When you create an eidolon in Pathfinder, it gets evolutions including limbs and such over time. But if you have a specific form in mind for your eidolon and would prefer it to not change so much visually over time, how can you make that happen?

For example, I am creating a serpentine eidolon that I would like to resemble a Lamia Matriarch ultimately. As such, I would like it to have arms and fight with a martial weapon (scimitar probably).

I'm pretty sure this is impossible straight from level 1: Limbs 2pts, Martial Weapons 4pts, and I have only 3 to spend. I was thinking I could use the one Feat to give Martial proficiency in Scimitars, but then it would be stuck with using that specific weapon type only or until I do pay for the weapon evolution... but then I've wasted a feat.

So I'm thinking I can wait until level 2 where I could spend my 4 points on Limbs and Simple Weapon Proficiency and have it use some staff or mace until it learns to use something better.

My problem is what to do for now: buy the Limbs and keep 1 point? What could it do with the limbs since it has no Slam and cannot use any weapon properly? Maybe I can still have it use weapons with the non-proficiency penalty...? Seems inefficient. What if I don't buy the limbs yet? Could I skin it as it having vestigial arms too weak to hold anything? I somehow don't think "no arms" will work for me; I want it to look like the lamia throughout its development.


This is a good question - I was just messing with speccing some summoners and eidolons myself this week and it's hard - the more you care about the visuals of your eidolon the harder the evolution mechanic is on you.

For example, I made an Ekujae elf with a panther type eidolon (quadruped) - but eventually by mid levels I was finding myself considering taking gore or tentacles or other weird additions to get more attacks, even though I really just wanted it to look like a panther. Then I was making another for a Shoanti aasimar type and I wanted a couatl look to the pet (serpentine), but you can't get wings till later and the attacks problem manifests itself even worse there.

Luckily, you can skin things however you want, basically, as long as the result is "rules compliant." I decided I'd describe the panther's gore as a second bite and the couatl's wings as "too small to make it fly" for some levels. Unless your GM is a punk they should be down with that.

In your case, you have a couple options.

  1. The eidolon can use weapons at level 1 - it's just not proficient in them! So it takes the nonproficiency penalty. Sucks in combat but it'll get better at level 2 where you can afford arms and simple weapon.
  2. Use your feat for a weapon proficiency. There's little reason for an eidolon to use a diversity of weapons, you may as well pick one and have her use one or two or more. (A lamia type could evolve into a marilith type easily). Using the feat is usually considered a way better deal than burning 4 EPs. In fact, you can pull exotic weapon prof for the same price if you do that. I'd recommend using light weapons so she can do them in all hands, maybe the wakizashi or quadrens.
  3. Don't use serpentine, use biped. Way way higher strength. Get a tail and tail slap at level 1 and then - just don't use the legs! Describe her as slithering with a tail. (Hell, you don't actually need to buy the tail for that, you can skin the legs as a tail and hooves or whatnot as a tail slap).

Biped large four armed, tailed eidolon at level 12 (power attack activated):

Serpentor the Eidolon
Biped (Slam)
N Large Outsider
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +12


AC 26, touch 12, flat-footed 23 (+3 Dex, -1 size, +14 natural)
hp 99 (+45)
Fort +11, Ref +6, Will +6 (+4 morale bonus vs. Enchantment spells and effects)
Defensive Abilities evasion


Speed 30 ft.
Melee +2 Wakizashi +16/+11 (1d8+19/15-20/x2) and
   +2 Wakizashi +16 (1d8+10/15-20/x2) and
   +2 Wakizashi +16 (1d8+10/15-20/x2) and
   Slam (1 extra at -5) (Slam) +11 (1 extra at -5) (3d6+8/x2) and
   Tail slap (Tail Slap) +11 (2d6+8/x2)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.


Str 32, Dex 17, Con 20, Int 7, Wis 10, Cha 11
Base Atk +9; CMB +18; CMD 34
Feats Combat Reflexes (4 AoO/round), Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Wakizashi), Improved Critical (Wakizashi), Multiweapon Fighting, Power Attack -3/+6
Skills Acrobatics +3 (+5 to balance), Climb +20, Fly +1, Perception +12, Stealth +11, Swim +20; Racial Modifiers tail
Languages Common
SQ devotion +4, magic/aligned attacks, multiattack / extra attack
Other Gear +2 Wakizashi, +2 Wakizashi, +2 Wakizashi, Belt of physical might (Dex & Con +2), You have no money!

Special Abilities

Combat Reflexes (4 AoO/round) Can make extra attacks of opportunity/rd, and even when flat-footed.
Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark (black and white vision only).
Devotion +4 (Ex) +4 Morale bonus on Will Saves vs. Enchantments.
Evasion (Ex) No damage on successful reflex save.
Magic/Aligned Attacks (Ex) Your natural attacks are magic and share your alignment.
Multiattack / Extra Attack Multiattack or second attack with primary weapon at a -5 penalty.
Power Attack -3/+6 You can subtract from your attack roll to add to your damage.
Tail (Ex) Tail grants +2 Acrobatics checks for balance.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Not using one of the evolutions (biped legs) feels like a waste though :/. Since you're suggesting light weapons anyway, does it sound viable to go Weapon Finesse and keep Serpentine and Dex orientation? I also thought she could have a bow later on... but maybe I'm trying to have it do everything? \$\endgroup\$
    – leokhorn
    Oct 18 '13 at 11:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ You are trying to have everything, but you can go with a DEX build - eidolons are very feat constrained so they won't be great archers but sure, it's possible (plan on using spell slots for summon monster to screen for both of you). \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Oct 18 '13 at 11:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ In addition, especially for Society play, re-skinning is not viable. I would also be cautious in general as there is a minor(if real) benefit depending on the number of legs. Quads are harder to trip than Bipeds and you simply can't trip a Serpentine. As such, it might screw with the DM if you described its limbs as different that what they are without clearing it with the DM first. Think of it this way: I try to trip the Biped Eidolon in front of me. DM: Denied, I reskinned the Serpentine with legs, no trip for you. \$\endgroup\$
    – Guest
    Oct 18 '13 at 12:50
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ And that's why Organized Play is ruining the hobby... But as long as you use the legged trip stats etc and mention it to the GM, like I say, only a punk would say "no your eidolon looks like this..." \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Oct 18 '13 at 13:49

There are a number of options. One thing you have to keep in mind about a Summoner's Eidolon is that its evolutions can be changed every level. It's only the base form that's static (unless you archtype into the Evolutionist).

That said, how to give it functional arms depends on what you want for your Eidolon. Do you want it to be a minor wand-monkey (give it Skilled - Use Magic device)? Do you want it to be harder to hit (Improved Natural Armor or Skilled - Acrobatics)? Do you want to get more attacks (three primaries at first level - Claws)? Able to swim or be a better climber (Swim or Climb respectively)?

You can have it have vestigial arms (à la T-rex) if you want; after all:

The eidolon's physical appearance is up to the summoner, but it always appears as some sort of fantastical creature

If I were building an armed (that is, having arms) Eidolon, I'd likely go with claws since three attacks (+2 to hit unless you add weapon finesse, at which point it goes up to +4) at first level doing 1d4+1/1d4+1/1d6+1 makes for a reasonably nasty offense which is similar to (if much weaker than) what a Lamia Matriarch can do.

An additional option is using the feat Extra Evolution, from Ultimate Magic, to get that extra evolution point you desire. As an additional note(For Society play at least) since you can re-train at no cost prior to leveling up to level 2, you could take the above feat at creation and sub it out just prior to leveling.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Extra evolution is often more powerful than other feats. Remember that the "claws" can be skinned as a weapon too, if the DM allows it. It's a bit wonky since it can't be disarmed, but I'd likely allow it for flavor, unless it the eidolon was likely to go up against foes that would likely try to disarm it based on looks. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jeff Fry
    Oct 18 '13 at 20:07

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