Claws Damage Type: Slashing and Bludgeoning?!?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


I would like to start off that I work with cats and have had cats, and has a cat as pets and I am really perplexed with Paizo on this one.

Apparently claws don't do slashing and piercing damage types like they did in D&D 3.5, they do Slashing and Bludgeoning. Now I can see large cats doing all three damage types with a claw attack, but if I had to choose 2 I would stick with slashing and piercing.

This is one of a few really strange decisions about claws Paizo has made that I have over looked. Perhaps I have over looked something and this has been mentioned before.

What mechanical reason for this design decision is there?


in order to make them able to kill skeletons, and bypass certain types of damage reduction.

There is no logical reason, it's a balance mechanical reason.


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TGMaxMaxer wrote:

in order to make them able to kill skeletons, and bypass certain types of damage reduction.

There is no logical reason, it's a balance mechanical reason.

Bites do all three types of damage.

PS. This also makes it so that cats cant fish any more....


Also as a cat owner, I can assert that any "piercing" damage delivered by claws is negligible at best. Cat rests its paw on your arm, flexes its claws, the claws poke you a little bit, and that's it. Real damage is done by raking the claws across flesh (slashing) or just by straight up beating with them as one would with a fist (bludgeoning).

Lantern Lodge

Of course the "piercing" damage from a house cat is gonna be minimal. It's a frickin house cat. Now a lion or tiger on the other hand...


Kazaan wrote:
Also as a cat owner, I can assert that any "piercing" damage delivered by claws is negligible at best. Cat rests its paw on your arm, flexes its claws, the claws poke you a little bit, and that's it. Real damage is done by raking the claws across flesh (slashing) or just by straight up beating with them as one would with a fist (bludgeoning).

As noted that is a small cat, and thus small amounts of damage. Also, most cats don't actually want to hurt you. Now if you look at their toys, or have to deal with cats that are owned by a stranger... They will puncher then pull, a lot like a bunch of tiny curved rapiers.


And what big cat is going to be content with just piercing? That's why I say it's negligible; it's going to poke in only to rake across. A tusk or a spear, on the other hand, is primarily a thrusting and stabbing weapon. You poke in and that's pretty much the whole deal. Stab, withdraw, stab again. I don't see a problem with claws dealing slashing and bludgeoning but not piercing.

Lantern Lodge

Kazaan wrote:
And what big cat is going to be content with just piercing? That's why I say it's negligible; it's going to poke in only to rake across. A tusk or a spear, on the other hand, is primarily a thrusting and stabbing weapon. You poke in and that's pretty much the whole deal. Stab, withdraw, stab again. I don't see a problem with claws dealing slashing and bludgeoning but not piercing.

Have you ever watched a feline hunt? They don't slash their prey to death. They latch on to their prey with their claws and proceed to strangle them to death with their mouths.

Further more, have you ever seen any instance of Wolverine using his claws to bludgeon someone to death? I know I haven't.


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Thraksnik wrote:


Further more, have you ever seen any instance of Wolverine using his claws to bludgeon someone to death? I know I haven't.

I don't think I've ever seen an animal with claws like Wolverine.


Claw attacks aren't just the pointy nails at the ends of digits doing damage. They're the full hand or limb striking the foe (bludgeoning) and then following through in a raking motion (slashing).


Not to mention the act of holding prey would likely be considered a grapple rather than "piercing damage". I play-wrestle with my housecat and I've observed her behavior. She latches on with her front claws, bites, and rakes with her hind claws. Any damage done by the front claws in the grappling is negligible compared to the potential for damage by hind claws and bite attacks. Of course, while she's gentle enough to give me nothing more than superficial scratches, I've also seen wild cats do pretty much the same thing; grapple with front paws while raking the underbelly with hind claws and biting at the neck.

Sczarni

Thraksnik wrote:
Kazaan wrote:
And what big cat is going to be content with just piercing? That's why I say it's negligible; it's going to poke in only to rake across. A tusk or a spear, on the other hand, is primarily a thrusting and stabbing weapon. You poke in and that's pretty much the whole deal. Stab, withdraw, stab again. I don't see a problem with claws dealing slashing and bludgeoning but not piercing.

Have you ever watched a feline hunt? They don't slash their prey to death. They latch on to their prey with their claws and proceed to strangle them to death with their mouths.

Further more, have you ever seen any instance of Wolverine using his claws to bludgeon someone to death? I know I haven't.

Wolverine's fighting style in anything I've seen him in is "use claws to destroy enemy's gun, then tackle the enemy to the ground". Unless he's using a samurai sword.

As for the original question, remember-- it's not just stats for the claws, it's stats for the whole paw.


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Ehhm.. who cares?

PS. I'm being a jerk now, so please delete this post.


Morain wrote:

Ehhm.. who cares?

PS. I'm being a jerk now, so please delete this post.

You can delete it yourself you know. ;)


Turin the Mad wrote:
Morain wrote:

Ehhm.. who cares?

PS. I'm being a jerk now, so please delete this post.

You can delete it yourself you know. ;)

Never! That wouldn't be a jerk move.


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I agree with the OP.

Not much else to say. It doesn't make sense.


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Allow me to speak as someone who has been on the receiving end of a Mountain Lions claw;
The injuries I got from that were two cuts, and a broken leg.
That thing hit me hard enough to break my leg. So, with that unique perspective in mind, I tend to agree with Paizo on this one.


And Mountain Lion's don't fish so they don't mind the loss of Piercing?


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Starbuck_II wrote:
And Mountain Lion's don't fish so they don't mind the loss of Piercing?

I've seen video of various cats (and bears) fishing. I've never seen them doing piercing damage. I've seen them doing a grab special attack followed with either a pull-adjacent-grapple or reposition-to-dry-land. Now the latter doesn't work under PF rules, but the no-reposition-into-danger rule is undoubtedly one of balance not realism.


You can't impale someone with a cat.


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RJGrady wrote:
You can't impale someone with a cat.

Challenge accepted.


I do not envision any sized cat attacking in a way that makes sense for piercing damage to be significant. How would that work? It would have to daintily jab it's paw at you like a boxer, they don't act like that.

They rake or bash. And even when bashing with extended claws, you might get pricked as well, but only a little bit, like several thumb tack depths: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2831/11922681124_862d27f850.jpg <-- not much extension below the vector of bashing, and the force behind such pierces would be entirely in their finger muscles not their arm muscles. The crushing part of the exact same blow would matter a lot more, so it should be classified by that, it's most significant component.

If fishing requires piercing for some reason (didn't know this was a thing), I'd say that's primarily a problem with fishing rules. Bludgeoning is in reality an effective way to fish too (stun fish), as would be raking with claws.


Starbuck_II wrote:
And Mountain Lion's don't fish so they don't mind the loss of Piercing?

The brings up an important point- does it matter?

As far as I am aware, that damage type is more of a penalty than anything (since very few things have DR/piercing, at least without slashign in there too). It gets applied to things that might be 'too good', like bows for archery, or the only simple reach weapon. It is a weird grandfathered balance thing from D&D editions.

This isn't like a longsword, where there is a distinct image problem with it lacking piercing. Claws would still generally be doing the same motions.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Changelings, are the only creature so far that I have seen, that deal Slashing/Piercing with Claws.

There could be more.


I see no reason why they couldn't fish with these claws just because their not mechanically doing piercing damage.
When you think about it, they're actually using the claws to grapple the fish.

Come to think of it, do they receive any bonus for using their claws in a grapple/pin? I think they should, but that's off-topic: if you need the piercing damage for certain contexts that you feel it's necessary, why not just request a house-rule or try to explain it as logically as you can for why it has to work the way you want it to?


Even a tiger or something slashes accross the flesh.It only peirces down an inch or two unless it opens you all the way up, as opposed to an arrow a rapier or a spiear which goes all the way through you.

Scarab Sages

blackbloodtroll wrote:

Changelings, are the only creature so far that I have seen, that deal Slashing/Piercing with Claws.

There could be more.

I see nothing in the race entry or bestiary entry for changelings that alter the claw damage type. They both simply grant claw natural attacks, which default to the universal rules.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I have no idea where I saw it.

I just remember playing in a game, and everyone thinking it was odd.


This is an old thread, but just wanted to say that it does make sense. While true that a previous comment is correct about how big cats actually hunt (latching on and suffocating with the mouth), I’ve been scratched before by dogs and cats (slashing damage), and the dog claws left bruises (bludgeoning). Even a large cat typically doesn’t pierce that far with their claws without raking them. Now also having been on the receiving end of a shark’s mouth, bite attacks definitely do all three. Pierce the flesh, crush bone, tear the flesh. They are brutal hunters. Amazing creatures though.


Chengar Qordath wrote:
RJGrady wrote:
You can't impale someone with a cat.
Challenge accepted.

Oh yeah?

What if the cat were fishing, and it caught a pike?

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Captain Sir Hexen Ineptus wrote:
TGMaxMaxer wrote:

in order to make them able to kill skeletons, and bypass certain types of damage reduction.

There is no logical reason, it's a balance mechanical reason.

Bites do all three types of damage.

PS. This also makes it so that cats cant fish any more....

Care to explain why Pathfinder cats can't "fish". I don't see a rule preventing it.

Dark Archive

GeneticDrift wrote:
Captain Sir Hexen Ineptus wrote:
TGMaxMaxer wrote:

in order to make them able to kill skeletons, and bypass certain types of damage reduction.

There is no logical reason, it's a balance mechanical reason.

Bites do all three types of damage.

PS. This also makes it so that cats cant fish any more....

Care to explain why Pathfinder cats can't "fish". I don't see a rule preventing it.

Underwater combat takes penalties for using non piercing weapons. Making it harder for cats to fish.

Except they also have bite attacks, that do b/p/s so they should be fine


They also have grapple attacks too. Which is likely the best way.


I've seen cats hunt rodents. They do one of two things: grab and bite, or bludgeon the thing. Makes sense to me.

Shadow Lodge

So... apparently this thread assumed we could find the rules on what type of damage claws are... but I can find NOTHING that states what type of damage claws /bites/ slams etc does in any actual rule book... any help?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Bestiary 1, table on page 302


Table

That shows what damage type each natural attack is, how much it does by size, and whether or not it's a primary or secondary attack.


Note that several creatures override the default damage amount without listing a feat or ability that accounts for the override. The types are pretty much always the default, though.


Keep in mind that there are bigger creatures than cats that have claws. Getting slashed by a grizzly bear is like getting punched with a handful of steak knives.

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