What are the rules for Tubas appearing into someone's skull?


Rules Questions


Primarily, I had a silly idea. A character shoves it's feet into someone's mouth, and they cast summon instrument at their feat. How the heck does one handle that? It doesn't have the same note that you can't summon an instrument if there's no room. If it's large, does the guy begin to choke? If it's medium, does it's head explodes by the sudden appearance of a tuba in it's skull?


You cannot summon things in spaces they cannot normally occupy.


Umbral Reaver wrote:
You cannot summon things in spaces they cannot normally occupy.

Actually, if specifics trumps general is to be believed, this is limited to only monsters. To quote the SRD

The things in question:
Summon Monster I wrote:

This spell summons an extraplanar creature (typically an outsider, elemental, or magical beast native to another plane). It appears where you designate and acts immediately, on your turn. It attacks your opponents to the best of its ability. If you can communicate with the creature, you can direct it not to attack, to attack particular enemies, or to perform other actions. The spell conjures one of the creatures from the 1st Level list on Table 10–1. You choose which kind of creature to summon, and you can choose a different one each time you cast the spell.

A summoned monster cannot summon or otherwise conjure another creature, nor can it use any teleportation or planar travel abilities. Creatures cannot be summoned into an environment that cannot support them. Creatures summoned using this spell cannot use spells or spell-like abilities that duplicate spells with expensive material components (such as wish).

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 10–1 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.

Summon Nature's ally wrote:

This spell summons to your side a natural creature (typically an animal, fey, magical beast, outsider with the elemental subtype, or a giant). The summoned ally appears where you designate and acts immediately, on your turn. It attacks your opponents to the best of its ability. If you can communicate with the creature, you can direct it not to attack, to attack particular enemies, or to perform other actions as you command.

A summoned monster cannot summon or otherwise conjure another creature, nor can it use any teleportation or planar travel abilities. Creatures cannot be summoned into an environment that cannot support them. Creatures summoned using this spell cannot use spells or spell-like abilities that duplicate spells that have expensive material components (such as wish).

The spell conjures one of the creatures from the 1st Level list on Table 10–2. You choose which kind of creature to summon, and you can change that choice each time you cast the spell. All the creatures on the table are neutral unless otherwise noted.

When you use a summoning spell to summon a creature with an alignment or elemental subtype, it is a spell of that type. All creatures summoned with this spell without alignment subtypes have an alignment that matches yours, regardless of their usual alignment. Summoning these creatures makes the summoning spell's type match your alignment.

This spell summons one handheld musical instrument of your choice. This instrument appears in your hands or at your feet (your choice). The instrument is typical for its type. Only one instrument appears per casting, and it will play only for you. You can't summon an instrument too large to be held in two hands. The summoned instrument disappears at the end of this spell.[/quote wrote:

SRD wrote:

Note, most specifically, this line [Emphasis mine]:

A summoned monster cannot summon or otherwise conjure another creature, nor can it use any teleportation or planar travel abilities. Creatures cannot be summoned into an environment that cannot support them. Creatures summoned using this spell cannot use spells or spell-like abilities that duplicate spells that have expensive material components (such as wish).

As such, there's nothing saying you can, and, since specific trumphs general, and it's specific in Summon Monster, that means I can summon a tuba in someone's skull. This was brought upon by a player in a recent game I've been DMing, who shoved his feet into someone's mouth and summoned a tuba in their skull. I find this entertaining, but I want to figure out if there's anything that I can do to actually model it.


Magic - 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.


"At your feet" doesn't have to be literally "exactly where your feet happen to be at this moment in time". Really, its use in conversation tends to be "on the ground in close proximity to you", which is how I'd read it here.


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Why stop there? Why not place your hands, fingers, knees and toes in there while you're at it? Knees and Toes?
If you are saying that there is no rule preventing you from doing this, then it is completely under your GMs discretion, and I highly doubt this would be allowed more than once (more than likely not even that). However, if your GM is fine with it, all the power to you.
Although, if your GM is somewhat mean he/she may end up accommodating you by having the tuba form there alongside your feet, inside the creatures mouth. This would more than likely relieve you of those pesky walking aids many call feet since it would crush them against the rough of the monster's mouth.


Iterman wrote:

Why stop there? Why not place your hands, fingers, knees and toes in there while you're at it? Knees and Toes?

If you are saying that there is no rule preventing you from doing this, then it is completely under your GMs discretion, and I highly doubt this would be allowed more than once (more than likely not even that). However, if your GM is fine with it, all the power to you.
Although, if your GM is somewhat mean he/she may end up accommodating you by having the tuba form there alongside your feet, inside the creatures mouth. This would more than likely relieve you of those pesky walking aids many call feet since it would crush them against the rough of the monster's mouth.

The thing is, I am the DM. Hence why I am asking for any rules on the subject. However, that's a brilliant idea, your latter part, and that will most likely happen.


Vagabonds. wrote:
Iterman wrote:

Why stop there? Why not place your hands, fingers, knees and toes in there while you're at it? Knees and Toes?

If you are saying that there is no rule preventing you from doing this, then it is completely under your GMs discretion, and I highly doubt this would be allowed more than once (more than likely not even that). However, if your GM is fine with it, all the power to you.
Although, if your GM is somewhat mean he/she may end up accommodating you by having the tuba form there alongside your feet, inside the creatures mouth. This would more than likely relieve you of those pesky walking aids many call feet since it would crush them against the rough of the monster's mouth.
The thing is, I am the DM. Hence why I am asking for any rules on the subject. However, that's a brilliant idea, your latter part, and that will most likely happen.

The thing is, as a DM, if you houserule this to work, then the players are then authorized to use it (In the name of fairness). If they cannot use it, you cannot. If you can use it, then get ready for instakill monsters abuse (and summoning OTHER things or monsters inside others).


The rule is, it doesn't work, in any way, shape, or form. For good reason.


there was a time in the game (1E) when spells were simpler and you could use them in interesting ways.

Originally, you could use levitate offensively, and levitate the bad guys fighter and here was nothing he could do about it (without the help of dispel magic or something else for example)

I liked magic better, back then… it was more fun.


I wasn't aware 'broken' and 'fun' were synonyms.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Vagabonds. wrote:
Iterman wrote:

Why stop there? Why not place your hands, fingers, knees and toes in there while you're at it? Knees and Toes?

If you are saying that there is no rule preventing you from doing this, then it is completely under your GMs discretion, and I highly doubt this would be allowed more than once (more than likely not even that). However, if your GM is fine with it, all the power to you.
Although, if your GM is somewhat mean he/she may end up accommodating you by having the tuba form there alongside your feet, inside the creatures mouth. This would more than likely relieve you of those pesky walking aids many call feet since it would crush them against the rough of the monster's mouth.
The thing is, I am the DM. Hence why I am asking for any rules on the subject. However, that's a brilliant idea, your latter part, and that will most likely happen.

So basically you're saying that you want to make a zero level spell more powerful than Slay Living?

Scarab Sages

kestral287 wrote:
"At your feet" doesn't have to be literally "exactly where your feet happen to be at this moment in time". Really, its use in conversation tends to be "on the ground in close proximity to you", which is how I'd read it here.

I was wondering why feet, rather than hands. (I think most people hold musical instruments in their hands.)

As for why it doesn't work, see Pizza Lord's quote, above. Paizo specifically wrote the rules so that players wouldn't be able to turn any conjuration spell into an instant death attack.

Letting a player turn a cantrip or a first level spell into a death spell may seem funny the first time, but it tends to lose a lot of humor when the players turn that into their go-to first attack in every fight. Go for it if you want to, though.

Shadow Lodge

KarlBob wrote:
kestral287 wrote:
"At your feet" doesn't have to be literally "exactly where your feet happen to be at this moment in time". Really, its use in conversation tends to be "on the ground in close proximity to you", which is how I'd read it here.
I was wondering why feet, rather than hands. (I think most people hold musical instruments in their hands.)
Summon Instrument wrote:
This instrument appears in your hands or at your feet (your choice).


Zhayne wrote:
I wasn't aware 'broken' and 'fun' were synonyms.

know that savings throws where different back then, levitate is only a second level spell and fighters had some of the best saves in the game back then. (anything without magic was better at resisting it)

it wasn't 'broken'…it was merely creative… only example i can recall at the time… well with the exception of reversible spells (which I liked too)

you could cast heal or harm, curse or remove curse…. same spell, just reversed.
there were others, just don't recall them all


I haven't played 1Ed., but if saving throws worked in 1Ed. the same way they worked in ADD 2Ed. then that was an awful implementation.

A level 1 wizard scrub with an intelligence of 11 casts a Burning Hands at you? Save for half damage. A famous level 20 wizard casts Delayed Blast Fireball at you? Save for half damage ...with the exact same chance of success as against the level 1 scrub casting a first level spell...

Ok, th high-level campaign book introduced some optional rule which took the level difference between caster and target into account. But even then it was something like a 4 point difference.

Spell Resistance was equally awful designed. Doesn't matter what spell or who cast it, just a flat percentage chance.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Your nostalgia does not make it a better system, just different.

Nobody becomes super powerful in Pathfinder, by boiling an Ant Hill.

Dark Archive

blackbloodtroll wrote:

Your nostalgia does not make it a better system, just different.

Nobody becomes super powerful in Pathfinder, by boiling an Ant Hill.

Army ant swarm, CR 5 encounter. Good luck though.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
the David wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:

Your nostalgia does not make it a better system, just different.

Nobody becomes super powerful in Pathfinder, by boiling an Ant Hill.

Army ant swarm, CR 5 encounter. Good luck though.

No. Harmless little Sugar Ants.

The kind defeat by 5 year olds.


Don't give players cheese that will let them 1 shot your bad guys.

A few years ago I remember reading a thread by a frustrated GM whose players were "out of control". They would research the strongest monsters in the world, shrink themselves down and get swallowed by them and stab them to death them from the inside.

Basically he let his level 3 players kill CR20 monsters.


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Pizza Lord wrote:
Magic - 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.

People seem to be ignoring this, so I'm requoting it.


I haven't seen it in pathfinder, but the 3.5 precedent which was further cemented by Errata/FAQ entries was that you can't use size-changing magic or conjured materials inside of someone to do more damage. The rule is explicit in Enlarge Person that you cannot enlarge an enemy and crush him or her inside the 5x5 corridor you are in.

I mention this because summon instrument with its vagueness of placement is less effective than taking a Shrink Item'd boulder and shoving it up an enemy's nose, or using a similarly-sourced arrowhead and shooting it into their torso.

I mean, if the DM wants to roll with that, it works. But generally speaking Cronenbergian Body Horror-based combat is something to avoid. Yes, I can play a game where I cast summon instrument inside someone's head or use arcane mark on their eyeballs to blind them or create water inside their lungs to make them start drowning but you won't get a lot of support for that stylistic decision for a wide variety of reasons ranging from game balance to personal sense of disgust.

But it's your game.


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Melkiador wrote:
Pizza Lord wrote:
Magic - 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.
People seem to be ignoring this, so I'm requoting it.

Embiggened for emphasis.

Dark Archive

Iterman wrote:

Why stop there? Why not place your hands, fingers, knees and toes in there while you're at it? Knees and Toes?

If you are saying that there is no rule preventing you from doing this, then it is completely under your GMs discretion, and I highly doubt this would be allowed more than once (more than likely not even that). However, if your GM is fine with it, all the power to you.
Although, if your GM is somewhat mean he/she may end up accommodating you by having the tuba form there alongside your feet, inside the creatures mouth. This would more than likely relieve you of those pesky walking aids many call feet since it would crush them against the rough of the monster's mouth.

That made me think of the epic escape artist rules in 3.5 where a DC 80 check could let you crawl through a 2 inch diameter hole. This prompted many a discussion about being smuggled through guard posts non-magically via alimentary canal.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
blahpers wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
Pizza Lord wrote:
Magic - 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.
People seem to be ignoring this, so I'm requoting it.
Embiggened for emphasis.

Maybe in neon, with flashing letters, and a sub-clause that says

"If you try this, the spell fails, but is still cast. Sucks to be you, trying to cheat the system. Toddle pip!"


Well, a 0th level spell means all you wasted was an action.

And I'm not sure how much the rules matter for this discussion, the DM in question seems to just really like the idea.


Why did he put his foot in the other guys mouth in the first place?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
boring7 wrote:

but you won't get a lot of support for that stylistic decision for a wide variety of reasons ranging from game balance to personal sense of disgust.

For some folks getting other players disgusted IS the point of play.

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