Two-weapon fighting with unarmed strikes?


Rules Questions

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I've been trying in vain to figure this out and would appreciate some insight. I have a character with a BAB of +7 and a natural Slam attack. The player is tired of making a single attack every round and is looking for options, so she's thinking to take a level of monk. I know that flurry of blows doesn't play well with natural attacks, so let's ignore the flurry ability for the moment.

Can the character take the Two-Weapon Fighting feat and simply make iterative unarmed strikes and then add the slam as a secondary attack to the routine? Since the monk's unarmed strikes are considered light and there's no off-hand penalty, they only suffer the flat two-weapon fighting penalty of -2 to hit. So the routine would look like:

Strike +5 / Strike +5 / Strike 0 / Slam +2

Strike damage would be the monk's regular unarmed 1d6, and the slam damage remains the same though with half Strength. Does this make sense, or am I way off base?


You are correct on all counts.


Fuzzy-wuzzy was correct


Ambrus wrote:
I've been trying in vain to figure this out and would appreciate some insight. I have a character with a BAB of +7 and a natural Slam attack. The player is tired of making a single attack every round...

You should already be getting two attacks at BAB7, one a -5 iterative. It could be two slams, or two weapon attacks, or one of each (unless your creature type's physique somehow gums that up).


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Slim Jim wrote:
Ambrus wrote:
I've been trying in vain to figure this out and would appreciate some insight. I have a character with a BAB of +7 and a natural Slam attack. The player is tired of making a single attack every round...
You should already be getting two attacks at BAB7, one a -5 iterative. It could be two slams, or two weapon attacks, or one of each (unless your creature type's physique somehow gums that up).

Can't be 2 slams. As a natural weapon, slams never get iterative attacks from a high BAB.

Quote:
Natural Attacks: Attacks made with natural weapons, such as claws and bites, are melee attacks that can be made against any creature within your reach (usually 5 feet). These attacks are made using your full attack bonus and deal an amount of damage that depends on their type (plus your Strength modifier, as normal). You do not receive additional natural attacks for a high base attack bonus. Instead, you receive additional attack rolls for multiple limb and body parts capable of making the attack (as noted by the race or ability that grants the attacks). If you possess only one natural attack (such as a bite—two claw attacks do not qualify), you add 1–1/2 times your Strength bonus on damage rolls made with that attack.


Could go the vital strike route instead, just as a thought.


To avoid the mess of flurry of blows, if you go with the Monk idea, take Master of Many Styles and grab a free style feat or Elemental Fist. The archetype replaces Flurry of Blows, and can net you an extra combat option.


Ooh. That's a great idea LizardMage; Earth Child Style is perfect for this character!

Thanks to all for checking my work and the helpful suggestions. You'll make my player very happy.


Also look at Maneuver Master. It allows for an extra maneuver on top of your iteratives, twf and natural attacks. Great for trip builds (see vicious stomp, imp trip).


Or just a brawler dip for martial flexibility, or the Mutagen archetype for +4 strength. I like the preservation of BAB but these are all good options.


Ambrus wrote:
Strike +5 / Strike +5 / Strike 0 / Slam +2

Unarmed strike is a single weapon, to unless there has been some errata I am unaware of you cannot TWF with just it. So you cannot do three unarmed strikes with a BAB of +7.

If it were possible (or if you added a dagger or something to make it definitely possible), the -2 penalty would apply to all attacks for the round, including the slam.

Alternatively, you could do Strike +7/Strike+2/Slam+2 and not worry about the penalty and save yourself a feat.

_
glass.


glass wrote:
Unarmed strike is a single weapon, to unless there has been some errata I am unaware of you cannot TWF with just it.

Yeah, there's an FAQ for that. Here.


you could keep the flurry and take the feat that allow you to flurry with a natural weapon


Feral Combat Training


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Technically, with a level in Monk, you get your Slam at +7, not at +2. A Monk Unarmed Strike counts as a natural weapon for the purposes of effects that improve Natural Weapons, so adding Monk Unarmed Strikes is just adding more Natural Attacks.

Monk Unarmed Strike wrote:
A monk’s unarmed strike is treated as both a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons.

This use of the Monk Class Ability does seem to be strongly disliked by some people on this forum, however. But it is what the rules say.

Another way to you use your Iterative attack slots for a Natural Attacking character is to take 2 levels in Alchemist and grow a Tentacle. Since the Tentacle Discovery doesn't give you extra attacks, you use your regular, iterative attack, weapon slot to use you Tentacle, but since your Tentacle is still a Natural Weapon, it won't interfere with your Slam Attack.

Another way to get more attacks/round is to just get more natural Attacks. Every time you gain more natural attacks, they just add onto your Full Attack routine.

Take levels in Barbarian, and you can get a Bite Attack and 2 Claws or a Gore Attack as Rage Powers. Something very good about this idea is that these Natural Attacks do more damage than normal, and you get a ST bonus when you Rage, giving you Attack and Damage Bonuses on ALL your attacks.

Take the Feral Mutagen Alchemal Discovery, and you get 2 Claws and a Bite Attack.

Take a level in White Haired Witch, and you get a Hair Attack.

Acquire a Ring of Ratfangs, and you get a Bite Attack.

Acquire an Animal Mask and get a Bite or Gore Attack.

Acquire a Helm of the Mammoth Lord and get a Gore Attack.

If you take 4 levels in Druid, you can turn into animals up to Size Huge and get all kinds of combinations of Natural Attacks with Wild Shape. If you become a Goliath Druid, you turn into Giants and keep your Natural Attacks you already have, just sized up.

If you take levels in Warpriest, you can apply Sacred Weapon Damage to your Natural Attacks which usually do more damage than your regular natural attack damage.

There is the Druid and Ranger Spell Strong Jaw, which gives you a 2-slot Virtual Size Increase to all your natural attacks.

I know other tricks for optimizing Natural Attacking Characters.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Scott Wilhelm wrote:

Technically, with a level in Monk, you get your Slam at +7, not at +2. A Monk Unarmed Strike counts as a natural weapon for the purposes of effects that improve Natural Weapons, so adding Monk Unarmed Strikes is just adding more Natural Attacks.

This use of the Monk Class Ability does seem to be strongly disliked by some people on this forum, however. But it is what the rules say.

What is strongly disliked is saying something is true that isn't true, is misleading, and known to be wrong.


James Risner wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:

Technically, with a level in Monk, you get your Slam at +7, not at +2. A Monk Unarmed Strike counts as a natural weapon for the purposes of effects that improve Natural Weapons, so adding Monk Unarmed Strikes is just adding more Natural Attacks.

This use of the Monk Class Ability does seem to be strongly disliked by some people on this forum, however. But it is what the rules say.
What is strongly disliked is saying something is true that isn't true, is misleading, and known to be wrong.

Well, let us know if you come across something that is any of those things.

The rules really do say what I said.

Monk Unarmed Strike wrote:
A monk’s unarmed strike is treated as both a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons.

Monk

Can you quote any official rules source that says this is wrong? Because I have quoted official rules that say I am right. The rules say what I said they say, and now I can show you as evidence that it is strongly disliked by some people. It seems you came to join this discussion for the sole purpose of proving me right.

You and I have comprehensively proven my point true.


Scott, what do you think the phrase "for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons" means? Because it would have to be wholly inoperative in order for the sentence to mean that monk UAS is a natural attack as you claim.


I would say "the universal monster rules describing how natural attacks work" is not a spell or effect that enhances anything.


Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Scott, what do you think the phrase "for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons" means? Because it would have to be wholly inoperative in order for the sentence to mean that monk UAS is a natural attack as you claim.

The rules say that MUS are treated as natural weapons for the purposes of effects that improve natural weapons. Whether or not it IS one, it is treated as one.

PossibleNinjaCabbage wrote:
I would say "the universal monster rules describing how natural attacks work" is not a spell or effect that enhances anything.

To my knowledge, "effect" does not have an in-game definition to be brought to bear here. It is an English language word that just means a consequence brought about by a cause. So,

The effect of combining Manufactured Weapon attacks in the same Full Attack as your Primary Natural Attacks is to cause those Primary Natural Attacks to become Secondary: -5 to attack and only 1/2 ST Mod to Damage.

But for the effects of improving Natural Weapons, Monk Unarmed Strikes are treated as Natural Weapons. The effect of treating MUS as natural weapons instead is that there is no penalty: just extra attacks.

While you can argue that this application of the ability is unusual, and I have conclusively proven that it is strongly disliked by 1 or more people, I don't see it at inoperative. Admittedly, I don't exactly know what you mean by "inoperative" here. But, I figure it means "bad."


One, FYI, "inoperative" means "having no effect." An inoperative phrase is one that has no impact on the meaning of the sentence and might as well not be there.

Two, the fact that many people think poorly of your reasoning is not something to take pride in or brag about, much less to gloat over. I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you are not one of those dorks who thinks holding a minority opinion makes him some kind of Kewl R3b3l against an Oppressive Establishment, because if you were then all debate with you would be pointless.

Three, are you seriously claiming that a monk's UAS can enhance/improve other weapons? Is that what your argument boils down to?

Four... Ambrus, this is your thread; how much doubt is there in your mind that Scott is full of it? Do you want to see this debated? Because I'm not going to argue just to entertain Scott.


Fuzzy,

My person is not being offered as evidence. Attacking my person does not change whether I am right.


Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Two, the fact that many people think poorly of your reasoning is not something to take pride in or brag about, much less to gloat over.

The verbal abuse I have received over this by you, James Risner, and other people is NOT something I seek. But I resolve not to be cowed out of giving my best advice according to what the rules say by you, James Risner, or anyone else.

My advice is based, as it almost always is, on what the rules literally say, the RAW. I am not gloating about being the victim of online bullying, though I sure do have bragging rights about that.

No, I am giving fair warning about my advice that while it is perfectly legal, it attracts a lot of verbal abuse from a cadre of online bullies that stalk me on these forums.


Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Three, are you seriously claiming that a monk's UAS can enhance/improve other weapons?

Yes, I am. MUS does not say that they count as natural or manufactured weapons for the purposes of effects that only improve THEM. They say they count as natural or manufactured weapons for the purposes of effects that improve natural or manufactured weapons. The language of that rule does not preclude Monk Unarmed Strikes counting as natural weapons for the purpose of effects that improve other natural weapons.

My reasoning goes something like this:

Q: Do Monk Unarmed Strikes count as Natural Weapons for the purpose of effects that improve Natural weapons?

A: Yes.

Q: Is a Slam Attack a Natural Weapon?

A: Yes.

Q: Do Monk Unarmed Strikes count as Natural Weapons for the purposes of effects that improve Slam Attacks?

A: Yes!

Do you have a rules-based argument to demonstrate I am wrong? I would like to hear it.


Scott, are you saying that a monk using natural attacks in addition to his UAS does not incur the -5 penalty on those natural attacks? Octomonk would have all of his 8+ attacks at full bab?

Quote:

Q: Do Monk Unarmed Strikes count as Natural Weapons for the purposes of effects that improve Slam Attacks?

A: Yes!

Doesn't this mean the slams should benefit from the monks increased unarmed damage too?


WagnerSika wrote:

Scott, are you saying that a monk using natural attacks in addition to his UAS does not incur the -5 penalty on those natural attacks? Octomonk would have all of his 8+ attacks at full bab?

Quote:

Q: Do Monk Unarmed Strikes count as Natural Weapons for the purposes of effects that improve Slam Attacks?

A: Yes!
Doesn't this mean the slams should benefit from the monks increased unarmed damage too?

No, nothing in Monk Unarmed Strike says that it passes the benefits of MUSD to other natural attacks. Feral Combat Training used to do that, but it got nerfed.

To increased the damage inflicted by each natural attack, I recommended levels in Warpriest, applying Sacred Weapon Damage to the attacks you take Weapon Focus for, or worship a deity whose favored weapon is natural attacks, Aslan maybe.


WagnerSika wrote:

Scott, are you saying that a monk using natural attacks in addition to his UAS does not incur the -5 penalty on those natural attacks? Octomonk would have all of his 8+ attacks at full bab?

Quote:

Q: Do Monk Unarmed Strikes count as Natural Weapons for the purposes of effects that improve Slam Attacks?

A: Yes!
Doesn't this mean the slams should benefit from the monks increased unarmed damage too?

Octomonk? You mean a Monk/Druid that Wildshapes into a Giant Octopus? Remember that Tentacles are Secondary Natural Attacks already, and even if Fuzzy Wuzzy were correct, throwing Unarmed Strikes into your mix wouldn't harm your tentacle attacks further. There is no such thing as a Tertiary Natural Attack.

The build I think you are proposing should definitely include the Mulitattack Feat, reducing the -5 penalty to a much more tolerable -2. If the OPs GM disallows the RAW usage of the ability I proposed, he can still do what I was suggesting, and just take the Mulitattack Feat: no big deal. Honestly, all I've done here is to give the OP something to talk to his GM about, and if he were thinking along these lines aleady, he's also probably also thinking about taking Multiattack.

Also, I was suggesting ways for him to get Bite, Hair, Gore, a Tentacle, and 2 Claws in addition to his Slam. If his GM makes it so adding Unarmed Strikes into the mix hurts all his other Natural Attacks too much to make it worthwhile, we're still talking about a character that is getting 7 attacks/round. Having to content your self with 7 attacks/round instead of 8 or 9 (with 2WF) doesn't seem like that big a deal.


Is your player going monk just to get iteratives and 1d6 unarmed strikes? Does he have enough wisdom to benefit from the armor bonus instead of simply wearing armor?

If not, he could grab some armor spikes and a battleaxe and be just as well off, assuming he took TWF and had martial proficiency.

Masterwork Battleaxe +6 / +6 1d8+Str / Masterwork Armor Spikes +1 1d6+.5Str / Slam +2

He could reduce the attack penalties further by getting the weapons balanced. Dual Balanced


Don't listen to Scott, you can't use unarmed strikes as part of a natural attack combo, whether you're a monk or not. That clause is so you can cast Magic Fang on the monk, not so that they can completely ignore their flurry and do full attacks at maximum BAB. I can't even begin to read it the way he's reading it.


Kristal Moonhand wrote:
Don't listen to Scott, you can't use unarmed strikes as part of a natural attack combo, whether you're a monk or not. That clause is so you can cast Magic Fang on the monk, not so that they can completely ignore their flurry and do full attacks at maximum BAB. I can't even begin to read it the way he's reading it.

you can so, you just cant use them with a flurry of blows, so if you pick up the twf feat tree you can get unarmed strikes and natural attacks


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
James Risner wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:

Technically, with a level in Monk, you get your Slam at +7, not at +2. A Monk Unarmed Strike counts as a natural weapon for the purposes of effects that improve Natural Weapons, so adding Monk Unarmed Strikes is just adding more Natural Attacks.

This use of the Monk Class Ability does seem to be strongly disliked by some people on this forum, however. But it is what the rules say.
What is strongly disliked is saying something is true that isn't true, is misleading, and known to be wrong.

Well, let us know if you come across something that is any of those things.

The rules really do say what I said.

Monk Unarmed Strike wrote:
A monk’s unarmed strike is treated as both a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons.
Monk
Flurry of Blows wrote:
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


Lady-J wrote:
Kristal Moonhand wrote:
Don't listen to Scott, you can't use unarmed strikes as part of a natural attack combo, whether you're a monk or not. That clause is so you can cast Magic Fang on the monk, not so that they can completely ignore their flurry and do full attacks at maximum BAB. I can't even begin to read it the way he's reading it.
you can so, you just cant use them with a flurry of blows, so if you pick up the twf feat tree you can get unarmed strikes and natural attacks

Anyone can combine iterative attacks and nat attacks. What you can't do is have unarmed strikes be part of a natural attack combo. They might count as natural attacks for certain things, but they don't have a primary or secondary signifier, nor are they ever called out as actually being natural attacks that can be used in a combo.


A monk's unarmed strike is treated as a natural weapon. This doesn't mean that a natural weapon can ever be treated like a monk's unarmed strike. Those are completely different statements.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

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Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Do you have a rules-based argument to demonstrate I am wrong? I would like to hear it.

You have been shown rules that say your entire interpretation is wrong. You just ignore it and continue to say "show me a rule".

Sovereign Court

The rule says you get one "It actually makes me bigger." and one "I'm not actually bigger, but I hit like I am.".

http://paizo.com/paizo/faq/v5748nruor1fm#v5748eaic9t5u

They use the Enlarge Person and Bashing shield combo for an example.

A LN Monk/Druid casing Shillelagh and chugging an Enlarge Person potion (or having it cast on him) would be Large and in charge with a 3d6 Quarterstaff attack that he can use with Flurry of Blows.

BAB +7 means at least 7th level. Where is the Haste? Even a 7th level Bard or Skald has that.


Renata Maclean wrote:
A monk's unarmed strike is treated as a natural weapon. This doesn't mean that a natural weapon can ever be treated like a monk's unarmed strike. Those are completely different statements.

Best you get is

Feral Combat Training wrote:

Prerequisite: Improved Unarmed Strike, Weapon Focus with selected natural weapon.

Benefit: Choose one of your natural weapons. While using the selected natural weapon, you can apply the effects of feats that have Improved Unarmed Strike as a prerequisite.

Special: If you are a monk, you can use the selected natural weapon with your flurry of blows class feature.


Taking a level of monk just to get slightly better damage on the unarmed attacks probably isn't worth it. What class is the character now?


Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Renata Maclean wrote:
A monk's unarmed strike is treated as a natural weapon. This doesn't mean that a natural weapon can ever be treated like a monk's unarmed strike. Those are completely different statements.

Best you get is

Feral Combat Training wrote:

Prerequisite: Improved Unarmed Strike, Weapon Focus with selected natural weapon.

Benefit: Choose one of your natural weapons. While using the selected natural weapon, you can apply the effects of feats that have Improved Unarmed Strike as a prerequisite.

Special: If you are a monk, you can use the selected natural weapon with your flurry of blows class feature.

This is the closest thing to what the OP asked about. A level of [U]monk + Feral Combat Training will allow multiple slams/round by flurrying, noting of course that the natural weapon is in place of and not in addition to unarmed strikes. The nice thing is you'll get your strength 1.5 damage on those slams as it's your only natural attack.


Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
James Risner wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:

Technically, with a level in Monk, you get your Slam at +7, not at +2. A Monk Unarmed Strike counts as a natural weapon for the purposes of effects that improve Natural Weapons, so adding Monk Unarmed Strikes is just adding more Natural Attacks.

This use of the Monk Class Ability does seem to be strongly disliked by some people on this forum, however. But it is what the rules say.
What is strongly disliked is saying something is true that isn't true, is misleading, and known to be wrong.

Well, let us know if you come across something that is any of those things.

The rules really do say what I said.

Monk Unarmed Strike wrote:
A monk’s unarmed strike is treated as both a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons.
Monk
Flurry of Blows wrote:
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

I'm not talking about Flurry of Blows. I'm talking about the Full Attack Action.


Kristal Moonhand wrote:
That clause is so you can cast Magic Fang on the monk,

Your speculation that that was Paizo's intent might be true, but your point is oblique to mine. I am dealing with what the rules really say, not what I suppose the rules were meant to say.


Kristal Moonhand wrote:
Anyone can combine iterative attacks and nat attacks. What you can't do is have unarmed strikes be part of a natural attack combo. They might count as natural attacks for certain things, but they don't have a primary or secondary signifier, nor are they ever called out as actually being natural attacks that can be used in a combo.

You can totally combine natural and manufactured weapons in the same Full Attack Action. There are certain problems with it: you can't swing a sword and make a Claw Attack with the same hand, for instance, but you can certainly swing a sword and make a Bite Attack with the same Full Attack Action. I don't have time to cite chapter and verse right now, but honestly, a brief look at the Natural Attacks Universal Monster Rules will demonstrate that this is correct.


Renata Maclean wrote:
A monk's unarmed strike is treated as a natural weapon. This doesn't mean that a natural weapon can ever be treated like a monk's unarmed strike. Those are completely different statements.

I agree.


James Risner wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Do you have a rules-based argument to demonstrate I am wrong? I would like to hear it.
You have been shown rules that say your entire interpretation is wrong. You just ignore it and continue to say "show me a rule".

If you have shown me the rules that show me I'm wrong before, surely you can politely do so again, and I will apologize politely for my error.

Clearly, if you had this knowledge of the rules you could bring to bear on this point, you would have led with that--years ago.


Melkiador wrote:
Taking a level of monk just to get slightly better damage on the unarmed attacks probably isn't worth it. What class is the character now?

I agree. There are a lot of answered questions about this character build that preclude giving detailed character build advice.


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Guys, it's really best not to argue with Scott on this. It massively derails the thread and it's been attempted numerous times.

It's best just to comment how Scott's view is the extreme minority and not likely to be the rule in most games. Then just ignore Scott about this. He brings it up every time monk is talked about and has everyone telling him he's wrong every time and he doesn't change every time.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

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Scott is very disrupting on a number of threads and topics. He regularly engages in Baiting like this, which is a community guideline violation.


Scott,
You are a monk have a 6 BAB. You have improved two weapon fighting. And a slam attack.

In my understanding the proper attack combination with un armed strikes is as follows. Do you agree, and if not what does it look like for you?

+4/+4/-1/-1 unarmed strikes and +1 Slam


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Rogar Stonebow wrote:

Scott,

You are a monk have a 6 BAB. You have improved two weapon fighting. And a slam attack.

In my understanding the proper attack combination with un armed strikes is as follows. Do you agree, and if not what does it look like for you?

+4/+4/-1/-1 unarmed strikes and +1 Slam

please don't.

His answer is no, it's
+4/+4/-1/-1 unarmed strikes and +6 Slam


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Considering that Ultimate Wilderness just came out and provides a lot of ways for people to combine natural attacks with other kinds of attacks, a blog post untangling these rules would not be inappropriate or unhelpful...

I mean, an oozemorph with Improved Unarmed Strike and an amulet of mighty fists is basically "combine unarmed strikes and natural attacks- the character."


James, Chess,

I'm not the one disrupting the thread. You are. I am giving my best advice in good faith according to what the rules say. You two, on the other hand, have only come onto this thread to make personal remarks at my expense.

I am demonstrating that my advice is square with the rules.

All you are bringing to this discussion is verbal abuses and ad hominem attacks. You aren't even offering counter arguments. You have offered nothing to this discussion.

Chess Pwn wrote:
please don't.

Right back atcha

Chess Pwn wrote:
It's best just to comment how Scott's view is the extreme minority and not likely to be the rule in most games.

I can just as authoritatively state that the majority of people do agree with me, it's just that only a minority are willing to brave the online bullying from people like you!

I may not be able to poll the majority any better than you can, but I sure can demonstrate online bullying!

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