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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default [3.P] The Summoner's Handbook: A Guide to the Pathfinder Summoner

    The Summoner's Handbook


    (A guide to the Pathfinder Summoner. Feel free to chime in with suggestions, links, criticisms, etc. The Summoner's a complicated class and this turned into a LONG handbook. Hope you find it helpful!)





    Contents

    1. Contents, Rating System, and Links
    2. Introduction and Roles
    3. Abilities and Races
    4. Skills and Feats
    5. Class Features and Multiclassing
    6. Eidolons
    7. Spells
    8. Summons
    9. Items
    10. FAQ


    Ratings

    This handbook will use the following rating system:

    Red: Awful.
    Purple: Meh.
    Black: Okay.
    Blue: Good.
    Cyan: Excellent.


    Useful Links

    The Summoner Base Class at the Pathfinder SRD.
    The 3.5/Pathfinder Handbook.
    And, for those interested in Pathfinder Psionics, the Pathfinder Psionics Handbook.
    Last edited by Saph; 2011-02-01 at 02:39 PM.
    I'm the author of the Alex Verus series of urban fantasy novels. Fated is the first, and Book #5 in the series, Hidden, is out as of September 2014. For updates, check my blog!

  2. - Top - End - #2
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    Default Introduction and Roles

    Introduction and Roles




    Introduction

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    The Summoner is one of the six new base classes released in the Pathfinder Advanced Player's Guide, and it's probably the most unique. All the other Pathfinder classes are either straight conversions of 3.5 classes, or new combinations of existing mechanics (the Oracle is basically a spontaneous Cleric, the Witch is a modified Wizard, etc). The Summoner does something genuinely new: it's a class focusing on a summoned creature, in the vein of Final Fantasy, Fate/stay night, and MMORPG 'pet' classes. While most spellcasters can summon monsters in limited ways, the Summoner gives you a buildable, customisable, unkillable companion from level 1 up.

    The Summoner's also probably the most complicated of the new classes, and there have been several requests for a handbook - so here it is. While this handbook will assume that you're using the Pathfinder system, or Pathfinder with 3.5 material, the Summoner class actually works just fine in 3.5, and can be included in a 3.5 campaign with almost no modification.

    Strengths and Weaknesses

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    The strengths and weaknesses of the Summoner:

    Strengths

    • Eidolon - The reason to play the class.
    • Spellcasting - Although not quite up to the level of a Sorcerer, Summoners are powerful casters, especially when it comes to buffing.
    • Summon Monster - The backup to your Eidolon.

    Weaknesses

    • Spell slots - While your spell levels keep up surprisingly well, spell slots are a tight resource for you.
    • Multiclassing - You basically can't.
    • Summon/Eidolon incompatibility - You can't use your Eidolon and summon abilities at the same time. Discussed further in post 8.

    Roles

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    Here are the roles you can effectively fill within the party, as well as the ones you can't.

    Melee Combat (Eidolon or Summons)

    Eidolon gets up in the face of enemies. Eidolon eats the face of enemies. If you canít or donít want to use your Eidolon, a summoned monster will do the job almost as well.

    Buffer

    The Summonerís spell list has pretty much every buff spell you could ever want, and the class has the unique ability to use Personal range buffs on your Eidolon. Your bread-and-butter tactic for most of your career will be to buff up your Eidolon and send it into combat.

    Debuffer

    Although Summoners only get a minority of the arcane debuff and save-or-X spells, those that they do get are among the best in the game. You should probably devote about one spell per spell level to this.

    Battlefield Control

    Summoners donít get many BC spells, but even if itíll never be your best suit, just having one or two expands your options in a battle.

    Utility Caster

    After loading up on buffs and debuffs and adding in a few battlefield control spells, youíre going to be running seriously short on spells known. Donít try to cover niche utility magic - thatís the job of the prepared casters. Still, you can bring wands and scrolls for emergencies, and itís surprising how many problems can be solved by a well-placed dimension door.

    Skills

    Youíre not the skillmonkey, but Use Magic Device on a Charisma-based class is still very handy.

    Healer

    You can heal your eidolon from level 1, and once you get a decent UMD score you can use a wand of cure light wounds with a fair chance of success. However, this is very much a backup role.

    Ranged Combat

    You can shoot a crossbow. Um, thatís about it.

    Melee Combat (You)

    Yes, your BAB isnít completely awful. Yes, you have as many HP as a druid or cleric. Youíre still not a melee fighter. By all means go into battle to take a few swings and give your eidolon that +2 to hit, but donít expect to accomplish much.
    Last edited by Saph; 2011-01-26 at 07:50 AM.
    I'm the author of the Alex Verus series of urban fantasy novels. Fated is the first, and Book #5 in the series, Hidden, is out as of September 2014. For updates, check my blog!

  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Default Races and Abilities

    Races and Abilities




    Races

    Races (Core)

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    Although you can make a decent Summoner with any of the Pathfinder Core Races, some are much better at it than others.

    A note on Favoured Class Alternatives: At level 1, you get to pick a favoured class, which will be (unless youíre an idiot) Summoner. This gives you either +1 HP or +1 skill point each level. Gnomes, Halflings, Half-Elves, and Humans, however, have the ability to exchange this for a boost to the Eidolon instead. If you mainly fight with your Eidolon rather than your summons, this is a good choice.

    Dwarf - A penalty to your primary casting stat and some armour and weapon abilities you canít use. Pass.
    Favoured Class Alternatives: None.

    Elf - The Con penalty hurts, but itís mostly offset by the Int and Dex boosts, and you can make some use of the Elven Magic feature (though not as much as other arcanists). Overall, though, the benefits just donít do you enough good.
    Favoured Class Alternatives: None.

    Gnome - Bonuses to your primary and secondary stats at a cost of a penalty to your main dump stat - a great deal! About the only drawback is the slow speed.
    Favoured Class Alternatives: Add +1 HP to the Eidolon.

    Half-Elf - Half-Elves make better Summoners than you'd think. The primary racial bonuses are only average, and Skill Focus isn't a great choice for a feat, but the Half-Elf's real selling point is the favoured class alternative found here. At time of writing, this is the only way in the game to get more evolution points than normal for your level.
    Favoured Class Alternatives: Add +1/4 evolution points to the Eidolon.

    Half-Orc - For those who assumed Half-Orcs would make bad Charisma-based casters - surprise! They can put their +2 stat bump into Charisma, and Darkvision and Ferocity are very handy abilities to have on a summoner.
    Favoured Class Alternatives: None.

    Halfling - Having their physical bonus score in Dex rather than Con probably puts halflings just a touch behind gnomes, and an extra HP for the Eidolon is better than an extra skill point. Not much in it, though.
    Alternate Racial Traits: The Outrider trait makes Halflings the natural choice if you're going for a mounted summoner build.
    Favoured Class Alternatives: Add +1 skill rank to the Eidolon.

    Human - If youíve been playing D&D for any time at all, it should be absolutely no surprise that humans are a great choice. Being human gives you skill points and a feat, two resources that summoners are very short on. The only reason they're not an automatic choice is that there aren't that many good feats to pick.
    Favoured Class Alternatives: Add +1 HP or +1 skill rank to the Eidolon.

    Half-Elf Vs Human

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    Half-Elf and Human are probably the strongest core Summoner races unless you're going for a very specific build, so here's a useful comparison between them, showing what they give you over the 20 levels. (Contributed by John John.)

    Half elf: +2 perception, immune to sleep, +2 vs enchantment, +3-6 to one skill, +0-5 evolution points for your Eidolon.
    Human: +1 feat, +1-20 skill points, +1-20 hit points for you or your Eidolon.

    The lesson seems to be that if you want to make it a priority to pick up those extra evolution points, take Half-Elf. Otherwise, Human edges it out.

    Races (Non-Core & Third Party)

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    (Contributed by grarrrg)

    More PF approved races, while they are not in the APG, they are on the PFSRD.
    Half-Ogre, makes a better Summoner than you'd think, and a GREAT Flank-Buddy Summoner at that, +4 Str, +2 Con, -2 Int, -2 Wis. NO Cha penalty.
    Ratkin, about the same as the Elf, same stat bonuses, different penalty.
    Saurian, almost perfect stats, +2 Con, +2 Cha, -2 Int, a +2 Natural armor bonus, and Medium sized make them a good choice for a flank-type.

    I'd rate the Half-Ogre as "Good" if going flank-type, "Okay" if not.
    Saurians are borderline "Exellent", but definately "Good", could use more useful racial traits, but 3rd party, what are you going to do.
    Ratkin "Meh".

    3rd Party

    High Goblin No, just, no. Stat bonuses and penalties in all the wrong places (-2 Str, +4 Dex, +2 Wis, -2 Cha), Racial bonuses are nothing special. Rating: Awful.

    Oakling Similar stat bonuses as Dwarves, +2 Str, +2 Wis, -2 Cha. Racials bonuses and Racial Feats are interesting, but seem more geared toward melee fighting. Rating: Awful, unless building a Flank-Buddy Summoner (which still only reaches "Okay" at best)

    Lizardfolk +2 Con, -2 Int are decent stats. Racial bonuses/feats consist of Swimming, and Natural Attacks. In general rate as Meh, no real bonus/penalty to being a Summoner. Their value greatly improves in an Aquatic campaign however.

    Races (Psionic)

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    (Contributed by grarrrg)

    Dromites are Xeph are the 'winners', a couple situationally useful races, and a lot of stinkers.

    Note: All psionic races receive Wild Talent as a bonus feat, which gives them 2 Power Points. While this does nothing on its own, it does open up Psionic feats and such as options.

    Blue +2 Dex, +2 Int, -2 Str, can spend Points instead of eating. Rating: Meh. Nothing good, nothing bad.

    Dromite Same stats/size as Halfling, gets +1 nat. armor, and 5 energy resistance, and the Scent ability. Rating: Okay/Good, about the same as Halfling.

    Duergar Virtually the same as a Dwarf. Rating: Awful.

    Elan +2 any stat, can spend Points for temp increase in Saves, reduced damage from an attack, or to skip eating. Rating: Okay, you could do plenty worse, but nothing that really helps a Summoner.

    Half-Giant +2 Str, +2 Wis, -2 Dex, racials are so-so, notably has Powerful Build which is much more useful for melee-types. Rating: Meh, nothing good, nothing bad.

    Maenad +2 any stat, racials are mainly geared towards Rage. Rating: Meh, nothing good, nothing bad.

    Ophiduan +2 Dex, +2 Wis, -2 Cha, +1 nat armor. The rest of the racials aren't anything special. Rating: Awful.

    Xeph Same stats as Halfling, but medium size. +1 to (most) saving throws, and Burst of Speed. Rating: Good/Okay

    Races (Monstrous)

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    (Contributed by grarrrg, material from the following link)

    Aasimar: +2 Wis, +2 Cha, and Acid/Cold/Elec Resist 5. Rating: Good

    Changeling: +2 Wis, +2 Cha, -2 Con, +1 nat armor, and claw attacks. Rating: Okay.

    Dhampir: +2 Dex, +2 Cha, -2 Con, has reversed reaction to Channeled Energy, and undead related racials. Rating: Okay.

    Drow: +2 Dex, +2 Cha, -2 Con, some decent racials, and Light Blindness. Rating: Okay

    Drow Noble: Same as Drow with the following changes; +4 Dex, +2 Int, +2 Wis, +2 Cha, Ė2 Con, +5 better Spell Resistance, and have access to a variety of low level spells AT-WILL.
    Rating: Excellent, but only because it is overpowered compared to all the other race choices (net +8 to stats!?). Most DM's should not allow this 'as-is'.

    Duergar: +2 Con, +2 Wis, -4 Cha, decent racials. Rating: Awful, -4 Cha??

    Fetchling: +2 Dex, +2 Cha, -2 Wis, Cold/Electric Resistance 5, improved miss chance in low light. Rating: Good/borderline Excellent, stat adjusts are almost perfect.

    Gillman: +2 Con, +2 Cha, -2 Wis, racials give water breathing, water dependence, and ENSLAVED. Rating: Despite having PERFECT stats, Meh/Awful due to the water dependence. In an aquatic campaign, they easily shoot up to Excellent.

    Goblin: +4 Dex, -2 Str, -2 Cha, racials are meh. Rating: Awful.

    Grippli: +2 Dex, +2 Wis, -2 Str, Climb speed and swamp familiarity. Rating: Meh, nothing good/bad for a Summoner.

    Hobgoblin: +2 Dex, +2 Con, almost non-existant racials. Rating: Meh.

    Ifrit: +2 Dex, +2 Cha, -2 Wis, Fire Resist 5, and pointless Elemental Affinity. Rating: Good, near perfect stats, and the most useful Resistance.

    Kobold: +2 Dex, -4 Str, -2 Con, racials are meh. Rating: Meh, despite having pathetic stats and racials, there is nothing detrimental to a Summoner. (If 3.5 shenanagins are allowed, this probably becomes the best choice EVAR!!1!)

    Merfolk: +2 Dex, +2 Con, +2 Cha, +2 nat armor, can breathe in water, and have a swim speed of 50ft!, but a land speed of only 5ft. (yes, a 5 foot step is the same as a Move Action). Rating: Okay/Meh on land, Excellent (or better) if Mounted or in an Aquatic campaign.

    Orc: +4 Str, -2 all mentals. Rating: Awful.

    Oread: +2 Str, +2 Wis, -2 Cha, Acid Resist 5, pointless Elemental Affinity. Rating: Awful.

    Strix: +2 Dex, -2 Cha, Fly speed 60ft. (avg) Rating: Between Meh, and Good, depending on how much you value Flying (it IS on the Summoner class list).

    Svirfneblin: +2 Dex, +2 Wis, -2 Str, -4 Cha, +2 Dodge bonus to AC, Spell Resistance. Rating: Awful (-4 Cha?)

    Sylph: +2 Dex, +2 Int, -2 Con, Electricity Resist 5, pointless Elemental Affinity (2 more and we can summon Captain Pointless!). Rating: Meh.

    Tengu: +2 Dex, +2 Wis, -2 Con, various minor racials. Rating: Meh.

    Tiefling: +2 Dex, +2 Int, -2 Cha, Cold/Elec/Fire Resist 5, pointless Fiendish Sorcery. Rating: Okay/Meh, despite the Cha penalty, the Resists are VERY nice.

    Undine: +2 Dex, +2 Wis, -2 Str, Cold Resist 5, pointless Elemental Affinity (by your powers combined, I am Captain Pointless!) Rating: Meh.




    Abilities

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    An interesting thing about Summoners is that theyíre not very stat-dependent. Since neither your Eidolon nor your summons are affected by your ability scores, you donít need a high mental stat as badly as most casters. Itís actually possible to build an effective summoner on a 0 point buy. As such, you can probably ignore most of the recommendations below as long as your Charisma doesnít get too low. All scores are before racial modifiers.

    Strength

    Your primary dump stat. Youíll use it for carrying capacity and the odd melee attack at low levels, and thatís about it.
    Recommended score: 7-10.

    Dexterity

    Armour class, initiative, Reflex save, and the odd ranged attack. Your third most important stat.
    Recommended score: 12-14.

    Constitution

    Hit points - enough said. Your second most important stat.
    Recommended score: 12-14.

    Intelligence

    While none of your class features are based off Intelligence, itís the primary stat for Spellcraft and several other skills, and you have a decent skill list to take advantage of. Since your base skill allowance is only 2 points, every bit of Intelligence bonus helps.
    Recommended score: 10-12.

    Wisdom

    Sure, a high Will save is nice, but unfortunately this stat gives you just about nothing else.
    Recommended score: 8-10.

    Charisma

    Your primary ability, keying to your casting as well as your uses per day of summon monster and many of your skills. You can manage with a low Charisma, but if you want to make good use of debuffs and summons, youíll want it as high as you can get.
    Recommended score: 15-17.

    Alternate Builds

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    The above recommendations for Roles and Abilities assume a 'traditional' summoner, relying on your summoned creatures and your spells. However, since summoners aren't heavily dependent on any one ability score, you can build them in quite different ways and still be effective. Here are some alternate build suggestions contributed by posters:

    Flank Buddy Summoner (by grarrrg)

    Instead of using Strength as your dumpstat, boost it up and get a good weapon to turn yourself into a secondary melee character, then go into combat alongside your Eidolon. 'Smashy' races like Half-Ogre and Half-Orc are best for this. The major weakness of this tactic is that if the enemy KOs you, your Eidolon vanishes as well. Still, it can do a lot to increase your damage output at low levels, and once you get to higher levels you can take the Mount evolution, pick up Mounted Combat, and ride into battle on your Eidolon's back.

    Constitution Summoner (by John John)

    The idea here is to boost your HP as high as possible. Put your highest stat into Constitution (Charisma second-highest) then take Toughness and use items and stat bumps to increase your Constitution even further. By level 10 you can have as much as 50 HP more than a standard Summoner, making you much harder to knock below 0 HP (which in turn prevents your Eidolon from being dismissed). In exchange you take a slight hit to your spellcasting capability.

    Stealth Summoner (by james maissen)

    Here the Summoner takes a support role. Start with the Halfling race, and take the Swift as Shadows alternate racial trait. Max Stealth (the Highlander trait from page 332 of the APG makes it as a class skill), take Skill Focus (Stealth) and Hellcat Stealth and take Invisibility early, and you have a summoner that can't be found easily. Stay hidden and moving, and keep dropping summoned monsters on your enemies.
    Last edited by Saph; 2011-05-06 at 02:32 AM.
    I'm the author of the Alex Verus series of urban fantasy novels. Fated is the first, and Book #5 in the series, Hidden, is out as of September 2014. For updates, check my blog!

  4. - Top - End - #4
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    Default Skills & Feats

    Skills and Feats




    Skills

    General Points

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    Summoners get very few skill points per level. You'll probably only be able to afford three maxed-out skills, four at the most. Pick a few skills to specialise in and stick with them, while putting 1 rank into others to make the most of the +3 Trained bonus. In most cases you'll be best off maxing out Spellcraft and UMD.

    A good way to make your limited skill points go further is to rely on your Eidolon. Eidolons get to pick several class skills to add to their list, so if your Eidolon is going to be maxing, say, Sense Motive, there's not much point in you doing the same. Save your skill points for stuff like Spellcraft where only you can effectively make use of it.

    Class Skills

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    Craft - Fun but not very effective. Your Int won't be high enough to make effective use of this the way a wizard can.

    Fly - You won't want any points in this to begin with, but it gets important at higher levels. You should start putting ranks in it as you approach level 10, where you get access to Overland Flight and the Aspect class feature.

    Handle Animal - Keys off Charisma. Can be handy for persuading summoned animals to do things.

    Knowledge - Another 'put one rank into it then forget about it' skill. Given the kind of things you're likely to deal with, Knowledge (arcana) and Knowledge (planes) are good picks.

    Linguistics - this is worth taking. While you can communicate with your Eidolon easily, many of the creatures on the summon monster list only understand specific, obscure languages like Terran. Plan ahead and make sure you can speak the summoned monster's language BEFORE you need to tell it something.

    Profession - Bleh.

    Ride - If you're going for a Mount eidolon build (see post 6), this is essential. If not, it's decidedly meh.

    Spellcraft - Identifies spells, identifies items, and also the key skill for item creation. Max this.

    Use Magic Device - UMD on a Charisma-based character? DO WANT! Max it.

    Cross-Class Skills

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    Acrobatics - Sure, it's useful, but you don't really want to get into the kind of situations where you need it.

    Bluff - You've got the Charisma for it, and it comes up often enough to be worthwhile. Can be made into a class skill with the Fast-Talker trait.

    Diplomacy - Probably the most useful social skill, and good for convincing your summons to do things. Can be made into a class skill with the Ease of Faith or World Traveller traits.

    Perception - Probably the single most-rolled skill in the game, and worth taking for that reason alone. Your Eidolon is probably a better detector than you, though.

    Stealth - Useful if you're planning to try the 'invisible summoner' trick. Better for Gnomes and Halflings, obviously.





    Feats

    These ratings apply to the summoner. Eidolon feats are covered in post 6. Only feats that a summoner can qualify for will be included, since there's obviously not much point rating feats like Extra Ki and Command Undead.

    Core Feats (General)

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    Acrobatic - No.
    Acrobatic Steps - If you want to bypass difficult terrain, get flight magic.
    Alertness - Just a notch above 'bad' since Perception's the most commonly rolled skill in the game. Still not particularly good.
    Animal Affinity - No.
    Armour Proficiency, Medium - Lose your ability to cast spells in exchange for 1 AC!
    Athletic - No.
    Augment Summoning - You want this. Even if it doesn't do anything to boost your Eidolon, it makes a big difference to the power of your summons. Note that it's not completely clear from the rules whether it works on (Sp) abilities, but given that there are literally NO other feats that boost your summons, only a really harsh DM would bar you from applying it.
    Combat Casting - It's not that it's BAD or anything, it's just that you should usually have your eidolon in between you and the bad guys. If you do get caught in melee, there's a good chance that your response will not be to cast a spell.
    Deceitful - No.
    Deft Hands - Still no.
    Diehard - Not worth two feats.
    Endurance - Not worth one feat.
    Eschew Materials - Just carry an extra spell component pouch.
    Fleet - Higher speed is nice, but it's not worth a feat slot.
    Great Fortitude tree - Take it if you really can't think of anything more interesting to pick.
    Greater Spell Focus (Conjuration) - Probably overkill, but not a bad choice.
    Improved Counterspell - You can get some use out of it, but you don't have the spell slots to keep up a spell duel.
    Iron Will tree - Dull, but not terrible.
    Leadership - Excellent for all classes, but doubly so for you with your high Charisma score. Many DMs ban it by default, so check to make sure your DM's okay with you controlling three characters plus an army of mooks.
    Lightning Reflexes tree - Yeah, it's okay, no, it's not that interesting.
    Magical Aptitude - If you're going to take one of the +2/+2 skill feats, it should probably be this one.
    Martial Weapon Proficiency - Good for increasing damage output on a Flank Buddy summoner, or for taking a Lance to use as a Mounted summoner.
    Nimble Moves - The ability to take a 5-foot step in difficult terrain actually makes this not a bad choice. Some DMs hardly ever use difficult terrain, but if yours does this is worth considering. Becomes obsolete once you have flight, though.
    Persuasive - Pass.
    Run - Pass, unless outrunning the other PCs is your main survival tactic.
    Self-Sufficient - Moving on.
    Shield Proficiency - Bleh.
    Skill Focus - Not actually as bad as you might think, due to the power of the Use Magic Device skill. Skill Focus (UMD) can help a fair bit at low levels.
    Spell Focus (Conjuration) - You want it as a pre-req for Augment Summoning, and it's by no means useless on its own, either. There are several excellent save-or-X Conjuration spells on the Summoner list.
    Spell Focus (Anything Else) - Don't bother unless you've REALLY specialised in another school.
    Spell Penetration - Many of your best debuffs are SR: No. Still, if you've picked a few spells like Slow and Fire Shield, this isn't a terrible choice.
    Stealthy - /ignore
    Toughness - More HP is a good thing. Translates into more HP for your Eidolon if necessary. Not a bad choice, although as you level up the extra HP becomes much less noticable.

    Core Feats (Combat)

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    Agile Maneuvers - Pass.
    Arcane Armour Training/Mastery - You can cast in light armour already.
    Arcane Strike - If you're playing a whacky summoner, this is an okay choice, but +1 or +2 damage isn't much for a swift action.
    Blind-Fight - Better for your eidolon than for you.
    Catch Off-Guard - Ew, NO.
    Combat Expertise tree - You don't have enough feats or BAB.
    Combat Reflexes - Are you a reach lockdown build? Didn't think so. Earmark this one for your eidolon, though.
    Critical Feats (Blinding Critical, Critical Focus, etc) - Forget it.
    Deadly Aim - It's likely that at low levels, you'll spend a fair bit of time shooting a crossbow. This is a fairly effective way to boost your damage with it.
    Defensive Combat Training - Pass, unless you REALLY need that extra couple points of CMD.
    Dodge tree - You're not the tank.
    Exotic Weapon Proficiency - If anyone can think of a good use for this in a Summoner build, tell me.
    Improved Initiative - You know the drill, going first is good.
    Improved Unarmed Strike tree - Do not want.
    Mounted Combat tree (Mounted Archery, Ride-By Attack, Trample, etc) - An eidolon can make for a very effective mount, and this is worth considering for a Small-sized summoner. The Mount eidolon build is discussed in post 6.
    Point Blank Shot tree (Rapid Shot, Precise Shot, etc) - If you're going the archery route, you'll want this. Not a terrible choice.
    Power Attack tree - Unless you're a Half-Ogre, this is for your Eidolon, not you.
    Quick Draw - You don't really need it.
    Rapid Reload - Pass.
    Throw Anything - Uh . . .
    Two-Weapon Fighting tree - Okay, we're starting to scrape the bottom of the barrel here.
    Weapon Finesse - No.
    Weapon Focus - Still no.
    Wind Stance tree - There are better ways to gain miss chance.

    You're probably noticing that there's an awful lot of red and purple showing up in this section. The sad fact is that there are very few good feats for summoners. Consider asking your DM to allow 3.5 material if you're going to be playing past level 5 or so.

    Core Feats (Metamagic)

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    The general rule for metamagicing spells as a Summoner is: don't. Sorcerers and Wizards have enough spare spell slots to spend a few on metamagiced spells; you don't. Your spell slots are a very limited resource and you can't afford to expend them unless you absolutely have to.

    This doesn't mean you shouldn't use metamagic: you should. It's just that you should get it via metamagic rod. A lesser rod of Extend Spell only costs 3,000 gp, and should be one of your first purchases once you have some cash to throw around.

    By far the most useful metamagic feat to get in rod form is Extend Spell. Still Spell and Silent Spell are also useful for emergencies. Quicken Spell is excellent, but very expensive for what it does.

    Core Feats (Item Creation)

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    The first thing to do when picking an item creation feat is to check the activation method of the item you want. If it's spell trigger or spell completion, creating the item requires you to be able to cast that exact spell - no substitutes. If it's use-activated or command word, however, you should be able to create the item at the cost of a moderate bump to the Spellcraft creation DC check. For this reason, spell trigger creation feats like wands and staves are of limited use to summoners.

    The value of item creation feats also goes down depending how many other people in the party have them. If the party Wizard is happy to make items for you at cost, there's not much point taking any creation feat unless it's one he's missing.

    Brew Potion - Potions are use-activated (which is good) but cost twice as much as scrolls (which is bad). Still, creating items which your Eidolon can use itself has its advantages.
    Craft Magic Arms and Armour - Your Eidolon probably can't benefit from this, but you and the rest of your party can. If your Eidolon wields a weapon, this is a much better pick.
    Craft Rod - Metamagic rods are excellent, but the main problem with this feat is that the good rods require a very high Spellcraft check to create. If your Spellcraft is high enough, though, this is a very good choice.
    Craft Staff - Not worth it, unless there's some high-level spell you really want to spam.
    Craft Wand - You're probably better off just buying wands with spells you don't have already.
    Craft Wondrous Item - Now this is more like it. Lots of excellent items here at very manageable craft DCs. A strong contender for your 3rd or 5th level feat.
    Forge Ring - You only have two ring slots, but there are some very powerful rings out there. Worth considering.
    Scribe Scroll - It'll save you a bit of gold, but Craft Wondrous Item will probably save you more. Still, every little helps.

    Advanced Player's Guide Feats (General)

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    From here on, the only feats included will be those rated black and above.

    Additional Traits - Traits are handy, and getting two more can be worth a feat if you pick the good ones (extra initiative, +1 to saves, making something a class skill, etc).
    Expanded Arcana - this is a good one. It gives you an extra spell known, two if you pick ones below your maximum level. Very handy for the mid-levels where you have more good spells than you have spells known slots.
    Improved Share Spells - This feat has high prerequisites and heavy restrictions, but the ability to share a buff is still valuable.
    Summoner's Call - The only summoner-specific feat in the APG is, sadly, a bit mediocre. The 10-minute duration means that if you want to keep this on you'll have to spend 1 minute out of every 11 throughout the day resummoning your eidolon. It's not even that big a bonus, either.
    Trick Riding - If you're going the Mounted Combat route, this is worth considering.

    Advanced Player's Guide Feats (Metamagic)

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    Lots of good metamagic feats to take as rods here. Reach Spell is particularly good, as it allows you to buff your eidolon at a distance. Ectoplasmic Spell, Persistent Spell, and Selective Spell are also well worth the gold. A lesser rod of Dazing combos great with Wall of Fire (which only Summoners can use a lesser rod on).
    Last edited by Saph; 2011-01-28 at 07:38 AM.
    I'm the author of the Alex Verus series of urban fantasy novels. Fated is the first, and Book #5 in the series, Hidden, is out as of September 2014. For updates, check my blog!

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Classing and Multiclassing

    Class Features and Multiclassing




    Class Features - Primary

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    Eidolon - One of the two main strengths of the class.

    Spellcasting - The other. You're a full caster, even if you don't have the endurance of a Wizard or Sorcerer.

    Summon Monster - In practice, you'll usually use this as a backup to your Eidolon, either because your Eidolon's either been killed or incapacitated for the day, or when you don't have time to summon it. It says something about how good the Eidolon is that a standard-action Summon Monster is usually the less powerful choice.

    Class Features - Secondary

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    Life Link - The ability to sacrifice HP to keep the Eidolon alive is useful, and the ability to bypass the Protection from X spells gives your Eidolon a leg up over other summons. The distance restriction shouldn't usually be a problem - you'll rarely fight at a distance of over 100 feet, and if you do, you can simply follow your Eidolon and keep it in range. Just don't forget about it!

    Bond Senses - A rather odd and extremely short-duration ability. I can't think of much use for it, but I guess there has to be something.

    Shield Ally - Free bonuses are always nice, but this is hampered slightly by the fact that if your Eidolon's in melee, you probably don't want to be next to it.

    Makerís Call - Free teleports are nice, even if you don't get many of them. There are some neat tricks you can do with this.

    Transposition - Expand your options with Maker's Call. Not bad.

    Aspect - The ability to add an evolution to your character opens up a lot of possibilities (the Wings choice is especially good) but each evolution point you siphon off makes your Eidolon that much weaker. Think about this one carefully.

    Greater Shield Ally - Much better than Shield Ally, now your Eidolon can buff the rest of the melee fighters in the party as long as they stay near it.

    Life Bond - Now your Life Link works both ways! Great ability, preventing enemies from taking out your Eidolon by attacking you.

    Merge Forms - This is a weird one. You get to merge with your Eidolon and effectively disappear. Very short duration, though. I guess it could work as an escape ability. If anyone can think of a good use for this, tell me.

    Greater Aspect - Much better than Aspect, now you get your Eidolon's evolution points at a two-to-one discount.

    Twin Eidolon - "Aah! There's two of them!" will probably be your DM's response to this. The fact that it's a 20th-level ability means you'll probably never get to use this, but it's an awesome capstone.

    Multiclassing

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    As a summoner, you don't multiclass. Ever. No, not even then. All of your Eidolon's abilities, not to mention your Summon Monster ability, key off your class level, not your character level. This means that every level in another class is a level of lost advancement for two out of your three primary class features. There is literally nothing you can get from multiclassing that's worth that.
    Last edited by Saph; 2011-02-23 at 09:55 AM.
    I'm the author of the Alex Verus series of urban fantasy novels. Fated is the first, and Book #5 in the series, Hidden, is out as of September 2014. For updates, check my blog!

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Eidolons

    Eidolons




    Eidolon Basics

    How Natural Attacks Work

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    The rules for natural attacks can be found here. Here's a condensed version.

    Primary natural attacks use the eidolon's full Base Attack Bonus and add the eidolon's full Strength bonus to damage.
    Secondary natural attacks are made at a -5 penalty to hit and add only half the eidolon's Strength bonus to damage.
    If the eidolon has only one natural attack, this is treated as a primary natural attack that adds 1 and 1/2 the eidolon's Strength bonus to damage.
    If an eidolon wields a weapon, it can still make its natural attacks, but they are all counted as secondary attacks.
    Weapon attacks do benefit from iterative attacks; ie the Eidolon gets an extra attack for every 5 points of BAB above +1. Natural attacks do not benefit from iterative attacks; you get one attack per natural weapon and that's it.

    An In-Depth Look at Eidolon Natural Attacks (Contributed by grarrrg, 11/11)

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    All damage numbers listed assume medium size, without the Improved Damage evolution. Assuming each 'limb' can only gain 1 type of attack (that is, you cannot have 1 pair of Arms with both Claws and Pincers).
    Most attacks require a "base" evolution (Head/Limbs/etc...), an an "attack" evolution (Bite/Claws/etc...).
    We will also be ignoring Manufactured weapon options.

    Type: Bite
    Cost: 3 (1 Bite, 2 Head)
    # Attacks: 1 Primary
    Damage: 1d6
    Note: Gore does same damage, but costs 2 points

    Type: Claws
    Cost: 3 (1 Claws, 2 Limbs)
    # Attacks: 2 Primary
    Damage: 1d4ea.
    Note: Hooves do the same damage, but are Secondary attacks.

    Type: Pincers
    Cost: 3 (1 Pincers, 2 Limbs)
    # Attacks: 2 Secondary
    Damage: 1d6ea.

    Type: Slam
    Cost: 3 (1 Slam, 2 Limbs)
    # Attacks: 1 Primary
    Damage: 1d8

    Type: Sting
    Cost: 2 (1 Sting, 1 Tail)
    # Attacks: 1 Primary
    Damage: 1d4

    Type: Slap
    Cost: 2 (1 Slap, 1 Tail
    # Attacks: 1 Secondary
    Damage: 1d6

    Type: Tentacle
    Cost: 1
    # Attacks: 1 Secondary
    Damage: 1d4

    Type: Wing Buffet
    Cost: 3 (1 Wing Buffet, 2 Flight)
    # Attacks: 2 Secondary
    Damage: 1d4 each

    Type: Rake
    Cost: 4 (2 Rake, 2 Legs)
    # Attacks: 2 Primary (but only counts as 1 for Max Attack cap)
    Damage: 1d4 each
    Note: Only useable on a successful Grapple.

    Type: Breath Weapon
    Cost: 6 (4 Breath Weaon, 2 Head)
    # Attacks: 1
    Damage: 1d6 per HD
    Note: Only useable 1/day. Can spend up to 2 more Evo-Points to gain up to 2/day more uses.

    Results:
    They actually did a decent job balancing out the attacks, with few "strictly better" options .There are various Evolutions that apply only to certain types of attacks (Poison/Rake/etc...) that can greatly vary the damage/usefullness of any given attack.
    Slam is better than Bite (damage).
    Claws/Pincers are better than Sting/Tail Slap (6 evo points gets 4 Claw attacks, but only 3 Stings).
    If you are working against the Max Attack cap, then Slams are the best option.
    Tentacles are the most efficient way to get more attacks, 1-point > 1-attack. They are a poor attack, but if you are a long way from the Max Attack cap they are easy to throw on (i.e. Biped with a Sword).
    Wing Buffet is the least efficient, and can only be taken once (but the Flight evolution is pretty useful on its own).

    Eidolon Base Forms

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    Biped: The Biped has the highest base Strength, and gets 5 extra feet of Reach once enlarged beyond Medium-size. In exchange it has the lowest Dexterity and no unique evolutions. Weak Reflex save.
    Mount Ability: No.
    Unique Evolutions: None.

    Quadruped: The Quadruped has the highest base speed and the excellent Pounce ability. It has no significant weaknesses apart from its weak Will save.
    Mount Ability: Yes.
    Unique Evolutions: Pounce, Rake.

    Serpentine: The Serpentine form has the lowest base speed and the lowest Strength. It has the highest Dexterity, but it's a notch below the other two in terms of power unless you want to make a constrictor.
    Mount Ability: Yes.
    Unique Evolutions: Constrict.

    Quick rule of thumb: if you want Pounce, pick Quadruped, if you want Constrict, pick Serpentine; and if you just want as high a Strength as possible pick Biped.

    Fang Vs Blade - Whether to Wield a Weapon

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    By default the Eidolon is designed as a natural attacker. The Summoner class has 20 evolutions that either add or improve natural attacks, and exactly 1 evolution letting it wield a weapon (and that one isn't even very good); it also has Greater Magic Fang rather than Greater Magic Weapon on its spell list. However, D&D was basically designed on the assumption that the PCs would be using manufactured weapons, and so there's much more material out there for manufactured weapons than natural ones. Here are some of the advantages wielded weapons give:

    • Manufactured weapons give iterative attacks, natural weapons don't.
    • The Eidolon has a cap on how many natural attacks it's allowed to have, but no cap on weapon attacks.
    • You can get weapons in special materials to help getting through damage reduction. There's no way to get natural weapons to break DR/Adamantine or Cold Iron.
    • Manufactured weapons are much cheaper to enchant. The only Pathfinder item that grants an enhancement bonus to natural attacks is the Amulet of Mighty Fists, which is 2.5 times as expensive as an equivalent weapon.
    • Manufactured weapons typically have a higher base damage than natural weapons (a greatsword does 2d6, a bite 1d6) and can have abilities like Reach, Disarm, and Trip.
    • A manufactured weapon wielded in two hands adds 1.5 your Strength modifier to damage over multiple attacks.

    For these reasons, it's worth at least considering whether you want to go the weapon route for your Eidolon. Even if you don't want to make it a focus, it can be worth taking a weapon proficiency so you can carry some Silver and Cold Iron weapons around just in case.

    Eidolon Feats

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    Here's a very brief overview of good feats to take for your Eidolon. Only the standouts will be included (rated black and above).

    Ability Focus: Take this if you go for the Poison evolution.
    Blind-Fight tree: Combos well with Scent, Tremorsense, or Blindsense.
    Combat Reflexes: Eidolons have several ways of getting Reach, and this lets you take maximum advantage of it.
    Dazing Assault: Brutal if it works, but at a high cost.
    Double Slice: For Kali builds.
    Eldritch Claws: Make your natural weapons silver. Good if your campaign includes a lot of lycanthropes or devils.
    Exotic Weapon Proficiency: An alternative to Martial Weapon Proficiency for the spiked chain fans.
    Improved Critical: Not bad for an attack you're going to use a lot. Requires BAB +8, though.
    Improved Natural Attack: Requires +4 BAB, but this is an almost automatic pick for most Eidolons.
    Improved Initiative: Never a bad choice.
    Lunge: Reach is good, and this gives you yet another way to boost it. Requires BAB +6.
    Martial Weapon Proficiency: An automatic 1st-level choice for slugger builds, and a useful backup on others, too. Carrying a greatsword in a few different materials can be a lifesaver if you run into something with DR.
    Multiweapon Fighting: The signature feat of the Kali build.
    Power Attack: A great way to boost damage at low levels. You'll want this on almost every Eidolon build.
    Step Up: Chase down casters or archers who try to step away.
    Toughness: More HP is never a bad thing, but the reduced HD of the Eidolon makes this less useful than it could have been.
    Weapon Focus: A +1 to hit is always useful, if not that exciting.

    The Three Laws of Evolution

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    The Packages below go into more detail, but these are the general rules to follow when you're building your Eidolon.

    1. Primary Good, Secondary Bad: Always take primary natural attacks over secondary ones, unless you're wielding a weapon.
    2. Reach is King: Biped, Enlarge, Lunge, reach weapon, Reach evolution - get as many as you can afford to make your reach as high as you possibly can.
    3. Go Large: The Large evolution gives you a great Strength boost as well as other benefits. Take it at the first opportunity.





    Eidolon Packages

    There are countless combinations of evolutions and feats for an Eidolon. Instead of rating each evolution individually, this guide will give you ideas for Eidolon 'packages'; sets of suggested evolutions and feats that work particularly well together. As you level up, pick extra ones from the list, or branch out into a different package. In all cases, take the Large evolution as soon as possible.

    These packages cover offensive power only: for defense and utility, open the 'Other Evolutions' spoiler at the end of this post.

    Pouncer (Cat Form)

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    Base Form: Quadruped
    Evolutions: Claws, Pounce, Rake, Rend, Energy Attacks, Limbs (arms) & extra Claws, Ability Increase (Strength), Improved Damage (Claws)
    Feats: Power Attack, Improved Natural Attack, Lunge

    This build revolves around getting lots of natural attacks, stacking extra damage onto them (from energy attacks, Power Attack, and a high Strength), then unloading them all on an enemy with Pounce. Very straightforward and very high first-round damage potential. Dependent on getting off that charge, so make sure you identify the kinds of things that can prevent charges and neutralise them (e.g. give the Eidolon flight so it can charge over difficult terrain, and position yourself in the marching order so that party members won't obstruct you). Your main weakness will be Damage Reduction: since you depend upon landing lots of hits even a small amount of DR will cripple your damage output.

    Ripper (Bear Form)

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    Base Form: Biped
    Evolutions: Bite, Reach (Bite), Reach (Claws), Improved Damage (Bite), Improved Damage (Claws), Ability Increase (Strength), and as many other natural attacks as you have the points for.
    Feats: Power Attack, Improved Natural Attack, Lunge

    Very similar to the Pouncer, this build focuses around maximising Strength and Reach. It should do more damage than the Pouncer on a full attack due to its higher starting Strength score, but it'll have more trouble getting full attacks due to lack of Pounce. Again, Damage Reduction is a major problem.

    Chomper (Dog Form)

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    Base Form: Quadruped or Biped
    Evolutions: Bite, Improved Bite, Improved Damage (Bite), Reach (Bite), Ability Increase (Strength), Trip (Bite), Poison (Bite)
    Feats: Power Attack, Weapon Focus (Bite), Improved Natural Attack, Combat Reflexes/Lunge, Ability Focus (Poison)

    This build goes a slightly different route: instead of lots of medium-strength attacks, you try to land one BIG attack, then use Combat Reflexes and Reach to make sure you get as many shots with it as possible. Stack as many conditions (such as Trip and Poison) onto the single hit as possible. Much lower damage potential than the first two forms, but unlike them you're not dependent on full attacks, meaning you don't have to stand toe-to-toe with the monsters and can move around.

    Constrictor (Snake Form)

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    Base Form: Serpentine
    Evolutions: Grab, Constrict, Ability Increase (Strength), Improved Damage
    Feats: Improved Unarmed Strike -> Improved Grapple, Weapon Focus

    Grab enemies and crush them. Grappling paralyses an enemy quite effectively, but the big weakness of this strategy is that the Grab evolution only works on enemies smaller than your Eidolon, meaning you'll need to make heavy use of Enlarge effects to make it work. With a starting Strength of only 12, you'll also have trouble making the combat maneuver checks - Pincers will help, but they're secondary attacks. This build is a combat-ender when it works, but it'll probably fail more often than it succeeds.

    Slugger (Weapon-Wielder)

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    Base Form: Quadruped or Biped
    Evolutions: Reach (Weapon), Ability Increase (Strength), Limbs (Arms, if Quadruped), Pounce (if Quadruped)
    Feats: Martial Weapon Proficiency or Exotic Weapon Proficiency, Power Attack, Combat Reflexes

    Get your Eidolon a big hefty two-handed weapon and go to town. (Note: do NOT get the Weapon Training evolution. MWP or EWP is far more efficient.) Go for Biped to maximise Strength and Reach, or Quadruped for the 'centaur' build like the ones in the Narnia films. This build requires very few evolution points, so unlike the others you'll be able to afford defensive and utility evolutions.

    Mount (Mounted Combat Form)

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    Base Form: Quadruped
    Evolutions: Mount, otherwise as Pouncer
    Feats: As Pouncer

    Using your Eidolon as a mount has advantages: you never have to worry about getting out of range of Life Link, you'll always be in range of its Shield Ally, and you can protect your Eidolon with Mounted Combat. Make your Strength score higher than most Summoners and take Martial Weapon Proficiency (Lance) for x2 damage on a charge. The combination of a pouncing charge from your Eidolon and a lance hit from you is utterly lethal and will often end fights in a single round, but the big weakness of this tactic is that it exposes you to attack. Pick up Improved Share Spells once you get to higher levels to make better use of your buffs.

    Kali (AKA 'Baby Hecatoncheires')

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    Base Form: Quadruped or Biped
    Evolutions: Limbs (Arms), Limbs (Arms), Limbs (Arms), Limbs (Arms), Limbs (Arms), Ability Increase (Strength)
    Feats: Martial Weapon Proficiency (light weapon), Multiweapon Fighting, Double Slice

    A lot of Eidolon builds end up looking pretty ridiculous, but this one takes the cake. Add as many pairs of arms as you have the points for, then take Martial Weapon Proficiency (Shortsword) or similar and watch your Eidolon ginsu everything in its way. You can go for a Biped for a Kali lookalike, or take Quadruped with Pounce to make some kind of demented centipede. You'll be rolling a crazy number of attacks, but any amount of DR will kill you and equipping your Eidolon with that many good quality weapons will drive you bankrupt. Still, it looks scary as hell.

    Combo Builds

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    There's absolutely nothing stopping you from combining elements from two or more of the above packages, and in fact in some cases it's essential (Mount with Pounce, Constrictor with anything, Slugger with anything). Good evolutions to dip are Bite-Reach-Trip and Pounce-Rake-Rend, and Martial Weapon Proficiency is always useful.


    Other Evolutions

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    In practice, unless you're playing a Slugger build, you'll never have enough evolution points for all the attacks you want, meaning you'll probably end up skimping on defensive and utility evolutions. Still, if you have a few points spare, it's worth picking some up.

    1-Point Evolutions

    Climb: The cheapest way of getting off the ground. Good for Mounted builds, as the Eidolon can bring you along with it.
    Gills: Very situational. Probably only worth it for an aquatic campaign.
    Improved Natural Armour: +2 AC for 1 evolution point is a good deal. Stack it with Mage Armour, obviously. Confusingly written - see the FAQ.
    Magic Attacks: Overcoming DR/Magic is OK, but being able to overcome DR/Alignment at level 10 is the real selling point.
    Resistance: If you can predict what energy types you'll be facing one level ahead of time, this is good, but usually you can't.
    Scent: The low end of the detection tree, this is still pretty good.
    Skilled: Very build-dependent, but +8 is a big bonus. Skilled (Perception) will make your Eidolon the radar unit of the party, and you can even make your Eidolon into a passable rogue by taking this for Stealth and Disable Device.
    Swim: again, this is for aquatic campaigns.

    2-Point Evolutions

    Flight: Flight is good, and you want it. The only question is whether you want to spend the points on this, or just use Overland Flight instead.
    Immunity: Excellent when it applies, and worth considering at higher levels where energy attacks start to get frequent and dangerous. Still, it might be better to just use Lesser Evolution Surge.
    Tremorsense: The next up on the detection tree, this lets you automatically pinpoint enemies on the ground.

    3-Point Evolutions

    Blindsense: If you want a senses evolution, trade up to this from Tremorsense once flying enemies become common.
    Burrow: In most cases flight is better.
    Damage Reduction: DR is never a bad thing to have, but 3-5 points is a lot to pay. Boosting AC is probably more efficient.
    Frightful Presence: Doesn't work on enemies with more HD than the Eidolon, which dangerous enemies will almost always have.
    Web: Too expensive, and too easy for enemies to get loose.

    4-Point Evolutions

    Blindsight: Would be good if it didn't require Blindsense. 7 evolution points is too much.
    Breath Weapon: 1/day? Pass.
    Fast Healing: This is good, very good, but Evolution Surge is probably a better way of getting it.
    Large: You want this.
    Spell Resistance: It's not bad, but it carries a major drawback: it stops the rest of the party's spells as well unless your Eidolon takes a standard action to lower it. Maybe worth considering at a high level, but again I'd prefer to use Evolution Surge.




    Sample Builds

    Here are some low-level (and not-so-low-level) Eidolon builds to get you started. Submissions welcome.

    Pouncer (1st-Level)

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    Form: Quadruped
    Evolutions (extra): Claws (1), Pounce (1), Improved Natural Armour (1)
    Feats: Power Attack
    AC: 16
    Attack Routine (with Power Attack): Bite +2 (1d6+4) and 2 claws +2 (1d4+4)
    Buffs to Use: Mage Armour, Shield

    The basic cat-build, this trades offense for defence. If you can get it fully buffed (note: use Mage Armour when going into dangerous areas, and carry scrolls of Shield) it'll have an AC of 24, meaning most 1st-level opponents will need a natural 20 to hit.

    Slugger (1st-Level)

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    Form: Biped
    Evolutions (extra): Reach (weapon, 1), Ability Increase (Strength, 2)
    Feats: Martial Weapon Proficiency (Greatsword)
    AC: 13 (11 when enlarged)
    Attack: Greatsword +5 (2d6+6)
    Buffs to Use: Mage Armour, Enlarge Person

    The opposite extreme from the Pouncer, this maximises the hitting power of a standard attack. When Enlarged this boasts a greatsword strike dealing an impressive 3d6+7 damage out to a 15-foot reach. Low AC, though, so you'll need to use its reach to take full advantage of AoOs.

    Ripper (1st-Level)

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    Form: Biped
    Evolutions (extra): Bite (1), Ability Increase (Strength, 2)
    Feats: Power Attack
    AC: 13
    Attack Routine (with Power Attack): Bite +4 (1d6+6) and 2 claws +4 (1d4+4)
    Buffs to Use: Mage Armour, Enlarge Person

    If you just want to maximise damage on a full attack, this is the Eidolon to use. A glass cannon build - one full attack will almost certainly kill an enemy, but without any source of Pounce or free movement, getting that full attack might be difficult.

    "Killer Centaur" (10th-Level)

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    This is an example of what a really nasty higher-level Eidolon can look like. It's a hybrid of the Pouncer and Slugger packages, designed as an alpha-strike build capable of killing a good fraction of level-appropriate enemies in one round.

    The stats below assume the following all-day buffs are active: Mage Armour, Greater Magic Fang, Overland Flight (all last 10 hours at CL 10). The Eidolon carries two magic items: a +1 greatsword and a belt of strength +2. (In practice it would have far more items and probably some extra buffs like Heroism.)

    Form: Quadruped
    HP: 76 (8d10+32)
    AC: 28 (+3 Dex +12 NA +4 armour -1 size)
    Initiative: +3
    Speed: 40 ft, fly 40 ft.
    Ability Scores: Str 28 (30) Dex 16 Con 17 Int 7 Wis 10 Cha 11
    Saves: Fort +9 Ref +9 Will +2/+6
    Feats: Martial Weapon Proficiency: Greatsword (1st), Toughness (3rd), Improved Natural Attack: Claw (5th), Lunge (7th), Multiattack (Bonus)
    Evolutions (base): Bite, Limbs (Legs), Limbs (Legs)
    Evolutions (extra, 14-point pool): Large (4), Pounce (1), Limbs (Arms, 2), Limbs (Arms, 2), Claws (Legs, 1), Claws (Arms, 1), Improved Damage (Claws, 1), Rend (2)
    Special Abilities: Darkvision, Link, Share Spells, Devotion, Multiattack
    Attack Routine: +1 greatsword +18/+13 (3d6+16, 19-20 crit) and bite +16 (1d8+6) and 4 claws +16 (2d6+6) and rend 2d6+21 if two or more claws hit.

    On turn 1, the summoner casts haste and moves and the Eidolon makes a flying charge of up to 140 feet, pounces, and full attacks, making 3 greatsword attacks, 4 claw attacks, a bite, and a rend at an average to-hit bonus of +19.

    Just for fun, we'll compare this to a Fire Giant, the iconic CR 10 melee monster. It has an AC of 24. Assuming average rolls and no criticals, the Eidolon can expect to do about 143 damage. A Fire Giant has 142 HP. You can push the average damage up much higher by getting the Eidolon better items or more buffs.

    Now, granted, things won't always turn out this neatly, but the fact that the Eidolon has a better-than-average chance of 1-round-killing a monster that's supposed to be a challenge for an entire party is fairly impressive.


    Sample Builds (Reader Contributions)

    Flank Buddy (1st Level) - Contributed by Elyza

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    Form: quadruped
    AC: 19 (23 with mage armor, stacking 27 shield)
    Initiative: +3
    Speed: 40'
    Size: Small
    Ability Scores: <10 16 13 7 10 11>
    Chosen Skills: <Acrobatics(1)> +15, <Sleight of Hand(1)> +7, <2 others>
    Base Skills: <Perception(1)> +12, <Stealth(1)> +11
    Feats: Dodge (1st)
    Evolutions (base): bite, limbs(legs), limbs(legs)
    Evolutions (extra): Skilled(Acrobatics)(1), Skilled(Perception)(1), Imp Nat Armor(1)
    Attack Routine: Bite +2 (1d4+0)

    Notes: This build walks point. He has the best perception bonus of anyone in the party. If he sets off a trap that does more than 15-20 points damage, he will be back tomorrow, with a hangover, instead of dead. In a battle, he uses acrobatics to move through threatened squares with near immunity to get into flank. Readying to aid another once a compatriot moves to their flank position, then performs Aid Another so the compatriot gets a combined +4 to their attack. He doesn't take Weapon Finesse, because feats cannot be swapped out when he transmogrifies into a strength based attacker later. Dodge is always nice, but pick a feat that will be useful throughout his career. He is not the kill stealing star of the show. He makes everyone elses jobs safer and easier.

    Accompanying Summoner:
    Str 16, Cha 12, Heirloom Greatsword, does 2d6+4 damage, with either +5, +7 or +9 to hit. Spells: Shield, Expeditious Retreat. If the party doesn't have planning or surprise, neither spell is a required cast. But, when you have the timing advantage, they are quite useful. This summoner should be built for fighting.
    PFS: After the 1st, module, pick up a wand of Mage Armor for 2PA. 2nd module, Lesser Rejuvenate Eidolon.

    Mounted Dragon-In-Training (1st-10th level) - Contributed by Torinath

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    1st-level:
    <Mounted (a.k.a. Dragon in-training>
    Form: <quadruped>
    AC: 14 (10 Base, +2 NA, +2 Dex)
    Initiative: +2
    Speed: 40í
    Ability Scores: <Str 16 Dex 14 Con 13 Int 7 Wis 10 Cha 11>
    Skills: Acrobatics +6, Fly +6, Stealth +6, Perception +4,
    Feats: Power Attack (1st)
    Evolutions (base): Bite, Limbs(legs)x2
    Evolutions (extra): Ability Increase(Str)(2), Mount(1)
    Attack Routine: Bite +3 (1d6+5)
    Notes: With a Human with MWP(Lance) and Mounted Combat and Enlarge Person on the Eidolon.

    5th level:
    <Mounted (a.k.a. Dragon in-training> (5th Level)
    Form: <quadruped>
    AC: 19 (10 Base, +2 NA, +4 AB, +3 Dex)
    Initiative: +3
    Speed: 40í
    Ability Scores: <Str 19 Dex 16 Con 13 Int 7 Wis 10 Cha 11>
    Skills: Acrobatics +10, Fly +14, Stealth +10, Perception +7,
    Feats: Power Attack (1st), Flyby Attack (3rd)
    Evolutions (base): Bite, Limbs(legs)x2
    Evolutions (extra): Ability Increase(Strength)(2), Bite(1), Claws(1), Mount(1), Flight(2), Pounce(1)
    Attack Routine: Bite +6 (1d6+12), 2 claws +6 (1d4+4)
    Notes: Human will now have Ride-by Attack.

    10th level:
    <Mounted (a.k.a. Dragon in-training> (10th Level)
    Form: <quadruped>
    AC: 25 (10 Base, +2 NA, +8 AB, +3 Dex, +2 NA(Large), +1 Dodge, -1 Size)
    Initiative: +3
    Speed: 40í
    Ability Scores: <Str 28 Dex 16 Con 17 Int 7 Wis 10 Cha 11>
    Skills: Acrobatics +14, Fly +14, Stealth +14, Perception +11,
    Feats: Power Attack (1st), Flyby Attack (3rd), Dodge
    Evolutions (base): Bite, Limbs(legs)x2
    Evolutions (extra): Bite(1), Claws(1), Energy Attacks(2) Large(4), Mount(1), Flight(2), Pounce(1), Tail(1), Tail Slap(1)
    Attack Routine: Bite +13 (1d8+1d6+22), 2 claws +13 (1d6+1d6+15), and Tail Slap +11(1d8+1d6+7)
    Notes: Human will now have Spirited Charge.

    Nom-beast (1st-20th level) - Contributed by erik542

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    Meant to out-right kill one person at a time while not being a glass cannon. (Biped half-elf build)

    Level 1:
    Evos:
    Bite, Energy
    Feats:
    IUS
    Level 5:
    Evos:
    Bite, Slam, Energy, Trip, 3 left for setting appropriate
    Feats:
    IUS, Improved Grapple (qualify for this by taking advantage of ability score increase, and later put a point into dex at level 5)
    Stat boost: Dex
    Level 10:
    You should get your Eidolon a +2 dex belt before making it large
    Evos:
    Large, Swallow Whole, Bite, Grab (bite), Improved Damage (bite), Reach (bite), 4 left for preference / aspect
    Feats:
    IUS, Improved Grapple, INA (bite), Greater Grapple (I like this over lunge here to make eating quick and easy)
    Stat boost: Con
    Level 15:
    a +4 dex belt shouldn't be too taxing by level 13
    Evos:
    Huge, Swallow Whole, Bite, Grab, ID, Reach, 5 extra
    Feats:
    IUS, IG, INA, GG, Lunge, preference
    Stat: I like Int for the sudden burst in skills.
    Level 20:
    Same basic build except a lot more room for things with 13 evos left
    Feats:
    An additional 2 spare feats

    Notes: The breathing room comes from not worrying about the full round attack. Combat should go as follows:
    Charge, Grab
    Eat, Grab
    Repeat
    If you can eat a caster you don't have to worry about it casting inside because the check is 10+spell level+CMB. They can't make ~50+level at level 20. Another anti-caster tactic is to boost up that acrobatics and use an evo for a +8 and skill focus for another +6 (total +29@level20) and simply charge up to the caster and eat them.

    Kitty! (1st-20th level) - Contributed by erik542

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    Half-elf Quadruped

    Level 1:
    Evos:
    Claws, pounce, Improved damage (claws)
    Feats:
    Power Attack

    Level 5:
    Evos:
    Claws, pounce, Improved damage (claws), Energy attacks, 4 extras
    Feats:
    Power Attack, Improved Overrun

    Level 10:
    Evos:
    Claws (2), Legs, Pounce, ID, Energy, Large, Rend, 2 extras
    Feats:
    Power Attack, Improved Overrun, Charge Through, Greater Overrun

    Level 15:
    Evos:
    Claws (2), Legs, Pounce, Huge, 6 extras
    Feats:
    PA, IO, CT, GO, Dazing Assault, 1 other

    Level 20:
    Evos:
    Claws (3), Legs (2), Pounce, Huge, 13 extra
    Feats:
    PA, IO, CT, Dazing, GO, 3 others

    Strategy, Charge Squishy, daze squishy, also with greater overrun your AoO can be used to daze the clanky that you had to charge through. This build switches focus when it hits level 14. It switches from a DPR build to a BC build. At the start it tries to either completely mow down or otherwise take the squishy out of the fight. When it gets Dazing Assault, it tries to go the stun lock route throwing multiple DC 20+ saves at the bad guys. This can just about completely lock down 2 people. This kind of build will probably go with a Rod of Dazing Spell just to maximize the amount of dazing.

    Skill-dolon (1st-10th level) - Contributed by nategar05

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    <Skill-dolon> (1st Level)

    Form: Serpentine
    AC: 13 (Base 10 + Dex 3)
    Initiative: +3
    Speed: 20 ft
    Ability Scores: <12 16 13 7 10 11>
    Skills: <Perception(1)> +4, <Stealth(1)> +7, <Acrobatics(1)> +7, <Disable Device(1)> +7, <Diplomacy(1)> +4
    Feats: Weapon Finesse (1st)
    Evolutions (base): <bite, climb, reach(bite), tail, tail slap>
    Evolutions (extra): Limbs(Arms), Mount
    Attack Routine: Bite +4 (1d6+1) and Tail Slap -1 (1d6+1).
    Notes: Halfling favored class bonus (or 5th level ability increase to Int) gives extra skill point. Maxes out first four skills and dips the fifth into useful skills. Halfling has Outrider alternate racial trait (bonus on Ride and Handle Animal) and Wanderlust alternate racial trait (+1 CL on movement spells, +2 on Knowledge(Geography) and Survival). Expeditious Retreat compensates for slow movement. Mage Armor, a good ride check, and Mounted Combat from the halfling help protect the Eidolon from attacks, though admittedly not much at level due to short spell durations.


    <Skill-dolon> (5th Level)

    Form: <Serpentine>
    AC: 19 (Base 10 + Dex 3 + INA 2 + NA 4)
    Initiative: +3
    Speed: 20 ft
    Ability Scores: <14 17 13 7 10 11>
    Skills: <Perception(4)> +15, <Stealth(4)> +18, <Acrobatics(4)> +18, <Disable Device(4)> +18, Diplomacy(1)> +4, <Sense Motive(1)> +4, <Bluff(1)> +4, <Intimidate(1)> +4
    Feats: Weapon Finesse (1st), Combat Reflexes (2nd)
    Evolutions (base): <bite, climb, reach(bite), tail, tail slap>
    Evolutions (extra): <Skilled(Perception)(1), Skilled(Stealth)(1), Skilled(Disable Device)(1), Skilled(Acrobatics)(1), Mount(1), Improved Natural Armor(1), Limbs(Arms)(2)>
    Attack Routine: Bite +7 (1d6+2) and Tail Slap +2 (1d6+2)
    Notes: With impressive skills, the Eidolon can make a good skill-monkey rogue, freeing up options for the Summoner and the rest of the party.


    <Skill-dolon> (10th Level)

    Form: <Serpentine>
    AC: 28 (Base 10 + Dex 8 + INA 2 + NA 8)
    Initiative: +8
    Speed: 20 ft
    Ability Scores: <16 26 13 7 10 11>
    Skills: <Perception(8)> +19, <Stealth(8)> +27, <Acrobatics(8)> +27, <Disable Device(8)> +27, <Diplomacy(3)> +6, <Sense Motive(2)> +5, <Bluff(2)> +5, <Intimidate(1)> +4
    Feats: Weapon Finesse (1st), Combat Reflexes (2nd), Lunge (3rd), Agile Maneuvers (4th), Multiattack (bonus)
    Evolutions (base): <bite, climb, reach (bite), tail, tail slap>
    Evolutions (extra): <Skilled(Perception)(1), Skilled(Stealth)(1), Skilled(Disable Device)(1), Skilled(Acrobatics)(1), Mount(1), Improved Natural Armor(1), Trip(Bite)(2), Ability Increase(Dex, 2x)(4), Limbs(Arms)(2)>
    Attack Routine: Bite +13/+8 (1d6+3) and Tail Slap +8 (1d6+3)
    Notes: By this point there are some evolution and skill points to spare, so you can change a few evolutions to make it even more Skilled if your party needs a face. A good CMB and Trip on the bite helps control the battlefield. Medium size helps with practicality. Improved Share Spells with Reduce Person could also be helpful.

    Tank-dalon (1st-10th level) - Contributed by nategar05

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    Build intended to soak up enemies' attacks and influence the battleground. Focuses on Con/HP more than other builds. Gnome Summoner uses favored class bonus to give HP to Eidolon and takes Toughness. He has the Academician and Gift of Tongues alternate racial traits.


    <Tank-dalon> (1st Level)

    Form: <Quadruped>
    AC: 14 (Base 10 + Dex 2 + INA 2)
    Initiative: +2
    Speed: 40 ft
    Ability Scores: <14 14 13 7 10 11>
    Skills: <Intimidate(1)> +12, <Perception(1)> +4, <Diplomacy(1)> +12, <Bluff(1)> +4
    Feats: Antagonize (1st)
    Evolutions (base): <bite, limbs(legs)(2)>
    Evolutions (extra): Improved Natural Armor(1), Skilled(Intimidate)(1), Skilled(Diplomacy)(1)
    Attack Routine: Bite +3 (1d6+2)
    Notes: Not enough evolution points to get an ability increase in Con yet and still Antagonize well. However, Antagonize makes sure that attacks go to the character that comes back the next day, rather than the one that doesn't (except with a mustache, a new hat, and an accent of course). Diplomacy and intimidate are useful with Antagonize and are good for influencing people. Gnome picks up Mage Armor, Shield, and (later) Compel Hostility.


    <Tank-dalon> (5th Level)

    Form: <Quadruped>
    AC: 21 (Base 10 + Dex 3 + INA 4 + NA 4)
    Initiative: +3
    Speed: 40 ft
    Ability Scores: <16 16 16 7 10 11>
    Skills: <Intimidate(4)> +15, <Perception(4)> +7, <Diplomacy(4)> +15, <Bluff(2)> +5, <Sense Motive(2)> +5,
    Feats: Antagonize (1st), Weapon Focus(Bite) (2nd)
    Evolutions (base): <bite, limbs(legs)(2)>
    Evolutions (extra): Improved Natural Armor(2x)(2), Skilled(Intimidate)(1), Skilled(Diplomacy)(1), Claws(1), Pounce(1), Ability Increase(Con)(2)
    Attack Routine: Bite +8 (1d6+3) and 2 claws +7 (1d4+3)
    Notes: Weapon Focus (Bite) is just a step to Dazzling Display. Also helpful for when you pick up the Poison evolution (Need all the extra to-hit. It is a Con build rather than a Str build after all). Bear's Endurance, Evolution Surge(lesser), and (later) Barkskin helps.


    <Tank-dalon> (10th Level)

    Form: <Quadruped>
    AC: 28 (Base 10 + Dex 3 + INA 6 + NA 10 - Size 1)
    Initiative: +3
    Speed: 40 ft
    Ability Scores: <26 16 19 7 10 11>
    Skills: <Intimidate(8)> +19, <Perception(8)> +11, <Diplomacy(8)> +19, <Bluff(4)> +7, <Sense Motive(4)> +7
    Feats: Antagonize (1st), Weapon Focus(Bite) (2nd), Dazzling Display(Bite) (3rd), Ability Focus(Poison) (4th), Multiattack (bonus)
    Evolutions (base): <bite, limbs(legs)(2)>
    Evolutions (extra): Skilled(Intimidate)(1), Skilled(Diplomacy)(1), Mount(1), Improved Natural Armor(3x)(3), Poison (Con based)(4), Large(4)>
    Attack Routine: Bite +16/+11 (1d6+8)
    Notes: With a good Con, the Eidolon should have a pretty good number of HP. Decent AC for a large creature (At level 12 may be better off with medium and an extra application of Con increase though). Potentially better Bluff and Sense Motive if skilled is applied. DC 20 for Poison. Set up for Intimidating Prowess for the next feat, freeing up an evolution point that was put into Skilled or simply added to really intimidate things. Between poisoning, intimidating, and antagonizing, you'll never run out of combat options. Mount gives another option for the Gnome.
    Last edited by Saph; 2011-11-24 at 12:07 PM.
    I'm the author of the Alex Verus series of urban fantasy novels. Fated is the first, and Book #5 in the series, Hidden, is out as of September 2014. For updates, check my blog!

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Dec 2006
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    London, England.

    Default Spells

    Spells




    Summoner Spellcasting

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    For all your Eidolon's power, an Eidolon alone is just a fighter with sub-par HD and equipment. It's your spells that transform the Eidolon into a real combat monster.

    At first sight the Summoner spell list seems weak, only going up to level 6, but this is misleading. Summoners get many excellent spells discounted one or two (or even three!) spell levels down from the wizard/sorcerer list - in some cases you can actually cast them BEFORE the other full casters. You also get the bard spells known progression rather than that of the sorcerer, starting each new spell level with two spells known.

    You do, however, have an Achilles heel, and that's your spell slots. A 6th-level summoner with an 18 Charisma gets 9 spells per day of 1st-level and over. By comparison, a specialist Wizard gets 14, and a Sorcerer 17. You will run out, and you'll do it often.

    This means that using your spells efficiently is a big deal for Summoners. Pick long-duration buffs and battlefield control effects that give you a lot of bang for your buck, avoid spells that need to be recast frequently, and make use of wands and scrolls where possible.

    A Note on Spell Selection

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    The general rule for spontaneous casters when looking at a spell is to ask "Will this be useful every day?" If the answer's no, you probably shouldn't learn it. Wizards can afford to take niche spells that they'll only use one session in 10: you can't.

    Try to vary your spell list between the types of spells. As a very rough rule of thumb, at each spell level you probably want 2 buffs, 1 debuff, and 1 other. Be careful your spells don't overlap. Greater Invisibility and Displacement are both good combat buffs, but there's no point taking both. Take into account durations as well - you want a mix of long-duration buffs that you can cast at the beginning of the day or when you enter a dangerous area, and short-duration combat spells. Try not to take too many 1 round/level buffs, no matter how good they are - you won't have the time to cast more than one or two in a typical combat.

    You'll see the advice "Scroll it" or "Wand it" coming up a lot. Scrolls and wands are highly cost-effective ways of getting access to low-level or rarely-used spells that don't depend on caster level or save DC. Unless a spell:

    a) needs a high caster level,
    b) needs a high Save DC, or
    c) is high-level and is something you'll be casting often,

    you should consider taking it in scroll or wand form instead.

    Level 0 Spells (Cantrips)

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    Acid Splash: Even at level 1, the damage is pitiful. You're better off shooting a crossbow.
    Arcane Mark: More for roleplaying than anything else, sort of the magical equivalent of graffiti.
    Daze: At levels 1-2, this is a solid debuff, but it quickly becomes useless as you level up.
    Detect Magic: I don't actually have to explain why this is good, do I?
    Guidance: A +1 one-off bonus doesn't seem like much, and it isn't, but it's free and unlike most cantrips it stays just as useful throughout your career. Whenever anyone in the party's about to make an important check, poke them with this. (Note: Poking them in real life and saying "Guidance. *poke* Guidance. *poke* Guidance. *poke*" is funny but may cause them to hit you.)
    Light: Not as good as Dancing Lights, but handy if you've forgotten your torch.
    Mage Hand: Pick up keys through bars, impress children, or just grab that drink without getting out of bed.
    Mending: Takes a while to cast, but a handy utility effect.
    Message: Now this is really good, kind of the equivalent of short-range radio. Put it on the rogue before she scouts ahead, on the wizard before he turns invisible - hell, just cast it whenever your party's doing anything.
    Open/Close: "Is it trapped?" "Let me check." BOOM! "Yeah, it's trapped."
    Read Magic: Good for identifying scrolls, if you don't have a high-Spellcraft character to do it for you.
    Resistance: It would be much better if only it wasn't a resistance bonus. As it is, this becomes useless as soon as the party picks up Cloaks of Resistance (which they'll do starting at about 4th-level). Still, at low levels this is a decent spammable buff.

    Level 1 Spells

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    Alarm: You don't really have the spells to spare on this kind of thing, but it's admittedly a pretty good effect. Might be worth considering once you get high enough level that you find you've got 1st-level slots spare.
    Ant Haul: Impressive boost to carrying capacity, but way too situational. Scroll it if you want it.
    Daze Monster: Summoners get this earlier than anyone else. Pity it's still so weak.
    Endure Elements: It's a great spell, but you don't want it as a spell known. Scroll or wand it.
    Enlarge Person: Good on your Eidolon, and great if it's a biped (grants Reach!) Boosts damage at the expense of an effective -2 to AC. Slow casting time, however. Decent duration, so if you don't have enough spells known, you should probably get scrolls or even a wand of this.
    Expeditious Retreat: Would get a higher rating if Haste wasn't so much better. I'd suggest scrolling it, but +30 speed really is nice and this isn't a bad choice for a form like Serpentine which is a bit slow.
    Feather Fall: Too situational, though when you need it you REALLY need it.
    Grease: Possibly the best level 1 spell in the game, this is a superb and incredibly flexible effect. Trip enemies, make them drop their weapons, clog up corridors, help allies escape grapples, and more. On top of that, it's SR: No and benefits from Spell Focus (Conjuration).
    Identify: You're generally better off with multiple castings of Detect Magic.
    Jump: Take Haste or Expeditious Retreat instead.
    Mage Armour: Essential for Eidolon buffing. At higher levels, cast this in the morning with an Extend rod to last all day. You should probably carry a couple of scrolls as well for emergencies.
    Magic Fang: A good spell for Eidolons with one powerful natural attack. Probably not worth spending an action on in most fights, but essential against incorporeals and things with DR/Magic. Probably better as a scroll, though.
    Magic Mouth: What a weird spell to put on the summoner list. Very VERY situational; can be a decent watcher, but if you want it, scroll or wand it.
    Mount: Horse on demand. Useful for transport, especially if you've got Ride, and a trapfinder if you're cruel. Great duration.
    Protection from <Insert Alignment Here>: A powerful multi-use defensive buff. Use against enemy summons and mind control. If you don't have the spells known, make sure to bring some scrolls of this.
    Reduce Person: Can be used as a defensive buff (boost your AC and ranged to-hit) or as a way to get a Large or Huge Eidolon through tight spaces.
    Rejuvenate Eidolon, Lesser: At levels 1-2, this is useful for Eidolon healing, but as you level up you'll want this in a wand rather than spending your spell slots on it. The extra healing isn't enough to make this better than Cure Light Wounds, but the fact that it's on your spell list when CLW isn't makes it worth considering.
    Shield: Not as good as Mage Armour, but you can have both and stacking a +4 Shield bonus on a +4 Armour bonus can make your Eidolon almost impossible to hit. Consider getting a wand of this and casting it on your Eidolon whenever it goes into a room.
    Summon Monster I: The summon monster spells are discussed more fully in the next post, but the main reason you'd use this over your class ability is to give your Eidolon a flanking partner. Decent tactic, but you probably have better uses for your spells (and actions).
    Unfetter: Removes that pesky distance restriction on your Eidolon. Beware, though - it also removes Life Link.
    Unseen Servant: Who wouldn't want a servant on call? Lots of fun, and actually very useful in dungeon environments for dealing with traps and loose items.
    Ventriloquism: Not really your area, but you might be able to make use of it.

    Level 2 Spells

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    Alter Self: Once the most powerful second-level spell in 3.5, Alter Self is a pale shadow of what it used to be. Still useful for its versatility, but not much good for the Eidolon as it causes the Eidolon to lose its natural attacks (unless all you want is a disguise).
    Barkskin: This starts off average, but the AC bonus increases as you go up the levels until it's actually better than Mage Armour. Use with a rod of Extend Spell to maximise duration. Don't be in a rush to take it, though - 6th or 10th level is a better place to pick it up.
    Bear's Endurance: A solid toughness boost.
    Blur: 20% concealment is nice, but probably not worth a standard action in the middle of combat.
    Bull's Strength: The classic damage buff. The only reason this isn't rated Excellent is that by about the time you get this, you'll be thinking of adding Strength-boosting items to your Eidolon, and they don't stack.
    Cat's Grace: Another decent buff. You probably don't want more than one out of the trio of this, Bear's Endurance, and Bull's Strength.
    Create Pit: Funny and useful. An enemy that fails its save is down a 20-30 foot pit, taking most creatures without mobility powers out of the fight. Benefits from Spell Focus (Conjuration).
    Detect Thoughts: It's a non-buff non-combat spell, and you don't have many slots spare for those . . . but it's pretty handy all the same.
    Eagle's Splendour: Boost your save DCs, buff an Eidolon's Intimidate, or just look nice for meeting the king.
    Evolution Surge, Lesser: Wings for flight, energy damage for natural attacks, tremorsense for hiding enemies, energy immunity . . . this is a superb flexible buff for your Eidolon, and it's hard not to take it.
    Fox's Cunning: With so many other good buff spells, this doesn't really stand out.
    Glide: Take Feather Fall instead, or just wait for flight.
    Glitterdust: When choosing spells known, you want flexibility, and this delivers in spades. Anti-stealth, anti-invisibility, SR: No, and a powerful blinding effect. Your opponent gets extra saves to throw it off, but if they're blinded with an angry Eidolon eating their face, they're likely not to live long enough to get the chance. Also benefits from Spell Focus (Conjuration).
    Haste: One of the best buff spells in the game, and you get it a level earlier than everyone else! Woo! Buffs to speed, AC, and attack, and you can target the whole party too. The only (very small) drawback is that Eidolons using natural attacks might not benefit from the extra attack . . . maybe. See the FAQ.
    Invisibility: A very handy defensive buff and utility spell. Good in Stealth Summoner builds, where you stay hidden and let your creatures do the fighting for you. Note that for offensive purposes, you get the Greater version next level: this is more defensive/sneaky.
    Levitate: It can be useful, but there are so many better options at this level.
    Misdirection: Too niche.
    Owl's Wisdom: Will save buff, and that's about it.
    Phantom Steed: Another good spell that you get before everyone else. Eventually gets to fly, and has an impressive top speed.
    Protection from Arrows: Again, a niche defensive spell. There are better buffs to pick from.
    Resist Energy: This spell can be a lifesaver, but generally requires you to anticipate what energy type you'll be hit with. Better from level 7 onwards, obviously. Evolution Surge, Lesser (Energy Immunity) is better for short notice.
    See Invisibility: How often do you get attacked by invisible creatures? If the answer's "every session" then take this, but otherwise buy a scroll.
    Slow: Another great debuff that you get a level before everyone else. The multi-target aspect really makes it shine.
    Spider Climb: Useful, but you have so many other spells competing for the place that it's hard to find room for it.
    Summon Eidolon: For when bad things happen to good eidolons: get your eidolon back for a few minutes even after it's been killed. Probably better on scroll or wand, but this lets you do some neat tricks - see post 8.
    Summon Monster II: This is starting to fall behind your summon ability. Use that instead.
    Summon Swarm: Not terrible or anything, but it's highly unlikely you'll have a slot to spend on this.
    Wind Wall: If archers are annoying you, don't sit there behind a Wind Wall staring at them, go kill them.

    Level 3 Spells

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    Aqueous Orb: It's a decent attack spell, but you have better choices.
    Black Tentacles: Nasty battlefield control spell. Your Charisma doesn't matter, only your level.
    Charm Monster: Lots of things are immune and it requires the target to fail the save . . . but if you can get past that, you get to make the biggest, meanest thing around your friend for days and days.
    Devolution: Awful. A debuff that only works on Eidolons?
    Dimension Door: One of the best utility spells around. Doubles as attack and defense, and you get it at a lower spell level than other classes, too!
    Dimensional Anchor: For normal use, it's good at what it does, but you won't need it all that often. However, for those planar binders out there, this is worth taking.
    Dispel Magic: Dispelling is good, but the divine casters do it better than you.
    Displacement: 50% miss chance would make this a good choice . . . if it didn't have to compete with Greater Invisibility.
    Enlarge Person, Mass: Stick with the single-target version.
    Evolution Surge: Fast Healing, Large size, and Blindsense stand out here. Probably not quite as good as the Lesser version for its level, but still a great spell.
    Fire Shield: Cast it on your Eidolon, watch attackers burn! Good energy protection too.
    Fly: Never a bad spell to have . . . at this level. But next level you get Overland Flight, so you may want to wait for that instead.
    Heroism: A good long-duration buff with a rare bonus type, this is well worth Extending.
    Invisibility, Greater: Another in the list of great spells that you get at a lower spell level than everybody else. A brutal offensive buff and a powerful defensive one too.
    Locate Creature: Way too situational.
    Magic Circle against X: It's not terrible, but you probably want to leave this to other classes. This pairs up with Dimensional Anchor to be used in Planar Binding, but I'd be tempted to just get scrolls.
    Magic Fang, Greater: the iconic natural weapon buff. Great duration. Best with a single powerful natural attack, almost as good with multiples, goes down sharply in usefulness if your Eidolon picks up a sword.
    Minor Creation: Nice, but you don't really have the Craft for it.
    Nondetection: Too niche.
    Protection from Energy: Not really worth it compared to the alternatives.
    Rage: There are far better buff spells.
    Reduce Person, Mass: Really not worth it.
    Rejuvenate Eidolon: In virtually all cases you're better off spamming a healing wand.
    Seek Thoughts: Too situational, really.
    Spiked Pit: Create Pit's bigger brother. Still good, though starting to fall behind.
    Stoneskin: Expensive, but if you're willing to soak up the cost (which I'm usually not) this is a powerful defensive buff.
    Summon Monster IV: Summon Monster's caught up again, but it faces stiff competition for a slot.
    Tongues: Too niche, really. Besides, you've got Linguistics.
    Wall of Fire: The second of your good battlefield control spells this level, and one of your only effective damage spells.
    Wall of Ice: The third. Again, lower-level than on the Wizard or Sorcerer list.
    Water Breathing: Unless you're playing an aquatic campaign, skip this one.

    Level 4 Spells

    Spoiler
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    Acid Pit: The Pit spells are becoming a worse and worse deal by this point - Wizards got access to this one at level 7. On top of that, more and more monsters have ways of getting out of them.
    Baleful Polymorph: Save or be turned into a squirrel. One of your few Fortitude save-or-loses.
    Bear's Endurance, Mass: By now pretty much everyone in your party is going to be loaded down with stat boosting items. If you want a mass X's Y spell, this is probably the best choice, but it's unlikely to do much and it'll get steadily less useful as your party's wealth continues to increase.
    Bull's Strength, Mass: See above.
    Cat's Grace, Mass: See above.
    Contact Other Plane: One of the more powerful divination spells, this can get you a lot of information if used carefully, but it depends a bit on DM discretion.
    Dismissal: Sure, it gets rid of extraplanar things, but ONLY extraplanar things.
    Eagle's Splendour, Mass: Most of the party won't need this.
    Evolution Surge, Greater: The top of the Evolution Surge tree, gaining you the benefit of both of the previous two in a single action! Excellent buff.
    Fox's Cunning, Mass: Again, pretty useless for most of the party.
    Hold Monster: Save or die . . . probably. Lots of things are immune, though.
    Insect Plague: At this level, wasp swarms aren't much more than an annoyance.
    Mage's Faithful Hound: Too niche.
    Magic Jar: As the only necromancy spell on the Summoner spell list, this is a bit of an anomaly. Can do some stupidly powerful things, but requires much more planning than most spells.
    Major Creation: Leave this to the wizard.
    Overland Flight: A great way to give your Eidolon (or yourself) flight, effectively saving you evolution points.
    Owl's Wisdom, Mass: A +2 to the party's Will save isn't bad, but there are better choices.
    Planar Binding, Lesser: Now you can have even more outsiders following you around. Might want to wait for the higher-level versions, though.
    Purified Calling: It's effectively a weaker Heal on an eidolon that takes a minute to cast. In most situations you're better off using a wand or giving your eidolon Fast Healing.
    Sending: Great at what it does, but what it does is very specialised.
    Summon Monster V: Falling behind again.
    Teleport: Another one discounted from its usual spell level - you get this slightly later than a Wizard, but it's still an excellent spell. Don't forget to unsummon or shrink your Eidolon before porting, and trade it out once you get the Greater version.
    Transmogrify: Very slow to cast, very expensive. I really can't imagine how you'd use this often enough to make it worth it. If you want to change your Eidolon, just use Evolution Surge.
    Wall of Stone: The next step up in the Wall line; an effective battefield control spell.

    Level 5 Spells

    Spoiler
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    Banishment: Again, it's good against outsiders, but most of the time you'll be fighting something else.
    Creeping Doom: Centipede swarms are a joke to CR 13-15 monsters.
    Dispel Magic, Greater: It's a good spell, but you're probably better off leaving this to the other casters.
    Ethereal Jaunt: A good escape or mobility spell for you or your Eidolon.
    Heroism, Greater: One of the most powerful Eidolon buffs out there. It's just a shame you don't get it at the levels Bards do.
    Hungry Pit: At level 4, Create Pit was good: at level 13, Hungry Pit just doesn't make the cut.
    Invisibility, Mass: Cloaking the party can be useful occasionally, but not that often.
    Planar Adaption: Good if you go plane-hopping often and don't have anyone else to cast it for you, but there are probably better picks out there.
    Planar Binding: 12 HD worth of outsiders can be very nice. Even if you get it after the Wizard, this is worth considering. Note that you'll want to access to Magic Circle/Dimensional Anchor, either in scroll form, by asking a party member, or as a last resort out of your spells known.
    Plane Shift: Now you can go anywhere in the planes - or dump your enemies there instead.
    Repulsion: I tend to think of these sort of spells as fairly pointless; if you can get the enemy to fail a Will save, you're usually better making it against something that'll take them out of the fight. (Second opinion by James Maissen: "Highly disagree, Repulsion is a wonderful spell. Simply withdraw from them and cause them to re-enter the field.")
    Rejuvenate Eidolon, Greater: 40ish damage healed isn't worth a spell known at this level when the Cleric and Druid can do 150.
    Sequester: Way too situational.
    Simulacrum: Even if there are some ridiculous things you can pull off with this, it's probably too niche a spell to be worth learning.
    Spell Turning: Excellent buff against spellcasting enemies, for your Eidolon or for you.
    Summon Monster VII: This is the last level at which your summon spells keep up with your Summon class ability. If you want to take one of the high-level ones, you should make it this one.
    Teleport, Greater: The accept-no-substitutes mobility spell. Switch out Teleport for this when you have the chance.
    True Seeing: Costs money, but it's worth it for the "Just Say No" to illusions.
    Wall of Iron: Probably not worth a 5th-level spell known. Stick with Wall of Stone or Wall of Ice.

    Level 6 Spells

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    Antipathy: Weird and very situational.
    Binding: Never seen this used even once, much less frequently.
    Charm Monster, Mass: Not enough of an improvement on Charm Monster to be worth the slot.
    Dimensional Lock: Being able to shut down planar travel would be handy, except that most of the creatures with transportation SLAs have SR as well.
    Discern Location: Without this spell, if you want to find something, you ask NPCs. With this spell, you just ask the DM.
    Dominate Monster: Freaking amazing when it works. Between Will negates, SR: Yes, and immunities, though, it's hard to make it stick.
    Incendiary Cloud: 6d6 fire damage a round would have been scary . . . five or ten levels ago. Against the kind of opposition you're facing at these levels, it's not much more than a nuisance.
    Maze: See that "None" in the saving throw description? That's why this is good. Make a challenging fight easier by splitting up the enemies.
    Planar Adaption, Mass: I guess you can be the party plane guide. It makes thematic sense, at least.
    Planar Binding, Greater: The top of the Planar Binding tree, this gives you access to outsiders easily powerful enough to destroy your enemies . . . or you.
    Protection from Spells: Most of the time you're better off with Resistance items, but there are limited situations where this is worth the money.
    Summon Monster VIII: Stick with your Summon IX or Gate SLAs.
    Sympathy: See Antipathy.
    Teleportation Circle: Despite the cost, this is a very powerful effect, able to transport an entire army. If you don't have an army and only need to bring the rest of your party, Greater Teleport is better.
    Last edited by Saph; 2011-01-31 at 10:47 AM.
    I'm the author of the Alex Verus series of urban fantasy novels. Fated is the first, and Book #5 in the series, Hidden, is out as of September 2014. For updates, check my blog!

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    Default Other Summons

    Summoned Monsters




    Summons vs Eidolon

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    One of the major changes made to the Summoner from Beta to final version was a change to its Summon ability. The Summon Monster I-IX SLA can now only be used while the Eidolon is not summoned. Although a definite nerf, this isn't as bad as you might think: it just means you'll be spending your first round on buff spells instead of on summons. You only have so many actions, after all.

    Effectively what this does is give you a choice between going around with your Eidolon active, or not. If you keep your Eidolon around you get to use it instantly in the first round of a combat, but you can't use your summon monster. If you keep your Eidolon dismissed, however, you can open a combat by summoning a monster of your choice, and only pull out the Eidolon when you need it.

    Summons have two main advantages over Eidolons - they're more varied and they're more expendable. You can pick the right Summon for the job, and unlike Eidolons you don't care if they get killed or have their levels or ability scores drained.

    In practice, you'll mostly use this as a backup for your Eidolon - if your Eidolon gets killed or crippled for the day, just spam summoned monsters instead. Still, summons are powerful, and leaving your Eidolon in the ether and relying on summoned monsters instead is a viable tactic. Since you can only keep one set active at a time, don't bother keeping them alive - throw them into combat and let them soak up the enemy attacks.

    Summon Monster Tips and Tricks

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    • Using your Summon Monster SLA is a standard action that immediately ends any previous use of the SLA. You can use this to squeeze out two full attacks in a single round. Have a previously-summoned monster attack, then take your turn, summon another monster (dismissing the old one) and have that attack too.
    • While summoning another monster with your SLA dismisses an old one, that doesn't apply to summoning another monster with your spells. If you keep one or two Summon Monsters in your spell list, you can have multiple summons out at once.
    • You can have your Summon Monster SLA and your Eidolon out at the same time. Just use the Summon ability, then take 1 minute to call your Eidolon. (The rules say you can't use your Summon ability while your Eidolon is active, but there's nothing stopping you summoning your Eidolon while a Summon is active.) Since your Summon lasts 1 minute/level, this is a great way to double your hitting power if you have some prep time.
    • You can even get a summon and your Eidolon out within two rounds! First use your Summon ability, then cast the Summon Eidolon spell. As a nifty bonus, this lets your Eidolon gain +4 to Strength and Constitution if you have the Augment Summoning feat.


    The Summon List

    The full list of summoned monsters can be found here. Rather than listing all monsters, the spoilers below will just pick out the notable ones. They aren't rated, as the whole point of summon spells is that you can pick whichever you like every time you cast them. If you want a much more thorough look at the Summon Monster lists, check out Treantmonk's Mastering the Malconvoker guide. Not everything in it applies to Pathfinder (some creatures are on different Summon lists now), but the advice in there is still very good.

    A note for budding summoners: If you're planning to summon a creature, BRING ITS STATS TO THE GAME. Nothing is more annoying than having to put a combat on hold while the Summoner's player pages through the Bestiary.

    Assistance on notable monsters helpfully provided by erik542.

    Summon Monster I

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    Dog: Decent single attack.
    Eagle: Decent triple attack.
    Viper: Poison with a sucky DC, but you might get lucky.

    Note: Always have summoned monsters use their Smite ability in the first round of combat. Especially at this level, they'll be lucky to last more than a round anyway.

    Summon Monster II

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    Elemental (small): Nice for their special abilities.
    Wolf: The trip can be good.

    Summon Monster III

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    Aurochs: Hits fairly hard and tramples.
    Dire Bat: Detector.
    Dretch: Can stinking cloud things.
    Lantern Archon: comes with a bunch of moderately useful abilities.
    Snake, Constrictor: Grabs and constricts.

    Summon Monster IV

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    Hound Archon: Spams aid, good aura, and Magic Circle Against Evil. Recommended.
    Lion: Good charger, summon it 10 feet from the enemy and have it pounce.
    Mephits: Lots of SLAs available here.

    Summon Monster V

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    Anklyosaurus: Good damage and brutal stunlock.
    Babau: Dispel and See Invis at will.
    Bralani Azata: Heals, buffs, and throws lightning bolts.
    Large elemental: These are getting good now.

    Summon Monster VI

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    Dire Bear/Tiger: Ouch.
    Erinyes: True Seeing, very nice.
    Invisible Stalker: An invisible man can be handy.
    Lillend Azata: A whole raft of special abilities.
    Shadow Demon: Shadow Conjuration, Shadow Evocation.
    Succubus: Charming with DCs in the 20s.

    Summon Monster VII

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    Bone Devil: More SLAs.
    Tyrannosaurus: Eats things, really well.
    Vrock: Another nasty set of abilities.

    Summon Monster VIII

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    Barbed Devil: Loads of special abilities here.
    Elder Elemental: Powerful, versatile beatstick.
    Hezrou: Grabs and rips.

    Summon Monster IX

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    There are really no bad choices at this level. The Astral Deva, Ghaele Azata, Glabrezu, Ice Devil, Nalfeshnee, and Trumpet Archon all have a crazy amount of SLAs and special abilities, not to mention great melee attacks. Your biggest problem will be remembering all the things your summons can do.
    Last edited by Saph; 2011-01-28 at 07:34 AM.
    I'm the author of the Alex Verus series of urban fantasy novels. Fated is the first, and Book #5 in the series, Hidden, is out as of September 2014. For updates, check my blog!

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    Default Re: [3.P] The Summoner's Handbook (Under Construction, 0% Complete)

    Items




    Having to equip both their Eidolon and themselves means Summoners tend to end up short on cash - as such, the Craft Wondrous Item feat is highly recommended to make your GP go further. Every time you go shopping you'll have to decide whether to upgrade your Eidolon's equipment, or your own. The Eidolon will be in melee more, but it also won't always be around.

    The Shared Slots Problem

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    Summoners share magic item body slots with their Eidolon, which is a major nuisance. Here are some ways round it.

    • Get items in different slots: Most magic item abilities can at least in theory use different body slots from standard. For instance, if you want both you and your Eidolon to have Resistance items (a good idea, by the way) get a Cloak of Resistance for yourself and a Vest of Resistance for your Eidolon. The 3.5 book Magic Item Compendium has a good guide to which slots are and aren't associated: it suggests that a nonassociated item should have a +50% cost bump.
    • Combine items: Per the Pathfinder rules on "Adding New Abilities", you can combine items in the same slot for a +50% price increase. Doing this can free up some extra slots. Multi-benefit items like the stat boost items are also a good plan.
    • Use non-slotted items: Ioun stones, etc. This is less preferable than the first two methods, since the price increase is +100% instead of +50%.
    • Switch around: If worst comes to worst, get a few extra items, leave them off while your Eidolon's around, and put them on when your Eidolon is dismissed. (Summoner items have priority over the Eidolon's.) Wasteful, obviously, but gets the job done.

    Recommended Equipment - Eidolon

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    Amulet of Mighty Fists: Unless you're going a weapon-wielder build, this should be your Eidolon's first buy. Choose between an enhancement bonus (to get magic attacks in the levels before you get access to greater magic fang) and enhancements like Shocking or Flaming (to boost damage over multiple hits). Unfortunately, upgrading it beyond +1 is horribly expensive, even with the Craft Wondrous Item discount.

    Weapon: If your Eidolon has a weapon proficiency, buy it several copies of the relevant weapon - I recommend one Silver, one Cold Iron, at medium levels a +1 Magic, and at higher levels a +1 Magic Adamantine. With Eidolon Strength scores, carrying capacity is unlikely to be a problem.

    Armour: Eidolons can't wear armour. Use Mage Armour instead.

    Shield: Eidolons can use shields, but you're unlikely to have a spare hand.

    Stat Boosts, Physical: +2 Strength will be your first priority, upgraded to +4 when you can afford it. Dex and Con probably aren't worth the money until higher levels (remember that with their lower HD Eidolons get less bonus HP than you do from extra Constitution). Try and get your Strength boost as bracers or Gauntlets of Ogre Power rather than a belt, so that your Summoner can wear a Belt of Mighty Constitution.

    Resistance: Unless you plan to cast Resistance on your Eidolon once per minute, 1440 times per day, you'll want a resistance item. Trouble is, you'll want one on your Summoner too. Try to get a +1 Vest of Resistance or similar, and upgrade it when you can.

    Boots of Speed: Expensive, but excellent for an Eidolon. Craft them if you can afford them.

    Recommended Equipment - Summoner

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    Armour: In ascending order of preference, it goes something like this: Leather < Studded Leather < Chain Shirt < +1 Chain Shirt < +1 Mithral Chain Shirt. You can probably stop at +1 mithral - upgrading further is unlikely to be worth the money.

    Weapon: Carry a crossbow. Unless you're playing a mounted or flank buddy summoner, any more than that is overkill.

    Shield: Don't bother. A +1 mithral buckler is maybe worth it, but the Eidolon's shield bonus is free.

    Stat Boosts, Mental: A Headband of Charisma will be your first pick - even if you don't care much about the save DCs, you can use the extra spells and summoned monsters. Don't bother with Intelligence or Wisdom.

    Stat Boosts, Physical: You'll have a problem here because these will conflict with the Eidolon - see above for possible solutions. Constitution is the first choice, Dexterity the second.

    Resistance: Failing saving throws is a bad thing, especially at higher levels, so get a Cloak of Resistance as soon as you can afford it.

    Healing Wands: You'll probably want a wand of Lesser Rejuvenate Eidolon as soon as you can afford it. Once your UMD gets good, you'll want some wands of Cure Light Wounds too.

    Other Wands: Any Summoner spell that you expect to cast over and over again is worth picking up as a wand (though healing wands should be the priority). Shield, Mage Armour, and Protection from Evil are good choices.

    Scrolls: Get these for situational and utility spells that you won't use often. Endure Elements is a good example of a spell that you don't need often but can be a lifesaver when you do. Skim the Spells section above for ideas - some of my favourites include Invisibility, See Invisibility, Spider Climb, and Dimension Door or Teleport. Once your UMD gets high enough, you can start to include select healing spells like Neutralise Poison or (Lesser) Restoration.

    Metamagic Rods: You'll want at least one Lesser Rod of Extend, and probably two. A Lesser Rod of Reach is also worth it, and a Lesser Rod of Dazing can be nasty. Once you have enough gold, a normal Rod of Extend will let you extend your Overland Flights.

    Rings: A Ring of Deflection is a bit expensive, but never really a bad choice for either you or your Eidolon. Rings of Wizardry would be a great way of boosting your limited spells per day if they weren't so horribly expensive. At higher levels, a Ring of Freedom of Movement makes an effective get-out-of-jail-free card. Finally, a Ring of Feather Falling is a good choice if you use Overland Flight a lot.
    Last edited by Saph; 2011-01-31 at 02:41 PM.
    I'm the author of the Alex Verus series of urban fantasy novels. Fated is the first, and Book #5 in the series, Hidden, is out as of September 2014. For updates, check my blog!

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [3.P] The Summoner's Handbook (Under Construction, 0% Complete)

    Frequently Asked Questions




    The Summoner wasn't edited as well as it could have been and there are several grey areas in the rules. If you have any questions you'd like answered, post them below.

    1. Does Augment Summoning work on an Eidolon when you call it normally?

    Spoiler
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    Answer: No. The wording of Augment Summoning specifically states that it only works on creatures conjured by summon spells. However, it works with the Summon Eidolon spell just fine.

    2. Does Augment Summoning work on the Summoner's summon monster spell-like ability?

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    Answer: Consensus is yes. From Gjorbond on the Pathfinder boards: "There have been several threads on this. If you have a spell like ability, any feat you have that can modify the spell works, with the exception of metamagic feats which require the spell to use a different level spell slot."

    3. Can an Biped Eidolon take the Bite evolution twice to get 1 and 1/2 times its Strength bonus to damage?

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    Answer: Unclear, ask your DM. There was a long debate on this on the Pathfinder boards, and the final conclusion was that the ability was written ambiguously and can be interpreted either way.

    4. Why does the description of the feat Summoner's Call describe something totally different from the benefit it gives you?

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    Answer: It's an editing mistake. The description of Summoner's Call in the Advanced Player's Guide is a leftover from an earlier version of the Eidolon where the Summoner could only call the Eidolon once per day. The benefit text is correct.

    5. Do Eidolons get full HP from their first Hit Die?

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    Answer: No, they get half, like other monsters. Racial HD are never auto-maxed.

    6. When and how often can an Eidolon take the Improved Natural Armour evolution?

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    Answer: This one is fielded by Joshua J. Frost from the Pathfinder boards:

    "As for the Improved Natural Armor evolution, that last sentence is unfortunately not very clear. Here's the intent and how you should handle it until the class is finalized:

    The intent was that you could take it at level 1, level 10, level 15, and level 20. So it should read something like, "This evolution may be taken once for every five levels the summoner possesses, minimum level 1." So you could take it at level 1, but then you'd need ten summoner levels to take it again (level 10), 15 summoner levels to take it a third time, and 20 summoner levels to take it a fourth time.

    Hope this helps!"

    7. Does an Eidolon using natural attacks get an extra attack from Haste?

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    Answer: Unclear. The rules quite specifically say no. On the other hand, James Jacobs from the PF boards says yes. Ask your DM.

    8. Do Summoners need to take a full-round-action to use metamagic?

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    Answer: Oddly, no. If you read the description of metamagic in the Pathfinder SRD, Summoners aren't listed as one of the classes that need to take extra time to use metamagic. The same applies to metamagic rods. Probably just an editing mistake, though.

    9. Does an Eidolon get summoned with gear or without?

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    Answer: The rules don't spell it out, but the general rule on teleportation/planar travel effects is that a creature's equipment gets brought along with it. Several creatures on the summon monster list are statted out with e.g. magical weapons, so it can be assumed that an Eidolon gets summoned with gear included.
    Last edited by Saph; 2011-02-23 at 10:40 AM.
    I'm the author of the Alex Verus series of urban fantasy novels. Fated is the first, and Book #5 in the series, Hidden, is out as of September 2014. For updates, check my blog!

  11. - Top - End - #11
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    Default Re: [3.P] The Summoner's Handbook (Under Construction, 0% Complete)

    Always found the summoner an interesting class, never played it yet, this should come in very handy if I ever do.

    Can you resize the picture so it does not stretch the screen so much?
    Awesome avatar done by Ravens_Wing

    I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
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    US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955)

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    Default Re: [3.P] The Summoner's Handbook (Under Construction, 0% Complete)

    Quote Originally Posted by bartman View Post
    Always found the summoner an interesting class, never played it yet, this should come in very handy if I ever do.

    Can you resize the picture so it does not stretch the screen so much?
    Several of the pictures I'm planning to use are 800x600. Unfortunately my technical expertise with images isn't great, so if anyone could suggest a simple way to shrink them by 20% or so, that would be handy. :)

    Introduction, Roles, and Strengths & Weaknesses are up.
    Last edited by Saph; 2011-01-23 at 11:56 AM.
    I'm the author of the Alex Verus series of urban fantasy novels. Fated is the first, and Book #5 in the series, Hidden, is out as of September 2014. For updates, check my blog!

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    Default Re: [3.P] The Summoner's Handbook (Under Construction, 0% Complete)

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    anyone could suggest a simple way to shrink them by 20% or so, that would be handy. :)
    MS Paint, Toolbar > Image > Resize/Skew > enter % > save.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [3.P] The Summoner's Handbook (Under Construction, 0% Complete)

    Quote Originally Posted by grarrrg View Post
    MS Paint, Toolbar > Image > Resize/Skew > enter % > save.
    OK. Would need a place to upload the images to afterwards, though.

    Races and Abilities are up. 25% done!
    Last edited by Saph; 2011-01-23 at 12:09 PM.
    I'm the author of the Alex Verus series of urban fantasy novels. Fated is the first, and Book #5 in the series, Hidden, is out as of September 2014. For updates, check my blog!

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    Default Re: [3.P] The Summoner's Handbook (Under Construction, 25% Complete)

    photobucket is easy, and free (at least, last time i used it, first x Mb were free, more than enough for a handful of pics).
    I just recently saw the summoner class for pathfinder, and fell in love with it. Good to see other people are interested in it as well.
    I think I just had an evilgasm!

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    Default Re: [3.P] The Summoner's Handbook (Under Construction, 25% Complete)

    Photos resized. I'll start on Skills and Feats now.
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    Default Re: [3.P] The Summoner's Handbook (Under Construction, 25% Complete)

    A few notes about the races:
    Half-Elf: Should be bumped up a notch.
    "Arcane Training" lets you trade away you're "2 favored class" for "1 favored Arcane" and nets you a 1 level bonus on spell trigger/completion usage.
    "Dual Minded" trades away the "Skill Focus" feat for, essentially, "Iron Will", this allows you to REALLY dump Wis.
    And they can trade in their Favored Class bonus for extra Eidolon points (albiet only 1/4 a point per level)


    May also want to throw in a blurb about 'alternate roles'.
    Granted your Eidolon is going to be a melee beatstick, and you're probably going to be slinging Buffs and whatnot. But what about low levels when you don't have the spell slots? Melee Flanker and Ranged Support are your options, Halfling and Elves make great temp-archers, and a Gnome with the Con boost and small-size AC bonus makes a decent Flank buddy.


    More PF approved races, while they are not in the APG, they are on the PFSRD.
    Half-Ogre, makes a better Summoner than you'd think, and a GREAT Flank-Buddy Summoner at that, +4 Str, +2 Con, -2 Int, -2 Wis. NO Cha penalty.
    Ratkin, about the same as the Elf, same stat bonuses, different penalty.
    Saurian, almost perfect stats, +2 Con, +2 Cha, -2 Int, a +2 Natural armor bonus, and Medium sized make them a good choice for a flank-type.

    I'd rate the Half-Ogre as "Good" if going flank-type, "Okay" if not.
    Saurians are borderline "Exellent", but definately "Good", could use more useful racial traits, but 3rd party, what are you going to do.
    Ratkin "Meh".
    Last edited by grarrrg; 2011-01-23 at 12:50 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.P] The Summoner's Handbook (Under Construction, 25% Complete)

    Quote Originally Posted by grarrrg View Post
    A few notes about the races:
    Half-Elf: Should be bumped up a notch.
    "Arcane Training" lets you trade away you're "2 favored class" for "1 favored Arcane" and nets you a 1 level bonus on spell trigger/completion usage.
    "Dual Minded" trades away the "Skill Focus" feat for, essentially, "Iron Will", this allows you to REALLY dump Wis.
    And they can trade in their Favored Class bonus for extra Eidolon points (albiet only 1/4 a point per level)
    Hmm, could be useful. Page refs?

    I'll take a look at the races, too.
    I'm the author of the Alex Verus series of urban fantasy novels. Fated is the first, and Book #5 in the series, Hidden, is out as of September 2014. For updates, check my blog!

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    Default Re: [3.P] The Summoner's Handbook (Under Construction, 25% Complete)

    All three of those are on page 17 of the APG.
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    Default Re: [3.P] The Summoner's Handbook (Under Construction, 25% Complete)

    Skills are done, and grarrrg's review of the non-core PF races has been included.
    I'm the author of the Alex Verus series of urban fantasy novels. Fated is the first, and Book #5 in the series, Hidden, is out as of September 2014. For updates, check my blog!

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    Default Re: [3.P] The Summoner's Handbook (Under Construction, 40% Complete)

    Feats are done. Next up will be Class Features and then Eidolons (finally!)
    Last edited by Saph; 2011-01-23 at 04:36 PM.
    I'm the author of the Alex Verus series of urban fantasy novels. Fated is the first, and Book #5 in the series, Hidden, is out as of September 2014. For updates, check my blog!

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    Default Re: [3.P] The Summoner's Handbook (Under Construction, 40% Complete)

    Thanks Saph, I have been looking for a Summoner Handbook for a while now.
    This is looking really good already.
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    Default Re: [3.P] The Summoner's Handbook (Under Construction, 40% Complete)

    Cool, glad you like it!

    Aaaand, class features are done. Halfway there.

    Posted a link on the Paizo boards, and getting a few bits of helpful feedback there. Several other posters have mentioned that they think the +1/4 evolution point bonus of the Half-Elf is enough to make it better than Human as a race choice.
    I'm the author of the Alex Verus series of urban fantasy novels. Fated is the first, and Book #5 in the series, Hidden, is out as of September 2014. For updates, check my blog!

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    Default Re: [3.P] The Summoner's Handbook (Under Construction, 50% Complete)

    OK, I'm going to be covering the Spells section next, probably tomorrow. I'm leaving Eidolons for last since they're the most complicated.

    I've had several suggestions for Eidolon builds, so if you'd like me to include them in the handbook, please submit them either in this thread or by PM, and I'll credit you with them. Use the following format:

    <Eidolon Name> (Xth Level)

    Form: <quadruped, biped, serpentine>
    AC:
    Initiative:
    Speed:
    Ability Scores: <Str Dex Con Int Wis Cha>
    Skills: <Skill Name> +X, <Skill Name> +Y, etc
    Feats: X (1st), Y (3rd), etc
    Evolutions (base): <determined by your base form>
    Evolutions (extra): <list all here>
    Attack Routine: Bite +X (1dY+Z) and 2 claws +X (1dY+Z) and ... etc.
    Notes: <description and anything that needs explaining>


    The baseline levels I'm going to be using are 1st, 5th, and 10th-level, so build to one of those levels (or all three if you really think your build's that good).

    Don't include items, buff spells, or other situational bonuses, as all summoners use those - the idea's to do a comparison. (Every eidolon's going to have Mage Armour, so there's no need to include it in your statblock.)
    I'm the author of the Alex Verus series of urban fantasy novels. Fated is the first, and Book #5 in the series, Hidden, is out as of September 2014. For updates, check my blog!

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    Default Re: [3.P] The Summoner's Handbook (Under Construction, 50% Complete)

    Here's a thought before you get too much farther.
    Don't list every option. Only list the good ones, and the "traps" (the ones that look good but aren't)
    It'll save some time and work.

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    Default Re: [3.P] The Summoner's Handbook (Under Construction, 50% Complete)

    I noticed that you're saying 3.P in the thread title. Does that mean that you're eventually going to include 3.5 feats and such. If so, where would versatile spellcaster fall for a summoner?
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    Default Re: [3.P] The Summoner's Handbook (Under Construction, 50% Complete)

    can't say I'm not excited about this...handbooks are handy
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    Default Re: [3.P] The Summoner's Handbook (Under Construction, 50% Complete)

    Quote Originally Posted by grarrrg View Post
    Here's a thought before you get too much farther.
    Don't list every option. Only list the good ones, and the "traps" (the ones that look good but aren't)
    It'll save some time and work.
    That was my thinking, at least for the eidolons. There are WAY too many eidolon combinations for me to review all of them, so I was thinking of listing them as 'packages' of evolutions and feats.

    Quote Originally Posted by subject42 View Post
    I noticed that you're saying 3.P in the thread title. Does that mean that you're eventually going to include 3.5 feats and such. If so, where would versatile spellcaster fall for a summoner?
    At the moment I've got my hands full just doing the PF-unique stuff. There are several 3.5 summoning handbooks out there, so I might just link to those and call it a day.
    I'm the author of the Alex Verus series of urban fantasy novels. Fated is the first, and Book #5 in the series, Hidden, is out as of September 2014. For updates, check my blog!

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    Default Re: [3.P] The Summoner's Handbook (Under Construction, 50% Complete)

    The first part of the Spells section is up, including cantrips and 1st-level spells.

    Edit: Also added an Alternate Builds section, on grarrrg's suggestion. Half-Elf has been upgraded to excellent, and a discussion on Half-Elf vs Human has been included.
    Last edited by Saph; 2011-01-25 at 08:20 AM.
    I'm the author of the Alex Verus series of urban fantasy novels. Fated is the first, and Book #5 in the series, Hidden, is out as of September 2014. For updates, check my blog!

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    Default Re: [3.P] The Summoner's Handbook (Under Construction, 65% Complete)

    Spells section is now complete, with all spells rated!

    Next up, Eidolons.
    I'm the author of the Alex Verus series of urban fantasy novels. Fated is the first, and Book #5 in the series, Hidden, is out as of September 2014. For updates, check my blog!

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