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Initial Disclaimer: While I have bought a copy of the EA, I am putting off playing it for 8 days until my partner's birthday when we hope to play it together. As a result, this information is (currently) based on third person information - if I play the game and find the facts are different to what I have heard, I will either delete this post or modify it appropriately. However, what I have heard is sufficiently important that it felt worth starting a thread.

Hello all!

This is a thread about the limit of one summon per party member, and particularly with respect to the find familiar spell. The crux of my argument will be that I think find familiar should be exempt from the summon limit. There are two specific contexts in which I feel this is important:

1) Ranger Beast Master
  • As a Ranger intending to take the Beast Master enclave option, the most thematic Natural Explorer option would be Beast Tamer.
  • However, given both Find Familiar and Summon Companion count towards your summon limit of 1, and your companion beast will always be a better choice, once you reach 3rd level your 1st level feature becomes completely redundant.
  • As it stands, this seems to punish players for choosing a thematic Natural Explorer option, as a Beast Master who went for literally any other Natural Explorer option will be better off in the long run.
  • Given rangers always get the short straw and this game generally does such a good job of improving on the deficiencies of the PnP ranger, this makes me sad.


2) Necromancers and Conjurers
  • While I realise these Schools are not available in EA at the moment, I am assuming the intention will be to add them before full release
  • Similar to the Rangers, Conjuration and Necromancy wizards are going to be punished for taking more than one summoning spell, as they can only benefit from one at a time.
  • With bulky summons this doesn't seem unreasonable - and it could mitigate the every DM's (and presumably game designer's) nightmare of the fifth level druid summoning 8 elk onto the battlefield.
  • However, given familiars are traditionally a fairly central part of a wizard's character, and Find Familiar itself is the fundamental conjurtaion spell, it seems odd to force them to dismiss their baby familiar every time they want to get into a fight.


I feel the Ranger case is the more important one, but both seem pretty major flaws to the current set up in my eyes.

In terms of implementation, it depends exactly what the underlying code is but presumably each summon must be marked as a summon and/or there must be a counter for how many summons you have. Removing this marking / preventing Find Familiar from affecting that count shouldn't be too difficult.

In terms of balance, I can see the concerns that some people have aired about summoning builds getting too many attacks if you don't have an absolute summon limit. Personally, looking at the info I can find before playing, it seems like familiars are sufficiently weak that having one of these flitting around shouldn't be too much extra damage - if it is, that could easily be solved by just reducing the damage from their attacks or going closer to PnP and preventing them from attacking entirely (reducing them to a more scouting/utility role, perhaps with a 'Help' action as per PnP).

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Yes, these are some good points. I agree.


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Totally agree and I can empathise as someone who played a Beast Master and found myself somewhat irritated that I couldn't have a familiar and animal summon at the same time. It's daft that you are sort of handicapped for making a thematic character.

Is the 1 Summon Limit a part of 5e rules or a homebrew implemented by Larian?

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+1 Definitely agree, hopefully they can pull this off. Im hoping to play as a necromancer with multiple raise/summon spells.

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The original Beastmaster could never have succeeded without the help of both his eagle AND his panther!


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+1

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Mm, they really need to make it that abilities occupy their own slots. Familiar should have a familiar slot, beast companion its own, so on and so forth, so it we have multiple abilities that give us summons we are not gimped. One thing I hate is the interaction between mage hand and find familiar, which ultimately gimps both.

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Originally Posted by Etruscan
Is the 1 Summon Limit a part of 5e rules or a homebrew implemented by Larian?

It's a Larianism, not 5e. They also made Mage Hand a summon and concentration, so casting mage hand will kill your familiar or your animal companion.

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It seriously guts a major part of D&D. I'm baffled that the one-summon limit is a thing - there are entire iconic D&D classes and archetypes based on summoning large numbers of stuff.

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I liked the Familiars in BG2. They were unique depending on your alignment. Particularly useful scouts. They could hide in shadows/find traps, pickpocket, have magic resistance and cast spells. You could converse with them, and add them to your pack for safekeeping. You could also summon whatever you want with your familiar out.
Again for BG2 while not completely following the D&D2nd rules it 100% felt like D&D...Not sure were Larian is going with BG3s D&D...the game just lacks <focused> detail and atmosphere. Bioware/Blackisle were masters at this.

Last edited by mr_planescapist; 26/02/21 03:41 PM.
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Originally Posted by mr_planescapist
I liked the Familiars in BG2. They were unique depending on your alignment. Particularly useful scouts. They could hide in shadows/find traps, pickpocket, have magic resistance and cast spells. You could converse with them, and add them to your pack for safekeeping. You could also summon whatever you want with your familiar out.
Again for BG2 while not completely following the D&D2nd rules it 100% felt like D&D...Not sure were Larian is going with BG3s D&D...the game just lacks <focused> detail and atmosphere. Bioware/Blackisle were masters at this.

They basically halfway implemented 5e's Familiar system but not entirely so the mechanics are lacking.

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The summon limit is a particular problem for Druids, whose iconic playstyle involves summoning large numbers of creatures.

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Especially when they have made the bizarre choice to mechanically include flaming sphere as a summon. I'm seeing a lot of choices that are going to snowball into bigger problems.

Last edited by Ankou; 05/03/21 01:04 AM.
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The summon limit feels genuinely weird when concentration or going MAD is limit enough.

In theory you could go 3 War, 3 Ran, and 3 Art to get three "permanent" summons. But that's at the cost of 9 levels, and the effectiveness of each class is lowered so if someone wants to have more than one from different sources, I say let them.

Furthermore, mage hand should not require concentration and should not break concentration on spells. As far as I know, that is gimping the spell badly.

Concentration is the main limiter for summoner's, and that's why conjurer's get a level 14 feature to not have it broken by damage for Conjuration spells only. By getting hit the caster runs the chance of losing it or having the summon go berserk. You could waste a spell slot by summoning a fey only to have it disappear in the same round. Which is why a warlock summoner would fall back on their familiar (post Tasha's) and part of why concentration summons shouldn't even interact with permanent summons.

Which doesn't even get into my issue that familiars by raw, and mage hand, shouldn't be attacking directly like they are now. Warlocks can use their action and bonus action (Tasha's) to make theirs attack, but now all of them being able to attack creates a weird balance thing. And devalues concentration summons cause your current ones can attack and the concentration will dismiss it so just use the bird familiar to blind everything.


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