I play an evil Sorcerer (Infernal Bloodline) and my GM allowed me to summon an Imp for guidance (after a Knowledge: Religion skill check result of 32) on ascending to a Devil in full. To be honest, though, I think the GM allowed this more to move the story than for any other reason.

What I would like to know is, while I am a spell-caster, I am too low of level to summon Devils by spell-casting. Can a Knowledge: Religion, Spellcraft, or Knowledge: The Planes skill check let me summon a Devil without an actual spell being cast?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site. Take the tour. A good first question that's likely to elicit some interesting answers. It's possible you want to include the tag rules-as-written on this question, as it sounds like you don't want a contributor's house rules, instead wanting a strict by-the-book reading of the rules; consider adding that tag if that's the case. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 31 '15 at 13:10

Can a religion, spell craft or planes check let me summon a Devil without a actual ''spell''?

No. None of these skills mention anything about letting you summon anything.

Is it possible to summon a outsider without a spell?

Yes. Same way you could summon your friend Bob from the next room: just ask them to come over. Outsiders are free willed creatures and many have the resources and the power to come to you.

That only leaves you with finding a way to contact the Outsider (much easier than summoning, although will probably still involve magic) and you have to convince it to actually listen to you and spend the energy to come over.

But hey, you already have an Imp. It probably has a way to contact its buddies and ask them to show up for a chat or something.

I'll leave it up to you to decide whether you think it's a good idea to summon a free-willed incarnation or pure Evil over for coffee.


Is it possible to summon an outsider without a spell?

I'm not aware of any mention of summoning outside of spells in Pathfinder. However, if your group uses 3.5 material, Unearthed Arcana introduced a variant called incantations.

Incantations are like spells, but they can be cast by characters who are not spellcasters. [...] They’re time-consuming to cast, and success isn’t assured. They are often expensive, and some require additional participants to complete the ritual.

An example of an incantation that summons a pit fiend is Fires of Dis. Of course, no sane party would attempt the incantation as it blasts fire in an 80' radius (18d6) centered on the caster and transports the the caster to Dis. However, as requested, a pit fiend comes through the rift on the following round, and the rift closes.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Could you edit this to answer the question independently and directly? Pretend your answer's the only one that exists - how would you write it? (Starts of "There's also..." are to be avoided here, or are generally a weaker start for an answer than other options for starting available.) \$\endgroup\$ Sep 2 '15 at 1:07

Technically, yes. However, a lot of this falls to what the DM will allow. Given what you've already said, it seems your DM would be open to back-dooring interactions with powerful outsiders for the sake of story.

Back in AD&D it was heavily implied that learning and speaking the true names of greater Devils and Demons would get their attention. Usually they would show up to eliminate whosoever spoke their name, as knowledge of a true name grants a minute amount of power over the creature. However once you had their attention it was possible to bargain with these creatures by trading wealth or favours.

If your DM has supplied you with a setting containing ancient libraries or the like, you may be able to research the true names of such creatures. This would require a Knowledge check, and would probably be a DC 20-or-30-something and take a lot of time:

Equipment (Library) If you have access to an extensive library that covers a specific skill, this limit [on the DC of untrained checks] is removed. The time to make checks using a library, however, increases to 1d4 hours. Particularly complete libraries might even grant a bonus on Knowledge checks in the fields that they cover.

Slight anecdotal aside - A friend of mine was in a campaign where one of his party members accidentally summoned a Greater Vrock. The components of a summoning ritual were already set up in an abandoned church. By completing the ritual for s/hts and giggles, he summoned a Greater Vrock and ended up in some kind of obscure soul-bound contract with it. By this example your DM could work in extraplanar contact as part of the setting/story and not have to be so tightly bound by RAW.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Technically, yes? So, technically, I can summon a devil with a skill check? That is a lot of house ruling and should be labeled upfront as such. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ruut
    Sep 1 '15 at 6:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ A good house-ruling answer, but totally house-rule based. \$\endgroup\$
    – GreySage
    Sep 1 '15 at 19:05

By RAW, you simply can't perform a ritual by rolling a Knowledge check. A Knowledge check is quite literally: "Do I know this?" and usually* nothing else.
Of course, while you can't summon an imp with just a good knowledge check, you could ask the DM if you know the right ritual for it, and possibly do the ritual with a Spellcraft check.

*There are some classes that get extra bonuses from having a high knowledge skill.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Skill synergies simply do not exist in Pathfinder at all, and linking a new player to a website that is entirely superseded by the actual rules is not helpful in the slightest. \$\endgroup\$
    – MrLemon
    Aug 31 '15 at 15:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MrLemon I'm sorry, I wasn't aware. My bad. \$\endgroup\$
    – Joninean
    Sep 1 '15 at 6:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Joninean What rituals are you talking about? \$\endgroup\$
    – Ruut
    Sep 1 '15 at 6:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ruut No specific ritual, actually. It was an example of how a Knowledge check wouldn't be completely useless in his situation. \$\endgroup\$
    – Joninean
    Sep 1 '15 at 14:27

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