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comicdude

Can someone clarify summons for me?

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Hey guys, so I have a couple questions about summons. I am kind of new to running a hero system game and could appreciate having some things cleared up.

 

So I have a player who created their summon with more CP than anyone playing. The game set at 300CP so basically super heroic low powered and they have created their summon at 375CP, I am worried that this will cause balance issues once they summon their creature since I feel like it would trivialize any combat they summon in since I am balancing the game at 300CP or be unfair to other characters since they are not using similar powers or followers and they have a hard cap at 300. 

 

Something else I wanted to know is how does death work with a specific summon since they are planning on summoning a creature intrinsic to their character backstory if for instance, a random example here, they want to summon a mouse friend they made named wally, and wally dies in combat, is wally the mouse gone forever and the next time they summon its a random mouse? will they just continuously summon wally's corpse? or does wally die, then when they get re-summoned they pop back up alive. I am genuinely curious.

 

Side note: is it common to put overarching CP restrictions in a campaign, for instance I wanted this game to be maxed out at 300CP across the board is that too heavy handed and would something like having a summon with 375CP in a 300CP game be usually allowed?

 

Anyway that's really all I am wondering about thanks for reading this mountain of text, I just want to run a good game hopefully you guys can help me do that.

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I would cap the Summon at something like 1/2 the CP of the player characters (maybe even less).  Most players won't want to have their character surpassed by another character's conjuration.

 

Game balance gets tricky with Summon due to the highly disposable nature of the STUN/BOD of the summoned creature.  Cannon fodder is really effective.

 

The STOP sign on this power is well deserved.

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Look at what the summon does, not what the summon costs.  Raw points are a surprisingly poor measure of power. 

You should have sheets for the rest of your party, correct?  Make sure the summon isn't outperforming specialized party members, isn't a horrifying combat-monster, isn't using powers that infringe on other player's concepts and niches, etc.  If it has 19- Stealth and Invisibility while the party ninja only has 17- Stealth, it'll feel horribly unfair to the guy playing the ninja. 

 

As a side note, if both summoner and summon are combat-worthy I'd consider limiting them to somewhat lower SPD ratings so that player isn't hogging the combat-time. 

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I would say it depends on the creature summoned. I have someone on the Discord I run that's trying to get their familiar/mount written up for a Summon under similar conditions like what you've mentioned. I'd say try comparing the powers they are suggesting for the creature compared to what it would have if just bought as powers directly for the character. 

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On 6/29/2019 at 9:27 AM, cptpatriot said:

I would say it depends on the creature summoned. I have someone on the Discord I run that's trying to get their familiar/mount written up for a Summon under similar conditions like what you've mentioned. I'd say try comparing the powers they are suggesting for the creature compared to what it would have if just bought as powers directly for the character. 

 

We just discovered that that person is the player in the OP's game, and I at least have been trying to give both the GM and player conflicting advice, there, here, and on Reddit.  :D  So, l suggest waiting a bit and getting everyone in the discussion together. 

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A few things to consider are: How does the Summon power itself work?  How often will the player use it?  And for how long at a time?  And how much control does the player have over the summoned character?  If the player can have the summoned character around all day long, and he always obeys the character, then the player is essentially playing a 375-pt character, in addition to the base character.  If the summoned character can only stick around for five minutes per week, then that might be OK, even if it's a totally overshadowing combat monster - because you have to save it for when you really need it, and the other PCs get to shine normally most of the time.  OTOH, if the summoned character is NOT a combat monster, but has various utility abilities that aren't useful all the time, that can work too, even if the summon is not particularly restricted at all.  The summoned character doesn't step on the other PCs' shticks because he's only useful in certain specialized circumstances.

 

If Wally the mouse dies 😢, anything at all could happen, according to the rules.  The main consideration is in-game justification and narrative.  If the Summon is bought with Independent, then this would probably be an example of when the points spent are lost.  But even then, Wally could come back to life - it would just take spending of more points (and a story justification, one would hope).  Assuming the Summon is not bought Independent, then the points should not be lost.  So there are many options:

 

1. The Summon power is temporarily useless, but the GM will put a story arc into the campaign that justifies bringing Wally back to life (clone, time travel, alternate universe, somehow miraculously survived, etc.), and then the Summon works again - possibly with a slightly modified Wally.

2. The Summon power is temporarily useless, but the GM will put a story arc into the campaign that introduces "Wally Jr.", the new subject of the Summon.  "Wally Jr." is not necessarily exactly the same as the original Wally.

3. The player can immediately bring Wally back or introduce "Wally Jr.", subject to GM approval and likely requiring some in-game story justification.

4. Wally is gone, but the PC finds a new character to Summon in his place, that might be totally different.  Subject to GM approval and story justification.

5. The PC gets the points spent on the Summon back, and can spend them on something completely different.  (Subject ....)

 

The death of a unique specific summon (or DNPC, or Follower, or major Contact, etc.) is a significant change in the PC's life, so let it play out dramatically.  It can change the way the character is "built" - the way his points are allocated, maybe his Psychological Complications.  The possibilities are unlimitless.

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