For both Sanctified Slayer Inquisitor and Arsenal Chaplain Warpriest you'll want a minimum of 5 levels, for Studied Target and Bane, or for Fervor and Weapon Training, respectively. Ideally, though, you'd want to go to either 7 or 10, for 3rd or 4th level spells. You could end up with something like Zen Archer 12/SS or AC 7/Medium 1.
Im pretty sure there was actually a faq that said 'yes, yes you are your own ally'.
There sure was an FAQ on it!
So the question is, for the purposes of this trait, does it make sense?
Okay, so you want something bigger and held up with magic rocks. That's fine, but I think the point was that the standard airship is only 50k, and has a magical engine that isn't some rare hard to find artifact.
So add in the cost of extra materials to make it bigger, and figure something out for the magic rocks. Unfortunately, fly isn't one of the spells that can be made permanent.
Okay, so slightly below decent, but it's putting most level appropriate enemies at roughly a coin flip to hit you, which should usually be enough for the high HP and fast healing to let you power through. +8 CON and fast healing 8 is a lot.
But you're right, a little below decent. So maybe once you can afford it that Wild armor is more appealing than discussed.
Btw, I am a bit interested in how you get "decent AC" as a strength-based large creature without armor.
4 natural armor from beast shape, 4 armor from a Wand of Mage Armor (which you could eventually replace with Wild armor or some decent barding), at least +2 DEX because you're going to want Combat Reflexes for some extra AoOs to go with that 20ft reach, and then some amount of bonuses from rings and amulets and such. It's not good AC, but it's enough to call decent.
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
I'd make this one a Half Elf as well so that she could use a Wand of Swift Girding to dress in her Octopus-Barding as a Standard Action.
Half-orc is generally preferred for the Amplified Rage trick, where you get a free valet familiar off your Bloodrager level and then sing so you both rage, and get yourself a healthy +8 to STR and CON. And fast healing 8, off Skald's Vigor.
Octopuses have 9 attacks.
9 attacks, plus grab attempts, and eventually plus contrict damage rolls. It's a lot of dice.
It's easy to mitigate the slowdown though, either by using a dice app if the GM is okay with it, or else pre-rolling while you wait for your turn. Not to mention just being ready and knowing what you're going to do before it gets to you. Just something you need to talk about with your GM and party, and not a good idea for inexperienced players.
With many dice apps, you can save the dice for an attack type and then just tell it how many times to roll, then just read down the list. Takes your 9 attack turn down to a however long it takes to push a button and read some numbers out.
Octoskald makes the best tank (Bloodrager 1/Serpent Herald Skald X).
1) Fast healing, DR, decent AC
I'm happy to go into more build details, if anybody is interested.
Oh look, a "bad wrong fun" post.
People are allowed to play the game in whichever way is most fun to them. The fun of the people who like a more structured system with clear and rigid rules is no less valid than the fun of people who prefer loose interpretation, "rule of cool", "theatre of the mind", etc.
I'm not entirely sure why other people feel the need to enforce that things should be enjoyed the way they personally enjoy them or else not at all.
Most PVP among well built characters just comes down to who wins the init roll anyway.
To be fair, though, nothing says your GM can't throw a competent archer enemy at you. Which still doesn't matter much because any competent summoner is basically always going to have up Barkskin, Ablattive Barrier, and Clayskin or Stoneskin, and have solid AC because they can wear armor and a Mithral buckler on top of the aforementioned Barkskin. It's not uncommon for level 10+ Summoners to be walking around with 30 or more AC.
So you missed me explaining how to double up your summons every round as a summoner then. Its unlikely to have 10 combats a day, but 5 rounds of combat per day is very likely.
Pretty much exactly this. The aforementioned wave of pouncing aerial dire tigers gets so much scarier when it's happening twice per round. That's a hell of a nova combat.
That is incorrect. The rules for Pounce specifically and clearly state otherwise.
When a creature with this special attack makes a charge, it can make a full attack (including rake attacks if the creature also has the rake ability).
Starting with SM3 there's a whole chain of pouncing cats to follow. Leopard -> Lion -> Tiger -> Dire Lion -> Dire Tiger. However, at the lower levels, you're likely to do a lot more damage summoning things like Aurochs to trample the enemies instead of trying to hit with low accuracy attacks. Once you hit Tigers though, the cats are almost always your best combat option for a long time.
Evolved Summoned Monster only works on one summoned creature per casting, so if you're doing multi-summons like this most of them are still stuck on 3 natural attacks. The rest of it works, though; Augmented Summon, Versatile Summon, and Superior Summons is a really great combo and well worth expending 4 feats.
No Evolved Summoned Monster in use here. Just the other feats you mentioned. Claw/Claw/Bite/Rake/Rake, with flight and electricity damage coming from Aerial template.
As far as spells go, for comparison sake, I have an 11th level unchained summoner in PFS, with 26 CHA. So this means his spells per day are, effectively:
34 total spell slots per day, not counting the fact that many of those SM6 castings can be turned into multiple additional spells by summoning things that have their own spells (which also gives the summoner access to a ton of additional spells).
Ryan Freire wrote:
A well built martial will mess up an eidolon within 1 round by 11th. Dealing with summons can be an issue but a properly built martial vs most summons is like feeding kittens into a wood chipper.
Well, once the summoner hits 13, 1d3+1 augmented aerial dire tigers pouncing at you for 5 attacks at +22 for die+10+2d6 electricity + free grapple will be difficult for MOST things to deal with. With 40ft perfect flight and 133hp each.
Derek Dalton wrote:
My biggest issue I have seen is a Summoner's spell selection is way more limited. A Conjurer Wizard even with prohibited spells gets a more varied selection. And at higher levels can remove one prohibited school. The Summoner does get a few spells earlier then Wizards but that doesn't make up for the lack of spells a Wizard can choose.
I mean, it doesn't really matter if the wizard gets a lot more different spells if most of them aren't worth using and you'll never prep them.
Don't forget that many things you summon come with spells of their own. This gives you access to tons of additional spells, including many the wizard never gets.
Don't expect to be great at healing. Combat healing is never good, and wands of CLW or Infernal Healing are too cheap to beat.
Your main role should be buffing. Inspire Courage is amazing and there are several ways to either increase the bonus it gives or add extra bonuses, to thoroughly buff your party. As soon as you can sing as a Move action, your first turn should almost always be Inspire Courage + Haste.
At level 7, you could easily be giving an almost constant +5 or +6 to attack and damage to the whole party, including yourself. While I agree with whoever said archery is not a great plan for a bard, If you just pick up Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, and Deadly Aim, its probably fine. So at 7 that leaves you with one feat slot left for Master Performer.
With a composite long bow, and the above mentioned things, your round 2 could be 3 solid attacks. Also you should DEFINITELY swap your DEX and your CHA.
Roughly +14/+14/+14 for 1d8+17 per arrow, give or take. Perfectly solid numbers for 7th level, especially given the amount you're also buffing the team.
Edit: Forgot about Heroism, which you should very often have up on yourself. So +16/+16/+16.
Even if we ignore archetypes, the summoner is simply the best at what it does.
If your goal is to summon things, the Summoner (APG or Unchained, doesn't matter) gets more uses of the best summons than anybody else, at standard action right out of the box (which is much more broken than most people give it credit for), and they last longer, getting to a point where you can often go multiple battles on the same summon.
In addition to that, they've got one of the best spell lists in the game (only slightly worse for Unchained), and their summons don't use up their spell slots, so they've got a lot to go around.
They've also got a great set of class skills, and if you're built to use summons for combat then your eidolon can be built to be a pocket rogue, and you just pull it out to show off its obscenely high skills in the things you need.
The only real competition for it as a monster summoner is the Monster Tactician Inquisitor, because it gets to do the same summoning shtick but buff them up with teamwork feats, in exchange for a worse spell list and no eidolon rogue buddy.
I almost always multiclass, but I have a handful of go-to classes to accomplish different things. Usually what I'll do is base a build around a specific class I want to play, or specific abilities I want to use, and then multiclass into something to enhance plan A or fill in holes.
All that said, I tend to gravitate toward the 6th level casters most. Especially Warpriest and Skald.
Honestly, even hitting touch AC, guns aren't great. Misfire is a much, much bigger detriment than most people realize, and getting to a point where you don't have to worry about it requires a large investment. On top of that, making it so you can reload guns fast enough to make multiple attacks a round requires a heavy investment. It takes a lot of feats (most of the archery feats plus gun feats) and a lot of money to be competent with a gun. And/or a lot of luck. Not to mention that being able to hit touch in the first place requires them to be close enough for enemies to walk up and hit them.
Whereas an archer can stand 100ft away and pepper an enemy with multiple arrows a round for just a couple feats, at a fraction of the cost, and doesn't break their weapon on a nat 1. And a bunch of different classes can be competent archers, while if you want to use a gun competently you're almost locked into gunslinger.
I agree with the people saying they ban evil PCs. Aside from a game specifically intended to all play evil, it just causes problems. There are very few character options that, when used properly within the rules, honestly deserve a ban. The Razmiran Priest sorcerer archetype is the first to come to mind.
Two octopus builds I love:
Octoskald - Serpent Herald Skald archetype, which allows you to wild shape into aquatic animals. Be half-orc and start out with a level of Bloodrager, grabbing a bloodline familiar for the Amplified Rage trick. Eventually through rage powers you could even become a pouncing octopus. Take the trait Strength of Submission to be able to benefit from your own Heroism even more.
Octopriest - Druid 4 then into Warpriest, picking up Shaping Focus. Get the benefits of choosing tentacle as your sacred weapon and getting some large static bonuses from Divine Favor. And you absolutely want the Arsenal Chaplain archetype, for even more static bonuses (plus Gloves of Dueling). Also still be half-orc, and take Fate's Favored trait, because effectively getting +1 to attack, damage, and all saves for a single trait is nuts.
With either of these builds you'll want to be taking Combat Reflexes and Phalanx Formation (or picking up Combat Sandals), and you'll probably want to dip a level of Medium of the Master, and grab the Spirit Focus feat, because +4 to damage his a huge bonus for your secondary attacks, and the rest of what you get from the level is just gravy.
Final level distributions would probably looking something like...
The Summoner is just a ringleader, yanking things from their world into his circus.
Summoner was already one of my favourite classes, with focusing on monster summoning being one of my favorite ways to play, but you just somehow made me like those things even more.
I feel like there's a lot more flavor to monster summoning than you give it credit for. Imagine the book worm, immersing himself in monster lore tomes. One day he finds a book that teaches him how to call manifestations of these creatures to his side for a short time to do his bidding. His long hours with his head in a book have given him the knowledge he needs to know just the right creature to summon for just the right occasion.
BAM. Monster Summoner.
While it doesn't TECHNICALLY meet your criteria, I'm pretty confident that the strongest possible Gestalt character is a Master Summoner/Evangelist Cleric combination. Take a domain that gives you a familiar, and eventually pick up Improved Familiar to turn it into an Air Wysp. Take Versatile Summon Monster so you can summon aerial version of your best summons (like eventually flying dire tigers). As soon as your bard song gets to move action or better, you're golden.
Sneak Attack isn't a very good ability unless you have a reliable way to use it. Counting on being able to flank with a party member is not what I would call "reliable", personally. Also worth noting that tons of common enemies are immune to it.
That said, if having Sneak Attack and a bunch of skill ranks is what you want to do, Vivisectionist Alchemist (best paired with Beastmorph) is a super solid choice.
The differences I get between monster and eidolon rend wording are:
1) Eidolon rend only ever applies to claws, no other forms of natural attack
Rend triggers on two successful claw attacks in one round, i.e. on the second hit. The forth hit is not the second hit.
The eidolon rend ability does not read the same as the ability from the monster rules.
Most notably, the monster ability says "two or more" and "no more than once per round", while the eidolon ability does not.
I'm not necessarily saying that it should trigger for each two hits with claws and I'm not saying it shouldn't. Just pointing out that the difference in wording should be noted and taken into account.
Monster Rend wrote:
If it hits with two or more natural attacks in 1 round, a creature with the rend special attack can cause tremendous damage by latching onto the opponent’s body and tearing flesh. This attack deals an additional amount of damage, but no more than once per round. The type of attacks that must hit and the additional damage are included in the creature’s description. The additional damage is usually equal to the damage caused by one of the attacks plus 1-1/2 times the creature’s Strength bonus.
Eidolon Rend wrote:
An eidolon learns to rip and tear the flesh of those it attacks with its claws, gaining the rend ability. Whenever the eidolon makes two successful claw attacks against the same target in 1 round, its claws latch onto the flesh and deal extra damage. This damage is equal to the damage dealt by one claw attack plus 1-1/2 times the eidolon’s Strength modifier. The eidolon must possess the claws evolution to select this evolution. The summoner must be at least 6th level before selecting this evolution.
For your particular build, Mage Armor is mostly useful for the Eidolon, or any party member who doesn't have armor of his/her own.
Using a wand of Alter Summoned Monster is a cute idea, but I feel like it would be too slow to be worth it, since it can only get one at a time. Most of the time you'll just want it to be doing Haste or something.
If you're going with the eidolon using wands plan, the sooner you can get its UMD to +19 the better. The last thing you want is to have it wasting actions on failed activations. If you choose UMD as a class skill and max out the ranks in it, and give it Skilled (UMD) you should be able to get close. You could also theoretically give the eidolon a 50gp masterwork tool to help it with activating wands with UMD (+2 circumstance bonus), if your GM will let you.
Half-Orc (Orc Atavism alternate racial for full Ferocity)
Effectively 125 HP on an average False Life roll, counting Ferocity as virtual HP.
Responses to responses :)
1) It's only partly about being risky. It's more about wasted resources on splitting your attention. Don't underestimate the insane damage you're going to be pumping out with flying tigers + bard buddy. Easier to get the Quarterstaff I mentioned before. Gives you an always useful pot shot, and if you REALLY want to you're holding a +1 stick to bash things.
2) More people being good at Knowledge is never a bad thing, and if you want to be using crafting feats you're going to NEED a good Spellcraft bonus. Swapping DEX/CON is a matter of preference, mostly. Fort saves are more important than Reflex generally, but I'd rather have more AC and init over a couple more HP. Of course that scale weighs the other way if you're still set on taking Noble Scion, I guess. I will say that Noble Scion + Circlet is something very cute I hadn't considered before.
3-4) I can understand your concerns about traits and race not playing into the RP character you want to be, I guess. I generally mold my character to fit the mechanics I want to be using, rather than the other way around.
Just because you're an Ifrit doesn't mean you HAVE to be a hot headed and impatient. Especially with Mostly Human. You're still PRETTY MUCH a regular dude, even count as human, except that grandma had a tryst with a fire genie. She was wild in her youth. As a result, you can see in the dark and are a little quicker to react. And more charismatic.
I fully get not wanting to grab Finding Haleen, though. But definitely axe Armor Expert. Is garbo. You really don't NEED a mithral breastplate. You're still going to be tanky as hell for a dedicated caster (magic mithral chain shirt, magic mithral buckler, Barkskin, good DEX, DR 5/Adamantine, Ablative Barrier, buy a Ring of Prot, etc).
5) Diehard should work fine for the summons, but in my experience it's just not needed/worthwhile. You'll have enough summons per day that you'll be able to just resummon if your things die anyway. I've never felt like I needed more HP on my summons.
6) Versatile Summon Monster is beyond useful. There are some good water or air options, but they're not as good as just making your best thing work in water or air. As for the burrow thing, keep in mind that you wouldn't just be granting a burrow speed to your tiger. You're getting a tiger that is a native to the elemental plane of earth. Burrowing is just a thing it does, it's natural to it. Same goes for aerial or aqueous things with flying/swimming. You also get a decent little damage boost from the elemental templates.
7) Fate's Favored + Stone of Good Luck is fine, but you're spending a lot of money and a feat to be slightly better at some things. It's not bad, it's just not as amazing as a lot of people make it out to be. It's fine for when you're higher level and have more money than you know what to do with.
8) There are a few spells on the Summoner list that become much more useful just by having False Focus (like Pellet Blast, for example). But also there's a whole list of spells that can get improvements from various alchemical power components. Increase the resistance on Resist Energy, add Itching Powder to Glitterdust, increased caster level for a lot of things, etc). You don't really NEED to feat (especially if you're picking up a Quarterstaff of Entwined Serpents, which grants you free Eschew). It's just a nice to have option for if you're looking to fill a feat slot.
8 but I meant 9) I don't think you're going to get enough usefulness out of Evolved Summon Monster to be worth blowing feat tax on it. Or even on the feat itself.
11) Eeeeeh. You lose too much going Half-Elf, in my opinion, and don't gain enough in return.
12) Using Long Arm is eating up an in combat action for little return, and it's some of what I said before about wasting resources on splitting your focus. You're not going to be good at hitting things, don't waste actions and spells on it. You don't need to be up there flanking and making AoOs, your buffed summons are going to shred things. And no, Mass Bull's Strength will NOT stack with Augment. They are both Enhancement bonuses. Greater Heroism is a good buff but not worth a 4th level spell slot, in my opinion.
Planar Binding is a headache for some people, I don't blame you for not taking it. I don't really see infernal healing as being out of character for any character who is focused on using and exploiting extra-planar creatures, but that's just my opinion I guess. Once you can start summoning things with healing spells it kinda stops mattering anyway. As for the Pit spells, I mostly likely the idea of doing cute shenanigans with them. Like casting an Acid pit on a laid out blanket and then having two of your flying summons pick it up and fly around the battlefield scooping enemies up...
13) Overlight Flight is always the right choice. 20% miss chance is fine.
14) Grabbing Craft Wand to be able to more cheaply give better wands to your Eidolon is definitely a good idea. The skill evolutions mean that your eidolon should just about never fail a Disable Device, UMD, Perception, or [insert the skill you care most about that you can't do yourself here] check. It'll definitely still be useful after level 10.
15) You'll want to use the lesser Extend rods primarily on 10min/level+ buffs, like Barkskin, Clay Skin, Resist Energy, Ablative Barrier, etc. And normal Extend for things like Overland Flight. Keep in mind, though, that even for the lower duration spells, once you get into higher levels, getting 20+ minutes of a 1min/level buff is not nothing.
Alright, I suppose in fairness there's no reason not to share my suggestions, in the spirit of optimization.
1) I don't think the plan to carry around a spear and be up in melee range to flank is a great idea, for a number of reasons. Any intelligent enemies will go for the Summoner first, part of the job of your summons is to be the ones providing flanking, etc. Generally speaking, you really want to treat Summoner as a dedicated caster.
2) Your ability score distribution seems a little off to me. Even with the plan to be like semi-melee, you'd be better off with a different arrangement. Personally, with that array, I'd probably go 12/16/14/17/12/20, or something similar. But I like skill ranks and knowledge/spellcraft bonuses.
3) Human is always a solid race choice, but you're not really taking advantage of the bonus feat. Noble Scion (War) is cool, but you've already got a solid DEX score, so you're only getting +2 init from it at this point. Instead, I highly recommend going Ifrit (Mostly Human, Wildfire Heart). This way you're getting a +4 racial bonus to Initiative, perfect racial score adjustments for a Summoner, and still count as human. And you get Darkvision.
4) Armor Expert is kinda garbage. If your GM would allow it, Finding Haleen is the go-to busted trait. I would swap that in over Outlander, and put in Reactionary over Armor Expert, so you're still getting the +2 init. Even if not those choices specifically, I definitely feel that your trait choices are subpar.
5) Summon Good Monster isn't worth it until 11 when it adds Kirin to your list of summons. I wouldn't take it until then, if at all.
6) Versatile Summon Monster is one of the best feats you can get. Make sure you choose Aerial and Aqueus. In the sky? Flying tigers! Something underwater? Aquatic tigers! Take this early.
7) Extra Traits seems like a complete waste here, especially for two meh traits on this guy.
8) False Focus is super good for any Arcane caster. There are guides out there for it, but the main takeaway is that you spend 100gp on a holy symbol tattoo, and you get a way, way better version of Eschew Materials. Combining this with alchemical power components adds some really solid bonus effects on spells.
8) Spell Focus (Conjuration) seems like a mostly wasted feat slot for a Master Summoner. Other summoners only bother with it as tax for Augment.
10) The Summoner has an insanely good spell list, and you're going to want more of those spells. With that in mind, Expanded Arcana is a fine feat for when you're trying to fill a slot. Especially considering that your provided list of spells is missing some of the best ones on the Summoner list.
11) Evolved Summon Monster is okay, but often tends to be overkill, unless you have a specific plan in mind for the evolutions you're choosing. Might be better off taking Extra Evolutions to make up for lost evo points on your eidolon.
12) We gotta talk about this spell selection. Long Arm, Mass Bull's Strength, and Greater Heroism are all mostly garbage, among some of the other spells you've chosen. You're missing some of the best spells on the Summoner list (Mage Armor, Infernal Healing, Clay Skin, See Invisibility, Ablative Barrier, Heroism, the Planar Binding line, and the higher level Pit spells, off the top of my head). You should be taking Overland Flight AS SOON as you get access to it, not all the way down at 16.
13) With the limited number of evo points your eidolon gets as a Master Summoner, and with the fact that you have access to Overland Flight at 10, using Aspect to grant yourself a fly speed is mostly just a waste. Building your lesser eidolon as a pocket rogue is absolutely the right choice. Use all the evo points to make it better at doing that. Also make to get its UMD to a point where it can never fail to use a wand.
14) As a Master Summoner, you may be tempted to summon multiple sets of things in a single combat. Don't do it, outside of special circumstances. More often than not, you'll want to keep your eidolon out while you're summoning and have it using wands of useful spells on the things you summon and the rest of the party. Even something as simple as a Wand of Bless would be great, but eventually you can get more expensive wands (Haste is an obvious choice).
15) With the amazing list of buffs on your list, you absolutely want invest in a couple of Extend rods (probably a lesser or two and a regular). You also want a mithril buckler. The rest of your gear looks fine. I might not make the same choices, but there's nothing outright bad there. I'm also a fan of Quarterstaff of Entwined Serpents, because Magic Missile is a fine pot shot for after you summon.
16) You want your Bard to take Master Performer and Grand Master Performer, probably. Also he should definitely have Good Hope. Amazing spell, Bard list only.
As a few other general tips:
I spent the last 10 minutes typing up a bunch of things about your build, but then I realized something.
Your GM is letting you play a Master Summoner AND have ridiculous scores AND take leadership AND take magical crafting feats? He's not even making you go Unchained. Yikes.
Your build doesn't matter. You could make all the wrong choices and still be a bored god roaming the country side.
Have fun, be fair to your party mates, and good friggin' luck to your GM...
Philippe Lam wrote:
Aberrant Bloodrager with a protector tumor isn't strictly damage mitigation, but evenly distributing the damage allows to last way longer
Sadly, they killed they combination when they reprinted the Protector archetype in Ultimate Wilderness.
Protector Archetype wrote:
Protector familiars are so devoted that they would give their lives for their masters. A tumor familiar can’t be a protector.
I've never once seen someone rule that Magus didn't work exactly the way everybody knows it works, and has known for years.
Sounds like you had a GM make a bad call. Sorry to hear it.
If, as a level 17 full caster, the "best" thing you have to do is cast Haste on the party or use a bad damage spell, then you are absolutely doing full caster wrong.
Even as a very basic option, something like Persistent Dazing Fireball exists. Double reflex save (DC 24ish?) or else take 10d6 and daze for 3 rounds. Very effective, can be done at level 10 (with the Persistent Spell feat and a Dazing rod), and puts the majority of combats into cleanup mode for the martials at the table. And that's assuming you've put no other investment into this plan. And assuming your plan as a full caster is to hurt things.
Part of why trying to do this plan as a Barbarian is sub-optimal.
By my own suggestion above, as a Bloodrager/Skald you get access to both Infernal Healing and Cure Light Wounds wands without UMD, and you've got some spells you can use to heal yourself, plus the fast healing granted by Skald's Vigor. These things together make it pretty viable to go all day without outside assistance.
Also, while not PFS legal (so not useful for OP since he's specifically looking for PFS stuff), other people reading this thread may also be interested in another great option for trying to do this: Synthesist Summoner. You effectively end up with double HP, and Summoner has access to a lot of really solid defensive buffs (Clayskin, Ablative Barrier, etc). You also get to very easily be a real threat, so things WILL come after you.
Half-Orc Bloodrager 1/Skald 10
Bloodline Familiar (Valet Compsognathus)
The rest doesn't really matter. Super high STR, super high CON, and lots of fast healing. Plus tons of versatility, thanks to spells, skills, etc.
If you want to be extra good at this plan, take the Orc Atavism alternate racial trait (gives Ferocity).
If you just want to go basic, pick up your favourite two-handed weapon and go to town. If you want to be more of a combat wrecking monster, there are some sweet options for that available to the Skald.