Risky Business Partners

September 18th, 2018

Joshua Zaback

Obscure Arcana Archive

In books, movies, and TV, summoning is often accompanied by a serious risk. For your average Pathfinder character, however, the biggest risk in summoning is the attack of opportunity for casting the spell. With this week’s Obscure Arcana,I intend to add some of the fantastic flavor that accompanies the kind of risky summons found in other media, while providing new and exciting options for summoners of all stripes.


School abjuration; Level occultist 6, sorcerer/wizard 8, summoner 6
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, F (an oil lamp, ring, or bottle worth 5,000 gp, used as the target of this spell)
Range touch
Target object touched
Duration permanent (see text)
Saving Throw Will negates (object); Spell Resistance yes (object)

You trap the spirit of a genie in the object used as a focus for this spell, and can later conjure it forth to serve you, so long as the vessel remains intact. With this spell, you summon your choice of a djinni, efreeti, janni, marid, or shaitan within the object. The bound creature cannot use once-a-year spell-like abilities or grant wishes unless you also include a material component of sapphire dust worth 60,000 gp. The trapped genie can be called forth at will to serve you for up to 10 minutes. The summoned genie cannot attack you or your allies, and must obey your commands to the best of its abilities.

Each time the genie is summoned, roll 1d20. On a result of 20, the summoned genie is magically empowered, gaining the benefits of a haste spell for the duration of the summons. On a result of 1, however, the vessel binding the genie shatters, freeing the genie and allowing it to escape to its home plane, or to attack the character who bound it. You can trap a noble version of a genie in the vessel used for this spell (such as an efreet malik or a djinn vizier), but if you do, the chance of the vessel shattering is doubled, causing it to break open on a result of 1 or 2.

Genies bound for a long time in the vessel gain power over time, becoming more useful servants and more dangerous foes. After remaining in the vessel for 1 month, the genie gains the advanced simple template. After remaining bound for 1 year, the genie gains the giant simple template. These templates remain on the genie forever.


School conjuration (summoning); Level druid 4, shaman 4, sorcerer/wizard 4, summoner 3, witch 4
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M (ashes from a forest fire)
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft. / 2 levels)
Effect one summoned elemental
Duration 1 round/level (D), see text
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

You summon a raw elemental spirit from the inner planes to do your bidding. This spell summons a single creature with the elemental subtype whose total Hit Dice must be less than or equal to your caster level. The summoned creature acts immediately following your turn, and attacks your foes and defends your allies to the best of its ability. You can spend a standard action in order to take direct control over the summoned elemental for 1 round. At the end of each of the elemental’s turns, it makes a Will save to break free of your control; if the elemental has a Charisma score higher than your primary spellcasting ability score, it receives a +4 bonus on this saving throw. If it succeeds, you may no longer take direct control over the elemental or dismiss the spell, and for the remaining duration of the spell, the elemental creature attacks you and your allies to the best of its ability.


School conjuration (summoning); Level sorcerer/wizard 9, summoner 6
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M (a wet rag)
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft. / 2 levels)
Effect 5-ft.-diameter extradimensional pit of ooze
Duration 1 round/level and 1 minute (see text)
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

You call into existence a bubbling pit of roiling black slime that constantly creates ooze monsters for 1 round per caster level. At the end of each of your turns, the pit of ooze creates a single ooze monster of your choice whose CR is less than or equal to your caster level –4. You may spend a standard action on your turn and attempt a concentration check (DC = 25 + the CR of the summoned creature) in order to exert your control over the ooze summoned during that round. If you succeed, the ooze will attack a creature you designate to the best of its ability until either it or the target is dead, after which time it attacks the nearest non-ooze creature other than you. If you fail the concentration check, the summoned ooze instead always attacks the nearest non-ooze creature each round. If you did not spend a standard action to concentrate on the spell, then the summoned ooze created during that round always attacks you. Oozes created by this spell remain for 1 minute.


School conjuration (summoning) [evil]; Level cleric 5, inquisitor 4, shaman 6, sorcerer/wizard 6, summoner 4, witch 6
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, F (a thighbone from a murder victim)
Range 0 ft.
Area 30-ft.-radius burst centered on you, which moves with you
Duration 1 round/level
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

You create a weak area in the planar fabric, allowing the raw negative energy of the netherworld to take on the undead forms of shadows. When you cast this spell, 6 shadows appear anywhere you choose within the spell’s area; they cannot leave the area and act immediately following your turn each round. The shadows attack the nearest living creature each round, as do any shadow spawn created by shadows made from this spell. Whenever a shadow created by this spell dies, a new shadow is called into existence to replace it at a random location within the spell’s area at the end of your turn.