Sunlight Summons and Moonlights summons feat, Light spell effect, take 2


Rules Questions


Okay, hopefully this is the correct forum this time...

So as written the feats Sunlight summons and Moonlight summons have your summoned creatures give off light as per the spell.

Moonlight Summons
- Benefit: Creatures you summon shed light as a light spell. They are immune to confusion and sleep effects, and their natural weapons are treated as silver for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction.

Sunlight Summons
- Benefit: Creatures that you summon shed light as a light spell. They are immune to blinding or dazzling effects, and their natural weapons are treated as magical for overcoming damage reduction.

Does this particular effect count as a 0th level spell of light being added on to the summoned creature?

Or does the light in fact count as the same level of the spell as the summoned creature spell? For instance a Summon Monster 4 spell would count as a 4th level light spell.

Specifically, I ask this for how it affects magical darkness, which states

"Nonmagical sources of light, such as torches and lanterns, do not increase the light level in an area of darkness. Magical light sources only increase the light level in an area if they are of a higher spell level than darkness."


As a light spell. Light is a 0th level spell, so that is how the light manifests.


Hmm, okay. So the level of the summon doesn't affect the light spell effect itself.

Would the summon spell effect gain the light descriptor? I suspect not, but I thought I'd ask.


That is correct.

The summon spell itself would not gain the light descriptor, but the light effect on the summoned monster would manifest as a light descriptor.

Is there any particular situation that this is involved in that you would like help with?


The situation came up in one of the Pathfinder Modules. Doom Comes to Dust Pond.

The end boss shows up and immediately sets to making the entire area dim with a one time wish spell it has, and then uses Deeper Darkness to throw around the battlefield.

I was playing a character who was extremely specialized in Summoning Monsters and had pretty much all of the Summon boosting feats, specifically those mentioned above.

My GM and I were somewhat unclear as to whether my high level monster spells coming in with a light spell effect mattered for mitigating the Deeper Darkness effect down from supernatural level Darkness down to regular level of Darkness so my summons with Dark-vision could fight effectively.

I had interpreted the feat to mean that the creature gave off light as per the spell equal to its level, since it was a higher level spell that brought the creature into play. Therefore, the light spell effect it gave off was equal to the Summon Monster 4 spell (Level 4 spell), and would then beat out the Deeper Darkness effect (Level 3 spell).


Miagnik wrote:

Hmm, okay. So the level of the summon doesn't affect the light spell effect itself.

Would the summon spell effect gain the light descriptor? I suspect not, but I thought I'd ask.

If the summoning spell was Heightened then the Light spell portion would also be Heightened.


thorin001 wrote:


If the summoning spell was Heightened then the Light spell portion would also be Heightened.

Really? That's interesting. I hadn't thought that by modifying the summon spell with the meta-magic feat it would carry over to the light spell effect too.


It actually doesn't.

It doesn't matter what level the summon spell is, the feat still causes them to "shed light as a light spell". Thus, the resulting light is only based off the level of the light spell.


My guess is that the confusion is that "as a light spell" could be in reference to the spell named light or to a spell with the light descriptor, such as when referring to "an evil spell". But in this case you have to assume it's the named spell because otherwise you wouldn't know what light level the feat generates.


I could see where the confusion might come from, but if you look in the actual book, the word light is in italics clarifying that it is talking about the spell, not the descriptor.


The light generated by the creature is an effect of the spell itself, not the creature. It is also not a separate spell or SLA cast by the creature. Since Heighten modifies all aspects of the spell being cast the light effect is also Heightened. Now the only effect being Heightened has on a Light spell is how it interacts with magical darkness, a regular Light spell and one Heightened to 4th level provide the exact same illumination level.


The light generated is an effect of the feat, not of the spell. You're heightening the spell, not the feat.


The feat modifies the spell. There is no light without the summons spell. If you were correct there would be no interaction between Empower Spell and Intensify Spell because additional dice/damage are not part of the spell, but from a feat.


Intensify/Empower spell is removing a limit of the spell so that the spell itself can deal more damage dice. Thus, Empower isn't actually affecting the Intensify Spell feat itself.

Moonlight Summons, on the other hand, is creating an entirely new effect unrelated to any rules contained in the summon spell itself, making it a different situation.

That being said, I do admit your logic has some merit and you've convinced me it's another valid interpretation. So I guess the end result is that you may see table variation if this or something similar comes up.


I disagree that the light is a function of the spell. This is no different than any other creatures having a special ability. If it was a function of the spell the effect would remain when the creature is no longer there. Obviously this does not happen so it must be a function of the creature. What the feat does is alter the creature not the spell used to summon it. The fact that a higher level spell is used does not mean anything. If I use a summon monster 9 to summon a celestial eagle it gains no abilities beyond those of one summoned by a monster summoning 1. I can use the higher level summon to summon more of the creature, but the creature itself is the same.

Spells that alter the actual magic have the metamagic descriptor, neither of these spells have the metamagic descriptor. That would be another indication that the feats are not interacting with the spell, but rather the creature summoned by the spell. This is fine distinction but nonetheless a distinction.

Also by this line of reasoning a minor glob of invulnerability will keep out any creature summoned by any summoning spell of less than 3rd level. I am not talking about summoning a creature into the radius of the globe, but a creature summoned outside the globe and told to attack.

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