So with my last post, I gave you a look at the Shifter Archetype. Here's a look at what I have currently for Shifter talent tree, and information on summoning a minion.
SHIFTER Talent Tree
Communication Rift: You can form a micro-rift, a rift big enough to communicate through, or send a message or familiar through (Tiny creatures and objects may pass through it). You may attempt a Use Magic check DC 25 to contact a specific being or place. If you fail the roll by 10 or less, it opens to the right dimension but the wrong location.
Dimensional Traveler: You can open a one-way dimensional gateway to any dimension you have visited. You spend a full-round action to make the rift. This rift will open to a random location in the desired dimension. You may attempt to focus your arrival with a Use Magic check, DC 25. Success means you arrive within 50 miles of your intended destination. You may attempt this a number of times per day equal to your Wisdom bonus (minimum of 1). You can spend an action point to bring a number of people through the rift equal to your Charisma bonus.
Redirect Rift: You can attempt to gain control and redirect any Teleport or other Dimensional Travel effect of an opponent. If an opponent attempts to utilize such magics to escape, you make opposed Use Magic checks. Whoever rolls higher has control of the spell (original caster wins if it’s a tie). If the target is teleporting, the Shifter can have the target appear in front of themselves, in a locked room, or any other location within range that the character could occupy (No teleporting into a solid object, or into mid-air unless the opponent can fly). A dimensional rift or teleport could be redirected to any Dimension the character has been to or studied through a rift, as long as the Dimension can support life.
The question I have is; would anyone choose these talents over the other talents they could pick up as part of their class? Communications Rift is neat, but really limited in it's use. I don't see anyone burning a talent on that. Along the same lines, Dimensional Traveler and Redirect Rift is also limited in use, but very handy when needed. I almost wonder if these three shouldn't be combined into one talent, and taking that one talent snags you all three of these effects. Then it might be inciting enough for someone to take.
Shifters in Rifts were known for their mastery over the Rifts, but also for their tendency to summon minions through the Rift and bending them to their will. To be able to try and contact an entity to control, you need to have the Communications Rift talent (or whatever Talent I come up with to get you that ability).
Summoning a minion: The Battle of Wills
When a Shifter attempts to get an extra-dimensional entity under their control, they must partake in a battle of wills with the entity. The Shifter makes a Use Magic check against the entity’s Will Defense. If it fails, the entity becomes angry and may attempt to come through the Communications Rift to attack the Shifter. The Shifter can then respond one of two ways; first, he could make a Use Magic check to close the Rift (DC 20), or a second Use Magic Check against the creature’s Will Defense. If this second check against the entity's Will Defense fails, he may then try to close the Rift (DC 25) or try a third time. If the creature is still not subservient after the third try, it will come through the rift, appearing in front of the Shifter, and attack.
Once the entity is tamed, it will serve the Shifter for a time. The Shifter can control the entity for a number of months equal to their Charisma bonus. After that time, another battle of wills may be required to keep the entity under the Shifter’s control. Some entities may remain with a Shifter out of loyalty, if the Shifter lets the creature enjoy themselves and treats them fairly.
A shifter can have a number of minions equal to his Wisdom bonus. The Shifter can temporarily increase that number to twice his Wisdom bonus for one day. Having more minions than that runs the risk of the entities banding together to take down the Shifter.
It's funny, the above write-up wasn't exactly as I remember it. I originally had it being a Charisma check on the side of the entity vs the Shifter's Will defense, but upon further reflection that just doesn't make much sense to me.
This also may, and likely will, get a more detailed revision as soon as I have stats for the various things a Shifter can summon and dominate. Then there's the issue of how to handle the minions. The best option would be to have it run like the "Protocol Format of Droid control" from the Scavenger's Guide to Droids book for SWSE. Basically, by sacrificing swift actions, you give orders to your minions. But this may get pretty complex and powerful for a low-level Shifter, at least on paper.
I suppose one thing I could do is keep this whole "summoning minion" business out of the basic abilities and move it to a prestige class. Many spell-casting archetypes could benefit from such a class, including Mystics and Warlocks (elementalists). And not all Shifters need to get into the whole summoning business, not unless they focus on it.
Hmmm...I may be onto something there.