Planar Binding options in Starfinder


After three Alien Archives and plenty of APs it occurred to me we might have a decent enough stable of outsiders to see what Planar Binding can get you these days.

I assume given the level discrepancies between what you can summon and what you are fighting they aren't of any use in direct combat (certainly not for more than one fight), so you're after messengers, guards, scouts, or spells. As far as I can tell, there is no restriction in Starfinder to prevent teleportation or cost (credits or resolve) spells being used by summoned creatures. If I'm wrong, let me know!

I've omitted outsiders who have no meaningful special abilities or who have a restriction like no speech/language (looking at you, juvenile solar wisp) that prevent them from being useful with the abilities they do have. I've also omitted drift native outsiders, since they shouldn't be summonable with interplanar magic.

Here's what's in the Alien Archives 1-3. I may do some APs later.

PLANAR BINDING 4TH (CR 4 and below)

Elemental, Tiny/Small/Medium (AA 46): Suitable as a long term scout or guard perhaps.

Velstrac, Anchorite (AA2 128): It's a low level combatant with a gaze attack (DC 13, shaken 1 round), no meaningful powers. But it does have telepathy and regeneration, so it can serve as a creepy translator, punching bag that is very unlikely to be killed (or, as a velstrac, object to being hurt as part of its service), and sometimes debuff enemies before you cast a spell on them.

PLANAR BINDING 5TH (CR 7 and below)

Angel, Barrachius (AA 12): This has 3/day microbot assaults and 1/day arcing surge plus 100 ft flight, makes a decent scout and support in combat if you convince/hire one to follow you on a mission or series of missions. 1/day interplanetary teleport (self only) also allows you to send messages, maybe, if you can wait a day for a response.

Devil, Warmonger (AA2 36): At will teleport plus 5 bulk gear, put your part in null-space chambers and have it carry you. But that risk of a miss is going to be high, since you're presumably just showing it pictures or mindlinks of where you want to go. This also has a whole lot of immunities (fire plus construct stuff) if you somehow can exploit that without it getting killed by damage.

Elemental, Large/Huge (AA 46): Too big to be convenient following you around all the time, too weak to be of much use for long in a combat.

Hound of Tindalos (AA3 52): I doubt your GM will count them as a legit summon option, but if they do you have a 1/day slow/haste, and plenty of dimensional anchor, fog cloud, and invisibility to make them useful as they tag along. Learn Aklo.

PLANAR BINDING 6TH (CR 10 and below)

Aeon, Tekhoinos (AA2 6): At will invisibility, stealth skill, perfect flight - it's a long term scout. Also has self only plane shift, maybe it can be a messenger in somewhat contrived plot circumstances. Offensively, you could ask it to dive into a mob and activate its synaptic pulse uses, maybe it'll get lucky and stun one or two enemies. Finally, it has some strong recall knowledge checks if you want a portable library following you around.

Azata, Tritidair (AA2 14): Starlight Form gives it inexhaustible instant travel in a solar system, or to other systems on drift travel timelines. So you can summon one as a messenger if you need long distance help. Also has 3/day lesser restoration and some minor mystic cures, as well as 1/day remove affliction with a weak CL, but it might get lucky.

Elemental, Greater (AA 46): Too big to be convenient following you around all the time, too weak to be of much use for long in a combat.

Inevitable, Anhamut (AA 66): Interplanetary Teleport 1/day (self plus 50 lbs). It's a LN inevitable bound by your agreement, put your party in some Null-Space Chambers and have it carry you wherever you want to go in the solar system. Good for Mystics who can't learn that spell.

There's hardly anything! Definitely going to have to check the APs to see how much that expands this.

AP outsiders:

PLANAR BINDING 4TH (CR 4 and below)

Azer (DoF#1): These are a little too much like summoning humanoids, and the expectation in this AP is that they're customized individuals. I don't like the idea of summoning this basic statblock, and your GM won't like the idea of you summoning custom CR and class templates, so best avoided.

Devil, Imp (DoF#1): A great scout (50' flight, invisibility, constant detect magic, change shape), you've also got 1/day augury and suggestion. Definitely helpful to have if you can or will pay its price.

Genie, Janni (DoF#2): (Note that while these are native outsiders, I think you probably should be able to summon them, because they spend a lot of time bouncing between the material and elemental planes. Ask your GM.) One hour ethereal jaunt makes these VERY good scouts/spies, and they provide the earliest possible plane shift ability if you want to visit an astral or elemental plane, probably at a relatively reasonable price.

Gloomwing (SoS#1): Everyone who can see it has to save vs confusion every round, so not very practical as a traveling partner, alas. Not a bad guard, maybe, if you need one for plot reasons.

Magmin (DoF#4): A weak combatant, not worth your time.

Mephit (DoF#2): Quite weak, these are more flavor mascots or temp familiars than anything useful.

Protean, Rifti (DoF#1): Ask your GM if a summoned one will last more than d100 hours. If so, he can be a cantrip buddy and 3/day holographic images for some distractions.

PLANAR BINDING 5TH (CR 7 and below)

Archon, Power (AtAT#3): It's a techie spellcaster archon, perfect for NG/LG Mystics who don't grok this stuff. Discharge and recharge 1/day, 3/day supercharge weapon makes its to-hit bonus irrelevant, infinite detect tech to find treasure and hidden weapons, teleport (to come back from scouting missions?), and truespeech for translation. A respectable buddy to follow you around for a day or two and potentially worth the time and hassle to summon during a downtime day.

Genie, Shaitan (DoF#5): If Janni aren't allowed, this is your quickest route to plane shift. Also quite a few crowd control SLAs if you have one tag along for support. But perhaps its beset ability is that it can walk through metal with its burrow speed, making it an excellent distraction and/or spy when breaking into a ship or metal walled building.

Salamander (DoF#2): Same problem as the Azer, these are intended as a base for individual customization, which your GM probably won't favor.

Shadow Mastiff (SoS#2): 50' movement, good stealth, total concealment and can hide in normal light(!), and a 300'(!!!) radius how that panicks everything for 1d4 rounds on a DC 15 will save. Deliberately target your party at the beginning of every day to get 24 hour immunity, then turn these things loose on your enemies to break them up, otherwise they scout or hide and stay out of combat. Quite nice.

Thoqqua (DoF#2): They understand but don't speak Ignan, so you'll need limited telepathy to bargain. But if you can, oh my! They can burrow 10' per move action through stone "and some harder substances" and leave a tunnel. Great for breaking into asteroid bases, basements, or making your underground lair.

PLANAR BINDING 4TH (CR 10 and below)

Atrocite (DS#4): Lots of SLAs (envervation, arcing surge, bestow curse, synaptic pulse), but the most interesting thing is that it has Plane Shift without a self only tag. But you probably have issues if you're summoning one of these and getting it to agree to a price you'll pay.

Creeping Shade (SoS#2): Slow, no SLAs, its special attack only works on a crit. Nooope.

Devil, Hacker (DoF#5): A neat package of computer security technomancer spells and the mechanic's overload and override abilities. Nice for mystics or witchwarpers who need some tech support.

Dimensional Shambler (DoF#4): Very difficult to bind, since they can escape planar barriers, but if you somehow manage it they have cool dimension door, dimensional anchor, and plane shift abilities. They can offensively drag an unwilling creature on a plane shift excursion, which can certainly be a useful method of disposal for some enemies.

Genie, Djinn (DoF#3): Plane shift from a good aligned bargaining partner. Also flight and unlimited invisibility, if you think you can talk one of these into being your scout. They can also create a piece of gear 1/day as a bit of an insurance policy.

Genie, Efreeti (DoF#1): Three wishes per day! But you can't force it into a deal, so expect to pay what they're worth (and have them twisted) or he'll just wait you out and escape. For less expensive services he's got some fire, some illusion, and plane shift that can take your party to the astral or elemental planes and then back home.

Genie, Marid (DoF#6): Easier to bargain with for wishes than an Efreeti on the alignment/twisting front, but they only have 1/year, so maybe not when it comes to price. Surprisingly few other SLAs and none very useful to you compared to other options.

Imposter (AoTS!#5): No SLAs, a minor chance to make things shaken when they attack and miss, which isn't very likely. Pass.

Tenebrous Worm (SoS#1): No SLAs, 20' move speed, and 8 levels behind when you can summon it. Nope.

Vestrac, Cantor (SoS#1): Same as the previous Velstrac, its regeneration and shaken gaze attack give it some value, plus it has the shadow body spell if you want to send it on a scouting mission once per day, and nightmare if that's useful to you. Even at will Lesser Confusion with a poor DC is something, given that it probably can't be killed by most opposition you'll face. I'd let one of these follow me around as a bodyguard if I were morally deficient enough to bargain with one.

Velstrac, Heretic (SoS#3): A combatant with regeneration and the shaken gaze attack. No other redeeming qualities, it's another punching bag that might get lucky and debuff or do damage.

Vespers Hound (SoS#3): As a CR10 combatant with regeneration, it's about as tough a bodyguard as you can get via this spell. Melee only, but it has blindsight, can jump between shadows, and a reflex DC 19 entangle and knock prone attack seems a reasonable support ability.

If you have a supply of small or larger creatures (some goats perhaps?) the gloomwing might actually have a use. Assuming you have a use for uncontrolled near animal intelligence tenebrous worms anyway.

Or, assuming called creatures actually die when killed like they did in pathfinder, you can keep summoning them until you run out of level 4+ spell slots for 500-2000 credits of trade goods per gloomwing. At least until your GM tells you to knock it off.

For Janni, you're missing one important thing: Plane Shift twice gets to you to anywhere on the prime material with a maximum of 500 miles off target. That's effectively Interplanetary Teleportation, especially when combined with a plain old Teleport spell. That's an exploit that has been known since 3E and I'm surprised hasn't been changed with the system's emphasis on long distance travel (though on the same token I'm surprised Planar Binding got it mostly intact).

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deuxhero wrote:
For Janni, you're missing one important thing: Plane Shift twice gets to you to anywhere on the prime material with a maximum of 500 miles off target. That's effectively Interplanetary Teleportation, especially when combined with a plain old Teleport spell. That's an exploit that has been known since 3E and I'm surprised hasn't been changed with the system's emphasis on long distance travel (though on the same token I'm surprised Planar Binding got it mostly intact).

They actually fixed that loophole in starfinder.

Plane Shift wrote:

You move yourself or some other creature to another plane

of existence or alternate dimension. If several willing or
unconscious creatures are linked by hand in a circle, as many
as eight can be affected by a single casting of plane shift.
Arriving at a precise location on the intended plane is nigh
impossible. From the Material Plane, you can reach any other
plane (except for the Drift), though you appear 5 to 500 miles
(5d%) from the last place one of the targets (your choice) was
located last time that target traveled to that plane.
If it’s the
first time traveling to a particular plane for all targets, you
appear at a random location on the plane, though you can
use other means of transit, such as interplanetary teleport, to
travel on the new plane. Mystics must have an object attuned
to a specific plane or native to that plane in order to use plane
shift to travel to a plane. A technomancer requires a planar
navigational program for a specific plane in order to travel to
that plane with plane shift. Special rituals, jealously hoarded
by powerful technomancers and mystics, can allow you to
travel to specific locations on the chosen plane, or even to
unknown worlds.

Oops. Missed that. Sorry.

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