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Summoning Monster spells


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I was talking to a friend who might be willing to give RQ a try, and he expressed a desire to play some sort of summoner similar to that from the Final Fantasy games (which I never played).  Taking a quick look at FF's summoning on a website, the spells looked more like regular Sorcery type damage or effect on the enemy than actually summoning a creature or spirit to fight for you.

Also, in a previous campaign, using MRQ2 rules, someone else wanted to play a summoner and we had difficulty finding any rules in RQ for such.  We even looked at Stormbringer rules which didn't help.

Is there any equivalent summoning rules in RQ to simulate the Summon Monster spell of D&D 3.x or Pathfinder?  I looked in RQ6 and the closest I could find are Predator Spirits.

Edited by GamingGlen
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TBH, RQ doesn't really have a "*poof* there's a monster doing what you want" esthetic.  At least in RQ3, there were summonings as a ritual thing, but they were (AFAIR) limited to spirit creatures in some way or another.  There might be a "call X" for mundanes, but it would depend on one being nearby.  It was certainly never a combat-tactic thing.

It's one of the lines where RQ magic diverged clearly from D&D; another example would be AoE spells - RQ doesn't really have any.  Instead of everyone having +1 swords, everyone's got Bladesharp 1 (which has the same effect).

Personally, I've always believed that the spell lists for RQ needed SUBSTANTIALLY more quantity, in almost all aspects.  Spirit magic always had a reasonably broad variation, although I think the regionality of it was underplayed.  Most games I played in (or DM'd, admittedly) the same basic set of spirit magic was available no matter where you were.

Divine magic was simply too few spells, and the POW sacrifice system compelled players to really make the same optimized choices because it was so expensive to get a spell..  Further, most cults have a stock list of common spells and then a small handful of cult specialties.  Combined, that made them (IMO) too dull and predictable.  Every Orlanthi Wind Lord had spells X, Y, and Z.  The new RQ divine spell point thing will help a lot in the predictability, but I do believe each major pantheon should have its own ample common spells, and then each god have a pretty good selection too.

Sorcery (of which I believe I'm one of the few people that seems to have liked RQ3's approach) needed tons more spells, and more flavor.  The spell-list archetypes was a fine start, but then I'd added someone's RQ spell list from Tekumel, letting my sorcerors choose from vanilla (but flexible) spells from the book or more elaborate and interesting spell effects that might be slightly more efficient but far less flexible individually.

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3 hours ago, nclarke said:

I'd suggest looking at the Classic Fantasy add in to RQ6/Mythras. It adds all the usual stuf form D&D like levels, classes and spells to the core engine.

Thanks for the recommendation nclarke, yes, RQ/Mythras Classic Fantasy has write-ups for loads of classic spells, of which the monster summoning spells are just a few.


Join my Mythras/RuneQuest 6: Classic Fantasy Yahoo Group at https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/RQCF/info

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19 hours ago, GamingGlen said:

Thanks for the suggestion.  I'll have to get a copy of Classic Fantasy then.  It would probably help my group switch from their "beloved" D&D/Pathfinder system.  (why do people love straitjackets so much? ;) )

Because it gives them a sense of "place". Everyone knows what is expected of the party ranger, or cleric, or thief (pardon me, rogue). When they have to define it all themselves, it creates a sense of vertigo: "What am I? What am I supposed to do? Consequently, you get people who define themselves as "I'm the Orlanthi" "I'm the Found-Child Initiate". Same difference in the end.

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4 hours ago, Revilo Divad Of Dyoll said:

It depends on which version of Final Fantasy he liked.  If he is thinking of the kind where each character would have a particular summonable ally (e.g., Bahamut or Shiva), that could reasonably be modeled using a Shaman and a spirit ally.

In that sense, then yes, pretty much every version of RQ AFAIK has had a "spirit ally" for Rune Lords of any sect.  Those don't necessarily (again, as far as I remember) need to be tangible creatures but could be "summonable" things?

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  • 4 weeks later...

My basic solution for lack of Sorcery Spells was to bring in Arcane spells from Pathfinder, upto level 3 and make each level of Intensity equal 1 caster level. I used the level of the spell as the base magic point cost per Intensity. Some spells still needed a bit of adjustment, but less than you would think.

Regarding Summoning spells, my issue has been always as to where do these creatures come from? Its not like there is a herd of Boars that stand in a queue waiting to be summoned. I resolved this, by stating that the body is provided by magic, and the creature is inhabited by an animal of monster spirit which is actually summoned into the body. Due to the quick nature of the casting the spell does not stick hold for very long. Works very well in my play tests.

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