Baza's page

16 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


I was so saddened by the lack of answers that I gave up and forgot to check in at a later time :) so, please excuse my late reply.

First, thanks for the "create primal event" tip, it is a good reference point. I somehow managed not to come across that one during my research of the subject.

I'm not sure about randomizing the range and direction too, on top of the random effect. The random effect is already random enough, could help you, could hurt you, or it could be just something weird or interesting that neither hurts nor helps. Which is fine for the most part, to make things more interesting and unpredictable, to create new unusual situations for the characters to react to, etc. But, if the effect is too random, or turns out to be hurtful more often than helpful, then the characters will simply never use it again. I mean, if a character is supposed to keep using something, then that something has to be beneficial in some way, at least over a longer period - why would anyone want to shoot themselves in the foot repeatedly?

Keep in mind that this is not a talent that you can simply pick at level up. You have to put effort into obtaining it (I'd say a lot of effort, but I guess that depends), and as such, you'd want to be able to use it to help yourself, not hurt yourself. If its goint to hurt you more than help you, then why bother putting in all that effort in the first place?

Therefore, a character would most likely want a little bit more control over the primal magic, not less. When deciding to trigger a primal event, its bad enough not knowing if it might cause an explosion or a buff, but then also not knowing in what direction and how far? That's too much randomness for it to be worth it. The chances of something helpful happening would be far too low. For example (and I'm making these numbers up), lets say that normally, there's a 33% chance of something good happening, a 33% chance of something bad happening, and a 33% chance of something neither good nor bad happening.

Then, if we randomize range and direction too, there will be a lot of situations where the good and bad effects happen too far away and/or in the wrong direction for them to have any effect on the characters/enemies. Meaning that they would now fall into the "neither good nor bad" category. So for example, there'd be a 10% chance of something good happening (in the proper place), a 10% chance of something bad happening (in the proper place, and an 80% chance of things that are neither good nor bad happening (or things that dont have a meaningful effect on the combat or whatever situation the characters are in). So in the end, you're wasting your action on something that only has a 10% chance of doing something good, a staggering 80% chance of basically doing nothing, and a 10% chance of doing something bad. Again, the numbers are made up, I havent done the math, I'm just trying to say that the chance of "nothing happening" would be much greater than anything else and as such it would most likely be a waste of an action to use this talent.


Anyway, yeah the list is just a sample. There are plenty of other random effect lists on the internet though. I obviously havent gone through them to see if they all list the specific radiuses, durations, etc. It would be great if they did, because these change from effect to effect (they are dependent on the effect), but one thing that shouldnt change is the range of the talent itself (the range should be dependent on the talent). As in, the talent should provide a range at which it can be used, and then the effect should provide what happens there and for how long, etc.

I have also come to the conclusion that it's probably one of these 2 options:
1.) range 0 (centered on the kineticist), in which case the kineticist must either always be excluded from the effect, or have the ability to choose to be excluded from the effect (for instantaneous effects like an explosion going off. If the effect persists, then it should probably affect everyone in its radius. There are probably exceptions to this that I cant think of right now)
2.) range greater than 0, in which case if the radius turns out to be big enough to reach back to the kineticist, then the kineticist is a fair target for the effect.

What exactly should "greater than 0" be? I'm not sure. The simplest range would be 30ft for a base kineticist. Because surely if he is always able to manipulate strands of aether within 30ft with his blasts/other talents, then he can also manipulate them in a different way (into a primal event) at that same range, right?
And if he has taken Extended/Extreme Range, maybe allow him to increase the range.... if necessary, even by paying the burn required by these talents.

I'd personally lean more towards the 2nd option cause I really dont like it having centered on the kineticist. It complicates things about affecting the kineticist etc. And, since the kineticist probably doesnt want to get its allies caught in the radius, it kinda forces him to run ahead and jump into the middle of the enemy formation before using this talent, which can be very much problematic.


I guess I can share my experiences with it so far. It came up a whooping two times.
1st time was soon after I obtained it. Me and an ally were in a room with a minor boss, while 2 allies were outside the room. I triggered a primal event which turned out to work like Confusion on everyone in a small radius. The DM insisted that the effect is centered on me. Dont remember the details, not even if I had to save against it (this was many months ago), but I know that the ally and the boss had to save, and the ally failed, while the boss succeeded, causing serious problems for us.
I was very cautious with it since then, basically never using it again for a very long time in fear of causing something terrible, if using the talent while being close to allies (which I am, most of the time).
So the 2nd time was in a fight with more participants. We had like 7 NPCs on our side (but they were pretty weak), and the enemy force consisted of about 8 normal enemies and 3 stronger ones. The 8 normal enemies were all standing together on one side while the 3 stronger ones were coming in from the other side. One ally took off to meet the stronger ones head first, the other two allies moved a bit away from me, so I felt that if I move closer to the other 8 enemies, I might get to trigger a primal event without catching my allies in it. I did just that, and the effect that happened forced everyone in its radius to roll two d20s and take the worse result. The radius was pretty big too, but not enough to reach my allies. It did reach almost all enemies and the remaining NPCs (the NPCs were weak and basically died in 1 hit from the enemies). However, the primal magic caused everyone to miss a whole lot more. This ended messing up the enemies way more than us, they had a hard time hitting even the NPCs, which survived for much longer than they would otherwise. The NPCs didnt have much of a chance to hit anything to begin with, so this additional debuff didnt make them that much worse. And as for me: I also have an energy blast/blade, which targets touch AC, that is usually much lower than regular AC, giving me a good chance to hit the enemies even with the debuff. So, while my 3 allies were busy killing the 3 stronger enemies, me & the NPCs were keeping the rest of the enemies occupied, and I was slowly wearing them down with my energy blade. I'm sure that without the primal event, the enemies would have killed all the NPCs in 1-2 turns, then ganged up on me, and I'd have to run, or my allies would have to help out, making the fight much harder. Instead, the NPCs kept standing, I was even damaging the enemies, and when the allies have dealt with the other threats, they came to help finish off these guys too.

So the 1st time I used it, it turned out terrible and made me never want to use it again. The 2nd time I used it, it turned out pretty good, but still worried about using it unless I again get isolated from my team. The fact is, that even if circumstances have made the 2nd time go better than expected, its still true that the usefulness of this talent would be increased if it could be triggered from range, not centered on myself. As it is, I've used it twice in like a year of gaming, which is not nearly often enough for a talent that you have to work this hard to even obtain. If it had a range (even a short one), it'd get used more often, because a talent like this (that you have to work for) deserves to be used more often than that.

Thank you. That's an important detail that I wasnt aware of. It might never come up, or it might come up all the time, so its good to know.

As said, I currently have a familiar gained from Elemental Whispers, and I'm looking to soon upgrade it to one gained from Greater Elemental Whispers.

And I agree on most of these. I'm just not sure what does the "it gains a new form" mean with GEW - if it dies as an elemental, it can then be raised as a wysp, but keeps the old memories? Or that it can be raised as an elemental again but with a new/different "body" and old memories?

And no, my party hasnt summoned any elementals yet. I dont think there's much summoning planned in our future either. If it does come up, and the summoned monsters end up being elementals (of the matching element), then okay. But if the party only summons one elemental, I hardly think that this is enough to justify taking the wysp for this bonus. Sure, if you have like 4 people who can summon the correct type of elementals, then the wysp may be amazing. But for summoning one elemental here and there, not really :/ Unless I also take Spark of Life and summon my own elementals (which wasnt the plan, but might work....)

I dont think so. The talent doesnt say anything about sharing your senses. Even a familiar gained from (Greater) Elemental Whispers doesnt automatically share senses... it shares emotions, can eventually speak with you, and eventually you can scry on it, but you cant see through its eyes or hear through its ears, etc.

So the way I understand the basic version is, you summon the elemental and then must spend your move action to "direct" it. Directing it probably means stuff like "go to x", "kill this enemy", "come back", and similar. I think even a command like "go to x, kill this enemy, and then come back" would be valid, as long as you keep spending your move action on it every turn until the task is finished. As soon as you do something else with your move action, it collapses on itself and the spell ends. So even if the elemental is out of sight, you can always command it to come back, or to move to a location that is in sight. But you dont sense anything that the elemental does.

If you pour your sentience into it, it acts on its own, freeing your move action. You can probably give it directions as before, and it would probably try to execute them to the best of its ability. It still doesnt say anything about sharing senses though.

If you replace Ghoul 1 with a monster with 40 AC, and you miss Ghoul 2, then you shouldn't automatically hit the monster.
To be fair, he did specifically say:
if the Attack roll is prevented by the bonus +4AC from cover coming from Ghoul_1 (but would hit without this cover), the Attack Roll would then be contested with the AC of Ghoul_1

As in, if you miss Ghoul 2, you dont automatically hit Ghoul 1, you instead compare your roll against Ghoul 1's AC.

And there's even a feat that already does something similar (except that the feat says that the attacker makes a new roll against the new target).

I dont know if this makes it possible, but if I was his GM, I'd at least consider it. Perhaps make a modified feat for him to take, that would then allow him to try against Ghoul 1 if he missed Ghoul 2. Making it a feat would keep it in line of the Ally Shield feat, as they'd provide a similar benefit.

Even so, perhaps the roll against Ghoul 1 would need to have a certain penalty added to it (like -2), or the damage would need a penalty (cause the arrow maybe didnt hit it with the pointy bit).
And if there's more than one enemy, it'd be simple enough to say that the closest enemy is the next in line (or that it only works against the first adjacent enemy). Alternatively, just roll a d[number of enemies] to see which one is hit.

Sure, this complicates combat a bit, but if they dont mind, let them play with it :)

I see. Wasnt aware that normal familiars work like that cause I've never played a character who had one, at least not in PF. Without that point of reference, I assumed it's always the same type of creature, and carried it on to kineticist's familiar too. But its good to know.

Yeah that's pretty much what I figured, but wanted to make sure cause sometimes there are advantages to being able to unsummon them.

Thanks for all the answers!


I was wondering about the Primal Aether wild talent:

Primal Aether:

Element aether; Type utility (Su); Level 3; Burn 0

You can gather strands of aether twisted and warped by an aether saturation, and wind them so tightly that they explode, creating a primal magic event with a CR equal to your kineticist level.

This is all that the talent description says. No range, no radius, no nothing.
The lack of radius isnt as much of an issue, because some of the random effects list their own radius, or maybe it doesnt apply to that effect.
However, the lack of range is causing some problems, because the effects dont list how far away from the kineticist they happen. Therefore I'm looking for some clarification: what is the range of this talent? Is it centered on the kineticist? Can the point of origin be within 30 ft for a base kineticist (meaning equal to the standard blast range)? Does this increase with level, or perhaps with the Extended/Extreme Range talents?


Oh really? I thought that the new familiar is the same as the old (not the same individual creature but same type of creature).

As for GEW familiar, I understood it differently, I thought "new form" just means like a "new body" for your familiar, never would I imagine that the "new body" can be of a different type than the old one... just that its not the same old flesh and bones that have been left rotting somewhere for a week....
Anyway, if this indeed means it can come back in a new form, the available forms would still include only the elemental or the wysp, so I dunno... it'd be a pretty expensive "trial run" to first summon it in one form and if you dont like it, summon it in the other next time..

On that note, is it possible to "unsummon" or otherwise "deactivate" a familiar like this? Or once its out, its out until it dies?

Ok, I get that they were captured to give bonuses and be servants... doesnt mean they couldnt make them give bonuses to their new masters as well... makes them less useful. Oh well.

Sorry about the double post but I cant seem to edit the last post anymore.

I forgot to mention archetypes. As far as I know, you cant pick an archetype that replaces Speak With Animals Of Its Kind, which only leaves a few choices, namely:

- Egotist: seems like a nightmare to play, since its supposed to interfere with everything the master does. It gets bonuses instead of the master, can scry on the master, and does this at the cost of other useful feats... I'm going to stay away from this one.

- Emissary: looks like a decent one, it gets new abilities that are about as useful as the one it replaces (YMMV of course). I guess the choice depends on your play style, and right now I'm leaning more towards keeping the original abilities.

- Sage: a good archetype, but much more suited to the wysp/noncombat familiar. I feel like I'd definitely chose this archetype if I decided to go with wysp, but for a familiar that is expected to do things other than standing there and rolling knowledge, I think the original abilities would be better suited.

The Wysp says:

The wysp grants a +2 competence bonus on attack rolls and damage rolls to all creatures within 30 feet with an elemental subtype that matches the wysp’s, and to the DCs of all racial spell-like, supernatural, and extraordinary abilities of such creatures.

Kineticists within 30 feet who share the wysp’s element gain a +1 competence bonus on attack rolls and damage rolls.

So yes, a kineticist gets +1 to attack and damage, which is not terrible, but hardly reason enough to pick the wysp.
However, the wysp grants a +2 to a whole lot of things to other creatures EXCEPT its master (apparently). I guess theoretically those creatures could also be allies, not just enemies, but in any case, its odd that your familiar would grant other creatures far bigger bonuses than to yourself.

And then Aid Another and Living Battery both depend on Resonance:

Aid Another:
When it uses the aid another action to assist a creature benefiting from its resonance, the wysp can grant that creature a +4 bonus instead of +2.

Living Battery:
As an immediate action, a wysp can kill itself to cause a creature benefiting from its resonance to heal 2 hit points for each of that creature’s HD.

So, does the +1 to attack and damage that kineticists get, count as "benefiting from its resonance"? It must, because if not then the wysp is practically useless to a kineticist. But even if it does count, I still find it odd that others would benefit more than the kineticist. It seems to me that wysp is not quite as good as I had originally thought.

For what it's worth, I did take a look at the greensting scorpion and imp, and for me personally the decision seems much easier - the scorpion doesnt seem to offer much for my character, so I'd go with the imp (assuming I wouldnt mind its evil nature).

And I'm not sure if I'm missing anything with the way that familiars work, but what you're saying is that if I choose lets say Wysp, and it dies (not from Living Battery I assume), and I then revive it, I could revive it as an Elemental instead? I havent seen anything to support this, where does it say I could do this?

Also, forgot to mention it before, but why would the familiar's hit dice need DM interpretation? Arent the rules clear enough in stating:

Familiar Hit Dice:
For the purpose of effects related to number of Hit Dice, use the master’s character level or the familiar’s normal HD total, whichever is higher.

My level is always going to be higher so the familiar's HD will always be equal to my level? Or am I missing something?

Thanks everyone for your replies.

Regarding body type: ah ok I see. I imagined the wysps as balls of matter, and I've always envisioned elementals as humanoids, but that's mostly because that's how they're presented in the video games that I've played, and they sometimes get these things differently than in pathfinder. I will discuss it with the GM too of course, but if the elemental has almost all slots and the wysp has almost no slots, then the scales tip even more in favor of the elemental for me....

Do flatfooted enemies not get AoOs against invisible creatures that have to move into their square to attack them? If so, that might make the wysp a bit more useful, as long as the enemies cant see invisible creatures etc...

Regarding subtype: wait, really? I thought my character gains the aether subtype based on the fact that aether is his primary element.... if not, then the wysp only gives +1 to two rolls of the kineticist, and +2 to a whole bunch of rolls to any potential enemy that finds itself in the area.... this isnt making sense to me, why would it give a bigger bonus to enemies than to its "master"? If this is true, then a kineticist wouldnt even be able to benefit from Living Battery, meaning none of its abilities work, so then what's the point of the wysp?

I'm sorry, I'm not familiar with the green sting scorption vs imp debate. I dont think the "remembering it is there" would be much of an issue - its miniature would still be on the board. The enemies might not notice it due to invisibility, and it would be my responsibility to make sure to move/do stuff with it. If I forget, then though luck for me cause I just wasted some actions, but generally no harm done.

Well, as an Aether Kineticist, my character has picked up TK Invisibility, which he has been using to decent effect. The rest of the party are: a magus, who could easily get invisibility if desired, a warpriest that I dont think can easily get invisibility, and a paladin, which I also dont think is gonna be invisible any time soon (not that it'd help him much with all the clunking :P)


I'm trying to decide which familiar to take for my Aether Kineticist, the Small Aether Elemental or the Aether Wysp. Havent found much info on one versus the other though. I've looked at both of them and have some questions too. But first, I looked at the creatures' basic stats and then calculated their exact stats that they would have as my familiars.

In both cases, the wysp is better than (or at least equal to) the elemental in almost all areas. The elemental is better only in a few areas that are quite niche (it is immune do force damage, but how often is that gonna come up) or quite pointless (it has 12 STR over 10 STR for the wysp).

The only area where the elemental has a real advantage is ranged attack, because the wysp has none. Which is especially painful since the wysp is a tiny creature and has a reach of 0 ft. Meaning that it cant flank, cant make AoOs, and provokes an AoO from its target when attacking them in melee.

To go over the wysp's special abilities:
1.) Resonance: so, every creature with "aether" subtype in range (including enemies, I assume?) gets a +2 bonus to all the stuff listed, but on top of that, the kineticist gets an additional +1 to attack and damage rolls? For a total of +3 to attack and damage? If I'm reading this right, then this is a very powerful ability. 10/10.
2.) Servitor: increases Aid Another from +2 to +4. Sounds great for out of combat. I guess I'd give it a 9/10.
3.) Lesser Telekinesis: sounds like a worse version of my Basic Telekinesis. Might be great for other characters, but for a Telekineticist, it just doesnt add anything new or more useful than what they already have. 3/10
4.) Living Battery: Incredibly hard for me to evaluate. It sounds great in theory.... but hear me out :) First of all, who decides if the familiar should use this ability or not? Is it me, the kineticist that summoned it? Is it the GM? Does it happen automatically wheter or not we want it to?
Because, lets assume that any character values their familiar and wants to keep the familiar alive and helping (as it should be for almost all characters). Then, you wouldnt want the familiar to commit suicide at the first sign of danger, right? Especially if you're merely falling unconscious (would the familiar know this, or would it kill itself to "save" you?).
Anyway, even if it comes to the point where you actually die... would you always want the familiar to sacrifice itself for you? I dont have nearly enough experience to know the answer, but my thinking is this: working under the same assumption as before, you'd still want your familiar alive and helping. But, after the wysp kills itself, you can only revive it with True Ressurection, Miracle or Wish. Which is much harder than simply reviving a lil' ol' human kineticist with Raise Dead, which could even be cast by one of your teammates (at much lower levels), if they have the spell. So I'd say that the choice depends heavily on whether or not your party has someone that can cast Raise Dead or similar spells, or at least has easy access to someone that can, or at least to scrolls, or other means of reviving dead characters. And then it also depends on how the current fight is going. Is it almost over and your team can mop up and then revive you? Is it half way through and could go either way, with the chances of it going badly dramaticaly increased by your death? Perhaps the battle just started and there's a good chance that your team can grab your body and run (since something that killed a character this fast isnt something that a now-weakened party can defeat anyway)? These things all play a factor and if the decision isnt in the hands of the player, then this ability is almost detrimental imo..... If it is in the hands of the player, then I guess it would be pretty great for that one time when you need it... still really hard to evaluate, but probably comes in quite high.

Anyway, a quick look at the elemental's special abilities:
1.) Telekinetic Invisibility: this is simply great. 10/10.
2.) Telekinetic Throw: sounds like a pretty good ranged attack. It probably wont be able to throw many creatures due to the DC12 save, but it can always throw objects. 8/10.
3.) Telekinetic Maneuver: I'm planning on taking this utility talent later, so its great for now, but soon it wont be as important (kinda like wysp's telekinesis). 5/10
4.) Telekinetic Deflection: getting the CON modifier to AC sounds great until you realize that its CON is 12, for a +1 to AC (which is already poor).... 3/10


Looking at all of this, it seems like the wysp isnt actually meant as a combat companion. Its main benefit is a static boost to some of your rolls, and a static increase to the boost to your other rolls, and a one-time heal when you're in danger of dying. It doesnt have a ranged attack and has to get smacked by AoO to attack anyone in melee, meaning you'd have to be crazy or desperate to send it into a fight. It seems like the best use of it would be to have it just kind of stand (float) there while giving you a static increase to your stats. It would be just hanging around and making you stronger. Somehow, this doesnt sound like a familiar anymore to me. Its starting to sound more like a piece of equipment. And, I almost cant believe I'm going to say this, but I dont like that. Sure, almost all of its stats are better than the elemental's. Sure, its special abilities are very powerful. But in the end, it just feels like having another piece of equipment that just happens to be floating around instead of being worn. So, basically a slotless wondrous item. And yes, if someone would offer me a slotless wondrous item that does all this for the price of one class "feature", I'd call it a great deal. But somehow the fact that it's a familiar, is making it worse for me, to the point where I'm seriously leaning towards the elemental. Which has its own set of pretty cool special abilities, but the wysp's seem even better, in addition to being better in almost all other stats as well... But at least the elemental is able to do things like scout, attack things, participate in flaking, etc... you know, do something other than being there to give you boosts.... I dunno. Am I crazy for thinking the wysp is little more than a good piece of gear? Does anyone think the same? If so, what did/would you do in my position?


And another thing I wanted to ask was about gear/magic items for familiars. They are able to wear items based on their body type, as listed here.... but what in the world are the body types of the aether wysp and the aether elemental?

Thanks. Yeah that line does indeed refer to basic EW, which means you get this benefit "Alertness" while GEW is dead, but I'm still not sure if its possible to completely "unsummon" it and "summon" basic EW instead.

I know you can only have one familiar out (in use), but is it possible to have multiple "sources" of familiars, like multiple feats that grant familiars, either at different times or under different conditions? Obviously would still have to follow the rule about 1 familiar at a time, but could possibly grant 2 different familiars, just not at the same time? I dont know if anything like that exists. I know the rules usually say something like "levels of classes granting familiars stack for the purposes of determining the familiars attributes" or something along these lines, however, these "classes" mentioned all grant the same thing - familiars - while EW seems just different enough from GEW, in turn making the "familiars" they grant also just different enough from eachother to make them hard to "stack" (as in, one doesnt seem an upgrade of the other, but more like a completely different familiar with different mechanics). I'm not sure what to do in such a situation, that is (to me at least) quite different than the standard "all familiars are mechanically the same" thing.... :/

Yeah, I guess that's a good point. Perhaps I should have used a different word, but I cant think of a better one (english is not my native language). I was just trying to say that a "full familiar" is its own creature: tangible, visible, existent. While EW is just a product of your mind.... you can make it visible, but as soon as someone touches it, it disappears. As the rules say, its "a voice in your mind"... it doesnt have any stats, not even HP (I'm not sure if that disqualifies it as a creature or not, but it sure is very different than any other familiar).


I have been following these forums for a while now but for the life of me I cant seem to find an answer to my question. Which is:

As a kineticist, if you take GEW (Greater Elemental Whispers), do you lose access to EW (normal Elemental Whispers)? Or do both feats(talents) exist simultaneously?

To elaborate:
Normally, when a feat (or anything else) has a Greater version, that Greater version is a direct upgrade of the basic feat. For example, Weapon Focus increases attack by +1, and then Greater Weapon Focus increases it by another +1, which stacks with WF, for a total increase of +2 to attack. The original +1 from WF is already included in this total bonus, and you'd be crazy to want to only use the basic +1 from WF instead of the total +2 from having both.

Likewise, if you have feats like Cleave: Greater Cleave allows you to attack more targets, but the first target (granted by Cleave) is included in these additional targets.
Further, almost any Combat Maneuver normally carries some penalty, but if you take the Improved [combat maneuver] feat, the penalty is negated and you sometimes get bonuses to its CMB. Then the Greater [combat maneuver] feat further increases those bonuses and sometimes adds additional effects.
And another example: the "Sniping" magic weapon special ability gives a +5 bonus to Stealth checks in its base version, the Improved version gives +10 and Greater gives +15.

In all of these examples, the Improved and Greater versions improve the bonuses from the basic version. Nowhere does it say that by taking the Greater version, you lose access to the normal version. In fact, it could be said that you can never get the Greater version without the normal one, and that you even lose access to the Greater version if you somehow lose the normal version - which is also the reason that temporary feats (like ones gained from equipment) cant be used to qualify for Greater feats. Therefore we can conclude that in all these cases, the Greater version doesnt "overwrite" the normal version, instead they both exist simultaneously. In theory, you could then use "Cleave" instead "Greater Cleave" if you wanted to, but in practice, you'd never ever want to, because the bonus of the base feat is included (and expanded upon) in the Greater feat, making the Greater feat a superior choice all the time (as it should be).

However, that doesnt seem to be the case with EW/GEW. GEW is not a direct improvement of EW, it gives somewhat different benefits.
EW gives you a mind figment (its not a familiar - its not even a creature as far as I can tell) that you can "manifest" at will (requires concentration while manifested), but it returns to your mind as soon as it takes any damage. It grants you a skill/save bonus depending on its type, and while in your mind, you also get Alertness.
GEW on the other hand, gives you a fully functional familiar that doesnt require concentration, it gets its own stats including HP, and obviously it can also die, in which case you need to wait a whole week and also pony up some serious cash in order to bring it back, which is a considerable drawback. You can still get Alertness while its dead (but not at will like with EW), however you also dont get the skill/save bonus that you got from EW's type.

This is clearly not a straightforward improvement from EW, but almost a whole different mechanic. Sure, in many situations you're better off with a fully functional improved familiar than with a figment of your mind, so it is an improvement in that sense, however this makes it pretty different than the feats I talked about above. GEW not only works differently, but also takes away some of the bonuses that EW provided, which is unlike any of those feats above. As such, I am not sure I even want to upgrade to GEW (there are other good talents to consider at that level), but if I do, I'd like to have the option to keep on using EW if I decide that GEW's downsides are too much for me.

From the examples above I've concluded that both feats exist simultaneously, you just wouldnt normally want to use the lesser one. If both EW and GEW also exist simultaneously, then it should be possible to choose which one to use, right? I mean, obviously you cant have both "manifested" at the same time, or even EW in your mind while GEW is manifested, but if GEW dies (or you somehow deactivate it, which should be possible I guess), shouldnt you then be able to use EW instead?