(repost) Questions about a riftwarden gish build and group dynamics


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Reposting my post from reddit, perhaps you more thoughts on the matter?: Post

Note: I want to only use official paizo content.

Hello! I’ve never played pathfinder only d&d about 15 years ago and currently don’t have a group so this is more theorizing in case I will play pathfinder at some point.

First thing I’m trying to make a riftwarden gish who uses a sword (no conjured swords so no phantom blade), I’m fine with taking only the first level in the class for the ability counter-summons, also this is a build for a theme I know that the ability isn’t that amazing, I need to be able to cast magic circle against evil and summon monster to take the class so I looked at the classes that provide those spells at the archive of nethys, if there is a better source to check the information please let me know.

The obvious gishes magus and warpriest aren’t going to work because magus can’t access those spells and war priest gets magic circle too late, blade adept is too weak (right?) so the only ones that seems to fit are the oracle and cleric, the battle mystery is the obvious choice but I’m not sure it’s fits the theme of the character, also I want to have a reason to use the sword even in late levels and I read that even if the arcane mages could fight as well as the fighter they would have no reason to because of their spells, is it the same for the oracle/cleric? Also if I take the herald caller archetype would I be able to use this ability as a spontaneous caster? I could also use the crusader archetype and/or holy vindicator.

Now about the group dynamics, I worry that the oracle would be annoying for the gm and other players perhaps for being too good at countering summons because of his spontaneous casting, I realize that the ability is situational but in said encounters why would the dm even bother having summoning enemies if the oracle is going to counter them very easily, for this reason I thought to choose the cleric so I can use the ability less reliably, but then I will be cautious about using the high level monster summon since I might be able to counter a summoning spell of its level or lower later, not to say that I won’t use them at all if I have no reason to think that there would be summoning.

Unrelated question are there swords that summon creatures or some other ways to summon a creature from a weapon? The ones I have found are sword of tempests and fire goddess’s blade.

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Damahrah wrote:
The obvious gishes magus and warpriest aren’t going to work because magus can’t access those spells

Magus can get Summon Monster via the spell blending arcana at level 3. I recommend the Improved Planar Mentor feat to get Magic Circle.

Then you're actually a gish, instead of a spellcaster holding a sword in his hand.


I prefer to take riftwarden earlier than level 8.


I think the best way to do your concept is as an oracle with the battle mystery, taking summon monster as a spell each level. Then at level 6 you take your 1st level of Planeswalker.

The other possibility is a Herald Caller cleric. That is OK game mechanically but because the archetype loses the clerics medium armour and shield proficiency it is hardly a gish.

Damahrah wrote:
Now about the group dynamics, I worry that the oracle would be annoying for the gm and other players perhaps for being too good at countering summons because of his spontaneous casting, I realize that the ability is situational but in said encounters why would the dm even bother having summoning enemies if the oracle is going to counter them very easily, for this reason I thought to choose the cleric so I can use the ability less reliably, but then I will be cautious about using the high level monster summon since I might be able to counter a summoning spell of its level or lower later, not to say that I won’t use them at all if I have no reason to think that there would be summoning.

I think your reasoning here is very off. It is so off you could be forgiven for thinking you had never played pathfinder. Oh, wait a minute...

At level 6 when you first get the countering ability, to use it you have to guess and enemy is going to try to summon and then ready an action to counterspell it when they do. This means you don't get to attack or cast a spell.

If you are right, you get to counterspell, if not you do nothing. You normally have no way of telling if the enemy is going to try and summon something, so the whole strategy is not just bad, it is disastrous.

The last sentence of the counter summons ability reads- "At 5th level, this ability can be used as an immediate action, without the need to ready an action beforehand."

Now that is good, even great if you encounter enemies that want to summon a lot. You get to attack and cast spells then when they try to summon you counter it.

But that is Planeswalker 5, or character level 10.

If you want a character that works like you describe, this is what I would aim for. But you have to be prepared to wait for Planeswalker 5, or character level 10. Patience my friend.


Joynt Jezebel wrote:
If you are right, you get to counterspell, if not you do nothing. You normally have no way of telling if the enemy is going to try and summon something, so the whole strategy is not just bad, it is disastrous.

I think the oracle can take riftwarden at level 7 since he gets magic circle against evil at 6, not that it's a huge problem.

Summon Monster takes 1 round right? So as I understand it the monster would start summoning, I ready a Counter Summon as a swift action so it would take effect when the monster finishes the casting time.

Or did you mean that I wouldn't know what the monster will cast before hand? I suppose I thought the gm would tell me what it is casting.


If an enemy is casting a spell with a 1 round casting time you can reasonably assume it's a summon. It won't be one every time, but often enough.

The problem is enemies who cast summons before combat or just from behind cover (since damage forces a concentration check and a 1 round casting time is very vulnerable), and the relatively low number of enemies that summon stuff at all. Enemies who can summon as a standard action are possible too.

You can identify a spell as it's being cast with a successful spellcraft check.


avr wrote:

If an enemy is casting a spell with a 1 round casting time you can reasonably assume it's a summon. It won't be one every time, but often enough.

The problem is enemies who cast summons before combat or just from behind cover (since damage forces a concentration check and a 1 round casting time is very vulnerable), and the relatively low number of enemies that summon stuff at all. Enemies who can summon as a standard action are possible too.

You can identify a spell as it's being cast with a successful spellcraft check.

Thanks. I have read about spellcraft and also searched "summon" in the bestiary and there are more than couple that can summon as a spell like ability, I suppose the riftwarden is more beneficial at level 5.


More than a couple of monsters that can summon, only a few that will do so in combat time. There's a lot of creatures for which summoning isn't worth the lost actions in combat.


avr wrote:
More than a couple of monsters that can summon, only a few that will do so in combat time. There's a lot of creatures for which summoning isn't worth the lost actions in combat.

Point taken.

I meant that they can summon as a spell like ability which I thought meant it doesn't take a round to summon, but now I've read a little on forums about the sla summon and it's seems the the rules aren't clear on the casting time so I'm a bit confused, I still haven't read enough about it though.


Damahrah wrote:

I think the oracle can take riftwarden at level 7 since he gets magic circle against evil at 6, not that it's a huge problem.

Correct. My mistake.

And yes, if faced with the summon monster spell, trying to counter is is not as much of a bad strategy as I had suggested.

It isn't a power strategy anyway. Summoning monsters isn't common enough for a start. But you already know that.


Joynt Jezebel wrote:
Damahrah wrote:

I think the oracle can take riftwarden at level 7 since he gets magic circle against evil at 6, not that it's a huge problem.

Correct. My mistake.

And yes, if faced with the summon monster spell, trying to counter is is not as much of a bad strategy as I had suggested.

It isn't a power strategy anyway. Summoning monsters isn't common enough for a start. But you already know that.

Thanks for helping. I guess I don't need to limit my self on purpose by taking the cleric because other thean the spellcraft check and enemies casting summon before battle if multiple enemies are casting summon on the same round I can counter only one.

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