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Summoners and Balance Issues


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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It's come up in a lot of my home games that the summoner is a rather powerful class. Amongst our group we all run our own games on various days. I've once made a summoner that could shred most CR appropriate encounters at about 8th level and more than a few a few CR above that. The build was a medium/flying/pounce build with a few evo points on nat armor and claws/bite/gore for attacks.

It has gotten to the point (keep in mind this summoner that I've constructed has never actually been played in a campaign). The reaction of most players was to ban the use of summoners in games even when I would wish to use a build that stays away from pounce or grapple/constrict.

What are some of your thoughts on the summoner? Could it use some balance or tweaking?

IMHO- Pounce should have a level requirement, say 8th or 6th at the earliest (mind you barbarians wait til 10th level, 8 druids can get it at 8th). The AC's on the Eidolon can be high, but this isn't so bad since a summoner has to split gear with the eidolon. But what about the synthesist? They could maybe do with or little slower progression of armor/nat armor, or a nerf to shielded meld.


The weakness of the synthesist is that he loses all of his nifty bonuses as soon as the temporary hit points are gone.

The main way to balance the summoner is for the GM to make a point of targeting the eidolon for death. Prior to 9th level or so, most summoners are fairly weak once their eidolons become unavailable to them.

Andoran

As has been shown time and time again on these boards, an overpowered Eidolon is usually the result of a player who made a mistake.

The Summoner is not overpowered in my opinion. Just like any other class, if you know what you are doing you can look overpowered, especially if you optimize while the rest of your party doesn't.

Bans are just knee-jerk reactions.


OP, I am having a reading comprehension problem, have you actually played a summoner in a game?

I have played a number of board games where something seemed "overpowered" and we tweaked the rules to make it "balanced" only to break the game. My suggestion is to try out a mechanic a good number of times before even considering a tweak.


Having actually played a Summoner in game I can promise you that pounce is not overpowered.

Here is the reason:
Pounce (Ex)
An eidolon gains quick reflexes, allowing it to make a full attack after a charge. This evolution is only available to eidolons of the quadruped base form.

You must move before your attack, not after. You must move at least 10 feet (2 squares) and may move up to double your speed directly toward the designated opponent. If you move a distance equal to your speed or less, you can also draw a weapon during a charge attack if your base attack bonus is at least +1.

After moving, you may make a single melee attack. You get a +2 bonus on the attack roll and take a –2 penalty to your AC until the start of your next turn.
---------------------------------------------------------
The summation is that you will not be able to charge every time you attack, which means that you will not be able to pounce every time you attack. Also you will suffer a -2 to AC every time you use the pounce ability. When you add to it that you can't charge over difficult terrain, you will likely only be able to pounce on an opponent once a combat if that.

Summoner's can be very versatile as far as disposable minions, but they are not overpowered. If you really want to compare a Summoner to something you should compare one to a Druid with an animal companion, there is a reason my friends will allow me to play a Summoner but not a druid. Frankly I like the idea of casting Elemental Swarm, turning into a bird and laughing as everything goes to hell.


David knott 242 wrote:

The weakness of the synthesist is that he loses all of his nifty bonuses as soon as the temporary hit points are gone.

The main way to balance the summoner is for the GM to make a point of targeting the eidolon for death. Prior to 9th level or so, most summoners are fairly weak once their eidolons become unavailable to them.

Fused Link, makes this kinda moot.

A synthesist should love being the main target, They lend themselves so well to the tank role. Having the DM hunt them does half the work for them.

A 15th level character I have puts AC around 50, Saves all at low 30's (paladin dip w/ oath of loyalty to buff saves), 303 combined HP/THP. I run antagonize, Reach (tentacle attack) combat reflexes, bodyguard, in harms way, standstill to control the battlefield and encourage/force enemies to engage me.

A main issue with the summoner is that his eidolon has a competitive AC without any significant investment in evolutions gold. Throw some money at it and the AC hits the stratosphere. With a synthesist the fact that you are splitting resources is no longer relevant.


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So you've successfully proven that optimizing cross class can be powerful?
I assure you that this is not a trait exclusive to summoners.


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I've only run 2 summoner's in campains (both synthesists/ biped w/o pounce). So limited battle knowledge might be it. Pounce may have less value in a campaign. But keep in mind the purpose of pounce is to garuntee a full attack. On a flying creature the circumstances in which I cannot pounce are limited.

1) Start Turn adjacent to enemy- I full attack instead, I'm inclined to think that punch a bit out of their weight class.

2) 5' Away from enemy. Take 5' Step and full attack.

3) 10' or more from enemy. Allies in between eidolon and the enemy might stop this, but what if the Eidolon fly's. Have it travel 5' above party. It will always have a charge line. Flight also beats most difficult terrain.

Your point does have much merit though, enemies around corners and the like.

Andoran

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Summoner/Synthesist is incredibly powerful. In my CoT game I've been actively working to limit the power of my character and I still feel like I often overwhelm the content. I purposely did not abuse the stat system (I used my point buy allotment on 18 strength, 14 dex, and 14 con), I trained out of all my natural armor evolutions, and I will never take pounce.

To that end, overpowered is only as much of an issue as you let it be. I very rarely merge with my eidolon and more often than not just fight without him. In big climax battles, when I am merged, I focus on fighting mooks so that others can have fun with the more important enemies.


I have a PFS summoner though he is only a firsty. I have gone a complete PFS scenerio without bringing the eidolon in. This may change if summon monster 1 gets outstripped by challenges, but I doubt it. Eidolon's can get some pretty good attacks if everything is focused on one ability/attack, just like any other character.

Have you ever had a CR 8 (EDIT: Lvl 8) fighter take on a CR appropriate critter? Mage? It amounts to the same thing.

Osirion

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Mogart wrote:

Having actually played a Summoner in game I can promise you that pounce is not overpowered.

Here is the reason:
Pounce (Ex)
An eidolon gains quick reflexes, allowing it to make a full attack after a charge. This evolution is only available to eidolons of the quadruped base form.

If summoners were the only class using pounce I might agree with you.

They are not. There are several other classes that have access to the ability. Certainly by mid-level .

You don't even have to look at archetypes or expansions. Druid gets it at 6th level right out of the core rule book. His companion can get it at level 1 with a claw/claw/bite routine very similar to the eidolon's. Yet, nobody is banning druids.


Clearly you haven't seen a master summoner at work, standard action summons that last 1 minute per level? and I can have 5+cha per day (more with feats if needed) makes for a good "one man party". Just make yourself invisibile and/or buff your defenses and start summoning stuff!

Cheliax

Nemitri wrote:
Clearly you haven't seen a master summoner at work, standard action summons that last 1 minute per level? and I can have 5+cha per day (more with feats if needed) makes for a good "one man party". Just make yourself invisibile and/or buff your defenses and start summoning stuff!

The Master Summoner is overpowered. The Broodmaster is rather weak.

It depends on the archetype.

The Default Summoner is no more overpowered than the default druid, if it can even match its power.

It IS one of the better classes. But the classes are not created equal in Pathfinder. There are different "Classes" of classes in Pathfinder.

You have Rogue and Monk at the bottom, Summoner and Druid at the Top, and everything else fits somewhere in between.


Darkholme wrote:


It IS one of the better classes. But the classes are not created equal in Pathfinder. There are different "Classes" of classes in Pathfinder.

You have Rogue and Monk at the bottom, Summoner and Druid at the Top, and everything else fits somewhere in between.

Where's AM BARBARIAN when you need him? ;)

Cheliax

Nakteo wrote:
Where's AM BARBARIAN when you need him? ;)

lol.

;) indeed.


Darkholme wrote:
There are different "Classes" of classes in Pathfinder.

You can say that again. And where they fall on the scale isn't always obvious.

I have more of a problem with the Inquisitor and Magus classes turning up at my table than I do with Summoners.

Osirion

Another problem I have with Summoners is when they make their Eidolons Large/Huge and expect not to run into situations where this works as a disadvantage. In order to make sure you can use your eidolon anywhere you could be, you need to keep it the same size as you, otherwise you're just setting yourself up for trouble.


Davor wrote:
Another problem I have with Summoners is when they make their Eidolons Large/Huge and expect not to run into situations where this works as a disadvantage. In order to make sure you can use your eidolon anywhere you could be, you need to keep it the same size as you, otherwise you're just setting yourself up for trouble.

Alter self is a Summoner spell. Use it on the Eidolon if you need to bring it to a place that won't fit a large/huge creature.


I tested the Summoner in a a 2v1 match where we all made a lvl 20 character, we had the same amount of gold to buy magic items for, the same amount of points for stats and same time for buffing.

I won the 2v1. Me as summoner againt 2 others... gg, overpowered trash class ;)


Whakapapa wrote:

I tested the Summoner in a a 2v1 match where we all made a lvl 20 character, we had the same amount of gold to buy magic items for, the same amount of points for stats and same time for buffing.

I won the 2v1. Me as summoner againt 2 others... gg, overpowered trash class ;)

Yes this completely vague bit of information is complete proof. I am certainly convinced. Never mind that this is not a pvp head to head game, that most games including all adventure paths dont reach 20th level (and the game itself is wonkey at that level) and you give us no information about what the other 2 characters were. I bet they werent a druid and a wizard by the way.

Osirion

Whakapapa wrote:

I tested the Summoner in a a 2v1 match where we all made a lvl 20 character, we had the same amount of gold to buy magic items for, the same amount of points for stats and same time for buffing.

I won the 2v1. Me as summoner againt 2 others... gg, overpowered trash class ;)

Obviously neither of your opponents was a well played full caster.

Personally, as a level 20 wizard knowing the fight is coming, no Sytnesist is ever going to touch me.

Seriously though; for your claim to have even a hint of meaning you would have to include full builds for all characters and a turn-by-turn accounting of the contest.

Even then, Pathfinder was never balanced around PvP.


Nemitri wrote:
Clearly you haven't seen a master summoner at work, standard action summons that last 1 minute per level? and I can have 5+cha per day (more with feats if needed) makes for a good "one man party". Just make yourself invisibile and/or buff your defenses and start summoning stuff!

A standard summoner can duplicate what you described, only 2 fewer times per day. Below 9th level, you may often find that your summoning choices are underwhelming for the opponents that you are facing. The main advantages of the master summoner are that he gets 2 extra summons per day (not a big deal -- I have yet to exhaust my summons with a standard summoner) and that he can have his (half power) eidolon out at the same time.


David knott 242 wrote:
Nemitri wrote:
Clearly you haven't seen a master summoner at work, standard action summons that last 1 minute per level? and I can have 5+cha per day (more with feats if needed) makes for a good "one man party". Just make yourself invisibile and/or buff your defenses and start summoning stuff!

A standard summoner can duplicate what you described, only 2 fewer times per day. Below 9th level, you may often find that your summoning choices are underwhelming for the opponents that you are facing. The main advantages of the master summoner are that he gets 2 extra summons per day (not a big deal -- I have yet to exhaust my summons with a standard summoner) and that he can have his (half power) eidolon out at the same time.

Not quite true the advantages of a master summoner is that he can if so chooses have all 5 + cha summons out at the same time. Assuming a modest charisma of 16, a MS can have up to 8 summons out in an encounter. A normal summoner cannot do so.


The Master summoner is definitely over powered in the 15 minute adventuring day, as his abilities are meant to maximize his power, at the expense of his eidolons all day power.

The solution is for GMs to prevent the 15 minute adventuring day. Not always easy to design for, but spacing out encounters that must be completed in 1 day makes this spike of power rather dangerously wasteful.

I've honestly never seen what I would call an over powered synth, everything I've seen that might have been have some mistake(s) in their build that makes it illegal, and even the legal builds aren't any more powerful than similarly optimized builds from most classes.

As for the regular summoner, they are fine, only super optimized builds have AC and attacks above the average CR curve ability to handle, which isn't any different than any other class being optimized like that. If you have had to deal with CR12 creatures needing a 20 to hit an appropriate level PC you know what I'm talking about. Just like how any GM who has had to deal with sneak attack classes and barbarians taking out brute type monters well above APL in 1-2 rounds due to damage spiking. Or wizards casting AoE spells with higher than expected DCs causing challenges to be easy.

When I've run a summoner boss against the party, it wasn't as dangerous as when I ran a straight witch, wizard, or cleric boss against them. The eidolon was just another somewhat dangerous meat puppet, and the caster wasn't as versatile full casting classes with more diverse spell pools.

I still consider the witch, wizard, cleric, and druid to be better than a summoner. Full casting with more diverse spells and class features that are IMHO better than the eidolon or syth ability means the summoner is at best a high tier 2 class.

Cheliax

If your eidolon isnt the right size, you can always cast that spell that lets you re-arrange your eidolon points between levels.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Summoners, and the Eidolon in particular, are pretty dependent on what the opposition consists of. I've got an 8th level Summoner in PFS, and while I do limit my optimization some due to roleplaying, it's still pretty effective. However sometimes you run into places where the Eidolon just doesn't keep up. Enemies with DR are probably the biggest issue. Substance type DR will really gimp Eidolon damage (unless you have a weapon wielding one which is rare). I imagine you could get a +4 amulet of mighty fists to get past that, but that's big money.

Shadow Lodge

drbuzzard wrote:
Summoners, and the Eidolon in particular, are pretty dependent on what the opposition consists of. I've got an 8th level Summoner in PFS, and while I do limit my optimization some due to roleplaying, it's still pretty effective. However sometimes you run into places where the Eidolon just doesn't keep up. Enemies with DR are probably the biggest issue. Substance type DR will really gimp Eidolon damage (unless you have a weapon wielding one which is rare). I imagine you could get a +4 amulet of mighty fists to get past that, but that's big money.

I have a weapon wielding synth in PFS. Not an optimized build, but allows me to play the concept I want.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Violet... wrote:
drbuzzard wrote:
I have a weapon wielding synth in PFS. Not an optimized build, but allows me to play the concept I want.

It will definitely come in handy at higher levels. I was fighting a stone golem a while back and the Eidolon was barely scratching it. There was basically nothing I could do to help the situation. On top of that the Eidolon was the front liner for the party as we lacked a proper melee class, so the situation wasn't pretty.

Cheliax

At higher levels, there's no reason not to have a handful of eidolon builds and switch them as desired.

Osirion

Darkholme wrote:
At higher levels, there's no reason not to have a handful of eidolon builds and switch them as desired.

Except for the component cost.

I would rather spend my wealth on permanent bonuses.

Cheliax

Artanthos wrote:
Darkholme wrote:
At higher levels, there's no reason not to have a handful of eidolon builds and switch them as desired.

Except for the component cost.

I would rather spend my wealth on permanent bonuses.

Ah. I missed that. No wonder I thought that spell was so awesome. lol.

Theres still Evolution Surge and Devolution.


I had a camapaign with a summoner before. Yeah, it can be hard to beat them, if you're RP'ing baddies the way I do. (I try to RP my bad guys...so wolves, for example, wouldn't know to go right after the casters, but a smart wizard would certainly suspect those animals were coming from someone directing them). We butted heads a few times over how much control a summoner has over his minions, line of sight requirements, etc. While we didn't get to play him too high up, I could see him being able to take some very high CR situations sometime, and other times being very vulnerable.

Generally, I don't allow them in my campaigns (and not just summoners, but casters that summon a lot). Why? They take up too much time at the table. While having 7 melee summons that all do the same attack can be time consuming in itself, later on, they pull out mobs that have special attacks, spells, etc, that all have to be resolved. I've had just their turn alone approach 7 minutes long, and that really detracts from the flow.


JCServant wrote:

I had a camapaign with a summoner before. Yeah, it can be hard to beat them, if you're RP'ing baddies the way I do. (I try to RP my bad guys...so wolves, for example, wouldn't know to go right after the casters, but a smart wizard would certainly suspect those animals were coming from someone directing them). We butted heads a few times over how much control a summoner has over his minions, line of sight requirements, etc. While we didn't get to play him too high up, I could see him being able to take some very high CR situations sometime, and other times being very vulnerable.

Generally, I don't allow them in my campaigns (and not just summoners, but casters that summon a lot). Why? They take up too much time at the table. While having 7 melee summons that all do the same attack can be time consuming in itself, later on, they pull out mobs that have special attacks, spells, etc, that all have to be resolved. I've had just their turn alone approach 7 minutes long, and that really detracts from the flow.

You would hate me.


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JCServant wrote:

I had a camapaign with a summoner before. Yeah, it can be hard to beat them, if you're RP'ing baddies the way I do. (I try to RP my bad guys...so wolves, for example, wouldn't know to go right after the casters, but a smart wizard would certainly suspect those animals were coming from someone directing them). We butted heads a few times over how much control a summoner has over his minions, line of sight requirements, etc. While we didn't get to play him too high up, I could see him being able to take some very high CR situations sometime, and other times being very vulnerable.

Generally, I don't allow them in my campaigns (and not just summoners, but casters that summon a lot). Why? They take up too much time at the table. While having 7 melee summons that all do the same attack can be time consuming in itself, later on, they pull out mobs that have special attacks, spells, etc, that all have to be resolved. I've had just their turn alone approach 7 minutes long, and that really detracts from the flow.

When I played my master summoner, I used my laptop and ran combat manager, when I summoned something i simply clicked and dragged the appropriate monster and bam! time saved by quite a lot!

I took less time in my turn that the other players too, since I knew what to do once my turn arrived!


JCServant wrote:
Why? They take up too much time at the table. While having 7 melee summons that all do the same attack can be time consuming in itself, later on, they pull out mobs that have special attacks, spells, etc, that all have to be resolved. I've had just their turn alone approach 7 minutes long, and that really detracts from the flow.

A suggestion was made to have each player run 1 or 2 of these summoned seven. It doesn't change the time total, but it does change who is sitting idle for that time.


JCServant wrote:

I had a camapaign with a summoner before. Yeah, it can be hard to beat them, if you're RP'ing baddies the way I do. (I try to RP my bad guys...so wolves, for example, wouldn't know to go right after the casters, but a smart wizard would certainly suspect those animals were coming from someone directing them). We butted heads a few times over how much control a summoner has over his minions, line of sight requirements, etc. While we didn't get to play him too high up, I could see him being able to take some very high CR situations sometime, and other times being very vulnerable.

Generally, I don't allow them in my campaigns (and not just summoners, but casters that summon a lot). Why? They take up too much time at the table. While having 7 melee summons that all do the same attack can be time consuming in itself, later on, they pull out mobs that have special attacks, spells, etc, that all have to be resolved. I've had just their turn alone approach 7 minutes long, and that really detracts from the flow.

Absolutely. I generally don't like playing past 6th level or allowing MIC or Magic Item stores for some of the same reasons. It is all such a drag.

Cheliax

JCServant wrote:
Generally, I don't allow them in my campaigns (and not just summoners, but casters that summon a lot). Why? They take up too much time at the table. While having 7 melee summons that all do the same attack can be time consuming in itself, later on, they pull out mobs that have special attacks, spells, etc, that all have to be resolved. I've had just their turn alone approach 7 minutes long, and that really detracts from the flow.

My Favorite Melee Character is a HoundMaster Cavalier with a decent Charisma and Leadership. I will also spend money on attack dogs that follow me around, which make good distractions at higher levels.

So a noncaster who has: at minimum 4 characters being controlled on the field at all times.

And if I have any amount of Charisma at all, I ALWAYS take Leadership.


Whakapapa wrote:

I tested the Summoner in a a 2v1 match where we all made a lvl 20 character, we had the same amount of gold to buy magic items for, the same amount of points for stats and same time for buffing.

I won the 2v1. Me as summoner againt 2 others... gg, overpowered trash class ;)

That does not prove anything. A wizard or sorcerer who gets the jump on 3 other classes equal to his level can also take them out.

You could have gotten rules wrong. The other players might not be as good as you, and so on.

You need to provide more info. :)


Volkard Abendroth wrote:
You would hate me.

Naaaa...I'd just ask you to play another class, hehehehe.

Nemitri wrote:

When I played my master summoner, I used my laptop and ran combat manager, when I summoned something i simply clicked and dragged the appropriate monster and bam! time saved by quite a lot!

I took less time in my turn that the other players too, since I knew what to do once my turn arrived!

That would certainly be quite helpful. I probably would still keep the class on the 'prohibited' list. Because a lot of combats I have feature monsters who don't always have the brightest intelligence, (and I believe in RP'ing monsters based on INT and expected behavior), the fact that a summoner can throw out X meat shields essentially rips the difficulty out of those types of combat, making more of the focus about him.

An example would be the giant black scorpion we fought not that long ago. If a summoner was there, and had time to crank out a few followers at the beginning, not only would they occupy that scorpions time and absorb his blows, but no doubt that would have done some damage too, allowing the rest of the party to stand back, totally safe, and finish him off ranged. Instead, this party risked life and limb attempting to lure him into a better position tactically, get flanking, etc.

Against smarter NPCs and the such, the challenge is more realistic, as most NPCs and intelligent creatures will realize who is directing all those followers. And, if the followers are causing the NPCs/Mobs more grief than other party members, they'll attempt to hunt down and squish the person responsible. Most enemy NPC parties that I have include at least one, if not more, characters designed to take down mages if the situation warrants it.

Later, the party got a summoner. In an epic encounter with some demons, the summoner totally delivered (they didn't have banish or anything like that, unfortunately. And, to the party's credit, they supported the various large dinosaurs in making it REAL hard for the mostly melee-based demons from getting to the summoner). The battle took almost 4+ hours, with the summons alone doing nearly 1/2 the damage and 3/4 of the battlefield control. Wowzers!

Darkholme wrote:
My Favorite Melee Character is a HoundMaster Cavalier with a decent Charisma and Leadership.

I generally don't allow leadership either. If I'm running a smaller table with only 2 or 3 players, and they are all asking for me to allow leadership/summoners, then I'll do it. However, most of my tables are usually 6+ players, so it's important to keep things moving. Right now, my first group is level 14. We completed a battle against 6pcs vs 6 casters & 6 meat shields in 2 hours :) I keep things moving fast, and house rules to address summoner/follower type builds that can take up a lot of time at the table is one of those ways. It keeps high level campaigns from sputtering out IMHO.

With that being said, I've developed the leadership skill a bit more should I run a smaller or even a solo player game. In brief, it includes rules about how those NPCs can and cannot be directed in battle, what level of involvement the PC has in how that NPC is build, and even consequences (to reputation and the such) should an NPC die under the watchful eye of his leader (Granted, death is a part of what happens in fantasy realms, so it isn't the end of the world, but if a leader allows too many followers to die, he could find recruiting efforts in the future to become a lot harder).


Little off topic...

But the best use for cohorts (imo) isn't bogging down combats by going on adventures, but heading up stronghold security... making sure the PCs have a safe place to call home. Mind you, Leadership is usually a late-level selection for me, so my cohorts have respectable levels when I get them -- don't need to go on adventures to level up.


Darkholme wrote:
Artanthos wrote:
Darkholme wrote:
At higher levels, there's no reason not to have a handful of eidolon builds and switch them as desired.

Except for the component cost.

I would rather spend my wealth on permanent bonuses.

Ah. I missed that. No wonder I thought that spell was so awesome. lol.

Theres still Evolution Surge and Devolution.

While Evolution Surge is a "must have" spell, Devolution is fairly pointless for summoners, since you do not get the points back to spend elsewhere -- so basically the only purpose of this spell is to debuff hostile eidolons. How often do you really expect to run into that situation? Spontaneous spellcasters like the summoner need for their spells to be more generally useful.


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

I wonder if actually following the rules of Handle Animal would help. Since Celestial / Fiendish creatures don't understand those languages anymore, getting them to do anything but attack whatever the summon wants (AKA: not necessarily what the player wants) requires a full-round action to Push one critter.


David knott 242 wrote:
Darkholme wrote:
Artanthos wrote:
Darkholme wrote:
At higher levels, there's no reason not to have a handful of eidolon builds and switch them as desired.

Except for the component cost.

I would rather spend my wealth on permanent bonuses.

Ah. I missed that. No wonder I thought that spell was so awesome. lol.

Theres still Evolution Surge and Devolution.

While Evolution Surge is a "must have" spell, Devolution is fairly pointless for summoners, since you do not get the points back to spend elsewhere -- so basically the only purpose of this spell is to debuff hostile eidolons. How often do you really expect to run into that situation? Spontaneous spellcasters like the summoner need for their spells to be more generally useful.

On the other hand, there is an argument to be made for having ALL the eidolon-related spells available. If you want to be a master of your class. Sure, delay picking up Devolution 'til later in your progression, but don't NOT get it.

If nothing else, counterspelling those nasty NPC summoners who try to target your eidolon can be worthwhile. YES, I know, it's a rare event. Still, when I build a summoner, I start with eidolon-related spells, then the planar binding-type spells, then (finally) the various 'standard' spells. It's a matter of being a Summoner, rather than a summoner.

And no, I haven't really played one; imo, too complicated for too little return. All my summoner-building has been exercise in theory, not for actual play.

Shadow Lodge

Thaylen wrote:


IMHO- Pounce should have a level requirement, say 8th or 6th at the earliest (mind you barbarians wait til 10th level, 8 druids can get it at 8th). The AC's on the Eidolon can be high, but this isn't so bad since a summoner has to split gear with the eidolon. But what about the synthesist? They could maybe do with or little slower progression of armor/nat armor, or a nerf to shielded meld.

i think the thing your gm forgot, is that your summoner is sitting there looking like a jucy steak while your crazy death machiene is killing things. one npc ninja, monk, wizard, soercer, cavalier, fighter, well anything with an intelligence over 10, will notice you in the back of the party shouting commands to the beast and will knock you out of the fight. once you are unconcious the edilon goes bye bye.

thats the problem with the summoner class. you suck really bad at staying out of trouble, and once you're in trouble the edilon has to play defense to keep you alive.

let your gm play your super over powered summoner. then put him and 4 other people in a cr10 encounter. then have a level 6 sap master ninja 2 hit your summoner. he wont think your character is still over powered.
now if you're playing a synthesist summoner, well they are a little worse for your gm, but you will still need to make a will save vrs sleep to keep your edilon out.

Grand Lodge

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

From what I've seen in PFS play, Synthesists tend to as we put it. "Pop like balloons." Once the eidolon has been banished, the summoner himself is a glass jaw.


LazarX wrote:
From what I've seen in PFS play, Synthesists tend to as we put it. "Pop like balloons." Once the eidolon has been banished, the summoner himself is a glass jaw.

I've been looking online for information on the Master Summoner. This statement alone makes me fully convinced it's the better choice for me.

I've found that all the OP'd builds are void because they were made illegally (based on rules). Add on how a well placed banishment = game over, and I'm sold.

Thanks.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
JGL wrote:


I've found that all the OP'd builds are void because they were made illegally (based on rules).

I've found that that only accounts for 1/3rd of the OP builds.


One thing I have noticed in every Eidolon build I have seen to date is the complete lack of Spiked Gauntlets.

Spiked Gauntlets are a rather inexpensive item for any melee character, and can easily be made out of Adamantine, Silver, or Cold Iron for a relatively cheap cost; cannot be disarmed, and allow you to punch things with DR/material in the face (or in the case of adamantine gauntlets - smash objects) without needing to switch weapons.

I strongly recommend any melee character to invest in a pair of gantlets - and yet, despite this (and despite the fact that the summoner has little use for hand-slot items), I have yet to see any Eidolon wearing them.....

This is especially true once you consider how many arms Eidolon's tend to acquire, and the fact that I am fairly certain they can be used with an Eidolon's SLAM attack to bypass DR (and even if it can't, Large/Huge Unarmed damage isn't bad).


A bit of a necro on me old thread there buddy.

Eidolons don't gain proficiency with weapons unless you spend evo points. You can also beat some DR by an ammy of mighty fists.


wraithstrike wrote:
Whakapapa wrote:

I tested the Summoner in a a 2v1 match where we all made a lvl 20 character, we had the same amount of gold to buy magic items for, the same amount of points for stats and same time for buffing.

I won the 2v1. Me as summoner againt 2 others... gg, overpowered trash class ;)

That does not prove anything. A wizard or sorcerer who gets the jump on 3 other classes equal to his level can also take them out.

You could have gotten rules wrong. The other players might not be as good as you, and so on.

You need to provide more info. :)

It was a long time ago, I just mentioned it based on my memory of the encounter. For the record one of the opponents are not a good power game, but pretty decent tactical player, the other opponent is as good as me or even better at powergaming/optimizing. One of them was a ranger, the other a cleric.

I built my summoner as a melee crit based damage dealer (iirc) and the same with my eidelon. I won the fight based on my superior buffing + free dispelling and crowd control from my summoned monsters.

It is, obviously, possible to counter a summoner if try, but you tend to end up as a one-trick pony. They knew I was making a summoner, I didn't know what they built, but none of us tried to counter each other as that wouldn't prove anything.

What I remember from the fight is that yes, you can counter them, but if you were to play one in a normal game, you have SO much flexibility and power, that you are just going to run unchecked unless the DM designs encounters specifically to challenge the summoner. We all concluded (not just from that fight mind you) that if the summoner class was ever to be used, its as an NPC only class.

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