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Post by daveyeisley Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:08 pm

Quoted from another thread, by Ra Cha Chongo:

As far as other 9th level spells go, I think Gate could be a fun one to bump up in terms of utility. A scaling monster that stays useful up to 40th, perhaps even being able to chose the plane it comes from, would go a long way I think. Also, maybe Gate Spell 787378 could give the spell an alternate effect; one that summons a "Wanderer's Portal Swirly-do" visual effect that allows for a full party to travel via the caster's tp points, possibly even into or out of places normally blocked from that sort of magic?

Quoted from another thread by Evilkittenofdoom:

I'd have to admit - a true 'Gate' to somewhere else seems to fit the spell's name more than summoning a Balor.

But as for powerup up the creature, I'd be for giving it a few more caster levels, some more spell DC and letting it throw a few more Implosions/Destructions...

Give it a decent HP/AC boost and I'd not mind using it...
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Post by Lyme_gg Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:24 pm

Im a big time fan of demonolgy. But my suggestion on a scaling gate spell would be that something similar to the harvesting/gem cutting skills. The more you cast gate, planar ally, planar binding. The tougher the summons could get.
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Post by Alundaio Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:35 pm

Now that's a fresh nice idea right there. Instead of it depending on your caster level it depends on how much time you devote in casting and studying demonology! Smile
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Post by Lyme_gg Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:59 pm

oh yea. and could make it either alignment oriented or not. good for summoning celestials, evil summoning devils. only nuetral outsiders i can think of in nwn though are the slaads..unless ive never seen the yugoloths. i love them fiendish mercs. heh. or modrons. not sure if they are in nwn either though
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Post by evilkittenofdoom Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:56 pm

My goodness that's a great idea! Scaling with use! I'd have to suggest giving a small(er) bonus for having caster levels though... as having a level 17 caster cast Gate as powerful as a level 40 caster would kinda suck if the only difference was duration...

As for implementation... rather that making a zillion copies of the creature, why not modify it's stats (much like the random stats on enemies, but not so random for this) based on your skill...

Heck, why not apply such an idea to all summons? That might just help solve our 'summons suck' problem...
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Post by Lyme_gg Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:06 pm

My thoughts on the caster level is this..any apprentice could get a hold of their masters spell books and summon a demon. It takes the more knowledgeable one to control them really. The bonus would be in terms of the character actually taking the time learn demons true names, etc etc.

The really big and nasty ones being hidden in some abyss or hell. theres alot of them! heh

crazy random thought..i wonder if the new epic spell system will have something like a "buff" spell that slaps on an outsider template to a char for a duration. Infuse demon essence or something Razz
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Post by daveyeisley Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:00 am

I would say the caster level would be good to have as the 'limitation' on the maximum power of the spell/summon at any given point. Caster level translates directly to a PC's skill with magic, its a number derived from that character's experience and focus of studying magic (summoning included).

Its an established mechanic that is consistent within the magic system, so its good to keep what works.

Using caster level to scale the summons is something that is already being worked on, as seen in the updates to undead summons.

If a skill level would come into play, I think it should be a relevant knowledge skill, not a new skill derived from usage. After all, its more about 'studying' the information thats already been recorded (ie. knowledge skills) not about randomly experimenting (thats how summoners end up dead).

The issue with knowledge skills is that they are background coded in Aenea and there is little to no impact of player choice on them... so mechanically they are somewhat analogous to caster level. If you want player choice to affect the outcome, you would need to generate a calculation involving a skill with player-chosen ranks, such as Lore.

Myself, personally... I would like to stay away from skill increases based on usage affecting character's class abilities.... its too similar to the skill system used in games like MUDs.

If I invest class levels to gain an ability, I don't want to have to spend more time 'practicing' in order to gain full benefit of its use. I would rather just adventure, gain more XP, and invest in that class or the relevant stat/skill/feats to make it better.


Last edited by daveyeisley on Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:07 am; edited 2 times in total
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Post by daveyeisley Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:04 am

As an aside, related to the idea of caster level alone not being enough to achieve the highest level of summons.... sounds like a good basis for a Prestige Class, no?
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Post by Lyme_gg Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:27 am

yea. i can see both sides of why it should be a caster lvl thing or a skill thing. Yes nwn is a caster lvl sorta game in terms of raw strength. but then any caster that can open a gate should be able to summon the same types of demons as someone 10 caster levels higher then themselves..albeit they shouldnt be able to maintain control of said summons as long as the caster with the 10 caster levels.

Ive just always felt demonology is more of a "you get what you put into it field" rather than necromancy which the stronger the caster the stronger the undead. Because in that type of casting, you are infusing the remains with your own magic. where as opening a portal randomly without knowing abit about the planes other than "im a 40th lvl caster, come out big demon" just seems silly to me.

And a prestige class similar to the animator for demons would be neat. or for celestials. Some of the crazier prestige classes ive seen also have the caster able to self possess himself with his summons for boosts similar to dragonsouls. but if you wanted to rp that, could just use the sorc/dsoul anyways. would really be neat if wizards could be dsouls though for that rp edge

Same thing with the master of the menagarie. Could say thats a form of demonology if you only wish to capture demons. blah. jabbering. my point being I dont see demonology as a semi class that is.


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Post by daveyeisley Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:41 am

I think its a matter of how one looks at what caster level represents.

If you look at it as nothing more than raw power, then the idea of needing to 'put more in' might make more sense.

I see caster level as a measure of both power and skill. It signifies deeper understanding of how all aspects of magic actually work. In this sense, it would cover the 'invest more to get more' concept.

For example, the lower level caster can open that gate, but they lack the understanding needed to compel the more powerful demons to come through it.
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Post by Lyme_gg Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:41 pm

Without some sort of specialization or prestige class so to speak. I don't think a pure caster should have access to a tougher critter. I mean. Wizards do have specializations to kinda show that they are stronger at one type of magic over another

And with a spellcraft skill being seperate from a caster lvl. Can show that a caster lvl does not prove a casters knowledge exclusivly
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Post by daveyeisley Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:13 pm

Lyme_gg wrote:Without some sort of specialization or prestige class so to speak. I don't think a pure caster should have access to a tougher critter. I mean. Wizards do have specializations to kinda show that they are stronger at one type of magic over another

I think in the case of the Gate spell, and all summons in general, as a character's caster level improves the spell should summon more powerful minions at set caster level plateaus. Much like a damage spell gets better at certain plateaus, so should summons. There is, in fact, already precedent for this in spells like Animate Dead, the summon creature line of spells, and even in the PnP system. More caster levels unlocks access to more powerful minions.

The Gate spell Balor has an extremely small window of viability, maybe 5 levels or so once it can be cast, and it does not scale at all. While most damage spells will scale up over 5 levels sometimes even up to 30 levels or more. Adding in two or three plateaus where higher level Balors can be summoned would certainly not break anything or make the spell overpowered. It would merely add scaling viability to a spell that is currently too limited.

The specialization mechanics dont actually affect the spells cast from the specialization school, they grant bonuses in other ways... like added spell capacity, ease of learning, and defensive bonuses. This also carries a high cost, of being totally denied access to other schools of magic.

Much like the Pale Master, a Prestige class focused on Demon summoning would need to carry a trade-off for granting access to more powerful demonic minions. While such a prestige class would certainly grant access to powerful demonic minions not available to pure casters, there would also need to be mechanical trade-off of things like caster levels, spells per day, bonus feats, etc in order to reflect more focused study of demonology at the expense of more traditional magic. It wouldn't be balanced to gain an advantage in demonic summoning while retaining all other benefits that a pure caster has.

Edit: Spellcraft skill is only knowledge of spellcasting mechanics. Magical knowledge in general is much more broad, and covered more by caster level. For example, spellcraft skill does not convey any mechanical bonuses to spells that are cast, nor does it allow casting of more powerful spells. That is a function of class levels and caster levels. The only time spellcraft skill has a direct effect on spellcasting is in regard to epic spells... where it still does not grant any increased potency or effect. In order to even gain access to epic magic, sufficient class levels must be attained to signify sufficient magical understanding, otherwise the spellcraft skill is irrelevant.
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Post by Alundaio Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:35 pm

I think a prestige class for this would fit nicely with the new areas. Being able to summon demonic minions for the dark realm. Just how the new undead minions are, I think it would be fun to have a demonic army. Perhaps it could be a mirror of Pale Master but with differing immunites and instead of your arm turning undead you grow horns and a tail or something...

And as a bonus it could be done similar to the new dragon soul prestige class where you pick which type you want to focus like demonic or celestial.
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Post by daveyeisley Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:41 pm

Alundaio wrote:I think a prestige class for this would fit nicely with the new areas. Being able to summon demonic minions for the dark realm. Just how the new undead minions are, I think it would be fun to have a demonic army. Perhaps it could be a mirror of Pale Master but with differing immunites and instead of your arm turning undead you grow horns and a tail or something...

And as a bonus it could be done similar to the new dragon soul prestige class where you pick which type you want to focus like demonic or celestial.

Thats sort of along the lines I was thinking. A Master Summoner prestige class, where you use a vc command to set your chosen 'flavor' of summons before taking the 1st level of the class, and that would determine which specific minions/feats/spells/abilities the class would grant access to.
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Post by Eric of Atrophy Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:21 pm

You guys are a never-ending font of great ideas! Almost makes me wanna play a spellcaster! ... almost...
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Post by Lyme_gg Wed Aug 18, 2010 6:43 am

another idea. that prolly has been said before though in one form or another. ritual summoning. either for a party ally or a once a server reset. and item like a campfire, in this case a pentagram, slap it on the ground. Have 3 seperate casters cast a gate into it and then chat with the object to summon a beast.
although the new epic spells sounds like they will be just as powerful in terms of summoning as this would be
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Post by Christopher Robin R2 Wed Aug 18, 2010 1:35 pm

daveyeisley wrote:Thats sort of along the lines I was thinking. A Master Summoner prestige class, where you use a vc command to set your chosen 'flavor' of summons before taking the 1st level of the class, and that would determine which specific minions/feats/spells/abilities the class would grant access to.

But then you could only take it once. I like summoning, and the idea of playing a character focused on it. I like the idea of being able to use only one form of it less, though.
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Post by daveyeisley Wed Aug 18, 2010 1:45 pm

Not so much only being able to use one form of summoning.... I mean...for example, a focused demonologist can summon regular creatures, elementals, or undead just fine.

The idea would be that a character can only focus their studies into gaining a special advantage for one type of summoning. After all, none of the prestige classes can be taken more than once... and the casting prestige classes must all be based on a base casting class, so at most you could only have one base casting class, and two prestige classes.

Seeing as there are more than two forms of summoning, you would never be able to focus on them all... plus it would be sort of like trying to be a Dragonsoul of two different types of dragon. Focusing research on and taking on qualities of one type of summoned minion would more or less preclude doing the same with other types.
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Post by Christopher Robin R2 Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:01 pm

I don't want to take on the qualities of my minions, personally. I hate Palemaster as a class. It's utterly terrible. In exchange for casting level and not learning new spells (and if base class wasn't wizard, can't even learn off scrolls) I gain what? The ability to summon undead as if I'd cast a spell I could have learned anyway, but used more than once, or combined with other spells or metamagic? A melee use arm that never seems to work? Slightly better AC? The only good bit is the immunities, and I'd rather have casting back.

This is just my personal opinion, but as a prestige class what I'd want isn't the demon version of PM, but just a class that does better summoning in some fashion. Something more like Animator rather than Palemaster.

Like, it gets Summon Monster 1/day that scales with level. Later on it could get Summon Undead, and Summon Outsider, Summon Elemental, etc. At tenth level it'd have like, Gate once a day, but scaling, and it could use the lower abilities more often. (although a version that didn't stop at 10 would be even better).
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Post by Alundaio Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:58 pm

In Aenea a Bard/Pale master/Arcane Archer is surprisingly powerful because you can get very high AC and maintain a very good AB. But that is beside the point. It is a terrible prestige class. It's somewhat more useful now with the changed animate dead and create dead spells, but a wizard with those spells can cast it more times and have a much larger undead army.

I think a prestige class with perhaps summon spells that are abilities would be useful. A class focused only on summoning and does not require to know arcane magic. Something like a sorcerer with only powerful summon spells. Someone who devoted their life studying how to draw minions from other planes. I picture it as a person with Asperger's syndrome devoting all their time on summoning.

A more powerful Gate spell could be made to accommodate it.
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Post by daveyeisley Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:09 pm

My idea wasnt specifcally for a demon version of pale master, though there would be similarities. Sort of like how really high level Pale Masters get to summon a demilich minion (I admit it should be more statistically powerful, but its still a freakin' demilich, and if it were fixed would be the best summon in the whole damn game) but due to the focus they have to exert on studying these necromantic secrets, they give up some of the power they might otherwise have gained (ie. caster levels, and spells learned, etc though as has been said many times, I agree they should still get 1/2 caster level progression, not zero caster levels) the Master Summoner prestige class would be aimed at focusing the study of summoning onto a single specific type of minion and being better at summoning that type than any other caster could ever dream of being able to match.

As for better summoning in some fashion, being able to choose a flavor and focus on it would deliver exactly that.

It seems more like what you are aiming for is being better at summoning all types of creatures. In that vein, I dont think what is needed is a prestige class at all. The summoning spells are all slated to be overhauled and allow for scaling based on comments that The Amethyst Dragon has already made, as well as changes already implemented for some of the undead summoning spells. In other words, thats already being planned on, and no prestige class is needed.

The idea for the prestige class is to gain access to even more powerful summons than what the common summoning spells would allow. Beyond even what the upcoming summons overhaul would deliver. Focusing the study of magical summoning so intensely as to totally master the art of summoning a certain type of minion... Gaining the ability to summon minions of that type more powerful than any a pure caster can, and being able to acquire qualities and advantages related to that type of minion... in exchange for a loss of some other benefits that more general magical study would grant.

For instance.... in the case of the subject of the thread.... the Gate spell. A pure caster (or any other caster for that matter)might hypothetically be able to summon a balor at caster level 17/18.... then a balor lord at level 22, and then maybe a balor hunter at level 27.

A demonologist could do exactly the same using the gate spell, but would also be able to use a new class ability such as Bind Greater Demonic Servitor at 10th level of the class to summon a Barbed Demon (dont let the name fool you, the Aenean version is extremely nasty), and at 30th caster level a Marilleth Dervish. These are far more powerful than what a pure caster could manage, and they are in addition to the gate spell gaining some scaling capability for all casters. And then add in some benefits that are in line with the theme of that type of minion, like for demons increased charisma,intelligence, leathery or scaled wings, fear immunity, fire resistance, poison immunity, maybe even true seeing at higher class levels.

Celestial summoners would get charisma, wisdom, feathered wings, fear immunity, fire resistance, poison immunity, maybe even true seeing as well... and their greater bindings would yield equivalently powerful minions of celestial nature, devas and planetars, etc.
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Post by Skywatcher Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:59 pm

Personally, I think 40 level wizards should be able to Summon Crideas or maybe Summon Jay, depending on weather they need caster help or tank help, but that is only my personal preference. If I can't get that, I will take the mareth dervish at 40th as an excellent summons.
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Post by RustyDios Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:03 am

Skywatcher wrote:Personally, I think 40 level wizards should be able to Summon Crideas or maybe Summon Jay, depending on weather they need caster help or tank help, but that is only my personal preference. If I can't get that, I will take the mareth dervish at 40th as an excellent summons.


lol...
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Post by Angel of Death Tue May 29, 2012 11:16 am

I got an idea about the Gate spell, and then found this old thread via a quick search which already partly seems to have what I had in mind in it. I hope no one minds a bit of thread necromancy at work! Razz

It would be great with some customization of this spell, so that the caster actually has a choice of what planar creature to summon rather than the default balor. A spellcaster of good alignment would hardly want to conjure of a demon as a first choice. Rather they would probably seek him from one of the celestial beings or one of neutral alignment. Smile

Anyway, just thought I would tip in my thoughts on this subject. king
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Gate Spell Empty Re: Gate Spell

Post by RustyDios Tue May 29, 2012 11:19 pm

Yeah, considering how ALL the summon spells can now be set using VC commands as to your preferred summoned creature maybe the Gate spell could do with this option too... It could even be something that is player choice or something done automatically from alignment.... and it should still scale with caster levels.... good bump!
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Gate Spell Empty Re: Gate Spell

Post by The Amethyst Dragon Mon Jun 04, 2012 1:45 pm

Some good ideas here. Marking this for me to return to when I get time to rethink the gate spell.

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Gate Spell Empty Re: Gate Spell

Post by Ramana Jala Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:37 pm

Angel of Death wrote:
It would be great with some customization of this spell, so that the caster actually has a choice of what planar creature to summon rather than the default balor. A spellcaster of good alignment would hardly want to conjure of a demon as a first choice. Rather they would probably seek him from one of the celestial beings or one of neutral alignment.

I've got a spellcaster that would prefer to summon a Shade or other shadowy being from the Shadow Plane, that's on kickass par with that balor. Since the Summon Shadow isn't currently working, don't know if those would be as powerful as a Shade with comparable stats to that balor.
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Gate Spell Empty Re: Gate Spell

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