I am creating an Alchemist in Pathfinder and want to take the Tentacle Discovery - This grants my character an extra "arm" in the form of a tentacle. My DM told me that, with this extra "arm", any armor that drops will not fit me.

What are some Pathfinder rules that will let me work around this?

I was thinking of getting Artisan Tools and the Craft Armor Skill, but I do not know how effective that will be for modifying existing magical armor.

Any ideas?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Who says it has to be you that modifies the armour? There may be armour makers/workers in nearby settlements. \$\endgroup\$
    – StuperUser
    Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 14:19

3 Answers 3


The short answer is, the rules suggest ignoring these kinds of “fitting” problems, and therefore do not provide much in the way of rules for solving them. They do touch on some niche cases that might prove useful as examples of how your DM might houserule a modification process, which I’ve detailed below. But ultimately both Pathfinder’s authors and myself personally recommend against such houserules:

When an article of magic clothing or jewelry is discovered, most of the time size shouldn't be an issue. Many magic garments are made to be easily adjustable, or they adjust themselves magically to the wearer. Size should not keep characters of various kinds from using magic items.

Moreover, the Alchemist itself doesn’t suggest this should be a problem:

The tentacle is fully under his control and cannot be concealed except with magic or bulky clothing.

Magic clothing interacts with the tentacle in special ways just because it is magic. Seems to me that magic armors, much as they resize so the stockiest dwarf can wear the armor of the twiggiest elf, also can accomodate the tentacle.

So really, this is not supposed to be an issue, the rules don’t explain how to deal with making it an issue, and it seems an unnecessary nerf to the Alchemist class. If your DM is houseruling this, he also has to houserule how such modifications may be made and what they cost. The rules don’t cover it.

Full Plate

The rules only acknowledge “fitting” issues in the case of Full Plate; in all other cases one-size-fits-all-in-Size (that is, anything that fits a Medium humanoid-ish creature will fit any other Medium humanoid-ish creature). For Full Plate,

Each suit of full plate must be individually fitted to its owner by a master armorsmith, although a captured suit can be resized to fit a new owner at a cost of 200 to 800 (2d4 × 100) gold pieces.

No DC is given, though “master” might imply “someone capable of making masterwork items” which is a DC 18. Alternatively, it would be odd if such modifications are more difficult than making the armor from scratch, so just use the original DC. The cost is exorbitant for anything but Full Plate, since Full Plate is far-and-away the most of expensive of the core armors. On the other hand, the values range from just over ⅛ to just over ½ the base cost of the armor, so maybe those might be useful guidelines.

Armor for Unusual Creatures

There are rules for nonhumanoid characters’ armor, but in this case they’re talking about things like horses, which need a great deal more armor in a completely different style, not just an extra slot for an arm. At any rate, here are those rules:

Armor and shields for unusually big creatures, unusually little creatures, and non-humanoid creatures (such as horses) have different costs and weights from those given on Table: Armor and Shields. Refer to the appropriate line on Table: Armor for Unusual Creatures and apply the multipliers to cost and weight for the armor type in question.

There are no rules for converting regular armor to unusual-creature armor. Considering the creatures that these rules are intended for, such modification is probably impossible.

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Maybe it's because I'm tired but it took me a long while to really get this answer and it makes me want to provide a basic summary: "there are no rules explicitely preventing wearing armor when you have an exotic body shape. There are even rules and suggestions towards hand-waving the issue with magic clothing. But since your GM is turning it into an issue, only s/he can provide a solution." Though some suggestions are provided for the ruling of a craft check. \$\endgroup\$
    – leokhorn
    Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 16:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @leokhorn That's a fair summary; I’ll try to improve the read-ability here. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 16:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you KRyan, excellent write up. I sent it to my DM for his ruling. Appreciate the help. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 19:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ I like the improvements made to this :) \$\endgroup\$
    – leokhorn
    Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 19:15

Well - after reading the rules about this ability one particular section seems to provide an answer (in bold):

Benefit: The alchemist gains a prehensile, arm-length tentacle on his body. The tentacle is fully under his control and cannot be concealed except with magic or bulky clothing. The tentacle does not give the alchemist any extra attacks or actions per round, though he can use it to make a tentacle attack (1d4 damage for a Medium alchemist, 1d3 damage for a Small one) with the grab ability. The tentacle can manipulate or hold items as well as the alchemist’s original arms can (for example, allowing the alchemist to use one hand to wield a weapon, the tentacle to hold a potion, and the third hand to throw a bomb). Unlike an arm, the tentacle has no magic item slots.

This seems to me like you can still wear magical armor according to normal D&D rules.

If this is still not good enough, see this article on the official wizards blog about modifying magical items ( part 1, part 2), specifically this part (I added links to the spells mentioned, you're welcome):

Making a Change

While we're on the subject of changing items, there are few things more annoying for a DM than spending time creating cool magic items and then having the party chuck them into the grinder to watch the gold pieces pour out so they can get their own personalized upgrades. For that matter, it's frustrating for players when cool items come along but they can't use them because they don't fit their characters.

Shouldn't there be a way to convert items into a more usable shape or form so that they actually stay in the campaign? The most obvious candidate for a spell to do this is wish or miracle, but that seems like overkill -- is it really that hard to change a +4 cloak of resistance into a +4 shirt of resistance or a +2 vorpal shock longsword into a +2 vorpal shock bastard sword?

The next most obvious candidate would be polymorph any object, but it states right there in the spell description that it doesn't work on magic items. Well, you're the DM, and I don't think anyone is going to cry big tears if you decide to ignore that rule. The spell still has other limits -- you can't create special materials (though you could reshape an item if it's already made of gold, mithril, or whatever), and if you want the change to be permanent, the final item should be pretty similar to the one you started with.

Finally, you could develop a new spell. The 2nd Edition Tome of Magic contained the curiously named steal enchantment spell which was designed to do just this -- to take the enchantment from one item and put it in another. It had some goofy mechanics for dealing with it, but if you don't want to house-rule polymorph any object, then bring in a new spell for this specific application. It's certainly the kind of magical service that would be in high demand by wealthy PCs, so doesn't it make sense that some enterprising wizard would figure out how to do it?

This seems to require your DM to decide if he will allow this or not - but it is fitting within the normal D&D "rules".

Additionally, If the DM might not allow you to use the polymorph any object spell on magical items, you could do something tricky, you could use greater dispel magic to temporarily turn a magical item non-magical and then use polymorph any object on it. (What happens when the dispel magic wears off is still up to the DM I guess...)

You might even use your desire for magical items that fit your tentacle for story hooks:

  • Your character is actively seeking out a craftsman to make him a magical armor.
  • Your character is actively seeking out monsters with 3 (or more) arms so that he can steal their armor.

Remember, if the option exists in the world to have alchemists, and they have the ability to grow a tentacle - this is probably not the first character in the world to need magical armor, maybe it is not so uncommon - especially in big cities with many alchemists. In which case, maybe seeking out other alchemists and buying/stealing their armor?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Being able to hide the tentacle isn't nearly the same as being unable to use it. You can't use it while hiding it but there's nothing there that suggests you can't switch from one to the other. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 15:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ The specific problem the OP has is: "My DM told me that, with this extra "arm", any armor that drops will not fit me. What are some Pathfinder rules that will let me work around this?" This seems to me the problem is that the DM is saying that no armor will "fit" onto the character because of the tentacle at all. Being able to use the tentacle or not is another story, one which I addressed as well. I do not understand why you down voted me because of that. \$\endgroup\$
    – Inbar Rose
    Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 15:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Craft myself, find a craftsman, stealing armor from a monster or another Alchemist aal sound good. I will certainly fall back on those if needed. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 15:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ What I was hoping for is some kind of rule that would let me modify existing armor. Like if a +2 Leather Armor drops, I could use <some modification rule> to keep the armor but craft an extra hole or sleeve in it so I wouldn't have to make one from scratch. Reaching, I know, just wondering if there was anything like this. Thanks for the suggestions so far. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 15:15
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @ProfessorPutricide then you should include that in your original question more clearly. \$\endgroup\$
    – Inbar Rose
    Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 15:17

I have the feeling that the real probloem here is not if you can wear armor or not but if you're considered or not a creature with a non-humanoid body shape to determine if you need to get armors crafted in some special way.

I'm not going to argue against your DM on what is enough to get into that field, let's just say that since he thinks you need special armor you can't wear armors made for humanoids and you need a way to turn the armors you find into ones you can wear.

By RAW, there is no such thing. You'd need an houserule and your DM is the one who can tell you what to do. If it was me I wouldn't plain allow it, but a reasonable price could be the difference between the costs of the current armor and the new one.


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