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Playing around with the rules for Summoners in APG, I had an idea for a monstrosity from another Prime Material plane as the summoner's eidolon. The resulting build has a maniacally humorous skill check for Intimidate, and I'm wondering how the summoner can put this to best use.
(In other words: Evil GM advice is requested.) ;-)
Thanks in advance!
"The Hungering Horror" (Eidolon)
You see a huge turtle-like shell, about the size of a house. Instead of the flippers or legs you'd expect (for a turtle), you see perhaps a dozen or so chitinous legs on either flank. Dominating the creature's head is a large, many-toothed maw lined with quivering pedipalps. This mottled white-and-grey monstrosity bellows, "FEEED MEEE!" as it charges towards you...
STR: 38 (+14) ...14 base, +8 chart, +16 size
DEX: 18 (+4) ...14 base, +8 chart, -4 size
CON: 22 (+6) ...13 base, +1 stat, +8 size
INT: 8 (-1) ...07 base, +1 stat
WIS: 10 (---) ...10 base
CHA: 12 (+1) ...11 base, +1 stat
Init.: +8 ...(+4 Dex, +4 feat)
HP: 195 ...(HD: 15d10 +90 +15)
AC: 35 (10 base, +23 natural armor, -2 size, +4 Dex)
Fort.: +15 ...(+9, +6 Con)
Ref.: +13 ...(+9, +4 Dex)
Will: +6 ...(+5, +0 Wis, +1 feat)
BAB: +13/+8/+3 ...(+15 base, -2 size)
CMB: +31 ...(+15 BAB, +14 Str, +2 size)
CMD: 45 ...(10 base, +15 BAB, +14 Str, +4 Dex, +2 size)
(Eidolon) Darkvision (60 feet)
(Eidolon) Improved Evasion
Sense Motive +8
Acrobatics@ (DEX), x15, +3*
Climb@ (STR), x5, +3*
Intimidate@ (CHA) x15, +3*, +4 (size), +14&
Perception (WIS), x15, +3*
Sense Motive (WIS), x5, +3*
Stealth (DEX) x15, +3*, -8 (size)
Swim@ (STR), x5, +3*
@ -- Summoner chose four additional Class Skills
* -- Bonus from being a Class Skill
& -- Bonus from Intimidating Prowess
(+) Bleeding Critical
(+) Improved Vital Strike
0 Limbs (Legs), x2
2 Immunity (Fire)
3 Frightful Presence
4 Fast Healing
4 Spell Resistance
If they can get through the spell resistance those saves offer no protection. The summoner had better share a spell like spell turning with this eidolon; BTW, remember the eidolon is only half the character at most and you've still got the other part to do.
At 20th level imposing the shaken condition on one character is not a useful application of a standard action in combat. I guess it will be effective at the social use of intimidate but I can't see a lot of characters trying to negotiate with this if it's charging towards them yelling 'FEED ME'. You could possibly spend feats to make the combat use more effective?
I don't really know what you're trying to build here, to be honest. Your evolutions don't even match your description.
You have a quadruped Eidolon, but then you take Vital Strike (instead of the usual multiple attacks+pounce), but not even Improved Damage. You seem to focus on one attack, and spend two feats on Bleeding Critical, which has an above 95% chance to do nothing.
Frightful Presence will have a DC of 18, ridiculously low. Fast Healing 1 only stops bleeding and does absolutely nothing else. With an average damage of 28 per target, equivalent of a Lightning Bolt at caster level 8, I don't see how that'd ever be a useful spend of a round.
You say intimidate is a big focus, but I don't even see Cornugon Smash (and as avr said, the effect is pretty minor anyway, unless you affect a psychic caster).
You didn't really say what you want to do with the thing (I presume as an NPC?), but the Eidolon's defense is very weak.
The eidolon is seriously lacking in offense and defense.
Take the feat to get skill unlocks for intimidate. Or take Cornugon Smash.
It needs gear. Belt of str, cloak of resist (or spells casted on it), mage armor, displacement, etc.
Personally I'd suggest start with humanoid or buy limbs, get butcher axe proficiency, and use vital strike line of feats with a huge impacting butchers axe to dish out 24d6+40 or 36d6+41 if you cast enlarge person via share spells(assuming +1 impact butchers axe and +4belt of str, factoring in power attack)
37 isn't even a big number for intimidate. You could add the 8 from an evolution, 6 from skill focus, and 4 from another feat. Plus potential gear. So you can get that number about 20 something points higher.
Thanks for the advice. :-)
I forgot to mention -- I'm a novice with Pathfinder; this is as much an exercise in learning the rules as it is an exercise in designing an NPC. And the NPC I deliberately left off, because I wanted to focus on the minion first.
I'm envisioning a juggernaut, something that crushes and/or tramples all in its path. If the Critical feats are not going to help, what other feats (from Core, APG, ACG, ARG, and Ultimate books -- Combat, etc.) would you recommend in place?
As to the eidolon's saves, I saw no other feats or evolutions for increasing them. Since the summoner can create items (and has done so for himself, at least), I'll gladly have him do the same for his minion. (For instance):
* Resistance +5
* Water Breathing
Again, thanks everyone. Any more ideas?
Er, maybe you shouldn't start with designing a 20th level enemy? The game gets pretty extreme at higher levels, and most games stop earlier anyway - even Paizo's own Adventure Paths don't usually go beyond ~16th level. Plus, Summoners and their Eidolons aren't exactly exemplary.
In any case, some basics: After the early levels, martial builds based on a single attack fall behind, with very few exceptions. Full attacks do notably more damage, and when adding bonus attacks (Haste, Blessing of Fervor, or Boots of Speed most commonly) which become aviable around 6th level, it's not much of a competition anymore. This is even more pronounced for natural attacks, because it's easy to get more of those.
Full attack have, of course, the problem that you can't move before doing them (beyond a 5-foot-step), so you con't normally use them against enemies not close by. There are some exceptions to this, and those are almost always very strong options. Ranged attack based characters (mainly archers) don't normally need to move, and a bunch of classes have pounce or similar options.
Quadruped Eidolons especially have the easiest access to pounce in the entire game, via the eponymous evolution. The most dangerous Eidolons are quadruped ones with a maxed out number of primary attacks, pounce, and bonus damage (including strength). Still, defense should not be ignored - the Improved Natural Armor is pretty cheap, and such an Eidolon doesn't need many feats, so Iron Will etc. are recommended.
Ability scores: 30/15/17/7/10/11
Feats: Power Attack, Iron Will, Additional Traits (Deathtouched & Corpse Hunter for campaign reasons)
Evolutions: Pounce, Claws, Bite, Gore, Large, Energy Attacks (acid), Improved Natural Armor x2, Immunity (Fire) Half-Elf Summoner with racial FCB x8 and Extra Evolution x2
Normal buffs: Mage Armor, Barkskin, Greater Magic Fang, Haste.
Equipment: Belt of Giant's Strength +4, Undead Bane Amulet of Mighty Fists, Ring of Protection +1
AC 29/13/26, CMD 31 (35 vs. trip)
Saves 8/7/4 with +2 on will vs. mind-affecting and +4 vs enchantments
Bite +15 (1d8+21+1d6), Gore +15 (1d8+14+1d6), 2 Claw +15 (1d6+14+1d6); second bite form Haste
A higher level Eidolon wouldn't need an item for flying thanks to Overland Flight. Greater Heroism and Spell Turning would be valuable buffs as well.
Later feats might be Improved Initiative, Improved Iron Will, Dazing Assault, and Demonic Style.
First, it looks like Frightful Presence won't be quite as amusing as I first thought it would be, so I can cash that in, and spend those Evolution Points elsewhere. Second, while I still think having some form of regeneration is good, the evolution of Fast Healing may not be the most economical way to do this. So, I can cash that in also, and spend those points elsewhere, as well...
Based on the feedback I've gotten so far, here is how I think I should spend those refunded seven Evolution Points.
01 Claws ("Arms")
01 Claws (Legs; allowed once only)
01 Improved Damage: Claws
01 Skilled: +8 racial bonus to Intimidate
02 Limbs ("Arms")
Having a "Girdle" of Strength and/or Dexterity would be useful. (Since this beast is a quadruped and a steed, the "girdle" would actually need to be in the form of a harness.) Unfortunately, since the Summoner does not have Bull's Strength as one of his 2nd-level spells, he'd need to out-source the crafting of this item.
Now, I just had a thought about the "shoes"... Casters should be able to enchant weapons' properties onto the shoes of war steeds. And since this Summoner has that item creation feat (Craft Arms and Armor), it makes sense that he'd also "weaponize" those shoes. So, with that in mind, I'd add one extra line to that item:
* (Weapon) +5
* Resistance +5
* Water Breathing
This should give a +5 to the attack roll and damage roll for each of its Claw Attacks.
Also, while I'm at it, what about barding? Since this beast already has a hefty "natural armor" bonus, does the type of barding matter? (I.e.: leather vs. chain vs. plate.) Would the magical bonus (+5) even help at all, in this case? Or should that magical armor plus be instead enchanted onto the harness (above; once the contracted mage completes it)?
Thanks, again! ;-)
First, what are you actually trying to do here? is this just a thought experiment? An excercise in character building? In that case, you would need to include the Summoner.
If you want to build an Eidolon starting with a visual, you should select evolutions based on that, foremost. If you want to focus on mechanics, you basically need to ignore visuals (a quadruped would want two pairs of arms at 19th/20th level, for instance).
Also, while I'm at it, what about barding?
Barding is still armor, and an Eidolon can't wear armor, period. Bracers of Armor would work.
Having a "Girdle" of Strength and/or Dexterity would be useful. (Since this beast is a quadruped and a steed, the "girdle" would actually need to be in the form of a harness.)
It would still be, and count as, a belt. Eidolons have all the same magic item slots as a regular humanoid PC, I wouldn't think too hard about actual placement.
Eidolon's "Shoes":* (Weapon) +5
* Resistance +5
* Water Breathing
No offense, but have you even read the magic item creation rules? You can't just put anything on any item any way you want. Custom magic item creation is complicated, I can only advise a beginner not to try it. Such stuff gets normally veto'd by the GM, a GM doing it for an NPC should expect to be accused of cheating.You can combine items for the same item slot, but that increases the cost by 1.5. Adding bonuses normally reserved for a different item slot aren't exactly covered (shows you that they don't intend you to do that), but going slotless doubles the price, so it should be another 1.5 multiplier.
In any case, shoes aren't weapons. If you want to enhance natural attacks, have the Eidolon wear an Amulet of Mighty Fists. Resistance would normally be a cloak, although the Summoner would want to wear one as well.
Based on your generous feedback, I've made the following changes:
(+15 base, -2 size; does not include +5 bonus from amulet)
Bite: 2d6 +17 (Str) +5 (amulet), primary
Claws: 3d6 +17 (Str) +5 (amulet), primary, x4 attacks/round
Pounce: Can make full attack after charge
Trample: 2d6 +25 (1.5*Str) +5 (amulet), (auto.)
Critical Focus: +4 bonus to confirm critical threats.
Eldritch Claws [APG]: Natural weapons considered magic/silver,
vs. damage reduction.
Improved Critical (Claws): Doubles threat range.
Improved Natural Attack (Claws)
Multiattack: Secondary attacks with natural weapons take
only a –2 penalty (instead of usual -5).
1 Claws ("Arms")
1 Claws (Legs; allowed once only)
1 Improved Damage: Claws
2 Limbs ("Arms")
0 Limbs (Legs), x2
1 Skilled: +8 racial bonus to Intimidate
2 Immunity (Fire)
4 Spell Resistance
Like other people said, it should be more focused; if you want it to focus on scaring things, do that and make it work for you.
This means the skill unlock feat for intimidate is a necessity; if you beat the DC by 20 (which you should), it should make the characters flee in panic or cower, with another dc 30 will save to negate this. Without this, it's really hard to make intimidate do more.
You also need a way to apply this to all characters in an area. Dazzling Display is a common way to do this. Another option is Blistering Invective. This would require UMD from a scroll, which at level 20 is no problem; that's what I would do, to save feat slots. I would go ahead and put enlarge on to the scroll, too, so you can catch everyone in a 60 foot radius, and put 6 castings like this on a couple of scrolls as a contingency. For this level of play, it's cheap.
Another option is Cornungon Smash, but it requires that you hit a character to use it, and does one at a time. I would much rather get the scroll off the first round, and then spend the other rounds beating down the fleeing characters. It's a great feat for a character that needs to take down one big bad guy; it's not so good for the big bad fighting a wave of characters.
Face of the devourer will give an extra +4. I would get a circlet of persuasion or maiden's helm, and possibly bump charisma up a bit, and make sure you have elixer of the thundering voice. (not all of these items will stack, so you may want to pick and choose what works for you)
I would get an amulet of mighty fists for cruel, which lets you put sickened on to anyone you hit who is already shaken or worse.
I would give at least one attack the reach evolution, so that you can hit people at a farther range with cruel. And have the summoner cast long arm on the eidolon. An extra 10 feet of reach can mean a lot. Combat reflexes would be nice, so that you can hit people as they flee.
your intimidate should be:
+23 (skill points)
+6 (skill focus)
+4 (face of the devourer)
+10 (Elixer of thundering voice)
means +77 or there abouts, without *too* much feat investment cutting in to his general combat/damage.
The DC to intimidate a cleric at this level will be roughly 40. So you should *usually* beat this by 20.
I would drop all the critical feats; you probably don't really need to be crit fishing with this guy. Also, very few characters will have DR/magic or silver; you're taking an odd gamble with that feat.
So for my feats, I would have:
Skill Focus: intimidate
Skill Unlock: intimidate
Then the last 4 are up to you, but I would focus on increasing survivability, with feats like Toughness and Iron Will, possibly improved initiative. I would lean towards just Iron Will, Improved Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Improved Lightning Reflexes. Since those are the spells that are most likely to just take your monster out of the fight immediately, so a once a day reroll for each can be important. You probably won't need to work too hard to get a lot of damage out, especially with the summoner providing buffs.
You should definitely have stone skin up before any fight. Use evolution surge to give it any abilities or resistances that become useful.
I would drop trample and instead go with grab to help you control things that you hit. Trample is great for taking out lots of little things, but it probably won't help you deal with the PCs, where grab can help to shut down a mage or paladin.
Anywho, this may be a bit over the top, but a group of similarly optimized characters will probably have ways to deal with it. A paladin in particular, or a cleric who isn't frightened to start with, will be able to cast spells to help their allies overcome the fear effect. The intimidate checks get progressively harder, so as the fight wears on, anyone who survives the first few rounds will start to get in on the action. A DC 30 will save is not too big a deal at this level, especially not for the characters that have ways to deal with something like this.
A paladin or any other character that is immune to fear will present problems, as will casters that like to stay far away. The actual summoner should focus on either isolating these characters from the fight, or getting the eidolon to them immediately.
Keep in mind, at this level every character going against your creation *should* have prot. from evil up before they engage (which can screw over eidolons), unless you force a fight on them. Have the thing attack the town they are in, forcing the characters to react to it, as the summoner watches from the sidelines and reacts to the valiant heroes trying to foil his plan.
So, if you really want to cause chaos, have the summoner teleport his creation in to the middle of the town on some important holiday where all the heroes are present in one place and then corner the ones it needs to. The summoner should be invisible somewhere with a vantage point over the battlefield; plenty of spells on its list that work for this will not break its invisibility.