A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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    Default Summoning FROM the Material Plane?

    Can denizens of other planes cast Summon Monster to summon creatures from the regular old Material Plane? I'm kind of amused by the prospect of adventurers occasionally being summoned to the Elemental Plane of Earth or whatever for 8 rounds because an Earth Elemental needed a human for some reason.

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    Default Re: Summoning FROM the Material Plane?

    There's no "summon humanoid" spell (as far as I know). As-written, the Planar Ally line would only work on something with the Elemental or Outsider type - so if (for instance) you wanted a particular Aasimar or Tiefling from the material plane, that could work. Gate would work, as-is.

    (I vaguely remember a comic where a bunch of rebellious demon children summoned an accountant, but I can't remember where that was).
    Last edited by Telonius; 2021-09-22 at 09:14 AM.

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    Default Re: Summoning FROM the Material Plane?

    As I know, summon monster/na spells don't actually summon some real creature.
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    Default Re: Summoning FROM the Material Plane?

    Quote Originally Posted by loky1109 View Post
    As I know, summon monster/na spells don't actually summon some real creature.
    Where are you getting that from? Just based on the alternate summing rules DMG pg37 I would argue the rules assume you are summing real creatures from a different plane it is just that you are normally summoning a random creature not a specific one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by loky1109 View Post
    As I know, summon monster/na spells don't actually summon some real creature.
    In 3.5 they definitely do; it's just that the creature is protected and reforms in its home plane. See a variant DMG rule where you can choose to always summon the same creature instead of a random one, which allows you to, if you can, travel to other planes and give them equipment so that when you summon them they are more powerful than normal.


    Wasn't there some old lore about summonign spells sending a crystal to another plane that snatches a creature and forms it before the summoner (and in case it can't it becomes a precious crystal for some reason). Possibly a dragon article or just a fever dream.

    Edit: Partially Celerited.
    Last edited by Feantar; 2021-09-22 at 10:21 AM.
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    Default Re: Summoning FROM the Material Plane?

    Quote Originally Posted by RexDart View Post
    Can denizens of other planes cast Summon Monster to summon creatures from the regular old Material Plane? I'm kind of amused by the prospect of adventurers occasionally being summoned to the Elemental Plane of Earth or whatever for 8 rounds because an Earth Elemental needed a human for some reason.
    There is no way to summon humans that I know of. You could maybe get a native outsider like an Aasimar or Tiefling.
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    Default Re: Summoning FROM the Material Plane?

    You can use Gate to summon someone from the material plane, if you're on a different one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AsuraKyoko View Post
    You can use Gate to summon someone from the material plane, if you're on a different one.
    I would rule the "unique beings" clause would shield the PCs. It's not like asking for an efreet where they are a dime a dozen all with the same stats.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: Summoning FROM the Material Plane?

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    There is no way to summon humans that I know of. You could maybe get a native outsider like an Aasimar or Tiefling.
    You could technically call a level 20 monk who is actually still human.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    There is no way to summon humans that I know of. You could maybe get a native outsider like an Aasimar or Tiefling.
    Is it just a question of humans (for example) not being on any Summon Monster list, or is there another reason? The PHB definition of "extraplanar" section specifically states that residents of the Material Plane are "extraplanar creatures" from the perspective of a resident of one of the other planes.

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    Default Re: Summoning FROM the Material Plane?

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    I would rule the "unique beings" clause would shield the PCs. It's not like asking for an efreet where they are a dime a dozen all with the same stats.
    Idk, that clause seems to be more about things like demon lords and maybe the Tarrasque.

    Deities and unique beings are under no compulsion to come through the gate, although they may choose to do so of their own accord.
    While the MM has a standard set of stats, that's not (for most outsiders) a diegetic thing, it's a simplification. Two Balors (or Efreet) can be as "individual" as two random farmers, and could indeed have different feats and skill points chosen, even if most GMs wouldn't bother.

    By that standard you could only summon non-sapient things, possibly elementals, and some of the more 'standardized' outsiders like Modrons.


    Unless of course you're talking about a campaign where the PCs are metaphysically special in-setting. In that case sure, they could have the property of being immune to Gate.

    Or if you house-rule Gate to "can only summon a type of being, not specific individuals" or "can open a gate to individuals, but not compel them", which is a reasonable house-rule I use myself - otherwise everyone who has enemies capable of 9th level spells has to stay dimensionally-locked 24/7; not really a desirable thing IMO.
    Last edited by icefractal; 2021-09-22 at 02:19 PM.

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    Default Re: Summoning FROM the Material Plane?

    Quote Originally Posted by icefractal View Post
    Idk, that clause seems to be more about things like demon lords and maybe the Tarrasque.
    I thought that. It says you can summon "a particular being or kind of being" so you can certainly summon specific individuals; I'd always assumed like you that "unique beings" referred to demon lords and similar.

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    Default Re: Summoning FROM the Material Plane?

    Quote Originally Posted by RexDart View Post
    Can denizens of other planes cast Summon Monster to summon creatures from the regular old Material Plane? I'm kind of amused by the prospect of adventurers occasionally being summoned to the Elemental Plane of Earth or whatever for 8 rounds because an Earth Elemental needed a human for some reason.
    Well, not a "human", but some of customized deity-specific Summon Monster lists include playable creatures which are usually from Material Plane (they have Extraplanar subtype, but don't specify - which Plane)

    Summon Monster Boccob Heironeous Hextor Olidammara Vecna Wee Jas
    I Tiny Animated Object (staue)
    II Small Animated Object (staue) Aasimar Fighter 2 Grig Tainted Raver Gnoll
    III Medium Animated Object (staue) Dessicator
    IV Doppelganger
    Large Animated Object (staue)
    Pseudodragon
    Aasimar Paladin 4 Doppelganger
    Ethereal Filcher
    Satyr (without pipes)
    Unholy Scion Bugbear Allip
    Ghast
    V Mummy
    Wight
    VI Cinderspawn
    VII Flesh Golem Copper Dragon
    Pixie (no special arrows)
    VIII Stone Golem Young Blue Dragon
    Young Green Dragon
    Young Blue Dragon
    Young Green Dragon
    IX Young Bronze Dragon
    Young Silver Dragon
    Young Bronze Dragon
    Young Silver Dragon


    Quote Originally Posted by Telonius View Post
    There's no "summon humanoid" spell (as far as I know).
    Jakandor, Island of Destiny has 3rd-level Summon Person spell (but says "... from any other location of Material Plane ...", thus - "being summoned to the Elemental Plane of Earth" is questionable)

    In the Midnight Campaign Setting, all summons are from Material Plane (because no other Plane is available)

    The Rift Gate can bestow the "Summoned" condition on a Human, but "summoned" resides near the Gate

    Quote Originally Posted by Telonius View Post
    (I vaguely remember a comic where a bunch of rebellious demon children summoned an accountant, but I can't remember where that was).
    I believe it was one of comics from "Nodwick"

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    Default Re: Summoning FROM the Material Plane?

    The summon undead line of spells could probably pull from the Material Plane.

    That would be an interesting deus ex machina or divine intervention actually; the level 1 party is on the ropes when, by random chance, the skeleton or whatever they're fighting is summoned away for a few rounds.
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    Default Re: Summoning FROM the Material Plane?

    According to 2e Planescape rules, Primes cannot be summoned, full stop. Planars, by contrast, can.

    So no, you cannot summon any being that is native to the Prime Material Plane. You can only summon beings that are native to one of the other planes. If you summon a being that is normally native to the Prime Material, like a human, you're actually summoning a Planar human who probably lives on one of the Outer Planes. The barbarians summoned by a Horn of Valhalla, for example, are Planar Humans from Ysgard.
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    Default Re: Summoning FROM the Material Plane?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    So no, you cannot summon any being that is native to the Prime Material Plane. You can only summon beings that are native to one of the other planes. If you summon a being that is normally native to the Prime Material, like a human, you're actually summoning a Planar human who probably lives on one of the Outer Planes. The barbarians summoned by a Horn of Valhalla, for example, are Planar Humans from Ysgard.
    I don't think this is an underlying rule, that I am aware of. At least not in 3E.

    There is zero mention that animals and similar summoned by SNA have the Extraplanar subtype.

    The magic section on Summoning does not say creatures or objects may only be summoned from other planes.

    Compare the text of SM vs SNA:

    Quote Originally Posted by Summon Monster I
    This spell summons an extraplanar creature (typically an outsider, elemental, or magical beast native to another plane).
    Quote Originally Posted by Summon Nature’s Ally I
    This spell summons a natural creature.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AsuraKyoko View Post
    You can use Gate to summon someone from the material plane, if you're on a different one.
    Quote Originally Posted by Telonius View Post
    There's no "summon humanoid" spell (as far as I know). As-written, the Planar Ally line would only work on something with the Elemental or Outsider type - so if (for instance) you wanted a particular Aasimar or Tiefling from the material plane, that could work. Gate would work, as-is.

    (I vaguely remember a comic where a bunch of rebellious demon children summoned an accountant, but I can't remember where that was).
    Gate and planar ally/binding are calling spells, not summoning spells.
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    Default Re: Summoning FROM the Material Plane?

    FWIW, the stat block for the Summon Luminous Assassin line of spells lists the summoned beings as Humanoids (human, extraplanar). This is a bit at odds with the fluff, which says they are a "vaguely humanoid being composed of yellow light".

    So it could be argued that there are spells that summon Humanoids, albeit extraplanar ones.

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    Default Re: Summoning FROM the Material Plane?

    Worth noting that Summon Nature's Ally works pretty much identically to Summon Monster, but it summons creatures that seem to be specifically from the Material Plane? It's not really made clear, but if it was pulling them from an outer plane, I'd expect them to be fiendish/celestial or otherwise templated like Summon Monster's targets are. That suggests, to me, that there's no real reason why you couldn't theoretically create summoning spells that summon humanoids from the Material Plane.
    Last edited by Eurus; 2021-09-22 at 07:36 PM.
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    Default Re: Summoning FROM the Material Plane?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    The barbarians summoned by a Horn of Valhalla, for example, are Planar Humans from Ysgard.
    They are constructs looking like humans.
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    Default Re: Summoning FROM the Material Plane?

    Quote Originally Posted by loky1109 View Post
    They are constructs looking like humans.
    That it quite interesting, I never picked up on that before.

    The description of that item could use a bit of work. What ability scores do the summoned barbarians have, for instance. Them being Constructs should mean they have no Con, right?

    Would have been nice to put some stat blocks under the item description for easy reference.

    I also find it weird that the Barbarians from the Brass horn will attack anyone who isn't a spellcaster, when the fluff behind it (at least in earlier editions) is that they only serve people who they think are "worthy". Seems odd that these guys would respect casters in this way...

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    Default Re: Summoning FROM the Material Plane?

    Given they're constructs rather than real barbarians or petitioners, I suspect the Brass horn is a 'false' Horn of Valhalla created by a mage who was tired of the party barbarian bragging about 'honorable melee combat'.

    "Hey look Ragnar, I found a Horn of Valhalla!"
    "Stand aside, foolish spell-dabbler! I shall summon the warriors!"
    *construct-warriors start stabbing him*
    Constructs: "ONLY MAGES ARE WORTHY TO SUMMON US. THOR HAS PROCLAIMED THAT MAGES ARE THE MOST HONORABLE."

    ... followed by the barbarian easily dealing with the constructs because they're only 3rd level and trivial for anyone who can afford to craft one of these suckers.
    Last edited by icefractal; 2021-09-22 at 08:29 PM.

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    Default Re: Summoning FROM the Material Plane?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    That it quite interesting, I never picked up on that before.

    The description of that item could use a bit of work. What ability scores do the summoned barbarians have, for instance. Them being Constructs should mean they have no Con, right?

    Would have been nice to put some stat blocks under the item description for easy reference.
    It would be nice even for regular human barbarians.
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    Default Re: Summoning FROM the Material Plane?

    As a DM and player I see no problem with an humanoid being summoned. If it makes a good story line then why not. Most if not all spells are written from a PC perspective. Who says that devils or other creatures don't have different spell lists.

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    Default Re: Summoning FROM the Material Plane?

    Necklace of Dragon's Teeth (Races of the Dragon) summons Humanoids - Draconic Myrmidons (Draconic Human Warrior 4)

    Also, Geryon has Horn of the Bull minor artifact - it summons 1d10+10 Minotaurs with maximal hp 3/week (duration is unlimited, but numbers are reset with each use)

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    Default Re: Summoning FROM the Material Plane?

    Summoning spells have a specific list of what you can summon with them, so no.

    But for Calling spells I guess that could work.

    "Summon a Strong Monster, and you're good for an encounter. Learn how to Planar Bind a Strong Monster, and you'll never have to worry about an encounter for the rest of your Adventuring Days."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mordante View Post
    As a DM and player I see no problem with an humanoid being summoned. If it makes a good story line then why not. Most if not all spells are written from a PC perspective. Who says that devils or other creatures don't have different spell lists.
    This is my thinking - if the only barrier is "humanoids aren't on the Summon Monster list," then you can just... expand the Summon Monster list, or have different lists according to location (should someone on the Fire plane be able to summon fire elementals?) as countless DMs likely do already, for various reasons. But there's no inherent universal rule that makes the Material Plane and its residents "protected" from this and similar shenanigans somehow.
    Last edited by RexDart; 2021-09-23 at 07:14 AM.

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    Default Re: Summoning FROM the Material Plane?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    According to 2e Planescape rules, Primes cannot be summoned, full stop. Planars, by contrast, can.

    So no, you cannot summon any being that is native to the Prime Material Plane. You can only summon beings that are native to one of the other planes. If you summon a being that is normally native to the Prime Material, like a human, you're actually summoning a Planar human who probably lives on one of the Outer Planes. The barbarians summoned by a Horn of Valhalla, for example, are Planar Humans from Ysgard.
    Well, Jakandor, Island of Destiny (1998) is 2E book too - and newer than Planescape Campaign Setting (1994)
    Summon Person spell explicitly summons the person "... from any other location of Material Plane ..."

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    Default Re: Summoning FROM the Material Plane?

    So, while searching for something vaguely related, I found that is is, in fact, possible to summon Humanoids using the Summon Monster spell.

    Admittedly, it's an optional rule in UA (Themed Summoning Lists). The Sample Themed List: Petitioners of Yeenoghu (UA p.138) includes the following:

    • Summon Monster II: Fiendish Gnoll
    • Summon Monster III: Fiendish Gnoll Ftr 1
    • Summon Monster V: Fiendish Gnoll Brb 4
    • Summon Monster VI: Fiendish Gnoll Rng 5
    • Summon Monster VII: Shadow Gnoll Rog 7
    • Summon Monster VIII: Fiendish Gnoll Ftr 8

    So while not from the Material Plane (Fiendish/Shadow template and all that), it is an instance of Humanoids being summoned by a spell.

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