My suggestion on the armor issue is this:
Replace "Natural Armor" in the Eidolon statistics with "Armor." Nat Armor and Armor, mechanically, have almost no differences, except for one main one: They don't stack with each other. By replacing instances of Nat Armor with Armor it would force the summoner to choose between equipping it with armor or not, and note that, up until the highest levels, level appropriate Full Plate would still be better AC than the nat armor.
Keep the Evolution as Improved Natural Armor, so that it stacks with anything. So a level 20 Summoner's Eidolon would have a max of +24 AC from Armor and Evolutions, whether he wore armor or not... But when the Full Plate is no longer useful at high levels, the Eidolon can instead go around wearing +1 Heavy Fortification Adamantine armor, relying on the AC bonus it gets inherently and being able to use armor for special armor abilities.
This does have the unfortunate benefit of making the Eidolon immune to the Mage Armor spell, though, but I'm not sure how important that is.
As for the Cursed Item issue, let's take it to the other extreme...
An Eidolon that has Cursed Equipment cannot be dismissed because it's stuck to the equipment. If your Eidolon would die while wearing cursed equipment, you are left with a cursed item attached to a semi-amorphous corpse. The Eidolon may not be dismissed until the equipment is removed (via a Remove Curse spell or similar method), at which point, if its HP is below 0-Con, it is automatically dismissed as normal.
Santiago Mendez wrote:
I agree that some package deals would be cool. If not just to help players who are new decide quicker at character creation. I know that when I sit down to make something like this it is quick but when I have a new player, some not all, they can take hours to decide on a single trait.
New players? To hell with them. It'd be INVALUABLE to a DM wanting to use Summoners as enemies.
Maybe not for FREE, but perhaps as a prepackaged evolution set?
A "Lesser Demon" set, for example, that gives DR 5/Good, Elec Res, and natural attacks that count as Chaotic, Evil, and then later on a "Greater Demon" set that gives DR 10/Good, Elec and Poison Immunity, Fire/Cold/Acid res, etc etc.
I think a lot of fun could be done with some pre-packaged Eidolons, sets that cost 5 evolution points but give a variety of useful features that, if purchased seperately, would cost more than 5.
I was thinking on Insectile forms, but I realized that pretty much all of them are quadrapeds. Bugs have at least 4 legs and they usually have some sort of bite attack. Which is what quadrapeds get. Even the particularly weird ones, like Praying Mantises, still have 4 legs and a bite, so for a mantis, I'd spend my 3 evolution points on Limbs (Arms) and Pincers. Or for a spider, I'd buy Poison and Climb and declare the extra legs with "fluff" because, well... By Eidolon rules, the fastest creature in the universe is the Centipede.
I agree that Summoner should only be a d6 HP. Let's think about this...
The level 1 Eidolon, as said, will have 13 HP. This is comparable to the front line characters. And then the Summoner has about 10. With Life Link, this means that a level 1 Eidolon/Summoner combo, assuming the Summoner is in a good defensive position, has 23 HP. Now, I know, you can just attack the summoner, but a smart summoner will make that difficult for you.
Let's say this again: Focusing just on the Eidolon, it takes 36 HP of damage to kill it. Now, granted, the Eidolon is still taken out of the combat at 14 points of damage, but why is it necessary to consider Life Link in the Summoner's HP calculation? The Eidolon has plenty of HP and a solid enough Con that it's not going to be just randomly dying too much... And even if it does, it comes back at the start of the next DAY. The Fighter and Barbarian don't get the benefit of being "expendable."
Now, as far as the HD and BAB making the Summoner competent in melee, such as a mounted warrior...
...No, it doesn't. As someone who has been playing Bards since 3.0 was new, I can safely tell you that 3/4 BAB and Light Armor does not make you competent in melee unless your other class features aid it. A level 10 Summoner can gain 2 evolutions, and more at higher levels, but other than that, the only way to not be hilariously bad in melee with this class is to dump all your feats into combat skills. This may feel viable, but after a certain point, my years of Bard experience have told me that unless you've turned yourself into some sort of crazy trip-monkey with massive dex and the ability to use dex on your CMB, casting Grease is almost always better than attacking a foe who actually poses a threat. (Against kobolds, go nuts with your pointed stick.)
If the Summoner is supposed to be melee competent, it needs a higher Aspect pool and it needs to happen earlier. If the Summoner is not supposed to be melee competent, drop its HD to d6 and BAB to 1/2 HD.
If you DO want Summoners to be melee competent, I propose this:
I figured out Flight's problem. Why is Flight super powerful on an Eidolon? The same reason it's super powerful on an Animal Companion or a Paladin's Special Mount, an effect that is nearly completely negated by a Small creature with flying.
A Medium Eidolon with Flight allows a Halfling Summoner to take Ride and various Mounted feats to fly as soon as he gains access to the flying summon. While an Avian summon who is medium sized would allow this instantly, a Small one would only afford it to Tiny casters and Summoners willing to learn Reduce Person (which is, in my experience, not a particularly useful spell.)
Nothing that ANY summoner can use Reduce Person to fly on his mount as of 5th level, and any can fly on his mount whenever he wants as of 6th, I can't imagine its overpowered to let already-small summoners do this at first.
On top of this, a level one druid can get...
Starting Statistics: Size Small; Speed 10 ft., fly 80 ft. (average); AC +1 natural armor; Attack bite (1d4), 2 talons (1d4); Ability Scores Str 10, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 2, Wis 14, Cha 6; Special Qualities low-light vision.
Compare to my
The Avian has a significantly better AC, yes, but is doing about 2 less damage per attack and has a significantly slower fly speed. HP is about the same and, assuming one Evolution Point is spent to even out the attacks with a +bite, that's 2 Evolution points left over.
Is the Avian better/worse than the Animal Companion? With those 2 EVs, I'd put it at a bit better... But aren't Eidolons SUPPOSED to be better than animal companions, to make up for the fact that the Summoner sans Eidolon is significantly weaker than the Druid sans Animal Companion?
What would be any benefit of multiple heads (without bite attacks)? Bonus to Perception checks? Rolling multiple Perception checks?
Ettin has +1 head and +4 PerceptionChimera has +2 heads and +2 Perception
I'd say +4 bonus on perception checks and the ability to take the Breath Weapon, Bite, and Gore evolutions multiple times. Also the ability to talk and chew gum at the same time.
On a side note, I feel like Bite and Gore should be mutually exclusive. Not only can I not think of anything natural that does both (horns are usually on herbivores, wheras a strong bite is a carnivore trait), but how are you supposed to bite someone when your forehead is pressed to them?
Except you can only summon it once per day. So yes, Morphic 5 would potentially let you use two breath weapons in one day, more than a minute apart... But that's about it.
I actually really like this Morphic idea... But I think it needs to be changed...
Dennis da Ogre wrote:
I'm not sure where this confusion comes in because it's pretty clear in the class write up. First paragraph
Becausea) They are using the term "Summoner" repeatedly. As someone who started DnD shortly before 3.0 came out and has been playing regularly ever since, I can safely say that most people who hear "Summoner" assume "Guy who casts Summon Monster spells a lot."
b) The class clearly wants you to summon other monsters. It gains free castings of the Summon Monster spell and, despite stunted spell progression, grants Summon Monster spells at competitive levels. The Summoner can learn Summon Monster IX a level BEFORE a Conjurer can.
c) "While many who dabble in the arcane become adept at
Quadraped, Biped, and Serpentine seem a bit restrictive... Just a quick proposition...
Starting Statistics: Size SMALL*, Speed 30ft; AC +2 natural armor, Saves: Fort Bad, Ref Good, Will Good, Attack Claws (Talons) 1d3, Ability Scores Str 8, Dex 18, Con 11, Int 7, Wis 10, Cha 11; Free Evolutions Limbs (legs), Flight*, Claws
An Avian Eidolon starts with Flight, though other Eidolons cannot gain flight until 5th level. Because of this, Avians start Small and may not be Medium sized until the summoner is at least 5th level.
Starting Statistics: Size Medium, Speed 20 ft., swim 20 ft.; AC +2 natural armor; Saves Fort Good, Ref Bad, Will Good, Attack Bite 1d6, Ability Scores Str 14, Dex 14, Con 13, Int 7, Wis 10, Cha 11; Free Evolutions Bite, Swim, Gills, Skilled (Swim)
I've been running a Pathfinder game for a few months now, and one of the characters is an Abyssal Sorcerer summoner. I let her trade a feat for the Rapid Summoning variant, and I honestly haven't felt that the Standard Action casting time has made her too powerful. If anything, it's been a necessity to make her matter in many combats. As the average combat only lasts a few rounds, a round-one summon spell that doesn't occur until round two, on a low init, means the summon's only getting off one or two actions in combat. The 1 round/level casting time is supposed to make summons significantly better at higher levels, but combat just doesn't last that long.
Standard Action summoning on a dedicated summoner is a great boon, and lets you not feel like you're wasting the first round of every combat.
That being said, the one minute per level duration is... wasted. Adding Cha to duration would be a big boon at low levels, but after level 4, duration rarely matters in combat. The question is: should the summoner be using his creatures much out of combat? I'd say probably not.
So... Standard action summoning is important. 1 minute per level duration is far too long for combat necessity, and just encourages the summoner to send their summoned creatures to scout ahead, search for traps, and make sandwiches... All things the rogue should be doing for you.
Looking through the posts here, I can safely say that there seems to be three schools of thought about the summoner...
-The Eidolon is the purpose of this class, the humanoid with the spells is secondary.
-The Eidolon gets too much power and there needs to be a larger focus on actually summoning things.
-Summoner is overpowered.
It seems to me there's a pretty clean split between the two things the summoner does:
One issue here is that the Eidolon, as cool as it is, is not flavored like a Summoned Monster, but like an Animal Companion. It takes 10 rounds to summon, making it impossible to call in combat, and can only be summoned once per day. Dismissing it and re-summoning regularly is entirely out of the question. Allowing it to be regularly called and dismissed, perhaps that 3+Cha times per day, for a limited duration, would help increase the thought of "I am an awesome summoner" and decrease the idea of "We no longer need a fighter." Doing this could, in fact, justify giving the Eidolon MORE power, as it will cost the summoner at least a standard to summon it, and it will not have to worry about serious reprocussions from running out of hit points.
On the other hand, some people just want to have a really cool monster all the time, and there's plenty of reason to want that: In 4E, the best part of being a Druid is that you can just be a bear all the time if you really want to. So how do we reconcile the two opposing schools? The same way Rangers, Wizards, Sorcerers, and so many other classes do: Choose a specialization.
I propose allowing the Summoner to pick either Eidolon Specialization, Summoning Specialization, or neither specialization.
Eidolon Specialization would have a constant Eidolon, as presently designed, but the Summoner would exchange it's 3+Cha summons per day for a buff-oriented spell list. Certain spells, such as Fly, would be avaliable 1 level lower with the stipulation "This spell may only be cast on your Eidolon." Other useful buff and support spells, such as the Cure spells, would be added to this Summoner's spell list, with the target line replaced with "Target: Your Eidolon."
The Summoning Specialization would have an Eidolon that had to be called with a Summon spell, and would not be around constantly. This summoner would also lose features like Aspect and Shield Ally that rely on the Eidolon. Insted, the Summoner would gain the Conjurer's ability to increase the duration of summon spells, the Abyssal Sorcerer's ability to gain bonus summons and to grant summons DR (though not necesarrily alignment DR), the Augment Summoning feat as a bonus feat, and other such abilities to enhance the power of summon monster spells. This summoner would have more power per encounter, as most spellcasters do, but would not have the Eidolon Specialization's benefit of being able to have an awesome monster all day.
In the middle would be the split focus summoner, similar to the class as is now, though with a weakened Eidolon and a few more bonuses to casting (there's really no reason for a class called Summmoner to not get Augment Summoning as a bonus feat).
Alternatively, these features could be chosen at various levels. At level 1, for example, you could choose to trade your 3+Cha summons a day for an Eidolon-happy spell list or you could choose to trade your permanent Eidolon for a stronger Eidolon that costs your Summons spells to bring out. At level 4, when you would get Shield Ally, you can choose to trade that in for Augment Summoning, etc, etc.
The simple point is, there seems to be a clear split between people who want to throw a giant monster at their foes and people who want to show up Conjurers and Abyssal Sorcerers, and a lack of an option to focus one way or another will only result in this class being overlooked too often in favor of Druids (who have the buff spells to make their companions crazy and can turn into monsters themselves) and Conjurers (who can summon armies more effectively and compliment it with a better spell selection... And can use spells to turn into monsters themselves, if they really want to)
Lost Messiah wrote:
Not sure if it should be added to the rules or not, but my solution to this would be a simple statement to players that they can have an exotic weapon proficiency if they can justify it for role-playing purposes...The idea being that I'm from culture x, and they have a history of using double swords in combat, so my fighter has been trained to use it!
Which is overpowered and defeats the purpose of "exotic" weapons. It's not that they're necessarily rare, it's that they're more powerful. Bastard sword does an average 1 point more than Longsword. There'd be no reason for a character to NOT try and justify a bastard sword.
Kyrinn S. Eis wrote:
As I've said in other posts...
Human Bastard Sword FTW
1. Your high charisma MAY come from your sorcerous background. You can't say it doesn't. Unlike other classes, Sorcerer is something you've got even before you take your first level in it. And it's silly to say ability scores and class are disconnected. A little boy who wants to grow up to be a fighter will spend his days training his body, wheras a little boy who wants to be a wizard will spend his days in the library. Even with the same potential, the way he's raised from ages 5 to 15 could very easily give him different ability scores than if he'd taken the other path.
And yes, I believe that gods WOULD favor those who appear to be physically superior specimens. You may disagree, but I know that if I were a diety, then given the choice of two otherwise equal champions, I'd pick the one with the winning smile and luxurious hair, because he's the one who would better show the rest of the world what I want.
As for Bards, once again, remember that charisma is a COMPOUND stat. Nobody's claiming that a Cleric's ability to cast spells is based on how sharp his eyes are. We're just saying that there's a CORRELATION between how good the bard looks and how confident he is. But Bard really feels more Int based than Cha based anyway, based on the fluff. They practice, learn, and study, something Cha based casters rarely do.
2. Symmetry, smoothness, etc... You'd be hard pressed to find someone considered "Beautiful" in another real-world culture that isn't considered at least "pretty" to most of us. There's both a subjective AND an objective aspect to it.
3. Compare a more mundane example than beholders. Compare two housecats. Certainly you can see one cat as beautiful and aesthetic and absolutely must be petted RIGHT NOW and the other as a disgusting fleabag. The same would apply to beholders: some are more appealing to the eyes than others. Imagine one red dragon with scales that glitter like rubies, and another with dull, tarnished scales.
4. Well, Eagle's Splendor has no fluff text, but if we read the fluff on Sirine's Grace, the spell grants "confidence." Compound stat and all, sometimes buffs make you pretty, sometimes they add other attributes in the compound stat. Remember that Eagle's Splendor ALSO gives you a +2 to play the guitar. But surely you believe that if an Illithid took time to clean up, shine up, and put on appropriate makeup, it would be more pleasing to the eye than other illithids? Or at least you can imagine illithids that look WORSE than the normal ones?
5. My best friend was a scrawny, pale thing in middle school and high school. After that, he joined the marines. Now he's in good physical shape and has a healthy skin tone. Yes, time spent fighting in harsh environments makes you better looking.
And I'm not implying magical healing makes you prettier, I'm implying that it doesn't leave scars like natural healing does.
And yes, after seeing "The Dark Knight" I would agree that horrific burns should do CHA damage. Also SAN damage.
-The Elf is way too buff, I agree. Nothing about him looks different than human. An Elven male should be built more like a female human; lithe and graceful. Elves are usually also depicted with very FAIR skin. Dark skin and white hair? He looks half-drow. Or Night Elf. Both are not standard elves.
-The Dwarf should be completely covered in hair, and the half-orc should have a fair bit of it. Dwarves do not shave. It's agianst their way of life. Especially not their chests.
-Nobody has any toes.
-The builds aren't standardized. The Dwarf is clearly NOT in as good shape as the Elf, and the Half-Orc male fails to give a good idea of a half-orc female. All characters in a picture to show the races need to be set at straight 10s+Racial bonus/penalty, and we need both male and female versions of each.
-The gnome is adorable. Do not change her. Except maybe adding toes.
As an optional method to include appearance, allow people to take...
1. Charisma is the casting stat for those who cast via natural ability. In Favored Souls, this is how much your god likes you, something that Greek mythology suggests is based on your physical appearance. With Sorcerers, this is based on magic blood, something that would mold your physical appearance to a more ideal image as it would manifest. If your DNA is giving your the strength to change the world, certainly this will be reflected in how it makes you appear to the world.
2. Physical beauty, while subjective in some parts, isn't subjective overall. We still have generally accepted standards of beauty, such as a symettrical face free of blemishes, clean skin, etc. Beauty can be calculated but, like all stats other than Str, it's rather difficult. Plato put forth fairly good arguments to suggest that Beauty is an absolute, but it seems subjective because we focus on things diffrently.
3. Physical beauty, while subjective from species to species, still allows for people to approach an aesthetic ideal, the "form" of beauty. Though a beholder would likely say that humans are an unattractive species as a whole, he would still understand that the clean, healthy human is more pleasing than the filthy, misshapen human.
4. Charisma is a compound stat. Consider the T-Rex, a creature with massive strength but tiny, stubby arms. We accept that while MOST bipedal creatures with huge strength can throw a punch, the T-Rex's strength is in its jaws. Likewise, the Illithid's charisma isn't in its form, but in its unnaturally strong personality. Indeed, if the Illithid's form WERE pleasing, it would probably have another 4 points of effective charisma (in the form of a +2 circumstance bonus to Diplomacy if it's successfully disguised as a human, for example)
5. A life of physical exercise, magical healing, and hard work may, in fact, make you prettier, if not just making you more confident in your ability to be awesome.
6. Wisdom also goes up as you age. Wisdom, the stat that determines your spot and listen checks. Also, Int, the stat that determines how well you remember things, goes up as you age. The flaw here isn't in Charisma, it's that mental ability scores should drop when you age, not rise.
Plus, a fighter would never convince a king to send reinforcements to the border just because he's handsome and makes big shining smiles. :D
I don't know. The classic Knight in Shining Armor ALWAYS has a winning smile, and he has the ability to get the other nobles to do whatever he want. I'm sure we've all met people, male and female, who can get others to do things with just a perfect smile.
I'm a dwarf cleric. Aw man, I already get Profession skills as class skill - my Profession (stone stuff) racial ability is useless! I should get a Skill Focus feat!
It's not a question of abilities useful to a class and not to others, it's a question of a balanced standard among races.
Consider the 4E races. Every race, sans human, get +2 to 2 skills. Humans get +1 bonus trained skill instead (An effective +5 to one skill, but without becoming better than other races in it.)
Now, imagine if instead, all races go +2 to 2 skills, except Half-Elves who got +2 to Diplomacy but not to a second skill. Everyone would just be tilting their had and saying "wait... why only to one skill?" Unless there were other balance factors blatantly at play, it just wouldn't make sense.
I'm not asking to power up fighters. I'm asking for a standardized Weapon Familiarity, in which familiarity works mostly the same for all races, or at least in which the Human benefit is NOT useless to the classes that the Dwarven and Elven benefit is best for (Paladins, Fighters, Rangers, and Barbarians who get free Waraxe/Curveblade proficiency)
Human Bastard Sword FTW.
If that were the case, it wouldn't allow Elven Rangers to use the superior Curveblade or Dawrven Fighters to use the Waraxe. And if an Elven Monk is using a rapier, he's doing it wrong (though I admit the Longbow helps)
Yes, they're good for the Middle classes, but they're ALSO very good for the full BAB classes who then get a free exotic proficiency. Except for Human, which is ONLY good for the middle classes.
I vote "Human Bastard Sword" for the win.
You CAN switch it off with a disguise kit and 1d3x10 minutes. I garuntee you that the woman playing the witch was not half as ugly as the witch in the movie. And people treat you differently if you walk around with a six foot longsword or a rifle than if you walk around unarmed. Try it if you don't believe me. Or if you're walking around in full-plate. If you really want to focus on "appearance" you need to include...
-How often you bathe.
And appearance can change drastically in a short period of time from fire damage. Harvey Dent, anyone? Appearance 15 to 5 in 10 minutes of movie time. But wait, Aaron Eckhart is a handsome man! He SHUT IT OFF with a bit of effort.
So yeah, if you can think of a way to have an "Appearance" stat without "Disguise Self" setting it to a straight 25, I'd like to hear it. It's used as a function of charisma because charisma based skills (diplomacy and bluff) are what care about how well you present yourself. And how you look is part of that.
Beside the point. You were claiming that physical attractiveness was an action.
No, I'm claiming that physical attractiveness is part action. A sword is useless without a man to wield it. I'm saying that physical attractiveness is a PART of your charisma like your +3 sword is PART of your attack roll. Sure, the +3 helps, but only when you can use it.
Physical attractiveness effectively increases charisma, and good charisma in other senses helps you to use your physical attractiveness better. Physical attractiveness is both correlative AND part of charisma, just as manual dexterity is both correlative and part of dexterity as a whole. There are some exceptions (like me, with manual dexterity but not dex as a whole, and with relatively high carrying capacity but poor strength-based attack rolls due to an injured arm) but it's all related.
And please, think of any situation in which you might be making a Diplomacy check in person and try and tell me that physical appearance won't affect it at all.
I'd go with the ability to treat one exotic as martial that does NOT have a racial name, enabling the Bastard Sword to become the "human" weapon. After all, of all the weapons in DnD, it's the one I see used more by humans than by any other race.
...You know what?
"Human Bastard Sword" and "Human Two-bladed Sword" would be awesome. Why can't humans have specially named weapons?
Agreeing with Schwartz. And even then, Charisma and physical attractiveness tend to coincide in real life: pretty people are usually more self confident, carry themselves better, etc because they're proud of how they look.
But compound stats are fine. Consider that a character with 24 strength could have a busted leg but still be able to punch out an owlbear... And then not be able to jump at all. Or someone like me with the manual dexterity to type at 80 WPM but not enough touch AC to last eight seconds in a game of dodgeball.
All stats are compound, that's just the way it works. Adding more stats, while possible, is just more bookkeeping that we don't need.
I respect the boost in power for all races. I really do. But the boost in power across the board means that the racial balance issues weren't fixed.
Lets take a look at the half elf.
Compare with the race considered overpowered in 3.5: Dwarf.
Just looking at the important things, we see
So what do half-elves have on dwarves? One of the biggest flaws with the races in 3.5 wasn't that races were too weak, it was that they were UNBALANCED.
Take another comparison of the full racial listings. Half-Elf still needs a buff, dwarf needs a nerf, or both.
One other comment on racial balancing is weapon proficiencies. While it's nice for some classes for elf and human to get free martials, it's useless for a lot of classes that GIVE those proficiencies for free. I propose realize that for elves, it's balanced because Martial proficiency then unlocks some exotics, but humans need something else, such as a +1 to hit when using their chosen martial weapon, or access to an Exotic weapon if they have proficiency with all martial weapons as a class feature.