Can you summon creatures for information?

Rules Questions

Say you summon a Lillend. They are cool friends from good realms that know a lot of stuff. Within the span of the summoning spell's duration, can you ask questions? Could you ask the Lillend the name of an outsider she knows that might be willing to pop over for a binding to help out these good guys in a desperate situation?

You should be able to ask questions. Whether a lillend would be willing to spill information like that to someone she's known for a minute or less would be another matter - if it turns out she's wrong about them being good guys, or if they're being manipulated, then maybe an evil wizard now knows the true name of this good outsider and will bind that outsider for nefarious purposes.

I'm pretty sure you don't need true name to bind, just a common alias for reference.

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You can ask questions, but there's a low chance you'll get any useful information beyond what a standard Knowledge check would reveal.

And a lillend would likely not help someone that binds outsiders.

Or: Hey reasonably important good outsider, demons are secretly going to do this awful thing. Tell the peeps up in heavenland about it.

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Summoned Monsters are willing to murder your enemies for you. If they have knowledge, they'll probably share it.

However, as far as I can tell they're not 'real' creatures, they're more like generic copies who don't care if they live or die. I'd guess their knowledge is limited to general Knowledge-check knowledge, not specific knowledge of their friends' secrets.

As a GM I would simply rule that they're not a specific creature, just a generic copy. As such they would only know generic information, nothing specific.

Seems like a thing you could do, but as you're getting a random lillend from almost anywhere in the planes, there's no guarantee you'll get something useful. Even then, there's no telling what the lillend will do once it returns to its own plane--probably warn the creature whose name you acquired, at the least. You might be less prone to retribution if you sell it as planar ally rather than planar binding, but still, no promises.

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In my previous campaign, my GM insisted that I need to find a teacher to learn a new language. My summoner, before going to bed, dismissed his eidolon and summoned an azata for language lessons. With a high charisma and minutes per level per summons, he had plenty of time to practice the new language each evening.

By default a summoned monster will attack your enemies, if you can communicate with it, you can 'direct perform other actions' which is all it says, and is pretty vague.

Telling you stuff is an action, and you certainly can compel it to do that, but what it knows (other than any knowledge skills) it entirely undefined. I am also not sure that you have any particular power to make it tell you the truth.

Personally, as I GM I would limit it to just general knowledge skill rolls.

If the creature is Called, I think it goes without question -= yes.

But summoned depends on how your GM designed the world. If summoned creatures are some manifestation, temporarily real, that have no lives beyond their summoned existence, then no.

If you see summoned creatures as being more like an outer planar astral projection of themselves, where death here only causes them to return to their true forms whence they came (and the magical logic as to why Protection From like spells block them), then sure! (see: l)

This is, and should be, GM territory. It's the mechanics of the world more than the mechanics of the game op.

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