Speculation on the unchained summoner


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Serghar Cromwell wrote:
I also think that evolutions are badly priced.

Some are. Some are just too multiplicative.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Celanian wrote:
Clearly it was intended that some entities must be illiterate in the CRB since that line would be superfluous otherwise.

And those entities are called out as such. True Primitive Barbarians and the like.

Now that we have resolved our differences, can we let the thread try to get back to the unchained summoner?

Yeah, the CRB comment on literacy doesn't apply to Golarion. I'm good with that.


If summoners get nerfed in power they could use some quality of life improvements. Eidolons should be able to wear armor. Sharing magic items slots is awful. A weaker eidolon could be standard action summoned, instead of 1 minute summoning.


Well, my suggestions on some repricing of evolutions is:

Pounce: Change cost to 1 per 2 primary attacks

Rend: Change cost to 1 per 2 claw attacks

Energy attacks: Change cost to 1 per 2 natural attacks

These seem to be the nastiest and most underpriced evolutions.

Spell like abilities and breath weapons can be used 3 times a day for the same cost. 1 time a day is pretty lame for the cost. Even 3 times a day might be overpriced, but it's at least closer in value.

Disallow power attack.

These changes should bring eidolon's power down to where they won't overshadow the martials.


1 per 3 would probably be enough. The rend one doesn't seem necessary. You can only get one rend per round anyway.


Power attack shouldn't be disallowed as it's vital to game math.

I do agree that some repricing would be in order and that sounds about right. I'm excited to see how the Summoner gets changed as Paizo can only seem to be original with casting classes lol


Eidolons need less exceptions, not more. So I agree power attack should stay, and be balanced around if necessary after other assorted changes.


I've had personal experience with eidolons with power attacks. It's not a pretty picture.

Level 1 actual party I gamed with:

Ranger does 2d6+6 damage with great sword, or 2d6+9 with power attack. Basically -1 to hit for +3 damage..

Eidolon does 1d4+4/1d4+4/1d6+4 damage, or 1d4+6/1d4+6/1d6+6 with PA or -1 to hit for +6 damage.

Level 5, Ranger had a +1 greatsword and the same str. So 2d6+7 or 2d6+13 damage with PA. -2 to hit for +6 damage.

Eidolon did 1d6+5+1d6 damage times 4 (4 claws). With PA, it became 1d6+9+1d6 times 4 damage. +1d6+11+1d6 if 2 claws hit due to rend. -2 to hit for +16 or +20 damage. At other levels, the discrepancy just rises as the eidolon gets more natural attacks and large size.

Neither the eidolon nor the Ranger were optimized, but I think even optimized the eidolon would still completely overshadow the ranger in melee.


-3 for +6

If your going to count each instance of bonus damage, then you need to include each instance of attack penalty.


Not really. Mathematically it works out to only 1 penalty.

Let's take someone who does 1d6/1d6/1d6 vs someone who does 3d6. For simplicity, let's assume 50% chance of hitting. Mathematically, they both do (10.5)(.5)=5.25 damage on average.

If you give them a -1 to hit each, then the 3d6 guy does 10.5*.45 = 4.725 damage on average. The 3 separate 1d6 attack guy does 3.5*.45 times 3 or 4.725 damage. It works out to exactly equal a -1 penalty, not a -3.

Now let's power attack. The 3d6 guy now does 3d6+3 damage. His net is 13.5*.45 = 6.075 damage.

The 3 separate 1d6 guy now does 1d6+2 times 3. Each attack does 5.5*.45 = 2.475 damage. Total is 7.425 average damage. That's 22% more average damage than the first guy.


... That Eidolon was definitely optimized.

Aside from that Big Cat animal companions get Grab, Pounce, and Rake just like the Eidolan... and power attack.

What you're having a problem with is not Power Attack, which is necessary for the basic damage math of the game, but with Eidolons having too many Primary Natural Attacks for there level and opportunity cost.


1st level biped eidolon took +2 str and bite and power attack as a feat. Not really optimized unless you count any attempt at combat effectiveness as optimization.

I believe the 5th level version had rend, improve natural attack claws, energy attacks, arms, and claws. Again, very obvious evolutions to take.

No animal companion can come close to the power of a properly built eidolon of equal level.


Im not commenting on the math, just the fact that your adding the bonuses together to make the number associated with power attack more alarming and ignoring the fact that each bonus has an associated penalty.

Have you ever considered running for office? Those guys do this sort of thing all the time.


I don't think you actually understand the math involved. That -3 is exactly equivalent to a -1 on a single large attack that has the same average damage. There is no difference in average damage between 1 attack that does 100 average damage and 100 separate attacks that does 1 average damage. But power attack is MUCH better on the 100 separate attacks than the 1 big attack.

It's FAR more misleading to consider it a -100 penalty than a -1 penalty.

Please do me a favor and work out the math on a spreadsheet.


I'm not going to do that because your ignoring the point of my previous post. If your going to post numbers, then do it in a way that does not obfuscate the truth. To do what you are doing is disingenuous.


-1 is actually the truth, not -3 or -100. To consider it a -3 or -100 is obfuscating the truth. For you to imply that that's the true penalty is being dishonest.

To put it in simple terms, a -1 on a 1 pt attack is equivalent to a -1/3 on a 3 pt attack in terms of average damage. To say otherwise would be misleading.


Welcome to melee optimization. It begins and ends with Power Attack.

Aside from that, the Eidolon you described is optimized for damage. Literally the only thing you could do to optimize it MORE for damage is make it quadruped and give it pounce.


Even if you switched out 3-4 pts of evolutions for utility evolutions, the eidolon would still do way more damage than the ranger. It's the multiplier effect of power attack on 4+ natural attacks vs the Ranger's single attack.

And that's not even counting the separate action that the summoner himself would get.


Insain Dragoon wrote:

... That Eidolon was definitely optimized.

Aside from that Big Cat animal companions get Grab, Pounce, and Rake just like the Eidolan... and power attack.

What you're having a problem with is not Power Attack, which is necessary for the basic damage math of the game, but with Eidolons having too many Primary Natural Attacks for there level and opportunity cost.

Didn't I just say that was the problem and not power attack?


You're barking up the wrong tree. Eidolons are strong for the same reason you don't fight a dragon in melee. Natural attacks be whack yo.

The eidolon loads up on primary natural attacks, but their to-hit doesn't fall off like animal companions. This leads to a class feature with better full attacks than a fighter.

I would like to see a hunter like summoner. Where both the eidolon and the summoner are expected to invest their actions into damage for them stay on pace with DPR.


Insain Dragoon wrote:
Insain Dragoon wrote:

... That Eidolon was definitely optimized.

Aside from that Big Cat animal companions get Grab, Pounce, and Rake just like the Eidolan... and power attack.

What you're having a problem with is not Power Attack, which is necessary for the basic damage math of the game, but with Eidolons having too many Primary Natural Attacks for there level and opportunity cost.

Didn't I just say that was the problem and not power attack?

It's a combination of lots of natural attacks and power attack. So yeah, power attack is part of the problem. To balance it, you can either remove power attack or reduce the number of attacks. Removing power attack has fewer side effects and is easier to implement than reducing number of attacks which are kinda baked into a summoner's power level.


You could take away and ban Eidolon multi-attack feat. Then separate out max number of attacks into max number of primary and max number of secondary. 2 primary attacks and 1 secondary attack at first level sounds like a good starting point. The number of secondary could go up faster than primary, so that at max level, most of the eidolon attacks are secondary. This is good for nerfing multiple attack eidolon's while allowing natural form eidolons to not be so affected.

You could add rules allowing you to count primary attacks as secondary to reach your max secondary attacks if you want, but that may cause too many complications.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I could see where limiting the number of primary attacks in the early levels would make sense. If they have too many attacks that would normally be primary, the later attacks can still be used as secondary. What about at 9th level where the Eidolon is given Multi-Attack, would you open it up so all attacks can be primary at that point?

You still need to rule that weapon attacks count against the maximum number of attacks.

The Large and Huge enhancements still give too much for the cost.


BretI wrote:

I could see where limiting the number of primary attacks in the early levels would make sense. If they have too many attacks that would normally be primary, the later attacks can still be used as secondary. What about at 9th level where the Eidolon is given Multi-Attack, would you open it up so all attacks can be primary at that point?

You still need to rule that weapon attacks count against the maximum number of attacks.

Well, banning multi-attack from eidolons would solve all of those problems. A simple line of "Eidolons cannot benefit from the multiattack feat" would do the job.

This also takes care of weapon using eidolons, since their natural attacks would all be at -5, which doesn't sound too over powered.


An eidolon should be midway in power level between an animal companion and a fighter/ranger. It represents more of a summoner's power than an AC does for a druid, but it should still be less powerful than another full character class.

So a good first step would be to try and determine just how powerful an optimized AC would be at various levels and then scale the eidolon from there.


Celanian wrote:

An eidolon should be midway in power level between an animal companion and a fighter/ranger. It represents more of a summoner's power than an AC does for a druid, but it should still be less powerful than another full character class.

So a good first step would be to try and determine just how powerful an optimized AC would be at various levels and then scale the eidolon from there.

That sounds like a thing to do, but then you also have to make sure the summoner is about as powerful as a druid excluding companions.

And that doesn't really address how strong and weak the eidolon can be. We have been talking about ultra-optimized eidolons for the most part, but not everyone builds one of those. Do we want the non-optimized to be nerfed along with the optimizers? By comparison the animal companion is good right out of the box. You don't actually have to do much in the way of optimization to it.

Paizo Glitterati Robot

Hey guys, let's knock it off with the back and forth "here's how you're a jerk" stuff. If you're seeing posts that you think are problematic, flag them and move on, don't respond to them in kind.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Melkiador wrote:

Well, banning multi-attack from eidolons would solve all of those problems. A simple line of "Eidolons cannot benefit from the multiattack feat" would do the job.

This also takes care of weapon using eidolons, since their natural attacks would all be at -5, which doesn't sound too over powered.

You realize that one of the higher-level abilities an Eidolon gets is the Multi-Attack feat at 9th level, right? What do you plan to replace that with?


BretI wrote:


You realize that one of the higher-level abilities an Eidolon gets is the Multi-Attack feat at 9th level, right? What do you plan to replace that with?

If the argument is that the Eidolon is a little too powerful, then you give nothing back.

It's a two part nerf:
1) Remove possibility of multiattack feat.
2) Split maximum attacks into max primary and max secondary attacks. As you level you will get many more secondary than primary extra attacks.

If you want to have a lot of attacks, you still can, but many of your extra attacks just won't be very accurate. With this fairly simple change, "normal" builds wouldn't be very affected, but most hyper-optimized builds would be nerfed. It's a lot simpler than having scaling costs for evolutions that stack too well.

Addendum to nerf idea:
You can buy a primary attack evolution as a secondary attack version. This just allows you to build a new rules version of any old rules creature.

2nd Addendum:
You can fill max primary attacks with secondary attacks. These are still treated as secondary attacks for all other purposes.


If you just have to give Eidolons something at 9th level, give them light armor proficiency and remove the silly armor limitation.


I disagree with many people saying that summoners spell list isnt a problem. It is. Not because summoners are OP with it, but because they break the game at many points. Having lvl 4 spells at lvl 3 is a big deal in a gane where magic items are built based in lvl. Potions can be only lvl 3 for example. Summoners existance implies potions of dimensional door for everybody


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Celanian wrote:
Clearly it was intended that some entities must be illiterate in the CRB since that line would be superfluous otherwise.

And those entities are called out as such. True Primitive Barbarians and the like.

Now that we have resolved our differences, can we let the thread try to get back to the unchained summoner?

Wait so does that mean True Primitive Barbarians is banned by PSF? Aren't they Society and illiterate?

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