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Cannon Golem

The Shaman's page

884 posts. Alias of Boyan Penev.


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Flavor text tends to generalize a bit - basically the draconic influence may tug at you sometimes, but you are still you. Personally, I interpret this to mean that the majority or at least a sizable minority of NPC dragon disciples are of their progenitors' alignment or close to it - i.e. in a game a red dragon disciple would probably be NE, CE or CN unless there is a particular reason for her not to be (as in, as a DM I think it would be cool, prove a point etc).

It's a bit like with tieflings and aasimars - most of them tend to evil or good respectively, but not all of them have to follow the alignment of their outsider forefather, and some expressly go against it.

PCs can feel those urges at times as way to RP, but don't have to accept them or base their behavior on them. Perhaps you have an odd fascination with violence and death by fire - you know they are wrong, and it is shameful and disturbing, but some part of you enjoys it. You can embrace it, try to ignore it, or even go out of your way to fight it to prove (to others and yourself) you are your own person and not a mindless slave to a gene implanted in you generations ago.


Well, I might take Blind Fight instead of GWF. You have plenty of +1 bonuses, but reducing a straight-up 50% miss chance should be more important.


@ Kudaku The Nymph doesn't, as far as I can tell (dryads and satyrs do, apparently). I guess it is also a matter of how willing a creature is to use them. Being able to mesmerize or charm an enemy into leaving you alone can be seen as self-defense, even though the same ability can be used for less savory outcomes. And if we are going by mythology, well, when mythology was coined people had somewhat different sensibilities, so it is tricky just adopting the views that worked for them.


Hmm, mea culpa, I guess - I got sidetracked by what I perceived as "succubi are ok, incubi are not" train of thought. Overall, I try to treat it as mostly a matter of agency (are female NPCs as active as male NPCs in such matters, and is there a reasonable and fair explanation if they are not) and balance (are there enough opportunities and reasonably fair representation of both genders). I'm definitely getting at least some of it wrong, so I try to be open to feedback from my players.

I imagine a bit of taste, balance and empathy help avoind that problem in most cases. Though I wonder, do we have a PF version of the Hawkeye Test? :)


@ Jessica Price: well, the regular succubus has charm person and suggesion at will, and dominate once per level, with DCs high enough that a regular Joe or Jane Schmoe does not stand a chance. So sure, she might try to seduce you... but if you say no, and she doesn't want to take no for an answer, she has a whole lot of magical mickey. Whether charm person takes your free will or not is debatable, but against a low-level mortal the outcome is hardly in doubt. Dominate is pretty obvious, but even charm person allows you to order someone around and make them do something they normally wouldn't on an opposed charisma check. Against most of the (demi-)human population that is sort of a win by default

I get the idea that seduction isn't the same as essentilly forcing it (whether by might, magic or other unresistable methods), but I think that the whole succubi being ok vs incubi being rapists is not a very defensible statement. Succubi have a lot of magical tricks to make consent a non-issue, and it isn't like they have anything to hold them back.


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I think he is within the limits of human with rolled stats. 18 is pretty much the epitome of natural human gifts, and he essentially lucked at chargen :) .

Ironically, I'm seeing him as a somewhat typical NE character. He can exist within a relatively strict hierarchy without much trouble when it fits him, but he doesn't really care for it much. He can follow orders well enough... but when he has free reign, he will be as vile as he wants to get what he wants.

Classwise, I'm leaning towards the Unbreakable fighter, though he can probably work as a iron hulk barbarian too.


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I imagine the classic "On the Practical Use and Implications of Yellow Musk Creepers in Agriculture, Warfare, and Cuisine, by Jinna W. Schwarzenhand" would certainly have made it to his or her reading table.

Still, wouldn't a single class character be a better necromancer? I am probably missing something but I don't see what the Theurge brings to the table.


I think most bards can fit the bill fairly well (especially if they have versatile performance or something close to it), and as Imbicatus said Evangelist Clerics and Sensei Monks can do it too (so does the Wanderer, it's another monk archetype). Mind you, this is if you want your storytelling to have a mechanical impact. The class does not define the character - a rogue, for example, can be as fond of telling tall tales as any bard - actually the charlatan and kitsune trickster archetypes can make it part of their skill set.

I'd definitely go with a bard first, though. Versatile performance lets you use your storytelling for two great other skills - diplomacy and sense motive. Persuading someone with a fairy tale is a pretty cool move (and a classic one, I remember a tale from 1001 Nights where someone told a tale to try to persuade the ruler to spare his life, and his tale had acharacter using yet tale to persuade someone).


Point 3 is probably one of my pet peeves - it can really break immersion if there are pinups for the sake of pinups alone. Then again, how many (non-monstrous) females do we see in pictures that don´t look good? Granted, most male NPCs (at least those that are friend/ally material) tend to look okay too, but I simply don´t remember seeing many unattractive female NPC (outside those the party is supposed to come in conflict with, like an ogress or a daughter of Urgathoa).

At least as far as eye candy goes, it would imo be good to have it more balanced - the games I am in seldom get to a lot of PC-NPC romances, but there is no harm to give gamers who are into men more to fantasize over. I wonder if it is due to my own biases, but I think most paths I´ve seen have fewer male friendly NPCs in positions such a relationship with a party member may develop.


"Orphans of the Same Wandering Father - All human or half human. Just received a letter that their father has been killed."

Gah, for some reason this reminded me of the Dudley Boys - except for the father being killed :) .

Actually, being the children of a somehow famous or infamous groups (like a previous adventuring party) has some promise, especially if you want to deconstruct a few cliches.


Domestichauscat wrote:
Another one that a friend of mine said he did was an all bard party. In which the group is all a traveling band. The story was them traveling the world to do certain gigs and got into fights on the way.

I've had this idea too, but with the twist that either not all or none at all must be bards. It would be called something like "Magnamar has Talent" and they try to scrape the equipment, funds, roadies etc for their first tour by adventuring - fight the goblins for their firework stash (and the bounty), save/steal an impresario from a rival band, etc. Also, do you try to find some counseling for the barbarian drummer so he wrecks less sets, or would that weaken his, ehmm, skills?


A few vivisectionist levels could give him both poison use and a bit of sneak attack, but not the rest of the alchemy kit. In PF, it is an ok approximation. I'd probably stick to lore warden/poisoner rogue/duelist if I want to be a purist, but that could work as well.

He definitely doesn't have uncanny dodge, though :) .


I have seen duelist builds using a trident as a one-handed piercing weapon (switching to two-handed for extra PA bonuses). Swashbucklers do sort of the same thing as a single class, but a bit more focused. Alternatively, you can probably do okayish with a simple fighter build such as a lore warden: he is a very capable combatant who knows how to fit his fighting style to his enemy and can avoid many attacks through a good defense and some acrobatics. A lore warden build would probably focus more on combat maneuvers due to maneuver mastery, but both are possible representations.

I do think the Red Vyper merits a SA die or two, though. Also, he's got to have poison use pretty much from his earlier levels. Just sayin'.


I'd vote for the summoner as well. You have an eidolon, lots of summon spells with better than regular duration, and if you need something even longer, you can get the binding spells - where your high charisma gives you a pretty decent edge against a wizard.


What do people think about the Chevalier PrC? Imo feels like a pseudo-paladin and is fairly easy to pick up. Sure, you don't get the casting, but it won't detract too much from the core barbarian competencies :D .


The binding spell itself, a protection circle to keep them inside and a dimensional anchor to keep them on this plane, I imagine.

Overall, consider the planar binding as a very long duration summon. Regular summon monsters are spells you use for an encounter, a bound outsider is something you use for the entire dungeon and possibly beyond - or when you have a job that you can't lead to a random local NPC - i.e. the characters might not have the time to guard the secret royal archive vault non-stop for 2 months. However, a bound outsider can do that, and do it fairly well.


A bit on half-elves - I saw multitalented was rated relatively highly for multiclass builds, but isn't single classing (or prestiging for hybrids like arcane archers) usually the better choice, with 1-2 level dips being the most frequent multiclass builds? It always seemed like a pretty poor feature when I looked at it. Can you give me a few examples where it contributes a lot to the build?


I think a creature cannot normally poison itself, but is not immune to the venom of another of its kind (unless it has specific features for that). I would rather suggest a custom spell that changes the effects of the familiar's venom. Otherwise it needs special equipment like those mouthpicks or some weird form of fake teeth.

It is doable, but might require a more creative approach.


I think it is possible. The text says that "the paladin's lay on hands ability also acts as remove curse," so it should function as a casting of the spell.

The DM has the final say, but eh, I'd say roll with it. Essentially, the spell itself says it does not remove the curse from cursed equipment but allows the victim to remove it - so essentially it removed the curse from the person and not the item, which fits the way the mercy feature is worded.


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Hm, I was sure I replied to this and thought you meant you'd be scanning for traps. Overall, I'd suggest a more militant cleric and having the inquisitor be more of a rogue or damage support. Put the highest score in strength (or dex if you really, really have to be a sarenraen dervish), 15 or 14 in wisdom, and go to town.

Holy vindicator is a possible option if you go to higher levels and use a shield, but you can probably keep on being a straight cleric. Playing a human would likely be my first choice so you aren't completely useless in the skills department.


So what do you prefer to do, exactly? Ninjas definitely benefit from these rules, especially due to generally being feat-starved, though monks do get something out of it too. It is a matter of what sort of playstyle you prefer.

I have to say though, easy access to mobility and being able to maneuver more to get a flank is very good for anyone with sneak attack. I´d definitely go TWF-heavy for a ninja, and these rules make the scout archetype (which ninja can get, since they don´t lose uncanny dodge) extremely good.


The cosmopolitan trait gives you 2 bonus languages and makes 2 wisdom-, intelligence- or charisma-based skills class skills. Perception is based on wisdom.

Hmm, yours is a fairly magic-heavy party, but I would advise you to leave trapfinding to the inquisitor. You have 2+int skill points, s/he has 6+. Clerics are already starved for skill points. You will either have to get a very decent intelligence score or ignore some core cleric skills.

Personally, I would advise you to focus on the militant cleric aspect and leave the skulduggery to those more fit for it.


I´m not sure if I would bother multiclassing, but if you do, I´d suggest taking between 2 and 6 levels of monk. If the latter, consider the qinggong archetype so you can choose other supernatural abilities. If you get the improved TWF feat automatically, for example, you don´t need more monk levels for improved/greater TWF via Flurry if the feat auto-upgrades.

It depends on who else is in the party and what roles are available, I probably would go heavy on ninja levels after the initial monk dip, since a lot of what you get from monk - except for the mid/late special abilities - will auto-scale with ninja levels.

P.S: and if you mean single class, well, Zen archer did become better :D


Well, if you plan to use cesti I am not sure the Brawler rage power is so great. Personally, I´d probably avoid it especially considering magic weapons start coming around that level. If you have the needed dexterity score, I´d just consider getting TWF and another power.

If you want to use regular fists I think a monk level or three are worth it due to the several feats, saves etc you get. The monastic legacy feat (it requires still mind, therefore 3+ monk levels) will help your unarmed damage scale with other levels, which may be worth it in the long run.


Plus, Hera seemed to be quite cool to anyone who was a) respecting her and b) not romantically involved with her husband. Which, even with said husband being Zeus, left roughly 95% of the greek world :)

Also, iirc in the Iliad there was a moment where Hera got angry, took Artemis' weapons and beat her with them. That probably deserves IUS, I'd imagine..

"With these words, Hera caught both arms of Artemis
in her left hand. With her right she grabbed the bow
snatching it and its quiver off her shoulders.
Then she slapped her with those weapons. As she did so,
Hera smiled to see Artemis twist away and squirm."


BTW, if the character might go for maneuvers, wouldn´t agile maneuvers help at some point to improve her CMB ?


Technically, if you are enlarged while you are wildshaped into a dire lion you should become huge, so just put the regular adjustments from the spell. Yes, I´m aware it is not quite as good as the adjustments you´d normally get, but unless your DM lets you use templated wildshapes, that is how it is.

(As far as I know beast shape does not change your type so enlarge person should still apply. If you become an animal, well, there´s animal growth :D)


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Actually, I think bandits were excluded from the protection of some codes. The idea was that anyone could kill a known bandit and not face any retribution - Wikipedia mentions this being part of the "Writ of Outlawry". In essense, this person is sentenced to death in absentia and everyone is allowed to carry out the execution.

Depending on the society, as a warrior and exemplar of their faith, the paladin may be allowed to dispense justice in at least some cases.


Paladins essentially involve certain archetypes (usually what I call "old school" heroics) and thus require certain types of games to function well. This means the DM and to a certain point the party should be on board with the plan. Sometimes, though, people have certain views on how paladins must work and don´t like those views being conflicted.

Overall, I like paladins, since I generally like the type of games they fit, if done half right. Yes, they come with a few restrictions (although the Paladin Code can be 99% summarized as "You are a warrior and you are lawful good"), but the same is also true for clerics - except those don´t come with a single code in the PHB but different faiths for their deities. That doesn´t mean either have to be identical Dogmabots with zero personality.


Hmm, I have been meaning to try something along those lines - has someone tried doing it with a regular necromancer wizard and how does it compare to this class? I was planning to use a necromancer into loremaster.


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I don't think there are any official stats, and based on how greatswords and greataxes relate to their one-handed versions, the earthbreaker seems like a solid approximation. In the end, an earthbreaker is just a name for some stats - if the name is different, the stats don't need to change.


Dervish dance is interesting, and I've been curious about having a gnome or paladin mounted character - either paladin, cavalier, or barbarian with the right ability. Mounted combat loses a lot of its problems when your mount can come with you anywhere you go.


Eh, Elvanna - wait, I was thinking about the elven queen from Second Darkness, Telandria. Ileosa and Elvanna... yeah.

I am interested in the idea of how important gender is in Golarion societies because it helps me envision what a PC or NPCs occupation relates to that character's image of self. There will always be exceptions, and PCs are likely to be exceptions.What I am most interested is what constitutes the norm, common, rare, or exceptional behavior. It is a matter of frequency and overall acceptance.

For example, let's say there is a female guard sergeant in the city. Would that in the guard be expected (for whatever reason, the guard mostly recruits or promotes women), completely common (the guard is an equal-opportunity employer), uncommon but distinct (i.e. dwarves, elves or some noble families have such traditions) or exceptional (the sergeant has defied the social norms and performed significant feats to gain her positions)? This will probably have impact that character's personality and how she would react to the PCs, particularly in an official capacity. It can say a lot both for the society and for the character herself.


Actually, is there a book that discusses gender roles and culture in general in deeper detail for the "average" Varisian, Andoran, Belkzen orc etc and how those vary with what their home is (big city, village, citadel or vagrant), dominant cults etc? I generally play my games by ear and try to avoid possibly offensive topics such as what the typical gender roles, stereotypes et cetera are, but I wouldn´t mind knowing just how common it is to be, say, a female sergeant in Ustalav and whether certain professions tend to be predominantly male or female held. "Notably more equal than medieval Earth" is a fairly wide concept, sadly :/ .


I am actually quite curious - how many people would consider it a dealbreaker if there were (relatively minor) stat adjustments for males and females of all or most races? I think one of the early D&D editions had those... probably AD&D (the 1E version).


Funny how no one bothers good fighters or rogues for, you know, hurting, maiming and killing someone "who deserved it" with swords, bows, clubs or what have you - compared to a knife in the gut, give me a few seconds of being cursed or sickened any day ;) .

Anyway, I think a good witch should have no problems using most of the class options - including many of the most powerful ones - when the situation warrants it. Sometimes people deserve what they get, and you are the one who is going to give it to them. Lawful good characters in particular usually understand ideas such as guilt and punishment, so even lethal measures are sometimes acceptable to them.

Is there anything particular that the player is worried about using?


This reminds me of a saying - "What the DM says, goes. If he says enough stupid s..t, the players go as well."

My 2 cents? If someone attacks you, you can defend yourself, paladin or no. Now, a barehanded attack is usually not considered a lethal weapon, so using lethal force might constitute a crime and likely be an evil act, and if a paladin in my games did it I´d have a serious chat with the player if it the character was otherwise ok. The player may still be considered a murderer, and relatives or friends of the slain would want restitution.


As for 1) and 2) I fully expect some sexism in some if not most Golarion societies, but on average there would be a fair bit less than how I envision, say, medieval Europe, India, Mali or Japan. Magic and active deities are more than a match for sexual dimorphism. That doesn´t necessarily mean there won´t social mores that we would find distasteful or oppressive.

3) I don´t see a big need for a change. I haven´t seen that much written on gender equality for the common people of Golarion - and adventurers by are very much NOT regular people, so they are seldom treated the same way, but what I have seen is possible within the cultural framework I know. Maybe not the standard situation, but possible nonetheless.

@ Deadmanwalking - I'm not saying it is the typical situation, but I can imagine the situation on a pirate ship being quite abusive, and not just towards females. It might be more of a "veterans do what they will, rookies suffer what they must" mentality where the old sailors (who incidentally tend to have more levels) can do anything to the newbies as long as it leaves them able to do their job. It´s not something that is likely to happen in a game, just part of how the setting can be a harsh place and not always roses and white stallions.


Unless Callistria is feeling particularly evil that day, I'd expect the PC to get a somewhat open-ended errand. After all, at her level chances are she is a famous adventuress and this gives the cult a rare opportunity to use her unique talents.

For example, she might get a task to "make someone pay", the reasons why Callistria wills it, maybe the degree to which she should go. The priest/ess can add that "Callistria favors creativity" and that the goddess would be pleased if the task were done "fittingly" - then leave the player to figure out the particulars herself. If you go for an iconic Calistrian thing, there is a huge potential to make the player quite uncomfortable. So don't force her to do a certain thing - nudge her a bit and see what she does of her own free will. Put some pressure to take it seriously, and leave her to it.

The fluffy idea is fun, too, though I'd prefer a more cloak and dagger (and wasps) scenario. My biggest concern is that this might mean the other PCs have to play second fiddle in someone else's personal quest, and it might feel like her PC is hijacking the campaign.


The overall concept feels a bit stifling, but if the players like such tricks, it could work... but how sure are we that they will kill the mayor´s son? He would probably surrender rather than fight to the death barring supernatural compulsion to do just that, and there´s always the chance one of those meddling kids decide to specifically try to take him alive to answer for his crimes.

Also, the "Save All The People Captured By The Spellcaster(Only The Current Servant Survived To This Point) " bit doesn´t seem to make much sense as it is. If the other people don´t survive, this will impact the mood of the chronicle and not build up to the swing you are planning with their triumphant return, but yes, having no other survivors makes things much simpler for the villain. If there are people to save, they can be spoken to (yes, they can be under a compulsion or be deceived, but it is possible the PCs get an idea something is wrong) and speak with dead is a reasonably low-level spell...

Generally, it is always good for the PCs to have a chance to understand what is going on. When someone goes to such a distance to mess with them, even their surviving and disappearance is a good hook... after all, who knows what he´s going to do to them next if they won this round?


Weapon focus is a safe pick if you plan on having a signature weapon. I can also think of selecting a defensive option like iron will (less required on elves or dwarves due to the save bonuses, but still handy) or even dodge.


With those stats I might be even tempted for a paladin/monk/Fist of Irori, but that might be a wee bit ridiculous :) .

I'd say go with the class that best fits the role you want. All three classes work out and you have great stats, so it's a matter of style.


Sadurian wrote:
A good way to enrich the soil is to have a large battle over it. All that blood and bone is great for the soil, and the slaughter is definitely the RPG way to solve any problem. Just invite the local goblins to attack the village and play 'Magnificent Seven'.

Erm, you need to do some work to ensure that there are no epidemics due to all the rotting flesh and thus grubs, parasites etc that tend to be involved, have the local clergy do some work so there are no angry ghosts or haunts and so on... but yes, it is an option. Still, it might be easier to arrange for some composting :P .

And yes, a decanter might need a few basic precautions, but it can work well enough. If you want it for irrigation as well as for clear water (and you probably would), you will probably want to dig a few ditches to carry the water anyway.


One thing to note for the duelist: you lose precise strike if you attack with a weapon in your off hand or use a shield, not of you just carry a weapon in your off hand... or if you use the hand itself to attack. Here are a few things that, by my reading, would not deny you the extra damage:
- Holding your weapon two-handed for better strength-to-damage / power attack ratio (as long as it is one-handed)
- TWF with unarmed strikes, armor spikes, boots etc as the "off hand."
- Carrying an off-hand weapon but not making any attacks with it, so you can use it for any magical bonuses it gives you or extra AC from the blocking quality, the defending enhancement or with the Two-weapon defense feat.
- Giving up your off-hand attacks for the duelist parry feature.


A lot of the more creative uses for spells are in making magical items - wondrous items in particular. A decanter of endless water can make for a spring in a dry area, for example, and there is nearly unlimited potential to what items you can devise (barring DM veto). For example, an arch with a permanent Diagnose Disease can help you keep the village lifestock in good condition. Still,in general the better spells of managing the land are on the druid list, but spell research can allow you to develop spinoffs or analogous spells - plant growth, control winds, commune with nature...

As for enriching, hmm, how often can you do it, both per day and on one place?


Generally, multiclassing isn't all that great in PF, and druids are well enough as they are. You could do it if you really want to, but I think it is the weaker option.

Anyhow, for a more complete mechanics perspective checking a few guides can't hurt. Overall I'd suggest picking good strength and wisdom - possibly focusing on the strength if you want to be more of a warrior than a caster, with wisdom being in the 14/16 range. Decent dexterity and constitution(12-14) are definitely good if you can afford them, which with poor intelligence and charisma you probably can. Unless your DM rules that a wolf shaman doesn't need to meet the prerequisites for the shaman bonus feats, you need 13 intelligence for improved/greater trip, so this does not sound like a good option. For your starting feats, I'd either go for dodge/toughness for combat bonuses or SF conjuration so I can get augmented summoning soon. At level 3 for a combat druid I probably get power attack, and at 5 natural spell is almost too good to pass up.

I don't like dumping intelligence because I like skills, and the druid list has several very good ones. Still, not all of them are core to the concept, so you don't have to take them With your concept, survival and perception should be pretty much guaranteed, and steath works fine (I suggest getting a trait that unlocks it as a class skill). Heal and knowledge nature can help a bit as useful to your survival in the wild, but are not as central.

In terms of spell selection, well, I'd suggest going for a mix between utility and buffs, depending on what you can expect and who else is in the party.

The story part bugs me a bit, although of course it depends on how your DM and you want to play this. The thing is, iirc druids are assumed to receive some instruction in what they are doing - prepared magic is a sort of magic ritual that you, well, prepare and then unleash. Someone most likely taught you how to do this - a spirit guide, a druid you met later, the fae... This isn't a big deal and can be glossed over, but thematically if that power is bubbling from within it works better with something like an oracle with the Lunar mystery.

The second thing that strikes me as odd is the "animal companion doesn't help him" bit. Remember, druid and ranger companions are, before they start getting bonuses from intelligence from levels, fairly normal animals (ok, particularly fit and reactive ones) and act appropriately. Unless, say, ridden by a spirit or compelled by a spell, they act in a way that animal is supposed to act. It could make for an interesting backstory (why is that wolf acting like that around me), but I'd suggest not troubling your fellow players by insisting you do some epic quests to essentially make use of a class feature you are assumed to have by default. The overall assumption is that a starting character has already completed whaterever tests, rites and training s/he needs to get all the class features at this level.


Cohorts or full-on second characters are ok if they are experienced, otherwise Taku´s idea has merit. I´d still look for an extra player, though, but I probably wouldn´t look for a paladin for that gang :) .


Zhayne wrote:

This doesn't bother me at all. I've no problem with their being more than one way to realize a character concept.

That is actually fairly often the case. Ever since the APG there have been multiple options that cover the same concept. Look at the duelist PrC - there are fighter archetypes that sort of do this, a rogue archetype that somewhat does the same thing conceptually (swashbuckler - though I find it trash from a mechanical perspective), and now the advanced class guide has a class to do it.

Still, it can be annoying, especially if the mechanic is perceived as clunky. Yet I think if a game can handle a wizard, it can handle a summoner.


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Wait, do we have such an agreement? I thought most people just agreed summoners (or some versions thereof) are annoying and step on the conjurer's toes, not that they are stronger. They rival full casters, but outclassing them, eh, that is rather doubtful.

It's not about the strength, it is that it is a class with an archetype that is already mostly covered elsewhere and with confusing/clunky mechanics.


I was under the impression that it was mostly the synthesist and master summoner archetypes that generate a lot of hate, and regular summoners are, eh, tolerated. Yes, they are about as powerful as some full casters, but you can probably do worse when it comes to annoying your DM and fellow players.

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