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Version 0.21: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.
The Summoner specialises in calling creatures from this and other worlds to give assistance. Although they can at first summon only very wimpy creatures, the more advanced summoning spells allow summoners to call on such powers as elementals and demons.

Summoner is a background which relies on summonings magic in the early game, starting with a book of Callings.

Preferred Races

Deep Elf, Hill Orc, Merfolk, Tengu, Vine Stalker and Vampire are the recommended races if you pick a Summoner Background.

Starting Equipment

Some species may receive different items based on their unique restrictions.

Summoners start with the Summon Small Mammal spell memorised.

Starting Skills and Stats

These are adjusted by your species' aptitudes.

Choosing Summoner adds 7 to your starting Intelligence and 5 to your starting Dexterity.


  • Relying on summoned creatures to kill opponents for you reduces the experience points you gain from the kill to 50% of what you would otherwise receive. Don't be afraid to get your hands a little dirty when dealing with generally harmless foes - polearms are especially good for this, as they let you reach over your summons.
  • Conversely, should you decide a given monster is too dangerous to fight yourself, remember to back off and give yourself space to summon reinforcements as your summoned monster actively engages hostile monsters in combat. This can be particularly useful when faced with monsters faster than you, those which might otherwise end up right next to you should your first summoned monster lose the fight.
  • Don't forget that you can command your summoned monsters using t, compelling them to do useful things, such as proactively moving toward your foes, attacking a different enemy or retreating when they are hurt, rather than simply waiting for hostile monsters to approach you and it.
  • Summoners need to think carefully about the offensive spells they pick up if they intend to keep relying on their summons as well. Borgnjor's Vile Clutch and Ignition are examples of spells that offer area-of-effect damage without damaging your summons.


Prior to 0.15, Summoners started with 20 gold.

Prior to 0.14, Summoners started with only 1 level of Spellcasting.

Warriors FighterGladiatorMonkHunterAssassin
Zealots BerserkerAbyssal KnightChaos Knight
Warrior-mages SkaldEnchanterTransmuterArcane MarksmanWarper
Mages WizardConjurerSummonerNecromancerFire ElementalistIce ElementalistAir ElementalistEarth ElementalistVenom Mage
Adventurers ArtificerWanderer