Pathfinder Player Companion: Monster Summoner's Handbook (PFRPG)

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Pathfinder Player Companion: Monster Summoner's Handbook (PFRPG)
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Call upon otherworldly powers and summon beings from beyond with Pathfinder Player Companion: Monster Summoner's Handbook! Featuring dozens of new feats, magic items, archetypes, and character options designed to grant you control over fantastic beasts and enhance your summoning prowess, this player-friendly volume contains everything you need for your adventurer to command forces benign or malevolent, divine or alien. Call upon never-before-seen creatures and claim all the tools you need to make yourself a true master of monsters!

Inside this book, you'll find:

  • New options for summoning spells, including expanded lists of creatures to summon, new planar templates, and options to create a guardian spirit.
  • New archetypes that allow bloodragers to become effective monster summoners, enable druids to summon elemental allies, and give summoners the power to counter enemy summoning.
  • Advice on dealing with different types of outsiders that can be called and bound, and two brand-new creatures appropriate for such magic.
  • Details on conjuring- and summoning-focused groups throughout the Inner Sea region, including the Blackfire Adepts, Bloodstone Conservatory, and Hellknight signifers.
  • New feats, magic items, spells, and other rules options to enhance your character's effectiveness when fighting against summoned creatures.

This Pathfinder Player Companion is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Pathfinder campaign setting, but can easily be incorporated into any fantasy world.

Written by Alexander Augunas, Tyler Beck, Anthony Li, Luis Loza, David N. Ross, Owen K.C. Stephens, and Linda Zayas-Palmer
Cover art by J. P. Targete

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-758-1

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Player Companion Subscription.

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Great book!

4/5

There's tons of mechanics in here; not just pictures. I especially like the Herald Caller cleric archetype which allows your character to be a super effective divine summoner of sorts.


Not a summoner fan, still impressed.

4/5

This book is a summoner's best friend! Includes a MASSIVE list of additional creatures that can be summoned by the various summon spells. Adds quite a few new templates, and spells/feats that lets you apply them on already existing summon monster spells, adds lots of archetypes for classes to specialize more on summoning creatures, even for classes you wouldn't expect. Adds sever archetypes for Summoners, both unchained and normal, likely will be PFS legal. Overall I cannot believe how much they managed to cram into this book, not all of it will apply to every character, but critical for any GM, and useful for anyone who will be summoning anything. Ever.


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Melkiador wrote:
I love the concept of summoning, and was so excited when I found out Pathfinder had a Summoner class. I'm still a bit sad about how looked down upon that class is.

Many of its features need polishing, and its spell list break way too many rules. Pathfinder Unchained might fix some of those issues.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I don't suppose that's a mahar on the front cover?


If that were a Mahar I'd almost drive to Washington to buy this directly from the Paizo's front door!


Kain Darkwind wrote:
I don't suppose that's a mahar on the front cover?

That's a summoned Daemon from the third Book of the Damned, Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Superscriber

One thing that always makes me a little sad -- low-level wizards summoning monsters get them for only a few seconds. A summoner gets them for a minute, or, once you're out of first level, a few minutes. It really makes the conjurer wizards feel inadequate in comparison.

In combat, I get having the limit. Indeed, there I think the summoner ought to have the same limit as the wizard (or, perhaps, the conjurer wizard with the school ability that gives him a couple of extra rounds).

The problem is that the restrictions put in place so that low-level summoning is limited in combat then imposes extreme reductions on the utility of summoned monsters outside of combat. And this, to me, is too bad, because I like the idea of conjurers being able to use their ability so summon creatures as more than just a combat trick.

I should probably house rule as GM that if you summon something out of combat, the duration is minutes/level instead of rounds/level, but that once combat begins it becomes rounds/level. That may not make sense from a in-world-physics point of view (insofar as one can use the word "physics" to talk about magically summoning monsters), but from a game balance point of view it's how I'd like to see things done. I'd apply this to summoner summoned monsters as well as wizard summoned monsters.

Of course, I'd like to see that as the actual game rule, rather than my house rule, so that it'd work in PFS, and so that one could go to a new game guessing that that was probably how things would work.


Rknop, I do like your idea about giving the conjurer wizard a longer duration on their summon monster spells.

While I forget where it is, there IS a feat somewhere in the official Pathfinder material that allows you to add a few rounds on to the duration of a spell provided you have Spell Focus for that school of magic.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

"...this player-friendly volume contains everything you need to transform your adventurer into a herald of forces benign or malevolent, divine or alien."

Could Old Cultists and Night Heralds finally get some lovin'?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Eric Hinkle wrote:
Kain Darkwind wrote:
I don't suppose that's a mahar on the front cover?
That's a summoned Daemon from the third Book of the Damned, Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

:( The masters of Pellucidar will get their day.

Regarding the summons going from minutes to rounds, there is actually a precedent for that. The giant eagle summoning spell allows hours per level of flight, but if the eagles get into combat, they last only rounds per level. It lets you summon them for transport, but still allows them to function as a battle summon if needed.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Where is the spell for specifically summoning giant eagles?


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Bellona wrote:
Where is the spell for specifically summoning giant eagles?

Eagle Aerie


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thanks! :)


Will we be getting an animal summoner's guide as well?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Elrawien Lantherion wrote:
Will we be getting an animal summoner's guide as well?

If I had to guess, I'd say this book probably contains options for both summoner nature's ally and summon monster, in addition to other ways of 'summoning' monsters. (E.g. planar binding and ally are 'calling' spells, not summoning spells, but I bet they get some attention in this book.


I wonder when the cover art and description will be updated.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So... this gonna have support for the Unchained summoner?


Hopefully this will have more SM and SNA lists(or at least additions to the core ones) that will be legal in PFS.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I am guessing that they won't expand the basic list, but they may come up with additional feats like Summon Good Monsters that add monsters of a given type to the list.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
David knott 242 wrote:

I am guessing that they won't expand the basic list, but they may come up with additional feats like Summon Good Monsters that add monsters of a given type to the list.

Yeah, Paizo has been pretty straight-forward about not wanting to expand summon monster lists. Which is good I think, because as they point out, every time you throw a new monster on one of those spells, it becomes that much more versatile and potent.

I also expect that expansion will come in the form of feats, or perhaps archetypes, wizard discoveries, etc. We already have a bevy of magical items in Advanced Class guide that can expand monster lists - but in my opinion, they aren't quite enough.

I also very much hope that we get some spells/feats/whatever that allow for the summoning of creatures other than outsiders and nature-types. I want a creepy sorcerer than can summon oozes (beyond an uncontrollable black pudding), a summoner that calls down mi-go and elder things, or a dragon shaman with his buddies just a spell away.

Silver Crusade

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Will the Unchained Summoner be supported by tbis book? The PFS requirements dropped yesterday and a surprising amount of people bave commented that their concept doesn't work with the new version. A few more outsider types would really help.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

I'll say this much: All of the stuff that I turned over for this book that has to do with the Summoner class should be compatible with the Unchained Summoner, unless something was drastically changed in Development.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
David Neilson wrote:

I would be surprised if there was nothing for the summoner in the monster summoner's handbook. I am curious if we will see anything like masterpieces in the vein of "Legato of the Infernal Bargain". I know there have been feats to essentially open your summoning list up a little, and the wonderful new rings for summoning different strange outsiders.

When it comes to summoning monsters, a lot of stuff for summoners will pretty much overlap with summoning specialized sorcerers, clerics, and conjurers.

Silver Crusade

cartmanbeck wrote:
I'll say this much: All of the stuff that I turned over for this book that has to do with the Summoner class should be compatible with the Unchained Summoner, unless something was drastically changed in Development.

Good to hear. Figure feats and spells will be OK, but archetypes are probably right out. Anything that mods the eidolon's base form is already banned.

Was also hoping for some direct Unchained support in a companion book (like was done for mythic) but it doesn't appear to be in the cards. :-(

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Hey, if people clamor for an Unchained softcover companion book, I wouldn't be surprised if it becomes a reality. Just ask nicely and point out what you feel is missing for those four classes, and maybe they'll ask some of us freelancers to pitch in for one. :)

Scarab Sages Developer

Mythic got a direct support book to help contextualize mythic on Golarion, so people knew where it was and what it looked like within our campaign setting. The Unchained classes live in the same places as their core and base counterparts,m so that kind of localization isn't necessary.

This book has undergone much more development than usual, in part to make sure the summoner material for it works with both the APG summoner and the PU summoner, which altered many other choices and created space constraints that lead to yet more changes.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Will an alternate first worlder be in here for the "unchained" summoner? IF not, WHY not?

Silver Crusade

Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

Mythic got a direct support book to help contextualize mythic on Golarion, so people knew where it was and what it looked like within our campaign setting. The Unchained classes live in the same places as their core and base counterparts,m so that kind of localization isn't necessary.

This book has undergone much more development than usual, in part to make sure the summoner material for it works with both the APG summoner and the PU summoner, which altered many other choices and created space constraints that lead to yet more changes.

Very glad to hear both versions of the summoner were considered in production. Should make the book useful for the home campaign for certain. PFS will still be a maybe unfortunately. Will depend on the committee review and John and Mike.

Speaking of Golarion specific things, did you notice the Unchained Summoner can't summon a genie based eidolon? Isn't there some minor country whose history is built on genie binding? :-)

Call me crazy, but I think that makes a great background for a summoner. It's just not an option under the Unchained Summoner without some GM fiat. Currently. :-)


Cool, glad that the unchained Summoner will get some love. I hope all the unchained classes will get some love in future products.

It's unfortunate that the unchained Summoner didn't have that fourth Eidolon base form of a aquatic/fish base from the UM book I believe.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Justin Sluder wrote:
IF not, WHY not?

Because it's a 32 page book that has a LOT of ground to cover?

I'm more interested in mining it for things my devil-binding sorcerer can do.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

*fingers crossed* Please let there be a summoner with multiple eidolons, like in Final Fantasy.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Doesn't the Brood Summoner already do that?


I would love an unchained version of the first worlder archetype. Maybe they could increase the mental stats for there fey based Eidolon plus granting it fey related special abilities(at 1st, 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, and 20th) would be awesome. Such abilities would include DR/cold iron, unearthly grace, poison immunity, cold/elec. res. 10, favored terrain, natural invisibility, wings, various spell like abilities, etc.


Ross Byers wrote:
Doesn't the Brood Summoner already do that?

Brood Summoner can have multiple weak eidolons out at the same time, right? What a lot of people want is a summoner that has several different full strength eidolons, but can only have one out at a time.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Matrix Dragon wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:
Doesn't the Brood Summoner already do that?
Brood Summoner can have multiple weak eidolons out at the same time, right? What a lot of people want is a summoner that has several different full strength eidolons, but can only have one out at a time.

Ah. I see. They want six different pokeballs. (I never played any of the Final Fantasy games.)

The summon monster SLA is supposed to sort of fill that role. That would be the most obvious thing to trade in for having a roster of different eidolons. (You don't need to be able to swap for a celestial dolphin or an air elemental when you can build different eidolons for different situations.)

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Interesting. I'd write it, if someone from Paizo asked me to. I would do it third-party but I know there are lots of people who won't touch third-party material, unfortunately.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Cthulchu, I choose you! It'd be pretty cool to have something like that. Three choices, each must be a different base form, or something like that. It'd be a bookkeeping nightmare, of course, but unchained summoner makes it a little better.

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

A multi-eidolon (but still 1 at a time) could be cool. Would probably need to lose armor training for the summoner and the summon monster SLA. Might restrict eidolon rebuilds at level up too. Stagger the new eidolons in at different levels. Might modify Twin Eidolon to allow two different ones to be out at the same time. It's a reasonable concept.


If you check out the new Heroes of the Wild player companion, you'll see that it includes a new summoner archtype - the wild caller - this allows the summoner to call a plant eidolon with one of four base forms, BUT It also allows the summoner to vary the form which appears in different terrains, so you can have a tree version with one set of base evolutions in the forest and a fungus form with another set of base evolutions underground. Sadly, as this changes the base form of the eidolon, it will (I assume) not be eligible for PFS but it does get close to your idea of having multiple eidolons only one of which can be summoned at a time. I actually really like this new archtype, but i'm not sure yet if it works with the unchained summoner........in that sense, i really think paizo needs to specify which archtypes already published work with the new unchained summoner, as i for one am a bit confused......and i'm a fan of the limits imposed by the unchqined summoner (being both a GM and a player)


Just PLEASE tell me there is support for the Arcanist (Occultist)? Wizard discoveries and archetypes are great, but Occultist already is an archetype and they don't have access to Discoveries.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

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Unfortunately, as I wrote it, the Heroes of the Wild Wild Caller does not work with Unchained (because it doesn't have the level-based evolutions of the other Unchained eidolon types). I'm considering writing a third-party supplement that will make it compatible. I'll keep this thread updated on that.


Hey, thanks for that "inside info" :o). If you happen to be able to speak to the people in charge of such things at Paizo, do you think you could suggest to them that they (1) produce a free download with a list of the existing archetypes that work for the unchained summoner (and the other new unchained classes) and (2) perhaps also produce a free download with updates/reworkings for those archetypes that don't?

Its pretty obvious to me that the senior staff at Paizo really want to abandon the old APG summoner in gffavour of the new unchained summoner - and to some extent I can sympathise with this as the old version is very unweildy for GMs and also overpowered (IMHO) compared to some other classes. But if that is the plan, then they need to give us the archetypes for the new unchained summoner to help that process.

Just saying..........

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

What's the difference between the Heroes of the Wild Wild Caller and the ARG Wild Caller?

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Ross Byers wrote:
What's the difference between the Heroes of the Wild Wild Caller and the ARG Wild Caller?

The ARG one is a half-elven racial archetype that focuses on summoned animals and beasts, with its eidolon supposed to be more beastly rather than any sort of conventional celestial or fiendish entity. The HotW version is a summoner of plants, with a fully Plant-type Eidolon with different base forms, and even its Summon Monster ability altered into a Summon Nature's Ally one.


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ross Byers wrote:
What's the difference between the Heroes of the Wild Wild Caller and the ARG Wild Caller?

Both of them swap out their summon monster spell-like ability for a summon nature's ally spell-like ability, though the ARG Wild Caller trades out gate and the HotW Wild Caller retains it. The ARG Wild Caller, on the other hand, has a restricted list of evolutions but more evolution points to play with, while the HotW Wild Caller gains a plant eidolon (though not one immune to mind-affecting effects or polymorph effects) with different base forms (cactus, conifer, mushroom, and tree) with a limited ability to change base forms if desired based on terrain. Also, as written, the HotW Wild Caller retains access to summon monster spells while adding summon nature's ally spells to their spell list, while the ARG Wild Caller loses access to the summon monster spells completely. HotW Wild Caller does trade out aspect (though gets aspect when they would have gotten greater aspect) for some social boosts against fey. And, of course, the ARG Wild Caller is, as written, for half-elves only, while the HotW Wild Caller is for everyone.

Edit: Ninja-ed by Kvantum!

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

That's a fairly big list of differences for archetypes with the same name. (Compared to Grenadier being reprinted in Monster Codex with essentially the same rules.)


Robert Brookes wrote:
A multi-eidolon (but still 1 at a time) could be cool. Would probably need to lose armor training for the summoner and the summon monster SLA. Might restrict eidolon rebuilds at level up too. Stagger the new eidolons in at different levels. Might modify Twin Eidolon to allow two different ones to be out at the same time. It's a reasonable concept.

Yep, I think it could be a lot of fun! I think it would also be balanced by the fact that item slots would probably be shared between the summoner and *all* of the eidolons, so they wouldn't all end up being truely as powerful as a single eidolon summoner. Unless he took the time to unequip and re-equip the eidolons on each summon.

Scarab Sages Developer

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Ross Byers wrote:
That's a fairly big list of differences for archetypes with the same name. (Compared to Grenadier being reprinted in Monster Codex with essentially the same rules.)

The two wild callers is a case of an entirely new archetype that got given the same name as a race-specific archetype because I failed my Due Diligence as a developer.

Scarab Sages Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Some of the material in this book is class-specific, and obviously there isn't room to cover a lot of new material for every class that can summon monsters through *some* method.

Other options are available to anyone who can cast summon monster, and yet others are available to anyone who can do any form of conjuration (calling) or conjuration (summoning), and yet others are based on where you are from in Golarion or who you work with rather than anything class-specific.

So even if your favorite class didn't get class-specific stuff, if you are summoning things there should be *something* for you in this book.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Timothy Ferdinand wrote:

Hey, thanks for that "inside info" :o). If you happen to be able to speak to the people in charge of such things at Paizo, do you think you could suggest to them that they (1) produce a free download with a list of the existing archetypes that work for the unchained summoner (and the other new unchained classes) and (2) perhaps also produce a free download with updates/reworkings for those archetypes that don't?

Its pretty obvious to me that the senior staff at Paizo really want to abandon the old APG summoner in gffavour of the new unchained summoner - and to some extent I can sympathise with this as the old version is very unweildy for GMs and also overpowered (IMHO) compared to some other classes. But if that is the plan, then they need to give us the archetypes for the new unchained summoner to help that process.

Just saying..........

I don't think it's all that hard to figure out. "Does Archetype X alter the mechanics underlying the Eidolon?" If yes, then X is not a good fit as written for the Unchained Summoner. If no, then talk to your GM.

My best guess would really only rule out Broodmaster, First Worlder, and Synthesist, along with the Heroes of the Wild's Wild Caller. I would think the other existing archetypes would be fairly usable. First Worlder and Wild Caller would work if Fey and Plant were each defined along the lines of all of the Unchained Summoner's eidolon subtypes.


Kvantum wrote:
Timothy Ferdinand wrote:

Hey, thanks for that "inside info" :o). If you happen to be able to speak to the people in charge of such things at Paizo, do you think you could suggest to them that they (1) produce a free download with a list of the existing archetypes that work for the unchained summoner (and the other new unchained classes) and (2) perhaps also produce a free download with updates/reworkings for those archetypes that don't?

Its pretty obvious to me that the senior staff at Paizo really want to abandon the old APG summoner in gffavour of the new unchained summoner - and to some extent I can sympathise with this as the old version is very unweildy for GMs and also overpowered (IMHO) compared to some other classes. But if that is the plan, then they need to give us the archetypes for the new unchained summoner to help that process.

Just saying..........

I don't think it's all that hard to figure out. "Does Archetype X alter the mechanics underlying the Eidolon?" If yes, then X is not a good fit as written for the Unchained Summoner. If no, then talk to your GM.

My best guess would really only rule out Broodmaster, First Worlder, and Synthesist, along with the Heroes of the Wild's Wild Caller. I would think the other existing archetypes would be fairly usable. First Worlder and Wild Caller would work if Fey and Plant were each defined along the lines of all of the Unchained Summoner's eidolon subtypes.

Not sure you are right about the broodmaster, as i think you'd just split the base evolutions between the two small eidolons and then apply the rules as you would for the APG summoner, but i could be wrong. I definitely agree that the First Worlder won't work with unchained. Not sure abiut the shadow caller.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Robert Brookes wrote:
A multi-eidolon (but still 1 at a time) could be cool. Would probably need to lose armor training for the summoner and the summon monster SLA. Might restrict eidolon rebuilds at level up too. Stagger the new eidolons in at different levels. Might modify Twin Eidolon to allow two different ones to be out at the same time. It's a reasonable concept.

There are versions of such a summoner kicking around on the boards here. The most common trade in is indeed the Summon Monster SLA, they get the eidolons at different levels. Of all the ones I've seen, my favourite was found at the Pathfinder Database... which is now down, and cannot be found at the Internet Archive.

I think that a FF/Pokémon archetype could serve to further distinguish the Summoner from the Spiritualist. There are some real differences between the two classes, but a number of similarities as well.

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