Is owning Bestiary 1 required to cast any summon spells or have an animal companion?


Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

As things like Summon Monster 1 and a Druid are in the CRB, I would think that the core assumption would be enough to use them in PFS as long as you have the stats for them from the PFSRD on hand. Apparently, there are many who believe that in order to use many of the options in the core rule book, you must also own the bestiary. This seems a stretch to me, but I was wondering if there was an official stance on this.

Shadow Lodge *****

The animal companions at least are detailed in the core rulebook and have nothing to do with their bestiary counterparts. So you are definitely safe there.

**

IMO the creatures are specifically called out in the CRB, so you only need that to use the Core summon spells. Bestiary adds details and is a GM resource. Just as the creature summoned is under the control of the GM, so are the stats. For simplicity it is common to let the player control the summoned creature, but it is not a player resource.

Liberty's Edge *

in my persanel experiance the only person at the tabel that should have acess to any beastary is gm because of how encounters work i set combat up for a succubus next thing i see 6 people grab books look at monster im guilty of it thats y leave books at home so if im a spell caster i deceied i took summon monster 4 as a spell slot would i be abel spell or not because i agree with strofoam awnser

Scarab Sages ***

Wildshape, however, might require the Bestiary, when you get to that point.

***

I have not looked up the core assumption in the season 9 guide, but unless it has changed the bestiary is included. Meaning the player does not have to provide one, the GM should already have.

However it has long been etiquette that a player should not disrupt the game by having the necessary rules to play their character with them.

I do bring my bestiary to the table when playing my summoners and keep the critters stats on a card/sheet.

Sovereign Court **** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

The Bestiary isn't part of the season 5-6 Core Assumption, Season 7 doesn't mention a Core Assumption, and 8-9 only refer to it in the glossary.

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I had a vague recollection it was gone, though not when. I still ask for Spot checks from time to time too. I should have known better than to comment on rules. :)

**

In Additional resources it says all creatures are legal for polymorph effects including wild shape. It does not say anything about creatures being legal for summons. So either there is an assumption they made legal by the list in the CRB, or no creatures are legal!

Shadow Lodge **

Curaigh wrote:
I have not looked up the core assumption in the season 9 guide, but unless it has changed the bestiary is included.

The Core Assumption for players has actually never included the Bestiary; it was listed as a book GMs were expected to own. Currently, the Guide only refers to the Bestiary in the rules for updating Season 0 scenarios.

Styrofoam wrote:
In Additional resources it says all creatures are legal for polymorph effects including wild shape. It does not say anything about creatures being legal for summons. So either there is an assumption they made legal by the list in the CRB, or no creatures are legal!

The creatures being listed as choices for legal character options (read: spells) makes them legal choices, even in the absence of the AR calling them out as such.

This is why animate dead can animate standard skeletons and zombies, but not their variants, even though the stats for both are in the Bestiary: because the spell only refers to skeleton and zombies, and makes no mention of the variants. The rules that the animate dead spell can create those variants is in the Bestiary, and the AR doesn't call those rules out as legal, so you can only access what the legal character option directly states you can.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

Generally speaking there is no reason for a player to own or bring to the table a Bestiary, but if they intend to summon creatures during the game, they had better bring prepped stat blocks. If the creatures are vanilla, simply use the printed blocks. If they have feats or template buffs than you better have all that factored in a head of time. If you are spending time on your turn (thus slowing the game) because you keep having to refer to the modifiers for a change, you are unnecessarily slowing the game. No summoning for you. If as the GM I ask you to provide me the source material for your critter, you better have it. Other than that I wouldn’t care less if you were using a hand written sheet of stat blocks, HeroLab, the actual Bestiary, D20PFSRD or whatever let’s you manage your circus most effectively.


Thanks Bob, that's what I thought. Apparently some GMs think you need to own the "Source" of the creatures that are summoned by the spell.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

So, I come to the table with the 7th level Druid iconic, which I picked up off the table over there near the PFS room entrance.

Can I convert a prepared spell to Summon Nature's Ally III? Answer: not if I need to have the stat block handy, because the iconic information doesn't come with any of that.

As a table GM, should I have a couple extra copies of the Bestiary around, in case a player needs to look stuff up during combat?

Bob, if you asked someone for the source material for a summoned monster, and the player offered you a hand-written stat block that didn't look quite right to you, what would you do?

Setting aside rhetorical questions for a moment: I think this is a serious issue. Druids who can't summon critters are druids who are going to get chewed on in short order. At the very least, the stat blocks for the most common summoned monsters / nature's allies should be provided for players.

Scarab Sages ** Venture-Agent

Of course you have to own the source for the creatures you summon. As has been noted the Bestiary is not part of the core assumption therefore you need to own it to use anything printed in it. Of course I'm not likely to question someone at my table to see if they have it unless something seems fishy with the character, but if I knew for sure they didn't own the source I wouldn't allow them to summon. As a GM my responsibility is to prep for the scenario I'm running not to provide stats for whatever random thing my players may or may not bring to the table. If someone wants to use a spell, item, feat, trait, or any other game option they need to own the source and be prepared when they use it. Obviously you don't need to bring your Bestiary with you. Write the critters stats down on whatever you want, just have have one of the various ways of proving you own the source.


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So, in Core games, even though there are pages of tables that tell you which monsters and allies can be summoned in the CRB (pgs 351, 353) , no one can actually use those spells and lists because Beastiary 1 is not included as a player resource in the core campaign?

That's an interesting way to hobble players:

Don't allow Core games to allow any summoning.

Huh.

Scarab Sages ** Venture-Agent

I think there was a specific ruling made to allow it in Core. I don't play Core so I've never looked it up, but I think I saw something about that a while back.


Zach Davis wrote:
I don't play Core so I've never looked it up

So you don't allow Core in your area?

Scarab Sages ** Venture-Agent

CrystalSeas wrote:
Zach Davis wrote:
I don't play Core so I've never looked it up
So you don't allow Core in your area?

Core is allowed everywhere PFS is played I simply don't GM or play it, because I prefer the standard campaign. I'm sure people in my area do play it.

I was simply stating that I didn't know exactly where to find the ruling that allowed Summoning creatures from the bestiary in Core. I looked and found that its in the blog where they introduced the Core campaign however.

*****

Chris Mortika wrote:
So, I come to the table with the 7th level Druid iconic, which I picked up off the table over there near the PFS room entrance.

When I was VC I dodged this issue by not including Lini in the available pregens of conventions I organized.


Zach Davis wrote:

I was simply stating that I didn't know exactly where to find the ruling that allowed Summoning creatures from the bestiary in Core. I looked and found that its in the blog where they introduced the Core campaign however.

Yes, I found that too. But it doesn't seem to have anything to say about the topic of this thread: Whether core players are required to buy the Bestiary in order to use "summon" spells.

You seem convinced that they have to do so. Many others in this thread are not. Can you provide a link where they added the Bestiary as a source that you must own?

Because what's being debated here is whether a player who has summoned a monster being run by the GM must also own the resource that duplicates what the GM is using. Even if they themselves are only using the information from the CRB.

Scarab Sages ** Venture-Agent

CrystalSeas wrote:
Zach Davis wrote:

I was simply stating that I didn't know exactly where to find the ruling that allowed Summoning creatures from the bestiary in Core. I looked and found that its in the blog where they introduced the Core campaign however.

Yes, I found that to. But it doesn't seem to have anything to say about the topic of this thread: Whether core players are required to buy the Bestiary in order to use "summon" spells.

You seem convinced that they have to do so. Many others in this thread are not. Can you provide a link where they added the Bestiary as a source that you must own?

Because what's being debated here is whether a player who has summoned a monster being run by the GM must also own the resource that duplicates what the GM is using.

The topic of this thread wasn't specific to core. In the standard PFS campaign you have to own a source to use it. In that blog it had specific language saying you could use the option IN CORE if the core rule book referenced the Bestiary. This provides an exception for the Core campaign, but not for the standard campaign.


Zach Davis wrote:
Of course you have to own the source for the creatures you summon. As has been noted the Bestiary is not part of the core assumption therefore you need to own it to use anything printed in it. Of course I'm not likely to question someone at my table to see if they have it unless something seems fishy with the character, but if I knew for sure they didn't own the source I wouldn't allow them to summon. As a GM my responsibility is to prep for the scenario I'm running not to provide stats for whatever random thing my players may or may not bring to the table. If someone wants to use a spell, item, feat, trait, or any other game option they need to own the source and be prepared when they use it. Obviously you don't need to bring your Bestiary with you. Write the critters stats down on whatever you want, just have have one of the various ways of proving you own the source.

Thanks for proving my point about some GMs, but as Bob is the Venture-Coordinator for my region, I'll trust him over you.

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SCPRedMage wrote:
Curaigh wrote:
I have not looked up the core assumption in the season 9 guide, but unless it has changed the bestiary is included.
The Core Assumption for players has actually never included the Bestiary; it was listed as a book GMs were expected to own. Currently, the Guide only refers to the Bestiary in the rules for updating Season 0 scenarios.

PFS is a marketing tool. No one has to pay to play.

moot tangent:
Moot point as it has been removed, but the Core Assumption was what every GM was 'assumed' to have at the table. Therefore a player did not need to bring their source. Players are only expected to bring things from 'Additional Resources.' Core Assumption assumes the source is already present at the table. It was limited to the CRB for classes and races, incidentally being those represented in the pre-gens. Current versions of the pre-gens have the CRB stuff printed on them so a new player doesn't need to even look at the CRB anymore. This was done about the time the Core Assumption was removed. Again, a player DOES need to have the source book for every additional resource.

The Exchange ***** RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

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Chris Mortika wrote:
So, I come to the table with the 7th level Druid iconic, which I picked up off the table over there near the PFS room entrance.
Pirate Rob wrote:
When I was VC I dodged this issue by not including Lini in the available pregens of conventions I organized.

Sure. But in my experience, Lini is one of the most popular pre-gens, particularly among pre-teen girls.

Scarab Sages *****

2 people marked this as a favorite.

This is not a zero sum game... circumstances are allowed to be considered when looking at how to handle a situation like this.

New player comes to the table with pregen Lini, then as a GM you either ask another player to assist the new person, or you do it yourself. Now I don't carry physical books with me anymore, and I need my tablet for some stat blocks, so other players may need to assist them in getting the stat information. Usually some player will have access to the PRD or will have the Bestiary with them and can assist.

But just like we don't require a new player to bring the CRB (or purchase immediately) on their first game night, you can't expect them to play a character that's nerfed because of lack of source materials either.

You could probably make such exceptions for an experienced player at a convention, especially if they are sitting down to help make a table happen.

Experienced player at a game day? Circumstances may dictate otherwise, but I'd probably require them to have the Bestiary.

An established character? Bring stat blocks of some sort for your summons. Know what benefits you get from wild shape. Your animal companions stats should all be listed in the CRB (or other source opening that animal companion up to use.) But you should have a separate character sheet written up for your animal companion so they can use it correctly. I've seen someone come to the table with a summoner and the eidolon was not stat'd up.

If you want to play a complicated character, then the onus is on the player to bring the sources necessary to play all aspects of that character.

As always, some circumstances, of which only a few are listed above, may dictate otherwise. But those will be circumstantial judgement calls.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

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If the point of this conversation is to lock down book ownership and use it to “screw” players out of legal character builds then you certainly are not supporting community and cooperation. If you are attempting to use “what about” like new players, CORE, etc to try and invalidate the book ownership guidelines, again you are being disengenuous. We all know what the rules are and the point of them is to create a level of consistency throughout the campaign. But, we know there are times when the RAW can create an unfair burden. If you have a new player at your table are you going to “punish” them for selecting the Druid and not let them summon? I wouldn’t, even though technically the rules would allow it. I would call that, don’t be a jerk [GM]. If an experienced player has to sit down with a level 7 pregen such as Lini because their scheduled character is not appropriate am I going to ban them from summoning because they didn’t bring a book they couldn’t possibly have know they needed? No. Again, don’t be a jerk. If an experienced player with a summoning PC sits down to play and does not have the book/s to show ownership of all the source material, including the Bestiary, yes I can tell them they cannot play said character. If they give me a hard time, I’m not the one being the jerk.

In any of these cases will I be providing the stat blocks? Probably not. I am busy running the game and don’t have time to pull up stat blocks every time they are needed and I do not have physical books with me as I use a digital device.

The point is to understand the spirit of the rules and for both players and GMs to follow them. If you are intentionally trying to create or exploit a loophole in the rules then you are almost always wrong. This is a game and while we have rules to follow, the point is to have fun. Be a reasonable human being, dont’t be a jerk, and everything will work out fine.

Explore! Report! Cooperate!

Shadow Lodge *****

What Bahb said.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

One minor thing to point out about the core assumption aspect of the argument. With respect to GMs, their core assumption was not about having those items at the table, it was about having access to those when needed. Meaning you would need access to the Bestiary whenever you needed the stat blocks and didn’t have them. So if you were running cold, certainly you would need the book at the table, but if you printed or prepped them beforehand, you were not required to have the book at the table. This is an important distinction. It stems from how the scenarios were written at that time. A creature from the Bestiary would have minimal info and a referral to the page in the book. A creature that came from other sources like splat books, APs, or later Bestiary releases would have complete stat blocks included because it was not assumed that the GM would own the source material. That practice and the need for the core assumption stopped when the develops started including the complete stat block package in the back of the scenarios for GM reference.

*

However, it is important for the older scenarios for GMs to have the information at hand, and if they anticipate the possibility that they may need to run a given earlier scenario due diligence would be to bring a copy of the Bestiary(ies?) (between .pdf and the pocket editions, it's not as bad as it used to be) that may be needed.

...then again, this is why my bags tend to be ten to twenty pounds heavier due to the 'just in case'...

Printing them out is the better option for weight concerns, I think.


Two weeks ago I sat down to play my very first PFS game. During the game, we found a wand of Summon Monster II.

I was playing a Wizard (the only arcane caster at the table), so the wand was given to me.

I have no summoning spells in my spell book. So, I had no idea that I could possibly need Bestiary.

Should I not have been allowed to use it? Or was it ok for me to pull up the SRD on my phone to get the stats of the monsters listed as possible to be summoned in the CRB description of Summon Monster II.

*

I wouldn't fault you for pulling up the PRD for that.

But I'd also try to have some stat blocks handy if such an item were available in a scenario I was running to make everyone's lives a bit easier.

This is part of why some prep can be rather intensive...

Scarab Sages ***

Related but offtopic question:
Is the Summoner app defunct? I went looking for it and couldn’t find it. Obviously you’d want to verify things against a Paizo source, but I’d still like to have something like it available.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

AaronUnicorn wrote:
Should I not have been allowed to use it?

^^^^^See my comments above^^^^^

Scarab Sages *****

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AaronUnicorn wrote:

Two weeks ago I sat down to play my very first PFS game. During the game, we found a wand of Summon Monster II.

I was playing a Wizard (the only arcane caster at the table), so the wand was given to me.

I have no summoning spells in my spell book. So, I had no idea that I could possibly need Bestiary.

Should I not have been allowed to use it? Or was it ok for me to pull up the SRD on my phone to get the stats of the monsters listed as possible to be summoned in the CRB description of Summon Monster II.

This is certainly a circumstance that I would allow any player (new, pregen, experienced, whatever) to use the wand. While I'd prefer you pull up the PRD from Paizo's website, rather than the d20PFSRD, a third party website, either would have been workable I think.

Scarab Sages *****

Seems like Bob and I are 100% on the same page on this one.

Scarab Sages ** Venture-Agent

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Yeah I'm in agreement that people sitting down at the table with a pregen and items found during the scenario are exceptions. If a new player sits down with their own character that can summon, but doesn't own the source I would allow it and inform them they should pick up a Bestiary as a legal source in the future. No big deal. Experienced players with their own characters who are aware of the rules need to own their sources though.

Shadow Lodge **

Curaigh wrote:
SCPRedMage wrote:
Curaigh wrote:
I have not looked up the core assumption in the season 9 guide, but unless it has changed the bestiary is included.
The Core Assumption for players has actually never included the Bestiary; it was listed as a book GMs were expected to own. Currently, the Guide only refers to the Bestiary in the rules for updating Season 0 scenarios.

PFS is a marketing tool. No one has to pay to play.

** spoiler omitted **

Uh, hate to break it to you, but...

Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Guide pg 5 wrote:

RESOURCES

The Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild requires all members to have the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook and the Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Guide (this document).

All members, players and GMs, are required to have the Core Rulebook, which yes, costs money.

***

Bob Jonquet wrote:
One minor thing to point out about the core assumption aspect of the argument. With respect to GMs, their core assumption was not about having those items at the table, it was about having access to those when needed. Meaning you would need access to the Bestiary whenever you needed the stat blocks and didn’t have them. So if you were running cold, certainly you would need the book at the table, but if you printed or prepped them beforehand, you were not required to have the book at the table. This is an important distinction. It stems from how the scenarios were written at that time. A creature from the Bestiary would have minimal info and a referral to the page in the book. A creature that came from other sources like splat books, APs, or later Bestiary releases would have complete stat blocks included because it was not assumed that the GM would own the source material. That practice and the need for the core assumption stopped when the develops started including the complete stat block package in the back of the scenarios for GM reference.

I concede the difference. I felt I was already de-railing the thread and did not spend the word count to clarify. My apologies.

SCPRedMage wrote:
Curaigh wrote:


** spoiler omitted **

Uh, hate to break it to you, but...

Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Guide pg 5 wrote:

RESOURCES

The Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild requires all members to have the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook and the Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Guide (this document).
All members, players and GMs, are required to have the Core Rulebook, which yes, costs money.

Again I concede. I was merely derailing the thread by sharing a point of historical moot-ness. My apologies. :)

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

Curaigh wrote:
I concede

You’re so conceded

:-P
LoL

***

and I just can't hide it.
I know
I know
I know that
you like it.
Oh woah woah

:p

***

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

When in doubt, the Summoner pregen actually has listed stats for example summons.

The solution is clear: encourage more players to play as Summoners.

**

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Tongue-in-cheek solution - ban gnomes:
I was trying to figure out how these issues hadn't arisen for me when I realized the root of the problem: both the druid and the summoner are gnomes. As I don't waste toner on printing gnome pre-gens it's never occurred in games I've organized or GM'd.

Conclusion: as usual, it's the gnomes' fault.

This message brought to you by the Hope for a gnome-free Society foundation. We're tired of all of these so-called First World problems™.]

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