Order of Attacks: TWF + Natural Attacks w / Multiattack Feat


Rules Questions


When combing Manufactured Weapon Attacks with Natural Attacks, it is my understanding that the natural attacks come last - but I wonder if that is just a byproduct of the typical situation at low levels.

But lets get hypothetical here:
Lets say we have a level 1 Centaur fighter with the Adopted (orc) and Tusked Traits, and a STR score of 18. At first level, he can do the following on a full attack:

Great Sword +5/Hoof +0/Hoof +0/Bite +0

However, if you introduce the two weapon fighting and multi-attack feats into the picture, and switch out the Great sword for a pair of short swords, every attack within the full attack is at a -2 penalty from FULL BAB, so:

Short Sword +3/Short Sword +3/Hoof +3/Hoof +3/Bite +3

My question is - given that the natural attacks are no longer at a lower BAB than the manufactured attacks, can the natural attacks now be made first?

What I'm ultimately getting at:
The reason I am curious, is I have a Reach Weapon wielding character that also has a bite attack. I rarely get to use the bite attack, as once an enemy gets adjacent to me, i need to 5 foot step to get my reach weapon attack. After that i can no longer bite. It seems ridiculous that you cannot simply bite then step back and swing the reach weapon... I was thinking of picking up a Barbazu Beard, and the TWF and Multiattack feats (I also have a pair of unused claws). The Barbazu Beard description explicitly states:
A barbazu beard can be used as an off-hand weapon that requires no hands to use; thus, a warrior could combine use of a barbazu beard with a two-handed weapon.

so that specifically overrides the general FAQ about making an armor spike attack while two handing a weapon.

Doing so would allow me to bite, then step back and hit with the reach weapon. I have pushing assault, and this last hit could cause the target to get pushed back to 15' away, preventing them from full attacking with a 5' step.


The write up is irrelevant. The FAQ as well.

Characters have two "hands" of effort. This has been stated (and often complained about by some) ever since it was explained.

Due to these metaphorical hands, you are unable to take advantage of 2h and TWF/off hand fighting styles. This is intentional and meant to prevent mixing both styles, taking the best of both worlds and negate the drawbacks of each.


Natural attacks are unrelated to discussion of a barbazu beard. Barbarzu beards are offhand weapons, not natural attacks. You are simply liable to some of the same effects that affect natural attacks (ie- if you attack a fire creature, you might get burned).

So yes, this is a 'hands of effort' thread. Interesting since the feat mentions how this offhand weapon is used with 2 handed weapons, but different designers and such. Generally, the current answer via FAQs is "no".

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies, Representative - D20 Hobbies

All natural's would be -5. So:
Short Sword +3/Short Sword +3/Hoof -2/Hoof -2/Bite -2

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Manufactured weapons can be combined with Natural Attacks when a creature/character has them. Just as James point out, though, the pentalty is -5. With Multi-Attack (A Monster Feat), it goes down to -2.

Usually, a creature will combine weapons with a bite.


Hmm... I think four different people gave four completely different answers. And yet none of them directly addressed the question I asked - LOL.

Let's forget about the Barbazu Beard for a moment (there was a reason I had buried it in the spoiler button)

Let's say you are attacking with a pair of scorpion whips, two hooves and a bite.
You have Exotic Weapon Proficiency (scorpion whip), Two Weapon Fighting, and Multi-Attack
Strength Mod = 4
BAB = 1
On a full attack, you get the following attacks:
Primary Hand Whip +3 (Full BAB with -2 penalty due to TWF Feat)
Off-hand Whip +3 (Full BAB with -2 penalty due to TWF Feat)
Hoof +3 (Full BAB with -2 penalty due to Multiattack Feat)
Hoof +3 (Full BAB with -2 penalty due to Multiattack Feat)
Bite +3 (Full BAB with -2 penalty due to Multiattack Feat)

The penalties for two weapon fighting only have rules for "primary hand" and "off hand". Neither of these two classifications apply to the natural attacks, so the natural attacks do not take any additional penalties beyond what the universal monster rules for natural attacks and the multiattack feat state

So - Given that all the attacks are at the same attack bonus, CAN THE NATURAL ATTACKS BE MADE BEFORE THE MANUFACTURED WEAPON ATTACKS?

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies, Representative - D20 Hobbies

Whip isn't a light weapon so you don't get -2/-2 with TWF using a Whip.

You keep forgetting the TWF penalties. I don't know why. And it's been explained several times, yet you say nothing explained answers your questions.

You ask the penalties of a Hoof after TWF a set of manufactured one handed and light weapon. With Multiattack and TWF the answer is:

STR+4 + BAB+1 - 2 TWF - 2 Multiattack = 4+1-2-2 = +1 NOT+3 as you keep asking and keep being told that is wrong.

Also attack are made in the order of their bonus from highest to lowest. So including all the penalties, you make the attacks in the order of the highest bonus to lowest bonus. Because of the -2 Multiattack penalties, that often makes them happen after the primary weapon attacks (and maybe the off-hand if the penalties are the same.)


Why do you think natural attacks +must+ come after weapon attacks?


James Risner wrote:

Whip isn't a light weapon so you don't get -2/-2 with TWF using a Whip.

You keep forgetting the TWF penalties. I don't know why. And it's been explained several times, yet you say nothing explained answers your questions.

Whip is a one handed weapon - that is true. But "SCORPION WHIP" (I.e., the weapon I mentioned) is a light weapon. So yeah.... You would only suffer -2/-2 penalties for "primary hand" and "off-hand" attacks.

You say I "keep forgetting" the TWF penalties on the natural attacks - but I already addressed that - in the rules for fighting with two weapons, the application of penalties is limited to attacks made with the primary hand and with the off hand.

PRD, Combat, Two-weapon Fighting wrote:
If you wield a second weapon in your off hand, you can get one extra attack per round with that weapon. You suffer a –6 penalty with your regular attack or attacks with your primary hand and a –10 penalty to the attack with your off hand when you fight this way. You can reduce these penalties in two ways. First, if your off-hand weapon is light, the penalties are reduced by 2 each. An unarmed strike is always considered light. Second, the Two-Weapon Fighting feat lessens the primary hand penalty by 2, and the off-hand penalty by 6.

Natural Attacks do not fall under either of those classifications (primary hand or off hand) and therefore should not be taking any penalties from two weapon fighting. The only penalty The natural attacks should have are the -5 for being secondary attacks. This penalty is reduced, however, by multiattack. So the three natural attacks are made at -2/-2/-2.

Casual Viking - the question you are asking me is basically what I was asking the forum. Sans any feats, natural attacks will always come after manufactured attacks due to the -5 penalty. But if, through feats, you are able to make it so that all your attacks have the exact same attack bonus, then is there ANY REMAINING RULES reason, that you could not make the natural attacks first?

Dark Archive

I am not aware of any rule that says anything about the order attacks must be made in. Iteratives are done in sequence from higher to lower, I'm not sure if this is required, but it's easier and I can't see any reason why it would make any difference, so I just assume it is (and all language talks about them happening in this order anyway). Natural attacks, while they may be listed after the manufactured attacks, I'm pretty sure can be made in whatever order you like.

However, even with multi attack (a monster feat, so getting it is always going to be dubious) I believe your natural attacks are made at a -4. You quote that section of the rules, and note that it makes no mention of natural attacks. This is a good start. However the next question you should be asking is "Is this situation covered by any other ruling?"

Just because it's not specifically banned in one section of the rules doesn't mean it's legal. For example, Lances don't mention that the damage is only multiplied on the first attack of a pounce, because at the time of writing there was no legal way for anyone to do it. Similarly, this situation may have been left out of the Core Rulebook, because at the time it was published it didn't need to be addressed.


I believe Oddman80 is correct in his calculations. You do not take TWF penalties to natural weapon attacks. They are completely separate.

Oddman80, the rules state that you make your iterative attacks in descending order. But, when TWF, there is a grey area on if that applies to each weapon in turn or if it applies to all of your attacks from each weapon together.

In either case it is not relevant to your example since both weapons have the same attack modifiers and the natural attacks are not part of the rule. Make them in whatever order you wish.


Oddman80 wrote:


My question is - given that the natural attacks are no longer at a lower BAB than the manufactured attacks, can the natural attacks now be made first?

Full-Attack wrote:

If you get more than one attack per round because your base attack bonus is high enough (see Base Attack Bonus in Classes), because you fight with two weapons or a double weapon, or for some special reason, you must use a full-round action to get your additional attacks. You do not need to specify the targets of your attacks ahead of time. You can see how the earlier attacks turn out before assigning the later ones.

The only movement you can take during a full attack is a 5-foot step. You may take the step before, after, or between your attacks.

If you get multiple attacks because your base attack bonus is high enough, you must make the attacks in order from highest bonus to lowest. If you are using two weapons, you can strike with either weapon first. If you are using a double weapon, you can strike with either part of the weapon first.

So yeah, the ordering restriction isn't on the type of attack being made, its only on the BAB. If two attack's BAB are tied you may freely choose which attack will be made first.

Dark Archive

That's only talking about iterative attacks though, you don't get your extra bite attack because of your BAB, you get it because you have a natural bite attack which is made in addition to your iterative attacks. I would interpret that as you can make your bite attack at whatever point in the sequence you like, as long as the iterative attacks are made in order.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

The Manufactered weapons have the TWF penalties, then the Natural weapons get a -5.

If you have Two Weapon Fighter feats, then the weapons need to be One handed (or less) with a Light weapon to get the penalties down to -2/-2.

BTW, you need to be proficient in the Scorpion Whips now, they don't get any benefits from the whip feats until you focus with them. (I had my PFS character sell them off. Too many additional feats for no real benefit)


Thank you people who actually read what i wrote before replying.
I think Librain may be on to something - and that none of these extra feat/weapon combos were even necessary... the bite attack is not an attack gained via itteratives, andtherefore is not restricted in chronology.


That is correct.

Only iterative based attacks are forced to be taken from highest to lowest. Other attacks, including natural attacks, can be made at any point and in any order during your attack sequence.

That being said, most people do actually make their attacks from highest to lowest modifier, and that might even be the intent of the developers. However, there is nothing in the rules which forces this overall ordering.


Ah, good point Librain/Byakko, the full-attack rule is only talking about iteratives


Librain wrote:
... I can't see any reason why it would make any difference,

I was just working on a brother of the seal monk and it makes a huge difference, saving one awesome blow with best bonus for the last attack to push away the enemy. But a maneuver monk with push will be the same case.


Ridiculon wrote:
... you must make the attacks in order from highest bonus to lowest.

Thanks, I was looking for this, it totally ruined the build I had in mind to push away my player's character with a brother of the seal monk.

I will probably house rule it, but I was curious about if it was legal or not.

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