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In old BG games I was really enjoying playing a mage/sorcerer summoner. It was really cool to create an army of minions (skeletons, elementals, demons etc) and unleash them on your enemies. In most of modern games that option is restricted. You can summon one, maximum two minions - i really hate that.

It lacks a feeling being all powerfull god like bad ass mage =)

 

What are your thoughts about that issue?

 

Should Project Eternity use old BG summoning mechanics or restrict it? Do you think that summoning up to six minions is game breaking (bad for balance)?

 

Maybe you have your own view on summoning mechanics.

 

P.S. Sorry if there any grammar mistakes, english is not my native language.

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I wouldn't want to limit possible playstyles by restricting summons. Hell, I'd be ok with being Ranger/Wizard/paladin so I could have an animal companion, a familiar, a noble steed, charm animal and some summoning spells. (Very Meta though)

 

I think if you can manage to come up with a good swarm as a tactic, why not! If some of the summons are costly to lose (familiar/animal companion) that becomes a fair risk-benefit trade-off.


Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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I think it could be great to change system a bit. The number of minions that you could summon must depend from their power (and wizard power as well). For example you can summon one powerfull creature to do tanking for you or a swarm of weak creatures that die fast but can cause chaos or distraction to enemy ranks. But a powerfull creature at level five will be weak when you become level 20, and at level 20 you could summon more of it...

 

I hope you are getting the idea =)

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YES!

I'd love to be a necromancer command a small party of undead.

Say up to 10 skeletons, or 5 more powerful skeletons lol, or something much more creative than I can think of.

And limiting the number based on skill is a great idea.

Edited by jivex5k

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Eh, I myself actually prefer the lower limits to summons, pets, and such. Carrying around 10 skeletons can be a pain to micromanage, especially when trying to get them through a doorway. And these would have to be some seriously weak skeletons, otherwise I can see no reason to choose a barbarian in my party over a necromancer and small army. The way I figure it, if I really want a band of skeletons, I can just build a party of 6 necromancers, each with 1-2 summons.

 

Had I my way, I think I'd say that classes could obtain up to two summons, but these summons could increase in power with the character, automagically like or through feats. Course, this is running with the premature knowledge and expectations I have of PE so far :p.

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I liked how i could summon stuff to run interference in IE games, some zombies or whatnot to hold part of the enemy camp busy while i clean up the other corner and get ready for the rest of the camp.

 

I did not particularly enjoy that it was all based on memorized spells, there was no cost for losing a summon, nor the fact that it became pretty annoying due to the long casting animation when you NEEDED to summon 4+ things to win an encounter. ;)

 

Would love to see it tie more closely to the character itself, and from what little i have heard about the whole magic being connected to the "soul" of the character, it would make for a perfect starting point for a risk/reward based system. Granted, these are just my own personal thoughts and opinions, take it for what it is. :)

 

Base it off your skill, modified by passive abilities. Make each summon linked to the summoners health somehow, maybe detract X points of CON per summon(could be different depending on the summon strength, passive abilities could modify this number?), and only let you get down to 1, your HP will scale down according to your CON. You would end up being a pretty stout mage if you went summoner, but then your casting stat would be left down a bit... maybe this would be the perfect type of Mage to don some plate armor and carry a gun for backup?

 

Also, to make the summons more important to manage, don't give the reserved CON back if the summon dies. Forcing you to monitor and unsummon them before they die unless you want to lose those points until your next Rest. This would make the whole thing feel more important, and not so throw away. What would be even better would be if you actually summoned a specific creature every time, and that it would gain in strength with your summoning power. No more nameless skeleton nr1, instead you find a grave of some specific person who was, lets say, not nice in his lifetime and seemingly won't rest easy. Summon "Thorleif the Grim", your trusty, if silent, skeleton. I could even see how there could possibly be unique story based summons, with questlines attached.

 

Don't know, never was that into mages/sorcerors, since it was always such a hassle and extreme amount of microing... and very little actually "magical" stuff happening. More of a Monk guy myself, but i have always wanted to like mages, and hoped that some game would come along and make it really interesting to play a mage. I think Morrowind was the closest, thanks to its spellmaker and enchantment system, it really allowed to to go wild and make your mage feel really magical.

 

Anyway, some ideas on the matter anyway, have a good one!

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The cRPGs based on D&D 3e (like NWN2) didn't fully implement summoning. You're supposed to be able to summon 1d3 copies of creatures from the next lower level summoning spell, or 1d4+1 copies from the spell two levels down.

Edited by rjshae

"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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I don't like summoning limits per se.

 

I'd prefer some more sensible limitations:

 

- summoning only available on higher levels

 

- summons only staying around for a very limited time

 

or

 

- casters have to concentrate on keeping their summoning spells going all the time (with the exception of movement)

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Summoning was never well balanced at all, but I loved it both in IE games (particularly BG2 and early IWD2) and NWN1.

 

BG2 demon summons were awesome and I really, really loved unleashing them on the enemies while staying back myself.

NWN summoning was much nerfed (only 1 creature) but when the duration was 1 hr/level, it was very convenient and hassle free.

 

NWN2 and ToEE (D&D 3.5) combined the bad parts, get one underpowered creature for a few seconds. Blah.

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I don't see why being able to summon a horde (within reason... not like 1,000 skeletons) would be out of the question. Sure, they'd be weaker minions, individually, but sometimes that might be what you want against several foes with nothing but single-target attack capability (or VERY little area/multi-target attacks).

 

If you send your horde of skeletons against a dragon, and it tail swipes them all back into oblivion without breaking a sweat, then that's your bad. Doesn't mean they're pointless against things that aren't dragons.

 

I also fully support the possibility of summoning something quite powerful (or somethings quite powerful) basically putting your caster in a sort of channel-stasis. Then, you could be allowed to control the amazingly-strong entity in your caster's stead, but you'd have to worry about keeping foes away from your caster. With Wizards, this could even be some sort of Familiar transformation. And, if your caster got in trouble, you could essentially "cancel" the summoning link at any time, regaining control of your caster character while your summoned entity fades from the plane (or your familiar reverts to normal, in the Wizard example.)

 

Just something like that. There's interestingness to be had in there somewhere, :)

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I've never understood the appeal of sitting around watching NPCs fight each other. Or the idea that some demon hellspawn will fight to the death for some lumpy guy in a robe because he read a book once. There are contexts where it makes sense, but not a lot of them.

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I've never understood the appeal of sitting around watching NPCs fight each other. Or the idea that some demon hellspawn will fight to the death for some lumpy guy in a robe because he read a book once. There are contexts where it makes sense, but not a lot of them.

 

I'm not actually doing the fighting for PC's either.

But that's not the difference as I like using summons in Skyrim also. Stay hidden and grin while watching the Dremora Lord clear the room.

I guess I like the feeling of being in control of the situation, while the badass opponent is fighting for his life against my lackeys. :)

 

The second bit is what was great in BG2. The demons don't follow your control, you summon them and they attack the nearest whoever who doesn't have protection against evil. Including the second demon you summon.

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I've never understood the appeal of sitting around watching NPCs fight each other. Or the idea that some demon hellspawn will fight to the death for some lumpy guy in a robe because he read a book once. There are contexts where it makes sense, but not a lot of them.

They are bound by those words! Their very souls unable to escape the shackles of old man tyranny.

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maybe allow different leveling choices that improve summoning? One that makes minions stronger and one that allows for more to be summoned? Go for both if you want a mage to basically be a master summoner.

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I've never understood the appeal of sitting around watching NPCs fight each other.

I'm not exactly sure what the appeal is either, even tho I'm one of those who sometimes likes to watch. But....it's often amusing. That's part of it, for me anyway. I used to like using a mod to have multiple companions in FNV, simply because it cracked me up to watch them all charge in after deathclaws or whatever. Watching the AI tackle itselt is like watching a group of kittens playfight. Plus a bit of a sense of not having direct control lends a sense of weird challenge/fun. Well, maybe challenge isn't quite the right word. Unpredictability perhaps?

 

That said, in terms of summons, I tend to prefer only having one or two at a time (per character) and that they have a limited duration. Doesn't have to be super-short, but they shouldn't last forever/until death either. Maybe 5 minutes say. Or if they do last a long time (over 10 minutes) there should always be the "unsummon" option, so you can get rid of them immediately if you want to. But having a multitude army of skeletons or whatever feels more appropriate to games where you have no party/companion group, rather than P.E.


“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

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Theres one summoning thing that bugged the hell out of me.

Seemed every two bit necromancer had a lair full of them, skeletons at low level, badder stuff higher up the ladder.

 

And me? In all my epic cool goodness? 1-3 zombies for bloody 15 seconds.

Ain't going to take over the world any time soon with that undead army from the pits.

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I would appreciate if summoning were a bit more useful/flexible as well. It's good to have the option provided, though there does need to be limitations to prevent from being over powered. In general, Power/effectiveness of the summon should be the inverse of it's duration & quantity. The Call Elemental spells in Baldur's Gate 2 had a wonderful mechanic where the summoner had to contest its will against the elemental, else the spell would fail or the elemental would become hostile to the caster.

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Summoning would have to be tied to the player's level - and be consistently good from the lower levels to the higher levels. Summoning a bunch of monsters that go down in one hit isn't very interesting. At the same time I'd restrict the player from summoning any massively overpowered creatures. I'd also place a limit on the number of summoned creatures based on their power rating, e.g. only one maximum power rating creature allowed. I'd also extend the time the summons remain with the player - the Animate Dead spell in Icewind Dale was nice in this regard; the undead would remain until destroyed in combat or turned (I don't remember if there was an actual time limit in addition, if there was it was pretty lenient).


Exile in Torment

 

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I'd also extend the time the summons remain with the player

I would prefer an upkeep rather than a time limit. that forces the choice "Many for a short time, or a few for longer" Edited by JFSOCC
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Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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Just watched the Hobbit, and it'd be cool to summon a short duration horde of goblins to rush a tight group of enemies and knock them off their feet.


Spreading beauty with my katana.

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I understand the fun of summoning massive armies to do the work. Personally, it comes from years of playing RTS games like Starcraft 1/2 and Age of Empires.

 

For PE, I have hopes that pets/summonings will be more personalized. For necromancy, I would love to summon a character like Morte or bind a former enemies or allies to my service.

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There should only be "One" of the Ancient Demons which you've learned to know the true name of, which (in my opinion) should mean that if it dies it dies. Or goes into some sort of "Immortality" process and takes several days to re-channel (putting it's soul back together or w/e). I'd prefer if it died though (as in, you can't summon it again) <- If mortality mode is on.

 

Skeletons would obviously need corpses, or ingredients (Ash/Bone Meal).

 

Tamed animals (for a Ranger) shouldn't be summoned (if you can tame at all). Likewise for a Druid if they also can tame. Otherwise Druids could simply summon spirit animals~

 

Minor summoned "minions" should be abundant in a way that you can summon more of the type, but not that you'd be able to create your own army. Perhaps you could customize each and every one you summon (slightly, X-Com style in a way that you can name all of them). You could have a "Hall of Fame" for those minions you had before. The first 3 Imps you have could be named "Red", "Blue" and "Green" for simplicity of concept, and you summon them (cycling between them). Until... let's say "Red" dies, you'd have to make up a new one ("Purple" maybe). Not affecting the narrative of the game, but the narrative of your own imagined story.

 

Looking for Group, Richard's minion is great (link is to Page 1 of LFG, if you're interested in reading. It started as a WoW parody). Spoiler if you're interested in reading (which I recommend if you want to get the jist of the idea, or simply a recommendation because the series is pretty good): Here is some with the Imp (the red guy at the bottom of the page, continues on for a couple of pages).

 

On "vision" (Sight/Field of View): Summoned creatures should provide vision (Something they don't do in Baldur's Gate).

Edited by Osvir
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I think that summoned monster could get a small change I always found it strange in Baldurs gate that you can summon army of generic orcs, maybe it's just me but when I though about summoners I always pictured something like summoners from final fantasy , guys that summon big extraplanare beasts.

Thats why maybe make summoned creatures diffrent then generic mobs and make them huge damage dealers, with high defense .

To make it short rather than summoning army of monsters like goblins, orcs, etc there would be special summoned creature that would have grow in power with summoner.

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What if it was decided by your character level or "hit dice" ?

 

As an example (and this is only an example), say the upper limit was 2 x your current hit dice, so a level 20 wizard could summon up to 40 hit dice of creatures, with the most powerful creature having no more hit dice than the summoner (although this last point could be debatable).

 

Therefore, possible combinations might be:

 

2 x 20 HD summons

1 x 20 HD and 2 x 10 HD summons

3 x 13 HD and 1 x 1 HD (er...right)

4 x 10 HD and so on.

 

Or if you wanted a swarm, 20 x 2 HD creatures.

 

I suppose the critical variable is how you'd decide on the upper limit with respect to your current level. Maybe 2 x your current hit dice is too much, or too little?

 

It would require plenty of play testing to strike a balance, but I'd like to see the limit decided by the power level of the character, rather than an arbitrary value.

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Me? I'm dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It's the honest ones you want to watch out for.

 

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A whole summoning game could be fun though, where you can add defeated opponents to your "summon pool".

Defeat a minotaur? Suck it's body and soul into your pokemon-ball, ready to be unleashed against new opponents.

Maybe have one storage slot per level? Time to throw away that old goblin and replace it with a fresh basilisk.

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