The Summoner


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Sovereign Court

I have a player in my group who is really disappointed at not being able to create a Summoner. And, it seems from the recent announcements, we won't be seeing the Summoner as a class within the next 12 months.

It is possible to create something like a Summoner using the Core Rules? Jason Bulmahn hinted that the animal companion mechanics might work as an eidolon. Any suggestions?

Might we reasonably expect that one of the many upcoming archetypes in APG-2E might support the creation of a Summoner?


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Summoner would probably have to be its own class. Judging by how sorcerer is implemented, and the traditions for existing summoning spells, Eidolon type would probably dictate your spell list and by extension the types of non-Eidolon summons you get (like divine list if your eidolon is a fiend or celestial, primal if it's an elemental or fey, occult if it's an aberration, etc). That calls for a lot of balancing between each type of summoner, not to mention new summoning spells added to each list to complete the set of summonables (for example, Summon Monitor would need to be added to the divine list at some point). The Eidolon itself is even more complicated. It will almost certainly be based on the Unchained version in 1e, which means you're looking at at least one type of Eidolon for each plane of existence. That makes for over a dozen base choices plus a LOT of feats. So there's a very good reason Summoner won't make it to the list of classes released within the year.

Where did Jason Bulmahn hint at using animal companions to build Eidolons? I can sort of see giving alignment/elemental/etc subtypes to animals in a future release, which could sort of substitute for an Eidolon. But having a fully customizable outsider best friend won't be supported by rules for a long time.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Frogliacci wrote:
But having a fully customizable outsider best friend won't be supported by rules for a long time.

If ever. They seem to greatly prefer the unchained summoner, after all.


AnimatedPaper wrote:
Frogliacci wrote:
But having a fully customizable outsider best friend won't be supported by rules for a long time.
If ever. They seem to greatly prefer the unchained summoner, after all.

I don't know what unchained has to do with "PF2 will never see them."


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I honestly don’t know how to respond to your post. The chained summoner had fully customizable Eidolons. The unchained summoner does not, although it is still greatly customizable. Assuming the devs liked that version, which seems to be the case, they may opt to never reintroduce eidolons as fully customizable as the chained summoner, and instead just make the chassis+options version that unchained has.

Edit: or they might decide they can do it better in PF2, and open the floodgates again. No one knows, probably not even the devs at this point.

Sovereign Court

Frogliacci wrote:
Where did Jason Bulmahn hint at using animal companions to build Eidolons?

At GenCon. I believe, from memory, at the Rules Q&A or one of the other panels he said something like:

Jason Bulmahn wrote:
... [it's] basically an animal companion with tentacles and four arses.

I think it was implied that a small amount of rules tinkering by the GM might be required.


The Diplomat wrote:
Frogliacci wrote:
Where did Jason Bulmahn hint at using animal companions to build Eidolons?

At GenCon. I believe, from memory, at the Rules Q&A or one of the other panels he said something like:

Jason Bulmahn wrote:
... [it's] basically an animal companion with tentacles and four arses.
I think it was implied that a small amount of rules tinkering by the GM might be required.

Sounds to me like Unchained Summoner being ported over, actually. Just like how animal companions have base types (like bear, cat, horse, wolf, etc) and advancement rules (mature, specialization), an eidolon will similarly start with a base type (demon, angel, genie, fey, etc) and advancement rules. Difference would be that Eidolons will gain customizable evolutions, very likely implemented as feats in 2e, rather than a fixed list of proficiency upgrades.


Frogliacci wrote:
The Diplomat wrote:
Frogliacci wrote:
Where did Jason Bulmahn hint at using animal companions to build Eidolons?

At GenCon. I believe, from memory, at the Rules Q&A or one of the other panels he said something like:

Jason Bulmahn wrote:
... [it's] basically an animal companion with tentacles and four arses.
I think it was implied that a small amount of rules tinkering by the GM might be required.
Sounds to me like Unchained Summoner being ported over, actually. Just like how animal companions have base types (like bear, cat, horse, wolf, etc) and advancement rules (mature, specialization), an eidolon will similarly start with a base type (demon, angel, genie, fey, etc) and advancement rules. Difference would be that Eidolons will gain customizable evolutions, very likely implemented as feats in 2e, rather than a fixed list of proficiency upgrades.

This is kinda what I expect to see as well at some point. Like they did with the familiar system and the animal companion system I expect to see the core of that rule chassis used with some specialized evolution stuff on top of it. Doing it this way also lets them more easily add new future primary pet classes of various types that are consistent and less likely to blow up and or halt your game play session like chained summoners could do.


Considering how Summoner had no class features other than Eidolon and SLA summons, I'm almost certain that evolutions would be summoner feats rather than part of the Eidolon's build.

Spontaneous summoning would probably work like the cleric's extra heal or harm. You gain additional spell slots at the highest level equal to 1 + Charisma (or another ability score, since Summoners are Charisma casters) to cast summoning spells.


AnimatedPaper wrote:
I honestly don’t know how to respond to your post. The chained summoner had fully customizable Eidolons. The unchained summoner does not, although it is still greatly customizable.

Boo hoo?

I have an unchained summoner and I did, in fact, solo a fight that was wrecking the rest of the party (well up until an invisible wizard showed up and cast Fear and I failed both will saves, but absent that I absolutely was ruining the undead who couldn't hit me (er hit the eidolon) and I (the eidolon) could kill in one or two hits. The entire rest of the party combined couldn't match that). Post-failed-save meant that I retreated into a corner on the ceiling and the wizard and their undead left me alone (1. the wizard couldn't see me and 2. the zombies couldn't fly).

Yes, an UNCHAINED summoner did that. I didn't even optimize. I had a theme, I went with the theme, I stuck to the theme, and thus 'behind the curve' a little bit and still dominated the fight.

People say that the chained summoner is "better" and while that's true, the unchained summoner is no slouch.

Quote:
Edit: or they might decide they can do it better in PF2, and open the floodgates again. No one knows, probably not even the devs at this point.

Therin lies my point. The fact that "the chained summoner might be dead" does not equate to "the summoner is dead."

Frogliacci wrote:

Considering how Summoner had no class features other than Eidolon and SLA summons, I'm almost certain that evolutions would be summoner feats rather than part of the Eidolon's build.

Spontaneous summoning would probably work like the cleric's extra heal or harm. You gain additional spell slots at the highest level equal to 1 + Charisma (or another ability score, since Summoners are Charisma casters) to cast summoning spells.

And I think this would be interesting to see. It definitely fits into the mold that PF2 has struck, and it might actually work well.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Frogliacci wrote:

Considering how Summoner had no class features other than Eidolon and SLA summons, I'm almost certain that evolutions would be summoner feats rather than part of the Eidolon's build.

Spontaneous summoning would probably work like the cleric's extra heal or harm. You gain additional spell slots at the highest level equal to 1 + Charisma (or another ability score, since Summoners are Charisma casters) to cast summoning spells.

If the PF2e summoner even has spellcasting. The current paradigm is to have give the caster access to all spells in their tradition, which could easily turn them into sorcerers with a pet, and said pet would have to be made almost unplayably weak to balance out the power of full access to all those spells.


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Let's not forget that minmaxing aside, the chained summoner also had a huge fluff problem in that their Eidolons could just be literally whatever the hell they want. No lore justification, no backstory, just an ungodly mass of arms and tentacles because DPR is king. I was so happy when unchained came out because I swear if I hear the "but he's a construct of my imagination" bullcrap excuse again....so overall there's probably no chance that the original eidolons would come back.

As for spellcasting, there's nothing stopping them from giving the Summoner class less spell slots than other classes (eg max 2 spell slots per level per day), barring summons, so they could justify the Eidolon being stronger than animal companions through having feats on top of advancements.

But also keep in mind that feats would just make them more diverse in ability, rather than straight up more power, and their proficiency could be capped at Expert.

Liberty's Edge

I expect they (or an archetype of some kind) will get the ability to cast summon spells as focus spells, they way a druid casts shape spells for wildshape.


Stack wrote:
I expect they (or an archetype of some kind) will get the ability to cast summon spells as focus spells, they way a druid casts shape spells for wildshape.

Wild Shape is closer to Summon Eidolon though, which should be a focus spell.

The conventional summons should just be extra slots.

Liberty's Edge

Running it like a cleric with heal/harm bonus slots works too, if it is a stand-alone class.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Draco18s wrote:


Therin lies my point. The fact that "the chained summoner might be dead" does not equate to "the summoner is dead."

I never said otherwise, that’s why I was confused by your vehemence. I specifically meant that the fully customizable eidolon might not come back, not that the entire class would go away.

I also made no judgments either way on if the class would be playable, or...anything at all. I really don’t know where you’re coming from or why you seem pissed off when I’m not even the only person that said that on this page.


I am not a big fan of the summoner. So, I don't have much to say about it.

But I would like a summoner path which allowed you to have an equine eidolon focused around riding. If I played a mounted character, I would like the option of riding around on a nightmare. (Pegasuses are also cool, but probably will be level-locked.)


Leotamer wrote:
But I would like a summoner path which allowed you to have an equine eidolon focused around riding. If I played a mounted character, I would like the option of riding around on a nightmare. (Pegasuses are also cool, but probably will be level-locked.)

I give you Vdri Vhir wer Inik who is definitely a Real Dragon.

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