Eidolon vs. Animal Companion


Round 2: Summoner and Witch

Scarab Sages

I wanted to see how the Eidolon matched up against a normal animal companion, just for giggles. Below is the animal companion my Ranger player has in our LoF game. Though it could also be the companion a level 6 Druid had, so I will use a level 6 Summoner eidolon for comparison. Making the eidolon as CLOSE to the snake as I can.

Saurlo the Snake

Spoiler:

N Large animal companion 6
Init +3; Senses scent; Perception +9
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DEFENSE
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AC 22, touch 12, flat-footed 19 (+3 armor, +3 Dexterity, +7 natural armor, -1 size)
hp 51 (6d8+24)
Fort +9, Ref +8, Will +3
Defensive Abilities evasion
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OFFENSE
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Speed 20 ft. (4 squares), climb 20 ft., swim 20 ft.
Melee bite +11 (1d4+10)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks constrict (1d4+10), grab
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STATISTICS
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Abilities Str 25, Dex 17, Con 18, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 2
Base Atk +4; CMB +13 (+17 to start/maintain grapple); CMD 26
Feats Light Armor Proficiency, Medium Armor Proficiency, Weapon Focus (Bite)
Skills Climb +15, Perception +9, Survival +5, Swim +15
Gear Masterwork studded leather barding
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SPECIAL ABILITIES
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Tricks Attack x2, Come, Down, Grapple, Track
Link (Ex) A ranger can handle his animal companion as a free action, or push it as a move action, even if he doesn’t have any ranks in the Handle Animal skill. The ranger gains a +4 circumstance bonus on all wild empathy checks and Handle Animal checks made regarding an animal companion.
Share Spells (Ex) The ranger may cast a spell with a target of “You” or "Personal" on his animal companion (as a touch range spell) instead of on herself. A ranger may cast spells on his animal companion even if the spells normally do not affect creatures of the companion’s type (animal).
Evasion (Ex) If an animal companion is subject to an attack that normally allows a Reflex save for half damage, it takes no damage if it makes a successful saving throw.
Devotion (Ex) An animal companion gains a +4 morale bonus on Will saves against enchantment spells or effects.

Note that the +1 for Bite is included in the Snake's CMB and CMD above, since it's his only attack. I don't include it in the Eidolen below since he has a tail slap. Just a note.

And now the Eidolon. Alright, let's see. We get 9 evolution points to play with. I'll need to give it the Serpentine base form to start with which gives it the free Bite and Climb that we need, and tail and tail slap as a bonus. Large is pretty expensive, 3 points, so we'll get that out of the way and be down to 6 (the Summoner needs to be 6th level for this, thankfully he is!). We then need Grab (2 points) and Constrict (2 points), leaving us with only 2 points remaining. At this point, we pretty much have everything the snake has but swimming ability. We'll toss that in for 1 point. Ah, and the snake has Scent, so we'll give the Eidolon that last one for 1 point as well.

So in the end we have:
Serpentine Form
Bite
Climb
Tail
Tail Slap
Large Size
Grab
Constrict
Swim
Scent

Now to stat it all out! I'll also give it Acrobatics, Climb, Survival, and Swim as it's 4 free class skills.

Saurlo the Eidolon

Spoiler:

N Large outsider companion 6
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft., scent; Perception +9
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DEFENSE
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AC 23, touch 12, flat-footed 20 (+3 armor, +3 Dexterity, +8 natural armor, -1 size)
hp 57 (6d10+24)
Fort +6, Ref +8, Will +5
Defensive Abilities evasion
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OFFENSE
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Speed 20 ft. (x squares), climb 20 ft., swim 20 ft.
Melee bite +12 (1d8+6) and tail slap +7 (1d8+3)
Space 10 ft.; Reach x ft.
Special Attacks constrict (1d8+6), grab
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STATISTICS
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Abilities Str 22, Dex 16, Con 18, Int 7, Wis 10, Cha 11
Base Atk +6; CMB +13 (+17 to start/maintain grapple); CMD 26
Feats Light Armor Proficiency, Medium Armor Proficiency, Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Acrobatics +14, Climb +20, Perception +9, Survival +9, Swim +20
Gear Masterwork studded leather barding
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SPECIAL ABILITIES
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Share Spells (Ex) The summoner may cast a spell with a target of “You” on his eidolon (as a spell with
a range of touch) instead of on himself. A summoner may cast spells on his eidolon even if the spells normally do not affect creatures of the eidolon’s type (outsider). Spells cast in this way must come from the summoner spell list. This ability does not allow the eidolon to share abilities that are not spells, even if they function like spells.
Evasion (Ex)If an eidolon is subjected to an attack that normally allows a Ref lex save for half damage, it takes no damage if it makes a successful saving throw.
Devotion (Ex) An eidolon gains a +4 morale bonus on Will saves against enchantment spells and effects.

In truth, they're actually pretty close. Starting from the top...

Init - Same
Senses - Eidolon (Darkvision)
AC - Eidolon
HP - Eidolon
Fort - Animal
Ref - Same
Will - Eidolon
Speed - Same
Attack - Eidolon (higher attack roll, two attacks)
Damage - Same (yes, the snake has a larger range, 11-14, but the eidolon has 7-14 with its bite AND 4-11 with its tail)
Special Attacks - Same
Abilities - Eidolon (pretty comparable overall, but actually being intelligent and not needing Tricks? Huge win here)
Base Atk - Eidolon
CMB - Same (barely Eidolon with bite, not worth giving them a point)
Feats - Same
Skills - Eidolon (huge win, having higher than a 2 int and more base skill points is a big bonus)
Special Abilities - Same

Overall, we have Eidolon 7, Animal 1. Really there's only two spots the Animal wins at. Fort save and damage. And it doesn't even really win at damage, as I explained above. The constrict is going to be better, yes. It would be more comparable if I could get rid of the tail slap. That's a good question Jason. Can the 'free' evolutions given with a form be avoided? Can I not take the tail? That would make the Bite the only attack, letting the snake do 1d8+9 with it (a range of 10-18, much better than the snake). Granted, it can still do more overall damage with both, but the tail likely won't hit nearly as often and if he's constricting then it's a non-issue anyhow.

In conclusion, these ARE pretty comparable. The eidolon DOES win out in the end, probably in the largest way just because the thing's intelligent. No tricks, it can think for itself (not well, 7 int) but the fact that it can perform just as well as the snake in almost every area, if not better, AND think for itself is pretty huge. Not to mention that the Summoner can customize this thing on a daily basis.

The Druid still has some good spells and the ability to wild shape, so I consider it a viable class. But the Summoner definitely is the best 'Pet' class now, especially considering that I didn't even go into the whole 'merging' and 'sharing HP' schtick they got.

Comments?


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

interesting comparison. I also think that as you go higher in level the eidolon would be far more capable. But I think that was the idea, its supposed to be all about the 'pet' in this case. So the eidolon should be better.

Dark Archive

Keep in mind the Druid is a full caster progression class. Summoners have a bard caster progression, and a much more limited spell list.

Also the summoner cannot customize this "thing" on a daily basis unless the summoner is gaining a level per day. Otherwise he has to use the as yet unknown Transmogrify spell, which will likely have an expensive material component.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Also keep in mind that the Ac cannot be dismissed or banished.

Scarab Sages

Draeke Raefel wrote:

Keep in mind the Druid is a full caster progression class. Summoners have a bard caster progression, and a much more limited spell list.

Also the summoner cannot customize this "thing" on a daily basis unless the summoner is gaining a level per day. Otherwise he has to use the as yet unknown Transmogrify spell, which will likely have an expensive material component.

The lower casting progression is true, and it was a mistake on that daily altering. Meant to say every level, but still more customization then the AC gets. Also, they do get their SM spells as per a wizard and 3/day or whatnot as a standard action. That can get pretty awesome in the end. We had a Conjurer in our RotRL game that almost always prepared SM spells, he'd kill for this. Granted he couldn't do the occasional teleport or other wizard spells anymore, but still. The trade off is pretty nice.

Dark Archive

Karui Kage wrote:
Draeke Raefel wrote:

Keep in mind the Druid is a full caster progression class. Summoners have a bard caster progression, and a much more limited spell list.

Also the summoner cannot customize this "thing" on a daily basis unless the summoner is gaining a level per day. Otherwise he has to use the as yet unknown Transmogrify spell, which will likely have an expensive material component.

The lower casting progression is true, and it was a mistake on that daily altering. Meant to say every level, but still more customization then the AC gets. Also, they do get their SM spells as per a wizard and 3/day or whatnot as a standard action. That can get pretty awesome in the end. We had a Conjurer in our RotRL game that almost always prepared SM spells, he'd kill for this. Granted he couldn't do the occasional teleport or other wizard spells anymore, but still. The trade off is pretty nice.

It definitely isn't bad, but there are a lot of spells you are giving up for it. Like all the spells slots you'd normally have of lvls 7-9. Not to mention the spell selection. It definitely helps make up for it, but it doesn't negate the penalty.


If anything this convinces me of the Summoners balance, good comparisons to druids and wizards, with people arguing the advantages/merits of both suggest to me that its a close to even choice.

Dark Archive

Karui Kage wrote:
Draeke Raefel wrote:

Keep in mind the Druid is a full caster progression class. Summoners have a bard caster progression, and a much more limited spell list.

Also the summoner cannot customize this "thing" on a daily basis unless the summoner is gaining a level per day. Otherwise he has to use the as yet unknown Transmogrify spell, which will likely have an expensive material component.

The lower casting progression is true, and it was a mistake on that daily altering. Meant to say every level, but still more customization then the AC gets. Also, they do get their SM spells as per a wizard and 3/day or whatnot as a standard action. That can get pretty awesome in the end. We had a Conjurer in our RotRL game that almost always prepared SM spells, he'd kill for this. Granted he couldn't do the occasional teleport or other wizard spells anymore, but still. The trade off is pretty nice.

Just as a sidenote, were you part of the game with Valgrim the dwarf summoner? I read the session summaries for that one :P


Karui Kage wrote:

I wanted to see how the Eidolon matched up against a normal animal companion, just for giggles. Below is the animal companion my Ranger player has in our LoF game. Though it could also be the companion a level 6 Druid had, so I will use a level 6 Summoner eidolon for comparison. Making the eidolon as CLOSE to the snake as I can.

As far as versatility goes, the eidolon wins hands down, but as far as damage dealing goes, the animal companion wins only because of the strong druid spells that accompany it (especially if you are allowing 3.5 books and not just the paizo publications, like natures favor (SpC), Animal Growth, Triceratops charge (SpC), Natures Avatar (SpC) just to name a few).

I was planning on playing a druid animal buffer but switched to summoner because of the versatility, but i am definitely going to miss the ridiculous druid buffs. :(


I was going to ask the reasoning for why the Druid's Animal companion was getting a d8 and the Eidolon was getting a d10, but the answer revealed itself with a little research.

In 3.5 the Animal Companion became a magical beast, but did not get the d10s for hit dice for some reason. Further an Outsider had d8's for Hit dice.

In Pathfinder the Animal Companion retains the Animal Type, no longer becoming a magical beast so remaining at d8's is consistent. And an Outsider was increased to d10s for hit dice.

So... Unless I am missing something, never mind.

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