How Will This Edition Handle Conjuration, Planar Binding and Necromantic Armies?

I'm quite concerned that my very favorite forms of magic users to play, Conjurers, Necromancy/Zombie Hoarde Master Army sorts
and people who bargain with Planar entities are not and have never been even close to supported in Dungeons and Dragons Next.

Conjuration is clearly missed with the total absence of the Summon Monster spells.

I cannot accept a Wizard or Sorcerer who cannot summon creatures just as I can't accept one who could never learn how to cast Fireball or Fly. It seems that iconic and crucial to so many concepts that I'm flabbergasted that they've never even tried to implement these spells that have
been to my mind so iconic and critical to a popular understanding of eldritch casting and to the decades-long tradition of monster-summoning in Dungeons and Dragons.

I'd really love for the upcoming playtest packet to at least give spells like Summon Monster and Animate Dead the good ol' College
Try!

Anything with minions (in this sense) is going to require a lot of math and some sort of control subsystem, so I'm not surprised that they're putting it off for now.

I do hope they get rid of that silly Hit Dice cap for undead control, though. It's hard to make a suitable evil necromancer who only has four zombies to work with.

The metagame is not the game.

My bet will be that this is one of the concepts that will take a page from 4E and preserve the action economy. If you conjure/animate/bind something, it will only act if you use your action to command it every round. (Alternately, it could use the "Concentration" mechanic, so you are locked out of other spellcasting at the least.)

If that turns out to be true is true, are you still so eager to have those spells?
Its one of those things wizards are going to put off as long as they can to try and get it presentable when they do drop it.

Flying and summoning are two things that can divide players easily and just as easily break the math. Having an undead army or many minions can lead to one player dominating time in combat and throwing the dms attempts at encounter balance with numbers being all over the place.

Simply put, when or if they release it there will be a huge (and expected) fecal storm. Its no surprise they want to avoid it.
FUrthermore I have a question does an individual wizard have to be able to do ALL of the things listed in the OP to count as a wizard, or can it be that the wizard CLASS can do ALL the things, but an individual wizard can only do ONE or SOME.

Because if every wizard has to be able to do ALL the things then that right there is a problem.


A large part of the issue with the summon masters and undead horde leaders was that because they didn't sacrifice access to other spells to get the summon and necro stuff they could function as full fledged battle wizards while controlling their armies and this really amped up the power/versatility differential between mages and non-mages.
Action economy didn't work to well IMO.  It never felt like you had a pet, it only felt like you where remotly operating things.  (though i would like a remotely operating things class too).

Concentration would work well for temporary summons, but not so much for pet's.

I do hope they get rid of that silly Hit Dice cap for undead control, though. It's hard to make a suitable evil necromancer who only has four zombies to work with.

Dunno, that sounds like a good way to do things to me.

Of course, the number should scale, like 1HD/1 levels, but otherwise it seems good.  20 zombies should make a reasonable army.  Or 5 zombies and a 15HD dracolitch.  Or perhaps reanimate your 20HD fighter ally who just died.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

I do hope they get rid of that silly Hit Dice cap for undead control, though. It's hard to make a suitable evil necromancer who only has four zombies to work with.

Dunno, that sounds like a good way to do things to me.

Of course, the number should scale, like 1HD/1 levels, but otherwise it seems good.  20 zombies should make a reasonable army.  Or 5 zombies and a 15HD dracolitch.  Or perhaps reanimate your 20HD fighter ally who just died.

A party of level 20 characters would tear through 20 one-hit-die zombies in less than a round. What I need is some way to set up the (level 5-7) Big Bad of a whole adventure, that would take the party from level 1 to level 5, with enough fairly-weak minions to take over a kingdom without relying on plot artifacts or special NPC powers that players could never have access to.

The metagame is not the game.

A single pet or two isn't a problem, familiars, golems, animal companions, these can all be made balanced, the trick is when you've got a familiar, three golems, a dozen undead, plus whatever meat shields you've summoned.

A single pet can be balanced even with it's own action count, It's when you have a half dozen of them and they're all pimped to the nines that tou have issues.

Pets can be independent monsters but they should be of far lesser complexity than PCs, 3e Pets were just as complex and powerful (if not more so) than some classes. 
I love 4e, but I feel like it went overboard on how it dealt with summoning/companions/etc. Summoning is complicated - in addition to action economy issues, it requires either a fixed list of creatures or it makes the monster manual a player book.

Part of where I think 4e missed the boat is this: When somebody wants to play a character that summons stuff or commands undead or whatever, they're almost never thinking "I want a character who maybe summons a critter once in a while, and nearly always only one at a time." They're imagining a huge herd of undead or wolves or demons or whatever. And there's nothing wrong with that! That's awesome! Every time I've ever had any inclination to play a summoner-type in D&D (except for the actual PF Summoner class), that's exactly where my mind went too!

Unfortunately, the Enormous Herd is also the toughest kind of summoning to handle. If you make all of the members of the enormous herd independant creatures, you really gum up the battle, even if you use timesaving tricks like average damage. This is doubly true if the herd is heterogenous or make up of creatures with "interesting" abilities. If you impose shared actions, then any herd at all - even a herd of two - starts to feel pretty lame and basically like a huge waste.

I think it's worth it for Next to do everything it can to support characters who want a large number of undead/summoned creatures/whatever. It's the dream. It's a huge part of why the summoner archetype is appealing in the first place. I don't think it should be abandoned unless there's really no way to make it deal-with-able. (And as someone who's admitted more than their share of summoner-style characters into 3.5/PF games, I really do think that it's important that the game builds in some kind of speed-up mechanic for them. "They are all just creatures with all their own actions and complexity and stuff" stymies players who are relatively on the ball, and not everybody who wants to play a summoner is relatively on the ball.)
Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
I do hope they get rid of that silly Hit Dice cap for undead control, though. It's hard to make a suitable evil necromancer who only has four zombies to work with.

Dunno, that sounds like a good way to do things to me.

Of course, the number should scale, like 1HD/1 levels, but otherwise it seems good.  20 zombies should make a reasonable army.  Or 5 zombies and a 15HD dracolitch.  Or perhaps reanimate your 20HD fighter ally who just died.

A party of level 20 characters would tear through 20 one-hit-die zombies in less than a round. What I need is some way to set up the (level 5-7) Big Bad of a whole adventure, that would take the party from level 1 to level 5, with enough fairly-weak minions to take over a kingdom without relying on plot artifacts or special NPC powers that players could never have access to.

Do you expect a level 20 fighter to single handedly take over a kingdom?  How about a level 20 paladin?  I don't.

IMO, a level 20 necromancer should die to a full party of level 20 PC's in a round (or 2), as would the fighter, druid, paladin, or any other class.

In both cases, what the BBEG needs, is allies.  The BBEG allies it self with lesser men (cultist), and probably has some generials (litches), in their pay.  Though, pay may mean being able to kill the living, rather then gold.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

They need good rules for running mass monsters on both sides of the screen.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Do you expect a level 20 fighter to single handedly take over a kingdom?  How about a level 20 paladin?  I don't.

IMO, a level 20 necromancer should die to a full party of level 20 PC's in a round (or 2), as would the fighter, druid, paladin, or any other class.

In both cases, what the BBEG needs, is allies.  The BBEG allies it self with lesser men (cultist), and probably has some generials (litches), in their pay.  Though, pay may mean being able to kill the living, rather then gold.

I expect a level 5-7 necromancer to single-handedly take over a (fairly small) kingdom. The necromancer shouldn't need allies, because he has a huge army of undead.

The PCs then, having class levels, are free to wade through those countless minions and actually challenge the necromancer.

The metagame is not the game.

Do you expect a level 20 fighter to single handedly take over a kingdom?  How about a level 20 paladin?  I don't.

IMO, a level 20 necromancer should die to a full party of level 20 PC's in a round (or 2), as would the fighter, druid, paladin, or any other class.

In both cases, what the BBEG needs, is allies.  The BBEG allies it self with lesser men (cultist), and probably has some generials (litches), in their pay.  Though, pay may mean being able to kill the living, rather then gold.

I expect a level 5-7 necromancer to single-handedly take over a (fairly small) kingdom. The necromancer shouldn't need allies, because he has a huge army of undead.

The PCs then, having class levels, are free to wade through those countless minions and actually challenge the necromancer.

Again, can a level 5-7 fighter single-handely take over a (fairly small) kingdom?

Can a level 5-7 wizard do it?  Can a level 5-7 paladin?  Monk? Rogue?

Or are necromancers somehow special? 

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Well, see, that's your problem/solution - you are putting PC restrictions on your BBEG.  Just because a PC can't summon a horde of zombies doesn't mean your big bad Necromancer can't...  Big Bads always do stuff PCs can't.  That's why they are Big Bads.

So your Evil Necromancer invades with his horde of zombies, and your Heroic PCs needs to decide - can we cut them down, do we need an army of our own, maybe ally with another nearby kingdom, or hire a minion master for own side, etc etc.

But in regars to the OP, yes, I'm sure they'll get there eventually, we'll just have to be patient.  As you said, it's never been handled well, so I imagine they'll put it off till they get more of the structure set in place.
Big Bads always do stuff PCs can't.  That's why they are Big Bads.

So... PCs can never be the Big Bads?

Again, can a level 5-7 fighter single-handely take over a (fairly small) kingdom?

Can a level 5-7 wizard do it?  Can a level 5-7 paladin?  Monk? Rogue?

Yes. They just have to play to their strengths. A fighter could probably take over a horde (equivalent to a small kingdom) by challenging its leader to single combat. A rogue could take over a large city through manipulating underworld connections (lots of skill checks involved), or just by sneaking around and assassinating the right people. A paladin wouldn't necessarily want to take over, but could still go the fighter route. That's just in terms of game mechanics, though; obviously, anyone can take over anything if they RP it right.

Or are necromancers somehow special?

Also yes. Necromancers specialize in using a resource that others discard freely. They're really good at biding their time and building an army with which to take over small kingdoms. It's what they do. The trade-off is that they're fairly weak against anything capable of standing against a horde of low-level minions.

The metagame is not the game.

Being able to summon a big group of undead or monsters and control them, why would I bother having other characters go with me? 
The solution here is that any number of zombies a necromancer can summon, a fighter or a paladin can aquire a rougly equal number of relatively unskilled warriors for a similary investment of time and resources.

If the necromancer gets a battalion of 100 zombies at level 10 if he spends a few days creating them, a fighter should be able to put out a want add and get a similarly sized army of peasents with clubs.

And before anyone mentions that the fighter shouldn't get as many since he doesn't need the protection because he can fight, I'd say that balances out with the fact a necromancer can still cast other spells.
Being able to summon a big group of undead or monsters and control them, why would I bother having other characters go with me? 

More zombies for later.

Being able to summon a big group of undead or monsters and control them, why would I bother having other characters go with me? 

More zombies for later.





Hah! Exactly. I'm not suggesting player's shouldn't be able to do this but having 4 zombies, for low and mid-level adventures is pretty darn good to have. If you're really high level and want a small army, it would seem that other PCs would prefer to not have to deal with that. 
Being able to summon a big group of undead or monsters and control them, why would I bother having other characters go with me? 

Summoning is different than creating, especially in this case (since summoning is temporary). The answer, however, is "because undead are idiots." Your average skeleton can be foiled by a locked door.

The solution here is that any number of zombies a necromancer can summon, a fighter or a paladin can aquire a rougly equal number of relatively unskilled warriors for a similary investment of time and resources.

A fair point, though the necromancer will still have the edge in not needing to feed her army, or maintain its morale (which is balanced by the peasants being self-aware and capable of doing anything without being explicitly told).

The metagame is not the game.

There is a mechanical solution in limiting large-scale conjuration and necromancy powers in other ways.  Maybe at a certain threshold of summoned zombies, a necro just doesn't have the expansive mental capacity to direct them all, so they act as relatively stationary turrets, or an aoe spell.  Maybe it is possible to move them, but the necro has to bend all his will to it, so that makes them slow shamblers who have to stop moving to fight back against any encroacher.  There's all kinds of ways to do it.

4e just went a little too far with the action economy in many cases.  Spending your own action to direct 4-5 zombies is pretty potent, and I'd say it's on a par with... Spending your own action to direct around a flaming sphere, for instance.  Or spending your own action to make a few powerful melee attacks and kick an orc into a pit, which is the kind of stuff the fighter ought to be doing around that level.
4E handled big summons of large demons and the like in a fairly balanced way. The closest you got to a zombie army though was a strange hybrid combination of ranger and druid with a large degree of refluffling, and even then you only got up to around 5 on a good day.

By all means, I would love for a necromancer build that centers around having a contanst force of skeletal minions, and indeed I found a homebrew class that did something just like that.

The problem comes in when you have to balance actions out. Basically, if a fighter using his turn can deal 20 damage,  the necromancer should be able to use his turn to have 4 minions each make an attack roll to deal 3 or 4 a piece. It doesn't match the damage output, but it can be spread around, and doesn't hinge on a single roll. The key thing is that the necromancer still has spells, which I think what would be a fair compromise is to require using a spell slot to keep a skeleton as permanant, and make it so skeletons only improve by spending higher level slots. But the skeletons also shouldn't improve much in terms of durability, and there should be a limit on how many skeletons could be commanded each turn.

It's possible to balance, but it requires a lot of weighing of pros and cons.
My opinion is WotC has got a great interest about this. The D&D franchise could be perfect to create a game about duel of "collectable arena monsters" like Pokemon or Digimon. 

 en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Creature_...


I suposse there is more seven characters the game would use the module for skirmish (and henchmen). 

(And a squire gnome could be too weak to fight, but he can a fast crossbow reloaded who help a shooter PC).

Other matter is most of monster ought to be designed like potential "pets" (mounts, summoned creatures, wizard´s familiar, druid´s companion..).

* The future of online games are the MOBA (= multiplayer online battle arena, for example DotA). Skirmishs with player team vs player team. I guess the module for henchmen and "magic pets" will be used for D&D MOBA adaptations.

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

I am still waiting for a system that does this well for PCs.  The big issues always seem to be:
1) Summoning is too powerful
2) Takes to long for 1 PC to play through his turn when he has a small army

If you can find a good way to address those two issues than by all means it should be in the system. 
I am still waiting for a system that does this well for PCs.  The big issues always seem to be:
1) Summoning is too powerful
2) Takes to long for 1 PC to play through his turn when he has a small army

If you can find a good way to address those two issues than by all means it should be in the system. 



The option for number one is simply the caster uses his own actions to command his summon, combined with summons being worse than a fighter of equal level, with one gimmick that makes them worth using.

That sorts things out for summoning big things, for smaller things it should be making them die in one-hit, deal meager damage, and still require the caster use actions to control them as a group.

As for number two, I think that would best be addressed by having the caster use his actions to command them, cutting down on further casting during the time, as well as limiting to max number of small monsters summoned by a single spell to around 4 or 5.

Large armies of zombies would best be placed in the same book that provides rules for large scale combat, along with rules for how zombie armies are created.
For big groups I suggest squad worked with a game mechanic like creatures with subtype swarmp.

 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

I propsed an idea towards the end of this thread 
community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...

 One spell "Summon lesser monsters" which is a mob of very simple creatures with only a single attack (only slightly more complex than rolling for a burst damage having each skeleton make an attack), and a "Greater Summon" spell summon one more interesting complex monster, such as a chimera or later a dragon.
Having an army on hand sounds like an ideal fit for the legacy system. While other PCs can raise human (or their race of choice) armies, necromancers make them out of zombies and skeletons.

It'd be good if 5e could create solid companion/pet rules that don't feel limiting while preserving balance.
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