Now With Actual Play Experience - Summoner Level 6


Summoner Class


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First session actually running a Summoner tonight. I'm generally pretty positive so far, but I think things went pretty well in general.

General Observations -

The ability to roll skill checks twice isn't just two chances to succeed, in some cases its a chance to accomplish extended goals twice as fast.

Two chances to succeed is also good. Nothing wrong with Search x2 while exploring and looking for secrets and traps.

Lots of good little things for social encounters. For one, organic assists on Social checks due to the Eidolon implicitly participating alongside you are good.

For two, an Eidolon is an expendable distraction. We needed to distract some guards, and option 1 was having my Eidolon engage them in conversation while we snuck around them, and then the Eidolon could walk away, disappear around a corner, and then be re summoned at our position. Option 2 was to have the Eidolon be a distraction, lead the guards off and then vanish around a corner. Distractions like this are... pretty commonly viable in roleplaying games.

Combat Notes -

Published adventure, no encounters where enemies had more than three foes on the field at the same time. More or less no way for them to bypass our front line past the fighter, unless they wanted to spend extra actions moving around the encircling foes. I felt pretty safe.

Angel Eidolons are as truckish as expected against foes with weaknesses to Good damage.

Damage in general was fine, if not spectacular.

Because the encounters we had were over larger areas with a need to maneuver, I didn't run into a static rotation for my Eidolon. I had to actually maneuver, which meant that things weren't that boring and I had to actually find room to either move or Boost, which I think helped with its lack of dynamism.

The eidolon proved to be just as tough as any martial character in the party, and moreso because I had defensive options.

When I did get hit (crit in fact by a Babau), because I'm an Angel Summoner I just healed it - and Babau's hate that. Hillarious.

*******

Polling of the table -

No one felt like the Summoner wasn't 'two characters'.

There were some discussions of capabilities, and the general feeling was that most advantages were reasonably offset.

Evolution surge for speed got a nice 'oh crap' from the GM when it meant that a wide gap at the start of an encounter was closed in a single action as opposed to two.

The rest of the table rated the Eidolons damage as 'good' as opposed to 'fine'. Part of this was because we fought a demon, but in general the Eidolons damage was not unimpressive.

Everyone agreed rolling many skills twice was good, but balanced by having complex and unfocused stats in many cases (IE, the Eidolon's Wisdom means its not CRAZY on perception).

The fact that I retained my spellcasting potency, in large part, was considered impressive.

*******

Random Question?

What happens if an Eidolon is permanently petrified? Was never really in danger of it, but it was something that could have happened in theory.

*******

All in all, it was a good session and I had a good time. I had no issues with the Eidolon's general combat potency or numbers, actions in general felt good, but I also didn't run into the situations where I was really hampered by not being able to use a spell with Act Together or where I was locked into a full 'boring' combat rotation for my Eidolon - the big turn where I was standing in place and MIGHT have done that was the one where I Healed and mentally scarred a Babau.

So while I still have concerns about boring play, I simply didn't run into that tonight.

Eidolon was well characterized. Party members were starting to 'get her' by the end of the session, and no one had any trouble determining my purple-pink lamia/naga styled variant Lilim was an Angelic/Celestial muse.

So... still pretty positive, as things seemed to live well up to expectations.


Permanent petrification I would assume means they're stuck petrified, you unsummon them and run like hell?


Dubious Scholar wrote:
Permanent petrification I would assume means they're stuck petrified, you unsummon them and run like hell?

Wasn't a big threat in this case, luckily. One of those, "Incapacitation works in favor of the players." situations.

Was just a question that was asked at the table... and an interesting concern.


KrispyXIV wrote:
Dubious Scholar wrote:
Permanent petrification I would assume means they're stuck petrified, you unsummon them and run like hell?

Wasn't a big threat in this case, luckily. One of those, "Incapacitation works in favor of the players." situations.

Was just a question that was asked at the table... and an interesting concern.

Yeah that's a really weird concern I hadn't thought of. I'm glad you caught this. The way I would run it is desummoning/resummoning them would sort of act as a cleanse for permanent/very long term statuses. For 6 actions I think that's fair, but it's off the cuff and just how I would do it.


Capn Cupcake wrote:
KrispyXIV wrote:
Dubious Scholar wrote:
Permanent petrification I would assume means they're stuck petrified, you unsummon them and run like hell?

Wasn't a big threat in this case, luckily. One of those, "Incapacitation works in favor of the players." situations.

Was just a question that was asked at the table... and an interesting concern.

Yeah that's a really weird concern I hadn't thought of. I'm glad you caught this. The way I would run it is desummoning/resummoning them would sort of act as a cleanse for permanent/very long term statuses. For 6 actions I think that's fair, but it's off the cuff and just how I would do it.

I need to double check and see if its addressed. It would be weird, but I kindof feel like petrification in this case would be "stickier" than death. Unsummon and resummon gets me back a cool statue.


Oh - also! Recall Knowledge on Act Together felt particularly flexible. I made my check with the expectation that if I failed, my Eidolon would make a second attempt to identify the enemy. I did not fail and did not feel in need of additional information, so since Act Together is a sequence of actions my Eidolon was free to position for combat instead.

Such flexibility is not to be discounted.


KrispyXIV wrote:

Oh - also! Recall Knowledge on Act Together felt particularly flexible. I made my check with the expectation that if I failed, my Eidolon would make a second attempt to identify the enemy. I did not fail and did not feel in need of additional information, so since Act Together is a sequence of actions my Eidolon was free to position for combat instead.

Such flexibility is not to be discounted.

If you act together you are acting simultaneously.

You can't decide what it's doing after you do your thing. Then it's not simultaneous.


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Martialmasters wrote:
KrispyXIV wrote:

Oh - also! Recall Knowledge on Act Together felt particularly flexible. I made my check with the expectation that if I failed, my Eidolon would make a second attempt to identify the enemy. I did not fail and did not feel in need of additional information, so since Act Together is a sequence of actions my Eidolon was free to position for combat instead.

Such flexibility is not to be discounted.

If you act together you are acting simultaneously.

You can't decide what it's doing after you do your thing. Then it's not simultaneous.

Except thats not actually what it says.

"You and your eidolon each perform a single action. You choose
which order the actions are taken, and you and your eidolon
can each take a different action."

As written, they absolutely happen in a specific order chosen by you and there's not currently a stipulation that you have to choose them before resolving them.

They may be 'at the same time', but you don't have to declare them up front.

If that is the intent, they need to put that in the rules somewhere.


KrispyXIV wrote:
Martialmasters wrote:
KrispyXIV wrote:

Oh - also! Recall Knowledge on Act Together felt particularly flexible. I made my check with the expectation that if I failed, my Eidolon would make a second attempt to identify the enemy. I did not fail and did not feel in need of additional information, so since Act Together is a sequence of actions my Eidolon was free to position for combat instead.

Such flexibility is not to be discounted.

If you act together you are acting simultaneously.

You can't decide what it's doing after you do your thing. Then it's not simultaneous.

Except thats not actually what it says.

"You and your eidolon each perform a single action. You choose
which order the actions are taken, and you and your eidolon
can each take a different action."

As written, they absolutely happen in a specific order chosen by you and there's not currently a stipulation that you have to choose them before resolving them.

They may be 'at the same time', but you don't have to declare them up front.

If that is the intent, they need to put that in the rules somewhere.

You decide the order that they happen, not the time you get to make the decision.

But I get how it can be interpreted differently.


Martialmasters wrote:


You decide the order that they happen, not the time you get to make the decision.

But I get how it can be interpreted differently.

I'll grant you that Mark's descriptions he has provided have leaned toward the idea that the actions occur essentially simultaneously.

Not to the point that I'd be at all certain this interpretation is what he meant, but I'll grant you it could possibly be intended.

I don't think it in any fits what is currently written, because what is currently written is very clear that you choose the order and they can be different - and it places no stipulations on what they can be.

This will be even more essential though if he changes it as planned - if I can take a 2 action and my Eidolon gets a free action, its important that the Eidolon can choose what to do after my action to ensure that my action doesn't make the other invalid.


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Highlights of Further Adventures of a 6th level Summoner -

Near TPK if I had been confused - luckily, I hero pointed out of one failed save of two. Darned Gibbering Mouthers are SCARY when they come out of nowhere. Save twice, take the worst is capital SCARY, but no telling if it shouldn't be.

Eidolon continues to be a totally valid and relatively awesome, front line combatant. Damage while Boosted is better in general than monks and competitive with a free-hand fighter... when he's critting.

Got into one fight where the Eidolon and Summoner were engaged in a battle spanning multiple rooms, which was a good spot for the healing mechanics and extra presence to shine significantly.

Ability to be in two places at once continues to be awesome. During Encounter mode, double the skill checks. During healing time, while I'm treat woundsing, Eidolon is using Aid to help the party with puzzle solving skill checks.

I didn't really have an issue finding the action for Boost Eidolon when I didn't have better stuff to do.

Evolution Surge for clutch scent meant I could easily track and catch a minor invisible enemy trying to hide from us.

Wreckt an entire encounter by dropping a Calm Emotions in the middle of it, and getting half the bad guys (big brute types) who failed their saves. Party focused the only intelligent enemy round one, GG badguys.

In general, the character feels good at being everywhere at once (figuratively, sortof) and covering a TON of ground and various mechanics.

I fought, I healed, I crippled an encounter with spellcasting. It was a very good experience playing like a jack of all trades.

Party thought character was powerful, but no one is accusing me of being over the top - though I was definitely the MVP this session. That was more down to trivializing an encounter with Calm Emotions on first initiative than anything though.

Still having a lot of fun with a very dynamic to play character... didn't run into a lot of static play or repeated turns.


What is your party composition? I'm the front line in my group, the rogue and druid leave my damage in the dust and while wild shaped the druid is just better at combat then my Eidolon, both offense and defense. Our cleric/medic mostly heals every round.
Fighting on level monsters in the low teens feels brutal so far. I don't feel like I'm pulling my weight.


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OrochiFuror wrote:

What is your party composition? I'm the front line in my group, the rogue and druid leave my damage in the dust and while wild shaped the druid is just better at combat then my Eidolon, both offense and defense. Our cleric/medic mostly heals every round.

Fighting on level monsters in the low teens feels brutal so far. I don't feel like I'm pulling my weight.

Free Hand Fighter with a rapier, two monks (twin lizardman acrobats gimmick for Extinction Curse theme), a Wizard and myself.

The party was assembled more in theme with the AP than anything, and I started off with my character being a Cleric until respeccing for the playtest.

You'll note none of those classes has a static damage boost, meaning while I hit less often (due to lower volume of attacks) I'm often hitting harder, if Boost is up.

Level 5-6 is probably at the peak of the Eidolons relative Strength, as all of the Eidolons numbers numbers are in line with everyone elses.

At level 10, the Eidolon falls behind a point on strength and dex progression and when everyone else gets their Expert armor proficiency boost, the Eidolon goes from having Monk equivalent AC to the same AC as most everyone... except they dont get Dex 20 until 15, which will feel bad. They also get master unarmored late for no reason I can see.

The low teens isn't going to be as bad as level 1-2 I'd guess, but the class definitely loses a bit of ground in the absolute sense there.

One of my biggest "wants" as far as balancing the class goes is I'd like to see them remove the levels where the Eidolon fall behind on AC and accuracy numbers. That means Expert Unarmored at level 1 (which will give the Eidolon medium armor equivalency at level 1) and 18 strength (fixing their martial accuracy pretty much entirely, at least until apex items... which they should also allow, imo).

At least, that's my take on why you're likely having a rougher time.


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Mostly agree, I think it's strange the way the class progression is laid out. Like they Just wanted to fill those odd levels with something so spread out the Eidolon proficiency boosts. I don't think giving the Eidolon full regular martial weapons proficiency and monk armor proficiency would be too much, with or without an 18 starting stat. It wouldn't make a huge difference, but feel better in the long run.
Since you sorta lose spells, compared to other casters, your Eidolon should at least keep pace with other unarmored martials, or fully armored equivilents, in total proficiency, the rate you gain them, and your total numbers. A simple fix for the apex issue would be including it in how you share runes.
I can't see a point in boost as I'm not even averaging one hit a round, while reinforce gets me some AC and sometimes, as I've also started using stoneskin, some resists. On the other hand I do tend to get hit every round. So that increases the gulf of damage with my group.

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