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5E Planar Ally is it the most powerful conjuration spell in the game? How do you run it?

gyor

Explorer
Actually, the 9th-level Gate spell resembles Planar Ally. A planar creature shows up to negotiate. A deal may or may not happen.
I think the Planar Ally spell comes the summoned being to at least begin negiotations, and keeps them to the agreement and not killing you.

Gate on the other hand offers you not even that modest protect, its technically more powerful, heck if you catch a deity visiting another plane where it can't block your gate spell, and you know its name, you can compel the deity through the Gate. Of course at that point you die, slaughtered by the angry God.

And Gate isn't limited by type of creature, you could summon a Kraken say, or a Nymph, or a Dragon or a Lich from another plane. But you gain neither control nor safety from what you summon.
 

Saeviomagy

Villager
My guess is that the writers started with most of the planar summoning spells being on the wizard and warlock lists, then had a PR crisis over demon summoning as a PC ability and removed them.
 
My guess is that the writers started with most of the planar summoning spells being on the wizard and warlock lists, then had a PR crisis over demon summoning as a PC ability and removed them.
That is a good theory, and on top of that fiend summoning has been a problem for some parties in the past... They did have demon summoning spells in the Old Black Magic UA (but only for wizards and sorcerers, poor warlocks got the shaft), but that was a while ago, and there isn't any evidence that those spells are going to be official soon (or even ever).
 

Yaarel

Explorer
My guess is that the writers started with most of the planar summoning spells being on the wizard and warlock lists, then had a PR crisis over demon summoning as a PC ability and removed them.
Options for Evil characters should be in the DMs Guide or in a separate splatbook, anyway.

Something there for those who want it, and something absent for those who dont.



Magic items are in the DMs Guide for that exact reason, and magic items are far less controversial.
 
To me the balance is how the spell works.

The creature is not inclined to help you. They were not sitting around the Outer Planes having signed into the PA queue just waiting to be summoned. Also the spell should not be used casually. A player better know very well whom they want to summon and have the proper bribe in hand or else.

Also, how to avoid the Good aligned cleric from using it to summon a demon or devil?

That is easy.

The devil arrives wanting souls, contracts in hand ready to be bound to the devil. The demon? It wants babies, and it wants them so it can devour them right then and there in front of the character. That is what happens when good tries to work with true evil.
 
I do miss the proper bribes.....

The wizard version of this could be something like: you put in a call to the cosmic temp agency, they send something, you have to make a DC int check (vs. the monsters CR, with advantage if they send you what you ask for, disadvantage otherwise) to see if you can figure out the proper bribe (and have the materials on hand to provide it). If you fail the check by more than 5, the monster will beat on you for 1 round before returning to the temp agency, failing by less than 5, it just disappears. You have to provide gold (for the temp agency) regardless, plus the cost of the bribe's components if you are successful. The spell doesn't work if there is a magic circle anywhere within 100 feet of you when you cast it (it gives the temp agency a bad name if you can get out of paying the monster its bribe).

The warlock would be the same, except it would be a cha check to see if you can convince the monster what you have on hand is what it wants.

I call it Planar Lackey (level 5).
 

Saeviomagy

Villager
That is easy.

The devil arrives wanting souls, contracts in hand ready to be bound to the devil. The demon? It wants babies, and it wants them so it can devour them right then and there in front of the character. That is what happens when good tries to work with true evil.
I find more subtle devils and demons to be more effective.

Even if a character summons a demon and has it kill evildoers... that just means they cannot be redeemed, and flow straight to the lower planes. I'm sure I've read a classic story to that effect (in which a man saves his own life in a bargain, but doing so causes two other men to fall out, one murders the other and is himself hanged, and both men go to hell)

All you have to do is make it real obvious that's what has happened post-hoc. Have the demon pop up and say thanks. Or say "Hey, last time worked out so well for both of us... how about we handle problem X for you? No charge. All on us. You don't have to worry."

Heck, most of the time you can just let the game unfold without a thought to the machinations of evil. You can just find threads to tie together AFTER something goes wrong. Then have the demon/devil show up and muhhahahaha about it. Preferably before offering a terrible deal to fix the whole shebang.
 

gyor

Explorer
It also depends on the demon, smart ones may want to go straight to mindless carnage, but they know the constraints of the spell, they might be Chaotic Evil, but that doesn't mean they aren't cunning and can't play the long game.
 

gyor

Explorer
Still for fiends Succubi are better then devils and demons for summoning, more likely to accept gold I think them some absurdly complex devilish deal and less likely to go crazy and slaughter innocent people in the process of keeping their word.

Here is the list in descending order for safety for summoning.

Celestials safest, but we don't have a lot of choices right now, Conjure Celestial is usually better spell for that anyways.

Elementals all kinds, great variety, but some can be evil, other unpredictable, and some simply alien.

Cambions: Tied with Elementals, some good deities employ none evil Cambions, like Sharess. That doesn't mean they are completely safe.

Succubi, Incubi, and Nighthags: Dangerous, but not to complex for deals to be made with, not so pyscho that you have to worry about collateral damage.

Rakshasa: Lawful Evil, but likely more interested in material plane power, more likely then most other fiends to work for gold.

Devils: There word is there bond, but their cunning is so dangerous and their deals complex, usually, that doing deals with them is a mine field.

Yuogoloths- Mercenaries, but pure evil ones, and they have a taste for souls.

Demons: Some will make deals, even generous ones, but then twist them for mass slaughter.

I can see guides/books suggesting who to deal with in every cataogory, what to expect, what to offer, names, warnings and so on. Churches likely have hierarchies of divine servants, and none deity cosmic beings that would offer their servants and at what price, such as Good Elemental Princes, Djinn Kings, Empyreal Titans and so on.
 

gyor

Explorer
Still for fiends Succubi are better then devils and demons for summoning, more likely to accept gold I think them some absurdly complex devilish deal and less likely to go crazy and slaughter innocent people in the process of keeping their word.

Here is the list in descending order for safety for summoning.

Celestials safest, but we don't have a lot of choices right now, Conjure Celestial is usually better spell for that anyways.

Elementals all kinds, great variety, but some can be evil, other unpredictable, and some simply alien.

Cambions: Tied with Elementals, some good deities employ none evil Cambions, like Sharess. That doesn't mean they are completely safe.

Succubi, Incubi, and Nighthags: Dangerous, but not to complex for deals to be made with, not so pyscho that you have to worry about collateral damage.

Rakshasa: Lawful Evil, but likely more interested in material plane power, more likely then most other fiends to work for gold.

Devils: There word is there bond, but their cunning is so dangerous and their deals complex, usually, that doing deals with them is a mine field.

Yuogoloths- Mercenaries, but pure evil ones, and they have a taste for souls.

Demons: Some will make deals, even generous ones, but then twist them for mass slaughter.

I can see guides/books suggesting who to deal with in every cataogory, what to expect, what to offer, names, warnings and so on. Churches likely have hierarchies of divine servants, and none deity cosmic beings that would offer their servants and at what price, such as Good Elemental Princes, Djinn Kings, Empyreal Titans and so on.
 
The devil arrives wanting souls, contracts in hand ready to be bound to the devil. The demon? It wants babies, and it wants them so it can devour them right then and there in front of the character. That is what happens when good tries to work with true evil.
Yes, good idea, but it still sort of misses the point. It's about having access to the capability in the first place, while the class that should have access to the capability doesn't.

As an analogy, it would be like giving paladins a very nature-oriented spell that neither rangers nor druids get for some reason. (Let's say conjure woodland being and conjure fey were paladin, but not druid or ranger, for instance). Sure, it might fit for an Oath of the Ancients paladin, but it would fit more for ranger and druid, who don't get access, while all paladins do.
 

gyor

Explorer
It does fit the Warlock more, its the Warlock, Cleric, Wizard, and Favoured Soul equally, but for different reasons. Only the Cleric and Favoured Soul get it however which is unfortunate.
 

Saeviomagy

Villager
I think the spell should be on everyone's lists. There's not a class that doesn't have someone somewhere that would be willing to bargain for aid.
 

Yaarel

Explorer
I think any spell that takes 10 minutes or longer to cast should have been made rituals.
I agree.

I think the reason they required certain long casting times to spend a slot, was as a mechanism to prevent spamming. This is often the case for summoning spells, for example.
 
I agree.

I think the reason they required certain long casting times to spend a slot, was as a mechanism to prevent spamming. This is often the case for summoning spells, for example.
True, although most summoning spells require concentration which makes spamming less likely (although if it was a ritual, you could summon one creature and when it dies, summon another until your enemies are all dead).

If I was going to make planar ally a ritual, I would limit it so that you could only cast it ritually in the middle of a natural disaster (only get elementals), only at a place where a horrific event recently occurred (within 7 days and you need to finish the spell on the stroke of midnight, only get fiends), or only at a site where a great evil was killed (within the last 7 days and you need to finish the spell at noon, only get celestials). That should cut down on spamming, although I could see some NPC (and maybe PC) running from disaster to disaster or maybe tragedy to tragedy, summoning a horde of allies.....
 

Saeviomagy

Villager
[MENTION=6801226]MechaTarrasque[/MENTION] - spamming is handled by the DM getting annoyed with you and simply having creatures refuse your bargain.

As for all long casting times being rituals? That would be problematic. There's quite a few that would have serious implications if they could be used without a resource cost.

That said, I believe the authors could have been a lot more liberal with the ritual tag. There's some obvious candidates like this spell, magic circle, hallow etc.
 

gyor

Explorer
[MENTION=6801226]MechaTarrasque[/MENTION] - spamming is handled by the DM getting annoyed with you and simply having creatures refuse your bargain.

As for all long casting times being rituals? That would be problematic. There's quite a few that would have serious implications if they could be used without a resource cost.

That said, I believe the authors could have been a lot more liberal with the ritual tag. There's some obvious candidates like this spell, magic circle, hallow etc.
The cost alone reins that in, spamming it would cost a fortune, especially if the price kept rising for each summons after the first. Plus its dangerous, even Celestial might not have the same sense of right or wrong as a mortal.
 

Saeviomagy

Villager
The cost alone reins that in, spamming it would cost a fortune, especially if the price kept rising for each summons after the first. Plus its dangerous, even Celestial might not have the same sense of right or wrong as a mortal.
Yeah, but that means the DM suddenly needs to keep a tight rein on cash. I much prefer being able to hand out all the money I feel makes sense and having the PCs unable to directly spend it on completing adventures, so they have to buy into the world with it instead.
 

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