Punching Expectations in the mouth: A melee summoner guide


Advice


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So a long time ago I made a summoner that I wanted to be an archer. It didn't work out as well as I wanted. So not really caring for the "vanilla" summoner I sought to see what the class can do. I noticed that it had a number of abilities that can be used and abused towards a fairly decent melee build. The more I looked into it and the more I scrolled through the various feats and abilities I could get and discovered that, well, it could be quite viable. Sure, probably not the best use of the class but certainly a fun use of the class.

Link to the guide.

It's still in progress but the base of it is made and I'm working on the greater aspect section now.

Also, I dislike the severe quality drop in the PDF's when uploading to googledrive. So if you want them on your computer with better pictures I'm just leaving a
dropbox link here.

I am doing another open builds page for this guide as the cleric guide. However due to issues I've run into with that guide I'm doing this one differently. If you are interested in submitting characters please click the spoiler below.

Submitting Character Builds:

First download this Word template.

Link 1 If you download this please go at the request of the creator and favorite this post.
Link 2

As you may have noticed this is Ravingdork's favored template for his characters. It looks nice so yes I'm shamelessly stealing it. Be sure to thank him for it.

Next when building your character to submit follow these guidelines:

2 traits
20pt. Buy.
All paizo material allowed.
Appropriate character wealth.
All HP is max first and average rest.
I'll accept builds from 1-20 and everywhere between.

When submitting your character/build you must include the following.

1. What basic Strategy does he use?

2. What makes it work?

3/ What's the minimum level we can get it to work?

Shadow Lodge

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Gotta love a guide that focuses on fun rather than min-maxing! Totally added to the Comprehensive Guide to the Guides

One quick question - Your guide and this thread appear to have two different titles. Which one is the official guide name? I gotta say, I love "Punching Expectations in the Mouth."


Tark, I hate you. <3

You should do a guide to the Pathfinder Chronicler next.


You got two more options :
Cavalier - take lance and charge
Or take and abuse many teamwork feats, like broken wing gamble with your pet


For the Tiefling build under predators i don't think your feats work like that since you need to take fiendish heritag ein order to access the pitborn stats.


666bender wrote:

You got two more options :

Cavalier - take lance and charge
Or take and abuse many teamwork feats, like broken wing gamble with your pet

Both of which are described in the guide how nifty. :)

We can go with Punching Expectations. I just came up with it while making the post and stuck with it.


EsperMagic wrote:
For the Tiefling build under predators i don't think your feats work like that since you need to take fiendish heritag ein order to access the pitborn stats.

Which is a feat printed only once in the first book of council of thieves.

You'll note that it has ceased to exist come Blood of Fiends and the fact that no similar feat was printed for Aaasimar only confirms my suspicions.

But hey, if you want to take the rules from an AP written near the start of the game versus a book written last year than more power to ya.


i was unaware of that. Its still listed @ d20pfsrd under the tiefling info though so I thought it still applied.


It can technically if your gm is really anal since to my knowledge it hasn't exactly been redacted.

BUT given it shows up nowhere in blood of fiends (opportune time to reprint it) or any similar version showing up in Blood of Angels I'm led to believe that the feeling around the office is that you shouldn't need a feat to determine what hell your granddaddy came from.


The links in the docs work partly, at least for me
The PDF is better.
When are you sue to writing the rest. ?


A couple of notes about Drows and spell resistance.
Spell resistance never interfere with your own spells, so you can always buff yourself.
And you can drop your spell resistance as a standard action, though for how long it is so dropped, I am not sure.

I do not agree with your assessment of the Fist Worlder though. While you are correct that a fey type is better than outsider, remember that some of the bad things affecting an outsider, doesn't affect en Eidolon. Also for this particular topic, fewer HPs and lower BAB is really bad.
Summon Nature's Ally is far worse than Summon Monster. And not just for the lack of templates, but for the lack of flexibility SM gives that SNA lacks. Granted the added summons are nice, and does grant some of that flexibility back, you could get all of those, and then some, with the Summon Good Monster feat.
It is a so-so archetype for a utility Eidolon build, but not very well suited for anything else.


Leisner wrote:


It is a so-so archetype for a utility Eidolon build, but not very well suited for anything else.

Whiiiich is pretty much exactly what I said.

As for spellresistance it's still pretty much bad for you though perhaps not in the way I presented in the document (Which I will be fixing).

I'll release the rest as it comes.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

I'm quite fond of the tag-team idea. I'm not sure if I'd want to do it as a Half-Elf (get that Str bonus, pick up a nicer reach weapon), Wild Caller/Favored Class shenanigans or a Catfolk/Fetchling for a better Dex/Cha out of the box (put a 14 into both and you're set on those scores), plus the Shadow Caller's Plan B options are terrifying incorporeals that do ability score damage if you need an alternative solution.

Edit: Garruk's Packleader looks just like this type of summoner

Edit 2: I think your recommended 25 PB on Tag Team comes out to 26 points, requiring you to drop Wis to 9, or alternatively lower a score a 16 to 15 and buff it later, which would allow you to increase Int to 8 (which does nothing for skill points sadly), or increase Wis to 12.


Unlike gnomes... Con and cha, medium = can ride easy and a lance stil do nice damage

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Oh yeah, maybe I missed it in the guide, but how 'bout the Tandem Trip feat? Gives an Eidolon with Trip two rolls to succeed.

The Summoner can also attempt trips with his reach weapon w/o Improved Trip, at least against opponents that aren't threatening him back.

The Half-Elf can use Ancestral Arms to pick up the Guisarme for this purpose, or the inferior-yet-hilarious Flailpole.


Petty Alchemy wrote:

Oh yeah, maybe I missed it in the guide, but how 'bout the Tandem Trip feat? Gives an Eidolon with Trip two rolls to succeed.

The Summoner can also attempt trips with his reach weapon w/o Improved Trip, at least against opponents that aren't threatening him back.

The Half-Elf can use Ancestral Arms to pick up the Guisarme for this purpose, or the inferior-yet-hilarious Flailpole.

I think summoned need to focus hard, since they got no feat to spare. If I were you I would take, human, use trait for good weapon prof.

Than focus on one melle aspect:

The protector: both summoner and pet take bodyguard and their likes, to move a out and aid your friends. Use team feat like broken wing gamble to have load of AOO

The killer: power att, furious focus, weapon focus, vital strike, mount feats to allow all you can get boosts to damage

The tricker - with tandem trip, coorporate manuvers you can both have decent cmb
Pet take : grab, trip as powers, and bull rush and greater with feats.
Summoner take combat expertise and dirty trick
Against a prone for, with all the team feats you can really assist.


You mention in the Archetypes section that Master Summoner is pretty much the default archetype for the Commander builds, yet make no mention of the archetype in the Commander section. How does the changes of the Master Summoner archetype affect the build?

With the stunted eidolon progression, I see it being even less useful in combat, with less evolutions and the lower BAB/hit dice making it squishier and less likely to land attacks or maneuvers. Should you just load up on Skilled evolutions and the like and give up on the eidolon ever really being combat relevant? An eidolon can have a +12 to Perception at level 1, making the party rogue jealous ;).

Perhaps give him hands and maximize his UMD? Arcane Heritage can give you a familiar, which opens up Improved Familiar down the line. You can potentially lay down some serious spellcasting in a turn with proper use of wands and scrolls. You cast a spell, your familiar casts a spell, your eidolon casts a spell, your summoned monster casts a spell. Action economy!


SunsetPsychosis wrote:

You mention in the Archetypes section that Master Summoner is pretty much the default archetype for the Commander builds, yet make no mention of the archetype in the Commander section. How does the changes of the Master Summoner archetype affect the build?

Surprisingly little. It gives you one more feat to play wiht is all it really does. You can use it on improved familiar and you honestly should.

Quote:


With the stunted eidolon progression, I see it being even less useful in combat, with less evolutions and the lower BAB/hit dice making it squishier and less likely to land attacks or maneuvers. Should you just load up on Skilled evolutions and the like and give up on the eidolon ever really being combat relevant? An eidolon can have a +12 to Perception at level 1, making the party rogue jealous ;).

Absolutely. And you can do this without the archetype too. The main focus of the commander is his ability to put more bodies and control on the field. He can do this in many, many ways.

In other news I've added the Greater Aspect portion of the guide. Once I get eidolons figured out I'll give people an address to send their builds to. I just wanted to give people a chance to read the guide and take their time considering their builds before submitting them to the guide.


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The Master Summoner archetype not only gives you Augment Summoning for free, it lets you skip Spell Focus (Conjuration), which could be a dead feat depending on your spell selection. A Half-elf Master Summoner going for a Commander build is set up pretty nicely for feats, with the bonus Skill Focus going towards getting his familiar early. At level 3, he'd have Skill Focus, Arcane Heritage, Augment Summoning, AND Combat Reflexes. Pretty solid start, and at that level you wouldn't necessarily start feeling the drag of reduced eidolon level yet.

Some interesting usages of the feats opened up might include Evolved Familiar (fitting, really) to give it Skilled in UMD, further improving your army of personal spellcasters. Boon Companion would also offset the level delay on your familiar. Improved Familiar is of course an excellent choice, as well.

Also of potential note in the races section is the fact that you can have small sized Aasimar/Tieflings with no changes to the base racial stats, only the size. Meaning that an Angelkin Aasimar halfling would be a small sized character with a BONUS to both Strength and Charisma, making it a superb mounted Summoner.


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SunsetPsychosis wrote:


Also of potential note in the races section is the fact that you can have small sized Aasimar/Tieflings with no changes to the base racial stats, only the size. Meaning that an Angelkin Aasimar halfling would be a small sized character with a BONUS to both Strength and Charisma, making it a superb mounted Summoner.

Interesting, and worth noting. But that particular level of cheese might not be allowed in somme games. :)


Dot


With the trait that allows you to take a reach weapon nerfed (inherited weapon I think it's the name) what is better:

a) multiclass "fighter". Or

b) Stay with a simple reach weapon?

I want to build a commander character but I think my question is useful for everybody.

Another question. Supose a commander master summoner. What is better? To have the eidolon dispelled and cast summon monster SLA many times? Or fight with your eidolon and one SM, see how the battle goes, and if necessary dispel the eidolon?

Thanks for all, Tark. And sorry for my bad english ;-)

(Note, I'm supposing the "typical" commander eidolon described in the guide).


1. Stick with the long spear/cestus combo. Longspears are one damage behind a glaive but have the same crit modifers, weigh less, and can be braced as well.

2. Depends on the situation. Often if given a chance I'll dispel the eidolon before combat, knowing that he won't be much good in it. IF not then the eidolon typically has lots of ranks in UMD with the skilled evolution to back it up so he can use wands. Also throwing tanglefoot bags and the like.


Thanks, Tark :D


Flawed opalescent white pyramid: A way to have proficiency with a weapon.

opalescent white pyramid ioun stone

The -2 to dex could seem annoying but you can always turn on or turn off your ioun stone as a move action.

"These crystalline stones always float in the air and must be within 3 feet of their owner to be of any use. When a character first acquires a stone, she must hold it and then release it, whereupon it takes up a circling orbit 1d3 feet from her head. Thereafter, a stone must be grasped or netted to separate it from its owner. The owner may voluntarily seize and stow a stone (to keep it safe while she is sleeping, for example), but she loses the benefits of the stone during that time."

ioun stones

I f you don't like the -2 penalty and you are rich enough you can always buy a not flawed white pyramid for 10000 gp (or make your skillodon make for you for 5000 gp, you get the idea).


Just to update on the Wild Caller.
It appears that they are supposed to be able to use their Summon Nature's Ally SLA while their eidolon is out.
That takes the archetype from a weak, small fluffy nerf, to an overpowered monster O' death.

A wee bit of hyperbole there, but they are VERY powerful with that rule.


Leisner wrote:

Just to update on the Wild Caller.

It appears that they are supposed to be able to use their Summon Nature's Ally SLA while their eidolon is out.
That takes the archetype from a weak, small fluffy nerf, to an overpowered monster O' death.

A wee bit of hyperbole there, but they are VERY powerful with that rule.

Have a link for the proof of this?


TarkXT wrote:
Leisner wrote:

Just to update on the Wild Caller.

It appears that they are supposed to be able to use their Summon Nature's Ally SLA while their eidolon is out.
That takes the archetype from a weak, small fluffy nerf, to an overpowered monster O' death.

A wee bit of hyperbole there, but they are VERY powerful with that rule.

Have a link for the proof of this?

Sorry, should have linked to it in the first place, this post from James Jacobs.


Tark, the drawback with Improved Share Spells is that if your Eidolon moves more than 5 feet from you, it loses whatever you buffed it with. I mean it's still a great feat, but only if you plan on using your Eidolon as a mount =/


Martiln wrote:
Tark, the drawback with Improved Share Spells is that if your Eidolon moves more than 5 feet from you, it loses whatever you buffed it with. I mean it's still a great feat, but only if you plan on using your Eidolon as a mount =/

Yes I didn't see that until a few weeks ago.

That makes it less good than I first considered. I'd still tkae it on a mounted summoner definitely. Maybe not so much on the rest. Shame really, but all it really does is make Extend rods more valuable.


Any timeline on finishing the last few sections"?


Probably never honestly. Too much on my plate with writing the Tactics 101 book and lining up ideas to follow that up.

I did update it a bit to reflect the problems with Improved Share Spells. It's stilla nice feat. But it does mean you have to be hand in hand with your buffy and no flanking. So don't rely on flanking if you do it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Leisner wrote:

A couple of notes about Drows and spell resistance.

It's "Drow" not "Drows". :) It's one of those words where the singular and the plural are the same.


I know it is not a game breaker, but from d20pfsrd for elves:

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/races/core-races/elf

"Summoner: The amount of time the summoner must spend to summon his eidolon is reduced by 1 round, to a minimum of 1 round."

Just seems like it would be useful for something, even if it only goes down to a full round action.

Also, with any build if you are playing an elf, and are either not a caster, or one who doesn't depend on beating spell resistance against enemies (lot of conjuration spells?), then this is almost always a better substitution for elven magic (and it auto qualifies you for arcane strike, though it won't matter with the subject of this guide).

"Envoy: Elves often have trouble relating to neighbors of other races, especially those with much shorter lifespans. As a result, some are trained in minor magics that are particularly useful when dealing with non-elves. Elves with this racial trait and an Intelligence score of 11 or higher gain the following spell-like abilities once per day: comprehend languages, detect magic, detect poison, and read magic. The caster level for these effects is equal to the elf's level. This racial trait replaces elven magic."

I might add, if you haven't covered it already, Summon Eidolon (d20pfsrd for text) gets it back as a full round action for a limited time. Might have niche use for some races/builds, even elves if they decided they would rather have hp's/skill points.

Also, in your build section, I personally always take fast healing on an eidolon when I can work it in. If encounters are spread out over the day it can heal over the course of that day. I really don't bother pumping this, even 1 point would get me what I am looking for.

Edit: Just wanted to add something about fast healing for an eidolon. I haven't tried this yet, but I was once planning on taking Sacrifice (3 point evolution), and Fast Healing 1. My whole thing would have been having my eidolon heal dung covered villagers after a dragon attack or something.

Kind of anticlimactic at the level you can pull it off, but over the course of an hour or so you could heal quite a few peons.

Just the way I roll. And you don't have to expend spells.


I like a half-elf, Ancestral Arms/Fauchard for any of my reach weapon PCs.
Great guide from an interesting angle.


Reading your guide, I have a few comments about archetypes.

It isn't official but one of the staff at paizo (James Jacobs) indicated that the intention for the First Worlder was to be able to have the Eidolon out, even if the First Worlder used the Summon Monster SLA. The summons would not have the 1 minute duration per level, but instead have the spells normal 1 round duration.

I think that the ability to summon pugwampis, is in many ways as broken as the Master Summoner itself, against most opponents.

Though you just thought Summoners in general took a lot of game time at the table. And your DM will hate, hate, hate you.

Also, for the Master Summoner you had this comment:

"The bad side? Eidolons are usually already summoned during rounds where you’re summoning."

What does that mean? I don't understand why this is bad.


sunbeam wrote:
I think that the ability to summon pugwampis, is in many ways as broken as the Master Summoner itself, against most opponents.

Looking at their entry, I can see why. That unluck aura is a lot like the misfortune hex (which is already considered pretty good) and expands it to be an AoE with no save or duration. And the luck bonuses that negate this effect are rather rare outside some very specific race/class/item/spell choices (..that your party could take advantage of to get around the aura, but your GM can't make much use of without metagaming/using resources/giving you a million luck stones in loot).

Since it is such a low level summoning spell, you get access to a large number of the buggers rather early on. Just command them to form an overlapping grid and then just sit there and use total defense, and suddenly you have a great debuff spell that covers almost the entire battlefield and the enemy has to waste turns getting rid of. And that is one of the most insidious parts: these things will be easily ohko'd, but the enemies will be very much compelled to kill them (otherwise, the wizard will just spam SoD spells left and right)...meaning they can't attack you. And since spreading out is the best way to use pugwampis, very few AoE's would be able to solve the problem.


When i first saw the summoner i thought "cool, a wizard focused on summons", then i read the class closely and noticed that "nope, they are like a bard focused on summons".

And you just turned them into a bard that replaces the music with a pet.
Good job.

Quote:

"The bad side? Eidolons are usually already summoned during rounds where you’re summoning."

What does that mean? I don't understand why this is bad.

Because you need to use a standard action unsummoning the eidolon, then you can summon something else.

Summoning a monster doesnt auto-dismiss your eidolon.


Ah, I get it now. If you are planning to saturate the field with summon monsters.

From the Master Summoner entry:

"Only one summon monster spell may be in effect while the eidolon is summoned. If the summoner’s eidolon is not summoned, the number of creatures that can be summoned with this ability is only limited by its uses per day. "

So the first summon monster is fine, but if you are summoning 5 packs of dire tigers you need to dismiss the eidolon.


sunbeam wrote:

I know it is not a game breaker, but from d20pfsrd for elves:

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/races/core-races/elf

"Summoner: The amount of time the summoner must spend to summon his eidolon is reduced by 1 round, to a minimum of 1 round."

Just seems like it would be useful for something, even if it only goes down to a full round action.

NEver been a fan of it. If I need my eidolon that quickly I can always just use my summons, which are a standard action and more readily disposable. OR, as you suggest later, use Summon Eidolon which does the exact same thing without robbing me of HP.

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