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How Do You Summon High CR Outsiders?


Rules Questions


Going over the rules for both Planar Ally and Planar Binding, the Greater versions of both spells only allow for a single Outsider with an HD total of 18, or three Outsiders whose total HD combined does not exceed 18.

But what if you want to throw something heavy at the group? What if, as a GM, you want an enemy to summon a Balor (which has an HD of 20), or give the group the option to summon a Solar Angel (HD 22)? How do you pull that off?


If you're a GM, you just do it. Powerful outsiders can come to the Material plane for their own reasons. Also gate.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Gate spell.


GM Lamplighter wrote:
If you're a GM, you just do it. Powerful outsiders can come to the Material plane for their own reasons. Also gate.

Thanks. I'm just starting to formulate a plan for my first Homebrew campaign, so I'm still learning what I can do as a GM.


Madokar Valortouched wrote:

Going over the rules for both Planar Ally and Planar Binding, the Greater versions of both spells only allow for a single Outsider with an HD total of 18, or three Outsiders whose total HD combined does not exceed 18.

But what if you want to throw something heavy at the group? What if, as a GM, you want an enemy to summon a Balor (which has an HD of 20), or give the group the option to summon a Solar Angel (HD 22)? How do you pull that off?

Caller's Feather solves the 20 HD creature within existing rules at least once. You could always create an item that does 4 HD for the Solar. Ultimately, that path is the same as GM fiat -- your ritualist had a powerful magic item that let him call/bind more than he should be able too.

Dark Archive

The easy fix is to assume that the NPC had an occult ritual that requires the right location / sacrifice / configuration of stars and moons / etc. (so that the PCs can't necessarily use it, or, if they do, it will require some effort on their part and won't be an easy fix for anything). This leaves in the GM's hands the exact date that the ritual can be used (the stars won't be right again for 88 years, sorry!), the components needed (not willing to sacrifice the last heir of a magical bloodline by kicking puppies at her?), and the location (which, in fine fantasy tradition, could be blown up / sunk into the earth / overrun by lava at the end of the encounter).

There's also the divine intervention option, where the party gets help from the clerics god (in the case of a solar appearing), or the evil high priest gets help from his demon lord patron (in the case of a balor appearing). You may want to 'balance' such intervention by having the 'summoning' character be taken off the board when the high CR outsider appears, which was what one of my GMs when using that option. The gods proxied a fight, with the drow priestess being replaced by a balor that seemed to rip right out of her. After a round of that, enough to make it clear that the party couldn't handle the balor, the party cleric's god had some sort of shapechanging agathion appear (this was 2nd edition AD&D, I don't remember really well, but it could turn into anything and have it's full powers), and allowed the cleric PC to play the agathion, which replaced his character. He had it shapechange into a silver dragon and go to town on the balor, while the rest of the party engaged the rest of the drow temple.

At the end of the fight, the agathion and balor vanished, the cleric and drow priestess reappeared (her badly wounded, since the demon had been killed), and when the cleric asked the GM about his god not being allowed to interfere directly like that, the GM replied, 'Lolth cheated first.' :)

Grand Lodge

There's also the augment calling feat that works like the callers feather but only for one type of outsider.


Madokar Valortouched wrote:
But what if you want to throw something heavy at the group? What if, as a GM, you want an enemy to summon a Balor (which has an HD of 20), or give the group the option to summon a Solar Angel (HD 22)? How do you pull that off?

As others have suggested, the Gate spell works.

But if you want to go via the Binding spells, I recommend looking at the Augment Calling feat, and perhaps even the Dark Fire Adept.
I believe the effects should stack.

PS: Since the Darkfire Pact has to be with an Evil Outsider, it still won't get you a Solar, but the Balor/Pit Fiends are easy enough.

Dark Archive

Have you seen the Demon Possessed template? It's third party, but it would be a fun way to do this. You slap it onto a NPC who can then use some of the powers of the demon. (Say, a Balor) If things go bad, the demon can abandon ship and fight the party directly. The NPC would lose the template at that point, which is why you should prepare 2 versions of him, one with and one without the template.

For the players, if you really want them to summon a Solar you could just give them a magical item that summons/calls a specific Solar once. The problem is at your players might use this item to early, or they might want to save it for another day.

Set's divine intervention option is also pretty good.

Now for some constructive criticism. If you are planning an epic battle between a Balor and your (Temporary GMPC) Solar then I advice you to rethink your steps. There's no fun in it for the players if they get to watch how your GMPC is kicking ass while they are not.
Instead you should just get descriptive when it comes to the choir of angels that's battling a horde of demons in the sky while the heroes try to take on the cultists that are summoning a demon prince. (Or whatever.) While doing so, they should run into a group of demons or 1 big one at least once. There's an excellent example of an encounter like this in the first part of War of the Burning Sky. (Which you can download for free on this site.)
This also answers the "where are all the angels" question. You know, the one where there's a demonic invasion every other tuesday, but you never get to see an actual angel in the game unless you summon one yourself.
Ofcourse, this might not be what you've got planned at all. In that case, just do what feels best!


For even lower level options, Plane Shift is a 5th level Cleric spell. Outsiders from the outer planes can use this spell to travel to the Material plane.

About the only benefit Gate has over Plane Shift is that it's more accurate. The only benefit of Planar Ally and Planar Binding have is that the outsider does what you say. For pure 'get you there' mechanics, Plane Shift is the easiest go-to spell.

Heck, an outsider using Plane Shift and accidentally ending up in the middle of a crowded city would be a great random encounter.

Scarab Sages

Madokar Valortouched wrote:
GM Lamplighter wrote:
If you're a GM, you just do it. Powerful outsiders can come to the Material plane for their own reasons. Also gate.
Thanks. I'm just starting to formulate a plan for my first Homebrew campaign, so I'm still learning what I can do as a GM.

You can do anything, as GM. Don't need to follow any of the rules and can do whatever you want. That said, you do have to keep the players entertained enough where they don't leave, so constantly wielding above-godly power is probably a mistake.

GMs often have a "play style" which dictates when they break rules, change rules, and follow rules. Sort of role playing the GM. For example, some GMs I've encountered are really on "Cinematic" moments, so they often sieze control of every character (npc and pc) to explain the "epic" thing that is happening, without regard to any such game mechanics. Other GMs prefer to be more referees in a sandbox adventure, allowing the players to form the adventure through their own actions and desires.


the David wrote:

Now for some constructive criticism. If you are planning an epic battle between a Balor and your (Temporary GMPC) Solar then I advice you to rethink your steps. There's no fun in it for the players if they get to watch how your GMPC is kicking ass while they are not.

Instead you should just get descriptive when it comes to the choir of angels that's battling a horde of demons in the sky while the heroes try to take on the cultists that are summoning a demon prince. (Or whatever.) While doing so, they should run into a group of demons or 1 big one at least once. There's an excellent example of an encounter like this in the first part of War of the Burning Sky. (Which you can download for free on this site.)
This also answers the "where are all the angels" question. You know, the one where there's a demonic invasion every other tuesday, but you never get to see an actual angel in the game unless you summon one yourself.
Ofcourse, this might not be what you've got planned at all. In that case, just do what feels best!

I'm not actually looking to play as a Solar to save the group's collective behind. I'm just looking for ways to grant them an option to summon something to level the playing field when we get to the climax of the campaign.

I already have a way to introduce the Balor for the main villain. Or rather, a way for the main villain to BECOME the Balor. But given the specific method indicates that he would RETAIN his class levels, he would break the CR and elevate to Godhood. So if that happens, a new CE God would be born, and it's "Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies".

So, I am going over the resources I intend to give the players to counteract this if things go south. I have a way for them to access the Celestial Realms, but not a way to effectively call forth an Epic CR Celestial if they so desire.


As people have said, the gate spell does exactly what you need.

Calling Creatures: The second effect of the gate spell is to call an extraplanar creature to your aid (a calling effect). By naming a particular being or kind of being as you cast the spell, you cause the gate to open in the immediate vicinity of the desired creature and pull the subject through, willing or unwilling. Deities and unique beings are under no compulsion to come through the gate, although they may choose to do so of their own accord. This use of the spell creates a gate that remains open just long enough to transport the called creatures. This use of the spell has a material cost of 10,000 gp in rare incense and offerings. This cost is in addition to any cost that must be paid to the called creatures.

It can be used to summon a god so can clearly be used to summon a Epic CR Solar. Now how they get the name of the Solar, and ability to cast the Gate spell, and will it be willing to come is a different question.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Madokar Valortouched wrote:

I already have a way to introduce the Balor for the main villain. Or rather, a way for the main villain to BECOME the Balor. But given the specific method indicates that he would RETAIN his class levels, he would break the CR and elevate to Godhood. So if that happens, a new CE God would be born, and it's "Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies".

So, I am going over the resources I intend to give the players to counteract this if things go south. I have a way for them to access the Celestial Realms, but not a way to effectively call forth an Epic CR Celestial if they so desire.

Well, since you control how the transformation happens, you should be able to control the outcome just fine so that it is a good fight for your party, without other intervention.

Personally, if the GM gives presents and overpowering fight, but then makes it ok by giving us an overpowering ally, my tendency is to just go home and let him have his fun with his characters. Your mileage may vary in that, but I prefer to have the party do the winning, not the NPCs.


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title wrote:
How Do You Summon High CR Outsiders?

Carefully.


*silently dangs Sideromancer for getting there first; climbs up pipe and disappears, unneeded*


Dave Justus wrote:

Well, since you control how the transformation happens, you should be able to control the outcome just fine so that it is a good fight for your party, without other intervention.

Personally, if the GM gives presents and overpowering fight, but then makes it ok by giving us an overpowering ally, my tendency is to just go home and let him have his fun with his characters. Your mileage may vary in that, but I prefer to have the party do the winning, not the NPCs.

Actually, my intent is to sort of use the Solar as an optional MacGuffin. I'm going to let the group become aware of the Angelic Vessel template late into the campaign. Present it as an option, but not a necessity.

In fact, if the group does want to take advantage of the Angelic Vessel template, there's no guarantee that a member of the party is going to wind up with the template. The Solar could find them wanting (depending on character builds and how they've played the campaign up until this point) and may request that they find someone else, perform a sidequest to earn its favour, just use it as a summon, or it will leave the party to their own devices against the nascent balor because it's a "mortal" affair.

Scarab Sages

I know the thread is regarding intentional summons, but for accidental "summons" of high CR outsiders, Dismissal has a 20% chance of sending the creature a plane other than it's home. So a powerful outsider could have been dismissed elsewhere, and arrive in the material plane due to that 1 in 5 chance (20%) of not arriving in it's intended desitination.

For example, could have a high CR angel subject to Dismissal, while battling Fiends in their home plane. Rather than going home, they could end up in the material plane. Could make an entire story arc out of this, or just have it be a pleasent surprise for a party of good aligned players.

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