FlurryofBlunders' Guide to the PF2e Summoner


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Hello, everyone! I've been doing a lot of number crunching over the past week, and I've finally completed the first draft of my Guide to the PF2e Summoner.

Link to the guide.

This is the first time I've given a proper shot at writing a guide, and I feel like I'm standing on the shoulders of giants, in a way. If you have any comments, suggestions, corrections, or other ideas, feel free to use this thread as a discussion thread.


One thing of note - Miniaturize does not state that your reach is reduced. Whether that means it does or doesn't actually impact reach is debatable though.


I think you misread the Sentinel Archetype. It does auto-scale your character's armor proficiency to expert at level 13 if they were only proficient with cloth.

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It's a pretty well done guide.

The sample builds would benefit from a gameplay guide since each one of them would likely play slightly differently.


Thanks for the shout out!


Really good guide.

Maybe mention that Extend Boost can't be used inside Act Together because of how metamagic interacts with activities.


Wow. That is a nice guide.

The formatting is nice, you give reasons for your ratings, the builds look good.

Some comments:

Cooperative Nature and the Aid reaction in general I think will work quite well for a Summoner Eidolon pair. Probably worth a mention.

I really like the flexibility of the Construct. Thats my favourite because I want Attack of Opportunity and Master Summoner. But I agree that in the traditional role where you normally give the Eidolon all your actions to fight probably the best is the Dragon.

I have this vain hope that they make some really nice rulings about Meld into Ediolon and turn it into a proper Synthesis Summoner. They do need to clean up the wording there. But it is safest to just assume as you do that you just have what is on the Eidolon.

Meld into Ediolon and Ostentatious Arrival is a combination, and your Eidolon does get an action to attack after it. Unlike Ostentatious Arrival and another summoning spell. The thing is its probably not worth while unless you think the summoner is just too vulnerable to be left out by themselves in combat. Maybe if you are attacked without your gear. Meld to me looks like a trick to hide a vulnerable Summoner.

It is not clear if you can Meld into an already Manifested Eidolon.

Do you have a beginner comment somewhere that clearly states that you should keep the Eidolon out and about permanently just to save you the 3 action from Manifest when a combat starts?


Dubious Scholar wrote:
One thing of note - Miniaturize does not state that your reach is reduced. Whether that means it does or doesn't actually impact reach is debatable though.

Interesting rules interaction there. I'll definitely append a "Weird Rules" section to that feat.

Cyrad wrote:

It's a pretty well done guide.

The sample builds would benefit from a gameplay guide since each one of them would likely play slightly differently.

Thanks for the compliment! As for the sample builds, I'll put that on my to-do list.

citricking wrote:
Thanks for the shout out!

No problem! Thanks for the amazing tool!

Kyrone wrote:

Really good guide.

Maybe mention that Extend Boost can't be used inside Act Together because of how metamagic interacts with activities.

Aw, thanks! Also, good idea. I'll add a section on that.

Gortle wrote:

Wow. That is a nice guide.

The formatting is nice, you give reasons for your ratings, the builds look good.

Thank you kindly! I really love your guides, so this very high praise for me.

Gortle wrote:
Cooperative Nature and the Aid reaction in general I think will work quite well for a Summoner Eidolon pair. Probably worth a mention.

I hadn't yet considered the Aid action at all, so I'll definitely try looking into that and writing more about it.

Gortle wrote:
I have this vain hope that they make some really nice rulings about Meld into Ediolon and turn it into a proper Synthesis Summoner. They do need to clean up the wording there.

IIRC, Paizo has stated that they're looking to make a more proper Synthesis Summoner archetype later instead of releasing errata or rules clarifications for Meld into Eidolon, hence why they decided to rename it since the playtest. We just have to wait for that to come out.

Gortle wrote:
It is not clear if you can Meld into an already Manifested Eidolon.

I'll add a "Weird Rules" section for that.

Gortle wrote:
Do you have a beginner comment somewhere that clearly states that you should keep the Eidolon out and about permanently just to save you the 3 action from Manifest when a combat starts?

Yep, I wrote about it in the section for "Manifest Eidolon."

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The dark fields kitsune heritage in the fey sample build makes Intimidating Glare completely redundant. I recommend replacing it with something else like Bon Mot, which can help you debuff an enemy's Perception and Will so your enchantments, Demoralize attempts, and illusions are more likely to succeed.


Cyrad wrote:
The dark fields kitsune heritage in the fey sample build makes Intimidating Glare completely redundant. I recommend replacing it with something else like Bon Mot, which can help you debuff an enemy's Perception and Will so your enchantments, Demoralize attempts, and illusions are more likely to succeed.

Good catch, and good suggestion. I've updated the guide.

Dark Archive

A few things for future updates:

Summon Spells
- The deity "Stag Mother of the Forest of Stones" allows all non-CE summons on a divine caster. I think this can make being a divine summoner a nice option.
- There are lots of great effects from summons that can augment your turn like various heal spells/restorations/inspire courage/etc. Here are some good options:

Animate Undead
7 - Tyrannosaurus Skeleton - Rib Skewer to grapple enemies

Summmon Anarch
10 - Hegessik - L8 Confusion, L7 Dispel Magic (at will) L6 slow

Summon Celestial
6 - "Lillend - Inspire Courage, Inspire Heroics, L4 Heal
Choral - Inspire Courage/Competence, 20ft Harmonizing Aura adds damage for sonic/AC penalty to enemies, L3 Heal and Heroism"
8 - Shield Archon - Shield Block Hardness 10, HP 80 can do it as a free action.
9 - Ghaele - Chromatic Wall, L7 Heal, 4xL4 Heals, L4 Restoration

Summon Fiend
5 - Ostiarius - Inspire Courage with 1 persistent bleed
8 - "Phistophilus - L5 Fireball, L5 Lightning Bolt, L5 Mind Probe, L5 Mind Reading
Sacristan - Aura of Stunned 1, Non-incapacitation focus gaze to spam.
Meladaemon -L6 Phantom Pain, L5 Fear, L5 Magic Missile (At Will)
Raja Rakshasa - L5 Dispel Magic (4 slots), L4 Fly (4 slots)"
9 - "Gelugon - 2xfree strides to all allies (may impact only evil creatures?)
Interlocutor - stun aura and focus gaze debuff, breathe of life, 2x L4 heal and restoration
Thanadaemon - L7-finger of death, L6 slow, frightening 2 aura/gaze"

Multi-classes
- Bard can net you inspire courage, dirge of doom, or inspire defense. These are one actions that can stack with your other one action buffs. The harmonize metamagic could lead to 2 songs per round for 3 actions and 1 strike from you're eidolon so you can be a super buffing party member.


You need to mention these spells in particular.

Summoners Precaution which keeps you up when your Eidolon goes down. Apart from making me feel like Paizo actually read my feedback, it allows you to push your Eidolon to the edge and keep going that one extra round. Its effectively extra hitpoints.
I think its compulsory. Because you can precast it, it will work fine from a wand....

Summoners Visage is nice a nice utility to make their eidolon look normal and fit into normal society. In practise it's about saving the actions required to summon it. But maybe you can do something with your identical twin.

I'm still only at level 2 updating my spell guide.... so many new spells.


Summoner's Precaution has an odd phrase, suggesting that even when the spell makes the Eidelon unmanifest, it'll still take any other adverse effects that accompanied the damage.

But yeah, that spell falls into the (unfortunate) "must have" category.
I'd carry several wands by higher levels, buying a new one each time I used my set, just in case. That 2nd level spell could spare you tons of damage on a BBEG crit.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
FlurryofBlunders wrote:
If you have any comments, suggestions, corrections, or other ideas, feel free to use this thread as a discussion thread.

Thank you very much for this guide! My friends and I are pretty much beginners to PF2 and this guide helps out tremendously.

Keep 'em coming and thanks again!


Something to note for the Beast Eidolon's Primal Roar. There is a spell in SoM that is basically tailor-made to combo with it: Thundering Dominance.

It gives +1-4 status to Intimidate for a minute (only to an animal companion or eidolon), which is nice little buff. But on top of that, once during that minute, your eidolon gets to spend a single action for Thundering Roar. This does sonic damage to every enemy in a 10-foot emanation (and only enemies!), and if they fail the will save they're frightened 1. The damage scaling isn't amazing, but when combined with Primal Roar, you can get a lot of mileage out of it for debuffing a group of enemies for a couple rounds.

Now, whether it's worth one of your limited spell slots to use is worth considering, but the spell itself is nice.

Nethys: Link


Wow!
2nd level 4d8 AoE sonic vs. Will that only targets enemies?
That's really good. And you can preload it before a known combat so it's only one-action. It has the two side effects of +X to Intimidation and Frightened 1 which is why it's scaling is less than the normal 2d6, but maybe that's for the better since it might get too OP otherwise.

Too bad a melded Summoner can't use it (unless spells carry over when the Eidelon's unmanifested and you know the battle's coming.)


Castilliano wrote:

Wow!

2nd level 4d8 AoE sonic vs. Will that only targets enemies?
That's really good. And you can preload it before a known combat so it's only one-action. It has the two side effects of +X to Intimidation and Frightened 1 which is why it's scaling is less than the normal 2d6, but maybe that's for the better since it might get too OP otherwise.

Too bad a melded Summoner can't use it (unless spells carry over when the Eidelon's unmanifested and you know the battle's coming.)

IIRC you should be able to cast it if you grant your eidolon Magical Understudy/Magical Adept, because then the spells are cast by your eidolon, not you.


Dubious Scholar wrote:

Something to note for the Beast Eidolon's Primal Roar. There is a spell in SoM that is basically tailor-made to combo with it: Thundering Dominance.

Nethys: Link

The problem, which FlurryofBlunders notes, is the Charisma 10 that Beast Eidolons start with. This is going to be a difficult spell to land effectively. It will be useful occasionally against the right opponenets.


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Gortle wrote:
Dubious Scholar wrote:

Something to note for the Beast Eidolon's Primal Roar. There is a spell in SoM that is basically tailor-made to combo with it: Thundering Dominance.

Nethys: Link

The problem, which FlurryofBlunders notes, is the Charisma 10 that Beast Eidolons start with. This is going to be a difficult spell to land effectively. It will be useful occasionally against the right opponenets.

Does that apply to Eidelons?

SoM: "It (the Eidelon) doesn't have its own spell DC or spell attack modifier; if it needs to Cast a Spell, it uses your spell DC and spell attack modifier."

Which is to say, I don't think the Eidelon's Charisma is relevant for their spellcasting except w/ Cantrips. Those are a problem since you use the Eidelon's casting-stat bonus to damage instead of the Summoner's.

Rereading Thundering Dominance, the activity (which isn't a spell itself anyway) uses "your spell DC", so your companion's stats don't matter at all. They're just a conduit.

What is hard to land is that Primal Roar unless you're willing to put stats into Charisma, which just isn't worth it IMO unless your party has lots of abilities that trigger off of Frightened (and yet forgot to source it well).


Yep, Thundering Dominance's active part uses the summoner's CHA, not the eidolon's. But it buffs the lower intimidate of a beast eidolon to a more useful level at the same time.

Primal Roar comes at level 7, at which point you can cast 4th level Thundering Dominance for +2 status to intimidate and your eidolon can have +1 from CHA. Additionally, you can bump intimidate to master at this point. If you actually add all that together your eidolon's roar will actually have a solid bonus, especially for something that hits everything everywhere. If you want to boost it even more, you can use a feat to give your eidolon Intimidating Prowess for a +1 circumstance (that will bump to +2 at 10 when you get to 20 STR)

Also of note - as written it doesn't say Primal Roar makes a single roll, so you would roll separately on each enemy. This dramatically increases the odds you'll get a success against something (in all honestly, this will most likely be something an ally follows up on due to action economy, but still)

Of course, with all that said... you might still get more mileage out of the spell with an eidolon with higher starting CHA - either Fey or Anger Phantom (though only the Fey can end up with better than +5 CHA at 20 - at least among primal/occult eidolons)


Castilliano wrote:

Summoner's Precaution has an odd phrase, suggesting that even when the spell makes the Eidelon unmanifest, it'll still take any other adverse effects that accompanied the damage.

But yeah, that spell falls into the (unfortunate) "must have" category.
I'd carry several wands by higher levels, buying a new one each time I used my set, just in case. That 2nd level spell could spare you tons of damage on a BBEG crit.

A wand of Summoner's Precaution is a must have item to any build.

Wand of rapid adaptaion also proved to be quite valuable.


School has been kicking my ass the past month, so I haven't gotten much time to reply to this thread until now, so apologies for the lateness! Actually, I'm procrastinating on an essay right now as we speak, but that's neither here nor there.

Red Griffyn wrote:

A few things for future updates:

Summon Spells
- The deity "Stag Mother of the Forest of Stones" allows all non-CE summons on a divine caster. I think this can make being a divine summoner a nice option.
- There are lots of great effects from summons that can augment your turn like various heal spells/restorations/inspire courage/etc. Here are some good options:

[...]

Multi-classes
- Bard can net you inspire courage, dirge of doom, or inspire defense. These are one actions that can stack with your other one action buffs. The harmonize metamagic could lead to 2 songs per round for 3 actions and 1 strike from you're eidolon so you can be a super buffing party member.

The Stag Mother deity is an interesting mention, and will likely merit inclusion if I ever write a specific section on summoning. I might just leave it to Exocist's guide, though, because there are a lot of summons.

Gortle wrote:

You need to mention these spells in particular.

Summoners Precaution which keeps you up when your Eidolon goes down. Apart from making me feel like Paizo actually read my feedback, it allows you to push your Eidolon to the edge and keep going that one extra round. Its effectively extra hitpoints.
I think its compulsory. Because you can precast it, it will work fine from a wand....

Summoners Visage is nice a nice utility to make their eidolon look normal and fit into normal society. In practise it's about saving the actions required to summon it. But maybe you can do something with your identical twin.

I'm still only at level 2 updating my spell guide.... so many new spells.

Sannndman wrote:

A wand of Summoner's Precaution is a must have item to any build.

Wand of rapid adaptaion also proved to be quite valuable.

Good mentions. I've started writing the Spells section of the guide, and have mentioned them. Rapid Adaptation in particular seems rather negligible, especially considering the fact that every Summoner has Evolution Surge, but at higher levels, the price of a single 2nd-level wand will be practically nothing.

Castilliano wrote:
Summoner's Precaution has an odd phrase, suggesting that even when the spell makes the Eidelon unmanifest, it'll still take any other adverse effects that accompanied the damage.

It seems to lend credence to the ruling that your eidolon still suffers from conditions such as long-term diseases and poisons while dismissed, and keeps effects such as Frenzy.

Dubious Scholar wrote:

Something to note for the Beast Eidolon's Primal Roar. There is a spell in SoM that is basically tailor-made to combo with it: Thundering Dominance.

It gives +1-4 status to Intimidate for a minute (only to an animal companion or eidolon), which is nice little buff. But on top of that, once during that minute, your eidolon gets to spend a single action for Thundering Roar. This does sonic damage to every enemy in a 10-foot emanation (and only enemies!), and if they fail the will save they're frightened 1. The damage scaling isn't amazing, but when combined with Primal Roar, you can get a lot of mileage out of it for debuffing a group of enemies for a couple rounds.

Now, whether it's worth one of your limited spell slots to use is worth considering, but the spell itself is nice.

Honestly, I think it's really good, whether on a beast eidolon or a trickster fey that starts out with 16 CHA. It's just really good value. The status bonus to Intimidate is way ahead of similar effects like Heroism, and the blasting capability is just gravy (in fact, at 2nd level, it's more than a 2nd level burning hands). It's a shame it's only on two spell lists.

Rerednaw wrote:

Thank you very much for this guide! My friends and I are pretty much beginners to PF2 and this guide helps out tremendously.

Keep 'em coming and thanks again!

Of course! I'm happy to help. If you ever want feedback on a build, I'm only a message away.


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I skimmed the guide. I think you should mention battle-form polymorph spells. All of them synergize really well with the summoner:
Summoners (not the eidolon) have low AC, few spell slots, low weapon proficiency but high HP.
Polymorph spells increase AC, attack accuracy, damage but keep the caster's HP, and a polymorph spell provides benefit throughout the battle so it works well for classes with only a small number of spell slots. It also doesn't rely on the caster's spell DC, which is a plus for the summoner who has a low spell DC.
It also has a lot of synergy with tandem strike (kind of required for summoners using battle forms spells seeing MAP is shared), and for battle forms that can't speak, you share a telepathic connection with an eidolon that CAN speak, so your communication ability isn't inhibited at all.


Battle forms block access to your focus spells (except Eidolon's Wrath), so I'd consider that a drawback - Boost Eidolon is useful. Additionally, you share MAP, so their strikes aren't very helpful unless you've got Tandem Strike running or something. I'd personally look at other sources of improved durability.

(Also, a summoner's AC doesn't need to be that low, they can easily afford to run like 14 dex and then chain shirt to be only 1 down)


Extend boost and lifelink surge both last multiple rounds and can be cast on the turn of transformation. I would have thought tandem strike was a given for a polymorphing summoner, seeing I included it in my above post.
With tandem movement, you also get flanking every turn for both polymorphed summoner + eidolon. It can be useful if your party composition doesn't include anyone to help give your eidolon flanking.


Battle forms have temporary hit points, special senses, special movement powers, reach. Not to mention things like breath weapons. So some options may make sense. BUt yeah sharing a MAP is a significant problem.


At some point you may consider to swap roles.

Having the eidolon use protect companion on you + other spells ( assuming you gave him the ability to cast spells ) could work, especially if the AC/Attack ( as well as other feature like breath weapon Gortle mentioned ) are better than the eidolon ones.

For example, you may use Devil form to get:

- 5 Physical DR ( let's be honest, no enemy is probably going to use either good damage or silver weapons ).
- 5 Temporary HP ( yay! )
- Fly Speed
- 10 Fire Resistance
- Different attacks ( with probably better damage, reach than your eidolon ).
- AC = 22+11 = 33 ( super high, )

Cons:

- As you won't probably find enemies which deal you good damage, you'd probably won't find enemis that will be damaged by evil damage you get from your attacks.

...

The eidolon could backup you with some spell ( protect companion, saving throws cantrips, some low level heal, demoralize, etc... ), while you get your time to deal damage.


HumbleGamer wrote:


- Different attacks ( with probably better damage, reach than your eidolon ).

The attacks are all worse than the eidolon though.


citricking wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:


- Different attacks ( with probably better damage, reach than your eidolon ).
The attacks are all worse than the eidolon though.

A DEX eidolon is going to deal 2d6+6, without a buff. 2d6+10 if the summoner expend an action to boost eidolon. A STR eidolon will deal +1 DMG, and may have chosen the 1d8 "main attack damage", resulting into 2d8+7 or 2d8+11.

I don't really see them "better" than:

- 2d8+10 slashing plus 1d6 evil and 1d6 persistent bleed

or

- 2d10+10 piercing plus 1d6 evil;

or

- 2d10+10 piercing plus 1d6 evil

...

Alternatively, if you want to trade Survival for damage, you can go with righteous Might ( lvl 6 spell too ).

- 10 temp hp ( vs 5 temp hp )
- 3 physical DR ( vs 5 physical DR but silver )
- 20+ lvl AC ( half way from a martial and a champion, vs 22+11 which is champion AC +1 )

but you get

Quote:
A special attack with a righteous armament version of your favored weapon, which is the only attack you can use. Your attack modifier with the special weapon is +21, and your damage bonus is +8 (or +6 for a ranged attack). If your attack modifier with your deity's favored weapon is higher, you can use it instead. You deal three of your weapon's normal damage dice, or three damage dice of one size larger if your weapon is a simple weapon with a d4 or d6 damage die. The weapon has one of the following properties that matches your deity's alignment: anarchic, axiomatic, holy, unholy. If your deity is true neutral, you instead deal an extra 1d6 precision damage.

Si it could be from 3d6+8 to 3d12+8 for a melee strike, and from 3d6+6 to 3d10+6 for a ranged attack. Eventually, consider 1 extra 1d6 good damage.


Huh, I hadn't considered using battle form spells with Tandem Strike. I checked the math, and at certain levels (depending on the particular spell), your attack modifier in a battle form can actually match the attack modifier of your eidolon, making for one potent Tandem Strike.

One other thing to mention is the fact that it allows you to build for Tandem Strike without maxing out STR and/or DEX, allowing you to switch between a spellcaster and martial form based on the situation.

At certain levels, it does seem really appealing. The weird scaling definitely hurts, though. If they made attack modifiers scale off your level like AC did, that would be a different story.


HumbleGamer wrote:
citricking wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:


- Different attacks ( with probably better damage, reach than your eidolon ).
The attacks are all worse than the eidolon though.

A DEX eidolon is going to deal 2d6+6, without a buff. 2d6+10 if the summoner expend an action to boost eidolon. A STR eidolon will deal +1 DMG, and may have chosen the 1d8 "main attack damage", resulting into 2d8+7 or 2d8+11.

I don't really see them "better" than:

- 2d8+10 slashing plus 1d6 evil and 1d6 persistent bleed

or

- 2d10+10 piercing plus 1d6 evil;

or

- 2d10+10 piercing plus 1d6 evil

...

Alternatively, if you want to trade Survival for damage, you can go with righteous Might ( lvl 6 spell too ).

- 10 temp hp ( vs 5 temp hp )
- 3 physical DR ( vs 5 physical DR but silver )
- 20+ lvl AC ( half way from a martial and a champion, vs 22+11 which is champion AC +1 )

but you get

Quote:
A special attack with a righteous armament version of your favored weapon, which is the only attack you can use. Your attack modifier with the special weapon is +21, and your damage bonus is +8 (or +6 for a ranged attack). If your attack modifier with your deity's favored weapon is higher, you can use it instead. You deal three of your weapon's normal damage dice, or three damage dice of one size larger if your weapon is a simple weapon with a d4 or d6 damage die. The weapon has one of the following properties that matches your deity's alignment: anarchic, axiomatic, holy, unholy. If your deity is true neutral, you instead deal an extra 1d6 precision damage.

Si it could be from 3d6+8 to 3d12+8 for a melee strike, and from 3d6+6 to 3d10+6 for a ranged attack. Eventually, consider 1 extra 1d6 good damage.

Lower accuracy though, +20 vs +22 for an eidolon at level 11, so it'll do less damage on average vs a str eidolon.

Also it's only really usable at level 11…

I guess then you switch to angel form. Still feels weird, they really should have made battle forms scale naturally instead of only being appropriate offensively at specific levels really…


That seems kind of cool to make a Battle Form Summoner with Tandem Strike with the Eidolon. Even if not optimized, it sounds like a fun concept.

Sovereign Court

I'm not entirely done reading, but my compliments on writing one of the most readable guides I've seen in quite a while.

I particularly like that you explain things, instead of just dry ranking a thousand options.


Ascalaphus wrote:

I'm not entirely done reading, but my compliments on writing one of the most readable guides I've seen in quite a while.

I particularly like that you explain things, instead of just dry ranking a thousand options.

Aw, thank you! I hope it was a good effort for my first real optimization guide.


There's something to note with the Beast Eidolon in the guide.

Quote:
For melee summoners who want to be in the heat of battle, consider utilizing Steed Form [●] so you don’t get left behind.

You should mention that since the Eidolon specifically Strides (which has the Move trait), and when mounted, all of your Eidolons Move actions gain the Tandem trait, you cannot use Beast's Charge as part of Act Together, according to the Tandem Trait's description:

Quote:
Actions with this trait involve you and your eidolon acting in concert. You can't use a tandem action if either you or your eidolon can't act, if you haven't Manifested your Eidolon, or if you've Manifested your Eidolon in a way where it isn't a separate entity (such as with the Meld into Eidolon feat). Tandem actions often let both you and your eidolon take separate actions, but these must be actions taken separately by you and your eidolon; you can't use a tandem action to take another tandem action.

This is consistent with how subordinate actions work in general. If something keeps you from using one action that's part of an activity, you can't use that activity.


First: phantom dad! The jokes. The shoe. Just wow.

Now for the substance.

I've read through the official summoner rules several times, and the only reference I saw to an eidolon's default skill proficiencies was on page 58: "[Your eidolon] shares your skill proficiencies. Certain class features increase your eidolon's proficiencies."

Assuming I didn't miss something (which has happened before . . .), I think they need to clarify how eidolon skills and progression work since I could argue they mean 1. your eidolon normally shares all your proficiencies and their levels, but certain features (like dual studies) can alter this 1:1 ratio, or 2. your eidolon is trained in all the skills you start with at 1st level, but you need to use skill increases or other features to specifically up eidolon proficiencies.

I think 1. is reasonable and thought that was your take too since you mention a few times early on that the summoner and eidolon share skills. But then, under Skills and Skill Increases, you say you have to split increases between your summoner and eidolon, which would be 2. Which one is right? (Or is it #3.?)

And regarding the Phase Out evolution, lemme make an argument for why it's sometimes yellow or green instead of red.

Yes, if your phantom's offense entirely relies on striking, just say no to Phase Out. If you're often caught with your pants down at the start of combat (i.e. you'd have to spend round 1 Phasing Out or, even worse, rounds 1 and 2 to manifest your eidolon and Phase it Out), forget about Phase Out.

But . . .

If your eidolon reaches a critical mass of certain cantrips, spells, and focus magic via class feats, Phase Out can be kinda nice, especially if you can get the drop on your enemies. For example, your summoner could cast Thundering Dominance, then hang way back while your pre-manifested, pre-phased eidolon moves into combat (or lets the combat move to it). It can drop a couple of Eidolon's Wraths while the summoner performs some one-actions (ranged attacks, one-action spells (MM)). Then the eidolon could cast Animated Assault while the summoner, say, uses a wand with one action. Then in the next round, the eidolon could maintain Animated Assault for one action and use Thundering Roar for another while your summoner casts a 2-action spell. Etc. and so forth. If determined to keep this scheme going once the magic is spent, the eidolon could resort to cantrips (Haunting Hymn, Daze, TK Projectile, etc.) while the summoner takes up more one-actions, but it may be better at that point to just drop Phase Out with one action and move on to melee.

Obviously, this tanky landmine strategy can't be used whenever you want since it draws on your magical resources heavily and you can't always control the start of engagements. One would also have to plan extra carefully to use AoEs effectively with allies around (though some spellcasting allies could also add some useful buffs to a phased-out phantom that add extra defense or magical offense, making them even more of a tanky landmine).

So in summation, I'd say that if you're investing in a summoner and eidolon's magical resources, Phase-Out can be fun and a feat well spent situationally.

But if it's official somewhere that Phase-Out and eidolon spellcasting are incompatible due to the physical form restriction, nevermind :)


Golurkcanfly wrote:

There's something to note with the Beast Eidolon in the guide.

You should mention that since the Eidolon specifically Strides (which has the Move trait), and when mounted, all of your Eidolons Move actions gain the Tandem trait, you cannot use Beast's Charge as part of Act Together, according to the Tandem Trait's description:

This is consistent with how subordinate actions work in general. If something keeps you from using one action that's part of an activity, you can't use that activity.

I had already addressed that in my rating for Steed Form, but I'll mention it in the section for Beast's Charge as well to make it a bit clearer.

Tyvent wrote:

First: phantom dad! The jokes. The shoe. Just wow.

Now for the substance.

I've read through the official summoner rules several times, and the only reference I saw to an eidolon's default skill proficiencies was on page 58: "[Your eidolon] shares your skill proficiencies. Certain class features increase your eidolon's proficiencies."

Assuming I didn't miss something (which has happened before . . .), I think they need to clarify how eidolon skills and progression work since I could argue they mean 1. your eidolon normally shares all your proficiencies and their levels, but certain features (like dual studies) can alter this 1:1 ratio, or 2. your eidolon is trained in all the skills you start with at 1st level, but you need to use skill increases or other features to specifically up eidolon proficiencies.

I think 1. is reasonable and thought that was your take too since you mention a few times early on that the summoner and eidolon share skills. But then, under Skills and Skill Increases, you say you have to split increases between your summoner and eidolon, which would be 2. Which one is right? (Or is it #3.?)

I'm glad you like Jimmy's phantom dad, lol. In any case, regarding the skill section... now that you mention it, I worded it rather confusingly. The correct interpretation is definitely #1. Skill proficiencies are 1:1 between the summoner and eidolon, but other things (attacks, armor, saves, Perception) are not inherently 1:1 and are distinctly advanced separately through class features. Perception and saving throws advance at the same time, but the eidolon's attack roll and AC progression is ahead that of their cloth caster summoner.

I edited the skills section to elaborate upon it further:

Quote:

You share all your skill proficiencies with your eidolon. If your summoner is super proficient at doing backflips, your eidolon will be pretty good too. You can’t give your eidolon and summoner skill ranks separately, similarly to how you get ability score increases separately.

This can be frustrating if you want to specialize in skills in which you have a stark statistical difference. For example, if you want your eidolon to make use of Athletics options, you’ll probably want to invest in Athletics. However, unless you pump your summoner’s Strength, they won’t be able to utilize Athletics nearly as well, even if they have the same proficiency. In this kind of situation, your summoner may have fewer fully-leveled skills they can effectively utilize than other characters of equivalent level. Dual Studies [●] will help alleviate this problem, but only to an extent, because it only progresses the two skills to Expert.

As for your other point:

Tyvent wrote:

And regarding the Phase Out evolution, lemme make an argument for why it's sometimes yellow or green instead of red.

Yes, if your phantom's offense entirely relies on striking, just say no to Phase Out. If you're often caught with your pants down at the start of combat (i.e. you'd have to spend round 1 Phasing Out or, even worse, rounds 1 and 2 to manifest your eidolon and Phase it Out), forget about Phase Out.

But . . .

If your eidolon reaches a critical mass of certain cantrips, spells, and focus magic via class feats, Phase Out can be kinda nice, especially if you can get the drop on your enemies. For example, your summoner could cast Thundering Dominance, then hang way back while your pre-manifested, pre-phased eidolon moves into combat (or lets the combat move to it). It can drop a couple of Eidolon's Wraths while the summoner performs some one-actions (ranged attacks, one-action spells (MM)). Then the eidolon could cast Animated Assault while the summoner, say, uses a wand with one action. Then in the next round, the eidolon could maintain Animated Assault for one action and use Thundering Roar for another while your summoner casts a 2-action spell. Etc. and so forth. If determined to keep this scheme going once the magic is spent, the eidolon could resort to cantrips (Haunting Hymn, Daze, TK Projectile, etc.) while the summoner takes up more one-actions, but it may be better at that point to just drop Phase Out with one action and move on to melee.

Obviously, this tanky landmine strategy can't be used whenever you want since it draws on your magical resources heavily and you can't always control the start of engagements. One would also have to plan extra carefully to use AoEs effectively with allies around (though some spellcasting allies could also add some useful buffs to a phased-out phantom that add extra defense or magical offense, making them even more of a tanky landmine).

So in summation, I'd say that if you're investing in a summoner and eidolon's magical resources, Phase-Out can be fun and a feat well spent situationally.

But if it's official somewhere that Phase-Out and eidolon spellcasting are incompatible due to the physical form restriction, nevermind :)

I hadn't actually considered the possibility of your eidolon casting spells while using Phase Out. The PFS ruling is "using the Phase Out summoner ability means that your eidolon cannot make any Strikes, nor can it take any actions requiring a physical form." Here's where things start getting a little metaphysical. Verbal components are probably fine, and material components are right out. Somatic components, though... I couldn't really say. Perhaps it's more about making those magicky movements with your limbs and/or digits in space than the actual tangibility of whatever hand or wing or sword or tentacle you're using to provide the material components for a spell. It definitely merits a Weird Rules section, and opens up a lot of interesting doors if your GM rules your phased-out eidolon can spellcast.


Quote:
Here's where things start getting a little metaphysical. Verbal components are probably fine, and material components are right out. Somatic components, though... I couldn't really say. Perhaps it's more about making those magicky movements with your limbs and/or digits in space than the actual tangibility of whatever hand or wing or sword or tentacle you're using to provide the material components for a spell. It definitely merits a Weird Rules section, and opens up a lot of interesting doors if your GM rules your phased-out eidolon can spellcast.

Then it comes down to whether somatic spell components require a physical body because the spells your eidolon gets from feats are 'innate spells' and therefore don't require material components.

I went to the bestiary at Archives of Nethys and tried looking up ghostly undead that could cast innate spells. I was using options just off the top of my head (banshee, specter, ghost), so while I found only one ghostly spellcaster (the Ghost Mage), I bet there're more. Also, it basically has Phase Out but better when you look at its defenses (defualt 10 resistance v. all damage with some exceptions). Given that, the only question I'd have left is just how much weaker Phase Out was meant to be compared to its bestiary counterparts. Clearly, it's supposed to be more problematic, but circumstantial evidence (not clearly forbidding spellcasting; ghosts can cast innate spells) suggests at least a GM judgment call.

EDIT: Duh, I just sorted monsters by the 'incorporeal' tag. Other incorporeal innate spellcasters include: Abandoned Zealot, Animate Dream, Cunning Guide, Dybbuk, Elder Wyrmwraith . . . yeah, safe to say there're plenty.


You should probably compare PC resistances with other PC options and not monster counterparts, because PCs and monsters are built differently.

Phase out grants resistance/all equal to half level, which increases your effective HP equal to the number of times your eidolon gets hit. This is somewhat comparable to other effects that increase effective HP like shield block, champion reaction, armor specialization, stoneskin, blink, false life and other temp-HP effects.

Maybe a potential combo is to use phase out with meld into eidolon so the monster has no option of attacking the resistance-less summoner, which could make for an interesting caster-tank. Not that I think it's particularly effective seeing this significantly reduces the summoner's offensive potential.


The corgi familiar comes with scent, which counts towards its max abilities. So you cannot take fast movement and independent from just the ancestry feat. You'd have to get enhanced familiar somehow.


First off, this is a great guide! I have a Summoner in one of my current campaigns, and she said your guide has been a godsend for her.

I've got another player looking at Summoner for a different campaign, and we've been using this guide to get a good feel for the class. Looking into giving his Eidolon spell casting abilities, we've noticed one thing and we're unsure if it is true.

In the Proficiencies section for Your Eidolon, it says if your Eidolon gets spellcasting, it uses your Summoner's Charisma and spellcasting proficiency. Is this stated specifically somewhere in the Summoner Class section? Because Feats like Magical Understudy, Magical Adept, Magical Master and Share Eidolon Magic mention the Eidolon's spells being innate, which would mean they use their own Charisma modifier, correct? And while they would be Trained from receiving the Cast A Spell action (as given in Magical Understudy), they would normally be expected to use that Proficiency.

It's entirely possible we've missed the part in the Summoner's section of the book that says otherwise.

It would be a shame if I'm right, and Eidolons don't use the Summoner's proficiency and Charisma modifier. It would effectively leave only the Fey Trickster, Tempter Demon, and maybe the Angelic Emissary as reasonable Eidolons for Summoners whom want their buddies to cast offensive spells.


Eidolon Spells wrote:
An eidolon normally can't Cast a Spell; however, some feats or abilities can grant it this capability. An eidolon that has spells also gains the Cast a Spell activity. It doesn't have its own spell DC or spell attack modifier; if it needs to Cast a Spell, it uses your spell DC and spell attack modifier. If you have eidolon link spells, your eidolon shares your focus pool to cast them, though it can't Refocus. Your eidolon can cast only spells that it gains from its own abilities. It can't cast your spells, nor can you cast spells it has.


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Eidolons share your spell attack and DC, but they suffer on cantrips since it doesn't let them share your actual CHA score for damaging ones. Granted, that eventually stops mattering between scaling dice and stat boosts, but still.


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A spell that is very interesting for eidolon is Draw the Lightning. Summoner has everything needed for the spell to work.


It's been a hot minute! Going to respond to some feedback.

Tyvent wrote:
EDIT: Duh, I just sorted monsters by the 'incorporeal' tag. Other incorporeal innate spellcasters include: Abandoned Zealot, Animate Dream, Cunning Guide, Dybbuk, Elder Wyrmwraith . . . yeah, safe to say there're plenty.

Good point. I've included a mention of that in my rating for the feat.

"voideternal: wrote:

You should probably compare PC resistances with other PC options and not monster counterparts, because PCs and monsters are built differently.

Phase out grants resistance/all equal to half level, which increases your effective HP equal to the number of times your eidolon gets hit. This is somewhat comparable to other effects that increase effective HP like shield block, champion reaction, armor specialization, stoneskin, blink, false life and other temp-HP effects.

Maybe a potential combo is to use phase out with meld into eidolon so the monster has no option of attacking the resistance-less summoner, which could make for an interesting caster-tank. Not that I think it's particularly effective seeing this significantly reduces the summoner's offensive potential.

Don't get me wrong, the half-level resistance in and of itself is pretty sizable, especially when it applies to almost every damage type. However, it still isn't nearly enough to justify giving up all of your actions.

As for the idea of combining it with Meld into Eidolon - it might be interesting, though if by caster-tank you mean "being able to cast your Summoner spells while melded into your eidolon and phased out," that's a no go, since Meld into Eidolon prevents you from doing any actions your Summoner could normally do. Maybe if you got Magical Adept, but at that point, that's three feats of buy-in into an honestly really mediocre combo... It might be interesting in the right situation, but it's not something I'd see myself relying on often.

Sinnyil wrote:
The corgi familiar comes with scent, which counts towards its max abilities. So you cannot take fast movement and independent from just the ancestry feat. You'd have to get enhanced familiar somehow.

Good catch. I've edited the build and elaborated on it a bit in my rating for the feat.

Pigraven wrote:

First off, this is a great guide! I have a Summoner in one of my current campaigns, and she said your guide has been a godsend for her.

I've got another player looking at Summoner for a different campaign, and we've been using this guide to get a good feel for the class. Looking into giving his Eidolon spell casting abilities, we've noticed one thing and we're unsure if it is true. (...)

It seems voideternal has already answered your question, but I just wanted to say thank you to you and your group for enjoying the guide! It puts a smile on my face.

Dubious Scholar wrote:
Eidolons share your spell attack and DC, but they suffer on cantrips since it doesn't let them share your actual CHA score for damaging ones. Granted, that eventually stops mattering between scaling dice and stat boosts, but still.

Personally, though it's RAW that the eidolon only takes their summoner's spell DC and spell attack modifier, I would personally rule at my table that it also includes the summoner's spellcasting ability modifier too, since it seems like a small oversight in the wording of that section. I could definitely see a developer saying that this was intentional, though. I'll put a Weird Rules section on it.

Sannndman wrote:
A spell that is very interesting for eidolon is Draw the Lightning. Summoner has everything needed for the spell to work.

Definitely so! It's one of the many gish-oriented spells included in Secrets of Magic, which I love. I've added a rating for it in my guide - I like it, but since it's really only fancy single-target damage with the potential for extra value, it's not nearly as stellar as some other picks.


Outstanding. Iv'e been systematically reading through each class, hand-in-hand with a guide. ...So I have read a lot of the user generated guides.

You have a great mix of advice with a side of 'jokes'. The addition of the weird rules (and how you rule it) is a valuable addition.

My final Kudos is on the builds at the end. I was thinking to myself, that dragon build sounds cool, what what it looks like all put together. Most guides have 2-3 builds. You made all the builds! Including feat selection and skill selections at each level.


Book of the Dead is finally out, and with it, so is the undead eidolon! I've added ratings for the subclass, as well as for the Skeleton heritage and the relevant Reanimator archetype.

The Bald Man wrote:

Outstanding. Iv'e been systematically reading through each class, hand-in-hand with a guide. ...So I have read a lot of the user generated guides.

You have a great mix of advice with a side of 'jokes'. The addition of the weird rules (and how you rule it) is a valuable addition.

My final Kudos is on the builds at the end. I was thinking to myself, that dragon build sounds cool, what what it looks like all put together. Most guides have 2-3 builds. You made all the builds! Including feat selection and skill selections at each level.

Thank you so much! I apologize for being so late to reply, but comments like this do mean a lot. I'm going to add an undead eidolon build relatively soon (i.e. as soon as Pathbuilder gets updated with Book of the Dead, because I'm too used to using it to chart up and plan out my builds, haha.)


On your proficiency progression table, I'm perplexed why monk AC jumps 3 oints between level 4 and 5. Was it supposed to start out green?

On "Regarding the disarm, shove, and trip traits" - arguably, Eidolons don't have "hands" at all. Under that interpretation, it's not actually possible for them to disarm/shove/trip/grab without an appropriate weapon trait. Further, for grab especially, how many of that limb/hand/weapon/whatever they have becomes potentially quite pertinent. So far as I've been able to determine, this is a "talk with your GM" situation.

- On furious strike, it might be worth discussing when it is and is not likely to give better results (like, say, it's more useful against enemies with relatively high AC). Based on the description you gave it and the table presented, I'm perplexed why you made it yellow rather than red.

- On the Plant eidolon, the extra reach does some very nice things with trip/grapple builds, and field of Roots also combos pretty well with such things. It's another reason to like the Strength spread. Grab and Knockdown make that less necessary, but it's still good for makign your grapple hard to escape.

- Undead Eidolon Drain life - you wrote "on anything other than a success". Did you mean "On anything other than a Critical Success"?

- For kobolds - you neglect to mention that spellscale kobold can take care of your Electric Arc needs. It's a little weird to run a kobold summoner for anythign other than Dragon, but....

- Errata has nerfed the corgi mount fairly hard. It's not bad or anything... but it's not what it was.


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Sanityfaerie wrote:
On your proficiency progression table, I'm perplexed why monk AC jumps 3 oints between level 4 and 5. Was it supposed to start out green?

My mistake! Monks start out with expert in unarmored defense, but I mistakenly calculated in the bonus to AC from increased DEX at 5th level instead of 10th level, since it assumes that the Monk is starting out with 18 in DEX.

Sanityfaerie wrote:
On "Regarding the disarm, shove, and trip traits" - arguably, Eidolons don't have "hands" at all. Under that interpretation, it's not actually possible for them to disarm/shove/trip/grab without an appropriate weapon trait. Further, for grab especially, how many of that limb/hand/weapon/whatever they have becomes potentially quite pertinent. So far as I've been able to determine, this is a "talk with your GM" situation.

Fair argument. Personally, I still lean towards the interpretation that eidolons can use skills as freely as PCs, given that the sections that mention that they have all the skill proficiencies that their summoner has without any mention on limitations due to, like, manual dexterity and the like that familiars are burdened with, but I could see it argued either way.

Sanityfaerie wrote:
- On furious strike, it might be worth discussing when it is and is not likely to give better results (like, say, it's more useful against enemies with relatively high AC). Based on the description you gave it and the table presented, I'm perplexed why you made it yellow rather than red.

It's certainly something that may warrant further calculations when I have the time. However, the reason why I rated it yellow is because, as I described in my rating, that it's useful for when you need to punch through resistances or meet a single-hit damage threshold of some sort. It's not a wholly reliable option, but in some situational cases, it's a worthwhile action to take - hence, yellow. The color rating system I use is meant to reflect applicability as much as it does pound-for-pound power.

Sanityfaerie wrote:
- On the Plant eidolon, the extra reach does some very nice things with trip/grapple builds, and field of Roots also combos pretty well with such things. It's another reason to like the Strength spread. Grab and Knockdown make that less necessary, but it's still good for makign your grapple hard to escape.

Indeed. Tendril Strike also works with tripping (and shoving and disarming, if you really want to use those actions), though not grappling, as I wrote in my rating on it.

Sanityfaerie wrote:
- Undead Eidolon Drain life - you wrote "on anything other than a success". Did you mean "On anything other than a Critical Success"?

Good catch. I've edited the rating.

Sanityfaerie wrote:
- For kobolds - you neglect to mention that spellscale kobold can take care of your Electric Arc needs. It's a little weird to run a kobold summoner for anythign other than Dragon, but....

Also another good mention. I've added it to the Kobold section.

Sanityfaerie wrote:
- Errata has nerfed the corgi mount fairly hard. It's not bad or anything... but it's not what it was.

Certainly. It's still pretty nice to be able to move 80 feet with a single Command action (at 1st level, no less!) but it's much less of an autopick over Tandem Movement like it used to be.

All in all, thank you for your feedback!


FlurryofBlunders wrote:
If you have any comments, suggestions, corrections, or other ideas, feel free to use this thread as a discussion thread.

What do you think about the Wellspring Mage archetype for Summoners? Do you think that's a good idea in terms of optimization? I don't know much about the system so I think it would be good to see your opinion on it.

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