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


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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I finally played the current iteration of the summoner. I have to say I don't like it.

Why?

1. The Joined Hit Point Pool: I understood why they did this. I see there are ways to exploit it. It sure feels bad in play. Sending your eidolon into battle leaves it open to getting smashed. When it gets crit and goes down, then you drop it feels pretty lame.

If you are far away, then the healer has to make its way to you to heal if they are close to the melee battle which sometimes takes a move or two depending on how far away you are from the eidolon.

Then getting back into battle is pretty clunky. Three action summon providing the eidolon one action to move back into battle is very action intensive in these short fights.

Someone clarify for me. If my eidolon is knocked down, do I gain the dying condition? I roll the death checks right? If they are critically hit when knocked down, I'm dying 2?

2. Shared MAP: Shared Map feels pretty terrible. You can't cast an attack cantrip while the Eidolon attacks and have a good chance to hit. So you're stuck with save cantrips which is pretty limited.

You also can't use a weapon, so you're very limited in actions which usually consist of Boost Eidolon, a save cantrip or spell, or a skill check like intimidation.

3. The Eidolon's damage output isn't that great for all the actions it takes to do. If you're going to have this eidolon that plays much like a martial with no shield, there should be some advantage to their damage output.

4. Limited Spell Slots: Just not fun with the summoner. If you take something to deal with invisibility so your eidolon can keep attacking, that can take quite a few spell slots until you're high enough level to get the eidolon it's own means to see invis.

This can be somewhat mitigated with magic items.

Now it's not all bad. The summoner has some interesting advantages:

1. Sustaining Spells: You can sustain some spells on yourself using the eidolon with Act Together. That can useful if you want to use the eidolon to sustain a spell while you cast or do something else.

2. You can build a decent eidolon caster: You can add spells to your eidolon turning it into a caster. You can build a pretty nice caster eidolon if you focus on it. It's an interesting option.

What has been the experience of the community with the summoner? How are you using them What interesting ways have you found to use the summoner? How do you like the class?


It's not a class I have any interest in until we get a Synthesist Class Archetype. Near the bottom of the heap for me.

I don't think it's poorly-designed, I just don't want to have to keep that many plates spinning.


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I like keeping the plates spinning and I've been enjoying it.

I've found the class has been shining a lot in bigger, sprawling fights, or battles that take place in different rooms. My summoner and eidolon can each take a room and I can help out whoever needs it most, which lends me the kind of flexibility with my turns that I wanted out of the summoner. I don't really care if I Boost Eidolon every turn or not, since I have gotten to the point where my eidolon can do athletics actions reliably with their turns, or auto-trip enemies to set them up for other martials.
Getting to Boost Eidolon and Draconic Frenzy is pretty sweet, though.

I did find the number of spell slots limited, I wish we'd gotten more ... but I wished that about the magus too, so it is what it is. In the meantime I've taken sorc multiclass and a couple wands/scrolls and that's filled up all my lower-level spell needs.

I also like being able to roll all our skill and perception checks twice, and Evolution Surge has been useful as well, so far mostly for out-of-combat utility, though becoming bigger than our giant instinct barbarian and the pair of us locking down a battlefield for AoO is also pretty awesome.


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I've played a few Summoners now. Plant, Fey, Dragon and Demon. Two of the four clicked and I really enjoyed both.

I'm obviously biased toward the Plant eidolon but I honestly thought it would boring at first. Apparently, its reach and simplicity is the key to what makes it effective. Its range means it can go in and out of danger easily, keeping our shared hp safe. It only has one two action ability and it doesn't come online until later levels. All other abilities only pushes its strengths further making it both easy to manage and efficient.

Fey makes the most efficient caster eidolon which required a different playstyle and mindset. Offered a lot of utility and flexible turns. Honestly, I think I just enjoyed having an option that deviated from the rest of the eidolons.

Dragon and Demon were not for me. I thought the two action abilities would be the most fun but turned out to be more of a hassle to me because of the less flexible turns. Probably just my playstyle preference though. To be fair, I played these two after Plant and Fey, so I think I just couldn't function having less reach or having no spell options.

Summoner, so far, has struck me with the most feat choice dilemmas out of any class. I think I overall enjoy this aspect though. Probably why I'm looking to play Construct next. If I have to throw my eidolon in the front lines, might as well have it souped-up with as many feats as possible. I think I just like having more choices to customize my eidolon, which was also prevelant when I played Fey.

Biggest personal disappointment for me are the occult eidolons. Just didn't do it for me thematically and mechanically, all while I've been itching to try out more occult casters.


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PlantThings wrote:
Biggest personal disappointment for me are the occult eidolons. Just didn't do it for me thematically and mechanically, all while I've been itching to try out more occult casters.

I've been feeling the same way about occult eidolons too. I'm not surprised, I wasn't that interested in the spiritualist in 1E, and that's where the phantoms come from. I don't think there's anything actually wrong with them, they're just not my thing.

When occult gets aberration, ioton, shadow or some manner of tulpa eidolon though, I'll be all over that in a heartbeat.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The summoner has to be one of my favorite classes and is pretty popular on the server that I play in.

It delivers on the fantasy of playing as team/duo in a way that feels truly satisfying. My favorite variation so far was when I played my construct eidolon summoner who had taken bard dedication. I used my turns buffing my allies and my eidolon. Meanwhile my eidolon tanked and controlled the battlefield with her size thanks to evolution surge.

I've seen players praise the use of knockdown which I admit is a high level feat but it does wonder.

I can't speak too power, but if you want to play someone with a companion, for me the summoner is the way to go. That being said I still quite enjoy animal companions they are just a different fluff for me.

the 1 caveat I will make is that in our living world server, sessions are usually a thing that needs to be finished in a day, and we know we usually have 3-4 to encounters. So the spell slot issue isn't that big of an issue in my usual odes of play but I have seen summoners play in more traditional campaigns and people enjoy them.


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Perpdepog wrote:
When occult gets aberration, ioton, shadow or some manner of tulpa eidolon though, I'll be all over that in a heartbeat.

Oh yeah, I'm feeling all of those.

I had my money on aberration before anything was announced, but I'm glad the Plant eidolon is a decent proxy for a tentacle monster.


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I've played a level 7~8 construct summoner with ooze form + tandem strike + tandem movement. The build was a temporary placeholder until Guns & Gears became available so I could rebuild it as an inventor, so I played with a house-rule letting the summoner be Int-based instead of Cha. imo it was reasonably effective. Neither overpowered nor underpowered. Polymorphed flanking tandem strike hits hard, but is probably better with the primal spell list.


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So no problems getting knocked out when the eidolon went down? Were you in groups where the eidolon wasn't the main target or fighting against weaker enemies? No problems with critical hits?

I played a dragon eidolon. The eidolon is a fairly soft target. When it gets knocked down, it takes you both out of the fight which kind of sucked both mechanically and thematically.

Dragon breath weapon is about on par with the barbarian breath weapon, but weaker than the sorcerer breath weapon focus point ability given the 1d4 rounds limitation since a sorcerer can blow through its focus spells.

I was working up a psychopomp eidolon healer, but we never got that campaign off the ground.

It feels very wonky, especially compared to the Magus which seems really well done.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Deriven Firelion wrote:

So no problems getting knocked out when the eidolon went down? Were you in groups where the eidolon wasn't the main target or fighting against weaker enemies? No problems with critical hits?

I played a dragon eidolon. The eidolon is a fairly soft target. When it gets knocked down, it takes you both out of the fight which kind of sucked both mechanically and thematically.

Dragon breath weapon is about on par with the barbarian breath weapon, but weaker than the sorcerer breath weapon focus point ability given the 1d4 rounds limitation since a sorcerer can blow through its focus spells.

I was working up a psychopomp eidolon healer, but we never got that campaign off the ground.

It feels very wonky, especially compared to the Magus which seems really well done.

My eidolon rarely got crit in my game, or at least didn't get crit any more then other martial who often split the damage.

When I was playing my summoner I also was playing with a life oracle who was really good at healing, and was really good at keeping most party members up during a fight.

I never had to remanifest my eidolon in the middle of a fight.

One thing that felt really good would be to evolution surge my eidolon, and then enlarging one of my martial allies and having a wall of defense that protected the softer targets. Didn't work for every fight but worked with a lot of them.


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I have shared my feelings on it extensively, I won't rehash it here. Just note that for me as Summoner its 1/10.

As a "you are playing a monster" class its 5/10, some good ideas bad execution.


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Deriven Firelion wrote:

I finally played the current iteration of the summoner. I have to say I don't like it.

Why?

1. The Joined Hit Point Pool: I understood why they did this. I see there are ways to exploit it. It sure feels bad in play. Sending your eidolon into battle leaves it open to getting smashed. When it gets crit and goes down, then you drop it feels pretty lame.

If you are far away, then the healer has to make its way to you to heal if they are close to the melee battle which sometimes takes a move or two depending on how far away you are from the eidolon.

Then getting back into battle is pretty clunky. Three action summon providing the eidolon one action to move back into battle is very action intensive in these short fights.

Someone clarify for me. If my eidolon is knocked down, do I gain the dying condition? I roll the death checks right? If they are critically hit when knocked down, I'm dying 2?

2. Shared MAP: Shared Map feels pretty terrible. You can't cast an attack cantrip while the Eidolon attacks and have a good chance to hit. So you're stuck with save cantrips which is pretty limited.

You also can't use a weapon, so you're very limited in actions which usually consist of Boost Eidolon, a save cantrip or spell, or a skill check like intimidation.

3. The Eidolon's damage output isn't that great for all the actions it takes to do. If you're going to have this eidolon that plays much like a martial with no shield, there should be some advantage to their damage output.

4. Limited Spell Slots: Just not fun with the summoner. If you take something to deal with invisibility so your eidolon can keep attacking, that can take quite a few spell slots until you're high enough level to get the eidolon it's own means to see invis.

This can be somewhat mitigated with magic items.

Now it's not all bad. The summoner has some interesting advantages:

1. Sustaining Spells: You can sustain some spells on yourself using the eidolon with Act Together. That can useful if you want to use the...

So your main gripe with the class is that you don't get to play two characters at once? xD

Don't get pissed, I'm mostly joking.
My biggest gripe is that until either synthesist or a proper undead eidolo is out i have next to no interest in playing the class, mostly because of flavour but not only


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They're a lot of fun to make. I also consider them the most mechanically interesting class to date. I have a lot of fun with my deserter, coward, con man angel-summoner. I went full melee summoner, probably the most suboptimal summoner build, and it's been a blast. Me and my angel bonking stuff on the front line together is a lot of fun. YMMV, but I had a grand old time with the summoner. I never played pf1 so I didn't carry any summoner expectations from that edition, I just utilized the class in front of me.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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I absolutely, utterly... well, as Temperans said above, it's a 1/10 for me, and banned in all games I run because I don't want to have anything to do with it. It absolutely fails to deliver on what it's name implies. The Inventor does a better job of fulfilling the class fantasy for me, and after reviewing the Summoner, I absolutely refuse to purchase Secrets of Magic because of it.


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I haven't tried it yet, but I don't understand why they don't treat the eidolon like an animal companion when it comes to the action economy. Having the PC spend 1 action to give an order to their animal, who then got 2 actions, seemed perfectly fine to me. Why add an entirely new class-specific system (thought PF2 was trying to avoid that)? As I remember folks did NOT like that in the playtest, so why keep it around? Why limit the spellcasting (which I recall folks didn't like either)?

That all being said, I am excited to try one out. I want to make one with the occult list who's trying to join a secret cabal (maybe Palatine Eye?).


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Deriven Firelion wrote:

So no problems getting knocked out when the eidolon went down? Were you in groups where the eidolon wasn't the main target or fighting against weaker enemies? No problems with critical hits?

I played a dragon eidolon. The eidolon is a fairly soft target. When it gets knocked down, it takes you both out of the fight which kind of sucked both mechanically and thematically.

Dragon breath weapon is about on par with the barbarian breath weapon, but weaker than the sorcerer breath weapon focus point ability given the 1d4 rounds limitation since a sorcerer can blow through its focus spells.

I was working up a psychopomp eidolon healer, but we never got that campaign off the ground.

It feels very wonky, especially compared to the Magus which seems really well done.

Eidolons are just as durable as any of the medium armor types. Same AC (-1 until level 5 for str spreads), plenty of HP, and Summoner has a shield cantrip for them (It's in every tradition, you have no excuse). As a bonus, if you go down, the body drops safely in the back line.

Now, if an enemy is allowed to reach the summoner themselves there can be issues. But that's something you can work around... and a summoner is still more durable than any full spellcaster (because more HP).

Anything that drops an eidolon would probably have dropped a ranger or a rogue or a... etc.


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Deriven Firelion wrote:

So no problems getting knocked out when the eidolon went down? Were you in groups where the eidolon wasn't the main target or fighting against weaker enemies? No problems with critical hits?

I played a dragon eidolon. The eidolon is a fairly soft target. When it gets knocked down, it takes you both out of the fight which kind of sucked both mechanically and thematically.

Dragon breath weapon is about on par with the barbarian breath weapon, but weaker than the sorcerer breath weapon focus point ability given the 1d4 rounds limitation since a sorcerer can blow through its focus spells.

I was working up a psychopomp eidolon healer, but we never got that campaign off the ground.

It feels very wonky, especially compared to the Magus which seems really well done.

I didn't have any problems with being hit or crit myself. I was critted, both by weaker and stronger enemies, but since I was effectively in two places at once I was always either close enough to someone who could heal me, or far enough away I could chug a potion, or both at the same time. Because of that I'm one of the most durable people on our team, and that is including a maxed Con barbarian and hit point-heavy life oracle.

I do agree the breath weapon isn't anything to write home about, but I'm alright with that since it's not expending any resources and frees my focus points up to blow on things like Eidolon's Wrath if I really want to bring pain (the fact the breath weapon and Eidolon's Wrath can be different damage types doesn't hurt, either) or Evolution Surge to apply whatever bit of utility to my Eidolon is required.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Class is pretty fun, but it suffers the same issue as a lot of post-core classes in that its action economy can feel pretty rigid at times. I don't like Boost Eidolon existing (and I don't like that the Summoner's Lingering Performance is just worse than the Bard's version even though Boost isn't as powerful as IC anyways).

Some design choices I feel like only serve to inhibit builds rather than make the class better, like the Summoner having only expert weapons (which turns Tandem Strike into kind of a trap for no reason) or not being allowed to take certain first level feats at first level.

Overall the class is pretty neat though, generally fine. Cannot fathom the whole "going to get this banned from tables because it doesn't line up with my specific vision for the game" mentality upthread tbh, the class is fairly whatever in general.

OmegaZ wrote:
Why add an entirely new class-specific system (thought PF2 was trying to avoid that)?

... Why do you think that? Pretty much every non-core class in the game (and most of the core classes too) has some class specific weirdness to it. The game would be horribly boring if it didn't have stuff like that.


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When you accept its niche is not to be a martial striker or particularly good summoner (in the traditional sense of d&d summon), or a support mage, then you end up with off utility martial similar to the monk but in my opinion better at most of what the monk can do.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I got to play a high level one, riding around on a massive summon that could attack things for me was awesome.

I have players playing them at low level, and they seem like perfectly good characters. The Wellspring Mage build they're using is actually a really neat interaction with their limited slots.


The-Magic-Sword wrote:

I got to play a high level one, riding around on a massive summon that could attack things for me was awesome.

I have players playing them at low level, and they seem like perfectly good characters. The Wellspring Mage build they're using is actually a really neat interaction with their limited slots.

How well does Wellspring Mage work with how few slots they get? I'd been considering it but losing half my slots kind of scared me off.


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OmegaZ wrote:

I haven't tried it yet, but I don't understand why they don't treat the eidolon like an animal companion when it comes to the action economy. Having the PC spend 1 action to give an order to their animal, who then got 2 actions, seemed perfectly fine to me. Why add an entirely new class-specific system (thought PF2 was trying to avoid that)? As I remember folks did NOT like that in the playtest, so why keep it around? Why limit the spellcasting (which I recall folks didn't like either)?

Think about it a bit carefully. They don't want to make a class that can accidentally cast two spells at once or stacking two two action abilities at once. Its kind of elegant from a design perspective.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Also Action Economy on a summoner feels amazing for me tbh. Like even before we factor in tandem movement, act together is a little clunky to explain but is actually super freeing and great use of action economy.


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For the Secrets of Magic playtest I created a 5th-level playtest summoner with a beast eidolon, Cirieo Thessaddin. He traveled with the party in Fangs of War, the 2nd module of Ironfang Invasion. In the 3rd module, Assault on Longshadow, the party called all their old friends to the city Longshadow to defend it. Secrets of Magic was published soon after Cirieo arrived in Longshadow, so I belatedly converted him to the published version of summoner and raised him to 7th level. That party was 10th level, so he was support rather than a primary combatant.

I thought that the halfling Cirieo and his goat-shaped eidolon Fluffy were easier to build according to the published rules, which let me make them more versatile than their playtest version. I am satisfied with the summoner class.

Deriven Firelion identified a serious weakness with the summoner, that it has a time-consuming recovery from being kinocked unconscious. This does not matter for my party. Their PCs almost never get knocked unconscious: it happened twice in 12 levels. My players are very tactical and protecting their fellow party members is part of their tactics. Likewise, when Cirieo and Fluffy were on the wall at Longshadow fighting an invading army, they were protected by the party. Though really, Cirieo was helping protect the party by buffing and healing and Fluffy was helping protect the party by butting climbers back off the wall. Fluffy once let out a Primal Roar, too, but the enemies, all higher level, made their saves.

siegfriedliner wrote:
When you accept its niche is not to be a martial striker or particularly good summoner (in the traditional sense of d&d summon), or a support mage, then you end up with off utility martial similar to the monk but in my opinion better at most of what the monk can do.

siegfriedliner identified the key point. An eidolon is a martial character that is not a standard frontline combatant. Nor is it an archer. My party uses a lot of ambush tactics and the eidolon worked fine with the skirmishing combat that comes from an ambush. Fluffy Goat also worked well on the wall, once again brief combat without having to soak up damage. Cirieo used Halfling Weapon Familiarity to acquire a halfling slingstaff so he could fight at a distance without burning through spell slots and Fluffy used Magical Understudy to gain ranged attacks with cantrips.

The class is not about brute power nor staying power. It is a Swiss army knife, worse than a single-purpose tool at that single purpose but better than that single-purpose tool all the other uses. A ranger with an animal companion (the original design of Cirieo in Fangs of War) would have been much less useful on the wall of Longshadow.


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I love reach games more than anything, so I'm kind of digging the Plant Summoner I've gotten a few opportunities to play.


pixierose wrote:
Also Action Economy on a summoner feels amazing for me tbh. Like even before we factor in tandem movement, act together is a little clunky to explain but is actually super freeing and great use of action economy.

The action economy isn't too bad. Given how the feats were built, I see why they made sure not to allow dual two action activities. With a spellcasting eidolon, you could have the eidolon and the caster launching two action spells every round which would probably have been a bit overpowered.

I think my main dislike is the drop when your eidolon drops. When it happens, it feels really lame.

I need to come up with a way to make this part not so clunky other than a feat tax. I may make the feat that covers this a free feat at first level.

I think I will get rid of the shared MAP as well. I don't like it thematically or mechanically.


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Deriven Firelion wrote:

I think my main dislike is the drop when your eidolon drops. When it happens, it feels really lame.

I need to come up with a way to make this part not so clunky other than a feat tax. I may make the feat that covers this a free feat at first level.

What about something like a talisman or consumable item instead of a feat? Otherwise you would be shifting a mechanic you don't like to an un-fun feat tax to fix it. You could make the item be activatable with a Reaction and shave one, or perhaps two, actions off resummoning an eidolon when you become contious.

I'm assuming it's the number of actions you don't like, not that your character is going down. If it was that second I'd suggest scrolls or a wand of Summoner's Precaution, but that doesn't help if it's an actions spent issue.


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Deriven Firelion wrote:

2. Shared MAP: Shared Map feels pretty terrible. You can't cast an attack cantrip while the Eidolon attacks and have a good chance to hit. So you're stuck with save cantrips which is pretty limited.

You also can't use a weapon, so you're very limited in actions which usually consist of Boost Eidolon, a save cantrip or spell, or a skill check like intimidation.

I'm pretty sure that the answer here is Electric Arc. It just is. Primals and Arcanes get it inherently, Divines need to fiddle with ancestries to get it, and Occults are hosed in other ways so we're not going to worry about them.

Admittedly, having the should-be-interesting "What damage cantrip(s) should I use" question reduced down to a single non-choice like that doesn't necessarily feel great unless you really like Electric Arc already for its own sake, but it is what it is. It's not like it wasn't the best attack cantrip in the game already to begin with.

For me, the real issue is that it's going to put some real warping into the background of my hoped-for Gebbite I-love-my-undead-horde summoner. Bah. It is what it is.


Perpdepog wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:

I think my main dislike is the drop when your eidolon drops. When it happens, it feels really lame.

I need to come up with a way to make this part not so clunky other than a feat tax. I may make the feat that covers this a free feat at first level.

What about something like a talisman or consumable item instead of a feat? Otherwise you would be shifting a mechanic you don't like to an un-fun feat tax to fix it. You could make the item be activatable with a Reaction and shave one, or perhaps two, actions off resummoning an eidolon when you become contious.

I'm assuming it's the number of actions you don't like, not that your character is going down. If it was that second I'd suggest scrolls or a wand of Summoner's Precaution, but that doesn't help if it's an actions spent issue.

There is a feat that already exists for this action. I plan to make it free. Reactive Dismissal it is called.

No, I don't like both the eidolon and character going down with no means to stop it. It doesn't feel right as to what I want the summoner to be like in my game world.

Low level characters drop easy all the time. I know this from experience. But having a summoner get dropped every time his Eidolon goes down from range just feels lame in play.

I want to modify it to feel like I want it to feel as though the Summoner can break the connection and survive the attack.


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Sanityfaerie wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:

2. Shared MAP: Shared Map feels pretty terrible. You can't cast an attack cantrip while the Eidolon attacks and have a good chance to hit. So you're stuck with save cantrips which is pretty limited.

You also can't use a weapon, so you're very limited in actions which usually consist of Boost Eidolon, a save cantrip or spell, or a skill check like intimidation.

I'm pretty sure that the answer here is Electric Arc. It just is. Primals and Arcanes get it inherently, Divines need to fiddle with ancestries to get it, and Occults are hosed in other ways so we're not going to worry about them.

Admittedly, having the should-be-interesting "What damage cantrip(s) should I use" question reduced down to a single non-choice like that doesn't necessarily feel great unless you really like Electric Arc already for its own sake, but it is what it is. It's not like it wasn't the best attack cantrip in the game already to begin with.

For me, the real issue is that it's going to put some real warping into the background of my hoped-for Gebbite I-love-my-undead-horde summoner. Bah. It is what it is.

I just don't want the caster to be limited in how they attack. It's another one of those times where I think the Paizo designers went too far limiting the class unnecessarily and thus I can move the balance point out some without much of a problem.

In PF2 the Paizo designers tend to balance on the cautious side making it easy for me to modify the power level up some without breaking the game. That is far better than PF1 where they errored often on the side of power gaming and it was real hard to bring things back under control.

I think I can make some minor modifications to the Summoner to get closer to what I'm looking for.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Perpdepog wrote:
The-Magic-Sword wrote:

I got to play a high level one, riding around on a massive summon that could attack things for me was awesome.

I have players playing them at low level, and they seem like perfectly good characters. The Wellspring Mage build they're using is actually a really neat interaction with their limited slots.

How well does Wellspring Mage work with how few slots they get? I'd been considering it but losing half my slots kind of scared me off.

Basically, they use this on a melee oriented Eidolon summoner so they have a reliable fallback where they can boost Eidolon with focus magic and such. But the goal of the build is that you get a lot more usage out of Wellspring Mage by having so few slots in the first place, because melee Summoner is so viable to compensate for the few slots in the first place, its a great companion because you can use up your spells, aren't screwed if you run out completely, and have a decent shot at more every initiative + whenever else the GM says it triggers.

They mainly pack healing and here at low level, Magic Fang for their actual spells, they're using a beast Eidolon and are a kitsune.


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Has anyone tried out Summoner's Precaution like Perpdepog suggested? I haven't personally but it seems to be the best solution to the eidolon and master going down together without costing a feat.

It's a spell slot tax rather than a feat tax though, so there's that.


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You can buy a couple of wands for Summoner's Precaution.


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PlantThings wrote:

Has anyone tried out Summoner's Precaution like Perpdepog suggested? I haven't personally but it seems to be the best solution to the eidolon and master going down together without costing a feat.

It's a spell slot tax rather than a feat tax though, so there's that.

I may just make that a Summoner Cantrip they get at first level and see how that works. I want to make it real easy to break the connection and not cost anything costly. Summoner's can't afford a spell slot tax with 4 slots.


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Deriven Firelion wrote:
I may just make that a Summoner Cantrip they get at first level and see how that works. I want to make it real easy to break the connection and not cost anything costly. Summoner's can't afford a spell slot tax with 4 slots.

Yeah, I feel that and that's why I've never taken it. Although I also haven't made a true frontline eidolon yet. The damage reduction from Protect Companion has been enough for me, have you dabbled with that as well?

But yeah, Summoner's Precaution wands sound great.

If you're going to homebrew, start with a free Reactive Dismissal feat or something similar like you've been considering, but make it once per day first and see how that goes.


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PlantThings wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
I may just make that a Summoner Cantrip they get at first level and see how that works. I want to make it real easy to break the connection and not cost anything costly. Summoner's can't afford a spell slot tax with 4 slots.

Yeah, I feel that and that's why I've never taken it. Although I also haven't made a true frontline eidolon yet. The damage reduction from Protect Companion has been enough for me, have you dabbled with that as well?

But yeah, Summoner's Precaution wands sound great.

If you're going to homebrew, start with a free Reactive Dismissal feat or something similar like you've been considering, but make it once per day first and see how that goes.

I wanted to test the eidolon playing like another 10 hit point martial class would play to see how they compared. I made a dragon eidolon and sent them into battle like any 10 point per level hit point martial would do.

I found the following:

1. Their AC is about 1 behind a regular martial in early levels. It will even out once you increase their dexterity.

2. Their damage is behind a martial because Boost Eidolon is not on par with martial damage boosters like sneak attack, rage, and the like.

3. The summoner isn't really effective doing an attack cantrip with the eidolon attacking, which would have brought their damage to on par with a martial.

4. You can use save cantrips like electric arc which is obviously good if it can be used as is always the case when it can be used.

5. My group tends to start combats from a distance, so movement into battle with the group was pretty clunky action wise. We tend to play with a mix of ranged and melee combatants and engage in battle at a good range hitting the enemies as our martials close.

6. If the enemy decides to focus fire your eidolon, it goes down pretty quickly.

7. You have such limited spell slots you really can't sustain casting. Maybe one spell a battle. If you have to deal with something like see invisibility, then you just spent a slot on yourself just to see an invisible target and the eidolon still gets the 50% miss chance.

I really wish they had made it so you can cast self-only spells on the eidolon like the old summoner. Seems a real shame they did not.

You really have to pick your spots for casting.

8. You I did have a nova moment where I was able to cast a 3 action magic missile and swing and hit with the eidolon once against a high AC opponent that was giving us trouble. That was a moment to shine.

I have to say overall the summoner felt really, really clunky. It didn't seem to have much of a role you could build it for. It didn't defend as well as a tank. It didn't do damage as well as a damage dealer. It's in this weird little spot that makes it not really good at anything. It felt like a very second tier class that someone plays purely because the y like the concept, but would actively avoided by anyone looking for optimal play.

You can't even build a good summon build sadly. You can at best use 3 maximum level slots per day and that is maybe one per battle or every other battle.

It's a real unfocused, mish mash class.

It certainly did not help that I was playing with a Magus that plays much like the 1E magus. They were using an Inexorable Iron magus which just does brutal alpha strikes. The magus was nuking enemies down with cantrips and a greatsword.

Here is my summoner doing d6 damage for one attack with me maybe casting a save cantrip for d4 damage using 3 total actions plus maybe one action to boost to not do as much damage as the Magus with 2 actions.

Even Arcane Stance and their conflux spell had much better action economy and damage than my Summoner.

It was just a real disappointed. I do want to give kudos to whoever designed the Magus. I have one player who loved the PF1 magus and loves the PF2 magus. He feels much the same as the PF1 magus. I have a player who never played a PF1 magus who loves the PF2 magus. He's alpha striking away destroying things.

The magus definitely has a strong damage dealing role. Probably one of their best designed non-core classes even with Spellstrike provoking an AoO.

The summoner not so much. Not really good at anything including summoning, which is pretty sad in my opinion. I wish they would have at least made the summoner a class you could actually build into the best user of summoned creatures. But that is not possible with the current class features.

Oh well. Time to modify as I did casters and the swashbuckler to make them more playable, fun, and competitive.


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Deriven Firelion wrote:
I wanted to test the eidolon playing like another 10 hit point martial class would play to see how they compared. I made a dragon eidolon and sent them into battle like any 10 point per level hit point martial would do.

Honestly this sounds like a problem with expectations.

Which 10 HP martial class can cast any number of on-level spell slot spells? Because that is the class that Summoner would be best compared to.

It seems inherently flawed to compare just the eidolon (only part of the Summoner class) to full martial classes.


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breithauptclan wrote:
Which 10 HP martial class can cast any number of on-level spell slot spells? Because that is the class that Summoner would be best compared to.

To answer my own question: I think the class that would compare most similarly for martial/casting role like this would be Warpriest Cleric and maybe Wild Shape Druid. Neither of them are 10 HP martials, but they do have some martial tendencies while being casting classes.

So how does the Eidolon compare to Warpriest?

Sczarni

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

At first I didn't like the summoner, but it kinda grew on me.

The class can deal almost barbarian level of damage at level 1.

Barbarian, giant, deals 1d12+6+4 = 11-22 = 16.5 damage or 33 damage attacking twice.

Eidolon deals 1d6+4 5-10 avg 7.5 + 1d4+4*2 = 5-8 = 6.5*2 = 13.. 13+7.5 = 20.5 damage at level 1 with attacking once and using electric arc

Or 28 damage attacking twice, using electric arc

The difference is, Barbarians are far more swingy. Summoners are far more consistent in damage. if you miss with your swingy attack as a barbarian, you're out 16.5 damage. But if you miss with an Eidolon, you're out 7.5 damage.

Summoners have a lot of low damage stuff that just adds up they can do all in one turn, making them a more consistent damage dealer compared to barbarians.


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And are you going to compare them at higher than 1st level? Such as level 5 when Barbarian gets expert proficiency and weapon specialization effects, or level 7 when Barbarian gets +2 damage to any attacks with weapon specialization and +4 additional rage damage with the giant weapon.

I'm all for not putting Summoner in a bad light because of invalid comparisons to martial classes, but let's also keep it real. Eidolon doesn't produce Barbarian levels of damage.

Sczarni

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
breithauptclan wrote:

And are you going to compare them at higher than 1st level? Such as level 5 when Barbarian gets expert proficiency and weapon specialization effects, or level 7 when Barbarian gets +2 damage to any attacks with weapon specialization and +4 additional rage damage with the giant weapon.

I'm all for not putting Summoner in a bad light because of invalid comparisons to martial classes, but let's also keep it real. Eidolon doesn't produce Barbarian levels of damage.

Can barbarians cast spells like fireball and still attack twice?

I mean they are just different ways of producing DPS.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Deriven Firelion wrote:
It felt like a very second tier class that someone plays purely because the y like the concept, but would actively avoided by anyone looking for optimal play.

This is kinda true of every post-CRB class afaik, and I have a hard time believing it's not intentional on the part of the designers. It seems like their goal is that the classes powergamers seek out tend to be the core classes, which for the most part have a much wider thematic range of characters they can support. The idea being, I think, that people who want a specific concept can play the appropriate class, and people who want power still have a range of concepts to choose from, thus creating the biggest range of character concepts for the biggest range of playstyles.

Whether they go to far on this is up for debate, but IMO it's definitely deliberate to an extent.


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I'm kind of surprised to see it being compared unfavorably to magus.

In any serious combat, magus's poor action economy really screws it. They can't cast a real spell, strike (or big spellstrike+recharge) and keep distance without haste while the summoner can do it all naturally. I'm a little curious as to how the Inexorable iron magus here isn't being popped either by a super boss focusing him or the zerg running over him.

The top level spells are the real value of the class. Unless you're running 3+ severe/extreme encounters a day you should have enough spells to handle your needs while being able to contribute even after you've cast your real spells for the fight. Unlike a wizard or a cleric who usually fall back to just throwing electric arcs or fear until the martials finish the job.

I can see it feeling bad in lesser combats, but those don't require any thought or resources to win so at least you do slightly more there than electric arc, pass.


Like Gesalt, I find the Magus to be extremely hard to play without some shenanigans to gain an extra action per turn. I consider the Magus way more "clunky" than the Summoner.

But from the description of how your party proceeds, it may be more of a tactical issue, not that you don't play it well but that it doesn't mesh well with your party tactics. If you have to move both the Eidolon and the Summoner, the Summoner is super clunky. Feats like Tandem Move can help, but you must avoid as much as possible to move with the Summoner as it costs you nearly always 2 of your 4 actions.

Also, the Summoner deals Fighter/Barbarian level of damage with Electric Arc + Eidolon attack.
And the Eidolon alone deals the same level of damage if you add an on level Bestial Mutagen and Boost Eidolon (especially at level 10+).


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SuperBidi wrote:
Also, the Summoner deals Fighter/Barbarian level of damage with Electric Arc.

So 3 actions to do 1 Barbarian action's worth of damage.

SuperBidi wrote:
And the Eidolon alone deals the same level of damage if you add an on level Bestial Mutagen and Boost Eidolon (especially at level 10+).

So 2 actions and an on-level consumable to do 1 Barbarian action's worth of damage.

Yes? I at least understand the claim correctly?


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breithauptclan wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
Also, the Summoner deals Fighter/Barbarian level of damage with Electric Arc.

So 3 actions to do 1 Barbarian action's worth of damage.

SuperBidi wrote:
And the Eidolon alone deals the same level of damage if you add an on level Bestial Mutagen and Boost Eidolon (especially at level 10+).

So 2 actions and an on-level consumable to do 1 Barbarian action's worth of damage.

Yes? I at least understand the claim correctly?

Sorry, I haven't been clear.

If you cast Electric Arc alongside your Eidolon attacks, you deal the same damage than a Fighter/Barbarian in the round.
If your Eidolon is under Bestial Mutagen and Boost Eidolon, it deals the same amount of damage per attack than a Barbarian or a Fighter.

So the Summoner can deal significant damage. But it's harder than for the classes specifically built for damage.


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So a "Summoner" (I need to think of a good alt name for it) needs to spend their full round just trying to match a Fighter/Barbarian doing whatever they want.

Think about that for a second. A class that "supposedly" gets an extra action to do cool things has to spend all of their actions just trying to catch up; And, they might still fail to catch up if they pick the wrong blast spell.

*******************

Also the Magus is clunkier than the "Summoner" action wise yes. But they are way more effective in a round, so you can at least say the Magus if a Nova character and not meant for prolonged fights. The fact "Summoner" fails at prolonged fights is just more evidence of how bad it is.

*******************

How about, "Eidolonist" as the new class name? I think that captures how this class is all about the Eidolon, and the "Summoner" is just a sidekick.


breithauptclan wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
Which 10 HP martial class can cast any number of on-level spell slot spells? Because that is the class that Summoner would be best compared to.

To answer my own question: I think the class that would compare most similarly for martial/casting role like this would be Warpriest Cleric and maybe Wild Shape Druid. Neither of them are 10 HP martials, but they do have some martial tendencies while being casting classes.

So how does the Eidolon compare to Warpriest?

Wouldn’t the obvious comparison be the Magus, the only other bound caster class? Magus has less HP but Summoner effectively splits its HP between two characters.


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fanatic66 wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
So how does the Eidolon compare to Warpriest?
Wouldn’t the obvious comparison be the Magus, the only other bound caster class? Magus has less HP but Summoner effectively splits its HP between two characters.

Magus is a reasonable comparison to the Summoner class as a whole. Very likely the best one since they are both hybrid martial/bound caster classes.

But comparing just the Eidolon to a different class is a bit harder. That is why I suggested casting classes like Warpriest (that traded in its combat spell proficiency) or Wild Shape Druid (that traded in its ability to cast spells entirely for the duration of the battle) in order to gain some closer-to-martial-level attack and defense stats.


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Temperans wrote:

So a "Summoner" (I need to think of a good alt name for it) needs to spend their full round just trying to match a Fighter/Barbarian doing whatever they want.

Think about that for a second. A class that "supposedly" gets an extra action to do cool things has to spend all of their actions just trying to catch up; And, they might still fail to catch up if they pick the wrong blast spell.

That assumption only works if what you want to always be doing is pumping out damage. And, I mean, the summoner not being as good at raw damage as the big smashy barbarian or the class that literally has the word fight in its name ... yeah? That seems how it should be, to me.

Temperans wrote:
The fact "Summoner" fails at prolonged fights is just more evidence of how bad it is.

On the opposite end, I've found my summoner character particularly good at prolonged fights. The longer the fight stretches for, the more problems crop up in my group, and the more opportunities I have to help plug those gaps from either my summoner or their eidolon, depending on which is closer or whether physical damage or spell slinging is required.

That happened in a running battle when our party was boarding a hostile ship. We ended up agroing something like three encounters' worth of enemies, but I was always able to supply a flanking buddy, or a helpful trip, alongside flinging out cantrips or dragon breath or whatever was needed.

Derivan Firelion wrote:
I really wish they had made it so you can cast self-only spells on the eidolon like the old summoner. Seems a real shame they did not.

Yeah I was bummed about that as well. It would make sense if you could, you get your magic through your eidolon, after all. I suspect it will eventually be a feat, or hopefully an item.

I guess in the meantime there's Magical Understudy and its feat line to give an eidolon access to its own spell slots.

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