I'm currently playing a Great Old One (GOO) Pact of the Chain warlock in one homebrew campaign. Originally, I had designed the character to be evil and roleplay-heavy, with skill and spell emphasis on illusions and enchantments. He'd be mostly interested in just gaining power and influence under the radar.

Then, shortly before starting the campaign, the DM banned evil characters entirely. I still liked the concept, so I've been trying to tweak it. Turns out the campaign is also more combat-heavy than expected.

Currently I've got an Imp familiar, and was planning on trying out grabbing magic circle, summon greater demon, the Chains of Carceri eldritch invocation (which lets me cast hold monster at will on celestials, fiends, and elementals, once per long rest per creature), and so on. Give him a summoner/controller feel.

Thing is, I still want him to feel like a GOO warlock, so I'm interested in using a Gazer familiar instead of an Imp. Also, homebrewing Summon Greater Aberration (exact same as SGD, but for aberrations), and adding aberrations to the list of things Magic Circle and Chains of Carceri can affect.


Are all aberrations of CR 6 and below approximately as powerful as demons of CR 6 and below? Or are there any outliers that would pose balance issues if I were to summon one via a summon greater demon-like homebrew spell?

  • \$\begingroup\$ You do realize that Magic Circle and Chains of Carceri don't work on Aberrations, right? \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 19:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch I am aware. As stated in the background info, they would be being added to the list of creatures affected by those. I'm not incredibly concerned about the balance of that, however. \$\endgroup\$
    – Azareel
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 20:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's kind of what I was afraid of. Now you're opening up more homebrew that will affect the answer to this question and starts to make it opinion-based because we don't know enough about the world you're in and how doing something like this would impact it or the DM's story. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 20:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Except, as you pointed out, the question of whether doing that would be a separate issue from this question, which is essentially "would any of X category of creature be inherently unbalanced when under player control" \$\endgroup\$
    – Azareel
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 20:32

1 Answer 1


Yes. Challenge Ratings Are Type Agnostic

The basic rules define challenge rating without respect to type:

A monster's challenge rating tells you how great a threat the monster is. An appropriately equipped and well-rested party of four adventurers should be able to defeat a monster that has a challenge rating equal to its level without suffering any deaths.

Consider Re-Skinning A Fiend

Keep the stat block and type for all mechanical intents and purposes. Have the description and thematic flavor be an aberration. This preserves the mechanical aspects of summon demon while allowing the story to have summoned aberrations.

Considerations for Summoning Different Type


Monster types usually common characteristics about them. If the summoner was banking on getting a demon with the usual demon accouterments, switching it up could be an unpleasant surprise. Violating this expectation could be used as a storytelling mechanic.

Type Specific Spells

Type Specific Abilities to Consider

  • A ranger that has a favored enemy of fiends would be affected by having an aberration show up instead.

  • The paladin's divine smite would not come into play against aberrations.

  • A pact of the chain warlock would not be able to use Chains of Carceri on an aberration.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 1:58
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Based off of what you've listed, would you safely say that Aberrations are a greater threat than Fiends, if only because special effects explicitly target Fiends more often? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 19:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DanielZastoupil I don't think that is the case in general. I think it is the case that with summon demon. \$\endgroup\$
    – GcL
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 20:15

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