Augment Summoning and spells of the Conjuration (summoning) subtype.


Rules Questions


Simply put, does the Augment Summoning spell work only with spells with "Summon" in the title, or does it also to apply to spells of the Conjuration (summoning) subtype, such as Creeping Doom or Insect Plague?

Why, or why not? (Please cite sources)

Thank you kindly.


I'm trying to think of what sources that you could cite. Simply put there is nothing in the feat that restricts it to spells with 'summon' in the title.

A summoning spell is one with the (summoning) sub school. If it's of that sub school and it summons a creature with str and con they get the bonus. I can't see how it doesn't apply to creeping doom etc.

SRD; Magic; conjuration)Summoning: A summoning spell instantly brings a creature or object to a place you designate. When the spell ends or is dispelled, a summoned creature is instantly sent back to where it came from, but a summoned object is not sent back unless the spell description specifically indicates this. A summoned creature also goes away if it is killed or if its hit points drop to 0 or lower, but it is not really dead. It takes 24 hours for the creature to reform, during which time it can't be summoned again.[/quote wrote:


I suppose you could compare it to the Cleric's spontaneous casting which restricts itself to cure spells rather than spells of the (healing) subschool.

for what it's worth wrote:
Spontaneous Casting: A good cleric (or a neutral cleric of a good deity) can channel stored spell energy into healing spells that she did not prepare ahead of time. The cleric can “lose” any prepared spell that is not an orison or domain spell in order to cast any cure spell of the same spell level or lower (a cure spell is any spell with “cure” in its name).


For reference, here's Augment Summoning.

Browsing these forums, you will find people stating that Augment Summoning should work on all Conjuration (Summoning) spells, and people saying it only works on spells with "Summon" in the title.

The reasoning behind the second interptetation is that, in the feat, the word "Summon" is italicized, thus suggesting a specific wording that can only be found in the name of certain spells ( and working much like clerics' spontaneous casting, as dragonhunterq pointed out). Also, otherwise it would have probably just stated "Each creature you conjure with any Conjuration (Summoning) spell...". You can find a similar discussion here.

That said, I would rule that Augment Summoning affects all Conjuration (Summoning) spells, but that may not be RAW.


It should apply to all summoning subtype spells assuming it can be applied. However just because a spell is a summoning spell that does not mean that augment summoning can be applied. I can't think of any examples, but the point should still be noted.


wraithstrike wrote:
It should apply to all summoning subtype spells assuming it can be applied.

Do you mind elaborating on this a bit? While the italicized text argument may not be conclusive, it is something in favor of the stricest interpretation of the feat. I have found nothing supporting the broader understanding of the rule. I can only speculate on the feat being designed to work on all summoning spells, but written without thinking that there are more than just summon monster/summon nature's ally. Also, most "non-summon" summoning spells, like Conjure Black Pudding, are from later books.

wraithstrike wrote:
However just because a spell is a summoning spell that does not mean that augment summoning can be applied. I can't think of any examples, but the point should still be noted.

You mean things like Summon Instrument?


wraithstrike wrote:
It should apply to all summoning subtype spells assuming it can be applied.

Do you have any citations to back up this interpretation? To be honest, this is the interpretation I favor, but without evidence it is simply still an opinion.

wraithstrike wrote:
However just because a spell is a summoning spell that does not mean that augment summoning can be applied. I can't think of any examples, but the point should still be noted.

Hmm, that is curious. Why make this claim if you have no example to illustrate it?

I presume you mean the feat would not apply on things summoned that do not have a Strength or Constitution score.


There isn't a citation - the rules text is all there is. Any "citation" would just be a bunch of forum folks discussing it, just like we are here. This is why the game has a GM! :)

To me, the fact that it says "summon spell" and not "summon spell" shows it is meant to be used on summon monster and summon nature's ally and so on, spells with the word summon in their name. There were no spell like summon instrument when the feat was published, so it didn't really require clarification.


It's based on the spell subtype. For Creeping Doom, the damage dealt wouldn't change though. A spider swarm, for example, has a Strength of 1. The swarm damage is based on the size and type of swarm, not on the strength of each insignificant creature. I'd probably let the total swarm get the bonus hit points based on the swarm hit dice though

Scarab Sages

There are no spells with the "summon" subtype, so were forced to look at the actual name of the spell. Therefore, Summon Monster & Summon Nature's Ally, plus anything else with Summon in the name.


Isn't there a quote somewhere about if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck...something along those lines anyway.

Really, I see no reason to distinguish between summon and summoning in this context. If they wanted to limit it or clarify it they could have done so by saying '... a spell with 'summon' in the title...'. They didn't. There is no limitation stated or implied.

But hey, I've been wrong before...


Maybe subtype is the wrong word, but to be more clear I mean when the spell is written like this--> School conjuration (summoning)

The reason this matters is that Paizo may make a spell with the word summon in the title, that is not even conjuration, and does not summon anything. As an example a "summon armor" spell may make armor appear on your body if you are without armor. That could be an adjuration spell. As you level up the armor could have additional benefits. By basing it around the (summoning) as I presented above it is clear as to which spells benefit, and it leaves room to name spells however you wish.

Names also are not rules. The name of the spell is just the name of the spell. How the spell interacts with the rules is dependent upon the long description of the spell.

Also yes summon instrument is an example if a summoning spell that would not benefit.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Not just any spell with summon in the name; it would also have to be summoning a creature, not an object, as per the wording of Augment Summoning.

While restricting it to the proper summon spells seems to be the RAI, I personally wouldn't mind allowing my players to use it for other conjurations, provided they were of the type: conjuration (summoning). Using it for creation spells like Unseen Crew would seem to be right out. Rift of Ruin starts as a (calling), but says you can use a standard action while it's open to summon as if you used Summon Monster VII, which adds a strange wrinkle. Obviously, Rift of Ruin isn't a summoning spell, but it has a component that acts like one, so would you allow it to also benefit from Augment Summoning? I'd be inclined to say yes.


FWIW, I believe there is a not-official, semi-official comment on this. In Pathfinder Society, they had to decide how play would officially work, and went with the most restrictive, "only works for spells with the word 'Summon' in them, AND are conjuration (summoning), AND summon a creature not an object."

I don't recall the thread, unfortunately, but I do recall being very sad that my cheese (involving summoning modified swarms) was to be barred from play. I suppose we could all sift through the PFS rules section to find that old post. PFS doesn't have any authority over normal Pathfinder play, but it does give a hint as to what some in management think is how it should play out.


Cuuniyevo wrote:

Not just any spell with summon in the name; it would also have to be summoning a creature, not an object, as per the wording of Augment Summoning.

While restricting it to the proper summon spells seems to be the RAI, I personally wouldn't mind allowing my players to use it for other conjurations, provided they were of the type: conjuration (summoning). Using it for creation spells like Unseen Crew would seem to be right out. Rift of Ruin starts as a (calling), but says you can use a standard action while it's open to summon as if you used Summon Monster VII, which adds a strange wrinkle. Obviously, Rift of Ruin isn't a summoning spell, but it has a component that acts like one, so would you allow it to also benefit from Augment Summoning? I'd be inclined to say yes.

I agree because of the "as if" clause.


I don't think a modified swarm, with a few more hit points, is really a big deal. The hit point increase would be negligible, from a cursory look at the various swarms. Since swarm damage is not based on strength, it wouldn't affect that at all. So I don't think it's a big deal personally.

It might have worried me if it were applied to Planar Binding and the like. But those are not conjuration (summoning) spells but conjuration (calling) spells. And of course, a bonus to constitution is pretty wasted on undead.


TyrKnight wrote:
I don't think a modified swarm, with a few more hit points, is really a big deal. The hit point increase would be negligible, from a cursory look at the various swarms. Since swarm damage is not based on strength, it wouldn't affect that at all. So I don't think it's a big deal personally.

Just putting it out there that the Swarm Distraction ability is Constitution-based, so that's a +2 to the DC to be nauseated for 1 round. Also, poison is Constitution-based too.


outshyn wrote:

FWIW, I believe there is a not-official, semi-official comment on this. In Pathfinder Society, they had to decide how play would officially work, and went with the most restrictive, "only works for spells with the word 'Summon' in them, AND are conjuration (summoning), AND summon a creature not an object."

I don't recall the thread, unfortunately, but I do recall being very sad that my cheese (involving summoning modified swarms) was to be barred from play. I suppose we could all sift through the PFS rules section to find that old post. PFS doesn't have any authority over normal Pathfinder play, but it does give a hint as to what some in management think is how it should play out.

How did they exempt Summon Swarm when it seems to satisfy all of those restrictions?


PFS has its own rules. They may have found a way to abuse it.


_Ozy_ wrote:
How did they exempt Summon Swarm when it seems to satisfy all of those restrictions?

I was trying to boost Mad Monkeys, which doesn't have the word "Summon" in its title.

But I can't remember the thread, and I just searched for it. I could have the details wrong.


outshyn wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:
How did they exempt Summon Swarm when it seems to satisfy all of those restrictions?

I was trying to boost Mad Monkeys, which doesn't have the word "Summon" in its title.

But I can't remember the thread, and I just searched for it. I could have the details wrong.

Is it a part of the summoning subschool?


wraithstrike wrote:
Is it a part of the summoning subschool?

It's "conjuration (summoning)" yes. It's a monkey swarm.


The swarms summoned by Creeping Doom have neither strength nor constitution, hence cannot benefit from Augment Summoning as far as I can see.


outshyn wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Is it a part of the summoning subschool?
It's "conjuration (summoning)" yes. It's a monkey swarm.

If there is an actual monkey swarm in a bestiary then it should work. Thanks for the info.


KutuluKultist wrote:
The swarms summoned by Creeping Doom have neither strength nor constitution, hence cannot benefit from Augment Summoning as far as I can see.

I agree. These swarms have a specific function as dictated by the spell. They don't just summon the swarms from the book, so in this case I would say the feat does not apply.


wraithstrike wrote:

Maybe subtype is the wrong word, but to be more clear I mean when the spell is written like this--> School conjuration (summoning)

The reason this matters is that Paizo may make a spell with the word summon in the title, that is not even conjuration, and does not summon anything. As an example a "summon armor" spell may make armor appear on your body if you are without armor. That could be an adjuration spell. As you level up the armor could have additional benefits. By basing it around the (summoning) as I presented above it is clear as to which spells benefit, and it leaves room to name spells however you wish.

Names also are not rules. The name of the spell is just the name of the spell. How the spell interacts with the rules is dependent upon the long description of the spell.

Also yes summon instrument is an example if a summoning spell that would not benefit.

Shhhhhhh! Wraithstrike! Stop telling them this. I was brilliantly going to abuse this by researching my own spells and having "summon" in all their titles :P


wraithstrike wrote:

Maybe subtype is the wrong word, but to be more clear I mean when the spell is written like this--> School conjuration (summoning)

The reason this matters is that Paizo may make a spell with the word summon in the title, that is not even conjuration, and does not summon anything. As an example a "summon armor" spell may make armor appear on your body if you are without armor. That could be an adjuration spell. As you level up the armor could have additional benefits. By basing it around the (summoning) as I presented above it is clear as to which spells benefit, and it leaves room to name spells however you wish.

On the other hand, you have spells that are conjuration (summoning) and do have "Summon" in their name, like Summon Instrument, as well as conjuration (summoning) spells that lack "Summon" in their name, like Abundant Ammunition, for which the feat does not work. So even by saying that the feat applies to conjuration (summoning) spells, you will still need to specify that it applies to spells that actually summon creatures (although I do not expect anyone will ever try to apply a constitution bonus to a lute).

Please note that I am in favor of the "conjuration (summoning)" general interpretation, I was just curious to hear other points of view.

In the end, I would personally go with this:

dragonhunterq wrote:
Isn't there a quote somewhere about if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck...something along those lines anyway.

All the spells summoning creatures work similarly, and I doubt there was any mechanical reason to exclude certain spells. Besides, "Summon" spells are still probably the best options around, with the exception of Mad Monkeys and maybe some other specific spells for certain builds.


Now does a feat like Versatile Summoning Feat work on Mad Monkeys? So I could have Augmented Fiery Monkey Swarm?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Necro, but to reply to your question:

D20PFSRD wrote:

Versatile Summon Monster

You’ve learned to summon a more diverse array of monsters.

Prerequisite(s): Knowledge (arcana) 1 rank, Knowledge (planes) 1 rank.

Benefit(s): Pick any two simple monster templates from the following list: aerial, aqueous, chthonic, dark, fiery, or primordial.

When you summon one or more creatures that would normally be available with the celestial, entropic, fiendish, or resolute template using a summon monster spell (or an effect that mimics such a spell), you can instead apply one of the chosen templates to each creature. You can apply a different template to each creature you summon.

Special: You can select this feat more than once. Each time you do, you can choose an additional two templates.

Note the bolded pieces:

1) Mad Monkeys don't get any of the templates cited, so you can't substitute the missing template with a different one.

2) even more restricting, the feat require you to use it on creatures summoned by a summon monster spell. Mad Monkeys isn't a summon monster spell. It is a summoning spells, but the feat wording is way more restrictive.

so you can't use this feat with Mad Monkeys.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Rules Questions / Augment Summoning and spells of the Conjuration (summoning) subtype. All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.