Context. So you're sustaining/continuing your Summon and a wizard decides he wants to send a message because he thinks your Size 6 Animated Object: Mecha (via "Limited to Available Objects" flaw on Animation in Power Profiles) using a Precise Create as the available object is super cool and is jealous. So what does he do? Deciding Nullify isn't a good idea when he doesn't know the descriptors of the power, he decides to Power Stunt a Weaken: Summon Attack. You fail the resistance check, and gets a -4 to the Summon Power, which means you and the GM have to suddenly figure out how your Summon works at 4 PLs lower midcombat and redesign the mecha sheet every round that passes...or do you?

Summons Text in Question. "This creature is created as an independent character with (effect rank x 15) power points. A summoned minion is limited to a Power Level equal to the rank of the Summon effect used to create it, (and) is subject to the normal power level limits." (Pg. 180)

The question is since the effect has already been applied and sustained, does the existing results immediately suffer from that reduction? This power refers to the Effect used to create it for its limit, which by definition is the "aspect of a power with a particularly defined game effect" (pg. 308) rather than the power itself in question that's been weakened. Weaken works on Traits, which include "abilities, skills, advantages, and powers" (pg. 310), where powers only mention that they're "made up of one or more effects" (pg. 309) rather than being a effect themselves. If we go by the texts listed in the PHB, this all means that the Summon Power refers to the rank it had when it was first used for the Summon's PL Limit, and is not changed if the PL of the power is changed thereafter.

Why does this even matter. Well for one I just don't like having to prepare a Summon for each individual PL in case of not only Weaken Summon but Enhanced Trait: Summon, but the biggest asset to Summoners if this is the true rule of law, is that Extra Effort: Power not being limited by PL can be used twice with Extraordinary Effort to Summon at PL+2, and stays at PL+2 until the duration ends, which could be made Continuous and last long enough that you recover from Exhaustion. This is nutty, though given Power Extra Effort has almost never seen use at my table given what is effectively Action Surge is on the table I'm kinda alright with it if its RAW.

So does Weaken Trait: Summon influence those already Summoned then? RAW feels to point towards this not being the case but I imagine some people may not like the results of either ruling. I personally embraced Extraordinary Effort increased Summons and made a Walking Mountain as a skyscraping PL 12 Summon for a boss monster the Heroes & Hellscape's server is currently dealing with on a week they should technically have a PL 10 on their plate, but as someone who plays fair I tend to allow this kind of tech for players as well, so I wanna make sure I didn't miss anything.


1 Answer 1


I could see an argument for the change not happening until the next round. Summon is a Sustained effect.

Sustained: You can keep a sustained effect going by taking a free action each round to do so. If you are incapable of taking the necessary action, or simply choose not to, the effect ends.

The next round, you will not be able to take the free action to maintain the Summon at that level, same as if you diverted points in a Dynamic Alternate Effect. Continuous might allow a bypass if your GM allows for it. I would not, but I recognize that every GM had their own personal interpretation of the rules.

  • \$\begingroup\$ If what you say is true, then Summon and by proxy any sustained power can be nullified by weaken as a result of its inability to be sustained, because the exact power listed is no longer the same. Rather than continuous being arguable by your logic, continuous has no argument besides a dm shutting it down...which is against the spirit of the question. Even if you don't mean for Weaken to effectively nullify you still have the game design quirk of having to dynamically change your Summons PL, which if we go by how GMs feel about it feels like a worse decision for gameplay. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 14 at 22:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ As for Dynamic Alternate Effects, Alternate Effects specifically has text specifically saying those switched off "cannot be used or maintained" specifically to bypass the sustained and continuous durations and end their effects immediately, maintain more general than sustained given its use in text to continue more instant duration effects like Grabs, Fascinate, Environment, and Continuous Flight. If not for stopping the ability to maintain the effect, Triggered and Continuous Effects would still work after the switch without consequences dynamic or not, which would be stupid. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 14 at 22:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Eh, it just means they can't sustain the full amount, the same way that Weakening someone's Environment power means their area decreases. And honestly, I've always had Continuous decrease if Weakened as well. You still have to power your effects. You just don't have to take even a Free action to do it when its Continuous. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 15 at 0:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ The issue isn't with Environment which is simple to reduce, but complex reductions like Summon, Create, Transform, Variable, Senses, among other effects that have to be adjusted quite a bit to make sense when weakened. Sustaining isn't explicitly a "use" given the free action is separate from the power, and Continuous has no action stated to be used at all, so it'd effectively ruling that Weaken working on Instant Damage effects that have already been applied. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 15 at 0:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ Huh...so it's RAI. Guess that's another reason for normal tables to ban summons \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 15 at 21:58

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