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Darn Monk / Summoner Issue


Advice

Taldor

I have a player who very carefully created a Monk/Summoner. He is nigh on untouchable at his level (3). I do not scrye this forum often (I shall commence now, however); but I wouldst appreciate some help. Any suggestions for killing him? (read that as taking him down a peg or three!) We play PFS together, so my options are somewhat limited. I do not have a problem with him playing it, (he does have fun - that IS the point of the game, after all). However, he walks through mobs like they are not there. If I put something in the encounter he is challenged by, I could end up with a TPK. Suggestions?

Erosthenes


People often make errors building summoners. What are his AC and saves, and can you post the build?

Taldor

wraithstrike wrote:
People often make errors building summoners. What are his AC and saves, and can you post the build?

So who knew you would be so fast in replying! I do not have his character sheet, as he is a PFS character, but his AC is 25. He has gone to great lengths to list his stat increases, AC and HP on the back of the sheet knowing his char will be questioned. Frankly, he has done a masterful job of Min/Maxing to get this to work.


Are you a PFS GM or does your group just use PFS rules?


Sounds like you've got a nasty combination of a synthesist summoner pumping wisdom and adding that to AC via Monk. Being a synthesist, they only really need to focus on two stats (cha and wis) since their physicals get replaced by the eidolon's stats. This is especially potent in a low point buy game.

A normal synthesist can be incredibly durable with even modest investment into AC and/or a few defensive spells. The temp HP pool buffer, shared item slots, and lack of a vulnerable target (the summoner himself for other archetypes) just goes a long way towards creating a very solid defensive base. Stacking the monk bonus on top is probably overkill IMO, but if the player thinks its worth the tradeoff in CL and summoner progression, more power to 'em. You could likely create a more "powerful" character without multiclassing, FWIW.

Now then, I wouldn't recommend getting into an arms race with this kind of character. His AC will continue to climb faster than an ordinary character (he hasn't even got shielded meld yet at your level, and NA bonuses continue to scale, not to mention additional purchases of the NA evolution along with more AC whenever he manages to boost his Wis and/or get a Monk's robe). Add to that the fact that once you get past his AC, and you have to deal with a virtually doubled HP pool, and basic attacks are going to be pretty ineffective vs. such a character (even less so if he invests in say, the crane style feat chain).

You're better off targeting saves, using ability damage, or just trying to debilitate (debuffs, grapple/pin, etc.) him rather then attack him the old fashioned way. Later on, he'll be as vulnerable as any summoner to things like banishment or dismissal. He'll be pretty ordinary once his exoskeleton pops.

Also, an occasional surprise combat could go a long way. It takes a minute to summon the eidolon, which isn't exactly doable in the midst of combat. Not something you should make a habit of, but it'll certainly "take him down a peg or three".

For the most part, I'd generally recommend simply playing to his strengths. I'd lean towards adding more/lots of lower/equal CR foes to let him rip through rather than pitting the party against very tough high CR baddies. As you said, that could trivialize (or kill) the rest of the party. Plus, just adding more of the enemies already in an encounter means that the other party members should still be effective enough against their chosen targets.

Besides, additional enemies (that tend to focus the big scary monk/summoner rather than his friends) can actually threaten him in their own right. Use aid another and flanking liberally against him. Have one guy grapple him then have the rest pile on, attacking his now reduced AC, etc. Or just roll lots of attacks; someone will crit eventually.

The best part of this kind of approach though, is that he'll get to feel like a total bad ass holding his own against the hordes. Let him enjoy himself.

My 2cp

Andoran

Erosthenes wrote:

I have a player who very carefully created a Monk/Summoner. He is nigh on untouchable at his level (3). I do not scrye this forum often (I shall commence now, however); but I wouldst appreciate some help. Any suggestions for killing him? (read that as taking him down a peg or three!) We play PFS together, so my options are somewhat limited. I do not have a problem with him playing it, (he does have fun - that IS the point of the game, after all). However, he walks through mobs like they are not there. If I put something in the encounter he is challenged by, I could end up with a TPK. Suggestions?

Erosthenes

Post his build. Monk/Summoner has very little synergy, so there's no reason he should be more powerful than anyone else.

Taldor

wraithstrike wrote:
Are you a PFS GM or does your group just use PFS rules?

Yes, the character I am referring to is a PFS char ONLY. I run PFS at events and for local Day o' Games events. The player is not obnoxious or anything, but I would like a method of challenging him. I can come up with touch attacks, and ranged touch attacks, but I am uncertain what generates them.

I played DandD for ages (I am one of those White Box guy's). I have recently made the switch to Pathfinder since I am disillusioned by 4th ed. (Want to buy some 4th Ed books cheap?) I really like the PFS format, and there is a need locally for folks to DM PFS.

Taldor

Austin Morgan wrote:
Erosthenes wrote:

I have a player who very carefully created a Monk/Summoner. He is nigh on untouchable at his level (3). I do not scrye this forum often (I shall commence now, however); but I wouldst appreciate some help. Any suggestions for killing him? (read that as taking him down a peg or three!) We play PFS together, so my options are somewhat limited. I do not have a problem with him playing it, (he does have fun - that IS the point of the game, after all). However, he walks through mobs like they are not there. If I put something in the encounter he is challenged by, I could end up with a TPK. Suggestions?

Erosthenes

Post his build. Monk/Summoner has very little synergy, so there's no reason he should be more powerful than anyone else.

Will do so when I can get a copy. Apperantly, he did a lot of research on this forum for this build.


Erosthenes wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Are you a PFS GM or does your group just use PFS rules?

Yes, the character I am referring to is a PFS char ONLY. I run PFS at events and for local Day o' Games events. The player is not obnoxious or anything, but I would like a method of challenging him. I can come up with touch attacks, and ranged touch attacks, but I am uncertain what generates them.

I played DandD for ages (I am one of those White Box guy's). I have recently made the switch to Pathfinder since I am disillusioned by 4th ed. (Want to buy some 4th Ed books cheap?) I really like the PFS format, and there is a need locally for folks to DM PFS.

1.For now don't attack him. Ignore him and go straight for the squishes.

2.Since he did work for the build I would let him have his fun "most of the time".
3.You may have to wait until he is higher level to really hurt him. I had a player go with heavy armor and a tower shield as early as he could and it was hard to hit him. Monster's attacks get a lot better once you get out of the really low levels.
4.I will be waiting for that character sheet. :)

Taldor

wraithstrike wrote:
Erosthenes wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Are you a PFS GM or does your group just use PFS rules?

Yes, the character I am referring to is a PFS char ONLY. I run PFS at events and for local Day o' Games events. The player is not obnoxious or anything, but I would like a method of challenging him. I can come up with touch attacks, and ranged touch attacks, but I am uncertain what generates them.

I played DandD for ages (I am one of those White Box guy's). I have recently made the switch to Pathfinder since I am disillusioned by 4th ed. (Want to buy some 4th Ed books cheap?) I really like the PFS format, and there is a need locally for folks to DM PFS.

1.For now don't attack him. Ignore him and go straight for the squishes.

2.Since he did work for the build I would let him have his fun "most of the time".
3.You may have to wait until he is higher level to really hurt him. I had a player go with heavy armor and a tower shield as early as he could and it was hard to hit him. Monster's attacks get a lot better once you get out of the really low levels.
4.I will be waiting for that character sheet. :)

Frankly, I am impressed he could come up with it! I just hate the idea of going through multiple combats focusing on him (His char is an 85 year old man, btw so roleplaying him is a hoot), and not doing any damage. That gets old after a while. Not my problem this weekend, though as he is going to REAPERCON in Denton, Texas.


Erosthenes wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Erosthenes wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Are you a PFS GM or does your group just use PFS rules?

Yes, the character I am referring to is a PFS char ONLY. I run PFS at events and for local Day o' Games events. The player is not obnoxious or anything, but I would like a method of challenging him. I can come up with touch attacks, and ranged touch attacks, but I am uncertain what generates them.

I played DandD for ages (I am one of those White Box guy's). I have recently made the switch to Pathfinder since I am disillusioned by 4th ed. (Want to buy some 4th Ed books cheap?) I really like the PFS format, and there is a need locally for folks to DM PFS.

1.For now don't attack him. Ignore him and go straight for the squishes.

2.Since he did work for the build I would let him have his fun "most of the time".
3.You may have to wait until he is higher level to really hurt him. I had a player go with heavy armor and a tower shield as early as he could and it was hard to hit him. Monster's attacks get a lot better once you get out of the really low levels.
4.I will be waiting for that character sheet. :)
Frankly, I am impressed he could come up with it! I just hate the idea of going through multiple combats focusing on him (His char is an 85 year old man, btw so roleplaying him is a hoot), and not doing any damage. That gets old after a while. Not my problem this weekend, though as he is going to REAPERCON in Denton, Texas.

Let me guess what's he's done. Venerable age - dumped str/dex/con to 7 with age dropping those scores into the toilet. He pumped up int/wis/cha with age increasing them further. Wearing the suit his physical ability scores go WAY up so the penalties are basically ignored. Personally I don't find this clever and it is fairly obvious.


One thing to keep in mind for a few levels later; Dismissal/Banishment is a death sentence to a synthesist who goes for dumping all of their physical stats and venerable age.

Taldor

Hawktitan: Remember I am new to PF

Chengar: Honestly I do not remember.

Cheliax

GUIDE TO PATHFINDER SOCIETY ORGANIZED PLAY wrote:
Characters can be of any age, but do not alter their ability scores as a result of this roleplaying choice. (Page 5)

Just in case Hawktitan is correct.


This might be partially my fault since I posted a straight up lvl. 7 Summoner Syntheist build in another thread.
http://paizo.com/forums/dmtz3chk?Looking-for-ideas-on-a-Melee-Summoner-buil d#6

So anyway be warned pretty much gave him a blueprint for this guy. Now there is one thing you need to note. There is nothing stating that the spells I listed have to be casted after the eidolon is summoned. There is nothing stating that any armor the player is wearing stacks on top of the eidolon.


Erosthenes wrote:
Hawktitan: Remember I am new to PF

I'm sorry if that came off as snarky towards you, that wasn't my intent.

That was more directed towards the player 'Chessy' or 'Munchkin' would also suffice :).

Still if you post a character sheet it would be helpful. Summoners are built incorrectly even by very expirienced players.

SolidHalo wrote:

This might be partially my fault since I posted a straight up lvl. 7 Summoner Syntheist build in another thread.

http://paizo.com/forums/dmtz3chk?Looking-for-ideas-on-a-Melee-Summoner-buil d#6

So anyway be warned pretty much gave him a blueprint for this guy. Now there is one thing you need to note. There is nothing stating that the spells I listed have to be casted after the eidolon is summoned. There is nothing stating that any armor the player is wearing stacks on top of the eidolon.

I wouldn't worry about your build at all. If an enemy gives you four rounds of buffing then they deserve to lose. Kind of like DBZ 'I am charging up my most powerful attack, please stand there and wait till I'm done ok.. thanks'

Osirion

wraithstrike wrote:


1.For now don't attack him. Ignore him and go straight for the squishes.

May not be an option if he uses Compel Hostility


Chengar Qordath wrote:
One thing to keep in mind for a few levels later; Dismissal/Banishment is a death sentence to a synthesist who goes for dumping all of their physical stats and venerable age.

It's actually quite the contrary in this regard. You dump physical stats to buff your wisdom. This increases your will saves which is what you need to resist dismissal/banishment. Monk and Summoner both have a good base will save as well.

OP just has to look to other means of attacking him. Spells and saves, touch attacks, CMB. Just because a PC invests heavily into one facet, AC, doesn't mean his other defenses are as good.


Khrysaor wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:
One thing to keep in mind for a few levels later; Dismissal/Banishment is a death sentence to a synthesist who goes for dumping all of their physical stats and venerable age.

It's actually quite the contrary in this regard. You dump physical stats to buff your wisdom. This increases your will saves which is what you need to resist dismissal/banishment. Monk and Summoner both have a good base will save as well.

OP just has to look to other means of attacking him. Spells and saves, touch attacks, CMB. Just because a PC invests heavily into one facet, AC, doesn't mean his other defenses are as good.

True, it's targeting a very good will save, but bad rolls can happen, and a heavily stat-dumped Synthesist is a sitting duck if his Eidolon goes away. Just bringing it up as an option.

I'd have to agree though that breaking out the likes of Dismissal should be done sparingly; like you said, there are plenty of ways to target a PC without attacking their AC.


I think maybe an area with an environmental hazard would be a challenge for this kind of build. Especially one where access to healing could be easily available. Regular healing won't restore the temporary hp of the synthesized eidolon. For example, areas of cold or heat damage with safe rooms. the party would be able to heal, but the summoner would have much lower access to rejuvenation.


PFS so he can't just add.environmental hazards. Unless maybe you could have the monsters set the building on fire. not sure how much freedom dm's have in PFS.actually.


Jarred Henninger wrote:
GUIDE TO PATHFINDER SOCIETY ORGANIZED PLAY wrote:
Characters can be of any age, but do not alter their ability scores as a result of this roleplaying choice. (Page 5)
Just in case Hawktitan is correct.

This is probably it, still a synthesist of decent build will probably trample all over the PFS modules, I imagine they are a little bit easier than normal modules since party composition is usually less than optimal.

Personally I wouldn't worry too much about it just run the modules and if they have an easy time of it they will probably take rasher actions which will end up biting them in the ass at some point regardless.

Andoran

Remco Sommeling wrote:


This is probably it, still a synthesist of decent build will probably trample all over the PFS modules, I imagine they are a little bit easier than normal modules since party composition is usually less than optimal.

He's right about that! I once played alongside a synthesist at a PFS game. "They" probably could have played the module without the rest of the party.


Artanthos wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:


1.For now don't attack him. Ignore him and go straight for the squishes.
May not be an option if he uses Compel Hostility

The monster has to be threatening the eidolon though which does have meaning in the game. Threatening someone means they are in you melee attack range. If the GM does not stop in a square threatening the the eidolon(synthesis) the spell does not work. :)


Lightbulb wrote:
PFS so he can't just add.environmental hazards. Unless maybe you could have the monsters set the building on fire. not sure how much freedom dm's have in PFS.actually.

From what I understand he is not playing in PFS, the group just uses PFS rules.


I'd check his encumbrance out when the Eidolon is not there (will probably be fine) but its one trick against someone completely dumping strength.

Andoran

I am a very new player. I play a Summoner. As such it seems folks think I can be overpowered. So as long as the GM did not ask me to gimp my character sheet I would be fine with just not attacking full bore and role playing something to do it. The GM has not said anything to me yet. However I did take it upon myself last session to not call my Eidolon before the last encounter. I instead summoned monster and called an eagle. However the eagle proved really useful in catching an NPC that was running away. Earlier with the Eidolon out I basically killed a mob all by myself. I did not want to make the other players feel left out so I backed off some last encounter. I felt good about that. I have my character like I like and still played nice. I say that not to brag. I say that to suggest if you nicely let your player know he is real powerful and to be careful that the other players get to play too I bet everyone will come out ahead. GM, Players, Summoner all.

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