A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how I’d created a new race for Pathfinder because I couldn’t decide on what pre-made one I wanted to play. That was only half of the character I needed to build, though!
The other half, the class, was a much easier decision. Because I’d been so obsessed with the summoner in FFXIV, mostly because of its adorable carbuncles, I knew almost instantly I wanted to try playing a summoner. And when Shane pointed out that unchained ones were even stronger?
Well, that was just icing on the cake.
But alas, although the decision was easy, the actual character building was not. So to help out any of you who may want to try playing an unchained summoner in Pathfinder, here’s what I learned (and all the resources I used to learn it)!
Almost everything you need is on one page…
I love that most of the big resources for D&D have online equivalents. It makes the game that much more accessible for people who don’t want to spend thousands of dollars collecting all the books and accessories!
This page in particular holds almost everything you’ll need to build an unchained summoner, including everything you’ll get as you level up.
...but not everything.
There are a few details, like your spell lists and your starting gold, that are not on that page for some reason. And because the write-up is very clear that the unchained summoner is based on the summoner, it’s safe to assume that you can fill in the gaps with this main summoner page.
As for spells, the list is on that page—but I always use Perram’s Spellbook to generate cards so I can have them with me all the time. It’s got the summoner list built right in, so you don’t have to worry about mixing and matching to find the right spells.
The trickiest part of the unchained summoner? The eidolon.
The biggest difference between the summoner and the unchained summoner (that I could find) is how its actual summonings work.
Eidolons are powerful outsiders that summoners can basically have with them all the time, unless they’re unconscious, asleep, or dead. It was right around when I started learning about eidolons that my story evolved from Lulu into the Scottish legend of Tam Lin—I’d build my summoner into Janet, the girl in the story, and my eidolon into an elven knight that I’d name Tam.
For the most part, you can build an eidolon for an unchained summoner using this page. There were a few blanks it left for me, though, and they were big questions—like where an eidolon’s stats come from, and whether it can carry weapons (and what those weapons might be).
I also wasn’t sure what size it was, but that’s because every eidolon and eidolon unchained description lists a size—with the painfully notable exception of the one archetype I’d chosen.
I did quite a bit of research to try and figure out where the stats came from, and I could not find a solid answer anywhere. What I did find, though, was a series of forum questions talking about how people were basically building their eidolons as weapon-wielding fighters who would tank all the damage for their summoners.
So, after about three hours of hunting, I decided to assume that:
- My eidolon would use the same stat numbers I’d rolled for my character, just distributed differently and with no bonuses or anything
- Because it’s listed as a humanoid and most types can be made either small or medium, it would be a medium creature
- Because I’d chosen a fey eidolon (which is specific to the Fey Caller archetype), it was clearly classified as an outsider, which is proficient with light and martial weapons, so it could have a weapon (and there was also nothing saying it had to rely specifically on natural attacks)
Maybe those were dangerous assumptions, but my DM was okay with it, so of course I am too!
EDIT: I actually told Shane about this blog post before I published it, and he pointed out that the whole “biped” thing listed under my eidolon’s type had all of the things I couldn’t find (rip). I ended up having to take a feat for an extra evolution point, and taking weapon proficiency as a feat so I could use weapons.
My noob-ness strikes again.
Feats are something else entirely.
I’ve never really dealt with feats, because when I made my witch, I had no idea what I was doing and my group recommended good feats for me. So obviously, looking at the feat list and figuring out which of them my mysterious outsider could take was daunting.
Basically, eidolons can take any feat that isn’t class-specific, and that they have the right stats for. So I actually have his feats planned through level 9, by which time he ought to be a scary elf knight!
Basically, I ended up making two characters.
Although there are times when I can’t use my eidolon, like when we get ambushed in the middle of the night, I’m essentially playing a character and an NPC.
And so far, my eidolon does all the damage.
He’s got a longsword I got with the last little bit of my gold, and with the 17 strength I was lucky enough to roll, he does a good chunk of damage. Definitely much more than my little first-level caster!
Have you tried making an unchained summoner (or another tricky class with details spread all over the Internet)? Share your experiences below—and don’t be afraid to correct me if I’m wrong on any of my assumption points in here!