Summoning (Via the Conjuration Spell Line) Nerfed?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Alright, so here's my problem. I finally have a wizard player who decided to give the summoning spells a try. I concur wholeheartedly that without augment summoning, these aren't going to perform all that great in battle. My problem, is the massive reduction in effectiveness I'm seeing, compared to my own summoning endeavors in 3.5.

Lets take the Ape for example (one of the bread and butter Summon Monster III choices from 3.5)

3.5 Ape Notable points include: 29 hit points (37 with augment summoning), +7 (+9) to hit, 1d6+5 (1d6+7) damage

Pathfinder Summoned Ape Notable points include: 19 hit points (25 with augment summoning), +3 (+5) to hit, 1d6+3 (1d6+5) damage.

Notice how in every case except damage (in which case it comes out equal) the ape is entirely inferior to it's 3.5 counterpart? Now contrast this to the increased power in Pathfinder base classes and it's no wonder I haven't seen someone try summoning normally in Pathfinder yet.

Is there something I'm missing here (besides the improved smite, which is situation [and probably not helped by my tendency to game in very shades-of-grey settings]) or has summoning really gone from a decent tactic that was difficult to excel in to something not worth the whole round casting to bother with?

Totally considering house-ruling Summon Monster to be a Standard Action cast now (Though I'd like to see some discussion before I make a final decision.)


I suppose that the answer to your question ("Is summoning worth it?") depends entirely upon what you want the summoned monster to do.

If you want the monster to fight and win combat for you...well, you need a few more levels (and the Superior Summon feat). If you want a "meat shield" to stand in front of you and tie up combat while you cast other, more useful spells, then summoning is a viable tactic.

...and summoning one Ape with a Summon Monster 3 is rather silly when the same spell will get 1d3 small Earth or Fire elementals. I know...they're small, but at the level you're talking about, quantity definitely counts more than quality, anyway. Plus, consider the immunities and resistances of an elemental compared to those of an animal, and the choice becomes even more clear. Yes, it works differently than it did in 3.5, but that's an inevitable part of the changes in the system. The same thing happened when 3.0 made the transition to 3.5. Certain tactics were nerfed, and others got a boost in effectiveness.

In playing the Pathfinder incarnation, I have found summoning to be a viable and effective tactic when utilized properly. Summoners (and the Master Summoner variant, in particular) are very effective at battlefield control and battlefield manipulation when they are played to their strengths.

P.S. The Superior Summon feat cannot be over-rated in this discussion...regardless of your class. Wizards, clerics, druids, sorcerers, summoners, oracles and witches can all reap massive benefits from this feat. Just do the paperwork in advance...as a courtesy to your gaming group and your DM.


First, are you referring to Augment Summon when you say Superior Summon? My google fu this time of night may simply be weak, but I'm not finding a Superior Summon feat. (Also, summon specific feats shouldn't be required to have an applicable summon that can contribute in combat more than just being a block of meat that's ignored by enemies that can just move around it, eat an AoO that will probably miss and won't matter if it hits, and keep going after whatever target they wants.)


summoning d3+1 small air elementals and getting them to Aid Other with Superior Summon is a big win!


Spacelard wrote:
summoning d3+1 small air elementals and getting them to Aid Other with Superior Summon is a big win!

Superior Summon feat lets you +1 on a random variable when summoning


Ah, now I found it. Superior Summoning is the feat in question.

And yes, I can see how those elementals could be beneficial. I really don't like this idea of a paradigm shift to summoning hordes of lesser monsters as opposed to one good monster but I suppose it's workable.

I have to ask though, at what times would you guys see using the ape? (And don't talk about the climb speed, there are already fliers, including the aforementioned Air Elementals.


kyrt-ryder wrote:

Ah, now I found it. Superior Summoning is the feat in question.

And yes, I can see how those elementals could be beneficial. I really don't like this idea of a paradigm shift to summoning hordes of lesser monsters as opposed to one good monster but I suppose it's workable.

I have to ask though, at what times would you guys see using the ape? (And don't talk about the climb speed, there are already fliers, including the aforementioned Air Elementals.

To be honest, never...

I tend to look at the extras the summoned critter can do beyond just hitting.
d3+1 Lemure Devils casting Doom...okay its DC10...
Dretch and Stinking Cloud...
Earth Elementals to Earth glide and scout...


DC 10. So the 'average' enemy has to roll incredibly low to fail the save and have the summon's action mean anything (and consequently, the action spent conjuring it.)

Pass.


kyrt-ryder wrote:

DC 10. So the 'average' enemy has to roll incredibly low to fail the save and have the summon's action mean anything (and consequently, the action spent conjuring it.)

Pass.

then they can go in and Aid Other or bash... its situational sure but I don't think it deserved the snark


Please understand I wasn't trying to be rude about it Spacelard. I was coming at this from the perspective of someone who's played a summoning specialist (in 3.5 which I didn't THINK would have a huge playstyle change :P). I know how these things work, and I struggled from level 3 to level 18 working my summons for all they were worth.

Actions are precious, if a summon can't pull it's weight for the risk of summoning it, then you truly are just putting your party in jeopardy by summoning it, rather than shutting down the bad guys then and there with more immediate spells.

Silver Crusade

But the ability to do more with Summons than just attack existed in 3.5, too. It doesn't really explain why the nerf. Is the ape an anomaly, or are they all like that?


Am I the only one who doesn't feel a monkey/ape should hit well?
Hard maybe, but not precise...


kyrt-ryder wrote:

Please understand I wasn't trying to be rude about it Spacelard. I was coming at this from the perspective of someone who's played a summoning specialist (in 3.5 which I didn't THINK would have a huge playstyle change :P). I know how these things work, and I struggled from level 3 to level 18 working my summons for all they were worth.

Actions are precious, if a summon can't pull it's weight for the risk of summoning it, then you truly are just putting your party in jeopardy by summoning it, rather than shutting down the bad guys then and there with more immediate spells.

I think the nerf was only on the Ape...I remember a year or two back JJ (I think) saying they thought the STR on the Ape was lowered to make it a CR3 creature or such and to bring it in line with the Dire Ape

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

One of the major changes that will affect effectiveness is how multiple attacks on animals work now. Since all primary attacks get the same bonus, not just the first one, you will start seeing some incredibly nasty summons. Summon Monster IV still has lion on it, same hp as 3.5. But now pouncing you have 5 attacks with +9 to hit (+11) 1d8+5(+7) with the bite and 4x 1d4+5(+7).

This is even scarier when you get access to SM VI with Dire Tiger (Pouncing) +22 2d6+10 4x 2d4+10 with 133 HP and 3 chances to grapple an opponent.

Smiting will deal a lot more damage as well, don't forget that wizards can apply the entropic or resolute template, they don't have to choose between only fiendish or celestial anymore.


Oh snap, I did not see that optional template alignment bit. That is pretty nice. (Doesn't do anything for all the neutral enemies out there, but oh well, it's still a pretty nice upgrade.)

As for my homegames, I feel I'm probably going to be houseruling in the use of 3.5 stats where better (with a careful eye on the interaction with smite and the primary attacks bit of course.)

For anybody curious, during my 3.5 time as a summoner my two primary SMIII creatures were the Dire Ape, and the Neshrou (sp?) from one of the peripheral MM's (MM2 I think, though I'm not sure off-hand.)


Jaryn Wildmane wrote:


Smiting will deal a lot more damage as well, don't forget that wizards can apply the entropic or resolute template, they don't have to choose between only fiendish or celestial anymore.

Can you please explain that a little bit? Can you add other templates other than the celestial or fiendish?

To the OP:
Why do you summon an ape with summon monster 3? Summon leopard (3-5 attacks) or cheetah (trip) or wolverine (rage for meatbag), also when you have 5 attacks the extra 3 points of damage in each attack from smite really add up.

Dark Archive

The standArd for PFS Summon Monster 3 is the Lantern Archon, who attacks touch AC twice per turn for d6 (ignoring all DR), makes opponent make a save or take -2 on everything, and after combat can buff everyone with Aid for whatever turns it has left.

For dedicated summoners with augment / superior, the default is d4+2 riding dogs. +5 to hit, d6+3 damage, free trip attempt. And you can summon them into flank.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
leo1925 wrote:
Jaryn Wildmane wrote:


Smiting will deal a lot more damage as well, don't forget that wizards can apply the entropic or resolute template, they don't have to choose between only fiendish or celestial anymore.

Can you please explain that a little bit? Can you add other templates other than the celestial or fiendish?

Bestiary 2 Page 292-3

Quote:
Creatures with the entropic template live in planes where chaos is paramount. They can be summoned using spells such as summon monster and planar ally.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
And yes, I can see how those elementals could be beneficial. I really don't like this idea of a paradigm shift to summoning hordes of lesser monsters as opposed to one good monster but I suppose it's workable.

Serious question: Wasn't hordes of lesser monsters usually better if you had Augment Summoning?


Dire Mongoose wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
And yes, I can see how those elementals could be beneficial. I really don't like this idea of a paradigm shift to summoning hordes of lesser monsters as opposed to one good monster but I suppose it's workable.
Serious question: Wasn't hordes of lesser monsters usually better if you had Augment Summoning?

Not in my personal experience. The big guy was usually functioning on about the level of a non-optimized (still somewhat intelligently built) Monk, while the lessers were more like lining up commoners.

Using the hordes against hordes is good, but when you've got a few semi-strong enemies you need something that can actually matter and present a threat (and potentially actually kill something), rather than just throwing a couple meatbags on the board. (In my personal experience anyway.)

Dark Archive

Spamming Lantern Archons as SM V took down a CR 13 dragon. Eating through DR is huge, and they can scatter-fly

Flanking dogs can get +7 to hit; and deal d6+3, and have a solid chance to trip all but the roughest opponents.

They do great against both mooks and the hard guys. They shouldn't be as good as full melees, but the diversity of powers makes Summoning one of the best spells in the game. Don't worry, the summoner will be just fine if he learns what he is doing :).


kyrt-ryder wrote:
Is there something I'm missing here (besides the improved smite, which is situation [and probably not helped by my tendency to game in very shades-of-grey settings]) or has summoning really gone from a decent tactic that was difficult to excel in to something not worth the whole round casting to bother with?

Compared to 3.5, low level summoning spells are weaker, mid level summoning spells are about the same, and high level summoning spells are stronger. So I wouldn't agree with the blanket statement that summoning is "not worth it".


I wasn't making such a blanket statement Hogarth, I was asking a question based on a small sampling.

Admittedly I could have dug into the material myself for the answers, but it's more fun and less time consuming to hold a forum discussion over it instead. Plus that way I get some interesting ideas that I may not have come up with myself ^_^


kyrt-ryder wrote:

DC 10. So the 'average' enemy has to roll incredibly low to fail the save and have the summon's action mean anything (and consequently, the action spent conjuring it.)

Pass.

Won't pass when it's my trumpet archon casting heal, dimensional anchor, restoration or raise dead I bet.

Also see lantern archons -- still one of the nastiest summons available.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
I wasn't making such a blanket statement Hogarth, I was asking a question based on a small sampling.

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply you were. I just meant that my answer was along the lines of "no, it's probably not worth focusing on Summon Monster spells at level 3, but it might be worth focusing on Summon Monster spells at level 7+" instead of a quick "yes" or "no".


kyrt-ryder wrote:

...

Lets take the Ape for example (one of the bread and butter Summon Monster III choices from 3.5)

3.5 Ape Notable points include: 29 hit points (37 with augment summoning), +7 (+9) to hit, 1d6+5 (1d6+7) damage

Pathfinder Summoned Ape Notable points include: 19 hit points (25 with augment summoning), +3 (+5) to hit, 1d6+3 (1d6+5) damage.

Notice how in every case except damage (in which case it comes out equal) the ape is entirely inferior to it's 3.5 counterpart? Now contrast this to the increased power in Pathfinder base classes and it's no wonder I haven't seen someone try summoning normally in Pathfinder yet.

...

Summoning hasn't been nerfed, it's the monsters that changed. If you had compared the 3.0 and 3.5 Monster Manuals, you'd notice a massive bloat of HD, that WotC probably used as as part of their effort to improve the game balance. Pathfinder merely returned to the original HDs and remade the Challenge Rating system. Just try to compare 3.5 and PFRPG dragons and demons and you'll see the difference.

So the summoning is as good as ever overall, but the monsters are comparatively on lower levels, which explains lower attack and hp (among other things).


Well, the fact that the celestial/fiendish templates no longer give the knowledge of the celestial/abysal languages, seems like a major nerf to me.

Now, you're only option for the vast majority of the summoned creatures (ie: all the animals) is to drop them on the field, and they attack whatever is closest however they want. You do not have any sort of control over what they do or where they stand or where they go at all. Which kind of is the definition of 'battlefield control'.

For that reason alone, its mostly the outsiders and elementals that have much use at all for me, as those ones at least you give some instruction to.

ps - I thought the riding dog was errata'd out of the Summon Monster I list and replaced with a regular pooch... or was that an unofficial change?


EvilMinion wrote:

Well, the fact that the celestial/fiendish templates no longer give the knowledge of the celestial/abysal languages, seems like a major nerf to me.

Now, you're only option for the vast majority of the summoned creatures (ie: all the animals) is to drop them on the field, and they attack whatever is closest however they want. You do not have any sort of control over what they do or where they stand or where they go at all. Which kind of is the definition of 'battlefield control'.

For that reason alone, its mostly the outsiders and elementals that have much use at all for me, as those ones at least you give some instruction to.

ps - I thought the riding dog was errata'd out of the Summon Monster I list and replaced with a regular pooch... or was that an unofficial change?

Handle animal (Push/25) should be more than enough to account for that, I'd think. Or UMD'ing/researching a 'speak with animals' variant.

Unless I'm overlooking something, which is entirely possible. =)


EvilMinion wrote:


ps - I thought the riding dog was errata'd out of the Summon Monster I list and replaced with a regular pooch... or was that an unofficial change?

They changed it in the Summon Nature's Ally list, but they missed it in the Summon Monster list...


hogarth wrote:
EvilMinion wrote:


ps - I thought the riding dog was errata'd out of the Summon Monster I list and replaced with a regular pooch... or was that an unofficial change?
They changed it in the Summon Nature's Ally list, but they missed it in the Summon Monster list...

Summon monster tends to have stronger monsters on it than summon nature's ally -- so it could have been left on purpose.

Personally Mount is my favorite spell level 1 summoning spell.

Great meat shield lasts forever simply can't swing.


Using summoned monsters in combination with other spells can yield good results too. Summon a group of lightning elementals and have them bull rush emenies into the pit you created with Create Pit. Your pack of dogs waits down below to chew up whatever falls down.

Dark Archive

My beefs include weaker critters, anemic lists (gotta love all those SMVIII options for good aligned spellcasters), the new celestial / fiendish templates preventing any sort of meaningful control of most summoned creatures, etc.

Combined with the Augment Summoning feat, and the summoners ability to cast the spell as a standard action *and* the 1 minute / level duration, it's a decent option. As a full round cast, that, at first level, lasts a sexy single round, it's pretty much junk.

Plus there's the whole '1d3 always, always, always = 1' thing, but that's my fault for rolling badly combined with the dubious design choice to allow a spell one level higher to be wasted on getting the exact same result of the lower level spell, 33% of the time. (33%, for other people. ~100% for me.)


I feel you there Set >.< Simply making it 2 of them for one level lower and 4 of them for two levels lower may have been a wiser design decision (I haven't run any numbers, so don't jump on me for the theory anybody xD)

EDIT: plus then you would never have to deal with people asking if they can empower or maximize the number of creatures.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
I feel you there Set >.< Simply making it 2 of them for one level lower and 4 of them for two levels lower may have been a wiser design decision (I haven't run any numbers, so don't jump on me for the theory anybody xD)

Wizards of the Coast did exactly that for some of their later 3.5 spells like Conjure Ice Beast and Summon Undead.

I'm another one of those who feels like I'm always rolling a 1...

Set wrote:
My beefs include [..] anemic lists (gotta love all those SMVIII options for good aligned spellcasters) [..]

Just to clarify -- if you're comparing 3.5 to Pathfinder, the Pathfinder list will be less anemic, hands down. Practically everything that's in the 3.5 Summon Monster list is in the PFRPG Summon Monster list, and then some (with the exception of a dozen different sizes of vermin). If the list of creatures available with Summon Monster VIII is a bit slim, that's because all of the creatures from the 3.5 version were pushed back to Summon Monster VI and VII (e.g. in 3.5 you could summon one CR 7 lillend, but in PFRPG you can summon 1d4+1 of them).

Of course, the absence of CR 8-11 good-aligned outsiders in the Bestiary does make for a bit of an awkward gap...


hogarth wrote:
EvilMinion wrote:


ps - I thought the riding dog was errata'd out of the Summon Monster I list and replaced with a regular pooch... or was that an unofficial change?
They changed it in the Summon Nature's Ally list, but they missed it in the Summon Monster list...

Its a plain pooch in SM1 too...

Summon Monster I Spell: The riding dog is on par with creatures on the second level list. Looking at the book and the Paizo SRD the Riding dog is SM1. Some of the other monsters where moved up or down the list. Was the Riding dog a miss? Pending Error James Jacobs 12/21/09: "Change Riding Dog to Dog."

AND
So on the Summon Nature's Ally 3 list is the "Giant Lizard". Now in the Bestiary, I can only find one "Giant Lizard" and that's the Giant Frilled Lizard. I was assuming that was the right creature, until I started looking at the stats, and it seems pretty potent against the other creatures on the list. That wouldn't suprise me too much, the Ant Drone is far more powerful than it's SNA II brethren, as is the Riding Dog at SNA I. However, I am wondering if perhaps they meant the Monitor Lizard, which, although doesn't have "Giant" in the name at all, the abilities would fit more in line with the other SNA III creatures. Or is there supposed to be another Giant Lizard entry in the Bestiary that maybe got edited out, like the camel. Pending Error James Jacobs 12/21/09: "Change Giant Lizard to Monitor Lizard. (The lists don't support summoning a Giant Frilled Lizard, but you could probably add them to summon monster V or summon nature's ally V.) The Giant Frilled Lizard is so much tougher than a bison or an ape because it's something that probably would HUNT bisons or apes. It'd be best to compare the giant frilled lizard ecologically wise to a tiger or bear; it's a top-tier predator."


Yeah the errata changed the summoning lists, it's listed on this site on the same page where the core rule book is found for sale.


In my 4th edition core book it says riding dog for SM 1 and dog for SN 1.

Shadow Lodge

leo1925 wrote:
In my 4th edition core book it says riding dog for SM 1 and dog for SN 1.

They've been meaning to change it, yes, but they have yet to actually change it. Until they make the actual change, RAW it is a riding dog. So for things like PFS that have to use RAW, it is a riding dog.

Sovereign Court Owner - Enchanted Grounds, President/Owner - Enchanted Grounds

kyrt-ryder wrote:
Admittedly I could have dug into the material myself for the answers, but it's more fun and less time consuming to hold a forum discussion over it instead. Plus that way I get some interesting ideas that I may not have come up with myself ^_^

Plus, lurkers like me get to read it and find out useful things.

Thanks so much for the discussion, guys. (-:

Lantern Lodge

I have to add my voice to the mix here: your ape is just not a good choice from the SM3 list. More attacks > almost everything, so if you really want to get the one big guy, a cheetah or wolverine is much better than the ape. The only real advantage of the ape is that he's a Large creature and has 10' reach, which simply doesn't balance out a cheetah's or wolverine's extra attack; the trip and rage abilities are just gravy. Of course, lantern archons are amazing if you're fighting something with an annoying DR type that more mundane celestial beasts can't beat.

Don't forget about the smite ability either; that +3 damage stacks up after a while.

The Exchange

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

5th edition errata still only lists the riding dog -> dog change for summon natures ally.
But the 5th edition download of the core lite has the change in both summon monster and summon natures ally.

Also, if they change that, why wouldn't they move riding dog to the SM2 and SNA2 lists?

Viper (snake) is also not a bestiary entry except for familiars
Venemous snake appears in the bestiary, but never on the summon lists.


You cannot really pick specific animals and say summon monstrwas nerfed. 3.5 had several monsters that didnt follow the baseline for stats of tgeir cr and it may have been the ape was one of them.

The one i specically remember was the dire bat. The end relt is pf gave them cr appropriate stats.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I wanna take a look at it when i've got time this week,
but it strikes me now as one of those spells that doesn't progress well.

at 5th level, when the wizard learns to drop a fireball, and deal a decent amount of damage to a load of enemies, Summon Monster III gets a below CR monster into play. As the same wizard advances to 10th, that 3rd level spell slot for Fireball increases in damage, and the DC increases as he ups his intelligence: the spell remains effective. Summon Monster III? that never gets memorized again, those below CR creatures from 5th level won't even serve as a speedbump to what a party of APL 10 characters goes up against. All SMIII gains as the caster goes up in level is that it sticks around 5 more rounds.

It seems like Summon Monster is one of those spells that NEEDS feats devoted to it for it to be effective anymore in combat, or class abilities. It works for a low level summoner because if one dies, he can replace it on his next action with another one. So while it might not be an effective combatant, it becomes an effective meat shield.

But for a regular caster , that hasn't devoted multiple feats to Augment Summons, Superior Summoning, Celestial/Starlight/Etc. Summons, the spell is less than spectacular, and often underwhelming.

You say you can't look at swapping out one monster, and how that nerfs the spell. But it kind of does. Shaking down the Riding Dog to its CR 1/2 appropriate Dog is a rainy day for many a first and second level summoner/conjurer. Their +3 (1d6+3 plus trip) pet with 13 hp that can last a round or two becomes a +2 (1d4+1 -no trip-) with 6hp. something that pops a lot faster. doesn't serve as a meat shield anymore. and just doesn't work well in combat.

And summoning Tiny creatures at the lower levels? most of them will pop before they even get to attack because of AoO's for entering into the target's square.

A summon should be at least a Small animal of 2HD, and progress fairly in CR with the APL of the caster's level. Animals from standard categories should be present at pretty much every level ( feline, canine, serpent, aquatic, amphibious etc. )

It would probably be great if it was one spell somehow, that allowed a broader list as the caster level increases, so there was some benefit to having a higher caster level than just extending your summons' stay (considering most will be popped in a few rounds anyway). But then they'd be using a 1st level slot at 17th level to bring out a Summon Monster IX monster.

I think the only reason they started paying attention to Summon spells and realizing things were imbalanced was because of Summoners being able to standard-action summon 3+ times /day. I've certainly never see a Druid spontaneously cast Summon Nature's Ally, especially when the SNA list is usually about 1/2 to 1 CR weaker than the summon monster list.


Summon monster 3 at level 5: Lantern archon.
5 rounds of 2x1d6 damage from a ranged touch attack that bypasses DR and SR means 10d6 damage that can be boosted by bardic performance and what not.

At level 10 you get it for 10 rounds meaning 20d6.

However the lantern archon also has decent defenses with dr 10 and the ability to buff themselves if you choose.

For example the average damage on a CR 5 monster stands right around 8~13 points of damage per attack. That means about half the time that lantern archon isn't taking damage -- but he is stopping you from taking damage (as well as the rest of the party) each time he is swung at while still dealing damage.

For a summon monster 2 I like the Lemure, with its DR 5 and alright everything else -- devils can see through any type of darkness so dropping a darkness or deeper darkness on it can really boost its chances of messing up the enemy. At summon 5 you get the bearded devil which can really make use of this tactic with its bleeding wounds, though you might find the Bralani more to your liking with its cure serious wounds twice a day, lightning bolt and mirror image to go with its DR to help it live longer. The bralani also brings a 20 foot line for 3d6 -- once a round means 27d6 damage total if it simply uses this ability each round (dc 17 for half would mean 13.5d6 damage on the line instead).

Summon monster 6 is loaded with nice monsters: Erinyes (true seeing, decent DR and nice attacks), Shadow Demon (Incorporal and DR, touch attacks, lots of spell likes, pounce), Lillend (bardic performance as a move action +2, cure serious x2, cure light x5, invisibility x4 and that's about it), and the succubus.

Summon 7 has the Vrock (which is loaded with "make them hurt" abilities and decent defenses), bone devil (four attacks, d.anchor, decent defensive abilities), the ever nasty Bebilith (rot for up to 10 points of Con damage on a pretty heavy DC of 23, and needing two saves, 3 attacks, and against people wearing armor the ability to peal it off), finally greater elementals.

Summon 9 also has a lot of really good choices as well especially if you want a pocket cleric to drag around.

Silver Crusade

All this talk about how summoning has been nerfed since 3.5 may be apt, but I haven't let it bother me.

I frequently use summoning spells as a major part of my Sorc builds (even ones whose bloodlines have no bonus to it) and so long as I pick up Augment Summoning, they do okay. Eagles and Dogs are passable combat-assistant types at character level 3. Small Earth Elementals are just fine at fighting for levels 4 and 5. Leopards and a few other neat choices show up at character level 6, and they do their fair share.

I have never really felt summoning, even via Sorcs, needs to be better. I do fine with what's present.


Seraphimpunk wrote:

5th edition errata still only lists the riding dog -> dog change for summon natures ally.

But the 5th edition download of the core lite has the change in both summon monster and summon natures ally.

The 5th printing of the CRB has dog in SM instead of riding dog. For whatever reason, this wasn't listed in the errata document that listed the changes. The same thing happened with the light spell being changed to be from where the object was touched.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

But you said it yourself: you need to spend to feats to make it passable. Spell focus and aug summoning.

Lantern archon? When does combat last ten rounds?

These summons suggestions are still neatly below CR so they don't overpower combats. And direct damage spells will do more to end a combat quick, why summon monster 6 when you can disintegrate?

You also leave yourself open to being disrupted a lot more, with the one round casting, a lot more can go wrong to make you lose the spell.


Seraphimpunk wrote:

But you said it yourself: you need to spend to feats to make it passable. Spell focus and aug summoning.

Lantern archon? When does combat last ten rounds?

These summons suggestions are still neatly below CR so they don't overpower combats. And direct damage spells will do more to end a combat quick, why summon monster 6 when you can disintegrate?

You also leave yourself open to being disrupted a lot more, with the one round casting, a lot more can go wrong to make you lose the spell.

Blasting? Disintegrate? Really?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

You'll find that a lot of legacy magic from 3.5 will be different in it's Pathfinder incarnations.

You may think of it as a "nerf". I think of it more as a rebalancing of the classes so that Wizards simply aren't the do it all with ungodly might" class.

Also remember that once you get past the whole overblown "Backward Compatibility" nonsense, Pathfinder is not 3.5, and has evolved far beyond and in different directions than WOTC took that game.

Monster and Animal Summoning is still a very powerful tool in Pathfinder, however the Conjurer/Summoner's teammates are more important to the relative mix than they were in 3.5. And I consider this overall when looking at the big picture, an important improvement.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Coming from someone who was the Summoning king when our group was in 3.5, I can happily tell you that it is as some have said- more rebalanced than nerfed.
Just Core summoning was extremely powerful, but mostly unchanged in PF. A few CRs go up and down, yes, but overall it's the same game.
Now, take all the splat-book boosts from 3.5, and Summoning can effectively make you a God (Conjuration Specialist, anyone?).

Just because it was my first love, I have built multiple Summoning Wizards in PF and ran them through multiple scenarios, and I can safely say they're still incredible useful and powerful when it's your focus.

Now, if you're any random character who happens to prepare Summon Monster that day, then they're not going to be that terribly effective, but still useful. Just a basic Huge Earth Elemental can shut down an encounter or be an amazing linebacker against that dragon.

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