Master Summoner vs. Synthesist


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Liberty's Edge

Tarantula wrote:
Jelani wrote:

MS can stealth all it wants.

Alright, here's how it went:

I will point out where you screwed up at the start, and you can go again from there. My comments in bold.

** spoiler omitted **...

I will admit I forgot to modify the HP for Augment summoning, which would change things. What is making them celestial though? That would make a big difference. 1d6 of the extra is acid 1d6 is shock.

Part of this was honestly wanting to see why the MS is "better" than the Synth and I want it to be fair because of that. I will gladly rerun the contest with the same rules with a 10 round prep time in an open field. Both contestants know they are going into a fight, and have 20000 GP. Would that change your tactics Tarantula?

Or would you just surrounded the invisible MS with a phalanx of aurochs and have them trample out and back to protect him? I want to run the fight again with no rules mistakes and see what happens.

Liberty's Edge

Phasics wrote:

How bout this for 3 round prep

Summoner has Empower spell like ability feat = empowered summon monster 3 3/day and superior summoning and a rod of lesser empower

So assuming the low side of averages
1d4+2 +50% = 6 , then times 3 = 18

So now Summoner has 18 SM1 critters lets say riding dogs the dogs bubblewrap the Master summoner with 8 completely surrounding him and the other 10 forming a second rank line around them with 1 sq space between them.

The whole moves as a pack with any dog under threat of AoO from synth using a withdraw action to move with the group. Limiting you to 1 attack per round

MS then casts another summon monster 3 as a spell empowered with the rod for another 6 dogs to complete the 2 rank bubblewrap a total of 24 dogs and then begins to throw out single level 3 summons of latern archons that take up position floating above the pack

If your not flying the lantern archons simply move out of reach and fire at will, if you start flying they rejoin the pack floating just above the pack covering the MS from the sky.

As this point its just attrition, you move in an kill a dog the pack withdraws away, even with reach you can't reach the MS behind 2 ranks so he can move and cast every round. Any dog that doesn't withdraw has a standing readied action to Aid Another on the MS to grant a +2AC bonus. so even if you manage to find a gap and attack the MS he gets an instant +16 or better AC bump pushing his AC to 37.

Any round where dogs don't need replacing an increasing number of lantern archons are summoned and take 50/50 pot shots at your touch AC. Lets say 3. Each round they fire 6 rays at you 3 land and you take 3d6dmg

round 2 you take 1d6 = 3dmg
round 3 you take 2d6 = 7dmg
round 4 you take 3d6 = 10dmg

and then 2 rounds later on round 6 your down , round 7 or 8 if a dog top up is required.

This is what I wanted to see. I'm not gonna bother running this because I think MS would win. Never thought of empowering a summon before. I can't check this because I'm behind the great firewall of china at work right now, but is Empower Spell Like Ability a monster feat?

Liberty's Edge

As for the whole argument of the Synth shouldn't have his Eidolon suit on, without including it in prep time. Puh-lease. First thing he does when he wakes up in the morning is bond with eidolon, even before he pees. The only way he'd be without it is if the MS is ambushing him in his sleep, in which case there is no point in even runnning it. MS wins.

Liberty's Edge

As for the stealth vs Scent argument. Say a creature has hide in plain sight, and is standing in the middle of an open arena. They roll a stealth check and get a 30.

Y'all are saying that the RAW are that a creature with scent could not locate them, even if they were standing within 30' and took the move action? So the stealthing creature effectively doesn't exist for anything that doesn't have the ability to make a DC 30 perception check? Once again would do some research but can't get to pfsrd right now and don't have my books with me.

Of course the MS doesn't have hid in plain sight, and I'm a lot less inclined to give it to him if it's that powerful. Maybe a few trees in the field for him to take cover behind instead.

Liberty's Edge

Okay, got PFSRD working. This line from the stealth skill entry makes me think that Scent>stealth

If people are observing you using any of their senses (but typically sight), you can't use Stealth.

Scent is certainly a sense in my opinion. Say the character with scent was farther than 30' away. The stealther would be safe but the scenter could still "search" around for them using move actions. Also wouldn't casting a summon from stealth necessitate another stealth roll?


Robb Smith wrote:
WWWW wrote:
Look I realize you could have cast see invisibility to start and I also realize the opponent could have summoned lantern archons. However neither of those happened. What did happen is the rules were violated. If the rules are not going to be properly followed then there is no reason to even start talking about strategy based on the rules.

All I can hear when I read this "Yeah, but you didn't actually CAST THE SPELL so now there's ogres, ok?!"

That AOO was not the turning point of the demonstration. The fact that he was smashing through summons at a breakneck pace was. Every table makes rules mistakes, we accept them as part of the fact we are human and move on with what is pertinent.

If you can never hit the enemy and they can keep summoning monsters that damage you eventually you will die and the opponent will win. The whole point of the test is undermined if you cheat.

Liberty's Edge

WWWW wrote:
Robb Smith wrote:
WWWW wrote:
Look I realize you could have cast see invisibility to start and I also realize the opponent could have summoned lantern archons. However neither of those happened. What did happen is the rules were violated. If the rules are not going to be properly followed then there is no reason to even start talking about strategy based on the rules.

All I can hear when I read this "Yeah, but you didn't actually CAST THE SPELL so now there's ogres, ok?!"

That AOO was not the turning point of the demonstration. The fact that he was smashing through summons at a breakneck pace was. Every table makes rules mistakes, we accept them as part of the fact we are human and move on with what is pertinent.

If you can never hit the enemy and they can keep summoning monsters that damage you eventually you will die and the opponent will win. The whole point of the test is undermined if you cheat.

Agreed, but cheat is a strong word. I made a mistake in thinking that he could take AOOs without having cast see invisibility first due to having scent. I was wrong and will run it differently next time.

Liberty's Edge

Jelani wrote:
Tarantula wrote:
Jelani wrote:

MS can stealth all it wants.

Alright, here's how it went:

I will point out where you screwed up at the start, and you can go again from there. My comments in bold.

** spoiler omitted **...

I will admit I forgot to modify the HP for Augment summoning, which would change things. What is making them celestial though? That would make a big difference. 1d6 of the extra is acid 1d6 is shock.

Part of this was honestly wanting to see why the MS is "better" than the Synth and I want it to be fair because of that. I will gladly rerun the contest with the same rules with a 10 round prep time in an open field. Both contestants know they are going into a fight, and have 20000 GP. Would that change your tactics Tarantula?

Or would you just surrounded the invisible MS with a phalanx of aurochs and have them trample out and back to protect him? I want to run the fight again with no rules mistakes and see what happens.

Ah, they are celestial because that's what the spell says ~_~' Doh!


Jelani wrote:

Okay, got PFSRD working. This line from the stealth skill entry makes me think that Scent>stealth

If people are observing you using any of their senses (but typically sight), you can't use Stealth.

Scent is certainly a sense in my opinion. Say the character with scent was farther than 30' away. The stealther would be safe but the scenter could still "search" around for them using move actions. Also wouldn't casting a summon from stealth necessitate another stealth roll?

Here's the simple breakdown of stealth modifiers of the DC if you need them (that would likely apply):

+20 for being invisible.
+20 for not moving.
+5 for the observer being distracted (by creatures that threaten)
+1 per every 10 feet away the MS is away from the Synth.
-20 for casting a spell with vocal components or acting in combat. (This doesn't include Summon Monster SLAs as they have no verbal components)
-5 for moving at half speed or less.
-10 for moving at full speed.
-20 for running or charging.

Penalties from movement don't stack.

If the MS isn't threatened he should be able to take a 10 on stealth checks and due to the MS's build he takes 5 less of a penalty from movement. The penalties/bonuses mean the Synth effectively cannot pinpoint the MS unless extremely favorable conditions are met.

As far as I can tell Scent doesn't negate concealment from invisibility nor the ability to stealth. It would pretty much auto pinpoint the square if within 5' and it allows a move action to locate the direction of the invisible creature if it's within 30ft. The concealment from being unable to see the MS still imparts a 50% miss chance, regardless of locating the square.

Each round the MS remains using stealth he makes a stealth check which is automatically opposed by a perception check from the synth. The Synth can burn a move action as always for another roll as well.

Attacking into random squares might work. So would see invisibility, but that's meta gaming. Detect magic works but only after 3 rounds and a standard action to keep up.

Liberty's Edge

Okay, here is the battle with 10 rounds of prep time in an open empty field.

Preparations:

MS- Rounds 1-8 Summon Celestial Aurochs, Round 9 see invis scroll, Round 10 invisibility.

I also gave the MS this gear Headband of Alluring Cha +2 (4000), Ring of Protection +1 (2000), Cloak of Resistance +2 (4000), Rod of Lesser Empower (3000), Amulet of Natural Armor +1 (2000), Potion of Fly (300), Scroll of See Invis (150), Wand of Shield (750), Dust of Appearance (1800)..he still has a little left but I couldn't think of anything else he could use in the fight off the top of my head.

Synth- Round 1 Evo Surge Flight, Round 2 Evo Surge Scent, Round 3 Evo Surge Gore, Round 4 Evo Surge Improved Damage Bite, Round 5 Mage Armor, Round 6 Scroll of See Invis, Round 7 Scroll of Invis, Round 8 Nothing, Round 9 Wand of Enlarge, Round 10 Haste

I started them on opposite sides of my battle mat (~170' apart) with the MS surrounded by his Aurochs in a square formation with the archon floating 20' up off to the side a little.

Spoiler:

Initiative:
MS- 29 Synth- 17

Round 1
MS- summons a lantern archon, pulls out wand of shield
Aurochs- wait for enemy to appear
Archons- ready action to light beam anything that appears within 30'

Synth- Double move flies 120' towards the MS ending its turn 15' off the ground and 30' out from the wall of Aurochs.

Round 2
MS- Summons Lantern Archon
Aurochs- Delay
Archons- Ready Beams

Synth- Moves invisibly forward 35' (he is now halfway overlapping the first Aurochs and 5' over its head) and makes a bite at the MS. He hits AC 17 doing 25 Slashing 6 Acid and 3 Elec and gets a 20 CMB tripping the MS. This triggers the Archon's readied actions. 2 light beams at ACs 19 & 11. The one hit does 4 damage to the Synth.

Round 3
MS- Cast defensively to summon last archon, gets a 30 succeeding.

Aurochs- Not being too smart they all move to gore Synth. #s 1,3,4,5 provoke AOOs, the synth takes 3. #1 hits AC 18 for 22 slashing damage, #2 hits AC 16 doing 21 slashing, #3 hits AC 29 for 21 slashing. All the Aurochs but #2 can get a gore off, #1 hits AC 10, #3 hits AC 20, #4 hits AC 25, #5 hits AC 25, #6 hits AC 22, #7 hits AC 29, possible crit does not confirm with a 17. But does 15 damage, #8 hits AC 26.

Archons- All take two light beams at Synth. #1 hits AC 19,21 doing 7 damage. #2 hits AC 23, not confirming and AC 15 doing 2 Damage. #3 hits AC 9, 10 missing.

Synth- Makes Fly check to hover (far as I can tell not an actual action, if it's a move action then the Synth just lost the fight). He gets a 4 failing. He falls 10' making another fly check to avoid the damage. He gets an 18, succeeding (don't see anywhere that falling provokes AOOs).
He makes a full attack from prone. Starting bite is on Aurochs #4 hitting AC 14 doing 22 damage killing it. Second bite is on Aurochs #3 hitting AC 19 doing 25 damage and killing it. Claw 1 on Aurochs #6 hits AC 8 missing, Claw 2 hits AC 15 doing 12 damage. Gore on #6 hits AC 20 doing 19 more damage killing it.

Round 4
MS- crawls 15' out of synth's threatened area with a withdraw action

Aurochs- #s1,2,5,7 take gore attacks and #8 tramples they end up surrounding the Synth in a box. #1 hits AC 13. #2 hits AC 14. #5 hits AC 26 doing 16 damage. #7 hits AC 19. Synth makes a reflex save to avoid #8's trample. He gets a 26 avoiding the damage.

Archons- #1 hits AC 17, 17 doing 5 damage. #2 hits AC 6, 14 doing 1 damage. #3 hits AC 9, 11 doing 6 damage.

Synth- Full attack from prone. Bite 1 on Aurochs #2 is natural 1, bite 2 hits AC 25 doing 21 damage. Claw 1 on Aurochs #1 hits AC 17 doing 23 and killing it. Claw 2 on Aurochs #2 hits AC 17 doing 25 and killing it. Gore on Aurochs #5 hits AC 15 doing 12 damage.

Round 5
MS- Stands up, casts shield

Aurochs- #5,7 do Gores from flanking. #5 hits AC 29, not confirming for 17 damage. #7 hits AC 15 missing. Synth takes reflex save to avoid the trample, gets a 17 and takes 16 damage going to -5 HP

Archons- Finish off Synth

So with a 10 round prep time the master summoner eakes out a victory with 8 HP left. If the synth hadn't failed the fly check to hover the MS would have died then. Also if he happened to have fire damage instead of acid and/or a merciful amulet of mighty fists instead of a shocking one it would have changed the tide.

I could have also tried the alternate (and prolly more sound now that I think about it) tactics of DDooring to behind the aurochs wall and then having the synth eat his way through with full attacks while standing up. That would have prolly also made the synth win. In the end the fight was pretty close. But I would conclude that with sufficient prep time, probably somewhere around 6 rounds worth, the MS begins to outshine the Synth. At least given the initial conditions of this experiment, at higher levels the amount of prep time needed probably shrinks until it approaches 0.

Disclaimer: I know one archetype is not really "better" than the other, I know MS has more to offer a group, I know Pathfinder isn't about PVP. This is merely for kicks and should be treated as such.


I really appreciate that you're trying to be as fair as possible! Most threats like that lead to a different direction:D

Just one question: Why is the MS using the withdraw action as far as you cant take an AoO?

And I'm not sure wether it wouldnt be easier for the MS to "outdamage" you with more archons instead of aurochs, and pushing his defense as much as possible. I mean as far as you wont be able to AoO him he can always take his moveaction to avoid Fullattacks.

Or did I miss something?

Liberty's Edge

Wasum wrote:

I really appreciate that you're trying to be as fair as possible! Most threats like that lead to a different direction:D

Just one question: Why is the MS using the withdraw action as far as you cant take an AoO?

And I'm not sure wether it wouldnt be easier for the MS to "outdamage" you with more archons instead of aurochs, and pushing his defense as much as possible. I mean as far as you wont be able to AoO him he can always take his moveaction to avoid Fullattacks.

Or did I miss something?

He had to get outside the Synth's reach before he could stand up or do anything. I just now realized that the Synth was out of AOOs for the round, but the MS had no way of knowing that without metagaming.

The archons might have outdamaged the Aurochs, but they are too small to protect to MS effectively. He wouldn't have lasted to round 2 if all he had was archons. Remember, the Synth dropped him to 8 HP with only one attack. If he's only got a 5' buffer of Archons around him, the Synth will DDoor right next to them, and then full attack the next round and kill the MS easily. I even considered summoning 9 of them and merging them into the super archon or whatever. But then the MS loses for the same reason, nothing to block the Synth from attacking him.


Don't forget, your synth has one big advantage over a prepared MS, he can wait out the used summons.


The summons that are attacking him? Tripping him if thee are riding dogs or trampling him of they are aurochs?


Look - we can literally spend all day saying 'well if you're going to do that then I'm going to do this', and its ultimately beside the point. The value of a character - the ONLY value of a character - is in what he brings to a party, and its pretty safe to say that a Master Summoner brings a GREAT DEAL more to a party than a synth who essentially plays like a Gundam wanna-be Monk.


Azten wrote:
The summons that are attacking him? Tripping him if thee are riding dogs or trampling him of they are aurochs?

The summons that can't see invisbility. Which lasts 1 min/level.


Just like the spell-like ability summons? The dogs can sniff him out too.


Mercurial wrote:
Look - we can literally spend all day saying 'well if you're going to do that then I'm going to do this', and its ultimately beside the point. The value of a character - the ONLY value of a character - is in what he brings to a party, and its pretty safe to say that a Master Summoner brings a GREAT DEAL more to a party than a synth who essentially plays like a Gundam wanna-be Monk.

A great deal more is the ability to summon more monsters simultaneously. I mean honestly, if we start with no prep (no eidolons, limited duration buffs, etc) a master summoner has only one advantage over any other summoner, that being free augment summoning. They only start to shine into the third round, after it becomes clear that he is still summoning things. At this point most combats are decided anyway, diminishing the impact. With prep (say, before going into a dragon's lair) a master summoner could go in with more than your average summoner, and that's where they hit their high marks. They share the same weakness with most summoner's though, they are soft targets. They don't have a large number of battlefield control spells, they rely on bodies being in front of them (which they are good at providing). Not only that, but the go to bodyguard of most summoners is not a very good option for a MS. Part of party contribution is your ability to not be taken out, and a MS actually loses out in this aspect compared to other summoners.

As to your characterization of synth-monks, I take great umbrage sir!


Azten wrote:
Just like the spell-like ability summons? The dogs can sniff him out too.

This may seem Schrodinger-esque, but I always choose fly as one of my evolutions past 5. It's just too good.


Jelani wrote:
WWWW wrote:
If you can never hit the enemy and they can keep summoning monsters that damage you eventually you will die and the opponent will win. The whole point of the test is undermined if you cheat.
Agreed, but cheat is a strong word. I made a mistake in thinking that he could take AOOs without having cast see invisibility first due to having scent. I was wrong and will run it differently next time.

Ah I seem to have been unclear. I was referring to as near as I can tell the other person's argument that the mistake be accepted as fine (which would then mean one was knowingly passing off a rules violation as perfectly fine). Making a mistake and then fixing the mistake as you are doing is just making a mistake. Please excuse the implication.


So in a nut shell this is a pointless comparison because 1v1's are not really a good test for a game designed around cooperative play.

But

Perhaps you should instead run this encounter to determine who will win

Group A
Fighter 6
Rogue 6
Wizard 6
Cleric 6
Synthesist 6

vs

Group B
Fighter 6
Rogue 6
Wizard 6
Cleric 6
Master Summoner 6

Because that's really the only fair test of synth vs MS in a groups where the only difference is them. No I don't feel like running the numbers but shall make a few comments.

MS summons will provide rogue with more opportunities to sneak via flank. can also prevent flanks against the fighter and put roadblocks between the enemy and softies. The Synth is just an extra frontliner.

So while Group A's raw damage will be higher, group B will hit more often from aid's and flanks, Msummons can harass group A's wizard giving group B wizard a better chance to win the battlefield control game. Group A's wiz has more soft targets to nail with fireballs but not if he's provoking AoO's from summons conjured next to him.

in my mind there is no real contest Group B can literally surround group A and pick them apart.

This is a better comparison because initiative doesn't have as big a roll


Phasics wrote:

So in a nut shell this is a pointless comparison because 1v1's are not really a good test for a game designed around cooperative play.

But

Perhaps you should instead run this encounter to determine who will win

Group A
Fighter 6
Rogue 6
Wizard 6
Cleric 6
Synthesist 6

vs

Group B
Fighter 6
Rogue 6
Wizard 6
Cleric 6
Master Summoner 6

Because that's really the only fair test of synth vs MS in a groups where the only difference is them. No I don't feel like running the numbers but shall make a few comments.

MS summons will provide rogue with more opportunities to sneak via flank. can also prevent flanks against the fighter and put roadblocks between the enemy and softies. The Synth is just an extra frontliner.

So while Group A's raw damage will be higher, group B will hit more often from aid's and flanks, Msummons can harass group A's wizard giving group B wizard a better chance to win the battlefield control game. Group A's wiz has more soft targets to nail with fireballs but not if he's provoking AoO's from summons conjured next to him.

in my mind there is no real contest Group B can literally surround group A and pick them apart.

This is a better comparison because initiative doesn't have as big a roll

I can only go off experience. Outside of combat my eidolon completely replaces a rogue, giving us a small-sized disposable skill monkey (Stealth, Perception, Disable Device and Use Magic Device Skilled evolutions) with Darksight who can detect and disarm or trigger traps, fly or climb to scout ahead and communicate telepathically. That's HUGE - not every contribution takes place in combat, after all, which is something for the Synthesist to consider. IN combat what I find myself doing most often is summoning either 1 monster into whatever square he is needed or 2-4 weaker ones depending on the circumstance and then replacing them as needed. Round two I drop a Haste on everyone and the rest of the time both me and my eidolon are hammering away with wands of magic missile. We make quite the artillery platform.

However, at 7th level I also laid a seige of terror to an entire town over the course of several days until they freed the rest of my companions. 12 Summons a day (with Augmented and Superior Summoning) for 7 minutes each was more than enough to have earth elementals coming out of the castle walls, air elementals flinging archers from their parapets, fire elementals setting homes ablaze and water elementals terrorizing those who went to the wells. It was quite the moment for my little halfling (who by the way ONLY summons elementals - no spamming Lantern Archons here!)


Malfus wrote:
Azten wrote:
The summons that are attacking him? Tripping him if thee are riding dogs or trampling him of they are aurochs?
The summons that can't see invisbility. Which lasts 1 min/level.

What direbats don't have blindsense?

A MS doesn't need a cheesy scroll, to cut through invis. Direbat find the invisible dude, then glitterdust.

Liberty's Edge

Gignere wrote:
Malfus wrote:
Azten wrote:
The summons that are attacking him? Tripping him if thee are riding dogs or trampling him of they are aurochs?
The summons that can't see invisbility. Which lasts 1 min/level.

What direbats don't have blindsense?

A MS doesn't need a cheesy scroll, to cut through invis. Direbat find the invisible dude, then glitterdust.

Scrolls are not cheesy. I would never play my synth at this level without a scroll of resist energy, invis, see invis, some acid flasks and some way to fly. Consumables are necessary for everyone.

A) As soon as the dire bat comes within 15' it's gonna get chomped and killed
B) Synth doesn't care about being invisible, he just wants to kill. He only cares about being able to bypass invisibility.

Liberty's Edge

I think that this has shown if what you want to do is kill lots of things very quickly and be an extremely tough melee character than the Synth is much better.

If you want to be prepared for every possible situation and have lots of options play a Master Summoner or just a normal Summoner.

Their "power levels" vary widely depending on situation and prep time, but I would almost always rather be in a high Save, high AC, high HP, extreme damage tank than be a sneaky little guy pulling lots of so-so monsters out of his bum all day. But that is my personal preference.

Even if the only reason is it took me forever to run the MS's turns. All those attacks, movements etc was the equivalent of like two encounters worth of baddies. I don't want to feel like I'm DMing on the rare occasions when I do get to actually play.

----------

All this just gets turned up at higher levels. A level 12 MS with enough prep can surround himself with probably 12d3 large earth and air elementals. The synthesist has no way to handle this. In a straight up fight with little to no prep time the synthesist will be next to him, tearing him to shreds before he can summon enough monsters to protect himself.

The question one must ask themselves is in actual play where most combats last around 3 rounds, which would I rather play. Mercurial seems to have the right idea on a reasonable way to play a MS. So maybe for those who normally play fighter types Synthesist is better. If you're a caster person, MS is more your style.

Liberty's Edge

Phasics wrote:

So in a nut shell this is a pointless comparison because 1v1's are not really a good test for a game designed around cooperative play.

But

Perhaps you should instead run this encounter to determine who will win

Group A
Fighter 6
Rogue 6
Wizard 6
Cleric 6
Synthesist 6

vs

Group B
Fighter 6
Rogue 6
Wizard 6
Cleric 6
Master Summoner 6

Because that's really the only fair test of synth vs MS in a groups where the only difference is them. No I don't feel like running the numbers but shall make a few comments.

MS summons will provide rogue with more opportunities to sneak via flank. can also prevent flanks against the fighter and put roadblocks between the enemy and softies. The Synth is just an extra frontliner.

So while Group A's raw damage will be higher, group B will hit more often from aid's and flanks, Msummons can harass group A's wizard giving group B wizard a better chance to win the battlefield control game. Group A's wiz has more soft targets to nail with fireballs but not if he's provoking AoO's from summons conjured next to him.

in my mind there is no real contest Group B can literally surround group A and pick them apart.

This is a better comparison because initiative doesn't have as big a roll

I choose Group C

Master Summoner 6
Synthesist Melee Brute 6
Synthesist Flying pouncer 6
Beastmorph Vivisectionist 6
Halfling Bard 6

^_________^ hehehehe.


Jelani wrote:
Gignere wrote:
Malfus wrote:
Azten wrote:
The summons that are attacking him? Tripping him if thee are riding dogs or trampling him of they are aurochs?
The summons that can't see invisbility. Which lasts 1 min/level.

What direbats don't have blindsense?

A MS doesn't need a cheesy scroll, to cut through invis. Direbat find the invisible dude, then glitterdust.

Scrolls are not cheesy. I would never play my synth at this level without a scroll of resist energy, invis, see invis, some acid flasks and some way to fly. Consumables are necessary for everyone.

A) As soon as the dire bat comes within 15' it's gonna get chomped and killed
B) Synth doesn't care about being invisible, he just wants to kill. He only cares about being able to bypass invisibility.

They are cheesy when you retcon it on your character to win duels. Anyway in a normal game scrolls are not cheesy, but I feel in duels consumables are pretty cheesy. Yeah you can get see invis scroll, so why can't the MS start with a SM9 scroll, dust of disappearance? It's easily within his 20k budget and literally all he needs is win initiative and auto win with no prep.

Also having access to scrolls without scribe scroll feat depends heavily on the GM. There are many games that I went levels without going to a city that sells scrolls. We basically used whatever was dropped, and in games like that you want lots of versatility and innate abilities.


Jelani wrote:

All this just gets turned up at higher levels. A level 12 MS with enough prep can surround himself with probably 12d3 large earth and air elementals. The synthesist has no way to handle this. In a straight up fight with little to no prep time the synthesist will be next to him, tearing him to shreds before he can summon enough monsters to protect himself.

Actually its 12d3+12 elementals. People forget about Superior Summoning. At 17th level I can summon 32-64 Augmented Elder Elementals a day, each lasting for 17 minutes. That is a LOT of devastation - and doesn't even take into account buffs like Haste.


Gignere wrote:
Jelani wrote:
Gignere wrote:
Malfus wrote:
Azten wrote:
The summons that are attacking him? Tripping him if thee are riding dogs or trampling him of they are aurochs?
The summons that can't see invisbility. Which lasts 1 min/level.

What direbats don't have blindsense?

A MS doesn't need a cheesy scroll, to cut through invis. Direbat find the invisible dude, then glitterdust.

Scrolls are not cheesy. I would never play my synth at this level without a scroll of resist energy, invis, see invis, some acid flasks and some way to fly. Consumables are necessary for everyone.

A) As soon as the dire bat comes within 15' it's gonna get chomped and killed
B) Synth doesn't care about being invisible, he just wants to kill. He only cares about being able to bypass invisibility.

They are cheesy when you retcon it on your character to win duels. Anyway in a normal game scrolls are not cheesy, but I feel in duels consumables are pretty cheesy. Yeah you can get see invis scroll, so why can't the MS start with a SM9 scroll, dust of disappearance? It's easily within his 20k budget and literally all he needs is win initiative and auto win with no prep.

Also having access to scrolls without scribe scroll feat depends heavily on the GM. There are many games that I went levels without going to a city that sells scrolls. We basically used whatever was dropped, and in games like that you want lots of versatility and innate abilities.

Duels, if you are going to do them, should take place with NO magic items whatsoever. If the point is determining who has the most effective character, the outcome shouldn't hinge on who best shored up their character's weaknesses with cash.


For the most part arenas I have seen in the past increased the cost for charged or one shot consumables. Usually something like charged items have 1/5 the charges and scrolls cost five times as much to keep someone from walking into the arena with 90% of their cash in consumables.

Liberty's Edge

Well as I stated somewhere earlier in the thread, this is the synth I actually play. Yes the scroll looked like a retcon, because I just copy pasted from the notepad file I keep him in without updating the equipment all the way since my last adventure. My bad.

This is also geared towards PFS like games or PFS itself. Thus negating the "you can't always buy what you want" thing.

If I was to build a Synthesist specifically for arena PVP it would be significantly different. This was more of a two characters who were built for a normal PFS game somehow end up in an arena-like deathmatch for no apparent reason, with full foreknowledge that they're going into the fight type thing.

Liberty's Edge

Mercurial wrote:
Duels, if you are going to do them, should take place with NO magic items whatsoever. If the point is determining who has the most effective character, the outcome shouldn't hinge on who best shored up their character's weaknesses with cash.

While I'm not a fan of duels in general, and while I agree with the sentiment that retconning and using consumables is a bit cheesy in duels, saying no magic items is far too harsh. Magic items are an assumed part of the game and are necessary for various characters to participate at all.


ShadowcatX wrote:
Mercurial wrote:
Duels, if you are going to do them, should take place with NO magic items whatsoever. If the point is determining who has the most effective character, the outcome shouldn't hinge on who best shored up their character's weaknesses with cash.

While I'm not a fan of duels in general, and while I agree with the sentiment that retconning and using consumables is a bit cheesy in duels, saying no magic items is far too harsh. Magic items are an assumed part of the game and are necessary for various characters to participate at all.

I disagree. Magic items are just a crutch we've accepted as the norm. I know the game is 'balanced' around each party members having 6-10 magic items a piece, but we play in a low magic campaign where you don't go to the village Wal-mart to trade in and upgrade every time you come to town - and we get by just fine. All that's necessary it seems is well designed wll played characters. Sure we have magic items, and some of them are quite potent, but they are all unique, all designed with their characters in mind and none of them were either bought or sold.

If your character requires magic items to 'participate at all', then you need to make a new character.

Liberty's Edge

Mercurial wrote:
I disagree. Magic items are just a crutch we've accepted as the norm. I know the game is 'balanced' around each party members having 6-10 magic items a piece, but we play in a low magic campaign where you don't go to the village Wal-mart to trade in and upgrade every time you come to town - and we get by just fine.

That's great. Good for you. That has nothing to do with how duels should be ran.

P.S. If you "get by just fine" without magic items your dm is taking it easy on you or else he's using a ton of house rules.

Quote:

All that's necessary it seems is well designed wll played characters.

Sure we have magic items, and some of them are quite potent, but they are all unique, all designed with their characters in mind and none of them were either bought or sold.

If your character requires magic items to 'participate at all', then you need to make a new character.

No. Without magic items most forms of damage reduction are undefeatable, flying enemies with wind wall are undefeatable, etc. The game is based around having access to magic, and if you take that away, melee characters are incredibly nerfed.

Liberty's Edge

Yeah put your magic itemless anything next to my magic itemless Synth and his stats will be vastly better. With no magic items a well informed/prepared full caster might be able to defeat him with situational advantage but any character that fights will die horribly.


Tarantula wrote:
Please provide a quote that "to the best of their ability" means only and explicitly those 3 steps. To the best of their ability would indeed be to trample.

Sorry - I possibly maybe had a misunderstanding - if they could trample the summoner at that point, that's fine. The fact the summons delayed to do so implied to me that they were unable to do so at that moment (or else I figure you would have just done so rather than delayed). So, for that the misunderstanding may be mine.

Quote:
In fact, they would probably DELAY their action until the summoner moved into range in order to be able to trample.

No, that's where the other key part comes in, which is the "acts immediately, on your turn."

Delaying is no longer "acting immediately" nor "on your turn." There is no quote for it, because as many things it involves some logic from the players to be applied. Basically, your summons (unless you can command them otherwise) need to attempt to engage and attack something on their actions, which happen immediately on your turn. What I posed was simply the logical progression I would enforce as a DM, with the admitted misunderstanding that trampling may have been possible.

Quote:
Oh, and thanks for pointing out something that I missed, you can't ready to...

No worries. Like I said, everyone, *everyone* makes rules mistakes, and I am certainly no exception to this rule. I've made more than my fair share over the years.

The Exchange

i took a bit of time to read a selection of posts from this forum.. admittedly i did not read them all. i agree that at level 6 a synthesist summoner is just not ready to do open battle. many feats that the summoner is going to want require a higher bab. if you read the entrance to the right of the master summoner archetype and the brood master paizo specifically states that both of these builds are time consuming BUT capable of running solo campaigns. now this is not true of many classes or archetypes. where the synthesist summoner starts to shine is past level 10. now you have a bab of 7 and access to several other feats. ( i do not allow the cheese of using your fused form to qualify for feats fly in my games but to each there own)
another GREAT thing about a synthesist is that if using a point buy system you can focus on 3 stats. and ignore the other 3 completely. thast a huge bonus.
if you allow multiclass id suggest a level of fighter just to pick up the feat and proffs to save the evolutions.
synthesis summoner is one of the easiest ways to bring a shock trooper style pounce to the table. using the quadraped base with limbs evolution arms, pounce evolution, power attack, and the full tiger style feat progression you can reduce your ac instead of your att and apply it to every attack at the end of a charge.
if the synthesist gets initiative he could win easily simply by choosing flight losing wings upping his speed taking pounce and grab on a natural attack. once grappled the master summoner is in a sore place to do anything. and if it comes down to speed the synthesist could merely spend 2 points to fly 2 points to lose wings and 2 points to increase his speed to 80 (base 40+20 per additional point)

so if i were to figure a way to defeat another summoner at level 10 (a more fair place to duel) i would do this:
flight 2, lose wings 2, fly speed 2, large 4, tentacle 2, grab 2, pounce 1
total of 15 evolution points requiring you to use 1 feat for extra evolution. being human gives you 7 feats, use these like this:
improved unarmed strike (human), improved grapple 1, ?? , extra evolution 5, ?? 7, greater grapple 9.
i have a strength of 30, a cmb of 39, +8 for grappling with my 2 tentacles.
once grappled you have to make a concentration check of 56+spell level. since concentration is only caster level+casting stat modifier (maybe you have combat casting +4 so at 10th level you have a +4 magical effect and a natural 20 stat so 24 thats a 7 mod making your total 21. now if you take your 20 sided dice and roll a 35 you got me. other than that your at 95% spell failure since natural 20 roll is the only way you will ever cast another spell.
now if you have a ton of summons out all the time you can still win. if you win initiative you could still possibly win. but its alot easier for me to hide alone than for you to hide with a horde of summoned creatures.

Scarab Sages

Jelani-
One thing I'm noticing are the eidelon's HP are too high. It looks like you gave it max HP at first level. That's just for the summoner. Companions and what-not don't get that.


My buddy and I figured out this build last night. You see I need to make up a new 4th level character for a game this Friday. And from what I can see here, my lvl 4 regular summoner with NO magical gear and no pre-battle prep could defeat the builds you guys got here.

Summoner is a Half-elf with racial option for favored summoner.
http://www.d20pfsrd.com/races/core-races/half-elf
With the Extra Evolution feat that's +2 evos at lvl 4.

Now look closely at "This indicates the maximum number of natural attacks that the eidolon is allowed to possess at the given level. If the eidolon is at its maximum, it cannot take evolutions that grant additional natural attacks. This does not include attacks made with weapons."
the very last sentence is key.

so my eidolon would have 9 evo points. Take a biped with 1 for pounce and 8 for +4 arms for a total of 10 arms.
The eidolon has 2 feats, take multiweapon fighting and exotic weapon proficiency bastard sword.

Thus making a 10 sword wielding monstrosity with pounce. Everything is obliterated. And that's at level four.

And if truly necessary I wake up the summoner to cast his spells while his beast is rampaging. OF COURSE I take the spell that gives him 2 evos and thus 2 more arms and thus 2 more bastard swords. And if that's not enough throw in a bull's strength, mage armor, and shield spell via shared spells.

Did I win?

Scarab Sages

drmonkeypants wrote:


Did I win?

What was your attack modifier while using non-light weapons in your off hands before buffs? answer: BAB 3 +2 str -4 penalty = 1. That is an attack bonus of +3 with bulls strength.

What was your AC before buffs? 10 base +4 NA +2 dex =16. 24 with buffs.

Your CMD: 13 + 4 str +2 dex.

We'll assume the master summoner has access to similar buffs. His AC will be 10 + 2 dex +4 chain shirt +4 shield +2 cats grace, +2 reduce person = 24.

I'll start with invis then summon lightning elementals every round.

so.....you'll need a natural 20 to hit, assuming you can find me.

My augmented summons will be tripping and bull rushing and disarming using spark leap.

And that is at level 4.

Your build throws a large number of ineffective attacks, and sacrifices everything else to do it.


drmonkeypants wrote:

My buddy and I figured out this build last night. You see I need to make up a new 4th level character for a game this Friday. And from what I can see here, my lvl 4 regular summoner with NO magical gear and no pre-battle prep could defeat the builds you guys got here.

Summoner is a Half-elf with racial option for favored summoner.
http://www.d20pfsrd.com/races/core-races/half-elf
With the Extra Evolution feat that's +2 evos at lvl 4.

Now look closely at "This indicates the maximum number of natural attacks that the eidolon is allowed to possess at the given level. If the eidolon is at its maximum, it cannot take evolutions that grant additional natural attacks. This does not include attacks made with weapons."
the very last sentence is key.

so my eidolon would have 9 evo points. Take a biped with 1 for pounce and 8 for +4 arms for a total of 10 arms.
The eidolon has 2 feats, take multiweapon fighting and exotic weapon proficiency bastard sword.

Thus making a 10 sword wielding monstrosity with pounce. Everything is obliterated. And that's at level four.

And if truly necessary I wake up the summoner to cast his spells while his beast is rampaging. OF COURSE I take the spell that gives him 2 evos and thus 2 more arms and thus 2 more bastard swords. And if that's not enough throw in a bull's strength, mage armor, and shield spell via shared spells.

Did I win?

You didn't even build your eidolon right how can you win? Only quadrapeds have access to pounce.

Also like Artanthos posted invisibility will cut you down quickly.


You neglected to mention that even if he does hit he does 1d10+4 on his main hand, and 1d10+2 on his off hands(7 of them) as a Quadruped, Trust me when your only hitting even mages on a nat 20, they will ignore your Eidolon and kill the summoner

Mage AC at level 4, (+4 mage armor, +4 shield, +4 dex, +1 ring, +1 amulet) AC24, which means you hit on a 19/20 on a charge or a 20 normally, guess what after you charge the mage isnt even going to move, he will just sit there at melee range and cast (taking AOOs which have a 1 in 20 chance to hit) and every spell will be aimed at the summoner, as the eidolon is useless.

Eidolons 2 options at all levels,
1. natural attacks (with/without pounce)
2. Single 2 handed weapons for big hits

Multiweapon fighting has too big a penalty at low level, and at mid to high level it costs too much for 10+ magical bastard swords (your spending too much of your WBL (which you need to survive the enemy) on weapons when you can just buy 1 amulet of mighty fists and make all the eidolons attacks magical)

Scarab Sages

Michael Foster 989 wrote:

You neglected to mention that even if he does hit he does 1d10+4 on his main hand, and 1d10+2 on his off hands(7 of them) as a Quadruped, Trust me when your only hitting even mages on a nat 20, they will ignore your Eidolon and kill the summoner

I did not forget; I was simply not concerned about getting hit.


Oops I did do it wrong, you do need to be a quadraped.
As for light weapons, that's for two-weapon fighting. Not necessary for multi-weapon fighting.
And this was just a dps dungeon build.
As for an actual anti-caster build, well that's the same for any anti caster. Fly + see invis + grapple checks (just regular grapple is fine, take the attack of opportunity) and that will kill any caster without still spell or dimension door.

Combined with the summoner spells of see invis and invis, the eidolon should reach the caster easily.

You should be able to get the eidolon's CMB to 19 for grapples (biped, +2 str for level 6 summoner, +2 str Ability increase evoloution, spend 2 feats to get improved grab for no attack of opportunity and +2, Grab evo for +4 grapple checks, assuming Enlarge Person is active +1 size bonus and +2 str; total str 22). The caster's CMD is going to be ass.

So that's only 6 evo points spent. For survivablity to last while he's grappling then pinning the caster you can give him DR and more armor. I'd probably give him scent too for if the see invis wasn't up or dispelled. And might as well give him reach.
For cheese, give the the summoner a wand of control summoned creature and skill focus UMD. If that's vetoed then just give the summoner improved counterspell and do nothing but ready actions to counter the other summoner's spells. Also improved initiative to ensure going first.

Caster's are not the all powerful class they once were. Grapple and pin destroys them, unless you waste your entire build on surviving grapples.


Actually that would be way too many feats on the summoner, sorry. On the summoner just Extra Evox2, Imp counter spell, and skill focus UMD from the racial bonus of half elf. No Imp Intiative


drmonkeypants wrote:
Actually that would be way too many feats on the summoner, sorry. On the summoner just Extra Evox2, Imp counter spell, and skill focus UMD from the racial bonus of half elf. No Imp Intiative

oh and you can do pincher claws for 1 evo, for another +2 grapple


Your Eidolon does an 1d6 electricity (amulet) and 1d6 acid (evolution) damage on each successful hit. All celestial summons have resist electricty and resist acid. That's going your damage a bit.

But if we are playing PFS rules, expanded summon lists are in play. And if you want to get really ridiculous, I'll play a lawful good worshiper of Erastil so that my SMIII can conjure celestial dire boars. 52hp, DR 5/Evil, and resist 10 acid, cold, and electricity. I really don't see you cutting through those summons all that quickly.


I thought you needed a 13 str to qualify for power attack feat? With a 7 str without the eidolon.


You get power attack if it is possible that you will have 13 Str for 24 hour period. You can remain bonded with eidolon for as long as you can go without sleep. Hence, you can have 13+ Str for over 24 hours. Therefore you can take Power Attack as Synth. There are countless threads on this topic.

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