Summoning a Good Creature for an Evil Purpose


Rules Questions


If a neutral bard summons a lawful good lantern archon to help her attack a merchant ship in a act of piracy, is it reasonable to expect the lantern archon to act against its alignment and assist the pirate? On the other hand is this akin to summoning a cop to watch you commit a crime and is it possible that the archon would refuse to assist or even turn on its summoner?

Liberty's Edge

If it was summon monster then yes, the lanter archon will commit an evil action. Summoned creatures follow your orders or attack you enemies if you can't speak to them. This archon may attempt to save some people of you don't tell it to kill them perhaps. If you called it through planar binding then it may not help you if it means violating its true nature.


Assuming you are talking about Summon Monster, the summoned creature attacks the summoning caster's opponent to its best abilities, wether it wants to or not.

Other spells conjuring outsiders might leave the summoned creature more options to oppose your will.


The funny thing is, by RAW summoning the Lantern Archon is a GOOD act, and attacking the ship EVIL. So overall, that makes up for it.

Then again, summoning either good or evil creatures should not matter in my book, even if some may frown upon it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Friend of the Dork wrote:

The funny thing is, by RAW summoning the Lantern Archon is a GOOD act, and attacking the ship EVIL. So overall, that makes up for it.

Then again, summoning either good or evil creatures should not matter in my book, even if some may frown upon it.

Wise DM's know when to kick RAW to the curb. Despite the "good" subtype of the cast spell, forcing a good creature to do evil acts makes the act doubly evil.

BTW, I wouldn't change the Neutral Bard's alignment, just correct it to the one she's been playing all along.


I would allow it, but, if the archon kills someone, I would have a bunch of good outsiders show up at some inconvenient point in the future to breaka da legs....I mean, discuss the inappropriateness of the bard's action.


LazarX wrote:
Friend of the Dork wrote:

The funny thing is, by RAW summoning the Lantern Archon is a GOOD act, and attacking the ship EVIL. So overall, that makes up for it.

Then again, summoning either good or evil creatures should not matter in my book, even if some may frown upon it.

Wise DM's know when to kick RAW to the curb. Despite the "good" subtype of the cast spell, forcing a good creature to do evil acts makes the act doubly evil.

BTW, I wouldn't change the Neutral Bard's alignment, just correct it to the one she's been playing all along.

Wow, bet those GMs are great with with Animate Dead as a Good character, because what are the odds it goes one way and not the other...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Anzyr wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Friend of the Dork wrote:

The funny thing is, by RAW summoning the Lantern Archon is a GOOD act, and attacking the ship EVIL. So overall, that makes up for it.

Then again, summoning either good or evil creatures should not matter in my book, even if some may frown upon it.

Wise DM's know when to kick RAW to the curb. Despite the "good" subtype of the cast spell, forcing a good creature to do evil acts makes the act doubly evil.

BTW, I wouldn't change the Neutral Bard's alignment, just correct it to the one she's been playing all along.

Wow, bet those GMs are great with with Animate Dead as a Good character, because what are the odds it goes one way and not the other...

I haven't the faintest idea of what you're trying to say. A Good cleric can't cast that spell anyway.

Shadow Lodge

By RAW this is legal but I think as a GM I would have at least that Outsider bear a grudge against the character for being coerced into committing evil actions. It might show up at an inconvenient time to hinder or harm the character in the future.


I think the gods of Heaven would have a huge stash of Lantern Archons they don't like to be used for this purpose. When the summoners force them to commit evil deeds, they fall like a paladin and get sent to Hell.
Its a good way for Heaven to get rid of all the grumpy, surly, morose souls that just don't really fit into a happy, bubbly place like Heaven.


LazarX wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Friend of the Dork wrote:

The funny thing is, by RAW summoning the Lantern Archon is a GOOD act, and attacking the ship EVIL. So overall, that makes up for it.

Then again, summoning either good or evil creatures should not matter in my book, even if some may frown upon it.

Wise DM's know when to kick RAW to the curb. Despite the "good" subtype of the cast spell, forcing a good creature to do evil acts makes the act doubly evil.

BTW, I wouldn't change the Neutral Bard's alignment, just correct it to the one she's been playing all along.

Wow, bet those GMs are great with with Animate Dead as a Good character, because what are the odds it goes one way and not the other...

I haven't the faintest idea of what you're trying to say. A Good cleric can't cast that spell anyway.

Cleric? Those are kind meh Necromancers. But it's good to know such GMs would be ok with a Lawful Good Gravewalker Witch casting Animate Dead to fight bad guys. They would be ok with that right?

Shadow Lodge

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Jeven wrote:

I think the gods of Heaven would have a huge stash of Lantern Archons they don't like to be used for this purpose. When the summoners force them to commit evil deeds, they fall like a paladin and get sent to Hell.

Its a good way for Heaven to get rid of all the grumpy, surly, morose souls that just don't really fit into a happy, bubbly place like Heaven.

Saenrae "Skippy you are going to answer the summons of Linus the Pure he needs help stopping those Orcs from razing that village. Go with my blessing upon you. Bubbles you are going to go help Sir Baldric the Humble to end the Undead Scourge. Go with grace. Stan you are going to Blackheart the Bard Pirate, Scourge of the Seven Seas. Go and burn in hell!!!!"

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Anzyr wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Friend of the Dork wrote:

The funny thing is, by RAW summoning the Lantern Archon is a GOOD act, and attacking the ship EVIL. So overall, that makes up for it.

Then again, summoning either good or evil creatures should not matter in my book, even if some may frown upon it.

Wise DM's know when to kick RAW to the curb. Despite the "good" subtype of the cast spell, forcing a good creature to do evil acts makes the act doubly evil.

BTW, I wouldn't change the Neutral Bard's alignment, just correct it to the one she's been playing all along.

Wow, bet those GMs are great with with Animate Dead as a Good character, because what are the odds it goes one way and not the other...

I haven't the faintest idea of what you're trying to say. A Good cleric can't cast that spell anyway.
Cleric? Those are kind meh Necromancers. But it's good to know such GMs would be ok with a Lawful Good Gravewalker Witch casting Animate Dead to fight bad guys. They would be ok with that right?

Not allowed in my games... Good gravewalkers simply do not exist in my worlds. Neutral ones have a fairly hard time not sliding down into evil. As the saying goes when you spend your time playing with swine don't expect the mud to stay out of your clothes.

Silver Crusade

I still remember the panic in Planescape games when a summoning crystal showed up, and everyone ran for the hills or hid under stuff.

Stuff like this makes it much more understandable.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
LazarX wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Friend of the Dork wrote:

The funny thing is, by RAW summoning the Lantern Archon is a GOOD act, and attacking the ship EVIL. So overall, that makes up for it.

Then again, summoning either good or evil creatures should not matter in my book, even if some may frown upon it.

Wise DM's know when to kick RAW to the curb. Despite the "good" subtype of the cast spell, forcing a good creature to do evil acts makes the act doubly evil.

BTW, I wouldn't change the Neutral Bard's alignment, just correct it to the one she's been playing all along.

Wow, bet those GMs are great with with Animate Dead as a Good character, because what are the odds it goes one way and not the other...

I haven't the faintest idea of what you're trying to say. A Good cleric can't cast that spell anyway.
Cleric? Those are kind meh Necromancers. But it's good to know such GMs would be ok with a Lawful Good Gravewalker Witch casting Animate Dead to fight bad guys. They would be ok with that right?
Not allowed in my games... Good gravewalkers simply do not exist in my worlds. Neutral ones have a fairly hard time not sliding down into evil. As the saying goes when you spend your time playing with swine don't expect the mud to stay out of your clothes.

Ah so casting a Good spell to do evil makes you evil, but casting an Evil spell to do Good doesn't make you Good. Knew there was probably some sort of bizarre hypocrisy going on somewhere. While I like being right about such things, still kinda sad to see.

Dark Archive

In my games Summons are ephemeral 'copies' of the creature that didn't exist before the summons and cease to after, hence Summoning magic not Calling.

That said, a Summoned Monster will absolutely obey the caster to the best of its abilities and understanding, its alignment and priorities were it encountered normally don't matter.

I can't imagine that The Forces of Good [tm] would show up every time some low level caster summons a Lantern Archon to kill a good guy, now perhaps if in your game Summons are real actual creatures who remember what happened when they were summoned and someone was consistently using powerful good outsiders for evil... maybe you might introduce some fallout as a side story, but you certainly shouldn't punish a player for using a spell as written imo.


Suthainn wrote:
I can't imagine that The Forces of Good [tm] would show up every time some low level caster summons a Lantern Archon to kill a good guy, now perhaps if in your game Summons are real actual creatures who remember what happened when they were summoned and someone was consistently using powerful good outsiders for evil... maybe you might introduce some fallout as a side story, but you certainly shouldn't punish a player for using a spell as written imo.

I agree with this. I think I'd allow her to use the archon to do this but the archon would be very upset by the action. I also think if it were done habitually, a bigger archon (metagame: higher CR than the party) would likely be dispatched to convince her to stop doing it. Could be interesting.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Suthainn wrote:
I can't imagine that The Forces of Good [tm] would show up every time some low level caster summons a Lantern Archon to kill a good guy, now perhaps if in your game Summons are real actual creatures who remember what happened when they were summoned and someone was consistently using powerful good outsiders for evil... maybe you might introduce some fallout as a side story, but you certainly shouldn't punish a player for using a spell as written imo.

You can punish a player for using a fireball in the middle of a crowded marketplace. Spells as written allow characters to do things that invite unpleasant consequences.


Anzyr wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Friend of the Dork wrote:

The funny thing is, by RAW summoning the Lantern Archon is a GOOD act, and attacking the ship EVIL. So overall, that makes up for it.

Then again, summoning either good or evil creatures should not matter in my book, even if some may frown upon it.

Wise DM's know when to kick RAW to the curb. Despite the "good" subtype of the cast spell, forcing a good creature to do evil acts makes the act doubly evil.

BTW, I wouldn't change the Neutral Bard's alignment, just correct it to the one she's been playing all along.

Wow, bet those GMs are great with with Animate Dead as a Good character, because what are the odds it goes one way and not the other...

I haven't the faintest idea of what you're trying to say. A Good cleric can't cast that spell anyway.
Cleric? Those are kind meh Necromancers. But it's good to know such GMs would be ok with a Lawful Good Gravewalker Witch casting Animate Dead to fight bad guys. They would be ok with that right?
Not allowed in my games... Good gravewalkers simply do not exist in my worlds. Neutral ones have a fairly hard time not sliding down into evil. As the saying goes when you spend your time playing with swine don't expect the mud to stay out of your clothes.
Ah so casting a Good spell to do evil makes you evil, but casting an Evil spell to do Good doesn't make you Good. Knew there was probably some sort of bizarre hypocrisy going on somewhere. While I like being right about such things, still kinda sad to see.

Welcome to the alignment system.

Silver Crusade

Personally I've always written it off as the classic 'arcane casters meddle in crap they don't understand.' Clerical summons forbid you from summoning stuff thats alignment opposed as an example.

With the arcane, its somehow fitting for mages to be like 'pfft, good, or evil, I am beyond such petty eventualities!' and then have those petty eventualities hit them like a mack truck because of their hubris.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber
Anzyr wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Friend of the Dork wrote:

The funny thing is, by RAW summoning the Lantern Archon is a GOOD act, and attacking the ship EVIL. So overall, that makes up for it.

Then again, summoning either good or evil creatures should not matter in my book, even if some may frown upon it.

Wise DM's know when to kick RAW to the curb. Despite the "good" subtype of the cast spell, forcing a good creature to do evil acts makes the act doubly evil.

BTW, I wouldn't change the Neutral Bard's alignment, just correct it to the one she's been playing all along.

Wow, bet those GMs are great with with Animate Dead as a Good character, because what are the odds it goes one way and not the other...

I haven't the faintest idea of what you're trying to say. A Good cleric can't cast that spell anyway.
Cleric? Those are kind meh Necromancers. But it's good to know such GMs would be ok with a Lawful Good Gravewalker Witch casting Animate Dead to fight bad guys. They would be ok with that right?
Not allowed in my games... Good gravewalkers simply do not exist in my worlds. Neutral ones have a fairly hard time not sliding down into evil. As the saying goes when you spend your time playing with swine don't expect the mud to stay out of your clothes.
Ah so casting a Good spell to do evil makes you evil, but casting an Evil spell to do Good doesn't make you Good. Knew there was probably some sort of bizarre hypocrisy going on somewhere. While I like being right about such things, still kinda sad to see.

The problem i see is the spell you choose to exemplify, you raise corpses to do your job (even if is a good job) you raise corpses! Did you care to know if the soul of the dead is ok with that? if their family is ok with that? If you did, then, ok, i would judge you are doing a good act.

Now, if you summon a imp to do good, you are doing good (IMO, not RAW).


Jeven wrote:

I think the gods of Heaven would have a huge stash of Lantern Archons they don't like to be used for this purpose. When the summoners force them to commit evil deeds, they fall like a paladin and get sent to Hell.

Its a good way for Heaven to get rid of all the grumpy, surly, morose souls that just don't really fit into a happy, bubbly place like Heaven.

Maybe that is what happens to "good" murderhobos after they die........


Suthainn wrote:

In my games Summons are ephemeral 'copies' of the creature that didn't exist before the summons and cease to after, hence Summoning magic not Calling.

That said, a Summoned Monster will absolutely obey the caster to the best of its abilities and understanding, its alignment and priorities were it encountered normally don't matter.

I can't imagine that The Forces of Good [tm] would show up every time some low level caster summons a Lantern Archon to kill a good guy, now perhaps if in your game Summons are real actual creatures who remember what happened when they were summoned and someone was consistently using powerful good outsiders for evil... maybe you might introduce some fallout as a side story, but you certainly shouldn't punish a player for using a spell as written imo.

I don't understand how the chance to fight some critter and possibly gain loot and XP is a punishment. I don't recall too many games where the party was forced at spearpoint to enter the dungeon.....

Shadow Lodge

Mechagamera wrote:
I don't understand how the chance to fight some critter and possibly gain loot and XP is a punishment. I don't recall too many games where the party was forced at spearpoint to enter the dungeon.....

Some PCs might be surprised to have angry celestials coming after them since it implies they aren't the "good guys."

For knowingly evil PCs it would probably be business as usual.


Weirdo wrote:
Mechagamera wrote:
I don't understand how the chance to fight some critter and possibly gain loot and XP is a punishment. I don't recall too many games where the party was forced at spearpoint to enter the dungeon.....

Some PCs might be surprised to have angry celestials coming after them since it implies they aren't the "good guys."

For knowingly evil PCs it would probably be business as usual.

I can see that, but GM doesn't stand for Grand Mother. Fighting angry celestials makes for a more memorable adventure and provides a good opportunity for character development, role play, and plot (nothing like a quest to make up for your past misdeeds).

Shadow Lodge

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I think we mostly agree. Perhaps my using Suthainn's use of the word "punishment" confused things.

I don't see this as punishing players for using a spell. I see it as PCs receiving realistic consequences for their actions. Realistic consequences do provide opportunity for character development, RP, and plot. Most importantly, they make it clear that the PCs actions matter, whatever they are. Sometimes this will be good for the characters and sometimes not. Hopefully it will always be entertaining for the players. Occasionally you may run into a player who doesn't like unpleasant things happening to their character (and sees being attacked by the good guys as "unpleasant"), but having things happen to and because of your character outside of the simple mechanical consequences is for some of us (most of us?) the appeal of a traditional RPG.

Shadow Lodge

I'm with Weirdo on this one, have some one pay them a visit, there are going to be some pissed off celestial beings after that kind of act.

I don't think casting an evil spell makes you evil, those descriptors are there so clerics/inquisitors(or any other class that has alignment restrictions on their casting that I can't think of) of a good god can't go around casting evil spells. If you're not restricted in that sense, sure summon some archons to do CN or CE acts, that's fine. You might get a visit from a paladin or a cleric with some summoning spells(summoning the same archons you summoned earlier) at some point.

As far as the alignment system goes, personally I weigh in the intention of the act as as well as the act itself. Evil spell to kill an evil creature for your own gain? Neutral at best, Evil spell to kill an evil creature for the cause of good, yeah that's a good act, you might get some raised eyebrows at times for uncouth methods though.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

There is a PFS scenario (season 0 I think, so originally written with 3.5 rules) that has some very evil (CE) Drow summoning Archon Hounds (LG) to fight the PCs.


Weirdo wrote:

I think we mostly agree. Perhaps my using Suthainn's use of the word "punishment" confused things.

I don't see this as punishing players for using a spell. I see it as PCs receiving realistic consequences for their actions. Realistic consequences do provide opportunity for character development, RP, and plot. Most importantly, they make it clear that the PCs actions matter, whatever they are. Sometimes this will be good for the characters and sometimes not. Hopefully it will always be entertaining for the players. Occasionally you may run into a player who doesn't like unpleasant things happening to their character (and sees being attacked by the good guys as "unpleasant"), but having things happen to and because of your character outside of the simple mechanical consequences is for some of us (most of us?) the appeal of a traditional RPG.

Weirdo,

That is quite well said.

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