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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    Default Summoning Handbook

    Ported over to Brilliant Gameologists from 339, by chaos_redefined on February 26, 2011 and now moved over to GitP
    Summoning Handbook and also at enworld

    Summoners Guide

    This guide is designed to help people create a caster focused on summoning creatures to aid them both in combat and in social situations. I do appreciate that the best casters are generally good at lots of things, and focusing on one is suboptimal. However, focusing on one can be more enjoyable. Also, there are a large number of guides about which monster to summon. Because there are several different spells that can be used to summon, I will include links to some previous links, but will not be including them myself. This guide is intended to be useful regardless of your summonable creatures.

    What has Come Before?

    There have been several works on summoning done, but these have had most of the focus on the Summon Monster list. This guide focuses on other aspects, such as feats, prestige classes, tactics, etcÖ Previous work done includes:
    Ready to Summon Monsters - A list of all the Summon Monster creatures, and all their statistics.
    The Comprehensive Summoning Thread - Rather good, but also thoroughly outdated.
    the 3.5 summon monster list - a list of popular creatures on the Summon Monster list.
    The Summoner's Desk Reference [D&D 3.5] - a comprehensive guide - a detailed listing of creatures that can be summoned with summon monster, and the reason that you may consider summoning them.
    Best uses of Planar Ally/Binding? - As the title says, its a list of what can be summoned with planar ally and planar binding. Didnt get too far, unfortunately.
    Druid Handbook Revived - The only link that I have found that examines anything from the Summon Natures Ally list.
    Being Everything: Eggynack's Comprehensive Druid Handbook for Druid summoning and everything Druid related
    Mastering the Malconvoker - Looks into the Malconvoker prestige class, which is a nice summoning prestige class.
    The Conjurerís Handbook - not specifically about summoning, but if conjurers are up there in the list of best summoners, and the occasional fog spell or what not can really help you out.
    Legal 3.5 Summonable Monster List - List of all summonable creatures from MMIII, MMIV, MMV, and a bucket load of other books.
    Ways-to-boost-Summon-Elemental - A list of uses for the summon elemental reserve feat, covering both in-combat and out-of-combat use. This feat is a major boost to your versatility, and is definitely worth looking at.
    Dictum Mortuumís Wizard Handbook
    The Logic Ninjaís Guide to Being Batman

    editors note: still working on all the links to makes sure they are correct

    Well, the main reason you might consider summoning is because you think itís cool. If this isnít the case, then summoning isnít the best option for you. But obviously, summoning has to offer some advantage over other spells, right? Well, here are some:
    • Summoned creatures almost always work. There is no concern about saving throws, spell resistance, hitting allies, etcÖ You summon, and the creature starts bashing. Or whatever else it wishes to do.
    • Summoned creatures can take the hits your allies would be taking instead. This means that your healer is less strained; your tanks are less in danger, and so on.
    • Summoned creatures can die, and you wonít care that much. This means that you can send them to scout for traps and the like, and, if they die, you can summon another one.
    • Summoned creatures offer versatility. Depending on your opponent, different creatures might be helpful in different situations. For example, if your opponent flies, you would most likely summon an air elemental rather than an earth elemental, even though the air elemental is physically weaker. Also, there are a large number of spell-like abilities, even of the same level as the summon spell. The versatility available through this is very potent.

    There are a variety of options available for where you pull your spell lists from. I probably havenít touched upon all of them here. But, in no particular order, the most common options for summoning include:
    • Wizard PHB: The wizard has a large number of variant class features available to it, allowing it to summon as a standard action, gaining augment summoning for free, etcÖ
    • Cleric PHB: The cleric is physically stronger than the wizard, and can wear armor. Since summoning is a full-round action, the ability to avoid some hits is exceptionally useful.
    • Druid PHB: The druid has natural spell + wildshape to help avoid being hit, spontaneous casting of summoning spells, allowing the preparation of other spells, and better summons, due to the greenbound feat. The druid is often considered the best summoner available.
    • Psion XPH: The psion is often considered a rather good summoner, comparable to the druid. While I consider the druid to be better, the psion is still rather effective. Unless requested, I am omitting psion-based feats and prestige classes from this guide.
    • Sorcerer PHB: Spontaneous version of a wizard. Doesnít get the substitute levels to make it viable, except for some at high levels, but at this point, you are better prestiging out.
    • Favoured Soul CD: Spontaneous version of a cleric. Doesnít get domains or anything similar, but it does still get the ability to wear armor. Domains donít make that big a difference at higher levels, so this is a viable option for those who like spontaneous casting. However, at level 1, a cleric can get +3 to CL, which means an extra 3 rounds.
    • Spirit Shaman CD: Spontaneous version of a druid. Druids already get spontaneous casting of the summoning spells, but the spirit shaman also gets the spirit guide, who can focus on the concentration-based spells while you cast more. There is some belief that spirit shamans are better summoners than druids, based on the larger amounts of spells that can be cast per day, and the spirit guideís ability to concentrate on spells. At the very least, it is a better caster.
    • Archivist HoH: Archivists have the option of learning any divine spell. So they can make use of spells like summon monster, planar ally spells, summon natures ally spells, etc. They dont get any other class features, but SNA is good for the lower levels, and SM/planar ally is good at the higher levels.
    • Dread Necromancer HoH: Dread Necromancers make good summoners at the lower levels, due to the summon undead chain, however, since this chain stops at Summon Undead 5, they arent as effective at later levels.

    Spoiler: Feats
    There are many feats available to summoners, allowing them to improve the creatures summoned. There are several available only to those who summon using Summon Natureís Ally, specifically Greenbound and Ashbound. If you are making a druid or spirit shaman who can use these feats, they are both exceptionally good. It is also important to point out that Greenbound and Rashemi feats are campaign specific and are broken. When I looked them up I realized that by RAI they're supposed to be DMs rewards to the players for doing something awesome. Talk to your DM if you want them!

    General Feats
    These are feats available to all summoners, and will always apply (or, in the case of Beckon the Frost, can be applied when appropriate at no cost).
    • Augment Summoning PHB: This is a must for any serious summoner. The only reason not to take it is if you get it for free somewhere else. (requires Spell Focus(Conjuration).)
    • Beckon the Frozen Frostburn: A small boost to the damage your summons deal, and the cold subtype. It is optional to use, which is very important when fire is about. Also note that the extra damage is ignored if the opponent has any noteworthy cold resistance. (requires Spell Focus(Conjuration) and Augment Summoning.)
    • Summon Elemental CM: The ability to spontaneously summon something as a standard action. Useful as a trap monkey, flank buddy, and a potential polymorph target. As written, these benefit from all your other Summoning Feats, however, you may wish to check with your DM. (requires the ability to cast 4th level spells.) (Thanks to BenSan for pointing out that, RAW, they benefit from your other summoning feats) Ways-to-boost-Summon-Elemental
    • Extraordinary Concentration CV: There are a couple of nice summon spells that rely on concentration. The cream of the crop is Summon Elemental Monolith. The ability to summon one of these, and then cast another spell is exceptionally handy. Ideally, you want to get this to a swift action, since summoning spells generally involve full-round actions. (requires concentration 15 ranks.) Note: This is kind of weird. It specifies that you cant keep concentration on two spells at once, which would indicate that you can still cast another spell, but cant concentrate on it. However, in the SRD, it specifies that you cant cast a spell while concentrating on another. RAW, you shouldnt be able to cast another spell, but RAI might suggest otherwise. If going by RAI, keep it as blue. If going by RAW, it changes to red.
    • Rashemi Elemental Summoning UE: Makes your Earth Elementals and Air Elementals scarier. Summoning air elementals can now act as a blasting spell, thanks to the cone of colds. This can do considerably more than Meteor Swarm, the typical level 9 damage spell. (no prerequisites.)
      The Air elementals get cone of cold 3/day. Dice-wise, that's capable of doing 45d6 of damage (over 3 rounds, mind you, and assuming HD is 15)
      Meteor Storm does 4 spheres of 2d6+6d6, which deals 32d6 of damage in one spell.
      Its a repost from 339, but by summoning a single air elemental and having it cone of cold constantly, you can get more mileage out of your spell compared to, say, Meteor Swarm. Summoning multiple elementals makes this even better, of course.
      If you can get 1d4+1 elementals that deal 15d6 damage with a single rounds actions, that's (on average) 3.5. I'm gonna round down to make my maths nicer. 3 elementals, 15d6 damage each. 45d6 damage. With double-repeat for teh lulz. (You get the effects this round, next round, and the round after) This is a minimum for what will happen 75% of the time. And were using a 8th level druid spell for it.
      Now, it is possible to point out that the spell will have a lower save. Which means that we get 22.5d6 more often than wed like. However, this is made up for by multiple factors:
      1) The triple repeat, which can only be avoided by taking out all of the elementals. If they manage to only take out one of them, they still take 15d6 next round if they make all saves, totaling 37.5d6. Which is still more than meteor swarm.
      2) 3 Huge elementals will be clogging up the area. Even without Augment Summoning and the like, this gives over 500 hit points. Additionally, each elemental fills up a 3x3 area, meaning 27 squares that opponents cant move through.
    • Augment Elemental Magic of Eberron: Your summoned elementals get a +2 enhancement bonus to attack and damage rolls, and temporary HP equal to twice their HD. For combat purposes, this is basically a second Augment Summoning on your elementals. Easy prerequisites (a few ranks of K: Planes). Suggested by BenSan.
    • Dragonmarked Summoner Dragonmarked: Not really all that great, but it is a summon-enhancing feat. Summoned creatures get a small deflection bonus to AC based on the strength of your dragonmark. Very much Eberron-specific for obvious reasons. Its okay if youre already playing a dragonmarked character, but still not a top priority. Suggested by BenSan.
    • Demon Mastery Fiendish Codex I: +1 caster level for summoning demons, +2 to Charisma checks for planar binding and similar spells involving demons. Might be useful for Malconvokers. Or maybe not. Suggested by BenSan.

    Metamagic Feats
    There are several metamagic feats that boost summoning abilities. Most of these have low level adjustments, meaning you can still get decent summoned creature.
    • Imbued Summoning PHB II: +1 level adjustment to give a free buff spell. Unfortunately, buffs that work off enhancement bonuses (i.e. Bullís Strength) if you have Augment Summoning. (although dex-based, and mental buffs still work) (requires Spell Focus(Conjuration) and Augment Summoning.)
    • Extend Spell PHB: +1 level adjustment to potentially carry the summoned creature into the next battle. (no prerequisites)
    • Rapid Spell CD: +1 level adjustment to summon as a standard action. (no prerequisites)
    • Sudden Maximize CA/Miniatures Handbook: Summon more of the lower list creatures. Usable 1/day. (requires any metamagic feat)
    • Metamagic School Focus CM: Reduces metamagic costs, as long as you stick to one school. How about conjuration? You will most likely meet the prereq of SF(Conj), since it is also a prereq for Augment Summoning. (requires Conjurer level 1 or Spell Focus(Conjuration))
    • Rapid Metamagic CM: For spontaneous casters who wish to summon with metamagic. (requires the ability to cast spontaneously, Spellcraft 12 ranks)

    SNA-specific Feats
    These feats have the prerequisite of being able to spontaneously cast Summon Natureís Ally. This is limited to druids and spirit shamans.
    • Greenbound LEoF: Makes animals that you summon a lot stronger, but you canít use animal buffs on them. It is ridiculously good, until you get Animal Growth. At this point, greenbound is comparable to animal growthed summons. Once elementals start to appear Rashemi Elemental Summoning is superior. (requires the ability to spontaneously cast Summon Natures Ally)
    • Ashbound ECS: A bonus to hit, and a free extend effect. Allows summons to be useful earlier on, and allows them to last into the next battle later on. This is marked so high because of the free extend effect, making a druid summoner useful a lot earlier. (requires the ability to spontaneously cast Summon Natures Ally)

    Arcane-specific Feats
    These feats have the prerequisite of being able to cast arcane spells. As a result, it is limited to wizards and sorcerers.
    • Arcane Thesis PHB II: All your metamagic feats involve a +1 level adjustment. This negates that. Only applies to one spell though. (requires the ability to cast arcane spells and 9 ranks in spellcraft)
    • Arcane Disciple CD: The summoning domain adds some very useful spells to your spell list. Sorcerers may be better off taking the Domain Access alternate class feature from Complete Champion. Allows qualification for the Thaumaturgist. (requires the ability to cast arcane spells, knowledge(Religion) 4 ranks, spellcraft 4 ranks, and an alignment that matches your deitys alignment. The only deity that has this as a suitable domain is Thritherion, who is Chaotic Good.) Thanks to Chando for this suggestion.
    • Infernal Sorcerer Heritage PHBII: +2 caster level for summoning evil outsiders. Can be taken at first level, but only by sorcerers. Suggested by Bonzai.
    • Celestial/Fiendish Summoning Specialist Planar Handbook: Work with your DM to find another creature to add to your summon lists. Note that you are limited to one set of heritage feats, so choose carefully. Suggested by Bonzai.
    • Nexus Method Dragon #319: lets a Wizard swap out non-Conjuration spells for a Summon Monster of the same level or lower. Its wizards-only, and you have to be from the Solnor Compact in Greyhawk (But that can be changed). Suggested by Taeldrin Laesrash

    Domain-specific Feats
    These feats require a domain. As a result, they are pretty much exclusive to the cleric, although if you are using Complete Champion, a sorcerer can use them as well.
    • Domain Focus Complete Divine: Domain spells you cast have a +1 CL. A level 1 Cleric can end up with summons that last 4 rounds with this feat and the right domains. Thanks to Bonzai for suggesting this.
    Last edited by Bullet06320; 2017-06-25 at 01:08 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    Default Re: Summoning Handbook

    Spoiler: Prestige Classes

    There are a few prestige classes available for summoners; however, you may wish to just take a prestige class that boosts a casterís abilities in general. The minimum level entry is the earliest level that you can take a level in this prestige class. For example, assuming the prerequisites are set up properly, a characters 6th level can be alienist.
    • Alienist CArc: Donít do it. You give up the ability to summon a lot of rather nice things, such as elementals. In return, you get the psuedonatural template instead of the fiendish/celestial ones, and an extra slot. The slot is nice, but the templates are roughly equal. Minimum level entry: 6
    • Mindbender CArc: This is a 1-level dip only. The ability to telepathically command your summons without notifying your opponents what youíre doing is very helpful. Minimum level entry: 6
    • Master Specialist CMage: Rather nice bonuses. Combined with the Rapid Summoning from Unearthed Arcana, the last ability means 3 quickened summons per day. Also grants some extra hit points and makes them harder to dispel. Minimum level entry: 4
    • Wild Soul CMage: I havenít tried this once, nor have I heard any opinions on it, but it adds some extra creatures to the Summon Monster list. One of these is the unicorn, which is a mini-cleric. So, it definitely has some use. Also allows the spontaneous casting of a bunch of spells, including Time Stop. minimum level entry: 6
    • Paragnostic Apostle CChamp: The Call of Worlds ability grants fast healing to your summons, and there are a few boosts to any buff spells you cast on them. minimum level entry: 6
    • Thaumaturgist DMG/SRD: Boosts summoning, and gives a planar cohort. Contingent Conjuration seems rather useful. Pretty much entirely for clerics. Minimum level entry: 8
    • Malconvoker CScou: Removes the restriction of what clerics can summon, and makes it easier to summon evil things with Planar Binding. Also provides extra fiendish creatures when you summon them. Minimum level entry: 6
    • Moonspeaker Races of Eberron: Offers some bonuses to druidic summoning, but gives up some wildshaping. Can be taken by clerics, but will require the Education feat or something similar to get past the prerequisites. Minimum level entry: 9
    • Shadowcraft Mage Races of Stone: This is a variation of the normal build. With the third level ability, you can emulate Conjuration(summoning), Conjuration(creation) and Evocation spells with certain spells such as silent image. Look at the shadowcraft mage handbook for more advice on this prestige class. Minimum level 8
    • Constructor PrC Web: Suggested by Tealgorthian, this prestige class gives additional forms for Astral Constructs to take, bonuses to their AC and features, and the ability to turn them, effectively, into visible unseen servants. Minimum entry level: 7
    • Fiendbinder Tome of Magic: Suggested by Klode-me, this prestige class allows you to summon from a small selection of demons. Im not too sure how good the class actually is, so, all I can really do is link you to the handbook: Minimum entry: 7.

    Also, there are some prestige classes that add some summoning spells to your spell lists, such as the Hathran (Players Guide to Faerun). However, other than this feature, they do not offer any benefit to your summoning powers. In some cases, they add spells not normally available to you. Hathran allows for Druidic and Arcane Thaumaturgists. Thanks to Chando for this point.

    Spoiler: Strategies

    The most obvious way to use a summoned creature is to get it to attack the opponent. However, this is only one method, and several other methods take advantage of the sheer versatility available to a summoner. Also, summon spells are quite usable outside of combat.
    • Scry Ďní Die: Use some scouting method, either with a rogue looking ahead or a scrying spell. Figure out the weaknesses of whatever you will soon be facing. You can then plan according to those weaknesses. A lot of summonable creatures can take advantage of specific weaknesses quite easily.
    • Aiding/Flanking: Summoned creatures of sufficient size can aid another, or flank. Flank means rogues get sneak attack. Aid another means allies get bonuses to hit or bonuses to AC.
    • Skills/Spell-like Abilities: The skills of some summoned creatures will be helpful to the party, especially if a key member of the party is currently down. Also, a lot of higher-level summons have spell-like abilities, which may even be comparable to spells of that level.
    • Meat Shield/Trapmonkey: Summon something that can take a beating and let the party do other things while your enemies beat up on the summoned critter. In a similar vein, let the summons trigger all the traps, while your party walks through unscathed.
    • Grapple/Trip: A lot of summonable creatures are going to be big and have really good strength. This makes them excellent grapplers and trippers.
    • Polymorph: This opens up a much larger number of options. By summoning, say, a small elemental, you can then cast polymorph on it and turn it into another elemental with an ability that you want. If anyone can find some uses for this that are not mentioned below, mention them, and Iíll (eventually) add them. Currently no options have been submitted, and I havenít found any.
    • Scouting: Summons can be used as scouts, if the spell has a long enough duration. Especially useful with the higher level spells that use concentration, but donít offer a maximum length to the valid time. Chain of eyes or tongues, can help this immensely. It is highly beneficial to know Terran, Aquan, Ignan and/or Auran, as elementals often serve as good scouts, and being able to speak their language allows you to save a spell. A dip in Mindbender gets around this, though.
    • Transport: Even at lower levels, you can find some flying/swimming mounts that allow forms of transport that are otherwise unavailable to the party.

    Spoiler: Alternate Class Features/Racial Substitution Levels

    There are a large number of boosts for wizards that make him a reasonable summoner, and a few racial substitution levels available to druids that boost their summoning power. These abilities arent necessary, but they do help.
    • Rapid Summoning UA/SRD: Summons as a standard action. Itís like rapid spell being applied to your summoning spells, but without the cost. Requires you to be a conjurer, and does not allow the immediate magic option from Playerís Handbook 2, since both require you to give up your familiar. Originally suggested by Bonzai.
    • Enhanced Summoning UA/SRD: Gain the augment summoning feat instead of the scribe scroll feat. Also give up the 5th level feat for a +2 boost to resist attempts to dispel your summons. You may prefer to take Master Specialist at level 4, since the gain at 5th isnít entirely notable, especially since you gain a bigger bonus at Master Specialist 7. Requires you to be a conjurer.
    • Spontaneous Summoning UA/SRD: Allows you to give up a spell to cast a summon monster spell of a lower level. The lower level thing is kind of harsh, so you may prefer just to keep your extra spells. Requires you to be a conjurer, and give up your extra spell slot.
    • Focused Specialist CMag: Allows you to cast more spells per day. But, it requires you to give up another school. Depends on how comfortably you feel casting from fewer schools. Remember that you need Conjuration (for obvious reasons), Transmutation (for spells like haste), Abjuration (for dispel magic) and Divination (Ďcause you canít give it up anyway). That leaves Evocation, Illusion, Enchantment and Necromancy. You will want to keep either evocation or illusion, so you can cast contingency. If you give up 3 schools, you will probably have to give up enchantment and necromancy. The remaining one will be either illusion or evocation. Requires you to be a specialist mage. I suggest Conjurer.
    • Domain Access CChamp: You give up 1 spell known/spell level to gain access to a domain. You can only cast each domain spell once per day, but you still gain some different spells, as well as a boost to your caster level. Requires yo uto be a sorcerer.
    • Metamagic Specialist PH2: Gain the ability to cast metamagic on the run, without increasing the casting time. Limits on times/day, so the rapid metamagic feat might be preferable, but you only give up your familiar.
    • Immediate Magic PH2: While not related to summoning, this deserves special mention. The ability that a conjurer gets from this is very powerful, however, the ability to rapidly summon is often considered better for a summoner. You can only have one.
    • Beast Spirit Races of Eberron: Gains the ability to give a boost to a summoned creature as a move action, and the ability to summon as a standard action. Also gives a couple of other handy features. Only available to shifter druids. Costs you your animal companion though.
    • Augment Natureís Allies Races of Destiny: Gain the effects of Augment Summoning. However, you donít actually get Augment Summoning and it doesnít stack with Augment Summoning. The feats have the advantage of acting as prerequisites for other feats. In any case, the fact that you lose 1 wildshape/day hurts until you have enough to last all day. If you are really worried, use one of the feat slots you saved to get Extra Wildshape. Only available to Half-orc druids.
    • Elemental Bond Races of Wild: You give up access to earth spells, but gain early access to air elementals. Earth elementals make great scouts, and great warriors, so the drawback can be pretty noteworthy, however, the early access to air elementals is probably worth it. Only available to raptoran clerics.
    • Elemental Bond Races of Stone: You give up the ability to summon elementals except the earth elemental, but moves the earth elemental up in the list. At higher levels, air elementals are the best fliers available, storm elementals can act as druidic meteor swarms, and water elementals are the best things to summon when you are underwater. If you are OK with sacrificing those abilities, than this ability is great. There are a few other creatures that he gives up, and a few other creatures that he gains access to, but these are the main ones. Only available to goliath druids.
    • Spontaneous Planar Summoning PlH: Effectively, you add the Summon Monster spells to your spell lists, in exchange for only being able to summon certain things off the list, and one 6th level spell known. This wouldnt be too bad, except there are better things to be doing than taking your 6th level of sorcerer, yet alone 13th. If it was back at 8th level, tops, then I would consider it, but as is, you give up too much from prestige classes to make this worthwhile. Only available to sorcerors.

    Spoiler: Items

    Elhonnas Brooch CC: Dirt cheap. Gives your summons +1 hp/HD. You must worship Elhonna.
    Natures Children CC: Dirt cheap. Gives you +1 CL for summoning. You must worship nature.
    Metamagic Rod of Extend Spell: Extend Spell is one of the best metamagic feats out there, effectively doubles the power of your duration spells. This is especially true for summons.
    Ring of Mighty Summons CM: 3/day, max hit points, but half duration. If your DM allows, use this to summon a bunch of smaller critters.
    Ring of the Beast CC: Your Summon Natures Ally spells are treated as one level higher (III as IV, for example).
    Strand of Prayer Beads: If youre a divine caster, the Bead of Karma means +4 or +8 rounds to the duration of your summons.
    Summoners Totem MIC: This item makes Imbued Summoning PHB2 redundant. Although, while your DM may rule that Imbued Summoning copies the buff when you summon several smaller critters, Summoners Totem explicitly states that it works only on single summoned creatures.
    Worldmeet Glade CMag: This is actually a magical location, but it gives a large number of bonuses which stack with everything else.
    Last edited by Bullet06320; 2017-06-13 at 05:15 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    Default Re: Summoning Handbook

    Spoiler: Builds

    Conjurer 1 / Druid X Take Rapid Summoning and Enhanced Summoning alternate class features for the Conjurer, then just go regular Druid. RAW, this doesnt work, but you may be able to convince your DM. If youre allowed Precocious Apprentice trick then go...

    Human Conjurer 1 / Druid 6 / Arcane Hierophant 10 / Mystic Theurge 3 and pick Precocious Apprentice and Education as your 1st level feats. Buy Summoners Totem and surprise your enemies with invisible bears.

    Conjurer 3/master specialist 4/thaumaturgist 4/malconvoker 9 These are generally the best prestige classes available for a conjurer. Saru has put this forward as a good balance between the multiple classes.

    Cleric 7/ Skypledged 3/ Contemplative 1/ Skypledged +7/ Contemplative +2
    Summons large amounts of rocs at higher levels, and has some suitable options at low levels. Focuses more on air elementals and birdies, so not for the type of campaign with low rooves.

    Spoiler: Flockmaster


    Anyways, Ive got a Raptoran Cleric/Skypledged summoner build for this thread that ive been working on for a while now.

    Name: Flockmaster
    Race: Raptoran
    Build: Cleric 7/ Skypledged 3/ Contemplative 1/ Skypledged +7/ Contemplative +2

    1. Spell Focus: Conjuration,
    3. Augment Summoning
    6. Domain Sponteneity (Summoner)
    9. Rashemi Elemental Summoning
    12. Quicken Spell
    15. Augment Elemental

    Racial Sub Levels/Alt. Class Features:
    1st. Raptoran Cleric
    1st. Spontaneous Domain Casting (Sky)
    3rd. Raptoran Cleric
    4th. Planar Cleric

    1st. Sky
    1st. Summoner
    11th. Windstorm

    Spoiler: Design notes:

    1. I have a personal aversion to Divine Metamagic so DMM cheese is not present.
    2. The planar Cleric sub level is completely unnessesary for the main point of the build
    3. One must either have the Sky or Air domains in order to take the Raptoran racial sub levels, so I chose Sky.

    Summoning Tactics:

    Level 3: The Flockmaster begins to earn his name with the Summon Dire Hawk spell from the Sky domain. The benefits his spell has are: a duration in minutes/level, telepathic commands as a free action, and an overall strong form. A dire hawk is absolutly vicious at this level with Augment Summoning (42 hp, +9 attack, etc). You also never have to prepare this spell due to the Spontaneous Domain Casting alt. feature.

    Level 6: Now you can spend turning attempts to spontaneously cast summon monster since this build isnt using them on DMM or similar. This advantage lasts for the majority of your carear, though weakens slightly when summoner domain gives planar ally/gate spells instead of summon monster X

    Level 9: Youre not so much of a flock master now as an Air Elemental master with Large Orglash Air Elementals from SM V. Air Elementals will now serve as the mainstream of your in-combat summoning life until, well..., forever

    Level 17: This level gives us an out-of-combat summoning spell, Summon Devoted Roc, that allows for the creation of what I like to call a Flock oRocs. See, the spell has a duration of hours/level, which (along with a Greater Rod of Extend and Greater Consumptive Field) allows for summons that have a duration in excess of 48 hrs (60 with GCF and MM rod at lvl 20). The routine goes as follows:

    Spoiler: Flockmaking

    Day 1: Cast Summon Devoted Roc 3 times using a Greater Rod of Extend

    24 hrs later: Repeat Step one

    24 hrs later (48hrs used of original summon duration): Adventure with 6 Rocs at your side. I recommend using your Divine Spellpool to access Animal Growth

    For those that prefer, Summoning can be switched for Planning to give you Extend Spell, a rather nice feat.

    Conjurer 3/master specialist 4/thaumaturgist 4/malconvoker 9 Posted by Saru. Hopefully self-explanatory. Conj 2/Sor 1/Conj +2/UM 10/Mast Spec 5 An attempt at using Ultimate Magus. This is probably not the best idea, but if people want to try and make an Ultimate Magus summoner, then here is a starting point. If people do try it, and it turns out to be good, please tell us. My opinion on this is entirely based on a theoretical standpoint. Although I would probably go Arcane Disciple (summoning) and Thaumaturgist instead of Master Specialist. Youve already lost some CL from going UM, so malconvoker isnt so good.

    Spoiler: Ultimate Magus build



    I was planning for a backup charakter, a summoner, when i stumbled onto this gem off a guide. Verry nice !

    Conj 2/Sor 1/Conj 2/UM 10/Mast Spec 5

    Lvl 1 Rapid Summoning (UA)
    Lvl 1 Enchanced Summoning (UA)
    Lvl 1 Conjuration Specialist
    Lvl 1 Focused Specialist (PHB II)
    Lvl 1 Meta Magic School focus (conjuration) (Comp. Mage)
    Lvl 1 Extend Spell (+1)
    Lvl 3 Divine Companion (Comp. Champ)
    Lvl 3 Practiced Spellcaster (sorc)
    Lvl 6 Augement Elementals (eberon)
    Lvl 9 Repeat Spell (+3)
    Lvl 10 Open

    Anny ideas ?

    Changeling Conjurer 3 / Master Specialist 4 / Recaster 5 (Races of Eberron) / Thaumaturgist 5 / Master Specialist 5-7 Uses Recaster to qualify for Thaumaturgist. And also gets nice little bonuses such as sudden extends and sudden maximizes. Definitely a good lead-in. Simple Moonspeaker Shifter Druid 8/Moonspeaker 12 -or- Shifter Druid 9/Moonspeaker 11 with Shifter Racial Sub and the Natural Bond feat to gain Rapid Summons for free Exchanges wildshape for better summoning abilities.

    Spoiler: Changeling


    Build Im looking at now:

    Race: Changeling
    Conjurer 3 / Master Specialist 4 / Recaster 5 (Races of Eberron) / Thaumaturgist 5 / Master Specialist 5-7

    At Conjurer 1, take both the Rapid Summoning and Enhanced Summoning variants from UA. Thaumaturgist will eventually give you Augment Summoning for free as well, so if youre starting at high level, skip Enhanced Summoning.

    You want to be at least character level 7 when you enter Recaster, so Master Specialist 4 is a great choice. The minor spell esoterica grants your summons bonus hit points, and you get GSF: Conjuration for free. You return later on to pick up the CL boost and the second esoterica, which makes your summons very difficult to dispel.

    Recaster is a 4/5 progression class which grants you lots of instant metamagic options. You get the option to apply Extend and/or Maximize as sudden metamagic a couple times a day, which is great for summons. You can also shape spells, which can help keep your teammates out of your clouds (cloud spells are critical for Conjurers). Also important, if you can cast 5th level spells when you take Recaster 4, you can add lesser planar ally to your spell list for free, thus satisfying the pre-req for Thaumaturgist with no Domain Access gymnastics.

    Thaumaturgist is great for reasons already discussed.

    Im wondering if this is an improvement over existing builds. You have to be a Changeling to take Recaster, so you lose Fire/Sun Elf racial benefits. You also lose a level of spell progression. But you get neat instant metamagic and shaping abilities, and you get access to Thaumaturgist for free.

    Spoiler: Moonspeaker


    The simple Moonspeaker-build should be added:

    Shifter Druid 8/Moonspeaker 12
    Shifter Druid 9/Moonspeaker 11 with Shifter Racial Sub and the Natural Bond feat to gain Rapid Summons for free

    -Augment Summoning for free
    -Extend Spell always applied, stacks with the Feat "Extend Spell"
    -Gate and Planar Ally Spells added (the Moonspeaker 12 version)
    -Extended SNA List
    ->Triton (Summoner, Swimmer)
    ->Bralani Eldarin (Defense, Spells)
    ->Nymph (Healer, Blinder)
    ->Lillend (Caster)
    -Great Abilities overall

    -Loss of 4 Levels Wildshape

    Imo one of the strongest summoners available.

    Last edited by Bullet06320; 2017-06-13 at 05:32 AM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Noteworthy Summons
    I was originally avoiding talking about specific summons, since it begins to make the guide favor one style of caster over another. I already felt guilty about not giving psions any love. But, there seems to be some demand for it, so here goes.

    Unicorn: This is a nice little mini-cleric, allowing you to cast a bunch of nice little healing spells when you need them. Appears on the Summon Natures Ally IV list, and is added to the Summon Monster IV list by the Wild Soul prestige class.

    Earth Elementals: As stated earlier, these guys can ignore walls, allowing you to find out what is going on behind that door without going there yourself. Requires the ability to speak Terran, or some form of Telepathy, or Chain of Eyes. This can also be used to search for hidden passages, pit traps, and to act as a nice surprise for the enemy. (Summon some Earth elementals, get them to earth glide to underneath the enemy, and pop out at the beginning of the fight.) Earth Elementals appear on the Summon Natures Ally, and Summon Monster spell lists, at various levels. Thanks to Jason_Synder for the additional ideas on how to use them.

    Creatures with large numbers of attacks: Jason_Synder suggests the use of these against Mirror Image using opponents. They make good summons anyway.

    Fire Elementals: Allows you to attack wooden structures. Thanks to Jason_Synder for this idea. Fire Elementals appear on the Summon Natures Ally and Summon Monster lists.

    Pixies: Repeated, although weak, dispel magics. Best used on an opponents items, or against low-level casters. Appears on the Summon Natures Ally VI list. Soltares puts forward the following advice: (Bold added by me)

    Thoqqua particularly rock in any sort of underground adventure. Doors, walls, etc. become meaningless as your lava beasties burn a new tunnel straight to your objective. Want to modify terrain in a hurry (to make traps, escape chutes, prepare a massive cave-in?), theyre the ones for the job. Plus they do some nice damage for their level, if you want to just throw them at mobs.
    The Thoqqua appears on the Summon Natures Ally III list. These guys speak common, so you dont need to worry about knowing their language. (Anything that doesnt have a language specified, and has an intelligence of 3 or greater knows common by default)

    BenSan has been kind enough to go through all the books that list monsters, and provide this list. It is rather long, and he has mentioned that he will possibly go through and cut all the stuff out that is irrelevant at a later date
    I gave all my sourcebooks a quick skim looking for monsters that are explicitly tagged as summonable with Summon Monster. Since I was looking mainly for things which bear further examination for spell-likes, I did not note animals which can be Fiendish/Celestialed (they only appear in PHB and Stormwrack, anyway) and since I was doing it for a binder I didnt take notes for Summon Natures Ally. So, here it is. [sblock] PHB: SM2: Lemure (devil) SM3: Small elemental, Hell hound, dretch (demon) SM4: Lantern archon, mephit (any), yeth hound, howler SM5: Hound archon, medium elemental, achaierai, bearded devil, shadow mastiff SM6: Bralani eladrin, large elemental, janni, chaos beast, chain devil, xill SM7: Avoral guardinal, djinni, huge elemental, invisible stalker, red slaad, bone devil, babau demon SM8: Lillend, greater elemental, blue slaad, hellcat, vrock SM9: Couatl, leonal, elder elemental, green slaad, barbed devil, night hag, bebilith (demon), hezrou (demon) BoED: SMIII: Bariaur, Coure Eladrin, Musteval Guardinal SMIV: Cervidal Guardinal, Rhek SMV: Leskylor SMVI: Equinal SMVII: Asura, three-headed leskylor SMVIII: Hollyphant, lupinal guardinal, warden archon SMIX: Firre eladrin, moon dog, owl archon, quesar, sword archon, ursinal guardinal MM3: SMIV: Small storm elemental SMVI: Medium storm elemental SMVII: Arrow demon (replaces babau), large storm elemental SMVIII: Huge storm elemental SMIX: Greater storm elemental MM4: SMII: Clockwork Mender, Howler Wasp SMIII: Windrazor SMIV: Wrackspawn, Voor (yugoloth) SMV: Dwarf Ancestor SMVI: Inferno Spider, Corruptor of Fate (yugoloth) SMVII: Justice Archon Complete Arcane: SMIV: Elemental grue Fiend Folio: SMII: Kaorti, varoot (nerra) SMIII: Bacchae SMIV: Aoa droplet, Skulvyn (demon), bloodbag imp, euphoric imp, filth imp, kalareem (nerra), skeroloth (yugoloth) SMVI: Winged warrior formian. sillit (nerra), mud slaad SMVII: Movanic deva, armadon formian, ferrumach (rilmani) SMVIII: Maelephant, piscoloth (yugoloth) SMIX: Farastu (demodand), Wastrilith (demon), monadic deva, observer formian, cuprilach (rilmani) Ghostwalk: SMVI: Artaaglith (demon) [5th-level cleric casting, spell-like Animate Dead] Magic of Incarnum: SMVII: Souleater (replaces huge fiendish scorpion) Planar Handbook SMI: Elysian thrush (replaces celestial owl or monkey) SMII: UrEpona (replaces celestial riding dog) SMIV: Lesser nightmare (replaces fiendish dire wolf or hoowler) SMV: Energon (replaces medium elemental) SMVI: Elementite swarm (replaces large elemental) SMVII: Pack fiend (replaces Huge fiendish scorpion) SMVIII: Elsewhale (replaces celestial cachalot whale), Gaspar (replaces celestial triceratops or Colossal fiendish centipede), Limbo stalker (replaces blue slaad) SMIX: Unraveler (replaces green slaad) Anarchic, axiomatic, entropic, vivacious can replace celestial/fiendish Sandstorm: None specifically named, see below regarding: SMIV: Glass mephit, sulfur mephit Stormwrack: Several new animals to template SMVIII: Caller from the deeps (replaces greater elemental), echinoloth (yugoloth) (replaces blue slaad) [/sblock] Two special notes bear mentioning. First is that the PHB lists "mephit (any)", so while there are no new summons explicitly granted in Sandstorm, the new mephits may be summonable depending on DM. The other is that formians and imps were summonable in 3.0 but were removed from the list in revision. The result is that technically the odd variant formians and imps in Fiend Folio are summonable (because they are marked as such in their entries and were never reprinted without it) but normal formians and imps are not (because the only tag for them as such was in now-superceded 3.0 text.) Individual DMs may reasonably feel differently about this. On a personal note, I miss having formians on the list; as a result of their removal there are no core summonable LN monsters. Its my intention to give these a more leisurely trawling and mark up unusual or valuable abilities on these creatures, but I cant promise when.
    Treantmonklvl20 points out that summoning a fiendish centipedes generally have more HD than other creatures of the same level. This is exceptionally handy with polymorph, allowing you to get, for example, a Bebelith with a 6th level spell and a 4th level spell. If you want to do it in the same round, you will need either Quicken Spell and an 8th level slot, or the Master Specialists 10th level ability.

    also please see the following links
    Legal 3.5 Summonable Monster List
    The Summoner's Desk Reference [D&D 3.5]
    Last edited by Bullet06320; 2017-06-13 at 05:45 AM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Summoning Spells
    There are many spells that can be used to summon creatures. This section will cover the noteworthy ones.
    • Summon Monster PHB: Summon Monster is the bread-and-butter spell for wizard/sorcerer/cleric summoners. With a nice range of versatility in what can be summoned, you will always be able to find something appropriate.
    • Summon Natures Ally PHB: The bread-and-butter spell for druids and spirit shamans. Once again, you will generally find something useful on it.
    • Summon Desert Ally Sandstorm: A replacement for Summon Natures Ally, these guys get nice little features such as a breath weapon, damage reduction, and all those nice construct traits. I personally prefer Summon Natures Ally.
    • Summon Undead Spell Compendium: Only usable through low levels, since it stops at level 5, there are some useful critters on this list.
    • Conjure Ice Beast Frostburn: Converts any of the creatures from the Summon Monster or Summon Natures Ally list into constructs. Has the annoying problem of being Conjuration(Creation), therefore not benefiting from all your nice feats, but still, a nice boost to have.
    • Summon Dire Hawk Races of the Wild: This doesnt have the versatility of other spells, however, it does have the nice feature of lasting for minutes/level. It is available to druids as a second level spell, and to clerics with the sky domain, as a second level domain spell.
    • Summon Swarm PHB: More powerful than most of the other 2nd level summon spells, but it does have duration concentration, so you expect it to be. Also, remember that you dont have direct control over the summon. However, it does have swarm traits, such as immunity to criticals, and being mindless, and immune to a fair few spells.
    • Summon Elemental Monolith Complete Arcane: Go look at the Elemental Monolith stats, then continue reading, because you would have already figured out why its good. If the concentration is worrying you, then cast Sonorous Hum or be a spirit shaman. If your DM allows it, use extraordinary concentration.
    • Summon Elementite Swarm Planar Handbook: Summon Swarm, but make the swarm better, and make it listen to you.
    • Gate SRD: Summons whatever you need, almost. A lot more research required than for the other options, since you have a lot more options.
    • Planar Binding SRD: A very potent summoning spell, but you will need to do your homework before using it. This includes the lesser and greater versions as well.
    • Planar Ally SRD: Divine version of above. Once again, includes the lesser and greater versions. I do want to look into what to summon with these spells, since very little has been examined on the matter.
    Last edited by Bullet06320; 2017-06-13 at 05:40 AM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Still need to find some of the missing links, and clean up the editing a little bit
    but its all here, and I may add a few missing things I think will go good here to expand on this
    Last edited by Bullet06320; 2017-06-13 at 05:42 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullet06320 View Post
    [ These guys speak common, so you dont need to worry about knowing their language. (Anything that doesnt have a language specified, and has an intelligence of 3 or greater knows common by default)
    When your DM offers this Interpretation by theirself, you're good. Otherwiser I wouldn't push for this. It is quite clearly not RAI and quite questionable worlduilding wise. Not to mention rather silly (especially for cases like the Thoqqua).

    In any case not something I would take for granted in the context of a Handbook.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    pg 7 of the monster manual
    Intelligence: A creature can speak all the languages mentioned
    in its description, plus one additional language per point of Intelligence
    bonus. Any creature with an Intelligence score of 3 or
    higher understands at least one language (Common, unless noted
    nothing in its description lists language, has an int of 6, so by default, yes understands common

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    Is understand also mean can speak and write like that?

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    Default Re: Summoning Handbook

    Bullet, thanks for stepping up again. I'll do my best to find and add your threads to the index; if I miss any, please do nudge me about it.

    "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here. This is the War Room!" Ė Kubrick, "Dr. Strangelove"
    I do still exist. I'm active on discord. Priestess of Neptune#8648

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    If you're updating, there is the vhaerath on the summon monster two list.
    A vhaerath is a planar servant of Vhaeraun, created from the soul of one of his petitioners. It looks like a normal drow (male or female) except that its body and equipment are utterly black -- as dark as a shadow. Vhaeraun uses them as his mortal agents in FaerŻn. A typical vhaerath is a 1st-level drow warrior (as presented in the Monster Manual). The Masked Lord's followers can summon these "common" vhaeraths with a summon monster II spell if they know the proper magic keys. (Door to Light contains this information.)

    Creating a Vhaerath
    "Vhaerath" is an inherited template that can be added to any drow of nongood alignment (referred to hereafter as the base creature). A vhaerath uses all the base creatures' statistics and special abilities except as noted here. Size and Type: The base creature's type changes to outsider. Vhaeraths are always extraplanar outsiders.
    Skills: Vhaeraths have a +4 racial bonus on Hide and Move Silently checks. The Hide bonus increases to +8 in shadowy conditions or darkness.
    Alignment: Any evil.

    Summoning a Vhaerath: A divine spellcaster who has Vhaeraun as a patron can use a monster summoning II spell to summon a 1st-level drow warrior vhaerath, provided that the character can cast monster summoning II and provided the character has read the summoning notes in Obsul Ssussun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nodsiu View Post
    Is understand also mean can speak and write like that?
    The rules don't go into that level of detail. If we stick to literal RAW, then yes, they can speak and write Common because nothing in the rules explicitly says they can't.

    However, RAI/RACSD is probably closer to, "If the creature has no mouth, it can't speak or provide verbal components. If it has no manipulative appendages, then it can't write without some type of accommodation or assistance."

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nodsiu View Post
    Is understand also mean can speak and write like that?
    Quote Originally Posted by Darrin View Post
    The rules don't go into that level of detail. If we stick to literal RAW, then yes, they can speak and write Common because nothing in the rules explicitly says they can't.

    However, RAI/RACSD is probably closer to, "If the creature has no mouth, it can't speak or provide verbal components. If it has no manipulative appendages, then it can't write without some type of accommodation or assistance."
    rules don't say explicitly, so falls in DM call territory, but it is a fantasy game, so all bets are off. I would say only understands, doesn't speak or write based on the pic in the MM.

    Quote Originally Posted by GilesTheCleric View Post
    Bullet, thanks for stepping up again. I'll do my best to find and add your threads to the index; if I miss any, please do nudge me about it.
    no prob giles, a lot of good material we don't want to lose, i'll pm you with links to any I do, and also a big thanks to you as well for organizing everyone again

    Quote Originally Posted by daremetoidareyo View Post
    If you're updating
    yea, i'll be doing some updating, I've had the idea on my mind for sum time now, based on my own expierences, and the multitude of threads out there on summoning, planar binding, and conjuration. its one of my favorite classes to play, and I usually post on most of the related threads that pop up anyways, so now's a good time to do that

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullet06320 View Post
    pg 7 of the monster manual
    nothing in its description lists language, has an int of 6, so by default, yes understands common
    I know what the rules say.

    But what you are proposing as something most GMs will accept is the following:

    A non-humanoid creature with no concept of humanoid civilisation native to the elemental plane of Fire and no ties to the Material Plane at all has Common for its one and only understood language.

    At your table you can of course do whatever you want. But when writing a Handbook, you are targetting a broader audience. Suggestions that rely on very questionable rulings (that is: it is safe to assume that most GMs will rule otherwise) are useless.

    I really liked how you've treated Ashbound and Greenbound: not as something every summoner should have and not as the Gold Standard everything else is measured against.

    So I'm a bit suprised that you propose the rather silly Notion ofv having Common as the one and only language that Thoqquas understand, instead of the much more sensible ruling the overwhelming majority of GMs will likely go for that the Thoqquas one language is Ignan.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    just to clarify I didn't write this, its a mirror from the minmaxboards, so not all statements are necessarily my own.
    I have done some minor editing and formatting sofar

    but most of the material is posted Rules as Written, but each table needs to decide for it self what rules work for them

    so as far as the thoqqua are concerned, common is the language they understand based on the rules. common sense on the other hand, ignan would be the most likely choice. but hey you could've summoned a thoqqua that was raised by dwarves in a mining community that raise and use them for doing the hard work, while the dwarves do the finer finishing work, so that's Dms prerogative in his world, so dwarvin is what this particular one knows, which does make for some interesting role playing with your summoned critter to make it do what you want, lol
    Last edited by Bullet06320; 2017-06-14 at 04:13 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullet06320 View Post
    just to clarify I didn't write this, its a mirror from the minmaxboards, so not all statements are necessarily my own.
    I have done some minor editing and formatting sofar
    Oh, my mistake then. Shouldn't have directed those comments at you

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zombimode View Post
    Oh, my mistake then. Shouldn't have directed those comments at you
    no worries, you brought up good points tho, nothing wrong with adding to the discussion

    also updated all the links on the first post, and added a few relevant links as well

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