Summoner, niche / utility - query


Round 2: Summoner and Witch


Here are a few deceptively simple questions:

1. What is intended niche/utility for Summoners outside of combat?

2. What would be a social role for a Summoner NPC in a community?

The Summoner, at this moment, looks like a pokemon trainer with basic swarming spellcasting tactics. That means that unless the GM and players will bend the concept to create a niche (a ratcatcher, a wandering tournament pokemon player, etc) there is no actual reason to put one in a campaign.

The reason why it is important - good game worlds follow certain inner logic. Adventurers have their ecology, so to speak, however, once retired/not adventuring, each class can become a worthy member of a community... which makes for a great way to build stories, characters etc.

So, what is the intended role, non-combat, for a summoner?

Regards,
Ruemere

PS. No offense intended for those who find pokemon references disagreeable. The pokemon trainer stereotype has been present in various media for a long time now... my cause for concern is only its extreme shallowness of concept - hence my indirect request for expanding it.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Do you mean like ... OOTS #373?


Remember that the Advanced Players Guide classes are intended to be much less common than their Core Rulebook counterparts. It's not a big deal if you have a hard time fitting large numbers of Summoners into your campaign world.


Many of the summoner archtype in fantasy are actually villians. The Pokemon reference aside it's usual the villians tactic to employ henchman, hide behind his bigger buddy or get someone else to take the hit for them. I think Summoners would make stellar villians. But if I were to approach it from a player perspective, I think I would make him an arcane big game hunter...

Take your feats in ranged attacks like a longbow or crossbow. With haste on his list he will be able to pick up an extra attack before to long...make the eidolon a big hunting beast with scent and be able to summon him a pack of hunting dog co-horts, or some birds of prey for recon. For added fun dump some skills in UMD, or take a level of sorcerer and let him "hunt" with wands of Magic missles.


Lord Fyre wrote:
Do you mean like ... OOTS #373?

Yes, that too. :)

Zurai wrote:
Remember that the Advanced Players Guide classes are intended to be much less common than their Core Rulebook counterparts. It's not a big deal if you have a hard time fitting large numbers of Summoners into your campaign world.

In case I haven't made myself clear, "being one of a kind" schtick is something I would like to avoid. Unfortunately, spell list and abilities of the class do not seem to offer much more beyond poke-training.

Things the class _could_ offer:
- major utility with regards to contacts with outsiders
- ability to explore and investigate far realms in addition to planes
- innate abilities to bind/calm/oppress outsiders
- special powers to create wide area wards (aka anti-extradimensional invasion security systems)
- special powers to breach such wards (who would not want to hire a summoner to secure her residence?)

Loose suggestions, of course. Firmly entrenched in reality of d20 fantasy.

Regards,
Ruemere


I honestly don't see the difficulty finding a niche for Summoners. They're the ultimate summoners-of-extraplanar-creatures. That's such a common fantasy archetype that I find myself scratching my head over difficulty placing Summoners in campaign worlds.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Zurai wrote:
I honestly don't see the difficulty finding a niche for Summoners. They're the ultimate summoners-of-extraplanar-creatures. That's such a common fantasy archetype that I find myself scratching my head over difficulty placing Summoners in campaign worlds.

In which case, do they displace "Conjuration Specialists?"


Lord Fyre wrote:
Zurai wrote:
I honestly don't see the difficulty finding a niche for Summoners. They're the ultimate summoners-of-extraplanar-creatures. That's such a common fantasy archetype that I find myself scratching my head over difficulty placing Summoners in campaign worlds.
In which case, do they displace "Conjuration Specialists?"

Nope. Conjurers have a much broader range of options. Summoners adhere pretty closely to summoning outsiders and extraplanar creatures only, while conjurers are able to conjure and create pretty much anything they want (remember, creation is a subschool of conjuration). They might displace any super-focused conjurers who only summoned creatures, but there's no mechanical reason for such a character to have existed before the Summoner.

Dark Archive

I plan on adding them into my campaign largely as evil cultists of strange, alien gods, personally.

It's too bad they are cha-based - it would be fun to have an int-based summoner with all the knowledge skills and play it like Brock from Pokemon :P

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Akalsaris wrote:

I plan on adding them into my campaign largely as evil cultists of strange, alien gods, personally.

It's too bad they are cha-based - it would be fun to have an int-based summoner with all the knowledge skills and play it like Brock from Pokemon :P

That would be a Conjurer Specialist Wizard. :)

Dark Archive

Just remember that the eidolon adds a lot of utility with it's evolutions. It doesn't have to be combat based. With the racial bonuses and the ability to freely choose 4 skills he can become very good at just about anything. Add in the spell-like ability and he can help his master( or his master can help him ) identify items for adventurers. He can make knowledge checks and aid in gathering information. A street urchin summoner can modify his eidolon to be extremely talented at pick pocketing or burglary. I can easily see an old Summoner setting up shop in a town and offering his services to adventurers who want information about the area, magic, local, whatever. A summoner could specialize in magic item creation and have his eidolon aid him. I think people are a little to focused on the combat portions of the eidolon ability list instead of on the other choices.


ruemere wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:
Do you mean like ... OOTS #373?

Yes, that too. :)

Zurai wrote:
Remember that the Advanced Players Guide classes are intended to be much less common than their Core Rulebook counterparts. It's not a big deal if you have a hard time fitting large numbers of Summoners into your campaign world.

In case I haven't made myself clear, "being one of a kind" schtick is something I would like to avoid. Unfortunately, spell list and abilities of the class do not seem to offer much more beyond poke-training.

Things the class _could_ offer:
- major utility with regards to contacts with outsiders
- ability to explore and investigate far realms in addition to planes
- innate abilities to bind/calm/oppress outsiders
- special powers to create wide area wards (aka anti-extradimensional invasion security systems)
- special powers to breach such wards (who would not want to hire a summoner to secure her residence?)

Loose suggestions, of course. Firmly entrenched in reality of d20 fantasy.

Regards,
Ruemere

I agree it seens like it was not something the designers thought a lot about, and all those sugestions are really nice.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Is there not a niche for a summoner itself? There are lots of examples not only in fantasy literature, but existing rpg material where there is a cultist leader, or a devious spell caster reaching into extraplanar regions to bring back powerful beasties. Heck I have just recently got my hands on the Carrion Hill Module that I am going to run my players through for some playtesting, there is DEFINATELY room for a dedicated summoner in that storyline/region of the world.

I dont see this class being any harder to find a role for then say, a dedicated evoker. Its all a matter of inspiration and imagination.


Draeke Raefel wrote:
Just remember that the eidolon adds a lot of utility with it's evolutions. It doesn't have to be combat based. With the racial bonuses and the ability to freely choose 4 skills he can become very good at just about anything. Add in the spell-like ability and he can help his master( or his master can help him ) identify items for adventurers. He can make knowledge checks and aid in gathering information. A street urchin summoner can modify his eidolon to be extremely talented at pick pocketing or burglary. I can easily see an old Summoner setting up shop in a town and offering his services to adventurers who want information about the area, magic, local, whatever. A summoner could specialize in magic item creation and have his eidolon aid him. I think people are a little to focused on the combat portions of the eidolon ability list instead of on the other choices.

My hat off to you, sir. That was precisely what I was looking for.

Regards,
Ruemere

PS. Now, there is only serious gripe with class mechanics... since I rarely run adventures in 10'x10' corridors, it's easy to target Eidolon user instead Eidolon itself... Most wizards will have ample defenses (and escape means ready), most warriors and rogues will have proper defenses in place, whereas summoner, like a superspecialized Thay evoker, will be a sitting duck.

Still, in my opinion, apart from Oracle, this is the 2nd class seriously worth considering for campaign use (Cavalier's too full of little optional do-nothings and arbitrary subsystems, Witch seems a bit pale in comparison with Monte Cook's AU Witch).


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ruemere wrote:
Draeke Raefel wrote:
Just remember that the eidolon adds a lot of utility with it's evolutions. It doesn't have to be combat based. With the racial bonuses and the ability to freely choose 4 skills he can become very good at just about anything. Add in the spell-like ability and he can help his master( or his master can help him ) identify items for adventurers. He can make knowledge checks and aid in gathering information. A street urchin summoner can modify his eidolon to be extremely talented at pick pocketing or burglary. I can easily see an old Summoner setting up shop in a town and offering his services to adventurers who want information about the area, magic, local, whatever. A summoner could specialize in magic item creation and have his eidolon aid him. I think people are a little to focused on the combat portions of the eidolon ability list instead of on the other choices.

My hat off to you, sir. That was precisely what I was looking for.

Regards,
Ruemere

PS. Now, there is only serious gripe with class mechanics... since I rarely run adventures in 10'x10' corridors, it's easy to target Eidolon user instead Eidolon itself... Most wizards will have ample defenses (and escape means ready), most warriors and rogues will have proper defenses in place, whereas summoner, like a superspecialized Thay evoker, will be a sitting duck.

Still, in my opinion, apart from Oracle, this is the 2nd class seriously worth considering for campaign use (Cavalier's too full of little optional do-nothings and arbitrary subsystems, Witch seems a bit pale in comparison with Monte Cook's AU Witch).

My personal plan is if I plan a dungeon crawl kind of campaign, i will remind any summoners (or druids, rangers or cavaliers for that matter) "this is your 5ft wide door and hallway warning. Please keep your legs, claws, wings and tails inside the ride at all times". To me its along the same lines as advising a ranger about favored enemy, or warning a paladin there will be questionable morality in a campain. Sometimes you need to give the players hints to make things work.

And I agree the summoner is squishier at upper levels then a proper wizard, but in the end, he should be as he has this big bruiser following him around, he shouldnt be as capable for balance's sake.


I agree that the summoner does leave a little to be desired as far as flavor goes. For instance, how did the summoner manage to befriend/ensalve a extra planar being of wondrous power? What are the implications of summoning such a creature, and how does this affect a character?

The summoner could be a very dramatic class to play if its character aspects are more fully explored. As it stands, the summoner runs the risk of becoming the dinky humanoid sidekick of his Eidelon. A stronger sense of character could rescue him from such a fate.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

John Falter wrote:

I agree that the summoner does leave a little to be desired as far as flavor goes. For instance, how did the summoner manage to befriend/ensalve a extra planar being of wondrous power? What are the implications of summoning such a creature, and how does this affect a character?

The summoner could be a very dramatic class to play if its character aspects are more fully explored. As it stands, the summoner runs the risk of becoming the dinky humanoid sidekick of his Eidelon. A stronger sense of character could rescue him from such a fate.

That's what character backgrounds are for. :P


Epic Meepo wrote:
[...]That's what character backgrounds are for. :P

Translating: So I have found this mecha in a junkyard and a boxed set of tin robotic soldiers. And so my life became devoted to marching them to war.

Further clarification: I am not really aiming to empower the class. I would like to build in more utility and maybe bring it on the par with other classes with regard to defensive abilities (others already worry about offensive).
Dead characters are no fun - and being a priority target and a squishy at the same time (priority target - caster, squishy - defenseless) is unlikely to provide a lot of fun in the long run (disclaimer: this is all assuming that opponents are not limited to dummies).

Regards,
Ruemere

Dark Archive

ruemere wrote:
Epic Meepo wrote:
[...]That's what character backgrounds are for. :P

Translating: So I have found this mecha in a junkyard and a boxed set of tin robotic soldiers. And so my life became devoted to marching them to war.

Further clarification: I am not really aiming to empower the class. I would like to build in more utility and maybe bring it on the par with other classes with regard to defensive abilities (others already worry about offensive).
Dead characters are no fun - and being a priority target and a squishy at the same time (priority target - caster, squishy - defenseless) is unlikely to provide a lot of fun in the long run (disclaimer: this is all assuming that opponents are not limited to dummies).

Regards,
Ruemere

You get light armor. And if you are 4th and next to your eidolon it adds 2 points of armor.


Lord Fyre wrote:
Zurai wrote:
I honestly don't see the difficulty finding a niche for Summoners. They're the ultimate summoners-of-extraplanar-creatures. That's such a common fantasy archetype that I find myself scratching my head over difficulty placing Summoners in campaign worlds.
In which case, do they displace "Conjuration Specialists?"

Not necessarily, conjuration specialists are good with conjuration but did not invest so far into it that they greatly weakened their casting.


Epic Meepo wrote:
John Falter wrote:

I agree that the summoner does leave a little to be desired as far as flavor goes. For instance, how did the summoner manage to befriend/ensalve a extra planar being of wondrous power? What are the implications of summoning such a creature, and how does this affect a character?

The summoner could be a very dramatic class to play if its character aspects are more fully explored. As it stands, the summoner runs the risk of becoming the dinky humanoid sidekick of his Eidelon. A stronger sense of character could rescue him from such a fate.

That's what character backgrounds are for. :P

I understand that. But, many other classes, like the Oracle, try to help the character come up with a concept. Right now, the summoner could be anything from a mecha pilot, to a pokemon trainer, to a monster rancher, to a demon binder, to a dark sorceror... It could be anything, and what scares me is that the class, as is, lends itself to being a monster trainer more than a master of the planes.

Furthermore, what little "fluff" we've gotten about the summoner is just silly. C'mon is glowing runes all we're getting here?


John Falter wrote:

I understand that. But, many other classes, like the Oracle, try to help the character come up with a concept. Right now, the summoner could be anything from a mecha pilot, to a pokemon trainer, to a monster rancher, to a demon binder, to a dark sorceror... It could be anything, and what scares me is that the class, as is, lends itself to being a monster trainer more than a master of the planes.

Furthermore, what little "fluff" we've gotten about the summoner is just silly. C'mon is glowing runes all we're getting here?

For now, it's a playtest. The fluff will be determined later, perhaps by how WE as a group react to the possibilities the Summoner presents.

Dark Archive

John Falter wrote:
Epic Meepo wrote:
John Falter wrote:

I agree that the summoner does leave a little to be desired as far as flavor goes. For instance, how did the summoner manage to befriend/ensalve a extra planar being of wondrous power? What are the implications of summoning such a creature, and how does this affect a character?

The summoner could be a very dramatic class to play if its character aspects are more fully explored. As it stands, the summoner runs the risk of becoming the dinky humanoid sidekick of his Eidelon. A stronger sense of character could rescue him from such a fate.

That's what character backgrounds are for. :P

I understand that. But, many other classes, like the Oracle, try to help the character come up with a concept. Right now, the summoner could be anything from a mecha pilot, to a pokemon trainer, to a monster rancher, to a demon binder, to a dark sorceror... It could be anything, and what scares me is that the class, as is, lends itself to being a monster trainer more than a master of the planes.

Furthermore, what little "fluff" we've gotten about the summoner is just silly. C'mon is glowing runes all we're getting here?

The Summoner is part of the Advanced Player's Guide. I think that an advanced player should be able to take the class and come up with a reasonable back story for their character. The whole point of the class is variety and to create options. Why would they put anything in that would limit your options any more than necessary?

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

John Falter wrote:
Right now, the summoner could be anything from a mecha pilot, to a pokemon trainer, to a monster rancher, to a demon binder, to a dark sorceror...

I really have a hard time seeing that as a problem, I really like classes that provide lots of options for characters. If the player is a first timer or relatively new to the game, yeah, it may be too much option all at once, but for anyone with a fully formed concept that the summoner fulfills, I think its a great starting point.


riatin wrote:
John Falter wrote:
Right now, the summoner could be anything from a mecha pilot, to a pokemon trainer, to a monster rancher, to a demon binder, to a dark sorceror...
I really have a hard time seeing that as a problem, I really like classes that provide lots of options for characters. If the player is a first timer or relatively new to the game, yeah, it may be too much option all at once, but for anyone with a fully formed concept that the summoner fulfills, I think its a great starting point.

I love customization just as much as the next dork, but I think that giving the player's some direction can provide them with a framework to build better concepts. Why aren't you guys upset about the limiting flavor of the oracle? Or the sorcerer? Or the ranger?

As it stands, all of the customization for the summoner is actually for the eidolon. The summoner himself is pretty flat, and most of his abilities, save the ridiculously unbalanced "Summon Monster" ability, hinge upon his eidolon. While one could make a summoner of any background, the reality is that this will matter very little in terms of actual game play. Role-playing is great, but mechanics serve as a guide for players to role play. For instance, I am a ranger who hates lycanthropes,and I can prove it because they are favored enemy. Or, I am sorcerer of celestial descent, and I can prove this with my celestial bloodline.

A little help wouldn't hurt the summoner, indeed it would make him more customizable.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Things a summoner could do :

Summoner Cavaliers : Have an Eidelon that looks like a standard horse in full plate armor (or unicorn if you give it gore). The summoner could quite easily be a Knight of an order, all of whom summon extra special mounts. At lower levels, their mounts are horses, then unicorns, then pegasi, and always the same creature as they advance in rank. All it would take is a couple of feats (for heavy armor), and to overcome spell failure, and you'd have an 'eldritch knight' with a very very nasty mount.

Village Defender : I can't imagine a village that wouldn't love to have an Eidelon as it's resident defender. The village would keep the summoner and his Eidelon fed and housed, and they would in turn keep the goblins and orcs from raiding. They could do things the villagers couldn't (drag tree's back for building, dig wells in a day with burrow, etc). I could even see it being a tradition where a village always has a summoner, the old summoner taking on an apprentice, the Eidelon always the same creature for both. Think of some of the Asianic flavored tales of a village guardian tended by a priestess.

Summoner Express : Summoners could be the FedEx/UPS/Pony Express of the world. Their Eidelon's using their enhanced strength/speed/etc to carry packages, missives, even cargo (a huge flying Eidelon can carry a LOT of weight) over long distances securely. Lower level summoners starting with local mail routes, then moving up to bigger ones as they grow in level.

Just 3 ideas I had off the top of my head when I saw the class of things they could do OTHER than combat monster.


John Falter wrote:
Role-playing is great, but mechanics serve as a guide for players to role play. For instance, I am a ranger who hates lycanthropes,and I can prove it because they are favored enemy. Or, I am sorcerer of celestial descent, and I can prove this with my celestial bloodline.

I'm not buying this one. Are you saying there's a problem with the fighter b/c of roleplaying issues? That because realistically the fighter's class features (feats for the most part) do not lend a direction for a roleplaying background, but that instead your background may very well dictate your feat choices it's a design problem? And the wizard works the same way, as does the rogue, etc.

Besides, YOU design the eidolon. Who you are may very well dictate what your eidolon becomes. Did your character grow up a runt, always smaller than everybody else? If so, he likely has a rather large melee monstrosity as his always-there bodyguard.

Did you grow up in a castle setting, perhaps with a knight for a father? Then you may very well have a fantastic mount as an eidolon, picking up lance proficiency and making darn good use of it, especially if your eidolon grows into a flying mount.

Honestly, the eidolon is an EXCELLENT roleplaying tool. And these examples just utilize the eidolon's form. I'm not even touching on the skills that the eidolon and summoner may have.

Is your summoner shy? Naturally charismatic but uncomfortable around large groups? Perhaps the eidolon he has befriended has a comforting, humanoid form with Diplomacy and Sense Motive for its skills to pick up the slack where you can't.

Or perhaps you've summoned a creature from some realm of creativity, and it assists you with performances you've been giving all your life, with the added benefit of serving as a bodyguard if anything goes wrong.

See where I'm going here? The eidolon's very lack of definition makes it one of the best roleplaying tools the game has seen mechanically. As has been stated, this is part of the Advanced Player's Guide. It's not designed with players who need a walkthrough to play the class in the core rulebook.

Dark Archive

ruemere wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:
Do you mean like ... OOTS #373?

Things the class _could_ offer:

- major utility with regards to contacts with outsiders
- ability to explore and investigate far realms in addition to planes
- innate abilities to bind/calm/oppress outsiders
- special powers to create wide area wards (aka anti-extradimensional invasion security systems)
- special powers to breach such wards (who would not want to hire a summoner to secure her residence?)

I actually agree with that a little. Summoner should be a master planar sage and traveler. I mean, they can't even use Planar Binding (I understand the inherrent difficulties, there, mind you.)

How about bringing back some Horizon Walker flavor? give them resistances and immunities to planar effects, that sort of thing.


Jodah wrote:
I mean, they can't even use Planar Binding

Huh? Yes they can. 5th level spell on their list.


Jodah wrote:
ruemere wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:
Do you mean like ... OOTS #373?

Things the class _could_ offer:

- major utility with regards to contacts with outsiders
- ability to explore and investigate far realms in addition to planes
- innate abilities to bind/calm/oppress outsiders
- special powers to create wide area wards (aka anti-extradimensional invasion security systems)
- special powers to breach such wards (who would not want to hire a summoner to secure her residence?)

I actually agree with that a little. Summoner should be a master planar sage and traveler. I mean, they can't even use Planar Binding (I understand the inherrent difficulties, there, mind you.)

How about bringing back some Horizon Walker flavor? give them resistances and immunities to planar effects, that sort of thing.

Thank you for noticing this, too. The summoner does not have to be the sidekick of his Eidolon. He is a master of the planes--it's kind of his job description.

Dark Archive

Zurai wrote:
Jodah wrote:
I mean, they can't even use Planar Binding
Huh? Yes they can. 5th level spell on their list.

Really?

Oh.

I feel stupid. must have missed it


MaverickWolf wrote:
John Falter wrote:
Role-playing is great, but mechanics serve as a guide for players to role play. For instance, I am a ranger who hates lycanthropes,and I can prove it because they are favored enemy. Or, I am sorcerer of celestial descent, and I can prove this with my celestial bloodline.

I'm not buying this one. Are you saying there's a problem with the fighter b/c of roleplaying issues? That because realistically the fighter's class features (feats for the most part) do not lend a direction for a roleplaying background, but that instead your background may very well dictate your feat choices it's a design problem? And the wizard works the same way, as does the rogue, etc.

Besides, YOU design the eidolon. Who you are may very well dictate what your eidolon becomes. Did your character grow up a runt, always smaller than everybody else? If so, he likely has a rather large melee monstrosity as his always-there bodyguard.

Did you grow up in a castle setting, perhaps with a knight for a father? Then you may very well have a fantastic mount as an eidolon, picking up lance proficiency and making darn good use of it, especially if your eidolon grows into a flying mount.

Honestly, the eidolon is an EXCELLENT roleplaying tool. And these examples just utilize the eidolon's form. I'm not even touching on the skills that the eidolon and summoner may have.

Is your summoner shy? Naturally charismatic but uncomfortable around large groups? Perhaps the eidolon he has befriended has a comforting, humanoid form with Diplomacy and Sense Motive for its skills to pick up the slack where you can't.

Or perhaps you've summoned a creature from some realm of creativity, and it assists you with performances you've been giving all your life, with the added benefit of serving as a bodyguard if anything goes wrong.

See where I'm going here? The eidolon's very lack of definition makes it one of the best roleplaying tools the game has seen mechanically. As has been stated, this is part of the...

I have no doubt that you can come up with many excellent and distinct character concepts. I just think that a little bit of help wouldn't hurt. Maybe you like a blank canvas, but all I can see is white.

Perhaps the difference in our opinions is that you are content with the Eidolon taking center stage. I have a different view of the summoner. I see the summoner has a arcanist of terrifying power who by the force of his will has coerced an extra-planar being, that would normally be able to kill the summoner, into doing his bidding.

Controlling such a creature should be no small task, and I think that the summoner class abilities should reflect that. Instead, the class abilities give the summoner a very Eidolon dependent feel. What's more, many of the higher level abilities, like merge and twin eidolon, smack of anime a little bit too much. I like my anime just as much as the next con-girl, but I don't really like to feel its influence in the oldest table top role playing game.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
John Falter wrote:

I have no doubt that you can come up with many excellent and distinct character concepts. I just think that a little bit of help wouldn't hurt. Maybe you like a blank canvas, but all I can see is white.

Perhaps the difference in our opinions is that you are content with the Eidolon taking center stage. I have a different view of the summoner. I see the summoner has a arcanist of terrifying power who by the force of his will has coerced an extra-planar being, that would normally be able to kill the summoner, into doing his bidding.

Controlling such a creature should be no small task, and I think that the summoner class abilities should reflect that. Instead, the class abilities give the summoner a very Eidolon dependent feel. What's more, many of the higher level abilities, like merge and twin eidolon, smack of anime a little bit too much. I like my anime just as much as the next con-girl, but I don't really like to feel its influence in the oldest table top role playing game.

Well what about the stories that actually did inspire our RPG? In the Dying earth novel Rhialto the Marvelous, the very powerful wizards/sorcerors took a back seat to their Controlled Extraplanar beings. It was kind of amusing to watch the back and forth there. It was never explained exactly what the wizards held over their heads, but the beings were clearly more capable then the wizards could ever hope to be.

I really think the eidolon was supposed to take center stage here. That was the idea, fighting through your summoned creature. And there is definately precedent for it in the literature that represent part of the inspiration for this game.

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