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Agile Tongue and Flurry of Blows


Rules Questions

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1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Hi,

I'm building a grippli monk for PFS and I need some rules clarifications.

Ideally I want to take Agile Tongue and then Improved Disarm with the intent of using Flurry of Blows to be able to trip and disarm opponents (I already have Improved Trip). The idea being I can trip opponents who are adjacent and have a reach disarm.

My question is: Can I use my tongue as part of a Flurry of Blows?

The existence of the Feral Combat Training feat would imply that I can't (as that feat makes it possible to use a natural attack as part of a flurry) HOWEVER I can't find any rules that state that a tongue counts as a natural attack.

Some clarification would be appreciated.

Thank you.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

You can't use natural weapons. Is there some reason you think the tongue is a manufactured weapon?


Emperor4Hire wrote:
HOWEVER I can't find any rules that state that a tongue counts as a natural attack.

My instinct is that it is a natural attack and normally I'd leave it at that but I'm really attached to this character concept so I'd like an official ruling.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

You would need FCT with the tounge to flurry with it. You might consider a master of many styles or Sensei build to combine the tounge with unarmed strikes, as they give up flurry. You can't be unchained that way, but you can be effective.


i think using the tongue this way would count it as an unarmed strike rather than a natural attack as it doesn't state that they get an extra attack for having the tongue just that they can use it in different ways


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"Benefit: You have a prehensile tongue with a range of 10 feet. You can pick up items weighing no more than 5 pounds, make Sleight of Hand checks, perform the steal or disarm combat maneuvers, or make melee touch attacks with your tongue."

Nothing about Agile Tongue would make it a Natural Attack.


"These attacks can be any combination of unarmed strikes and attacks with a monk special weapon (he does not need to use two weapons to utilize this ability)."

The agile tongue is a touch attack not an unarmed strike. It is also not a monk weapon either.


Emperor4Hire wrote:

Hi,

I'm building a grippli monk for PFS and I need some rules clarifications.

Ideally I want to take Agile Tongue and then Improved Disarm with the intent of using Flurry of Blows to be able to trip and disarm opponents (I already have Improved Trip). The idea being I can trip opponents who are adjacent and have a reach disarm.

My question is: Can I use my tongue as part of a Flurry of Blows?

The existence of the Feral Combat Training feat would imply that I can't (as that feat makes it possible to use a natural attack as part of a flurry) HOWEVER I can't find any rules that state that a tongue counts as a natural attack.

Some clarification would be appreciated.

Thank you.

Agile tongue as written is not a natural attack, however this is not the important issue. The important issue is the wording of Flurry of Blows.

Part of the Text of FoB:
A monk may substitute disarm, sunder, and trip combat maneuvers for unarmed attacks as part of a flurry of blows. A monk cannot use any weapon other than an unarmed strike or a special monk weapon as part of a flurry of blows. A monk with natural weapons cannot use such weapons as part of a flurry of blows, nor can he make natural attacks in addition to his flurry of blows attacks.

Here are the important things to note here. The Agile Tongue feat in no way qualifies it as a weapon (of any kind) and it allows you to make steal or disarm combat maneuvers at 10 feet. Flurry of blows says you may substitute these attacks for disarm, sunder and trip combat maneuvers, but no weapon may be used for them other than unarmed strikes or a monk weapon may be used.

RAW I believe you can do this, I am not sure if personally I would allow this but from what I can tell it should work RAW. However in PFS I would be very cautious about doing this as I see many DMs seeing it different ways.


It is not a weapon, it is just a body part.

If someone in your game had this feat and used their tongue to disarm would you
A) allow them to be disarmed of their tongue if they fail?
B) give them a -4 on the roll but allow them to automatically pick it up
C) allow them to make the check in addition to a full attack with a weapon

I feel the correct answers are No, Yes, No.

A human monk may flurry with his tongue if he is so inclined. He would do full damage, and could trip, bullrush, disarm, or sunder steel with it.

The feat allows you to do more things with your tongue, and increases your reach. It does not prevent you from using your tongue in anyway you previously could. You can still talk, eat icecream, and give frogy french kisses. As a monk, you may still make unarmed strikes with any part of your body. ANY PART.


"A monk’s attacks may be with fist, elbows, knees, and feet."

Not "ANY PART" and not tongue.


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There's a reason the natural attacks by size table has an "Other" entry. This is it.


Cavall wrote:

"A monk’s attacks may be with fist, elbows, knees, and feet."

Not "ANY PART" and not tongue.

Gah, what? Is the dementia kicking in already? (Checks srd)

Well... dang it. I guess it is.

Still, disarm and steal are not combat maneuvers that require weapons. In most instances they don't even count as unarmed strikes. Can still use your tongue in a flurry, in the ways the feat mentions.

Declaring it a natural weapon opens up new problems for non monks, like the ability to declare a secondary natural attack with it.


toastedamphibian wrote:

{. . .}

The feat allows you to do more things with your tongue, and increases your reach. It does not prevent you from using your tongue in anyway you previously could. You can still talk, eat icecream, and give frogy french kisses. As a monk, you may still make unarmed strikes with any part of your body. ANY PART.

This is a disturbing thought . . . and now I've got the image of Jar Jar Binks back in my head.


Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
There's a reason the natural attacks by size table has an "Other" entry. This is it.

Yes but a fun fact about that, if you classify it as a natural attack that means that you get an attack which deals damage in addition to everything else the feat provides. Which is simply not the case. There is nothing stating it is a natural attack of any kind in the feat and if it were then feral combat training would work for it.

Cavall wrote:

"A monk’s attacks may be with fist, elbows, knees, and feet."

Not "ANY PART" and not tongue.

You are absolutely right the attacks may be with "fist, elbows, knees, and feet" however in flurry of blows it also says "A monk may substitute disarm, sunder, and trip combat maneuvers for unarmed attacks as part of a flurry of blows." And because the feat allows you to make disarm maneuvers with it you should be able to use it.


Your tongue is physically part of your body from birth. A manufactured weapon is ANY weapon that is either not part of your body or that requires a feat to use without provoking an Attack of Opportunity, such as Unarmed Strikes.

A natural weapon is anything that is ingrained into your physical being. Claws, bite, tongue, horns, etc.

Basically, if it's NOT an unarmed strike, and it's an inherent part of your body that can't be removed without severing body parts, it's a natural attack. Period.

Addendum: This does not apply to any spells, SLAs, ex, or su special abilities.


Secondary addendum: A tail attack from a Kobold with tail augments is still a natural attack, because it's their tail. It's just been augmented.


So.... all humans have natural weapons called heads, and should be making secondary attacks with them?

Zarius: Disarm does not need a weapon. Steal and sleight of hand are not done with weapons. "Melee touch attacks" are generally not unarmed strikes. I don't see any reason why anyone would need to declare this as any kind of weapon other than to punish grippli monks.

If you use the feat to steal or disarm, you are making an unarmed combat manuver. (Not an Unarmed Strike).

Monks are specifically able to substitute disarm attemps for unarmed attacks in a flurry.

I don't see the RAW objection, or any reason for a conceptual objection (frog martial artist steals one guys sword with his tongue while tripping another before bicycle kicking a third 20 feet away? How is the tongue part any more absurd?)

Whats the problem? A RAI objection to a limb thats neither a hand nor a natural weapon?

Do you feel a wolfs paws, a birds wing, a tieflings tail (prehensile or otherwise) or a horses mouth to be either unarmed strikes or natural weapons?


@toasted, no. Humans have no natural weapons. Humans must TRAIN to use their head as a combat weapon, outside of the blob of fatty tissue that it houses for thinking.

The objection to it is that the RAW is this: "Flurry of Blows (passive): When a monk is either unarmed or is wielding only monk weapons (Kama, Shuriken, Quarterstaff), the monk is treated as if they had a full Base Attack Bonus for all monk levels they possess rather than a 3/4 Base Attack Bonus. " And the Feral Combat Training feat has this footnote on it: "Special: If you are a monk, you can use the selected natural weapon with your flurry of blows class feature."

Literally, that feat sets the precedence for natural attacks NOT being included, because it is the mechanism for it.

A wolf's paws, a bird's wings, and a Teifling's tail are NEITHER, unless specially mentioned in the entity's description as such. Like the fact that a Heavy Horse gets a 1d4 BITE attack.

So, rather than trying to tear ME apart for happening to know the rules better than you, go do some bloody research. Google it. ESPECIALLY since the OP literally said "The existence of the Feral Combat Training feat would imply that I can't" in the original post. I'm bloody well sick and tired of people trying to use faulty logic and logical fallacies to shut me down.


"Basically, if it's NOT an unarmed strike, and it's an inherent part of your body that can't be removed without severing body parts, it's a natural attack. Period."

Head. Can't unarmed strike with it. inherent part of your body that can't be removed without sever body parts. Ergo, is natural attack. Period. Was fallacious comment to point out the absurdity of your statement.

None of the things the feat allows you to do with a tongue need to be done with a weapon. Disarm is the only one of the things listed that CAN be done with a weapon.

If the feat made it a weapon, yes, the OP could not flurry with it without feral combat training. Noone is debating that. The question was "Why do you say this body part is a natural weapon now". The feat does not need that addition to work, it adds more complications, and only seems to screw over one specific type of character.

(And a mildly snarky comment on how your listed criteria for a natural weapon also applies to human heads.)


This FAQ says "a creature's unarmed strike is its entire body".
Since the tongue is definitely part of your body, you can indeed flurry with it. As a normal US, you can also replaces these attacks with trip, disarm, or sunder maneuvers (not steal, though, that would require a standard action). And yes, that FAQ overrules the lists of body parts in both the Monk class description and the combat rules.

It is not a natural attack, because the feat doesn't says you can make a (normal) attack with it. A natural attack require specific notion to be one.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Derklord wrote:

This FAQ says "a creature's unarmed strike is its entire body".

Since the tongue is definitely part of your body, you can indeed flurry with it. As a normal US, you can also replaces these attacks with trip, disarm, or sunder maneuvers (not steal, though, that would require a standard action). And yes, that FAQ overrules the lists of body parts in both the Monk class description and the combat rules.

It is not a natural attack, because the feat doesn't says you can make a (normal) attack with it. A natural attack require specific notion to be one.

If you want to make an unarmed strike with your tounge as a Grippli, go ahead. But it's going to have the same reach as any other unarmed strike. Because while agile young allows you to make a maneuver at reach, it doesn't allow an unarmed strike to be made at reach.


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People keep using the word 'reach' but the feat actually never uses that word. It says that the tongue has a 'range' of 10 feet and then lists the things the tongue can do within that range. I don't think you get reach at all.


Derklord wrote:

This FAQ says "a creature's unarmed strike is its entire body".

Since the tongue is definitely part of your body, you can indeed flurry with it. As a normal US, you can also replaces these attacks with trip, disarm, or sunder maneuvers (not steal, though, that would require a standard action). And yes, that FAQ overrules the lists of body parts in both the Monk class description and the combat rules.

It is not a natural attack, because the feat doesn't says you can make a (normal) attack with it. A natural attack require specific notion to be one.

Oh thank the (Derk)Lord, I'm not completely insane!


Gisher, what the term "range" means when applied to a melee weapon is that it can be used AT 10', but not BEFORE it. Think polearms. A poleaxe or a Halberd can be used one space away, but not your immediate adjacency (unless you're Tiny or smaller). This actually gives a Tongue attack a HUGE advantage - some charges you, you can use your tongue to hit them as they get into your NORMAL threat range for swords, etc.

As to a natural weapon being an unarmed strike, and thus usable with Flurry, here's two problems:

FIRST, there's a Paizo feat that LET'S you. If there is a special mechanism that lets you do something as benefit of that mechanism, you CANNOT do that normally. The fact that there is a feat to let you use a natural weapon as a part of your Flurry means that is can't be used as such NORMALLY.

SECOND, the feat Improved Unarmed Strikes, which monks get as a level 1 bonus feat, lets you cause Lethal damage with your fist as a normal thing. Without that feat, an unarmed strike DOESN'T do lethal damage unless you're willing to take a -4 to hit. Natural weapons ALWAYS do lethal damage.

You're trying to equate claws to an unarmed strike because you don't have a manufactured, and thus you consider yourself to be "unarmed." Your claws, however, ARE a weapon. They're a weapon that is a natural part of your body. If you have claws, you can't be disarmed in the traditional way. You can be disarmed only by having your hands cut off. Unarmed strikes can be used with any "part" of the body, but you can't disarm someone of them without killing them. Even if you truncate, they're still able to headbutt you.

AND AS THE ARGUMENT ENDER:

"A monk with natural weapons cannot use such weapons as part of a flurry of blows, nor can he make natural attacks in addition to his flurry of blows attacks."

Paizo says you can't. Deal with it, or take the feat.


Clarification, the OP isn't the target of my venom, he asked a legit question. Derklord, however, probably needs to read the actual basic rules for an ability before weighing in with irrelevant statements.

Scarab Sages

@Zarius by your definition, monks are never unarmed, and always using their natural weapons unless using a manufactured monk weapon (IE Kama). You should take a chill pill, calm down, and rage less at people. Also, you should follow your own advice and check a rulebook for definitions, before trying to use real world logic to define ingame terms.


Zarius wrote:
Gisher, what the term "range" means when applied to a melee weapon is that it can be used AT 10', but not BEFORE it. Think polearms. A poleaxe or a Halberd can be used one space away, but not your immediate adjacency (unless you're Tiny or smaller). This actually gives a Tongue attack a HUGE advantage - some charges you, you can use your tongue to hit them as they get into your NORMAL threat range for swords, etc.

You are citing the rules for reach weapons. The tongue does not have reach and so does not threaten any squares.


Anyone applying logic to the question would see that a monk needs to be able to apply force enough for a strike with whatever body part is used. Would you allow a human monk to strike someone with their tongue?

Nothing in the agile tongue description makes me believe that a grippli can strike for damage with the tongue. If it can't strike for damage with the tongue, then it shouldn't be able to be used in improved unarmed strike.


Dreklord I see nothing in that FAQ that changes what a monk can use to make an unarmed strike. Just that the FAQ says for the purpose of magic Fang it affects all the unarmed attacks that a monk could make.

It's worded specifically to support my quote not make it irrelevant, IMHO

The FAQ asks does the spell affect the whole body or just one part for enhancing. It doesn't say that you can use tongues or groins or belly buttons.

While it does say there's no game mechanic saying which part he has to use, that's in reference to the choices given. For instance he could use a fist or a foot if he wanted.

But there IS a clear mechanic in the rules, it's the main book. Either the wording doesn't mean what you think it does or the person that wrote it doesn't know the core rule book.

I'd say it's the former, given how I've shown it can be the other way for reading.


"Unarmed Strike: For the purpose of magic fang and other spells, is an unarmed strike your whole body, or is it a part of your body (such as a fist or kick)?

As written, the text isn't as clear as it could be. Because magic fang requires the caster to select a specific natural attack to affect, you could interpret that to mean you have to do the same thing for each body part you want to enhance with the spell (fist, elbow, kick, knee, headbutt, and so on).
However, there's no game mechanic specifying what body part a monk has to use to make an unarmed strike (other than if the monk is holding an object with his hands, he probably can't use that hand to make an unarmed strike), so a monk could just pick a body part to enhance with the spell and always use that body part, especially as the 12/4/2012 revised ruling for flurry of blows allows a monk to flurry with the same weapon (in this case, an unarmed strike) for all flurry attacks.
This means there is no game mechanical reason to require magic fang and similar spells to specify one body part for an enhanced unarmed strike. Therefore, a creature's unarmed strike is its entire body, and a magic fang (or similar spell) cast on a creature's unarmed strike affects all unarmed strikes the creature makes.
The text of magic fang will be updated slightly in the next Core Rulebook update to take this ruling into account.
posted March 2013 | back to top"

Yes, Derk. That is absolutely 100% bloody irrelevant. This ONLY applies to Magic Fang (and similar spells), and was an issue with THAT SPELL addressed four years ago. Take your babbling BS, and go somewhere else.


Oh, and I did quote rules. I quoted the actual Flurry of Blows data directly from Paizo's site. Maybe if you actually followed a link, or read a whole sentence, you wouldn't be having problems with reading comprehension.


What exactly is unclear about the statements "a creature's unarmed strike is its entire body" and "there's no game mechanic specifying what body part a monk has to use to make an unarmed strike"? What makes you think that these general statements made by the FAQ only apply in regards to the spell? Those statements are used only to explain why Magic Fang effects the entire body - those aren't new rules, and thus the actual FAQ question doesn't matter.

Seriously guys, when the combat rules say "punches, kicks, and head butts", and the Monk description says "fist, elbows, knees, and feet", the lists can not possibly be exclusive. If we accept that an unMonk can use it's Head-Butt class feature, the Monk's list can not possibly be exclusive. If we accept that a Monk can do what it's class description says and use knees and elbows, the combat rules list can not possibly be exclusive. In addition to this, we have the above FAQ saying that there is no game mechanic specifying the body part, a statement that can only be true if the lists are non-exclusive.


Zarius I agree with your side of how to view It, but maybe relax on how you go around it.

Dreklord, I already stated how those statements can be unclear.

However, I'll quote from the main book again.

"A monk’s attacks may be with fist, elbows, knees, and feet."

That's core book. So clearly it's "specific" on what you can use.

I think the wording of your FAQ is that there is no game mechanic that defines which part of that list you have to use. It is clear you have a choice of fists elbows etc.. It's also clear that choice is up to you.

So you can see the statement of "there's no game mechanic specifying what body part a monk has to use to make an unarmed strike" means there's no one thing you HAVE to use. You get a choice.

The other part is clear that it is referring to bow it enchants a monks attacks. It would affect all of them (ie the whole body) but it certainly doesn't give more attack options. No where in that FAQ did it say that your e given more.

If it did that would mean the author is GROSSLY misinformed as to the main books content for the class he is referring to.

Scarab Sages

"during his flurry of blows, a monk my substitute a ... trip maneuver... for one of his attacks". Doesn't say how you have to use that trip maneuver.


The core book however, does quite clearly state what you have to use.


Cavall wrote:

{. . .}

However, I'll quote from the main book again.

"A monk’s attacks may be with fist, elbows, knees, and feet."
{. . .}

This was probably necessary to prevent something like the Jar-Jar Binks scenario . . . or worse . . . .

Paizo Employee Customer Service Manager

Removed some posts and replies. Folks, different people have different interpretations of how the text of the rules reads. If you are going to have a debate on rules, you need to keep it civil. Civil means no name calling. We have a wide variety of people on our messageboards and commenting in a derogatory fashion on where you believe someone else's reading comprehension is at is not ok.

Additionally, jokes about genitalia and breasts are not appropriate for this thread and do not help us create a welcoming forum space.

If you need text back from a removed post so you can correct it and repost, please email community@paizo.com.


Regardless of potential to call it an unarmed strike: is there a compelling reason to read it as anything other than "you can do these listed things 10ft away without using your hands"? Again, none of the things it lets you do with your tongue need to use a weapon. Disarm attemps don't even use an unarmed strike most of the time.


(Tangent: Force application. So, grippli are about 2 feet tall. Lets assume their tongue attaches half a foot down their throat, and that the length of their mouth is negligible. Lifting an object with their tongue at a distance is essentially using a lever, so mechanical advantage is .5 feet / 10 feet, or 1 to 20. Ie, each pound lifted at 10 feet away requiers 20 lbs of force. Their tongue can generate 100 lbs of force. This is why we don't physics... More importantly, where are they keeping 10 feet of tongue in a 2ft body? Chameleons only get twice their bodly length in there.)

(Before anyone gets huffy, yes, this is grossly oversimplified and probably wrong, a tongue is a muscle and levers against itself, I don't know the physiology of a grippli digestive system etc. But neither do you.)


Maybe a Wizard diddit?


@Sara Marie, I understand your point, but the rules for Flurry of Blows is explicit. Arguing any interpretation of the "a creature's unarmed strike is its entire body" FAQ thing is 100% irrelevant, because the monk flurry of blows says, flat out, that you can't use Natural Weapons during flurry.

Regardless of if you interpret claws, bite, a tail strike, or a combat maneuver provided by a tongue as "unarmed" because you aren't using a manufactured weapon. Flurry of Blows EXPRESSLY forbids it, unless you have the Feral Training feat.

This isn't a matter of interpretation. This is a matter of Derk arguing a 100% irrelevant point from a position of not knowing what he's talking about.

That said, the tongue is still a Grippli's natural weapon. No, you can't use it to perform a combat maneuver during flurry of blows unless you take the feat to use it, in which case it's a *free* one at Melee-5, as if it were a secondary natural attack. -7 if you function under the TWF rules that Flurry allows.


Zarius wrote:


That said, the tongue is still a Grippli's natural weapon.

Citation Needed.

Quote:
No, you can't use it to perform a combat maneuver during flurry of blows unless you take the feat to use it, in which case it's a *free* one at Melee-5, as if it were a secondary natural attack. -7 if you function under the TWF rules that Flurry allows.

Incorrect. Feral combat training allows you to attack with a natural weapon as part of your Flurry, in place of unarmed strikes. It does not allow you to make secondary natural attacks in addition to your flurry.

FAQ


Interestingly, everyone who is not a monk may headbutt.

Quote:

Unarmed Attacks

Striking for damage with punches, kicks, and head butts is much like attacking with a melee weapon, except for the following:...

Link


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That's why monks are wisdom based and not concussion based.

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