Sep 30 2014

Summoner Subclass for D&D 5E, First Pass

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I don’t know if my Eberron game is savable, given how much resistance I felt to running it the past few times I tried, even with an adventure already prepped. However, Hantamouse and Sirfox have both expressed interest in it, so if I can figure out just what it is that was bugging me and fix it, there might be hope for it yet. I have pretty much decided to jump from Pathfinder to 5E, tho, which means conversions would be required.

The game had a very offbeat mish-mash of races and classes. The races are not a problem, I can do those easily. The classes are more of an issue, as PF operates on a whole different scale and set of assumptions about class complexity, spell availability, and so on. So today I’m looking at Summoners.

In 5E, the “Summon X” spells have all been replaced by “Conjure X” spells instead, and have all had their levels severely bumped. Conjure Animals, the lowest level summoning spell, is 3rd level, and allows you to summon critters of CR 2 or lower (as a 5th level caster).

Given 5E‘s “bounded accuracy” model, this is understandable: being outnumbered is much worse than being outgunned, and every creature summoned effectively doubles the summoner’s ability to impact the fight. The “action economy” was already important in 3.x/PF, but in 5E it’s a major deciding factor. This is why, for instance, beastmaster rangers effectively have the choice of taking an action themselves, or having their animal companion take one instead. 5E wizards are conjuring critters at around the levels where fighters are attacking two or three times in a round. Wizards can cast find familiar at 1st level, but familiars are specifically forbidden from attacking in combat.

So, how to build a 5E summoner class? It depends on if we want to match the Pathfinder class or just build something off the summoner archetype. Most of the summoners that have appeared in games I’ve seen seem to be tapping their own innate magic rather than studied wizards, so “Summoner” becomes a Sorcerous Origin (basically sorcerer subclass). At 1st level, they automatically know the conjure eidolon spell (1st level, ritual), which can be cast at various levels for various effects:

  • First Level: Essentially as find familiar. Although obviously an otherworldly creature, the eidolon has the stats of a Tiny beast of CR 0 (such as a bat or weasel). The eidolon has either the celestial, fiendish, or fey subtype. The eidolon has all of the characteristics of a familiar, including the ability to be temporarily dismissed, the telepathic link with the summoner, and the ability to deliver touch spells.
  • Second Level: The eidolon acts as a ranger’s animal companion. It has the stats of a Medium or smaller beast of CR 1/4 or lower, but adds your proficiency bonus to its AC, attack rolls, damage rolls, and any skills and saving throws it is proficient in. Its hp maximum equals its normal hp maximum or four times your sorcerer level, whichever is higher. It can attack foes as directed by the summoner, as a ranger’s companion.
  • Third Level: As second level, but the eidolon has the stats of a Large or smaller beast or monstrosity of CR 2 or lower.
  • Fourth Level: As third level, but the eidolon has the stats of a Large or smaller beast or monstrosity of CR 3 or lower.
  • Fifth Level: As fourth level, but the eidolon has the stats of a Huge or smaller beast or monstrosity of CR 4 or lower.
  • Sixth Level: As fifth level, but the eidolon has the stats of a Huge or smaller beast, monstrosity, or elemental of CR 4 or lower.
  • Seventh Level: As sixth level, but the eidolon has the stats of a Huge or smaller beast, monstrosity, or elemental of CR 5 or lower.
  • Eighth Level: As seventh level, but the eidolon has the stats of a Huge or smaller beast, monstrosity, or elemental of CR 6 or lower.
  • Ninth Level: As eighth level, but the eidolon has the stats of a Huge or smaller beast, monstrosity, or elemental of CR 7 or lower.

Conjure eidolon does not count against the sorcerer’s limit of spells known, and in all other ways acts as find familiar. All of the “Conjure [creature]” spells are considered to be on the Sorcerer Spell List for summoners, even though they are not normally on the Sorcerer Spell List. These spells cannot be cast while the summoner’s eidolon is present, but they may be cast if the summoner temporarily dismisses the eidolon (as the find familiar spell).

At 6th level summoners gain Summoner’s Call, the ability to instantly summon their eidolon to their side or swap places with their eidolon as if they had cast dimension door. (They cannot move themselves to their eidolon’s side, they must either summon it, or switch places.) This can be done as a bonus action. Once this ability is used, it cannot be used again until the summoner completes a short or long rest.

At 14th level summoners gain a Life Bond with their eidolon. As long as the eidolon has at least 1 hit point, damage in excess of that which would reduce the summoner to fewer than 0 hit points is instead transferred to the eidolon. This damage is transferred 1 point at a time, meaning that as soon as the eidolon is reduced to 0 hp, all excess damage remains with the summoner.

At 18th level summoners gain the ability to Merge with their eidolon. This transformation includes all of the summoner’s gear. While merged in this way, the summoner is protected from harm and cannot be the target of spells or effects. All effects and spells currently targeting the summoner are suspended until the summoner emerges from the eidolon (although durations continue to expire).

The summoner can cast spells while inside the eidolon by taking control of the eidolon for the duration of the casting. Any material components used for these spells are taken from the summoner’s gear, even though they are otherwise inaccessible. The summoner can direct all of the eidolon’s actions while merged, can perceive through its senses, and can speak through its voice.

Once the summoner uses this ability, it is expended until they complete a short or long rest. The can end this effect at will, emerging adjacent to the eidolon if able. If the eidolon is returned to its home plane while the summoner is merged with it, the summoner is immediately ejected, taking 4d6 points of damage, and is stunned for 1 round.

…Whattya think, sirs?

-The Gneech

Aug 08 2014

KarmaKat Commission 2/4

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Karmakat Commish 2/4 by the-gneech on deviantART

So apparently these take place sometime in the 1-4 year period after the end of the original SJ comic, as it’s after Tiffany and Leonard get married, but before the actual birth of their son Louis.

(Trivia: Louis Liger is known as “Little Louis” to distinguish him from Tiffany’s brother Louis Tiger, who is known as “Big Louis,” even though Little Louis eventually grows to be something like twice Big Louis’s height.)

-The Gneech

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Jul 16 2014

Rarity– Waiting for Inspiration Collab

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Rarity– Waiting for Inspiration Collab by the-gneech on deviantART

This is a collaboration with LateCustomer on DeviantArt. When I saw his sketch “Waiting for Inspiration” (here: ) I was pretty much instantly seized with a burning desire to ink and color it.

Fortunately, he was kind enough to give me permission to do so! Thanks dude! I hope you’re pleased with the result.

-The Gneech

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Jul 07 2014

Good Night @AnthroCon, We Love You :)

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Heading to bed with another AnthroCon sinking slowly in the west. Normally I drive back on Sunday, but this time, partially at Sirfox’s request, we’re staying until Monday. That’s probably a good thing, actually, as I could really use a sleep-in before driving 5 hours to get us back to VA.

All in all, it’s been a good one. :) No super-high highs, but plenty of nice little moments. As I mentioned on Twitter, Uncle Kage introduced me to Lee Tocker (the voice actor of Snips and Steven Magnet on MLPFIM) by describing himself as a fan of mine, which I was quite flattered by. I also got to see some of my regular crew, such as Buck Turner, InvisibleWolf and Derrick, Teiran and Fuzzwolf, LionKingCMSL, Mooncat, and several others. I got to chat some with RebelSquirrel, which I enjoyed; met Xylo, the new director of the InterventionCon dealer room, who was one of my neighbors in the dealer room; and Path, the chair of Furry Fiesta, who has declared that I am stalking him by virtue of him being everywhere I was about to go anyway (including my own hotel room).

Sales were nice and solid, too. Not quite up to my peak perhaps, but definitely better than last year. I have nearly sold out of several older items and need to work on creating new product before InterventionCon, but having new books on the table was a great feeling. :) I am also getting better about working all of my table materials into a manageable set that can be carried to and from the venue in a single rolling suitcase, as opposed to the enormous stacks of boxes of yesteryear. Some of that was Kerry’s tendency towards sprawlingness, but a lot of it was just me being disorganized and muddle-headed.

Weight-wise, I was a little over my daily point allotment each day of the con, but not by very much, and I easily made it back up in activity points from walking all over the place. I did have to go to one of the leatherworking vendors and ask them to add a couple of new holes to my belt in order to tighten it more, which I’m hoping is an indicator of success on that front.

Tomorrow (er, later today?) when I get home, I’m going to start posting pages of Rough Housing to my FurAffinity account, on recommendation of the FurPlanet guys. I’ve also got to crank out pages for next week and get some commish work done, so I’m going to be a busy, busy Gneech when I get back! But a happy one. It’s very nice to finally be doing my proper work as my real job. Now all I have to do is figure out how to get my boss to increase my salary. ;)

So g’nite AnthroCon, we love you. :) And good night to the rest of the world, and have an awesome tomorrow. :)

-The Gneech

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Jul 02 2014


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“Oh, I found an answer to that question,” Brigid said.

“And good day to you, Captain Out-of-Context,” Greg replied. “Which question?”

“You remember a while back, I was wondering what the male equivalent of a ‘fag hag’ was?”

Greg winced. “I was hoping that had been merely a bad dream.”

“Turns out the answer is ‘lesbro,'” said Brigid.

“Don’t tell me these things,” said Greg.

“What’s wrong with ‘lesbro’?” she demanded. “It’s a perfectly good slang term. Way better than ‘fag hag.'” Greg merely gave a sort of soft whimper, and Brigid continued, “Typical, tho. The guys get a neutral or even guy-positive term, and the women get abuse.”

“Excuse me,” said Greg, “but I would very much like to be excused from the rest of this conversation now, please.”

-The Gneech

<-- previous B&G

Jul 01 2014

AnthroCon 2014!

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AnthroCon 2014 is comin’ at us fast! So here’s the lowdown!

I will be in the Dealer’s Room most of the time during the day, sharing a table with my buddy SirFox, specifically table K14, which can be found here:


Thanks to the awesome folks at FurPlanet, I will have Suburban Jungle (Rough Housing) Issue One, as well as No Predation Allowed and a smattering of older merchandise, and of course I’ll be doing sketches, badges, and anything else I can get ahold of to do.

At night I’ll be bouncing around a lot, but I tend to spend most of my time in the Zoo looking for people to hang out and art jam with. Come and find me! If you ask real nice, I might even tell you what my secret upcoming project is. ;)

-The Gneech

PS: Yes! There will be a cameo up for bidding at the charity auction! I can’t believe I almost forgot to mention that.

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