How does planar ally work?

Rules Questions

Hey everyone,

I'm considering taking the sacred servant archetype for my paladin. They get a 'free' version of the spell planar ally once a week, version scales with paladin level.

What I'm unclear on is this paragraph:

"By casting this spell, you request your deity to send you an outsider (of 6/12/18 HD or less) of the deity’s choice. If you know an individual creature’s name, you may request that individual by speaking the name during the spell (though you might get a different creature anyway)."

So... I suppose I don't have any control on what is sent and it's always the GM's call. But is the amount of HD the summoned creature has also completely variable? It seems to me that if the latter is the case then the spell is pretty much pointless since the gm can just keep giving you 1hd creatures. Am I missing something here?

Why would the GM keep giving you 1 HD creatures? Does your deity hate your guts or something?

blahpers wrote:
Why would the GM keep giving you 1 HD creatures? Does your deity hate your guts or something?

Not that I know of. But it seems strange to me that a supposedly high level spell has a clausule that says: if the DM wants to, this spell will literally not do anything without any counterplay required.

Also I have somewhat of a suspicion that certain DM's will take offense to a free once per week potentially powerfull summon that can stay with the party basically until they die. If there is the super convenient out stating: haha, 12 hd or less, ok, here is your level 1 critter, enjoy, then some will take it. I'd like to have something to say in counter to that since by raw the gm doing that would be right, if I read it correctly.

The best way to overcome this problem is to find a creatures true name.

To discover a single outsider’s true name, a spellcaster must spend at least a month in a library or on a quest of discovery to uncover occult mysteries and riddles hidden in the pages of books, scrolls, and glyphs written millennia ago, buried in ancient temples or found among the ravings of madmen’s spellbooks. At the end of this month, the GM makes a Knowledge (planes) check for the character. The DC is 10 + the creature’s Hit Dice. The GM can increase the DC by +2, +5, or even +10, based on the power of the outsider or the circumstances of the true name search. A failure by 5 or more turns up false information that may expose researchers to unexpected dangers. For most outer-planar outsiders, knowledge of the creature’s true name is a powerful weapon. In summoning, if the name is spoken correctly (requiring knowledge of at least one of the outsider’s languages, or a Linguistics skill check with a DC equal to 10 + the creature’s Hit Dice), the target takes a –5 penalty on the Will save to resist being conjured, and if its name is inscribed in the protective magic circle, the outsider takes a –5 penalty on all checks to escape or breach that circle.
page 102 of Ultamite magic

and your a paladin you should not worry unless your gm just dose not like the ability you should be safe in your deity sending you a useful creature.

now do remember the creature you call dose not have to help you but you can try and give them gifts to give you a bonues to your cha check to have them help you. You can also find that in Ultamite Magic.

Just remember to ask your gm if this rule is ok as all gms are different.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Can a DM screw a caster with this spell as written? Yes.
Will they? Probably not.
Will yours? Ask them.

When I'm DMing, I work with the player. "What sort of an ally are you praying for?" The caster is basically petitioning their deity for a useful ally, which might be high hit-dice, or it might not, depending on any special abilities the caster might be looking for. I'd provide pretty much whatever suitable hit-die/ability creature I could find that fits the theme reasonably. Usually angels.

But that's me. I'm willing to trust that if my player's archetype grants them the spell, it's reasonably balanced, and I'd act accordingly. If it turned out to be disruptive, then we'd have a conversation.

I had a situation a few years ago as a GM. The players asked for a Angel, Movanic Deva 12HD. They did it in preparation for the labyrinth of crazy hard puzzles or some such. I had the Gods send a Angel, Cassisian, normally 2HD but buffed to 12 though they didn’t know that. The Cassisian have a perfect memory. Long story short it was way more helpful then the Deva would have been.
Hopefully if a GM gives you something other than what you want or expect it is to your benefit. The reality is, as has been said, check beforehand.

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