Lycanthrope natural attack build questions


Rules Questions


So I'm going to be playing a natural Lycanthrope in my next Pathfinder game, and I'm confused on how natural attacks work with some of the feat I've taken, so I'll go into detail.

She's a Werewolf, so naturally has a 1d6 bite attack, I took aspect of the beast so she also now has two 1d4 claw attacks. I took improved natural attacks twice, one for each so now it's a 1d8 bite and two 1d6 claws.

So arises the first question, which attacks are Primary and which are Secondary? I've been told that doing a full attack action (bite, claw claw) will all be at full BAB but only 1x str mod for damage before other shenanigans like power attack. Is this correct? I have been under the assumption that my bite would be a primary so full BAB and 1.5x str for damage and my claws secondary at -5 BAB and only 0.5 str mod for damage.

I've also taken (begrudgingly) Improved Unarmed Strike and Bleeding attack, and I'm curious how that works. Do I cause the extra bleed damage on the attack? And on which attacks? If I hit all three attacks do I do 3d4 bleed damage to my target? Or only the highest of the 1d4? And is it on his turn or when the attack hits?

Curious if Bloody Assault would be the better pick over Bleeding attack, as I will be power attacking most of the time, and as I understand bleeding doesn't stack. Could I even use Bloody Assault with natural attacks? Not sure if they count as "weapon attacks" or not, it doesn't say I can't use natural attacks, so I am assuming I can.

Last question (for now); would the Rending Claws feat count as "rend" for the purposes of taking Rending Fury?

Thanks in advance for any feedback. :)


Natural Attacks wrote:
Primary attacks are made using the creature’s full base attack bonus and add the creature’s full Strength bonus on damage rolls. Secondary attacks are made using the creature’s base attack bonus –5 and add only 1/2 the creature’s Strength bonus on damage rolls.

Bite and Claw are both primary attacks. There is a table in the Universal Monster Rules indicating that. The *1,5 Str modifier for bite is only for dragons, as an exception. Also, unarmed strike count as manufactured weapon for the purpose of determining how many attacks you may use in a full attack actions and with what modifiers.

Natural Attack wrote:
Creatures with natural attacks and attacks made with weapons can use both as part of a full attack action (although often a creature must forgo one natural attack for each weapon clutched in that limb, be it a claw, tentacle, or slam). Such creatures attack with their weapons normally but treat all of their available natural attacks as secondary attacks during that attack, regardless of the attack’s original type.

As such, your full attack will be indeed bite and 2 claws at full BAB, each with full Str modifier.

Bleeding Attack reads :

Bleeding Attack wrote:
When you damage an opponent with an unarmed strike, you deal an extra 1d4 bleed damage.

This applies to unarmed strike, not to natural attacks. You may use it in your human/hybrid form when performing unarmed strike, but not with your natural attacks.

Bleed wrote:
Bleed effects do not stack with each other unless they deal different kinds of damage. When two or more bleed effects deal the same kind of damage, take the worse effect.

If you do land several unarmed strike, you roll 1d4 per successful hit, and deal the highest value at the time of your attack. Each time the target begins its turn until it has been healed, you roll again the same number of dices and deal the highest value. Since they are all hit points, they do not stack.

No, Bloody Assault specifies it concerns weapon damage, and natural attacks are not considered as using a weapon. The question would be slightly harder for unarmed strike, since it is considered as a weapon attack when figuring how many attacks are allowed. As unarmed strike is listed among the light weapons, I would say Bloody Assault applies to it.

Although mechanically Rending Claws is a rend attack, it does not state it gives you a rend attack. I would say no.


Edit: *Drat! Outgunned by Lusinian.*

JakeCWolf wrote:
So arises the first question, which attacks are Primary and which are Secondary?
Natural Attacks wrote:
Primary attacks are made using the creature’s full base attack bonus and add the creature’s full Strength bonus on damage rolls. Secondary attacks are made using the creature’s base attack bonus –5 and add only 1/2 the creature’s Strength bonus on damage rolls. If a creature has only one natural attack, it is always made using the creature’s full base attack bonus and adds 1-1/2 times the creature’s Strength bonus on damage rolls

Pathfinder determines primary and secondary attacks based on the type of attack, rather than just one and making the others secondary. The chart can be found here: Primary and Secondary Natural Attacks (might have to click Natural Attack by Size)

Both bite and claws are listed as priimary attacks. Since you have more than one, both with just do Strength damage (though its possible for specific creatures to have bite or claw attacks that are secondary, rather than following this general guideline).

JakeCWolf wrote:
I've also taken (begrudgingly) Improved Unarmed Strike and Bleeding attack, and I'm curious how that works. Do I cause the extra bleed damage on the attack? And on which attacks? If I hit all three attacks do I do 3d4 bleed damage to my target? Or only the highest of the 1d4? And is it on his turn or when the attack hits?

Your unarmed attacks would deal 1d4 bleed damage on the target's turn. They don't stack. If you hit them with three bleed attacks, only the largest will apply (in this case 1d4). Different bleed types will stack, for instance a 1d4 damage, a 1 Con, and a 1d2 Str bleed.

Note, however, that your bite and claw attacks are not considered unarmed attacks.

Unless you're planning to not strike with your claws and bite, then this probably isn't for you and you should use the feats elsewhere and look for another feat or ability that gives bleed to your natural attacks, not your unarmed ones. For instance, the Bleeding Attack rogue talent would apply to bite and claws (assuming you hit them with a sneak attack).

JakeCWolf wrote:
Curious if Bloody Assault would be the better pick over Bleeding attack, as I will be power attacking most of the time, and as I understand bleeding doesn't stack. Could I even use Bloody Assault with natural attacks?

From what I can tell, it would work with natural melee attacks, but natural attacks are often described as being attacks without weapons, so the wording is very important. You should double-check with you GM, if so, that's probably what you want to take over IUS and Bleeding Attack.

*Note that monk's unarmed strikes specifically counts as both natural and manufactured for purposes of spells and effects that enhance those, so there might be odd combinations involving weapons as unarmed strikes that work for them but not others.*

JakeCWolf wrote:
Last question (for now); would the Rending Claws feat count as "rend" for the purposes of taking Rending Fury?

Rending Claws doesn't technically add the rend ability, which is required by Rending Fury. So technically no, but, I don't really see any mechanical difference in the wording, so I would personally be inclined to say that you do have rend (just in so much words, similar to how a monk's unarmed strikes ability counts as having Improved Unarmed Strike even though it has differences, ie. the 'counts as both natural and manufactured' clause). Ultimately, that would be your own GM's call, however.


Pizza Lord wrote:
Edit: *Drat! Outgunned by Lusinian.*

Sorry, seems we have the same period of activity :P

Pizza Lord wrote:
Note, however, that your bite and claw attacks are not considered unarmed attacks *Unless you're a monk; their unarmed strikes specifically counts as both natural and manufactured for purposes of spells and effects that enhance those*

Uh, if I'm not wrong, it means indeed that a monk's unarmed strike can be considered natural attacks, but it doesn't make a monk's natural attack into an unarmed strike, does it?


Alright, it's making more sense now. But considering I'm level 6, how can if at all can I make use of my extra attack? I'm a fighter, full BAB.


Lusinian wrote:
Pizza Lord wrote:
*Unless you're a monk; their unarmed strikes specifically counts as both natural and manufactured for purposes of spells and effects that enhance those*
Uh, if I'm not wrong, it means indeed that a monk's unarmed strike can be considered natural attacks, but it doesn't make a monk's natural attack into an unarmed strike, does it?

No, I was in the middle of editing and was moving that line to the bottom.


If you full attack, either you do so with your natural attacks :

  • Bite +(BAB+Str), 1d8+Str
  • 2 Claws +(BAB+Str), 1d6+Str

Or you do it in a combination of weapons and natural attacks (hybrid form only) :

  • Bite (id.)
  • 1 claw / 1 unarmed or weapon or 2 unarmed or weapon, with claws being as above and unarmed weapon being +(BAB+Str-5), (whatever dice) + 1/2 Str.

Or you do it with only unarmed/weapons : +(BAB+Str) / +(BAB+Str-5).

It allows flexibility depending what form you are in. Do consider that your different forms might have different Strength bonuses. As you are not a rogue, if you did take one of the aforementioned feats allowing for bleed damage, as you can read two opinions have been expressed.

Personally, when I played my own natural lycanthrope, I went around faking being the druid"s (ehr, rogue faking to be a druid) animal companion. But I played a mesmerist, it allowed casting spells without anyone suspecting, it's a whole other story.

As for your warrior's attacks, I'd go with trying to make all the three forms efficient, but maybe not in the same domains if it doesn't seem it will work. Maybe you will find something interesting in the skinwalkers ? The wolfskin feats and traits should be accessible to you.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder RPG / Rules Questions / Lycanthrope natural attack build questions All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.