Player playing an Eidolon


Advice


I am currently about to DM Second Darkness and two of my players come to me with the idea that one would play the eidolon and the other the summoner. I think it is a very interesting concept and I would love to help them do it, yet I am not sure how to implement it.

I am currently thinking of removing the second half of life link and allowing the eidolon to exist while the summoner is asleep or unconscious. I would probably increase the ritual to summon it as well.

If anyone has any ideas or thoughts I'd love to hear them.


Yeah don't, the eidolon doesn't level like a normal PC it has gaps. Have one play a primal hunter without an animal companion and the other play a buffing bard. Then just say what fluff you want.


Obviously the eidolon doesn't level as a normal PC and saying "Yeah, don't", isn't very helpful. I am of the mind to allow them to do it and I merely wished to find some thoughts and ideas on the subject of performing it.

I am leery of the greater portion of the Advanced Class Guide and while I have two players playing classes from there I would rather not add to my work load and read through and comprehend the hunter.

Yes the player as an eidolon may be cute for a taste but not for a swallow and am inclined to allow them to attempt it, as I give each player a free character rewrite I don't think it would be a problem.


As Onyxlion said, Eidolon alone is a bit lacking for a player character. The Hunter suggestion is a good one; the archetype in question normally allows you to use evolution points on your animal companion, but if it is dead you may instead apply the points to yourself for 1 min/level per day, spent in 1 min increments.

If you don't want to go that route, you could perhaps make the Eidolon character into a permanently on Synthesist and the other into a Master Summoner. That would give the Eidolon character some extra stuff to round himself out and the Master Summoner can just lose access to his otherwise half strength archetype Eidolon and summon to his hearts content.


Before allowing it you should think about possible consequences.

- The eidolon would be quite easy to banish
- If the summoner is killed and decides to reroll (or just wants to reroll) what happens to the eidolon?
- Getting pounce early makes the eidolon rather strong, how will this affect the game? More so if you somehow increase its levelling rate to set it on par with the other players.

With full WBL a summoner without eidolon and an eidolon should make balanced party members on their own.


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Biggest problem will be that they will have about half a character each in terms of power and mechanical possibilities.

It's a very interesting idea that can be a lot of fun but I think you'll need to to tank to them and get to know what the core is of their idea of it is and then work from that. How do they see the bond working? Is it a type of Faust/Mephistopheles sort of situation? Regular caster character and a slightly modified tiefling as a start and then trade away a few class features or insert penalties in exchange for the most important summoner like features needed (such as summoning the specific player once per day)
Keeping uncommon races actually uncommon and having almost exclusively core races around (I have not read Second Darkness but I suspect it to be that way or can be made so with few changes hopefully) can let you use them as strange. The Kitsune with its shapechange and tails feat lines would keep a bit of the physical upgrades an eidolon gets. In a world of only humans, elves, dwarves, halflings, gnomes and orcs it would seem otherworldly.
Downside would be that it would only work as a standing for bipedal summons but that's due to the system being balanced around humanoid PCs.


Sereinái wrote:

Biggest problem will be that they will have about half a character each in terms of power and mechanical possibilities.

Only if you compare it to the summoner. When compared to other classes they are good.


How many other players do you have? If there are enough other players to fill out the party, and the two players are not concerned with having a full character it should be ok. Don’t make any adjustments to the characters, but if they find it is not working allow one of them to come in with a new character. As long as everyone is having fun and it does not affect the other players it is not a big deal.

I have seen this done with a wizard in another game. One player was the Wizard and the other played the familiar. If this is a large group it could be a blessing as one of the complaints of the summoner is having too many figures on the board. If you have the other player controlling all the summoned creatures even when the Eidolon is not there that could work at well. The only problem I see is the player playing the Eidolon may find get bored, or want more active input on the game.


How much does the rest of the group optimize? What is the campaign going to be like?

If the rest of the group pushes the absolute limit with wild shaping druids and raging barbarians, these 2 might feel left behind pretty quickly. If they are generally more optimizery than the others, then it will probably work ok.

If the campaign is real complex with little time to rest and prepare, the summoner may have difficulty. They don't know all that many spells, from a not real extensive list, and don't get too many castings each day. If he is real careful with his castings and spell selection it shouldn't be impossible. Samsaran might help with this, as well as some pages of spell knowledge.

Having said that, I would be inclined to allow it. I might give a free wand of unfetter and not enforce the shared magic item slots. I might suggest evolutionist so the eidolon can be more easily changed at need.

Dark Archive

My advice would be to do something along the lines of chaoseffect's suggestion:

Have one play an Always-On Synthesist.
Have the other play a Master Summoner. Let him keep his half-strength Eidolon as usual.

Then I would fluff it as the Master Summoner having found a way to permanently tether an Eidolon to the material plane, and to have unbound it at least enough that it continues to live if he dies. Meanwhile, the master summoner can summon up a lesser eidolon as well.


Gingerbreadman wrote:
Only if you compare it to the summoner. When compared to other classes they are good.

Let's compare it to a class with the same level of spell progression. Bards. Same hit die, same BAB, fewer skill points per level but Int based so not a big deal, fewer class skills. Hmm not bad so far but it's here it falls down.

A summoner with a PC eidolon will miss out on using two abilities, the companion and the Summon Monster line (since using it will kick a player from play unless said players character is dead).
The summoner gets Life link, Bond senses, Shield ally, Makers call, Transposition, Aspect and Merge forms (I'll stop at 16th level as the AP is unlikely to go far above it).
A bard gets Bardic performances (Countersong, Inspire Courage, Distraction, Fascinate, Suggestion, Dirge of doom, Inspire greatness, Soothing performance, Frightening tune, Inspire Competence, Inspire heroics) Bardic knowledge, Versatile performance, Well versed, Lore master and Jack-of-all-trades.

One of the lists is a better deal. Yes it is a bit of apples to oranges but the summoner class is is very focused into the eidolon and summons. A summoner without it is about as strong as a wizard who looked at the bard table for spell progession. It can be a fun challenge but when looking at the idea of getting two players to share what is meant to be one players power we have two problems to deal with. Making it fun for the ones playing the duo and keeping their gimmick from making the game worse for the other players. Unless they get bumped up to what would be expected of two regular characters you risk having other players simply be annoyed at the two who can't pull their weight.


Toujours wrote:

Obviously the eidolon doesn't level as a normal PC and saying "Yeah, don't", isn't very helpful. I am of the mind to allow them to do it and I merely wished to find some thoughts and ideas on the subject of performing it.

I am leery of the greater portion of the Advanced Class Guide and while I have two players playing classes from there I would rather not add to my work load and read through and comprehend the hunter.

Yes the player as an eidolon may be cute for a taste but not for a swallow and am inclined to allow them to attempt it, as I give each player a free character rewrite I don't think it would be a problem.

First off while it my not have been nice it was helpful because an eidolon only gets 15 actual levels vs the 20 a PC would get. Second they share magic item slots so that's less magic items for each. Third the eidolons stats at set so no customization there. Fourth is that you have to make special rules for this when I and others suggested some valid class combos with zero rules changes. I also don't see how reading the hunter is more work than house ruling, and major house ruling at that.

With that said I still think you should check out primal hunter, it gives everyone what they want for no more than what you're doing now. I also understand that since discounted my post as unhelpful from only 2 words that this will likely get ignored too so time to play on sympathy; Think of the players :).


I think they should go for it. Let the Eidolon player pick his/her own feats. Also, give the Eidolon his own initiative, which is usually handwaved away.

If you decide to go the "Eidolon is alive while master sleeps" route, then make them earn it. Have it be granted as an item at the end of their first adventure.


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Eh, part of me like the idea of using an eidolon as a 'training' character for newbies. It can't die, has decent enough melee, and it is closely tied to a buffer/controller (which helps to show the important of that role for the melee attacker's success).

But how about this- the unfettered eidolon.

This bestiary entry provides the rules for how to make an eidolon unconnected to a summoner. It starts with 8 Evo points (which means 5 from base form, plus the 3 you get at level 1), and gets 1 evo point per it gains after that. After that, it has rules for scaling things like armor bonus and such. It seems to about equal out to what an eidolon controlled by a summoner would get at similar HD....

...Except an unfettered eidolon would level like a character (if you include it as a character) rather than like the normal class feature. Eidolons are outsiders with full BAB, but the class feature is restricted to 15 HD, so they might as well be 3/4 BAB characters with rather poor hp. But if you just allowed it to gain HD instead of class levels, it would become stronger than usual and could more easily compare to a full BAB class (even if you forbid the large evo, it would still get enough STR and DEX bonuses to compare to a barbarian in damage).

If you gave it a point buy instead of the terrible starting stats of the class feature, it would likely end up with decent skill points too (Since the regular eidolon has dumped int, so it only gets 4 per HD)... with the various tricks the creature gets, it could easily match up to a role similar to a ranger. Oh, and also treat it as a native outsider (since getting one of the characters banished would suck)

And for the summoner- why not treat it like a master summoner without an eidolon? That would give it plenty of options that would more than make up for the loss of the class feature.


Here is my stab at it -

Eidolon gets 1 HD every level with saves progressing as such. Can be healed as normal and can't share life with the summoner. Doesn't share item slots with the summoner and doesn't go away when he sleeps. Gets Extra Evolution as a bonus feat every 4 levels. Gets minor magic as a bonus evolution at level 5, and every 4 levels thereafter, basic magic as a bonus evolution at level 6 and every 4 levels, major magic at level 7 and every 4 levels.

Summoners gets the ability to use summon monster and Aspect without affecting his eidolon.


Also see this older thread.

I had an idea for using something like this not for having 2 players playing a Summoner and Eidolon, but for 1 player (me) to do a scheduled character swap, although I'm still a bit fuzzy on how to make the mechanics work without a lot of DM handwaving. More specifically, this would be a way to get a monster that couldn't be balanced at early levels, but could fit in later -- the monster starts off as the Summoner's Eidolon, as normal (at least as normal as Summoners and their Eidolons come), but then later on the Summoner dies and the Eidolon gets unfettered (although possibly being temporarily disappeared) and progresses on its own. For lack of a better term, I will call this the Summoner Switch.

Of course, this needs to have storyline justification, so the specific scenario I have in mind is in Curse of the Crimson Throne where I can think of a prominent example of where this could happen at a point known to the DM ahead of time without adding too much more handwaving beyond the (probably considerable amount) handwaving needed to get the above mechanics to work.

Curse of the Crimson Throne semi-spoiler:

After the start of Curse of the Crimson Throne, enough time to get a couple of levels but still fairly early, the PCs will witness a dire injustice about to be committed, in a situation in which any attempt to intervene or even protest would be suicidal. The situation is resolved as a sort of cut scene by an NPC. In this really good PbP (pointed to the page of the event -- scroll about 2/3 of the way down and read to the bottom and then a bit of the next page), the cut scene was a let down for at least one of the players, who was/were prevented from performing the suicidal heroics. But what if the Summoner was the player character doomed to the suicidal heroic action? As a suicide mission (especially if the Summoner and Eidolon characters don't even know of the possibility of one of them being brought back), it would make the most sense that BOTH of them charge in to the rescue and get caught, but their action makes it possible for the above-noted NPC to succeed with the rescue. Of course, being caught, they are executed shortly thereafter. In gratitude, the NPC later contacts the rest of the party and tries to help them get the Summoner brought back from the dead; however, something goes wrong, and instead of the Summoner being brought back, the Eidolon is brought back, now unfettered (although not necessarily unscathed).


He could play as a synthetist, using a race that doesn't sleep. There is also a feat that allows the eidolon to remain some rounds while the summoner is unconscious. Plant, construct, half-construct and undead races may be the solution.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I suggest you embrace the fluff that they want, but achieve it with entirely different crunch.

The basic idea here is two characters bound together by a magical bond and thus forever a team, one of them being a creature from beyond the normal realm. Most of this can just be achieved by backstory and creative descriptions. If you want to add a little more heft to it you could include something like a life-link along with some penalty if either is unconscious/outside a given range etc. for balance reasons.

I would have each of the players have regular characters, with regular classes and advancement though. One of them could be a tiefling or something similar, perhaps even with more monsterous features than normal or you could in reality use any race as base stats (crunch) but have a unique/alien appearance. If you want this alienness to translate into mechanics, a -2 on diplomacy/+2 on intimidate would probably work without causing any balance issues.

Basically say yes to your players concept, but change it so that both have workable balanced characters.

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