In a game I'm in we have ventured underwater into the ocean. I play a summoner, my eidolon has gills, a swim speed, a Bite, 2 claws, and a tentacle attack. How would being underwater effect his damage output?

I've read through all the rules on underwater combat I could find however it didn't fully answer my question regarding natural attacks.

Underwater Combat

Land-based creatures can have considerable difficulty when fighting in water. Water affects a creature's attack rolls, damage, and movement. In some cases a creature's opponents might get a bonus on attacks. The effects are summarized on Table: Combat Adjustments Underwater. They apply whenever a character is swimming, walking in chest-deep water, or walking along the bottom of a body of water.

The chart after lists the effect of freedom of movement spell, swim speed and piercing vs. non piercing weapons, but I don't see anything explaining how does natural attacks are affected by being underwater.


2 Answers 2


The GameMastery Guide on Water says, "The rules presented in the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook for underwater combat apply to creatures not native to this dangerous environment [i.e. underwater], such as most PCs" (214). (Fortunately, monsters can be sorted by terrain.)

It seems reasonable that an eidolon that possesses gills be considered native to water, and, therefore, such an eidolon shouldn't suffer penalties when using its natural weapons during underwater combat, but you should check with your GM to be sure.

Also Paizo creative director James Jacobs in a 2012 post said, "Creatures that have the aquatic [sub]type don't have to worry about those [underwater combat] penalties[,] but all manufactured weapons must abide by these rules, regardless of whether or not the creature wielding them is aquatic." So, in conjunction with the GameMastery Guide's rule, if, for example, the eidolon opts for a greatsword instead its claws, the eidolon suffers the underwater combat penalties on attacks made with that weapon. (Note that Jacobs makes it clear that this is a ruling not a rule, but it seems okay and comes from an often authoritative source.)

  • \$\begingroup\$ Why bring up manufactured weapons in a question specifically about natural attacks? \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Oct 31, 2016 at 17:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ifusaso Because manufactured weapons go unmentioned by the GameMastery Guide, and there are native aquatic creatures that use manufactured weapons in combination with their natural weapons (e.g. sahaugin). \$\endgroup\$ Oct 31, 2016 at 18:04

Depending on your GM, your Eidolon might not fall into the rules for a 'land-based creature' if you've given him gills and a swim speed; if so then they take no penalty for being submerged. There is no penalty for a creature that is 'at home' in the water, it's worth asking.

Going with RAW (since neither evolution says you become amphibian):

  • Bite takes -2 hit because it counts as a piercing attack
  • each Claw and Tentacle take -2 hit for half damage because they are only slashing and/or bludgeoning

The rules don't state that it only applies to manufactured weapons... a tiger would have just as much trouble clawing something while trying to swim as a fighter would slashing it with a sword.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I couldn't find anything except Land-based creatures can have considerable difficulty when fighting in water indicating that aquatic creatures don't suffer the penalties on the chart. Can you cite the answer's first sentence, or is this a common sense ruling? \$\endgroup\$ Oct 28, 2016 at 18:03
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I'll see if I can find it, but I was extrapolating from the context of it not being a Land-based creature meaning the rules provided there do not apply. There are no penalties given for aquatic creatures. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Oct 28, 2016 at 18:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related paizo.com/threads/… \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Oct 28, 2016 at 18:18

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