View Full Version : Pathfinder Tomebound Eidolon: Class Feature turned Magic Item

2015-02-21, 08:37 PM
Most people know the basic idea behind an Eidolon: arcane caster specializing in Summoning magic calls an intelligence from an alien plane, binds it to himself, and gives it a form with which it can exist in our plane in exchange for a share of its power. Normally, this sounds like the sort of thing you would need to be completely out of your mind to attempt- risking your life and possibly even your very soul attempting to gain power from eldritch beings beyond mortal comprehension, yet the art of Summoning has persisted long enough that most arcane institutions recognize it as a legitimate form of magic- no more dangerous than standard wizardry.

Summoning didn't always work this way though- while the idea of binding outsiders for their power has existed for ages, the Summoner class as we know it is a fairly recent invention. Before Summoners learned how to safely bind their Eidolons to themselves, they tried binding outsiders to inanimate objects, such as magical totems, jars or other such containers, or massive tomes of arcane script. The latter was considered one of the more successful methods, and the art of Tomebinding has recently seen a resurgence of popularity among certain Summoners in recent days. Eidolons bound in this manner aren't restricted to serving only a single master- anyone wielding a bound Eidolon's tome can command them to do their bidding.

Reasons for taking up Tomebinding are numerous, but one of the more common reasons is simple profit. Most Tomebound Eidolons are created whole-cloth to be sold as servitors or bodyguards to those unwilling to risk taking up Summoning themselves. More sinister still are those created by former Summoners as a means of punishing unruly Eidolons, transferring their bond to an impersonal inanimate object that can be sold or discarded at will. Other, more fortunate Eidolons are bound with consent by their Summoners nearing death, allowing them to persist on this plane in their former master's absence and serve as guardians and companions to their loved ones.

In any case, Tomebinding still has its fair share of detractors, each objecting to the practice for reasons with varying degrees of legitimacy: many Summoners who spent years of hard study learning the secrets of their art feel that an Eidolon one can simply buy is an affront to their life's work, while others feel that the act of binding an intelligent being to servitude through as impersonal a means as a tome is in itself unspeakably cruel. These objections are valid, but not entirely accurate.

Tomebound Eidolons do not share the same bond to their masters as a true Eidolon does with its Summoner; one cannot re-shape a Tomebound Eidolon as a true Summoner can, nor can the Eidolon draw strength from or share life force with its current holder. On the other hand, a Tomebound Eidolon is capable of disobeying its master's orders if it so chooses, and in fact can develop its power and personality independently of any one master. On one hand, this means those seeking to purchase a Tomebound Eidolon must be prepared for the possibility of an unruly or disobedient employee, but on the other hand, those that earn the trust and friendship of their Eidolon know a bond that many true Summoners cannot boast: the Eidolon serves not because it must, but because it genuinely wants to.

Agh, TL;DR version: magic item that's pretty much a book with an Eidolon in it that anyone even a non-Summoner can use. Books come in varying "grades" (e.g. I-IX) indicating the max Evolution Points of the Eidolon contained within. Base Form and Evolutions of Tomebound Eidolons can be either rolled randomly or decided by the GM, or perhaps even chosen by player if GM lets you just buy these.

Tomebound Eidolon lacks abilities considered class features to Summoners (Bond Senses, Transposition, etc) and does not level with its user (but may level up on its own at GM's discretion).

Also, a Tomebound Eidolon has an Ego Score and/or Personality (rolled randomly or selected from chart by GM) that determines how the individual Tomebound behaves, e.g. Loyal only serves a particular individual or family line, Principled only follows masters of a certain alignment, Literal follows commands as stated and no further, Deranged misinterprets orders into commands to hurt people whenever possible, etc.

I've had this idea in my head for a while now but haven't really been able to flesh it out as much as some of the better thread's I've seen on this forum. Hopefully by posting it here I can get some feedback and ideas to make this something that just might be usable in a real Pathfinder game. Any input?