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Fixing the Synthesist! Its relatively easy


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I believe you mean the official reason.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Looking at the example Synthesist and then attempting to recreate it...I noticed that I couldn't even get his stats as presented with a 25 point build, stat increases, and the items he has. Which means the example "broken" build is wrong from the get go.

As far as building a martial character to kill the summoner, I don't really need a build. I simply wait until the guy is asleep and coup de grace him. Problem solved.


I can't help but parrot much of what's been said already: I don't think the Synths' overpowered, just poorly written when taking into account the Vanilla Summoner's an already complex class.

And unless completely rewritten I can see why it would not be allowed into PFS as there are already several FAQs just on Synths.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
JMD031 wrote:


As far as building a martial character to kill the summoner, I don't really need a build. I simply wait until the guy is asleep and coup de grace him. Problem solved.

Proof at last that every class is as powerful as every other!


JMD031 wrote:
Looking at the example Synthesist and then attempting to recreate it...I noticed that I couldn't even get his stats as presented with a 25 point build, stat increases, and the items he has. Which means the example "broken" build is wrong from the get go.

7 (+6 item = 13), 7, 7, 13, 18 (+2 Racial = 20), 18 (+2 Racial, +1 lvl 4, +1 lvl 8, +4 item = 26) adds up to 25.

Sczarni

are you calculating the physical stats based off the eidolon and then the physical stats are dumped?

It looks like he dumped all three. for +12 build points, but that's just ridiculous and not reflected despite what he said.

Quote:

25pointbuy, +4pts/str,+4pts/dex,+4pts/con,3pt/int,17pt/wis,17pt/cha

Str 13, Dex 7, Con 7, Int 13, Wis 20, Cha 26(+2/4th, 8th)

Abuses like that are what make people go "really!?" and probably the biggest thing that irks people.

One anti-magic field though and that guy is toast, or succesful dispell/banish etc.


1) Yes that spell, for being surprised at night. 1 min/lvl isn't a problem it's enough to last that fight - and if he isn't going back to sleep he'll just use 1 minut to summon his eidolon the normal way after combat...

2) Perhaps i'm comparing the syntesist build I have played with to all other syntesist builds - It could be quite optimized. Which could explain my bias. But the fact is - with 15 point buy the ability to dump several stats is a huge advantage, natural armor and weapons means he don't really need loot for weapons and armor. And the random spells at lower levels, and random shield and save bonus makes the syntesist strong.

I guess I have to make a syntesist build to see what I can do to compare to magus/ other builds...

Grand Lodge

A possible fix to the physical stat dumping thing. Instead of the Eidolon's stats replacing yours, you take the Eidolon's stat -10 and add it to the Summoners base as a non-enhancement bonus...? That way a penalty is still a penalty. Seems a little hoakey but it makes sense to me.

Also I think the being large is ok, but huge is a touch...extreme...

Cheliax

A DM has every right to say "No, you can't take the Huge evolution as a Synthesist Summoner," but that's the DM's call.

Osirion

Seranov wrote:
A DM has every right to say "No, you can't take the Huge evolution as a Synthesist Summoner," but that's the DM's call.

I would not bother.

The first time the party enters a dungeon, the Huge synthesist is going to get stuck waiting outside. Even large can be problematic over the course of an adventuring career.

Osirion

Bigtuna wrote:

I guess I have to make a syntesist build to see what I can do to compare to magus/ other builds...

I used a magus example because it is what I had available. Paladin is much more survivable while still doing high DPR vs evil opponents and acting as a secondary caster.


Paladin is a very weak secondary caster - more tertiary, file alongside Ranger.

Grand Lodge

Wyrmholez wrote:

A possible fix to the physical stat dumping thing. Instead of the Eidolon's stats replacing yours, you take the Eidolon's stat -10 and add it to the Summoners base as a non-enhancement bonus...? That way a penalty is still a penalty. Seems a little hoakey but it makes sense to me.

Also I think the being large is ok, but huge is a touch...extreme...

Course that will lead to the 20 strength summoner...so instead of 34 str, you have 47 :P . Then you cast giantform 2 for another +8 size bonus for 55 str. It should NOT be an un-named bonus, it should be a size bonus so it does not stack with polymorph effects. Also I suppose there should be a bit of scaling done.


It seems like taking away the bonuses from gear would go a long way towards correcting the issue. The description does not implicitly say that the eidolon benefits from the summoner's gear that provide physical enhancements. It could be argued that the belt of giant strength enhances the summoner's strength, and it says to use ediolon's strength score. Remove the ring of protection, and cloak of resistance, and it is bit easier target. Losing the amulet of mighty fist would make difficult to damage anything with DR/magic.

Also, I think it would not be a stretch to say monk combat abilities don't work with anything outside a bi-pedal form (or even the monk's own form).

Osirion

Actually it does state that the synthesist can use all of his gear except armor, which is inactive while fused.

Quote:
While fused with his eidolon, the synthesist can use all of his own abilities and gear, except for his armor.

If you want to try using cornball logic to distort the meaning of this phrase, we can just default to stating the eidolon is wearing the stat increasing item.


I actually played a synthesist, Dr. Virgil Halifax, for an AP (Carrion Crown). At one point, I felt bad because of how strong this character ended up. The core weakness of the normal summoner (i.e. the summoner) is wrapped in a nearly impenetrable monster shell.

We even had a scenario where a higher level wizard and his minions ambushed us at night. Everyone but our rogue was asleep, and he failed to perceive the Black Tentacles he cast in the surprise, then Fireball first turn. That was the only (and I mean that, ONLY) time during the entire campaign my summoner took damage. He then Dimension Doored, Summon Eidoloned, flew in, grapple-deaded the wizard, grapple-deaded his minions, and finally mourned the loss of the rest of the party. Being caught of guard won't stop a synthesist.

During the same campaign, I had 3 Dismissals thrown at me. I had to roll a 1 on my save to fail. That might stop a normal summoner, But synthesists have excellent saves.

We never had any Antimagic Fields to my knowledge, but I'm pretty sure our magus and oracle would have had the same reaction I would have had. A spell that totally neuters 3/4's to an entire adventuring party is not a spell to be thrown lightly. It will most likely cause a TPK.

...oh, and for all those summoners out there with Large/Huge size eidolons trying to fit into dungeons/cities, look up greater hat of disguise. You'll thank me!

Grand Lodge

Cold Napalm wrote:
Course that will lead to the 20 strength summoner...so instead of 34 str, you have 47 :P . Then you cast giantform 2 for another +8 size bonus for 55 str. It should NOT be an un-named bonus, it should be a size bonus so it does not stack with polymorph effects. Also I suppose there should be a bit of scaling done.

I can't tell if you're actually being snarky or it's just the Avatar that leads me to assume it.

Should a character not benefit from from their own stats? Also I didn't say it should be an un-named bonus, I said a non-enhancement bonus.

Pathfinder PRD wrote:
He counts both as his original type and as an outsider for any effect related to type, whichever is worse for the synthesist

Does this mean that the Eidolon can't be healed? The fused Eidolon can't be healed except by Rejuvenate Eidolon, and Rejuvenate Eidolon can only target an Eidonlon?

Osirion

Damage to the synthesists temporary hp can be healed by Rejuvinate Eidolon. Damage to the synthesists normal hit points can be healed by all normal means.

Quote:

Summoner: How does a synthesist (page 80) heal damage to his eidolon?

Because the eidolon gives the synthesist temporary hit points rather than having a separate pool of normal hit points, effects that cure hit points don't restore the eidolon's temporary hit points. This technically leaves you unable to heal the eidolon. To remedy this, effects that specifically restore hp to an eidolon (such as rejuvenate eidolon) restore temporary hit points to a synthesist's eidolon. This does mean those spells end up as a sort of must-have "spell tax" for synthesists, but the advantage of being a synthesist is your eidolon's hp are a buffer between you and damage, unlike a normal summoner who can be targeted separately from his eidolon.

Even the Fast Healing evolution, or other fast healing or regeneration effects, restore hit points rather than temporary hit points, so they heal the summoner, not the eidolon's temporary hit points.

—Sean K Reynolds, 08/02/11


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

For those wondering, Mike, in a rare moment of discussing why something was banned, just gave the real reason why the Synthesist was banned from PFS

Quote:
It does not fit the theme of Golarion and is unbalancing in the campaign. This has been discussed ad nauseum and a search can find numerous, lengthy debate on the topic if you want to read the arguments on both sides of the debate. We aren't going to start another lengthy debate on this topic.


Okay here the syntesist build I'm up against (or playing besides)- not the exsact build just the things i remember... And no item
He is doesn't do anything fancy - he is just a syntesist WITHOUT item! And he almost just as good or better than the magus build presented in most aspect. But again NO items.

lvl 11 changeling Syntesist build:

Changeling: Ability Score (15 point buy):
Str 13 (3 points) dex 10 con 10 (-2 race+2 point) int 10 wis 12 (+2 race) cha 21 (+2 race +10 point+3 lvl)

Race: claws, Hulking Changeling (+1 racial melee dam) +1 nat armor (but doesn't stack with eidolons)

Eidolon bonus, abilities
+4 str/dex, max 5 attacks, multi attack, 2x ability increase (+2 str), Shielded Meld (+2 shield +2 saves), Makers jump 1/day dimension door

Eidolon Stats:
Biped base form: (Evolutions: 15+3 feats =18 points)
Size Medium; Speed 30 ft.; AC +2 natural armor;; Attack 2 claws (1d4); Ability Scores Str 16, Dex 12, Con 13, Int 7, Wis 10, Cha 11

Evolusions:
Free Evolutions claws (1d4), limbs (arms), limbs (legs).Evolutions selected: 2x Claws (feet, 1d4 2 point), Bite (1d6, 1 point) , Improved dam (claws 1d4 -> 1d6, 1 point), 2x Imp nat armor (+4 armor, 2 points in all), Limbs (arms, 2 points), Large (4 evolusion points, claws (1d6-> 1d8, Bite 1d6-> 1d8) +8 str, +4 con, +2 nat armor, -2 dex, 10 feet reach), Energy Assult (Fire, 2 point), ability increase (str, 2 points) =16 point (2 points for things I have missed, could also be 2 other feats, note he have claws on his feets if you don't like kicking things take extra limbs evolution)

Feats: 1 (extra evolution +1) 3 (Arcane strike) 5 (extra evolution +1) 7 (imp nat attack, claws 1d8-> 2d6) 9 (Powerattack) 11 (extra evolution+1)
Pretty standard extra evolution, because then i don't have to find better feats, power attack, arcane strike, imp nat attack for damage (note the changeling have claws for can take imp nat attack)

Spells Cast: (only hour/lvl spell)
Greater magic fang, Overland flight, mage armor

Could cast: (10 min/lvl)
barkskin (+4 nat armor), Heroism (+2 to hit/saves/skill checks)

When needed:
haste, Evolution surge (for what ever the situation needs, inkl +8! on any skill)

Offense/defense:

Offensive:
Str: (16+8 large+4 lvl +2 ability increase +2 evolution) = 32 (+11)
to hit: (+9 bab +11 str -3 PA -1 size +1 Greater magic fang)= +17
Dam (+11 str +3 arcane strike +6 PA +1 trait +1 GMF) = +22
Claws +17/+17/+17/+17 (2d6+1d6 acid+22 =~32,5) Bite +17 (1d8+1d6 acid+22 =~30 dam)

Defense:
Nat armor (+2 start +4 nat armor evolution +2 large evolution +10 eidolon 11) = 18
Dex: 16 +4 lvl -2 large= 18 (+4)
Con (13+4) = 17 (+4)
AC (10+18 nat +4 dex -1 size +4 mage armor +2 shield) = 37
Flatfooted: 33 touch: 13
CMD 35 (10+9 bab +11 str +4 dex +1 large)
fort +9 reflex +9 will +10
11d8+33 con +11 favored class +9d10+27 temp= ~170 HP
Evasion

Now let's compare to the magus.
AC: 41 vs 37 - magus better but the magus build had cast shield - so if the syntesist cast barkskin is a tie. But Magus got +10 Ac from his items. Syntesist have NO ITEMS.
Magus have a much better touch AC 29 vs 13 - so magus wins here.

Dam:
Magus
+20/+20/+15 (1d4+26 [+1d6 ACID]) +SPELL = 32 dam +spell
Let say is a 10d6 shocking grasp (+35 dam)

Syntesist:
17/+17/+17/+17 (2d6+1d6 acid+22 =~32,5) Bite +17 (1d8+1d6 acid+22 =~30 dam)
About the same dam, 2 extra attacks which make up for the spell dam, and the slightly better to hit. Magus have a much better crit range, and arcane accuracy. So Magus can maybe do more dam than the syntesist WITHOUT items!

HP 91 vs 170 - Syntestist have almost twice the HP - and if he had increased con just once he would have more than twice...

Saves:
magus: Fort +11, Ref +15, Will +9 vs
Synt: fort +9 reflex +9 will +10, +evasion.
These all goes up with +3 at lvl 12... And still they aren't really bad... Add the same +2 cloak of resistance the magus build have and we are only talking about a little diffence in reflex saves.

I don't see the magus as broken - because that's a build that have used almost all it's loot to gain a great AC, it has lost spellcasting, it haven't taken a level of crosblood sorc to do alot more spell damage, or spend more than one feat on metamagic. While the syntesist is really just a vanila syntesist. Who have spend 2 evolution point on AC.
I'm gonna say that again - 2 point... And his AC is still freaking good.
Now imagine he gets loot....

- sorry if anything is unclear i just wrote things down in a notepad and copied them in.


It may not have been mentioned yet, but unless the synthesist has the Limbs(arms) evolution, they can't cast spells while Fused. That's in the Ultimate Magic FAQ.


hardly makes them less overpowered/broken...

And in the tread link to above - there was the problem with sytesists going around with a eidolon all the time... Again within 1 round the eidolon is there...


So, here's a thought. Synthestists can still use their gear while Fused, but does that mean that the gear will effect the Eidolon-skin too? The Belt of Giant Strength in the linked build is a good example.

Sczarni

yes because they are one at that point. Again, everyone who is claiming it's broke, is comparing it a) to others trying to do what they are doing and not playing a class suited for it, or are doing it sub-optimal.

Barring situations like PFS, the GM is free to throw whatever spell makes sense. I don't know why a caster in this kind of RPG wouldn't carry anti-magic field, or ways of handling summons considering how often summons can and will happen.

Like I said, even protection from X will prevent the synthesist from meleeing anyone. And that's a standard spell early on.

Sczarni

And cheapy

Quote:
It does not fit the theme of Golarion and is unbalancing in the campaign. This has been discussed ad nauseum and a search can find numerous, lengthy debate on the topic if you want to read the arguments on both sides of the debate. We aren't going to start another lengthy debate on this topic.

Yeah, flavor and balance. Same reason they don't allow the different gun archetypes for non-gunslingers.

If they prohibited stat dumping I doubt they'd have the issues with synthesist. That's the biggest and only legitimate complaint imo about this class. Every other "it's broken" argument either stems from this, or people not admitting that you can have a caster type fill the "tank" or "damage" role easily.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Quite the step up from some people's claims that it was just flavor reasons and that the class has no balance issues.

Honestly, I have no clue how people can continue to think it has no balance issues. It's important to note that there must be a reason why there are so many claims that the archetype is broken above and beyond the base summoner. Rather than brush off those claims as those from idiots who don't know the rules, I'd prefer to look into why that's the case and fix that.

No other archetype has received as many nerfs from Paizo as the synthesist has.

I'm sure the master summoner was also banned for mostly flavor issues, since summoning is quite the mismatch with Golarion's theme.

You know things are bad when Paizo bans its own creations from Organized play. They just swung for the stars with this one, and accidentally hit a fan in the head.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
JMD031 wrote:
Looking at the example Synthesist and then attempting to recreate it...I noticed that I couldn't even get his stats as presented with a 25 point build, stat increases, and the items he has. Which means the example "broken" build is wrong from the get go.
7 (+6 item = 13), 7, 7, 13, 18 (+2 Racial = 20), 18 (+2 Racial, +1 lvl 4, +1 lvl 8, +4 item = 26) adds up to 25.

He didn't have a +6 STR item listed in his gear. Or at least not one that I noticed.

Edit: The +6 item would not work in the Eidolon skin if the summoner was wearing it, he would have to "put it on" the Eidolon.

Sczarni

They banned all the non-gunslinger archetypes prior to this, and with this batch the undead lord, vivisectionist, and some others.

Master Summoner I throughly believe was banned purely because of how it could bog down a game and little other reasons.

The only point synthesist appears to become broken is when you combine natural attacks with weapon attacks... And this break down happens with any and every class.

The class is not broken, the archetype is not broken, how the game treats natural attacks and weapon attacks together for PCs is broken.

Hell if they had in the column for max natural attacks said "Max weapon and/or natural attacks" they'd of 95% of the "problem" with synthesist, and the fighters and rangers of the world that min/max with natural attacks would still be combat machines without another combat machine with em.

The ability to stat dump is appalling, but not broken. (and I would say it would need to be discouraged or prohibited)

I've yet to see anyone present a "synthesist is broken" argument that didn't revolve ultimately around these two issues, and only one is unique to the class, and out side of PFS, any competent GM can handle that easily.

Shadow Lodge

Having to rely on the GM to "fix" a campaign, either via spacial constricting encounters, or cleverly designed NPCs with appropriate spells, due to the overwhelming nature of one PC, are poor suggestions IMHO.

Wouldn't you, as a GM rather design a campaign around adventure and excitement for a party, rather than thwarting a particular "broken" PC?

In response to the OP's problem, I would consider modifying how the mental stat merge changes to the eidolon's saves and like others have said, somehow balancing size evolutions, making them more akin to enlarge person.


lantzkev wrote:

They banned all the non-gunslinger archetypes prior to this, and with this batch the undead lord, vivisectionist, and some others.

Master Summoner I throughly believe was banned purely because of how it could bog down a game and little other reasons.

The only point synthesist appears to become broken is when you combine natural attacks with weapon attacks... And this break down happens with any and every class.

The class is not broken, the archetype is not broken, how the game treats natural attacks and weapon attacks together for PCs is broken.

Hell if they had in the column for max natural attacks said "Max weapon and/or natural attacks" they'd of 95% of the "problem" with synthesist, and the fighters and rangers of the world that min/max with natural attacks would still be combat machines without another combat machine with em.

The ability to stat dump is appalling, but not broken. (and I would say it would need to be discouraged or prohibited)

I've yet to see anyone present a "synthesist is broken" argument that didn't revolve ultimately around these two issues, and only one is unique to the class, and out side of PFS, any competent GM can handle that easily.

They can get roughly double the hitpoints and +10 on the AC of an equivalent level characters.

That's broken.

Sczarni

Cfet, GM adjusment is required anytime you play with people who don't create characters with the game in mind, but with "winning the game" in mind.

And for the synthesist summoner, it's really as easy as circle of protection... there's really really not much more that's required and it's a spell damn near ever class gets.

Funky Badger, have you ever played with the synthesist? If it focuses on defenses, that's all it does, and it'll do nothing more. I fail to see how this is any different than the fighter with the same stats or a paladin with the same stats (except they'll hit more)

I'll give you this challenge, make a copy of your broken synthesist, and I'll show you a equivilent using the core classes.

Shadow Lodge

lantzkev wrote:

Cfet, GM adjusment is required anytime you play with people who don't create characters with the game in mind, but with "winning the game" in mind.

And for the synthesist summoner, it's really as easy as circle of protection... there's really really not much more that's required and it's a spell damn near ever class gets.

I do not think that circle of protection is as easy a solution as you imply.

Under Eidolon heading -
In addition, due to its tie to its summoner, an eidolon can touch and attack creatures warded by protection from evil and similar effects that prevent contact with summoned creatures.


Ed Girallon Poe wrote:

I actually played a synthesist, Dr. Virgil Halifax, for an AP (Carrion Crown). At one point, I felt bad because of how strong this character ended up. The core weakness of the normal summoner (i.e. the summoner) is wrapped in a nearly impenetrable monster shell.

We even had a scenario where a higher level wizard and his minions ambushed us at night. Everyone but our rogue was asleep, and he failed to perceive the Black Tentacles he cast in the surprise, then Fireball first turn. That was the only (and I mean that, ONLY) time during the entire campaign my summoner took damage. He then Dimension Doored, Summon Eidoloned, flew in, grapple-deaded the wizard, grapple-deaded his minions, and finally mourned the loss of the rest of the party. Being caught of guard won't stop a synthesist.

During the same campaign, I had 3 Dismissals thrown at me. I had to roll a 1 on my save to fail. That might stop a normal summoner, But synthesists have excellent saves.

We never had any Antimagic Fields to my knowledge, but I'm pretty sure our magus and oracle would have had the same reaction I would have had. A spell that totally neuters 3/4's to an entire adventuring party is not a spell to be thrown lightly. It will most likely cause a TPK.

...oh, and for all those summoners out there with Large/Huge size eidolons trying to fit into dungeons/cities, look up greater hat of disguise. You'll thank me!

Lol these boards... I like how everybody ignores the guy who actually played a synthesist. In an AP, no less.

Grand Lodge

CFet wrote:

Having to rely on the GM to "fix" a campaign, either via spacial constricting encounters, or cleverly designed NPCs with appropriate spells, due to the overwhelming nature of one PC, are poor suggestions IMHO.

Wouldn't you, as a GM rather design a campaign around adventure and excitement for a party, rather than thwarting a particular "broken" PC?

In response to the OP's problem, I would consider modifying how the mental stat merge changes to the eidolon's saves and like others have said, somehow balancing size evolutions, making them more akin to enlarge person.

As soon as ANY class gets optimized, you have to do this. Seriously. And the amount you have to do it for optimized full casters in the later levels really makes what you have to do for a synth child's play. If the synth isn't optimized, then there is no issue really now is there.

Grand Lodge

Swivl wrote:
Ed Girallon Poe wrote:

I actually played a synthesist, Dr. Virgil Halifax, for an AP (Carrion Crown). At one point, I felt bad because of how strong this character ended up. The core weakness of the normal summoner (i.e. the summoner) is wrapped in a nearly impenetrable monster shell.

We even had a scenario where a higher level wizard and his minions ambushed us at night. Everyone but our rogue was asleep, and he failed to perceive the Black Tentacles he cast in the surprise, then Fireball first turn. That was the only (and I mean that, ONLY) time during the entire campaign my summoner took damage. He then Dimension Doored, Summon Eidoloned, flew in, grapple-deaded the wizard, grapple-deaded his minions, and finally mourned the loss of the rest of the party. Being caught of guard won't stop a synthesist.

During the same campaign, I had 3 Dismissals thrown at me. I had to roll a 1 on my save to fail. That might stop a normal summoner, But synthesists have excellent saves.

We never had any Antimagic Fields to my knowledge, but I'm pretty sure our magus and oracle would have had the same reaction I would have had. A spell that totally neuters 3/4's to an entire adventuring party is not a spell to be thrown lightly. It will most likely cause a TPK.

...oh, and for all those summoners out there with Large/Huge size eidolons trying to fit into dungeons/cities, look up greater hat of disguise. You'll thank me!

Lol these boards... I like how everybody ignores the guy who actually played a synthesist. In an AP, no less.

An AP for 3.5 for one. Using a questionable item. Oh and finally, anecdotal evidence doesn't really do much for the board in general...but without details of how those encounters were run, details of the builds everyone else made, what changes to the AP were made, how the dice rolls were like and a slew of other details, it really is a rather useless bit of info that one person played one in an AP and felt it overpowered. I played synth in a few games and never felt the same way. Hell I always feel overshadowed by the full casters by 11+ (but then again who doesn't).


I find anecdotal evidence very useful, many times I find it more useful than evidence from pure theorycraft just BECAUSE pure theorycraft does not take the variance of dice rolls, the level of play, different player's ability to optimize.

Theorycrafting nearly always deal with just averages in an optimized, theoretical situation.

While a single anecdote isn't strong evidence, if it gets to a half-dozen or so testimonials, it's very relevant. Just like how a single build calculation is irrelevant.

EDIT: And what's questionable about that item?


@lantzkev - I presented the build WITHOUT items - it didn't focus on defence - but still had a crasy AC.

Present your build that match AC, HP, and Damage. Lvl 11...


lantzkec wrote:

The class is not broken, the archetype is not broken, how the game treats natural attacks and weapon attacks together for PCs is broken.

Hell if they had in the column for max natural attacks said "Max weapon and/or natural attacks" they'd of 95% of the "problem" with synthesist, and the fighters and rangers of the world that min/max with natural attacks would still be combat machines without another combat machine with em.

The ability to stat dump is appalling, but not broken. (and I would say it would need to be discouraged or prohibited)

I agree with natural attacks being the problem of the amount of damage a syntesist can deal. Hell a barbarian/Alchemist can get 4 natural attacks early on an becomes quite a monster while raging

BUT:

funky badger wrote:

They can get roughly double the hitpoints and +10 on the AC of an equivalent level characters.

That's broken.

this have nothing to do with natural attacks - and is still broken.

quote=lantzkev]The ability to stat dump is appalling, but not broken. (and I would say it would need to be discouraged or prohibited)

The build I presented didn't stat dump (yes it did take 10 in wis - but that was to make it easy for me, making cha a little less would effect the build at all - since all he got from the high cha was DC and bonus spells - which wasn't even included.

As I see it it's just something extra broken.

Spells - why should the syntesist have spells like haste before other classes? If it was a weak class sure a little extra wouldn' hurt - but since it already have several other factors that makes the class broken it just stupid, makes the syntesist even more over the top.


Cold Napalm wrote:
Swivl wrote:
Ed Girallon Poe wrote:

I actually played a synthesist, Dr. Virgil Halifax, for an AP (Carrion Crown). At one point, I felt bad because of how strong this character ended up. The core weakness of the normal summoner (i.e. the summoner) is wrapped in a nearly impenetrable monster shell.

We even had a scenario where a higher level wizard and his minions ambushed us at night. Everyone but our rogue was asleep, and he failed to perceive the Black Tentacles he cast in the surprise, then Fireball first turn. That was the only (and I mean that, ONLY) time during the entire campaign my summoner took damage. He then Dimension Doored, Summon Eidoloned, flew in, grapple-deaded the wizard, grapple-deaded his minions, and finally mourned the loss of the rest of the party. Being caught of guard won't stop a synthesist.

During the same campaign, I had 3 Dismissals thrown at me. I had to roll a 1 on my save to fail. That might stop a normal summoner, But synthesists have excellent saves.

We never had any Antimagic Fields to my knowledge, but I'm pretty sure our magus and oracle would have had the same reaction I would have had. A spell that totally neuters 3/4's to an entire adventuring party is not a spell to be thrown lightly. It will most likely cause a TPK.

...oh, and for all those summoners out there with Large/Huge size eidolons trying to fit into dungeons/cities, look up greater hat of disguise. You'll thank me!

Lol these boards... I like how everybody ignores the guy who actually played a synthesist. In an AP, no less.
An AP for 3.5 for one. Using a questionable item. Oh and finally, anecdotal evidence doesn't really do much for the board in general...but without details of how those encounters were run, details of the builds everyone else made, what changes to...

Carrion Crown is a PF AP. It came after Kingmaker and Serpent's Skull.

I also recognize that different tables are run differently, YMMV and all that, and will be the first to say anecdotes aren't science. However, theorycrafting isn't at all practical. Let me explain.

I was here on the boards when everyone was saying how broken gunslingers are (mostly because of the gun rules). There are still people here who feel that way. What I did, to find out for myself, is play one. Well, he died. Level 1. My brother decided he'd play one for my new game after losing a couple of characters of his own. His gunslinger did survive, but it didn't in any slight way break any part of the game. He was good enough, and not at all overpowered. You know which character was more than a little too powerful, though? The synthesist.

When everyone was saying how weak monks were, I played one. The BBEG of Savage Tide couldn't move past me, and didn't hit me once.

My table isn't one that likes to ban anything; depending on the GM or AP, 3.5 material might make its way in. Synthesists are banned by all GMs at my table.

Grand Lodge

Ilja wrote:

I find anecdotal evidence very useful, many times I find it more useful than evidence from pure theorycraft just BECAUSE pure theorycraft does not take the variance of dice rolls, the level of play, different player's ability to optimize.

Theorycrafting nearly always deal with just averages in an optimized, theoretical situation.

While a single anecdote isn't strong evidence, if it gets to a half-dozen or so testimonials, it's very relevant. Just like how a single build calculation is irrelevant.

EDIT: And what's questionable about that item?

So...then what about the half a dozen anecdotal evidence that says the exact opposite thing then? Anecdotal evidence isn't very useful unless you have an overwhelming evidence of it for one side...and even then without the details I mentioned, is of absolutely no use. Yeah, the monk was OP in my last game...yeah, it's true that he used third party material, never rolled under a 15 and used a 40 point buy...but man monks are OP because my experience says so. Umm...no.

Pure theorycraft is ALSO not very useful either...but it is infinitely more useful then somebody saying something is under or over powered because they said so because they said so. At least with theorycraft, you get the details.

And the item is questionable because of the questionable nature of spell interaction with size modifications. I and most GM I know of would remove the size modification for being large/huge then give you the +2 to alter self. There is some posts that suggest that the spells system for the polymorph spells were based on small/med size and you need to alter different sized creatures down to said sizes before application of the polymorph spell effects. I can however see a GM ruling the more strict RAW interpretation however.

Grand Lodge

Swivl wrote:

Carrion Crown is a PF AP. It came after Kingmaker and Serpent's Skull.

I also recognize that different tables are run differently, YMMV and all that, and will be the first to say anecdotes aren't science. However, theorycrafting isn't at all practical. Let me explain.

I was here on the boards when everyone was saying how broken gunslingers are (mostly because of the gun rules). There are still people here who feel that way. What I did, to find out for myself, is play one. Well, he died. Level 1. My brother decided he'd play one for my new game after losing a couple of characters of his own. His gunslinger did survive, but it didn't in any slight way break any part of the game. He was good enough, and not at all overpowered. You know which character was more than a little too powerful, though? The synthesist.

When everyone was saying how weak monks were, I played one. The BBEG of Savage Tide couldn't move past me, and didn't hit me once.

My table isn't one that likes to ban anything; depending on the GM or AP, 3.5 material might make its way in. Synthesists are banned by all GMs at my table.

Okay...my bad...for some reason I thought the carrion crown AP was the crimson throne one.

Umm...the gun slinger also isn't overpowered either. All the theorycraft people...I mean the REAL ones showed they were not OPed. The ones who keep insisting they are, are the ones who are focused on how the gun are touch attacks and that they can grit burst nova for 300+ damage a round. Ohh....a fighter class that can nova...parish the thought. Seriously...not an issue at all.

And you know who are all the folks who think the synth is broken as well? Yep...a surprising number of the gunslingers are broken group seems to also be the synth are broken group as well. I am not gonna doubt that the synth is broken for YOUR group. They well could be. They can be in that sweet spot of optimizing mastery where they really shine over the other classes...but that is not the default assumption. We either assume that that players build to the core assumption (which honestly is a disgusting low power level...look at those pre gens for examples of how low that is)...or they are optimized to the max...unless specified differently for each individual post. If your talking about in general...we pick those two options...and not YOUR GAME. And in those two scenario...the synth ain't all that. Upper mid tier.


Cold Napalm wrote:
So...then what about the half a dozen anecdotal evidence that says the exact opposite thing then?

If something works well for 30 people and badly for 5 people, it's more relevant to look at the examples where it hasn't worked well. If you publish a computer program, for example, if you get 90% feedback of "works great" and 10% feedback of "doesn't work at all", that doesn't mean your program doesn't have issues just because there's more people having no issues.

Quote:
Anecdotal evidence isn't very useful unless you have an overwhelming evidence of it for one side...

The same can be said about theorycrafting which is basically the alternative. There's a reason the playtests from the actual devs state they value actual playtesting (anecdotal evidence) much higher than theorycrafting.

Quote:
yeah, it's true that he used third party material, never rolled under a 15 and used a 40 point buy...

I think it's fair to assume only pathfinder material is used and that one of the common point buys stated in the core book is used unless otherwise specified.

Quote:
At least with theorycraft, you get the details.

But in most cases, you don't. Even the more ambitious theorycrafting examples around here only compares average rolls vs average AC's of maybe 3-4 monster CRs. I've yet to see one that takes details such as varying results based on high and low rolls, varying results based on terrain, varying results based on not full access to gear et cetera into account.

Quote:
And the item is questionable because of the questionable nature of spell interaction with size modifications. I and most GM I know of would remove the size modification for being large/huge then give you the +2 to alter self.

But the RAW is crystal clear. That you don't like it or that you would houserule it doesn't play into it, as I'm sure you know.


Also note that the gorynych is stated as using Alter Self to chase maidens. I think it's fairly heavily implied that it turns into a human (or elf or whatever), not a frost giant.
link


Also, how broken something is depends on the optimization level and difficulty level of your campaign and how you define "broken". For example, if something can solo an AP, I think that's broken. Even if most classes can do that, I think those builds are broken, all of them. If a level 5 synthesist can easily take down two CR6 monsters without serious risk of it's life, I see that as a broken character - and if a ranger can do that too, I see that ranger as a broken character. As in, it will break any semblance of difficulty of standard games like AP's.


I played a synthesist from level 6 through 10. He was very survivable and had a lot of utility, but was not a complete combat machine (admittedly this was as I had built him to be interesting, rather than to 'win' the game).

The archetype is very abusable, but only has problems if players are actually trying to abuse it. The problem, then, is players....


lantzkev wrote:

Cfet, GM adjusment is required anytime you play with people who don't create characters with the game in mind, but with "winning the game" in mind.

And for the synthesist summoner, it's really as easy as circle of protection... there's really really not much more that's required and it's a spell damn near ever class gets.

Funky Badger, have you ever played with the synthesist? If it focuses on defenses, that's all it does, and it'll do nothing more. I fail to see how this is any different than the fighter with the same stats or a paladin with the same stats (except they'll hit more)

I'll give you this challenge, make a copy of your broken synthesist, and I'll show you a equivilent using the core classes.

Yes I have, as posted earlier. Go on then, can you make a 5th level character that:

-has 40ft movement
-has evasion
-has darkvision 60ft
-can pounce
-has 3 primary attacks
-has 28-29 AC
-has 70-odd HP (pre-buffing)
-can spontaneous cast Haste, Sheild, Mage Armour, Barkskin, Bulls Strength etc.
-can cast summons as standard actions that last for minutes/lvl instead of rounds - the equivalent of 5-8 extras second level spells per day (granted it can only do this last one when it doesn't have all the other goodies...)

I'm not saying this was a particularly broken character, it was very smartly put together. The archetype's a great idea, but just doesn;t mechanically work...

Sczarni

I was waiting until I got to work and had a inordinate amount of free time to deal with these things, as it stands I'll get to it over the next few hrs, but let me address a few things first.

Funky, Make a actual 5th level build that does these things, rather than just listing what you "think" it has. Then comparisons can be made, right now (and I know it's fairly close) I'm pretty sure you're reaching.

28-29 ac, from?
HP 70, from?
Can cast summons (while as an eidolon? I don't think so)

Pounce is achievable by several classes, and likewise same with movement, number of attacks etc.

Creating a list and asking if all can be in the same is not a really important question. If the defenses and offenses can be met or exceeded are the important questions.

Buffs that are able to be cast on the party or others are generally not factored into the equation because you assume the party will be sharing those buffs and not storing up like some greedy miser.

Bigtuna, you can't take the improved natural attack to apply to your synthesist claws because you can't be a synthesist for more than 24hrs to qualify for the feat, they will apply to your changling claws but not eidolon claws. same name =/= being covered by the feat. It's assumed you have to sleep every day, and when you do your eidolon goes home, which means you do not ever qualify for feats that it would (specifically since it has no feats of its own) I'm sure you want to argue semantics that the changling has claws, so can take imp nat attack on claws, and you're correct, but they are NOT the claws from a eidolon and it's a stretch at best. The feat calls

Quote:
Choose one of the creature's natural attack forms

The eidolons claw is not the changlings claw, so can't benefit from this feat.

-edit2- Also your strength increase cost is doubled due to the large evolution saying

Quote:
Choose one of the creature's natural attack forms

Again, alot of synth builds are just made illegally...

Grand Lodge

Ilja wrote:
Cold Napalm wrote:
So...then what about the half a dozen anecdotal evidence that says the exact opposite thing then?
If something works well for 30 people and badly for 5 people, it's more relevant to look at the examples where it hasn't worked well. If you publish a computer program, for example, if you get 90% feedback of "works great" and 10% feedback of "doesn't work at all", that doesn't mean your program doesn't have issues just because there's more people having no issues.

When 90% of people says it's fine and the 10% of the people says it's not, you can look at the 10% and things to fix...OR you can see it as 90% is okay with it...why muck things up for the 90% that is okay with it. You DO NOT MODIFY A PRODUCT THAT HAS 90% SUCCESS RATE TO TRY AND GET 10% TO BE HAPPY WITH IT. That is how you end up with even MORE complaints. If there is a high enough percentage of complaints...then yes you should look at it...but 10% ain't high enough. Is the synth high enough? I don't know. There is a rater vocal group that says it's broke...but I don't think it's an actually large number of the actual player base.

Quote:
Quote:
Anecdotal evidence isn't very useful unless you have an overwhelming evidence of it for one side...
The same can be said about theorycrafting which is basically the alternative. There's a reason the playtests from the actual devs state they value actual playtesting (anecdotal evidence) much higher than theorycrafting.

Playtest is data in enough numbers to be statistically viable. Playtests also have more details then I think it's broke because I said so (such playtest results are promptly ignored...why you don't want to ignore them is beyond me). They have details of what ability was hard for you as a GM or player to deal with. What encounters were easy or hard and why. What terrains were easy or hard and why. What traps were easy or hard and why.

Quote:
Quote:
yeah, it's true that he used third party material, never rolled under a 15 and used a 40 point buy...
I think it's fair to assume only pathfinder material is used and that one of the common point buys stated in the core book is used unless otherwise specified.

Somebody doesn't know when somebody is being fallacious. Yeah I took it to an extreme...but without the details, you really don't KNOW. And since when asked for details, none are forthcoming, I can assume just as well that it was considered broken due to the things mentioned above and I am just as much correct as you are...because the poster is NOT FORTHCOMING WITH THE DETAIL REQUESTED. The lack of details means it is just one person going it is broke because I said so. It is of no useful import as it is not a playtest data point. It has no details to draw any conclusion from. It is utter just drivel of a person on the internet...one that can be easily and very much should JUST BE IGNORED unless one is using it as an attempt to propagate their own because I said so argument.

Quote:
Quote:
At least with theorycraft, you get the details.
But in most cases, you don't. Even the more ambitious theorycrafting examples around here only compares average rolls vs average AC's of maybe 3-4 monster CRs. I've yet to see one that takes details such as varying results based on high and low rolls, varying results based on terrain, varying results based on not full access to gear et cetera into account.

Umm...who says the theorycraft people don't? The reason why you see the data points you see is because that is the basic data point that most people are interested in. That does not mean that is the ONLY data point that theorycrafters care about or calculate. Or did you miss my rant about the gunslinger are broken "theorycrafters" who pointed to a very specific data point as their reason that it is so and ignored all other data point?

Quote:
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And the item is questionable because of the questionable nature of spell interaction with size modifications. I and most GM I know of would remove the size modification for being large/huge then give you the +2 to alter self.
But the RAW is crystal clear. That you don't like it or that you would houserule it doesn't play into it, as I'm sure you know.

No it is NOT clear RAW wise. There is MUCH discussion of if the spell should be applied to small/medium or not and the devs are pretty much on the side of resize to medium/small and then apply spell effect. There however is no official FAQ or errata on this, which is why there is even a bit of muddle room at all for the VERY strict RAW interpretation at all. And if you playing that strict (what I like to call stupid RAW...because I do play in a group that is that strictly RAW and it gets quite stupid I assure you) why are you even remotely banning the synth. Honestly, if you cherry pick the rules in favor of the synth, yeah they will get broken...but that is true of any class. And yeah...see detail...detail like this are important to figure out WHAT IS EXACTLY THE ISSUE. Because cherry picking rules interpretation isn't an issue with the archetype now is it.

Sczarni

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level 5 is a interesting choice for you, because you know you start with three, and that most war BAB progression doesn't let them get a third attack until lvl 6. Of course I can just toss any class with TWF and a natural attack... And I'll be doing same or better damage...

Like say a Barbarian, at lvl 5 with beast totem, could have three attacks, and would be missing your pounce, but would otherwise have more hp and more damage on those attacks with a higher accuracy on the primary attack. would have a move of 40, would lack evasion, but would have saves to actually have a chance of avoiding it compared to the synthesist who at lvl 5, not including items would have a save of +1+2(dex).

The Barbarian would get +1 (base save) +3 superstition, and at least a +1 from dex.

AC would be the sticking point in this situation of course.
Then again with the build you've pointed out, you'd be running with a +5 to hit, while the barbarian would be running with probably a +10 and +5 on the secondaries. I wonder whose more likely to kill his opponent? (invlunverable rager DR 2/- with +12 on a charge and plopping out whatever 2h weapon he's wielding (or if you went the multi attack route less to hit and dmg much akin to the synth) or the synthesist who is using 3 attacks at a +5... and hitting for what 1d4 to 1d6 + 2? 4?)

Most the CR 3 critters have a ac from 15-20 and some have DRs even at this point. So lets look at say the yeth hound, you can pounce and attack it, we'll say you're getting up to +8, and you're smacking it for 1d4 +3dmg. without silver (you don't have) and this build at lvl 5 is well... lacking in the ability to blow past DR. Yeap your ac is great, better than the barbarians (not better than a paladin in plate by much, and that paladin can smite to bypass dr) and take his ac from 24 to 25-26ish, right where your at, but able to actually participate in combat!

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