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If the Eidolon is one below Max Attacks, can you select Claws?

Description for Max Attacks:

This indicates the maximum number of natural attacks that the eidolon is allowed to possess at the given level. If the eidolon is at its maximum, it cannot take evolutions that grant additional natural attacks. This does not include attacks made with weapons.

Description for the Claws Evolution:

An eidolon has a pair of vicious claws at the end of its limbs, giving it two claw attacks. These attacks are primary attacks. The claws deal 1d4 points of damage (1d6 if Large, 1d8 if Huge). The eidolon must have the limbs evolution to take this evolution. This evolution can only be applied to the limbs (legs) evolution once This evolution can be selected more than once, but the eidolon must possess an equal number of the limbs evolution.

For example, assume a level 4 Quadruped with Bite, 2 Claws, 4 legs, and 2 arms. With Max Attacks 4, that leaves it at 3/4 Natural Attacks. It has two more limbs to put Claws on, but is only allowed one additional natural attack.

Can you select Claws? The Max Attacks says it can't take evolutions that grant additional natural attacks if it is at the maximum. It's currently under the max, but taking claws would put it over.

What happens?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You might want to take a look at Eidolon attacks per round. Its not exactly this question, but it does touch on it. \$\endgroup\$ – Gnomejon Jun 22 '16 at 4:28
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So, from my understanding of the eidolon rules, you could take the claws evolution in your proposed scenario, but you could only use 4 of the 5 attacks you would have. It would have the benefit of adding the rest of the natural attacks you could use, but I would recommend a different evolution like slam, because it gives you more damage. I say this due to the fact that you can redistribute all points every time you gain a level:

These choices are not set. The summoner can change them whenever he gains a level (and through the transmogrify spell).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ While I agree that in most cases it doesn't matter much, but there are some edges. Like, for example, if the Eidolon has Rend then you net more damage by having more Claw attacks to try to proc that as frequently as possible. In that case, you're better off getting one Claw than one Slam. \$\endgroup\$ – BRW Jun 22 '16 at 15:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ As for the understanding of the rules, I want to agree, but the hang-up is with the specific wording "possess" on the Max Attacks description. It doesn't say that you can only make that many attacks, but that you can only POSSESS that many. \$\endgroup\$ – BRW Jun 22 '16 at 15:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ I did some research on the subject, and I couldn't find a direct answer. This case seems to be more around GM ruling, but RAI, at least, seems pretty clear in this instance. \$\endgroup\$ – Gnomejon Jun 22 '16 at 19:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ I also think this is accurate (as well as seems to fit RAI) because the text indicates that you can't take more attacks after you've already maxxed your slots, not that you can't be put over the number. I would also venture to say most GM's would allow you to take more (homerule) as long as you only use the given amount on any one turn. \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Jun 23 '16 at 12:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was really hoping for something more concrete, but I'm going to go ahead and select this as the answer. Seems like it's probably about the best answer I'll get. \$\endgroup\$ – BRW Jun 27 '16 at 16:30

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