Eidolon Aesthetics, and how Synthesist fits in. (General Advice)


I was looking at the summoner again for an NPC in the game I run, and as I've pondered it I am not sure how eidolon aesthetics are supposed to work for Synthesists.

Specifically, is there a lot of open wiggle room for interpreting how your eidolon looks? Can you say, make a (Highly not-optimal) Android summoner and have your eidolon look like holographic armor with weird nano-claws? Or does it have to be organic? Could a dwarven synthesist have an eidolon that looks like a golem made of carved slabs of stone?

One other thing I guess that I never really thought about until I started looking at it. Normal Eidolons are to some degree intelligent and capable of communicating, but also there have been several discussions about what you can do or not do with them (like out of the gamemastering guide section on companions). But does an eidolon you synthesized with able to still think/communicate/choose?

I'm wondering if this character's spectral suit also comes with a running commentary or if it cries out in pain if struck. That seems a bit... eerie to me. I know that the summoner has full control while synthesized, but normally an eidolon has the capacity to refuse orders that it sees are only for the purpose of hurting it. ("Stand in that bonfire" was the proposed example, which it would be against, but "Run into that burning building and save those orphans" would have been acceptable)

One would think 'let them hit your face with their swords instead of mine' seems a little torturous if you ask me.

i think the "how could my eidolon looks at" is limited only by your immagination...rulebooks doesn't limit your fantasy.

i like to imagine the synthetist as a Gundam Armor on my gnome char.

about "think, communicate, choose" i can say: in your place i'll let 'em do that... i could play as a double personality on my char (the "he speaks using my body") or also he could speak and stop.

Btw remember you're the GM, you could choose your own, according with players, how it may works, and make that work for your campaign.

Yeah I know I get to choose, but I am going to need to be consistent with whatever I do decide on; this campaign is just starting and could potentially run several months or more.

Gundam Armor is really cool, by the way.

Is up to you decide to apply limits on how your (and their eventually) eidolon could appear.

In your place i would meet my party and let decide all together on what to do.

I don't think your suit is entirely sentient when you are a synthesist.

I believe the class ability says something along the lines of "binding the essence of an outsider to your body" rather than summoning an outsider and climbing inside.

That's the way I remember seeing it at least, I could be wrong. It seems like you just use an outsider's form rather than the outsider itself.

The only real requirement by the rules is that the eidolon needs to have a glowing rune on its forehead, and that the basic shape (number & type of limbs etc) matches the mechanics.

Sufficient damage to the eidolon will lose the summoner the use of it for a day, and put it on 1 hp when it comes back so the summoner will need to heal it for it to be much use. That should be enough to discourage extreme sport-type abuse, I wouldn't take control of a PC via his angel-suit. If the player wants to RP pain that's up to them really.

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avr wrote:

The only real requirement by the rules is that the eidolon needs to have a glowing rune on its forehead, and that the basic shape (number & type of limbs etc) matches the mechanics.

Sufficient damage to the eidolon will lose the summoner the use of it for a day, and put it on 1 hp when it comes back so the summoner will need to heal it for it to be much use.

Is that particular to the Synthesist archetype? Normally:

PRD wrote:
...if the eidolon was slain, in which case it returns with half its normal hit points.

I never noticed anything saying it comes back with 1hp under the archetype, but if I've been playing it wrong, please point me to the section.

As for the OP's question, the aesthetic could be whatever you want, but the "eidolon-suit" doesn't have a will of its own, as described in the text. If you WANT it to have a will of its own, that's up to you, but you would expect that if it had its own will, it would have its own skills, and the Synthesist eidolon has no separate skills.

But holographic armor is fine. Stone golem shape is fine. A steampunky leather-brass-wood battlesuit is fine.

When a GM proposed a seafaring campaign, I had two ideas of a synthesist summoner. One that turned into a humanoid shark. Another was that his summoning ritual would appear as eels flying from the sea to wrap around his body, which would then become a constantly moving slimy form, and that would be the merged eidolon. I went with the shark in the end. But you gotta admit you'd think twice about messing with a guy covered in eels.

You could even have the eidolon take over and "drive" when they merge. Sort of like Bruce Banner/The Hulk, or Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde. But that is not required by the rules as written.

The way I play it, my summoner/shark's personality changes a little, and he becomes more aggressive and a little more cruel. But the will behind it is still the summoner.

I play a Kyton-Kin Tiefling Synthesist, whose Eidolon is actually an extension of a kyton's chains.

You can make it into anything you please, so long as you stick to the rules. My Eidolon now has wings - made from chains! It's a bit weird, but it works.

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The way your eidolon looks is up to you. Some people can't stand that its so open-ended, but I love that. Its the missing piece that allows me to flesh out a lot of character ideas that otherwise wouldn't work.

When I was playing gestalt games I built a Tony Stark Iron Man by going gnome Synth//Alchemist (grenadier). The gnome racial goodies made for cool stuff - master tinker and +1 bomb/level really helped flesh out the mad bomber/inventor shtick. I had plans to make a homunculus tumor familiar named "Jarvis" and flavor a lot of the alchemist discoveries as suit-related tech but the game never got that far. Any summons I made would probably have been "drones" or something similar - the game provides the mechanics, I'll supply my own fluff.

I built a synth//ninja (scout) for a stealthy, pouncing scout styled after Venom with sky high perception, stealth, and disable device skills (+8 racial bonuses to skills for 1 evo point. Gotta love em!). It played a little like a tanky arcane trickster due to the ability to get acid splash and sneak damage, but was a problem on the front line due to the low-ish fortitude save. Climb and swim speeds on demand made for a robust explorer, and dropping a point for cold resistance really helped out in our cold climate campaign. I was heading for wingless flight at 5th level, and would flavor it as just being extra stealthy ("Not even tremorsense can detect me due to my suit's amazing blablablah!"), being an amazing leaper, and being able to climb even the slickest surfaces. Getting reach on the claws would have helped set up flanks, and I'd have flavored any summons as bits of suit or possibly "creatures of shadow" - we didn't play long enough for that, and the few times it might have come up, I was wearing my suit so couldn't use them.

Lastly, I helped a friend put together another for his cleric//synth combo. The cleric//synth was a reach build guy who normally ran around without his meatsuit. He used summonings to troubleshoot and turned into a big, flying, armored angel for big battles. That let him avoid the whole large/huge size problem in small spaces, too.

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