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One use of the 9th-level spell Gate is to call a creature :

Calling Creatures: The second effect of the gate spell is to call an extraplanar creature to your aid (a calling effect). By naming a particular being or kind of being as you cast the spell, you cause the gate to open in the immediate vicinity of the desired creature and pull the subject through, willing or unwilling. Deities and unique beings are under no compulsion to come through the gate, although they may choose to do so of their own accord. This use of the spell creates a gate that remains open just long enough to transport the called creatures. This use of the spell has a material cost of 10,000 gp in rare incense and offerings. This cost is in addition to any cost that must be paid to the called creatures.

If you choose to call a kind of creature instead of a known individual, you may call either a single creature or several creatures. In either case, their total HD cannot exceed twice your caster level. In the case of a single creature, you can control it if its HD does not exceed your caster level. A creature with more HD than your caster level can’t be controlled. Deities and unique beings cannot be controlled in any event. An uncontrolled being acts as it pleases, making the calling of such creatures rather dangerous. An uncontrolled being may return to its home plane at any time.

If you choose to exact a longer or more involved form of service from a called creature, you must offer some fair trade in return for that service. The service exacted must be reasonable with respect to the promised favor or reward; see the lesser planar ally spell for appropriate rewards. Some creatures may want their payment in “livestock” rather than in coin, which could involve complications. Immediately upon completion of the service, the being is transported to your vicinity, and you must then and there turn over the promised reward. After this is done, the creature is instantly freed to return to its own plane.

Failure to fulfill the promise to the letter results in your being subjected to service by the creature or by its liege and master, at the very least. At worst, the creature or its kin may attack you.

The PC in my game are in Elysium. They want to use the spell Gate to call another PC stuck on the material plane with no means of shifting planes. They want to do that, because said PC is in immediate danger, and coming via Gate to help him would be too dangerous.

  • Is it possible ?
  • If it's possible, since the PC would willingly come, would they still have to pay the 10,000 gp in incense and offerings?
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  • \$\begingroup\$ How "stuck" are they? Are they stranded on the other plane without a caster or is someone holding them prisoner? \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 28, 2021 at 10:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is the other PC extraplanar? I dont mean are they on another plane, I mean its about what they are. \$\endgroup\$
    – Fering
    Commented May 28, 2021 at 11:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Fering in Pathfinder 1e you are extraplanar (subtype) when you are not on your home plane. In this case where they are = what they are. Details below ;) \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Commented May 28, 2021 at 13:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Studoku : I added the answer to my original posts, he is stuck with no means of changing, not held prisoner. \$\endgroup\$
    – Binochio
    Commented May 28, 2021 at 13:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Fering : the pc is on his home plane, so he is not extraplanar. \$\endgroup\$
    – Binochio
    Commented May 28, 2021 at 13:36

2 Answers 2

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If "extraplanar" means creature subtype, then this spell is broken and does not work as-is for its intended purpose.

According to Pathfinder SRD:

Extraplanar Subtype

This subtype is applied to any creature when it is on a plane other than its native plane. A creature that travels the planes can gain or lose this subtype as it goes from plane to plane. Monster entries assume that encounters with creatures take place on the Material Plane, and every creature whose native plane is not the Material Plane has the extraplanar subtype (but would not have it when on its home plane). Every extraplanar creature in this book has a home plane mentioned in its description. creatures not labeled as extraplanar are natives of the Material Plane, and they gain the extraplanar subtype if they leave the Material Plane. No creature has the extraplanar subtype when it is on a transitive plane, such as the Astral Plane, the Ethereal Plane, or the Plane of Shadow.

Emphasis mine.

Reading it strictly, you cannot use Gate to call a devil from hell, because in hell it is not an extraplanar creature.

You can, instead, call your fellow PC, if he is not on his native plane, because he gained the extraplanar subtype when he left material plane (or whatever plane he is from).


I would rule that extraplanar uses a common English meaning of the word: creature that is on another plane than the one you are when casting. It is the only way I see for this spell to make sense.

Interpreting extraplanar as meaning creature that would have the subtype if the spell worked would work with spell's intended purpose, but it doesn't have any foundation in what's actually written, and it would render Banishment (a spell that uses identical wording) ineffective.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I perfectly agree on your last line. \$\endgroup\$
    – Binochio
    Commented May 28, 2021 at 13:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ I believe that when Gate refers to an extraplanar creature, it refers not to a creature that currently has that subtype, but to a creature that would have it on the plane it's being called to: eg, it allows you to call a creature that is extraplanar in relation to the current plane, and a strict reading of the rules would also support tis interpretation. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 28, 2021 at 19:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ One perhaps-possible interpretation is that the extraplanar subtype is calculated relative to the plane you're casting from / calling to. Under that interpretation, you couldn't plane shift to Hell and then Gate a devil from the material plane to hell. (And you couldn't Gate a PC from Elysium to the prime material plane, although you could gate them to somewhere within easy reach of it, like a pocket dimension.) I'm not arguing that one should interpret this way, but it seems possible, and an obstacle to reaching your ruling by ruling out absurdities and taking the only thing left. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 28, 2021 at 19:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PeterCordes I'm fairly certain that the actual intent behind that part of the spell is to specifically prevent travel within the same plane, as opposed to being there to limit which planes any random creature can be called from or to. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 28, 2021 at 19:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ In which case Molot's final statement is probably the best ruling (and the one I'd use) \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 28, 2021 at 21:29
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There's no reason this wouldn't work, though it's an odd way of doing things. The Planar Travel mode of Gate is two-way and assuming you can locate the lost character and comunicate with them (you have 9th level spells so this is trivial) you can open a portal for them and rescue them that way.

Extraplanar in this case refers to the creature being on another plane, not having the extraplanar subtype. This is a safe assumption as the most typical use of Gate is to summon Outsiders from their own planes (where they would not have that type). This is moot- a Human character on the Plane of Fire would fit both descriptions.

You would still need the 10k in offerings- it is a cost of the spell, not part of the payment.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ "Extraplanar in this case refers to the creature being on another plane, not having the extraplanar subtype." Can you cite this? Either show similar wording elsewhere that suggests this is the accurate way to read this, or the opposite? \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 28, 2021 at 11:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Ifusaso see my answer. If extraplanar means subtype, this spell makes no sense at all. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Commented May 28, 2021 at 12:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Mołot I actually wasn't opposed to this answer, just saw that it needed further clarification \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 28, 2021 at 15:59

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