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How to Summon the Party—Summoner Class Deck Preview

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Need someone to find out if that door is trapped? Go tackle that sorcerer? Carry you quickly to town? Chill your wine? Whether you need a demon, elemental, phantom steed, or trusty eidolon, the summoner knows that every problem just requires the right selection of summon to solve. Some parties quibble over who heals, who melees, who deals with traps. The Summoner Class Deck shows that the Summoner is the party.


Everyone's favorite Hatmancer and Battlechicken.

First up, let's look at our returning champions, Balazar and Padrig. Balazar uses the classic "-mancer" toolkit, scooping up monsters he defeats to use later. This iteration of Balazar is very friendly to anyone at his location (including himself). He can freely cycle his spells for monsters or monsters for spells, letting him cast his best spells for effect and keep his hand moving along.


Wolf beats chicken. Every time.

Alase and Tonbarse hail from the Worldwound, having been introduced in the novel Pathfinder Tales: King of Chaos by Dave Gross. As a Sarkoris God Caller, Alase believes her eidolon is a god. She has little interest in other summons and monster cards, instead focusing her spells as prayers to enhance Tonbarse. Tonbarse roams from location to location, and wherever he is, Alase can assist from afar.


Shh. Zetha will let you know when you can be useful.

Our last Summoner is inspired by the Shadow Caller archetype from the Advanced Race Guide. Zetha is a fetchling, the daughter of a sorcerer trapped on the Shadow Plane. Her eidolon is her own shadow sent forth to do her bidding. Zetha summons a steady supply of shadows each turn, allowing her to stealth her way past many a barrier or check to acquire. Of the summoners, Zetha is the most self-reliant (and least helpful), and she likes it just fine that way.

This class deck is also full of boons that might be useful to a summoner, including many new spells. Because none of the summoners rely on Attack spells, we loaded the class deck with utility spells, including lots of movement, evasion, and ways to add to combat checks.


Summoners don't need to keep watch at night. Or walk. Or bring bug repellent.

We also created a new cycle of allies, bound to the will of the summoner by power rather than kindness. If you can't back up your request with magical oomph, they are more costly than your normal allies, but if you've got the juice, they're oh, so sweet. In a pinch, Balazar and Zetha can also treat them as monster cards for added versatility.


So much power. Such a small price.

Summoners are some of the most crazy, fun, and versatile casters in the RPG, and I hope you'll find them equally crazy, fun, and versatile in the Summoner Class Deck.

Keith Richmond
Adventure Card Game Designer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Class Decks Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Summoners

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Her cohort is her shadow! This looks awesome. I much prefer the force bury/banish of Attack spells over the "you may not play Attack spells" we've seen in other powers.

Silver Crusade

This was maybe the first deck where I had a tough choice over which character I wanted to play. Zetha and Alase were both so cool! Eventually I decided on Alase (FOR NOW) because I could not resist a God Caller. I've played her a bit, and I love her ability to recharge blessings. I had not really considered moving Tonbarse around too much, but this is something I will have to consider.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Zetha looks awesome!
I'm amazed her cohort is not an animalistic creature, since I really prefer humanoid companions. Great job on that!

I especially like what you did with the name of her cohort :)

Given that this is the last scheduled class deck, is there already something you can announce about the future of this product line?
I guess even an announcement about the time window for a proper announcement regarding this would be cool!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I need to read these cards more carefully. Surely there must be a problem with the wording on one of them.

Love the characters though. If only I had more time to play the game I'd actually get to try them out.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

ALASE!

TONBARSE!

They look awesome! Has anyone told Dave?


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Am I missing something, or do both Zetha and Alase roll a single die for their main mode of combat, while Balazar's 2d10 cannot be upgraded through any skill feats ?!?

I mean, I wasn't expecting anything near WotR's Bal-"Main Battle Tank"-azar, but all of these guys/gals look incredibly underpowered. Surely, I must be missing something?

(Also, not at all fan of Eidolons adding the Melee trait. While it's probably there to protect monsters immune to it -do we have any?- I'd rather ignore the "if the check has the Melee trait, bad stuff happens" powers, on the grounds that it happens to my eidolon, instead of my character...)

EDIT: And Creeping Doom, oh my ... looks like the most gods-awfull AD5 spell, especially side-by-side with AD4's Faithful Hound (which, granted, is friggin' awesome!)

Silver Crusade

Longshot11 wrote:

Am I missing something, or do both Zetha and Alase roll a single die for their main mode of combat, while Balazar's 2d10 cannot be upgraded through any skill feats ?!?

My experience with Alase was that her combat was a little underpowered, but recharging blessings somewhat made up for this.

Lone Shark Games

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Longshot11 wrote:
I mean, I wasn't expecting anything near WotR's Bal-"Main Battle Tank"-azar, but all of these guys/gals look incredibly underpowered. Surely, I must be missing something?

Without any other cards, they do roll a fairly limited amount. Balazar from Wrath is intentionally the more beastly combatant, yes. Better than a weapon user without a weapon or caster without a spell in general, also, though.

You may want to use their powers or cards to supplement that, of course. For example, Balazar can recharge any spell for a monster and banish said monster for 1d4+monster's AD#. Alase can recharge blessings played on Tonbarse combat checks. A _lot_ of the spells either add to your combat checks, or replace them entirely.

Quote:
EDIT: And Creeping Doom, oh my ... looks like the most gods-awfull AD5 spell, especially side-by-side with AD4's Faithful Hound (which, granted, is friggin' awesome!)

It's 2d4 without the Attack trait. The discard cost for faithful hound can add up, whereas it's easier to mitigate the Creeping Doom cost-damage with armor, spells, and the cost-damage can bounce off armor or you can whisk them away from the location. There are plenty of other AD5 spells if you don't like it, though :)


Rules question: can you use Wrath Padrig with CD Balazar and vice versa?


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Keith Richmond wrote:
You may want to use their powers or cards to supplement that, of course. For example, Balazar can recharge any spell for a monster and banish said monster for 1d4+monster's AD#.

You're correct, of course. I'll just have to switch my thinking from "recharge a spell for you combat check" to "recharge a spell to *add* to a combat check (Funnily enough, we ended up never using WotR's "discard a spell to draw a monster" - it was too big of a cost for a measly benefit. A recharge is much more in line)

Keith Richmond wrote:
Alase can recharge blessings played on Tonbarse combat checks.

That's cool too, I suppose. In 6-play, we're unlikely to recharge our blessings with abandon, but if she has a lot of them - that can work.

Keith Richmond wrote:
A _lot_ of the spells either add to your combat checks, or replace them entirely.

Yup, totally a paradigm shift. Will take some getting used to, but switching things around a bit can turn out to be fresh actually.

Keith Richmond wrote:
It's 2d4 without the Attack trait. The discard cost for faithful hound can add up, whereas it's easier to mitigate the Creeping Doom cost-damage with armor, spells, and the cost-damage can bounce off armor or you can whisk them away from the location.

Sorry, if I came off offensive. I'm still not sold though: having to expend a second card (armor; move spell or item) just to make the first one worthwile doesn't cut it in my deck (and -imho- it has nothing on the Faithful Hound's evades and location-long duration). I hope most of the Summoner spells "killer feature'" is not "does not have an Attack trait" - this simply makes them *usable*, it doesn't make them *good*. In AD4 range we already have Flaming Cloud which gives 2d4 AND Fire (admittedly, an occasional drawback), and which does not see fit to damage you at end of turn. And as you pointed out, for the Summoners those 2d4 are not just *a little extra*, they're needed to make them viable combatants.

To end on some positive notes:
- Padrig's new art is awesome!
- Zetha's bound to shape up like a beats (ha!) when it comes to acquisition/closing!
- the Bound allies rock! (especially mister "AD2 Magic Spyglass with Recharge Lantern"!)

zeroth_hour2 wrote:
Rules question: can you use Wrath Padrig with CD Balazar and vice versa?

Well, it *does* say "Owner: Balazar" on it...

I don't have my Rulebook around though, so for me the question is, can Balazar start with BOTH of them.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Longshot11 wrote:
(Funnily enough, we ended up never using WotR's "discard a spell to draw a monster" - it was too big of a cost for a measly benefit. A recharge is much more in line)

Huh, I end up using that power all the time: I typically discard the first spell I have to get a monster. From there, I typically use the monster on a combat check, and acquire the monster I've defeated. Monsters are totally a renewable resource, and discarding a spell solves the bootstrapping problem.


I take it Alase and Tonbarse are Pathfinder Tales novel characters? We really need to get a manual detailing the history and stats of all the various NPC's that are in those novels.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber
First World Bard wrote:
Longshot11 wrote:
(Funnily enough, we ended up never using WotR's "discard a spell to draw a monster" - it was too big of a cost for a measly benefit. A recharge is much more in line)
Huh, I end up using that power all the time: I typically discard the first spell I have to get a monster. From there, I typically use the monster on a combat check, and acquire the monster I've defeated. Monsters are totally a renewable resource, and discarding a spell solves the bootstrapping problem.

I'm somewhere between you two. Often Balthazar could win an early combat check without monster help, and then snowballed from there. However, the discard effect was used quite often simply because he could discard any spells he acquired, and those were often times junk that he was happy to discard.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
isaic16 wrote:
First World Bard wrote:
Longshot11 wrote:
(Funnily enough, we ended up never using WotR's "discard a spell to draw a monster" - it was too big of a cost for a measly benefit. A recharge is much more in line)
Huh, I end up using that power all the time: I typically discard the first spell I have to get a monster. From there, I typically use the monster on a combat check, and acquire the monster I've defeated. Monsters are totally a renewable resource, and discarding a spell solves the bootstrapping problem.
I'm somewhere between you two. Often Balthazar could win an early combat check without monster help, and then snowballed from there. However, the discard effect was used quite often simply because he could discard any spells he acquired, and those were often times junk that he was happy to discard.

Well, pre-role, discarded spell (=banished mosnter) for combat only gives Balazar +d4 (+ *maybe* a d6, but we would never bet on that); comparing it with a spell like Aid (+d6 to *any* check for a recharge - the math just doesn't add up; granted, Aid is Divine, but we had Balazar hold all the Sagacities/Brilliances/Glibness... which seemed much more worthwile to cast on other characters then adding a d4 to his combat).

As for discarding acquired spells - my experience is WotR locations are even more abys(m)al when it comes to dropping spells, so, yeah. At any rate - we ended up sending Balazar to combat heavy locations - as a Marshal, by AD6, he had something like a flat 19 on his combat, before any dice are rolled, which was unmatched by anyone else in the party. ALso, using his battle-chicken on nasty Dex/Con BYA effects made him near impervious to tricky monsters.


What are the plans to bring the summoners to the pathfinder adventures obsidian game?


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber
Rysky wrote:

ALASE!

TONBARSE!

They look awesome! Has anyone told Dave?

I hope it's not to presumptuous to assume I'm the Dave in question, considering two weeks ago, when mine arrived, I immediately jumped on writing this blog post(/declaration of love)

AAAAH :o I can't believe it's time for new woof friend who is a shadow woof with insane helper/support utility & also runner-up egotist summoner with shadow friend who is just herself (the best friend one can ask for) :o

Like Eliandra, this deck put the super-tough choice of which character to play at me in a way few of the others have. The super-NOT-tough choice is that this is definitely my next deck for OP, not just because the characters are awesome, but because their boons seem like some of the most perfectly tailored (w/ that crazy spell utility, too) of any of the class decks. All those displayed spells, all those weird allies. I'm in (shadow woof) heaven. <3

(only with MM and our halfway-through SotRighteous campaign, I won't be seeing these cards in use any time soon D:)


Longshot11 wrote:


zeroth_hour2 wrote:
Rules question: can you use Wrath Padrig with CD Balazar and vice versa?
Well, it *does* say "Owner: Balazar" on it...
I don't have my Rulebook around though, so for me the question is, can Balazar start with BOTH of them.

The rule says "If you have a Cohort listed in your deck list, add it to your hand" (wrath rules p.6) and "it" implies one.

I realized this is actually a 2 part question: can you do that with the box and if you can do that with the box, can you do it in OP?

The OP rules actually say that you can only add the token, character and role card from a base set, not any cohorts. This has already come up with Alain but I just assumed that the rule included cohorts even though that is not RAW.

If RAW though WotR Balazar _has_ to use CD Padrig. (But then Alain doesn't make sense). I will raise the question.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

Adventure 1-6 reward: Each player unlocks the ability to play Alain and the cohort Donahan from the Wrath of the Righteous Base Set using the Paladin Class Deck.

Alain's question is answered by the reward and his character card. Most cohorts are listed as requirements of the character's card.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

zeroth_hour2 wrote:


If RAW though WotR Balazar _has_ to use CD Padrig.

This was my line of thinking as well, that if you use Wrath Balazar with the CD, you have to use the CD version of Padrig.

I forget, does the Shardra unlock also bring Kolo along with?


ryric wrote:
zeroth_hour2 wrote:


If RAW though WotR Balazar _has_ to use CD Padrig.

This was my line of thinking as well, that if you use Wrath Balazar with the CD, you have to use the CD version of Padrig.

I forget, does the Shardra unlock also bring Kolo along with?

No. Not sure if that's the intent.

@Theryon: of course that's what I get for not reading the actual Adventure.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

Why wouldn't the Shardra unlock also bring Kolo? The design intent seems to be that the character/cohort combination is integral and part of the overall character balance. Shardra bringing Kolo, Alain bringing Donahan, etc. just seem like such common sense implications that they don't need to be explicitly stated.

The converse of this is that the different versions of the characters/cohorts aren't interchangeable. Each combination is balanced in and of itself, so you can't mix and match different versions of, say, Balazar with different versions of Padrig. So WotR Balazar only goes with WotR Padrig, CD Balazar only goes with CD Padrig, etc. And if you use a base set version of a character in OP, you bring the corresponding cohort instead of using one of the cohorts from the class deck.

The Witch class deck cohorts mechanism is an exception, of course, but you can still only play Witch CD characters with Witch CD cohorts. And if you use S&S Feiya for OP with the Witch class deck, you don't get the Witch CD cohort because S&S Feiya is balanced to be played without the cohort (also helped explicitly by S&S Feiya not having a cohort listed as being part of her deck).

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

MM Rulebook wrote:
When the same characters or cohorts appear in different sets, they are represented with different cards having different abilities and powers. For example, among other differences, the oracle Alahazra has the Survival skill in Mummy’s Mask and the Knowledge skill in Skull & Shackles. To distinguish between them, we add the Adventure Path name to the card name.

So we have the technology to specify "Wrath of the Righteous Padrig" or "Summoner Class Deck Padrig," yet Balazar just says "Padrig." Similarly, Padrig says "Owner: Balazar," rather than a specific Balazar. So yes, you can use either Padrig with either Balazar.

MM Rulebook wrote:

Add Cohorts. The Mummy’s Mask set doesn’t contain any cohorts, but some characters from Wrath of the Righteous and Class Decks use cohorts. If you have a cohort listed on your deck list, add it to your hand (see Cohorts on page 22).


If you have a cohort listed, and it hasn’t been removed from the game, you can put it in your hand after you draw your starting hand; it counts as a Basic card for you.

Cohorts are companions that some characters get at the start of a scenario. (Mummy’s Mask does not include any characters that use cohorts; they can be found in Wrath of the Righteous and certain Class Decks.) If the back of your character card lists a cohort at the bottom of your cards list, after you draw your starting hand, add your cohort to it.

Note that all of these references are singular: One cohort per character. Also, note the wording in that second paragraph: If your first Padrig goes away, you do not get to swap in the other.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

As for OP, the following revision will be in the next version of the Guide:

All the cards must come from your Class Deck, with a few exceptions.
•You can substitute any character card of the same class (along with a matching role and token card) from a base set or Character Add-On Deck.
•If the back of your character card lists a cohort, you can have any one such cohort in your Class Deck box.
• If the back of your character card lists a specific card, that card must be in your Class Deck box.
•You may add 1 of each of your class’s owner-associated promo cards from the Pathfinder Battles: Iconic Heroes miniatures line (see Promo Cards below).
For example, if you’re using the Summoner Class Deck, you can use the summoner Balazar from that deck or the one from the Wrath of the Righteous Base Set, and you can include the cohort Padrig from either of those products (but not both); you can also add the Iconic Heroes card that lists Balazar as the owner—the ally Splendiferous Hat—to your Class Deck box.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
So yes, you can use either Padrig with either Balazar.

Usually I hate when I'm wrong, but this is an instance where the alternative is better for players. So I guess it's okay. Being wrong still sucks, but I'm used to it by now.

This is going to create some interesting character/cohort combinations.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

It might not even work, as character and cohort powers are often designed to work together, and if you swap them around, that my no longer work.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
the ally Splendiferous Hat

Oh my... I think I've been playing that card as an item.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber
Jorsalheim wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
the ally Splendiferous Hat
Oh my... I think I've been playing that card as an item.

If you did that.... well if fact you were right. Whenever the hat is treated as an item (he really hates that) he stops doing anything for you. So consider that its only power is now: you cannot play that card or discard it as damage.

Until you deeply sincerely apologize.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber
Zaister wrote:
It might not even work, as character and cohort powers are often designed to work together, and if you swap them around, that my no longer work.

Well actually it always 'works'. It just may end up doîg some strange things that some would estimate underefficient and some others would find very fun.


Vic, will you be adding a line about which promo cards to use with unlocked characters? So for Enora, Alain, Shardra, etc.?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber
Rebel Song wrote:
Vic, will you be adding a line about which promo cards to use with unlocked characters? So for Enora, Alain, Shardra, etc.?

All you need is an extra word.

Vic Wertx wrote:

•You may add 1 of each of your class’s owner-associated promo cards from the Pathfinder Battles: Iconic Heroes miniatures line (see Promo Cards below).

For example, if you’re using the Summoner Class Deck, you can use the summoner Balazar from that deck or the one from the Wrath of the Righteous Base Set, and you can include the cohort Padrig from either of those products (but not both); you can also add the Iconic Heroes card that lists Balazar as the owner—the ally Splendiferous Hat—to your Class Deck box.

All we need to know if it should be your character's class (For Enora, Arcanist, Occularium Vestments) or your deck's class (For Enora, Wizard, Arcane Robes).

Silver Crusade

Based on Vic's post here, they care about the character's class, not the deck's class, and I support making that clear in the guide.


James McKendrew wrote:
Rebel Song wrote:
Vic, will you be adding a line about which promo cards to use with unlocked characters? So for Enora, Alain, Shardra, etc.?

All you need is an extra word.

Vic Wertx wrote:

•You may add 1 of each of your class’s owner-associated promo cards from the Pathfinder Battles: Iconic Heroes miniatures line (see Promo Cards below).

For example, if you’re using the Summoner Class Deck, you can use the summoner Balazar from that deck or the one from the Wrath of the Righteous Base Set, and you can include the cohort Padrig from either of those products (but not both); you can also add the Iconic Heroes card that lists Balazar as the owner—the ally Splendiferous Hat—to your Class Deck box.
All we need to know if it should be your character's class (For Enora, Arcanist, Occularium Vestments) or your deck's class (For Enora, Wizard, Arcane Robes).

It has always been your character's class (Tanis answered that question a while back), but I support making that explicit in the guide.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

I had that memory, but I wasn't motivated to go lookin' for the post to quote. Damn, I'm lazy.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Is it this?


Sounds like it.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Hmm. In addition to clarifying what happens when you're using a character with a deck that doesn't match their class, we also need to make sure that if you're using Simoun, you know you can use Merisiel's IH promo, and so on. We'll add a table to make it super clear. Thanks for the feedback!


Blood Bomber Cogsnap hanging out with Polymancer Balazar... omnommonstersnomnom.

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