The Summoner

By Jiriku

About the class: 

This is an original base class for characters interested in playing an arcane spellcaster focused on summoning. The summoner excels at summoning outsiders and spirits to act as sages, servants, and bodyguards, and can easily influence others with his potent personality. The summoner is also proficient at banishing spirits and outsiders, including those summoned by him and others. Although a summoner has less raw magical power than other casters, he can augment his prowess by attuning himself to his planar companion, gaining potent abilities.

  • This class is benchmarked against the dread necromancer. It is intended to create a deeper "bench" of interesting classes in the T3 range, not to compete with the summoning capabilities of T1-T2 casters like the cleric, psion, or wizard.
  • This is also my first experimentation with new power systems. The summoner attunes himself to his planar companion, acquiring augments that make him more like the companion. This is basically a simplified form of incarnum, comparable in style to the totemist.
  • The summoner borrows heavily from the malconvoker and thamauturgist prestige classes. I recommend that DMs should disallow summoners from taking either prestige class, no matter what shenanigans they might produce to meet the entry requirements. Some things just weren't meant to be.

Summoners have the following game statistics.

Abilities: Intelligence is the most important ability for a summoner, as it determines how powerful a spell she can cast, how many spells she can cast per day, and how hard those spells are to resist. Charisma is useful when bargaining with called spirits and outsiders, and for many of the summoner's class skills. A summoner benefits from high Dexterity and Constitution scores much as a sorcerer or wizard would.

Hit Die: d6

Lvl BAB Fort Ref Will Special Augs -0- -1- -2- -3- -4- -5- -6- -7- -8- -9-
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Armored mage, master linguist, potent summons
4 3
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Planar companion (1st companion)
5 3
3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 Augmented being (least augments)
5 4
4th +2 +1 +1 +4 Rapid summoning
5 4 3
5th +2 +1 +1 +4 Persuasive
5 4 3
6th +3 +2 +2 +5 Spirited summons +1
5 5 4 3
7th +3 +2 +2 +5 Augmented being (lesser augments)
5 5 4 3
8th +4 +2 +2 +6 Planar companion (2nd companion)
5 5 4 4 3
9th +4 +3 +3 +6 Planar eidolon
5 5 5 4 3
10th +5 +3 +3 +7
5 5 5 4 4 3
11th +5 +3 +3 +7 Augmented being (greater augments)
5 5 5 5 4 3
12th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 Spirited summons +2
5 5 5 5 4 4 3
13th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8
5 5 5 5 5 4 3
14th +7/+2 +4 +4 +9 Planar companion (3rd companion)
5 5 5 5 5 4 4 3
15th +7/+2 +5 +5 +9 Augmented being (dark augments)
5 5 5 5 5 5 4 3
16th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10
5 5 5 5 5 5 4 4 3
17th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 Improved calling
5 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 3
18th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 Spirited summons +3
5 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 4 3
19th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 Augmented being (fearsome augments)
5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 3
20th +10/+5 +6 +6 +12 Planar companion (4th companion)
5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 4


CLASS SKILLS (2 + Int mod per level, x4 at 1st level)
A summoner's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Knowledge (the planes) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Speak Language (n/a), Spellcraft (Int).

Your spells and class features make you well-suited to a variety of roles depending on the type of creature you summon, but you often find yourself using your summoned minions to protect your allies and intercept the attacks of your foes. You have little in the way of defensive magic, so be sure to summon some bodyguards when in dangerous situations and use your augments to shore up your defenses. Outside of combat, your forceful personality and social acumen often make you the leader or spokesman for your group, and you are a font of knowledge when it comes to matters involving other planes of existence. Your augments can be helpful here as well by boosting your mental stats and skill bonuses.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The summoner gains proficiency with all simple weapons and with light armor, but not with shields.

Spells: A summoner casts arcane spells, which are drawn from the summoner spell list (below). When you gain access to a new level of spells, you automatically gain access to all the spells for that level on the summoner’s spell list. You can cast any spell you know without preparing it ahead of time. Essentially, your spell list is the same as your spells known list. 

To cast a summoner spell, you must have an Intelligence score of 10 + the spell's level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a summoner’s spell is 10 + the spell's level + the summoner’s Int mod. Like other spellcasters, a summoner can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. The daily spell allotment is given in the table above. If you attempt to cast spells while wearing any armor other than light armor, you suffer an arcane spell failure chance.

A summoner need not prepare spells in advance. You can cast any spell you know at any time, assuming you have not yet used up your spells per day for that level. However, you may only cast one summoner spell per round, even if you would otherwise have enough actions available to cast more than one. Casting a spell with a casting time of one immediate action counts as your use of a spell for the following round. Unlike some other spellcasters, you do not gain bonus spells for a high ability score.

Armored Mage (Ex): Normally, armor of any type interferes with an arcane spellcaster's gestures, causing an arcane spell failure chance. However, a summoner's limited focus and specialized training allow you to ignore the arcane spell failure chance for light armor. This training does not extend to shields, other forms of armor, or spells gained from other spellcasting classes.

Master Linguist (Ex): A summoner's training begins with the study of the languages spoken by spirits and outsiders. In addition to your normal racial bonus languages (if any), you may select as a bonus language any language spoken by any creature that can be summoned by the the spells on your class list.

Potent Summons (Ex): Each creature you conjure with any conjuration (summoning) or conjuration (calling) spell, or with your Planar Companion class feature, gains a +4 enhancement bonus to Strength and Constitution for the duration of the spell that summoned it. This feature counts as the Augment Summoning Feat when meeting prerequisites.  

Additionally whenever you cast a conjuration (summoning) spell with a duration of 1 round/level, the duration of the spell is increased by 2 rounds. Whenever you cast a conjuration (summoning) spell with a duration of 'Concentration', its duration is changed to 'Concentration + 2 rounds'.

Planar Companion: Upon reaching 2nd level, you may perform a special incantation to call and bind an outsider to serve as your companion. The ritual requires rare dusts and pigments costing 100gp, and requires 24 hours of uninterrupted meditation. You call any creature you could normally summon with a conjuration (summoning) spell on your summoner spell list.

The planar companion progresses as a familiar, as described in the Player's Handbook (pp. 52-53), except that you do not lose experience if your companion is killed, and you may replace a slain planar companion, or one that has been released from service, simply by repeating the ritual. Additionally, the planar companion uses its normal hit points, base attack bonus, or Intelligence score if they are better than the values acquired by virtue of being a planar companion. If a planar companion’s statistics block indicates that it is wearing or carrying any equipment, it appears with that gear when it is first called. The companion will not part with its starting gear, although you can give it additional equipment if you wish. If you attempt to forcefully take some article of its starting gear, it is released from service and may attack you or depart. When it departs in this fashion, it takes all its gear with it.

Once per day, as a full-round action, a summoner may magically call his companion from the extra-planar realm in which it resides. The companion immediately appears adjacent to you and remains for 2 hours per summoner level; it may be dismissed at any time as a free action. The companion is the same creature each time it is called, though you may release a particular companion from service (in order to call a different sort of companion, for instance). Each time the planar companion is called, it appears in full health, regardless of any damage it may have taken previously. The companion also appears wearing or carrying any gear it had when it was last dismissed. A planar companion that is slain vanishes and is released from service, although any gear that you have given it remains behind.

For every six additional levels you gain above 2nd, you may call and bind an additional planar companion (two at 8th level, three at 14th level, etc.). You may call each companion once per day as described above, but once you call a companion, you must dismiss it before you can summon another (you can't have more than one companion with you at once).

Calling a planar companion is a conjuration (calling) effect. Calling the planar companion is a spell-like ability with a level equivalent to one-third your class level.

Augmented Being (Su): Upon reaching 3rd level, you can attune yourself to your planar companion to claim some of its attributes for yourself, gaining augments which make you more like the entity you have bound. The attunement process requires one hour of meditation upon your link to your companion, and it must be present during this time. Once you have selected the augments to be acquired from your companion and completed the attunement process, you manifest the augments whenever you call the companion, so long as it is within 1 mile of you. You immediately lose the benefit of your augments if the companion is dismissed, released from service, or slain, although if the companion is merely dismissed, your attunements remain and you will manifest your augments when next you call your companion.

Augments come in five grades: least, lesser, greater, dark, and fearsome. When you first learn to attune yourself to your planar companion, you can attune only least augments. As you advance in level, you can attune more powerful augments, as shown on on Table: The Summoner.

The number of augments you may attune at any one time is shown on Table: The Summoner, above. If you can bind more than one planar companion, you may attune up to your maximum number of augments separately for each one (e.g. a 10th-level summoner can bind two planar companions, and can attune four least or lesser augments with the first companion and four least or lesser augments with the second companion).

You may suppress all visible signs of your augmentations by concentrating for a moment (a standard action), but they provide no benefit to you while suppressed. Resuming your augmentations is a free action.

Rapid Summoning (Ex): A summoner of 4th level or higher casts summoning spells more quickly. When you can cast a Conjuration (summoning) spells with a casting time of one full round, the casting time is reduced to one standard action.

Persuasive (Ex): Beginning at 5th level, you learn to use emotional appeals, shrewd bargaining, clever wordplay, or brazen intimidation to get what you want. You gain a competence bonus to Charisma-based checks equal to one-half your class level.

If you fail a Bluff, Diplomacy, or Intimidate check in a social situation, you may try to use the skill a second time against the same target, even though it is normally not possible to try again after failing to use Bluff, Diplomacy, or Intimidate in a social situation.

Persuasive grants you the right to make a second attempt, not a reroll of your original attempt, so you must spend the appropriate amount of time to make the second attempt, and modifiers that applied only to the first roll (e.g. a moment of prescience spell) do not apply to the second roll.

Also, when you resort to aggressive negotiation tactics, your allies tend to accept your uncouth behavior as simply an overbearing personality, and your self-confidence earns you the grudging respect of would-be enemies. After your successful use of the Intimidate skill wears off, the target's attitude towards you becomes neutral instead of unfriendly (or reverts to its original attitude, if the original attitude was worse than neutral).

Spirited Summons (Ex): A summoner of 6th level or higher has learned to exhort his summoned allies to greater effort. Your planar companions, along with any creatures you summon or call with your summoner spells, receives a +1 morale bonus on attack rolls, damage rolls, Armor Class, saving throws, skill checks and ability checks. This bonus improves to +2 at 12th level and +3 at 18th level.

Planar Eidolon (Ex): Upon reaching 9th level, the summoner learns to reach through the planes with immense power. When summoning exactly one creature with a summon monster spell (or a similar spell such as summon nature's ally or summon undead), you may choose to either summon two of that creature, or select the creature summoned from the next-higher list of creatures available to you. For example, instead of summoning a celestial monkey with a summon monster I spell, you might choose to summon a single celestial riding dog (chosen from the summon monster II list).

Improved Calling (Su): At 17th level, your understanding of summoning magic shows you how to call even more powerful beings into your service. The normal HD limit for your dragon ally and planar binding spells (including lesser and greater versions) increases by 2. However, if you exceed the normal HD limit for a planar binding spell, any creatures you call may check their spell resistance to escape your binding (as described in the spell), despite any precautions you may have taken while scribing the binding circle.


Summoner Spell list 

Summoner Augment list

Summoner exclusive feats