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"The synthesist wears the eidolon like translucent, living armor."


Pathfinder Society® General Discussion

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Taldor ***

I know a lot of players who play Synthesis Summoners like to use the class as a shortcut to play non-core races and monstrous humanoids (Not in my home games!). My question is how well enforced is this rule when it comes to Society Play? I know there are certain limitations to refluffing things when it comes to PFS, but it seems really cheesy to just be able to say my character is a "human but looks like a hobgoblin."

Also it seems to me that the whole point of the Eidelon being an outsider is that they're supposed to be at the very least startling to look at. A Synthesis Summoner who walks around in Eidelon form should probably freak out the locals, if not find himself chased by an angry mob. Especially in counties like Andoran, and of the Linnorm Kings and Ustalav.

Lantern Lodge

let them do it. a synthesist modeled after a "monstrous" species is fine.

i had an idea for one modeled after the grim reaper.

Taldor ***

Luminiere Solas wrote:

let them do it. a synthesist modeled after a "monstrous" species is fine.

i had an idea for one modeled after the grim reaper.

Just to be clear, I don't have an issue with the player basing their Eidelon form after something, just they're supposed to be translucent.

You know, no gnomish trojan ponies.

Qadira ****

Even if they are modeled after a monstrous creature, that doesn't mean they get to be as intimidating as the creature itself. Besides, there are a lot of issues that the synthesist summoner has that makes them more of a liability for play (especially with how healing them works, it's really wonky, as well as casting spells with the eidolon suit on). Make sure to read up on the FAQ and rules forums about how to handle them, because it's likely they are being played incorrectly. And that doesn't even get into townspeople not taking too kindly about what someone looks like walking down the street.

/Summoners, on average, have the most mistakes out of any characters I've ever audited.
//Synthesist summoners, even more so.


What's the fun in playing a monstrous race when he's still a longshank underneath the armor? ^__^

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

The eidolon is translucent in its natural state. There's a cantrip that can change its color. If that doesn't make it opaque, then you might have to use paint.

Lantern Lodge

Peyote wrote:
Luminiere Solas wrote:

let them do it. a synthesist modeled after a "monstrous" species is fine.

i had an idea for one modeled after the grim reaper.

Just to be clear, I don't have an issue with the player basing their Eidelon form after something, just they're supposed to be translucent.

You know, no gnomish trojan ponies.

the translucent part is fluff. not a rule. you can technically handwave that.

if my eidolon form resembled the creature it was based off of. i better actually look like that creature in question.

gnomish trojan ponies sounds ridiculous, but if i had a hypothetical human summoner whose hypotehtical eidolon form looked like an angel of some sort. you can safely wager that i want the form to have the requisite angelic features. usually these consist of wings (if you have a fly speed) a halo, and other common celestial features.

Taldor ***

2 people marked this as a favorite.

That is not fluff. It is in the rules under the entry for Fused Eidelon.

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/base-classes/summoner/archetypes/paizo---su mmoner-archetypes/synthesist

"A synthesist summons the essence of a powerful outsider to meld with his own being. The synthesist wears the eidolon like translucent, living armor. The eidolon mimics all of the synthesist’s movements, and the synthesist perceives through the eidolon’s senses and speaks through its voice, as the two are now one creature."

Is should be immediately apparent to anyone looking at an Synthesis Eidelon that it is not a true creature, but rather a husk covering the creature inside.

Qadira ****

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I do not think the translucent thing is fluff, it's pretty integral to the archetype. You can't wear an eidolon suit and become a creature you are not, you wear them as a translucent skin. You can look like it, but your PC will be floating inside a shimmering, translucent figure of the eidolon.

*Edit: Damn, ninja'd!

Andoran ***** Venture-Captain, Minnesota—St. Paul

2 people marked this as a favorite.

+1 to not fluff

Taldor *** Venture-Lieutenant, North Carolina—Asheville aka zylphryx

1 person marked this as a favorite.

What?!?! No Edgar suits??? ;)

+1 to not being fluff as well. It is pretty well spelled out for the archetype as to what the effect is.

Shadow Lodge **

3 people marked this as a favorite.

A gnome inside a jello mold that looks like a mini tarasque is still a gnome.

Lantern Lodge

fluff text wrote:

"A synthesist summons the essence of a powerful outsider to meld with his own being. The synthesist wears the eidolon like translucent, living armor. The eidolon mimics all of the synthesist’s movements, and the synthesist perceives through the eidolon’s senses and speaks through its voice, as the two are now one creature."

this is nothing more than fluff text.

mechanics wrote:

While fused with his eidolon, the synthesist uses the eidolon’s physical ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution), but retains his own mental ability scores (Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma). The synthesist gains the eidolon’s hit points as temporary hit points. When these hit points reach 0, the eidolon is killed and sent back to its home plane. The synthesist uses the eidolon’s base attack bonus, and gains the eidolon’s armor and natural armor bonuses and modifiers to ability scores. The synthesist also gains access to the eidolon’s special abilities and the eidolon’s evolutions. The synthesist is still limited to the eidolon’s maximum number of natural attacks. The eidolon has no skills or feats of its own. The eidolon must be at least the same size as the synthesist. The eidolon must have limbs for the synthesist to cast spells with somatic components. The eidolon’s temporary hit points can be restored with the rejuvenate eidolon spell.

While fused, the synthesist loses the benefits of his armor. He counts as both his original type and as an outsider for any effect related to type, whichever is worse for the synthesist. Spells such as banishment or dismissal work normally on the eidolon, but the synthesist is unaffected. Neither the synthesist nor his eidolon can be targeted separately, as they are fused into one creature. The synthesist and eidolon cannot take separate actions. While fused with his eidolon, the synthesist can use all of his own abilities and gear, except for his armor. In all other cases, this ability functions as the summoner’s normal eidolon ability (for example, the synthesist cannot use his summon monster ability while the eidolon is present).

This ability replaces the class’s eidolon ability, bond senses, and life bond.

The following class abilities function differently for synthesist summoners

this is the mechanics text

lets compare to sneak attack as an example

sneak attack fluff text wrote:

If a rogue can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from her attack, she can strike a vital spot for extra damage

fluff text

Sneak attack mechanics wrote:

The rogue's attack deals extra damage (called "precision damage") anytime her target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the rogue flanks her target. This extra damage is 1d6 at 1st level, and increases by 1d6 every two rogue levels thereafter. Should the rogue score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied. Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet.

With a weapon that deals nonlethal damage (like a sap, whip, or an unarmed strike), a rogue can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. She cannot use a weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage in a sneak attack, not even with the usual –4 penalty.

The rogue must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. A rogue cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment.

mechanical text

Shadow Lodge ***

The translucent thing is very badly written and we ignore in the home game where I play one. And this is one of those RAW things that simply doesn't fit a lot of character concepts.

The point was to make the possessed synthesist distinctive looking. Defining it as only translucent was a mistake. So unfortunately we have a bad, as in character concept limiting descriptor that is there for no really good reason that is unfortunately offical.

It should be handwaved in home games. It should be rewritten if the synthesist makes Pathfinder 2.0.

Unfortunately, for organized play we are stuck with it because it is RAW. Therefore, it stands, but for no good reason other then 'the rules say so' and enough people (as evidenced by this thread) don't see it as fluff. That means RAW will win out. I don't like it or agree with it, but I can live with it.

Best solution would be some errata along the lines of 'a synthesist summoner may ignore the translucent descriptor provided the eidolon possessed form is obviously distinct from the character's normal form and cannot be mistaken for a typical humaniod form. For example, the eidolon form could resemble a medium animal or the form of a diety, the summoner's dead Siamese twin reattached from the afterlife, or anything distinct like that. But it couldn't resemble say, a humanoid of the opposite sex, or a different race that could walk down the street normally.'

It is not something I would hold my breath waiting to see though.

Qadira ****

Even if we were to agree it is fluff text, you are at the whims of the GM and random table variation of rulings. If you sit at my table, it is translucent - end of story. You can disagree with it all you want, but it isn't going to sway the way I interpret how an archetype is designed for play. But as it stands, it's pretty RAW that it is translucent.

/I sure hope that summoners don't make Pathfinder 2.0
//At least get rid of synthesist summoners
///Personal opinion

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

9 people marked this as a favorite.

I have an issue with a character essentially getting a fool-proof alter self which is what this is sounding like to me.

Shadow Lodge ***

Joseph Caubo wrote:

Even if we were to agree it is fluff text, you are at the whims of the GM and random table variation of rulings. If you sit at my table, it is translucent - end of story. You can disagree with it all you want, but it isn't going to sway the way I interpret how an archetype is designed for play. But as it stands, it's pretty RAW that it is translucent.

I disagree with it enough that I won't play a synthesist in PFS, therefore it won't come up as an argument.

And to me it is unfortunate that this is a bit of fluff that I can't work around, with a reasonable GM like yourself; unlike say, the combination of traits and racial features I took to make my regular summoner feel/roleplay somewhat like a ranger or make a very non oriental ninja class character.

The point is there is no logical reason other than 'it's in the book' for it to stand. Add to this the fact that the translucent fluff doesn't match almost anything IRL, be it stories of shamanism, comic books, exorcist movies that deals with being 'possessed' (but remaining in control) just makes it counterintuitive and adds up to another reason for me to really want to see this errataed.

Bob Jonquet wrote:
I have an issue with a character essentially getting a fool-proof alter self which is what this is sounding like to me.

That is why I was very careful how I worded my potential errata. The point is the synthesist form should be distinct, not stuck with horribly written fluff.

Point is you should be able to make the Hulk as a synthesist summoner sometimes possessed by a rage spirit. And yes, I get you can make him as a Barbarian Alchemist, but something like this should be an option as Synthesist, but it isn't because of nothing but very illogical fluff.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Washington—Eastern Washington aka WalterGM

Whenever there are synthesist/eidolons I always run it as the NPCs always know (unless unintelligent) that they are X.

"It looks like the Stay Puft Marshmellow Man you say? Neat, they all know its a summoned creature."

+1 to not letting summoners have a fool-proof Alter Self. Well said Bob.

Silver Crusade

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Don't forget the big honkin' "I'm an Eidolon/Summoner" sigil on their forehead.

I'd allow non-transluscent Synthesis Eidolons in home games with that major caveat, as well as Kerney's specification that it can't pass for someone else.

Keeps "I get possessed sometimes/Imma transhumanist!/My guardian angel grants me his grace" types possible.

Shadow Lodge ***

Mikaze wrote:

Don't forget the big honkin' "I'm an Eidolon/Summoner" sigil on their forehead.

That pretty much makes the 'fool proof alter self' a strawman argument.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

Kerney wrote:
That pretty much makes the 'fool proof alter self' a strawman argument.

I disagree. If the summoner is hidden inside and the eidolon simply looks like a lone creature, and you do not have a skill to identify the significance of the glowing symbol, then...

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

And the glowy symbol is easy to cover up with a headband or hat.

Add to that, Paizo has demonstrated on several occasions that the glowy symbols are optional. (For example, the pair that show up in the Harrow Deck adventure don't have glowy symbols.)

Shadow Lodge ***

Bob Jonquet wrote:
Kerney wrote:
That pretty much makes the 'fool proof alter self' a strawman argument.
I disagree. If the summoner is hidden inside and the eidolon simply looks like a lone creature, and you do not have a skill to identify the significance of the glowing symbol, then...

Still, people with weird glowy symbols are not normal, any more than say green skin. That should get noticed...and in some cases reacted to.

Chris Mortika wrote:

And the glowy symbol is easy to cover up with a headband or hat.

Add to that, Paizo has demonstrated on several occasions that the glowy symbols are optional. (For example, the pair that show up in the Harrow Deck adventure don't have glowy symbols.)

I would say it needs a disguise check skill, not something most people put a lot of points in. I would agree it's a low one, but still, it's not a "freebie". Glowy symbols glow, an it would take a moderate effort (say DC 15) to cover that up. Add to that things like claws, fangs, wings etc and people are likely to make such efforts harder. True, you could work around that with your build, but you'd probably make other sacrifices in effectiveness to accomplish the stealth.

APG, says glowy symbols are required. That's what counts for PFS. If Paizo has broken their own rules in other books, it's just an indication the the rules should be rethought.

None of this has to do with whether the 'translucent living armor' makes sense in any other context than 'the book says that's what it is therefore that's what we are going with' rather than 'those rules make logical, intuitive sense in a balanced manner' which is the hallmark of good game design.

Qadira ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Now the question is whether you can trick people into thinking your eidolon is a Gelatinous Cube. I think that's the "geometric solid" base form.

Shadow Lodge ***

Chris Mortika wrote:
Now the question is whether you can trick people into thinking your eidolon is a Gelatinous Cube. I think that's the "geometric solid" base form.

I once heard of a synthesist who was yellow ball with the swallow whole ability.

We'll have to come up with these forms.

Andoran *****

Kerney wrote:
I would say it needs a disguise check skill, not something most people put a lot of points in.

I've got a local player who does that with his (non synthesist) summoner. He even has figs that are matching that he wants to use. So far, I havent let him use the same fig for both, as it could get switched up in combat, but it's still an interesting idea.

If he does fight somethign that would be smart enough to go for the summoner instead of the eidolon, then I give him the opposed Perception check to see if the enemy can tell which is which. It's worked fairly well for him so far.

Andoran *****

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

synthesist does not change this part of an eidolon.

APG wrote:
The eidolon’s physical appearance is up to the summoner, but it always appears as some sort of fantastical creature. This control is not fine enough to make the eidolon appear like a specific creature. The eidolon also bears a glowing rune that is identical to a rune that appears on the summoner’s forehead as long as the eidolon is summoned.

Silver Crusade **

Dragnmoon wrote:

synthesist does not change this part of an eidolon.

APG wrote:
The eidolon’s physical appearance is up to the summoner, but it always appears as some sort of fantastical creature. This control is not fine enough to make the eidolon appear like a specific creature. The eidolon also bears a glowing rune that is identical to a rune that appears on the summoner’s forehead as long as the eidolon is summoned.

True, but if you make it look like an elf, then give it the same robe and wizard hat, its going to be a bit challenging to figure out which is which. Thus, the disguise check.

**** Venture-Captain, New Jersey aka Shivok

As a player (I have a crazed tiefling synthesist summoner - who's aspect is fiend-like creature)and I dont like the fluff either but I can live with it. I guess we dont want a whole bunch of manga suits/power ranger monsters running around the game getting attacked by the locals or constables.

As a GM I stick to the rule : its transluscent. A player could disguise himself with a hat of disguise if he'd like or a higher lvl illusion spell that should produce the desired effect.

Cheliax *

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I knew this would come up, I brought it up before.

It's fluff, it has no mechanical game effect.
I ignore the translucent bit and I will continue to do so. I suggest everyone else do the same.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kerney wrote:
Defining it as only translucent was a mistake.

Because... you don't like it?

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

2 people marked this as a favorite.

wow, the more this discussion goes on, the more I want to ban them from my table ;-)

Andoran

Vic Wertz wrote:
Kerney wrote:
Defining it as only translucent was a mistake.

Because... you don't like it?

I think the answer is more likely "Because it shuts down a ton of character concepts."

A lot of people want their Eidolon to look like a specific type of creature and then envelope them whenever they summon it like a suit, rather than to float visibly inside of it.

Edit: Didn't notice this was PFS.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Staff response: no reply required. 7 people marked this as a favorite.

Whether you think it's "fluff" or not, it is what it is. Fireballs begin as glowing, pea-sized beads, and detonate with a low roar. Fused eidolons are translucent. Just because those things are descriptive doesn't mean you get to change them at your whim. (At least, not when you're supposed to be playing by the rules. Change 'em all you want outside of PFS, of course...)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Chris Mortika wrote:

Paizo has demonstrated on several occasions that the glowy symbols are optional. (For example, the pair that show up in the Harrow Deck adventure don't have glowy symbols.)

What that really illustrates is that artists don't necessarily know all the rules.

Cheliax *

ShadowcatX wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
Kerney wrote:
Defining it as only translucent was a mistake.

Because... you don't like it?

I think the answer is more likely "Because it shuts down a ton of character concepts."

Correct. I've previously outlined the various concepts you can make using it.

The translucent bit limits options, it doesn't create them.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Washington—Eastern Washington aka WalterGM

Vic Wertz wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:

Paizo has demonstrated on several occasions that the glowy symbols are optional. (For example, the pair that show up in the Harrow Deck adventure don't have glowy symbols.)

What that really illustrates is that artists don't necessarily know all the rules.

Are they just...drawing their own conclusions?

*puts shades on*

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Alex Draconis wrote:
The translucent bit limits options, it doesn't create them.

And what makes you think that's not deliberate?

Cheliax *

Vic Wertz wrote:
Whether you think it's "fluff" or not, it is what it is. Fireballs begin as glowing, pea-sized beads, and detonate with a low roar. Fused eidolons are translucent. Just because those things are descriptive doesn't mean you get to change them at your whim.

And what do Magic Missiles look like Vic? Oh that's right they can look like whatever you want. Blue, green, mauve, balls, arrows, glowing mugs of ale. It doesn't modify the spellcraft (mechanical) check to identify but they can look however you like.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

"It wasn't me that was rampaging through the town, killing all the orphans, it was a 6 headed beast able to pounce and destroy anyone with a single bite. I was nowhere near the town when that happened!"


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Put another way: That's the sort of text that is put in for specific reasons. You don't start writing up something, and add that translucent bit on accident.

Qadira ****

Alex Draconis wrote:
And what do Magic Missiles look like Vic? Oh that's right they can look like whatever you want. Blue, green, mauve, balls, arrows, glowing mugs of ale. It doesn't modify the spellcraft (mechanical) check but they can look however you like.

Yes, but the alterations you suggest with the synth summoner are trying to confuse folks on what respective knowledge check they are trying to make. Which is why this was intentionally limited in the options available to folks.

Andoran

Cheapy wrote:
"It wasn't me that was rampaging through the town, killing all the orphans, it was a 6 headed beast able to pounce and destroy anyone with a single bite. I was nowhere near the town when that happened!"

To be fair there's plenty of other classes that can do this, why shouldn't synthesist summoner be one of them?

Qadira ****

ShadowcatX wrote:
To be fair there's plenty of other classes that can do this, why shouldn't synthesist summoner be one of them?

"Just because Timmy jumped off the bridge does not mean that you should to!"

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

WalterGM wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
What that really illustrates is that artists don't necessarily know all the rules.

Are they just...drawing their own conclusions?

*puts shades on*

YYEEEAAAAAHHHH!!!!

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

10 people marked this as a favorite.
Alex Draconis wrote:
And what do Magic Missiles look like Vic? Oh that's right they can look like whatever you want.

How about not talking down to Paizo staff?

Silver Crusade **

Cheapy wrote:
"It wasn't me that was rampaging through the town, killing all the orphans, it was a 6 headed beast able to pounce and destroy anyone with a single bite. I was nowhere near the town when that happened!"

1)Put on a suit of full-plate.

2)Add helmet.
3)Massacre town.
4)Same result.

or

1) Greater Invisibility
2) Massacre town.
3) Same result.

or

1) Send in Eidolan.
2) Massacre town.
3) Swap out appearance of Eidolan.
4) Same result.

Personally, the translucent bit has always annoyed me a bit. In order to look normal, just add clothes. Can anyone give me a solid reason to make them translucent other than "Because the book said so?"

***

Vic Wertz wrote:
Kerney wrote:
Defining it as only translucent was a mistake.

Because... you don't like it?

I think it seems very un-fantasy for it to be a suit of goo. My synthesist wears the eidolon like armor (as written), but I prefer to think it looks like a stylized suit of black dragon scale armor complete with a helmet with dragon maw and clawed gauntlets. That feels more fantasy to me.

I certainly would not fight a judge at the table, but I have a much greater need to be happy with the character concept than the judge has to nitpick descriptive text during play. I am going to imagine the superhero costume (since that is how glaringly obvious the synthesist's eidolon should be) in a manner that appeals to me while fitting the setting of Golarion. If suit of goo fantasy is what Paizo was truly going for, then I hope that my departure from it doesn't disturb you so much that you cannot enjoy the game.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Alex Draconis wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
Whether you think it's "fluff" or not, it is what it is. Fireballs begin as glowing, pea-sized beads, and detonate with a low roar. Fused eidolons are translucent. Just because those things are descriptive doesn't mean you get to change them at your whim.

And what do Magic Missiles look like Vic? Oh that's right they can look like whatever you want. Blue, green, mauve, balls, arrows, glowing mugs of ale. It doesn't modify the spellcraft (mechanical) check to identify but they can look however you like.

The difference there is those interpretations don't actually contradict with what's written in the rulebook, so long as they still fit the description of "missiles of magical energy." Saying the synthesist's eidolon is *not* translucent *does* actually contradict what's written in the rulebook, and in PFS play, you don't get to make that call.

*

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Personally, here's how I handle those issues (This isn't in PFS, of course):

1) No eidolon ever looks quite 'right' when you're trying to make it imitate a specific creature. People who aren't familiar with the creature type in question just get a vague sense of 'wrongness', like it doesn't fit what they think that that creature should look like. If you ARE familiar with it, the feeling is even stronger - even without the glowing rune, you are quite sure that isn't what it looks like even if you can't put their finger on why. One rank in Knowledge (Arcana) or the ability to make those checks untrained is enough to immediately identify the creature as an Eidolon (or DC is 0 if the character really wants to make the check) even if the rune is disguised - you don't know WHOSE eidolon, but you know it is one.

2) In the case of synthesists, both the synthesist and the eidolon have the glowing rune at all times. When the eidolon isn't active, the glowing is severely muted but still visible except in bright light, such as daylight.

3) Attempts to disguise the summoner rune are oddly accident-prone. Disguise checks to conceal it suffer a -8 luck penalty. This penalty stacks with luck bonuses, but not other penalties.

I think this is a better balance between the concepts allowed and need for summoner/eidolon pairing than the core rules.

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