How many licks does a clawed creature take?


Rules Questions


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

So. In a fit of realizing I'm a complete moron about this; there's been an issue that's confused me throughout D&D 3e, and persists throughout PF.

Quite simply, how do I read/interpret monsters' stat blocks? More to the point, several creatures have "2 claws +# (#d#)"

I understand the bonus to hit and damage fine enough. What confuses me is this: Do they get two attacks? Or do I roll for one attack with the understanding that this singular attack represents two clawed hands slashing at the same time?


Paul Barczik wrote:
Do they get two attacks?

Yes.


Two attacks with a Full-Attack action.

One attack (GM's choice) on a Standard action.

Monsters do not take a penalty to attacking with all their weapons on a full-attack, so it isn't quite like 2 weapon fighting with a manufactured weapon.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Monsters DO take a -5 penalty on all attacks with "secondary attacks". Those are spelled out. Claws and Bite are primary though, no penalty there.

Contributor

12 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Staff response: no reply required.
Paul Barczik wrote:

So. In a fit of realizing I'm a complete moron about this; there's been an issue that's confused me throughout D&D 3e, and persists throughout PF.

Quite simply, how do I read/interpret monsters' stat blocks? More to the point, several creatures have "2 claws +# (#d#)"

I understand the bonus to hit and damage fine enough. What confuses me is this: Do they get two attacks? Or do I roll for one attack with the understanding that this singular attack represents two clawed hands slashing at the same time?

claw +6 (1d6) means it gets one claw attack with a +6 bonus to the d20 roll, and deals 1d6 damage if it hits.

2 claws +6 (1d6) means the same thing as above, but twice instead of one time.

Which is different than

short sword +6 (1d6) means it gets one short sword attack with a +6 bonus to the d20 roll, and deals 1d6 damage if it hits

compared to

short sword +6/+1 (1d6) means it gets one short sword attack with a +6 bonus to the d20 roll, and deals 1d6 damage if it hits, and another short sword attack with a +1 bonus to the d20 roll, and deals 1d6 damage if it hits.

or even (for a two-weapon fighting guy with the right feats)

2 short sword +6/+1 (1d6) means it gets two short sword attack with a +6 bonus to the d20 roll, and deals 1d6 damage for each hit, and another two short sword attack with a +1 bonus to the d20 roll, and deals 1d6 damage for each hit.

TLDR: The number in front of the attack type ("claw" or "short sword" in this case) is how many separate of attack rolls at that bonus you make. The number after the attack type is the bonus to the d20 attack roll. Multiple numbers there (like the +6/+0) are one attack for each listed attack roll bonus. Also, you can only attack multiple times in one round if you use a Full-Round Action to take the Full Attack Action (Core Rulebook page 187), otherwise you are limited to just one attack (by using a Standard Action to take an Attack action, see page 182).


Sean, I just FAQ'd your post SO HARD.

But it also needs the whole Standard/Full attack data in there. You didn't mention about that. A new player could easily imagine that "2 Claws" might happen in a standard attack, since only one sentence in the 400 page rulebook contradicts that.

This is the kind of thing that should get a big, obvious section in whatever way-the-heck-off revised edition might some day come to pass.


Evil Lincoln wrote:

Sean, I just FAQ'd your post SO HARD.

FAQ’d so hard? Holey Sheet!


Holey Sheet wrote:
Evil Lincoln wrote:

Sean, I just FAQ'd your post SO HARD.

FAQ’d so hard? Holey Sheet!

You know what? I think the post... liked it.


Evil Lincoln wrote:
Holey Sheet wrote:
Evil Lincoln wrote:

Sean, I just FAQ'd your post SO HARD.

FAQ’d so hard? Holey Sheet!
You know what? I think the post... liked it.

Oh, there's nothing wrong with a good hard FAQ.

Contributor

I added a line at the end to take into account Evil Lincoln's suggestion.


Are there still some creatures that have a pluralized single attack. I think some birds had "Claws +4 (1d3-1)" to represent the use of all/both claws in a single attack.


Majuba wrote:
Are there still some creatures that have a pluralized single attack. I think some birds had "Claws +4 (1d3-1)" to represent the use of all/both claws in a single attack.

Yes. The ordinary Octopus, for one. It has "tentacles +3 (grab)", as opposed to the Giant Octupus's "8 tentacles +11 (1d4+2 plus grab)".


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Paul Barczik wrote:

So. In a fit of realizing I'm a complete moron about this; there's been an issue that's confused me throughout D&D 3e, and persists throughout PF.

Quite simply, how do I read/interpret monsters' stat blocks? More to the point, several creatures have "2 claws +# (#d#)"

I understand the bonus to hit and damage fine enough. What confuses me is this: Do they get two attacks? Or do I roll for one attack with the understanding that this singular attack represents two clawed hands slashing at the same time?

claw +6 (1d6) means it gets one claw attack with a +6 bonus to the d20 roll, and deals 1d6 damage if it hits.

2 claws +6 (1d6) means the same thing as above, but twice instead of one time.

Which is different than

short sword +6 (1d6) means it gets one short sword attack with a +6 bonus to the d20 roll, and deals 1d6 damage if it hits

compared to

short sword +6/+1 (1d6) means it gets one short sword attack with a +6 bonus to the d20 roll, and deals 1d6 damage if it hits, and another short sword attack with a +1 bonus to the d20 roll, and deals 1d6 damage if it hits.

or even (for a two-weapon fighting guy with the right feats)

2 short sword +6/+1 (1d6) means it gets two short sword attack with a +6 bonus to the d20 roll, and deals 1d6 damage for each hit, and another two short sword attack with a +1 bonus to the d20 roll, and deals 1d6 damage for each hit.

TLDR: The number in front of the attack type ("claw" or "short sword" in this case) is how many separate of attack rolls at that bonus you make. The number after the attack type is the bonus to the d20 attack roll. Multiple numbers there (like the +6/+0) are one attack for each listed attack roll bonus. Also, you can only attack multiple times in one round if you use a Full-Round Action to take the Full Attack Action (Core Rulebook page 187), otherwise you are limited to just one attack (by using a Standard Action to take an Attack action, see...

Very nice examples, though with your latter examples it makes me want a double check for clarification.

If I recall the rules for natural attacks, natural weapons do not get iterative attacks. So if you have a natural weapon ranger with 2 claw attacks (from aspect of the beast), (s)he'll get two claw attacks regardless of base attack bonus, or will you get extra attacks once your BAB passes +6 as per usual, treating it as two-weapon fighting, or (like the 2 short sword example) you'll get your full iterative attacks twice?


OneSoulLegion wrote:
(s)he'll get two claw attacks regardless of base attack bonus

This.

Unless you wield a weapon as well, then your natural attacks suffer TWF penalties.


Tanis wrote:
OneSoulLegion wrote:
(s)he'll get two claw attacks regardless of base attack bonus

This.

Unless you wield a weapon as well, then your natural attacks suffer TWF penalties.

Yeah, that's what I thought but good to have a clarification.

It's a pity that it makes a pure Aspect of the Beast ranger (as in, one that focuses close combat on their claws, rather than combining with (melee) weapons) fall behind a fair bit after level 11, but sometimes optimization just has to take the back seat for an interesting concept. =)

Side question... would such a character be allowed to use only one of their claw attacks and get iterative attacks that way? Or is that a no-no as well?


Core p.182, 184: You can make attacks with natural weapons in combination with attacks made with a melee weapon and unarmed strikes, so long as a different limb is used for each attack. For example, you cannot make a claw attack and also use that hand to make attacks with a longsword. When you make additional attacks in this way, all of your natural attacks are treated as secondary natural attacks, using your base attack bonus minus 5 and adding only 1/2 of your Strength modifier on damage rolls. In addition, all of your attacks made with melee weapons and unarmed strikes are made as if you were two-weapon fighting. Your natural attacks are treated as light, off-hand weapons for determining the penalty to your other attacks. Feats such as Two-Weapon Fighting and Multiattack (see the Pathfinder RPG Bestiary) can reduce these penalties.

I think i saw somewhere today that JJ said that they're not treated as off-hand attacks tho, so you might want to search-fu that thread.

If i remember where it was i'll post it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I've never made it without biting. Ask Mr. Owl.

Contributor

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

You never get iterative attacks with natural attacks.


Tanis wrote:

Core p.182, 184: You can make attacks with natural weapons in combination with attacks made with a melee weapon and unarmed strikes, so long as a different limb is used for each attack. For example, you cannot make a claw attack and also use that hand to make attacks with a longsword. When you make additional attacks in this way, all of your natural attacks are treated as secondary natural attacks, using your base attack bonus minus 5 and adding only 1/2 of your Strength modifier on damage rolls. In addition, all of your attacks made with melee weapons and unarmed strikes are made as if you were two-weapon fighting. Your natural attacks are treated as light, off-hand weapons for determining the penalty to your other attacks. Feats such as Two-Weapon Fighting and Multiattack (see the Pathfinder RPG Bestiary) can reduce these penalties.

I think i saw somewhere today that JJ said that they're not treated as off-hand attacks tho, so you might want to search-fu that thread.

If i remember where it was i'll post it.

You are right, the part that speaks about two-weapon figthing does NOT appear in the natural attack rules in the Bestiary. JJ said that (in his opinion) the CoreRuleBook version was wrong and it should be errated.

The answer was iirc in the thread about contradictory rules in the Bestiary.

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