A lot of people assumed that a new class called "summoner" being introduced in a game that already has a mechanic called "summoning" would be naturally good at that mechanic. It's like if they added class called "illusionist" that used Penn & Teller-style slight of hand tricks instead of illusion magic.
The "Sike You Thought" style of dismissing player assumptions does not lead to an enjoyable play experience for anyone other than you. Generally speaking, it is the developer's job to correctly set player expectations, or at the very least to not set up false expectations whenever possible.
This isn't for my benefit. I'm making this suggestion on behalf of everyone frustrated with the lack of free summon spells included in the class, which is a clear departure from the class' 1e design. "The summoner is called 'The Summoner,' therefore it should be the best at summoning" was a common refrain all through the playtest, up to and including this very discussion thread. Changing the name adjusts player expectations so they don't go in looking for class features that aren't there.
An option for a summoner to lose their eidolon so they can get a bunch of summon spells makes about as much sense as an option for an oracle to lose their mystery so they can get a bunch of divination spells.
Again, I feel that this wouldn't be nearly as much of an issue with people if they had called the class something else. Later down the line they could introduce a summoner archetype that any spellcaster could take that gives them access to bonus summon spells, as well as extra features for summoned minions.
I'll reiterate what I said during the playtest: the class should be given a new name to avoid this kind of expectation.
The mammoth that I'd most like to see killed is the six ability score paradigm. Traditionally, Dexterity and Constitution are on-average the most valuable scores, while Charisma is frequently the least valuable. You'll notice that there are currently no PF2 ancestries that feature a Dex flaw. I'm in favor of splitting Dex into two skills (one for manual dexterity, the other for agility and balance), and either combining Con with another ability or making it separate from the ability score system entirely.
The odd thing to me is the Survival skill. Since Nature is a main skill in PF2, why not fold Survival into it? They're both Wisdom-based and the feats that aren't inherently Nature themed are still mostly used in nature, but usable in cities. If Nature were still Int, the divide would make sense.
I suspect a part of that is because they wanted each of the magic traditions to have a dedicated skill that wasn't used for much outside of Recall Knowledge rolls and the like. Combining Nature and Survival means Nature is significantly more valuable of a skill than Arcana, Occultism, and Religion.
"I invoke it," says the invoker. Or "I call it," says the caller. There are plenty of things you could name the class to refer specifically to the eidolon that don't set up the expectation of bonus summon spells.
The basis of this entire thread is that I've heard a lot of people say that the summoner needs more summoning because it doesn't feel enough like the summoner, to which I respond, I don't want more summoning, so maybe it shouldn't be the summoner anymore.
Then everyone went off on a 100-comment debate about what "manifest" means.
I've seen this asserted multiple times, but as yet nobody has cited an actual source from the designers that this was their plan all along.
I don't care if the summoner summons their eidolon or manifests them or whatever. The issue is that by calling the class "summoner" players expect them to be the best class at all summoning magic, just like how the investigator is the best at investigating.
It's possible your suspicions are correct, but I'd still really like to see a source for this myself.
This doesn't actually address my points. The only change I think is significant enough to warrant a new name is the lack of innate summon monster spells, which I am totally fine with. I think the class is better without them, but if they go that direction, they should drop the name to better set player expectations.
If you're arguing that the class should keep the same name only because that's what it was called in 1e, to that I say that there is president, your honor. The paladin was expanded in scope and renamed as the champion. By that same token, the summoner can be contracted in scope and renamed as the invoker.
Plus, the class is almost certain to have additional summoning support on launch - as such abilities were intentionally excluded from the playtest due to them being known qualities.
I'm going to need a source for this. It seems unlikely that they would cut a significant 1e class feature from 1e from the playtest.
The fact that the class isn't a carbon copy mechanically of the 1E summoner doesn't mean it doesn't have the exact same thematic bones - you just can't look at mechanics exclusively.
I don't understand this line. Can you rephrase this for me?
I've thrown this idea out there in a couple of places and I didn't see a dedicated threat to discuss it. I think the class should be renamed in the final product.
A lot of people seem really dissatisfied with the lack of dedicated summoning abilities in the playtest summoner. I've heard it suggested in multiple discussion threads that they should get some kind of sommon monster focus spell, or even a "summon font" in-line with the divine font clerics have. Personally I'm against this idea because I think it eats up too much design space that I'd like to see reserved for the most interesting aspect of the class: the unique bond with the eidolon.
I do not blame people for coming away with this impression, because it makes sense. The class is called "the summoner," so why do I only get to summon one thing? Therefore, I propose a simple solution to this problem: don't call the class the summoner. I've heard suggestions for alternative names in the past, such as "binder" or "caller" or, my personal favorite, "invoker."
Mechanically, this would mean very little. I like that there are summoner class feats that play well with spells that summon creatures for those who like that kind of playstyle. I just think that being good at summoning creatures other than their eidolon should be something players should have to invest in instead of just getting for free as a consequence of the class' name.
Follow-up idea: what if "summoner" was a general archetype that any spellcasting class could take to get the kind of benefits players want from the "summoner" class?
I like this a lot. I especially like the effects of the curse, very thematic.
I do have a concern about the mystery benefit. Counting telekinetic projectile, oracles only have four damaging cantrips: daze (which doesn't work int he mindless), chill touch (which doesn't work on the undead), and divine lance (which doesn't work on creatures opposed to your god's alignment). It just feels really limiting. Also converting half the damage to a different type feels like a slightly annoying amount of bookwork, but that could just be me.
This is also the only mystery benefit that requires you to be under the effects of your curse to get the full benefit. One bonus damage is fine at low levels, but it'd be really nice if it scaled naturally and was disconnected from the curse.
One final note: the damage on cataclysm (or whatever the spell winds up being named) feels low, and only gaining 1d6 every two levels is not a lot.
Its come up because its represented by a feat in the playtest - which seems to indicate developer interest in the concept at this point, as opposed to down the road.
Sure, but fans of sythesism seem unhappy with how it was presented. It being a class feat that any summoner can take puts limits over how strong it can be. Making it a class archetype brings a higher level of influence over base class features, like how manifesting the eidolon works. I think it's better to wait until it can be done right instead of rushing it out so players can have it asap.
Here's a question: if synthesist was an archetype in the past, why are people pushing for it to be a base class option now? Wouldn't it be more prudent to add it as a class archetype, either in this book or in a future one?
Tempest oracles only get that weakness and resistance when under the moderate effects of their curse, not all the time. If you give players too many free customization options, especially ones that aren't thematically tied together, you wind up with players only looking to min-max. Every eidolon will have slashing resistance 5, sonic weakness 5. Or as it's also known, slashing resistance 5.
I'm opposed to summoner as a "you turn into a dragon" class because I feel that vision usurps the identity of the eidolon. Your eidolon is no longer an entity in its own right, it's just a suit you put on and take off. I'm more more in favor of "you can summon a dragon and also you can turn into that dragon." Save turning into other creatures for another class where that's the main focus.
I like the synthesis feat because it makes synthesis summoning optional. The feat doesn't need to be published as-is, it can be buffed or changed to fit the needs of the fantasy. If players are dead-set on synthesis manifesting being the only option for a dedicated synthesis summoner, then maybe the whole thing should be cut from the base class and made a class archetype, either in this book or a later one.
Sure, but in comparison to Oracle Mysteries or Sorcerer Bloodlines, type of Eidolon currently has a very small impact. It determines Spell List, two skills, and literally nothing else on the Summoner, and only a few specific abilities on the Eidolon itself. There's plenty of room for another choice there.
I'm totally fine with the final version of eidolons having more benefits and customization options. Some options include giving the summoner a unique focus spell, a bonus cantrip, or a special ability akin to blood magic or mystery benefits.
My problem is that most of the "customization" suggestions I've seen involve overhauling major features of the class (cutting spellcasting, changing manifesting your eidolon works, removing the eidolon entirely in favor of a bunch of summon spells). If those kind of options are ever presented, I think they're best saved for class archetypes.
If you don't care about the standard eidolon, why are you playing a summoner? Summoners are the "conjures a powerful unique ally" class, not the "turns into a dragon/angel/ghost/beast" class.
Yeah, Wizards get both a Thesis and a School. I think Summoners getting both an Eidolon Type and a Class Path is entirely reasonable.
Apples to oranges. Sorcerers don't get an option to completely change how their bloodline spells manifest, nor do oracles get the option to significantly alter the way curses work. Not all class options are equally impactful; just because one class gets two lower-impact options doesn't mean all classes are entitled to two options.
Or just have different paths for different types of summoners as has been suggested before.
It seems clear to me that the different eidolons are intended to be the different paths for the class. They're analogous to sorcerer bloodlines or witch patrons. Different paths beyond that point should be relegated to feat trees.
2. Summoners don't actually summon anything. There's a bit of Feat support, but with only four spells a day, and likewise only four in your repertoire, I'm not even sure the Feats are really worth it. Some inherent Summon ability, perhaps as a pool like Clerics have for Heal or Harm seems like it would be a good option. This is a power up, but frankly not a very big one given the action economy...
I'm against this idea, at least as far as comparing it to clerics' divine font. If summmoners get do get bonus summon spells, I really think they should be gated behind a feat, not built-in as a class feature.
I've said this before, but I think keeping the name "summoner" was a mistake. Binder, invoker, caller, eidolist... anything that doesn't set up the expectation that conventional minion summoning is their modus operandi.
Samir Sardinha wrote:
Summoner already has subclasses: the different eidolons. Same way witches have lessons, sorcerers have bloodlines, and oracles have mysteries.
Ice Titan wrote:
Basically thread title. 4 spells known total and you have to choose summon x feels extremely weird for the class called the Summoner.
It's for exactly this reason that I supported the idea of changing the name of the class to something like "binder" or "invoker." The focus of the class should be on the unique nature of the eidolon. That's the cool, unique thing summoners bring to the table, not their ability to constantly summon minions. Those two class features always felt very disconnected.
I like the idea of there being feats that make summoning creatures better to appeal to players who like that playstyle. I don't like the idea of summoners getting extra access to summon spells just because it's in the name.
Misfire should be there. It's always been a problem with guns, and still is today.
I don't see how it's any more of a problem than swords getting dull or bowstrings snapping, two other real-world weapon malfunctions that the rules of the game completely ignore.
If misfires exist in any capacity (and I don't think they should), they should be only be a factor when the person using the firearm is untrained with them. If someone builds their character to use guns, their guns shouldn't randomly break in their hands. As I've pointed out before, casters no longer have to make concentration checks to see if they randomly loose their spells. The same courtesy should be applied to firearms.
A triggered action doesn't really make sense. If anything I'd make the feat an action that includes the attack. Again, I want this to work with ranged attacks as well as melee.
I figured that it had enough boxes you had to check to make it fair as a freebie: it has to be a critical hit, it has to be a nonlethal attack, and it has to deal bludgeoning damage. There are comparable feats that offer similar straight-upgrade effects.
My feat still requires players to make an attack roll first, so it's not like it's entirely outside the player's hands. I decided to make it not an action so it could potentially work with any source of bludgeoning damage. I wanted to leave the option open for players to make amusing and clever plays like taking out a guard with a thrown rock.
How does this look?
What is an occultist to you? I'm trying to wrap my head around the concept. If it really can be summed up as "They collect magical trinkets that give them spells" then it's entirely possible that it could work as an archetype instead of a full class.
That's a fair interpretation of the word. The problem is, if the condition we currently call undetected was renamed to hidden, then what do we name the condition we currently call hidden?
One reason they might have gone with the names they did is so that the result of successfully performing the Hide action is that you become hidden.
The problem is that there aren't two English words that can easily differentiate between "a creature knows you are present but doesn't know where you are" and "a creature knows where you are but can't perceive you directly." They went with undetected and hidden, but honestly hidden could have worked for either one of them.
Considering how distinct all the different geniekin are, I presume that there will be different versatile heritages for each of them.
That said, I was rather disappointed by how they handled versatile heritages in the APG. When the book dropped, I was not looking forward to choosing between low light vision, low light vision, low light vision, low light vision, and low light vision, with all additional customization options gated behind an ancestry feat.
I would have preferred it if the versatile heritages gave your the option to take any lineage feat for that heritage as a bonus feat or take improved vision.
It could be roughly determined from the monsters' AC and reflex saves. Your AC is 10 plus your level plus your armor's AC bonus plus your proficiency with your armor plus your dexterity modifier. Take out the armor's AC bonus and you have 10 + level + dex mod + armor proficiency. If we assume that a monster's armor proficiency is roughly equal to its proficiency at reflex saves, then that's basically the same thing.
Add 10 a monster's reflex save modifier. If that number is greater than the monster's AC, then the difference is (again, roughly) how much benefit the monster is getting from whatever armor it has.
Not saying I like the idea of armor-piercing bullets, but it's feasible.
My thought process was that I was following the standard 2e feat trick of combining a group of actions into one activity that is one action less (draw weapon + move to enemy + attack + keep moving), but I sort of botched it by only letting you move up to one Speed total. I also completely forgot that the Samurai Dedication would almost certainly come with Quick Draw, compared to which Lightning Draw is slightly better (I'm pretty sure Quick Draw still triggers reactions) and slightly worse (you can Quick Draw any weapon).
My thought was that multiple occult classes (psychic, mesmerist, possibly spiritualist) could be combined into one class with different disciplines. Just like druids pick an order to focus on one area of nature, this class pick a discipline to focus on one mental ability. Telekinesis, mind reading, hypnotism, maybe even communing with the dead could all be areas of focus.
You could also recreate psychic magic's emotion and thought components with a metamagic action or feat that replace any verbal and somatic components of a spell with "phrenic components" or something that lets them cast spells while remaining perfectly still and silent.
The threshold is pretty much the opposite of your concern: is the concept broad enough to have anywhere between forty and sixty feats exploring it? I'm currently on the fence about whether or not the shifter concept has that much depth. It's possible that it does. But when I look at the wild druidic order and see about half of the functions of the shifter class already available, it does make me wonder.
I think any can be turned into its own class, but that doesn't mean it should be turned into its own class. There's a threshold of mechanics that need to be crossed to justify an entire class, which has, in the past, lead to some classes having a lot of mechanical bloat.
This is especially a concern in 2e where a class is required to not only have defining mechanics, but also a few dozen feats going from first level all the way to 20th. I think that most of what I've seen people waning out of the shifter could be achieved by an archetype that grants benefits similar to those granted by the wild druidic order.
I think that "deals more damage" traits like this really depend on what the design goal is for guns. Are they meant to be comparable to other ranged weapons in terms of lethality, or are they meant to be significantly stronger, requiring a heavier investment of feats and/or money to use properly?
Speaking of traits, in 1e shotgun-like weapons were given the scatter trait, which meant they attacked in a short-range cone, and a lot of homebrew 2e firearm rules I've seen have replicated that feature. I'm personally not a fan of this, as I don't think any gun has ever had a spread that wide or a range that short. Nobody ever fired a gun and hoped to hit everything directly in front of them. I think shotgun-type weapons should be single-target weapons with short range increments and maybe a trait like spread that reduces the attack roll penalty for firing beyond its range increment from -2 to -1.
I thought I was clear that Versatile and Skilled do fully apply to people outside the Eurocentric fantasy norm. Hunter-gatherers are skilled, priests with extracurricular skills are versatile. However, I don't think the presentation in P2 suggests that. I think it's clear that humans are "regular" and are considered versatile and skilled,, and I think that has a not-incidental connection to the trope white middle-class people are "regular" and are considered versatile and skilled. I think this is really even clearer when you contrast the Versatile heritage with the Quah Bond feat. Clearly, some humans are more versatile than others.
Humans get to be treated as the default because this game is exclusively played by humans. Assuming that everyone who plays the game is straight, white, male, or any other demographic is wrong because this game can and should be approachable to everyone. Seeing as we're all humans, I fail to see how making them the most versatile option is wrong because it reminds you of past decisions that were wrong.
S. J. Digriz wrote:
If misfires rarely came up and were easily mitigated, I don't see how they could be called "fundamental." For the same reason spellcasters no longer have to make concentration checks to see if they randomly can't cast their spells, I don't think gunslingers should randomly have their weapons break.
The role of "half-crazy fighters using dangerous weapons" seems to have been usurped by alchemists. Gunslingers seem to be more along the lines of steely-eyed, tough-as-nails warriors who kill with precision.
What would a typical turn for a summoner look like? A typical turn for a fighter is some combination of Stride or Step, one or two Attack actions, and Raise Shield. For a spellcaster it's Stride or Step and two or three spellcasting actions, divided over one or two spells and/or cantrips. So what do summoners do? They have one action tied up in commanding their eidolon, which will probably use both its actions to move and attack or attack twice. What does the summoner do for their other two actions?
I also advocate dropping the summon monster aspect from the class. It feels disjointed with the whole eidolon aspect, and it doesn't work with how minions function in 2e. And for good reason: giving one player almost double the actions per turn of every other player makes for very dull combats.
For that reason and others, I support changing the name of the class. "Binder" has already been suggested, but something like "invoker" could also work.
Also it wouldnt be that hard to have 2 very different paths. Druids do it, Sorcerers do it, Clerics do it. The problem at the moment is that we have no idea how Paizo would even start to convert the class.
In all those classes you mentioned, the core of the class stays the same. All druids are primal spellcasters, all clerics are divine spellcasters, all sorcerers cast from one tradition. The different druid orders, sorcerer bloodlines, and cleric doctrines change the secondary aspects of the class, but not the core.
What you're suggesting are two very different classes, one with a single customizable pet with story relevance and one that spams summon monster over and over again.