I encountered an interesting dilemma while plodding through my utility power conversion exercise. The focus of the exercise was to convert daily and at-will utilities into encounter powers, and to modify them to fit a single role wherever possible.

I started with the Player’s Handbook Templar (Cleric) utilities.

At the time, I was working under the assumption that conjurations, summons, and similar such effects were in the purview of the leader — since at the time I considered them aspects of the “pawn” feature. I didn’t see them as different from minions.

My journal has some notes about my ideas for differentiating between summons, conjurations, minions, and companions — which were all well and good until I got to revising and reinterpreting controller utilities.

There just … weren’t any. I contrived a few that required a close burst/blast to be effective, but there wasn’t anything that jumped out and screamed “controller!”

Once I got into wall powers, I started to realize that with conjuration being classed as “leader” keyword, there was no way for the most basic wall powers to belong exclusively to controllers. I got to reexamining the conjurations to see whether they truly belonged to leaders at all. My answer is a resounding “no.”

Minions, henchmen, companions, and even summons — but not conjurations. Not walls. Not illusions. Not zones. Those things are too abstract for the leader. Even should they use nearly identical rules, there’s a clear line separating the two.

Sometimes it takes exercises and experiments to turn up problems like these.

I hope to put some of this hard-won knowledge to use in the Cthulhu classes I’m working on — even now I’m working on a controller class (the Starcaller) that would really benefit from some more concrete controller powers.

And I really want minions working for when I get to the Vermin Lord class.