Decoy Summoning (Sp): A summoner's mastery of conjuration magic is not limited simply to her control over her summoning. Starting at 5th level, as an immediate action, a summoner who is being attacked may cast dimension door as a spell-like ability and in the same action cast any summon monster spell she is able to cast. She may only summon one monster with this ability, and that monster must occupy one of the 5' squares the summoner was occupying when she was attacked. The summoned creature becomes the new target of the attack. The duration of the spell she casts becomes 1 round in this case.

    The summoner may do this once per day per class level. She may not use the dimension door ability without the summoning (if she runs out of summon monster spells, she is unable to use Decoy Summoning until she refreshes her spell list)

    The dimension door effect is a spell-like ability, however, the summoning is not. The ability of the summoner to shorten the casting time of her spell to an immediate action and the duration of it to 1 round is an extraordinary ability.

    Summoning Potential (Ex): A summoner's monsters are all coordinated well, and they come ready to fight, and ready to support the team. Any encouragement that is given to them has a strange effect, and even though they know they aren't sticking around, they feel like an important member of the family.

    Starting at 6th level, any morale bonus to a roll, check, ability score or save that would apply to one of the creatures the summoner summoned with summon monster is doubled.

    Superior Augment Summoning (Ex): Starting at 7th level, any creature a summoner summons with her summon monster spells gets a +8 enhancement bonus to its Strength and Constitution scores. This bonus overlaps the bonus provided from the Augment Summoning feat.

    Combination Summoning (Ex): Starting at 8th level, when a summoner successfully casts a summon monster spell while an ally (including herself) is flanked, she can choose to cast a second summon monster spell of the same type as part of the same one-round casting (or lower if she has such an ability). If she does this, she summons one creature in a position so that the ally flanks the first creature flanking him with the creature she summoned, and then the second creature so that it flanks with the ally with the second creature that is flanking him.

    For example, if Tordek had a bugbear on his left, and a worg on his right, Mialee could cast summon monster vi twice as the same action. With her first summon monster vi, she could choose to drop a janni behind the bugbear, so now Tordek and the janni are flanking the bugbear, and with her second summon monster vi spell, she could drop a celestial polar bear behind the worg, so Tordek and the celestial polar bear are flanking the worg.

    When a creature summoned by the Combination Summoning class feature successfully attacks an enemy that it is flanking, the attacked creature provokes an attack of opportunity from the ally creature flanking it.

    Master Summoner (Ex): The summoner calls forth demons, devils and the occasional bear that are all unstoppable compared to a normal wizard's allies. Starting at 9th level, any creature(s) the summoner summons with a summon monster spell have maximum hit points and may treat their extra racial HD gained from the Inspired Summoning class feature as if they were levels in the fighter class instead (d10 HD, full BAB, good Fort, bonus feats at 1st and every even level after that, fighter skills and skill points, etc)

    Summons Combat Mastery (Ex): Starting at 10th level, the creatures that a summoner can channel become deadly fighting machines. Any creature that the summoner summons with a summon monster spell or effect gains and provides a +4 bonus to attack rolls from flanking with another creature, rather than the normal +2 bonus. Additionally, they gain DR 5/- and spell resistance equal to 10+their total HD (racial and class levels) that does not apply to spells cast by the summoner. Finally, once per encounter a summoner may consume the highest level prepared summon monster spell he has, or a spell slot equal to the highest summon monster he could cast, and grant all monsters he has currently summoned with a summon monster effect a morale bonus on their attack rolls, damage rolls, and saving throws equal to the level of the spell slot cast. (This bonus is doubled by Summoning Potential, as usual) The morale bonus lasts for 1 round per level of the spell that was used to create its effect.
    Last edited by NeoSeraphi; 2012-01-21 at 11:39 PM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Summoner (Not as Flavorful as a Malconvoker, but hey, what is? 3.5 PrC WIP PE

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    Master Summoner (Ex): The summoner calls forth demons, devils and the occasional bear that are all unstoppable compared to a normal wizard's allies. Starting at 9th level, any creature(s) the summoner summons with a summon monster spell have maximum hit points and may treat their extra racial HD gained from the Inspired Summoning class feature as if they were levels in the fighter class instead (d10 HD, full BAB, good Fort, bonus feats at 1st and every even level after that, fighter skills and skill points, etc)
    Those demons and devils you mention will be losing out if they take the fighter levels - racial HD will scale their ability DCs, racial spellcasting in some cases, and give better saves (and better skills if I remember correctly). The bear will do okay with that deal, though.

    A boring but effective ability that might fit in at the higher end would be the ability for summons to avoid being suppressed in antimagic fields, banished by dispelling, and so on.

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    Default Re: The Summoner (Not as Flavorful as a Malconvoker, but hey, what is? 3.5 PrC WIP PE

    So you need to have levels in Master Specialist or the Summoning Domain. Unusual, and the latter I've never even heard of.
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    Default Re: The Summoner (Not as Flavorful as a Malconvoker, but hey, what is? 3.5 PrC WIP PE

    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    So you need to have levels in Master Specialist or the Summoning Domain. Unusual, and the latter I've never even heard of.
    Sorry, it's actually the "Summoner" Domain, and it's in Complete Divine, and yes the other prerequisite is a bit strange, but it helps ensure that you are a wizard who is completely devoted to Conjuration spells.

    Those demons and devils you mention will be losing out if they take the fighter levels - racial HD will scale their ability DCs, racial spellcasting in some cases, and give better saves (and better skills if I remember correctly). The bear will do okay with that deal, though.
    That's why I made it optional. You can either keep your bonus RHD or you can get better BAB and feats (if you're an elemental, which are physically stronger than the devils you can summon)

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    Default Re: The Summoner (Not as Flavorful as a Malconvoker, but hey, what is? 3.5 PrC WIP PE

    for the capstone, you could go for the kinda boring but kinda "OSHI------" type thing, say, any conjuration (summoning) spell, or maybe literally any "summon monster" spell can be cast twice instead of once
    kinda overwrights the earlier flanking one, but by expending two uses of a spell (or maybe only expending on use, you have to be pretty high level to get 10th rank in this class) you can double cast the spell?
    might cause some pretty cool swarms of mid to weak creatures

    the onlyother thing i can think of (either replacing some of the earlier effects, or as well as, and bump the 9th level ability up) is the ability to properly use summons as transport
    i know there will be stuff like teleport available by this point, but maybe make a higher level ability along the lines that when casting a summon spell, you can instead choose to give it infinite duration, but have it unable to attack.
    a bit wordy, but would allow summoned creatures to be used as full on transport.
    you could even have that at say level 5, then at lvl 7 it stacks with the feather fall so you can summon a creature thats unable to attack as a swift action, to remove the one round limit you previously had on the feather fall
    maybe even have all 3, with those 2 at those levels and the dual summon as capstone.

    i know the dual summon is pretty bland, bu the only other thing i can think of is, as said already, make them immune to all magic debuffs, and/or maybe allow one permenant summon as a "familiar" type thingy

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    Default Re: The Summoner (Not as Flavorful as a Malconvoker, but hey, what is? 3.5 PrC WIP PE

    You might want to switch the ability progression around a bit so that the lost caster levels don't come one after another at the beginning of the class. I understand that it's a powerful class, augmenting an already powerful ability, and I would agree that the lost of caster level is necessary for balance. That being said, having them both at the beginning is a big bar to leap over, and something of a deterrent to people taking the class.

    Elemental Charge doesn't really fit too well with the rest of the fluff.

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    Default Re: The Summoner (Not as Flavorful as a Malconvoker, but hey, what is? 3.5 PrC WIP PE

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    You might want to switch the ability progression around a bit so that the lost caster levels don't come one after another at the beginning of the class. I understand that it's a powerful class, augmenting an already powerful ability, and I would agree that the lost of caster level is necessary for balance. That being said, having them both at the beginning is a big bar to leap over, and something of a deterrent to people taking the class.
    That's the reason I put them there though. To slow the class down, in exchange for some powerful abilities. To completely discourage dipping, and only reward longevity.

    Elemental Charge doesn't really fit too well with the rest of the fluff.
    That's a good point. I guess it is kind of a stretch now that I look at it. If I can think of something else, I'll replace it. The class isn't quite done yet.

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    Default Re: The Summoner (Not as Flavorful as a Malconvoker, but hey, what is? 3.5 PrC WIP PE

    So, I guess we don't want Sorcerers to join in on the fun unless they burn an extra feat? Seems a bit unfair.
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    Default Re: The Summoner (Not as Flavorful as a Malconvoker, but hey, what is? 3.5 PrC WIP PE

    Quote Originally Posted by TheGeckoKing View Post
    So, I guess we don't want Sorcerers to join in on the fun unless they burn an extra feat? Seems a bit unfair.
    It's totally fair. You have to devote yourself to summoning completely. A wizard needs to give up two schools of spells to take the class, a sorcerer has to burn a feat, and a cleric needs to take a specific domain.

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    Default Re: The Summoner (Not as Flavorful as a Malconvoker, but hey, what is? 3.5 PrC WIP PE

    Quote Originally Posted by TheGeckoKing View Post
    So, I guess we don't want Sorcerers to join in on the fun unless they burn an extra feat? Seems a bit unfair.
    With almost every arcane PrC ever, sorcerers also need to wait one more level than wizards. Now that's unfair!
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    Default Re: The Summoner (Not as Flavorful as a Malconvoker, but hey, what is? 3.5 PrC WIP PE

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    That's the reason I put them there though. To slow the class down, in exchange for some powerful abilities. To completely discourage dipping, and only reward longevity.
    Actually, it sort of encourages dipping. Inspired Summoning is extremely powerful with the right summons and is the rare kind of ability that is worth a one-CL loss to the right build, so the class is a viable one-level dip whether or not level 2 is a CL loss. The problem is that then at the next level up, the lost CL at level 2 is sitting there discouraging you from taking that level when there are plenty of other delicious PrCs you could be taking that won't dock your casting down to sub-sorcerer levels (one of which you already have levels in if you're a wizard).

    On the other hand, supposing that you were to add a class feature to level 6, you could put the second no-casting level around there - let's say at 7. With this the case, characters who've dipped the first level are actively encouraged to pursue the class to 6, and probably will, so that when the choice comes up to make a serious sacrifice in your spellcasting power, they have Combination Summoning dangled right in front of them. The price is the same in the long run, but it's a much more appealing deal when you have a treat like that to make up for it right after - and even if they don't take it, they've committed 6 levels to the class which is a fair bit more than a dip (as it's longer than some full prestige classes are.)

    Edit: If you really want to encourage players to either go all-in on this class or not take it at all, make the class 9/10 casting with the lost spellcasting level at 1. Players who have gone through the hoops to take the first level have no reason not to take all 10 if you do that (assuming you put a capstone at 10, anyway) and presto, no dipping.

    Edit 2: Wow, it's late and I misread Inspired Summoning as adding equal to caster level, not class level. Don't worry, nobody's going to dip for +1 HD.
    Last edited by Benly; 2011-11-16 at 05:46 AM.

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    Default Re: The Summoner (Not as Flavorful as a Malconvoker, but hey, what is? 3.5 PrC WIP PE

    Quote Originally Posted by Benly View Post
    Actually, it sort of encourages dipping. Inspired Summoning is extremely powerful with the right summons and is the rare kind of ability that is worth a one-CL loss to the right build, so the class is a viable one-level dip whether or not level 2 is a CL loss. The problem is that then at the next level up, the lost CL at level 2 is sitting there discouraging you from taking that level when there are plenty of other delicious PrCs you could be taking that won't dock your casting down to sub-sorcerer levels (one of which you already have levels in if you're a wizard).

    On the other hand, supposing that you were to add a class feature to level 6, you could put the second no-casting level around there - let's say at 7. With this the case, characters who've dipped the first level are actively encouraged to pursue the class to 6, and probably will, so that when the choice comes up to make a serious sacrifice in your spellcasting power, they have Combination Summoning dangled right in front of them. The price is the same in the long run, but it's a much more appealing deal when you have a treat like that to make up for it right after - and even if they don't take it, they've committed 6 levels to the class which is a fair bit more than a dip (as it's longer than some full prestige classes are.)

    Edit: If you really want to encourage players to either go all-in on this class or not take it at all, make the class 9/10 casting with the lost spellcasting level at 1. Players who have gone through the hoops to take the first level have no reason not to take all 10 if you do that (assuming you put a capstone at 10, anyway) and presto, no dipping.

    Edit 2: Wow, it's late and I misread Inspired Summoning as adding equal to caster level, not class level. Don't worry, nobody's going to dip for +1 HD.
    I see your second edit made you realize my point before I had to make it. So yeah, there's less reason to dip this class now. The first two abilities are both useful and flavorful and both of them will make you a better summoner than other players in the game, especially when combined with the rest of the class. The -2 CL being front-loaded just helps the summoner pay for his rapid boost in power level.

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    Default Re: The Summoner (Not as Flavorful as a Malconvoker, but hey, what is? 3.5 PrC WIP PE

    Added Summoning Potential and Summons Combat Mastery! Now the class is complete!

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    Default Re: The Summoner (Not as Flavorful as a Malconvoker, but hey, what is? 3.5 PrC WIP PE

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    I see your second edit made you realize my point before I had to make it. So yeah, there's less reason to dip this class now. The first two abilities are both useful and flavorful and both of them will make you a better summoner than other players in the game, especially when combined with the rest of the class. The -2 CL being front-loaded just helps the summoner pay for his rapid boost in power level.
    The boost in power level isn't rapid enough to compensate for the -2 CL right as you're signing aboard. At least you should have the second lost CL come online when Inspired Summoning is a big enough bonus to be meaningfully compensating for it. Ideally it would come on one of the levels with a particularly sexy bonus to compensate for it - 7 or so would be a good spot for it, with three big-ticket abilities coming right afterwards and Inspired Summoning being beefy enough at that point to make it worth sticking in for the long haul.


    Also, it probably goes without saying but this PrC is pretty inappropriate for any game where characters below T3 want to be PCs.
    Last edited by Benly; 2011-11-16 at 03:24 PM.

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    Default Re: The Summoner (Not as Flavorful as a Malconvoker, but hey, what is? 3.5 PrC WIP PE

    Quote Originally Posted by Benly View Post
    The boost in power level isn't rapid enough to compensate for the -2 CL right as you're signing aboard. At least you should have the second lost CL come online when Inspired Summoning is a big enough bonus to be meaningfully compensating for it. Ideally it would come on one of the levels with a particularly sexy bonus to compensate for it - 7 or so would be a good spot for it, with three big-ticket abilities coming right afterwards and Inspired Summoning being beefy enough at that point to make it worth sticking in for the long haul.
    The reason for dropping the CL at the beginning is to encourage you to either take it all or don't take it period. If you get to the 3rd CL, you've got your first caster level back, but now there's no more lost CL, so you might as well take it to all 10 levels. If you didn't take it to 3 because you didn't want to wait that long for another CL, that's your choice and you simply don't enter the prestige class.


    Also, it probably goes without saying but this PrC is pretty inappropriate for any game where characters below T3 want to be PCs.
    That definitely goes without saying, yes. Giving a Tier 1 even more class features is what takes them from game-breaking to gods.

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    Default Re: The Summoner (Not as Flavorful as a Malconvoker, but hey, what is? 3.5 PrC WIP PE

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    The reason for dropping the CL at the beginning is to encourage you to either take it all or don't take it period. If you get to the 3rd CL, you've got your first caster level back, but now there's no more lost CL, so you might as well take it to all 10 levels. If you didn't take it to 3 because you didn't want to wait that long for another CL, that's your choice and you simply don't enter the prestige class.
    Right, but you get that effect just fine with one lost CL at the start. Two lost CL at the start is a little too close to "we are going to make you completely suck now and then godlike later", which isn't a mode of balancing that's either balanced or fun.

    Also, the bit about "below T3 need not apply" to this campaign is more applicable to this PrC specifically than just caster PrCs in general, given that the class basically hands out T4 characters as bonus class features.
    Last edited by Benly; 2011-11-16 at 04:36 PM.

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    Default Re: The Summoner (Not as Flavorful as a Malconvoker, but hey, what is? 3.5 PrC WIP PE

    Quote Originally Posted by Benly View Post
    Right, but you get that effect just fine with one lost CL at the start. Two lost CL at the start is a little too close to "we are going to make you completely suck now and then godlike later", which isn't a mode of balancing that's either balanced or fun.
    Right, because you know, CL 7 casting is just sooooo awful at ECL 9.

    Edit: Whatever I'll put the lost CL at 5th instead then.

    Also, the bit about "below T3 need not apply" to this campaign is more applicable to this PrC specifically than just caster PrCs in general, given that the class basically hands out T4 characters as bonus class features.
    Yes, but what else would a summoner-focused character be expected to do?
    Last edited by NeoSeraphi; 2011-11-16 at 05:00 PM.

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    Default Re: The Summoner (Not as Flavorful as a Malconvoker, but hey, what is? 3.5 PrC WIP PE

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    Right, because you know, CL 7 casting is just sooooo awful at ECL 9.
    Given that this prestige class is explicitly inappropriate for games that aren't balanced around the full-caster power level? Yes, it is. Being a full spell level behind at all times hurts pretty badly. Yes, it gets made up for later in the class, but not when the hit happens.



    Yes, but what else would a summoner-focused character be expected to do?
    I'm not saying it's inappropriate for a prestige class specific to high-tier campaigns. However, throwing ten bonus levels of fighter or better (depending on RHD quality), plus a skill bonus to a suite of skills that will probably bring those skills higher than most skillmonkey PCs would have them, plus near-doubled HP on top of that and a pile of miscellaneous combat bonuses means that each of your spell slots is quite specifically gaining all the benefits of a high-ish tier 4 PC. It very clearly says "no lower-tiers need apply" in a way that most classes don't - which is fine if everyone involved is okay with that.

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    Default Re: The Summoner (3.5 PrC, DONE!, PEACH)

    Let me guess you got the idea for Summoner's Feather Fall from the two outdated monsters in the strip.
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    Default Re: The Summoner (3.5 PrC, DONE!, PEACH)

    Author's Note: I still need a capstone! Any suggestions?
    Are there any kind of creatures that the Summon Monster chain traditionally doesn't have access to, that you could write a special ability for? Maybe like elementals dragons? Maybe something like Gate that lets you contact more powerful creatures to bargain with; perhaps even a minor diety. Either that or you get to summon a real army of low HD minions all at once.

    What about some kind of baleful summon, that lets you pick out specific creatures or NPCs from the same plane that you're in and force them to serve you, like normal summoned creatures. I'm thinking about things like plucking the big bad of the campaign out of his impregnable fortress and forcing him to fight on ground of your choosing, or grabbing a king right out of his throne room and bending him to your will, stuff like that.


    I'm just tossing stuff out here; when the focus of the entire class is summoning, there isn't alot of variety to go on.
    Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2012-01-21 at 10:51 PM.
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    Default Re: The Summoner (3.5 PrC, DONE!, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepbluediver View Post
    Are there any kind of creatures that the Summon Monster chain traditionally doesn't have access to, that you could write a special ability for? Maybe like elementals dragons? Maybe something like Gate that lets you contact more powerful creatures to bargain with; perhaps even a minor diety. Either that or you get to summon a real army of low HD minions all at once.

    What about some kind of baleful summon, that lets you pick out specific creatures or NPCs from the same plane that you're in and force them to serve you, like normal summoned creatures. I'm thinking about things like plucking the big bad of the campaign out of his impregnable fortress and forcing him to fight on ground of your choosing, or grabbing a king right out of his throne room and bending him to your will, stuff like that.


    I'm just tossing stuff out here; when the focus of the entire class is summoning, there isn't alot of variety to go on.
    Thanks, but I'm actually quite satisfied with Summons Combat Mastery (I just forgot to remove that Author's Note, done now)

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    Default Re: The Summoner (3.5 PrC, DONE!, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    Thanks, but I'm actually quite satisfied with Summons Combat Mastery (I just forgot to remove that Author's Note, done now)
    Ah, sorry about then; just trying to be helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rater202 View Post
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