Ok, so me and my girlfriend made an summoner and witch, respectively for our regular campaign (Ebberon) that we play by the pathfinder ruleset.
And we had 1 session, mostly getting with other members of the party. No fight yet, but a lot of roleplaying.
She made halfling witch with toad familiar. Nice, powerful spells, lots of skill points due to high int and lots of high social skills due to high charisma. Not very optimized.
I made boy (human) that travels mostly alone, noble. He lived with his grandpa in castle somewhere in central Karrnath, until his grandpa summoned something from Khyber that ate him. Now i have terrible beast that speaks with my grandpa's voice. The boy is sick little noble who still has child's mind which is burdened with horrible experiences - in short sick little s**t.
cha 18, con 16, str 9 rest 12 - rolled well.
So when i read summoner class i liked it from beginning, and only other similar class was Richard Burlew's Champion but there he preserved action economy by transforming you into godlike fighting machine. And your spellcasting was suckier. And being sucker for make your monster things, i really like options... well i even played psion because of their astral construct power.
So when i started making eidolon, first thing in my eyes was ridiculous strength without trying too hard - 27 thanks to large evolution. I tried not to over optimize him because my party is not very optimized so i made him bipedal to exclude pounce and im not sure i succeeded. Next thing i noticed how easy is to make a lot of attacks on his frame.
In the end - bite-trip, 4 claws, large, wings, scent, + acid damage.
What also frustrated my option-loving mind was that some nice and fluffy abilities like various mobility options and bonus to skills and such had to take second seat to taking very powerful stuff like extra attack ( bite ) and trip that were in the same price range. I know, always to few build points...
I also gave him ring of protection +1 and amulet of mighty fists +1.
I when i made him i realized that he will put our party fighter to shame in combat. When i put mage armor and barkskin on him he has a LOT more AC and only a little less hp-s our fighter being tank. And a lot of more strength and attacks and raw damage. And better at protecting sensitive party members due to his reach and trip abilities. Oh, and he flies. And sniffs hidden enemies. And is one ugly m-f.
Well i ended in no fight on our first session so i didn't even summon the guy since i don't walk around with large monster around unless i feel threatened. Also i noticed during roleplaying that except high charisma i have no social skills and abilities except charm monster that i didn't take and some knowledges that i also didn't take too much. Witch was much more at home here. Summoner is war-machine. outside of combat he is little clumsy but no more than our fighter i suppose.
The session ended in cliffhanger with enemies approaching so next session will be combat testing.
well that's my thoughts for now. will report after next seession.
Ok, second session
I changed my eidolon a little giving him +8 to stealth and climb speed instead of wings.
First i was suprised at versatility of summoner, his summons are very strong tool, and can be adapted for many needs. Like i healed half of party by summoning Ghaele Bralani and using his cure serious wounds, or used his gust of wind and my grease as peacefull crowd control, or when i needed informations and using his charm person at will until guy fails his save. Not to mention summoning muscle where it is needed which is already nice and some other monsters that also have spellcasting should i need any spell they have. Often those spells are at will.
Also my eidolon is increasing this versatility by having skills like survival, perception, intimidate, etc that i lack and huge strength to apply where needed.
My eidolon still didn't enter proper fight but did scare s**t out of some guards with intimidate and did some serious scouting due his +17 to stealth and scent ability. Not to mention getting me out of some tight spaces by using transposition while he actually managed to escape. Getting his hp's reduced did hurt a little but for a large target he did well.
Hp's reduction for distance is quite restricting and i like it, it's fluffy and i have to make choices when going to town or when using my eidolon for other things than being bodyguard.
But what it really makes summoner strong is action economy. Being able to use Eidolon actions to perform physical actions, summoner to cast and one summon to also do something useful takes me way ahead rest of the party. With nice spread of skills and abilities (especially UMD) i can function like solo party.
Balance-wise i have WAAAAAAY more options in and out of combat than our fighter. I think around power of sorcerer, maybe little more due to versatility and amount of summons.
Next session - serious fight! Against undead i think, no this "no casualties" stuff and i hope to find how strong is this muscle i lug around.