Do I need the Bestiary to use the Summon _ Spells in PFS?


Pathfinder Society


As there are no monsters listed in the Core Rulebook, do I need to purchase the Bestiary in order to use any of the Summon spells?

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Colorado—Denver aka roll4initiative

Yes. You need to prove you own the source for any rules you use. Easiest to just purchase the pdf and print out the pages you need. This way you're not lugging a bunch of books around.

2/5 5/5

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I hope they write in an exception for that particular case. Needing buy a 'mostly GM' resource to play a class that has summoning spells is not the best implementation of the rule. I wouldn't mind if the exception is ONLY for creatures from B1, and people need to have the source for others.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, Colorado—Denver aka roll4initiative

Good point. Maybe amberlink could just borrow the GM's Bestiary. Although, I GM a lot & rarely bring my Bestiary since the stats are in the scenario. Or i print the stats from pfsprep.com.

2/5 5/5

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

But looking back through the Campaign Clarification and Additional resources, it doesn't look like PFS1 ever had an exception/exemption. So even for a non-custom summon list, using only the CRB's list, you needed the B1.

4/5

3 people marked this as a favorite.

A considerate summoner always has the stat blocks ready to go for any likely creature the summoner might drop on the map to avoid slowing down combat.


RealAlchemy wrote:
A considerate summoner always has the stat blocks ready to go for any likely creature the summoner might drop on the map to avoid slowing down combat.

Well yeah, that's not the issue, I can get the stat blocks

But I guess I need the Bestiary then, if even PF1 didn't have that as an exception

At the very least I need to get the Bestiary or rethink my Sorcerer's 4th level feat <.<

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

When I chose to play a Druid in PFS1, I decided that spending $10 for the Bestiary PDF was absolutely worth it. Every game I sat down to was ~4 hours of enjoyment that I rarely had to pay anything for.

Movies are generally double that, for half the time. Some people spend more than $10 on Starbucks and it's consumed in 15 minutes. This isn't an expenditure you'll regret.


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Buy it in your preferred format and you will not regret it. It is really important to understand how monsters work. Look at the pages at the back of the book and they will explain how the special abilities of the creatures work and charts to create monsters which gives you insight as a player as to where your character should be at every level offensively and defensively to fight CR appropriate monsters. It also includes templates for monsters (for summoning and planar wild shape), stats for animal companions, familiars, summons and wild shape. Also of course the stats for common monsters.

It is an absolute must to own and to read through cover to cover and to reference when you need it.

2/5 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

I agree with everyone who has said that you really should own a copy and have the pages with you if you plan on summoning, regardless of the rules.

For PFS1, though, wasn't B1 part of the core assumption?

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

Blake's Tiger wrote:
For PFS1, though, wasn't B1 part of the core assumption?

I think the whole concept of "core assumption" gradually vanished from the PFS1 rules. Try finding it in one of the later guides.

2/5 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

I know it was in Year 8...

Shadow Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West aka JohnF

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It was clarified that "core assumption" didn't mean you could use things from the books without owning them - it just meant you could assume your GM was familiar enough with the contents of the books that you didn't have to provide a copy at the table for the GM to reference.

Scarab Sages 3/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Nebraska—Bellevue aka JohannVonUlm

2 people marked this as a favorite.
amberlink wrote:
RealAlchemy wrote:
A considerate summoner always has the stat blocks ready to go for any likely creature the summoner might drop on the map to avoid slowing down combat.

Well yeah, that's not the issue, I can get the stat blocks

But I guess I need the Bestiary then, if even PF1 didn't have that as an exception

At the very least I need to get the Bestiary or rethink my Sorcerer's 4th level feat <.<

When our local players ask me some variation of your original question, I explain that the rule isn't there to force you to buy stuff (although Paizo probably appreciates the extra sales). The rule is there for the benefit of your GM. In society play, the GM shouldn't be in a position where they have to bring all the existing source books to cover down on all possible player options. They're asking you to have (and bring the relevant portion) to help in the event your GM needs to ask ... "How's that work?"

That was certainly a bigger challenge with PF1, with 10+ years of source material. But we'll get there with PF2 at some point.

Scarab Sages 4/5

Keep in mind that you’re no longer required to bring the book to the table, if you can bring the rule up on the SRD (archives of Nethys now) and show that you own the book in some other way (like showing your my downloads page). That was changed a year or two ago in a post from Tonya or a blog. Though if internet access might be an issue, having the book to show is a good idea.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, France—Paris

What I would require is the player using the summons under a reasonable amount of time, that would be the only serious factor. Having the source or not matters slightly less, or at worst, print the statblocks of the summons and playing the buffs accordingly.


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In practice no GM (at least that I know) is ever going to question ownership with the first Bestiary. I think that is safe to say.

But it is crazy for anyone but the most casual of players not to buy it. Along with the CRB it forms the backbone of the game. It is also a fun book to own.

Dark Archive 5/5

Mage of the Wyrmkin wrote:

In practice no GM (at least that I know) is ever going to question ownership with the first Bestiary. I think that is safe to say.

But it is crazy for anyone but the most casual of players not to buy it. Along with the CRB it forms the backbone of the game. It is also a fun book to own.

On day 1, I purchased the pdfs of the crb and bestiary (I was at a camp and unable to leave to buy the hard copy). Once I could get to a print shop to make a table copy (rather than tablet), I set that up.

I always wanted to play a summoner focused wizard or druid so I knew I needed a copy for the table.

Given how the spells are worded in 2e, any additional bestiaries will be nice as they add creatures to the lists of those available.

Definitely a must have for a summoning PC or a wildshape druid.

2/5

We have a longtime local player who had acquired a bit of a reputation for giving GMs headaches with his overpowered builds using obscure combos pulled from a dizzying array of sourcebooks. He's notorious for relying solely on Hero Lab, or the PRD via his phone, for how his abilities work, and never bringing a rulebook or PDF to game. So there have been many times when we couldn't tell if 1. if he actually owned the book in ANY form, or 2. if he had made a blatantly illegal combo, had misunderstood how a rule should work, or just sucked at explaining those rules. But his shenanigans were never *quite* obnoxious enough for any of us GMs to resort to the massive headache and time-waste of an audit.

He is obsessed with martials because he loves thrashing bad guys, but this past year, he decided to build a cleric in order to stretch himself a little. Of course, being him, the core idea used sourcebooks that very few people owned yet, and the PC gained weird, complex powers right from 1st level--including Sacred Summons. But, to his credit, he realized that his new character was going to make things complicated for everyone else, so he showed up early to the session in which he intended to debut the new PC--which I was running--so that he could talk to me about what it could do.

I'll confess that my eyes started glazing over almost immediately. So I pointed out, very gently but firmly, that if he really wanted to play this character, and keep the game fun for everyone, then he needed to be prepared to better explain what his character could do, quickly and clearly, so that we wouldn't lose valuable playing time looking up rules. And that he needed to have the full, original text available for the GM to refer to, because if I had never read some of the sourcebooks he used, that meant a lot of other GMs wouldn't have, either.

I was very pleasantly surprised that he followed all my points and suggestions, and more or less agreed with them. He decided to switch to another, simpler character that he had in tier for that day's game, and do more prep before debuting the cleric. When he did, he had the PDF(s) loaded up on his laptop, index cards made up summarizing effects he was likely to throw out, and stat blocks at hand for his summons. I was impressed!

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