Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Beginner Box

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Comics

Pathfinder Legends

PaizoCon 2014!

Limbless Unarmed Strikes

Rules Questions

4 people marked this as FAQ candidate.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Can creatures without limbs make unarmed strikes?

If I have used Vermin Shape to become a Giant Leech, Giant Rot Grub, Giant Sea Anemone, or other headless, limbless creature, do I lose the ability to make unarmed strikes?

If I create an Animated Cannonball via Craft Construct, add the Brain Bioconstruct Modification to give it the Improved Unarmed Strike feat, can it make no use of it?

You should be able to make unarmed strikes as a giant leech and such. Unarmed strike is a strike that doesn't use a weapon like a sword for example.

You still have a body that you could throw at your opponent in some form or other.

The other part I have no clue about. I haven't read up on constructs.

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Well, an Animated Cannonball is just that.

Doesn't the animated cannonball already get a slam attack?

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

That is irrelevant.

Having a natural attack does not prevent unarmed strikes.

I know, I'm just wondering why you would still want unarmed strikes. XD

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Unarmed strikes can be used more often at higher BAB.

They can also be used with a number of other feats, that cannot be used with natural attacks.

There is a number of reasons why.

blackbloodtroll wrote:

Unarmed strikes can be used more often at higher BAB.

They can also be used with a number of other feats, that cannot be used with natural attacks.

There is a number of reasons why.

Just had a few amusing mental images from this.

"How...on earth...does a cannonball emulate a [i]snake[/] in its fighting style?"


"Did that cannonball just do piercing damage!?" O_o

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Still, the questions remain.


If it doesn't make sense as a GM or PC you probably shouldn't do it.

That said, unarmed strike can be made with any part of the body. And I wouldn't assume a ball of metal is perfectly smooth, especially after taking any damage. So it rolls in a fashion kinda like a charmed snake and bounces at you focusing on its jagged edges.

Simple answer: Yes. To my knowledge, all creatures of all types possess an "Unarmed Strike."

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I have been told by some, that you need a special body, of some kind, to do something, I was sure, all corporeal creatures could do.

If there is some kind of RAW evidence, to help me be sure?

This thread makes me giggle.

This simple answer is yes. Anything living can have an unarmed strike as per raw I believe, even constructs and slugs. A snake could whip you with its tail, jump on you, etc. AS a GM I'd still require you to be able to describe some ways that the creature in question could realistically attack you with just it's natural body.

The more complicated answer is how would you animate a cannonball? It has no arms or legs, no mouth and essentially no way to interact with the outside world. Congrats: it's sentient but unable to manipulate the world around it (and yes, in this case I'd personally rule that it has no unarmed strike. Or a landspeed for that matter.)

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

A cannonball is a more than legal target for the Animate Objects spell.

This means you can make a permanent, undispelable Animated Cannonball.

It will have a 20 ft. speed, as per RAW.

Unarmed strikes are different from natural attacks. If something has natural attacks listed, you should use that. The bestiary says that “Some creatures do not have natural attacks. These creatures can make unarmed strikes just like humans do.”

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

That is not the question.

The question, is if they can.

I could list several reasons why they might choose to do so, but that's not the core issue.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Well, a limbless creature can make unarmed strikes normally.

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I agree, but there are times when RAW support is needed.

If anyone can find RAW support either for, or against, it would be helpful.


There's no reason it can't have unarmed strikes.

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I know there was evidence of it being true in 3.5, as on the WotC website Elite Opponents article had a Fiendish Gelatinous Cube Monk.

Is there evidence that this changed?

There's a

RotR spoiler:
flying mummy monk
in Rise of the Runelords that uses unarmed strikes even though he can't move his limbs.

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Ah. That helps.

He still has limbs though.

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

So, a Monk who is a target of a Flesh to Ooze spell, can still flurry?

2 people marked this as a favorite.
blackbloodtroll wrote:
So, a Monk who is a target of a Flesh to Ooze spell, can still flurry?

Slurry of blows

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
darkwarriorkarg wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
So, a Monk who is a target of a Flesh to Ooze spell, can still flurry?
Slurry of blows

Clever girl.

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

A bit of necro, but curious if anything official has crawled out of the woodwork.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

As the Unarmed Attacks entry does not mention a prerequisite (like for instance the ranged attacks entry does) I say it is save to assume that you can make unarmed attacks if you have a body of any kind.

The more dire question is: can you make unarmed attacks and hit anything with them, because the monk can't and so why should you?

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

When it comes to unarmed strike debates, someone always mentions limbs.

This is why I ask.

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Also, the Flesh to Oozed unarmed fighter sounds awesome.

Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder RPG / Rules Questions / Limbless Unarmed Strikes All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.