Speculation on the unchained summoner


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Caimbuel wrote:

I personally strongly disagree that a summoner and his pet trump a well played druid with pet. Druids have a ton of spells to truly buff up his AC, summoner has a few. That and the druid is a full 9th caster, the summoner is a semi 9th caster, even by spells per day I prefer the druid.

Most of the OP Eidolon builds I have seen have been breaking more then one rule or another. I stand by the thing takes a rules lawyer to interpret well.

Not saying the summoner is weak, far from it, but bashing the druid is not true to my mind. YMMV

And the druids AC can have magic items of his own and wear barding all while not impeding the druid in any way. I also feel that the druid has a better spread of buffs that he and the AC can use. I'm going back to my statement that none of these have seen a druid in action.

Also eidolons top out at 15 HD while ACs get 16, also the 7th+ druids buffs are super awesome for you or your AC. Go try frightful form on that tiger and then tell me that eidolon is better.

The biggest and worst aspect of the summoner is having to share magic items. It may not seem like a big deal but once into mid levels it starts hurting, then is devastating at high levels. Yet my AC get his own Xmas lights with no worries.


This is more of a side note, but addressing the whole magic item conundrum:http://www.archivesofnethys.com/ArchetypeDisplay.aspx?FixedName=Summoner%20 Naturalist

This archetype for summoner is the closest I have seen for animal focus to be effective.


Deadkitten wrote:

This is more of a side note, but addressing the whole magic item conundrum:http://www.archivesofnethys.com/ArchetypeDisplay.aspx?FixedName=Summoner%20 Naturalist

This archetype for summoner is the closest I have seen for animal focus to be effective.

It's one of my favorite summoner archetypes.


The Summoner class may need to be nerfed, but without changing the Eidolon in any way, not even in a forced progression. For me, the most interesting part of the class is customizing the Eidolon. You actually get to play a true "monster" character in playing the Eidolon.

The class may well need weakening, but if so then nerf the spell list and the like. Don't ruin the really fun feature, which is the strong, very customizable Eidolon.


Oly wrote:

The Summoner class may need to be nerfed, but without changing the Eidolon in any way, not even in a forced progression. For me, the most interesting part of the class is customizing the Eidolon. You actually get to play a true "monster" character in playing the Eidolon.

The class may well need weakening, but if so then nerf the spell list and the like. Don't ruin the really fun feature, which is the strong, very customizable Eidolon.

Got a reason why? Or you just on the bandwagon? Been shown over and over it's not any better than the other 9th level casters and in a lot of cases worse.


Onyxlion wrote:
Oly wrote:

The Summoner class may need to be nerfed, but without changing the Eidolon in any way, not even in a forced progression. For me, the most interesting part of the class is customizing the Eidolon. You actually get to play a true "monster" character in playing the Eidolon.

The class may well need weakening, but if so then nerf the spell list and the like. Don't ruin the really fun feature, which is the strong, very customizable Eidolon.

Got a reason why? Or you just on the bandwagon? Been shown over and over it's not any better than the other 9th level casters and in a lot of cases worse.

Being worse than a 9th level caster does not mean the class couldn't be overpowered. To claim that nothing should be weakened because wizards and druids are still more powerful is akin to claiming that no class should be made if it could eclipse the rogue or fighter.


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The summoner doesn't need nerfing: it just needs a simpler way to calculate the Eidolon for people who struggle with the full deal.

Lo and behold, that's exactly what they are doing!


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Squirrel_Dude wrote:
Being worse than a 9th level caster does not mean the class couldn't be overpowered. To claim that nothing should be weakened because wizards and druids are still more powerful is akin to claiming that no class should be made if it could eclipse the rogue or fighter.

When a full quarter of classes in the game are better than you, your claim of 'overpowered' is becoming extremely tenuous.

That's also a false comparison: If your class was weaker than a fighter or rogue, you have reason to worry about it. If your class is stronger than a 9th level prepared, you have reason to worry about it. If your class is somewhere in the middle..... it is fine? So, I'm not getting your point.


Blakmane wrote:

The summoner doesn't need nerfing: it just needs a simpler way to calculate the Eidolon for people who struggle with the full deal.

Lo and behold, that's exactly what they are doing!

I could dig that.


Onyxlion wrote:
Oly wrote:

The Summoner class may need to be nerfed, but without changing the Eidolon in any way, not even in a forced progression. For me, the most interesting part of the class is customizing the Eidolon. You actually get to play a true "monster" character in playing the Eidolon.

The class may well need weakening, but if so then nerf the spell list and the like. Don't ruin the really fun feature, which is the strong, very customizable Eidolon.

Got a reason why? Or you just on the bandwagon? Been shown over and over it's not any better than the other 9th level casters and in a lot of cases worse.

In all honesty, it's a case of "I'm not sure whether or not it's too powerful, but enough people think so, and I don't have a strong argument that it's not, that I'll accept the premise (at least in terms of it 'may well' need weakening) in order to make my main point" of "If you do weaken the class, please don't do it by weakening, or by limiting the options for, the Eidolon!"

I'd call myself undecided as to whether the class needs weakening at all or not.


I don't accept the argument that the summoner isn't tier 1 like the wizard/druid/cleric/witch because honestly access to 9th level magic called 6th level magic is STRONGER than actual 9th level magic.

The additional barbarian companion is too good.


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Undone wrote:

I don't accept the argument that the summoner isn't tier 1 like the wizard/druid/cleric/witch because honestly access to 9th level magic called 6th level magic is STRONGER than actual 9th level magic.

The additional barbarian companion is too good.

.. You do realise not even actual 9th level spontaneous casters make it to tier 1, right?

More importantly, how exactly is 6th level magic stronger? It reduces DCs and doesn't give them spells earlier (except for, notably, haste/slow) due to the slower progression. Please justify this claim.

Perhaps you aren't understanding the delineation of the tier system. Let me break it down for you.

Tier 1 is capable of breaking the game wide open with modest preparation. Highly adaptable in and out of combat. Great narrative power.

Tier 2 is capable of breaking the game in specific situations or with preparation. Decent adaptability and narrative power.

The summoner, like oracle/sorc etc, is a very strong class capable of breaking the game wide open in the area they choose to excel at (conjuration in the case of summoners) and otherwise with decent adaptability. They don't have the choose-as-you-go hyper-adapatability of prepared casters and so do not punch into that tier-1 bracket. Their weaker spell list compared to sorc/wiz is counteracted by the eidolon, keeping them in tier 2. Noone is calling them weak: tier 2 is still above the power curve. However, claims they are 'broken overpowered' display a special kind of ignorance re prepared casted optimisation which mostly stems from the low skill floor associated with summoners compared to high skill floor associated with prepared casters.


I feel the claim, summoner is a secret full caster, is fairly misleading. The summoner has access to only 2 level 9 wizard spells on his spell list. And then 2 more through his SLA, which prohibits the use of his primary class feature, Eidolon, at the same time.

Scarab Sages

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Oly wrote:

The Summoner class may need to be nerfed, but without changing the Eidolon in any way, not even in a forced progression. For me, the most interesting part of the class is customizing the Eidolon. You actually get to play a true "monster" character in playing the Eidolon.

The class may well need weakening, but if so then nerf the spell list and the like. Don't ruin the really fun feature, which is the strong, very customizable Eidolon.

I have advocated changing both summoner and magus to use the standard wizard spell list. Neither class needs/should have a separate spell list.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If you take away the most broken bits of Eidolon abuse -- starting with weapon attacks not counting towards maximum number of attacks -- I doubt that the summoner would still be tier 2. The spell list is very limited and they are not going to have very good DCs since they are limited to six levels of spells. They are pretty much one-trick ponies who constantly fear the day they meet an opponent with an aligned weapon against their alignment.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Onyxlion wrote:
Caimbuel wrote:

I personally strongly disagree that a summoner and his pet trump a well played druid with pet. Druids have a ton of spells to truly buff up his AC, summoner has a few. That and the druid is a full 9th caster, the summoner is a semi 9th caster, even by spells per day I prefer the druid.

Most of the OP Eidolon builds I have seen have been breaking more then one rule or another. I stand by the thing takes a rules lawyer to interpret well.

Not saying the summoner is weak, far from it, but bashing the druid is not true to my mind. YMMV

And the druids AC can have magic items of his own and wear barding all while not impeding the druid in any way. I also feel that the druid has a better spread of buffs that he and the AC can use. I'm going back to my statement that none of these have seen a druid in action.

Also eidolons top out at 15 HD while ACs get 16, also the 7th+ druids buffs are super awesome for you or your AC. Go try frightful form on that tiger and then tell me that eidolon is better.

The biggest and worst aspect of the summoner is having to share magic items. It may not seem like a big deal but once into mid levels it starts hurting, then is devastating at high levels. Yet my AC get his own Xmas lights with no worries.

The hit die thing is misleading. The eidolon gets outsider hit die, far, far superior to the AnC's animal hit die, and ultimately netting the eidolon more hit points, BAB, and far more skills than the animal companion. There is no comparison at all between the power of a druid's pet and a summoner's eidolon. The summoner also kicks the druid's teeth in when it comes to buffing, thanks to his specialized spell list and the Share Spells class featur; able to cast Enlarge Person on his eidolon at 1st level, Stoneskin 2 levels before the druid gets access to it, etc.

And unlike the Druid, the Summoner has lots of sought after group buffs that improve him, his eidolon, and the rest if the party simultaneously.
That being said, we're still talking about two of the most powerful classes in the game here, right behind the Wizard and Cleric but far easier to optimize. The real point I was getting at is that it's a joke to even pretend the AnC and eidolon are equivalent; the eidolon is immensely better on numerous fronts. If you remove the eidolon and AnC from the equation, I'd say the Summoner and Druid are about equal in power.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Melkiador wrote:
I feel the claim, summoner is a secret full caster, is fairly misleading. The summoner has access to only 2 level 9 wizard spells on his spell list. And then 2 more through his SLA, which prohibits the use of his primary class feature, Eidolon, at the same time.

But the 9th level spells the Summoner has are some of the best and most versatile spells in the game, often bringing in allies with advanced spell lists of their own. And thanks to his SLA, the Summoner will basically always have the largest number of the highest level spells available to any given class. The fact that they're "only" useable to cast a spell that improves the party on every level, at a speed and duration that no one else can match, is not a downside. The summoner is a pre-optimized conjuration specialist with the best buff and control spells cherry-picked and often handed to him earlier than they're available to anyone else. He absolutely is a full caster equivalent.


Ssalarn wrote:

My guess is that instead of the current grab-bag of evolutions, they'll have specific themed eidolons you can summon based on different creature archetypes.

Yeah, this is what JJ wanted. Not a "build your own" but a slightly customizable celestial, demoniac or otherworldly Lovecraftian horror. Specifically that last, for him, of course! ;-)


Blakmane wrote:

.. You do realise not even actual 9th level spontaneous casters make it to tier 1, right?

Several Sorc variants are on many versions of Tier 1.


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I personally feel the summoner is a class that fails on the specifics, especially pricing issues.

The idea of a customizable pet, and the way evolutions work, are both totally cool and fine.

The pricing on specific evolutions (Pounce as 1 point!?), and the emphasis on additional attacks with a seemingly random bias toward certain attack types; that's what ruins it. It is much too easy to make a relative combat monster, and really hard to give any unique or flavorful powers to your eidolon. As a result, most eidolons end up the same.

I know we're probably going to see an Unchained Summoner that has a list of specific pet builds. James Jacobs has declared that as his preference in the past.

I'm still enjoying the hell out of my dragon rider Summoner/Cavalier though. If the unchained summoner includes an option to get slightly more interesting powers (more interesting than the requisite five attack evolutions, that is) then I might even consider switching.


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Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:

I personally feel the summoner is a class that fails on the specifics, especially pricing issues.

The idea of a customizable pet, and the way evolutions work, are both totally cool and fine.

The pricing on specific evolutions (Pounce as 1 point!?), and the emphasis on additional attacks with a seemingly random bias toward certain attack types; that's what ruins it. It is much too easy to make a relative combat monster, and really hard to give any unique or flavorful powers to your eidolon. As a result, most eidolons end up the same.

I know we're probably going to see an Unchained Summoner that has a list of specific pet builds. James Jacobs has declared that as his preference in the past.

I'm still enjoying the hell out of my dragon rider Summoner/Cavalier though. If the unchained summoner includes an option to get slightly more interesting powers (more interesting than the requisite five attack evolutions, that is) then I might even consider switching.

i tried to recreate a goblin spider rider using summoner... it failed misearbly exactly because abilities as climb, web, poison, etc are too expensive for what they give...

so, despite the feeling that summoner needs downwards adjustment, i still feel like several abilities would need to be made cheaper.

things like web, spell-like abilities, undead appearance, etc


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Blakmane wrote:


When a full quarter of classes in the game are better than you, your claim of 'overpowered' is becoming extremely tenuous.

That's also a false comparison: If your class was weaker than a fighter or rogue, you have reason to worry about it. If your class is stronger than a 9th level prepared, you have reason to worry about it. If your class is somewhere in the middle..... it is fine? So, I'm not getting your point.

Ho boy. Here we go.

First of all, the tier list is an excellent tool for theoretical analysis. However, the argument that if tier 1 casters are stronger than the summoner, the summoner is perfectly fine is itself tenuous at best.

Here are some of the main reasons why the summoner is perceived as 'overpowered.'

1. The base Summoner's action economy is simply unmatched. No other class has the raw melee power of the eidolon and the casting support of the summoner with such a minimal amount of optimization. Sure, summon spells and calling spells exist for wizards- but the summoner has all of those too.

2. The eidolon is far, far superior to any animal companion. Higher AC, far higher stats, access to huge size, seven natural attacks, pounce, powerful grapple evolutions... the list goes on.

(As a side note, an aasimar lunar oracle buffing a tiger companion is a pretty insane companion that does come pretty close if not better than the eidolon on many levels. However, that's far more specific and requires far more system mastery- one of the many reasons why the summoner is considered so strong, because it compares with very little system mastery.)

3. The summoner's spell list is flat out superior to every other list in the game except the wizard's. The cleric's comes close, but the summoner has waaay more of that excellent narrative breaking power that making the wizard the quintessential tier 1 class.

4. The summoner has an excellent early game continuing into a strong late game. I won't even argue that the wizard and the sorcerer aren't better than the summoner at high levels. They are. I'd peg the point of definite superiority at around when 7th level spells come online. However, the summoner's powerful eidolon, while matching haste, slow, glitterdust and other awesome early game sorcerer/wizard spells make it far superior to them certainly until wizard/sorc 4th level spells come online, probably 5th. In between, there's a bit of uncertainty.

See what this means? There are as many levels where the summoner is clearly better than the wizard as the wizard being clearly better than the summoner. But wait! Pathfinder society only goes to 12th level. Many games don't ever reach 14th, let alone 20th, and lower level games are very popular because the system hasn't quite broken down yet. All this leads to the summoner performing very well in many, many types of games, and the perception that the summoner is so strong.

5. The summoner has the highest optimization floor of any T1-T2 class. Having an automatic allocation of summon monster spells with fast casting and increased duration, along with being able to rebuild your evolution points each level makes it nigh impossible to truly screw up a summoner.

As a note, I don't actually want to see a nerfed summoner in the ACG. I want to see an entirely new take on the class, not paid errata. But these are the reasons why the summoner is so strong, so easily gamebreaking and so commonly banned, even compared to 'true' full casters.

Scarab Sages

Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:
The pricing on specific evolutions (Pounce as 1 point!?), and the emphasis on additional attacks with a seemingly random bias toward certain attack types; that's what ruins it. It is much too easy to make a relative combat monster, and really hard to give any unique or flavorful powers to your eidolon. As a result, most eidolons end up the same.

Run a damage comparison between an eidolon pouncing at 1st level and a charging 1st level barbarian with a similar level of optimization.

Afterwards, tell me what the DPR of each is and then explain which one is overpowered and why.

Scarab Sages

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shroudb wrote:
Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:

I personally feel the summoner is a class that fails on the specifics, especially pricing issues.

The idea of a customizable pet, and the way evolutions work, are both totally cool and fine.

The pricing on specific evolutions (Pounce as 1 point!?), and the emphasis on additional attacks with a seemingly random bias toward certain attack types; that's what ruins it. It is much too easy to make a relative combat monster, and really hard to give any unique or flavorful powers to your eidolon. As a result, most eidolons end up the same.

I know we're probably going to see an Unchained Summoner that has a list of specific pet builds. James Jacobs has declared that as his preference in the past.

I'm still enjoying the hell out of my dragon rider Summoner/Cavalier though. If the unchained summoner includes an option to get slightly more interesting powers (more interesting than the requisite five attack evolutions, that is) then I might even consider switching.

i tried to recreate a goblin spider rider using summoner... it failed misearbly exactly because abilities as climb, web, poison, etc are too expensive for what they give...

so, despite the feeling that summoner needs downwards adjustment, i still feel like several abilities would need to be made cheaper.

things like web, spell-like abilities, undead appearance, etc

Many of the evolutions are horribly overpriced, which is why everyone uses the same narrow set of abilities.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I imagine the summoner change will be to bring the Eidlon more in line with an animal companion. Instead of a completly random creature rather you choose a specific type (Deamon, devil, protean, Inevitable etc) and get abilities based on the type you chose.


DrDeth wrote:
Blakmane wrote:

.. You do realise not even actual 9th level spontaneous casters make it to tier 1, right?

Several Sorc variants are on many versions of Tier 1.

Yes, mostly because of ways around their more limited spontaneous casting. With the paragon surge nerf they lose a bit of their competitive edge, though, and summoner loses his only pretend-to-be-prepared exploit.


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4 more summoners and you can Megazord.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

While I agree that eidolons can be extremely powerful, I get frustrated about attempts to nerf summoners because I actively choose to NOT play summoners with powerful eidolons - and to be honest it just feels like I'm playing two crappy characters that I have to be really creative with. That challenge is a lot of fun, but like ShroudB said, there are a ton of overpriced abilities that are absolute garbage for what they are. The fey archetype of First Worlder exemplifies this to me - I mean, even if I wanted to play a non-powerful eidolon that does not melee and instead just uses some crappy SLAs, I have to spend an enormous amount of my limited evolution pool just allowing the eidolon to cast like, glitterdust 1/day. Wow gee, hopefully we don't ever encounter any other creatures in today's session, I just used my eidolon's one ability. Now it'll have to dagger something (and hopefully not get destroyed due to its inability to wear armor).

I think part of the problem with summoners now is that most of them are REALLY REALLY GOOD at one specific thing, with no options to take any other route and just "be decent". I love the idea of making unique eidolons that are intelligent companions for the actual character, but there is just zero support for that in the core game itself. I'd ideally love to see First Worlder or some other archetypes upgraded/made, because then at least the option to play a dryad that doesn't just faff about, using 1/day Daze, or 1/day Dancing Lights (for 3 rounds), in between fighting with her 1d4 dagger, might actually be possible.

Artanthos said wrote:
Many of the evolutions are horribly overpriced, which is why everyone uses the same narrow set of abilities.

Oh I missed this earlier. This is the sum of my disappointment with the class. :(


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Stark_ wrote:


Here are some of the main reasons why the summoner is perceived as 'overpowered.'

words

None of these are particularly compelling reasons to nerf the summoner. I could easily create a similar list of strengths for any high tier character. Summoners also have a bunch of weaknesses: even with the 3/4 chassis they are vulnerable and lack many of the best self-defense buffs; their Eidolon can be dropped early by as simple as a sleep spell and later, dismissal; their spell list has little to no versatility outside of their niche, compounded by their spontaneous casting. You are having a knee-jerk reaction to a class you don't like.

You did hit the nail on the head though in that you repeatedly mentioned they require very little system mastery to be good. The tier system assumes you are optimising your character, and does not take into account how easy that optimisation is. The reason I talk about 'common newbie mistakes' is because, almost without fail, newer players target easy-to-optimise classes as the 'overpowered' classes (summoner, magus etc) because in their games these are the classes who perform well next to unoptimised blaster wizards and healbot clerics.

What these players don't realise though, is that low skill requirement for optimisation is a good thing and we should be encouraging it. Classes that are hard to 'mess up' but with a lower skill cap are better classes overall than easy to mess up but stronger classes like the druid, wiz etc, because they reduce the power gap between experienced players and new players in settings like PFS where this can otherwise be difficult to control.

Unfortunately, the summoner fails to be a good 'new player' class because of the complexity of the Eidolon..... Thus why the unchained changes hinted at by our new designer involve simplifying the process of creating the Eidolon. Funny that, it's almost like he's on the same page!


Blakmane wrote:

\

.. You do realise not even actual 9th level spontaneous casters make it to tier 1, right?

More importantly, how exactly is 6th level magic stronger? It reduces DCs and doesn't give them spells earlier (except for, notably, haste/slow) due to the slower progression. Please justify this claim.

The cost to regain the spell slot is drastically reduced, the metamagic rods are significantly less costly, a lower level spell is typically stronger if it's the same but with a different spell level.

If there was a feat called reduce spell and all it did was reverse heighten it would be the most broken feat in the entire game making leadership look like skill focus.

Reducing spell level is incredibly powerful.

Quote:
But the 9th level spells the Summoner has are some of the best and most versatile spells in the game, often bringing in allies with advanced spell lists of their own. And thanks to his SLA, the Summoner will basically always have the largest number of the highest level spells available to any given class. The fact that they're "only" useable to cast a spell that improves the party on every level, at a speed and duration that no one else can match, is not a downside. The summoner is a pre-optimized conjuration specialist with the best buff and control spells cherry-picked and often handed to him earlier than they're available to anyone else. He absolutely is a full caster equivalent.

Basically this. It has "6th levels of spellcasting" in the same way casting gate 10 times is "6th level" casting Dominate monster 8 times a day with 54k echoing rods is also totally "6th level casting". Or Persistant metamagic rods. Have you seen a level 7 summoner cast dazing black tentacles using the 14k rod?


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Undone wrote:


Basically this. It has "6th levels of spellcasting" in the same way casting gate 10 times is "6th level" casting Dominate monster 8 times a day with 54k echoing rods is also totally "6th level casting". Or Persistant metamagic rods. Have you seen a level 7 summoner cast dazing black tentacles using the 14k rod?

Your talk of spell level reduction is heavily loaded because it implies identical progression and cherry-picked DC-less spells. The lower level spell is straightforwardly weaker due to lower DCs on applicable spells and, outside of 1-2 spells, much slower acquisition. The metamagic rods is a neat idea though, which does help to balance this out, i'll give you that one. Not exactly a major exploit worthy of bloodmoney/simulacrum etc cheese fame though. Recovering spell slots isn't that useful on a spontaneous caster. You should be talking about cheaper pages of spell knowledge as your example, I think.

As a strong counterexample, Bards aren't exactly known for their tier 1 overpowering spell lists, even though they get many save-or-suck spells heavily discounted. Discounted 6th level just isn't that good.

I mean, it's still enough to push summoners into the bracket of 'almost competing with CODzilla'.... but not quite.


It's somewhat telling that noone has mentioned the most versatile summoner ability yet (the summon monster SLA). If I was going to try and argue about the power of the summoner I would be trying to make an argument from the SLA and especially the master summoner archetype which really does punch up with the big guns. Master summoner is rightfully banned from PFS and, even though it is a one-trick pony, that one trick almost freely ruins campaigns if abused.

Also, 7th level dazing black tentacles isn't legal: the rod is more than 50% WBL. Black tentacles also needs a check to do damage so it's probably not a good candidate for dazing more generally, as they get to save twice. The battle is already over if they fail their grapple check anyway.

Shadow Lodge

The problem of the summoner is not one class feature, is the combinaton of all of them in one set that makes it a little bit too strong

-Eidolon, minibarbarian, ok cool
-Standard action 9 lvel summons, rigght
-Almost full casting, jesus

So ok they have given him "almost fullcasting" "almost a barbarian" plus many other giminicks. In the end we have a class that can do almost anything, in the same way druids did in 3.5. They have a lot of feature and all of them are really really good

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Blakmane wrote:

It's somewhat telling that noone has mentioned the most versatile summoner ability yet (the summon monster SLA). If I was going to try and argue about the power of the summoner I would be trying to make an argument from the SLA and especially the master summoner archetype which really does punch up with the big guns. Master summoner is rightfully banned from PFS and, even though it is a one-trick pony, that one trick almost freely ruins campaigns if abused.

Also, 7th level dazing black tentacles isn't legal: the rod is more than 50% WBL. Black tentacles also needs a check to do damage so it's probably not a good candidate for dazing more generally, as they get to save twice. The battle is already over if they fail their grapple check anyway.

It's actually been mentioned, and quoted, several times in this thread... In fact, it's referenced in the last post you replied to. So..... Yeah.

In fact, early in the thread I even mentioned how it would power down the summoner to take away his SLA and just give him 9 level casting from a limited list.
I actually will typically play my summoner without keeping the eidolon out; I prefer to have full access to my SLA and stacking all of my augment spells on my eidolon by using the summon eidolon spell to bring him in when I need him.


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Blakmane wrote:
Undone wrote:


Basically this. It has "6th levels of spellcasting" in the same way casting gate 10 times is "6th level" casting Dominate monster 8 times a day with 54k echoing rods is also totally "6th level casting". Or Persistant metamagic rods. Have you seen a level 7 summoner cast dazing black tentacles using the 14k rod?
Blakmane wrote:
Your talk of spell level reduction is heavily loaded because it implies identical progression and cherry-picked DC-less spells. The lower level spell is straightforwardly weaker due to lower DCs on applicable spells and, outside of 1-2 spells, much slower acquisition. The metamagic rods is a neat idea though, which does help to balance this out, i'll give you that one. Not exactly a major exploit worthy of bloodmoney/simulacrum etc cheese fame though. Recovering spell slots isn't that useful on a spontaneous caster. You should be talking about cheaper pages of spell knowledge as your example, I think.

You mean this?

Blakmane wrote:
As a strong counterexample, Bards aren't exactly known for their tier 1 overpowering spell lists, even though they get many save-or-suck spells heavily discounted. Discounted 6th level just isn't that good.

Bards do not get 9th level magic worthy of being called 9th level magic.

Blakmane wrote:

I mean, it's still enough to push summoners into the bracket of 'almost competing with CODzilla'.... but not quite.

I disagree. They easily surpass Clerics and druids as they have simulacrum and gate.

Quote:
Also, 7th level dazing black tentacles isn't legal: the rod is more than 50% WBL. Black tentacles also needs a check to do damage so it's probably not a good candidate for dazing more generally, as they get to save twice. The battle is already over if they fail their grapple check anyway.

It's not illegal in any way. PFS may not easily allow it but you can get it before 8th. It's entirely worth the 14k to auto win 3 encounters a day.

Shadow Lodge

I sometimes wished medium and summoner exchanged spell lists


DrDeth wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:

My guess is that instead of the current grab-bag of evolutions, they'll have specific themed eidolons you can summon based on different creature archetypes.

Yeah, this is what JJ wanted. Not a "build your own" but a slightly customizable celestial, demoniac or otherworldly Lovecraftian horror. Specifically that last, for him, of course! ;-)

That would ruin the class for me. I've only played it once, but eventually would again. However, the whole appeal is how customizable the Eidolon is. Mess with that, and I have very little interest.


Undone wrote:
Blakmane wrote:
Undone wrote:


Basically this. It has "6th levels of spellcasting" in the same way casting gate 10 times is "6th level" casting Dominate monster 8 times a day with 54k echoing rods is also totally "6th level casting". Or Persistant metamagic rods. Have you seen a level 7 summoner cast dazing black tentacles using the 14k rod?
Blakmane wrote:
Your talk of spell level reduction is heavily loaded because it implies identical progression and cherry-picked DC-less spells. The lower level spell is straightforwardly weaker due to lower DCs on applicable spells and, outside of 1-2 spells, much slower acquisition. The metamagic rods is a neat idea though, which does help to balance this out, i'll give you that one. Not exactly a major exploit worthy of bloodmoney/simulacrum etc cheese fame though. Recovering spell slots isn't that useful on a spontaneous caster. You should be talking about cheaper pages of spell knowledge as your example, I think.

You mean this?

Blakmane wrote:
As a strong counterexample, Bards aren't exactly known for their tier 1 overpowering spell lists, even though they get many save-or-suck spells heavily discounted. Discounted 6th level just isn't that good.

Bards do not get 9th level magic worthy of being called 9th level magic.

Blakmane wrote:

I mean, it's still enough to push summoners into the bracket of 'almost competing with CODzilla'.... but not quite.

I disagree. They easily surpass Clerics and druids as they have simulacrum and gate.

Gate is good, and it is one of the more versatile 9ths. But it isn't Miracle or Wish good. And Simulacrum is just a Miracle away. Not to mention Clerics get their tier 1 status from the huge range of spells they get. Summoner's can't put on an undead parade, see the future, or transform themselves. Druids suffer in terms of raw power, but they also have a much broader and versatile list then the Summoner. And remember tiers is about versatility. And don't forget both classes know their *entire* spell list. For free.

Summoner is Tier 2 sure, but it doesn't have the chops to crack it in tier 1.


Quote:

Gate is good, and it is one of the more versatile 9ths. But it isn't Miracle or Wish good. And Simulacrum is just a Miracle away. Not to mention Clerics get their tier 1 status from the huge range of spells they get. Summoner's can't put on an undead parade, see the future, or transform themselves. Druids suffer in terms of raw power, but they also have a much broader and versatile list then the Summoner. And remember tiers is about versatility. And don't forget both classes know their *entire* spell list. For free.

Summoner is Tier 2 sure, but it doesn't have the chops to crack it in tier 1.

Gate actually is miracle and wish due to some monsters having those spells. The capacity to gate in half the bestiary makes you versatile enough for tier 1.

Simulacrum being a miracle away is pretty comparable to the access of spells via gate/SM9.


Blakmane wrote:


You are having a knee-jerk reaction to a class you don't like.

Not remotely true- the summoner is one of my favorite classes, and as I stated I am against nerfing it. But I do believe those are all valid reasons why the summoner is so commonly called overpowered, and banned in many games. Truthfully, it doesn't matter if the class is 'T1'- if it's perceived by the majority of the players as such, and by the designers, it will be treated as such. (And I believe their is a designer quote from the reveal of Unleashed along the lines of "The summoner is broken.")

What self-defense buffs are they missing? I can name mage armor, shield, barkskin, bear's endurance, invisibility, greater invisibility and spell turning just off the top of my head. Sure, the lack of mirror image and mind blank stings a little, but you're not exactly lacking in other options.

Everything that isn't at least half an elf can fall prey to sleep at early levels. The dismissal spell is a valid point, but it's just another save or die. And unlike your or the druid's animal companion, if the eidolon dies or is dismissed, it comes back the next day free of charge.

Finally, calling a spell selection that includes every summon monster spell, every planar binding spell, simulacrum and gate having little to no versatility is frankly laughable.


Undone wrote:
Quote:

Gate is good, and it is one of the more versatile 9ths. But it isn't Miracle or Wish good. And Simulacrum is just a Miracle away. Not to mention Clerics get their tier 1 status from the huge range of spells they get. Summoner's can't put on an undead parade, see the future, or transform themselves. Druids suffer in terms of raw power, but they also have a much broader and versatile list then the Summoner. And remember tiers is about versatility. And don't forget both classes know their *entire* spell list. For free.

Summoner is Tier 2 sure, but it doesn't have the chops to crack it in tier 1.

Gate actually is miracle and wish due to some monsters having those spells. The capacity to gate in half the bestiary makes you versatile enough for tier 1.

Simulacrum being a miracle away is pretty comparable to the access of spells via gate/SM9.

Yes and no. Gate is an incredibly potent trick, but there have always been low tier classes that got access to it. See: The Healer and the Truenamer. The Summoner has much much much more than those two, but it's still something necessary to consider.

It's at this point where you have to remember that 17+th level isn't about whether you can break the game but how many ways you can break the game.


Quote:

Yes and no. Gate is an incredibly potent trick, but there have always been low tier classes that got access to it. See: The Healer and the Truenamer. The Summoner has much much much more than those two, but it's still something necessary to consider.

It's at this point where you have to remember that 17+th level isn't about whether you can break the game but how many ways you can break the game.

You also have maze, simulacrum, Planar binding, a creature which can wield a ton of guns and kill like 20 creatures a round. The list goes on.


Artanthos wrote:
Oly wrote:

The Summoner class may need to be nerfed, but without changing the Eidolon in any way, not even in a forced progression. For me, the most interesting part of the class is customizing the Eidolon. You actually get to play a true "monster" character in playing the Eidolon.

The class may well need weakening, but if so then nerf the spell list and the like. Don't ruin the really fun feature, which is the strong, very customizable Eidolon.

I have advocated changing both summoner and magus to use the standard wizard spell list. Neither class needs/should have a separate spell list.

Magi might be too strong then.

There are already plenty of times I make the wizard feel silly.


Undone wrote:
Quote:

Yes and no. Gate is an incredibly potent trick, but there have always been low tier classes that got access to it. See: The Healer and the Truenamer. The Summoner has much much much more than those two, but it's still something necessary to consider.

It's at this point where you have to remember that 17+th level isn't about whether you can break the game but how many ways you can break the game.

You also have maze, simulacrum, Planar binding, a creature which can wield a ton of guns and kill like 20 creatures a round. The list goes on.

Yes, and the fact that the Summoner ultimately can only do a set number of things (he's limited to spells known), means that he's tier 2. They'll break your game, but ultimately, as a GM you know the tools that they'll have at their disposal every day.

Wizards, Clerics, Druids, Arcanists, Witchs, Shamans, and another class I'm forgetting can changed their abilities by the month, week, day and sometimes even hour. "Schrodinger's wizards," notwithstanding, that versatility is far more than what a Summoner can bring to bear.

Arm Summoners Tier 2? Yes. They're tier 2 wearing the guise of a tier 3 class, but they're not tier 1.


Quote:

Yes, and the fact that the Summoner ultimately can only do a set number of things (he's limited to spells known), means that he's tier 2. They'll break your game, but ultimately, as a GM you know the tools that they'll have at their disposal every day.

Wizards, Clerics, Druids, Arcanists, Witchs, Shamans, and another class I'm forgetting can changed their abilities by the month, week, day and sometimes even hour. "Schrodinger's wizards," notwithstanding, that versatility is far more than what a Summoner can bring to bear.

Arm Summoners Tier 2? Yes. They're tier 2 wearing the guise of a tier 3 class, but they're not tier 1.

Sorry we're going to have to disagree here. The ability to gate in creatures with wish and miracle which covers all broken spells prior to level 9 spells is enough to qualify since he has a huge list of 9th level spells available to select. In addition to the most powerful 9th level spells which enable you access to other 9th level spells.

Scarab Sages

Marroar Gellantara wrote:
Artanthos wrote:
Oly wrote:

The Summoner class may need to be nerfed, but without changing the Eidolon in any way, not even in a forced progression. For me, the most interesting part of the class is customizing the Eidolon. You actually get to play a true "monster" character in playing the Eidolon.

The class may well need weakening, but if so then nerf the spell list and the like. Don't ruin the really fun feature, which is the strong, very customizable Eidolon.

I have advocated changing both summoner and magus to use the standard wizard spell list. Neither class needs/should have a separate spell list.

Magi might be too strong then.

There are already plenty of times I make the wizard feel silly.

Magi have always been able to cherry pick wizard spells. There is literally nothing they would gain access to that they don't already have.

Scarab Sages

Undone wrote:
Quote:

Yes, and the fact that the Summoner ultimately can only do a set number of things (he's limited to spells known), means that he's tier 2. They'll break your game, but ultimately, as a GM you know the tools that they'll have at their disposal every day.

Wizards, Clerics, Druids, Arcanists, Witchs, Shamans, and another class I'm forgetting can changed their abilities by the month, week, day and sometimes even hour. "Schrodinger's wizards," notwithstanding, that versatility is far more than what a Summoner can bring to bear.

Arm Summoners Tier 2? Yes. They're tier 2 wearing the guise of a tier 3 class, but they're not tier 1.

Sorry we're going to have to disagree here. The ability to gate in creatures with wish and miracle which covers all broken spells prior to level 9 spells is enough to qualify since he has a huge list of 9th level spells available to select. In addition to the most powerful 9th level spells which enable you access to other 9th level spells.

If your argument is, "Gate breaks the game," then:

1. Don't play at very high levels. (Most games don't go this far, and only 1 published AP does.)

or

2. Rewrite every single class that can access Gate, by any means.

Being charisma based, simply removing a spell from the summoner's list does not remove their ability to use the spell. A level 20 commoner with UMD can access Gate. Are you arguing commoners are overpowered?


Quote:

If your argument is, "Gate breaks the game," then:

1. Don't play at very high levels. (Most games don't go this far, and only 1 published AP does.)

or

2. Rewrite every single class that can access Gate, by any means.

Being charisma based, simply removing a spell from the summoner's list does not remove their ability to use the spell. A level 20 commoner with UMD can access Gate. Are you arguing commoners are overpowered?

Commoners don't also have a companion which can kill a dozen creatures a round with guns and also has access to said UMD at higher modifiers than the commoner.

Gate breaks the game. Simulacrum breaks the game. Half the things a summoner can do break the game. Unlike other casters which have quadratic scaling they are game breaking by level 1 and remain equally game breaking at all levels.

At level's 1-4 a wizard is going to be good/average or possibly slightly powerful depending on the situation (Undead constructs oozes are immune to color spray) a 1-4 summoner is practically able to solo the content presented from 1-4 and still does the full conjurer wizard thing.

Scarab Sages

Undone wrote:
Quote:

If your argument is, "Gate breaks the game," then:

1. Don't play at very high levels. (Most games don't go this far, and only 1 published AP does.)

or

2. Rewrite every single class that can access Gate, by any means.

Being charisma based, simply removing a spell from the summoner's list does not remove their ability to use the spell. A level 20 commoner with UMD can access Gate. Are you arguing commoners are overpowered?

Commoners don't also have a companion which can kill a dozen creatures a round with guns and also has access to said UMD at higher modifiers than the commoner.

Gate breaks the game. Simulacrum breaks the game. Half the things a summoner can do break the game. Unlike other casters which have quadratic scaling they are game breaking by level 1 and remain equally game breaking at all levels.

At level's 1-4 a wizard is going to be good/average or possibly slightly powerful depending on the situation (Undead constructs oozes are immune to color spray) a 1-4 summoner is practically able to solo the content presented from 1-4 and still does the full conjurer wizard thing.

And yet, this entire thread is complaining about Gate. Completely ignoring the 10,000 gp cost to summoner a creature.

Get rid of the theorycraft BS and lets talk real games. Last time I played a high level summoner he brought scrolls. Gate was not one of them. Mind Blank, Heal, Aroden's Spell Immunity[/i], Disjunction, He used them all. His spells positively destroyed encounters. And not a damned one of the spells he used to break the games he played in were on the summoner's spell list.

There is no change you are going to make at the class level that would stop that. Only a complete rewrite of the entire magic system would have altered his tactics. Take the eidolon away? Are you going to give summoners 9 level casting for removing the classes alternate feature? At that point he's either a wizard or a sorcerer, which most people already agree are more powerful than the summoner once 9th level spells come into play.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Stark_ wrote:
Blakmane wrote:


You are having a knee-jerk reaction to a class you don't like.
Not remotely true- the summoner is one of my favorite classes, and as I stated I am against nerfing it. But I do believe those are all valid reasons why the summoner is so commonly called overpowered, and banned in many games. Truthfully, it doesn't matter if the class is 'T1'- if it's perceived by the majority of the players as such, and by the designers, it will be treated as such. (And I believe their is a designer quote from the reveal of Unleashed along the lines of "The summoner is broken.")

If you actually check YouTube, there's a video of the PaizoCon 2014 banquet where Jason Buhlman calls the Summoner something along the lines of "the most crazy broken OP thing you can have at the table".

The argument between Tier 1 and Tier 2 is basically beside the point; you're talking about the degree to which a class can break the game, not whether or not it can. Frankly though, I'm inclined to agree that Gate and Summon Monster IX as SLAs put the Summoner at Tier 1 because he really is just 1 standard action away from whatever spell he needs, and he has far more castings of those spells than any other class. A wizard can, in theory, prepare a spell for any situation if he knows what's coming. The Summoner can, without any foreknowledge, have the exact tool for the job at that exact moment he needs it.

The real issues of course are matters of degree. Tier doesn't measure power, it measures versatility. The Summoner has the versatility of a Tier 1 or Tier 2 class, but he also simultaneously has the specialized power of a Tier 4 class. Fighters hit harder than anyone else. This is supposedly the counterbalance to their lack of any other option. But there are many levels where the eidolon actually hits harder, with better AC, comparative saves, and more skill points... An eidolon can replace a Fighter, Rogue, Cavalier, or other Tier 5 to Tier 3 class in a way that no animal companion can, with less investment. So the Summoner actually tends to undermine party cohesiveness and good team play by virtue of not actually needing anyone else at the table by default. It's not like a wizard who needs a backup plan through the first few levels and requires some system mastery to wriggle to the top of the pile, it starts at the top and just needs enough skill to stay there.

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