Speculation on the unchained summoner


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Artanthos wrote:
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.

I'm kinda curious about this statement.

At level 1, an eidolon can do 1d4+5/1d4+5/1d6+5 damage or 23.5 on average with +5 to hit on a charge. A barbarian can probably match the DPR, but not exceed it, especially since the summoner himself has an extra action.

Feats Extra Evolution for summoner
Feats Power attack for eidolon
Evolutions pounce, claws, +2 Str
16 Str total

At level 5, an eidolon can do 1d4+11+1d6/1d4+11+1d6/1d4+11+1d6/1d4+11+1d6 damage or 68 damage on average at +12 to hit each. If the summoner firsts hastes him, that's an extra claw attack and 85 damage on average.

Feats Extra Evolution X2 for summoner, +1 evolution for half elf
Feats Power attack, Weapon focus claws for eidolon
Evolutions pounce, extra arms, claws X2, +4 Str, energy attacks
+1 amulet mighty fists, +2 belt of Str, 2000 misc magic
22 Str total

At level 8, an eidolon can do 1d8+16+1d6/1d8+16+1d6/1d8+16+1d6/1d8+16+1d6/ if 2 claws hit, 1d8+21+1d6

That's 96 average damage or 125 if 2 claws hit with a +19 attack bonus. 120/149 extra damage if the summoner hastes the eidolon first.

Feats Extra Evolution X2 for summoner +2 evolutions for half elf
Feats Power attack, Weapon focus claws for eidolon
Evolutions pounce, extra arms, claws X2, Large size, energy attacks, rend, improve natural damage claws
+2 amulet mighty fists, +4 belt of Str, 1000 misc magic.
30 Str total

Can a barbarian match the level 5 or 8 damage totals? I know that Barbs can do crazy damage at higher levels, but I'm not sure they can do anything like what an eidolon can do, let alone what the summoner is doing at the same time.

The synthesist in our group was doing such crazy damage plus a ridiculously high AC at level 5 that he had to be nerfed.


I feel like currently the Summoner's got a couple issues:

1. The built in action economy is pretty crazy. Even when the Eidolon isn't making animal companions (at best) or actual party members (at worst) feel foolish, the Summon Monster ability is pretty bonkers. It's the reason I preemptively banned the Occultist Arcanist archetype at my table. I get summoners being the best at summoning and all, but come the hell on. With Master Summoners it's even worse because of how MANY of their minions they can have in the fray at once. It's a lot of stat blocks to keep track of and PCs often have an advantage of numbers in dramatic encounters as it is. Adding the Summoner's personal battalion which massively increases his combat effectiveness without in any way preventing him from being a good control/support mage while they do the damage...yeah.

2. As some people said, pricing of abilities is a little wonky and biases the Eidolon towards some very specific builds while punishing some more creative ideas. I love how customizable the Eidolon is and I very much want a class that can spend points in a wide variety of abilities to sort of build its own powers that isn't causing balance problems. Something like the Aegis would be ideal for me, but I don't want the Summoner to lose all its customization if the idea can be saved.

3. The Eidolon probably needs something to keep it from becoming the class feature that steals the spotlight. Right now people have pointed out you can make an Eidolon, one of the summoner's CLASS FEATURES, as powerful as some of the weaker classes in the game, classes your friends might be playing. On top of that, the Summoner himself doesn't seem that interesting compared to his amazing pet, so you need to work at it to make sure your character is about the SUMMONER and not the incredible monster he pulls out of thin air to smite his enemies. This is a trickier thing than balancing the summoner mechanically, but I feel like it's an important one. The Eidolon is cool, but it needs to be more like the Animal Companion in that it's an iconic element of the class but not something that actually DISTRACTS from its master in how awesome it is.

Scarab Sages

Celanian wrote:
If the summoner firsts hastes him, that's an extra claw attack and 85 damage on average.

If the summoner casts Haste, everyone gets an extra attack, including the barbarian.

Celanian wrote:

I'm kinda curious about this statement.

At level 1, an eidolon can do 1d4+5/1d4+5/1d6+5 damage or 23.5 on average with +5 to hit on a charge. A barbarian can probably match the DPR, but not exceed it, especially since the summoner himself has an extra action.

Feats Extra Evolution for summoner
Feats Power attack for eidolon
Evolutions pounce, claws, +2 Str
16 Str total

Average AC at CR 1 is 12 (Though higher AC's are common if facing NPC's.)

.7(7.5)*.05(.7)(7.5) = 5.5125 * 2 = 11.025
.7(8.5)*.05(.7)(8.5) = 6.2475

DPR = 17.2725

Barbarian:

24 str (raging)
Power attack
Furious Focus
Earthbreaker

Earthbreaker +10 (2d6+12/20/x3)

.95(19.5) +.05(.95)(2)(19.5) = 20.3775

DPR = 20.3775

Barbarian wins at level 1 by a 17% margin.

Sovereign Court

Artanthos wrote:
Celanian wrote:
If the summoner firsts hastes him, that's an extra claw attack and 85 damage on average.
If the summoner casts Haste, everyone gets an extra attack, including the barbarian.

Yes - but you can't really count that as part of the barbarian's class abilities. If anything - that extra swing the barbarian gets would count towards the summoner's DPR. (That's the way I think of damage my bard's inspire courage etc.)

Scarab Sages

Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Artanthos wrote:
Celanian wrote:
If the summoner firsts hastes him, that's an extra claw attack and 85 damage on average.
If the summoner casts Haste, everyone gets an extra attack, including the barbarian.
Yes - but you can't really count that as part of the barbarian's class abilities. If anything - that extra swing the barbarian gets would count towards the summoner's DPR. (That's the way I think of damage my bard's inspire courage etc.)

Or, the barbarian could have his own Haste item. Standard practice in the DPR olympics threads.

If you are fully optimizing the Eidolon, expect to see a fully optimized barbarian in the comparison.


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I'd actually love to know why they arrived at the pricing of evolutions as they did.

Scarab Sages

The pricing seems random and arbitrary. They appear to have had little hard data to judge the effectiveness of certain evolutions. They misjudges certain stacking bonuses while overestimating the usefulness of SLA's and SU abilities.


Level 1 Eidolon:

14 str base
+2 str evolution
16 total str

2 claws and bite To hit +5 (+1 BAB, +3 Str, +2 charge, -1 power attack)

Damage 1d4 or 1d6 base (+3 Str, +2 power attack)

Level 5 Eidolon:

16 str base
+4 str evolutions
+2 str belt
22 total str

4 claws To hit +12 (+4 BAB, +6 str, +1 amulet, +1 weapon focus claws, +2 charge, -2 power attack)

Damage 1d4 base (+6 str, +1 amulet, +4 power attack) +1d6 energy damage

Level 8 Eidolon

17 str base
+8 str large size
+4 str belt
+1 str Ability Increase at 4 HD
30 total str

4 claws To hit +19 (+6 BAB, +10 str, +2 amulet, +1 weapon focus claws, +2 charge, -2 power attack)

Damage 1d8 base (large size and improve natural attack claws) (+10 Str, +2 amulet, +4 power attack) +1d6 energy damage +1d8+21+1d6 if at least 2 claws hit due to rend.

Scarab Sages

Celanian wrote:
What's the Barb's level 5 and level 8 damage?

I'll need time to build and post. Or, you could do the math and post results so we have more than one comparison.

I was trying to get Evil Lincoln to post the numbers for me. I strongly suspect he already knew them. He's gone around this argument too many times.


I'm looking at this DSP class

The way the suit is customized is a lot like PF evolutions, the difference being that boosting to-hit and AC is harder or the effect doesn't stack with items. I think the eidolon could stand to have better base stats, a higher HD progression, but a massive nerf to the AC, to-hit, and damage buffs evolution points can give.

Now I really like the summoner SLA, I think though they could stand to reduce the duration to 1 round per level, but let the summoner use it with no cap or eidolon presence restriction. Consequentially I think the spell list should be nerfed or removed entirely and that the planar binding elements should move to an SLA and be thoroughly defined as to what you can do with it.

I'm actually really liking the idea that summoners would get "bindings" instead of spells. Like they would need to prepare those ahead of time and in combat they are either buffed to participate or have to spend their actions summoning or controlling what they have already bond/summoned

Like they could specifically bind an air elemental at the start of the day that would allow the summon to have varying control of the wind through it and other things like that.


Artanthos wrote:
Celanian wrote:
What's the Barb's level 5 and level 8 damage?

I'll need time to build and post. Or, you could do the math and post results so we have more than one comparison.

I was trying to get Evil Lincoln to post the numbers for me. I strongly suspect he already knew them. He's gone around this argument too many times.

I did the math for the eidolon on the post before yours. I can't think of any way to get a barb to match the level 5 or 8 damage.


If people think the action economy is just too good, then maybe do something about that. Give the Eidolon an action pool equal to the aummoner's charisma bonus or maybe just equal to 3. A single attack action or spell like ability costs 1 point, but a full attack action costs 2. The summoner can add 1 point to the pool as a move action, or the eidolon can add a point to the pool itself as a standard action.

This allows the eidolon to participate in the first rounds of combat while letting the summoner do something, but if the Eidolon wants to keep going all out, the summoner will need to burn some actions to make it happen.


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Or just not chose on the fly. You chose when you create the character if you get the SLA or the companion.


You know in 4th ed they fixed that action economy by if you summon something, either you take a standard action or it does. Boy that cut back on combat summoning.


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How is the action economy better than a druids? Standard action summons only improve action economy if you summon in combat.


An action pool could be attached to the summon SLA too. That would be good for discouraging the summoning of multiples and crowding the field. With an action pool I think you could even buff the SLA. Maybe make it last even longer.


Trogdar wrote:
How is the action economy better than a druids? Standard action summons only improve action economy if you summon in combat.

The eidolon can do things the AC can't. Like things that use hands.

But I think the main complaint is how many extra attacks the eidolon can have. There should really be a cumulative cost to appendages.


Sure, but extra attacks has nothing to do with action economy, nor does the eidolons hands. Only extra actions count, and aside from standard summons, I don't see any.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:
I'd actually love to know why they arrived at the pricing of evolutions as they did.

They threw a dart at a board and put down whatever number it hit.

Artanthos wrote:
The pricing seems random and arbitrary. They appear to have had little hard data to judge the effectiveness of certain evolutions. They misjudges certain stacking bonuses while overestimating the usefulness of SLA's and SU abilities.

At least part of it seems to be due to "equivalents" found in other classes; for example, the rogue talent "minor magic" that allows the use of a single cantrip 3/day is, in theory, a feat. in general, it seems like 2-3 evolution points = 1 feat, so 1 point for minor magic trick or whatever +2 points to make it 3/day = 1 extra talent feat (in theory, at least). "lighter" feats like skill focus, minor/major magic, etc, appear to be the basis of at least some cheaper eidolon evolutions. others appear to follow similar "tree" patterns to chains of feats, while some of the ridiculous, stackable evolutions are priced at the same low "fighter bonus feats" level (again, making that chain so much more appealing than others).

Honestly it feels like someone who thought that spells were insanely valuable, while also not understanding the value of melee combat, designed it. Nothing's clearer about that to me than the decision that being able to dimension door 1/day is worth 1/4 the entire evolution pool - when, for that same price, you could add 3 more claws and also a pounce (on a creature that can just be resummoned if it dies/falls into lava/gets crushed/whatever, anyways).


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Quote:
At least part of it seems to be due to "equivalents" found in other classes;

By this logic the pounce evolve should require 2 prerequisites and minimum summoner level 10.

Seriously I feel like whoever wrote the class was drunk.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Undone wrote:
Quote:
At least part of it seems to be due to "equivalents" found in other classes;

By this logic the pounce evolve should require 2 prerequisites and minimum summoner level 10.

Seriously I feel like whoever wrote the class was drunk.

Hah! I completely agree, on both parts. It was NOT thought out, at least, not by people who understand the actual mechanics of encounters.


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Quote:
"Honestly it feels like someone who thought that spells were insanely valuable, while also not understanding the value of melee combat, designed it. Nothing's clearer about that to me than the decision that being able to dimension door 1/day is worth 1/4 the entire evolution pool - when, for that same price, you could add 3 more claws and also a pounce (on a creature that can just be resummoned if it dies/falls into lava/gets crushed/whatever, anyways)."

THIS. 1000 times this.

Like many people said, I too would like to see a re-evaluation of the evolution costs. That way I could build my little spellcasting eidolon. Right now I feel that the costs are way too high. Maybe make them 3/Day without the extra cost.

As far as the other abilites go, I really dont mind with the numbers of the DPR, the faster access of some spells (except maybe the Samsaran interaction), the SLA etc. I would rather see all the other classes buffed (the ones that really need it)than to see Summoner (or any other class) nerfed.

The Eidolon is by far the coolest aspect of this class and should really stay as is. As a concept at least. Maybe adjust the numbers of the table or rework properly the prerequisites of some evolutions like level required, evo-cost etc.

Scarab Sages

Celanian wrote:

Level 1 Eidolon:

14 str base
+2 str evolution
16 total str

2 claws and bite To hit +5 (+1 BAB, +3 Str, +2 charge, -1 power attack)

Damage 1d4 or 1d6 base (+3 Str, +2 power attack)

Level 5 Eidolon:

16 str base
+4 str evolutions
+2 str belt
22 total str

4 claws To hit +12 (+4 BAB, +6 str, +1 amulet, +1 weapon focus claws, +2 charge, -2 power attack)

Damage 1d4 base (+6 str, +1 amulet, +4 power attack) +1d6 energy damage

Level 8 Eidolon

17 str base
+8 str large size
+4 str belt
+1 str Ability Increase at 4 HD
30 total str

4 claws To hit +19 (+6 BAB, +10 str, +2 amulet, +1 weapon focus claws, +2 charge, -2 power attack)

Damage 1d8 base (large size and improve natural attack claws) (+10 Str, +2 amulet, +4 power attack) +1d6 energy damage +1d8+21+1d6 if at least 2 claws hit due to rend.

You had a few build errors I took the liberty of correcting, along with adding a few DPR optimizations. I'm sure I could do better on both the barbarian and summoner with more time, but both received equal effort. I also compared numbers at break points for the barbarian in addition to the break points for the eidolon. Seemed unfair to do comparisons only at levels where the eidolon received its biggest boosts.

Eidolon DPR:

Level 5
Bite +9 (2d6+11/20/x2)
Claws +10 (1d6+9/20/x20
Rake +10 (1d6+9/20/x2)

.6(22.5) + .6(.05)(19) = 14.07
.65(16) + .65(.05)(12.5) = 10.80625 * 2 = 43.225

DPR = 57.295

Level 6
Bite +11 (1d6+10/20/x2)
Claws +12 (1d6+10/20/x2)
Rake +12 (1d6+10/20/x2)

.65(17) + .65(.05)(13.5) = 11.532625
.7(17) + .7(.05)(13.5) = 12.3725 * 4 = 49.49

DPR = 61.022625

Level 8
Bite +17 (1d8+16/20/x2) + 1d6 acid
Claws +18 (1d8+16/20/x2) + 1d6 acid
Rake +18 (1d8+16/20/x2) + 1d6 acid

.75(24) + .75(.05)(20.5) = 18.76875
.8(24) + .8(.05)(20.5) = 20.02 * 4 = 80.08

DPR = 98.84875

Level 10
Bite +21 (1d8+20/20/x2) + 1d6 acid
Sting +21 (1d8+20/20/x2) + 1d6 acid
Claw +22 (1d8+20/20/x2) + 1d6 acid
Rend +22 (1d8+20/20/x2) + 1d6 acid

.9(28) + .9(.05)(24.5) = 26.3025 * 2 = 52.605
.95(28) + .95(.05)(24.5) = 27.76375 * 5 = 138.81875

DPR = 191.42375

All numbers assume the eidolon will be pouncing every round.


Eidolon Defenses at 10:

27 AC
76 HP
Fort +9
Dex +9
Will +4

Those numbers include Mage Armor, Toughness and Iron Will. While higher AC than the barbarian while the summoner is buffing, he has a wizards HP and a will save that would embarrass the fighter.


Barbarian:

Level 5
Nodachi +17 (1d10+19/18-20/x2)

.95(24.5) + .95(.15)(24.5) = 26.75525

DPR = 26.75525

Level 6
Nodachi +18/+11 (1d10+21/18-20/x2)

.95(26.5) + .95(.15)(26.5) = 28.95175
.65(26.5) + .65(.15)(26.5) = 19.80875

DPR = 48.7605

Level 8
Nodachi +23/+20/+15 (1d10+27/18-20/x2)

.95(32.5) + .95(.15)(32.5) = 35.50625
.95(.65)(32.5) + .95(.15)(.65)(32.5) = 15.00190625
.75(32.5) +.75(.15)(32.5) = 28.03125

DPR = 78.53940625

Level 10
Nodachi +25/+22/+22/+17 (1d10+27/15-20/x2) + 1d6

.95(36) + .95(.3)(32.5) = 43.4625 * 3 = 130.3875
.7(36) + .7(.3)(32.5) = 32.025

DPR = 162.4215

Self-hasted with boots, I did not include his electrical damage due to limited uses/day.


Barbarian Defenses at 10:

23 AC
125 HP
DR 5/-
Fort +9
Ref +7
Will +7

AC assumes rage + pounce. +4 on all saves vs. magic. +5 on all saves vs arcane spells.

Shadow Lodge

Was anybody present at the summoner playtest, it may give some lights about the decisions wich lead to the current summoner

Scarab Sages

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ElementalXX wrote:
Was anybody present at the summoner playtest, it may give some lights about the decisions wich lead to the current summoner

Not all abilities are released during playtests, which lead to unforeseen interactions when the full class is released.

The same thing will happen with Occult Mysteries. Abilities that have not currently been released will interact with existing feats and abilities in ways that are simply broken. It will take months or years to address all the issues.


I'll note that the playtest summoner was stronger than the current version - among other things, they got to have summons and the eidolon out at the same time, and IIRC there wasn't a limit on the number of summons that could be out at any time. Essentially, the original playtest summoner was a stronger version of master summoner.

I'd recommend looking towards the Occult Adventures Spiritualist for a preview of how the Unchained Summoner might work. IIRC, Haste was the only spell on the Spiritualist list that's early access; everything else was at the same level that say, a bard, would get it.

My own experience with summoners is 1) if the eidolon seems overpowered, odds are really good the person building it screwed up, because eidolons are very easy to screw up, 2) that being said, eidolon attack numbers can be stacked up ridiculously high compared to other things of their level, and 3) the counter to eidolons is that they have awful saving throws.

My personal hope from Unchained is GM/fast-build friendly eidolons. I like the class conceptually, but I use it very rarely as a GM because making legal eidolons is so damn obnoxious.


Seems rather interesting that you're giving the barb haste while the eidolon doesn't have it even though the summoner most likely has haste as one of his spells known and has a completely free action each round compared to the barb.

Now haste benefits the barb more since his extra attack is more damaging, but it really should be included in the eidolon's DPR. Also I disagree with your choices and think the eidolon can do better damage than what you listed. You seem to be using level +13 as the target AC so let's go with that.

So let's start with level 5. I will use 4 claws and energy damage as my baseline with a 5th attack for haste.

5 claws at +12 and 1d4+11+1d6 damage. 18 target AC.

(.7(17) +.05*.75*30.5 + .05*.25*17)*5 = 66.3 DPR

Level 8:

5 claws at +19 and 1d8+16+1d6 damage each. Rend for 1d8+21+1d6 if at least 2 claws hit.

(.8(24) + .05*.85*44.5 + .05*.15*24)*5 = 106.4

Chance of Rend is ~99.8%. So added damage is .998*29 = 28.9

Total DPR is 135.3

For the Barb using your numbers:

Level 5

=(.8*24.5 + .15*.95*49 + .15*.05*24.5) = 26.8 DPR

Level 8

= .8*32.5 + .15*.95*65 +.15*.05*32.5 = 35.5
.8*32.5 + .15*.95*65 +.15*.05*32.5 = 35.5
.6*32.5 + .15*.75*65 +.15*.25*32.5 = 28.03

Total DPR is 99.04

The sad part is that a single class feature is blowing away the barb in damage while the summoner himself is a pretty decent caster in the background. He could be doing things like casting enlarge person or using a wand of strongjaw on his eidolon which would substantially increase damage. He can black tentacle the field, haste, add 2-4 evolution points to his eidolon or do any number of nasty stuff on top of damage that is substantially in excess of what the biggest damage dealing melee class can dish out.


I just hope they rebuild the summoner to be closer than the spiritualist.
With three easy steps the summoner becomes a sensible class.
- nerf the eidolon
- nerf the summoning SLA
- make him chose either eidolon OR summoning SLA

rant:

As is the summoner just destroys games. I have seen it happen twice. Once it was because the master summoner made interesting combats a cakewalk by swarming the enemy with summons while using the eidolon as a skillmonkey out of combat. The other time was a base summoner with eldritch heritage -> familiar -> improved familiar with UMD who massively overshadowed everything through eidolon melee power and double spellcasting action economy.

- The summoner has the BEST companion (even with the hunter out)
- The SLAs make him the best at summoning
- He gets haste earlier than every one else

Normally (arcane) casters are weak(er) at the low levels and get stronger after that. The summoner is among the strongest classes at level 1 and is a quasi full caster with the included power gain at higher levels.

Scarab Sages

Celanian wrote:

Seems rather interesting that you're giving the barb haste while the eidolon doesn't have it even though the summoner most likely has haste as one of his spells known and has a completely free action each round compared to the barb.[/quote

I did give the eidolon Haste.
I also gave the barbarian Hurtful + Cornugon Smash, which is what you are mistaking for Haste at 8th level.

Quote:

So let's start with level 5. I will use 4 claws and energy damage as my baseline with a 5th attack for haste.

5 claws at +12 and 1d4+11+1d6 damage. 18 target AC.

(.7(17) +.05*.75*30.5 + .05*.25*17)*5 = 66.3 DPR

4 claws is not legal. The eidolon always has a bite, you cannot sell that back. Also, you had improved strength x2, which is not legal until 6th level. Also, with the assumption of pounce, claw + rake + bite is higher DPR than claw x4.

Level 8:

Quote:

5 claws at +19 and 1d8+16+1d6 damage each. Rend for 1d8+21+1d6 if at least 2 claws hit.

(.8(24) + .05*.85*44.5 + .05*.15*24)*5 = 106.4

Chance of Rend is ~99.8%. So added damage is .998*29 = 28.9

Total DPR is 135.3

For the Barb using your numbers:

Level 5

=(.8*24.5 + .15*.95*49 + .15*.05*24.5) = 26.8 DPR

Level 8

= .8*32.5 + .15*.95*65 +.15*.05*32.5 = 35.5
.8*32.5 + .15*.95*65 +.15*.05*32.5 = 35.5
.6*32.5 + .15*.75*65 +.15*.25*32.5 = 28.03

Total DPR is 99.04

Again, all claws is not legal, you are shackled to bite as one of your attacks.

Quote:

The sad part is that a single class feature is blowing away the barb in damage while the summoner himself is a pretty decent caster in the background. He could be doing things like casting enlarge person or using a wand of strongjaw on his eidolon which would substantially increase damage. He can black tentacle the field, haste, add 2-4 evolution points to his eidolon or do any number of nasty stuff on top of damage that is substantially in excess of what the biggest damage dealing melee class can dish out.

The summoner is fragile sack of hit points with no offensive or defensive ability. Nearly all WBL, feats and FCB went to support one class feature.


Going to agree that some evolutions are oddly priced and the rules alloq for abuse. But these's one evolution that no one has brought up: Skilled. Some folks ditch it for raw combat power, which i can understand. But point for point? I'll go on record saying it's the best evolution in the game. It means your UMD is reliable enough to doublecast. It means you will out stealth pretty much anyone. (It is possible to make a level 1 eidolon with +23 stealth. And thanks to Evolution Surge, it means the eidolon can be serviceable (if not amazing) at just about anything. Pay the 1 point tax for boosted Perception and you have the best scout this side of an Elven druid that picked up Alertness.

I'm curious about the upcoming changes. If the eidolon is simplified into "package" builds, it might take away from the fun of customizing it. I run a summoner with a skill monkey eidolon in PFS, and i have this tiny fear that Unchained could become a new rule and throw a wrench into my build. I suppose time will tell.

But seriously. Skilled needs a nerf. There is no reason to give a walking class feature a flat +8 to whatever it wants for such a minimal investment and no prerequisites.


Another option if they want to make "bundles" would be to instead adjust point cost of abilities/bundle.

So instead of saying that a "tiger" has evolutions x,y,z they can make all evolutions cost more (or stay as they are for overpriced ones) but say somthing like"tiger can buy class for 1evo instead of base 3, rake for 2 instead of 4, pounce for... Etc"

While p.e. a "monkey" template would get " can get skilled for 2 instead if 4, can get climb, reach etc..."

So, the option to customize remains, but now you can't min/max so much since each bundle will have its specific perks and extras will cost more.


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Umbranus wrote:

I just hope they rebuild the summoner to be closer than the spiritualist.

With three easy steps the summoner becomes a sensible class.
- nerf the eidolon
- nerf the summoning SLA
- make him chose either eidolon OR summoning SLA

** spoiler omitted **

The eidolon doesn't need much nerfing. Most of the nerfing required should be towards making multiple attacks less favorable. Currently the power of an eidolon that resembles an actual creature pales against the multi-armed monstrosities.

The SLA doesn't really need much nerfing. If any nerfs are forthcoming, I would get rid of the ability to summon multiples a level lower. I'm not even going to argue that the multiples are overpowered, but they do clutter the field and slow down play.

I could also see a nerf where the SLA doesn't get the +3 uses until the eidolon is dead/banished. As I see it, the SLA is supposed to be an option for the summoner to not be useless if his eidolon dies or gets dismissed.


Artanthos wrote:
sell that back. Also, you had improved strength x2, which is not legal until 6th level. Also, with the assumption of pounce, claw + rake + bite is higher DPR than claw x4.

You're right about level 6 for increased StrX2. I thought it was like most of their abilities which are every 5 levels. You can trade it out for energy attacks which would add substantially to the damage.

Energy attack is 3.5 extra damage per hit, so it's more efficient for damage than almost any other evolution. Should add substantially to the DPR.

Artanthos wrote:


Again, all claws is not legal, you are shackled to bite as one of your attacks.

Changing a claw to a bite doesn't change the DPR substantially. Forgetting Rend has a huge effect on DPR.

Artanthos wrote:


The summoner is fragile sack of hit points with no offensive or defensive ability. Nearly all WBL, feats and FCB went to support one class feature.

The summoner can just stay invisible in the back buffing the eidolon if there's any real risk to him. He is a pretty good caster just by himself and in non-combat time can summon stuff to heal or scout. His eidolon does a lot more damage than an optimized barbarian of the same level and it's completely disposable. The barb is good in combat and just about nothing else.

The thought that a barb is close to a summoner in power and utility is just laughable.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
shroudb wrote:

Another option if they want to make "bundles" would be to instead adjust point cost of abilities/bundle.

So instead of saying that a "tiger" has evolutions x,y,z they can make all evolutions cost more (or stay as they are for overpriced ones) but say somthing like"tiger can buy class for 1evo instead of base 3, rake for 2 instead of 4, pounce for... Etc"

While p.e. a "monkey" template would get " can get skilled for 2 instead if 4, can get climb, reach etc..."

So, the option to customize remains, but now you can't min/max so much since each bundle will have its specific perks and extras will cost more.

The evolutions are already complex enough, I wouldn't want to make situational changes beyond the current "must have ____ body type to take this evolution" or "must have ____ evolution to take this evolution" restriction.

Evolutions that need repricing would include:
* pounce
* improved natural armor (take it out, force them to use a feat instead)
* rend
* ability increase to strength
* Weapon training -- or it may be enough to require that the weapon attacks be included when figuring maximum number of attacks
* reduce the maximum number of attacks
* size increase (or make it require ability increase to Str and not give a Str bonus)

I would favor removing any evolution that imitates a feat. Take the feat instead.

I'm sure there are others.


Just forbidding power attack to an eidolon would go a long way to fixing the summoner's power.

Most classes get -1 to hit for +2 or +3 damage. An eidolon gets -1 for +6 at 1st level and -2 for +16 damage at 5th level. At 10th level, it would be -3 for +30 damage. It gets pretty ridiculous quickly.

Power attack in general is very powerful, but in the hands of a creature with multiple primary attacks, it gets disgusting.


I'm not in favor of ragging on the designer(s) for any reason. I'm sure it seemed like a good idea at the time. Game design is actually really hard, mkay?

xeose4 wrote:
Honestly it feels like someone who thought that spells were insanely valuable, while also not understanding the value of melee combat, designed it. Nothing's clearer about that to me than the decision that being able to dimension door 1/day is worth 1/4 the entire evolution pool - when, for that same price, you could add 3 more claws and also a pounce (on a creature that can just be resummoned if it dies/falls into lava/gets crushed/whatever, anyways).

It seems like this is what happened. I wonder if it was an attempt to ensure that the spellcastering stayed with the summoner. Probably a response to the way that SLAs on spell summons got out of hand before the nerfing.

In any case, the summoner is STILL one of my favorite classes, warts and all. A new pricing scheme is all that's required to make it perfectly balanced with the other classes, I think.


Quote:
A new pricing scheme is all that's required to make it perfectly balanced with the other classes, I think.

It's all that's required to balance the pet. To balance the summoner you have to alter it's spell list. Put simply heroism and haste cannot be allowed to be 2nd level spells.


A few ideas to balance the eidolon:

1) Make pounce cost 1 evolution for every 2 attacks that the eidolon has

2) Don't allow the Eidolon to power attack

3) Rend costs 1 evolution per claw attack that the eidolon has

4) Energy Attack costs 1 evolution per natural attack that the eidolon has

As compensation, make some of the weaker abilities cost less or let them be used more often. Maybe halve the cost of the SLAs and breath weapons or allow them to be used 3 times a day at the same cost.

With these changes, the eidolon becomes significantly weaker than an equal level martial but is still useful in a fight and still a valuable part of the summoner's abilities.

Scarab Sages

Melkiador wrote:
Umbranus wrote:

I just hope they rebuild the summoner to be closer than the spiritualist.

With three easy steps the summoner becomes a sensible class.
- nerf the eidolon
- nerf the summoning SLA
- make him chose either eidolon OR summoning SLA

** spoiler omitted **

The eidolon doesn't need much nerfing. Most of the nerfing required should be towards making multiple attacks less favorable. Currently the power of an eidolon that resembles an actual creature pales against the multi-armed monstrosities.

I should note: I kept the eidolon I used in my example to a strict dragon form up to level 10; 4 legs (claw x2, rake), bite & tail. He also purchased his wings at 10th level. There is no optimization requirement to purchase arms until high level.

Scarab Sages

Celanian wrote:

A few ideas to balance the eidolon:

1) Make pounce cost 1 evolution for every 2 attacks that the eidolon has

Without pounce, biped with a two-handed weapon becomes optimal. It was already ahead of pounce any time DR or high AC came into play.

Quote:
2) Don't allow the Eidolon to power attack

Now you're being silly. If power attack is overpowered here, it is overpowered on any class that can 1-shot on opponent.

Quote:
3) Rend costs 1 evolution per claw attack that the eidolon has

Rend is a lot less efficient than you calculated. There were errors in your math. (You need to calculate the probability of two claws hitting and include that as an additional chance to miss. For example, if you have a 70% hit chance with two claws, you have a 49% chance to trigger rend and still need to roll your to-hit. You need to do this while using a legal number of claw attacks; your build was not legal.)

Quote:
4) Energy Attack costs 1 evolution per natural attack that the eidolon has

None of the numbers used account for energy resistance (or DR). In the presence of ER and DR, the eidolon's DPR drops rapidly. Even at 10th level, the eidolon has no means to overcome either. Against a demon, for example, the eidolon you posted would find its damage cut nearly in half while a character with a decent weapon would deal full damage.

Quote:
As compensation, make some of the weaker abilities cost less or let them be used more often. Maybe halve the cost of the SLAs and breath weapons or allow them to be used 3 times a day at the same cost.

The eidolon SLA's are way overpriced, which is why they are largely unused.

Quote:
With these changes, the eidolon becomes significantly weaker than an equal level martial but is still useful in a fight and still a valuable part of the summoner's abilities.

With your proposed changes, anyone who wants a companion plays a druid.


Artanthos wrote:
Celanian wrote:

A few ideas to balance the eidolon:

1) Make pounce cost 1 evolution for every 2 attacks that the eidolon has

Without pounce, biped with a two-handed weapon becomes optimal. It was already ahead of pounce any time DR or high AC came into play.

Pounce doesn't go away. It just becomes appropriately priced. The more attacks you have, the better pounce becomes. That's just simple common sense.

Artanthos wrote:


Quote:
2) Don't allow the Eidolon to power attack
Now you're being silly. If power attack is overpowered here, it is overpowered on any class that can 1-shot on opponent.

Power attack is way overpowered when you have a being with this many primary attacks. At level 5, a martial takes -2 to hit and gets +6 damage with a 2 handed weapon. The eidolon at the same level takes -2 to hit and gets +16 damage. 4 attacks at +4 damage each. Simple math.

Artanthos wrote:


Quote:
3) Rend costs 1 evolution per claw attack that the eidolon has
Rend is a lot less efficient than you calculated. There were errors in your math. (You need to calculate the probability of two claws hitting and include that as an additional chance to miss. For example, if you have a 70% hit chance with two claws, you have a 49% chance to trigger rend and still need to roll your to-hit. You need to do this while using a legal number of claw attacks; your build was not legal.)

Rend was exactly as efficient as I calculated assuming 5 claws. If 1 claw has to be replaced by a bite, then the chance of 2 of 4 claws hitting using your example of 85% to hit chance is 98.8%. The more claw attacks you have, the better the chance of landing 2 of them. That's why rend should cost more if you have more claws.

Edit: Where does it say that you need to make a to hit roll with a rend attack? The description just says you need 2 claws to hit.

Artanthos wrote:


Quote:
4) Energy Attack costs 1 evolution per natural attack that the eidolon has
None of the numbers used account for energy resistance (or DR). In the presence of ER and DR, the eidolon's DPR drops rapidly. Even at 10th level, the eidolon has no means to overcome either. Against a demon, for example, the eidolon you posted would find its damage cut nearly in half while a character with a decent weapon would deal full damage.

Energy attacks has a fixed cost that remains the same whether you have 2 or 7 natural attacks. That's nonsense. The more natural attacks you have, the better energy attacks becomes and it should be priced accordingly. Against a no ER enemy, the 7 attack creature does 17.5 more damage than the 2 attack creature but both pay the exact same for energy attacks. It doesn't make sense.

Maybe adjust the cost to 1 evolution per 2 natural attacks. 7 evolution points does seem high, but 4 is much more reasonable for a 7 attack creature.

Artanthos wrote:


Quote:
With these changes, the eidolon becomes significantly weaker than an equal level martial but is still useful in a fight and still a valuable part of the summoner's abilities.
With your proposed changes, anyone who wants a companion plays a druid.

Nope, the eidolon still has many advantages over an animal companion even with these rules. Just the sheer flexibility makes it very appealing.


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That makes no sense.... Energy attacks are terrible even now. The chances that your going to actually get any of that damage through energy resists is negligible. I don't think many people think that getting a d6 energy attack is ever worth the evolution points.

I think scaling values on attacks makes some sense, but your other proposed changes suffer from similar theorycraft errors that make it seem like your only playing at low levels.


Trogdar wrote:

That makes no sense.... Energy attacks are terrible even now. The chances that your going to actually get any of that damage through energy resists is negligible. I don't think many people think that getting a d6 energy attack is ever worth the evolution points.

I think scaling values on attacks makes some sense, but your other proposed changes suffer from similar theorycraft errors that make it seem like your only playing at low levels.

the beauty here is that you select the evolutions each level.

at the level you gain energy attacks, and a few more levels, acid energy attacks are almost always not resisted p.e.

afterwards, you can always use an evolution surge depending on what thing you fight to add in the element of your choice. 1d6 *6-7attacks is really nice for it's cost

Scarab Sages

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Celanian wrote:


Power attack is way overpowered when you have a being with this many primary attacks. At level 5, a martial takes -2 to hit and gets +6 damage with a 2 handed weapon. The eidolon at the same level takes -2 to hit and gets +16 damage. 4 attacks at +4 damage each. Simple math.

So, what should we do about pummeling charge dragon style monks using power attack?

Or any other build that relies on number of attacks instead of a single large blow. There are non-summoner builds that get far more natural attacks than an eidolon is ever eligible for.

Quote:

Energy attacks has a fixed cost that remains the same whether you have 2 or 7 natural attacks. That's nonsense. The more natural attacks you have, the better energy attacks becomes and it should be priced accordingly. Against a no ER enemy, the 7 attack creature does 17.5 more damage than the 2 attack creature but both pay the exact same for energy attacks. It doesn't make sense.

Maybe adjust the cost to 1 evolution per 2 natural attacks. 7 evolution points does seem high, but 4 is much more reasonable for a 7 attack creature.

Do you know what Deliquescent Gloves are?

8000 gp buys acid damage for any martial. See my response for power attack: any build with a high number of attacks/turn gains more benefit than an eidolon without a scaling cost.

Quote:
Pounce doesn't go away. It just becomes appropriately priced. The more attacks you have, the better pounce becomes. That's just simple common sense.

Be sure to add your scaling cost for pounce into your monk and barbarian revisions. Monks in particular can pounce with 9+ attacks.


Artanthos wrote:
Celanian wrote:


Power attack is way overpowered when you have a being with this many primary attacks. At level 5, a martial takes -2 to hit and gets +6 damage with a 2 handed weapon. The eidolon at the same level takes -2 to hit and gets +16 damage. 4 attacks at +4 damage each. Simple math.

So, what should we about pummeling charge dragon style monks using power attack?

Or any other build that relies on number of attacks instead of a single large blow.

There are several people suggesting things that have a poor concept of game design or simply hate the class. Saying no power attack is a foolish way to write the class.

An actual good suggestion is to make pounce read something like

Evolve points 3: You gain pounce universal monster ability still limited by all other limitations. Minimum level 7 (same as animal companions).

Additional major changes:

Ediolons may never gain more attacks per turn than maxlisted on the table (Identical to current but for all attacks) including haste and manufactured weapons.

Remove the improved natural armor evolution.

The summoner must chose at creation the pet or the SLA.

Reduce the number of spells with level refunds.

Scarab Sages

Trogdar wrote:

That makes no sense.... Energy attacks are terrible even now. The chances that your going to actually get any of that damage through energy resists is negligible. I don't think many people think that getting a d6 energy attack is ever worth the evolution points.

I think scaling values on attacks makes some sense, but your other proposed changes suffer from similar theorycraft errors that make it seem like your only playing at low levels.

People don't typically spend significant resources on energy attack, and certainly not evolution points.

In the absolute best case, which I used in my numbers, the eidolon does incredible damage. That damage comes at the cost of being a glass cannon and still falls apart as soon as any number of common mechanics come into play. None of which impact a more traditional two-handed melee character.

Scarab Sages

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Undone wrote:
Ediolons may never gain more attacks per turn than maxlisted on the table (Identical to current but for all attacks) including haste and manufactured weapons.

Mixing manufactured weapons with natural weapons looks impressive on paper but decreases DPR. You've just cut all your (huge) strength bonuses to damage in half and split your WBL among multiple weapons + an AMF. On top of already splitting WBL between the summoner and eidolon.

Adding specific exclusions to Haste? If Haste is broken on the eidolon what do we call it when applied to the pouncing barbarian?

Quote:
Remove the improved natural armor evolution.

Yes; we would not want a non-offensive evolution to be taken by accident.

Quote:
The summoner must chose at creation the pet or the SLA.

Because the summoner is already using both simultaneously?


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Honestly, most of the summoners issues are fixed if there are simply set or mostly set templates for eidolons, similar to animal companions. Maybe allow a few additional evolutions as you level, but mostly it shouldn't be a choice. All classes have things in thier concept that arent a choice and are more flavor then anything else. Particularly with the ever popular comparison of the druid you have things like wild empathy, and animal companions getting scent or what have you. Some of their 'stuff' doesn't go into sheer power. Make something too flexible and the 'power' options become really obvious and require little effort to include.

Summoners as they stand come out hyper optimized with little effort. Where as the druid requires considerable knowledge of the game and optimization to churn out the same, and possibly a more potent result. If you take the pouncing animal companion, get it custom barding, make a solid combat druid, and prep the right spells, you will be just as powerful if not more then any legal summoner by mid levels. But you have to make the right choices. Choose a wolf companion (thematically a good combat choic) and you have drastically reduced your effectiveness), dont emphasize physical stats and combat feats, or dont prep the right spells, and your combat abilities while wild shaped are limited. It all takes a lot of 'right' choices.

Adding more claws to an eidolon is a no brainer. And the summoners spell list is significantly less complicated then a druid's. So for every group that doesn't devote lots of effort to optimization, the summoner is a problem.

There are certainly specific evolutions that need work, but if you just create a fixed progression for all or most of them, it becomes far less of a problem. Less room for problematic interactions, or stacking points into a specific area. Hopefully this gets sorted out in unchained.


Artanthos wrote:
Celanian wrote:


Power attack is way overpowered when you have a being with this many primary attacks. At level 5, a martial takes -2 to hit and gets +6 damage with a 2 handed weapon. The eidolon at the same level takes -2 to hit and gets +16 damage. 4 attacks at +4 damage each. Simple math.

So, what should we do about pummeling charge dragon style monks using power attack?

Or any other build that relies on number of attacks instead of a single large blow. There are non-summoner builds that get far more natural attacks than an eidolon is ever eligible for.

I'm not familiar with that build. Does it do as much damage as an optimized barb or eidolon? Does that monk get +16 damage at level 5 for a -2 to hit? What is that monk's DPR at level 5?

Most non-summoner builds that do a lot of attacks have a good chunk of them get only +1 damage per -1 to hit when using power attack. Not a problem.

Anyway I'm FAR less concerned about an actual class doing lots of damage rather than a class feature.

Artanthos wrote:


Quote:

Energy attacks has a fixed cost that remains the same whether you have 2 or 7 natural attacks. That's nonsense. The more natural attacks you have, the better energy attacks becomes and it should be priced accordingly. Against a no ER enemy, the 7 attack creature does 17.5 more damage than the 2 attack creature but both pay the exact same for energy attacks. It doesn't make sense.

Maybe adjust the cost to 1 evolution per 2 natural attacks. 7 evolution points does seem high, but 4 is much more reasonable for a 7 attack creature.

Do you know what Deliquescent Gloves are?

8000 gp buys acid damage for any martial. See my response for power attack: any build with a high number of attacks/turn gains more benefit than an eidolon without a scaling cost.

The beauty of the energy attacks is that you select them at levels where they're appropriate. And then you can trade them in at higher levels and use evolutionary surge when you need them.

Anyway, what is the damage of a monk at level 5-10 using these gloves? I doubt that it's anywhere near what the eidolon is doing.

Artanthos wrote:


Quote:
Pounce doesn't go away. It just becomes appropriately priced. The more attacks you have, the better pounce becomes. That's just simple common sense.

Be sure to add your scaling cost for pounce into your monk and barbarian revisions. Monks in particular can pounce with 9+ attacks.

The scaling cost for Monks and Barbs is a series of feats and class features that are expended to get these features, not a single 1 point evolution. And as I said before, I'm a lot less concerned about an actual class doing this than a class feature.


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I think that evolution points should really focus on filling out the theme of the eidolon and most of the offensive stuff should be baked into the creature progression.

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