This Everyman Mini clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
After we briefly discuss the morality of riding an eidolon, as the unchained summoner was kinda prohibited from getting a mount eidolon, at least pre-Ultimate Wilderness, due to mount as an evolution being relegated to non-good subtypes only. I wholeheartedly subscribe to the notion expressed here, that riding an eidolon is not disrespectful or demeaning.
But we’re not here to talk philosophy, we’re here to check out the eidolon knight archetype for the unchained summoner. These guys get proficiency in simple and martial weapons, light armor and shields, excluding tower shields, but do get one fewer spell of each spell level. 1st level nets Eidolon Mount instead of summon monster I, 2nd level Mounted Combat instead of bonded senses and 3rd level nets bonded tactics. The eidolon can spend 1 evolution point to choose one of the knight’s teamwork feats, gaining it as a bonus feat, regardless of prerequisites. Such teamwork feats count as evolutions, and thus are valid choices for e.g. evolution surge (nice catch!). 3rd level and every 4 levels thereafter nets a bonus teamwork feat for the knight, replacing part of the summon monster-sequence of abilities culminating in gate. The second array of these abilities is replaced with improved bonded tactics at 5th level, which nets Improved Spell Sharing, and durations of effects split are enhanced at higher levels – once more, thankfully getting the interactions right.
Of course, we also get a couple of new evolutions: Among the 1-point evolutions, we have eidolon saddle, which can be configured for gear or riding (switch between these takes a minute). Really cool utility component. Eidolon storage makes the eidolon have basically portable hole style saddlebags that can store smaller items. Rather handy indeed, and yes, maximum capacity increases over the levels! The pdf sports 3 2-point evolutions: Fast retrieval builds on aforementioned storage space and makes retrieving items quicker. Speed boost does what it says on the tin +10 ft. movement, can be taken multiple times. Bonded initiative makes the duo of knight and eidolon take the higher initiative, which can be pretty nasty. Three 3-point evolutions are provided: Bonded charge nets +4 to atk for eidolon and knight when charging and eliminates the AC penalty for doing so. Expansive storage really upgrades storage capacity, and maker’s jaunt lets the knight + mount dimension door as part of a charge, though encumbrance while doing so may fatigue or exhaust the mount. Personally, I think this should have a scaling cap of daily uses. The 4-point evolution provided further increases the potency of the bonded charge option, doubling the knight’s threat range (thankfully noting explicitly that this does not stack), while allowing the eidolon to execute a selection of maneuvers.
The pdf also features 3 feats: Summon Mount does pretty much what it says on the tin and requires the Summon monster I class feature, making it an alternative for those that don’t want to go the archetype route. Summon Steeds is the more potent version, building upon phantom steed (spell reference not italicized once). Relevant for eidolon knight and others: Ride-By Spellcasting. This lets you cast a spell, spell-like ability or supernatural ability analogue to Ride-By Attack, and notes some limitations that prevent this very potent feat from getting totally out of hand. It still represents one option that should at least warrant some scrutiny by the GM,as it can result in utterly devastating hit-and-run scenarios and VERY potent magical knights. I don’t consider it broken, but it’s not for every game.
Editing and formatting are very good on a formal and rules language level. Apart from a missed italicization, I noticed nothing glaring. Layout adheres to Everyman Gaming’s two-column full-color standard for the series, and the pdf has one really cool artwork. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none.
I ended up liking Alexander Augunas’ eidolon knight more than I thought I would. The magic knight riding a deadly, smart companion is a cool trope, and from He-Man to more contemporary series, there are a ton of instances wherein this trope works rather well. The eidolon knight’s loss of the summon monster tricks radically changes the class – instead of the minion-spawner, the eidolon knight feels like a potent, but also rather squishy magical knight, and as a whole, this makes for a cool experience. Now, at the same time, I do think that a few more magical tricks instead of charge upgrades would have made this fellow cooler, but that is simply personal preference. All in all, I consider this well worth picking up if the concept intrigues you. My final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up due to in dubio pro reo.
You can get this cool class-hack here on OBS!
Need more eidolon material? Everyman Unchained: Eidolons is a great book!