Can the Eidolon act when the Summoner can’t act


Rules Discussion


Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Assume that the Summoner is unconscious because your character needs to sleep sometime. It appears that the Eidolon does not unmanifest just because you are unconscious.

Manifest Eidolon wrote:
Your eidolon must remain within 100 feet of you at all times and can't willingly go beyond that limit. If forced beyond this distance, or if you are reduced to 0 Hit Points, your eidolon's physical form dissolves: your eidolon unmanifests, and you need to use Manifest Eidolon to manifest it again.

There is a section of the rules covering lost or altered actions, but I’m finding that there is some disagreement.

Lost or Altered Actions, SoM pg 54 wrote:


If you or your eidolon becomes slowed, stunned, quickened, or otherwise affected by something that changes the actions you gain at the start of each turn, it affects your shared actions. However, if you are both subject to such an effect, apply only the more severe one. For instance, if you or your eidolon were slowed 1, you would start your turn with one fewer action, but if you were both slowed 1, you would still lose only one action, rather than adding the two slowed effects together. However, if you were slowed 1 and your eidolon slowed 2, you'd have two fewer actions, because that's the more severe effect. If only one of you becomes restricted in how you can spend your actions, that restriction doesn't automatically extend to the other; for example, if your eidolon became immobilized or petrified, it wouldn't be able to move, but you could still use your actions to move. The GM resolves any situation that's unclear.

You, as the player, control both your summoner and your eidolon, and the two are generally considered to cooperate unless you decide for them not to. While a summoner's link with an eidolon is a partnership, ultimately the eidolon is linked to you, not the other way around. If there's ever a conflict of who should act, you win out over your eidolon. This means that if the eidolon comes under an effect that would take its actions out of your control, such as the confused or controlled condition, you can use all of your shared actions so your eidolon doesn't have any actions remaining to cause trouble (as long as you are able to act). However, if you came under such an effect, you would simply use all of your shared actions, preventing your eidolon from acting.

It makes it clear how to resolve it when the Eidolon has no actions. It also makes it clear (in the last paragraph) how something like Controlled or Confused would work.

My reading of the section is that the Summoner has to give their actions to the Eidolon. If the Summoner has no actions (because they are asleep) then the Eidolon can’t act. Others disagree.

Figured it was time to take the question here and see if some consensus can be reached.


The two relevant rules are

Quote:
If only one of you becomes restricted in how you can spend your actions, that restriction doesn't automatically extend to the other
Quote:
If there's ever a conflict of who should act, you win out over your eidolon.

The rest are just a non-exhaustive list of examples.

Can't Act is a restriction on what you can use your actions for. So it would fall into the first section where that restriction (same as petrified) doesn't automatically also apply to the other of the pair.

In fact, Petrified includes Can't Act.


Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The petrified example is for the Eidolon becoming petrified.

As you pointed out, the Summoner is always in control. If the Summoner has no actions, they can’t relinquish actions for the Eidolon to act.

EIDOLON SoM pg 52 wrote:
You and your eidolon share your actions and multiple attack penalty. Each round, you can use any of your actions (including reactions and free actions) for yourself or your eidolon.

If you can’t act, that would seem to indicate you can’t give actions to the Eidolon.


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I'll agree that it is not fully clear. It can certainly be read that the Summoner has to actively donate actions to the Eidolon. Much like creatures with the Minion trait have to have actions given to them by the controlling character.

But it can also be read a different way. That in-game both the Summoner and Eidolon can pull from the pool of actions independently and,

Quote:
If there's ever a conflict of who should act, you win out over your eidolon.

But if the Summoner can't compete, the Eidolon wins by default.

Horizon Hunters

Petrified only says "You can’t act" not that you lose all your actions, so if the Eidolon is petrified, it can't act, but the Summoner can.

Paralyzed is the same, you just can't act, you don't lose your actions.

If the Eidolon ever becomes Controlled or Confused, the Summoner can just use all the actions so the Eidolon can't act.

However, if the Summoner is the one Controlled or Confused, they would likely use all the actions, so the Eidolon still can't act.

The only thing that would reduce your actions are Stunned and Slowed. Everything else would allow the other to continue to act normally.


Cordell Kintner wrote:

Petrified only says "You can’t act" not that you lose all your actions, so if the Eidolon is petrified, it can't act, but the Summoner can.

Paralyzed is the same, you just can't act, you don't lose your actions.

To be clear - because I am not sure which side of the debate you are landing on - does it work the other way too? If the Summoner is the one that is petrified and can't act (but still has HP), can the Eidolon still act?

Horizon Hunters

Nah, a petrified Summoner is effectively dead, since they are now an object. A paralyzed summoner is fine though, the eidolon can still act in that case.


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The Petrified case is interesting.

Nethys wrote:
You have been turned to stone. You can’t act, nor can you sense anything. You become an object with a Bulk double your normal Bulk (typically 12 for a petrified Medium creature or 6 for a petrified Small creature), AC 9, Hardness 8, and the same current Hit Points you had when alive. You don’t have a Broken Threshold. When you’re turned back into flesh, you have the same number of Hit Points you had as a statue. If the statue is destroyed, you immediately die. While petrified, your mind and body are in stasis, so you don’t age or notice the passing of time.

It again states "can't act" not "you have no actions". While I understand the thought behind saying an object is effectively dead, I am not convinced the Eidolon cares. It only unmanifests if the Summoner is reduced to zero hit points. Petrified is very clear that the object retains the same number of hit points. If this truly is a partnership, petrified sounds like the summoner becomes a silent partner and the eidolon is on a leash tied to a lawn ornament.


It used to say that if you can't act you don't regain any actions, but this has been errata'd.

Provided a petrified summoner's eidolon is still somehow faffing about in the material plane it could probably still do things.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
ReyalsKanras wrote:
The Petrified case is interesting.
Nethys wrote:
You have been turned to stone. You can’t act, nor can you sense anything. You become an object with a Bulk double your normal Bulk (typically 12 for a petrified Medium creature or 6 for a petrified Small creature), AC 9, Hardness 8, and the same current Hit Points you had when alive. You don’t have a Broken Threshold. When you’re turned back into flesh, you have the same number of Hit Points you had as a statue. If the statue is destroyed, you immediately die. While petrified, your mind and body are in stasis, so you don’t age or notice the passing of time.
It again states "can't act" not "you have no actions". While I understand the thought behind saying an object is effectively dead, I am not convinced the Eidolon cares. It only unmanifests if the Summoner is reduced to zero hit points. Petrified is very clear that the object retains the same number of hit points. If this truly is a partnership, petrified sounds like the summoner becomes a silent partner and the eidolon is on a leash tied to a lawn ornament.

That sounds like a really cool encounter premise for an NPC.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Captain Morgan wrote:
ReyalsKanras wrote:
If this truly is a partnership, petrified sounds like the summoner becomes a silent partner and the eidolon is on a leash tied to a lawn ornament.
That sounds like a really cool encounter premise for an NPC.

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

I'm fairly certain I've seen this concept in fiction before.

To me this sounds like a clear case of why an Eidolon is better than a familiar or animal companion. This is what you gain for giving up independent hit points. Despite the logic of that seeming backwards. While it's using your life force to manifest, it is also it's own being with it's own agency.

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