The Summoner: How do you like it now that it's live?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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kryone wrote:
I was wondering, what is your favorite or most efficient eidolon in your opinion ?

Eidolon wise, plant is probably the most well rounded, but unfortunately is on the Primal list that I consider the worst spell list in the game right now.

Dragon is my favorite as after lvl 7 the new ability is really kind to your action economy as you can do boost + draconic frenzy and have one action remaining, compared to cantrip + 2 strikes that leaves you with none.

Dataphiles

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Resists, immunities and weaknesses

Sonic is definitely far less resisted than electric


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I'm still undecided whether I want to go for both Grapple and Trip for my WHOMPIN' plant, or just Trip.

The strength of the summoner is in action efficiency and flexibility. The weakness of the summoner is that their actions just aren't worth as much as, say, a martial's... except that in the realm of grab and knockdown (which synergize beautifully with one another - prone gives -2 on those escape rolls) they totally are, because grab and knockdown just work, in a way that the martial class grapple/trip builds don't get to have... and if you can get multiple targets grabbed, you can sustain as many of them as you like with a single action. Check with your GM on how many "body parts" your eidolon has to hold with.

It's true that it makes the feats a bit tight, and you will always want two or three more class feats... but a plant summoner can easily make "grab and knockdown (and electric arc)" the core of what they do in combat and in so doing be a useful and effective member fo the team.

Okay. I admit it. I'm biased. I really like grappling. Still.

Kyrone wrote:
Eidolon wise, plant is probably the most well rounded, but unfortunately is on the Primal list that I consider the worst spell list in the game right now.

I look at primal, and I see "electric arc and heals" and I'm not sure that I really care about all that much past that. I mean, I'm the guy who's into summoners in spite of the fact that they have spell slots, so I'm really not the guy to go to on determining which spell list is better, but... well, if you want to be a summoner to focus on the casting, then plant is probably not the one to choose. Actualy followign through on the plant eidolon's potential is going to be very feat-hungry, and if you're going into the caster side of things, you'll want a decent number of those feats elsewhere.


Kyrone wrote:
unfortunately is on the Primal list that I consider the worst spell list in the game right now.

While I don't agree with that opinion in general (I think the difference in power between Primal and Divine is almost negligible and the only one I would say has a real advantage over the others is the Occult list), I think Primal is by far the worse spell list for a Summoner by a wide margin. Light on the buff and utility department and heavy on spells that interact with your lower than usual spell DC. Divine and Occult are the best ones a summoner can get.

In regards to the topic, I think Summoner has to put too much work just to be on par with other classes. Very versatile but it is not a class for me.


Okay. For those who are really into the caster side of the Summoner, what specific spells do you see as being particularly good for them, and why? What should summoners be spending their spell slots on?

I'd figured that Heal was actually a pretty solid pick for them, as a spell that scales nicely, and is best cast in reaction to changing circumstance. A notable chunk of the summoner's role is to react to changing situations and provide the thing that the party needs right now, and heal works pretty well with that by being the sort of spell that can contribute meaningfully to the fight while not being something you want to fire off earlier rather than later in the fight. If the fight starts to go poorly, it's a good way to help recover. If it's going well, you can save the slot.

I mean, sure, if you have a heal font cleric along it might get a bit redundant, but not every party has one of those.

So... what kind of slot spells would you see as particularly good picks for the summoner, and why?


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Melee buffs are pretty good because of a summoners combat proficiency. Heroism, fire shield and the like. Picking the fatal attack option becomes pretty devastating once you can cast 6th level heroism, although it might be better cast on a fighter, you have more reason to be selfish with it than a warpriest.


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Even if you have a Healing Font Cleric you want a second character able to Heal. Because Clerics can go down or be incapacitated. And 2 healers can generate massive healing output if the situation needs it.

At level 1-2, I'd take the classical low level spells: Magic Missile, Magic Weapon/Fang, Heal/Soothe.
After that, I'll focus on high value spells, even if they are quite conditional. I'll take Fireball over Haste, for example, as Haste will never be able to affect a fight as much as Fireball does. I'll avoid spells that I'll have to cast multiple times, like Slow (I'll still take Synesthesia, but it's because it's overpowered) and prefer spells that needs to be sustained (as I have more actions to do so). Also, I want my spell list to help me when using my Eidolon is at its worst. Things like AoEs, long range spells are examples of spells I'll take.


Huh. It's occurred to me that one of the meaningful factors in which spells to use is going to be how likely you are to want to cast an attack cantrip. If you're often going to be inclined to spend your two-action slot doing something like casting Electric Arc, then our caster-side actions are actually more expensive than most casters, since you can cash it in easily for a second action for your eidolon, and you can almost always find something useful to do there. If you tend to spend your two-action slot on the eidolon side, then the one remaining action that must be on the caster side is at least as expendable as a standard caster's third action, and if all you wanted to do on your eidolon was a single MAP-increasing two-action attack (like, say, if you're a level 7+ dragon summoner) then you have two actions sitting there looking at you in a forlorn manner hoping for a home.

...and the question of "how expensive are caster-side single actions?" has a significant impact on how likely you are to want a spell that wants to be sustained. Further, if you don't have something like the Dragon Eidolon (who will happily eat every two-action slot you give it) then if there are any spells out there that offer a repeatable effect that costs two actions, that's suddenly quite valuable for a summoner, as it basically becomes an upgrade on your "attack cantrip" slot, and a summoner is going to have more cause to fall back on that than most casters.

I suppose there's also a degree of party optimization to work with, but in some ways the summoner is their own party, In particular, certain kinds of Eidolon are reasonably good at pushing enemies around and/or pinning them in place, which would suggest that ongoing debuff/damage zones would have value... especially if you could make them the sort that woudl apply clumsy/enfeebled/sickened/frightened, all of which make it rather harder to escape (and thus get away from the zone). Stinking Cloud in particular stands out here.


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I'm a fan of fire-and-forget defensive buffs. I've been enjoying using Stoneskin and Cloak of Colors, for example, and then coupling those with longer-term terrain altering spells, like Wall of Stone, or Wall of Anything, really.


Sanityfaerie wrote:

Okay. For those who are really into the caster side of the Summoner, what specific spells do you see as being particularly good for them, and why? What should summoners be spending their spell slots on?

I'd figured that Heal was actually a pretty solid pick for them, as a spell that scales nicely, and is best cast in reaction to changing circumstance. A notable chunk of the summoner's role is to react to changing situations and provide the thing that the party needs right now, and heal works pretty well with that by being the sort of spell that can contribute meaningfully to the fight while not being something you want to fire off earlier rather than later in the fight. If the fight starts to go poorly, it's a good way to help recover. If it's going well, you can save the slot.

I mean, sure, if you have a heal font cleric along it might get a bit redundant, but not every party has one of those.

So... what kind of slot spells would you see as particularly good picks for the summoner, and why?

I can tell you a few things I think:

1. I think the summoner is more on par with a martial than a caster.

2. I don't like Master level casting as saves are so high in the most important fights that 2 points less on casting is highly noticeable.

3. With 4 slots per day, you really have to pick your spots and make sure the spells work or you really feel terrible. As much as I like the Magus, they feel pretty terrible against high AC creatures when they miss one of their spell slot spellstrikes.

That means Heroism is nice.

You kind of need an invisibility counter or you'll be screwed. So that usually takes up one spell slot if you don't have another caster willing to take care of this for you.

Debuff spells that work consistently are nice.

Auto-hit spells like magic missile are good.

A heal spell is nice so you can keep yourself up.

With that low number of slots, I found it hard to pick useful spells myself. Hard to have a spell strategy with 4 spells per day until maybe getting some supplemental magic items.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I love my summoner, his devotion phantom eidolon and the story that unites them. I love that it lets you play and customize two concepts in one. To me, the mechanics don't really matter.


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I would have really liked that they gave summoner the option to have a CON or CHA class ability boost. I like the idea of ignoring CHA and save spells completely and just go for raw stats. Summoner is the only class I would consider a CON apex item.

In regards to spells, I think I like buff, heal and non-save control spells (like walls or difficult terrain spells) the most for a summoner, specially the later because the eidolon can adapt to the changes of the battlefield easily. Save spells are great early on though, as the slower scaling doesn't start until later on and those that have really good success effects like Slow are also premium options for later.


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I got a lot of mileage from spells that gain a huge chunk of additional targets at a certain spell level. Pick one from the likes of Slow, Day’s Weight, and Command. All were stellar at higher levels.


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Summoner is fine as a caster.

Pure spellcaster DC

1-6 trained
7-14 expert
15-18 master
19-20 legendary

Summoner

1-8 trained
9-16 expert
17-20 master

So, equal to a pure spellcaster for 14 out of 20 levels, most of which towards the endgame. Definitely ok for a combatant with a bunch of high level spells.

In addition, min max players have it easy.

1) because Paizo made a bad move making casters able to use defensive and support spells without any need for the casting ability score, a summoner could drop char and go for another stat.

2) go for stuff like heroism gives them a really good buff to use up to 4 times per day, making them more efficient than any other martial class in terms of accuracy.

3) fast healing as a focus spell, giving them a great boost.

And more.

Possibilities are infinite in terms of gameplay, though to achieve the best results in terms of damage is like any other class, a matter of math.


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Summon spells are also a good choice if you're dumping charisma. You can build towards 3 top level slots with boosted damage for summon spells. Summons seem about as accurate as a caster in melee so those chances with boosted damage while boosting your eidelon isn't bad for the cost of a feat. Other casters have more slots to use and the wizard can make them more accurate by one, but I'm that rare person that thinks summoner is the best for summon spells (provided you take all the summon relevant feats).


WWHsmackdown wrote:
Summon spells are also a good choice if you're dumping charisma. You can build towards 3 top level slots with boosted damage for summon spells. Summons seem about as accurate as a caster in melee so those chances with boosted damage while boosting your eidelon isn't bad for the cost of a feat. Other casters have more slots to use and the wizard can make them more accurate by one, but I'm that rare person that thinks summoner is the best for summon spells (provided you take all the summon relevant feats).

Unless you take Master Summoner and the level 20 summoner feat that grants level 10 slots, the max creature you can summon is level 13 at lvl 17.

A lvl 13 summon has +27 to hit. A lvl 17 creature has a 40 AC. Then it just gets worse and worse from there. Most boss monsters are set at level+2 to +4 above the PCs.

Summons not a real good use of a high level slot. Not to mention all the saves from Auras and the like they will have to take or get wiped out with high chances of critical failure.

Better to focus on buffing the eidolon as that is guaranteed to work.

Invisibility becomes incredibly common at higher level. If you don't have way to deal with that, you're SoL. With 4 spell slots, summoner should not be the guy dealing with it unless he has a casting eidolon.


I'm still not sure why they didn't add some extra slots like they did the Magus for dealing with common defenses the summoner will need to buff the eidolon to be successful against.


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You can get some extra slots with the eidolon casting options. Uses up your feats though.


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I love using summons on my casters. More warm bodies for blocking, more bodies attacking, casting multiplier (especially good for summoner bc they have few slots), and neat abilities like auras or other save things (small chance of leveled enemies failing, but hey, it's just icing). Ive used them on my Necro wizard in Malevolence and never fealt like it was a waste. I especially like summons with a suite of buff or utility spells to bolster the summoner. In that instance alone it more than pays it's way onto the summoner spell list. 2-3 spells for the price of one (provided it wasn't focused and if it was it still payed for itself) is a great use of one slot (disclaimer: all preceding was personal preference and opinion).


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aobst128 wrote:
You can get some extra slots with the eidolon casting options. Uses up your feats though.

You're right. I thought it was rough but then I thought about a full caster dedication being 5 feats and the eidelon casting being 3. It's less investment for less casting, but you're not locked into a dedication and you have 2 more feats for customizing. I think it strikes a good balance... at least if your concept revolves around youre eidelon being a caster.


WWHsmackdown wrote:
I love using summons on my casters. More warm bodies for blocking, more bodies attacking, casting multiplier (especially good for summoner bc they have few slots), and neat abilities like auras or other save things (small chance of leveled enemies failing, but hey, it's just icing). Ive used them on my Necro wizard in Malevolence and never fealt like it was a waste. I especially like summons with a suite of buff or utility spells to bolster the summoner. In that instance alone it more than pays it's way onto the summoner spell list. 2-3 spells for the price of one (provided it wasn't focused and if it was it still payed for itself) is a great use of one slot (disclaimer: all preceding was personal preference and opinion).

I would have to see how you're using them. I don't know Malevolence. The majority of my opinions are based on playing level 12 plus. I don't spend much time at lower level or consider the game much below level 10. I push my players as fast as possible to level 10 plus as the lower level game is pretty boring.

I know summons in the higher level game are not that great. Even level monsters carve through them quickly. They miss saves against enemy auras, gazes, spells, and the like. They provide no real advantage other than to waste a high level spell slot on creature that can't hit what you're fighting, dies quickly, and isn't a sufficient threat to justify expenditure of the slot.

Summon Celestial and Fey seem the best bang for your buck for summons as they have the most effectively versatile summons. Summon Dragon is pretty garbage. Summon Elemental can be situationally useful. Divine is probably the best list for summons, with Primal and Occult being next with Arcane summons probably last.


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Deriven Firelion wrote:

I can tell you a few things I think:

1. I think the summoner is more on par with a martial than a caster.

2. I don't like Master level casting as saves are so high in the most important fights that 2 points less on casting is highly noticeable.

Well, #1 would help explain the oddity in my own practices. For #2...

Wizard and Summoner both start out trained. Wizard hits Expert at 7, Summoner at 9. Wizard hits Master at 15, Summoner at 17. Wizard hits Legendary at 19. So... wizard is ahead for 6 levels out of 20, 4 of which are in the last 6. Admittedly, for your preferred playstyle, that means the Summoner gets hit pretty hard by comparison, especially during the Really Cool Bits. For campaigns that start at 1, level steadily, and end before 15, there's surprisingly little practical difference. Given how heavily you tend to weight the play experience towards the higher levels, it might be worth considering an adjustment based on that specifically.


Norade wrote:
aobst128 wrote:
In any system there's gonna be something of a tier list for classes. Some people might decide that they only want to choose the "best". Can't you imagine someone picking a class for it's flavor or specific mechanics over just raw combat potential?

It seems easier to properly flavor an existing good class to do the job. Plus, PF2 just doesn't support a lot of things I'd want to play.

Bomber Alchemist
Summoning
Divine Striker
A class with an even mix of martial power and casting
Anything properly multi-classed
Real specialists

Quote:
2nd edition isn't flawless with it's balance but it's not at the point where it's just a bad idea to play one class over the other in a vacuum.

Bomber Alchemist that wants to contribute as a damage dealer.

Any class using a gun that isn't a gunslinger.

Non-bow ranged physical attackers.

Someone might have answered this already but:

Bomber Alchemist: just play it they're viable and fun
Summoning: it's not that bad if you use it properly with augment summon and final sacrifice, I've seen it used to very good use.
Divine Striker: 2 handed champion with smite evil and blade of justice
A class with an even mix of martial power and casting: magus
Anything properly multi-classed: now you're just b$*&%ing.
Real specialists: see above

Bomber Alchemist that wants to contribute as a damage dealer. Use recall knowledge, target weaknesses, goblin bomber with burn it+sticky bomb, your damage output will be on par. Just ran one as a player in age of ashes from 1 to 20, she never lagged behind in damage. Stop staying stuck in your perceptions and just try it.

Any class using a gun that isn't a gunslinger.
Weapon Inventor actually deals more damage with guns with overdrive+megaton strike, you just lose on the accuracy.

Non-bow ranged physical attackers: shuriken flurry ranger.


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AlastarOG wrote:
Non-bow ranged physical attackers: shuriken flurry ranger.
This. If you want to build a super synergistic party go for this. Buffing a Shuriken Flurry ranger with things like shared overdrive and Heroism goes a long way.
Deriven Firelion wrote:
Invisibility becomes incredibly common at higher level. If you don't have way to deal with that, you're SoL. With 4 spell slots, summoner should not be the guy dealing with it unless he has a casting eidolon.

Just saw this, a wand of 5th level see invisibility costs 1500 gp and most martial classes have ways to reduce or ignore concealment. Invisibility at high levels is a mild inconvenience at best.


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I can see invisibility being a meta for high opt games though.

I don't run my encounters as being constantly invisible most of the time so that it remains a viable jump tactic (dodging the meta) but I certainly understand how it can become it, cause it's a common spell.


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Invisibility is not really a problem, wands and scrolls to solve that is cheap as heck at high lvls.

Even have a normal item, dust of appearance, that also solves that.


Kyrone wrote:

Invisibility is not really a problem, wands and scrolls to solve that is cheap as heck at high lvls.

Even have a normal item, dust of appearance, that also solves that.

I think Deriven's Group uses it more often than others, hence his ongoing insistance that its vital.

I can certainly see why that would happen, even though its not my style.


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roquepo wrote:
AlastarOG wrote:
Non-bow ranged physical attackers: shuriken flurry ranger.
This. If you want to build a super synergistic party go for this. Buffing a Shuriken Flurry ranger with things like shared overdrive and Heroism goes a long way.
Deriven Firelion wrote:
Invisibility becomes incredibly common at higher level. If you don't have way to deal with that, you're SoL. With 4 spell slots, summoner should not be the guy dealing with it unless he has a casting eidolon.
Just saw this, a wand of 5th level see invisibility costs 1500 gp and most martial classes have ways to reduce or ignore concealment. Invisibility at high levels is a mild inconvenience at best.

It is a mild inconvenience for a prepared group. Another reason why I think a summoner runs like a martial because they would need a caster to take care of invisibility for them if not prepared. I don't think they get the martial blindfight feats.

It's just a waste of actions and spell power for the summoner to have to take care of invisibility themselves. It's much easier for a dedicated caster to cast see invis and/or fairie fire or glitterdust the area.

Then it can become a problem again once mind blank is common on enemy casters, then you have to use seek actions to locate targets or hope for good counteract checks.

It can be a mild inconvenience, but it can also be quite nasty depending on who is using it and at what level. Even a few rounds of actions spent on countering it gives the enemy an advantage.

When I had to deal with it as a summoner, it was quite annoying. I was not in a group with a good prepared caster ready to counter invisibility. I was expected to handle it as the summoner with a low number of slots and no magic items to do so. So there are going to be levels where it is a pain if the summoner is the main caster.


Deriven Firelion wrote:
roquepo wrote:
AlastarOG wrote:
Non-bow ranged physical attackers: shuriken flurry ranger.
This. If you want to build a super synergistic party go for this. Buffing a Shuriken Flurry ranger with things like shared overdrive and Heroism goes a long way.
Deriven Firelion wrote:
Invisibility becomes incredibly common at higher level. If you don't have way to deal with that, you're SoL. With 4 spell slots, summoner should not be the guy dealing with it unless he has a casting eidolon.
Just saw this, a wand of 5th level see invisibility costs 1500 gp and most martial classes have ways to reduce or ignore concealment. Invisibility at high levels is a mild inconvenience at best.

It is a mild inconvenience for a prepared group. Another reason why I think a summoner runs like a martial because they would need a caster to take care of invisibility for them if not prepared. I don't think they get the martial blindfight feats.

It's just a waste of actions and spell power for the summoner to have to take care of invisibility themselves. It's much easier for a dedicated caster to cast see invis and/or fairie fire or glitterdust the area.

Then it can become a problem again once mind blank is common on enemy casters, then you have to use seek actions to locate targets or hope for good counteract checks.

It can be a mild inconvenience, but it can also be quite nasty depending on who is using it and at what level. Even a few rounds of actions spent on countering it gives the enemy an advantage.

When I had to deal with it as a summoner, it was quite annoying. I was not in a group with a good prepared caster ready to counter invisibility. I was expected to handle it as the summoner with a low number of slots and no magic items to do so. So there are going to be levels where it is a pain if the summoner is the main caster.

If you are up to the point that Invisibility + Mind Blank (an Uncommon Spell) is something you see more than once, you are in open war with your GM/players. That's like a Wizard type enemy showing up in an encounter having expended the day before all its lvl 4+ spell slots in diferent flavors of Spell Immunity.

Nothing against that style of game by the way, you just have to realize that it is very different to the way most people play.

But back to the topic, yeah, a Summoner should not be expected to deal with that, that should be a party effort. See Invisibility, Wind Wall, Dimensional Anchor, Restoration-like spells... all of those are premium spells to get as scrolls and buy as a group in preparation for the worst.

Summoner is half a caster, you can't expect half a caster to deal with the situations that should be taken care by 1 or 2 full casters.


roquepo wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
roquepo wrote:
AlastarOG wrote:
Non-bow ranged physical attackers: shuriken flurry ranger.
This. If you want to build a super synergistic party go for this. Buffing a Shuriken Flurry ranger with things like shared overdrive and Heroism goes a long way.
Deriven Firelion wrote:
Invisibility becomes incredibly common at higher level. If you don't have way to deal with that, you're SoL. With 4 spell slots, summoner should not be the guy dealing with it unless he has a casting eidolon.
Just saw this, a wand of 5th level see invisibility costs 1500 gp and most martial classes have ways to reduce or ignore concealment. Invisibility at high levels is a mild inconvenience at best.

It is a mild inconvenience for a prepared group. Another reason why I think a summoner runs like a martial because they would need a caster to take care of invisibility for them if not prepared. I don't think they get the martial blindfight feats.

It's just a waste of actions and spell power for the summoner to have to take care of invisibility themselves. It's much easier for a dedicated caster to cast see invis and/or fairie fire or glitterdust the area.

Then it can become a problem again once mind blank is common on enemy casters, then you have to use seek actions to locate targets or hope for good counteract checks.

It can be a mild inconvenience, but it can also be quite nasty depending on who is using it and at what level. Even a few rounds of actions spent on countering it gives the enemy an advantage.

When I had to deal with it as a summoner, it was quite annoying. I was not in a group with a good prepared caster ready to counter invisibility. I was expected to handle it as the summoner with a low number of slots and no magic items to do so. So there are going to be levels where it is a pain if the summoner is the main caster.

If you are up to the point that Invisibility + Mind Blank (an Uncommon Spell) is something you see more than once, you...

I play a brutal game. Mind blank and invisibility is getting use by PCs and enemies as soon as its available at long range.

Last time I ran high level casters, they engaged the party invisible and flying at 300 feet away. Just hammered them with AoE spells while they were trying to figure out where they were. They had to run for cover quickly.

If my PCs don't feel like they are in a battle to the death in at least a few fights every module of an AP, then I have failed.

I'm more than getting the feeling I'm in the minority as to how I run the game. It just wouldn't be fun for me as a DM if I don't make sure the players feel like they can die if they don't play really, really tight including understanding what they must do to counter high level tactical play where the same tactics they are using are being used against them and then some.


Deriven Firelion wrote:
roquepo wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
roquepo wrote:
AlastarOG wrote:
Non-bow ranged physical attackers: shuriken flurry ranger.
This. If you want to build a super synergistic party go for this. Buffing a Shuriken Flurry ranger with things like shared overdrive and Heroism goes a long way.
Deriven Firelion wrote:
Invisibility becomes incredibly common at higher level. If you don't have way to deal with that, you're SoL. With 4 spell slots, summoner should not be the guy dealing with it unless he has a casting eidolon.
Just saw this, a wand of 5th level see invisibility costs 1500 gp and most martial classes have ways to reduce or ignore concealment. Invisibility at high levels is a mild inconvenience at best.

It is a mild inconvenience for a prepared group. Another reason why I think a summoner runs like a martial because they would need a caster to take care of invisibility for them if not prepared. I don't think they get the martial blindfight feats.

It's just a waste of actions and spell power for the summoner to have to take care of invisibility themselves. It's much easier for a dedicated caster to cast see invis and/or fairie fire or glitterdust the area.

Then it can become a problem again once mind blank is common on enemy casters, then you have to use seek actions to locate targets or hope for good counteract checks.

It can be a mild inconvenience, but it can also be quite nasty depending on who is using it and at what level. Even a few rounds of actions spent on countering it gives the enemy an advantage.

When I had to deal with it as a summoner, it was quite annoying. I was not in a group with a good prepared caster ready to counter invisibility. I was expected to handle it as the summoner with a low number of slots and no magic items to do so. So there are going to be levels where it is a pain if the summoner is the main caster.

If you are up to the point that Invisibility + Mind Blank (an Uncommon Spell) is something
...

In the case of Mind Blank it is the solution to its own problem, really. If you handle it to a player, they will start using it every day (because the spell is absurdly strong) and by doing that, the GM has to choose between upscaling combat, forgoing certain strats when facing PCs or getting Mind Blank themselves and start a scaling war.

A player using it is kind of OK because you can always play around it as the GM, factor it in as a constant and balance acordingly. If you as a GM decide to start using non stop, you either have to downscale or to give the gun to the players too because they are hardcapped no matter how much they optimize.

Just saying that your game could be equally brutal without everyone using a broken spell that is uncommon for a reason (Pretty sure my group and I run a slighly deadlier than average game and not using Mind Blank has not detracted from it in the slightest). And yes, don't expect every GM to allow Mind Blank in their games when discussing about game balance online.


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Deriven Firelion wrote:
roquepo wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
roquepo wrote:
AlastarOG wrote:
Non-bow ranged physical attackers: shuriken flurry ranger.
This. If you want to build a super synergistic party go for this. Buffing a Shuriken Flurry ranger with things like shared overdrive and Heroism goes a long way.
Deriven Firelion wrote:
Invisibility becomes incredibly common at higher level. If you don't have way to deal with that, you're SoL. With 4 spell slots, summoner should not be the guy dealing with it unless he has a casting eidolon.
Just saw this, a wand of 5th level see invisibility costs 1500 gp and most martial classes have ways to reduce or ignore concealment. Invisibility at high levels is a mild inconvenience at best.

It is a mild inconvenience for a prepared group. Another reason why I think a summoner runs like a martial because they would need a caster to take care of invisibility for them if not prepared. I don't think they get the martial blindfight feats.

It's just a waste of actions and spell power for the summoner to have to take care of invisibility themselves. It's much easier for a dedicated caster to cast see invis and/or fairie fire or glitterdust the area.

Then it can become a problem again once mind blank is common on enemy casters, then you have to use seek actions to locate targets or hope for good counteract checks.

It can be a mild inconvenience, but it can also be quite nasty depending on who is using it and at what level. Even a few rounds of actions spent on countering it gives the enemy an advantage.

When I had to deal with it as a summoner, it was quite annoying. I was not in a group with a good prepared caster ready to counter invisibility. I was expected to handle it as the summoner with a low number of slots and no magic items to do so. So there are going to be levels where it is a pain if the summoner is the main caster.

If you are up to the point that Invisibility + Mind Blank (an Uncommon Spell) is something
...

you definitely are, this kind of overpowered play used to be my bread and butter, but I've veered towards flavor rather than optimization recently. It makes everything more fun and flavorful I think. PF2E is challenging and frustrating enough as it is, its ok if the players steamroll some encounters :)

Perhaps in the future that could skew your opinions when considering what is a must and what isn't ? I've run 2 AP's, soon 3, to completion and no one ever learned see invisibility.

As an exemple: The final BBEG of AOE has basically unbreakable perfect invis for 1 minute. (Trying to avoid spoilers) they would use all their actions to sneak attack players while being 4 levels above them. Yet the whole fight was ultimately veyr boring as players would just try seek checks, and when they found the boss, try to land some hits...

No player ever came close to dying cause they'd just ''seek once, heal damaged player'' It was one of the most anticlimactic fights out of 20+ years of GMing.

as opposition, age of ashes boss was at least ''Wtf is happening'' with his dark tunnel teleport tactics.


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A brutal game where everybody's character is a die roll away from death is a valid way to play the game.

A game where it's literally impossible for PCs to die without the player's explicit content is also a valid way to play the game.

So is everything in between.

But judging the game, a class, a feat, a spell, an item, etc. through exclusively one lens is only going to give you a very narrow view of whatever it is.


AlastarOG wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
roquepo wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
roquepo wrote:
AlastarOG wrote:
Non-bow ranged physical attackers: shuriken flurry ranger.
This. If you want to build a super synergistic party go for this. Buffing a Shuriken Flurry ranger with things like shared overdrive and Heroism goes a long way.
Deriven Firelion wrote:
Invisibility becomes incredibly common at higher level. If you don't have way to deal with that, you're SoL. With 4 spell slots, summoner should not be the guy dealing with it unless he has a casting eidolon.
Just saw this, a wand of 5th level see invisibility costs 1500 gp and most martial classes have ways to reduce or ignore concealment. Invisibility at high levels is a mild inconvenience at best.

It is a mild inconvenience for a prepared group. Another reason why I think a summoner runs like a martial because they would need a caster to take care of invisibility for them if not prepared. I don't think they get the martial blindfight feats.

It's just a waste of actions and spell power for the summoner to have to take care of invisibility themselves. It's much easier for a dedicated caster to cast see invis and/or fairie fire or glitterdust the area.

Then it can become a problem again once mind blank is common on enemy casters, then you have to use seek actions to locate targets or hope for good counteract checks.

It can be a mild inconvenience, but it can also be quite nasty depending on who is using it and at what level. Even a few rounds of actions spent on countering it gives the enemy an advantage.

When I had to deal with it as a summoner, it was quite annoying. I was not in a group with a good prepared caster ready to counter invisibility. I was expected to handle it as the summoner with a low number of slots and no magic items to do so. So there are going to be levels where it is a pain if the summoner is the main caster.

If you are up to the point that Invisibility + Mind Blank
...

I like to make it fun. I'd modify a fight I thought would be boring.

I tend to design fights so each PC has problems to deal their character is capable of dealing with in an active manner using their abilities.

Main problem I had with this in PF1 is the casters taking out martial enemies easily. Fortunately that issue does not exist in PF2. So the fights tend to go a little more as I intend them with the proper matchups engaged.

I read some of the fight you were talking about on the other forum. I'm probably going to modify it to better fit for my group.


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Considering that all Summoners can give their Eidolon 30ft. Imprecise Scent (that goes through Mind Blank), I don't see handling Invisibility as an issue for the Summoner, but as an asset of the class.


SuperBidi wrote:
Considering that all Summoners can give their Eidolon 30ft. Imprecise Scent (that goes through Mind Blank), I don't see handling Invisibility as an issue for the Summoner, but as an asset of the class.

I don't play casters being within 30 feet of martials.

That seems to be a very common assumption that has never held true in any campaigns I've run across editions unless there isn't much of a choice. Casters do not like tight quarters or close combat.


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Deriven Firelion wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
Considering that all Summoners can give their Eidolon 30ft. Imprecise Scent (that goes through Mind Blank), I don't see handling Invisibility as an issue for the Summoner, but as an asset of the class.

I don't play casters being within 30 feet of martials.

That seems to be a very common assumption that has never held true in any campaigns I've run across editions unless there isn't much of a choice. Casters do not like tight quarters or close combat.

A great amount of spells have a range of 30ft. in 2e though, kinda forcing you around there or not too far.

Also I think this is an assumption for AP's where there's a lot of close quarter encounters with casters because they're in an indoor complex with tight spaces.

Obviously they don't like that, but that's the advantage clever PC's will have in using avoid notice as an exploration tactic and having scouted in advance with either a stealth master or prying eyes.

If I use as an exemple Age of Ashes, you have the summoner dude in kintargo... the rakshasa from the mines... the wizards from the red pyramid... the scarlet triad's Karen leader... that come to mind as being able to pull off invisibility ambush?

Summoner dude is inside a small quarter tower with his bound minions, rakshasa is high as balls chilling on his couch inside a cave, karen leader could potentially ambush them from afar but she'd have to set them up with her high deception, granted that's very possible.

Those are the pure casters, a lot of other creatures have invis but they don't mind being in melee (demons and devils chiefly)

In most of those cases the eidolon's imprecise scent would have picked them out.


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Deriven Firelion wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
Considering that all Summoners can give their Eidolon 30ft. Imprecise Scent (that goes through Mind Blank), I don't see handling Invisibility as an issue for the Summoner, but as an asset of the class.

I don't play casters being within 30 feet of martials.

That seems to be a very common assumption that has never held true in any campaigns I've run across editions unless there isn't much of a choice. Casters do not like tight quarters or close combat.

With 3 moves, even without Alacrity, you are getting as far away as 105ft, which is the range from most spells. So no need to start close to pinpoint the caster.

Also, it seems to me that you don't want your players to actually engage with the enemy but just to run away and come back later. I have no problem with that, but then the question of detecting the caster is moot as you just need to teleport away.


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Deriven Firelion wrote:

If my PCs don't feel like they are in a battle to the death in at least a few fights every module of an AP, then I have failed.

I'm more than getting the feeling I'm in the minority as to how I run the game. It just wouldn't be fun for me as a DM if I don't make sure the players feel like they can die if they don't play really, really tight including understanding what they must do to counter high level tactical play where the same tactics they are using are being used against them and then some.

Definitely never heard of anyone else playing PF2 like this before on these forums. I can see the appeal in that story, but I don't know anyone (maybe one guy) in my assorted group of 14 that I've played with at some point that would enjoy that table atmosphere. While I won't decry it as badwrongfun, I do think you should realize how niche that style of table is a try to understand most people here are not viewing the Summoner through the lens of "gritty death game" level play. I think it's a perfectly serviceable class that, while it can struggle to uber-specialize, is quite flexible in the positions it can fill in a party, which is it's main point of power imo. The Bard, Swashbuckler, and Summoner are all good classes to fill a "role gap" a party might have during PC-gen time.


SuperBidi wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
Considering that all Summoners can give their Eidolon 30ft. Imprecise Scent (that goes through Mind Blank), I don't see handling Invisibility as an issue for the Summoner, but as an asset of the class.

I don't play casters being within 30 feet of martials.

That seems to be a very common assumption that has never held true in any campaigns I've run across editions unless there isn't much of a choice. Casters do not like tight quarters or close combat.

With 3 moves, even without Alacrity, you are getting as far away as 105ft, which is the range from most spells. So no need to start close to pinpoint the caster.

Also, it seems to me that you don't want your players to actually engage with the enemy but just to run away and come back later. I have no problem with that, but then the question of detecting the caster is moot as you just need to teleport away.

105 feet and your eidolon disappears.

Or the invisible creature moves.


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nick1wasd wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:

If my PCs don't feel like they are in a battle to the death in at least a few fights every module of an AP, then I have failed.

I'm more than getting the feeling I'm in the minority as to how I run the game. It just wouldn't be fun for me as a DM if I don't make sure the players feel like they can die if they don't play really, really tight including understanding what they must do to counter high level tactical play where the same tactics they are using are being used against them and then some.

Definitely never heard of anyone else playing PF2 like this before on these forums. I can see the appeal in that story, but I don't know anyone (maybe one guy) in my assorted group of 14 that I've played with at some point that would enjoy that table atmosphere. While I won't decry it as badwrongfun, I do think you should realize how niche that style of table is a try to understand most people here are not viewing the Summoner through the lens of "gritty death game" level play. I think it's a perfectly serviceable class that, while it can struggle to uber-specialize, is quite flexible in the positions it can fill in a party, which is it's main point of power imo. The Bard, Swashbuckler, and Summoner are all good classes to fill a "role gap" a party might have during PC-gen time.

That seems to be the case. No big deal. Just means I will assess classes differently than others I imagine.


AlastarOG wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
Considering that all Summoners can give their Eidolon 30ft. Imprecise Scent (that goes through Mind Blank), I don't see handling Invisibility as an issue for the Summoner, but as an asset of the class.

I don't play casters being within 30 feet of martials.

That seems to be a very common assumption that has never held true in any campaigns I've run across editions unless there isn't much of a choice. Casters do not like tight quarters or close combat.

A great amount of spells have a range of 30ft. in 2e though, kinda forcing you around there or not too far.

Also I think this is an assumption for AP's where there's a lot of close quarter encounters with casters because they're in an indoor complex with tight spaces.

Obviously they don't like that, but that's the advantage clever PC's will have in using avoid notice as an exploration tactic and having scouted in advance with either a stealth master or prying eyes.

If I use as an exemple Age of Ashes, you have the summoner dude in kintargo... the rakshasa from the mines... the wizards from the red pyramid... the scarlet triad's Karen leader... that come to mind as being able to pull off invisibility ambush?

Summoner dude is inside a small quarter tower with his bound minions, rakshasa is high as balls chilling on his couch inside a cave, karen leader could potentially ambush them from afar but she'd have to set them up with her high deception, granted that's very possible.

Those are the pure casters, a lot of other creatures have invis but they don't mind being in melee (demons and devils chiefly)

In most of those cases the eidolon's imprecise scent would have picked them out.

In Age there were some mages that could do it. I made the ST more proactive in trying to kill the PCs than the module did. I had a hit team of a few mages, a captain, and several high level assassin types show up, take some prominent citizens hostage, and have them call the PCs to the town hall to get wiped out.

This group included two invisible wizards spread about the room who were hammering the PCs with AoE spells. They were able to hammer the PC hit point pool in a way martial creatures cannot. They had mind blank up to prevent easy detection from see invisibility. The engagement range in this particular encounter was around 50 to 70 feet with the ability to move around the hall.

They did not have to use many seek actions to locate the wizards as the way I play invisibility is they only need to locate an active target attacking people if that target spends action to stealth and move from the location they started in. Even with this the 11 or better chance to miss is very advantageous to the caster. But even more importantly spending actions to move to the caster location takes up actions.

Suffice to say after running this encounter, I decided in the future the limit the number of casters supporting melee. It's a very harsh situation to have have a group of martial enemies pressuring the PCs while they are getting smashed by spells from casters who can do so from long range.

The majority of PCs do not build to switch hit, thus are usually limited in their ability to move. Wall spells can effectively cut them off long enough to piecemeal the PCs. The pressure on the PC hit point pool reaches a point of breaking.

I had to tone that down some even for PCs as experienced as mine.

If they had had a summoner instead of a bard, would have been a real problem. The summoner cannot fulfill a caster role in a group effectively in the type of game I run. Their spell slots are too limited. And invisibility is something I use a lot at higher level because it is so easy to obtain from many sources.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Breaking from the ongoing conversation I'm just going to answer the question presented. How am I liking the Summoner? It is my absolute favorite class, bar none!

I don't play in a group of complete optimizers, however as a group we do still put forth characters that are no slouches. As the Summoner, I'm not the strongest in the group, but I hold my own and the versatility is fantastic. I'm the type of player that likes options and turn diversity and while there are always optimal paths on paper, in a real game I've found my turns vary wildly as a Summoner.

Cantrips plus Eidolon attacks are a great staple and hit on multiple potential weaknesses. Throw in big spells from time-to-time and I can produce big limited use Nukes alongside hard hitting melee. Once I hit level 6 and could make my Eidolon large on a whim as well as utilize it's AoO I had even more diversity and usefulness. Grappling an enemy with the Eidolon and then putting spells like cloudkill just on the edge (to get the enemy and not Eidolon) is hilarious and I've found many other synergies you can do by being both a caster and martial.

My only gripes (and they are minor) are the spell DCs delay for 2 levels compared to other casters before being Expert/Master. It really feels bad, especially at lvl 7 & 8. The other is that Summoner is expensive. You want the typical items that the Martials want (striking runes, property runes, etc.) AND that the casters want (wands, scrolls, staves, etc.) and so knowing what to buy with your limited funds can be stressful at times.


Invictus Fatum wrote:

Breaking from the ongoing conversation I'm just going to answer the question presented. How am I liking the Summoner? It is my absolute favorite class, bar none!

I don't play in a group of complete optimizers, however as a group we do still put forth characters that are no slouches. As the Summoner, I'm not the strongest in the group, but I hold my own and the versatility is fantastic. I'm the type of player that likes options and turn diversity and while there are always optimal paths on paper, in a real game I've found my turns vary wildly as a Summoner.

Cantrips plus Eidolon attacks are a great staple and hit on multiple potential weaknesses. Throw in big spells from time-to-time and I can produce big limited use Nukes alongside hard hitting melee. Once I hit level 6 and could make my Eidolon large on a whim as well as utilize it's AoO I had even more diversity and usefulness. Grappling an enemy with the Eidolon and then putting spells like cloudkill just on the edge (to get the enemy and not Eidolon) is hilarious and I've found many other synergies you can do by being both a caster and martial.

My only gripes (and they are minor) are the spell DCs delay for 2 levels compared to other casters before being Expert/Master. It really feels bad, especially at lvl 7 & 8. The other is that Summoner is expensive. You want the typical items that the Martials want (striking runes, property runes, etc.) AND that the casters want (wands, scrolls, staves, etc.) and so knowing what to buy with your limited funds can be stressful at times.

I kind of gave up on spellcasting as a summoner, I played occult so usually I would greater invisibility or heroism my eidolon and call it a day besides cantrips. Its effective enough.


siegfriedliner wrote:
Invictus Fatum wrote:

Breaking from the ongoing conversation I'm just going to answer the question presented. How am I liking the Summoner? It is my absolute favorite class, bar none!

I don't play in a group of complete optimizers, however as a group we do still put forth characters that are no slouches. As the Summoner, I'm not the strongest in the group, but I hold my own and the versatility is fantastic. I'm the type of player that likes options and turn diversity and while there are always optimal paths on paper, in a real game I've found my turns vary wildly as a Summoner.

Cantrips plus Eidolon attacks are a great staple and hit on multiple potential weaknesses. Throw in big spells from time-to-time and I can produce big limited use Nukes alongside hard hitting melee. Once I hit level 6 and could make my Eidolon large on a whim as well as utilize it's AoO I had even more diversity and usefulness. Grappling an enemy with the Eidolon and then putting spells like cloudkill just on the edge (to get the enemy and not Eidolon) is hilarious and I've found many other synergies you can do by being both a caster and martial.

My only gripes (and they are minor) are the spell DCs delay for 2 levels compared to other casters before being Expert/Master. It really feels bad, especially at lvl 7 & 8. The other is that Summoner is expensive. You want the typical items that the Martials want (striking runes, property runes, etc.) AND that the casters want (wands, scrolls, staves, etc.) and so knowing what to buy with your limited funds can be stressful at times.

I kind of gave up on spellcasting as a summoner, I played occult so usually I would greater invisibility or heroism my eidolon and call it a day besides cantrips. Its effective enough.

This is how I tend to view it. The summoner is a martial option with some casting. It should fill that role in a group. It's basically a more versatile martial.

It doesn't do brutal alpha strikes like the magus, but it has more interesting gameplay than spell strike over and over again for those interested in a moderate damage martial with versatility and some nova capability.


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Deriven Firelion wrote:

I play a brutal game. Mind blank and invisibility is getting use by PCs and enemies as soon as its available at long range.

Last time I ran high level casters, they engaged the party invisible and flying at 300 feet away. Just hammered them with AoE spells while they were trying to figure out where they were. They had to run for cover quickly.

If my PCs don't feel like they are in a battle to the death in at least a few fights every module of an AP, then I have failed.

I'm more than getting the feeling I'm in the minority as to how I run the game. It just wouldn't be fun for me as a DM if I don't make sure the players feel like they can die if they don't play really, really tight including understanding what they must do to counter high level tactical play where the same tactics they are using are being used against them and then some.

I can say I somehow feel part of what you are saying, though it's also true your approach is more extreme that the one I am used to.

Trivial combat encounters are not really entertaining, and sometimes they fail their primary role, which is suck a little of the players resources ( some healings or dps spells ).

I like the fight being extremely challenging too, mostly because I think this 2e is meant for that purpose.
A chessboard where the heroes challenge the DM and his/her pawns.

Being on the brink of death or not is up to the circumstances rather than the DM ( talking about AP, and not homebrew adventures ), but it's true a good DM can make the encounter challenging as well fair.

Talking about challenging encounters, the stuff that I'd hate as a player is:

- DM hidden rolls ( which allows the DM to fake results, meaning he might "spare" the adventurers. If the DM is a fair one, then he won't have any issue with rolling without using a screen or blind rolls ).

- Sudden stupidity ( monsters that suddenly change targets, waste actions, trigger reactions, etc... with the goal not to kill the adventurers ).

-Fight to kill, but also to survive ( enemies are not suicidal beings... or are they? What AP teached me is that the majority of them "fight till death" because... reasons... Those poor xulgaths... )

Finally, though I like a challenging approach, I don't want to force it onto players if I feel they won't like it. Maybe I'd go step by step and see whether they improve their tactics, the more they play, or maybe they simply like not to use tactics and prefer social encounters or simply enjoying the plot.


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TBH if we took the summoner in the other direction, i.e. less of a solid martial with some casting utility and more of a caster with some martial utility, I'm pretty sure I would like it less.

Like if an Eidolon weren't more capable in combat than a Druid's animal companion, there'd be no reason to really play a primal Summoner.

If they gave us a class archetype that completely gives up slot-based spellcasting in exchange for the summoner itself being more independently capable, I'd definitely look into that one. I'm honestly more excited to fight in concert with my tentacle-wolf or ghost-buddy than I am to hang back and spam cantrips, it's just that the summoner isn't really good at that.


Deriven Firelion wrote:

This is how I tend to view it. The summoner is a martial option with some casting. It should fill that role in a group. It's basically a more versatile martial.

It doesn't do brutal alpha strikes like the magus, but it has more interesting gameplay than spell strike over and over again for those interested in a moderate damage martial with versatility and some nova capability.

Maybe not on a single strike, but a summoner can deal a generous amount of damage too.

lvl 10 Magus:

Spellstrike 2d12 ( maul ) + 1d6 ( random elemental rune ) + 2 ( arcane cascade ) + 7 ( STR + weapon spec ) + 5d6+4 ( telekinetic Projectile +4 from int )= 47 Average damage

lvl 10 summoner:

First attack - 2d6 ( agile strike, secondary attack ) + 4 ( boost eidolon ) + 7 ( STR + weapon spec ) +1d6 ( random elemental rune = 21.5

Second attack - 2d6 ( agile strike, secondary attack ) + 4 ( boost eidolon ) + 7 ( STR + weapon spec ) +1d6 ( random elemental rune = 21.5

Merciless Rend = 2d6 ( agile strike, secondary attack ) + 4 ( boost eidolon ) + 7 ( STR + weapon spec ) +1d6 ( random elemental rune = 21.5

64.5 average damage ( not sure how much this damage will lower because of the -4 MAP from the secondary strike, but even assuming a 30% it would be close to the average damage from a Maul Magus ).

...

If we assume a Divine/Occult summoner which casts heroism on his/her eidolon, well...


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This calculation and all prior are incorrect, you'd have to use an EDV calculation vs an average to hit value (both for AC and reflex in case of spells) in order to get expected average damage per attack.

For the Magus' strike, since you're using only 1 attack imma assume true strike (which for simplicity will add +5 to hit or 25% accuracy, with the translation into crit chance from there)

Using moderate values for a monster of their level gives AC 29:

Magus has an EDV of: 61.1, with an 90% hit chance and a 40% crit chance (roughly, true strike is hard to account for.)

Summoner has an EDV of: 49.45, based on what you said.

As an exemple a Power attacking fighter has: 58.725 by Power attacking and following up with a secondary attack.

Sorry, this has been bothering me for a while with everyone throwing numbers.

EDIT: Heroism Eidolon takes this to 52.675


AlastarOG wrote:

This calculation and all prior are incorrect, you'd have to use an EDV calculation vs an average to hit value (both for AC and reflex in case of spells) in order to get expected average damage per attack.

For the Magus' strike, since you're using only 1 attack imma assume true strike (which for simplicity will add +5 to hit or 25% accuracy, with the translation into crit chance from there)

Using moderate values for a monster of their level gives AC 29:

Magus has an EDV of: 61.1, with an 90% hit chance and a 40% crit chance (roughly, true strike is hard to account for.)

Summoner has an EDV of: 49.45, based on what you said.

As an exemple a Power attacking fighter has: 58.725 by Power attacking and following up with a secondary attack.

Sorry, this has been bothering me for a while with everyone throwing numbers.

EDIT: Heroism Eidolon takes this to 52.675

Did you consider the third attack is automatically a hit if you land either attacks?

Anyway, I didn't assume true strike because those will be for the 4 big one spells, not something you can spam 2/3 times per fight, from 6 to 10 fights per day.

So, just to make it clear:

- magus in my example would use the highest dice weapon available ( 1d12 )

- no true strike ( but 4 of the 30 daily spell strike may include it, though it's not the case now).

- summoner is required to just hit twice ( the third one is automatic if the 2 attacks hit).

...

The intent was to match normal spellstrikes with eidolons normal attack ( don't know how to calculate the edv).

If quickened it would be electric arc in addition to the 2 strikes + merciless rend, but since it's circumstantial I didn't mention it.

My priority was to give the magus the highest weapon damage available, and make a comparison with the eidolon ( not the summoner. Or if we want to use the summoner and eidolon as both, I'd consider 2 strikes and electric arc).

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