Epic Mummy Dust

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CNS
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Epic Mummy Dust

Post by CNS » Sun Nov 10, 2019 6:35 pm

This has long been the most useful (Most utility) epic spell for many casters.

Recent changes have only exasperated this.

It's also gated behind alignment.

Every other key summoning spell has streams, should we do the same for EMD? It seems a bit harsh that good aligned casters get nothing worthwhile summon wise after level 17.

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RedGiant
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Re: Epic Mummy Dust

Post by RedGiant » Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:14 am

This is a spot on observation, but the problem is even wider I think.

"Good" is poorly represented in the game period. Arelith has done a lot already to improve this, but its still lopsided. The summon streams helped a tiny bit, making the good summons at least useful, but I think there is a thread to pull here.

Much of the spell lists, particularly the mage and cleric spell lists are simply not useable by "good".
A fat chunk of summons aren't useable by "good", to the point of this OP.
Few of the reward options are "good".
And, many of the shapechange options aren't particularly "good" either. (dragon shape here is the one exception, but RIP blue dragon, I had a character completely formed around being able to dragonshape into a blue...but...).

It would be a ton of work to fix these things, but it would be nice to see some parity in these areas.
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Royal Blood
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Re: Epic Mummy Dust

Post by Royal Blood » Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:42 am

Maybe it would be simpler to just make an equivalent spell that summoned something other than undead but retained the same stat spread. On that same hand, everyone would choose that over the Mummies because they'd be -The exact same strength- but not be instantly dismissed by a WoF Scroll.

I do not know if equalizing everything is a good idea? I think it speaks to lore, in a way, that certain powers can be achieved through 'evil'? And I think blurring the lines too greatly while it may be more realistic it may also over complicate things?

I guess I am thinking of it as like okay, Animators get the best summons because they are willing to delve into evil to extract greater power where as a good wizard chooses another field of study because they are unwilling to sacrifice their morality for that power. From an OOC balance Point of view I suppose this would require some adjustment? But from a RP point of view there's nothing wrong with it in my opinion. Different pathes lead to different powers!
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Re: Epic Mummy Dust

Post by xanrael » Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:29 am

Personally I'd rather see the golem crafting system expanded a bit more, especially with the Lore/UMD changes. I think it could be decoupled from transmutation as that school has plenty of goodies already. Maybe tie it to dweomercrafting instead (both magical and mundane could work).

Add in a lower level golem that could be used by a level 3 character, a high defense very low offense golem whose inventory could be interacted with so you could store stuff inside, and an epic one roughly on par with a dread mummy from the Mummy Dust summon. It also adds an optional but significant risk to being used in PvP where if it is killed you're mechanically out way more than you would be from dying from lost CP and materials.

That's not to say that making a golem is a [good] act, but it is more acceptable than desecrating corpses etc. I know there are other methods for some of this (ooze for UD characters for example). I also know this is far from the first golem idea posted, but my two cents on expanding minion options, this time to everyone and not just casters but with a cost if they're destroyed.

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RedGiant
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Re: Epic Mummy Dust

Post by RedGiant » Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:47 am

Not to wax philosophical, but...

Let's say in the Christian Worldview, good and evil are not in parity. Good is all-powerful, evil is a transient, temporal problem.
In the Cthulu Mythos, I would argue good is loosing badly, and it is an unspeakable, ancient evil which must inevitably prevail.
If you've read the Avatar Series in FR, then you know that the overgod of Faerun is all about...balance.

I'm all for "different paths lead to different powers" but vanilla NWN and Arelith are much more in the spirit of the Cthulu Mythos...at least mechanically.

Summons:
Good: Celestials, EDKx2
Neutral: Surface Stream, Elementals, Construct Stream, Slaadi (Lore: CE, CN), EDKx1
Evil: Underdark Stream, Devils, Yugoloth, Demons, Mummies, Vampires, Blackguard, Slaadi (Lore: CE, CN), EDKx3

Reward Races:
Good: Fey, Good Monster, RDD(x2)
Neutral: Forest Gnome, Deep Imaskari, Genasi (x4), Wild Dwarf
Evil: Imp, Vampire, Ogre, Yuan-Ti, Troglodyte, Hobgoblin, Derro, RDD(x2)

Shapes:
Good: Pixie, Dragon Shape (x1)
Neutral: Iron Golem, Animal (x12)
Evil: Umberhulk, Troll, Zombie, Giant Spider, Death Slaadi, Fire Giant, Red Dragon, Balor, Dragon Shape (x2), Werewolf

This list isn't even complete and there is a lot more to say here (shifter shapes, familiars, animal companions, etc.), but I think the point is made.

Lop-sided.
Last edited by RedGiant on Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Epic Mummy Dust

Post by xanrael » Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:33 am

I think it has more to do with PnP D&D generally being about fighting evil (or at least things inimical to good humanoids) so they're the creatures that get statted out as potential foes to give variety to what the PCs fight. Likewise for NWN an "evil" model can be used as both an opponent and a PC race/summon.

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Diegovog
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Re: Epic Mummy Dust

Post by Diegovog » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:00 am

Is Epic Mummy Dust good? Hell yeah.
Should there be a "good" equivalent to increase even more the number of summoners with armies? Please, no...

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Scylon
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Re: Epic Mummy Dust

Post by Scylon » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:53 am

Don't good also get:

Pallys with free +5 weapons/damage and gear
Harpers with different sub sets
CoT which is a pally +

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Re: Epic Mummy Dust

Post by RedGiant » Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:20 am

Except only one of those actually has to be good. Harpers and Divine Champions are simply not evil.

None of that addresses the imbalance in summons, reward races, shape-changing possibilities, and spell use.

There has long been some resistance to giving mummy-dust an alternate use, which I can see, but, as above, I think this merely points to a larger problem.

Mummy-Dust itself, if you want make an alignment-based case for it, without gutting the concept, could do something like baelnorns, risen martyrs, etc. But then again, many here like the simplicity of...dead...bad...smite!
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Re: Epic Mummy Dust

Post by Kuma » Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:23 am

i don't want to see identical stat spread copy pasted with angelic themes, honestly. i enjoy that evil is 'attractive' and powerful, otherwise there'd be no point in it mechanically. and i also enjoy that arelith has all the different summons do different things. so i'm all for expanding the good summon selection, just don't have it be identical to mummy dust with a different coat of paint.
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Re: Epic Mummy Dust

Post by CNS » Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:16 am

I'd even be fine with it being a weaker version for good to keep some allure for Evil.

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Re: Epic Mummy Dust

Post by Kuma » Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:22 am

CNS wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:16 am
I'd even be fine with it being a weaker version for good to keep some allure for Evil.
i'm saying it shouldn't even be anything like the swarm of corpses, even if it's good flavoured. it should be its own thing.
Sockss wrote:If you build badly, that's your choice.
Irongron wrote:I do not wish to see another phoney discussion about what is or isn't pg13

CNS
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Re: Epic Mummy Dust

Post by CNS » Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:55 am

Kuma wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:22 am
CNS wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:16 am
I'd even be fine with it being a weaker version for good to keep some allure for Evil.
i'm saying it shouldn't even be anything like the swarm of corpses, even if it's good flavoured. it should be its own thing.
Absolutely, my main complaint is good summons end at level 17 which leaves a 13 level gap of no real progress aside from a heavily nerfed very short term Dragon Knight for good. (In testing dragon knights lose to all gate summons in a 1v1).

A 'PVE' longer term focused summon for good would be real nice, Epic mummy dust seems like the right place to get it.

I'd take a reskin of mummies for ease of implementation but you're right something that is its own thing would be fantastic.

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Re: Epic Mummy Dust

Post by Astral » Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:18 am

CNS wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 6:35 pm
Every other key summoning spell has streams, should we do the same for EMD? It seems a bit harsh that good aligned casters get nothing worthwhile summon wise after level 17.
Just a reminder that undead summons (except dracolich) dont scale with epic caster lvl. So at lvl 17 I'd say the ancient elemental is much more tanky than the mummy warriors (which are quite tanky in terms of DR. in some dungeons they are immortal while in some dungeons of the same lvl range they die on the first spawn)) and the elemental has 4 streams so its much more versatile as a different stream can be prepared for each dungeon. At lvl 21 you can pick mummy dust so yes, the mummies are stronger than ancient elemental at lvl 21 and they definitely should be, its an epic spell. Epic necromancy at lvl 23 and that's it. Mummy dust doesnt scale with epic caster lvl according to the wiki. Then the ancient elemental continues to scale with you to lvl 30 and eventually becomes just as good as mummy dust if not better, and STILL has more streams for more versatility and is not an epic spell. The Dread mummy casts Wof tho.
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Re: Epic Mummy Dust

Post by malcolm_mountainslayer » Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:25 am

So i was going to make a response about how we dont sell our souls for power but we do sell our lifestyle as a paladin, but my focus will be on this balance point.

Mummy dust uses necromancy focuses and is one of the few good cookies for it. The animation of undead is also an abomination to balance keepers. Even evil druids should be hating undead (not aure how ud grove reacts)

To make things further pointed if mummy dust is used for a non undead summon, how would that impact spell focuses? It just seems like a bad idea to me.

More epic spell options might be a better idea.

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Re: Epic Mummy Dust

Post by LIonGraphiK » Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:51 am

Going evil is a difficult choice in Arelith. You are subjected to a lot of hate and are often attacked on sight. When playing my evil necromancer, I was often outnumbered when caught in PvP. It was annoying and frustrating but totally worth it to grab that sweet EMD, which is unique. Giving everyone the same version but in different flavours will mitigate this. Not many people that I know, save for the UD are willing to play an evil character in the surface, or at least an OPENLY evil character. NOT TO MENTION, if somebody were to use EMD as a necromancer they are more likely going to be told to remove their summons or be killed. Other people would be able to walk around with their summons without any problems if we had that good variant. I don't think that's fair on a balance point of view.

Here's the thing that worked so well with AD&D... If you wanted power, you had to earn it. Believe me, playing an openly evil character on the surface and getting EMD is what makes it worth it. From a balance point of view, I think it's fair and I honestly don't care whenever I'm up against evil characters who summon it because I understand and remember the ordeal of having to withdraw summons or be killed several times on the spot by a party of five+.
by Irongron » 08 Dec 2018 20:41
I do not mind people easily being able to escape PvP situations where they are clearly outmatched.

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Re: Epic Mummy Dust

Post by malcolm_mountainslayer » Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:55 pm

LIonGraphiK wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:51 am
Going evil is a difficult choice in Arelith. You are subjected to a lot of hate and are often attacked on sight. When playing my evil necromancer, I was often outnumbered when caught in PvP. It was annoying and frustrating but totally worth it to grab that sweet EMD, which is unique. Giving everyone the same version but in different flavours will mitigate this. Not many people that I know, save for the UD are willing to play an evil character in the surface, or at least an OPENLY evil character. NOT TO MENTION, if somebody were to use EMD as a necromancer they are more likely going to be told to remove their summons or be killed. Other people would be able to walk around with their summons without any problems if we had that good variant. I don't think that's fair on a balance point of view.

Here's the thing that worked so well with AD&D... If you wanted power, you had to earn it. Believe me, playing an openly evil character on the surface and getting EMD is what makes it worth it. From a balance point of view, I think it's fair and I honestly don't care whenever I'm up against evil characters who summon it because I understand and remember the ordeal of having to withdraw summons or be killed several times on the spot by a party of five+.
I totally agree, its partially why ive advocated minor rewards for starting as an outcast (UD) as you get to be human, unpersecuted and no one cares about chilling with all your summons right in town.

Even if we don't do what I just suggested. Id hate to bone the surface necromancers.

That being said. UD druids should still hate undead.

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Re: Epic Mummy Dust

Post by -XXX- » Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:39 pm

CNS wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 6:35 pm
It's also gated behind alignment.
But it isn't - good aligned characters are not mechanically restricted from using the feat, nor are they mechanically restricted from taking the necromancy spell focus feats, and/or casting any of the animate dead line of spells whatsoever.

Does the use of the epic mummy dust feat have RP consequences? Yes.
Will the excessive use of the epic mummy dust feat result in a DM taking a second look at your character's alignment? Highly probable.
Are you mechanically restricted from selecting and using the epic mummy dust feat based off your character's alignment? No.

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Re: Epic Mummy Dust

Post by Arienette » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:15 pm

I recently made this exact suggestion in the Suggestion Box, and it was rejected. Just FYI.

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Re: Epic Mummy Dust

Post by Morgy » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:36 pm

Raising undead minions has a massive stigma with it and therefore has significant RP implications, which is why in Arelith it is balanced to have it as an summoning evil minions only.. The powerful summons is a reward for risk.

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Re: Epic Mummy Dust

Post by RedGiant » Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:03 pm

I have been slowly hijacking this thread. Do we need good undead summoners? I don't think so. Is "good" under-tuned and under-represented in vanilla NWN and Arelith? Yes and slightly less-emphatically yes, but still to a surprisingly relevant degree.

I don't buy all the RP tax on evil stuff either. You have stigma and quite a few no-go areas if you play a shining beacon of good. Remember, the good equivalent of walking around with your necrotic staff and a horde of undead is walking around with your righteousness radiating sword in the company of a celestial. There are a quite a few places on the server this will not go over well.
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Re: Epic Mummy Dust

Post by malcolm_mountainslayer » Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:45 pm

RedGiant wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:03 pm
I have been slowly hijacking this thread. Do we need good undead summoners? I don't think so. Is "good" under-tuned and under-represented in vanilla NWN and Arelith? Yes and slightly less-emphatically yes, but still to a surprisingly relevant degree.

I don't buy all the RP tax on evil stuff either. You have stigma and quite a few no-go areas if you play a shining beacon of good. Remember, the good equivalent of walking around with your necrotic staff and a horde of undead is walking around with your righteousness radiating sword in the company of a celestial. There are a quite a few places on the server this will not go over well.
The stigma of undead is beyond outsider evil. A righteous cleric with their angelic outsider, a paladin, etc is akin to an evil cleric outside summoner or blackgaurd.

Undead is a whole new territory. Several neutral deities advocate for the for hunting down of all undead but could careless about an eviloutsider as long as said outsider isnt messing with their territory/influence etc. Undead is hated merely for existing before any actions are made by them not only by the forces of good but lots of neutral forces.

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Re: Epic Mummy Dust

Post by Wuthering » Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:05 pm

CoT is whatever you want to be but I'd say any Harper that is "neutral" is still leaning towards good at the end of the day. The organization is too narrowly defined to allow someone who is inherently indifferent or selfish.

I think evil summoners might have been given a significant edge because being "good" should allow you much easier and more consistent access to parties and groups. Evil characters often have to work alone or in small numbers and are more likely to be unexpectedly accosted by good than the other way around. Whether this applies to Arelith in 2019 is debatable but on most NWN servers and in the Arelith of the past these things were definitely the case.

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Re: Epic Mummy Dust

Post by -XXX- » Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:51 pm

I don't think that looking at this matter through the lens of alignment is an ideal approach in this case.

The feat itself is not mechanically restricted and the consequences for its use are no more dire for a good aligned character than for an evil one, nor will the places on the server where such magical practices are more or less tolerated become more welcoming to such characters simply by the virtue of the alignment listed on their character sheet.

All things considered epic mummy dust seems to be a feat with certain upsides and certain downsides - that's it.
To me, asking for the downside to be removed by labeling the ability as something else than what it actually is, appears to be a mere attempt to have one's cake and eat it too.


On the other hand, I can see how the RP context behind EMD could seem somewhat restrictive to Sorc/Pal players (a class combination often selected for its obvious mechanical benefits btw.) - well... we seem to be back at the cake analogy here again.

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Re: Epic Mummy Dust

Post by CNS » Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:49 pm

Arguing that a because the game doesn't prevent a good aligned character from taking it they can take it is a really bad argument, last I checked this is a role play community - we're clutching at some thin straws if we're going down that path.

I picked EMD because its a good PVE epic level summon. It seems it main PVP benefit is the number of bodies it creates to throw in the way of things.

Lets put the flavor of EMD aside.

Would a better ask be more PVE focused Epic level summoning options?

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