Burn It interaction with Summon Monster


Skills, Feats, Equipment & Spells


Came across something which is kind of interesting, if you had the Goblin Ancestry feat Burn It which states:

Fire fascinates you. Your spells and alchemical items that deal fire damage gain a conditional bonus to damage equal to half the spell’s level or the item’s level (minimum 1). You also gain a +1 conditional bonus to any persistent fire damage you deal, whether it’s from a spell or not.

Would this apply to one of your Summoned monsters persistent fire damage? Sounds to me as if it would.


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Nope. The summoned creature deals the damage. You don't.

And neither does the spell, it only summons the creature.


"any persistent fire damage you deal, whether it’s from a spell or not."

Sounds like "a spell" would be Summon Monster, so whatever that Monster does is from "a spell". You are the one Summoning the monster, whatever it does is because of you. It can be interpreted either way, I see what your saying too, your way is more direct.


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The spell doesn't say it deals fire damage. So it doesn't deal fire damage. Simple as that. :)

Let's say you Shove someone into a lava lake with Telekinetic Maneuver to set him on fire. He wouldn't take increased persistent fire damage just because "your spell did it".


I'm with Blave. It really applies to any buff or feature on you. You have a +1 to accuracy and damage from Heroism? That's nice but it doesn't apply to your summon's attacks because the summon attacks, not you.

You have the Dangerous Sorcery feat (Spells gain a damage bonus equal to spell level) or a feat like Burn It that adds damage to x manner of spell damage? Nice. But it doesn't effect summoned monsters. Summon spells do no damage. They do draw creatures, who are held in this world by conjuration magic, but those creatures' damage is their own, not damage of your spell.

It kinda sounds like an ambiguous situation but it is fairly clear. What the creature does is independent from pretty much any active effects on you.


Edge93 wrote:

I'm with Blave. It really applies to any buff or feature on you. You have a +1 to accuracy and damage from Heroism? That's nice but it doesn't apply to your summon's attacks because the summon attacks, not you.

You have the Dangerous Sorcery feat (Spells gain a damage bonus equal to spell level) or a feat like Burn It that adds damage to x manner of spell damage? Nice. But it doesn't effect summoned monsters. Summon spells do no damage. They do draw creatures, who are held in this world by conjuration magic, but those creatures' damage is their own, not damage of your spell.

It kinda sounds like an ambiguous situation but it is fairly clear. What the creature does is independent from pretty much any active effects on you.

I understand gotcha. So with that, going back to my post on another thread "Would controlling my Summoned Monster to attack an enemy break the invisibility? certainly wouldn't then since the Monster is doing the attacking and not me correct? We have to be consistent.


That's probably something to take up with your GM. I personally would say it breaks invisibility.

Invisibility breaks on Acting Hostile and Acting Hostile states any action that "can harm or damage another creature, whether direcltly or indirectly". Since you tell the monster to attack the target, which "can harm or damage" it, I don't see why it wouldn't break the Invis.


Oh, yeah, that makes sense. Forgot the ...or indirectly bit.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Hm... I'm not sure I agree with that interpretation. Consider this situation:

Invisible wizard scouts the enemy, tells the party rogue when to attack for best effect.

Wizard... breaks invisibility? Doesn't sound right to me.


Lol fair point. XD There's a tricky line to draw here I suppose.


I’m on the fence whether the command would outright break the invisibility but it at the very least it would make you sensed. You’ll have to be commanding with your voice since no one will see you point your finger.

Admittedly I’m not very familiar with the command action, I didn’t play a character that used it, it may have different tags than I think it does and I don’t have the playtest document on me right now to look it up. So I very easily could be wrong.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Oh yeah, definitely unless you can communicate telepathically you'd become sensed to anyone who could hear you speak.

I don't think it would break invisibility, though. PF1e had very similar wording on what breaks invisibility, and ordering your summons to attack didn't break it then.


MaxAstro wrote:

Invisible wizard scouts the enemy, tells the party rogue when to attack for best effect.

Wizard... breaks invisibility? Doesn't sound right to me.

Telling the rogue to attack doesn't require concentration. It's not even an action. Not even a free action anymore. That seems to be quite different from spending a whole action to concentrate on a summoning spell.

If just talking to someone can make you visible because it could lead to someone getting hurt, you wouldn't be allowed to breath (butterfly effect, anyone?), move (earthquake/landslide) or even exist.

Also, unlike a summoned creature, the rogue decides for himself if he actually wants to attack. You might as well tell the enemy to kill himself. You wouldn't become visible just because he could do it .

I'd rule anything that doesn't even require an action to be non-hostile.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

So then would telling a dominated creature to attack break invisibility? What about telling a dominated creature "attack the next person who walks through this door"?

What about setting your animal companion on guard duty - do you break invisibility when you spend an action to have it follow the commands you already gave it?

I think there are too many weird edge cases for breaking invisibility based on another creature's actions to be a thing. And again, there's no precedent. PF1e had similar wording, and telling a summoned creature to attack definitely didn't break invisibility in PF1e.


Invisibility breaks when you take a hostile action to cause direct or indirect harm. Ordering something to attack something else is causing indirect harm. Due to your actions something was harmed.

However, summoned monsters will attack your enemies to the best of it's ability. Same with the original question. This action is not your characters action and so doesn't apply to your character (at least reading from pf1)

But you can direct it to attack certain creatures (hostile action)

Now I think the real question lies with... By spending an action to maintain the summon and giving the creature two actions, knowing that the creature would use those two actions to harm something, is that causing indirect harm? Gut answer is yes as per the above. Due to your actions you are causing something else to be harmed.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

But is ordering a summoned creature to attack a "hostile action"? If it is, then why isn't summoning a creature in the first place a hostile action, if they attack on their own?

I find that reading completely silly. If you take "indirect" that far then you run into issues like Blave mentions with breathing.

If you accidentally walk over the trigger for a trap and hurt other creatures, without knowing the trap was there, does that break invisibility?

If I cast a spell to send a message to someone who works for me, ordering them to attack an enemy, does that break invisibility? Even if I'm 100 miles away from the battle?


In this edition it probably is a trigger for breaking invisibility. By summoning the creature you spend three actions to summon it and give it 2 actions. Unless you are specifically summoning it with the intent for non-combat things to happen then it's going to be a hostile action.

The breathing "example" is ridiculous to even bring up. You're wanting to play extremes for your argument. Breathing is not at its core hostile unless you are doing it to a candle. Just like talking at it's core is not hostile until you make it.

If you accidentally trigger a trap it's not a hostile action since you had no hostile intent behind the action. It was an accident.

If for some reason you are standing in an empty room while invisible and can send a magical message telling someone to attack someone else. You are now visibile in the room. You took a hostile action.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

If the intent being hostile is important, then wouldn't setting a trap break invisibility?

Oh, better yet: You are invisible and you ready to attack the next person who comes through the door. Boom, you are visible instantly. You took an action with hostile intent that will indirectly cause harm to a creature.

I don't have to try very hard for this reading to lead to silly outcomes, and it's very very clearly not RAI. Like I said, PF1e had almost the exact same wording for invisibility, and many of the example I've given are things that PF1e enemies in Adventure Paths are stated to do while maintaining invisibility in their tactics. "Summons monsters and orders them to attack while staying invisible" is the tactics of almost every PF1e enemy that has both summons and invisibility...

EDIT: I am invisible and close to melee with an enemy. Because I am wielding a melee weapon, I become visible immediately - my movement action is hostile and indirectly causing harm to the enemy because I now threaten them.

I am invisible and draw a bow in the same room as an enemy. I become visible immediately - my intent is to shoot the enemy and by drawing a bow I have indirectly caused them harm by placing them in a situation where they are about to be shot at.


PsychicPixel wrote:

Invisibility breaks when you take a hostile action to cause direct or indirect harm. Ordering something to attack something else is causing indirect harm. Due to your actions something was harmed.

"Causation" is a philosophically and at times legally murky area when there's another person (or here, creature) between the initiator and the result. Did I cause harm when I threw a ball at someone's head? Sure. When I dropped it off a tall building surrounded by swirling winds? Legally, almost certainly, but philosophically maybe the wind's random patterns broke the chain of causation - chance killed him, sir, not me. Did my mom indirectly cause both by not strangling me at birth? In some sense, absolutely, but not in a very useful way.

For purposes of breaking invisibility, I think the right (and intended) answer is that causing direct harm in terms of this issue is shooting or hitting someone, causing indirect harm is pushing a button or pulling a rope to trigger a trap.

Issuing an order to another creature, whether or not that creature is magically, legally, coercively, or morally compelled to follow the order, does not "cause" the harm that results from the intervening individual carrying out that order. Only the creature that actually attacks (or pulls a switch) has "caused" any damage for invisibility purposes.


The action of setting a trap (to cause harm I'm assuming) would probably yeah.

That's all nice but we aren't talking about PF1

The action of holding a weapon is not hostile. The action of using the weapon is hostile. If the intent of your movement is to be threatening to the enemy then yes that's hostile. The action of movement is not hostile.

The action of firing a bow is hostile.
The action of drawing a bow is not hostile unless done with the intent to fire the bow.

Edit to respond to Xenocrat:
By your logic, of dropping the ball of the building killing someone not being your fault, if I shoot a person in the head with an arrow it wasn't me that killed them but the loss of body functionality from losing part of their brain and so I'm in the clear.


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All this thread has lead me to believe is that there may need to be some clarification in the rules in what a harmful action is. Since RAW is pretty much identical to PF1 invisibility I’d say it’s safe to assume that RAI is for it to be useable in the same ways it was in PF1. It pretty much just sounds like Psychicpixel either is or has a very harsh GM that doesn’t follow the norm. It sounds like with those rulings invisibility is pretty much only useful for running away. Even using it for scouting sounds like a risky proposition.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

In Doomsday Dawn Heroes of Undarin there is a mutilation demon that casts invisibility before teleporting into the room to attack the heroes.

Teleporting into a room full of enemies is clearly a hostile action with the intent to cause harm; why did the demon bother casting invisibility if it was going to drop the instant it teleported?

I'm sorry, PsychicPixel, but nothing in the way the rules have actually been used supports your extreme interpretation. The wording could definitely be clarified - I agree with Raylyeh about that. But "moving into melee with a creature breaks invisibility" is not supported by any form of RAI and "readying an action to attack breaks invisibility" is simply ridiculous.


I don't have a harsh gm not do I consider myself one. Granted I don't hand my players free win/do whatever you want games. I aim for my players getting a sense of accomplishment as well as ensuring that the rules are constant for them.

And as with most cases shown on these forums, a lot could be better clarified so everyone else can see the plan for each part of the game that Paizo has

----

It's the action and intent behind the actions that tell if something is a hostile action.

The action of teleporting is not hostile. So it makes sense that's what the demon does to get into the room.

The action of movement is also not hostile.
But, if you use that action with the intent to be threatening to the enemy, the intent that your presence disrupts the enemy either physically or mentally, that is hostile.


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PsychicPixel wrote:

I don't have a harsh gm not do I consider myself one. Granted I don't hand my players free win/do whatever you want games. I aim for my players getting a sense of accomplishment as well as ensuring that the rules are constant for them.

And as with most cases shown on these forums, a lot could be better clarified so everyone else can see the plan for each part of the game that Paizo has

----

It's the action and intent behind the actions that tell if something is a hostile action.

The action of teleporting is not hostile. So it makes sense that's what the demon does to get into the room.

The action of movement is also not hostile.
But, if you use that action with the intent to be threatening to the enemy, the intent that your presence disrupts the enemy either physically or mentally, that is hostile.

First off, I fully agree this could use clarification.

But here you pretty much straight up contradict yourself.

You say teleporting is fine because teleportation itself isn't hostile. So it works for the demon.

Then you say movement itself is not hostile but movement with the intent to be threatening to the enemy IS hostile action.

But how would the demon teleporting into battle range to initiate combat NOT "with the intent to be threatening"?

I apologize if I'm misconstruing something here but this seems self-contradictory.


The intent where in you want the enemy to be aware of you and afraid that you are there. That movement would be hostile.

You move up to the enemy weapon in hand ready to strike. Not hostile, until you make an action to harm. Ex a strike.

You move up to the enemy deliberately making noises until you stop right next to the enemy. Hostile, since you are attempting to use your presence to threaten the enemy.

The demon in that part is just teleporting to get into the area not as some "gaze upon my glorious form punny mortals". If the PCs at that point aren't showing any threat or any way of preventing the demon from doing what it wants to do, it has no reason to be hostile towards the PCs unless it just really wants to murder some hapless gnome.


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I can see this going nowhere but here's my piece. Intent means nothing to a spell, invisibility isn't reading your mind. What matters is the action. The wording of the spell talks specifically about actions. Moving is the movement action, drawing a weapon is the interact action. Using anything with the attack tag is hostile, casting spells that deal damage or create negative status effects are hostile. PF1 sets a decent historical example of what can and can't be done with 2nd level invisibility and until we see a rule saying otherwise it should be the same.

There are some hedge cases that are questionable and until there's an official ruling it's a GM call thing. The primary one is the above listed command action. It didn't exist in PF1. I could see it being ruled as a hostile action but in PF1 your summons and pets could attack while you were invisible. "shrug"

Edit: scratch that following my own logic command isn’t inherently a hostile action so it’s fine. Sorry I have to stay consistent if I can.


PsychicPixel wrote:
You move up to the enemy deliberately making noises until you stop right next to the enemy.

Who DOES this?

Also, you've defined movement as both hostile and non-hostile based on arbitrary delineations. "He knows you're there" so moving is hostile.

But its not hostile if you don't have a weapon drawn. And its not hostile to draw your weapon.

But it is hostile if you're using your invisibility to be spoopy.


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Another distinction I’d like to reiterate since I said it in my 1st post in this thread is that a number of actions will not break invisibility but will make you sensed. Command I think falls in this group.

An example. One of my 2 PF GMs favorite tricks in low level encounters is to have an invisible enemy bard who just sits back and inspires courage. We knew it was there but dealing with it was a pain in the ass.


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Wait wait wait, you're saying a MUTILATION DEMON can teleport to a place with the intention to murder people there without having hostile intentions? Say that out loud for me. I call shenanigans.


The action isn't. He isn't using the action in a way that directly or indirectly causes harm to something.

Because the demon teleported into the room he teleported into the room and is still invisible.

Because the demon teleported into the room on top of the gnome the gnome was crushed and the demon is visible

Because the caster told his summon to attack the gnome the gnome was attacked

Because the caster summoned a fireball at the gnome the gnome was attacked

Because the fighter fired his bow at the gnome the gnome was attacked

Because the ranger told his animal companion to bite the gnome the gnome was attacked

Because the druid's full-grown animal companion used it's 1 action to strike the gnome without being commanded the gnome was attacked but the druid is still invisible.


I agree on the side that the Invisibility spell is not reading your mind. It has no idea what you intend.

An invisible guy walks up to an orc. He's still invisible. But if he walked up to the orc with the intent of stabbing the orc, well, he's still invisible. Why? Because the Invisibility spell doesn't know that he intends (or in the first case, doesn't intend) to stab the orc.

Same with teleporting. It doesn't matter if you intend to attack AFTER you get there, the movement itself doesn't have any intent and the invisibility spell can't see the future or read your mind.

The only things that break the invisibility magic are ACTIONS that attack. Direct attacks like melee, ranged, or magical attacks that deal damage or otherwise cause harmful effects. Also indirect attacks, like cutting the rope holding back a trap of some kind, or lighting the fuse to an explosive.

This, by the way, is a change from Pathfinder 1e which specifically stated that invisibility is only broken by actions that TARGET an opponent ans was NOT broken by indirect effects. This is why summoning didn't break invisibility, nor did cutting the ropes of a rope bridge your enemies are on.

But PF2e has different wording. Under the new wording, indirect effects break invisibility. Hence, summoning monsters or cutting rope bridges or activating traps should break invisibility in 2e.

But not telling someone to attack. Verbal actions are not indirect attacks.

The gray area still stands about giving commands to previously summoned monsters or dominated "pets". I suggest that if you are using magic that is still in effect (duration has not ended), such as summons or domination effects, and you give a command that results in attack and which is obeyed because of your magic, then your action is indirectly hostile which breaks your invisibility. But if you don't have such magic and simply ask or tell a friend to attack, that's not an indirect attack because you have no influence.

That last paragraph is the only part of this post that depends on a personal ruling rather than simply reading/interpreting the rulebook.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

"Telling a charmed monster to attack breaks invisibility but telling your friend to attack doesn't" is too inconsistent and confusing for me. We want fewer arguments about what breaks invisibility, not more.

And then we are also back to the weirdness of "is spending an action readying an attack an indirectly hostile action?"

Definitely coming around to the opinion that the wording needs to be clarified.


Imo reading to attack doesn't break invisibility, but using that readied action (that is, the reaction) would.

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