Fox’s Cunning – Summon-Dex Bestiary 3 Update Part 2

Bestiary 3 is here! A few weeks ago I posted the Summon-Dex Bestiary 3 Update Part 1. Today I’m present the remaining creature types from Bestiary 3, including Celestials, Fey, Elementals, Undead, and Fiends! This article will only highlight monsters new to Bestiary 3. To see how they shore up with choices from the first two Bestiaries, checkout the links to the now updated Summon-Dex linked below!

Important Note: I have been made aware that summoned creatures do not trigger abilities that trigger when a summoned creature dies. Summons cease to exist immediately when banished, and are banished when reduced to 0 HP. This has changed the rating of several creatures from past Bestiaries!

Summon-Dex Navigation:

Part 1: Summon Animal (arcane, primal) (Updated!)
Part 2: Abberations (occult)/Constructs & Dragons (arcane)/Giants & Plants (primal) (Updated!)
Part 3: Celestials (divine)/Fey (occult, primal)/Elementals (arcane, primal) (Updated!)
Part 4: Undead (arcane, divine, occult)/Fiend (divine) (Updated!)

Bestiary 2 Errata

Make sure to check out the errata for bestiary 2, as many of our favorite monsters have been tweaked.  The biggest change? A number of monsters have become uncommon! The Culdawen, Drainberry Bush, Denizen of Leng, Stygira can no longer be summoned. In addition, the Specter has lost 1-star due to errata. Other monsters have been buffed and nerfed, but not enough to deserve a significant change in rank.

Dustin’s Personal Picks

There are so many good monsters in Bestiary 3 that it can be a challenge to pick only one from each summoning spell to highlight. These choices are not the “best”. They are merely entries that caught my eye that I wanted to bring attention to. Many of these monsters are too high level to be effective combatants at the tier in which they can be summoned, but still offer a niche utility that can make them the cornerstone of a very memorable story!

Summon Celestial: Vulpinal
It has a feature called Fox’s Cunning! In all seriousness, I love the vulpinal in this edition. Being able to call upon an extra to attempt some recall knowledge checks is super helpful, since it won’t be incurring the cumulative penalties GMs are welcome to implement on multiple attempts. It’s a pretty decent caster, rocking both lay on hands for defense and divine wrath for offense.

Summon Fey: Millindemalion
So the lampad is probably the stronger summon, but the millindemalion is way more fun. It’s a haberdasher. That throws two hats a round. Some will argue it’s not worth the high level spell slot. To which I will say “catch” and begin throwing hats at them!

Summon Elementals: Ledalusca
Having a monster that can turn into a copy of whatever it sees is by definition a niche utility summon, but the ledalusca is just so darned cool! Repositioning enemies around the battlefield gives it some combat utility. And I just love the idea of summoning this to confirm whether or not your target is a vampire.

Animate Dead: Clacking Skull Swarm
I’m happy to see a high-level swarm and a high-level undead. Being able to confer the frightened and confused condition as a swarm is just a fantastic way to deal with a group of mooks who threaten to clutter your high-level battlefield. I also love the aesthetics of a swarm of clattering, shrieking skulls!

Summon Fiend: Abrikandilu
I love niche utility summons, and this one fits the bill. Need a bunch of things destroyed? Summon an abrikandilu, and just let it go to town. Four claw strikes per round without multiple attack penalty that only look at Hardness every-other-strike should be enough to destroy most everything in the room. Absolutely great for a distraction in a room full of valuables!

Summon Celestial (Divine)

Since the lowest level this spell can be cast is 5th level, many of the lowest level creatures you can summon are too weak to be helpful at the earliest tier they can be cast. They would only be useful in extremely niche situations.

Spell 5:
★★☆☆☆ Silvanshee (B3) — Terrible Niche Spellcaster. Can cast speak with animals, lay on hands, and gaseous form (x3). You are probably using this to give three party members gaseous form. It can also do any skill check trained, but their modifier isn’t that fabulous. The kitties do fly.

Heightened (6th):
★★★☆☆ Vulpinal (B3) — Good Support Spellcaster. Fox’s Cunning lets it make a free Recall Knowledge check each turn. Can cast speak with animals, tongues, lay on hands, calm emotions, remove disease, divine wrath, and detect alignment.

Heightened (7th):
★★★★☆ Garuda (B3)  — Great Ranged Spellcaster Striker. You will usually want to cast a party-wide haste with this spell-slot, but the Garuda can still cast a single target haste, then stick around to shoot arrows, blast wind and dust, and aid the party with freedom of movement and see invisibility. At this tier the bow attack seems mediocre, but it gets true strike at will and it’s weapon is deadly!
★★★☆☆ Procyal (B3)  — Niche Social Spellcaster. Has speak with animals and tongues. Can cast calm emotions, dispel magic, illusory creature, magic aura, suggestion, heroism, invisibility (including on others), and lay on hands. It can change shape to disguise itself as any medium or small humanoid its met, letting you potentially summon a “copy of yourself” for 1 minute.

Heightened (10th):
★★☆☆☆ Peri (B3) — Mediocre Area of Effect Blaster. 6d6 fire damage to all adjacent with a single action 15d6 burst of fire, plus wall of fire (x3) and the GM irritating flame jump ability. It’s super strong against CR 13 and below creatures, but any 10th-level spell will be. Usable if you have no other access to fire damage and are against an army of low level creatures.


Summon Elemental (Arcane, Primal)

Spell 2:
★★☆☆☆ Air/Earth/Fire/Water Wisp (B3) — Decent Very Niche Buff. If you use elemental form, these little fellas gives you +1 status bonus to attack and damage. Remember you need the elemental and the planar trait. It can’t use its reaction since it’s a summon. Water swims and drenches. Air flies. Earth burrows. Fire can see through smoke.

Heightened (3rd):
★★☆☆☆ Ledalusca (B3) — Mediocre Niche Specialist Controller. The push attack can help reposition enemies and it is immune to Ice damage. Also useful if you need an ice sculpture of someone for 1 minute, or a vampire detector.
★★★☆☆ Azer (B3) — Good Debuff Striker. Decent fire damage and fire immunity with a 20-foot line attack it can unleash every round. Heat of the Forge is the real reason for its third star, making foes within 10 feet fatigued unless they make a save each round.

Summon Fey (Occult, Primal)

Spell 1:
★★★☆☆ Haniver (B3) — Decent Niche Specialist. Need to steal from a low-level enemy in combat? Want to use some pre-combat rounds re-arranging people’s stuff to burn their Interact actions when they draw their weapons? Summon a Haniver. They can fly and swim too, and if you heighten they can cast fear.
★★★☆☆ Nyktera (B3) — Decent Niche Specialist. You will mostly summon this to communicate with bats. Does some decent damage if you can get an opponent to refuse it’s hospitality (i.e. ask the fey to invite them to discuss a truce over tea). Casts heal if summoned with a 2nd level spell. Flies.
★★☆☆☆ Grimple (B3) — Mediocre Niche Debuffer. Lice can potentially let you stupify and vomit gives you a line of sickened. It has climb and fly. If you heighten the spell, it can cast grease.

Heightened (2nd):
★★★☆☆ Melixie (B3) — Decent Niche Specialist. Casts ant haul. It can communicate with arthropods, which is a huge number of creatures at this level. Sugar Rush is useless on a summon. Flies.
★★☆☆☆ Tooth Fairy (B3) — Decent Striker. Persistent bleed damage is good. It can fly. The pliers can be used to attempt to disarm. Would be a 3-star if summons got death throes.
★★☆☆☆ Fuath (B3) — Mediocre Niche Controller. It can choke a target with a range. The target can get rid of the choke by spending three actions, but will likely just keep fighting despite drowning (or make the save). If this wasn’t once per day it would be pretty good. It can swim. Casts sleep.

Heightened (3rd):
★☆☆☆☆ Domovoi (B3) — Bad Spellcaster. Would be great if they were attuned to a home. Otherwise, they get mending at will, a broom, and household lore.

Heightened (4th):
★★★☆☆ Tooth Fairy Swarm (B3) — Decent Swarm. Pinch and Plaque Burst attempts to Sicken. It has good resistances and flies. It cannot use pry.
★★☆☆☆ Draxi (B3) — Specialist Area of Effect Caster. The breath weapon would be great without incapacitate, so it’s only useful against lots of lower-level enemies. It can cast faerie fire and invisibility. It can fly and has telepathy.
★☆☆☆☆ Dvorovoi (B3) — Bad Spellcaster. Can cast speak with animals, entangle (lower DC than Dryad), and some enchantment spells (animal only).

Heightened (5th):
★★☆☆☆ Ovinnik (B3) — Mediocre Niche Spellcaster. Ever heard of a dust explosion? Sadly this ability isn’t accessible for a one-minute summon, but the Ovinnik can cast burning hands, flaming sphere, and purify food and drink. It also has a climb speed, and household lore.

Heightened (6th):
★★★★★ Lampad (B3) — Amazing Spellcaster Controller. Weep means you have to position it behind enemy lines, but they will feel that Slowed 1. They can cast shape stone, meld into stone, pummeling rubble, faerie fire, and heal. Will probably be sickened 1.

Heightened (7th):
★★☆☆☆ Hesperid (B3) — Mediocre Spellcaster. It can cast 5th level heal and searing light, faerie fire, illusory disguise and does fire plus positive damage. It’s always drained 1 and can’t use its best ability outside of it’s specific area. Does more damage than a Kishi, but Kishi still has Grab!
★★☆☆☆ Kishi (B3) — Mediocre Strike Controller. Has some decent social skills. Mostly getting it for the grab ability. Vicelike Jaws makes it decent against lower level casters.

Heightened (9th):
★★★☆☆ Millindemalion (B3) — Decent Control Striker. Beefier and able to do more damage than the Rusalka thanks to Sneak Attack. It can try to throw two hats a round which can give the slowed 1 condition (among others) against a decent saving throw. Unsettling Minds is fun against a creature with one or more aura mental effects. Millinery Lore.

Animate Dead (Arcane, Divine, Occult)

While technically not a “summon” spell, the spell shares enough similarities that we can compare it’s minion selection alongside other conjuration spells. Note that with this review I am assuming that minions are unaffected by the Slow condition because of how they get actions, but you can effectively downgrade most minions that are permanently slowed by 1 or 2 stars.

Spell 1:
★★★★☆ Festrog (B3) — Strong Striker. Strong and consistent base damage with automatic damage (and healing) using Feast. Diseased Pustules means you want to position it away from the party, but close to other enemies, making it a great flank partner.
★★☆☆☆ Severed Head (B3) — Mediocre Striker. +1 Star as a Debuffer if your GM let’s you use the Fiendish or Entangling Beheaded ability. Being able to make someone bleed if you succeed at two attack rolls involving MAP is pretty lame. Doesn’t have resistances like the Skeleton Guard. But it can Fly!

Heightened (3rd):
★★★★☆ Squirming Swill (B3) — Amazing Debuffer Niche Utility. Malodorous Smoke plus Slippery Grease means you get to sicken and trip. Motion sense and swim speed are both useful. Magical Brother probably can’t be used since summons disappear when destroyed.
★★★☆☆ Flaming Skull (B3)  — Decent Striker. The persistent fire damage is okay. It can light stuff on fire and fly. Might hurt your party when they die!

Heightened (4th):
★★★☆☆ Trailgaunt (B3) — Decent Debuffer. It can lower movement speed and cause frightened. Burrow speeds are useful. Tremorsense.

Heightened (5th):
★★★★☆ Harpy Skeleton (B3)  — Good Striking Tank. The AoE has a DC 26 save! It also does pretty good damage with its alon and can fly. Good resistances, AC and HP
★★★★☆ Namorrodor(B3)  — Good Debuff Niche Striker. Causes most enemies to become frightened 1 and, if you are playing a fear build, forces enemies to stay frightened as long as they are within 30 feet. It can Lifesense from the Shadow Plane to Material Plane. It also has a decent Grab. In a chase, it can stride twice and bite (with 40 ft speed).

Heightened (6th):
★★★☆☆ Abandoned Zealot (B3) — Decent Niche Controller. Will wreck lower level divine casters. Will annoy same or higher level divine casters. Can automatically detect “false priests”, fly, lifesense, and cast crisis of faith and zealous conviction (self only).
★☆☆☆☆Sulfur Zombie (B3) — Poor Debuffer. The slowed condition makes this bad. It’s 4 stars if your GM let’s you give it both actions, as Blinding Sulfur is pretty good.

Heightened (7th):
★☆☆☆☆ Baykok (B3)  — Poor Striker. It flies and can deal damage. It can potentially paralyze, but will most likely only slow if you are lucky, since it’s an incapacitate effect on a 9th level summon.

Heightened (8th):
★★★★☆ Clacking Skull Swarm (B3) — Great Controller AoE. Drop it into a group and watch them deal with the AoE damage, frightened, and confusion conditions each round as the swarm tears them apart. Would be better if it got death-throes, but summons do not.

Summon Fiend (Divine)

Since the lowest level this spell can be cast is 5th level, many of the lowest level creatures you can summon are too weak to be helpful at the earliest tier they can be cast. They would only be useful in extremely niche situations.

Spell 5:
★★★★☆ Brimorak (B3) — Great Utility Striker. Even with low stats for this tier, they do impressive damage and comes packed with a breath weapon and fireball. It also has dimension door, dispel magic, and can produce a smokescreen every round. It can even use telepathy to help the party navigate the smoke.
★★★☆☆ Abrikandilu (B3) — Good Niche Striker. Wreck doesn’t apply to or count MAP, so this summon gets four attacks at full MAP against an unattended object (or attended mirror) per round. It’s not often that you need to use magic to destroy an object, but when you do, summon an abrikandilu!
★★★☆☆ Aghash (B3) — Good Debuffer. Can frighten or stun targets with its gaze. Can cast outcast’s curse, touch of idiocy, and illusory object.
★★★☆☆ Nucol (B3) — Decent Striker. It does okay damage, but no extra relevant effects. It does have the highest Athletics in this tier. Has scent and telepathy.
★★☆☆☆ Ostovite (B3) — Poor Niche Tank. You might fight an enemy who can only deal damage that this is immune to, but that’s very unlikely at this tier. This would be amazing if you could summon it with a first level spell.
★☆☆☆☆ Dretch (B3) — Poor Niche Utility. It can potentially get 2.5 actions per round, if your GM let’s a summoned dretch still use it’s Sloth ability. Most GMs will not, making it a zero star.
☆☆☆☆☆ Doru (B3) — Terrible Spellcaster. Can cast illusory object.
☆☆☆☆☆ Esipil (B3) — Terrible Debuffer. Can cast fear and turn into a small domestic animal.

Heightened (6th):
★★★★☆ Levaloch (B3) — Good Striker. The net and trident combination is going to deal 2d8+3d6 damage per strike, with a good attack bonus and range. Better damage than the baubau, but a little less utility.
★★★☆☆ Wihsaak (B3) — Decent Niche Controller. The confusion aura is fantastic against lower level enemies (incapacitation). Immune to swams. Telepathy and flight. It can cast fear, vomit swarm, suggestion, and see invisibility.
★★☆☆☆ Pairaka (B3) — Mediocre Niche Caster. Flying caster with charm, suggestion and nightmare (2-action cast). Might take damage each round if an ally is wearing red.

Heightened (7th):
★★★★☆ Hellwasp Swarm (B3) — Good Swarm. 8d8 piercing damage plus two doses of poison per round is really good. It can confuse lower level enemies and infest corpse is fun.
★★★★☆ Pakalchi (B3) — Good Control Debuffer. Betrayal Toxin will ruin enemy buffs and are amazing against enemies with AoE effects that exclude allies. Has tongues, telepathy, and true seeing. If heightened it can cast dominate. It can cast suggestion and calm emotions.

Heightened (8th):
★★★☆☆ Munagola (B3) — Good (Evil) Utility Striker. It can use both actions to give every Evil character in the party +40 feet fly speed each round. It can also strike pretty well.

Heightened (9th):
★★☆☆☆ Japalisura (B3) — Niche Utility Striker. It can produce arrows that do an extra 4d6 mental damage, which can help if you have a party of archers I suppose. It can cast some illusion spells, but nothing worth a 9th level slot. It can turn enemies against each other, but it’s an incapacitation effect that requires a skill check.

Heightened (10th):
★☆☆☆☆ Nikaramsa (B3) — Bad Spellcaster Tank. It has reach and improved knockdown, but becomes medium and debuffed against most enemies who can see through illusions or have decent will saves. Sap Mind might work since its not incapacitation. Best use I can see is as a healer, as it can cast heal, neutralize poison, remove disease, remove curse, and restore senses. It comes with constant detect alignment, telepathy, and see invisibility.


Dustin Knight

Dustin has been playing and improving on RPGs since AD&D in 1999. He ran games and conventions around California while studying Graphic Design, Philosophy, English & Architecture. After developing a tabletop game seminar he began working freelance for Alderac Entertainment Games. During his stint on the East Coast, he became a Venture Lieutenant and began reviewing Pathfinder mechanics for Organized Play. After moving to Washington in 2019, he met Alex Augunas at Paizocon and developed, designed and wrote for Everybody Games LLC. He has since published work with Rogue Genius Games and Paizo. He can be found on the Know Direction discord where he goes by the username "KitsuneWarlock".