Summoner: Great Solo Class, TERRIBLE for group play


Round 2: Summoner and Witch

Scarab Sages

Alright, I've been running a fairly long adventure featuring a single player playtesting a Summoner from levels 3-5. The rest of my group includes:

Elemental Sorcerer
Druid
Monk
Ranger/Rogue
Cleric (Channel Positive Energy)

Let me just say, Summoner, as played by the player, is not overpowered. The Eidolon, despite the crazy number of attacks it has already (at level 5, anyways), does only a decent amount of damage. The class seems fairly well balanced at lower levels, and she and the monk often have damage competitions (though the Sorcerer has quickly outgrown them both).

However, I'm very concerned with how time consuming this class is. At lower levels, this Eidolon is already making 4 attacks per round (6 now that it has a pair of wings and Wing Buffet). I realize that full-attacks can be difficult to come by, but this is an intelligent player who likes to get the upper hand as often as possible.

But this isn't the worst problem. The worst problem is the ability to summon tons of creatures to either A) Take Hits, or B) do damage. While these individual creatures contribute very little damage and take very little, they take up time, as each summoned creature gets its own turn. This results in the Summoner often getting a total of 5 creatures acting on her turn, with about a 1 creature margin of error. While this isn't terribly unbalancing, it is VERY time consuming for a single player to go through all of these turns individually.

Now, I know that there have been changes made to the class, and they are being used. And I know that Druids and Wizards can be just as bad under the right circumstances. However, I feel that this aspect of the game is severely killing battle momentum. Players at the table joke about taking bathroom breaks and cooking turkeys when the Summoner's turn comes up, and while this is funny the first or second time, it's frustrating to watch my players look bored from listening to the summoner direct a creature, make the attack role, and repeat 3 times, with some creatures having multiple attacks.

I realize that this is more of a mechanical fault with the game (in my opinion), but I feel like this is a matter that needs to be taken into consideration when publishing the final version of the class. Perhaps more combat ability for the summoner in exchange for the "Summon Monster X/day" ability. I realize that the point of the class is summoning, and I don't want to rain on the parades of summoner lovers out there (myself included), but there is too much going on with this class to make it fun in group play.

Other than that, grats to all the people at Paizo on making such great products. The other playtest classes look amazing, and I can't wait to try them out.


No offense to you or your group meant by this.

The issue you are having is with the player and time management, not with the Summoner class.

The summoner can't do anything that a cleric, wizard, or sorc can't already do- from the perspective of your issue. All of those can summon critters if they so choose. Druids can do it even without hardly making a choice. They can spontaneously convert.

The solution isn't to remove this ability from the Summoner. The solution is for your player to become much much more proficient in being expedient with his game time.

He needs to get colored 20's and use them for different attacks as well as have each and every critter he might summon prepared before hand.
if he has augment summoning then he needs to have done the math before hand and sketched out on a spare sheet so he isn't having to make adjustments on the fly. (note cards are great for this as are small stat blocks done in triple column in small print via Word or any other word processor).

Yes, its always going to take Some extra time to resolve.. but if the player is prepared and on his toes then it usually won't take as much time as it does for the grumpy ole wizard to figure out what spell he's going to cast on his round. (and then you can turn your attention to the wizard and get him to be abit more speedy too).

-S

The Exchange

I've experienced this before when a fellow player was a druid in a 3.5 game. He would wild shape into a fleshraker (MM2, IIRC) and he would pounce, bite (trip), claw (plus poison), claw (plus poison), rake (plus poison). Oh, did I mention that he was exalted and had the Touch of Golden Ice feat? Okay, that added another poison onto every single one of his attacks... Plus, the trip was an opposed roll then. So, he rolled a big fist full of dice, one at a time; Player attacks, player rolls damage, DM rolls fortitude save against poison, player trips, DM rolls in opposition. Player attacks again, hits and rolls damage, DM rolls twice for poison, repeat for claw, repeat for rake.

Not to mention he also had a fleshraker as an animal companion. His turns took freaking forever. As soon as my turn came up, I already had my action planned out (I was playing a Sword Sage at the time), so my turn took roughly 6 seconds (like an actual round).

In his defense, I did help him come up with the whole build (which was quite effective, though it took forever). He ditched that character after 2 sessions, after getting fed up with how long his turns took.

Back on topic, though. About the Summoner-

I think that this is also a problem with how he chooses to play it, as well. He could opt for one strong creature with his SLA as opposed to 1d3 of 1 lower tier or 1d4+1 of 2 lower tiers. You could also suggest that rather than getting more attacks, maybe he should get the evolution that adds 1d6 of an element to all of his current natural attacks. Then he could pull off 3 natural attacks (bite claw claw, for instance) while having a closer damage potential to when he has more attacks. Or just getting Improved Natural Attack for each of them, as well. Less attack rolls means less time spent rolling, after all.

If he likes to roll a lot of dice and take a lot of time up doing so, maybe he should start playing Warhammer? (jk)


My fiance and I used to have a similar problem in one of our previous games. She was playing a druid (a tiger totem druid, at that) and I was playing a 2WF ranger (and I managed to have a tiger companion as well). Yeah, that's right. 2 tiger companions, one druid wild shaped into a DIRE tiger (3 attacks each, or 5 with pounce, plus an opposed grapple check) and a ranger with four attacks.

Thankfully, our DM liked to give us the AC of our target, so as to make combat quicker. After one session of trying to do the math in our heads, I wrote up a spreadsheet on my laptop, just so we wouldn't slow the combat down...

Honestly, a player who decides to play a class that has to deal with this sort of thing should be fully prepared to handle the combat rolls in a timely matter. Maybe having him rolling while the other players are taking their turns and writing them down so as to keep his turn to a basic, "My attacks were x, y, and z. The first two hit? That's 9 and 14 damage."

At least with something like that, his turn wouldn't be taking so long...


I'm also going to have to agree with the previous comments. I am currently playing a summoner in a group setting with the current errata. It's been just fine. This is my second summoning focused character (well...really a variation of the same character, but anyway) and I have a print-off with a couple of different summons that I'm fond of and reference sheets for my abilities.

Sure, I'm a little anal-retentive but you kind of have to be if you're going to focus on micromanaging several different things. Talk to your player and get her to work on organization.


First, I use the Summon limits from Dragon Magazine #302. It's a total of 3 plus the spellcaster's primary ability score bonus for the class the spell is being cast from.

Then I allow the individual summoned monsters optional rule from the Dungeon Master's Guide to make summoners and summoned creatures more in-depth (like Final Fantasy does).

Then I tell the player he cannot summon anything until they have the statistics of each such creature. So my players will pour through monsters, adding templates if necessary to make them able to be summoned (like adding celestial template or the fire template to, say, a giant eagle or something). They will roll stats, choose feats, skills, etc. just like a real character and name it. The optional rule states if it dies, they can't summon it again for 24 hours or some such thing. This takes care of the DM having to look up monster stats whenever something is summoned, as that is all now the player's responsibility.

Now Dragon Magazine #302 has guidelines on how to add new summoned monsters, and it is really simple.

As for dealing with the turns in combat for someone summoning too many monsters, there's a real easy solution to that. Give control of the monsters to the other players. That gives everyone something to do in the meantime.


I go through each summon monster or summon nature ally spell that I can cast and look up each creature in the bestiary. Then I decided on which ones I like and I print out the monsters stat sheet from the bestiary pdf. Then I take a pen and make the changes on the the print out for augment summoning. After this is all done I include the sheets in my character sheet binder and I build up my own little summoning bestiary book for my character as I level. My turn is as fast as any other decent player at the table.

I would suggest taking your player aside and give him tips on speeding up his game. Multiple dice is good and pre rolling is ok if you trust the player. Ive seen DMs put slow players on timers or even making a rule 1 summon creature spell active at a time for a problem player.


Previous poster sparked a thought.

Alot of DM's don't like the PC pre-rolling, but I can definately see the PC simply sitting down with the DM 10 minutes before the game and rolling several fists of d20's. copy down each roll in order and then use them in order for the summons.

Have the Dm keep the list :) (so the PC doesn't know what number is coming next). The d20 can be used for saves, attack rolls, and whatever else ya need. Saves on having to do the rolls in game.
(for that matter everyone could pitch in.. a 3 minute session of 4-5 folks each rollign d20's a few times and jotting down the results could help the summoner(s) a great deal)

-S


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mahrdol wrote:

I go through each summon monster or summon nature ally spell that I can cast and look up each creature in the bestiary. Then I decided on which ones I like and I print out the monsters stat sheet from the bestiary pdf. Then I take a pen and make the changes on the the print out for augment summoning. After this is all done I include the sheets in my character sheet binder and I build up my own little summoning bestiary book for my character as I level. My turn is as fast as any other decent player at the table.

I make this a requirement for any player at my table that plans to use summons. If he doesnt have the stats written out, he cant summon the monster, simple as that.


Selgard wrote:

Previous poster sparked a thought.

Alot of DM's don't like the PC pre-rolling, but I can definately see the PC simply sitting down with the DM 10 minutes before the game and rolling several fists of d20's. copy down each roll in order and then use them in order for the summons.

Have the Dm keep the list :) (so the PC doesn't know what number is coming next). The d20 can be used for saves, attack rolls, and whatever else ya need. Saves on having to do the rolls in game.
(for that matter everyone could pitch in.. a 3 minute session of 4-5 folks each rollign d20's a few times and jotting down the results could help the summoner(s) a great deal)

-S

Ninja'd by Selgard. I pre-roll large numbers for my use as DM. It keeps things moving, also allows me to make "secret" rolls without drawing the players attention. Having the PC do so ahead of time for his character / summoned monsters would remove the "blame factor" for die roll issues.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

To keep all the other players involved, you could also assign one of the Summoner's summoned creatures to them...so they get to roll for it (and stay involved) even during the Summoner's turn.

Dark Archive

NSpicer wrote:
To keep all the other players involved, you could also assign one of the Summoner's summoned creatures to them...so they get to roll for it (and stay involved) even during the Summoner's turn.

Yeah, this is a good choice. Allow each player to pick a critter and roll for it (although I'd always leave the Eidolon for the Summoner player).

Also restricting the conjurer / summoner / whatever to summoning up critters he's got the stats printed up for is a good house-rule.

I usually do this myself, on monster cards from The Game Mechanics, but a note card would work just as well. We make the rare exception (when one really really needs the abilities of a specific summons, such as a Dire Bat or a Thoqqua), but only if everyone at the table is fine with that.


Set wrote:

I usually do this myself, on monster cards from The Game Mechanics, but a note card would work just as well. We make the rare exception (when one really really needs the abilities of a specific summons, such as a Dire Bat or a Thoqqua), but only if everyone at the table is fine with that.

What I do to speed things along is that I have all the summoned monsters, with stats adjusted, on a full-sheet of laminated paper, two to a sheet in columns with the quick-stat blocks on top, and a series of check-boxes down below for five of the same critter. When a critter gets hit, mark off its' HP with a dry-erase marker, then wipe clean when it goes away for whatever reason.


Ok well I guess I'm just weird but because of my weirdness I only use one summon at a time my Big E stops fighting when I summon from my SLA and my turns don't take up too much time.


Robert:

Why does your Big E stop fighting when you are casting a summon?

Has your DM imposed a rule saying he can't fight while you cast? Or do you recall him to your side to protect you? or some other reason?

-S


I tell him too it is a flavor thing but that is me I'm weird

Dark Archive

I would like to also point out that, yes, if a player were to take many attacks, rounds could take forever (possibly. I see quite a few options here that would easily speed this up), but a player may also choose to not take many attacks, and then the Eidolon wouldn't be so bad! I may also point out that classes with high attack bonuses get many attacks at higher levels, as do people with two weapon fighting options, and the monk with it's flurry of blows.

I just feel that you may have forgotten that this isn't exactly a Summoner only problem. I mean, from a DM's perspective, look at dragons! Tail slap, bite, claws, wings...wow! It gets hectic!

On a more helpful note, I find having a second DM helps with large quantities of dice rolls; someone you can really trust (I use my wife). While you deal with the rest of combat, the second DM can record the multiattack player's dice rolls, and they can even tell the player if they hit or miss. I also have players use different colored dice for multiple rolls, and require they roll damage at the same time. I find this helps speed up combat dramatically.

Liberty's Edge

I use a lot of the ideas already posted here, especially the color appropriate d20s for attacks. Something else I've houseruled for any summon'd things damage is that they always do the average amount of damage.

Because I make any summoner style caster jot down their usual summoned creatures (they keep them on note cards), I have them write down their base damage of their attacks.

Surprisingly, this alone has helped cut down on a lot of time.

I actually ALSO used to use this method back in 3.5 in higher level play. I'd let players opt to do this instead of roll and give them a slight nudge above average for doing so as it helped cut down on turns. Rogues, elemental damage on weapons, greatswords, fireballs ... thats a lot of dice and a lot of counting. When you have averages already good to go, things start to sail along happily.

Now I know a POSSIBLE problem by doing this to characters at higher levels is DR where you might have to roll above average to pass through, but that just means those fights tend to take a little longer. However if their average damage is enough to pass through DR, then we keep things as is and still no problems had.


I keep my laptop on hand, connected to the Pathfinder SRD (Summon Monster Spell bookmarked). One mouse click and I have all the stats I need for whatever I summon (listed with basic stats as well as augmented blocks for your convenience!)

Coloured d20s matched with coloured damage dice, all rolled at once help a great deal too. Or, you can give one beastie to each player to control, so everyone feels involved.

This isn't a problem with the class, it's simply a player education issue.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

As a note on pre-game d20 roll lists to cut down on time, I've never used this, but I HAVE thought of it. I use www.random.org for my dice rolls. The integer generator is quite nice for all different sided dice.


I have run some games at GenCon, and used a bunch of random D20 rolls on a sheet to make things go faster. Just load up Excel, use a random function, multiply by 20, add 1, and truncate.

I create a huge chart and just cross off rolls after I use them. It makes things so very much simpler.

Admittedly, this is a tool mostly for GM's, but the basic idea may also be useful for summons or Eidolons.


As nice as everyone's suggestions are, they really don't solve the problems that the original poster brings up.

First off, while other classes are capable of summoning a bunch of creatures, that does not somehow mean a problem does not exist. Creating an entire class around a mechanic that is known to cause problems (and giving it a strong companion!) is a recipe for disaster. Don't get me wrong, I don't think it is a balance issue, but rather a fun-at-the-table issue.

A single summon spell can add up to 5 creatures to the battlefield, each with spell like abilities, multiple attacks, DR and immunities, unique abilities, etc. Throw in another summon spell, the Eidolon, and the PC himself, and you have a turn that is going to take 10 times longer then the the other players turns. Even if you have every stat pre-made, every die pre-rolled, etc. etc. it is still going to take much longer for that player to get through a turn then any other player.

You can ask the player to not summon out of respect for the other players, or some other "out of game solution" but this class is going to cause people not never want to play again, and I really haven't seen any solutions or even a recognition that a problem exists.


L. Ferguson wrote:

As nice as everyone's suggestions are, they really don't solve the problems that the original poster brings up.

First off, while other classes are capable of summoning a bunch of creatures, that does not somehow mean a problem does not exist. Creating an entire class around a mechanic that is known to cause problems (and giving it a strong companion!) is a recipe for disaster. Don't get me wrong, I don't think it is a balance issue, but rather a fun-at-the-table issue.

A single summon spell can add up to 5 creatures to the battlefield, each with spell like abilities, multiple attacks, DR and immunities, unique abilities, etc. Throw in another summon spell, the Eidolon, and the PC himself, and you have a turn that is going to take 10 times longer then the the other players turns. Even if you have every stat pre-made, every die pre-rolled, etc. etc. it is still going to take much longer for that player to get through a turn then any other player.

You can ask the player to not summon out of respect for the other players, or some other "out of game solution" but this class is going to cause people not never want to play again, and I really haven't seen any solutions or even a recognition that a problem exists.

It's no different than any combat that involves a lot of NPCs. A major bar fight can generate as much action. Large numbers of low level guards can too. Usually it's the DM needing the extra time, in this case it's a fellow player. No real difference in terms of what the other players experience. Players should have some patience. You minimize the delays and play. If your players can't handle that, then they have issues that will be a problem in many situations besides summoned monsters. My 2cp.


L. Ferguson wrote:

As nice as everyone's suggestions are, they really don't solve the problems that the original poster brings up.

First off, while other classes are capable of summoning a bunch of creatures, that does not somehow mean a problem does not exist. Creating an entire class around a mechanic that is known to cause problems (and giving it a strong companion!) is a recipe for disaster. Don't get me wrong, I don't think it is a balance issue, but rather a fun-at-the-table issue.

A single summon spell can add up to 5 creatures to the battlefield, each with spell like abilities, multiple attacks, DR and immunities, unique abilities, etc. Throw in another summon spell, the Eidolon, and the PC himself, and you have a turn that is going to take 10 times longer then the the other players turns. Even if you have every stat pre-made, every die pre-rolled, etc. etc. it is still going to take much longer for that player to get through a turn then any other player.

You can ask the player to not summon out of respect for the other players, or some other "out of game solution" but this class is going to cause people not never want to play again, and I really haven't seen any solutions or even a recognition that a problem exists.

The problem HAS been addressed. The problem exists with the player, not the class. Several suggestions have been tabled that can help the player and the DM, as well as the other players.

The class is not going to make people not to want to play. It's not going to cause any problems that haven't existed since 3.0. The druid, ranger, wizard, sorcerer, and in cases, the cleric, have ALL had this problem. The druid, being the most notable example. An animal companion, plus the ability to change any spell into a Summon spell AND wild shape. The summoner doesn't get something like that until much later than the druid.

If the druid hasn't made anyone not want to play, then the summoner won't, either.

The problem exists with the player, not the class. Personally, if my fiance and I can handle 2 animal companions, a wildshaped druid, and a 2WF ranger in a timely matter, along with summons, in 3.5, then the summoner can be handled with grace and poise. Players can be helped along to play the class without slowing the game down.


R_Chance - The huge difference is that it is another player taking a dis-proportionate amount of game time, rather then team monster. Also, it is a problem that is going to happen over and over again in most combats. I expect fellow players to be patient, but there are limits.

Odentin - Creating a class who's whole purpose is creating more actions for that player is NOT "addressing the problem." If a player chooses to play an effective Summoner, he is going to be taking between 5 and 10 times as many actions in most combat rounds then the other players. Even if he has everything pre-stated, pre-rolled, pre-etc. it is still going to take much longer then the other players. If he isn't a pro at time management, then the game will gind to a halt EVERY time it is that players turn.

The problem is NOT the player. The problem is a class that has 5-10 times as many actions to take, in every combat, in every session, for every level. You can say the problem is with the other players, for not wanting to play for a fraction of the time of the summoner, but it would not be an issue if the class was designed with a limit to the number of actions per round.


Channel energy combined with 10+ combatants has been kind of a time-sucking nightmare in my games. Slow combat sucks out the fun, but it might be an inevitable aspect of the game as long as certain elements (summoning, creatures with multiple natural weapons, high-level area spells, etc.) remain.


Thats why its in the advanced guide. It requires advanced.. players.

If your other PC's are going to whine at the summoner then the summoner needs to not be invited. I'd just as soon Not have them nerf summons into the ground because some folks can't handle them at their tables.

The summoner can't do anything a druid can't already do- and that has been pointed out.
You might not allow it at your table or your PC's may not do that at your table but the druid is actually -designed- around the idea of being 2 rounds per round (druid + comp) and can summon more at a whim. Yours may not be doing so. But that doesn't mean it isn't intended.

The proposed solutions work very very well. While i haven't seen it in play myself, I particularly like the idea of the other PC's taking on summons as their "player" for the durations. That gives them something to do, prevents whining, and allows for more team interaction.

I bet if you tried this a time or two you might have other PC's actually waiting for their summon to come out :) Its something I plan to try when I get the opportunity.
Even without that though, being prepared can cut down alot of time.

The original OP's issues have been resolved in multiple ways that are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
(i.e. you can be very well prepared, use colored dice to make rolling attacks faster, and pass out summoned critters to other PC's to use so they aren't bored..)

-S


The class is not the issue. Lets compare shall we

Druid level 10[ Max]
Animal companion + 4 SNA1,+ 4 SNA II,+ 3 SNA III,+ 3 SNA IV,+ 2 SNA V

Total = 17 summons{ if max chosen} and the druid if ya wild shape

Summoner level 10 [max]
Eidolon + 1 SM V,+5 SM I, + 4 SM II + 3 SM IV,+ 1 SM V

Total=14 active

Druid has more, both burned out pretty much to do it, summoner can still fall back on a few more SM V'S

So as you see the issue is not the new class, the druid can get more on the field at once, if the want to, where the summoner to pull off 14 at once, needs to learn summon spells, he does not gain them free, the druid does


L. Ferguson wrote:
R_Chance - The huge difference is that it is another player taking a dis-proportionate amount of game time, rather then team monster. Also, it is a problem that is going to happen over and over again in most combats. I expect fellow players to be patient, but there are limits.

I think you're missing the point -- that it is not a real difference in the other players experience. Whether it's the DM or another player, they are still waiting for the next round. As others have pointed out this isn't just a Summoner issue, it's there with other classes and large combats in general. Numerous people have commented on how to speed play and remediate the issue. None the less, unless you eliminate summoning spells in general, restrict the number of PCs (and their cohorts / hirelings), don't have high level PCs (or NPCs) and avoid large numbers of enemies you are going to have this issue in some form. My players deal with it gracefully. They aren't jealous of another player spending more time "in the spotlight" or with the DM needing more time in a large combat. I don't see the issue as that big a problem. You take steps to deal with it and move on.

L. Ferguson wrote:


The problem is NOT the player. The problem is a class that has 5-10 times as many actions to take, in every combat, in every session, for every level. You can say the problem is with the other players, for not wanting to play for a fraction of the time of the summoner, but it would not be an issue if the class was designed with a limit to the number of actions per round.

If the player is not helping to minimize the time used, then it *is* a player issue. My players are fine with large / involved combats, but they expect the courtesy of effort to move things along as quickly as is possible. They (and I) lay out and pre-prepare as much as possible. I preroll extensively. We use color coded dice. Everyone tries to keep things moving as best as can be. That is pretty much all that can be done without radical changes to the game which I don't believe most people (playing 3.5 / Pathfinder) want. 4E probably has evened out player used time along with balancing, or homogenizing, the classes, but that's not a game I want to play or DM.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

This is a limitation of the gaming system not the spells or class. Just ask anyone who has attempted to run a battle with more than 40 combatants on the board.

It takes forever to move them all separately much less roll multiple attacks for each one. Then you need to keep track of the damage each one has taken....


Just played a pathfinder society game this Sunday with 2 Druids and 2 Summoners. There was no issues as far as time. Finding space for all those large companions in a dungeon craw is a another issue ;).


L. Ferguson wrote:

Odentin - Creating a class who's whole purpose is creating more actions for that player is NOT "addressing the problem." If a player chooses to play an effective Summoner, he is going to be taking between 5 and 10 times as many actions in most combat rounds then the other players. Even if he has everything pre-stated, pre-rolled, pre-etc. it is still going to take much longer then the other players. If he isn't a pro at time management, then the game will gind to a halt EVERY time it is that players turn.

The problem is NOT the player. The problem is a class that has 5-10 times as many actions to take, in every combat, in every session, for every level. You can say the problem is with the other players, for not wanting to play for a fraction of the time of the summoner, but it would not be an issue if the class was designed with a limit to the number of actions per round.

You seem to be misinformed. In order to be an "effective" summoner does NOT require that one fill up the battlemat with summoned creatures. I've seen, in fact played, a summoner who was more than effective enough while only summoning a single creature at a time, or not summoning any at all. It's all in the play style.

Further, insistence that there is a problem with the class fails to recognize that the druid has been handling this "problem" for years without issue. Or maybe the only people who've played druids have been experts at time management? I doubt it. It seems more likely that people have come up with solutions for time management and used them so as not to slow down the game. The same is possible for the summoner. With some help from certain resources, several have been mentioned above, anyone playing a summoner can keep up with the rest of the table.

Dark Archive

I've been playing a Summoner in PFS games since the beta was released. Do I take somewhat longer than most other players to take my turn? Yes, a bit. Has anyone ever complained? Not a once.

It's not an easy class to play well. I don't mean "play well" as "kill stuff" I mean play in such a way that's respectful of the other players. But just because it's harder doesn't mean its terrible for group play. By the logic put forth by those with that opinion, new players or players trying a class for the first time are also terrible for group play because they might need to look something up or they might spend more time making a decision than someone more experienced.

It is my opinion that the the Summoner should do his best to be respectful of other people's time by utilizing the tips noted in this thread. Likewise, the other players should be respectful of the player who wants to use a Summoner. The game is about fun and if that's how someone (like me) will have fun it should be supported by the group.

---

As an aside, I take issue with the idea that you have spam summons to be an effective Summoner. I've only summoned once in the last five games. I haven't needed to. The Summoner is pretty good in melee and the Eidolon handles the rest. I save my summons for the chance I'll need them to do something the Summoner or Eidolon otherwise couldn't.


Summoner can be a great group class, even when summoning loads of monsters. I don't know if this is a RP or mechanic feat, but here goes.

Summoner can add to the druids animal companions at least temporarily and the creatures follow the commands of the other PC based upon the others CHA or handle animal abilities. Summoners can raplace a PC's mount temporarily allowing time to heal an injured mount.

A group of summoned creatures can stop a charge (think road kill!)
A large creature can be cover bonus to AC.

One alternative to summoned creature resolution is other summoned creatures (Two of the same who kills who? The survivor has what kind of hp remaining). Mass damage spells. Pits and traps etc.

I also wanted to point out that alot of creatures are attacking w/o direction the opponent that the caster wishes. While many opponents maybe available I am thinking that the summoner must command the creatures or just let them attack as they will. All three of my Tigers pounced on one goblin. A summoner directing traffic can't really cast more spells at least for a round...

Also the finished product should have the exhaustive stats for each creature on the Summon Monster lists (all in one place and leaving room for adjustment by Augment Summoning/bless etc.)


Honestly, I just avoided the summoning issue with druids by looking up the rejuvenation alternate ability and offering it to the druid in my group in place of summon nature's ally. For those who don't know, that ability lets a druid convert a spell into 3 round fast healing equal to the spell's level for the entire party, and he liked the idea since our party didn't have another healer.

If you think summons would bog your game down, the simplist solution would be to think of an alternate ability that your player would like better. The best that pazio will probably do will be offering an alternate ability for the summoner at some point, but that could be months or years from now for all we know.


I like the idea of offering an alternative class feature.

Try channel energy

summoner loses:

Summon monster as spell like ability however many times a day...

Summoner gains channel energy as a cleric of the level of the Summon spell he would otherwise have so as a third level cleric instead of Summon III...

And then leave gate intact in the progression....

Worth a shot, doesn't help the playtest much thugh...

Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Advanced Player's Guide Playtest / Round 2: Summoner and Witch / Summoner: Great Solo Class, TERRIBLE for group play All Messageboards
Recent threads in Round 2: Summoner and Witch