Building a Custom Class: The Summoner

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Well guys, I've been mastering and playing with friends the 4th Edition of D&D for well, more than 2 years, and they're thinking it's a good idea to move into Pathfinder already. I am joining them as a player this time, since I feel I have no guts, patience and understanding to dabble into the complex maze of rules Pathfinder/3.5 is...

While creating our characters, I fell in love with a class named "Summoner" on Pathfinder's Advanced Player's Guide. It is what I was looking for on D&D 4E, and never found. There are classes based on controling monsters such as the Wizard with summoner build, or the Beast Master Ranger; we have a theme focused on controling a beastie but:

1) Beasts were pre-build and boring
2) Beast Mastery was one of those class mistakes such as the Seeker which never got fixed in Magazine or other sources
3) They focused too much on character development and NOT in the beast's

The Summoner focuses on building your own "Eidolon" to battle for you, while you, the summoner, just stay back and buff the ally while making whimpy ranged attacks and minor battlefield control. The Eidolon is what shines on the battlefield, and what makes you unique; plus, as you grow stronger, you gain an ammount of evolution points to make your tough fighter even tougher. It's a versatile class that can even weild a lance to make a mount eidolon and charge into the fray. 

It's something I want to see on 4e, and I'm starting to tinker my own custom class for the sake of fun. However I want it to be "balanced".
I want, however, he player to focus on eidolon usage. My idea was giving the character an at-will attack power picked from the Wizard class (2 if human) and giving 2 at-wills from the Summoner class to the Eidolon, these carrying the Eidolon Keyword.

I'm still tinkering; I'll post class feats, profiencies and Initial HP/Surges/Defense Bonus in a while. Ideas? 
Mostly don't post this in this forum.  There is a houserules and homebrew forum afterall.

The only reason this could have any place here is if you are trying to find design flaws to look for / fix with the existing summoners (which is why my thread on my home-brew class is here, because it focuses on fixing what is wrong with the Berserker).

But if you post in the houserules and homebrew and send me a PM i'll check it out there. 
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
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Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here
All your fluff is screaming "Play a shaman!".
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Mostly a repeat of Matyr, but in a slightly more correct tone for CharOp:

This does NOT belong here, GTFO to Houserule & Homebrew or we will sacrifice your firstborn on an altar dedicated to LDB!

All that aside, seriously, it really doesn't belong here.
RIP George! 4-21-11 RIP Abie! 1-2-13
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63797881 wrote:
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28.) Making a "Drunken Master" style character (Monk or otherwise) does not require my character to be completely shitfaced, no matter what the name (and fun interpretation) implies.
29.) Making a "Drunken Master" style character does not require ME to be completely tanked, no matter how "in-character" I want to be..
But feel free to ask if you need feedback. We're happy to lend a hand, and we know all too well that the homebrew forum is a ghost town as far as decent criticism goes.

Speaking of which, one freebie bit of criticism that you should keep in mind. Whatever you do, remember that you're giving a PC two sets of actions a round. This is absolutely tremendous and should not be underestimated. You say that the summoner is supposed to do only minor battlefield control and wimpy attacks, but I bet you anything that unless you make eidolon commands pack specific buffs (AKA each action you take is a very specific double action without which your Eidolon is a useless piece of junk), it will be hilariously easy to break it. Hell, it will probably still be very breakable regardless, but you need to know this before you start. Let me repeat this just one more time, for emphasis: In every game (and I mean every game, literally each and every one in the world) ever, Action Advantage is God. Drill this into your head and remember that it is the ultimate, original maxim of optimization. Action Advantage is God. Build the class with that in mind.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
But feel free to ask if you need feedback. We're happy to lend a hand, and we know all too well that the homebrew forum is a ghost town as far as decent criticism goes.

Speaking of which, one freebie bit of criticism that you should keep in mind. Whatever you do, remember that you're giving a PC two sets of actions a round. This is absolutely tremendous and should not be underestimated. You say that the summoner is supposed to do only minor battlefield control and wimpy attacks, but I bet you anything that unless you make eidolon commands pack specific buffs (AKA each action you take is a very specific double action without which your Eidolon is a useless piece of junk), it will be hilariously easy to break it. Hell, it will probably still be very breakable regardless, but you need to know this before you start. Let me repeat this just one more time, for emphasis: In every game (and I mean every game, literally each and every one in the world) ever, Action Advantage is God. Drill this into your head and remember that it is the ultimate, original maxim of optimization. Action Advantage is God. Build the class with that in mind.



Will sound silly, but I haven't seen the Homebrew forums in a while, outside of the Homebrew Campaign ones.. I remember how they were "PEACH" but they ended up being quite "Please Evaluate Roughly and Trolling".

I get what you mean, and it's womthing I was thinking before. My plan is to make it play like the Fey Beast Tamer theme, but with a focus on Building an Eidolon of your own via Evolution Points. Every round, you either buff the eidolon, or make an attack trough it. By whimpy attacks I would mean that the caster has no damaging at-wills. 

My idea is still trying to make the Summoner from Pathfinder usable on 4e. Maybe the Fusion Form ability, which lets you fuse with your eidolon, could be a Paragon Path Daily; and the Twin Eidolon ability, which turns YOU into an eidolon, could be the epic tier daily. I still want to focus on using the beastie itself while the caster is just a little whimpy support who will roughly benefit from at-wills and be only a basic attacker.
But feel free to ask if you need feedback. We're happy to lend a hand, and we know all too well that the homebrew forum is a ghost town as far as decent criticism goes.

Speaking of which, one freebie bit of criticism that you should keep in mind. Whatever you do, remember that you're giving a PC two sets of actions a round. This is absolutely tremendous and should not be underestimated. You say that the summoner is supposed to do only minor battlefield control and wimpy attacks, but I bet you anything that unless you make eidolon commands pack specific buffs (AKA each action you take is a very specific double action without which your Eidolon is a useless piece of junk), it will be hilariously easy to break it. Hell, it will probably still be very breakable regardless, but you need to know this before you start. Let me repeat this just one more time, for emphasis: In every game (and I mean every game, literally each and every one in the world) ever, Action Advantage is God. Drill this into your head and remember that it is the ultimate, original maxim of optimization. Action Advantage is God. Build the class with that in mind.



Will sound silly, but I haven't seen the Homebrew forums in a while, outside of the Homebrew Campaign ones.. I remember how they were "PEACH" but they ended up being quite "Please Evaluate Roughly and Trolling".

I get what you mean, and it's womthing I was thinking before. My plan is to make it play like the Fey Beast Tamer theme, but with a focus on Building an Eidolon of your own via Evolution Points. Every round, you either buff the eidolon, or make an attack trough it. By whimpy attacks I would mean that the caster has no damaging at-wills. 

My idea is still trying to make the Summoner from Pathfinder usable on 4e. Maybe the Fusion Form ability, which lets you fuse with your eidolon, could be a Paragon Path Daily; and the Twin Eidolon ability, which turns YOU into an eidolon, could be the epic tier daily. I still want to focus on using the beastie itself while the caster is just a little whimpy support who will roughly benefit from at-wills and be only a basic attacker.



The real easy answer is to take the Fey Beast Tamer theme and whatever class has the powers you want the eidolon to develop. Then play the character with you as the Fey companion, and your eidolon as the character, refulffing the appearances to be opposite. (In other words, you would be a Blink dog that looked human, while your "blink dog" would be a Barbarian with whatever appearance you choose to give it).

But feel free to ask if you need feedback. We're happy to lend a hand, and we know all too well that the homebrew forum is a ghost town as far as decent criticism goes.

Speaking of which, one freebie bit of criticism that you should keep in mind. Whatever you do, remember that you're giving a PC two sets of actions a round. This is absolutely tremendous and should not be underestimated. You say that the summoner is supposed to do only minor battlefield control and wimpy attacks, but I bet you anything that unless you make eidolon commands pack specific buffs (AKA each action you take is a very specific double action without which your Eidolon is a useless piece of junk), it will be hilariously easy to break it. Hell, it will probably still be very breakable regardless, but you need to know this before you start. Let me repeat this just one more time, for emphasis: In every game (and I mean every game, literally each and every one in the world) ever, Action Advantage is God. Drill this into your head and remember that it is the ultimate, original maxim of optimization. Action Advantage is God. Build the class with that in mind.



Will sound silly, but I haven't seen the Homebrew forums in a while, outside of the Homebrew Campaign ones.. I remember how they were "PEACH" but they ended up being quite "Please Evaluate Roughly and Trolling".

I get what you mean, and it's womthing I was thinking before. My plan is to make it play like the Fey Beast Tamer theme, but with a focus on Building an Eidolon of your own via Evolution Points. Every round, you either buff the eidolon, or make an attack trough it. By whimpy attacks I would mean that the caster has no damaging at-wills. 

My idea is still trying to make the Summoner from Pathfinder usable on 4e. Maybe the Fusion Form ability, which lets you fuse with your eidolon, could be a Paragon Path Daily; and the Twin Eidolon ability, which turns YOU into an eidolon, could be the epic tier daily. I still want to focus on using the beastie itself while the caster is just a little whimpy support who will roughly benefit from at-wills and be only a basic attacker.



The real easy answer is to take the Fey Beast Tamer theme and whatever class has the powers you want the eidolon to develop. Then play the character with you as the Fey companion, and your eidolon as the character, refulffing the appearances to be opposite. (In other words, you would be a Blink dog that looked human, while your "blink dog" would be a Barbarian with whatever appearance you choose to give it).




It doesn't work like that. He used FBT as an example of mechanics he's gonna poach, not that he wants to use that fluff and is making a class for that. An Eidolon is much closer to this instead.



EDIT: Might as well link an example of an epic tier Eidolon too. Warning: HUGE image!
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).


It doesn't work like that. He used FBT as an example of mechanics he's gonna poach, not that he wants to use that fluff and is making a class for that. An Eidolon is much closer to this instead.




I wasn't suggesting he use the FBT fluff. In fact, just the opposite. He would be refluffing the holy heck out of it, in more ways than one.

Mechanically, I was suggesting Barbarian w/ FBT theme.

It would be roleplayed with the Barbarian (class used as example only) as the eidolon, having whatever appearance he wanted to go with whatever race / class / build combo most suited the powers he wanted the eidolon to have. His own character would the the Fey Beast companion, refluffed to look like however he wants to describe his character.

I don't think any of the fluff survives this process...

The real easy answer is to take the Fey Beast Tamer theme and whatever class has the powers you want the eidolon to develop. Then play the character with you as the Fey companion, and your eidolon as the character, refulffing the appearances to be opposite. (In other words, you would be a Blink dog that looked human, while your "blink dog" would be a Barbarian with whatever appearance you choose to give it).



It doesn't work like that. He used FBT as an example of mechanics he's gonna poach, not that he wants to use that fluff and is making a class for that. An Eidolon is much closer to this instead.

I'm not sure you read his idea correctly, because it's exactly how it works.  Wimpy attacks and slight buffs? - that's exactly what the FBT's got. Customized power/feature growth over time and big attacks? That's what a PC is. He's not saying to do anything with FBT's fluff. Chuck it out and use the FBT stats for the summoner, and PC mechanics for the Eidolon.

This could work really well with a healthy dose of refluffing and possibly some minor houserules to let the Eidolon get bigger over the tiers so you're not restricted to Eternal Defender and the like. Like to make multiple characters? Have a PC for each Eidolon and just link their power usage or do it spellbook-style so you can't summon each one and blow all their dailies. This would give the concept insane flexibility and require minimal mechanical tinkering.

I've done a similar thing with shaman, playing a ghost character as the spirit companion while my "PC" was just a medium who I relied on to keep me tied to this world. It can be a lot of fun to turn things around like that.
The real easy answer is to take the Fey Beast Tamer theme and whatever class has the powers you want the eidolon to develop. Then play the character with you as the Fey companion, and your eidolon as the character, refulffing the appearances to be opposite. (In other words, you would be a Blink dog that looked human, while your "blink dog" would be a Barbarian with whatever appearance you choose to give it).



I strongly endorse this solution.
The real easy answer is to take the Fey Beast Tamer theme and whatever class has the powers you want the eidolon to develop. Then play the character with you as the Fey companion, and your eidolon as the character, refulffing the appearances to be opposite. (In other words, you would be a Blink dog that looked human, while your "blink dog" would be a Barbarian with whatever appearance you choose to give it).



It doesn't work like that. He used FBT as an example of mechanics he's gonna poach, not that he wants to use that fluff and is making a class for that. An Eidolon is much closer to this instead.

I'm not sure you read his idea correctly, because it's exactly how it works.  Wimpy attacks and slight buffs? - that's exactly what the FBT's got. Customized power/feature growth over time and big attacks? That's what a PC is. He's not saying to do anything with FBT's fluff. Chuck it out and use the FBT stats for the summoner, and PC mechanics for the Eidolon.

This could work really well with a healthy dose of refluffing and possibly some minor houserules to let the Eidolon get bigger over the tiers so you're not restricted to Eternal Defender and the like. Like to make multiple characters? Have a PC for each Eidolon and just link their power usage or do it spellbook-style so you can't summon each one and blow all their dailies. This would give the concept insane flexibility and require minimal mechanical tinkering.

I've done a similar thing with shaman, playing a ghost character as the spirit companion while my "PC" was just a medium who I relied on to keep me tied to this world. It can be a lot of fun to turn things around like that.



The problem is that taking an action to use the FBT's attack is worthless. That isn't what he is aiming for. He wants both the summoner AND the eidolon to fight at the same time, with the same action.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
(as an aside ...)


I'm wondering about Summoning in general.
How to make previous edition Summoning fit ?
Let's say a Wizard-ish dude used a Standard
and got an At Level Minion.  It doesn't get to
act this turn, but rolls initiative for the next round.
Could be targetted this round.

I mean a Minion ought to fit easily on the Game Maths.
But idk that stuff.  What's this worth / how powerful is this ?

5E mini- SRD available now in HTML here:  http://dnd.wizards.com/products/tabletop/players-basic-rules

 

Depends on how far ahead you can summon minions, and how many of them.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).


The problem is that taking an action to use the FBT's attack is worthless. That isn't what he is aiming for. He wants both the summoner AND the eidolon to fight at the same time, with the same action.



Be that as it may, this may be the kind of sacrifice the OP needs to make, You said it yourself, repeatedly.

Action advantage is God

Doesn't mean you cannot toy with it. You just have to be aware of possible consequences. My favorite power in the entire game is Hail of Steel. It would not exist if people were totally scared of action advantage to the point they refused to play with it. Don't tell someone who wants to design to not even try. Tell him how to do it right.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
There is no optimisation here.
Meh, he said he doesn't want to have damaging at-wills. He's got a weak OA and a buffing aura, which seemed to me to fit what he wants. I just think it's a good idea, but the OP is free to build a new class if he wants.
Meh, he said he doesn't want to have damaging at-wills. He's got a weak OA and a buffing aura, which seemed to me to fit what he wants. I just think it's a good idea, but the OP is free to build a new class if he wants.



Another option would be to use the Bladesinger as the Eidolon class and see if the DM will allow the Bladespells to originate from the FBC (PC) instead of the Eidolon. Since the Bladespells don't provoke, I don't see that it would make much difference where they originate. That gives several weak magical attacks in addition to Magic Missle, while the Eidolon can hold it's own in melee, and be the source of the Encounter as Daily spells, with both being able to take advantage of the Utility powers.

You best be talking about my fixed Bladesinger, because otherwise...damn, what did the dude do to you to make you suggest a Bladesinger, man? :P
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
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