D&D 5E Anyone else annoyed at Wizards lack of Minion summoners?

5ekyu

Hero
So, I was looking at the wizard, and I rediscovered, yet again, a piece of it the bugs me. A lot.

If I'm making a Summoner wizard, I'm making one because I want to summon things to fight for me, not be cause I want the "Beam me up, Scotty" experience as I bamph around the field. Basically what I'm saying is the wizard doesn't have enough summon spells.

Right now, our options for wizard summoners are: Elementals, Undead, and FIENDS. Anyone seeing a pattern here? I get the undead, necromancy is common in tales and is it's own school of magic. I just find it irritating that our only option for a non-dark/evil summon wizard are Elementals. I feel like wizard is getting ripped off because other classes get things like Conjure Celestial(which I could also rant a bit on), Conjure Animals, Conjure Woodland Beings, and Conjure Fey.

I kinda feel that Conjurers, who specialize in conjuration magic, got kicked in the teeth in terms of their options. This makes it even more irritating when Wizards can't even use spell scrolls with the above spells on them, though I get not being able to copy them into the spell book. Honestly, I'm considering home brewing something like a Conjure Aberrations spell, or even house ruling that any caster can attempt to use any spell scroll, keeping the check for spells not of your class though.

I'm sorry that this is a bit if a rant, but this has just been very annoying and seems like Conjurers kinda Got hit with the naff end of the stick in terms of summoning, at least options wise. I just hope that WotC gives us more non-evil options in later supplements, and I know that Summon Demons and Infernal Calling are meant more to be villain spells than anything else, but the lack of option still annoys me.

So as i think back to older editions and try to get a sense of what you are meaning behind the language, it seems like you are missing the option to summon "normal creatures" as in an olde Summon Monster that popped up goblins or such as contrasted to the current focus on summons as dealing almost certainly with more exo-planar creatures.

if that is not it and you want or were referencing and you just want more summon good spirit kinds of stuff, sorry.

To my way of thinking, the current model pretty much sets the bar at summons calls things from other realms, not just normal folks from this realm. The exception is of course things like druid natural summoning but that is clearly almost more of a sense of "call animal" and a representation of their ties to nature.

For myself, I like this notion and distinction and think it sets a good more solid conceptual basis. Ye Olde "PCs summoned by a goblin shaman" debates being an example of the issues involved with allowing pretty non-specific summoning of more normal worldly denizens. I also do like linking the various teleport into the mix as well because of the similarity between bridging to bring a creature here and the manifestation of teleport.

So, if your argument is about wanting to summon neutral or good outsiders, i would suggest simply allowing the creation of or the
GM fiat of "a more generic approach to the existing spells.

Simply replace the "demon" or "infernal" with "outsiders" and allow the caster to set the "base alignment" of the creature types the Gm will drawn on.

There are, however, pitfalls that should be watched out for in expanding broadly the available summoning lists.

PITFALL... if you uses this as a way of adjusting the creature's reactions away from the types of reactions and control listed with the specific spells, that would be a red flag to me. As i look at the spells, their breakdown by level is as much or more about the type of control and interaction than it is the flavor of beastie. So if someone wanted to replace Summer lesser demon at 3rd with summon lesser "angel" (or whatever LG would be) and then argue they would be friendly to the caster and his LG allies, i would see that as a no-no.

PITFALL - if this was worked to be more of a "summon different powers" than "summon different allies to fight for me" because often "good" aligned creatures can have more healing or protective than offensive slashy bits, so that this could turn into a powerful, lower level mass heal out of combat, I would also view that as a red flag no-no bad faith effort. One of the more obvious cases would be say a low CR "good" outsiders which had an at will healing - even small - which might turn a 3rd level summons into a "heal whole party after fight" in addition to its use as a "summon minir beastie to scratch up enemies."

PITFALL - i would also make sure the lack of control over specific summon type was kept in line with the existing spells. That avoids again a "swiss army knife" scope increase by allowing the caster to summon creatures fitted to a specific tactic or need even in combat. of hand, grappling comes to mind as something where for combat a simple "dial-a-varmint" could really enable a potency beyond the level of the spell aspect to creep in from a significant scope increase.

At various times, in various editions, in various other games... it sometimes turned out that "more expansive summoning" ended up being morphed into a "swiss army knife" catch-all do-all utility "spell set" that gave an overly broad set of capabilities for rather low investment and expense. having seen that in play, i appreciate the 5e approach of making the summons much more "narrow" in their scope (and beefing it up with the ports) to try and keep the scope or "width" of each of those spells in line with the scope and "width" of most other spells.

Obviously at the higher levels, there should be more potent "summon from anywhere" broad conjure spells which have similar broad scope and difficulties and costs as do other types of "broad list of capabilities" spells.
 

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Oh, god, I remember reading Infernal Calling. What kind of idiot would cast that spell? The two other summoning spells are not too impressive either, really. Besides, I'm sorry, but fiend summoning is utterly reckless if not evil, so I don't see them as suitable for most D&D players or campaigns. Get to know Animate Objects, it's all you've got!
 

ad_hoc

(they/them)
Speaking of Infernal Calling, the spell details contain a great middle finger to the 80s satanic panic that plagued D&D.
 

Hussar

Legend
Summons slow down play and given how incredibly potent action economy is in this edition add a lot of power to the summoner's side. I can see why they limited it in this edition.

Except you have druids right over there who get all sorts of summoning spells. You can't really argue that it's too powerful to summon creatures if we already have a class that can do it.

Personally, I'd prefer they do a series of "summon monster" spells, but, you can't actually specify monsters. You get a generic "summon monster I" monster that has this power and these attacks. Cast Summon Monster II and you get more Summon Monster I monsters or a single bigger Summon Monster II monster which has these attacks and that power.
 


Remathilis

Legend
I've been thinking on this myself...

There is a common theme among all the conjure creature spells: they conjure spirits from other Realms.

* Conjure Celestial calls outsiders from the upper planes.
* Conjure Elemental calls outsiders from the elemental planes.
* Conjure Fey and Conjure Woodland Beings calls outsiders from the feywild.
* Conjure Animals specifically say they call "spirits" that take the shape of animals, not actual animals.
* Even find familiar and find steed don't use real animals but spirits from another plane in animal form.

Thus the common denominator is that summons call a creature not of the world and then sends them home when they die/spell ends. They don't call goblins, elves, minotaurs, dragons, giants, or any other "natural" creatures.

So what options are available to summoners then?

My first thought was to "conjure" spirits that take the form of mundane monsters or things that look and act like them. Where they come from is a bigger mystery; the shadowfell? Petitioners from the various planes? Similarly, the exact nature of the spell would need defining: is it creating a goblin out of thin air, creating the illusion of a goblin, or summoning an actual goblin spirit from Archeron?

Just some food for thought.
 

Wiseblood

Adventurer
I wish they had made summon monster and that it be stritcly non-magical beasts, humanoids and monstrosities. No spellcasting to get more spellcasting. Why doesn't WOTC get this?
 

mgshamster

First Post
I'm really happy that we no longer have Summon Monster I, Summon Monster II, Summon Monster III, etc...

I hated those spells. Bogged down the game, slowed battles, made caster classes even more needlessly OP. I'm glad they're a thing of the past.
 

Hawk Diesel

Adventurer
One suggestion I have is use the summon spells as is, maybe give a Conjuration wizard greater access to magic that summons things, and reskin them. Additionally, animate undead or animate object can be reskinned as summoning monsters by just changing the flavor of the spell. A zombie stat block has nothing in it that makes it inherently a zombie. Same thing with an animated suit of armor or a wolf. Stat blocks don't make the creature, the description and how they are used do.

Another option for more powerful summoning spells is to apply the mechanic witch bolt to the spell. Make the spell not only take the wizard's concentration, but also their action every round to maintain the spell and command the summoned creature. Doing this can help reduce the impact summoning has on action economy and reduce the impact on how summons used to slow down the game.
 

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