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Author Topic: D&D Brainstorming  (Read 717 times)

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D&D Brainstorming
« on: March 24, 2010, 08:23:14 AM »

So, I was in the shower today and I had an idea that I thought was pretty awesome. I've been playing a lot of the D&D MMO, and casters in the game can eventually learn a summon monster spell that pulls up an Earth Elemental. Earth Elementals in DDO are burly as hell - they do a lot of damage, have a lot of HP, and have a lot of crowd control/grapple abilities that just make them cool as hell whenever they're around. So I had an idea for a fourth edition class based on this concept.

The idea I had was some kind of elementalist ascetic mage. Not necessarily with an eastern feel to it like Monks or Wu Jen or the like, but definately more like a monk than a wizard. You'd have two different versions of the class - one would be a striker, and the other would be a defender. Each would focus on the summon and control of an elemental. For the defender, your paths would be Earth and Air, and for the striker, Fire and Water. At all times you'd be controlling two characters on the battlefield - yourself, and your elemental.

As far as I can tell with some of the other 'pet' abilities in 4e, they seem to revolve around 'your pet comes out and attacks the enemy when you use an ability with the pet keyword, like interceptor from FF6'. I don't really like that, I think it's clumsy. I also don't like the idea of a wholly seperate entity that can be easily dispatched and render half your abilities useless. But with a completely shared hp pool, the elemental is just an extension of your PC, at which point where's the flavor?

The idea I had works like this - your character, and your elemental are seperate for the purposes of targeting, and have different HP pools. You start with the HP of a wizard, the elemental starts with the HP of a Fighter. You share a fighter sized pool of healing surges. The elemental and the elementalist can both act seperately from one another, but share the same pool of available actions - For example, you could move, your elemental could attack, and you could use a minor to throw him a mending spell. Or your elemental could move, you could throw a gust of wind at the enemies, and your elemental could use a defensive minor action.

The elementalist would have access to a number of powers, most of which would be only usable by the elementalist or only usable by the elemental, with a handful of them being usable by either. Each elemental path would probably need to have it's own, specific path-only powers, as it wouldn't make sense for an air elemental to imprison an enemy in a crushing prison of rock - alternatively, being ambiguous with power descriptions might serve that purpose, or adding dual descriptions to each power.

To keep the balance of having two seperate hp pools in check, getting reduced to 0 in one pool would incapacitate the other. Hell, if 4e was more like the D&D versions of the past, maybe the elemental could go berserk and attack the party. The idea would be to put the elementalist in a position where they need to balance their own safety with the safety of their elemental while also keeping the party from getting attacked as a defender. I envision the character playing out as a three way hybrid - the elementalist themselves being a controller/leader, and the elemental being a defender/controller.

Any thoughts?