Welcome back to the continuation of the Secrets of Magic special review blog! If you missed the beginning, you can find it here! Yesterday, I read through the Overview of the Summoner. Today, we look at the included Eidolons.
Each eidolon is a unique creature, categorized into types of eidolon based upon the tradition they draw from and the essence they are manifested from. Arcane eidolons include construct and dragon types from mental essence. Divine eidolons include angel, demon, and psychopomps from spiritual essence. Occult eidolons include anger and devotion phantoms from ectoplasmic spiritual essence. Primal eidolons are beast, fey, and plant and are from life essence. I really like the inclusion of the essences into the makeup of the eidolons, it helps to ground the class into the content from the 1st chapter of the book (and the new canon / mechanics it provides).
Fortitude (E), Reflex (T), Will (E), Unarmed (T), Unarmored (T).
Its level matches yours, and it shares your skill proficiencies.
At first, I wondered why they didn’t just straight up say they share your saves … but things like dual class can alter your saves, and so having the saves explicitly called out makes sense.
Each eidolon type has multiple arrays you choose from at creation, allowing you to tweak your eidolon. It looks like each of the types here have two each, with nifty names to help flavor the choice/path you take. At first glance, I suspect the two represent offensive vs defensive, but the names hint at other intentions, such as the called out marauding dragon vs cunning dragon. I also think this allows future expansion of each existing eidolon by adding more arrays later.
EDIT: I completely spaced in my original read that eidolons gain 4 ability boosts using the same rules as you.
Each entry suggests what attacks your eidolon might have, but the choice is ultimately up to you to choose the two unarmed attacks it has. You can flavor it to look like a weapon, but that look really just determines the damage type (B/P/S). One attack is a primary attack and has the more flexible/powerful traits while the other is a secondary attack that is a simple d6 with agile/finesse. I think this is a nice way to customize your look and feel without getting too wild or bogged down.
If your eidolon gains spells (only available via feat or ability) it uses your spellcasting stats (attack/DC).
Reading an Eidolon Entry
Each eidolon entry lists: magical tradition, traits, alignment, home plane, size, suggested attacks, ability array options, skill proficiencies, sense, language, speed, and then abilities gained at 1st, 7th, and 17th. I am only going to call out some of the details as I feel relevant or interesting.
Here. We. Go!
Angels are divine, can be medium or small, have their choice of the Angelic Avenger or Angelic Emissary arrays, and include Diplomacy and Religion. Their alignment and home plane are linked, as expected, and generally inform the type of angel they are. They have Hallowed Strikes (1st) that deal extra good damage to evil and don’t have a penalty for nonlethal attacks. They gain Traveler’s Aura (7th) that can protect against heat and cold and later environmental damage. Their last power is Angelic Mercy (17th), giving them 9th level divine spells for removing curse, disease, fear, and paralysis.
These are actual angels, which is neat. A player in a previous 1e campaign played an aasimar paladin that took all the feats to essentially become a solar. I could totally see playing a companion or descendant that links up with him as their eidolon.
Anger Phantom Eidolon
Lost souls, these phantoms use your link to avoid corruption and undeath. They are occult, can be medium or small, choose from Wrathful Berserker or Enraged Assassin arrays, and include Intimidation and Occultism. They start with Furious Strike (1st), a 2 action Strike that deals extra dice (1 at 1st, 2 at 10th) *and* a static bonus to their damage rolls. They gain Seething Frenzy (7th), a 1 action activity that lasts for 1 minute and gives them boost eidolon and temp HP while lowering their AC and fatiguing them. Finally, they get Anger Aura (17th), an aura that reduces resistances (including your own) unless they spend an action to repress it. I really like that it excludes raging barbarians (and also calls out other anger related abilities).
I haven’t really done a lot of occult characters, and these have me intrigued. They remind me of some of the hauntings from shows like Supernatural, and that is something I pull a lot of the occult content I use for my games (when I do use occult content).
Manifestations of life and nature link these eidolons to the primal tradition. They are medium, have the Brutal Beast and Fleet Beast array options, and include Intimidation and Nature. Their Beast’s Charge (1st) is a 2 action activity that lets them Stride twice and Strike, possibly with a bonus. At 7th, they get Primal Roar, a 2 action activity that lets them Demoralize all enemies that can hear them roar. At 17th, they get Whirlwind Maul, another 2 actions that lets them attack up to 4 enemies.
I have a sorcerer with a bonded mount/companion who specializes in spells that improve the mobility of his mount. I am actually really interested in seeing how that build would play using a summoner with a beast eidolon.
These eidolons can look like anything you want them to be, are tied to arcane magic and metal essence. They are medium, have Warrior and Scout arrays, and give Arcana and Crafting. They have a Construct Heart (1st) that gives them resistance to things constructs are normally immune to, and they recover from persistent bleed better. Their Reconfigured Evolution (7th) gives them an extra 6th level (or lower) evolution that you can change with only a day of downtime. Ultimate Reconfiguration (17th) adds another evolution feat, this time of 16th level or lower.
With the familiar options available, I was curious how much you can get out of a construct eidolon. Seeing as how the eidolon types are all the same chassis, I think I am happy that this feels like a construct and not the other eidolons. I hope it does stand on its own and not as just a powered up construct familiar.
These eidolons vary as widely as the infinity of the Abyss, but all have an associated sin (chosen by you). There is a nice sidebar on the Embodiments of Sin that describes some demon and summoner pairings. They have the divine tradition, can be medium or small, choose between the Wrecker and Tempter Demon arrays, and give Intimidation and Religion. As expected, Demonic Strikes (1st) deals extra evil damage to good, and your one attack gains versatile. Visions of Sin (7th) is a 2 action activity, usable every 10 minutes, that can block use of reactions, or slow, or confuse enemies. Their final power, Blasphemous Decree (17th), allows them to cast a 9th level divine decree once per day (as a 10th level spell at 19th).
The evil alignment restrictions make this for a home game instead of a PFS option, and I expect it to play out as an Angel (more or less) so I don’t see myself building one ahead of all the other choices present.
Devotion Phantom Eidolon
Another lost soul, these occult eidolons seek out summoners to avoid corruption and death. They can be medium or small, choose from the Stalwart Guardian or Swift Protector arrays, and have Medicine and Occultism. Dutiful Retaliation (1st) gives them a Reaction to attack your attacker. Its Steadfast Devotion (7th) gives it bonuses against mental effects, turning successes into crit successes (and can turn crit failures into failures). It then gains Devotion Aura (17th), a 20 ft aura that can reduce damage to you and allies.
This falls pretty much in the same bucket as the Anger Phantom for me. Intriguing. I think I could do a story and build for this one easier than Anger, though.
These echoes of true dragons become eidolons, taking the form of smaller dragons, drakes, and other draconic beings. They are arcane, medium, choose from the Marauding and Cunning Dragon arrays, and provide Arcana and intimidation. Unsurprisingly, they have a Breath Weapon (1st) based on the dragon type (cone or line) as a 2 action activity, usable every 1d4 rounds, for 1d6 damage (increased every odd level). Their Draconic Frenzy (7th) should be familiar if you have dealt with dragons, a 2 action activity that gives them 3 Strikes; a crit success on any of them recharges their breath weapon. At their most powerful, they can use Wyrm’s Breath (17th) as a free action, once a minute, to double the size and dice of their breath weapon.
Yeah, as if we all don’t have a dragon eidolon build or two hiding in our back pockets. I am definitely going to see how they work out with the 2e summoner.
These reincarnated First World spirits are as varied as you would expect fey creatures to be … especially if you have seen the Sprite ancestry. They are small or medium, choose from Fey Skirmisher or Trickster Fey, and unsurprisingly teach you Deception and Nature. While they provide the primal tradition, their Fey Gift Spells (1st) allow you to choose enchantment and illusion spells from the arcane tradition and it gives your eidolon the Magical Understudy feat (granting it spellcasting). Interestingly, it calls out: “As usual for a feat you are granted by name, you can’t retrain Magical Understudy into another feat.” … that is the first time I remember seeing that reference to “feats granted by name”, and I suddenly am curious if it was elsewhere and I missed it. Fey Mischief (7th) gives your eidolon the Magical Adept feat and allows them access to Fey Gift Spells while their Fey Chicanery (17th) gives them a daily contingency.
Having written a lot of Groundbreaking around a Fey influence in the area, I am very interested in putting together some Fey Summoners for it, and will likely look at some feats and optional abilities to better define the regions.
Cousins to leshys, these eidolons can resemble any plant creature known, or be completely alien. They are primal, medium, have Guardian Plant and Creeping Plant ability arrays, and have Nature and Survival. Their Tendril Strike (1st) is an action that extends their reach by 5 ft that can also be used to simply perform a disarm, shove, or trip instead of a strike (if the unarmed attack had the trait). Growing Vines (7th) gives all unarmed strikes reach while Field of Roots (17th) is a 2 action activity that lets them affect all enemies in their reach based on Reflex; Speed penalty, damage, and immobilization.
I really look forward to seeing a druid and plant eidolon summoner side by side. Druids will certainly have the spell advantage, but will the eidolon have a true advantage over the animal companion?
These neutral, often masked souls provide divine magic, are medium, have Soul Guardian and Scribe of the Dead varieties, and have Intimidation and Religion. Their Spirit Touch (1st) gives them ghost touch and deals extra negative to living creatures and extra positive to undead. Hidden Watcher (7th) provides invisibility once per hour while Spirit Taker (17th) is much more interesting. It lets them see, strike, and expel incorporeal creatures that are in solid objects, and they can target and effect creatures that are outside their bodies (projection or possession), and spirits killed by your eidolon are sent to the Boneyard.
Man, this is groovy, and I am suddenly wishing I had built my duskwalker ghost hunter differently …
Ok, wow. I wasn’t sure how quickly I would read that, and if I would feel like glossing over the options or breaking them down … turns out I leaned towards breaking them down. I also went back after I was done and compared all of the stats arrays. Other than the Fey, the first array of each eidolon provides an 18 Str, 14 Dex, and 16 Con which lines up with me assuming each having an offensive option. The second array of each drops Str to 12 or 14 while including upping Dex to 18 (except Fey, which has Dex 18 for both). The rest of the stats seem a bit random, but the more I stared at the names the more I feel like they made sense. (Or maybe I just shrugged after reading all this and went “sure, ok”.)
That covers Eidolons, so tomorrow we will be digging into Summoner class feats. Thanks for reading along and, as always, please join us at our Discord server https://discord.gg/Rt79BAj to let me know what you think or to simply have a chat!