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Summoned Creatures


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#1 Ieqo

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 07:57 PM

Here's a sticky one for my fellow 3.5 experts:

Do creatures who gain the Celestial or Fiendish template also gain an alignment subtype? My specific quandry is as follows:

My players are creating characters for a trip into Goodman Games' Whiterock Castle. One of them is pretty clearly looking to make a Summoning specialist. Problem is that a special feature of the area causes summonings of creatures with alignment subtypes to go slightly awry. Now obviously certain creatures from the summoning lists clearly fall into this category (archons, "bags of snot", etc), but what about the normal creatures that get templated?

The core rules are unclear on the point , so it'll come down to a ruling on my part, and I'm inclined to discourage the player from depending too heavily on the summoning, since the PHB does state that a spell that summonins a creature with a fiendish/celestial template gains an evil/good descriptor. This to me suggests that the templated creature gains the alignment subtype.

Anyone care to argue the other way?
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#2 Keener

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 08:21 PM

While I am no expert in this area I do remember that some of the things that Steve (I think) summoned in either Warlords or Ptolus got extra damage against evil things because they were celestial and could smite which to me would mean they were Good. :D But I am no expert.
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#3 Mordion

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 09:02 PM

Anyone care to argue the other way?


I don't know that I'm really up for an argument, but from looking at the Monster Manual, I'm inclined to disagree. The template says that celestial creatures gain the extraplanar subtype, but nothing about an alignment subtype, and the example of the Celestial Lion lists it only as "Large Magical Beast (Augmented Animal, Extraplanar.)" If it was supposed to have the (Good) subtype, I think it would be in there.

That said, I don't think it's an unreasonable house-rule, and I'm for anything that makes summoners' lives more difficult. :)
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#4 Ieqo

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 09:38 PM

It isn't that I want to make the summoner's life difficult, just that the summoning wierdness is an important part of the backstory (and one that the characters can't actually do anything about for many, many levels). I don't want the player to lock herself out of two entire schools, and burn two feats to make her really good at something I might not to allow her to do anyway. :-)

As it turns out, I made one of the starting rumors available to the player during character creation, warning her of potential problems. So basically, I sidestepped the issue and the problem is now less of a practical one, and more of an academic one--at least until her now-generalist wizard decides to test it.

I agree (and if I were the player in this case I'd argue) that the MM entries for the two templates say nothing of gaining the alignment subtype. The only thing that got me thinking about it in the first place is that last line of the description for Monster Summoning I in the PHB that suggests otherwise.
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#5 Mordion

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 11:40 PM

I agree (and if I were the player in this case I'd argue) that the MM entries for the two templates say nothing of gaining the alignment subtype. The only thing that got me thinking about it in the first place is that last line of the description for Monster Summoning I in the PHB that suggests otherwise.


Hm, that line does seem to imply that Fiendish Dire Rats are (Lawful) and (Evil), which is especially hard for me to swallow since the FDR (kind of like an ROUS, and not too much like an American president) in the monster manual is listed as being any evil alignment.

My opinion is that they screwed up the example in the spell description in the PHB, and that and $29.99 will get you a used copy of said PHB over at amazon.com. :)

Anyway, I'm glad the issue resolved itself, even if only temporarily.
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#6 muradib

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 11:45 PM

Well i belive that if a celric or another ali. specfic character wanted to use that spell they can't summon from the "evil" area, but for a wizard that ali. means little to their casting it doesn't mean much, the animals are usually neu. unless other wise stated. it's like plucking a random animal form a different plan, still neu. but physically different. since ali. is an out look on life and most animals lack the needed reasoning to define their actions it's usually been ruled in my other games as such.... sorry if i seem to wind about just got home and need me sleep.
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#7 Pencil-Monkey

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Posted 09 November 2009 - 06:58 AM

Even though natural, Prime Material Plane animals would be True Neutral due to having an Int of 2 (predators only), a lot of the source books describe the Planes as being a place where alignment is a physical force, literally infusing the residents of the Plane of Shiny Goodness with sunshine and rainbows. Should you choose to incorporate this interpretation in your game, this might mean that all creatures from an Aligned Plane would be of the appropriate alignment and behave accordingly (ie., Fiendish Gerbils would be more vicious than their regular, unflavored counterparts). Slightly more unlikely, it could mean that all creatures simply gain the appropriate subtypes without it effecting their behavior.

Now obviously certain creatures from the summoning lists clearly fall into this category (archons, "bags of snot", etc)...

You're allowing Snot as an alignment in your game? Would that be on the Good-Evil axis or the Lawful-Chaotic? :wink:
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#8 MelkiorWhiteblade

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Posted 09 November 2009 - 03:18 PM

At first I thought yes, they would get the subtype. But, I think unless it is explicitly stated, templated creatures don't get an alignment subtype, though they do get the alignment per the template as normal.

If it is helpful, I've got a formatted list in word format for summoned creatures with their templated stats.
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#9 woojitsu

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 12:50 AM

Even though natural, Prime Material Plane animals would be True Neutral due to having an Int of 2 (predators only), a lot of the source books describe the Planes as being a place where alignment is a physical force, literally infusing the residents of the Plane of Shiny Goodness with sunshine and rainbows. Should you choose to incorporate this interpretation in your game, this might mean that all creatures from an Aligned Plane would be of the appropriate alignment and behave accordingly (ie., Fiendish Gerbils would be more vicious than their regular, unflavored counterparts). Slightly more unlikely, it could mean that all creatures simply gain the appropriate subtypes without it effecting their behavior.


Fiendish gerbils also have the capacity to be vicious and evil because celestial and fiendish animals have an Intelligence of at least 3. I've thought before about throwing a pack of Int 14 fiendish creatures at a party and watching the players' horror as their enemies use tactics against them. :twisted:

You're right, though, about creatures of aligned planes being infused with that plane's alignment. According to the description of alignment in the MM glossary, this is exactly what happens.

Whether or not such creatures should gain an alignment subtype, however, would seem to be up to the DM. The descriptions of such subtypes do say that they are typically reserved for outsiders (celestial and fiendish creatures are magical beasts). Also, the fact that giving a creature such a subtype allows it to overcome some damage reductions that it would not otherwise be able to would incline me not to apply it.
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