Pathfinder has always been a game with an abundance of classes. With twenty-two options (and a new one the way!) I’d say we’re eating pretty good. But looking back at the absolute banquet of choices in first edition does make me think about what was left behind.
Does anyone remember the spiritualist? It was often compared to the summoner, but it had a spookier vibe and a set of mechanics better suited to buffing and debuffing enemies and allies, respectively. In comparison, summoners were focused on raw power and high numbers with the occasional trick up their sleeve. Think of summoners as a season 3 fight and spiritualists as a bit closer to a season 4 fight. It’s a little sad that phantoms and all of their potential were folded into summoners in the transition to second edition, losing their utility focused play style for more straight-forward eidolon mechanics.
But you know what? There isn’t a class in this game that I wouldn’t lay down on the sacrificial slab to give us more eidolon choices.
Hello and welcome to Eldritch Excursion, the blog that isn’t afraid to delve into mechanics and happily savors the juicy flavor of despair. This time I’m going to fully embrace the change that Paizo gave us with the phantom living on in the form of an option for occult eidolons by doing my part to speed up the transition. In a totally unofficial capacity, of course. You know darn well what I’d actually make if they gave me the reins.
Disenus collapsed onto his backside in shock, releasing his grasp on both his sacrificial knife and the remains of the songbird served as the catalyst to his ritual. Violet flames erupted from the crude runic circle before him, rising in a spiraling pillar.
“That isn’t how it’s supposed to go…” he managed to stammer out, cutting himself off with a frightened yelp when the flames died down to reveal a lantern hovering over the circle. A lively violet flame flickered within the steel cage, casting an ominous glow.
The aspiring summoner scooted back until he hit a wall, using it to clumsily stand up while not taking his eyes off the fruits of his labor. A rapid fire of incantations in abyssal slipped from his lips as he saw a pale figure emerge from the circle, grasping on the lantern’s handle as leverage to haul itself into the material plane.
Disenus continued to run through his catalogue of verbal wards, though they seemed to have no effect on the thing that stood before him. The conjured creature was humanoid and pale, as though the color had been leeched from it, dressed in bandages and shackles underneath a tattered gray robe. The only colorful features were the mask of blackened scorched wood covering its face and the violet orbs of its eyes. It was smaller than he expected, up to his stomach in height, but that did little to slow his thumping heart or dry his sweaty brow.
It was then that he noticed a dagger made of steel and bone in its pale hand, dripping with fresh blood. “S-stay back!” he shouted as the figure approached him. “You will obey my…”
The figure looked him in the eye and took a step out of his circle. “Sloppy.” It said in an echoing, feminine voice.
She took his stunned silence and an invitation to continue. “You sought to conjure a demon. You cast out your fears, desires, and aspirations like some kind of prayer to the abyss in hopes something might answer.”
The spectral figure gestured to the spent ritual with her knife. “And it did. Something foul, petty, and manipulative took the bait and came for you with ill intent. I discouraged it. I would ask for gratitude, but I know this just leaves you where you left off.”
“I too sought the power of the abyss, and it ruined me. I stood on top of the world, and in my rage and hubris, I was struck down.” The flame of her lantern dimmed slightly, and she nodded to it. “The least I can do is deny the demons their next plaything. And I know you have need of a servant.”
“So you will… serve me?” Disenus said, gathering some courage.
“So I will serve.” Said the phantom.
Fear Phantom Eidolon
[Eidolon] [Ethereal] [Phantom]
Your eidolon is a lost soul, tied to the mortal realm by a great fear that drives it to inflict terror on others, be it for vengeance or to shepherd mortals away from something even worse. Most phantom eidolons are humanoid with a spectral or ectoplasmic appearance, though some take far stranger forms. Your bond with your eidolon allows you to guide its efforts and wield fear as a powerful weapon against your foes.
Home Plane Ethereal Plane
Size Medium or Small
Suggested Attacks fist (bludgeoning), tendril (bludgeoning), unarmed attacks shaped like a weapon
Dreadful Assailant Str 18, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 12; +2 AC (+3 Dex cap)
Unnerving Creeper Str 12, Dex 18, Con 12, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 16; +1 AC (+4 Dex cap)
Skills Intimidation, Occultism
Languages one common language the eidolon spoke in mortal life
Speed 25 feet
Eidolon Abilities Initial frightful visage; Symbiosis reaping strike; Transcendence fear aura
Your eidolon’s appearance is unsettling on a level that transcends the need for threatening words. It gains the Intimidating Glare feat. As soon as it meets the prerequisites, it gains the Scare to Death feat.
Your eidolon can manifest the fears of their enemies with just a touch, assailing them with visions of terror. It gains a natural attack that deals 1d6 mental damage and has the emotion, fear, finesse, and mental traits. When using Reaping Strike, your eidolon may use its Charisma modifier instead of its Strength modifier for damage. This attack automatically fails against a target not suffering the frightened condition.
Your eidolon gains a 20-foot fear aura, emotion, enchantment, fear, mental, and occult traits. Any enemy that enters the aura must succeed at a Will save against your Spell DC or become frightened 1, or frightened 2 on a critical failure, until it leaves the aura. Any creature that rolls a success becomes immune to your eidolon’s Fear Aura for 1 minute. The reach of your Reaping Strike extends to any area within the aura.
And that’s about it. I hope you enjoyed this frightful little friend. And if you end up using one in your home game, feel free to tell me all about your character in the comments. I love that sort of thing. Come back next time and I might just make good on that promise of stealing your favorite class.