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In order to make the most effect of something that has been summoned, you need to be able to communicate with it. As there are many summon spells this means there is a large number of languages.

Tongues

This spell grants the creature touched the ability to speak and understand the language of any intelligent creature, whether it is a racial tongue or a regional dialect. The subject can speak only one language at a time, although it may be able to understand several languages. Tongues does not enable the subject to speak with creatures who don't speak. The subject can make itself understood as far as its voice carries. This spell does not predispose any creature addressed toward the subject in any way.

I'm sure I've seen it before but cant find it, but what counts as an intelligent creature?
Can I cast the spell on myself and speak with every summoned creature (provided it counts as intelligent)?
If that does not work, can I cast this spell on my summons so they can understand me, as the spell doesn't say the target must be intelligent?

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  1. I'm sure I've seen it before but cant find it, but what counts as an intelligent creature?

Any creature with an intelligence score.

The Intelligence section of the Ability Scores chapter clarifies that:

Intelligence determines how well your character learns and reasons. This ability is important for wizards because it affects their spellcasting ability in many ways. Creatures of animal-level instinct have Intelligence scores of 1 or 2. Any creature capable of understanding speech has a score of at least 3. A character with an Intelligence score of 0 is comatose. Some creatures do not possess an Intelligence score. Their modifier is +0 for any Intelligence-based skills or checks.

I bolded the part that should interest you more. That section also gives a a couple of exceptions for creatures with no intelligence score:

Animals have Intelligence scores of 1 or 2 (no creature with an Intelligence score of 3 or higher can be an animal).

Oozes do not have an Intelligence score, and as such they have immunity to all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects). An ooze with an Intelligence score loses this trait. Regular plants, such as one finds growing in gardens and fields, lack Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores; even though plants are alive, they are objects, not creatures.

Vermin do not have an Intelligence score, and as such they have immunity to all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, morale effects, patterns, and phantasms). Mindless creatures have no feats or skills. A vermin-like creature with an Intelligence score is usually either an animal or a magical beast, depending on its other abilities.

And the int score table gives us three examples of creatures that do not have an Intelligence score (their Intelligence is "-"):

Zombie, golem, ochre jelly

The Animal subtype also confirms that a creature with 3 or more intelligence is not an animal. But be careful to not confuse that with animal companions with high int scores.

Now, we also know that animals can be trained, and even learn how to understand speech (with ranks on Linguistics). But most animals cannot speak unless you get them a Circlet of Speaking.

Tongues does not enable the subject to speak with creatures who don't speak.

This clause on the spell description is the only thing that prevents the spell from being used to understand animals, so we have to use Speak with Animals instead.

  1. Can I cast the spell on myself and speak with every summoned creature (provided it counts as intelligent)?

Yes.

You are satisfying all the requeriments for the spell to work.

  1. If that does not work, can I cast this spell on my summons so they can understand me, as the spell doesn't say the target must be intelligent?

Yes.

However, the spell says your target can understand speech, but does not say they acquire the necessary intelligence score to follow and rationalize whatever is told him.

They will be limited by their own intelligence score. So an animal will understand "danger", "hunger" or "help", but will not understand "what direction did the bandit go?", because that is probably too much for their limited intelligence.

Score Examples Description

-: Zombie, golem, ochre jelly

0: Comatose

1: Carrion crawler, purple worm, camel Lives by the most basic instincts, not capable of logic or reason

2-3: Tiger, hydra, dog, horse Animal-level intelligence, acts mostly on instinct but can be trained

4–5: Otyugh, griffon, displacer beast Can speak but is apt to react instinctively and impulsively, sometimes resorts to charades to express thoughts

6–7: Troll, hell hound, ogre, yrthak Dull-witted or slow, often misuses and mispronounces words

8–9: Troglodyte, centaur, gnoll Has trouble following trains of thought, forgets most unimportant things

10–11: Human, bugbear, wight, night hag Knows what they need to know to get by

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Also worth mentioning - A creature summoned with Summon Monster that you cannon communicate with (yet) will immediately attack your opponents. Depending on it's speed and where it appeared, it may not be possible / strategically sound to catch up and touch it (as part of casting Tongues on it)... \$\endgroup\$ – G0BLiN Sep 14 '16 at 16:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, note that Camels are actually Int 2, and not 1 as that line in pfsrd suggests... \$\endgroup\$ – G0BLiN Sep 14 '16 at 16:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ A couple of animals were actually forgotten when the book first came out, and got their stats later: paizo.com/threads/rzs2k4pv?Bestiary-Where-is-the-Camel#11 \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Sep 14 '16 at 17:11
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Yes, as long as the creature has at least Intelligence 3 and knows a language that it can speak.

Any creature capable of understanding speech has a score of at least 3. Link

As written, the creature also needs to be able to speak - so have some way of vocalising its language.

You would not be able to communicate with a creature that only uses telepathy (which counts as communication but not as speaking) or one that is mute and communicates via signs/colours/interpretive dance, for example.

Otherwise, even animals are still 'intelligent' although only act on instinct. They still have the capacity to learn, even if they can't speak.

Creatures of animal-level instinct have Intelligence scores of 1 or 2.

With regards casting the spell on the creature With INT 1 or 2 itself, as written it would work and seems to gloss over whether the creature could actually physically vocalise the language or not.

However the creature isn't suddenly more intelligent so would no doubt have great difficulty actually expressing thoughts and concepts, if it would even think to try in the first place! They may not even understand the concepts you are trying to convey.

Understanding the words doesn't necessarily impart understanding the meaning behind them.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Mostly I was going to be commanding the ones with less intelligence to go here or attack that. Not planning on using those ones for more complex tasks which likely needs a better summons. I am not putting ranks into handle animal. \$\endgroup\$ – Fering Sep 13 '16 at 17:23
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Any creature with an Intelligence ability score of 0 or higher is an intelligent creature (although those with an Intelligence score of 0 are comatose); those creatures without an Intelligence score (i.e. Int —, Int ∅) are nonintelligent creatures (and usually also mindless and usually immune to mind-affecting effects). However, creatures possessing an Intelligence score of only 1 or 2 can't really be considered sapient despite their intelligence: such creatures are usually guided by instinct exclusively and lack language; typical animals, for example, don't have Intelligence scores higher than 2 and can be trained using the skill Handle Animal.

That lack of language part is important here. Although it's possible for an intelligent creature that uses a spell (e.g. speak with animals) to converse with an Intelligence 1 or 2 creature, such a creature doesn't inherently possess a language, the magic instead providing a means for the caster to understand the creature. This means if a caster casts on himself the spell tongues, and summons a creature that has no language, the caster—despite the presence of the tongues spell—still can't speak to the summoned creature because the summoned creature just doesn't have a language!

Instead, the summoner could cast the tongues spell on the summoned creature (although the summoner might have to chase the creature as it pursues the summoner's enemies). The tongues spell enables just about any creature capable of creating noise to make itself understood.

(The D&D 3.5 template celestial et al. increases a creature's Intelligence score if less than 3 to 3, usually enabling such a summoned creature in that game to grasp Common ("Any creature with an Intelligence score of 3 or higher understands at least one language (Common, unless noted otherwise)" (MM 7)). Pathfinder eliminates the changed Intelligence score due to the template celestial.)

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