4
\$\begingroup\$

When a Summoner reaches 12th level, they get the Greater Shield Ally class feature:

At 12th level, whenever an ally is within an eidolon’s reach, the ally receives a +2 shield bonus to its Armor Class and a +2 circumstance bonus on its saving throws. If this ally is the summoner, these bonuses increase to +4. This bonus does not apply if the eidolon is grappled, helpless, paralyzed, stunned, or unconscious.

The unchained version of this class feature is very similar:

At 12th level, whenever an ally is within reach of the summoner’s eidolon, the ally gains a +2 shield bonus to its Armor Class and a +2 circumstance bonus on its saving throws. If this ally is the summoner, these bonuses increase to +4. This bonus does not apply if the eidolon is grappled, helpless, paralyzed, stunned, or unconscious.

Does the eidolon qualify as being an ally within its own reach?

And if so, then would a non-grappled, non-helpless, non-paralyzed, non-stunned, and conscious eidolon constantly benefit from these bonuses?

\$\endgroup\$
3
\$\begingroup\$

Possibly - yes by a permissive reading, but your GM could easily shut you down.

The Pathfinder FAQ has the following to say about the nature of allies:

Ally: Do you count as your own ally?

You count as your own ally unless otherwise stated or if doing so would make no sense or be impossible. Thus, "your allies" almost always means the same as "you and your allies."

This ruling is mostly intended to clarify whether or not the caster is affected by some spells and special abilities. You will note that it still leaves an unfortunate ambiguity - a creature is its own ally unless that "would make no sense or is impossible". Judging whether or not being your own ally makes sense in a specific case is up to the GM.

Thus, with a permissive reading, the Eidolon is of course its own ally and it is within its own reach, so it can apply the benefit of Greater Shield Ally to itself. However, depending on how your GM interprets the ability, they could decide it does not make sense for the Eidolon to be aiding itself in this way, and therefore deny the bonus to the Eidolon itself.

On reflection, I personally would probably rule favourably in this case. The ability is an (Su) - supernatural ability, so it's evidently magical in nature. The requirement that allies be within the Eidolon's reach, rather than within a certain distance (like an aura) or simply adjacent, suggests that the Eidolon bestows the benefit by being able to touch the ally in question. There's nothing inherent in that working out which makes it nonsensical for the Eidolon to use this power to also defend itself, so it should get the benefit of the ability.

A previous answer revision suggested the opposite ruling, but I rethought it when I realised the ability is explicitly supernatural.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ +1. Note that a GM could overrule any aspect of the game due to their personal opinions. So stating "the rules say X but a hypothetical GM could disagree" doesn't tell me much. I'm only looking for an explanation based on official rules or errata. \$\endgroup\$ – MikeQ Mar 25 '18 at 1:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MikeQ sometimes the legitimate answer to a question is that it depends on the GM. It's not "overruling" to say "no, that doesn't make sense", because the rules as written (or the FAQ at least) say "sure, unless it doesn't make sense"; they are written in such a way as to invoke a judgement call. \$\endgroup\$ – Carcer Mar 25 '18 at 8:45
0
\$\begingroup\$

Looking a little further back, the 4th level Shield Ally ability only gives the bonuses to the Summoner. Greater Shield Ally simply expands that protection to Allies. The requirement that the Eidolon be functional and within Reach seems to indicate the Eidolon is taking some sort of active protective action (despite no action being required). So...to me, this indicates it would not make sense for the Eidolon to be able to shield itself. The Eidolon's AC and Saving Throw Bonuses already represent the active effort the Eidolon makes in protecting itself. I would rule it does not make sense for this ability to apply to the Eidolon.

\$\endgroup\$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.