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Revision as of 18:21, 18 January 2017 by Kenreth (talk | contribs) (0.14 change for enemy summoners subject to summoning caps)
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Version 0.17: 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 Aura of Abjuration greatly shorten the time they have remaining, often causing them to cease to exist immediately. Summoned monsters will be immediately unsummoned on the death of the summoner.
  • 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.


Ba Ce DD DE Dg Ds Dr Fe Fo Gr Gh Gn Ha HO Hu Ko Mf Mi Mu Na Op Og 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 -3 0 0

The average aptitude of all species, excluding coloured draconian, is -0.259.


Icon Name Schools Level Power
Range Noise Flags Books

Level 1

Summon butterflies.png Summon Butterflies Summoning 1 100 1 Book of Beasts
Book of Party Tricks
Summon small mammal.png Summon Small Mammal Summoning 1 25 1 Book of Callings
Book of Cantrips

Level 2

Call imp.png Call Imp Summoning 2 100 2 Selfench, Unholy Book of Callings
Book of Minor Magic

Level 3

Call canine familiar.png Call Canine Familiar Summoning 3 100 3 Book of Beasts
Book of Callings
Recall.png Recall Summoning/Translocation 3 N/A 3 Utility Book of Summonings
Book of Unlife
Summon guardian golem.png Summon Guardian Golem Hexes/Summoning 3 100 3 Book of Callings

Level 4

Summon ice beast.png Summon Ice Beast Ice/Summoning 4 100 3 Book of Beasts
Book of Callings
Book of Frost
Summon lightning spire.png Summon Lightning Spire Air/Summoning 4 100 2 2 Neutral, Not self, Target Book of Callings
Book of the Sky

Level 5

Aura of abjuration.png Aura of Abjuration Summoning 5 200 5 Area, Escape, Neutral Book of Summonings
Summon demon.png Summon Demon Summoning 5 200 4 Mons abjure, Selfench, Unholy Book of Summonings
Summon forest.png Summon Forest Summoning/Translocation 5 200 10 Fen Folio
Book of Summonings
Summon mana viper.png Summon Mana Viper Hexes/Summoning 5 100 4 Mons abjure Book of Beasts
Book of Summonings

Level 6

Shadow creatures.png Shadow Creatures Summoning 6 N/A 4 Mons abjure Book of Dreams
Book of Summonings

Level 7

Haunt.png Haunt Necromancy/Summoning 7 200 LOS 6 Mons abjure, Not self, Target Necronomicon
Malign gateway.png Malign Gateway Summoning/Translocation 7 200 6 Chaotic, Unholy Grand Grimoire
Monstrous menagerie.png Monstrous Menagerie Summoning 7 200 5 Mons abjure Grand Grimoire
Spellforged servitor.png Spellforged Servitor Conjuration/Summoning 7 200 6 Book of Power
Summon greater demon.png Summon Greater Demon Summoning 7 200 6 Mons abjure, Selfench, Unholy Grand Grimoire
Summon hydra.png Summon Hydra Summoning 7 200 6 Mons abjure Book of Beasts
Fen Folio

Level 8

Summon horrible things.png Summon Horrible Things Summoning 8 200 6 Chaotic, Mons abjure, Unholy Grand Grimoire

Level 9

Dragon's call.png Dragon's Call Summoning 9 200 15 Book of the Dragon


Main Texts
Book of Beasts: Summon Butterflies, Call Canine Familiar, Summon Ice Beast, Summon Mana Viper, Summon Hydra
Book of Callings: Summon Small Mammal, Call Imp, Call Canine Familiar, Summon Guardian Golem, Summon Lightning Spire, Summon Ice Beast
Book of Summonings: Recall, Aura of Abjuration, Summon Demon, Summon Forest, Summon Mana Viper, Shadow Creatures
Grand Grimoire: Monstrous Menagerie, Summon Greater Demon, Malign Gateway, Summon Horrible Things
Other Texts
Book of Cantrips: Summon Small Mammal
Book of the Dragon: Dragon's Call
Book of Dreams: Shadow Creatures
Fen Folio: Summon Forest, Summon Hydra
Book of Frost: Summon Ice Beast
Book of Minor Magic: Call Imp
Necronomicon: Haunt
Book of Party Tricks: Summon Butterflies
Book of Power: Spellforged Servitor
Book of the Sky: Summon Lightning Spire
Book of Unlife: Recall


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.

Summoning Limits

Most Summonings 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 4
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 1
Summon Guardian Golem 3 Fixed 3 1
Summon Ice Beast 4 Spellpower Dependent 2-4 3
Summon Lightning Spire 4 Fixed 2 1
Shadow Creatures 5 Monster's HD Dependent 1-4 4**
Summon Demon 5 Spellpower Dependent 2-6 3
Summon Forest 5 Fixed 1 No Limit***
Summon Mana Viper 5 Fixed 2 2
Tukima's Dance* 5 Spellpower Dependent 2-6 No Limit
Death Channel* 6 Fixed 6 No Limit
Monstrous Menagerie 6 Fixed 4 3
Simulacrum* 6 Fixed 6 No Limit
Haunt 7 Fixed 3 Special
Malign Gateway 7 Random - 1****
Spellforged Servitor 7 Fixed 4 1
Summon Greater Demon 7 Fixed 4 3
Summon Hydra 7 Fixed 1 3
Summon Horrible Things 8 Fixed 3 8
Dragon's Call 9 Fixed 2 No Limit
* - Not a Summonings spell, but operates similarly.
** - Band members don't count towards the cap.
*** - Can't cast again until duration has expired.
**** - Only one Malign Gateway can exist in the dungeon at time, regardless of who created it.

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
Brothers in Arms : 2-6
Summon Divine Warrior : 2-6
Elemental Force: 1
Scroll of summoning : Monster's HD dependent, but better than the spell


Prior to 0.14, summoned creatures could exist even after their summoner was defeated, leading to much more cautious behavior around certain enemy summoners. Many enemy summoners were also much more fragile and were not subject to the same summoning caps as players. 0.14 also massively overhauled the Summonings spell list; Summon Lightning Spire, Summon Guardian Golem, Summon Forest, Summon Mana Viper, Monstrous Menagerie, Aura of Abjuration, Forceful Dismissal, and Spellforged Servitor were all added, replacing Summon Scorpions, 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.

See Also

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