Idea for changes in Summoner Class


Homebrew and House Rules


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Hello all,

How would you rebuild the Summoner class, in a balanced way, if you were to take away his Summon Monster I-IX spell-like-ability? I've never really designed my own class before, so I need some help.

Anyway, here's the deal:

I was thinking about the Summoner Class for a while, because there was something about it that I just didn't like and seemed really strange.
Finally, I realized that it is due to his Summon Monster ability in conjunction with his Eidolon class feature.

My main problem is, that I think the class was designed in an attempt to fit two quite different stereotypes into one class. The first one being the summoner that can summon a multitude of different creatures, and the second type being a summoner that has a bond with one particular creature. These two types of summoner just seem a bit too different, in my personal opinion, to be condensed into one.

Looking at the Summoner as a class, I prefer the second aforementioned stereotype. The Eidolon is what makes the class very special, and I feel it should focus more on the Eidolon, rather than having a seemingly redundant Summon Monster ability because...
Why would you want to summon all these random Pokémon, when you want to play with your special badass Charizard for 90% of the time?

If a player wants to specialize in summoning a multitude of creatures and objects, then why not play a conjurist wizard, or maybe a cleric or druid that focuses on summoning? They get great summoning abilities and spells and you get a whole lot of extra's too. So what I'm getting at is...

I'm trying to figure out a way to give my players the option of playing a Summoner, but one that is really focused on the Eidolon, and does away with summoning pretty much anything else. I actually like the Synthesist archetype as well, but that archetype pretty much replaces all the regular Eidolon abilities the Summoner has...

I was thinking of somehow combining the standard Eidolon class features with the Synthesist ones? But how should I do that properly?

Any advice on where to start with this thing?

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The reason for the summoning isn't so much to fit two types of summoner into once class. It's so the summoner has something to contribute when his eidolon can't do much. If the eidolon gets beat down to nothing, he can still summon stuff. If his eidolon is a land bound melee machine and the party is fighting a flying creature, he can dismiss the eidolon and summon something more appropriate. To replace the summons, you need an ability to spontaneously increase the versatility of the eidolon. An evolution pool that he can use to give his eidolon temporary evolutions for a round per level may do the trick.


I agree that the summoner class does need something else to contribute aside from the eidolon, because at some point it's not going to be there.

Temporarily increased versality seems like a great idea for starters. Thanks!

Anyone else have any suggestions?

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If you're going to take away his ability to summon... you'll need to remane the class to something more appropriate to where you seem to be going...

Pokemon Pet Trainer.


Well, I basically want to approach the act of "Summoning" differently here. Perhaps the Eidolon was a creature that was bound to a character's soul as a curse, or maybe as a gift from the gods. Maybe the bond was forged through a mysterious magical experiment. I want to leave it quite open.

In essence, as a comparison, I want it to be similar to how Naruto is bound to the Nine-tailed Demon Fox in the Naruto anime series. (Not that I expect everyone to be familiar with this but it's a good example of the way I want this thing to work)

The demon is basically sealed inside of him, but at times he can summon the creature (or its powers) to the surface world. If he isn't careful however, the demon may take over his body and become free once more.

I'm trying to keep that kind of idea in the back of my head with this.
So maybe in addition to the Eidolon as a 'pet creature' or 'living armor' I might add some sort of 'bloodline powers' or rather "eidolon"-powers to the class.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

So.... you want to play a Synthesist?

Hrmm; okay... how about combining the Synthesist archetype with the Master Chymist archetype? Make your eidolon a sentient creature with a different alignment whose powers you call on; have to make will saves to remain in control?

In reward for giving up the SLAs, give the Eidolon more evolution points than usual.

DMs may not like this idea though, since by failing a will save your eidolon could go on a rampage, making you quite unreliable or unstable.


Hmm, good point.

I might want to get rid of the idea that the bond between the summoner and the eidolon is an unwilling one, (or maybe provide it as an option, which gives bonuses but comes with risks). Maybe a confusion effect or whatnot.

Anyway, the reason I don't just go with full Synthesist, is the fact that the Eidolon is then always a part of the summoner.
I like the Synthesist idea of the Eidolon being part of the Summoner, but I also like the standard Eidolon idea of it being a seperate creature, so I was thinking of an ability that allows the summoner to switch between these different approaches.

Maybe I need to work this thing out a bit and then post it on here.
It'll be easier to advise on something that isn't in the "rough sketch" stage. Thanks so far!

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.

synthesist summoner, and allow the "magical tail" feats to be taken every odd level replacing "summon monster"

The Exchange

it's not hard to allow the PC to also make a normal Eidolon and use that also either.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Summoners are still full casters so I don't see why they need their SMx ability.


GeneticDrift wrote:
Summoners are still full casters so I don't see why they need their SMx ability.

They are not full casters. They cap at 6th level spells.


Dragonamedrake wrote:
GeneticDrift wrote:
Summoners are still full casters so I don't see why they need their SMx ability.
They are not full casters. They cap at 6th level spells.

This. But beyond that they're designed in such a way that they're more like "half" a class the other "half" covered by the eidolon.

The summon monster ability is not really redundant. I see it more as a good back up ability. After all your eidolon is more fragile in some ways than you. More than that he can't stay around the whole time. He desummons when you sleep making night attacks particularly bothersome.

I think this would work fine as an archetype. But I wouldn't change the core in this way.


Benrislove wrote:

synthesist summoner, and allow the "magical tail" feats to be taken every odd level replacing "summon monster"

That would be an excellent way to play a nine-tailed-demon-fox summoner based on Naruto haha. But I'm trying to create a class or archetype here that has a long-term use, instead of being a fit for one particular character.

I'm working on a more complete version right now.

Right now, I have it set up something like this:

Keeper (Summoner Archetype)
* = new class feature

lvl1 - Cantrips, Eidolon Bond*, Life Link, Eidolon Manifest*
lvl2 - Bond Senses
lvl3 - Eidolon Power*
lvl4 - Shield Ally
lvl5 - Eidolon Power
lvl6 - Call Eidolon
lvl7 - Eidolon Power
lvl8 - Transposition
lvl9 - Eidolon Power
lvl10- Aspect
etc. etc.

Eidolon Bond:
(Basically this is the regular Eidolon class feature combined with the Fused Eidolon of the Synthesist, the Keeper can switch between fused and seperated modes using a standard action. However, I want it to be different in the fact that the Eidolon and the Keeper can have different alignments. If these alignments are not within one step of one another, the bond is considered 'unwilling' and some extra rules come into play)

Eidolon Manifest:
(Use when the Eidolon isn't physically around...
For a number of rounds per day equal to 4 + the keeper's Cha modifier, the Keeper can manifest evolutions from the Eidolon from his own body, similar to the Aspect ability he gains at lvl10. The exception is that you can only use it for a limited amount of time and you are fatigued afterwards. In the beginning, he can only choose to manifest a single evolution that his Eidolon has)

Eidolon Power:
(Each time the keeper gains a Eidolon Power, he chooses an evolution that his Eidolon possesses, the keeper can now also choose this evolution as his Eidolon Manifest evolution)

Or something like that, this likely isn't watertight.
As you can guess for the Eidolon Manifest ability I was inspired by the Barbarian's Rage. I might also add a "Tireless Manifest" ability at some higher level.

Please share your thoughts on this!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I wouldn't add any extra powers or versatility to the Eidolon: that would make the class more powerful when the eidolon is out than it is already, and it is already one of the most powerful classes in the game when the eidolon is out. So instead, I'd focus on having the eidolon out somewhat more reliably so that you don't need the backup summoning power. I think to do that, you need two things.

1. Allow the Eidolon to stay on the material plane when the summoner is asleep/unconscious. But maybe make it default to protecting the vulnerable summoner at all costs, so it cannot keep watch/go scouting/whatever.

2. Give a way for the Eidolon to return if it's been wiped out for the day. Maybe something like "once a day you can drain your own life force to renew that of your eidolon", which causes the summoner to lose d4 x level nonlethal damage and become fatigued, in return for recalling a killed eidolon (with 50% hp?).

Together, that should eliminate the need for the 'back up' summon monster ability.


soupturtle wrote:

I wouldn't add any extra powers or versatility to the Eidolon: that would make the class more powerful when the eidolon is out than it is already, and it is already one of the most powerful classes in the game when the eidolon is out. So instead, I'd focus on having the eidolon out somewhat more reliably so that you don't need the backup summoning power. I think to do that, you need two things.

1. Allow the Eidolon to stay on the material plane when the summoner is asleep/unconscious. But maybe make it default to protecting the vulnerable summoner at all costs, so it cannot keep watch/go scouting/whatever.

2. Give a way for the Eidolon to return if it's been wiped out for the day. Maybe something like "once a day you can drain your own life force to renew that of your eidolon", which causes the summoner to lose d4 x level nonlethal damage and become fatigued, in return for recalling a killed eidolon (with 50% hp?).

Together, that should eliminate the need for the 'back up' summon monster ability.

Definitely some interesting ideas here.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If you want to balance the summoner with say, the druid, its fairly straight forward. Take the evolutions, divide them into offense, defense and utility. Require that at least 25% of evolution points (rounded down) be spent on each. Or for each form, create a few mandatory but not particularly powerful evolutions as the eidolon levels (reducing available evolution points). Things like blind sense, darkvision, scent, etc. that do not inherently add to the eidolons power. Then increase the cost of the pounce evolution and add a level requirment to it. And you are pretty much all set.


Kolokotroni wrote:
If you want to balance the summoner with say, the druid, its fairly straight forward. Take the evolutions, divide them into offense, defense and utility. Require that at least 25% of evolution points (rounded down) be spent on each. Or for each form, create a few mandatory but not particularly powerful evolutions as the eidolon levels (reducing available evolution points). Things like blind sense, darkvision, scent, etc. that do not inherently add to the eidolons power. Then increase the cost of the pounce evolution and add a level requirment to it. And you are pretty much all set.

Thanks! Those are great balancing suggestions.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kolokotroni wrote:
If you want to balance the summoner with say, the druid, its fairly straight forward. Take the evolutions, divide them into offense, defense and utility. Require that at least 25% of evolution points (rounded down) be spent on each. Or for each form, create a few mandatory but not particularly powerful evolutions as the eidolon levels (reducing available evolution points). Things like blind sense, darkvision, scent, etc. that do not inherently add to the eidolons power. Then increase the cost of the pounce evolution and add a level requirment to it. And you are pretty much all set.

Honestly I feel the Summoner is balanced as is.

1. You cant use your Eidolon and your Summons at the same time.
2. You cant have more then one Summon up at a time.
3. They have almost no offensive spells on their spell list. Its all CC/Buff/Utility.

Compare a Summoner to a Druid.

Druid vs Summoner

9th level spells vs 6th level spells
Huge robust spell list vs very narrow focus on buffs/CC
Both have 3/4 BAB
Both have D8 HP
Both have a very powerful pet
Can cast/summon while pet is out vs Cant summon with pet out
Can Change Shape to a battle/Utility form vs Cant Change shape

Druids are Shape shifters with D8 HP, 3/4 BAB, Full Casting, and a pet that is almost as powerful as an Eidolon. To balance a Summoner to a druid you would need to give it SIGNIFICANT buffs lol.


Hmmm, alright.

For now I'll consider the Eidolon is balanced as is.
It is not really my main concern right now.
I'm more interested in getting a solid archetype off the ground with an interesting Eidolon-based class feature or features that are capable of compensating for the removal of the SLA's, without just turning the Eidolon into a bigger slaughtering machine.


The whole thing doesn't sound very appealing.

Honestly I'd rather play something that went the other way, no eidolon, but better summoning.


sunbeam wrote:

The whole thing doesn't sound very appealing.

Honestly I'd rather play something that went the other way, no eidolon, but better summoning.

Well, to each his own.

There are plenty of options available if you want to go in that direction, such as the Master Summoner archetype, or First-Worlder. As I said before you might also want to play a conjurer wizard or a cleric or druid.
If those options aren't appealing to you I also believe that another user named Cheapy has an adjusted Master Summoner archetype uploaded somewhere on the web, which might correspond more with your tastes.

Other than that, I don't think I can give you any other response, other than feeling your comment has provided me no insight in anything regarding the topic whatsoever.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dragonamedrake wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:
If you want to balance the summoner with say, the druid, its fairly straight forward. Take the evolutions, divide them into offense, defense and utility. Require that at least 25% of evolution points (rounded down) be spent on each. Or for each form, create a few mandatory but not particularly powerful evolutions as the eidolon levels (reducing available evolution points). Things like blind sense, darkvision, scent, etc. that do not inherently add to the eidolons power. Then increase the cost of the pounce evolution and add a level requirment to it. And you are pretty much all set.

Honestly I feel the Summoner is balanced as is.

1. You cant use your Eidolon and your Summons at the same time.
2. You cant have more then one Summon up at a time.
3. They have almost no offensive spells on their spell list. Its all CC/Buff/Utility.

Compare a Summoner to a Druid.

Druid vs Summoner

9th level spells vs 6th level spells
Huge robust spell list vs very narrow focus on buffs/CC
Both have 3/4 BAB
Both have D8 HP
Both have a very powerful pet
Can cast/summon while pet is out vs Cant summon with pet out
Can Change Shape to a battle/Utility form vs Cant Change shape

Druids are Shape shifters with D8 HP, 3/4 BAB, Full Casting, and a pet that is almost as powerful as an Eidolon. To balance a Summoner to a druid you would need to give it SIGNIFICANT buffs lol.

If you play in a group that focuses on optimization, then the summoner is probably pretty close to balanced (assuming you have God wizards and codzilla druids). If you dont, it is a problem. It takes considerably less effort and system mastery to optimize a summoner then a druid, simply because a summoner chooses each and every class ability. And the powerful choices are obvious, more claws, making it big, enhancing attacks, getting pounce and increasing defenses. It is not immediately obvious how much better the big cat animal companion is then the wolf.

If you pick the most powerful animal companions, and the best spells and abilities of the druid, they are comparable. If you dont spend alot of effort optimizing the druid or make flavor choices (like taking a badger animal companion or something) then they are not comparable because the summoner is so much easier to optimize.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Just a thought...but an Eidolon is an intelligent creature presumably with its own goals, yet it is treated as a mindless slave by the summoner.

Why not have the Eidolon under the control of the GM who decides what it does according to its goals, e.g. It has attached itself to the summoner to protect him; it is not going to go haring off into combat after the bad guys, but will skulk around the summoner attacking anything that gets too close.
Or maybe it's goal is to destroy Evil (or Chaos, Good or Law). If the enemy is not Evil (Or chaos, etc,) it will not attack. If it is Evil, it will attack regardless of the CN Mook about to backstab the summoner.

As compensation, the Summoner gains more/better spells, so as to be able to guarantee a contribution.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Diminutive Titan wrote:
sunbeam wrote:

The whole thing doesn't sound very appealing.

Honestly I'd rather play something that went the other way, no eidolon, but better summoning.

Well, to each his own.

There are plenty of options available if you want to go in that direction, such as the Master Summoner archetype, or First-Worlder. As I said before you might also want to play a conjurer wizard or a cleric or druid.
If those options aren't appealing to you I also believe that another user named Cheapy has an adjusted Master Summoner archetype uploaded somewhere on the web, which might correspond more with your tastes.

Other than that, I don't think I can give you any other response, other than feeling your comment has provided me no insight in anything regarding the topic whatsoever.

Here is your problem with an archtype like your suggesting.

You want to give up the Summoner's Summon Monster SU ability for something else. The problem lies in the fact that you cant use said ability while your Eidolon is out. So its more of a back up ability to begin with.

If you replace the ability with something that benefits you while your Eidolon is out then you have effectively increased the power of the base class. The Master Summoner for instance only gets an Eidolon at half strength in order to be able to summon while it is out.

If you replace the Summon ability you will need to give him something that cant be used in conjunction with your Eidolon. A few ideas...

1. Envoker - Starting at 1st level, a summoner can use certain evocation spells based on what level of spell you can cast as a spell-like ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + his Charisma modifier. Drawing upon this ability uses up the same power as the summoner uses to call his eidolon. As a result, he can only use this ability when his eidolon is not summoned.

1st - Magic Missle
2nd - Scorching Ray
3rd - Fireball
4th - Ice Storm
5th - Cone of Cold
6th - Chain Lightning

2. Fighter - The Summoner's BAB becomes equal to his Summoner level and gains a +4 moral bonus to Con when his Eidolon is not summoned.

3. Bard - A Summoner gain's the Bardic Performance ability, but this can only be used while his Eidolon is dismissed.

Im sure you can come up with something better but you get my point. It has to be an alternate ability that works when the Eidolon is dismissed.


Diminutive Titan wrote:

...

If those options aren't appealing to you I also believe that another user named Cheapy has an adjusted Master Summoner archetype uploaded somewhere on the web, which might correspond more with your tastes.

Yep! I have one right here.

It focuses more on summoning and doing interesting things with their summons than the base master summoner.


Dragonamedrake wrote:


Here is your problem with an archtype like your suggesting.

You want to give up the Summoner's Summon Monster SU ability for something else. The problem lies in the fact that you cant use said ability while your Eidolon is out. So its more of a back up ability to begin with.

If you replace the ability with something that benefits you while your Eidolon is out then you have effectively increased the power of the base class. The Master Summoner for instance only gets an Eidolon at half strength in order to be able to summon while it is out.

Then I think you misunderstood my archetype as I posted it a few posts earlier. The Eidolon Manifest and Eidolon Powers are specifically meant to be used when your Eidolon is not summoned.

Basically, the archetype I have in mind works something like this:

The Eidolon lives inside a seperate dimension in the Keeper's(I will be calling my archetype the Keeper) soul. When the Eidolon is banished or otherwise returned to its home plane, then the Keeper can summon portions of its magical entity to use in battle.

For example, Atreyu the Keeper has an Eidolon he calls Falcor the Luck Dragon.
Falcor gets smacked down in combat and Atreyu needs to fend for himself. In order to prevent himself from being instantly squashed, he uses the Eidolon Manifest power, to temporarily gain (some bonus to defence or hit points or an ability or whatnot) and the Claw attack of his Eidolon.

See what I'm getting at?

EDIT:

What this means is, that if you play a Keeper, you have to be careful about choosing the Eidolon evolutions, since not only the Eidolon is going to use those evolutions, YOU are going to use them as well... albeit in a less effective manner, and more as a last resort or utility sort of thing.

I'll post a more defined and detailed archetype soon. Thanks for your support so far anyways!


Gavmania wrote:

Just a thought...but an Eidolon is an intelligent creature presumably with its own goals, yet it is treated as a mindless slave by the summoner.

Why not have the Eidolon under the control of the GM who decides what it does according to its goals, e.g. It has attached itself to the summoner to protect him; it is not going to go haring off into combat after the bad guys, but will skulk around the summoner attacking anything that gets too close.
Or maybe it's goal is to destroy Evil (or Chaos, Good or Law). If the enemy is not Evil (Or chaos, etc,) it will not attack. If it is Evil, it will attack regardless of the CN Mook about to backstab the summoner.

As compensation, the Summoner gains more/better spells, so as to be able to guarantee a contribution.

I have definitely been thinking about such possibilities. Having an Eidolon of a different alignment than your own, with its own sentient mind, could have so many amazing roleplaying results.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Homebrew and House Rules / Idea for changes in Summoner Class All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Homebrew and House Rules