Summoning focused character? What class?


Advice


So, I had the idea of a summoning focused character, Someone who's main in battle tactic is summon a single monster that fits the situation and then stand back using a crossbow or buffing a bit or something. I got this idea because I love the summoner class, and my favorite thing about my cleric was summoning monsters. But with all the hate the summoner gets I was thinking of something less disruptive who focuses on summoning spells rather then a eidolon.

So I was curious, What class would you recomend for a summoning focused character? Would it be disruptive to the party if you keep the summoning to one creature at most times?


Class: Arcanist
Archetype: Occultist (included below)

Summon a monster as a standard action that lasts for minutes per level using the Conjurer's Focus ability.

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Occultist (Archetype)
Not all arcanists peer inward to discern the deepest secrets of magic. Some look outward, connecting with extraplanar creatures and bartering for secrets, power, and favor.

Planar Spells An occultist adds all planar ally spells to her spell list (using her arcanist level as the cleric level), and treats plane shift as a 5th-level arcanist spell.

Conjurer's Focus (Sp):An occultist can spend 1 point from her arcane reservoir to cast summon monster I. She can cast this spell as a standard action, and the summoned creatures remain for 1 minute per level (instead of 1 round per level). At 3rd level and every 2 levels thereafter, the power of this ability increases by one spell level, allowing her to summon more powerful creatures (to a maximum of summon monster IX at 17th level), at the cost of an additional point from her arcane reservoir per spell level. An occultist cannot have more than one summon monster spell active in this way at one time. If this ability is used again, any existing summon monster effect immediately ends. This ability replaces the arcanist exploit gained at 1st level.

Planar Contact (Sp): At 7th level, an occultist can cast augury once per day and contact other plane once per week, using her arcanist level as her caster level. This ability replaces the arcanist exploit gained at 7th level.

Perfect Summoner (Su):At 20th level, an occultist can use her conjurer's focus without spending points from her arcane reservoir, and the creatures summoned last until dismissed. This ability replaces magical supremacy.

Grand Lodge

Hearald calls with the heroism domain works really well.

I also like Evangelist with sacred summons, augmented summoning, heroism domain (or flag bearer if you have the feats). Having super buffed summons are great.

You could also just play a pet class summoner, sylvan sorcerer, cleric with the right domain. This is very similar to playing a character that only summons one creature but they are there all the time. With the sorcerer you can use spell share to polymorph the animal companion when you want a different shape. It is a bit different but it plays very similar to what your looking for. Not using a spell for the summoning helps the action economy.


I don't think that summoning spells are less disruptive than an eidolon.
At worse you're summoning more and that's worse
at best you still have one pet out that is your combat and thus no gain over an eidolon.
And summoning is only disruptive if your turns are taking longer than everyone else's and if you are soloing fights. If you can do your turn as fast as everyone else and they are still killing things then it's not really going to be disruptive.

But here we go
Cleric with sacred summons, summoner, the occultist arcanist listed above, druid with a shaman archetype are some ideas.


Inquisitor [Monster Tactician]: Replace judgements with Summon Monster from the summoner (based off Wisdom) and the ability to share some teamwork feats with your summons! Plus wisdom based on a class with good will saves is a guaranteed decent chance to make those saves.

On disruptive: I generally don't find multiple creatures an issue as long the person has all the creature info on hand [note cards/spreadsheet] and rolls multiple rolls at once vs 1 target. It's usually only when you have 5 creatures you're not familiar with trying to do 5 different things that it becomes disruptive IMO.

So a single summons + buff/crossbow shouldn't be an issue most times.


Chess Pwn wrote:
If you can do your turn as fast as everyone else and they are still killing things then it's not really going to be disruptive.

Yep. One of the easiest things to do is summon flank partners for the melee [especially with the Monster Tactician and teamwork feats]. Even if the monsters just fight defensively, just having them be there is allowing the flank + those feats activated by flanking. People don't mind if your turn take a little longer if you're passing out nifty buffs. ;)


hmm.. Not exactly "one monster" but rather a "troop" is..
Feral Hunter.
Or at least. I enjoyed it.

The Exchange

Chess Pwn wrote:

... druid with a shaman archetype are some ideas.

I suggest Saurian Shaman!


I realy love the idea of the summoner, I have wanted to try it ever since I first read about it, But it gets so much hate that I am afraid to try it (Even though my GM and Party say I can if I want to) because I dont want to be disruptive. Having all the info at hand is no problem.


the hate for the summoner stems from two things
flooding the field with summons, having an eidolon doesn't do this.

having the eidolon summoner pair be a one man party, as long as you don't try to do everything that others are doing this isn't an issue either. The unchained helps in this by weakening the top potential of the eidolon, but it's possible to make a fun character with the APG summoner that doesn't hog the show.
This is just that people don't like spotlight hogs, which is doable by lots of classes, summoner just happens to be one that can.


I'd build my Eidolon to a theme, Like a Warrior Angel with a big sword, Or a three headed Devil Dog or something such, I wouldent go for straight power. I also would try to avoid doing stuff the rest of the party is built for.


So I'm the kind of person who would play hype man to the Summoner. How the Eidolon yields some of the best RP potential in the game while letting you build according to your own tastes and desires. How the class offers the most clear-cut, efficient, and abundant use of Summon Monster spells at a rate that competes with 9th level casters with a duration that lets it serve as an out of combat utility.

But I'm not gonna do that.

Instead, here's a fun alternative. Consider rolling up a Shaman with the Dark Tapestry spirit. In addition to the amazing flavor (and fantastic art to go along with it), it gives you a very interesting hex:

Horror Realms, page 16 wrote:
Alien Summons (Su): Whenever the shaman calls or summons one or more creatures, one creature of her choice arrives with the advanced creature simple template. The creature presents a distorted mockery of the usual creature summoned, its body deformed and alien in nature. This chosen creature’s anatomy is so confounding that it is immune to the additional damage from critical hits or precision damage (such as that granted by sneak attack).

That's a +4 to every stat and crit immunity for one creature per summoning, which stacks with Augment Summons for a total of +8 Str/Con. Slap on a once-per-creature-per-day hex like Fury or Fortune and you've got a pretty heavy hitter. The only real downside is the awkward rate of obtaining Hexes, so if you want a Buff/Chant hex combo you'll want to snag Alien Summons with the Extra Hex feat at level 3. You also gain Summon Nature's Ally instead of Summon Monster, but the later spell can be obtained (albeit at a staggered rate) via the Human or Half Elf/Orc favored class bonus.

You don't meet the bar for standard action summoning, but you do have armor and shield proficiency and a spell list with Barkskin on it so you've got enough defenses to be relatively safe while casting.

I've got one running in PFS and so far It's been pretty fun.


Rosc wrote:

So I'm the kind of person who would play hype man to the Summoner. How the Eidolon yields some of the best RP potential in the game while letting you build according to your own tastes and desires. How the class offers the most clear-cut, efficient, and abundant use of Summon Monster spells at a rate that competes with 9th level casters with a duration that lets it serve as an out of combat utility.

But I'm not gonna do that.

Instead, here's a fun alternative. Consider rolling up a Shaman with the Dark Tapestry spirit. In addition to the amazing flavor (and fantastic art to go along with it), it gives you a very interesting hex:

Horror Realms, page 16 wrote:
Alien Summons (Su): Whenever the shaman calls or summons one or more creatures, one creature of her choice arrives with the advanced creature simple template. The creature presents a distorted mockery of the usual creature summoned, its body deformed and alien in nature. This chosen creature’s anatomy is so confounding that it is immune to the additional damage from critical hits or precision damage (such as that granted by sneak attack).

That's a +4 to every stat and crit immunity for one creature per summoning, which stacks with Augment Summons for a total of +8 Str/Con. Slap on a once-per-creature-per-day hex like Fury or Fortune and you've got a pretty heavy hitter. The only real downside is the awkward rate of obtaining Hexes, so if you want a Buff/Chant hex combo you'll want to snag Alien Summons with the Extra Hex feat at level 3. You also gain Summon Nature's Ally instead of Summon Monster, but the later spell can be obtained (albeit at a staggered rate) via the Human or Half Elf/Orc favored class bonus.

You don't meet the bar for standard action summoning, but you do have armor and shield proficiency and a spell list with Barkskin on it so you've got enough defenses to be relatively safe while casting.

I've got one running in PFS and so far It's been pretty fun.

Just note that for PFS there's a clarification on it.

"A dark tapestry shaman may use her alien summons hex once per day, plus one additional time at 8th level,and one additional time at 15th level."
So yes, this is another good option to get a better summons once or twice a day in PFS.


Chess Pwn wrote:

Just note that for PFS there's a clarification on it.

"A dark tapestry shaman may use her alien summons hex once per day, plus one additional time at 8th level,and one additional time at 15th level."
So yes, this is another good option to get a better summons once or twice a day in PFS.

Uhm... oh. O-okay. Starting to regret sinking a bunch of GM credit and a module's worth of EXP into my Shaman now.

I love the dark tapestry theme to death, but I'm going to change my recommendation to Summoner, or Unchained Summoner if that's the only version you're allowed to play. Wizards who got their diploma proper can also excel, especially if you put a bigger emphasis on boosting your Fort saves. 18 Con and 14 Int is perfectly serviceable.


Rosc wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:

Just note that for PFS there's a clarification on it.

"A dark tapestry shaman may use her alien summons hex once per day, plus one additional time at 8th level,and one additional time at 15th level."
So yes, this is another good option to get a better summons once or twice a day in PFS.

Uhm... oh. O-okay. Starting to regret sinking a bunch of GM credit and a module's worth of EXP into my Shaman now.

I love the dark tapestry theme to death, but I'm going to change my recommendation to Summoner, or Unchained Summoner if that's the only version you're allowed to play. Wizards who got their diploma proper can also excel, especially if you put a bigger emphasis on boosting your Fort saves. 18 Con and 14 Int is perfectly serviceable.

Dang, I was SOOO hoping that I wasn't ruining your character.

A local player was looking at using Aasimar GM-blob lv7 with this for PFS, and he had overlooked it as well. He still went with the character, but I was glad we caught it before he locked it in if he had wanted to change his mind.


Rosc wrote:
Wizards who got their diploma proper can also excel, especially if you put a bigger emphasis on boosting your Fort saves. 18 Con and 14 Int is perfectly serviceable.

Who needs Fort saves when you've got study drugs?


Chess Pwn wrote:
Rosc wrote:

So I'm the kind of person who would play hype man to the Summoner. How the Eidolon yields some of the best RP potential in the game while letting you build according to your own tastes and desires. How the class offers the most clear-cut, efficient, and abundant use of Summon Monster spells at a rate that competes with 9th level casters with a duration that lets it serve as an out of combat utility.

But I'm not gonna do that.

Instead, here's a fun alternative. Consider rolling up a Shaman with the Dark Tapestry spirit. In addition to the amazing flavor (and fantastic art to go along with it), it gives you a very interesting hex:

Horror Realms, page 16 wrote:
Alien Summons (Su): Whenever the shaman calls or summons one or more creatures, one creature of her choice arrives with the advanced creature simple template. The creature presents a distorted mockery of the usual creature summoned, its body deformed and alien in nature. This chosen creature’s anatomy is so confounding that it is immune to the additional damage from critical hits or precision damage (such as that granted by sneak attack).

That's a +4 to every stat and crit immunity for one creature per summoning, which stacks with Augment Summons for a total of +8 Str/Con. Slap on a once-per-creature-per-day hex like Fury or Fortune and you've got a pretty heavy hitter. The only real downside is the awkward rate of obtaining Hexes, so if you want a Buff/Chant hex combo you'll want to snag Alien Summons with the Extra Hex feat at level 3. You also gain Summon Nature's Ally instead of Summon Monster, but the later spell can be obtained (albeit at a staggered rate) via the Human or Half Elf/Orc favored class bonus.

You don't meet the bar for standard action summoning, but you do have armor and shield proficiency and a spell list with Barkskin on it so you've got enough defenses to be relatively safe while casting.

I've got one running in PFS and so far It's been pretty fun.

Just note that for PFS...

That isn't a "clarification". : /


blahpers wrote:
That isn't a "clarification". : /

It's a Paizo "clarification" much like a FAQ "clarification" is often an entirely new rule made out of whole cloth. :P


Chess Pwn wrote:

Dang, I was SOOO hoping that I wasn't ruining your character.

A local player was looking at using Aasimar GM-blob lv7 with this for PFS, and he had overlooked it as well. He still went with the character, but I was glad we caught it before he locked it in if he had wanted to change his mind.

I wouldn't say ruined. It just takes me back to the initial problem of having a caster with no particular focus. Not enough Str to melee on the side, no control/debuff hexes or even buff hexes. (I went with flavor over mechanics) Her best moments came from her shady morality (I turned that module into Rise of the Druglords) and her tentacle abomination slug familiar so not the biggest deal.

Honestly, I understand the clarification/nerf/etc. Augment Summons that stacks with Augment Summons and also boosts saves and spellcasting DCs is a really huge deal. Plus, unlike a Summoner, I have to actually prepare spell slots with summon spells, meaning I can't lean too hard on that one tactic.

It is pretty annoying that Shaman hexes come at the rate they do, and Extra Hex only works on your Spirit's hexes. If the OP wants to try the class (it's still really good) then just be sure to plan your hexes well in advance.

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