Loot Summon Monster (good?)


Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion


The Item Summon Monster states for my combat check I discard the card to draw a random monster from the box and use the cards highest difficulty of the card as the result of my check no other cards can be used (shortening the exact wording). I use Holy Light as an example here are my comparison

as Lini (wild warden)

lets say i go all out and I get Succubus if I am lucky that would = 17 max or min would be Tickwood Boar = 8. Average monsters are 9 - 13. No other cards can be used.

Holy Light using any of my pets. is divine D10+2 (I am wis +1 divine +1)
I also get regular +2d6 for the spell.
using any pet I get d4 + 4 (i pumped up pet animal trait revealing +4)

so Damage is D10+2 + 2d6 + d4+4 = 32 max or = 10 min if I rolled all 1's

average would be around 20 ish

add just any blessing low Blessing of the Gods (I don't have it but trying to be fair with lowest I can) changes to 42 max or = 11 min If I rolled all 1's

average 20 - 30 ish

I don't see the point replacing Holy Light for this loot. I have other times where there would be even more damage inflicted by Lini if given a different magic card but thinking of replacing a spell for this seems foolish?

Am I reading the card wrong?

spell I have are 2 holy lights, 2 major cures, 1 mass cure, 1 scrye, 1 aid, and 1 swipe (took max spells when levelled) I don't want to get rid of this spell to replace it with Summon Monster


"If you fail the check, the monster is undefeated but deals 0 damage." So...there's that.

Though I'd say Lini doesn't need it per say, it may be better for other spell casters.

I think you also forget to mention, since you are a wild warden, and if you took the power, "Add 2 (4) to your Divine check" which would do even more damage.


The best selling point of summon monster is that you kind of use it like an attack spell, but it hasn´t the attack trait.
So everything that´s immun to magic, because it says, "You can´t play spells with the attack trait" can still be hit by summon monster.

Sovereign Court

I think MundoBot nailed the biggest benefit. Sure, you have more of a chance to fail, but guess what? You can fail by 10,000 --- and take no damage whatsoever. I plan on giving it to the Lem in our group. He built his character completely as support, which is great... except for the fact that he loves to go exploring a lot and constantly gets beaten up by monsters, and then spends all his healing on himself.

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Designer

Fenris235 wrote:

The best selling point of summon monster is that you kind of use it like an attack spell, but it hasn´t the attack trait.

So everything that´s immun to magic, because it says, "You can´t play spells with the attack trait" can still be hit by summon monster.

This was a key element of the design of this card.


I would add that you only have 2 Holy Lights in the entire box, and it is the only Divine attack spell worth having once you hit AP5. This means if you have 2 Divine casters in a larger party, you really would like this card. Now, if you only have 2 Arcane casters, then the only benefit is the lack of Attack trait. I would also note that it isn't that great unless you do have a large party due to you not banishing enough of the Basic/Elite monsters to justify using it. Pulling a Goblin is not good.

I think I put it in 2 of my 5 parties. One to Lem and the other to Kyra.


Mike Selinker wrote:
Fenris235 wrote:

The best selling point of summon monster is that you kind of use it like an attack spell, but it hasn´t the attack trait.

So everything that´s immun to magic, because it says, "You can´t play spells with the attack trait" can still be hit by summon monster.
This was a key element of the design of this card.

I like the idea of the card, but it practice the monsters that are immune to the attack trait also have relatively high difficulty numbers, making the likelihood of Summon Sonster winning a fight against such a foe low.


Joshua Birk 898 wrote:
Mike Selinker wrote:
Fenris235 wrote:

The best selling point of summon monster is that you kind of use it like an attack spell, but it hasn´t the attack trait.

So everything that´s immun to magic, because it says, "You can´t play spells with the attack trait" can still be hit by summon monster.
This was a key element of the design of this card.
I like the idea of the card, but it practice the monsters that are immune to the attack trait also have relatively high difficulty numbers, making the likelihood of Summon Sonster winning a fight against such a foe low.

That also depends on the probability of drawing a high-value monster. If you've removed lots of basics and elites, then you're most likely left with higher-value targets than if you've only removed a few.


I wonder if we will see more of these "no attack spells" monsters in deck 6.


"immune to summon monster" monsters

Sovereign Court

At best, it defeats a monster. At worst, it's an evade spell that gets past "this monster cannot be evaded" powers.


Andrew K wrote:
At best, it defeats a monster. At worst, it's an evade spell that gets past "this monster cannot be evaded" powers.

Well...that's giving it a bit too much credit. You don't take damage from the failed check, but you still have to deal with before/after effects, so it's a far cry from an evade against banes that have those.

Sovereign Court

Fair enough, those skipped my mind. However, I'd certainly give I t more credit than some people here seem to be.


kysmartman wrote:
I would add that you only have 2 Holy Lights in the entire box, and it is the only Divine attack spell worth having once you hit AP5. This means if you have 2 Divine casters in a larger party, you really would like this card.

Don't forget swipe.


It doesn't get banished if you lack the divine or arcane skill so it is great for Merisiel and Sajan since they can carry spells but don't have those skills.


Mundane61 wrote:
It doesn't get banished if you lack the divine or arcane skill so it is great for Merisiel and Sajan since they can carry spells but don't have those skills.

I like summon monster, but I don't really like this reasoning. Sajan and Merisel are both more than capable of holding their own in any battle and if you were to consider giving them a spell slot, I would rather use that for a cure. I understand the value in not having the spell banished, but I can't imagine ever actually using summon monster with either of them.


JBiggs78 wrote:
Mundane61 wrote:
It doesn't get banished if you lack the divine or arcane skill so it is great for Merisiel and Sajan since they can carry spells but don't have those skills.
I like summon monster, but I don't really like this reasoning. Sajan and Merisel are both more than capable of holding their own in any battle and if you were to consider giving them a spell slot, I would rather use that for a cure. I understand the value in not having the spell banished, but I can't imagine ever actually using summon monster with either of them.

Merisiel not only holds her own in battle, but also evades encounters at will. She really doesn't want this card.

Sajan wants cards he can quickly and efficiently cycle, not something that sits in his hand for the right moment.


Orbis Orboros wrote:
kysmartman wrote:
I would add that you only have 2 Holy Lights in the entire box, and it is the only Divine attack spell worth having once you hit AP5. This means if you have 2 Divine casters in a larger party, you really would like this card.
Don't forget swipe.

Ah, I got a little confused. The OP was talking about how great Holy Light was compared to Summon Monster. Honestly, the only difference in attack with Swipe vs Inflict is that +3 as both are (for Divine casters) Divine die + 1D8 +3 (with Swipe). Swipe is only 2 cards too. Seriously, Divine casters are really lacking in attack spells.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

I don't mind it on Seoni and I think I gave it to Lini once too when I had really built her as a divine caster so her combat was pretty terrible.

Its strength, as others have pointed out, is for casters when they come across an enemy where you can't play spells with the attack trait. It means you can use it rather than discarding your hand to damage, or forcing the party to play heaps of blessings/weapons etc to pass the check.

Like all situational cards though, I tend to try and give it to characters who can discard/recharge it to give them some other benefit. It also doesn't always make the cut for smaller parties because there are too many more versatile/consistent options.


kysmartman wrote:
Orbis Orboros wrote:
kysmartman wrote:
I would add that you only have 2 Holy Lights in the entire box, and it is the only Divine attack spell worth having once you hit AP5. This means if you have 2 Divine casters in a larger party, you really would like this card.
Don't forget swipe.
Ah, I got a little confused. The OP was talking about how great Holy Light was compared to Summon Monster. Honestly, the only difference in attack with Swipe vs Inflict is that +3 as both are (for Divine casters) Divine die + 1D8 +3 (with Swipe). Swipe is only 2 cards too. Seriously, Divine casters are really lacking in attack spells.

Inflict is Divine+d6

Swipe is Divine+d8+3


Orbis Orboros wrote:
kysmartman wrote:
Orbis Orboros wrote:
kysmartman wrote:
I would add that you only have 2 Holy Lights in the entire box, and it is the only Divine attack spell worth having once you hit AP5. This means if you have 2 Divine casters in a larger party, you really would like this card.
Don't forget swipe.
Ah, I got a little confused. The OP was talking about how great Holy Light was compared to Summon Monster. Honestly, the only difference in attack with Swipe vs Inflict is that +3 as both are (for Divine casters) Divine die + 1D8 +3 (with Swipe). Swipe is only 2 cards too. Seriously, Divine casters are really lacking in attack spells.

Inflict is Divine+d6

Swipe is Divine+d8+3

Equating Swipe and inflict is equivalent to Equating a Longspear with a flaming Ranseur +3. They both let you add dice to combat and reroll if you fail your check.


Mild question about Summon Monster: Does the summoned monster's ability trigger in any way? Say a Mercenary's difficulty up ability? Or a Siren's 'inspect the deck for allies' (would it affect the location deck?)

I haven't looked at the card for a while, so if this a stupid question; I apologize.


Ironvein wrote:

Mild question about Summon Monster: Does the summoned monster's ability trigger in any way? Say a Mercenary's difficulty up ability? Or a Siren's 'inspect the deck for allies' (would it affect the location deck?)

I haven't looked at the card for a while, so if this a stupid question; I apologize.

Ooh...that's a good question. I suspect that veteran monsters should indeed get their check target increased by the the deck number, but I would say no other types of abilities would trigger


csouth154 wrote:
Ironvein wrote:

Mild question about Summon Monster: Does the summoned monster's ability trigger in any way? Say a Mercenary's difficulty up ability? Or a Siren's 'inspect the deck for allies' (would it affect the location deck?)

I haven't looked at the card for a while, so if this a stupid question; I apologize.

Ooh...that's a good question. I suspect that veteran monsters should indeed get their check target increased by the the deck number, but I would say no other types of abilities would trigger

I'd agree. Anything that would affect the difficulty of your summoned monster would happen. So if it has the Veteran trait. Or if you summon a Giant in the Giant Lair or summon a Goblin in the Goblin Fortress (don't know that either of those will apply since we likely won't see those locations in Spires of Xin-Shalast, but they are good examples.) But since you aren't defeating your summoned monster, the things like the Siren's ally search won't happen. So apply difficulty modifiers, but nothing else. You aren't the one encountering your summoned monster, the thing you are fighting is.


Okay, what about monsters with difficulty ups if the player fails a skill check? Is it auto against monster? Or do you need to succeed the skill check?


No. You don't even attempt the skill check. You aren't encountering the summoned monster, so there is no before the encounter associated with the summoned monster. So you don't get that one. Example:

You encounter a Zombie Giant. You'll end up summoning a Tickwood Boar.

Zombie Giant wrote:

The Zombie Giant is immune to the Mental and Poison traits.

If undefeated, after the encounter, discard the top card of your deck.
CHECK TO DEFEAT: Combat 13
Tickwood Boar wrote:

Before the encounter, succeed at a Wisdom or Survival 7 check or the difficulty to defeat the Tickwood Boar is increased by 2.

CHECK TO DEFEAT: Combat 8

Here is how the encounter plays out:

Evade n/a
Apply any effects that happen before the encounter There are none on the Zombie Giant, so nothing to do here.
Attempt the check You play summon monster and summon Tickwood Boar. Tickwood Boar's highest check to defeat is 8. You aren't encountering the Tickwood Boar so you don't apply his power. You fail by 3, but the spell's powers also means you are dealt no damage.
Apply any effects that happen after the encounter The Zombie Giant is undefeated, so discard the top card of your deck.
Resolve the Encounter You shuffle the Zombie Giant back into the location deck.

That is my opinion anyway.


I agree with Hawkmoon. Anything that ups (or lowers) difficulty without a check or trait requirement gets applied. Anything else gets ignored.


I disagree. I think the printed number is what is referenced. Although I can easily see it going either way.


Orbis Orboros wrote:
I disagree. I think the printed number is what is referenced. Although I can easily see it going either way.

You could be right. I'm sure we'll find out shortly.


Okay, how about immunities? Say fighting an undead and summon monster was a siren with a higher difficulty. Since Siren damage is Mental and Undead is immune, is THAT a fail? Summoning a monster that only can be defeated with an attack with the Magic trait? How simple/complicated did they intend it to be?

I'm not trying to find a loophole here, fyi. It's the programmer in me that looks for ways to break the system so it can be fixed BEFORE it becomes a problem.


The card says nothing about applying traits or anything else about the summoned monster other than the value of its highest difficulty to defeat. Looking at the rules, and not the fluff, there's no reason to think that any traits of the summoned monster apply.


I'd agree with Orbis Orboros on that part. Forgetting for a second that there is a monster on the card, all that matters is that you have a card with a number on it (that may or may not be modified by a few things). If that number is higher or lower than the number on the card you are trying to defeat, it works.

For traits, I'd say you get the traits on the "Summon Monster" spell card as part of your check. So the check would have the magic trait.


Hawkmoon269 wrote:

I'd agree with Orbis Orboros on that part. Forgetting for a second that there is a monster on the card, all that matters is that you have a card with a number on it (that may or may not be modified by a few things). If that number is higher or lower than the number on the card you are trying to defeat, it works.

For traits, I'd say you get the traits on the "Summon Monster" spell card as part of your check. So the check would have the magic trait.

Sounds like the way I'd play it, too, barring a ruling to the contrary.


As for who would want this spell, wouldn't Meisel be the ideal choice? She can buy a spell card feat, but doesn't seem to learn a spellcasting skill. It'd be a one shot without assistance mind you, but it won't banish, right?

Whoops, just read the card and realized we weren't reading the whole thing... 'No other cards or powers may be used on this check. Meaning my last few questions are null as powers (including monster powers I preseme) do not apply.

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Designer

We are looking into this question. Stay tuned.


Mike Selinker wrote:
We are looking into this question. Stay tuned.

Now I feel like I'm watching a tv show.

"We are looking into this question. Stay tuned. When we return: how many characters are ideal? And later - To sleeve, or not to sleeve? Don't miss anything on today's installment of Paizo's P.A.C.G!"


Werewolf is also something to be considered here. While it's increase in difficulty is automatic, it happens as part of Before the Encounter.

I'd say that shouldn't apply because you are past that step when you summon the monster, and you aren't encountering the werewolf anyway.

Just throwing that out there. Staying tuned.


.... feels like noone read my previous post. The actual card text is very clear. No cards or POWERS may be used on this check.

So it's a straight compare of difficulty numbers and nothing else. Not even either monsters specific powers, so none of this matters.

Guessing they were trying to keep things simple and not turn out to be a Pokemon battle. ;p


Ironvein wrote:

.... feels like noone read my previous post. The actual card text is very clear. No cards or POWERS may be used on this check.

So it's a straight compare of difficulty numbers and nothing else. Not even either monsters specific powers, so none of this matters.

Guessing they were trying to keep things simple and not turn out to be a Pokemon battle. ;p

Well...it's obviously not that simple or Mike would have just pointed to that text as our answer. It seems to me that the powers they are referring to are the ones that normally get used on check, which are character powers.

We'll find out shortly.


Ironvein wrote:

.... feels like noone read my previous post. The actual card text is very clear. No cards or POWERS may be used on this check.

So it's a straight compare of difficulty numbers and nothing else. Not even either monsters specific powers, so none of this matters.

Guessing they were trying to keep things simple and not turn out to be a Pokemon battle. ;p

I think you're reading too much into this. What you're saying seems to imply that the monster you're fighting doesn't get any powers, for instance. The card doesn't say "negate all effects" or something, it just says that cards and powers can't be played. This sounds to me more like "you can't bless, Aid, Swipe, or otherwise help this check with cards, and you may not gain help from Lini's pets, Valeros's helping hand, or any other powers" than something that just stops effects from triggering.

But hey, I could be wrong.

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