Augment summoning valuable?


Advice


My sorcerer just hit level 7 I am picking up summon monster 3 for several reasons. My current role in combat is to cast haste and that's about it. In a tough fight I might drop pyrotechnics or grease.

Very much a controller style build. Human taking extra spells each level.

Summons are quite attractive as damage soaks and sources of damage, as well as utility later in the levels.

What I want is opinions on is whether augment is.needed.to keep the.damage viable and if this is wort it. Other choices are still spell or heighten spell I guess. CRB and APG only.

Thanks


Augment Summon is awesome. It is better than heighten spell IMHO, and many other people. :)


Yes definately a worthy Feat - VERY worthy.

I am currently running an Augment Summoning LN 7th level Wizard who likes opening with a Summon Monster IV - fiendish rhino. The +2 to hit on the opening charge and the damage are tremendous. The extra HP means it really lasts for the duration.

You get even more bang for your buck if you go for the one level lower summons as the bonus goes on each extra monster - meaning they are competitive. For locking down multiple targets at once or shutting down casters with multiple attacks of opportunity - remember the damage requries a concentration check AND the casting in melee does too. The extra +2 to hit and damage can make all the difference against low AC targets.

Pure gold - don't leave home without it!

Silver Crusade

Augment Summoning's worth will depend on your DM. Some DMs metagame a bit and never attack summoned monsters or rarely attack them. How often you summon plays a part in that too. I play a conjurer and could summon all the time but I choose to cast spells that buff my very martial group (who, for some reason, are amazed when I cast haste). When I do summon it is to cover holes in the group's abilities.

I suggest waiting till level 9 and seeing how often you summon. why you summon, and how your DM handle summons.


For a summoning oriented caster this is a must have feat. Nothing beats the +hit / +dmg with a helping of extra Hitpoints/ better fort saves.

If you only want to dip into summoning I would advise against it because it needs two feats (Spell Focus Conj is basically useless).

That said Still Spell and Heighten Spell are far too situational and there are a lot of feats that are better for a Sorc at 7th Level.


Augment summoning is pretty much required for any summoning specialist. It is essentially a two-feat cost since "spell focus:conjuration" is among the least useful feats on its own, but since augment summoning doesn't change the summoning spell's level cost, it's a pretty awesome feat.


For my 5th level caster the extra hit points of the summoned creatures have meant they last for the full spell duration rather than being dropped before the spell ends. In part this is due to the additional damage they're doing too. They put down opponents faster which increases their longevity. If you find yourself using summon monster to call multiple, lower level monsters often, you might consider superior summoning too.


I'm playing a summoner (class) and it is on my radar. I'm just not sure it's worth two feats. Spell Focus (Conjuration) does nothing other than act as a tax, and that just irritates me.

I'll probably pick it up eventually, but it's not at the top of my list.

Sovereign Court

Yeah, I was wondering if Superior Summoning was worth it. It lets you summon 1d3 + 1 and 1d4 + 2 creatures from lower level lists... I would hate summoning something from the lower list and only getting 1.

By the way, what do people think of swarm summons? I'm taking Mad Monkeys for flavor reasons (come on, what's more fun than a barrel of monkeys?); how does that compare to Summon Monster III, and are there any spectacular swarms?


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Swarm effectiveness depends on situation and target, but if you catch a melee character with spider swarm then slow them it is FANTASTIC.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Immobilizing anyone and then dropping a swarm spell on them is awesome, especially if they don't have any anti-swarm spells or tactics.

Mad monkeys is all-around win.


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Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Augment summoning is pretty much required for any summoning specialist. It is essentially a two-feat cost since "spell focus:conjuration" is among the least useful feats on its own, but since augment summoning doesn't change the summoning spell's level cost, it's a pretty a

wesome feat.

I actually think it's quite a useful feat. There are lots of useful conjuration spells such as glittedust, web or grease. So it's not just a tax to me :-)

And augment summoning is great. Also take a look at superior summoning while you're at it :-)


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I haven't had much luck with it personally. A +2 to hit and damage matters very little when all the attacks miss anyways. The extra hit points are nice, but only really let them survive one additional attack from most of the enemies I face.

Unless I'm summoning multiple monsters to act as flankers/meat shields, or relying on the utility abilities of what I summon out of combat, I don't really find these spells to be terribly useful (particularly in combat). They just don't keep up with the things you are expected to face, augment summoning feat or no.


Just thought to ask, but do you have Spell Focus(Conjuration)?


Ravingdork wrote:

I haven't had much luck with it personally. A +2 to hit and damage matters very little when all the attacks miss anyways. The extra hit points are nice, but only really let them survive one additional attack from most of the enemies I face.

Unless I'm summoning multiple monsters to act as flankers/meat shields, or relying on the utility abilities of what I summon out of combat, I don't really find these spells to be terribly useful (particularly in combat). They just don't keep up with the things you are expected to face, augment summoning feat or no.

I've found summoning to be most effective when presented with a pitched battle against groups of mixed strengths. Summoned creatures work well to hold back or tie up minions. Then the party can focus on the core strength of the enemy.

I haven't found summoning to be that effective against a few very powerful foes who are extremely difficult to hit, and who can destroy a summoned creature with a single attack of opportunity.

But they have their place.


With very powerful foes, you summon creatures with useful special abilities, or have them aid another to help the PC attackers. Or they show up as shields to help protect the PCs (block charge lanes, etc.)

For the rest, tactics. Summon first round, have your creatures pop up the reverse side of the enemy, caste haste the second round, and all your creatures charge into a flanking position (so +4 to hit between Augment Summons and flanking).


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Anything that helps your Summons stay around is great (and Spell Focus conjuration isn't such a bad tax making all your conjuration spells that +1 harder to shrug off).

As with any summoning build, make sure you keep a stat block of your monsters at hand (you can't be disorganised) you will cover a range of tactical situations. When playing make sure you have your actions ready to go as soon as it's your turn - try and be aware and considerate with the time you take up at the table.

Liberty's Edge

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Spell Focus (Conjuration) not worth it? What?

Grease, Glitterdust, Aqueous Orb, and all of the Pit spells are fantastic. Stinking cloud is AMAZING.

If you're playing a buffing/battlefield control wizard, you'll want that feat. Not for the buffing aspect, obviously, but for the control. I'm playing a wizard in Carrion Crown right now, and with SF(Conjuration), I've managed to get excellent mileage out of stinking cloud, despite the plurality of monsters being what they are.


Axebeard wrote:

Spell Focus (Conjuration) not worth it? What?

Grease, Glitterdust, Aqueous Orb, and all of the Pit spells are fantastic. Stinking cloud is AMAZING.

If you're playing a buffing/battlefield control wizard, you'll want that feat. Not for the buffing aspect, obviously, but for the control. I'm playing a wizard in Carrion Crown right now, and with SF(Conjuration), I've managed to get excellent mileage out of stinking cloud, despite the plurality of monsters being what they are.

So, spell focus: conjuration works nicely for a wizard I guess.

As for the quintessential summoner of the game, the first spell I can find that benefits from the feat is the third level spell "Aqueous Orb."

So I guess I'll just say that the feat is of least value to the one class that needs it as a pre-requisite for a needed feat.

Which makes even less sense than it being generally useless....


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Well for Summoners... and most arcane casters it's a totality worthy feat depending on the build or on the type of character you are building/playing. (it's a great feat for casters who summon for example).

Grease is level one,
Glitterdust is level two
Black Tentacles is level two.

Have a look at the spells by School.

I am confused by your comment. Who else other than casters are likely to take Augmented Summoning?
Fighters are more likely to take combat feats...


Adamantine Dragon wrote:


So I guess I'll just say that the feat is of least value to the one class that needs it as a pre-requisite for a needed feat.

Which makes even less sense than it being generally useless....

SF: Conjuration has been around continuously since 3.0, which means it predates the Summoner class by a decade or so.

And there are Conjuration spells at every level that benefit from it. Grease, Glitterdust and Stinking Cloud are the obvious ones, but at higher levels there are the three Planar Bindings, Acid Fog, Hostile Juxtaposition, Cloudkill, Hungry Pit, Incendiary Cloud, you name it. I don't know how many of these are on the Summoner's list, but there's more than enough there to keep a wizard or sorceror happy.

As for Augment Summoning, it is pretty solid. The only drawback is that if you don't summon a lot of monsters into combat, you won't get much value from it. If you're constantly buffing or blasting, and only throwing a summon or two late in the game as an afterthought, then this doesn't make a lot of sense. But it's a feat that you can build a character around.

Doug M.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I believe alchemist can benefit from Augment summons.


It in many ways depends on the power of your group, and particularly on your point buy. A low point buy group is disproportionally affected by Augment Summoning, while a high point buy group makes it into a virtual tax on summoning.

20+PB I'd say you almost have to go with augment summoning to keep summons competitive against front line enemies.

15 isn't an issue.


Neutral Human Cleric with SF: Conjuration, Augment Summoning, Sacred Summons and Superior Summoning is where it's at.

Throw in the Evangelist Archetype and you're a one man party


Is Sacred Summons really that great? You can summon creatures of your alignment as a standard action instead of a FRA... so, you can summon and move, or vice versa. This is nice, but is it worth a feat? (Especially since, if you're neutral, it won't apply to all the smite-y monsters.)

Doug M.


Douglas Muir 406 wrote:

Is Sacred Summons really that great? You can summon creatures of your alignment as a standard action instead of a FRA... so, you can summon and move, or vice versa. This is nice, but is it worth a feat?

Doug M.

Bolded portion is incorrect, its the alignment of your aura which matters... which may be an issue if your alignment is one step away from your deities.

And yes, the Standard action thing is completely worth it; remember that Summon spells normally come in at the start of your NEXT turn after you start casting them. Changing that to a Standard action means you dont need to wait. Thats huge.


Douglas Muir 406 wrote:

Is Sacred Summons really that great? You can summon creatures of your alignment as a standard action instead of a FRA... so, you can summon and move, or vice versa. This is nice, but is it worth a feat? (Especially since, if you're neutral, it won't apply to all the smite-y monsters.)

Doug M.

When you use a summoning spell to summon a creature with an alignment or elemental subtype, it is a spell of that type. Creatures on Table: Summon Monster marked with an "*" are summoned with the celestial template, if you are good, and the fiendish template, if you are evil. If you are neutral, you may choose which template to apply to the creature. Creatures marked with an "*" always have an alignment that matches yours, regardless of their usual alignment. Summoning these creatures makes the summoning spell's type match your alignment.

I can choose to summon a fiendish Lion or a Celestial Horse, and both times they will be Lawful Neutral, and it will still take a standard action to summon either. Assuming that my alignment matches my deity's

Also, I've had games were the druid tried to summon an animal, and the DM would send a monster to attack her to interrupt her summon.


The druid shaman archetypes allow standard action summons of a specific type of animal. I've found that to be huge in game terms. It's essentially giving the summoned creature a full additional round of combat. And it almost entirely eliminates the tactic of forcing the druid to take concentration checks.


I don't think Sacred Summons works the way most people think it does.

PRD wrote:


Sacred Summons

The minions of your divine patrons stand ready to answer your call.

Prerequisites: Aura class feature, ability to cast summon monster.

Benefit: When using summon monster to summon creatures whose alignment subtype or subtypes exactly match your aura, you may cast the spell as a standard action instead of with a casting time of 1 round.

Bolding mine. Not only does the creature you're summoning need to have an alignment that matches your aura's, but it has to have that same exact subtype. So if you have a Neutral aura (which I'm not even sure exists), you can, as a standard action, summon any creature on the list with a subtype of Neutral...which consists of 0 creatures.

By this reading, the feat is actually pretty lousy, as the following creatures are the only ones affected by the feat:

Lawful Good aura
Lantern Archon (SM III)
Hound Archon (SM IV)
Trumpet Archon (SM IX)

Chaotic Good aura
Bralani Azata (SM V)
Lillend Azata (SM VI)
Ghaele Azata (SM IX)

Neutral Good aura
Astral Deva (angel) (SM IX) - only if there is no such thing as a Neutral aura.

Lawful Neutral aura
Nothing

Chaotic Neutral aura
Nothing

Neutral aura
Nothing

Lawful Evil aura
Lemure (devil) (SM II)
Hell Hound (SM IV)
Bearded Devil (SM V)
Kyton (SM V)
Xill (SM V)
Erinyes (devil) (SM VI)
Bone devil (SM VII)
Barbed devil (SM VIII)
Ice devil (SM IX)

Chaotic Evil aura
Dretch (demon) (SM III)
Babau (demon) (SM V)
Shadow demon (SM VI)
Succubus (demon) (SM VI)
Bebilith (SM VII)
Vrock (demon) (SM VII)
Hezrou (demon) (SM VIII)
Glabrezu (demon) (SM IX)
Nalfeshnee (demon) (SM IX)

Neutral Evil aura
Salamander (SM V) - only if there is no such thing as a Neutral aura.

Going by that list, Sacred Summons is actually very nice for Lawful and Chaotic Evil people, and fairly bad for everybody else. Neutral characters are just hosed.


alientude wrote:

I don't think Sacred Summons works the way most people think it does.

...

Going by that list, Sacred Summons is actually very nice for Lawful and Chaotic Evil people, and fairly bad for everybody else. Neutral characters...

Right. An alignment subtype is a special thing that most creatures with alignments lack.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Axebeard wrote:

Spell Focus (Conjuration) not worth it? What?

Grease, Glitterdust, Aqueous Orb, and all of the Pit spells are fantastic. Stinking cloud is AMAZING.

If you're playing a buffing/battlefield control wizard, you'll want that feat. Not for the buffing aspect, obviously, but for the control. I'm playing a wizard in Carrion Crown right now, and with SF(Conjuration), I've managed to get excellent mileage out of stinking cloud, despite the plurality of monsters being what they are.

So, spell focus: conjuration works nicely for a wizard I guess.

As for the quintessential summoner of the game, the first spell I can find that benefits from the feat is the third level spell "Aqueous Orb."

So I guess I'll just say that the feat is of least value to the one class that needs it as a pre-requisite for a needed feat.

Which makes even less sense than it being generally useless....

I'd say that the 'quintessential summoner' in the game is the Master Summoner archetype, and he gets Augment Summoning for free at 2nd level without have to take the Spell Focus prereq - which then lets you take Superior Summoning at 3rd since it doesn't require Spell Focus at all.

I really do love that class.


The usefulness of Augment Summoning depends on what you're summoning and how often you're summoning it.

Summoning melee creatures starts to be good with Summon Monster III (aurochs or leopard) and starts to peter out after Summon Monster VI (dire tiger).

If you're planning on taking Summon Monster as a sorcerer spell every spell level, it might be worth it. But if you're not going beyond Summon Monster III, don't bother.


alientude wrote:

I don't think Sacred Summons works the way most people think it does.

PRD wrote:


Sacred Summons

The minions of your divine patrons stand ready to answer your call.

Prerequisites: Aura class feature, ability to cast summon monster.

Benefit: When using summon monster to summon creatures whose alignment subtype or subtypes exactly match your aura, you may cast the spell as a standard action instead of with a casting time of 1 round.

Bolding mine. Not only does the creature you're summoning need to have an alignment that matches your aura's, but it has to have that same exact subtype. So if you have a Neutral aura (which I'm not even sure exists), you can, as a standard action, summon any creature on the list with a subtype of Neutral...which consists of 0 creatures.

By this reading, the feat is actually pretty lousy, as the following creatures are the only ones affected by the feat:

Lawful Good aura
Lantern Archon (SM III)
Hound Archon (SM IV)
Trumpet Archon (SM IX)

Chaotic Good aura
Bralani Azata (SM V)
Lillend Azata (SM VI)
Ghaele Azata (SM IX)

Neutral Good aura
Astral Deva (angel) (SM IX) - only if there is no such thing as a Neutral aura.

Lawful Neutral aura
Nothing

Chaotic Neutral aura
Nothing

Neutral aura
Nothing

Lawful Evil aura
Lemure (devil) (SM II)
Hell Hound (SM IV)
Bearded Devil (SM V)
Kyton (SM V)
Xill (SM V)
Erinyes (devil) (SM VI)
Bone devil (SM VII)
Barbed devil (SM VIII)
Ice devil (SM IX)

Chaotic Evil aura
Dretch (demon) (SM III)
Babau (demon) (SM V)
Shadow demon (SM VI)
Succubus (demon) (SM VI)
Bebilith (SM VII)
Vrock (demon) (SM VII)
Hezrou (demon) (SM VIII)
Glabrezu (demon) (SM IX)
Nalfeshnee (demon) (SM IX)

Neutral Evil aura
Salamander (SM V) - only if there is no such thing as a Neutral aura.

Going by that list, Sacred Summons is actually very nice for Lawful and Chaotic Evil people, and fairly bad for everybody else. Neutral characters...

Two things I want to say here:

1. An aura is equal to your deity's alignment, not your own. So you can be NG and your deity CG, and you can summon the azatas with it.

2. I am playing an evangelist NG cleric of Desna (CG) with this feat currently. Even though I can only summon 3 creatures this way, it has proved invaluable and gotten us out of a lot of situations. Summoning in one standard action is absolutely terrific - especially when you summon multiple azatas (lower level) at once in a surprise round ;-)

The feat has definitely been a very good choice for me.


Thanks for all the advice guys. I have been reading it on my phone just not posted. :)

Yes I am a Sorcerer and may well pick up Summon Monster spells at every spell level.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Lightbulb wrote:

Thanks for all the advice guys. I have been reading it on my phone just not posted. :)

Yes I am a Sorcerer and may well pick up Summon Monster spells at every spell level.

You do have the option of trading out your older summon monster spells as you advance.


LazarX wrote:
Lightbulb wrote:

Thanks for all the advice guys. I have been reading it on my phone just not posted. :)

Yes I am a Sorcerer and may well pick up Summon Monster spells at every spell level.

You do have the option of trading out your older summon monster spells as you advance.

I agree.

If you can plan on not using your swaps for anything else then you can go around with just summon monster spells in your top two spell levels.

Below that it's not worth casting and its far better to free up a known spell.

-James


Yes I will of course do that :) Thanks though!


Wiggz wrote:


I'd say that the 'quintessential summoner' in the game is the Master Summoner archetype, and he gets Augment Summoning for free at 2nd level without have to take the Spell Focus prereq - which then lets you take Superior Summoning at 3rd since it doesn't require Spell Focus at all.

I really do love that class.

Fair enough, I should have said "traditional" instead of "Quintessential." The master summoner is indeed a better choice as "quintessential". And with all the other powerful druid options it's sorta silly to complain about the feat tax on summoning. It's not like the class is gimped by it...


Adamantine Dragon wrote:


Fair enough, I should have said "traditional" instead of "Quintessential." The master summoner is indeed a better choice as "quintessential". And with all the other powerful druid options it's sorta silly to complain about the feat tax on summoning. It's not like the class is gimped by it...

Well the normal druid does not have much, if anything, in the way of conjuration spells with saves.

The normal summoner on the other hand, has a slew of the best conjuration attack spells out there.

SF: Conjuration is not an automatic loss for a summoner. Now if they've gimped their CHA stat and don't take offensive spells that's something else of course.

-James


Does Augment Summoning work on swarm spells like Mad Monkeys and Vomit Swarm?


darth_borehd wrote:
Does Augment Summoning work on swarm spells like Mad Monkeys and Vomit Swarm?

It works on any Conjuration (Summoning) spell. But note that most swarms don't get any benefit from a +4 bonus to Str; the +4 bonus to Con might be useful, though.


Could you cast Mad Monkeys, have them grapple somebody, and then have them carry that person off?

Sovereign Court

Wiggz wrote:

I'd say that the 'quintessential summoner' in the game is the Master Summoner archetype, and he gets Augment Summoning for free at 2nd level without have to take the Spell Focus prereq - which then lets you take Superior Summoning at 3rd since it doesn't require Spell Focus at all.

I really do love that class.

I thought only bonus feats can ignore prerequisites, if you take Superior Summons as a Master Summoner at 3rd, you need to have picked up SF(conj) at 1st somehow.


Master summoner gets augment summoning as a bonus feat and states that prereq. can be ignored. Superior only needs augment, so that is fine :-)

Sovereign Court

You can only ignore the pre-req for the bonus feat... any feats in the chain after that however require all the prerequisites, even previous ones. Look at the monk's virtual feat discussion HERE.


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King of Vrock wrote:
You can only ignore the pre-req for the bonus feat... any feats in the chain after that however require all the prerequisites, even previous ones. Look at the monk's virtual feat discussion HERE.

You've failed to read the feat in question.

Here are the prerequisites:

"Prerequisites: Augment Summoning, caster level 3rd."

No Spell Focus there. The reason monks have issues is that Greater Maneuver feats also require combat expertise, not just the Improved Maneuver feat.


spell focus con is far from useless conjuration has a ton of battlefield control spells .

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