Many zombies - such as the Zombie Shambler - are permanently slowed 1, which reduces the number of actions they can use by 1 each round. Summoning such a zombie with a spell (such as Animate Dead) gives the zombie the summoned trait. This makes the creature a minion with only 2 actions that it can use per round.

Since the zombie is permanently slowed 1 and starts with 2 actions, one would be led to believe that such a minion could only use 1 action per round. However the summoned trait has this clause that casts some doubt on that assumption:

Immediately when you finish Casting the Spell, the summoned creature uses its 2 actions for that turn.

Does this grant the newly-summoned zombie a second action to use? If so, is it for that turn only, or for the duration of the summoning?


2 Answers 2


Slow can reduce a Zombie's Actions

Errata has clarified that Method 2 below (rules as you would expect them to work) is correct.

Can a minion be quickened or slowed? 

Yes. This can be a bit unclear because those conditions apply “at the start of your turn” and a minion can’t typically act until you use an action. Apply these conditions and any other effects that alter a minion’s number of actions when the minion gains its actions, using 2 actions and 0 reactions as the minion’s starting number. Though a minion can’t normally act when it’s not your turn, abilities that specifically grant a minion a reaction provide an exception to this (such as the Ferocious Beasts orc ancestry feat, Advanced Players Guide page 19).

There (used to be) two schools of thought on this

Method 1: "Strict RAW" The Minion gains 3 actions at the start of its turn. Minion rules state that they can only "use[sic] only 2 actions per turn and can’t use reactions". They "have" a third action they can't use. Slow 1 removed an action of their choice and they can choose to lose the un-spendable one.

Repercussions: Minions cannot use Quickened and are naturally resistant to Slow and Stun effects. Animated Zombies can use both of their Actions.

Method 2: "Rules as you might expect them to work". Minions gain a turn with two usable actions when commanded.

Repercussions: Minions can be affected by Quickened, Slow, and Stunned as normal. Animated Zombies get 1 Action even on the round they are summoned because they start their 'turn' with the Slow condition from their statblock.

Method 3: "The one we don't talk about... or, The Strictest of RAW". Minions don't have turns and never acquire Actions. They are allotted the ability to use two Actions by the Command on their commander/owner's turn, which is not theirs.

Repercussions: As Strict RAW, but Minions are completely immune to Slowed and Stunned. Also, you must also divide by zero, risking causing a portal to the Astral Plane to open us (see Bags of Holding rules) and/or may get kicked out of your game group.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I recommend Method 2. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Jul 31, 2020 at 22:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ I didn't even consider that Method 3 a possibility until you pointed it out. The only thing I could find opposing this to be the actual RAW is the second sentece on the minion trait: "A creature with this trait can use only 2 actions per turn and can’t use reactions." To me this indicates that minions also have a turn, though I see the ambiguity. \$\endgroup\$
    – Biv
    Aug 4, 2020 at 15:26
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ In that phrasing order, it indicates that they can use 2 action on each creature's turn (obviously not intended). Even reading as this, they would not be able to use these actions unless Commanded. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Aug 4, 2020 at 20:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ do you want to update this based on the 4th CRB clarifications? \$\endgroup\$
    – András
    Jan 12, 2023 at 12:13

RAW Yes, but only for its first turn

Summoned creatures don't get their own turns in Pathfinder 2e. They act on the turn of their summoner as stated in the minion trait:

Minions are creatures that directly serve another creature. A creature with this trait can use only 2 actions per turn and can’t use reactions. Your minion acts on your turn in combat, once per turn, when you spend an action to issue it commands.

The rules for slowed explicitly state that it only takes effect at the beginning of a creatures turn:

You have fewer actions. Slowed always includes a value. When you regain your actions at the start of your turn, reduce the number of actions you regain by your slowed value. Because slowed has its effect at the start of your turn, you don’t immediately lose actions if you become slowed during your turn.

So yes, as the zombie is using your turn as its own, and your turn is well underway at the point of summoning, the slow does not affect the zombie on its first turn.

Any turn thereafter the zombie is slowed 1 leaving it with a single action.

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    – Someone_Evil
    Jul 31, 2020 at 20:40

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