Eyes of Lamashtu – Cooperative Summoning
Following the success of last month’s Thundersmoke, I wanted to go show more of the different ideas that can be done with party composition. With Thundersmoke I wanted to show how to expand the concept of what you could do with the gunslinger class by adding prestige and personality to player characters and how they relate as a party.
So after attending CapeCon in Cape Girardeau, Missouri and playing with a dedicated team of cooperative clerics, I wondered about teamwork and what a party could do as a team. I thought about teamwork feats and what classes like the cavalier and samurai could do with them. But instead of granting the use of teamwork feats to fellow party members on a limited basis, what if they could be used on a regular basis with no limitations? The summoner class popped into my head because I have never really worked with that class before. And no other class should teamwork be evident than between a summoner and its eidolon. But take it a step further. What if a party of summoners used the same set of teamwork feats between them as their eidolons used a different set between them?
Here is the result, the Eyes of Lamashtu:
After discovering a strange bronze amulet in a desert tomb, the scholar Chigaru Bomani set out to unlock the powers that he believed were contained within the amulet. It was fashioned into the shape of a deformed hyena’s head, but with half of it to look as if half of the face was melted. Two diamonds were set in its one eye and the amulet itself seemed to always feel cold. He traced its origins to a powerful cult of Lamashtu that wished to unleash a horde of yaenit on the countryside, which revealed that several other identical amulets were also created. From his research it seemed that the only difference between them was the different precious gems in the eyes.
After unlocking the amulet’s power to summon a deformed hyena-looking creature and exhausting all of his research options in Osirion, he left to locate the other amulets. With each bit of information he could gleam from rumors, informants and the like, he traveled the Inner Sea region to find each amulet in the possession of another. After convincing the others to join him they ended up on the doorstep of the Pathfinder Society in Absalom. The Pathfinders sent them on missions to find out more about their amulets, and fund their research. When they were together they felt a certain kinship, and a surge of arcane power seemed to radiate from their amulets.
The eidolons summoned by the amulets look like deformed one-eyed hyena-demons with gangly limbs some have referred to as yaenits. Somewhat disturbingly, they seemed to know each other. These creatures are misshapen, mutated quadrupeds with wicked teeth and claws and have fur coloration that corresponds with the gem in their summoning amulet. While creatures of Lamashtu, they seem to obey the orders of the bearer of the amulet unerringly. Questions do remain that the players can use for role play: Do the amulets contain all the arcane power? Will they work with other wearers? Has the power seeped into the characters without their knowledge? Will the yaenits always obey the wearers? Or what if a higher power calls; will they reveal their true nature?
Mechanics and Advancement
Now that we have established a background, it is time to get into the nuts and bolts of the party. First let’s tackle the summoners themselves. At first level they all receive the Allied Spellcaster feat, which, while adjacent to one another, gives better spell penetration and bonuses to spells known collectively. You will notice that they all possess the spell snowball that automatically becomes associated with the feat. This will definitely boost their offensive power as individuals. As they advance in level and gain more spells, the group should decide to take some spells together to gain the benefit of this feat. The other 1st level spell corresponds to their personality and secondary role in the party.
Suggestions for future teamwork feats could be Shielded Caster or Shake It Off depending on what defensive qualities the player or party decides is most relevant. Or maybe the Extra Evolutions feat would help to boost the yaenit’s abilities.
Now let’s look at the yaenit eidolons (Character Sheet). Their first level eidolon abilities will be claws, pounce and improved damage (claws). They will receive the Precise Strike team work feat at first level which will give them a bonus die to damage with each melee attack that hits to a creature they flank. With three attacks a round, the damage could add up quickly.
Future teamwork feats could include Paired Opportunists, Outflank, Tandem Trip and Coordinated Maneuvers or possibly Power Attack (recommended for third level) for a damage boost. Those feats should depend on the eidolon abilities that the players choose for their yaenit. Abilities that should be considered at third level are grab (bite) for those who like to enlarge their yaenit or trip (bite) to slow fleeing foes down. At fourth level rake becomes available, but the yaenit must be grappling the creature before he can use that ability. At fifth level, energy attacks become available which will boost offense to all of its natural attacks. And then at sixth level, rend becomes available for another offensive boost. Unfortunately, these are all 2-point abilities, so players will have to be savvy with their use of available points or take the Extra Evolution feat. It should be noted that they yaenits do not have to all be the same at this point, but should spread the abilities and teamwork feats between several of them to get the most use out of their abilities. As the creatures individually develop at the whim of the summoner, the possibilities for role play are endless for this party.
The party members are listed below. Click on their name to see their character sheet and their secondary party role is listed in parenthesis. All are summoners, but can fill the role of the other class through skills and abilities. Also included is the way that they acquired their amulet. Here is the level 1 eidolon.
1. Chigaru Bomani – LN Male Human Summoner (Wizard)
As a scholar of ancient Osirion, Chigaru was used to his books and the occasional foray into a newly discovered tomb or monument until he found the amulet. Still not fully understanding the powers of the amulet, he has joined the Pathfinder Society in an attempt to use the resources available. (Amulet Acquisition: Found in a treasure trove in a recently discovered desert tomb, Chigaru palmed this certain bronze amulet as it seemed to be the most interesting for further study.)
2. Goud Dyemaker – N Female Half-Orc Summoner (Fighter)
Goud worked as a bodyguard for an aristocrat who happened to be of the few female crime lords in Taldor. Gruff and intimidating, she rose to the aristocrat’s inner circle until authorities took action against the group. Now on the run, she and her ‘companion’ take odd jobs that require her type of muscle; the type that the Pathfinder Society seems to attract. (Amulet Acquisition: When authorities arrested her mistress, Goud was able to escape with a few trinkets that she could quickly grab. Later she discovered the bronze amulet in her cache.)
3. Arias Brightlove – LG Female Aasimar Summoner (Cleric)
Growing up in a convent of Iomedae and somewhat naïve of the outside world, Arias always knew she was special by the way that she was treated by the clergy. Finally coming of age and ready to explore the world, she has struck out on her own with her ‘companion’ and use this ancient creation of evil as a tool of the goodly Silver Crusade. (Amulet Acquisition: The bronze amulet was given to her by one of the clergy at the temple as a gift.)
4. Cardon Blackfeather – CG Male Tengu Summoner (Rogue)
Stealing from the rich to help feed the poor, Cardon grew up on the dirty streets in several cities in Tian Xia. He began to rob the lords’ caravans until pressure from a sizable bounty forced him to flee to Absalom. Now, along with his ‘companion’, he puts his clandestine abilities to good use for the Grand Lodge. (Amulet Acquisition: During one of his last raids on a lord in Tian Xia, Cardon found a bronze amulet on the side of the road while escaping into the woods.)
5. Raythe Kingslan – NG Male Half-Elf Summoner (Ranger)
Living on the fringes of civilization in a small village in Andoran, Raythe served in the militia as a soldier and a scout. As a master of the longbow, he has hunted in the forests with his ‘companion’ while keeping an eye on the border with a certain infernal-infested land. (Amulet Acquisition: After ruining the plans of a raiding party that had crossed the border, he discovered the amulet on an arrow-riddled corpse.)
6. Nibert Hackett – CN Male Gnome Summoner (Alchemist)
A gnome of a different breed, both excitable and friendly, Nibert has become quite proficient with the creation of poisons and other alchemical agents. Currently employed by the Sczarni for all sorts of dastardly deeds, he and his ‘companion’ initially joined the Pathfinder Society to investigate his amulet. (Amulet Acquisition: Given to him as payment for his services, Nibert originally objected to receiving this simple, crude-looking amulet but quickly became excited after he researched it.)
Also take a look at my other Pathfinder Society Pre-gen Parties: