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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default The Demonomicon Tome might be what's needed to give summoning a new lease on life.

    1) As of the Essentials Rules Companion, everything can do a basic attack. There's no special command most of the time for summon creatures to do THE basic attack, but if you're able to give the right command (typically a standard action) they can take it. If you don't believe this is RAW and RAI, the rest of this post isn't going to help.

    2.) However, unless a summoned creature has a command to do a basic attack it's likely to be garbage even if you command it to make one. First of all, it's vs. AC and they're not going to be getting weapon proficiency. Secondly, it's also very likely that the arcane summoner has an awful strength and dexterity score unless they're a Sorcerer or a Swordmage, and Sorcerers and Swordmages don't natively get arcane summoning powers. Essentials summoned monsters come with basic attacks, but since these summoning powers don't have the implement keyword and don't get the various implement goodies like Frostcheese, Dragonshards, etc. the damage is very limited.

    3.) There are some creatures that don't have any special commands for basic attacks but still have the Implement keyword. This is VERY important. If you're something like a INT/STR Genasi Wizard, you can technically spend standard actions (unless you're under something like Rush of Battle) to order it to make basic attacks. You'd normally never want to do this unless you had something like a Warlord in the party.

    4.) There's a magical item known as the Demonomicon. Here's the text: Utility Power * Encounter (Free Action) Trigger: You use an arcane summoning power. Effect: The summoned creature’s origin changes to elemental, and it gains the demon keyword. The summoned creature gains a +2 power bonus to attack rolls and a +4 power bonus to damage rolls. In addition, if the creature normally does nothing if you end your turn without giving it a command, it instead takes a free action to shift 1 square and make a basic attack against the creature nearest to it.

    So, here's a theoretical.

    You are a level 15 INT/STR wizard with a Demonomicon. You have the L6 Utility Power Summon Iron Cohort and the L10 Utility Power Summon Hammerfist Crusher. Both of these creatures have the Implement Keyword, thank God. You'd love to have the Summon Shadow Serpent power for your L2, but it's lacking the Implement Keyword. No biggie. You can still use the Demonomicon every combat with these things to have a monster that (with some careful positioning) will be making melee basic attacks without you devoting extra actions.

    You have a decent strength score and the implement keyword, but since you're always targeting AC your attacks are fairly inaccurate even with the power bonus. That said, since you likely have a 22 in strength and intelligence and at least a +2 weapliment, that's easily an extra 1d4+12 extra damage a round, no need for actions. And that damage can go way up! There's frostcheese, there's Dual Implement Spellcaster (ironically, DIS is one of the few ways to juice the damage of the Heroes summons), there's dragonshards, all types of fun.

    Because you're using your utility powers for this extra damage, it doesn't get in the way of your normal daily powers. The Demonomicon's power is an encounter power, so it doesn't use up magical item dailies. And since it's a minor action to summon these creatures, it won't even get in the way of your normal offense.

    That said, there are still some major drawbacks. There are very few arcane summoning spells with the implement (or weapon) keyword, and even fewer that aren't already daily powers. They pretty much all belong to the wizard. You're also locked into STR as a secondary stat. You could technically go DEX (Demonomicon does only specific basic attack, not melee basic attack) but then you have to handle feeding/equipping the creature with ranged thrown weapons. It's still a summoning spell, and you don't even have CON as a decent stat, so it's still made out of paper and will drain your healing surges.

    But if you're an INT/STR wizard who meets all of these steep requirements, the Demonomicon will make summoning a viable side-tactic that will fit into your regularly-scheduled blasting.

  2. - Top - End - #2
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    Default Re: The Demonomicon Tome might be what's needed to give summoning a new lease on life

    Can you quote the bit where summons get a basic attack that is key'd off the Strength of the Summoner?

    I assume that is based of (a) some text that says "everything has a basic attack, str vs AC, 1d4+str damage" and (b) some other text that says use the summoner's attributes for attacks?

    Then, there is some text that states if the summoned *power* has the implement keyword, and the summoned *monster* has a weapon keyword basic attack, the summoned monster's basic attack gains the implement keyword? (attacks listed in the power clearly gain the implement keyword; I'm wondering how this generalizes to other powers of the creature)

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    Kurald Galain's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Demonomicon Tome might be what's needed to give summoning a new lease on life

    Summoning doesn't need "a new lease on life"; summoning is pretty effective as it is (for a wizard or druid, at least).

    That said, demonomicon is definitely a useful item, primarily for its +2/+4 bonus. But why on earth would any wizard want a measly 15 int?
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    Default Re: The Demonomicon Tome might be what's needed to give summoning a new lease on life

    I think it is "level 15" and your primary stats are "int/str". Not a level wizard with 15 int/str.

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    Kurald Galain's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Demonomicon Tome might be what's needed to give summoning a new lease on life

    Oh, right.

    Hm, let me look up my paragon-tier summoner (level 13, actually). He doesn't have a demonomicon because it's a rare item. His summons deal... 2d8+24 without requiring a standard action? Ok, so I find 1d4+12 not very impressive, then
    Guide to the Magus, the Pathfinder Gish class.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Demonomicon Tome might be what's needed to give summoning a new lease on life

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain
    His summons deal... 2d8+24 without requiring a standard action? Ok, so I find 1d4+12 not very impressive, then
    Yeah, I got pretty lazy. I just assumed an INT/STR split of 22, a +2 implement, and the power bonus from Demonomicon and called it a day. I didn't add additional goodies like DIS or the Siberys shards.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yakk View Post
    Can you quote the bit where summons get a basic attack that is key'd off the Strength of the Summoner?

    I assume that is based of (a) some text that says "everything has a basic attack, str vs AC, 1d4+str damage" and (b) some other text that says use the summoner's attributes for attacks?

    Then, there is some text that states if the summoned *power* has the implement keyword, and the summoned *monster* has a weapon keyword basic attack, the summoned monster's basic attack gains the implement keyword? (attacks listed in the power clearly gain the implement keyword; I'm wondering how this generalizes to other powers of the creature)
    To answer both of those questions, here's the relevant bits through the Rules Compendium, page 120, 121, 238, and 239. Emphasis are mine.

    Allied Creature: A summoned creature is an ally to its summoner and the summoner's allies.

    Attacks and Checks: If a summoning power allows the summoned creature to attack (editor's note: for example, Summon Shadow Serpent explicitly does NOT allow you to take actions that aren't explicitly listed in the description, and they don't have an attack action) the summoner makes an attack through the creature, as specified in the power description. If the summoned creature can make a skill check or an ability check, the summoner makes the check. The attack or check uses the summoner's game statistics, unless the description of the power or creature specify otherwise. Attacks and checks made through the creature do not include any temporary bonuses or penalties to the summoner's statistics.

    Basic Attack: The following two basic attack powers - one melee and one ranged - are powers that everyone can use, regardless of class. Using either of these powers is usually referred to as making a basic attack. Some classes provide alternatives to these default powers, and each monster has its own basic attack power, which is noted in its stat block with a circle around the power's icon.

    ... A creature uses a melee basic attack to make an opportunity attack or to make a charge attack. Even if it has no weapon equipped, it can make a melee basic attack using an unarmed strike (such as a kick or a punch) or another improved weapon.

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    Default Re: The Demonomicon Tome might be what's needed to give summoning a new lease on life

    So "If a summoning power allows the summoned creature to attack" -- you are imputing "by making the creature exist, the summoning power is what allows the summoned creature to make a basic attack"?

    Because if the basic attack isn't what allows the summoned creature to attack, then using the summoners game statistics is wrong. (From what I can tell, no rule actually describes what stats to use in that case) You could impute that you should use the summoner's strength because the summoned creature uses the summoner's strength if they try to lift something, but the rules *don't* say that the summoned creature actually has that strength (it jumps through hoops *not* to say that), just that the summoner's strength should be used in (1) ability checks, (2) attacks that are allowed by the summoning spell.

    I'm also confused by "Summon Shadow Serpent" note. They explicitly state that the Summon Shadow Serpent does not have an attack allowed by the summoning spell, and the summon has no attack power, and state that this is part of the "Summon Shadow Serpent" power (not a rule added here). Doesn't that sort of throw out your entire chain of reasoning pretty explicitly? I don't see anything special in "Summon Shadow Serpent" that blocks using a basic attack using your logic, which implies that it has a basic attack power, which is an attack power; the rules text meanwhile states that the correct conclusion is "it doesn't have an attack power", which means your chain of logic cannot be correct for "Summon Shadow Serpent".

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Demonomicon Tome might be what's needed to give summoning a new lease on life

    About Summon Shadow Serpent: the key is that the melee basic attack allowed by the Demonomicon is a free action, you can only command the Shadow Serpent to take actions listed in its stat block, and most importantly that all summons can only take actions by drawing from the summoner's action pool. If the melee basic attack allowed by the Demonomicon was not a free action, just something the summon could now do (like Instinctive Actions) it'd be ambiguous, but since it's a free action it's not ambiguous.

    You make an interesting point about the summoned creature being asked to do things that it doesn't have statistics for, but that's a general divide-by-zero error with all summons, not with this specific trick. This problem does come up with lifting and with powers that key off of a target's game statistics, but summoned monster attacks, whether basic or otherwise, don't use the creature's statistics. But if divide by zero sitautions bother you in general, you should ban summoning altogether, because it's a problem whether or not you use the Demonomicon. But the Demonomicon doesn't require you to divide by zero.

    So "If a summoning power allows the summoned creature to attack" -- you are imputing "by making the creature exist, the summoning power is what allows the summoned creature to make a basic attack"?
    There are some summons that don't allow the summoner to make an attack at all, such as Summon Shadow Serpent. You can only command the Summon Shadow Serpent to take actions listed in his stat block, and they don't have an attack listed as one of their actions. Therefore you can't command them to attack. This might prove to be a problem if some effect allows them to take an attack without using up an action (not even a free action) but the basis attack form the Demonomicon is a basic attack so it's a hard blocker.

    But without such a restriction, yes, by making the creature exist the summoning power is what allows the summoned creature to make a basic attack so long as the summoner spends the appropriate action. A summon is a creature and all creatures can use basic attacks. However, the creatures' statistics then become pointless for making a basic attack because the text of summoning powers replace a summoned creatures' statistics with the summoner's. Since the Summon Hammerfist Crusher and the Summon Iron Cohort have the Implement keyword, the summoner making the attack roll for the summoner's basic attack can use implement properties on the basic attack roll.
    Last edited by Deathtongue; 2019-08-30 at 10:39 AM.

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    Default Re: The Demonomicon Tome might be what's needed to give summoning a new lease on life

    Quote Originally Posted by Deathtongue View Post
    Since the Summon Hammerfist Crusher and the Summon Iron Cohort have the Implement keyword, the summoner making the attack roll for the summoner's basic attack can use implement properties on the basic attack roll.
    I don't see how that follows.

    More to the point, the demonomicon is a rare. Rares are meant to be completely unavailable to PCs, by default. It's also of a higher level than almost all campaigns play at (according to WOTC, almost nobody gets higher than heroic). So if you want to give summoning "a new lease on life" this is unlikely to help in almost any campaign.
    Last edited by Kurald Galain; 2019-08-30 at 11:10 AM.
    Guide to the Magus, the Pathfinder Gish class.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Demonomicon Tome might be what's needed to give summoning a new lease on life

    I have to admit, I'm not familiar with the post-Essentials magic item rules. Does Enchant Magic Item no longer allow you to craft rare items?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain
    I don't see how that follows.
    There are some summons that allow you to add your implement properties to the summon's attacks (such as Summon Fire Warrior) and there are summons that don't allow you to do this, such as everything you can summon with Summon Shadow Servant. The summons that can make attacks but don't have the Implement keyword tend to be a lot weaker damage-wise, because they're not benefiting from implement properties / critical hit bonuses / implement powers. In either case, the summons make attacks using your statistics.

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    Default Re: The Demonomicon Tome might be what's needed to give summoning a new lease on life

    Quote Originally Posted by Deathtongue View Post
    I have to admit, I'm not familiar with the post-Essentials magic item rules. Does Enchant Magic Item no longer allow you to craft rare items?
    Per Ess rules, EMI only creates common items, and anything uncommon or rare is only available in randomly-selected packages; you can never pick your own items as a player.

    Of course, most DMs sensibly ignore that rule. But that doesn't mean they allow rares; there's only a handful of rares (only one total in heroic tier, IIRC) and they tend to be poorly written.
    Guide to the Magus, the Pathfinder Gish class.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Demonomicon Tome might be what's needed to give summoning a new lease on life

    Kurald, if I understand you correctly, it sounds like DMs ignore the rarity rules for magical items when it comes to uncommon items (because most damage-type changers are uncommon items and not having reliable access to them would break most builds) but they don't ignore it for rare items, is that right?

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    Default Re: The Demonomicon Tome might be what's needed to give summoning a new lease on life

    Quote Originally Posted by Deathtongue View Post
    Kurald, if I understand you correctly, it sounds like DMs ignore the rarity rules for magical items when it comes to uncommon items (because most damage-type changers are uncommon items and not having reliable access to them would break most builds) but they don't ignore it for rare items, is that right?
    Yes. Well that's because 99% of all pre-Ess items are "uncommon", and only a handful of wonkily-written post-Ess items are "rare". No seriously, the ratio of common:uncommon:rare items is something like 50 to 9001 to 12; you really cannot ignore uncommons except by going item-less and using inherent bonuses.
    Guide to the Magus, the Pathfinder Gish class.

    "I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums. I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that." -- ChubbyRain
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    Default Re: The Demonomicon Tome might be what's needed to give summoning a new lease on life

    Mostly because something like 90% of items are uncommon. The Essentials rarity system was an attempt to appeal to DMs who wanted to control what items their players get, rather than letting them choose.

    Living Forgotten Realms organized play allowed players to generally pick uncommon items each level, but usually not buy them (except as end of adventure rewards in some modules). Purchasing common items was unrestricted, and rares were limited to 1/tier and typically only specific ones were available in any given adventure.

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