Summonings

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Version 0.13: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.

Summonings is a magical skill that governs your ability at bringing forth monsters and other entities to fight for you (though they may arrive hostile when called into existence by unskilled practitioners). These summoned monsters function much like real monsters, with the following exceptions:

  • They are worth no experience or piety, and leave nothing behind when slain. They cannot be targeted by Vampiric Draining or Inner Flame.
  • They have difficulty attacking targets with warding in melee. Spells and ranged attacks are unaffected.
  • They eventually "time out" regardless of their HP, poofing out out of existence in a cloud of smoke. The spells Abjuration and Mass Abjuration greatly shorten the time they have remaining, often causing them to cease to exist immediately.
  • They will not follow you up or down stairs. This allows you to flee hostile summoned units and return after sufficient time has passed. Your own summoned allies will disappear immediately when you change floors.
  • They will not attack monsters outside of the player's line of sight.

Note that there is one spell in this school of magic that does not create summoned monsters: eldritch tentacles, which can be created with the Malign Gateway spell, cannot be abjured and will fight outside of the player's line of sight.

List of Summonings Spells

Lvl 1
Summon butterflies.png Summon Butterflies Summonings
Summon small mammal.png Summon Small Mammal Summonings
Lvl 2
Call imp.png Call Imp Summonings
Lvl 3
Abjuration.png Abjuration Summonings
Call canine familiar.png Call Canine Familiar Summonings
Recall.png Recall Summonings/Translocations
Lvl 4
Summon elemental.png Summon Elemental Summonings
Summon ice beast.png Summon Ice Beast Summonings/Ice Magic
Summon scorpions.png Summon Scorpions Summonings/Poison Magic
Lvl 5
Shadow creatures.png Shadow Creatures Summonings
Summon demon.png Summon Demon Summonings
Lvl 6
Demonic horde.png Demonic Horde Summonings
Mass abjuration.png Mass Abjuration Summonings
Summon ugly thing.png Summon Ugly Thing Summonings
Lvl 7
Summon greater demon.png Summon Greater Demon Summonings
Summon hydra.png Summon Hydra Summonings
Haunt.png Haunt Summonings/Necromancy
Malign gateway.png Malign Gateway Summonings/Translocations
Lvl 8
Summon horrible things.png Summon Horrible Things Summonings
Lvl 9
Summon dragon.png Summon Dragon Summonings

Sources of Summonings Spells

Main Texts
Book of Beasts (Summon Butterflies, Call Canine Familiar, Summon Ice Beast, Summon Hydra)
Book of Callings (Summon Small Mammals, Call Imp, Call Canine Familiar, Summon Scorpions, Summon Ice Beast)
Book of Summonings (Abjuration, Recall, Summon Elemental, Shadow Creatures, Summon Demon, Summon Ugly Thing)
Grand Grimoire (Demonic Horde, Mass Abjuration, Haunt, Summon Greater Demon, Malign Gateway, Summon Horrible Things)
Other Texts
Book of Cantrips (Summon Small Mammals)
Book of Dreams (Shadow Creatures)
Book of Envenomations (Summon Scorpions)
Book of Frost (Summon Ice Beast)
Book of Minor Magic (Call Imp)
Book of Party Tricks (Summon Butterflies)
Book of the Dragon (Summon Dragon)
Book of the Warp (Recall)
Book of Unlife (Recall)
Book of Wizardry (Summon Elemental)
Necronomicon (Haunt)

Summoning Limits

Summoned monsters are generated with a duration between 1 and 6. This value roughly corresponds to the following amount in turns:

  1. 90 aut (arbitrary units of time; 10 aut = 1 "turn")
  2. 180 aut
  3. 270 aut
  4. 360 aut
  5. 810 aut
  6. 1710 aut

Some Summonings spells have a fixed duration. The other spells will increase monster duration with spell power. Most Smmonings spells also have a fixed cap on how many monsters of that type you can sustain at any one time. Exceeding that cap by casting the spell too often will cause the oldest monsters to time out almost immediately.

Spell Level Duration Type Duration Summoning Cap
Summon Butterflies 1 Fixed 3 8
Summon Small Mammal 1 Fixed 3 3
Call Imp 2 Spellpower Dependent 2-6 3
Sticks to Snakes* 2 Spellpower Dependent 3-5 No Limit
Call Canine Familiar 3 Spellpower Dependent 2-6 3
Summon Scorpions 4 Fixed 3 4
Summon Elemental 4 Spellpower Dependent 2-6 3
Summon Ice Beast 4 Spellpower Dependent 2-6 3
Summon Demon 5 Fixed 5 3
Shadow Creatures 5 Monster's HD Dependent 1-4 5
Tukima's Dance* 5 Spellpower Dependent 2-6 No Limit
Death Channel* 6 Fixed 6 No Limit
Demonic Horde 6 Fixed 2-6 8
Summon Ugly Thing 6 Spellpower Dependent 2-6 3
Simulacrum* 6 Fixed 6 No Limit
Summon Hydra 7 Fixed 1 3
Summon Greater Demon 7 Fixed 5 3
Haunt 7 Fixed 3 Special
Malign Gateway 7 Spellpower Dependent - 1
Summon Horrible Things 8 Fixed 6 8
Summon Dragon 9 Fixed 6 2
* - Not a Summonings spell, but operates similarly.

Non-standard summoning

These non-standard methods for summoning allies have no cap on the number of units you can have out at once, but their costs are often prohibitive:

Source : Duration
Herd card : 4
Brothers in Arms : 2-6
Summon Divine Warrior : 2-6
Summon Swarm : 2-6
Scroll of summoning : Monster's HD dependent, but better than the spell
Lesser servant of Makhleb: 2-6
Greater servant of Makhleb: 2-6

Summonings Aptitudes

From Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup 0.13 in-game documentation:

Ba Ce DD DE Dg Ds Dr Fe Fo Gr Gh Gn Ha HO Hu Ko Mf Mi Mu Na Op Og Pa Sp Te Tr Vp VS
2 -1 -1 1 -1 0 0 0 0 -1 -1 6 -2 0 0 0 0 -3 -2 0 0 -1 -2 -2 2 -3 0 0

History

In 0.14, monster summons will abjure on the death of the summoner. The summons spells are greatly overhauled, with the addition of Summon Lightning Spire, Summon Guardian Golem, Summon Forest, Summon Mana Viper, Monstrous Menagerie, Aura of Abjuration, Forceful Dismissal, Spellforged Servitor, and Dragon's Call, and the removal of Summon Scorpion, Summon Ugly Thing, Mass Abjuration, Demonic Horde, and Summon Dragon.

Prior to 0.13, Summonings spells had no limit on how many monsters you could summon at a time, barring MP restrictions. This led to players summoning hordes of monsters at all times, rendering them nearly untouchable by most monsters and leading to extremely dull optimal gameplay.

Prior to 0.12 summoned monsters could attack monsters outside of the player's line of sight, and you could not recall flying monsters over lava or deep water.

Skills
Melee Short BladesLong BladesAxesMaces & FlailsPolearmsStavesUnarmed Combat
Ranged BowsCrossbowsThrowingSlings
Physical FightingArmourDodgingStealthShields
Magical SpellcastingInvocationsEvocations
Spell Schools AirCharmsConjurationsEarthFireHexesIceNecromancyPoisonSummoningTranslocationsTransmutations