Summoning weak and elite creatures


Rules Discussion


I have a question regarding the summon spells. Can you summon creatures adjusted with a weak or elite template? Per the rules, those templates neither change the creature type nor the rarity. Nothing in the summoning spells actively prohibits those templates but I'm not sure.

This would help with the currently a bit empty summoning lists due to not that many bestiaries out.
But it also would help creatures of certain levels. Summon Animal 4 summons up to a level 3 creature, Summon Animal 5 up to a level 5 one. A level 4 creature can't be summoned be the lower spell and is a level behind already for the higher spell. If you could summon a weak level 4 creature with SA3 and an elite level 4 creature with SA5, that would be nice.

What would you say? Is this within the rules? Would it be unbalanced (I think not)?


It is not within the rules without GM permission, which IMO should only be given on a case-by-case basis. The Bestiary makes clear that the weak and elite templates often but not always result in appropriate monsters of level +-1. Only the GM can tell if a particular case is appropriate.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Near as I can tell, summoning is far, far weaker than in PF1, to the extent that I concluded it really isn't worth the spell slot and actions wasted to cast it.

I'm eager to hear why I'm wrong, but remain skeptical.

And no, there are no provisions for applying templates of any sort to summoned monsters. Perhaps in a year or two.


I agree it's up the GM due to variance, and then I'd say mostly to fill in empty slots. As slots fill, it seems unnecessary except if the wolf-guy really wants to summon only wolfish creatures.

Wheldrake,
Summoning is offensively weaker (both compared to PF1 and a PF2 blast).
If you like playing monsters in combat, it can be a letdown.
But summoning also has great breadth of versatility & utility, and occasionally you might have just the right creature due to an immunity or the enemy's weakness, i.e. send a construct through the poison cloud to retrieve the prize or open the vent.
I doubt I'd every memorize it without a specific purpose, though then again I might challenge myself with such a build.

ETA: Just realized that a Fire Mephit (Level 1, so 2nd level spell) would be effective against Trolls. It should be able to get in 3+ breaths w/ persistent fire damage. So exceptions exist for combat too.


Wheldrake wrote:

Near as I can tell, summoning is far, far weaker than in PF1, to the extent that I concluded it really isn't worth the spell slot and actions wasted to cast it.

I'm eager to hear why I'm wrong, but remain skeptical.

And no, there are no provisions for applying templates of any sort to summoned monsters. Perhaps in a year or two.

I made this thread to discuss tactics to make summoning worthwhile a few months ago.

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