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Getting into Someone Else's Skin: N. Jolly's mini guide to the Synthesist Summoner


Advice

Silver Crusade

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Sup all, just got another guide put up, just finishing it off now.

Getting into Someone Else's Skin

This isn't going to be nearly to the size of my other guides, since there's already a lot of good work on this topic already, more just making sure that you guys know how to deal with them in the game. If it's not a listed topic, I'm not going to deal with it (like magic items and such), but if there's an area you think I should cover that's different enough from what's already been covered, let me know and I'll consider it.

Just don't expect this guide to be nearly as good as my Alchemist Guide or Barbarian Guide.


Congrats. Hope you finish it soon.


A spelling critique. Paizo's materials have a t at the end of the archetype. The correct spelling is synthesist.

Silver Crusade

Buri wrote:
A spelling critique. Paizo's materials have a t at the end of the archetype. The correct spelling is Synthesist.

Thanks, got it changed in the thread, I'll change it elsewhere in a bit.

This guide is far more lax than my others, so I hope people weren't hoping for a massive guide. That's getting saved for my next project when it comes out, the Investigator.


N. Jolly wrote:
Buri wrote:
A spelling critique. Paizo's materials have a t at the end of the archetype. The correct spelling is Synthesist.

Thanks, got it changed in the thread, I'll change it elsewhere in a bit.

This guide is far more lax than my others, so I hope people weren't hoping for a massive guide. That's getting saved for my next project when it comes out, the Investigator.

No need to mess with a big guide for just an archetype anyway. Just mention the most effective options and the sneaky trap options to avoid. A section about multicalssing (does a two-lvl sip in MoMS for dragon ferocity and FCT (claws) worth it? maybe a two-lvl paladin dip?) and prestige classing (I doubt you will find something there though), as well as some sample builds for illustrating the presenting options will sweeten the deal.


I wouldn't advise dumping physical stats down to 7 or 5. Even when you're not merged, you still need to be able to carry your gear which includes consumables like potions and scrolls which can get heavy quickly. Handy Haversacks do have maximum limits and bags of holding are still very heavy for low strength characters. This is a gamble. Personally, my synthesists have kept str and dex at 10.

Dex has AC implications outside of your eidolon suit. That's the major balancing factor I see. You need an entire contingency around when you're not in your ediolon. This is probably one of the most handwaved things I see associated to the archetype. When people talk about it the assumption is you're in your suit. The fact of the matter is that cannot be assumed. You have to plan for when you're not, not if you're not, in your suit.

Silver Crusade

Buri wrote:

I wouldn't advise dumping physical stats down to 7 or 5. Even when you're not merged, you still need to be able to carry your gear which includes consumables like potions and scrolls which can get heavy quickly. Handy Haversacks do have maximum limits and bags of holding are still very heavy for low strength characters. This is a gamble. Personally, my synthesists have kept str and dex at 10.

Dex has AC implications outside of your eidolon suit. That's the major balancing factor I see. You need an entire contingency around when you're not in your ediolon. This is probably one of the most handwaved things I see associated to the archetype. When people talk about it the assumption is you're in your suit. The fact of the matter is that cannot be assumed. You have to plan for when you're not, not if you're not, in your suit.

I don't mind the character having multiple Handy Haversacks to keep up on your carrying capacity, so hammering Strength down to nothing isn't a huge problem to me. Dex I'll give you, I bumped that up to orange, but it's still pretty lacking.

I feel like a lot of the RP conversations would be removed with an Eidolon who didn't look like a freaking monster (angel is a fave design of mine), although large+ symbiotes are looked down on. I think I might include a Greater Hat of Disguise (which is treated as Alter Self) that you'd wear while suited to melt it away, taking it off to instantly pop back into Eidolon suit.


Something I've found, too, with the archetype is that if you actively avoid made the multi-limbed monstrosity then you have evolution points out of your ears. Your only choice is to give it a lot of skilled evolutions, or resist/immunities, ability increases/etc, OR you can go large and eventually huge. Going the latter feels more broken because you have skills out the rear (my master summoner has a +44 UMD at level 12 from just aspect + normal build) or basically nothing can hurt you which perpetuates the view they're broken. Or you're a large creature with crazy looking ability scores. It's really a challenge to make the archetype feel like it fits in a 'regular' group.


N. Jolly wrote:

Sup all, just got another guide put up, just finishing it off now.

Getting into Someone Else's Skin

This isn't going to be nearly to the size of my other guides, since there's already a lot of good work on this topic already, more just making sure that you guys know how to deal with them in the game. If it's not a listed topic, I'm not going to deal with it (like magic items and such), but if there's an area you think I should cover that's different enough from what's already been covered, let me know and I'll consider it.

Just don't expect this guide to be nearly as good as my Alchemist Guide or Barbarian Guide.

Thank you! I just started gathering sources for a guide of my own, instead I will humbly try to contribute to yours.

A few humble suggestions.
1. Temp HP According to here and the FAQ, the Life Conduit line of spells can also be used to heal the eidolon. I think the Purified Calling spell may also qualify based on the FAQ.

2. Races I am assuming this section is still in the works as there are some other worthwhile favored class options for the synthesist. For example, Goblins also get more evolution pool points (but only for fire related evolutions) as a favored class option.

Some races (such as Humans and Half-orcs) get extra HPs for their eidolon. Others (such as Dwarves and Oreads) get AC bonuses. This may be worth mentioning for a tank synthesist.

3. Compatible Archetypes I know this isn't a listed topic so I hope you find it interesting. The Half-orc Blood God Disciple archetype is compatible with the Synthesist. I even figured out a way to rage with your eidolon. BGDs get rage powers so Moment of Clarity followed by the Summon Eidolon spell will allow you to rage by dismissing and summoning your eidolon.

Good luck with your guide. Perhaps at a later date you will consider adding sections for feats, spells, and magic items.


Might I suggest an addition notation color for the lactose intolerant.

note the points where selective blindness of rules interactions make the archetype even more exploitative than it already is, and try to highlight those traps.

"Note that multi-armed monstrosities that have pounce and 10 arms, do nothing but accelerate how fast everyone bans this archetype. If you are playing it to make the cheesiest build possible, please stop reading this guide now."


It is a guide to optimisation, it should note how to make the strongest build(s) possible.

With that in mind, it is up to the player to adjust the power to the demand of the campaign they participate.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Houngan wrote:

A few humble suggestions.

1. Temp HP According to here and the FAQ, the Life Conduit line of spells can also be used to heal the eidolon. I think the Purified Calling spell may also qualify based on the FAQ.

Something seems to have happened to the FAQ -- it seems that the Class section for Ultimate Magic is empty now. What is up with that?


Thanks for the guide. The title is pretty funny given the Synthesist hate on these boards. Since we're dealing with a specific Summoning archetype, are there any feats that become more important than the generic Summoner guide you link to? Also, are there any useful feats that have been published since that guide?

Silver Crusade

@Buri: You can make something super terrifying, but it's really up to your group what's normal. Someone in Absalom might not get a second look where they'd be murdered on sight in Cheliax.

@Houngan: Blarg, it sounds like this is becoming a real guide. I don't want this to be a real guide. I don't think any archetypes actually mesh with this one though, I'd have to check the chart...the chart says only Blood God Disciple meshes with it. PFS is just gonna love this thing.

@MC Templar: See, this is the kind of thinking that gets the class dismissed before it can be examined. Everyone has a different tolerance for optimization, which again is the point of this guide. I'm hoping the beginning of this guide was a good step to dispelling some of the rumors and such about this archetype. I might have to expand it a bit though if this style of thought is still around, since I want to make a guide that embraces the archetype instead of shuns it as a 'power gamer archetype.'

@XMorsX: Addressed, but I want to make sure people know this guide is for beginners and experienced players alike. It's really feeling like I'm not going to be able to half ass this if I want it to stand where my other guides are. I promise only as much as 20 pages on this beast,since that's 1/4th of my Alch guide, which I consider my flagship guide.

@EpicFail: It seems I might need to add a feat section. I really don't want to do a sample build section, but I'm almost certainly going to have to. I don't know, I guess I used guides differently than most. I just pull ideas from them instead of using them as a framework, which is a viable use of a guide.

Me getting back into Pokemon is going to hold this guide up a bit, and I don't think I'll be doing a multiclass section, since I feel that halting your progression is suicide, but I probably will go back through the race section, maybe doing a "green and up" rule for races.


In regards to races I think you missed one of the most important points for Half Elf: They can qualify for the Elf favored class bonus without being an Elf, which reduces the Summoning time of your Eidolon by 1 round per to a minimum of 1 round. At level 9 they never have to worry about "oh well you can't always be suited up!" and without needing a spell to boot.

N. Jolly wrote:
I don't think I'll be doing a multiclass section, since I feel that halting your progression is suicide

Synthesist always struck me as a pretty badass dip. 1 level for 3 natural attacks and pounce? Sign my martial up. If I ever end up doing a "werewolf" character it's probably going to be Synthesist 2/Barbarian X.


I'm annoyed that Synthesist technically combines with Blood God Disciple, but its main ability is useless when you do (they effect you, but you already have them). This means you can't rend, slaughter and devour your enemies, and that could be fixed with one line: "if the summoner is a Synthesist, he may instead use these evolution points on his Eidolon, but may only spend them on abilities it already possesses and can be taken multiple time".

@chaoseffect Keep in mind the stats on the base form will never increase as a dip. 14 strength and 13 con is really underwhelming on a bruiser


1 person marked this as a favorite.
N. Jolly wrote:
@Houngan: Blarg, it sounds like this is becoming a real guide. I don't want this to be a real guide. I don't think any archetypes actually mesh with this one though, I'd have to check the chart...the chart says only Blood God Disciple meshes with it. PFS is just gonna love this thing.

Well, you didn't say no so perhaps you will indulge me further and consider letting me contribute a BGD section.

deuxhero wrote:
I'm annoyed that Synthesist technically combines with Blood God Disciple, but its main ability is useless when you do (they effect you, but you already have them). This means you can't rend, slaughter and devour your enemies, and that could be fixed with one line: "if the summoner is a Synthesist, he may instead use these evolution points on his Eidolon, but may only spend them on abilities it already possesses and can be taken multiple time".

I mostly agree, but I think it has some circumstantial uses. I am currently playing a synthesist who's secondary role is party buffer. In this specific capacity, the ability gains some usefulness at level 3 when you can use it on others. For example, giving someone else a +2 natural armor bonus for 1 min at level 3 isn't bad. At 13th level, being able to make most of the party Large (with the full bonuses, not Enlarge Person), have Spell Resistance, or able to cast a 3rd level spell (the Magic evolutions are proving to be a common go to with Evolution Surge for me) can be pretty good.

If I were writing a section of the mini-guide for the BGD, it might look like this:

Blood God Disciple (BGD)/ Synthesist synergies
Currently the Half-orc BGD is the only archetype that is compatible, by RAW, with the synthesist. While their may be some debate regarding the usefulness of this archetype, the only class abilities you trade (Monster Summoning) are those that can't be used while your eidolon is present. The Half-orc summoner favored class option (extra HPs for your eidolon) may not be as good as the extra evolution pool points that Half-elves and Goblins enjoy, but extra temporary HPs are not a terrible choice for a synthesist either.

Blood Feast (Su): This ability is of seemingly limited use to a synthesist because they are already are affected by their eidolon's evolutions. At level 3, however, this ability gains some circumstantial usefulness when you can share evolutions with allies. For example, at level 3, giving a party member a +2 natural armor bonus is nice. At level 13, making most of the party large (with full size bonuses) is pretty good.

Bloody Gift (Su): As above, the ability to share evolutions with party members can be worthwhile based on the situation and what evolutions you have chosen. Many synthesists will have taken Improved Natural Armor at lest once by level 3. A +2 (or more) natural armor is a decent buff for an ally. Immunity seems to be a common evolution. At level 7, you could make two party members immune to an energy type if you have this evolution. At level 11 you could could give three party members Damage Reduction if you have this evolution. At level 15, you could give four members (possibly the whole party) Large size (with the full bonuses, not Enlarge Person), Spell Resistance, or the ability to cast a 3rd level spell (the Magic evolutions may not be a common choice but see Evolution Surge below).

Spell Synergy: Don't forget the Evolution Surge line of spells. If you Evolution Surged fire immunity before charging the fire wizard's minions, share it with the party after eating one of the minions.

Avatar Gambit (Ex): Like Blood Feast, at first glance this ability appears to be a sub-optimal ability for a synthesist. Dismissing your eidolon leaves you without your primary source of offense and defense so rage doesn't seem that useful. However, at level 11, you get a barbarian rage power. Moment of Clarity plus the Summon Eidolon spell gets the synthesist back in the action, while raging.

Spell Synergy: Summon Spell plus Moment of Clarity equals a raging synthesist. There is a time investment but if you have rounds to prepare for combat, rage bonuses aren't bad.

Rage Power (Ex): As above, a rage power or two doesn't seem like a great benefit if you need to dismiss your eidolon to get them. However, summoners can cast the Rage spell.

Spell Synergy: If your DM interprets "The effect is otherwise identical with a barbarian's rage except that the subjects aren't fatigued at the end of the rage." to mean that you can use Rage Powers after casting Rage, this spell may be a candidate for the Quicken Spell metamagic feat and the Magical Lineage trait.

Feat Synergy: If your DM interprets "Rage Power (Ex)" as the "Rage power class feature", then BGDs qualify for the Extra Rage Power feat. A synthesist's (likely) maxed out charisma may give them more mileage out of rage powers like Inspire Ferocity (if you have Reckless Abandon), Lesser Spirit Totem, and Intimidate based powers than a barbarian.

Silver Crusade

"Houngan wrote:
Well, you didn't say no so perhaps you will indulge me further and consider letting me contribute a BGD section.

Yeah, sure. I don't have the love for this project that I did for the Alch or Barb, and I've always wanted to collaborate with someone on a project. I remember back when I started my Alch guide, they were crowd sourcing for one too, and I was kind of jealous of that.

I'll admit I probably wouldn't take help on a project I was super passionate about (ALCHEMIST), but for just a mini guide for helping people, I'd love the help, so feel free to get me something you'd like to have put in.

I feel like I'm going to have to look over races again instead of that slap dash work that I put up already.

At least there's a crap ton of art for Venom and Carnage (and lame, lame Toxin. Antivenom doesn't count...ever)


N. Jolly wrote:
@MC Templar: See, this is the kind of thinking that gets the class dismissed before it can be examined. Everyone has a different tolerance for optimization, which again is the point of this guide. I'm hoping the beginning of this guide was a good step to dispelling some of the rumors and such about this archetype. I might have to expand it a bit though if this style of thought is still around, since I want to make a guide that embraces the archetype instead of shuns it as a 'power gamer archetype.'

My point is, for the purposes of a guide, If the foundation of your advice should be shady corner case rules or combinations that have been shot down in FAQ or common use on the boards....

If you find yourself in the guide saying things like "..if your GM will allow.." I think the guide itself becomes counter-productive.

The Synthesist has more moving parts and grey area than any other archetype. If the point of the guide is to highlight options that might be overlooked, under-appreciated, or too good to pass up in a costs vs benefits analysis, I think it will be of value.

If the approach of the guide is, "the following choices are purple if they can maximize damage per round" and undermine the concept of CR for a party, Perhaps you should re-think if the guide is necessary or valuable.

If you are worried about the class getting dismissed before it can be examined, you should ensure that your guide address the apprehensions that skeptics might have about the archetype. Their view is "this archetype draws twinks like moths to a flame". If your guide reenforces that view, you end up contributing to the dismissal instead of helping to dispel it.


I stumbled across your mini guide. Thanks! It's just what I was looking for. I was just wondering if there's any more of it on the way. It just stops right after the intro to the section on forms. It looks as if more was intended but it hasn't been added to recently.

Silver Crusade

Ambrus wrote:
I stumbled across your mini guide. Thanks! It's just what I was looking for. I was just wondering if there's any more of it on the way. It just stops right after the intro to the section on forms. It looks as if more was intended but it hasn't been added to recently.

There is (possibly a full guide), but I just got my DS working again as well as picking up the HD remakes of FFX/-2, so right now my focus is other places.

I do want to get back to it though, since I love making guides.


I can only hope you'll get back to this in time. I was looking forward to reading your insigh into feat selection. I'll try and keep an eye out for future updates. Thanks again.


Another benefit of the half-elf that you may want to also mention, is their immunity to being magically put to sleep and get that +2 bonus against enchantment spells and effects. This is pretty big for the synth summoner as when they go to sleep, their eidolon goes away. Also a decent reason to look into getting a wand of keep watch. Never go without your eidolon due to sleep again... barring any other complications!

Looking forward to the rest of the guide.


Just my two bits (for if this gets finished).
1). Con stat. I would say give this a bit more love, if you do its two fold. firstly, more con means more hitpoints, with or without the eidolon. The fact that these hps are real and not temporary means that they are a lot easier to heal after you have gone below "half health" than the temporary hps. The other is that when you dont have your eidolon, you are not nearly as squishy and might actually survive to gtfo as the need might be.

2). With the blood god, the other main problem is that raging effects "you", not your eidolon. So "you" get the rage bonuses (+str and con) and when you re-summon your eidolon, it uses its (non-raging) stats, leaving you with a shiny +2 will save and unable to cast spells.

If you go further with this, good luck :)


Gobo Horde wrote:
2). With the blood god, the other main problem is that raging effects "you", not your eidolon. So "you" get the rage bonuses (+str and con) and when you re-summon your eidolon, it uses its (non-raging) stats, leaving you with a shiny +2 will save and unable to cast spells.

There has been in depth discussion in other threads regarding bonuses to the synthesist's ability scores from spells, magic items, and abilities. Some interpret the following to read that the synthesist's base scores become the eidolon's scores and that it is not be possible to effect the synthesist's scores without effecting the eidolon's scores.

Ulitmate Magic wrote:
While fused with his eidolon, the synthesist uses the eidolon’s Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution, but retains his own Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma...Neither the synthesist nor his eidolon can be targeted separately, as they are fused into one creature.

In other words, a synthesist with items that provide enhancement bonuses to str, dex, and con would not have to take the items off and put them back on every time he summons his eidolon so that the eidolon gets the bonuses and not the synthesist.

As always with the synthesist, IMHO this is not clearly defined and unless there is a FAQ ruling, it is at the discretion of the DM.


Ya, that makes sense, but in this specific case (raging), you take off your eidolon to get the rage effect. So you are purposefully gaining the rage effect when you dont have the eidolon (so it effects your stats) THEN re-summoning your eidolon.
I think having spells and such cast on you after you have your eidolon on are fine.
But having bulls strength cast on you then summon your eidolon? No, i dont think that flies.

Silver Crusade

Hey, this guide isn't dead. Thanks to a donation, I'm finally getting back to it. It's still technically a mini guide so it won't have the full range of what I'd normally put into a guide, more like the Investigator guide, but if you've checked it out recently, there's a ton more info in it than there was before.

Working on feats now, I'll get other jazz done later, but I'm just pretty damn exhausted as I have been for the past few days, so I'll try to get back to this soon.


Cool that it's not dead, at least; I know I've been using it a crap-ton for figuring out how best to trawl through the various feats and etc. for good ones. Really nice guide; hope you can get back to it soon. I did come up with some ideas you could add to the unfinished sections, possibly...

I will say this; probably one of the best uses for a Synthesist Summoner is as a tremendously effective Tank. Even if you can't heal easily(at first...), you gain bonus Hit points based on your Eidolon's constitution when you go super. Why would this matter? Well, Fused Link is why it matters. Once you go 'below' the temp hit points provided by your Eidolon, you can be healed normally. Making them what they are; a buffer. Natural Armor bonuses are ridiculously easy to acquire, Spell Resistance and Fast Healing both help(particularly if you can get your GM to rule that Fast Healing restores the Eidolon's temp HP, as that would seem RAI), though Fast Healing is horribly overpriced. The effectiveness of it, even if it can affect that temp HP, is outstripped by Large and Huge by quite a ways, considering that you gain more for your Con score than any other class. Combine your now enormous HP pool with Extended Mage Armor, massive natural armor, magic items, (Greater) Shielded Merge, and your buff spells, and you have a ridiculously tough suit of 'armor'. Maker's Jump gets you where you're needed, and supersized CMD means you aren't going anywhere anytime soon. Ability Boost (Dex) works just fine for Huge Eidolons, getting them both AC and extra AoO if you've got Combat Reflexes, so it's actually actually quite useful, albeit the cost reflects that(if you aren't going Large for some insane/fluff reason you will have EP out the wazoo, though)

Of course, if you can't do anything with it, they'll just go around. Which is why you have Reach (manufactured weapons). And Combat Reflexes. And Martial Weapon Proficiency (Horsechopper). And Huge Size. Did I mention Stand Still? How about Bite and Trip evolutions, with Improved Trip alongside? With this build, actually, you're so dependent on feats, rather than EP, that Human starts looking better and better. Take the Mount evolution so your party Barbarian/Cavalier/Fighter/Paladin can ride you into battle(if you go for that, though, you might actually prefer to just slaughter things with Pounce and Trample to allow you to rip through your target alongside your buddy)

If you care more about being impossibly hard to kill, so your companions can use you more literally as a living wall, grab Divine Protection, to get Charisma to saves. The Evolution Surges stack with each other(but not themselves, if that makes any sense) so grab a lesser Rod of Extend and a normal one and go to town.

Evolution Surge is the single most versatile spell in our arsenal, (I think), because of the Minor, Major, and Ultimate Magic evolutions. After all, remember; the Evolution Surges stack with each other(but not themselves, if that makes any sense, so you could cast Evolution Surge and Lesser Evolution Surge and get a 2-point and a 4-point, but you couldn't cast lesser twice to get two 2-pointers) so grab a lesser Rod of Extend and a normal one and go to town. If you take Minor Magic on it's own(hard to go wrong with Vanish), you can have extremely easy access to the next tiers; Greater Evolution Surge gets you Major Magic (Darkness is good if you've got Blindsight and think you/your allies will be able to use the concealment, scorching ray can be good otherwise) and another two or three point evolution(See in Darkness, perhaps?), and Evolution Surge gets you to Ultimate Magic. Now, that might be fine and dandy, but consider for a moment; if you cast Evolution Surge a second time, to get Ultimate Magic, the use/day resets. It might be argued that if you're grabbing the same spell again, it doesn't, but if you grab a different spell, it's hard to argue. And while, yes, the spells aren't great, especially trading a 5th for a 3rd, if you grab a magic item with 1/day or 2/day castings of it, you're effectively gaining all of those spells with a shared 1/day or 2/day. Add to that that you can use it for nearly anything else that you get via Evolution, and it becomes incredible. Fighting ghosts? Grab Incorporeal. Underground? Get Burrow. I don't even need to mention Energy Immunity or Skilled.

With Skilled (Intimidate), feats such as Call Out and Dazzling Display, and Frightful Presence now using your Charisma score for the DC, and depending on how you view it, your HD(I would not go for that perspective, but it's a possibility), you can make a Fear build extremely easily. Intimidating Prowess and Huge size also boost up your Intimidate score very fast, especially together, and become utterly terrifying, just as you should be. Class Skill doesn't even matter at the amount of bonuses you're getting. Some of the Evolutions actually seem custom-built for synthesists; anything that relies on Charisma in particular.

Finally, I'll say this; if you somehow feel you can spare the EP, you could consider taking Elf instead, for a very specific reason; use Summon Monster, then summon your Eidolon. Nothing says you can't, and the primary handbook for Summoners mentions it specifically. At higher levels(where the favored class bonus gets decent...), this gets supplanted by Summon Eidolon and Extend Spell, though. The duration on Summon Monster makes this both feasible and potentially very useful, if you have some prep time and a GM accepting of this level of ludicrous.


I am sad. Jolly is one of my favorite guide authors, and I'm currently looking for a class to play in a slow progression campaign. Asked my DM if Synth Summoner was allowed. Immediate reply, "Synth Summoner is EXTRA BANNED." (emphasis his)

So much for that idea.


Where do you get the quotes in the sections from?

Dark Archive

As a DM... I would allow this archetype with the added condition that the player is barred from having their physical stats any lower then 10, maybe 8 if I trust the person in question. Meaning the player would NOT be allowed to to dump Str down to 5 or 7.


Eh, dump stats just create a potentially crippling weakness when they get caught outside their flesh tuxedo. I'm all for munchkin traps like that.

I've occasionally thought up character concepts that were crippled or otherwise powerless to prevent something terrible and sought mad bargains with otherplanar beings to enact revenge schemes - low physical stats represent that pretty well.

Offhand, I'm not really seeing what harm jacking your mental scores up at the expense of Dex and Str will do in the grand scheme of things unless you're picking up things like the Divine Protection feat or getting Cha to AC somehow. A Synthesist is usually a beat stick that can either cast or try to play barbarian. Most of the casting is going to be buffs, except the occasional Grease or Glitterdust spell, so a sky high casting stat probably won't do all that much. Having a high intelligence is nice, as it'd be nice to have more than 2 skill points/level.

Dark Archive

@Experiment 626
Your suggestion on how to have it play out, it could be made to work.

Yet the issue I see is that players wont roleplay the weaknesses they are giving their characters, and will likely get mad if the DM forced them to roleplay the fact they have dumped Strength and perhaps less Dexterity.

I as a DM wouldn't encourage the player to always be in their 'flesh tuxedo', they will need to become themselves unless they want problems with certain cities and groups. Also mattering their size they may not be able to get into certain places or buildings because they are too big.


That's natural enough, Jonathon, and the GMs I play with regularly enforce that as well (I do, too, when I sit on that side of the screen.). There's a guy playing in my old group with some kind of scorpion-centaur form right now who's presently having to deal with those restrictions. He's most likely playing buff caster/monster summoner when they're in town and probably built his character with that in mind. When they get out of town he can suit up and then run the risk of patrols mistaking him for a monster and other possible problems of that nature.

As long as the player and GM are both aware of the downfalls, everything should be fine.

As for them getting mad, well...there's the door, crybaby!

Dark Archive

I will say I like the potential for the Synthesist Summoner, I see it being used to play out many 'transformations' seen in tv and anime to an extent.

Whether the many magical girl series, the Shaman King Series, Naruto when it comes to the ninjas with a sacred beast bound to them, the Power Rangers, and even He-Man. Yes symbiotes like Venom and Carnage also apply.

When it comes to roleplaying and character building there is a wealth of potential, but because of how the archetype is written there has also been abuse.


Syth summoners allow for the funnest version of poison users. With that tail and all.


What is everyone's thoughts on dipping one level into Monk(Master of Many Styles) for Dragon Style and then picking up Feral Combat training and Dragon Ferocity. That's a pretty heavy damage boost for a one level dip.


I'm not a monk expert, but FCT looks like it wouldn't net you any more attacks in the long run than full attacking natural attacks. Unless you somehow get effect monk level 8+, at level 20 you're only looking at 4 attacks instead of the Synthesist's 7.

On the other hand, if you're not making an argument for flurry, you're looking at Weapon Focus, Feral Combat Training, and Dragon Ferocity with real levels plus Dragon Style, Improved Unarmed Strike, and Stunning Fist from the MoMF level. So you're losing a caster level, a level of eidolon progression, and spending 3 feats in exchange for 1.5 str bonus on your chosen natural attack, and some nice fringe benefits.

On the other hand, that's like +10 damage per hit times 7 hits at level 20 before factoring in manuals or wishes. The question comes down to whether you don't have something better to do with those 3 feats.


The more I look at it the better a dip into monk looks. Not only does it open up style feats with your Natural attacks, it also gives you Stunning fist which you can use with Natural attacks. Also since when you fuse with your Eidolon you are no longer wearing armor, you then get your wisdom bonus to AC. That's a pretty substantial boost considering you don't really need any physical attributes and intelligence is just so so, which just leaves you with charisma and wisdom to max and you don't even need a super high charisma since most of your spells are going to be spent buffing yourself.

Silver Crusade

Zwordsman wrote:
Where do you get the quotes in the sections from?

They're just ones I randomly make, although I'm up for suggestions if anyone else has quotes and characters they'd like to include in stuff like this.

Sorry I've been AWOL for so long, this guide is the number one priority to get back on, at least after helping someone with one of their guides. Let me know if there's anything in Unchained that I should be checking out particularly. I don't plan on delving too deep into it, but a quick look couldn't hurt.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Super great guide. Thanks for the work you put in. I noticed that Extra Evolution is not only in the guide but in purple. Everywhere I look it seems that the Synth is not allowed to take this. Is there a difinitive word on this?


Mindfever wrote:
Super great guide. Thanks for the work you put in. I noticed that Extra Evolution is not only in the guide but in purple. Everywhere I look it seems that the Synth is not allowed to take this. Is there a difinitive word on this?

Definitive word.


Can't wait till this guide's updated, amazing help!

Silver Crusade

I think I've decided that this guide will be finished on donations, since that's the only reason I came back to it. If I get some donations, I'll make sure to get back to it though.

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