Speculation on the unchained summoner


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Snorter wrote:
Celanian wrote:
IOW, you agree that not all 3+ int creatures with a spoken language get literacy for free. So a literal reading of the CRB is wrong. It would've saved a lot of time if you acknowledged that from the beginning.

Where do you get that, from what I wrote?

'I could read when I was three.'

Nope, nothing there. Quite the opposite, in fact.

'The summoned creatures aren't children, they're adult creatures, who could easily be decades, even centuries, old.'

Nope, still nothing. Just refuting your increasingly desperate attempts to bring children into the argument.

'A Small, 2HD elemental isn't a 'baby elemental'; it doesn't arrive wearing a diaper, and suckling a pacifier, and cling to the summoner's leg, wanting to be read a bedtime story.'

And...still nothing. Humour, used to deflate the tension.
Obviously wasted.

Let's save time and cut the B*ll. Do YOU believe that all human, elven, dwarven, orc, ogre, troll, gargoyle, etc toddlers get literacy the exact moment they start speaking?

Scarab Sages

In any case, the entire debate is missing the forest for the trees. Or even, arguing about the specific colour of the lichen, on the bark of the branches of the trees.

The overpowered, cheesy, stupid element in the 'rune bombing' scenario has nothing to do with how fast elementals can be summoned, whether they can read, if they can hold the runes, if they can understand their orders, if they can avoid an AoO while reading, or any of that peripheral guff, since the same effect can be achieved, by filling a sack with runes, having your buddy throw it into the room, while you follow up with a scroll or wand of minimum-level area dispel.

The overpowered, cheesy, stupid, game-breaking element, is the ability to make permanent, zero-cost, remote-trigger contingency traps via the explosive runes spell itself, which is a godawful relic of an old edition, that's only been allowed to stagger on this long, to placate grognards.

Any opportunity to change limited daily abilities into recources that can be stored permanently until needed will break the balance of the game, which is why item crafting totally changed the landscape and assumptions of the game, in 2000. But at least, OP as crafting was, the 3E designers did at least assign it a cost, however minimal and ineffective that cost was.
Modern designers do seem to be trying to avoid such loopholes; if you look at the Alchemist, while he can create infusions for others, they come out of his daily allowance, and expire after a day.
Then again, we have the Arcanist, who breaks daily resource limitations via sucking cheap items dry. Two steps forward, one step back.

One day, we'll be able to look at elements of the game, and make decisions what to keep as is, what to change and what to ditch, based on merit, instead of being held hostage to backwards compatibility.


All this discussion is very relevant to whether the tactic could be pulled off at 5th level which is where all the debate is focused on.

To stop explosive runes abuse, just use a literal reading of the spell. It specifically states that only dispel magic and erase can magically trigger it. It does not mention greater dispel magic. That means you can only dispel 1 set of runes at a time. The precedent is like spell immunity which makes you immune to 1 specific spell, but not variants of the same spell.


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Celanian wrote:
To stop explosive runes abuse, just use a literal reading of the spell. It specifically states that only dispel magic and erase can magically trigger it. It does not mention greater dispel magic. That means you can only dispel 1 set of runes at a time. The precedent is like spell immunity which makes you immune to 1 specific spell, but not variants of the same spell.

Greater Dispel Magic says it functions like Dispel Magic. You're really grasping at straws here. Also, that line isn't there to explain you can disable Explosive Runes with Dispel Magic, since you could anyway. It's to explain what happens if you fail.

Scarab Sages

You can be pedantic about dispelling (and well-spotted, Johnico, btw), or you can cut out the illness, not the symptom.

I banned explosive runes in my game, or rather, I did what I do with all game-breaking options; we shook hands on a non-proliferation treaty. I told the players that anything they use is fair game for NPCs to retaliate with, and that if anyone learned the spell, I'd have no reason for the next wizardly BBEG not to throw a runic satchel-bomb at them, and most BBEGs have months of downtime factored into their backstories, and don't sit around waiting to be killed.


Also, what Snorter said. If you have to contort this hard to prevent something you perceive to be broken from working... maybe changing the broken thing is the better solution?


If you (Greater) Spell Immunity yourself to dispel magic, then greater dispel magic will still affect you. Similarly if you make yourself immune to Greater Dispel Magic, then regular Dispel Magic will still affect you. Despite them being very similar to each other.

For people who take literal readings of the rules to absurd extremes in this thread, to protest a very literal reading of explosive runes is kinda funny.


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Except that this literal reading of explosive runes doesn't work (the dispel magic thing). There's nothing in that sentence that says Greater Dispel Magic doesn't work, it's only explaining what happens if you screw up a dispel.

Also, yes, Greater Spell Immunity makes you immune to Dispel Magic, but not Greater, because it specifically says you are immune to the one chosen spell. There is nothing in Explosive Runes that says Greater Dispel doesn't work. Saying "you can do X" doesn't mean you can't do Y, when Y is something you could normally do anyway.

I can erase my sentence with the eraser on my pencil, but I could also use white-out if I wanted to.

Scarab Sages

Just don't do it on your computer screen.
It's a beggar to get off.


I'm not saying that this is RAW. I'm just saying that there is enough wiggle room in the wording that if a GM thinks ER is abusive, he can easily rule that only regular Dispel works to trigger it and not the Greater version.

After all, the Pathfinder PRD page specifically links to the Dispel Magic page and not the Greater DM page.

Scarab Sages

It is overpowered; we don't let the paladins bake their unused Smites into portable 'Smitey-Snacks' with unlimited sell-by date.

So why should casters be allowed to carry forward their daily abilities?


I can't agree that there's much wiggle room on that thing (whether it works), but I can see where you do.

I can agree that it shouldn't work. Because the GM should never say "okay, so a month passes" and then the Wizard does the Finger Pyramid of Evil and mutters "Eeeexcellent." :P


So, do you even have to be literate to read an explosive rune. You need to be literate to comprehend, but not to read. I mean I can technically read 爆発物, but I can't comprehend it.


Gotta say though, scrolls really help Clerics who have better stuff to prepare that day than a ton of delay poisons, lesser restorations, ect.

Sovereign Court

Insain Dragoon wrote:

Murderous command.

Send pouncy back to give the summoner a hug.

That spell is such a favorite of mine that I can neither confirm nor deny that divine casters of mine might be casting it persistent, heightened, and bouncing at higher levels. >.>


Snorter wrote:
Celanian wrote:
IOW, you agree that not all 3+ int creatures with a spoken language get literacy for free. So a literal reading of the CRB is wrong. It would've saved a lot of time if you acknowledged that from the beginning.

Where do you get that, from what I wrote?

'I could read when I was three.'

Nope, nothing there. Quite the opposite, in fact.

'The summoned creatures aren't children, they're adult creatures, who could easily be decades, even centuries, old.'

Nope, still nothing. Just refuting your increasingly desperate attempts to bring children into the argument.

'A Small, 2HD elemental isn't a 'baby elemental'; it doesn't arrive wearing a diaper, and suckling a pacifier, and cling to the summoner's leg, wanting to be read a bedtime story.'

And...still nothing. Humour, used to deflate the tension.
Obviously wasted.

Now you've just made me really want a character to be able to summon a baby elemental, it's such a silly idea, and yet, sounds so cute.

Or maybe a baby animal summoner, the enemies will have to save vs. cute and if they fail spend a turn going "awwww" to all the cute kittens I just summoned.


Artanthos wrote:
Snorter wrote:
Artanthos wrote:

Don't bother arguing with Anzyr.

He only plays Schrodinger's wizard. Every time somebody challenges him to generate an actual written character, he can do nothing but stutter excuses.

It's hardly 'Schrodinger's wizard', to learn a counter to the few spells that would compeletely shut you down. And to cast it as soon as possible every day, since at the level you can do so, it lasts 17+ hours, and costs nothing but a dirt-cheap one-time focus cost.

If the duration were minutes, and the focus were instead materials, you could justify someone being caught with their pants down, but not how it's currently written.

One comment, no.

History of posts, yes.

Emergency, emergency, the pot is calling the kettle black.


Celanian wrote:
Let's save time and cut the B*ll. Do YOU believe that all human, elven, dwarven, orc, ogre, troll, gargoyle, etc toddlers get literacy the exact moment they start speaking?

Yes, of course I do - provided they have an INT score higher than 2.


Golarion, the only planet in the universe where the toddlers read bedtime stories to their parents. Heh heh heh. You guys crack me up! :)


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this is a rules-based combat-centric system (and magic happens to be a major thing present). logic has no place here.

logic was bitterly evicted several decades ago and vowed to make the rules pay--sneaking it's way into the dev's dreams and RUINING things like monks, rogues, crossbows, whips, and pretty much anything relating to finesse.

that you seem to be a harbinger of Logic is disturbing, since you are attempting to assert it in a world with beings that regularly ignore the laws of thermodynamics, the square-cube law, and the laws of physics in general. and magic beard-men (and women, they have nice beards too) who play 20 questions with god and then spend all day flying around invisible/unscryable/invulnerable to whatever dangers may somehow manage to find them.


pardon the double-post.
to continue: for all you know celanian, toddlers (or your various other examples) might very well be able to read instantly upon learning to speak n golarion. maybe there's something in the air, or the gods (who are also a thing in this setting) are granting them the ability to do so once they reach that age. maybe A Wizard Did It. it matters none.

golarion =/= earth. the fact that their humanoid fleshy varied people are called 'humans' may merely be a coincidence or quirk of linguistics in translation from 'Common' to 'Whatever Earth Language You Happen To Be Reading Right Now'.


Yeah, the same language fairy that zaps toddlers with the literacy wand would have to be awfully busy. She'd also have to zap grimlocks and other blind but 3+ int races as well so they can read.

Also from the Inner Sea World Guide:

Rain of Stars

None are certain when the Rain of Stars occurred, as Numeria was still a pre-literate, tribal society then, but it was certainly a very long time ago, perhaps even before the Age of Darkness. Nevertheless, such a dramatic and consequential event indelibly burns its way into a people's collective memory. That night a metal mountain fell from the sky and lit up the plains of Numeria. Modern scholars believe that it was a vessel from outer space, but that night it appeared as a raging fireball. As it streaked through the atmosphere, the vessel broke apart and fell in pieces across the land. Some chunks were the size of a fist, while others were the size of whole towns. The largest chunk is known today as the Silver Mount, and fell near the capital city of Starfall; the city itself derives its name from this event. The fragments gave off strange radiation that caused mutations that persist to this day.

Clearly the designers don't believe that Golarion has 100% universal literacy for everything and everyone.

It's SO funny the hoops that people will jump through to try and justify this. Heh.


pretty sure it's meant for them to be 'way back before they even had a damn language', not 'this place is still backwater'.

and again. gods. magic. cosmic iron-clad meta ruleset--it doesn't matter.

you being condescending doesn't change the rules as written.


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@Celanian
Are Contract Devils literate?

They are monsters in a Bestiary and thus by how you say the Bestiary rule supersedes the CRB are only able to speak those languages. Nothing in their stat block says they are literate.

If you say they are literate, then you are going back on your previous interpretation. If you say they are illiterate then that means they are incapable of actually doing their job in setting.

The line you base all this on from the Bestiary was probably just the writer not realizing the difference at the time of writing. It happens all the time in Paizo works and it would probably be best to assume the CRB is correct.


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This is still going on?

Especially over whether elementals can read their own language?

If there's a critter that's going to come into existence literate, it's an outsider.* As you probably know, elementals are outsiders.

I will argue that yes, a one-second-old elemental immediately knows and is immediately literate in its elemental language - that language is part of what they are.

Small elementals are really stupid, so their actual reading/comprehension level is probably on par with a kindergartener, but they can still do it.

(As for mortal child literacy, I'll just note that the class system doesn't model children. If you really want to stat out toddlers give them a hit die in animal maybe =P)

* And true dragons. Hatchling dragons are funky like that.**

** Still love the opening adventure for Council of Wyrms - involves the PCs dragonlings hatching while ogres are raiding the hatchery to steal eggs. I.e., your first adventure kicks off with you being hatched into a combat situation and immediately kicking ass, because you're g@%&%+n dragons.


AndIMustMask wrote:

pretty sure it's meant for them to be 'way back before they even had a damn language', not 'this place is still backwater'.

and again. gods. magic. cosmic iron-clad meta ruleset--it doesn't matter.

you being condescending doesn't change the rules as written.

Yeah, you're "pretty sure". You're interpreting. You also haven't explained how a blind race like a grimlock can read.

It also doesn't matter how far in the past Numeria was pre-literate. Time travel is possible in Pathfinder, so if the CRB was true, then there would be no pre-literate society possible. The language fairy would've zapped them all as soon as they learned to speak.


Insain Dragoon wrote:

@Celanian

Are Contract Devils literate?

They are monsters in a Bestiary and thus by how you say the Bestiary rule supersedes the CRB are only able to speak those languages. Nothing in their stat block says they are literate.

If you say they are literate, then you are going back on your previous interpretation. If you say they are illiterate then that means they are incapable of actually doing their job in setting.

The line you base all this on from the Bestiary was probably just the writer not realizing the difference at the time of writing. It happens all the time in Paizo works and it would probably be best to assume the CRB is correct.

You haven't been following this thread at all have you? I've said MULTIPLE TIMES in this very thread that it's up to the GM to decide which beings in his world are literate. I've never said that NOTHING was literate, just that the GM has to decide. So it's plausible that contract devils are literate, but not plausible that tarrasques, chokers, small elementals, grimlocks, and toddlers are literate.

GM has to decide based on the needs of his game and what makes the most sense based on his campaign and setting.

I can also say the line in the CRB was probably just the writer not realizing the implications of letting all toddlers, blind entities, and really stupid entities have 100% literacy. Just your speculation.


Celanian wrote:
I can also say the line in the CRB was probably just the writer not realizing the implications of letting all toddlers, blind entities, and really stupid entities have 100% literacy. Just your speculation.

Wow, dude. You're taking this kinda personally. The reason that every speaking creature can read and write (unless they take class levels in Barbarian) is because the rules aren't designed to be an accurate model of society. There's no hidden conspiracy and no reason to get mad.

If you think it's dumb, change it for your game. Problem solved.


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barbarians arent illiterate anymore iirc (that's a holdover from 3.5)


With the exception of the True Primitive archetype.


Oh, cool; thanks for the correction.


Sophismata wrote:
Celanian wrote:
I can also say the line in the CRB was probably just the writer not realizing the implications of letting all toddlers, blind entities, and really stupid entities have 100% literacy. Just your speculation.

Wow, dude. You're taking this kinda personally. The reason that every speaking creature can read and write (unless they take class levels in Barbarian) is because the rules aren't designed to be an accurate model of society. There's no hidden conspiracy and no reason to get mad.

If you think it's dumb, change it for your game. Problem solved.

Wow, where did that comment come from? I'm not taking anything personally and I don't think there is any conspiracy. That comment is just bizarre.

And no, not every speaking creature can speak and write. The fact that blind intelligent races and pre-literate cultures exist in Canon states specifically that this isn't true.


Celanian wrote:
Sophismata wrote:
Celanian wrote:
I can also say the line in the CRB was probably just the writer not realizing the implications of letting all toddlers, blind entities, and really stupid entities have 100% literacy. Just your speculation.

Wow, dude. You're taking this kinda personally. The reason that every speaking creature can read and write (unless they take class levels in Barbarian) is because the rules aren't designed to be an accurate model of society. There's no hidden conspiracy and no reason to get mad.

If you think it's dumb, change it for your game. Problem solved.

Wow, where did that comment come from? I'm not taking anything personally and I don't think there is any conspiracy. That comment is just bizarre.

And no, not every speaking creature can speak and write. The fact that blind intelligent races and pre-literate cultures exist in Canon states specifically that this isn't true.

And yet, you still can't point to where it says elementals can't read.


Trogdar wrote:
Celanian wrote:
Sophismata wrote:
Celanian wrote:
I can also say the line in the CRB was probably just the writer not realizing the implications of letting all toddlers, blind entities, and really stupid entities have 100% literacy. Just your speculation.

Wow, dude. You're taking this kinda personally. The reason that every speaking creature can read and write (unless they take class levels in Barbarian) is because the rules aren't designed to be an accurate model of society. There's no hidden conspiracy and no reason to get mad.

If you think it's dumb, change it for your game. Problem solved.

Wow, where did that comment come from? I'm not taking anything personally and I don't think there is any conspiracy. That comment is just bizarre.

And no, not every speaking creature can speak and write. The fact that blind intelligent races and pre-literate cultures exist in Canon states specifically that this isn't true.

And yet, you still can't point to where it says elementals can't read.

Do you concede that not every creature with 3+ int and a spoken language is literate?


Celanian wrote:
Do you concede that not every creature with 3+ int and a spoken language is literate?

Who would do that?

Language + adulthood = literate.


Marroar Gellantara wrote:
Celanian wrote:
Do you concede that not every creature with 3+ int and a spoken language is literate?

Who would do that?

Language + adulthood = literate.

Where does it say adulthood in the CRB? And do you think a blind race would automatically be 100% literate?


Celanian wrote:
Marroar Gellantara wrote:
Celanian wrote:
Do you concede that not every creature with 3+ int and a spoken language is literate?

Who would do that?

Language + adulthood = literate.

Where does it say adulthood in the CRB? And do you think a blind race would automatically be 100% literate?

The stat blocks listed are generally adult. Basically anything with a stat block is mature enough (even young dragons).

Of course blind races are literate. They do have trouble reading though with their physical limitations.


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Celanian is either trolling or being intentionally dense. There is nothing in the rules that support his claim and he knows that as well as we do. He simply won't admit it. Insisting on the "literate elementals" discussion is a waste of time.


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TBH I think some of us are just enjoying the amazing display of mental gymnastics this guy is awarding us with every time he posts.


He does display a lot of ranks in (mental) Acrobatics and Escape Artist...


Anyway... About Summoners....

IMO, all they really need is a revision to evolution pricing and to their spell lists (they really shouldn't get as many great spells as they do, and certainly not at the same pace or even faster than full casters). Do that and give them 4 skill points per level (as every class other than Int-based full caster should have!).

Then again, if evolution cost and the race builder are any indication, Paizo is really freaking bad at point-cost based system... :-P


Marroar Gellantara wrote:
Celanian wrote:
Marroar Gellantara wrote:
Celanian wrote:
Do you concede that not every creature with 3+ int and a spoken language is literate?

Who would do that?

Language + adulthood = literate.

Where does it say adulthood in the CRB? And do you think a blind race would automatically be 100% literate?

The stat blocks listed are generally adult. Basically anything with a stat block is mature enough (even young dragons).

Of course blind races are literate. They do have trouble reading though with their physical limitations.

IOW, you have nothing to support your claim.

It's funny how everyone here is insisting on 100% literacy when it's Canon that there are toddlers, blind races, and pre-literate cultures on Golarion. I mean

I think there are a lot of people trolling on these boards since I can't believe that anyone actually believes that a blind race or pre-literate culture is actually literate. It's amazing how far people will go to try and win a stupid internet argument and not concede that just maybe the CRB isn't supposed to be all-encompassing, that there should be at least SOME exceptions to the idea that everyone and everything is literate.

It's like people are being intentionally dense when they ignore Canon evidence of pre-literate cultures or blind races and still insist on 100% literacy for everything everywhere.


I'm pretty sure that even Goblins are literate. They just have an aversion to words.


You know, if you just wanted to troll, you should just say so instead of making statements that make you look ridiculous. That'd save us all a lot of time.

Shadow Lodge

Celanian wrote:
You know, if you just wanted to troll, you should just say so instead of making statements that make you look ridiculous. That'd save us all a lot of time.

Cleric, heal thyself.


TOZ wrote:
Celanian wrote:
You know, if you just wanted to troll, you should just say so instead of making statements that make you look ridiculous. That'd save us all a lot of time.
Cleric, heal thyself.

Seriously, someone just claimed that blind races and goblins are literate and you're calling me out for trolling?????

These are truly the Bizarro boards.


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Celanian wrote:
These are truly the Bizarro boards.

Successful Troll will remind fellow poster, successful troll not need be WRONG to be trolling.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Celanian wrote:
Seriously, someone just claimed that blind races and goblins are literate and you're calling me out for trolling?????

And by the rules, they are right. Because the language rules have no exception for blind races or goblins.

Now, what does this have to do with the unchained summoner, I ask you.


Successful Troll is Successful wrote:
Celanian wrote:
These are truly the Bizarro boards.
Successful Troll will remind fellow poster, successful troll not need be WRONG to be trolling.

This may be the best post of the entire thread.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Celanian wrote:
Seriously, someone just claimed that blind races and goblins are literate and you're calling me out for trolling?????

And by the rules, they are right. Because the language rules have no exception for blind races or goblins.

Now, what does this have to do with the unchained summoner, I ask you.

By the rules they'd be wrong. Even if in your bizarre world toddlers, blind folks, and goblins are literate, the fact that the Canon mentions pre-literate cultures means that literacy is not universal in-Canon and thus the CRB cannot be correct even under the most narrow, obtuse, interpretation even if you ignore the text of the bestiary.

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