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Reworking non-sentient companions

 
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Essence
Knight-Baron


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
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Location: Olympia, WA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reworking non-sentient companions Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

REWORKING PETS

Since my first 3.0 game, the effect of various animal companions, sacred mounts, and familiars has annoyed me. Their value was high at 1st Ė (maybe) 3rd level, and then shot down as the companion couldnít really keep up with his master in any meaningful manner. Inspired by the elegant rules for Totem Companions in Monte Cookís Arcana Unearthed, I rewrote all three abilities in a way that should keep a well-designed animal companion, familiar, or sacred mount about on par with a well-designed cohort.

Without ado:

Animal Companion (Ex): At Xth level, the classname gains a special animal companion imbued with magical power. The animal is naturally (but not magically) loyal, and will leave if mistreated. The classname need not make Handle Animal checks to teach this companion tricks or tasks. If an animal companion dies, a new one appears in 10+1d10 days, in all ways identical to the one that died. Each time the classname gains a level, the animal companion gains a special hit die.

Ally HD: 1d8
Skill points: 4
Saves: Fort and Ref good.
BAB: +1 per HD
Special: in addition to the normal feats and attribute increases, for every four Ally HD, the creatureís Int score increases by one point and itís natural armor improves by one point. Ally HD count as Magical Beast HD for the purposes of spell targeting.

The animal companion gains additional abilities based on the classnameís level as follows:

[code]
Classname Teamwork Dodge Str. Con Special
Level Bonus Bonus Adj. Adj.
1st-4th +1 +1 +2 - Summoned creature,
work together, glower
5th-8th +1 +2 - +2 Empathic link, share spells
9th-12th +2 +3 +4 - better than one, willful
13th-16th +3 +4 - +4 Lookout, aid master
17th-20th +5 +5 +6 - Spell resistance,
distant Target
[/code]

Teamwork Bonus: The animal companion adds this number to itís attack and damage rolls if it is flanking with itís master.
Dodge Bonus to AC.: The number on the table is an improvement to the animal companionís existing AC, in the form of a dodge bonus.
Str Adj.: Add this figure to the animal companionís Strength score.
Con Adj.: Add this figure to the animal companionís Constitution score.
Summoned Creature (Su): As a free action, a classname may magically call his animal companion from the mystical realms in which it resides. The animal companion immediately appears adjacent to the classname and remains until dismissed at any time as a standard action. The animal companion is the same creature each time it is summoned, though the classname may release a particular animal companion from service.
If at least one hour has passed since the animal companion was last summoned, it appears in full health, regardless of any damage it may have taken previously. The animal companion also appears wearing or carrying any gear it had when it was last dismissed. Calling a animal companion is a conjuration (calling) effect.
Work Together (Ex): The animal companion and the master have an uncanny knack for fighting close together while staying out of one anotherís way. They may occupy the same square (or, in the case of large animal companions, the master may occupy one of the animal companionís squares) without interfering with one anotherís attacks, perception, Dex to AC, or other factors involved in combat. Enemies attacking into the square have a 50% chance of hitting either one.
Glower (Ex): The animal companion automatically gains ranks in Intimidate equal to itís HD plus three.
Empathic Link (Su): The classname has an empathic link with his animal companion out to a distance of up to 1 mile. The classname cannot see through the familiarís eyes, but they can communicate empathically. Because of the limited nature of the link, only general emotional content can be communicated.
Because of this empathic link, the classname has the same connection to an item or place that his familiar does.
Share Spells (Ex): At the classnameís option, she may have any spell or spell-like ability she casts on herself also affect her animal companion.
The animal companion must be within 5 feet at the time of casting to receive the benefit. If the spell or effect has a duration other than instantaneous, it stops affecting the animal companion if it moves farther than 5 feet away and will not affect the animal companion again even if it returns to the classname before the duration expires. Additionally, the classname may cast a spell with a target of ďYouĒ on her animal companion (as a touch range spell) instead of on herself. A classname and her animal companion can share spells even if the spells normally do not affect creatures of the animal companionís type (magical beast).
Better Than One (Su): The animal companion and the master share awareness of the battlefield such that neither counts as flanked or flatfooted unless both are flanked or flatfooted.
Willful(Ex): The animal companion gains a +2 bonus to Will saves.
Lookout (Su): While within 5 feet of each other, the master and the animal companion combine their Dex bonuses to AC, each gaining the total of the two.
Aid Master: Whenever the animal companion takes an aid another action to assist the masterís AC or attack rolls, the master gains an additional point of assistance per five HD of the animal companion.
Spell Resistance (Ex):The animal companionís spell resistance equals its masterís character level + 11
Distant Target (Ex): The animal companion can be targeted by touch-ranged spells or abilities itís master produces from anywhere within 1mile of itís master.



Sacred Mount (Ex): At Xth level, the classname gains a special mount imbued with magical power. The mount is naturally (but not magically) loyal, and will leave if mistreated. The classname need not make Handle Animal checks to teach this mount tricks or tasks. If a mount dies, a new one appears in 10+1d10 days, in all ways identical to the one that died. Each time the classname gains a level, the mount gains a special hit die.

Ally HD: 1d8
Skill points: 4
Saves: Fort and Ref good.
BAB: +1 per HD
Special: in addition to the normal feats and attribute increases, for every four Ally HD, the creatureís Int score increases by one point and itís natural armor improves by one point. Ally HD count as Magical Beast HD for the purposes of spell targeting.

The sacred mount gains additional abilities based on the classnameís class level as follows:


[code]
Classname Speed Dodge Str. Con Special
Level Adj. Bonus Adj. Adj.
1st-4th +5 ft +1 +2 - Summoned creature,
war mount, share saves
5th-8th +10 ft. +2 - +2 Empathic link, share spells
9th-12th Run +3 +4 - Improved agility,
share aura
13th-16th +15 ft. +4 - +4 Command kind,
share hit points
17th-20th Dire charge +5 +6 - Spell resistance,
share faith
[/code]

Speed Adj: Add this number to each of the mountís speeds. (Run) indicates that the mount gains Run as a virtual feat. (Dire Charge) indicates that the mount gains Dire Charge as a virtual feat.
Dodge Bonus to AC.: The number on the table is an improvement to the mountís existing AC, in the form of a dodge bonus.
Str Adj.: Add this figure to the mountís Strength score.
Con Adj.: Add this figure to the mountís Constitution score.
Summoned Creature (Su): As a free action, a classname may magically call his mount from the mystical realms in which it resides. The mount immediately appears adjacent to the classname and remains until dismissed at any time as a standard action. The mount is the same creature each time it is summoned, though the classname may release a particular mount from service.
If at least one hour has passed since the mount was last summoned, it appears in full health, regardless of any damage it may have taken previously. The mount also appears wearing or carrying any gear it had when it was last dismissed. Calling a mount is a conjuration (calling) effect.
War Mount (Ex): The mount provides the classname with a +3 competence bonus to Ride checks. Additionally, the classname may use the mountís Dexterity bonus to AC in place of itís own if the mountís is better, and vice versa.
Share Saving Throws: For each of its saving throws, the mount uses its own base save bonus or the classnameís, whichever is higher. The mount applies its own ability modifiers to saves, and it doesnít share any other bonuses on saves that the master might have.
Empathic Link (Su): The classname has an empathic link with his mount out to a distance of up to 1 mile. The classname cannot see through the familiarís eyes, but they can communicate empathically. Because of the limited nature of the link, only general emotional content can be communicated.
Because of this empathic link, the classname has the same connection to an item or place that his familiar does.
Share Spells: At the classnameís option, she may have any spell or spell-like ability she casts on herself also affect her mount.
The mount must be within 5 feet at the time of casting to receive the benefit. If the spell or effect has a duration other than instantaneous, it stops affecting the mount if it moves farther than 5 feet away and will not affect the mount again even if it returns to the classname before the duration expires. Additionally, the classname may cast a spell with a target of ďYouĒ on her mount (as a touch range spell) instead of on herself. A classname and her mount can share spells even if the spells normally do not affect creatures of the mountís type (magical beast).
Improved Agility (Ex): The mount may make up to one ninety-degree turn when charging or running with no adverse effects. Also, if the mount is a flying creature, itís maneuverability class improves by one stage.
Share Aura (Su): The mount and the classname may, while in contact with one another, merge their aura, allowing any magical items that one is using to affect both of them simultaneously, counting them as effectively one creature. This does not apply to spell-like items such as wands or potions, which must still target them as individuals, but it does count for items such as Bracers of Armor which provide a bonus to their wearer.
Command Kind (Sp): Once per day per two classname levels of its master, a mount can use this ability to command other any normal animal of approximately the same kind as itself, as long as the target creature has fewer Hit Dice than the mount. This ability functions like the Suggestion spell, but the mount must make a DC 21 Concentration check to succeed if itís being ridden at the time. If the check fails, the ability does not work that time, but it still counts against the mountís daily uses. Each target may attempt a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 mountís HD + mountís Cha modifier) to negate the effect.
Share Hit Points (Su): The mount or the classname may transfer hit points to each other on a one-for-once basis by touch. Each move action spend performing this action (only one must take the action, the other can take another action at the same time) allows the transfer of up to the classnameís character level in HP in either direction.
Spell Resistance (Ex): A mountís spell resistance equals its masterís character level + 11.
Share Faith (Su): The mount may, at the classnameís discretion, use special attacks and offensive abilities the classname gained from his class, such as Smite or Holy Blow. This ability only applies to special abilities or attacks that the mount is physically capable of using or making.




Familiar (Ex): At Xth level, the classname gains a special familiar imbued with magical power. The familiar is naturally (but not magically) loyal, and will leave if mistreated. The classname need not make Handle Animal checks to teach this creature tricks or tasks. If a familiar dies, a new one appears in 10+1d10 days, in all ways identical to the one that died. Each time the classname gains a level, the familiar gains a special hit die.

Ally HD: 1d8
Skill points: 4
Saves: Fort and Ref good.
BAB: +1 per HD
Special: in addition to the normal feats and attribute increases, for every four Ally HD, the creatureís Int score increases by one point and itís natural armor improves by one point. Ally HD count as Magical Beast HD for the purposes of spell targeting.

The familiar gains additional abilities based on the classnameís class level as follows:

[code]
Classname Speed Dodge Int Combat Special
Level Adj. Bonus Adj. Bonus
1st-4th +5 ft. +1 +2 +2 Summoned creature,
alertness,
empower master
5th-8th - +2 - +3 Empathic link,
share spells
9th-12th +10 ft. +3 +4 +4 Speak with master,
deliver touch spells
13th-16th - +4 - +5 Aid spellcasting,
scry target
17th-20th +15 ft. +5 +6 +6 Spell resistance,
teleport target
[/code]

Speed Adj: Add this number to each of the familiarís speeds.
Dodge Bonus to AC.: The number on the table is an improvement to the familiarís existing AC, in the form of a dodge bonus.
Int Adj.: Add this figure to the familiarís Intelligence score.
Combat Bonus: Add this figure to the familiarís natural attack and damage rolls.
Summoned Creature (Su): As a free action, a classname may magically call his familiar from the mystical realms in which it resides. The familiar immediately appears adjacent to the classname and remains until dismissed at any time as a standard action. The familiar is the same creature each time it is summoned, though the classname may release a particular familiar from service.
If at least one hour has passed since the familiar was last summoned, it appears in full health, regardless of any damage it may have taken previously. The familiar also appears wearing or carrying any gear it had when it was last dismissed. Calling a familiar is a conjuration (calling) effect.
Alertness (Ex): While a familiar is within armís reach of the master, they each gain a +2 bonus to Perception and Search checks.
Empower Master (Ex): Each type of familiar provides the master with a bonus to some activity, as listed in this chart: Editorís Note: My chart wonít work for your game; Iíve severly tweaked the skill list, as you can probably tell.

[code]
Familiar Special
Bat Master gains Blindsight 5í radius
Cat Master gains +3 to Stealth checks
Dog Master gains Track as a bonus feat
Eagle Master gains +3 to Perception checks
Hawk Master gains +3 to Survival checks
Lizard Master gains +1 Natural Armor
Monkey Master gains +3 to Athletics checks
Owl Master gains Darkvision 30í radius
Rat Master gains +2 to Fortitude saves
Raven Master gains +2 to Reflex saves
Tiny Viper Master gains Tremorsense in a 30í radius
Weasel Master gains +3 to Acrobatics checks
[/code]

Empathic Link (Su): The classname has an empathic link with his familiar out to a distance of up to 1 mile. The classname cannot see through the familiarís eyes, but they can communicate empathically. Because of the limited nature of the link, only general emotional content can be communicated.
Because of this empathic link, the classname has the same connection to an item or place that his familiar does.
Share Spells: At the classnameís option, she may have any spell or spell-like ability she casts on herself also affect her familiar.
The familiar must be within 5 feet at the time of casting to receive the benefit. If the spell or effect has a duration other than instantaneous, it stops affecting the familiar if it moves farther than 5 feet away and will not affect the familiar again even if it returns to the classname before the duration expires. Additionally, the classname may cast a spell with a target of ďYouĒ on her familiar (as a touch range spell) instead of on herself. A classname and her familiar can share spells even if the spells normally do not affect creatures of the familiarís type (magical beast).
Speak with Master (Ex): If the master is 5th level or higher, a familiar and the master can communicate verbally as if they were using a common language. Other creatures do not understand the communication without magical help.
Deliver Touch Spells (Su): A familiar can deliver touch spells for itís master. If the master and the familiar are in contact at the time the master casts a touch spell, he can designate his familiar as the ďtoucher.Ē The familiar can then deliver the touch spell just as the master could. As usual, if the master casts another spell before the touch is delivered, the touch spell dissipates.
Aid Spellcasting (Ex): The familiar may, when within 5 feet of itís master, take an Aid Another action to increase either the caster level or the DC of a spell the master is about to cast by 2.
Scry Target (Sp): The master may scry on his familiar (as if casting the Greater Scrying spell) once per day.
Spell Resistance (Ex): A familiarís spell resistance equals its masterís character level + 11.
Teleport Target (Sp): The master may teleport to his familiar (as if casting the Teleport Without Error spell) once per day.


Thoughts? Concerns? Ideas?

Thanks!


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Murtak
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 9:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Reworking non-sentient companions Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List


I only skimmed it so far ...

Essence wrote:
for every four Ally HD, the creatureís Int score increases by one point

But isn't the pet supposed to be non-sentient?

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Essence
Knight-Baron


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 5:56 am    Post subject: Re: Reworking non-sentient companions Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Heh. Good point; I suppose I mislabeled the thread. The point was that the companions in question don't generally have class levels/aren't treated like people, not that they have Animal intelligence.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2005 1:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Reworking non-sentient companions Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List


Essence wrote:
Each time the classname gains a level, the animal companion gains a special hit die. Ally HD: 1d8
Skill points: 4
Saves: Fort and Ref good.
BAB: +1 per HD
+0.25 Int, Natural armor
Ally HD count as Magical Beast HD for the purposes of spell targeting.

You may want to give it 4 skill points per level, regardless of intelligence. Otherwise I like it, beats animal HD which then get animal growthed and what not.



Essence wrote:
Teamwork Bonus

Any reason for the odd progression? Seems like it should be 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 instead of 1, 1, 2, 3, 5.



Essence wrote:
Summoned Creature (Su): As a free action, a classname may magically call his animal companion from the mystical realms in which it resides. The animal companion immediately appears adjacent to the classname and remains until dismissed at any time as a standard action.

I don't like this at all. It just seems odd to me to make your faithful companion go poof any time he is inconvinient. That is just flavor preference though - mechanically I can't see a problem with it.



Essence wrote:
Glower (Ex): The animal companion automatically gains ranks in Intimidate equal to itís HD plus three.

This seems odd. I mean, sure, if you are talking about an infernal companion this is fine, but as a general template for all companions?



Essence wrote:
Better Than One (Su): The animal companion and the master share awareness of the battlefield such that neither counts as flanked or flatfooted unless both are flanked or flatfooted.

That basically means that the pair is harder to flank while apart from each other than when they fight in the same square. It seems like it should be the other way around, so you might want to consider rewording this ability to hand out flanking immunity while in the same square.



Essence wrote:
Willful(Ex): The animal companion gains a +2 bonus to Will saves.

No apparent problem with this ability, but depending on the intent of the ability you may want to reword it. Say, a bonus to fear saves (or a new saving throw each turn if the master is in danger) might be more fitting.



Essence wrote:
Lookout (Su): While within 5 feet of each other, the master and the animal companion combine their Dex bonuses to AC, each gaining the total of the two.

That seems rather redundant, seeing as you already hand out that Dodge bonus.



Essence wrote:
Distant Target (Ex): The animal companion can be targeted by touch-ranged spells or abilities itís master produces from anywhere within 1mile of itís master.

Any special reason for this ability? My gut reaction was "only useful for remote control assassination and the likes".

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Essence
Knight-Baron


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2005 5:44 am    Post subject: Re: Reworking non-sentient companions Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Murtak wrote:

You may want to give it 4 skill points per level, regardless of intelligence. Otherwise I like it, beats animal HD which then get animal growthed and what not.


I really don't want to make pets any more different than a normal creature than I have to; I'd rather keep the SP+Int paradigm and, if experience shows it to be necessary, up the base SP to accomodate the low Int.


Murtak wrote:

Any reason for the odd progression? Seems like it should be 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 instead of 1, 1, 2, 3, 5.


To be perfectly honest, no; there is no reason except for some bizarre sense of 'rightness' when I looked at the chart.


Murtak wrote:

Essence wrote:
Summoned Creature (Su): As a free action, a classname may magically call his animal companion from the mystical realms in which it resides. The animal companion immediately appears adjacent to the classname and remains until dismissed at any time as a standard action.

I don't like this at all. It just seems odd to me to make your faithful companion go poof any time he is inconvinient. That is just flavor preference though - mechanically I can't see a problem with it.


Funny, that's the one aspect of these rules that everyone dislikes. I'll tell you what I told the people on Nifty:

Me on Nifty wrote:
The reason for the summonability is simply to allow characters to go on adventures wherein they are in a situation where their companions cannot follow, then reach a situation where their companions are appropriate once again. If you have to walk through a thousand-kilometre cramped cave network through the Bigwall Mountains in order to reach the Valley of Happy Bird-Like Creatures, you're basically screwed out of the advantage your pet grizzly bear is supposed to give you, because it can't get through the caves. That sucks.
It's OK for the DM to shaft you out of using your class features because he plans for it; it's not OK to be shafted because the DM thinks it's cool to make you go underground for a while and then have an adventure on the other side of the tunnel. Given a choice between keeping the 'low-magic' flavor of a Druid having an ordinary bear following her around because she's all aaa-aaa-aaa-aa-aa-aaaaaah! and allowing the Druid to actually use the abilities she's given when they're obviously appropriate, I'm always going to go with the more mechanically balanced option. If you prefer the flavor text, then ignore that one ability.



Murtak wrote:

Essence wrote:
Glower (Ex): The animal companion automatically gains ranks in Intimidate equal to itís HD plus three.

This seems odd. I mean, sure, if you are talking about an infernal companion this is fine, but as a general template for all companions?


Essentially, animal companions are melee creatures. Against a creature that has DR, or just a really high AC, I wanted to ensure that the companion had some other action they could take to be useful.

That, and really -- when shouldn't that Ranger's trained tiger be *really freaking scary* to a passer-by?


Murtak wrote:

Essence wrote:
Better Than One (Su): The animal companion and the master share awareness of the battlefield such that neither counts as flanked or flatfooted unless both are flanked or flatfooted.


That basically means that the pair is harder to flank while apart from each other than when they fight in the same square. It seems like it should be the other way around, so you might want to consider rewording this ability to hand out flanking immunity while in the same square.


An absolutely fascinating observation. Thank you for pointing that out. I think you are absolutely right.

Scratch the above, and change it to:

Better Than One (Su): As long as the master and the animal companion are within 5 feet of each other, neither one is considered flatfooted unless they are both flatfooted. As long as the master and the animal companion occupy at least one square in common, neither can be flanked except by a character with the Uncanny Dodge (Can't be Flanked) ability who has at least four more Hit Dice than the master.

Does that better accomplish the goal?


Murtak wrote:

Essence wrote:
Willful(Ex): The animal companion gains a +2 bonus to Will saves.

No apparent problem with this ability, but depending on the intent of the ability you may want to reword it. Say, a bonus to fear saves (or a new saving throw each turn if the master is in danger) might be more fitting.


The intent of the ability was to reduce the number of occasions that the companion became a liability by being dominated into attacking the master or party.


Murtak wrote:

Essence wrote:
Lookout (Su): While within 5 feet of each other, the master and the animal companion combine their Dex bonuses to AC, each gaining the total of the two.

That seems rather redundant, seeing as you already hand out that Dodge bonus.


The intent here was to reward the master for taking a creature with low Str/size and high Dex, since generally a large, strong creature is better in almost every case. It also helps with the general lack of equipment that would make a companion's AC dangerously low in these higher levels.



Murtak wrote:

Essence wrote:
Distant Target (Ex): The animal companion can be targeted by touch-ranged spells or abilities itís master produces from anywhere within 1mile of itís master.

Any special reason for this ability? My gut reaction was "nly useful for remote control assassination and the likes


The purpose was to allow the master to heal and buff the companion at a distance. Remote control assassination is certainly an option, however, and it's not one I object to the master having. Smile
.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2005 6:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Reworking non-sentient companions Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List


Essence wrote:
Funny, [pet summoning] the one aspect of these rules that everyone dislikes. I'll tell you what I told the people on Nifty (snip)

Oh, I can't fault your reasons at all. As I said, I do not have a logical reason for disliking pet summoning and poofing - well, I do actually: It hands out extradimesional storage space, it is essentially free movement and a couple of other reason. But that beats having a useless class feature.. I just wish I could think of a way to handle the travel problem other than pets spontaneously appearing and reappearing.

Hmm, maybe they could just count as one size category smaller for purposes of fitting into tunnels, through doors and the likes?



Essence wrote:
Re: Glower
Essentially, animal companions are melee creatures. Against a creature that has DR, or just a really high AC, I wanted to ensure that the companion had some other action they could take to be useful.

They could always start a grapple or use the aid another action, no?

Essence wrote:
That, and really -- when shouldn't that Ranger's trained tiger be *really freaking scary* to a passer-by?

Exactly when that ranger's tiger might just as well be that ranger's badger or fox or porpoise. Anything scary can just spend skill points on intimidate.



Essence wrote:
Better Than One (Su): As long as the master and the animal companion are within 5 feet of each other, neither one is considered flatfooted unless they are both flatfooted. As long as the master and the animal companion occupy at least one square in common, neither can be flanked except by a character with the Uncanny Dodge (Can't be Flanked) ability who has at least four more Hit Dice than the master.

Does that better accomplish the goal?

That looks much better to me, yes.



Essence wrote:
Murtak wrote:
[Lookout] seems rather redundant, seeing as you already hand out that Dodge bonus.

The intent here was to reward the master for taking a creature with low Str/size and high Dex, since generally a large, strong creature is better in almost every case.

Oh, I was under the impression you were using something else than default animals - especially seeing as you apparently do not use the animals' hit diece at all. So under this system a first level pet owner could run around with a dire bear pet (with just a single hit die)?

Essence wrote:
It also helps with the general lack of equipment that would make a companion's AC dangerously low in these higher levels.

That is much better fixed directly (by increasing the AC bonus you already hand out) than indirectly and retroactively. And anyways, what about masters with low dex? Are their pets in less need of AC?



Essence wrote:
The purpose [of Distant Target] was to allow the master to heal and buff the companion at a distance.

A distance of one mile?

Oh, and what is your reasoning behind having pets be buffable at range, while players are not? Heck, you can already dismiss your pet as a move action, summon it as a free action and then buff it.

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Modesitt
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 5:49 am    Post subject: Re: Reworking non-sentient companions Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Murtak wrote:
I just wish I could think of a way to handle the travel problem other than pets spontaneously appearing and reappearing.


Think Pokeball. Or in D&D terms, a replacable figurine of wonderous power.

Instead of having your pet actually disappear, what if it was just miniturized? Maybe anyone can reduce the size of a companion to two smaller than their own. Or you can turn your ally into a small figurine. Game mechanically it's almost exactly the same as *POOF*, but from a flavor stand point your character doesn't just tell your companion to go away when it isn't useful. High-level companions could get the ability to teleport to you 1/day so as to avoid miniturization.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 2:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Reworking non-sentient companions Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Ess is testing his new rules on me (wife = guinea pig, apparently), and I don't like the summoning ability, either. He let me go with miniaturization, and so far, that's worked out just fine.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 8:03 am    Post subject: Re: Reworking non-sentient companions Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Essence wrote:

Lookout (Su): While within 5 feet of each other, the master and the animal companion combine their Dex bonuses to AC, each gaining the total of the two.


As far as I can tell this abiltiy will be crazy broken. This is the kind of thing that will lead people to polymorph their companion into something with tons of dex, give it bracers of dex +6 or whatever and then store it in their sack and use it as a free dex bonus.

Stick to giving just the companion AC bonuses. The master shouldn't get anything extra from it. You want to move away from WotC's paradigm of companions where you just want to keep a toad in your pocket to gain more hit points. That means that all the benefits of a companion should be the companion itself as an extra combatant, without any combat benefits to the master for keeping it alive.

Because if the master wants it alive for his own bonuses, then you can bet the companion is going right into some sack and won't be heard from ever again.
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Essence
Knight-Baron


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 536
Location: Olympia, WA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2005 8:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Reworking non-sentient companions Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

If people really want to have their powerful melee cohort sit around being useless so they can pocket an AC bonus, that's fine with me. They are literally intentionally crippling themselves.
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