DM vs. Summon monsters


Rules Questions


I'm new to the forum but i couldn't find the answer.

I have a cleric that summons a lot of summons but my DM never attacks them and says the monsters would know that they are summoned.
He continues attacking near by players or tries to move around the summons to get to the players.

so my question is, what should I say to him to treat the summons as normal creatures and use some of the enemy's attacks and abilities on them instead of the players?

As a side note ill use my 5th level slot to summon monster 4
i have superior and augmented summoning and use a cauldron of overwhelming allies.

so I summon
1d3+1 summon monster 4, and...
1d3 +1 +1 summon monster 3


Summons are normally pretty weak, so this can be an advantage.

Anyways... ask your GM if the monsters are making spellcraft checks. This is a skill you can't use untrained, meaning if you have no ranks you can get a max result of 10, no matter what the dice roll. They need to make a DC 15 + Spell Level check to know what the spell is.

Also again, summons are low on HP and high on offense. It would be wise to waste 1 attack a turn to get rid of these summons to make sure the battlefield isn't swarmed with them.

If the GM doesn't change at all, use this as an advantage. Put them in spots where they get free attacks for the enemy moving around them to get to a player. Start summoning things with even less HP and more offense.

Also your Cauldron only works once per day, and can let you summon 1d3+1 from the monster 4 list. You aren't using summon monster 4 in a 5th level slot, you are using summon monster 5, to summon lower leveled monsters.

Also also, make sure you are using summon monster correctly. It is a full round action, meaning you start it on your turn, and your monster isn't summoned until the start of your next turn.


it depends on how you do the summons and the basic intelligence of the observers. Sure, INT 10 commoners that see you cast a spell and monsters appear can make the connection that you magically caused the monsters to appear and that if they kill you the monsters will most likely go away or act randomly and then go away (better to fight an undirected/uncoordinated enemy). That doesn't really take any stretching of the rules and is less metagaming than usual.
That doesn't mean that the GM creatures should ignore the summoned creatures... the GM creatures should act reasonably within the skill set they have and other factors. It's called running the creature within character.

realize also that the summoned creatures automatically attack your designated foes. Having them do anything else requires a common language and a skill check or CHA check and a round of your duration.


I would say that a DM should try to run the monster's reaction to summoned monsters based on its intelligence. An animal with 1-2 Int would likely attack the nearest enemy attacking it. A monster with high Int would probably determine the biggest threat to it and focus on that. If the PCs are more threatening than the summoned monsters, than I don't see a problem with the enemy ignoring the summoned monsters to attack a more powerful PC.

Most of the time, summoned monsters are lower CR than the PCs summoning them. They probably don't hit as easily or as hard, although there are exceptions. So choosing to try to take out the fighter or wizard instead of the magical badger makes sense.

Summoned monsters are good for extra damage and flanking but not great tanks. If you want to force an enemy to attack them, position them in such a way that the enemy can't get by. In 5 ft. or 10 ft. wide corridors, summoned monsters can fill up the space between you and the enemy rather easily. In an outdoor area, not so much.


SorrySleeping wrote:

Also your Cauldron only works once per day, and can let you summon 1d3+1 from the monster 4 list. You aren't using summon monster 4 in a 5th level slot, you are using summon monster 5, to summon lower leveled monsters.

Also also, make sure you are using summon monster correctly. It is a full round action, meaning you start it on your turn, and your monster isn't summoned until the start of your next turn.

Yes thank you!

I have been doing this wrong!
Could have had more powerful summons.

Good insight, thanks

DM allowed me to take a chronocharm after we had a long debate about sacred summon. which allows me once per day to summon as a standard.
https://holiviantales.wordpress.com/game-mechanics/magic/magical-devices/wo ndrous-items/clothing/items-for-the-throat/chronocharm-of-the-uncaring-arch mage/

SO...
Augmented and superior summoning.
In my 5th level spot
Summon monster 4, 1d3+1
Summon monster 4, 1d3+1 with the cauldron once per day
is the optimal.
AS a standard action with the chrono charm

But i been doing
in my 5th level spot
summon monster 4, 1d3+1 (usually hound archon)
summon monster 3 1d3+1+1 (usually lantern archon)
AS a standard action with the chrono charm


SorrySleeping wrote:


Also also, make sure you are using summon monster correctly. It is a full round action, meaning you start it on your turn, and your monster isn't summoned until the start of your next turn.

summon spells are NOT a full round action. full round actions end on the turn you activate them. its a 1round action which finishes at the start of your next turn.


It's worth noting that a summoned creature is about as unkillable as you can get - if they're defeated, they basically just go back home. XD They generally won't have any hesitation about obeying their summoner.

You may also want to invest in a little more battlefield control, such as abilities that can limit enemy movement and force them to engage with summons in a smaller, narrower area.


vhok wrote:
SorrySleeping wrote:


Also also, make sure you are using summon monster correctly. It is a full round action, meaning you start it on your turn, and your monster isn't summoned until the start of your next turn.
summon spells are NOT a full round action. full round actions end on the turn you activate them. its a 1round action which finishes at the start of your next turn.

I really hate the pathfinder terminology sometimes. Yes, it is 1 round action. Action is still the same, summons don't start until your next turn.


Intelligent enemies can reasonably understand that you just summoned those creatures and could make the decision to ignore them if they think "Hey, those summons aren't the real threat!".

But animals or creatures with less than 3 int couldn't make such a conclusion.

I will disagree with Sorry Sleeping that you need to correctly identify the spell to be able to reach the above conclusion.

1) Magic is obvious unless you have feats or special abilities to hide it. So if you cast the spell in front of the enemy they know you cast some sort of spell and then creatures appeared.
2) Even though they can't correctly identify the spell you cast, they are probably aware within the confines of magic in Golarion, that creatures can be summoned.
3) They could also potentially incorrectly assume the creatures are illusions, and choose to ignore them on that basis. Or they could be "real" summoned creatures.
4) But that doesn't matter if the enemy is intelligent and they are primarily thinking "I need to take out the real threats like the caster or the people that were here before the magic happened".


I mean, you could argue that summoned critters are obviously unnatural and animals will not attack them without the attack x2 trick...
Um...
Maybe...?


Gregory Prior wrote:

I'm new to the forum but i couldn't find the answer.

I have a cleric that summons a lot of summons but my DM never attacks them and says the monsters would know that they are summoned.
He continues attacking near by players or tries to move around the summons to get to the players.

so my question is, what should I say to him to treat the summons as normal creatures and use some of the enemy's attacks and abilities on them instead of the players?

As a side note ill use my 5th level slot to summon monster 4
i have superior and augmented summoning and use a cauldron of overwhelming allies.

so I summon
1d3+1 summon monster 4, and...
1d3 +1 +1 summon monster 3

The DM should not "never" attack them. However...

Monsters would know they have been summoned. You don't need to make a Spellcraft check to realize the person speaking clearly is casting a spell. (I believe the Perception check DC is 0 (speaking clearly), but maybe it's a 10, which is still pretty low.) Monsters need to make a Spellcraft check to identify the spell, such as the level, or that someone cast Detect Thoughts, etc.

Summon Monster is obvious, like casting Fireball. You chant some mystic syllables and monsters appear on the battlefield (or a giant blast of fire goes off). Considering the short duration of Summon Monster, it's not very likely you are casting the spells ahead of time. Furthermore the summoned monsters cannot immediately use Stealth, so they cannot pose as newly-arrived monsters.

NPCs would work even better. Usually NPCs have some sort of "commander" who can shout orders. (I like doing this when I'm GMing because commanders can rarely issue orders quietly, so PCs can react to what the commander is saying. Sometimes commanders shout orders the other NPCs don't agree with.) It's too bad D&D (other than 4th Edition) has been pretty rotten with commanding officer-type characters.

However even commander NPCs would know that sometimes the best thing to do is focus on the summons or even fall back.

From a metagame perspective you have little reason to complain, either. If they're not attacking the summoned monsters, then the summoned monsters are eating the most valuable opponent.


For this purpose, why does it matter that the enemy knows that a summoned monster has been summoned? It's not like the monster goes away if its summoner is defeated. If the monster is going to be a threat* for several rounds, I'm probably going to have to deal with it regardless. If the monster is not really a threat, why summon it?

*"threat" is used loosely here--could be that it poses direct danger to the enemy or that it provides tactical benefits to the caster.

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