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I am playing a game where the DM has ruled that conjuration (summoning) is more similar to conjuration (calling).

Specifically what is happening is that the manifestation of what I am summoning is a specific creature that will remember past summonings. So when I send a summon down a corridor that I am pretty sure is trapped, if they set it off and are injured, they will remember it (including, if I talked to the party about it, that I knew it was trapped) every time I summon them.

I showed him a related question and was given the following response:

You nave the raw right in the magic rules right here, I have no idea what James Jacobs is talking about.

Summoning: A summoning spell instantly brings a creature or object to a place you designate. When the spell ends or is dispelled, a summoned creature is instantly sent back to where it came from, but a summoned object is not sent back unless the spell description specifically indicates this. A summoned creature also goes away if it is killed or if its hit points drop to 0 or lower, but it is not really dead. It takes 24 hours for the creature to reform, during which time it can't be summoned again.

The reason he has done this is because of commentary in the invisible stalkers block.

Over time, or in the service of a particularly vile master, invisible stalkers form negative opinions of these creatures of flesh and bone, leading to their tendency to pervert their instructions and cause harm to their masters. For older and more experienced invisible stalkers, the only thing protecting those who summon them is the magic that binds them. These creatures automatically try to use inconsistencies in the wording of their tasks and literal twists on the intention to find a way to inconvenience, injure, or even kill the priest or arcanist that brought them to the plane.

And some wording under the description of conjuration

When the spell ends or is dispelled, a summoned creature is instantly sent back to where it came from.

and

A summoned creature also goes away if it is killed or if its hit points drop to 0 or lower, but it is not really dead. It takes 24 hours for the creature to reform, during which time it can't be summoned again.

I have an ability which allows me to keep my higher level summons for a very long time, at least all day. So with this increased amount of usage, I fear that I am going to start having problems with my common summons in the near future.

How can I work with my summons under these conditions? If I can't risk my summons to prevent risk to myself, then I'm not sure why I'd bother summoning them. I don't want to need to have very carefully worded commands for everything.

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    \$\begingroup\$ What does the 80% of the middle of this question have to do with anything? Your GM's motivation isn't important and it'll derail this question into arguing about that. I'd suggest cutting this down to the first two and last one paragraphs. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Oct 27 '16 at 2:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also, do you have any reason to believe it being "the same creature" will lead your GM to ignore the other part of Summon Monster where "It attacks your opponents to the best of its ability. If you can communicate with the creature, you can direct it not to attack, to attack particular enemies, or to perform other actions."? \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Oct 27 '16 at 2:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ That will still work, but Ive been using tongues to instruct the higher level summons to do more and give far more complex commands. Currently we are in an area where divination magic does not work, so tongues no longer functions and since I have very few languages Ive had issues instructing them as is. \$\endgroup\$ – Fering Oct 27 '16 at 5:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well then so what is the specific problem you're having or "fearing"? If they still obey your commands they won't just not fight or go down a hallway.... \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Oct 27 '16 at 12:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ What I fear is that they will stop listening. Baring outside forces I am safe, but what about my allies? If I need a meatshield and one wont walk in front of me, what can I do? \$\endgroup\$ – Fering Oct 27 '16 at 16:41
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It sounds like you need to be nice to your summons. When they first appear, give them a pep talk about how important your quest is, and how exciting an adventure it's going to be, and how you really appreciate their help. (If your diplomacy score is bad, get someone else to do it.) During downtime, spend some of your unused spell slots to summon your monsters; give them some spending money, if appropriate, and roleplay how they're getting a nice vacation. Remind your DM that death for a summoned creature doesn't mean the same thing as death for a mortal. And, when adventuring, try to be a little more careful about getting them killed.

Some summons are mindless or nearly so. For example, on the Summon I list, I see that the viper has 1 intelligence and the fire beetle has no intelligence score. It's probably safe to use those guys as trap detectors.


When the DM starts issuing house rules specifically to make your character weaker, often that's a sign that there's a deeper problem that needs to be addressed. You might try talking with him outside the game to see if something is up.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It sounds like treating summons this way is an established practice in his games and I am new to the group. \$\endgroup\$ – Fering Oct 27 '16 at 5:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ Even more - you can teach your intelligent summoned creatures things - it probably shouldn't be something as powerful as allowing them to gain feats, but you can teach celestial/fiendish creatures tricks (like normal animals), and plan intricate strategies with sentient creatures (e.g. when you summon 3 elementals, one will attack while the other two will flank / defend etc.) - there was even a variant for 3.5 Edition where, if you managed to somehow send equipment to "your" creature's dimension, they would be equipped with it when summoned. This is a blessing, not a curse... \$\endgroup\$ – G0BLiN Oct 27 '16 at 18:19

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