How do people handle getting summoned creatures without languages to do more than just fight? Or even to use their special abilities (say, smite evil for celestial animals)?
The spell says they show up and attack unless you communicate to them to do something else and many summons are animals or vermin of some variety with no language. Do you go with handle animal checks and "push" them to do tricks? Is the only way to use the speak with animals spell?
Is anyone else mildly confused by the max armor bonus explanation?
So, the armor bonus column in table 3-3 is supposed to be the "base total armor bonus" and it can be split between "an armor bonus and a natural armor bonus." So, does that mean it doesn't affect things that give an "enhancement bonus to armor or natural armor" (eg, barkskin). What about shield bonuses? Do they fall under the prohibition on armor? The Shield spell?
Similarly, at first glance, this sounds like it means that you can use any combination of evolutions or magic items or spells that grant "armor" or "natural armor" bonuses, but that they cannot total more than this number. That's odd, since at first level this number is 0 and all eidolon base forms start with a +2 natural armor bonus. Does the Armor Bonus column only refer to increases over the initial +2? How does the INA monster feat fit in?
Also, the explanation says that "this number is modified by the eidolon's base form and some options available through its evolution pool." Does that mean that when you take the improved natural armor evolution that it modifies the number in the column by 2 as well? (meaning, you've increased the cap so you can still use spells and other magical means to increase AC without accounting for the "+2" you get from your INA evolutions)
I've seen some threads discussing how 3.5 was problematic because save DCs are too high versus bad saves. I've seen other threads discussing how 3.5 was problematic because save DCs are too low for any of your lower level spells once you become higher level. Are either of these right? or is the problem something else?
My opinion: Having played spellcasters through 20th, I did find that I often couldn't use any spell with a save that negates unless it was one of the highest couple spell levels I could cast. I understand that people say you use those lower level spells against lower level encounters, but I don't often find myself facing goblins when I'm 15th. So, I'd spend all my time trying to boost my saves and do stat damage to other people's save stats.
On the other hand, for years, I've continuously heard people tell me wizards are overpowered, and by default, there shouldn't be any attempt to increase spell DCs of any kind.
I do get that spellcasters have an incentive to boost save DCs and that since they can increase only one stat (their spellcasting stat) and have an effect on save rolls against three different stats of the target, it is generally easier for spellcasters to boost than for targets to boost saves. Nevertheless, I don't know whether my DM arbitrarily boosted monster saves, but I never seemed to outstrip save DCs once we switched to 3.5 (which removed those class and feat powers that allowed easy boosting of save DCs).
I think the feel of overpowering might come not from save DCs, but in part from a wizard/cleric/druid's ability to pick powers suitable to a given situation on a daily basis, which other classes cannot do. Thus, they've always got something precisely useful in a certain situation.
I also think that save or die spells have a lot to do with the problem, since even a 40% chance success rate (the basic rate at which a 20th level target using its bad save saves against a 20th level caster using a 9th level spell), feels overpowering when failure is death. On the other hand, if you're a spell caster, it feels pretty cheap not to have at least a 50/50 chance at your best spell working on an equal opponent. Especially when you feel like you can't use the bottom 2/3rds of your spells.
Also, some of this feeling may come from the fact that, other than direct damage, saves usually negate, which makes magic use very swingy. Whether it's death or blindness, having either a wasted action or a serious condition be the possible options is going to be swingy by necessity.