IMO, needing to wear items negates half the function of the phantom. It interferes with 3 different abilities.
Other pet types aren't impeded so. When considering game design, I find it hard to believe that one pet should be at such a disadvantage compared to other pets, with no discernible bonus to compensate.
And you're not alone. It's the biggest issue of variation I've encountered while playing her.
I've never heard somebody say it works the way you state for eidolons, so why should it work that way for phantoms? They have nearly identical language.
Phantom's link ability wrote:
Magic items interfere with a spiritualist's connection to her phantom; as a result, the spiritualist and her phantom share magic item slots.
Eidolon's link ability wrote:
In addition, magic items interfere with the summoner's connection to his eidolon. As a result, the summoner and his eidolon share magic item slots.
Are Eidolons not handled the same way? They disappear and reappear just as often. Seems a pain to have to pick everything up when they disappear, and reequip when they appear. And some Eidolons can be incorporeal, too.
I never played a Summoner, though. I'll add your point to the pile.
So, are any other PFS folks seeing these issues with the Spiritualists and their phantoms? I had a lot of fun playing one for the first time, but I also see a lot of confusion in store for me if I keep playing it in PFS....
I have a Grippli Spiritualist. Her phantom is flavored as a swarm of all the deceased tadpoles that didn't survive to adulthood. She's lots of fun.
I haven't had any of those issues. I actually think it's rather clear, for the most part. Except one situation:
The phantom "shares" its master's item slots. But, obviously, an incorporeal phantom can't wear corporeal items. Even an ectoplasmic phantom can't phase lurch through walls if it's wearing anything.
So I interpret the whole passage to mean that the master wears the item, and can choose to have their phantom benefit from it instead of them. It's the only way I can make sense of it.