manta ray cloak: quick clarification


Rules Questions

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im just wanting to know if the cloak of the manta ray gets the stated numbers of the spell for beast shape 2 and if the natural armor bonus stacks/overrides those of beast shape?


genesisknight wrote:
im just wanting to know if the cloak of the manta ray gets the stated numbers of the spell for beast shape 2 and if the natural armor bonus stacks/overrides those of beast shape?

Cloak of the Manta Ray: "This cloak appears to be made of leather until the wearer enters salt water. At that time, the cloak of the manta ray adheres to the individual, and he appears nearly identical to a manta ray (as the beast shape II spell, except that it allows only manta ray form). He gains a +3 natural armor bonus, the ability to breathe underwater, and a swim speed of 60 feet, like a real manta ray."

A Manta Ray is large.

Beast Shape II - Large animal: If the form you take is that of a Large animal, you gain a +4 size bonus to your Strength, a –2 penalty to your Dexterity, and a +4 natural armor bonus.

Since those both say "a (value) natural armor bonus" then they do not stack with each other, or with any existing natural armor bonus.

Compare it to an Amulet of Natural Armor which grants an enhancement bonus to your natural armor (making your existing natural armor bonus, even if 0, higher).

I'm guessing they copied the cloak directly from the OGL version and just replaced "Polymorph" with "Beast Shape II" without realizing that Beast Shape grants a natural AC bonus that d20 Polymorph did not. A manta ray normally has a +3 Natural AC bonus, so the intent is unclear. As written I would assume they both apply and you take the +4 as it's higher.


Another thing:

"The cloak does allow the wearer to attack with a manta ray's tail spine, dealing 1d6 points of damage. This attack can be used in addition to any other attack the character has, using his highest melee attack bonus."

Normally a natural attack would be made secondary by attacking with non-natural weapons. This pretty clearly says it's a full BAB (not BAB-5) and is in addition to other attacks.

As far as I can tell, in d20 there was no change when combining natural weapons with manufactured weapons. Even more weird is the d20 Manta Ray not only doens't have a tail spine attack, it doesn't have the bite attack mentioned in the d20 cloak description. It just has a Ram.


4 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

For FAQing purposes:

Does the Cloak of the Manta Ray grant a +3 or +4 natural armor bonus? Or should it be both that stack, for a total of +7?

Is the tail spine attack a natural weapon? Does it become a secondary natural weapon attack if used alongside manufactured weapons in a full-attack? Or is it always a bonus attack at full BAB and normal Strength to damage? Does the tail spine have 10' reach? Do all of your attacks have 10' reach?


Grick wrote:
Is the tail spine attack a natural weapon? Does it become a secondary natural weapon attack if used alongside manufactured weapons in a full-attack? Or is it always a bonus attack at full BAB and normal Strength to damage? Does the tail spine have 10' reach? Do all of your attacks have 10' reach?

James Jacobs said here that it's a primary attack. I assume that would mean it follows all the normal rules for natural attacks, becoming secondary (and half strength) when used in combination with manufactured weapons.

I'll also assume that the reach is part of being a large (tall) creature, and it applies to all of your attacks.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Has there been any clarification on this? Does the +3 natural armor bonus overide the +4 in the spell description for Beastshape II since it specifically states the +3 in the item description?
Do the size large modifiers come into play as per the spell?
It's weird that it gives a list of abilities then says it's as the spell. Seems it would cause less confusion if they simply said as the spell, but only a manta ray as opposed to giving a list of abilities then adding the qualifier that it's as the spell Beastshape II which gives more/ different abilities.
Also, it says the damage from the tail is a flat d6, but the manta ray adds it STR bonus. Is that an oversight or is it really just the d6 with no STR bonus?


The cloak of the manta ray predates Pathfinder and the beast shape II spell by most of a decade. It used to polymorph into a manta ray via a spell which gave the things stated, except for the tail spine attack which was added for some reason. I'd think that the item gives the things it lists and not the revised version that the new spell gives but YMMV.

A large manta ray does not have reach, neither the PF beast shape spell nor the D&D polymorph spell add that so no reach on the tail spine. Str would be added to the damage as normal for a primary natural attack, or -5 attack & 1/2 Str if combined with manufactured weapon attacks.


So, you're saying Paizo just copied the item, changed what spell it mimics, but didn't actually pay attention to the differences between spells?
A large manta ray has a reach of 10', but I assume it's just with the tail since it doesn't have any other attacks. It seems like it should keep the reach since you're basically a manta ray... Unless they're saying you're a manta ray with a stunted tail. :p

The addition of STR to damage makes sense unless, like I said, they're making the tail something other than a standard manta tail.

Is there any way to get an official ruling from them on these questions?

Thanks for the quick reply. I've been playing D&D since Basic edition in '82 and PF since the Beta and never actually used a Cloak of the Manta Ray.


There's no way to get any sort of ruling from Paizo on anything in PF1 any more. They are focused on PF2 now, their new game.

I see, a manta ray in Pathfinder (1e) has reach. I hadn't noticed that and the monster I was looking at and linked was the D&D 3.5 version. Yeah, I guess you'd get reach.


Do you know if there is a way to use it while out of water ?


Ah well. I'll just fight with the GM to get what I want. LOL 'Cause THAT happens.

Cornebre, maybe there's a spell that creates a bubble of water around you or you can research one. Then, you could be a manta ray floating in a water bubble, rolling around on land.

Grand Lodge

Chuck Mount wrote:

Ah well. I'll just fight with the GM to get what I want. LOL 'Cause THAT happens.

Cornebre, maybe there's a spell that creates a bubble of water around you or you can research one. Then, you could be a manta ray floating in a water bubble, rolling around on land.

Perhaps Slipstream..?


Good idea, *Khan*. Maybe, also Aqueous Orb?

Grand Lodge

Chuck Mount wrote:
Good idea, *Khan*. Maybe, also Aqueous Orb?

Yeah it sounds fun, but the churning water will properly be dirty quickly so you would "drive" around blindly. With slipstream you could more easily argue that you keep your head atop the water to look around.


don't forget the water must be salty water...


So... slipstream plus a pack of salt XD
(Don't say how salty it needs to be ;p)

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