If conjurors can summon the most powerful monsters in the game would that not also make them the most powerful adversaries in the game? I can just picture a party of 6 conjurers summoning their own army of ancient red dragons and adamantium golems and demi-liches. Seems way overpowered to me. Summoning spells are limited for balance reasons. Mages are typically powerful enough already. I can't think of many games where they weren't the most powerful class. How about giving thieves back their backstab multiplier instead. They were totally nerfed in 3rd Ed and I haven't heard about them getting back their formerly glorious abilities.
I thought it obvious that I was referring to "normal" creatures rather than "boss-level" creatures. I was not suggesting that conjurers/summoners be able to call Red Dragons, etc.
The rogue (a better term than thief imo) should take inspiration from DA:O. Backstab, dirty combat tricks, poisons, bombs, dual-wielding, etc - very fun to play.
To be honest what you're proposing sounds like it would make summoners extremely OP. Unless summoners are incapacitated while the higher level creatures are summoned (or something of that sort), summoning would allow you to have a very powerful creature plus a fully functioning mage. And that assumes theres a limit to the amount of creatures you can summon. You're also talking about running around full time with an animal companion.....aieaieaie. How would you ever balance say a fighter or anyother class against that?
Did you miss my suggestions for balancing? Similar to DA:O buffs, controlled creatures could reserve a portion of the caster's mana, meaning that the caster would *not* be a "fully functioning mage" while controlling animals. Or under a memorization system, the maximum number of controlled creatures could be determined by the caster's skill level, perhaps requiring the expenditure of a spell slot or selection to control additional animals and thus limiting the selection of other available spells (again, *not* "a very powerful creature plus fully functioning mage"). Or perhaps it could be balanced in another fashion: That's what this thread is for, to ask for a good implementation of conjuration and explore ideas concerning how that might be accomplished.
Conjuration type magic users always have so much potential that is never tapped. They're almost always turned into, 'the pet class' rather than what they're presented as, dealers and contractors. The applications go well, well beyond the, "I send an imp I summoned into combat' routine we're used to. Summoning creatures to sacrifice for crafting or enchanting styled purposes, summoning an entity to gain information on a subject or quest, perhaps the location of something related to the type of entity you've summoned and so on. The simple straightforward, 'throw a fire elemental at it' mentality of most implementations of conjuration styled magic just . . . are drab.
Then again I suppose I should be happy that Conjuration is implemented at all. Good Transmutation styled magic users are near non-existent, they do exist nicely and well in PnP, but it's rare to find them well implemented, or implemented at all, in cRPGs. Good Transmutation, Illusion, Enchanting and Divination style magic users skills/classes in cRPGs just don't seem to happen often, and when they do . . . they don't seem to be implemented very well outside of the rare case.
Good post, interesting ideas.
More concerning my rationale:
It makes sense to me to be able to open a portal to another dimension to allow a spirit, demon, elemental, or other such creature to cross into or manifest in the physical realm. However, I've always found it odd that normal flesh-and-blood creatures are summoned out of portals. If a conjurer/summoner can reach across time and space to move a creature from point to point in the physical realm, then why doesn't that spell school also include teleportation? If a conjurer/summoner can communicate with or control summoned creatures, then why can't that mage do the same for other creatures encountered in the world? Sure, fantasy magic is unrealistic to begin with, but we can still apply some basic reasoning to it.
Further, given that conjuration/summoning implies connecting to, contracting with, charming, or outright dominating the minds of summoned creatures to compel them to fight for the caster, why not solve the above problems by merging charm and domination effects into conjuration/summoning as suggested and utilizing those effects in place of portal summoning for animals?
Edited by ddillon, 29 September 2012 - 07:48 PM.