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Pathfinder - Practical Guide to Eidolons

Disclaimer

I will use content from the core rules, but will intentionally omit any content not published on the official Pathfinder SRD due to the unmanageable volume of non-SRD content, and the wildly varying quality of non-SRD content. If you would like me to write handbooks for specific content not published on the official SRD, please email me and I will consider it on a case-by-case basis. I will use the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks. Also note that many colored items are also links to the Paizo SRD.

Temporary Note: Pathfinder Unchained and Occult Adventures were both recently added to the SRD. I'm excited to explore them, and I am actively working on adding their contents to my collection of handbooks. I appreciate your patience while I make these changes.

Introduction

The Eidolon is a fantastic concept: a pet which you build from the ground up with a pool of "evolution points". No two Eidolons look or behave the same way, and with a bit of planning you can make an Eidolon serve nearly any purpose and fill nearly any role in a party. Much like an Animal Companion, Eidolons typically fall into front-line roles as strikers or defenders, but due to their intelligence and ability to communicate, they can serve as very effective scouts.

Eidolon Abilities

HD: d10 hit points is pretty good, but it's important to note that Eidolons don't get hit dice at the same rate as their Summoner. The hit dice top out at 15

BAB: Full BAB is pretty great, but due to their hit die progression Eidolons' BAB will generally keep pace with 2/3 BAB.

Good/Bad Saves: Two good saving throws is pretty good, and the variable good saves depending on the Eidolon's base form introduces some interesting things to think about.

Skills: By default the Eidolon gets 4 skill ranks per hit die, but you can boost its intelligence to get extra ranks if you feel the need. See the Eidolon Skills section below for help with skills.

Feats: There doesn't appear to be a way to retrain Eidolon feats, so be sure to plan out your feat selections well in advance. See the Eidolon Feats section below for help selecting feats.

Armor Bonus: Take the bonus as a natural armor bonus every time. There is no case in which armor bonuses are better than natural armor, and there are several things which bypass armor bonuses but not natural armor. The bonus is pretty great, and will outpace armor and sheild bonuses very quickly.

Str/Dex Bonus: This will boost your Eidolon's damage, AC, and Reflex saves. The bonuses might seem small, but they keep pace with ability score enhancement items.

Evolution Pool: The Eidolon's hear and soul is its evolutions.

Max. Attacks: Perhaps the biggest limitation on Eidolons' damage ouput. Without this, Eidolons would be fairly ridiculous. Note that this is only a limit on the number of attacks that the Eidolon can make in a turn, not on the Eidolon's number of attack options.

Darkvision (Ex): Excellent on any and every creature in the party.

Link (Ex): The telepathy thing is cool, but the magic item part of the ability is far more important. Unlike Animal Companions, it is explicitly stated that Eidolons can use magic items which work in humanoid item slots. Give your Eidolon your belt slot for physical ability enhancements, and maybe a ring of protection.

Share Spells (Ex): Cool for some buffs.

Evasion (Ex): Fantastic, especially if your Eidolon has a decent Reflex save.

Ability Score Increase (Ex): A few extra ability points probably won't make a huge difference compared to the free strength/dexterity bonus, but you can boost your Eidolon's other abilities to get more hit points or skill ranks.

Devotion (Ex): Enchantment is a very scary spell school.

Multiattack: The rules don't specifically state that your Eidolon can take another feat in place of multiattack, but the general rules for bonus feats allow you to do so. Multiattack is very important, and you generally want it long before level 10. Of course, you can plan your natural attacks so that they are all primary attacks, at which point Multiattack is useless.

Improved Evasion (Ex): Always fantastic.

Eidolon Skills

When picking your Eidolon's skills, remember that they do not gain hit dice as quickly as characters do, so even their best skills likely won't keep pace with a regular party member. Eidolons get 4 skill ranks per hit die by default, but this can be increased by improving the Eidolon's intelligence.

Free Skills

Selected Skills

At 1st level, the summoner can choose 4 additional skills to be class skills for his eidolon. These free skills provide a lot of versatility for your Eidolon, so be sure to pick skills which support the role you want your Eidolon to fill.

Eidolon Feats

Base Forms

All base forms get 5 points worth of free evolutions. The biggest differences are their starting ability scores and their good saves.

Aquatic

Unless you're in an aquatic campaign, you're going to need to spend evolution points to buy your pet fish some legs.

Quadruped

The Quadruped is a step above other Eidolon base forms solely because it gets the Pounce evolution. As the Eidolon grows and gains additional attacks, Pounce becomes crucial, especially if you intend to use your Eidolon as a Striker. This limitation is somewhat ridiculous because you can easily spend a few evolution points on any other base form to match all of the anatomical features of the quadruped base form. The Quadruped can also serve as a mount, which makes it very easy for the summoner to remain adjacent to the Eidolon to share spells.

Biped

The Biped is a very versatile option. Arms and good strength make it a great option for an area control defender, especially if you increase its size. Increasing size to Huge and taking the Reach evolution nets you a maximum of 20 foot reach.

Serpentine

The Serpentine base form is the slowest and has the least strength of all of the base forms. Because it has high base dexterity and starts with Reach, it can make a good Defender, but it will have trouble dealing damage until you enhance its strength. The Serpentine base form can be used as a mount, and because it can take Constrict, it is an excellent grappler.

Evolutions

Evolutions are your Eidolon's heart and soul.

1-Point Evolutions

2-Point Evolutions

3-Point Evolutions

4-Point Evolutions

Summoner Feats

The Summoner's feat choices are just as important as those for the Eidolon.