What Summoned Monsters can read? (PFS Core)


Rules Questions

Liberty's Edge

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I like the idea of occasionally summoning a monster and ordering it to pick up an item with Explosive Runes precast on it and then ordering it to run or fly into a room and detonate it near a bunch of enemies. What summoned monsters can do that? Is it everything with a language? My PC knows the languages of everything she can summon.

Sczarni

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Fascinating idea. I'd imagine you'd experience some table variation on this one, so be sure to have some backup plans, but let's see if we can tally up and eliminate some obvious ones:

1st level
Dire rat (no)
Dog (no)
Dolphin (no)
Eagle (no)
Fire beetle (no)
Poisonous frog (no)
Pony (horse) (no)
Viper (snake) (no)

2nd Level
Ant, giant (worker) (no)
Elemental (Small) (unknown, unlikely)
Giant centipede (no)
Giant frog (no)
Giant spider (no)
Goblin dog (no)
Horse (no)
Hyena (no)
Lemure (devil) (no, mindless)
Octopus (no)
Squid (no)
Wolf (no)

3rd Level
Ant, giant (soldier) (no)
Ape (no)
Aurochs (herd animal) (no)
Boar (no)
Cheetah (no)
Constrictor snake (no)
Crocodile (no)
Dire bat (no)
Dretch (demon) (possibly, as it is formed from the soul of a "slothful, evil mortal")
Electric eel (no)
Lantern archon (n/a, it's a sphere of light, it can't hold anything)
Leopard (cat) (no)
Monitor lizard (no)
Shark (no)
Wolverine (no)

4th Level
Ant, giant (drone) (no)
Bison (herd animal) (no)
Deinonychus (dinosaur) (no)
Dire ape (no)
Dire boar (no)
Dire wolf (no)
Elemental (Medium) (unknown, unlikely)
Giant scorpion (no)
Giant wasp (no)
Grizzly bear (no)
Hell hound (n/a, it's a puppy, it can't hold anything)
Hound archon (our first solid "yes")
Lion (no)
Mephit (any) (I can totally see a Mephit doing this)
Pteranodon (dinosaur) (no)
Rhinoceros (no)

5th Level
Ankylosaurus (dinosaur) (no)
Babau (demon) (yes)
Bearded devil (yes, devils are known for their contracts, right?)
Bralani azata (yes)
Dire lion (no)
Elemental (Large) (unknown, unlikely)
Giant moray eel (no)
Kyton (yes)
Orca (dolphin) (no)
Salamander (n/a, its touch would ignite the paper)
Woolly rhinoceros (no)
Xill (yes, "impressive intelligence")

6th Level
Dire bear (no)
Dire tiger (no)
Elasmosaurus (dinosaur) (no)
Elemental (Huge) (unknown, unlikely)
Elephant (no)
Erinyes (devil) (yes)
Giant octopus (no)
Invisible stalker (I wouldn't risk giving it such a "bothersome task")
Lillend azata (yes)
Shadow demon (n/a, it's incorporeal)
Succubus (demon) (yes)
Triceratops (dinosaur) (no)

7th Level
Bebelith (unknown, unlikely)
Bone devil (yes)
Brachiosaurus (dinosaur) (no)
Dire crocodile (no)
Dire shark (no)
Elemental (greater) (unknown, unlikely)
Giant squid (no)
Mastodon (elephant) (no)
Roc (no)
Tyrannosaurus (dinosaur) (no)
Vrock (demon) (yes)

8th Level
Barbed devil (yes)
Elemental (elder) (unknown, unlikely)
Hezrou (demon) (yes)

9th Level
Astral Deva (angel) (yes)
Ghaele azata (yes)
Glabrezu (demon) (yes)
Ice devil (yes)
Nalfeshnee (demon) (yes)
Trumpet archon (yes, thinks of it as a music sheet)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Nefreet wrote:

Fascinating idea. I'd imagine you'd experience some table variation on this one, so be sure to have some backup plans, but let's see if we can tally up and eliminate some obvious ones:

1st level
Dire rat (no)
Dog (no)
Dolphin (no)
Eagle (no)
Fire beetle (no)
Poisonous frog (no)
Pony (horse) (no)
Viper (snake) (no)

2nd Level
Ant, giant (worker) (no)
Elemental (Small) (unknown, unlikely)
Giant centipede (no)
Giant frog (no)
Giant spider (no)
Goblin dog (no)
Horse (no)
Hyena (no)
Lemure (devil) (no, mindless)
Octopus (no)
Squid (no)
Wolf (no)

3rd Level
Ant, giant (soldier) (no)
Ape (no)
Aurochs (herd animal) (no)
Boar (no)
Cheetah (no)
Constrictor snake (no)
Crocodile (no)
Dire bat (no)
Dretch (demon) (possibly, as it is formed from the soul of a "slothful, evil mortal")
Electric eel (no)
Lantern archon (n/a, it's a sphere of light, it can't hold anything)
Leopard (cat) (no)
Monitor lizard (no)
Shark (no)
Wolverine (no)

4th Level
Ant, giant (drone) (no)
Bison (herd animal) (no)
Deinonychus (dinosaur) (no)
Dire ape (no)
Dire boar (no)
Dire wolf (no)
Elemental (Medium) (unknown, unlikely)
Giant scorpion (no)
Giant wasp (no)
Grizzly bear (no)
Hell hound (n/a, it's a puppy, it can't hold anything)
Hound archon (our first solid "yes")
Lion (no)
Mephit (any) (I can totally see a Mephit doing this)
Pteranodon (dinosaur) (no)
Rhinoceros (no)

5th Level
Ankylosaurus (dinosaur) (no)
Babau (demon) (yes)
Bearded devil (yes, devils are known for their contracts, right?)
Bralani azata (yes)
Dire lion (no)
Elemental (Large)...

+1 just for going through the entire list of monsters.

The Exchange

wraithstrike wrote:
Nefreet wrote:

Fascinating idea. I'd imagine you'd experience some table variation on this one, so be sure to have some backup plans, but let's see if we can tally up and eliminate some obvious ones:

1st level
Dire rat (no)
Dog (no)
Dolphin (no)
Eagle (no)
Fire beetle (no)
Poisonous frog (no)
Pony (horse) (no)
Viper (snake) (no)

2nd Level
Ant, giant (worker) (no)
Elemental (Small) (unknown, unlikely)
Giant centipede (no)
Giant frog (no)
Giant spider (no)
Goblin dog (no)
Horse (no)
Hyena (no)
Lemure (devil) (no, mindless)
Octopus (no)
Squid (no)
Wolf (no)

3rd Level
Ant, giant (soldier) (no)
Ape (no)
Aurochs (herd animal) (no)
Boar (no)
Cheetah (no)
Constrictor snake (no)
Crocodile (no)
Dire bat (no)
Dretch (demon) (possibly, as it is formed from the soul of a "slothful, evil mortal")
Electric eel (no)
Lantern archon (n/a, it's a sphere of light, it can't hold anything)
Leopard (cat) (no)
Monitor lizard (no)
Shark (no)
Wolverine (no)

4th Level
Ant, giant (drone) (no)
Bison (herd animal) (no)
Deinonychus (dinosaur) (no)
Dire ape (no)
Dire boar (no)
Dire wolf (no)
Elemental (Medium) (unknown, unlikely)
Giant scorpion (no)
Giant wasp (no)
Grizzly bear (no)
Hell hound (n/a, it's a puppy, it can't hold anything)
Hound archon (our first solid "yes")
Lion (no)
Mephit (any) (I can totally see a Mephit doing this)
Pteranodon (dinosaur) (no)
Rhinoceros (no)

5th Level
Ankylosaurus (dinosaur) (no)
Babau (demon) (yes)
Bearded devil (yes, devils are known for their contracts, right?)
Bralani azata (yes)
Dire lion (no)

...

Here, here


Elementals and other outsiders can read


Isn't this a moot question? Explosive runes has a rule that allows you to instruct people on how to read the runes without them going *boom*

So making a list like this only serves to tell you which creatures you need to specifically instruct.

Anyway, if it has a language (like elementals), assume it can read the written form of that language, and as such can read 'something' (I am not aware of any languages that specifically lack a written form...except maybe drow sign language). Elementals are not exactly going going to make it through a translated War and Peace with their 4 int, but they can most likely at least make the word "You gonna 'splode"

I am not entirely sure about how explosive runes work when you can't read the language it is written in though.

The Exchange

dont see any rule against such tactic. not sure I would like one of my players sending in 6 air elemental armed with these.


Jeff Morse wrote:
dont see any rule against such tactic. not sure I would like one of my players sending in 6 air elemental armed with these.

Bah, suicide bombers are easy.

No, the real terror begins when you dump dozens of these runes in at once by attaching them to fliers. You can go in without any problems since you know how to not explode them, but the enemy cannot even open their eyes without being blown up. That makes just waltzing on in laughably easy.

This is the proper way to storm a royal wedding. That princess will either be mine, whether I have to put her over my shoulders or whether I have to scoop her into a bucket.


Jeff Morse wrote:
dont see any rule against such tactic. not sure I would like one of my players sending in 6 air elemental armed with these.

There is none, it's 100% RAW and like a decade old at this point. This is of course just the low level version of the guaranteed to fail Greater Dispel Magic (not cast by yourself of course) Explosive Rune bomb.

Liberty's Edge

Thanks everyone. This isn't a tactic I plan to use often, but with the core limits sometimes you
need the extra oomph to beat the tougher scenarios.

Sczarni

Entryhazard wrote:
Elementals and other outsiders can read

Unknown. Literacy isn't included in the Elemental Subtype or the entry on Outsider Traits. Though I admit I don't own every Pathfinder publication, so it may be stated elsewhere. While most of them are a definite "yes", I truly think some are just going to be up to the GM. I personally wouldn't think that the average Elemental could read, given their 1) composition, 2) native environment, and 3) low intelligence, but if one were kept as a guardian or otherwise employed over an extent of time it could probably develop the ability to read.

I also thought I recalled that the elemental languages used other scripts, such as Auran being written in Elven, but I can't find it after a cursory search. I may be thinking of 3.5 rules.


Nefreet wrote:
I also thought I recalled that the elemental languages used other scripts, such as Auran being written in Elven, but I can't find it after a cursory search. I may be thinking of 3.5 rules.

Even if they use the same alphabet, that doesn't mean that Auran doesn't have a written form. English borrows from the Latin alphabet, but no one says it doesn't have a written form.

Generally, I will differ to linguistics, which describes the workings of languages-

CRB wrote:
Whenever you put a rank into this skill, you learn to speak and read a new language.

So there is a general assumption that there is a written form for all the languages listed.

And I will not get into the presumption of exceptions on what can and cannot read. Since there is already a format for showing what can't speak, and I have not seen anything listed as unable to read (well...assuming normal eye sight and all), I will generally assume anything with a language can read unless there are compelling reasons not to.

As in goblins (the goblin language itself has a written form though, borrowing an alphabet from other languages- I presume it is mostly used by hobgoblins for utilitarian record keeping, and maybe the occasional bugbear that wants to leave creepy messages)


Using hound archons to blow up orphanages is the best.


Explosive rune IS NOT language dependant, so I would rule any creature with int 3+ can read it. The questions are:

1: can the creature carry the rune (hands)?
2: can the rune survive in the hands of the summon (fire elelemental & paper)?

Sczarni

lemeres wrote:
Generally, I will differ defer to linguistics

Sorry, couldn't resist =P

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