Author Topic: Planar Summoning in Ravenloft - Suggested Changes  (Read 278 times)

Nemesis 24

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Planar Summoning in Ravenloft - Suggested Changes
« on: April 06, 2019, 12:19:07 AM »
Something I've discussed a couple of times with people but have decided to place down here for input from others and from the Dev team as well, is a discussion upon fiends and other planar summons within Ravenloft.

Simply put, I tend to find the summoning of fiends and other planar creatures in a rather casual manner to be somewhat egregious.  Its canonically inaccurate in terms of how powerful, rare, and terrifying fiends are in Ravenloft (possibly the single most dangerous creatures to exist in the demiplane, with their horrifically powerful abilities and manipulation of the demiplanes fabric of reality itself).  It does not quite fit, particularly seeing as they are then trapped afterwards.  Summoning a fiend would then be a rather rarer and terrible happening, and I think some changes could be put in place to maintain that.

I propose the following changes - that planar beings, be they celestial or fiendish, are removed as spells from the list available to PC's, and replaced with some manner of spell for a Dread Summon instead to better reflect the sort of summon more readily available in the demiplane.  With that said, there should be some instances where the summon remains possible for individuals - which would be via the following means:

Blackguard summons.
The blackguard fiend summon is quite integral to the class, and a major part of its roleplay as well.  As the fiend in question is most likely the 'same' one each time, it feels sensible to ensure that it is something that the Blackguard keeps, while also identifying them as something rightly 'more' than other PC's.

Items and Scrolls.
Several items in the game allow for fiend summoning - particularly the Stygian Contracts, which I think are great.  These should definitely remain for players to make use of, not just for mechanical reason but also roleplay reasons as well.  Not least of which these should be for DM events and interactions, plot wise or for crucial character development.

The reasoning behind this is that, well, fiend summoning canonically is a *big deal.*  Right now, it doesn't feel like it.  I am sure this idea could use some refining.  As it stands however, fiends becoming more of the domain of DM event status 'would' give them more of a feel of being as dangerous as they are supposed to be.  But if anyone else has thoughts on the matter, I'd love to hear it.

BastardSon

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Re: Planar Summoning in Ravenloft - Suggested Changes
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2019, 04:27:12 AM »
Agreed, also remove Perfidus for the same reason. If this sounds sarcastic, it is not.

foxtale

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Re: Planar Summoning in Ravenloft - Suggested Changes
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2019, 06:40:57 AM »
At the very least I would be interested in hearing some official ruling on how to treat the casually dispatched fiend NPCs IC as opposed to the horrifying creature's described in the ingame available guide to their kind. I understand having them as enemies for gameplay fun but it'd be good to have some decision made that they are somehow "lesser" etc. in our server canon than the named beasts described in the source material.
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EO

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Re: Planar Summoning in Ravenloft - Suggested Changes
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2019, 09:10:08 AM »
Fiends being more prevalent is a compromise (like many others) we've made because this is a PW and not a PnP campaign. In a PnP campaign, you wouldn't have dozens of level 15+ characters running around the world stomping on everything either. Fiends are rare in PnP because high level casters are; here they're not, so fiends will be more commonly summoned.

In the end, like all other monsters, we have to choose. Either we remove all encounters and turn them into unique creatures reserved for DM plots, and people just sit in the outskirts doing nothing or we have monsters that respawn in the world and are less "unique."

Iridni Ren

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Re: Planar Summoning in Ravenloft - Suggested Changes
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2019, 10:48:17 AM »
Fiends being more prevalent is a compromise (like many others) we've made because this is a PW and not a PnP campaign. In a PnP campaign, you wouldn't have dozens of level 15+ characters running around the world stomping on everything either. Fiends are rare in PnP because high level casters are; here they're not, so fiends will be more commonly summoned.

In the end, like all other monsters, we have to choose. Either we remove all encounters and turn them into unique creatures reserved for DM plots, and people just sit in the outskirts doing nothing or we have monsters that respawn in the world and are less "unique."

Agreed. Most monsters in the module are hordes of "ancient lords" and similar, rather than those being rare and accompanied by many lesser minions.

Perhaps, for example, the untended pit fiend summons drift over to Perfidus, explaining why it is the way it is.

Because my good PC has been told that any summons are trapped here, she never uses the corresponding spell that would bring a good creature. But removing all of them for casters would seem like a pretty big nerf.

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Ken14

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Re: Planar Summoning in Ravenloft - Suggested Changes
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2019, 11:16:16 AM »
I like the idea!

I will add that I don't consider pit fiends and the likes of perfidus to be 'lesser'. After all you need the aid of at least one powerful mage to even stand a chance, and a dispel is always around the corner.

                 
Way I roleplay is that every strike into Perfidus is a guerilla raid, trying to strike down as many small groups as possible, before the entire area catches wind of invaders and murders us all.


Regardless, I would certainly love the idea of dread summons. I've gotten around the concept by roleplaying that Morfindel (for example) has a contract with a group of Slaads, but yes, it is a bit of a stretch.

It would be great if dread summons are a thing, especially if they're affected by Enhanced Summoning feats and the like. Especially if they're iconic creatures to the server.

Not sure what Lesser Planar Binding and Planar Binding could be replaced by, but Greater Planar Planar Binding could certainly be a Desert Troll or a Dread Elemental under your control, maybe?


Gate might need to be replaced as well, considering it calls up a Balor. Maybe that could call up a Salt Shadow, instead? I won't mention where, but you can find an instance of one being bound and non-hostile, so that could make sense.