Why does armour interfere with a summoner's connection to an Eidiolon?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

Scarab Sages

First off let me make this clear. I am NOT trying to argue an Eidolon should wear armour I fully understand the balance reasons they can't. I am just trying to find an ingame way of explaining why this particular thing works the way it does.

Armour includes such things as . . .

1) wooden armour (made from actual wood).
2) leaf armour (made from alchemically treated leaves).
3) leather armour (made from cow hide same as a leather jacket).
4) Deep diving suits (a body tight mesh of reinforced rubber and polymer fitted with scrubbers).
5) Neraplast armour (a lightweight formfitting BODYSUIT of something techy).
6) Chameleon Suits (Its surface consists of millions of tiny scale like lenses and LED screens).
7) Silken Ceremonial Armour (Robes consisting of several layers of cloth and an ornate silken outer layer).
8) Martial arts training gear (Sections of curved padding held together by an assembly of leather straps).

and that's just a selection from the light armour. More importantly that covers a wide range of materials (leather, cloth, LED's, wood) and in one case (Silken ceremonial) is just ornate robes that only provide protection because their thick cloth. So I'm just trying to figure out an ingame way to explain why all these things interfere with a summoners connection to their Eidolon but putting it in say a winter weather outfit or on the other side of a tree doesn't.

I've got nothing I can make work so I'm wondering can anyone else come up with to explain this in in game terms not a "Anything that provides an AC bonus is interfering"?


There’s no logical in game reason. It can wear a robe on the body slot just fine, so it’s not like they can’t be surrounded by something.

The weirder question is “What happens when you force armor on an eidolon?” Does the armor slide to the ground? Is the eidolon unsummoned? No one really knows.


This is pretty much a game mechanic. Fluff wise an Eidolon can actually wear armor because its AC bonus can be defined as either an armor bonus or a natural armor bonus. It can even be split between the two. So if you want your Eidolon to be wearing armor it can, but it only gets the AC bonus based on the summoner’s class level.

If you want to explain it in game, it could be armor from this plane acts as insulator between the Eidolon and the summoner. It can use other items from this plan because it is not encased in it.

Scarab Sages

Melkiador wrote:

There’s no logical in game reason. It can wear a robe on the body slot just fine, so it’s not like they can’t be surrounded by something.

The weirder question is “What happens when you force armor on an eidolon?” Does the armor slide to the ground? Is the eidolon unsummoned? No one really knows.

Hmmm I wonder. Someone, somewhere in game lore must have tried it so what happened then. . .

Mysterious Stranger wrote:

This is pretty much a game mechanic. Fluff wise an Eidolon can actually wear armor because its AC bonus can be defined as either an armor bonus or a natural armor bonus. It can even be split between the two. So if you want your Eidolon to be wearing armor it can, but it only gets the AC bonus based on the summoner’s class level.

If you want to explain it in game, it could be armor from this plane acts as insulator between the Eidolon and the summoner. It can use other items from this plan because it is not encased in it.

Interesting theory but you have armours like a Haramki (belly belt) or lamellar curiass (that's a top and shoulder guards) so even armours that don't cover them don't do it. For that matter some DM's rule a buckler as armour so it'd have the same effect. Not to mention if full plate does interfere what if they just put on a helemt? I dislike things that don't make ingame sense like this. Give me a derelict starship haunted by a horror from another dimension fine but keep the internal lore consistent don't have it warded off by brass one minute then not the next.

I'd forgotten the AC/NatArm division need to take a look at that as well. Honestly I'd have been happy with them simply getting the usual some armours stack and others don't that other classes do but that then potentially free's up evolutions for things not AC bonus and you verge into balance issues I don't want to touch in this thread.


Semi-serious example: the armor blocks the "connection waves" from reaching the eidolon. I mean, I always assumed detect magic and the like somehow picked up "magic waves/rays" from a magical object, like a Geiger counter or whatever. Maybe it's the same kind of thing here?


I mean...a lore reason could be any made up reason, its irrelevant, a balance reason is that slapping +9 to +14 ac onto something that can get into the low 40's off evolutions and natural ac is going to break the bell curve of how hard its going to be to hit somewhere.

Scarab Sages

As I said I understand the balance reason I want a lore reason. I can work with "we don't understand it all" for rare, mysterious situations but I want something for a common thing like summoners that are all over the world and must have by know looked into why their eidolons can't wear armour. Not to be snarky but while it may be irrelevant to you it isn't to me. I like working out the why a world works the way it does and that includes things like why can X ability work in X way.


Ryan Freire wrote:
I mean...a lore reason could be any made up reason, its irrelevant, a balance reason is that slapping +9 to +14 ac onto something that can get into the low 40's off evolutions and natural ac is going to break the bell curve of how hard its going to be to hit somewhere.

That could have been fixed by just limiting those evolutions. The eidolon can still benefit from mage armor or bracers, so I don’t think AC was the concern. I think the real reason is because of the magic item slot sharing. They didn’t want the summoner having to decide between armor for himself and armor for his eidolon. So, they just banned eidolon armor wearing. Personally, I don’t get why summoners wear armor in the first place. They are a very casty class and didn’t really need armor or a good BAB to work the same as they do now.

People want to nerf what the summoner does all the time, but if you nerf what it doesn’t need, the class seems much more reasonable. Get rid of it’s armor, and give it a d6 hit die and low BAB, then you are left with an arcane caster that trades out spells for a companion creature.


I think my explanation kind of makes sense: consider that detect magic and detect evil both are blocked by matter in the way (including lead, like X-rays in real life.) So, you could say wearing armor makes it harder for the magic to reach the eidolon. Of course, this should also mean people wearing heavy armor should have some kind of resistance to detect evil, but that spell is way overpowered anyway so I'm fine with that.


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All Eidolons are nudists, and they lose their powers by violating that anathema.


Foeclan wrote:
All Eidolons are nudists, and they lose their powers by violating that anathema.

That's the most logical excuse we've heard so far.


If you don’t buy the idea that material from this plane blocks it there are other reasons. Circles are supposed to have magic properties so that could be one explanation. Any armor I know of has to go around the whole body to be effective. This circle could act as a power sink isolating the Eidolon from the summoner.

Circles are pretty common when dealing with summoned creatures. This would give an in game reason why armor the Eidolon’s cannot wear armor. You could also use my previous idea about the material to explain why armor (from class level) from their dimension does not interfere with the bond. Only a circle of material from our dimension blocks the magic.


Mysterious Stranger wrote:

If you don’t buy the idea that material from this plane blocks it there are other reasons. Circles are supposed to have magic properties so that could be one explanation. Any armor I know of has to go around the whole body to be effective. This circle could act as a power sink isolating the Eidolon from the summoner.

Circles are pretty common when dealing with summoned creatures. This would give an in game reason why armor the Eidolon’s cannot wear armor. You could also use my previous idea about the material to explain why armor (from class level) from their dimension does not interfere with the bond. Only a circle of material from our dimension blocks the magic.

If that were the problem, then it wouldn't be able to have items on the body magic item slot either, and that just simply isn't true. And there's no reason to think an eidolon can't wear a swarmsuit. Being surrounded by something is not the problem.


Petty mortal armor is insulting to the powerful outsider.

Keep your armor to protect yourself, peasant, I mean Master, I have no need for such silly trinkets...

It's a matter of pride, not logic.


VoodistMonk wrote:

Petty mortal armor is insulting to the powerful outsider.

Keep your armor to protect yourself, peasant, I mean Master, I have no need for such silly trinkets...

It's a matter of pride, not logic.

"But this amulet of mighty fists? Well... it just brings out the blue in my eyes..... yeah, that's it!"


Melkiador wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
I mean...a lore reason could be any made up reason, its irrelevant, a balance reason is that slapping +9 to +14 ac onto something that can get into the low 40's off evolutions and natural ac is going to break the bell curve of how hard its going to be to hit somewhere.

That could have been fixed by just limiting those evolutions. The eidolon can still benefit from mage armor or bracers, so I don’t think AC was the concern. I think the real reason is because of the magic item slot sharing. They didn’t want the summoner having to decide between armor for himself and armor for his eidolon. So, they just banned eidolon armor wearing. Personally, I don’t get why summoners wear armor in the first place. They are a very casty class and didn’t really need armor or a good BAB to work the same as they do now.

People want to nerf what the summoner does all the time, but if you nerf what it doesn’t need, the class seems much more reasonable. Get rid of it’s armor, and give it a d6 hit die and low BAB, then you are left with an arcane caster that trades out spells for a companion creature.

Eh, but why restrict the people playing the class as you envision for the sake of people playing the class in a way you dont? Plus the evolutions project an easier bell curve on the eidolon than allowing armor to spike its AC during the levels when its already on the upper end of making martials obsolete.


Things armour and shields can inflict, but other worn items usually don't, include ACP (Armour Check Penalties) as well as ASF (Arcane Spell Failure). You can jump about and cast in robes, a belt, headband, crown, goggles, boots and more no problem, but going naked plus a buckler? That is going to hamper you.

So whatever level of interference grants an item base ACP and ASF is what messes with the eidolon.


Ryan Freire wrote:
Eh, but why restrict the people playing the class as you envision for the sake of people playing the class in a way you dont?

I'm not sure what you mean by that.

Quote:
Plus the evolutions project an easier bell curve on the eidolon than allowing armor to spike its AC during the levels when its already on the upper end of making martials obsolete.

Mage armor is a thing the summoner has. Most eidolons are assumed to have it or some even better armor bonus. So, it's not much of an AC spike if you let the eidolon wear regular armor.

But even though the eidolon can have a fairly good AC, its hitpoints are rather low, so it's not like the thing will ever be a tank.


5ish ac is a pretty significant ac spike man.

And I mean why would they restrict the evolutions and natural progression if they didn't envision the eidolon being a big magic item sink for people to gear up.

Its in every way easier to just say "no armor it doesn't work because macguffin" than it is to rework the math for eidolon advancement + natural armor evolutions based on people buying armor of who knows what type and who knows what enchantment level.

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