I'm running my crew through the last book of the Kingmaker series. The players consist of a paladin, rogue, monk, and oracle. When the oracle leveled up to 14 (CL 7), he gained the ability to Summon Monster VII and, therefore, the capability of summoning a Tyrannosaurus (Dinosaur).

Now, this is all well and good, but in practice, the tyrannosaurus has proven to be immensely powerful during combat. The combination of its to-hit bonus, damage, hit points, reach, grappling, and swallow capabilities make almost every encounter I throw at them unbalanced in the party's favor. Add to that the fact that the oracle can summon this guy 4x a day and place him almost anywhere in from the start of combat. Also add the fact that the oracle has not been adding the celestial template which would make the dinosaur even more powerful.

What typically happens in combat is the oracle summons the dinosaur on the other side of the enemies. The dinosaur then provides easily-accessible flanking to the party. The dinosaur then puts an abrupt stop to any enemy movement within 20' due to the threat of a free attack and therefore a grab. The grabs almost always succeed from the +32 grapple bonus. Then whatever creature the dino bit, is inevitably chewed on and swalled because the grabbed creature can't break the dino's CMD 39. All of these attacks work just as well against "boss" enemy creatures as well.

So is this overpowered? In our game it is, and I don't know the correct solution. Adding to the problem is that in the Kingmaker books, combats are one-offs. By that I mean, there are typically no dungeons and therefore a rationing of spells. Combats occur on different days and, therefore, everyone goes into battle fresh. Most combat also occurs outside also, so the dino has plenty of room to run around.



It sounds to me that you as the GM are playing the enemies wrong in the presence of the T-Rex. The T-Rex is powerful, no doubt, but it is a seventh level spell. It's on par with spells like Mass Inflict Serious Wounds, Word of Chaos, and even Resurrection.

The dinosaur then puts an abrupt stop to any enemy movement within 20' due to the threat of a free attack and therefore a grab.

It sounds like your biggest problem is that you are fearing the attack of opportunity too much. If the T-Rex is grappled with another foe, it can't act on its attacks of opportunity. When it is grappling, it can't move and takes a -4 to Dex. Make sure you use this to your advantage, and maybe your oracle will stop grappling so much.

Even if the T-Rex can make the attack of opportunity, it can still only make one per round. One of your enemies will simply have to provoke it, and let everyone else run or reposition themselves. It's that or stand there and get picked off one-by-one.

Additionally, Freedom of Movement is a 4th level spell—3 levels less than summoning a T-Rex. That +32 to grapple doesn't look too bad now! Keep in mind that 14th level characters are generally extremely rare in most settings. If a 14th level oracle is running around summoning T-Rexes, people will hear about it, and the foes you send against them will most likely be prepared for it.

Lastly, if your oracle is spending all of his highest level spells summoning creatures, he's leaving the party open. Your campaign might be a little too kick-in-the-door if players aren't concerned with expending all of their spells in combat. Always leave a little bit of mystery as to what the next encounter will be. That will make your PCs weary of spending their last spell. Note that encounter doesn't always mean combat! Make your oracle wish he hadn't used all of his spells is a great way to make him think twice in later combats.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Also consider where they are and how much it masses, "your spell fails" , Roll knowledge architecture in secret for them to see if they know why (the castle floor can't support 9 tons on two feet) Creatures cannot be summoned into an environment that cannot support them. Works even better for earth elementals. \$\endgroup\$ – John Jul 31 '17 at 22:55

I think there's a power mismatch here.

Don't get me wrong, the T-Rex is a great tank, but a Greater Elemental is also available and equally solid. Oh and if they're fighting Dragons, the same spell can summon a Roc. These are all good creatures.

You have a party of 14th level characters, their encounter monsters are things like adult dragons and astral devas that have access to Invisibility and Spell Resistance and Flying. (those are both CR-14s)

If you have a one-off, non-dungeon boss monster, that thing has to be like an Ancient Dragon that casts its own 7th-level spells on top of the abilities above. While a T-Rex may be annoying to such a Dragon, it's clearly far from the end of the world.

What type of monsters are you throwing at the PCs?

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1. A t-rex is overpowering... To some other CR9 creature. If you're fighting those at L14 they are mooks and you're supposed to mow through them with stuff like this. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil Mar 15 '12 at 1:04

Do they ever fight casters? Do the casters ever have any of the following spells

  • Dispel Magic
  • Dispel Good
  • Dismissal
  • Protection from Good
  • Magic Circle against Good

If not, why not? Simply countering the spell would be effective.

Also, while I understand why many Medium melee enemies would struggle with a T-Rex, Huge and larger creatures would not struggle to the same extent. At 14th level, I would expect them to encounter many such creatures.

Finally, I would suggest stealth anti-caster characters if you insist on using NPC villains. Both stealth rogues and stealth monks can create huge problems for a caster.

In short, no it's not universally overpowered, though it would be overpowering in some types of combats.

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    \$\begingroup\$ All you need is protection from good/evil. See d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/s/summon-monster - the rex is summoned fiendish/celestial and so a first level spell wards it out. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil Mar 15 '12 at 2:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ @mxyzplk and Magic Circle against X is even more effective (area denial). \$\endgroup\$ – C. Ross Mar 15 '12 at 12:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also in the list of useful spells: Summon Monster VII, and summon a T-Rex behind the PCs. If a player finds a really effective strategy, copy it. I call it "Arms Race", and it works wonders. \$\endgroup\$ – Cristol.GdM Nov 20 '12 at 19:43

Every answer here points to the same 3 problems:

  1. You may not be handling grappling and attacks of opportunity correctly with the t-rex
  2. The enemies you're controlling are not exercising some of the options that should easily counter the t-rex
  3. You're using the suggested encounters in the adventure guide instead of modifying them to provide a challenge for your party.
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In addition to mechanical fixes - perhaps you could place the group into more situations where summoning the T-Rex would be impractical. For instance, on board a ship, or in small, underground caverns, or low-ceilinged rooms, or even in a crowded city marketplace, with lots of innocents around.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Also remember it has mass. We had a druid with a T-rex AC who nearly got everyone killed when the thing tried to fight on board a ship and flipped it over in the middle of the ocean. With several tons running around floors will also collapse, the room may be big enough but can the floor handle the weight. \$\endgroup\$ – John Jul 31 '17 at 22:34

Well I would go with spell lvl 2 or 3 against that big dummy :

my preferred, a lvl 2 spell ;) Wow your big dinosaur is now a pony


It allow a will save, but the big dummy has +10, so your spell caster should have some bonus to make it fail the saving throw (potion of +4 on the spell casting ability, spell focus, and superior spell focus, and the metamagic feat increasing the effective spell level. )

you could very easily have a DC of 21 with that, 25 is feasible, but the look of the player when his big T is a little pony has no price ;)

Or you can have an anti-summoning circle http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/a/anti-summoning-shield

or go for lvl 3 spell http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/c/control-summoned-creature

Or simply banish the summoned creature. But you'd better be a better spellcrafter

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