Incoming Brachiosaurus! (and other summoned monsters dropped from above)


Rules Questions


I'm looking at some creative ways to utilize my summoned monster spells. So last session I summoned a Brachiosaurus (Monster summoning VII), while flying several hundred feet in the air, to land upon a building where some bad guys were hanging out in. Now the DM said it partially demolished the building, but today I intend on dropping it on some foes directly. How much damage should 32 tons of Jurassic goodness falling at terminal velocity, do too my hapless victims? Any references? Hmmm I wonder if I could sweeten the deal with a flesh to stone spell? hmmm.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Summon Monster and Summon Nature's Ally must place the creature on a surface. You can't summon things into the air, even if they fly.

Edit: From the Magic chapter, Conjuration:

Quote:
A creature or object brought into being or transported to your location by a conjuration spell cannot appear inside another creature or object, nor can it appear floating in an empty space. It must arrive in an open location on a surface capable of supporting it.


Unfortunately, you can't summon a creature into an area they can't fit or that can't support them.

No summoning dolphins on land, no summoning elephants in 5' wide corridors, and no summoning brachiosaurs to crush your foes. Much to my gnome's dismay.


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Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:
No summoning dolphins on land

Source? While I don't see why someone would want to do this, I don't see why it shouldn't be allowed for some evil experimentalist character.


Brachiosaurus bombs are uber cool though. Even more than goat bombs (see Doom Comes to Dustpawn). Perhaps something an evil DM can get away with, hehe.


Joesi wrote:
Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:
No summoning dolphins on land
Source? While I don't see why someone would want to do this, I don't see why it shouldn't be allowed for some evil experimentalist character.

From the Summon Monster I spell:

"Creatures cannot be summoned into an environment that cannot support them."

While dolphins, being air-breathing mammals, wouldn't have a short-term problem when brought onto dry land, it's not exactly an environment that supports them in a broader sense than immediate survival.


4 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

I ALWAYS assumed that flying creatures COULD be summoned into the air. The air can support them, they FLY!


Forseti wrote:
Joesi wrote:
Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:
No summoning dolphins on land
Source? While I don't see why someone would want to do this, I don't see why it shouldn't be allowed for some evil experimentalist character.

From the Summon Monster I spell:

"Creatures cannot be summoned into an environment that cannot support them."

While dolphins, being air-breathing mammals, wouldn't have a short-term problem when brought onto dry land, it's not exactly an environment that supports them in a broader sense than immediate survival.

On the other hand, I think the absolute longest a summon monster/nature's ally spell can last for is like four minutes...


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Serisan wrote:

Summon Monster and Summon Nature's Ally must place the creature on a surface. You can't summon things into the air, even if they fly.

Edit: From the Magic chapter, Conjuration:

Quote:
A creature or object brought into being or transported to your location by a conjuration spell cannot appear inside another creature or object, nor can it appear floating in an empty space. It must arrive in an open location on a surface capable of supporting it.

Wouldn't that mean you have to summon a swimming creature on the ground of the sea instead of summoning it somewhere in the water?

Scarab Sages

in theory, you could extend a shelf or rock from a jutting mountainside over top of the hideout, summon Dino-bomb on top of that, then transmute rock to mud and watch the hilarity ensue.


3 people marked this as FAQ candidate.
Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ronin3058 wrote:
Serisan wrote:

Summon Monster and Summon Nature's Ally must place the creature on a surface. You can't summon things into the air, even if they fly.

Edit: From the Magic chapter, Conjuration:

Quote:
A creature or object brought into being or transported to your location by a conjuration spell cannot appear inside another creature or object, nor can it appear floating in an empty space. It must arrive in an open location on a surface capable of supporting it.
Wouldn't that mean you have to summon a swimming creature on the ground of the sea instead of summoning it somewhere in the water?

I would interpret any square that is mostly full of water without an occupying creature to constitute an open location and water is capable of supporting a swimming creature.


Serisan wrote:


I would interpret any square that is mostly full of water without an occupying creature to constitute an open location and water is capable of supporting a swimming creature.

Using the same logic, wouldn't air support a creature able to fly/glide?


CRB p209 Conjuration wrote:
A creature or object brought into being or transported to your location by a conjuration spell cannot appear inside another creature or object, nor can it appear floating in an empty space. It must arrive in an open location on a surface capable of supporting it.
CRB p352 Summon Monster wrote:
Creatures cannot be summoned into an environment that cannot support them.

Thus, you cannot summon a whale in mid-air.

There remains a debate on whether or not you can summon an air-breathing water creature on land (can the land support them). My opinion is no, since it is not the natural environment. Unless it has a land speed of course.
I have a house rule that if a creature can fly then it can appear flying but this is clearly against the 'appear floating in an empty space' clause.

- Gauss

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Isn't the key word 'floating'? Birds don't float.


The Golux wrote:
Forseti wrote:

From the Summon Monster I spell:

"Creatures cannot be summoned into an environment that cannot support them."

While dolphins, being air-breathing mammals, wouldn't have a short-term problem when brought onto dry land, it's not exactly an environment that supports them in a broader sense than immediate survival.

On the other hand, I think the absolute longest a summon monster/nature's ally spell can last for is like four minutes...

It's definitely not a clear-cut situation, because 'support' is a word that can have several meanings. "To provide a basis for the existence or subsistence of" is probably much too strict, because it wouldn't let you summon most animals into the heart of a searing-hot desert, but I think that's the direction to go.

(Myself, I just let people summon anything that can function uninhibitedly for a decent amount of time in the environment at hand. That pretty much rules out dolphins on dry land. But that's my RAI interpretation and not very useful here.)


You cannot be on the surface of the water if you are 10 feet below it. The rules specifically call out Surface. Therefore by RAW, the fish can be summoned on the surface of the ground under water, or on the surface of the water above. No in between. You can summon a bird, and it can be flying in the 5 foot cube that is directly on the surface.

Here is a doozy. Say an illusionist an illusion of a bridge spanning two parallel cliffs, and a conjurer comes up to the bridge and conjures a troll to stand on the bridge to guard it. What happens?

What if the conjurer conjures a flying dragon on the bridge?


Rogar, that is why I simply go with what environments the creature can move in as the ultimate metric of where they can wind up at. But, that is a house rule due to the rules being so unclear on this matter.

How would I rule the illusion? The spell fails if the creature cannot fly.

- Gauss


Has this been ultimately FAQd? Not the brachiosaurus part: whether or not can flying creatures be summoned flying, or they must appear on unocupied ground, to begin.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 5 people marked this as a favorite.

It probably should be FAQed... but frankly, I think you SHOULD be able to summon flying creatures in flight. That's the point of them being able to fly.

Summon monster isn't meant to allow you to create "bombs" is all. That type of effect is certainly possible (if kind of silly), but it'd need to be its own specially-researched spell, set at an appropriate level where the damage it does is appropriate. AKA: The spell's level isn't set by the power of the creature, but the damage it does when it lands on you.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Soulrutep wrote:
summoned a Brachiosaurus (Monster summoning VII), while flying several hundred feet in the air, to land upon a building

You can't.

Quote:
It must arrive in an open location on a surface capable of supporting it.

Even flying creatures are summoned on a surface.

Shadow Lodge

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1: Summon Ankylosaurus (6,000 lbs)
2: Cast Pup Shape on Ankylosaurus
3: Ready An Action to cast Dispel Magic on Pup Shape when Anklyosaurus is about to impact enemy (auto-success)
4: Have friendly Barbarian (Rage Power: Hurling, Lesser & Hurling) throw baby Ankylosaurus at enemy
5: Splat?


Tomos wrote:

1: Summon Ankylosaurus (6,000 lbs)

2: Cast Pup Shape on Ankylosaurus
3: Ready An Action to cast Dispel Magic on Pup Shape when Anklyosaurus is about to impact enemy (auto-success)
4: Have friendly Barbarian (Rage Power: Hurling, Lesser & Hurling) throw baby Ankylosaurus at enemy
5: Splat?

6. Ankylosaurus hits with the full force of a puppy due to Pathfinder's version of magical conservation of momentum (see reduce person).


Nuku wrote:
Isn't the key word 'floating'? Birds don't float.

Ducks do...


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And very small rocks!

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Derwalt wrote:
And very small rocks!

chuckle


So if the creature weighs the same as the duck....A WITCH!!

Sczarni

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

How easily distracted we gamers get.


"Support" is talking about 'supporting the weight of'...meaning it can't free fall. Not biological function, which otherwise makes it a highly ambiguous term.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Elbedor wrote:
"Support" is talking about 'supporting the weight of'...meaning it can't free fall.

Right

No summoning a rhino on top of a paper wall and expecting it to crash down.


I guess I always overlooked this rule, I've summoned many flying creatures midair and have seen others do it too. One more thing to add to the list of houserules.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber

Summons can be very versatile but Whalebombing is specifically disallowed in the rules.

I did see one scenario where the wizard used Communal Mount as Wall of Horse to block an enemy in a corner though.

The Exchange

Nefreet wrote:
How easily distracted we gamers get.

I'll have you know that my attention span is as long as any other - oh, look! That dog has a puffy tail! Here, Puff! Here, Puff!


Robert A Matthews wrote:
I guess I always overlooked this rule, I've summoned many flying creatures midair and have seen others do it too. One more thing to add to the list of houserules.

It's more fun summoning flyers in midair, so that's how I like to run it.

Hmm. You could summon a celestial brachiosaur, cast fly on it, order it (via speak with animals and Handle Animal or something) to fly above your opponent, then order it to stop flying and drop. Seems like a lot of effort, though.

Shadow Lodge

blahpers wrote:
Tomos wrote:

1: Summon Ankylosaurus (6,000 lbs)

2: Cast Pup Shape on Ankylosaurus
3: Ready An Action to cast Dispel Magic on Pup Shape when Anklyosaurus is about to impact enemy (auto-success)
4: Have friendly Barbarian (Rage Power: Hurling, Lesser & Hurling) throw baby Ankylosaurus at enemy
5: Splat?
6. Ankylosaurus hits with the full force of a puppy due to Pathfinder's version of magical conservation of momentum (see reduce person).

I dunno blaphers... I think my example works. A medium archer with Reduce Person cast on him does damage as a medium archer, just like a medium archer with Enlarge Person cast on him does damage as a medium archer. I think that the anklyosaurus would do damage as his full size, as he is 'leaving' a transmutation effect, so to speak.

It's a terrible idea as a combat strategy, but I think it's hilarious.
I love the flying Brachiosaurus trick. Fly doesn't have a weight restriction. Would he have to be trained? Would you need a Druid/Ranger to Push him to fly?

Something almost inverse of this topic happened in a campaign I was in. The party Druid wildshaped into a bird or something like that and flew up to grapple the Dragon. Grapple check, Wildshape into Mastodon, fall to the earth (300'+), Quench. Dead Dragon.


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I think you should summon a sperm whale and hope it contemplates it's existence while it falls.


CzarGarrett wrote:
I think you should summon a sperm whale and hope it contemplates it's existence while it falls.

Ooh, this game has other players! I wonder if they will be friends with me...


seebs wrote:
CzarGarrett wrote:
I think you should summon a sperm whale and hope it contemplates it's existence while it falls.
Ooh, this game has other players! I wonder if they will be friends with me...

Can you summon a potted plant?

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Only when you're playing Munchkin.

The Exchange

Careful! I was once ambushed by a Lightning-Fast Humungous Potted Plant... and its Mate. Even my Electric Radioactive Potion was of no help. The shame was great.


We who fight in the Star Crossovered Dungeons have also to deal with The Last Potted Plant... and its clone!

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