"Summon" universal monster rule


Rules Questions


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

I have always wondered, is it a standard action to use, or a full-round action, as seems implied by the "it works like summon monster" clause?


I would say it's a standard action, based on the class feature of the summoner.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It's a standard action because it's a spell-like ability. All spell like abilities that aren't constant are standard actions to activate unless the description of the ability specifically states otherwise.


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Gjorbjond wrote:
It's a standard action because it's a spell-like ability. All spell like abilities that aren't constant are standard actions to activate unless the description of the ability specifically states otherwise.

The summon(Sp) ability description says 'as though casting a summon monster spell' which I would take to be a 1 round casting time.


For my part, I've always figured it was a 1 round casting time. I'd love some clarification.

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Quote:
A constant spell-like ability or one that can be used at will has no use limit; unless otherwise stated, a creature can only use a constant spell-like ability on itself. Reactivating a constant spell-like ability is a swift action. Using all other spell-like abilities is a standard action unless noted otherwise, and doing so provokes attacks of opportunity.
Quote:
Summon (Sp) A creature with the summon ability can summon other specific creatures of its kind much as though casting a summon monster spell, but it usually has only a limited chance of success (as specified in the creature's entry).

I usually read that as the "otherwise noted" clause, and use the casting time of the summon monster spell.


Seraphimpunk wrote:
Quote:
A constant spell-like ability or one that can be used at will has no use limit; unless otherwise stated, a creature can only use a constant spell-like ability on itself. Reactivating a constant spell-like ability is a swift action. Using all other spell-like abilities is a standard action unless noted otherwise, and doing so provokes attacks of opportunity.
Quote:
Summon (Sp) A creature with the summon ability can summon other specific creatures of its kind much as though casting a summon monster spell, but it usually has only a limited chance of success (as specified in the creature's entry).
I usually read that as the "otherwise noted" clause, and use the casting time of the summon monster spell.

Yeah, that was my opinion too, I was just too lazy to provide links. Thanks


Thought it says "as Summon Monster" doesn't it, and since that's a full round, seemed like Specific > General with the wording, but I could be wrong.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There are plenty of creatures that have spell-like abilities that refer to spells that have greater than a standard action as their casting time. It's been my understanding that they are still a 1 standard action activation unless the description on the individual creature specifically says otherwise.

i.e. a Solar's Greater Restoration 1/day SLA is still a standard action to activate even though the spell has a 3 round casting time.


"... much as though casting a summon monster spell..."
is in the wording.

If casting a SM spell, it would be full.
So, specific of that ability, in it's unique wording > general of default SLAs.

But

"much as" isn't the same wording as "as".

So as I'm not a dev and can't rule, nor do I know enough of previous questons like this to know how they've ruled in the past on stuff similiar to this, I can't disprove it couldn't be the other way.

Hopefully someone more in the know or in power will show up. This would have a noticable effect on the power of many planar beings.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Yes, that's basically what I've been wondering too: standard because it's a spell-like ability, or 1 casting round because it says its like the summon monster spell.

I've always found a 1 casting round spell-like ability makes it basically useless in combat (and therefore I've rarely used a demon/devil's summon ability). Making it a standard makes it quite powerful as it can sometimes effectively double the CR of an encounter for some outsiders.


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I have ran it both ways. I think the correct way is as a full round action since it references the summon monster spell.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

I actually found the answer with a bit more digging. The Magic chapter of the Core Rulebook, stipulates:

CRB wrote:

Spell-Like Abilities: Usually, a spell-like ability works just like the spell of that name. A spell-like ability has no verbal, somatic, or material component, nor does it require a focus. The user activates it mentally. Armor never affects a spell-like ability's use, even if the ability resembles an arcane spell with a somatic component.

A spell-like ability has a casting time of 1 standard action unless noted otherwise in the ability or spell description. In all other ways, a spell-like ability functions just like a spell.

Note the "unless noted otherwise in the ability or the spell." So since summon monster is a 1 casting round spell, the SLA also should be. At least that's how I read it.


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Always thought it a bit weird in general that the baddie has a 40% to nearly double the CR of the encounter, for no extra XP...so I do keep it full round

I also always felt that if a devil/demon summoned another devil/demon...it is just as likely to attack its summoner!!!

Im sure its an ability that could be more random/more fun


The best way I can put it is, Wraithstrike I agree with you completely, but I can't prove it because of the wording and not knowing how the Devs ruled if this ever came up in other spells wording in the past.

Someone could search older posts for similiar questions with related spells/SLAs/monster abilities, but since I'm 95% sure full round is right and I'm not at a computer I volunteer a little friend I met in the military named "Else, Anyone". :)


It seems pretty clear to me:

"A spell-like ability has a casting time of 1 standard action unless noted otherwise in the ability or spell description."

The bolded parts say all you need to know. If I cut out the extra (non-bolded) bits, it reads like this:

"A spell-like ability has a casting time as noted in the spell description."


DM_Blake wrote:

It seems pretty clear to me:

"A spell-like ability has a casting time of 1 standard action unless noted otherwise in the ability or spell description."

The bolded parts say all you need to know. If I cut out the extra (non-bolded) bits, it reads like this:

"A spell-like ability has a casting time as noted in the spell description."

This is how I'll run it (and mainly for balance purposes, so as not to double the difficulty of an encounter so easily, with no XP bonus). But I'm curious... why does it specify "one standard action" at all? Why not simply say to refer to the casting time of the spell the SLA imitates? Is the reference to "1 standard action" completely superfluous?


The Rot Grub wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:

It seems pretty clear to me:

"A spell-like ability has a casting time of 1 standard action unless noted otherwise in the ability or spell description."

The bolded parts say all you need to know. If I cut out the extra (non-bolded) bits, it reads like this:

"A spell-like ability has a casting time as noted in the spell description."

This is how I'll run it (and mainly for balance purposes, so as not to double the difficulty of an encounter so easily, with no XP bonus). But I'm curious... why does it specify "one standard action" at all? Why not simply say to refer to the casting time of the spell the SLA imitates? Is the reference to "1 standard action" completely superfluous?

No, it isn't, not all SLA copy an existing spell. Though most do.

Liberty's Edge

1 round casting time. The only one that comes to mind that can summon as a standard action is the Summoner class...because the description of that spell-like ability specifically says that it can be cast as a standard action.


Remco Sommeling wrote:
No, it isn't, not all SLA copy an existing spell. Though most do.

Ahh, ok. Gotcha.

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