Summoner and Witch Playtest


Round 2: Summoner and Witch

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Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

Welcome to round 2 of the Advanced Player's Guide playtest. As with the first round, we are going to be reviewing two of the six classes set to appear in the Advanced Player's Guide: the Summoner and the Witch. This messageboard is for posting specific feedback and playtest observations concerning these classes. All other feedback should go on the appropriate board.

Like the playtest of the core rules, I am looking for feedback concerning the mechanics and flavor of these classes. Since these are brand new classes, however, actual playtest feedback is of the utmost importance. Raw speculation and musings are useful, but playtesting is the most valuable feedback we can get at this stage. In particular, I am looking for feedback on how each of these classes work at various levels. Were any of the powers or special abilities too good or not good enough? Are the powers and abilities clear in their presentation and language? Do they function they way they are intended and if not, what are the ramifications? How do these classes work as NPCs or villains?

Make sure to post the level at which you are using the class and any relevant details about the game in which they made an appearance. Make sure to note the foes that they faced and the results of the combat.

The first round of the playtest has been providing some great feedback and I look forward to seeing the results in this round.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing


WOOO-HOOO!

Liberty's Edge

Jesus, the Summoner is AWESOME.

Scarab Sages

Just have to state the Final Fantasy fanboy in me LOVES the Summoner!!! Now back to reading and preparing for playtest game tomorrow!


Indeed, awesome is the only word for it. I am digging he witch as well, very Disney/fairy taleish


Summoner....more awesome than I could have imagined!

Liberty's Edge

I know that using CHAR for Summoner makes sense, but I think that Pathfinder already has too many charisma-based casters, doesn't it?


Summoner, I choose you!

Will post thoughts later.

Scarab Sages

Intelligence - Witch, Wizard
Wisdom - Cleric, Druid, Ranger
Charisma - Bard, Oracle, Paladin, Sorcerer, Summoner

Looks ok to me so far. :D I can see the Alchemist being Int based too which would even things out even more.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Karui Kage wrote:

Intelligence - Witch, Wizard

Wisdom - Cleric, Druid, Paladin, Ranger
Charisma - Bard, Oracle, Sorcerer, Summoner

Looks ok to me so far. :D I can see the Alchemist being Int based too which would even things out even more.

errr Paladin is Charisma now

Grand Lodge

Paladinosaur wrote:
I know that using CHAR for Summoner makes sense, but I think that Pathfinder already has too many charisma-based caster, doesn't it?

I thought so as well, but what other stat would you use?

Intelligence - Maybe. There's not an INT based non-prep caster in the game. On the other hand, the Wizard is still the quintessential bookish magic user.

Wisdom - Not hardly. First off, wisdom is the purview of divine casters. Secondly, just how wise is it to be fooling with the eldritch/outsiders?

Charisma - Good fit. Definitely not the "likable person" type of charisma but rather the "force of personality" style. There is a definitely a significant difference between the Summoner and Bard. In addition, the Summoner seems almost like a major specialization of an Aberrant bloodline Sorcerer, or at least to me at first blush.

Cheers!

/Paul

Scarab Sages

Kevin Mack wrote:
Karui Kage wrote:

Intelligence - Witch, Wizard

Wisdom - Cleric, Druid, Paladin, Ranger
Charisma - Bard, Oracle, Sorcerer, Summoner

Looks ok to me so far. :D I can see the Alchemist being Int based too which would even things out even more.

errr Paladin is Charisma now

<_<

>_>
Shhhh..

In any case, I probably shouldn't have included Ranger or Paladin since they're half-casters. Which would be 2/2/4 left, 3/2/4 if Alchemist is Int like I think he'll be. I do agree that we don't need anymore Charisma casters, but I don't mind the Summoner being one. It seems to fit.


The summoner looks awesome! (Not sure if the pet is well balanced or not, but kudos on making it so customizable.)

Liberty's Edge

Quick first read and first impressions are good, but there's some stuff that irks me.

1) "Evolutions" the concept is solid and I like it, but the name has gotta go. Sounds too scientific. Augmentations maybe?

2) I'm not in love with the idea of introducing new spell lists. I know why you did it (there's a damn good mix of spells), but I still think they should work off of an existing list like the oracle does.

3) IMO the Witch should be the Cha caster (hexes and cackles sound like mind effecting abilities to me). The Summoner should maybe be Wis based (force of will to penetrate the dimensions and to bond with an alien mind).


Sweet, I've always wanted to summon a giant purple madness inducing kraken with swirly eyes as a pet...


Augmentations would be cool, but evolutions is still OK. I think that Int for the summoner, and Wis for the witch would work, although I don't really care that much...
Also, storing spells in the familiar is awesome...now I just need stats for the goat familiar (works great in my desert setting...)


Ok I must be having issues with my internet or something but I have to post just incase. I don't see a link for summoner and witch released yet. Could someone link it to me or point it out cause it is not directly below the Cavalier and Oracle on my web page.


bigb103 wrote:
Ok I must be having issues with my internet or something but I have to post just incase. I don't see a link for summoner and witch released yet. Could someone link it to me or point it out cause it is not directly below the Cavalier and Oracle on my web page.

Check the blog...


Xuttah wrote:
2) I'm not in love with the idea of introducing new spell lists. I know why you did it (there's a damn good mix of spells), but I still think they should work off of an existing list like the oracle does.

Ditto, ditto, a thousand times ditto. Having unique lists makes it hell to convert material to pathfinder. Which <insert arbitrary book here> spells would apply the Summoner? Who knows?

Hopefully this will be better defined (for BOTH classes) in the actual APG. I realize this is just a quick-and-dirty playtest version.

Liberty's Edge

Zurai wrote:


Ditto, ditto, a thousand times ditto. Having unique lists makes it hell to convert material to pathfinder. Which <insert arbitrary book here> spells would apply the Summoner? Who knows?

Hopefully this will be better defined (for BOTH classes) in the actual APG. I realize this is just a quick-and-dirty playtest version.

Both could, for the sake of arguement, draw from different sections of the wizard spell list. Summoner only gets Conj and Trans (lvs 1-6 only), Witch gets Necro and Enchant. The list is already divided up by theme and you could fill in the rest with bonus or unique spells from other lists or new material.


Wow, awesome, beginning playtest with first four classes.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

Xuttah wrote:
Zurai wrote:


Ditto, ditto, a thousand times ditto. Having unique lists makes it hell to convert material to pathfinder. Which <insert arbitrary book here> spells would apply the Summoner? Who knows?

Hopefully this will be better defined (for BOTH classes) in the actual APG. I realize this is just a quick-and-dirty playtest version.

Both could, for the sake of arguement, draw from different sections of the wizard spell list. Summoner only gets Conj and Trans (lvs 1-6 only), Witch gets Necro and Enchant. The list is already divided up by theme and you could fill in the rest with bonus or unique spells from other lists or new material.

We looked at doing something similar to this, but it was not very feasible. The classes kept getting spells that did not fit theme or were prohibited from getting spells that did.

In the end, I am hoping to include a sidebar with each one of these explaining what sort of spells from other sources should be added...

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing


PIE FOR EVERYONE.

The witch class is perfect for my wife and the summoner and witch would make awesome villians.

Liberty's Edge

Jason Bulmahn wrote:


We looked at doing something similar to this, but it was not very feasible. The classes kept getting spells that did not fit theme or were prohibited from getting spells that did.

In the end, I am hoping to include a sidebar with each one of these explaining what sort of spells from other sources should be added...

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

Cool. As long as there's a way to expand on the spell list, that's great!


Zurai wrote:
Xuttah wrote:
2) I'm not in love with the idea of introducing new spell lists. I know why you did it (there's a damn good mix of spells), but I still think they should work off of an existing list like the oracle does.

Ditto, ditto, a thousand times ditto. Having unique lists makes it hell to convert material to pathfinder. Which <insert arbitrary book here> spells would apply the Summoner? Who knows?

Hopefully this will be better defined (for BOTH classes) in the actual APG. I realize this is just a quick-and-dirty playtest version.

I get where you are coming from with this but I disagree. If you did this then it would be difficult to do things like give a class early entry to spells. As an example the Summoner gets black tentacles and improved invisibility as a third level spell.

It just doesn't make sense for a summoner to have the same spell list as the wizard/ sorcerer, in particular since it's a 6 level casting class.

Giving the summoner the option to add spells from the wizard list would be an excellent idea though.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens Subscriber
Mr.Fishy wrote:
the summoner and witch would make awesome villians.

My thoughts exactly. The major and grand hexes especially scream "villain" to me - agony, nightmares, retribution, waxen image, death curse, eternal slumber (obviously the "sleeping beauty" fairytale), forced reincarnation are just great villain abilities. I guess the next antagonist for my PCs will be a witch (alas, in january at the earliest)

Stefan

Grand Lodge

Mr.Fishy wrote:

PIE FOR EVERYONE.

The witch class is perfect for my wife and the summoner and witch would make awesome villians.

Uh, I hope that either your wife doesn't read the boards, or you have already bought flowers for that comment! :D

/Paul

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

What should starting wealth be for these new classes, anyway?


Uh... Jason, at first glance these two classes are simply masterpieces... wonderful! :) Thanks!


Haha, I'm starting to think that the witch class should be subtitled "The Touch Attack Personified."

Seriously, many of their spells and hexes are touch attacks. I almost want to see them with medium BAB or light armor or something.

Contributor

Mr.Fishy wrote:
The witch class is perfect for my wife and the summoner and witch would make awesome villians.

Kind of awesomely, all six of our new iconics look like they could be awesome villains.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Mr.Fishy wrote:
The witch class is perfect for my wife and the summoner and witch would make awesome villians.
Kind of awesomely, all six of our new iconics look like they could be awesome villains.

That IS Awesome!


I was looking forward to finally seeing the Summoner class, but after reading the playtest download, I'm really digging the Witch. Such awesome flavor brought about from those hex abilities.


Sean FitzSimon wrote:

Haha, I'm starting to think that the witch class should be subtitled "The Touch Attack Personified."

Seriously, many of their spells and hexes are touch attacks. I almost want to see them with medium BAB or light armor or something.

I do want that, actually.


1st off, great job guys and gals at Paizo! WotC should be looking at your company with their mouths wide open and their eyes full of awe of how well your doing compared to what they did with 3.5.

Now, my take on the Summoner, simply splendid. Couple of things though. Perhaps there should be a way to change it's type from outsider to something else (like Dragon or Plant or Angel). Maybe a good option for evolution point cost?

Also, since Evolution points are apparently VERY important, perhaps a Feat should be made (available to PC's with levels in Summoner) to give a Summoner's "pet" a few more Evolution points? Sorta like Extra Rage gave extra rage points (before the Core Rules came out at least).

Now, as for the Witch, uh, she'd make a great opponent for a good aligned PC party but she seems to be limited somewhat to evil aligned adventuring parties (not many good aligned PC's like their fellows associating with hags and all). Seems sorta limited. Maybe some options for good witches (Glinda the Good Witch of the South anyone)? Perhaps a focus on polymorphing and weather/elemental usage?


Actually, nowhere is the witch required to spend time with hags. The Coven hex simply says that she counts as a hag for the purpose of covens. Later, it says that if a hag is present (which could also be a witch with the Coven hex) the covens are better. Get yourself an all good/neutral group of witches and, as long as they have the Coven hex, they are as effective as an evil coven, even one with a hag.

Sovereign Court

So I went to create a summoner at level 5 for a playtest and got dissapointed rather quickly, not with the concept or even the execution both have great potential, but with the forms. Why are you locked in to choosing three forms with set base attacks? Why can the attack types you choose be chosen by the creator. Instead of 2 claw, why not 2 attacks from a single primary natural weapon that deals 1d6 damage for your biped eidelon, and instead of a bite attack a single primary natural weapon attack for the quadraped, and for serpentine instead of a bite and a tail slap, a primary and a secondary attack? It just seems unnecessarily limiting in the current incarnation.

Dark Archive

I have a player that wants to play one in our game. He wants to play the summoner badly. Our game keep getting delayed and we should finish making characters and get started this week. So I should be able to give some feedback on the class from that.

To help out I am going to throw in a Witch NPC.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I just want to say that I made a Qadiran summoner complete with djinn.

Need I say more?


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens Subscriber
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

I just want to say that I made a Qadiran summoner complete with djinn.

Need I say more?

I also thought that the summoner would make a great arabian-style djinn summoner - this could be a topic for more evolutions (or is there gasous form or wind form already?) Imagine a djinn summoner and a arabian styled witch as main antagonists for the PCs, with the summoner posing as the vizier to the sultan, and the witch being support for the vizier, supplying him with all kind of nefarious magic from behind the scenes - those two have the sultan firmly under their thumb, between the witches charms and the viziers eidolon as spy/messenger/whatever. And in the moment the PCs are ready to confront them both, they just into the room in the highest tower just to see them fly away on the witches carpet...

I just want to start an arabian campaign right now...

Stefan


Simcha loves the Witch! xD

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You could have your summon cast Gaseous Form 1/day for a mere 5 evolution points (place 4th HD ability increase into charisma, 2 points in ability increase evolution, and 3 points for the spell like ability since it's a 3rd level spell).

If you want your djinn to fly with the mini-tornado effect it's a mere 4 e.p. (for perfect supernatural flight).

You can have a pretty convincing djinn at 6th level.

For feats I'd recommend Weapon and armour proficiencies (to save those precious EPs) so he can carry a scimitar.


I don't know if this has been mentioned yet but here goes nothing.
As far as actual playtest, the summoner's eidolon is extremely powerful at low levels.

I made a halfling summoner who had an eidolon with a basic amount of hit points of 26. That's way too much at 1st level, plus with the additional summonings the summoner is able to pretty much beat anyone at low levels. As for high levels, I haven't tried out the summoner's abilities. But at 1st level my GM had to boost our generel encounter CR by +2/+3 because of my summoner's eidolon.

Just to put into perspective, the features of the summoner, it brings back memories of the times when necromancers were able to run around with two giant undead monstrosities with (together) double the HD of the necromancer. The necromancer never had any problems accomplishing any task because of his minions. This is what is gonna happen with the summoner if some moderation of the eidolon doesn't take place. And for those who'll point to the animal companion of the druid; don't I don't think those are balanced either. The Summoner and the Druid are by far the classes with the greatest potential for destruction which is very dangerous at low levels, but as everyone knows; sheer force and raw strength isn't enough at high levels.

I'd consider giving the eidolon only 1 HD at 1st level, otherwise it's way too powerful. And it is way too powerful even if the player isn't looking to powerplay. And lastly, a creature with four claw attacks at 1st level (each one at -2, which comes up to +5 with each due to strength and BAB) is way too powerful ever to have as a pet. And for those who'll say that it isn't that powerful just because it gets sent away if it reaches 0 hit points, let me say; it doesn't matter. It wouldn't matter if it was your powerful low level fighter, hence it doesn't matter if the eidolon goes away for a while; you can't ressurect them anyways. And allowing the eidolon to retreat only to return later only makes it that much more powerful.

So that's my only point of critique, the eidolon is way too powerful, but mostly at low levels. Character's should be able to find a way to handle it at higher levels.

As for the witch; nothing new (really new) is under the sky. The witch doesn't need balancing it seems, oh, except for the fact that they can actually heal with arcane magic. I don't know if people are just gloating over this or what they're doing, but seriously, granting an arcane caster the ability to heal (as with the bard) is totally broken. I conjured up the first three builds to make the witch an unstoppable character based solely upon it's spell list. I'd say remove all healing spells from the witch's spell list and then add some more transformation spells.

Well, that's just my view, let's make way for other peoples opinions...

Just giving a serious heads up on the eidolon because it's way too powerful (think I said that too many times now).

Dark Archive

I'm not impressed with the witch as I mention "here" so won't bother retyping all of that. I believe there are a few changes that need to be made as I describe and hopefully the changes in the final book will be more to my liking. As I mentioned elsewhere on the forums the witch has been the hardest class to capture in my opinion throughout all of 3.x and even now.


Naggarath wrote:
snip

You know... I was genuinely paying attention to what you had to say, and examining it for comparison...

And then you said that the bard was broken for having healing magic and you just lost all credibility you had with me.

(For the record though, thanks for sharing your experiences with the Eidolon, I'm sure somebody will be less put off by your other comments to benefit from the playtest report. Although I'm sure that report would be more beneficial if you went into detail concerning the encounters in question, rather than a blank statement that the CR's needed to be increased.)


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens Subscriber

I was also wondering why an arcane caster using healing spells is inherently broken? Because it is the speciality of divine casters? I don´t see that as "auto-broken", per se. In my experience, no secondary caster can hold the water to a true cleric regarding healing spells. And I think it is very well within the witches stereotype to be able to cast healing spells. Of course, they are known rather for charms and curses, but IMO healing does not break them. It fits into my image of a witch. YMMV, of course.

Stefan

Dark Archive

Naggarath wrote:

I don't know if this has been mentioned yet but here goes nothing.

As far as actual playtest, the summoner's eidolon is extremely powerful at low levels.

I made a halfling summoner who had an eidolon with a basic amount of hit points of 26. That's way too much at 1st level, plus with the additional summonings the summoner is able to pretty much beat anyone at low levels. As for high levels, I haven't tried out the summoner's abilities. But at 1st level my GM had to boost our generel encounter CR by +2/+3 because of my summoner's eidolon.

Just to put into perspective, the features of the summoner, it brings back memories of the times when necromancers were able to run around with two giant undead monstrosities with (together) double the HD of the necromancer. The necromancer never had any problems accomplishing any task because of his minions. This is what is gonna happen with the summoner if some moderation of the eidolon doesn't take place. And for those who'll point to the animal companion of the druid; don't I don't think those are balanced either. The Summoner and the Druid are by far the classes with the greatest potential for destruction which is very dangerous at low levels, but as everyone knows; sheer force and raw strength isn't enough at high levels.

I'd consider giving the eidolon only 1 HD at 1st level, otherwise it's way too powerful. And it is way too powerful even if the player isn't looking to powerplay. And lastly, a creature with four claw attacks at 1st level (each one at -2, which comes up to +5 with each due to strength and BAB) is way too powerful ever to have as a pet. And for those who'll say that it isn't that powerful just because it gets sent away if it reaches 0 hit points, let me say; it doesn't matter. It wouldn't matter if it was your powerful low level fighter, hence it doesn't matter if the eidolon goes away for a while; you can't ressurect them anyways. And allowing the eidolon to retreat only to return later only makes it that much more powerful.

So that's my...

Please include your eidolon and how you spent your points. it does not seem likely that you were able to accomplish all you said you were at 1st level without misinterpreting the rules somewhere.

Dark Archive

As a minor thing... I am not sure the witch really screams "int" caster to me. She seems more of a cha or wisdom caster as she is either A. trying to better understand and commune with a being not native to this plane for power or B. Cajole, bluff, ingratiate herself to such a being for continued access to power.

I think i'd prefer int for the summoner and cha for the witch, but that's just me.


The eidolon is surely not overpowered. It is the center of the class, its main ability. The summoner is a limited caster, lightly armored, and with medium BaB. The Druid has an animal companion with 2 HD at 1st lvl, ia a full, healing and blasting caster, with medium armour, and medium BaB.

The cha for casting makes sense if you think that the summoner is drawing his powers from contacts with other planes and a lot of his spells deal with binding/compulsion. You must have some strong personality for that right?


Personally i think the Int caster and the healing spells fit very well with iconografic medieval witches. Women dangerous for theyr knowledge, often related to bothanical/herboristic notions

Just a thought about Summoner's Eidolon...i'm only guessing not having still played it. An Eidolon with Pounce, Push (with claws or aniway with 2 attacks natural weapons) and reach>10 could charge pouncing, Pushing avay the enemy for 10 feats and 1 turn later repounching? (maibe even tripping with a bite, to prevent enemy from came back/escape far/attack) if yes, i think Push should be rebalanced with a "1 push for enemy for turn" limit.

So in my opinion (except some low level problem with Summoner's power) Very nice work for bot classes ^_^

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