Archives of Nethys

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Binding Outsiders

Source Ultimate Magic pg. 101
One of the most potent tools a spellcasters can wield is the command of summoned creatures; the most powerful of these spells call forth allies mightier than mere flesh, reaching from the depths of Hell to the peaks of Heaven, and even stranger places beyond the pale. When reaching for knowledge and forces from other planes, a spellcaster must have control over the strengths and weaknesses of their targets, or face doom far worse than any that might be visited upon them in the Material Plane. A spellcaster wishing to bind such creatures who cannot play to the desires of his summoned captive will surely lose control, and may find himself torn from his reality as a plaything of the multiverse’s cruelest tormentors.

Calling Outsiders

Source Ultimate Magic pg. 101
The first step in calling extraplanar assistance is to determine the method of bringing the outsider to the Material Plane. If the caster is a cleric, the spell of choice is planar ally; wizard, sorcerers, and summoners rely primarily on planar binding (or summon monster, which controls without requiring binding). However, none of these necessarily bind the outsider to the caster’s needs, and a wise spellcaster augments the summoning with additional encouragement, usually in the form of gifts or bargains.

True Names

Source Ultimate Magic pg. 101
There is one method of outsider coercion that helps guarantee that a binder can bargain from a position of relative security. Many spellcasters believe that a true name is inscribed on the essence of every creature, a secret word that describes it so perfectly and utterly that to speak the name is to define the being. For mortals, this name is buried in the soul, hidden away from prying and dangerous eyes. Outsiders’ true names take the form of sigils carved upon their very essence. In Hell, these sigils change as the devil changes in stature, and some that may once have held power over certain devils have become outdated. It is said that some outsiders have assumed names and that they use the aliases to lure foolish mortals into using for summoning; the outsider pretends to be under the control of the binder, but merely bides its time before it strikes.

To discover a single outsider’s true name, a spellcaster must spend at least a month in a library or on a quest of discovery to uncover occult mysteries and riddles hidden in the pages of books, scrolls, and glyphs written millennia ago, buried in ancient temples or found among the ravings of madmen’s spellbooks. At the end of this month, the GM makes a Knowledge (planes) check for the character. The DC is 10 + the creature’s Hit Dice. The GM can increase the DC by +2, +5, or even +10, based on the power of the outsider or the circumstances of the true name search. A failure by 5 or more turns up false information that may expose researchers to unexpected dangers.

For most outer-planar outsiders, knowledge of the creature’s true name is a powerful weapon. In summoning, if the name is spoken correctly (requiring knowledge of at least one of the outsider’s languages, or a Linguistics skill check with a DC equal to 10 + the creature’s Hit Dice), the target takes a –5 penalty on the Will save to resist being conjured, and if its name is inscribed in the protective magic circle, the outsider takes a –5 penalty on all checks to escape or breach that circle.

For elementals (including geniekind), such true names are not binding as they are for fiends and other outsiders, and do not give the creature a penalty to its Will save to resist being summoned. However, if the caster speaks the true name of the elemental, the elemental will most likely be intrigued enough to listen—a wizard with power and cunning enough to find an elemental’s true name is a wizard with guile and strength, and elementals treasure these qualities.

Not all outsiders have true names. The chaotic and primeval nature of proteans defies the strange logic of true names, as does the writhing chaotic nature of the qlippoth. It is unclear whether aeons have true names. There are those sages who believe each aeon has two true names, and only by finding out both names can a creature gain some control over the aeon, but such matters are purely conjecture.

Dealing with Outsiders

Source Ultimate Magic pg. 102
All outsiders love that which makes them strong. They seek to promote those qualities that offer them the greatest power, and covet their own survival. As beings—some might even call them concepts—of thought, will, and power, outsiders reward those who help them make their core concepts immortal. In short:
  • Aeons are dedicated to their often obscure and contradictory goals.
  • Agathions love the defense of good without regard for law and chaos.
  • Angels love beauty and things that destroy evil.
  • Archons love pure souls and order.
  • Azatas love beauty and freedom.
  • Daemons love death and oblivion.
  • Demons love suffering.
  • Devils love souls of any sort.
  • Elementals love power.
  • Inevitables and axiomites hate chaos and are focused on their goals.
  • Proteans love chaos and want to return the multiverse to its original chaotic state.
  • Qlippoth hate all intelligent life, as it is the engine of sin, and want it destroyed.
The reward outsiders offer may be actual aid, grudging service, or even just agreeing not to devour the binder’s soul. Regardless, it is always—always—in the binder’s best interest to make the summoning as painless as possible for the target, or else to overawe the summoned creature with the threat of utter destruction or millennia of endless pain. Attempting to treat outsiders as equals and the pact as a mere negotiating tool almost always ends in disaster. More specifics for each type of outsider are described below.

Offering appropriate gifts to the summoned creature can provide the caster a +2 bonus on the opposed Charisma check to keep it on the Material Plane. Indeed, if the gift is sweet enough, the outsider may choose not to break the strictures of the summoning, even if it has the opportunity to do so. All gifts, whether or not they are good enough to please the outsider, disappear at the spell’s conclusion. Only the worst sorts of gifts are rejected; such a rejection indicates that the summoned creature feels gravely insulted.

Outsider Categories

Source Ultimate Magic pg. 103
The following sections give a general overview of the major outsider classifications, examples for each category (and their spell resistance, if any), their interests, their vulnerabilities, and what substances they dislike.