View Full Version : Summon Monster N: Best Choices?

2010-10-30, 08:21 AM
As the title. What are considered the best choices when casting Summon Monster I through IX? (and Summon Nature's Ally?)

2010-10-30, 08:22 AM
While I have nothing to add, I really thought you were trying to create a creature list for an epic SM spell.

2010-10-30, 08:26 AM
While I have nothing to add, I really thought you were trying to create a creature list for an epic SM spell.

Summon Monster X
Conjuration (Summoning)
Level: Sor/Wiz 10
Components: V, S
Cast Time: 1 round
Range: Close
Effect: One summoned Atropal
Duration: 1 round/level
Saving Throw: No
Spell Resistance: No

You summon an Atropal (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/epic/monsters/abomination.htm#atropal). Everything dies. Including you. It gets to use its SLAs, (Su) and (Ex) abilities freely, but you don't care. You're dead.

The Tygre
2010-10-30, 08:28 AM
Same here. :smallfrown: But onwards and upwards. Generally, what you want to summon is something that needs to fulfill a role that you or the party as a whole cannot at the current moment. That said, it's hard to go wrong with any iteration of Earth Elemental once you get them. Strong, takes lots of damage, deals out a lot too. Perfect tanks for a couple of rounds.

Foryn Gilnith
2010-10-30, 08:29 AM
While I have nothing to add, I really thought you were trying to create a creature list for an epic SM spell.

Yes, N might be a better dummy variable.

OP, the Storm Elemental from Monster Manual 3 is a way to convert Summon Monster into a fairly straightforward blast spell. Similarly, the Unicorn is often cited as a way to pick up some cheap healing spells.
http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19872206/Legal_3.5_Summonable_Monster_List and its links have Summon Monster information. There's a great .doc I picked up at some point while thinking about an epic warlock; I'll upload it or find the place I downloaded it from.

EDIT: This list (mxyzplk.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/summoning-lists.doc) is rather Malconvoker-focused, but is a good general rundown. See here (http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:g-uDr2NSvbcJ:mxyzplk.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/summoning-lists.doc+filetype:doc+nashrou&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us) for the google HTML version, or here (http://mxyzplk.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/the-field-guide-to-summoned-monsters.pdf) for the PDF.
This guide (http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:kbYSRriayJgJ:mxyzplk.files.wordpres s.com/2008/10/the-malconvoker-report.doc+filetype:doc+nashrou&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us) is another guide (mxyzplk.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/the-malconvoker-report.doc), this time for planar binding. This is the 2nd version (mxyzplk.files.wordpress.com/2008/01/malconvoker-report-v2.doc) (which, perplexingly, I can't find from the main blog. This (http://mxyzplk.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/gunpowder-in-golarion1.pdf) is another such lost item.)

2010-10-30, 08:17 PM
Here's my stab at it.

Celestial Badger is probably the best. Better attack bonus than the fiendish scorpion, and while it doesn't have poison or tremorsense, it does have Rage. The badger also has Track, so whatever the dog can do, it can do just as well or better.
Other notables: the small monstrous spider has a web attack that might be useful as a temporary debuff. The celestial hawk has a +16 spot check.

Wolf. Best combat stats for a level 1 summon.

Monstrous Scorpion, medium. Three attacks + improved grab + constrict. Also, poison and tremorsense.

Dire Badger. Three attacks, rage, *and* one of the few creatures that leaves a tunnel when it burrows. Immensely useful for circumventing various engineering problems.
Other notables: We get our first flying mounts here. While the dire bat has a little more HP and better maneuverability, the hippogriff has better attacks, much better fly speed, and wingover.

Mostly the same as SNAII: Dire Badger is probably the best in combat, although the Hellhound may give it a run for it's money, and the Dire Boar might last a little longer due to Ferocity.
Other notables: Flyers are the same as SNAII. Monstrous centipede has quite a combat footprint: huge + 10' reach! Although for a 6HD creature, I wish it had more HP.

A bit of a toss-up between the Dire Wolf and Lion. Dire Wolf has more HP but only one attack, although that attack has a better hit bonus and double the strength damage of a Lion. The Lion has weaker attacks, but more of them, along with pounce, improved grab, and rake, making it an excellent shutdown creature, particularly vs. spellcasters. In the long run, the Dire Wolf is going to do more damage to higher-AC opponents.
Other notables: Two more fliers. The Giant Eagle wins out over the Giant Owl with slightly better speed, fly-by attack, and evasion. While there are better combat options than the Dire Weasel, Blood Drain for 1d4 Con damage is pretty impressive for an animal.

Pretty much the same as SNAIII, although we've added Yeth Hound and Howler to the mix. I still think Dire Wolf or Lion are the best pick.
Other notables: Same flyers as SNAIII, but the Giant Wasp is also available. Giant Eagle still eats it for breakfast. Various mephits offer some breath attacks and interesting SLAs.

Looks like a tie between the Tiger and Brown Bear, but I think the Tiger starts to pull ahead once you start adding in Rake damage.
Other notables: Unicorn offers some handy cure spells and a quick way to get rid of poison.

Normally I'd look at SNAIV and say Tiger, but Griffon has been added, which you might as well call "Flying Tiger" (yes, okay, the tiger does more damage, but puttytat can't *fly*!). Actually, it looks like the Beaded Devil could take them both out.
Other notables: Acherai has an area-effect that does 2d6 damage *no save*, and the part you do get a save against is insanity, which is just wicked-nasty.

Dire Lion is probably the best combat option, although the rhino's not so shabby either.
Other notables: Lots of "swiss army knife" abilities here. The elementals offer various things, such as a more respectable whirlwind. The Janni can plane shift at will and take up to 8 creatures along, which makes planar travel a bit of a cake walk. With the giant constrictor snake, we also finally see a good grappler with both Improved Grab and a decent Constrict damage.

Dire Lion still a strong pick, but with DR, SR, and Regeneration, the Chain Devil may last longer.
Other notables: Much the same as SNAV, although the Bralani has a better whirlwind than the large air elemental. We also have our first gargantuan creature, the monstrous centipede, with 15' reach no less.

Very tough call, but I think the Elephant edges out the Dire Bear on raw damage, *and* it can Trample.
Other notables: What's up with the Girallon's rend damage? Is it 2d4+9 or 2d4+12?

Elephant still on top.
Other notables: Avoral has true seeing *and* is a heal-battery you can tap up to 66 HP. Djinn has major creation, with the curious side-note that vegetable matter is permanent, which means you can turn him into a poison factory for certain vegetable-based poisons.

Another really tough call... Dire Tiger has pounce+rake, but Triceratops has better HP and trample. While the Dire Tiger may do more damage once you add in rake, the Triceratops is going to last longer and maybe pull ahead in the long run.
Other notables: Djinn is here, but not much else if you're looking for SLAs or angelic/demonic powers. We also see Swallow Whole (medium creatures) make an appearance with the Tyrannosaurus.

Celestial Triceratops still on top in the combat department.
Other notables: Our first Colossal creature, the monstrous centipede now with 20' reach, and the save DC on the poison is starting to get scary. Lillend looks a bit fragile but offers bardic music, some low-level bard spells, and some SLAs. Swallow whole again with Tyrannosaurus.

Roc. That is all.
Other notables: Noble salamander has some SLAs, but... go with the Roc.

Roc still rules the roost on pure damage output. However, the Barbed Devil has an impressive combo with it's 2 claw attacks + fear + impale (3d6+9!).
Other notables: While the Colossal Spider poison has the higher save DC, it does Str damage. The Gargantuan Scorpion poison may not have as high of a DC, but the Con damage is much scarier. Other than that... you'd expect some more interesting SLAs available with a spell of this level, but the most interesting is probably back to the Barbed Devil for order's wrath and unholy blight.

Grig! Grig! No, seriously, the Elder Elemental is your only bona fide combat choice.
Other notables: Unicorn offers some 7th level cleric casting, and... apparently turn undead 13/day. 13? Really? Bring on the zombiepocalypse, I guess.

2010-10-31, 09:55 AM
Practical Demonkeeping. (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=5573.0)


2010-10-31, 10:00 AM
Grig! Grig! No, seriously, the Elder Elemental is your only bona fide combat choice.
Other notables: Unicorn offers some 7th level cleric casting, and... apparently turn undead 13/day. 13? Really? Bring on the zombiepocalypse, I guess.

d4+1 Greater Elementals are a better choice than 1 Elder Elemental, both tactically and for power. Or d3 Greater Storm Elementals.

2010-10-31, 10:05 AM
Storm elementals are almost always a better choice.

2010-10-31, 10:21 AM
hippogriffs on a SNA2 rock the house, grapple and fly up... it's BFC followed by20d6 to the face and at those CRs not much will out grapple the beastie. Woot!