A new spin on "fixing" the Summoner.


Round 2: Summoner and Witch


There have been many threads and posts about how the Summoners' Summon Monster spell-like abilities (abbreviated as SLAs from here) are "too much."

There have been several suggestions on reducing the overall impact of the SLAs in order to bring the Summoner more in line, and to reduce the "nova" effect.

What if we made the SLAs useful for something else? That would reduce the "nova" effect, without nerfing the schtick of the class as much.

Proposal:

The Summoner can convert a use of his/her SLAs to a healing effect on the Eidolon, and only the Eidolon.
Similar to channel energy, the SKA would heal a number of d6s of damage per level of Summon Monster. 1d6 at 1st and 2nd, 2d6 at 3rd and 4th, and 9d6 at 17th and 18th. At 19th, maybe the SLa counts as a Heal, but that might be much.

Shadow Lodge

I'm sorry, but I can't see anyone whose played the game more than once or twice to go "nova" with their SLAs. Maybe if they wanted to die and make a new character...

But I like your proposal to make the SLA into a healing effect for the Eidolon, I might house-rule it in.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I wonder though, it may have alot of impact on the summoner being a party un to himself if he can heal his eidolon. Already people are concerned about the summoner not needing other party members. If you give him the ability to heal his meat shield at the loss of a summon, will that decrease or increase strength?


I'm not sure.

I was trying to address the "Summoners are too powerful/time consuming when they nova" issue.

If the number of summons is reduced while increasing the longevity of the primary class ability, I would think the amount of strength would remain the same overall.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Disenchanter wrote:

I'm not sure.

I was trying to address the "Summoners are too powerful/time consuming when they nova" issue.

If the number of summons is reduced while increasing the longevity of the primary class ability, I would think the amount of strength would remain the same overall.

It may very well address it I just think that its a cocern that should be considered in this hypothetical.

Liberty's Edge

Disenchanter wrote:

I'm not sure.

I was trying to address the "Summoners are too powerful/time consuming when they nova" issue.

If the number of summons is reduced while increasing the longevity of the primary class ability, I would think the amount of strength would remain the same overall.

Well then kick the player. If someone wants to do something that holds up the game and makes any encounter super easy... drop a rock on their head.

"You now have Cronns Disease"
"What is that?"
"You have the runs... permanently"

Its the DMs job to rein in metagamers and munchkins. NOT THE PUBLISHERS!

When are people going to realize this?


Eradarus wrote:
Disenchanter wrote:

Well then kick the player. If someone wants to do something that holds up the game and makes any encounter super easy... drop a rock on their head.

"You now have Cronns Disease"
"What is that?"
"You have the runs... permanently"

Its the DMs job to rein in metagamers and munchkins. NOT THE PUBLISHERS!

When are people going to realize this?

Which is fine, if your playing in a home game. This doesn't work in Organized Play environments (IE: Pathfinder Society). So it needs to be balanced out of the gate.

Besides, there is no reason balanced classes aren’t something to strive for. If the Paizo (the publisher) wasn't concerned about balance, I'm sure they wouldn't bother with an open play test.

Liberty's Edge

Piety Godfury wrote:
Eradarus wrote:
Disenchanter wrote:

Well then kick the player. If someone wants to do something that holds up the game and makes any encounter super easy... drop a rock on their head.

"You now have Cronns Disease"
"What is that?"
"You have the runs... permanently"

Its the DMs job to rein in metagamers and munchkins. NOT THE PUBLISHERS!

When are people going to realize this?

Which is fine, if your playing in a home game. This doesn't work in Organized Play environments (IE: Pathfinder Society). So it needs to be balanced out of the gate.

Besides, there is no reason balanced classes aren’t something to strive for. If the Paizo (the publisher) wasn't concerned about balance, I'm sure they wouldn't bother with an open play test.

You can't force balance though. There will always be rules that can be twisted or distorted to gain an advantage. Just part of the game. The goal is to get "close" to balance. Close enough to have 90% of the gameplay be balanced and fun. Any past that and you're turning the class from a fun concept that you can change and manipulate into a set in stone block of rules that are only in place to keep the minority (Read munchkins, who I don't game with anyway. You munchkin you end up dead. That's the rule) from doing things that unbalance the game.

To that point I don't see a need to change very much about this class. Its really close to the comfort zone in my opinion. Yes some things can be exploited... but the same is true for any other class.

A game without loopholes and points of exploit isn't a game... its a chore.


Eradarus wrote:
Piety Godfury wrote:
Eradarus wrote:
Disenchanter wrote:

Well then kick the player. If someone wants to do something that holds up the game and makes any encounter super easy... drop a rock on their head.

"You now have Cronns Disease"
"What is that?"
"You have the runs... permanently"

Its the DMs job to rein in metagamers and munchkins. NOT THE PUBLISHERS!

When are people going to realize this?

Which is fine, if your playing in a home game. This doesn't work in Organized Play environments (IE: Pathfinder Society). So it needs to be balanced out of the gate.

Besides, there is no reason balanced classes aren’t something to strive for. If the Paizo (the publisher) wasn't concerned about balance, I'm sure they wouldn't bother with an open play test.

You can't force balance though. There will always be rules that can be twisted or distorted to gain an advantage. Just part of the game. The goal is to get "close" to balance. Close enough to have 90% of the gameplay be balanced and fun. Any past that and you're turning the class from a fun concept that you can change and manipulate into a set in stone block of rules that are only in place to keep the minority (Read munchkins, who I don't game with anyway. You munchkin you end up dead. That's the rule) from doing things that unbalance the game.

To that point I don't see a need to change very much about this class. Its really close to the comfort zone in my opinion. Yes some things can be exploited... but the same is true for any other class.

A game without loopholes and points of exploit isn't a game... its a chore.

I agree: get it as close as possible. If you try to homogenize it too much you sacrifice too much and you end up with something different. I, for one, don't like the results.

Liberty's Edge

Piety Godfury wrote:
Eradarus wrote:
Piety Godfury wrote:
Eradarus wrote:
Disenchanter wrote:

Well then kick the player. If someone wants to do something that holds up the game and makes any encounter super easy... drop a rock on their head.

"You now have Cronns Disease"
"What is that?"
"You have the runs... permanently"

Its the DMs job to rein in metagamers and munchkins. NOT THE PUBLISHERS!

When are people going to realize this?

Which is fine, if your playing in a home game. This doesn't work in Organized Play environments (IE: Pathfinder Society). So it needs to be balanced out of the gate.

Besides, there is no reason balanced classes aren’t something to strive for. If the Paizo (the publisher) wasn't concerned about balance, I'm sure they wouldn't bother with an open play test.

You can't force balance though. There will always be rules that can be twisted or distorted to gain an advantage. Just part of the game. The goal is to get "close" to balance. Close enough to have 90% of the gameplay be balanced and fun. Any past that and you're turning the class from a fun concept that you can change and manipulate into a set in stone block of rules that are only in place to keep the minority (Read munchkins, who I don't game with anyway. You munchkin you end up dead. That's the rule) from doing things that unbalance the game.

To that point I don't see a need to change very much about this class. Its really close to the comfort zone in my opinion. Yes some things can be exploited... but the same is true for any other class.

A game without loopholes and points of exploit isn't a game... its a chore.

I agree: get it as close as possible. If you try to homogenize it too much you sacrifice too much and you end up with something different. I, for one, don't like the results.

Agreed. Personally I have no problem with the summon SLA. I see no reason to change it very much. The evolutions need work... but not much.

Now a feat could be put in place to allow the summoner to heal his Eidolon... that would be interesting. But it belongs as a feat, not a built in rule.

I am hoping that Paizo includes at least a few feats for each of these classes, as they do need some backup in that area to make them truly viable in mainstream play.


I like the basic concept but healing the meat shield seems just one avenue of using the SLAs. I like the idea of "burning" SLAs for various other uses such as rapid casting, long-range summons, etc.

The same could be done for length of the summon. For example, sacrifice the duration for something else.

This would serve to both reduce the SLAs, which I don't see as an issue and the duration, which I don't see as an issue either. What it does do is give the summoner flexibility to adapt to other situations.


Piety Godfury wrote:
Eradarus wrote:
Disenchanter wrote:

Well then kick the player. If someone wants to do something that holds up the game and makes any encounter super easy... drop a rock on their head.

"You now have Cronns Disease"
"What is that?"
"You have the runs... permanently"

Its the DMs job to rein in metagamers and munchkins. NOT THE PUBLISHERS!

When are people going to realize this?

Which is fine, if your playing in a home game. This doesn't work in Organized Play environments (IE: Pathfinder Society). So it needs to be balanced out of the gate.

Pathfinder Society has its own house rules. I guess by your reasoning the Druid/Ranger combo wasn't balanced because they have a rule limiting the amount of animals and animal companions?

If summoning becomes a problem I am pretty sure we will see a summoning rule similar to the Animal rule below.

Animals and Companions
Animals and companions are a sticky subject in organized
play and can be one of the most annoying ways to min-max
the rules and slow down play. Since Pathfinder Society
operates on a 4-hour time limit for scenarios, the rules
for animals and companions need a few clarifications.
How many animals can I have at any given time? During
the course of a scenario, you may have one combat animal
and as many non-combat animals as you like. You make
this choice at the beginning of the scenario. This means
if you’re a Ranger 5/Druid 5, you’ll need to pick which
animal companion is your combat animal. Non-combat
animals (ponies, horses, pet dogs, etc.) cannot participate
in combat at all. This clarification is meant to reinforce
the same line of logic that prohibits the Leadership feat
from Pathfinder Society—you only have 4 hours to play
and allowing multiple additional combatants only slows
down that play. Finally, if you have so many non-combat
animals that their presence is slowing a session down,
the GM has the right to ask you to select one non-combat
animal and leave the rest behind. Our advice for the
campaign: you can have a mount and a pet and your classgranted
animals with you during the scenario, but try to
avoid going any further beyond that. It can be disruptive
and disruptions are fun for no one.

Shadow Lodge

Kalderaan wrote:

I like the basic concept but healing the meat shield seems just one avenue of using the SLAs. I like the idea of "burning" SLAs for various other uses such as rapid casting, long-range summons, etc.

The same could be done for length of the summon. For example, sacrifice the duration for something else.

This would serve to both reduce the SLAs, which I don't see as an issue and the duration, which I don't see as an issue either. What it does do is give the summoner flexibility to adapt to other situations.

Al long as it isn't cutting the duration in half to summon an extra monster.


Mahrdol wrote:


Pathfinder Society has its own house rules. I guess by your reasoning the Druid/Ranger combo wasn't balanced because they have a rule limiting the amount of animals and animal companions?

There are no standing rules in the core rulebook that address this issue, to my knowledge. So if PFS creates a rule which limits them, then they are filling a void.

It is something entirely different to change established rules. So I doubt, if they print the Summoner as is, you see Josh putting out a rules set re-writing how Eidolons work


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Piety Godfury wrote:
Mahrdol wrote:


Pathfinder Society has its own house rules. I guess by your reasoning the Druid/Ranger combo wasn't balanced because they have a rule limiting the amount of animals and animal companions?

There are no standing rules in the core rulebook that address this issue, to my knowledge. So if PFS creates a rule which limits them, then they are filling a void.

It is something entirely different to change established rules. So I doubt, if they print the Summoner as is, you see Josh putting out a rules set re-writing how Eidolons work

Ofcourse not, but the point was, that 'it can be handled at the table if players arent dealing with the multiple summons well' view, is made invalid by the fact that you cannot do this in organized play. If there is good evidence that organized play will do this for itself, then it is less of a concern, and once again the discussion of whether its better handled in rules or at the table is a genuine one.

Dark Archive

Odds are good that the Organized Play will limit the summoner to 2 summons and an eidolon or so if the summoner proves disruptive to actual play.

Right now there haven't been any issues with conjurers in organized play, even with the Academae Graduate feat, which makes summons a standard action. I doubt summoners will cause many issues either, though the first week or 2 will probably be a bit bumpy as people get used to the pain of having 3-4 printed sheets for their summoned creatures.


Piety Godfury wrote:
Mahrdol wrote:


Pathfinder Society has its own house rules. I guess by your reasoning the Druid/Ranger combo wasn't balanced because they have a rule limiting the amount of animals and animal companions?

There are no standing rules in the core rulebook that address this issue, to my knowledge. So if PFS creates a rule which limits them, then they are filling a void.

It is something entirely different to change established rules. So I doubt, if they print the Summoner as is, you see Josh putting out a rules set re-writing how Eidolons work

He already did for Druids/Rangers so I don't follow your logic. Here is his example

This means
if you’re a Ranger 5/Druid 5, you’ll need to pick which
animal companion is your combat animal. Non-combat
animals (ponies, horses, pet dogs, etc.) cannot participate
in combat at all.

Seems like a new rule to me.

All he has to say for the summoner is you are allowed 2 summons maximum. Eidolons and a monster summoning spell or 2 monster summoning spells. There you have a minor rule that really changes very little.


Eradarus wrote:

Well then kick the player. If someone wants to do something that holds up the game and makes any encounter super easy... drop a rock on their head.

"You now have Cronns Disease"
"What is that?"
"You have the runs... permanently"

Its the DMs job to rein in metagamers and munchkins. NOT THE PUBLISHERS!

When are people going to realize this?

Eradarus, this is what is known as the Oberoni fallacy. Claiming that the rules are balanced because the DM can change them isn't a valid form of argument. If I wanted to change classes willy-nilly, I wouldn't bother paying for Pathfinder and would write up my own system.


Dragonborn3 wrote:
Kalderaan wrote:

I like the basic concept but healing the meat shield seems just one avenue of using the SLAs. I like the idea of "burning" SLAs for various other uses such as rapid casting, long-range summons, etc.

The same could be done for length of the summon. For example, sacrifice the duration for something else.

This would serve to both reduce the SLAs, which I don't see as an issue and the duration, which I don't see as an issue either. What it does do is give the summoner flexibility to adapt to other situations.

Al long as it isn't cutting the duration in half to summon an extra monster.

Absolutely, that is a given. That would be a one-shot a day SUPER-NOVA, which is way out of balance.

I was thinking more of using an SLA slot to boost another SLA slot.


On the whole I think this class is very well written; that being said, I do see room for a few minor tweaks to eliminate potential problems before they arise. Not all groups are perfect, and making easy fixes to eliminate the most obvious potential abuses is a smart move that allows more dms and players to enjoy the class without having to worry about the can of worms they are opening. Personally, I would prefer a general errata on summoning spells in general, but that is not likely to happen, and just because a problem already exists elsewhere isn't an excuse to deal with it in a class that is predisposed to having it come up sooner rather than later.


Mahrdol wrote:

He already did for Druids/Rangers so I don't follow your logic.

My question is: Is there a rule regarding multiple companions in the core rulebook?

If the answer is 'no,' then it is a creation of a rule where there is no 'core' rule in place, thus defining it.

This is different than making a change to something that has defined rules. One of the main complaints about the Summoner is defined not subjective rules.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

Disenchanter wrote:

Proposal:

The Summoner can convert a use of his/her SLAs to a healing effect on the Eidolon, and only the Eidolon.

With the new summoner fix in the sticky at the top of the forum, the summon monster SLA is no longer too powerful, so we don't need the ability to either summon monster or heal an eidolon as an SLA.

However, I do feel that the summon monster SLA's are forcing one particular character concept on summoners, so I wouldn't mind giving summoners the choice at 1st level between taking summon monster SLA's and eidolon healing SLA's.

That way, a summoner who wants to be the "summon lots of monsters" guy chooses the summon monster SLA option, while the summoner who wants to be the "one big summon that just won't die" guy takes the eidolon healing SLA option.

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