Alter Summon Monster question


Rules Questions


Get Heighten Spell; cast Mount at whatever level you like.
Cast Alter Summoned Monster on the summoned mount to
get a 2 hour/level creature you choose...

Does this work?

Is this limited to level 1 creatures?

What about phantom steed? It’s 3rd a level spell...

So the question is.......
1) Can you change the original creature you
get as a mount or phantom steed this way?

2) And if so, what LEVEL of creature do you get to pick
from to change the mount creature, if the spell levels
are 1st and 3rd levels?

I know this question is very very busy,
your help and insight is very much appreciated.


The general question's been asked before. See here or here.

It works technically, but 1) it pisses people off, 2) it's not absolutely clear that the altered mount will fight for you. If it does work in your game then you can turn the target into anything on the summon monster lists appropriate for the spell level. However phantom steed is not a creature and so not something you can change it into.


Phantom steed is creation and not summoning.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

As Avr said, mount call a creature to serve as a mount, not as an all purposes summoning. It will fight in self-defense but is not forced at all to obey you in any other way.

Reading the rules about summoning, you summon an actual creature, not a projection of a generic version of the creature. I think that most intelligent summoned creatures will not take kindly to be called as mounts for hours and will take steps to explain their displeasure to you even after the spell ends.


As was said above and in the linked threads, Heightened Mount + Alter Summon Monster would conflict most of the time with rule 0. Ask your Game Master, expect a negative answer.

It would be like in a given country, two laws together allowing something but that something going against principles in the constitution. Ask the highest constitutional body.

- The same goes for other rules combination unintended by the authors. Oversight is just that, oversight, this is partly why the game relies on a Game Master rather than not -


1. If you cast Alter Summoned Monster on a valid target for the spell, then the spell takes effect. So, yes, it will exchange X creature for Y creature that can be summoned with either Summon Monster or Summon Nature's Ally.

2. If you cast Heightened Mount as a 3rd level spell, then Alter Summoned Monster means you can pick from the options available to the Summon Monster 1 to 3 or Summon Nature's Ally 1 to 3 spells. At least under the majority of reasonable interpretations of the RAW.

(Whether GMs are going to play full RAW with Alter Summoned Monster, however, or if they'll ban it, is another question.)

Alter Summoned Monster wrote:
You swap a creature summoned by a conjuration (summoning) spell for a creature you could summon with a summon monster or summon nature’s ally spell. The new creature must be an option from a spell of the same level or lower as the spell that summoned the target.

That means any Conjuration (Summoning) spell from Aquatic Cavalry to Conjure Black Pudding to Summon Flight of Eagles to Eagle Aerie to Summon Laborers to (Communal) Mount.

Altogether, there are about 70 Conjuration (Summoning) spells in PF 1st Edition. I believe the only spells Alter Summoned Monster won't work with, other than the spells that don't summon creatures, are the ones that summon swarms.

Abundant Ammunition, Ally Across Time, Ancestral Gift, Army Across Time, Barbed Chains, Calistria's Guardian Wasps, Cape of Wasps, Creeping Doom, Eaglesoul, Fleshwarping Swarm, Fleshworm Infestation, Insect Plague, (Greater) Instant Summons, Leshy Swarm, Mad Monkeys, Pernicious Pranksters, Rain of Frogs, Release the Hounds, Secluded Grimoire, Secret Coffer, Secret Chest, Secret Vault, Soul Transfer, Storm of Vengeance, Summon Instrument, Summon Swarm, Swarm of Fangs, Trap the Soul, Vomit Swarm, Whip of Centipedes, Whip of Ants, and Whip of Spiders are all out, for instance. That's 33 spells, unless I can't count.

Summon Stampede may or may not be valid. I'd say that's probably a GM call as to whether any member of that 20' radius herd actually counts as an individual creature.

Summon Elemental Steed seems like it is also potentially borderline, though since it calls out the elemental as retaining its statistics with modifications, I'd be inclined to say that it's more that it should work RAW but where a GM could make a valid call to disallow it. Granted, it is a 9th level spell.

Then, of course, there's the fact that 18 of the total number of Conjuration (Summoning) spells are Summon Monster 1-9 and Summon Nature's Ally 1-9, which are rather pointless to use Alter Summoned Monster on for the most part. Although I suppose an interpretation where one could use it to gain access to restricted options that other people casting those spells could grab, such as additional based upon patron deity, that might create a case where it would be potentially useful. The number bumps up to 20 once you include Summon Minor Ally and Summon Minor Monster into the mix, too.

Most of the remaining spells are more specialized/specific versions of either Summon Monster or Summon Nature's Ally. There are about 7 spells of potential interest that don't fall into that mold for one reason or another, in addition to Mount and Communal Mount.

Some Alternatives to Mount and Communal Mount for Alter Summoned Monster:

Aquatic Cavalry has a nice long 1 hour/level duration and is 2nd level on several spell lists. The swimming-based sibling to Eagle Aerie. If they attack, the duration shortens to 1 round/level. They're pretty free to act beyond that restriction, however, so healing and buffing would be on the table, for instance.

Eagle Aerie has a nice long 1 hour/level duration and is 6th level on several spell lists. The flight-based sibling to Aquatic Cavalry. If they attack, the duration shortens to 1 round/level. They're pretty free to act beyond that restriction, however, so healing and buffing would be on the table, for instance.

Summon Accuser has a 10 minutes/level duration and is 4th level on many lists. Has no notable restrictions, although if the summoner isn't careful, the accuser can literally grant visions of everything they did while summoned to a third party.

Summon Elemental Steed has a 10 minutes/level duration and is a 9th level Druid spell. The lack of an attack is a limitation of the specific form, so that shouldn't be an issue. Has the potential to be ruled to not really be a creature, as I addressed earlier in this post.

Summon Flight of Eagles has a 10 minutes/level duration and is 6th level on many lists, 4th level for Hunters and Rangers. No notable restrictions, and even calls out that the summoned eagles don't have restrictions on them, and it comes with multiple summoned creatures built into it.

Summon Laborers has a nice long 8 hour duration and is a 6th level spell on a few lists. However, it runs into the same issues that exist with Aquatic Cavalry, Eagle Aerie, and Mount, where the base creature summoned either isn't supposed to fight for the caster or will shorten the spell's duration if they do fight. They're compatible with whatever non-combat, non-adventuring uses you could think to put them to, though. So long as it keeps the limitation on summoned creatures and non-instantaneous duration spells in mind. Which mostly means serving as sources of healing and buff spells, IIRC.

Summon Totem Creature has a 1 hour duration and is 3rd level on several spell lists. Requires the character to be a part of Shoanti culture and not outcast, etc., though. Vulnerable to a GM declaring that using Alter Summoned Monster in conjunction with this spell would violate some taboo that would result in the character being kicked out of Shoanti culture. Other than that, though , it has no notable restrictions on the summoned creature's behavior.

Diego Rossi wrote:
Reading the rules about summoning, you summon an actual creature, not a projection of a generic version of the creature. I think that most intelligent summoned creatures will not take kindly to be called as mounts for hours and will take steps to explain their displeasure to you even after the spell ends.

Now that's just adversarial GMing. If you don't want summoning spells in your games, you'd be better off, and more honest, to just ban them.

Ditto for Alter Summoned Monster itself.


Quote:
Air elementals are fast, flying creatures made of living air. Primitive and territorial, they resent being summoned or doing the bidding of mortals

So there is a rules precedent for a creature to resent being summoned.


This is well trod ground, and no new developments have occurred, so I suggest reading the existing threads and deciding for yourself.


Melkiador wrote:
Quote:
Air elementals are fast, flying creatures made of living air. Primitive and territorial, they resent being summoned or doing the bidding of mortals
So there is a rules precedent for a creature to resent being summoned.

Which is really neither here nor there when it comes to getting heavy-handed as a GM as a reprisal against a player doing something you didn't like.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Coidzor wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:


Reading the rules about summoning, you summon an actual creature, not a projection of a generic version of the creature. I think that most intelligent summoned creatures will not take kindly to be called as mounts for hours and will take steps to explain their displeasure to you even after the spell ends.

Now that's just adversarial GMing. If you don't want summoning spells in your games, you'd be better off, and more honest, to just ban them.

Ditto for Alter Summoned Monster itself.

You can be sure that I will not allow Alter Summoned Monster in my games. And a plethora of other spell, especially those that were written for specific races or groups and some player want to use because he has seen them in D20 or AoN.

I have no problem with the normal summon spells.

But if a player uses RAW as a reason to get something, he gets all the RAW, not only the piece he likes.
If a spell says: "You summon a light horse or a pony (your choice) to serve you as a mount", Alter Summoned change only the "light horse or a pony " part.
You don't get "It attacks your opponents to the best of its ability. If you can communicate with the creature, you can direct it not to attack, to attack particular enemies, or to perform other actions." from the Monster/Natural ally summoning spells or other stuff from other spells.
It is not what Alter Summoned Monster does.

BTW: most people that can cast Summon Monster can't cast Summon Nature Ally and vice versa, so the spell is decidedly useful even with the normal Summon spells.
Even better if you are a summoner, as your summoning last way longer and you can swap a summoned creature for another when it has used all its SLA and spells.


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If you restrict alter summoned monster to actual summon monster and summon nature's ally spells only, all of the problems with it magically go away. You're left with the ability to basically change the choice you made when casting the original spell (you can only change something to a creature you can actually summon, so no cross-list shenanigans here). Alternately, you're left with the ability to neutralize an enemy's summoned creature by turning it into something useless.


I'll agree with Blahpers, it's a rule zero fix for a home GM.
You could restrict it to a spells with the word "summon" in the title, thus allowing more spells like Summon Totem Creature (1 hr), Summon Cacodaemon, Summon Swarm, etc, while forbidding Mount, Guardian Wasps, Army Across Time, etc.

The other rule zero fix is to restrict Alter Summoned Monster to the original creatures CR (or HD) or less and duration to the standard CstrLvl in rounds. Probably what the spell should have said.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I mostly agree, but it will end as a large list of exceptions and specifications, a list that would have to be updated with every new splatbook. A player should really want it to convince me to do that work.

A Summoner probably would be the guy that wants it more, but that class is broken in so many ways that I will not be so keen on giving it another tool that easily.


Given the summoner class excels at summoning and can do it for a minute a level, getting a feat and a wand to get 120 times this amount for an originally level 1 spell seems to be the breaking point for many, including me.

Not really a question of could one try to use this at a table but more should... and the question of would it work seems even clearer as most GMs would just say no.

Its poorly thought out and more poorly worded. Don't expect a lot of acceptance of the attempt in actual play.


I think the safest fix would be to just limit the remaining duration to a maximum of 1 minute per level.


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Coidzor wrote:
Then, of course, there's the fact that 18 of the total number of Conjuration (Summoning) spells are Summon Monster 1-9 and Summon Nature's Ally 1-9, which are rather pointless to use Alter Summoned Monster on for the most part.

You forgot the 1d3 and 1d4+1 options of the summon spells. If I get 1d4+1 eagles from SM3, I can then cast ASM to change one eagle to a lantern archon. Now I get a full SM3 creature and 1d4 lesser creaters. Apply to a higher SM spell and get better creatures.

The new creature has the same conditions and amount of damage as the target creature, and remains affected by all curses, diseases, poisons, and penalties that affected the target, but no other spells or effects carry over.

ASM also resets limited use abilities. Your creature has 1 heal per day? Get another for the price of a 2nd level spell by swapping it out for another of the same thing.

/cevah

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