Do monk unarmed strikes count as natural weapons.


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I'm also on the Not a FAQ bandwagon. Until this week, this isn't a question that came up often or was not quickly answered and done.


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Gisher wrote:

As I read that, it says that all Unarmed Strikes are Natural Weapons. Not just 'treated as' Natural Weapons, but actually Natural Weapons.

Except you know that they are not.

What you are doing is trying to treat the rules as a 100% clear, coherent, concise ,consistent and contradiction free set of rules so that you can freely extrapolate from any one data point to all datapoints.

The rules do not work like that.

If unarmed strikes were natural weapons you would get one of them. you don't. You get a left fist and a right fist.

If unarmed strikes were natural weapons you wouldn't be able to make multiple attacks with them based off of base attack bonus, and you can.

You have to consider all data points: those data points make it clear that unarmed strikes sometimes work like natural weapons and sometimes they don't.


So on any character that is not a monk, or that does not have an ability that says their Unarmed Strikes act like a monks, it is clear that the Unarmed Strikes are not natural weapons and do not benefit from spells or abilities that target natural weapons.

Monks, and by extension any class that gains unarmed strikes as a monk, have this oddball rule attached, "A monk's unarmed strike is treated as both a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons."

I hadnt thought of it much before this question came up, if there was a spell or effect that had different benefits depending on if something was manufactured or natural i would have defaulted to the manufactured benefit.

Is there anywhere else that this distinction comes up?

Masterwork Transformation i guess as unarmed strikes dont qualify, as natural attacks would not because the rules just dont support masterwork natural attacks. This doesnt really highlight an area of conflict between counting as manufactured and natural though.

Both Magic Fang and Magic Weapon can affect Unarmed Strikes so there is an example of overlap between the two categories.

Does Strong Jaw alter a Monk's Unarmed Strike to deal damage as if a Monk of two sizes larger?

Aside from Magic Fang, what spells and effects can Monks or monk-lies benefit from with their weird special rule that lets them be quasi-natural weapons?


BigNorseWolf wrote:
If unarmed strikes were natural weapons you would get one of them. you don't. You get a left fist and a right fist.

Natural attacks can come in pairs (or other multiples). For instance, claw attacks usually come in pairs (I don't know of any specific monster with more than 2 natural attacks of the same type, but the UMR allow for that).

Of course, this doesn't invalidate your point about iterative attacks. And it certainly doesn't invalidate your larger point about the rules not being free of ambiguity.


Khudzlin wrote:


Natural attacks can come in pairs (or other multiples). For instance, claw attacks usually come in pairs (I don't know of any specific monster with more than 2 natural attacks of the same type, but the UMR allow for that).

They have to be listed as such. And then they only apply to very specific parts of the body. Unarmed strike isn't listed, are a vague concept rather than a body part (you can left foot right foot for instance, but can't left foot right foot left hand right hand) They follow their own rules.


"Striking for damage with punches, kicks, and head butts is much like attacking with a melee weapon, except for the following:"

"Armed" Unarmed Attacks: Sometimes a character's or creature's unarmed attack counts as an armed attack. A monk, a character with the Improved Unarmed Strike feat, a spellcaster delivering a touch attack spell, and a creature with natural physical weapons all count as being armed (see natural attacks)." Note how IUS and natural weapons are different cases.

From the combat chapter. Next, the "natural attacks" universal rule: "Some creatures do not have natural attacks. These creatures can make unarmed strikes just like humans do".

Stop arguing that unarmed strikes, as a general rule, outside specific explicit exceptions, are natural weapons. You are not arguing in good faith.


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here is another argument for why they are not really natural attacks if they were every single monk out there would need to have feral combat training to use them in a flurry of blows as you can't use natural attacks with flurry of blows with out it


The result here is, it's not easy to identify when unarmed strikes count as manufactured weapons and when they count as natural weapons. Sometimes they count as one, and other times the other.

Most often they count as manufactured, and I'm sure if this ever gets FAQ that would be how it's treated for the case of power attack (and also as not a two-handed or primary natural attack).

That being said there are instances where they are treated as natural attacks, so there is a slight possibility that in this case it works (though incredibly unlikely in my opinion).

If anything, we could really just use generic clarification on what the whole "treated as natural attacks for effects" bit is actually intended to mean since clearly it's not for all purposes (one way or the other) or else we would have lots of violations of rules.


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Claxon wrote:

The result here is, it's not easy to identify when unarmed strikes count as manufactured weapons and when they count as natural weapons. Sometimes they count as one, and other times the other.

Most often they count as manufactured, and I'm sure if this ever gets FAQ that would be how it's treated for the case of power attack (and also as not a two-handed or primary natural attack).

That being said there are instances where they are treated as natural attacks, so there is a slight possibility that in this case it works (though incredibly unlikely in my opinion).

If anything, we could really just use generic clarification on what the whole "treated as natural attacks for effects" bit is actually intended to mean since clearly it's not for all purposes (one way or the other) or else we would have lots of violations of rules.

Thank you, that is a far clearer way of saying what i was trying to get out on my earlier post. :)


Jodokai wrote:
Gisher wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

Unarmed strikes by and large follow the rules for manufactured weapons. They let you attack based off of your base attack bonus , two weapon fight with your left and right fist, and combine with natural weapons in ways natural attacks can't.

But obviously you can't cast magic weapon on a normal persons fist.
...

That's an interesting choice for your example

Magic Weapon wrote:
You can't cast this spell on a natural weapon, such as an unarmed strike (instead, see magic fang). A monk's unarmed strike is considered a weapon, and thus it can be enhanced by this spell.

As I read that, it says that all Unarmed Strikes are Natural Weapons. Not just 'treated as' Natural Weapons, but actually Natural Weapons. As far as the spell is concerned, what makes a Monk's Unarmed Strike different from an average person's Unarmed Strike is that it is also considered a manufactured weapon. I have to say that isn't the way I thought this worked, but there it is.

And that is the only location it's like that. So either we believe that one singular spell is worded incorrectly or we believe every other place is worded incorrectly.

If a monk has a bite attack and the make an unarmed strike, the bite is treated as a secondary natural attack, if unarmed strike was a natural attack they would both be primary

And Monk Unarmed Strikes do count as Natural Weapons for the purposes of effects that improve Natural Weapons. For the purposes of improving the Bite Attack, the Monk would use this class ability to have his Unarmed Strike count as a Natural Weapon.


Torbyne wrote:
Monks, and by extension any class that gains unarmed strikes as a monk, have this oddball rule attached, "A monk's unarmed strike is treated as both a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons."

Uh huh.

Torbyne wrote:
Does Strong Jaw alter a Monk's Unarmed Strike to deal damage as if a Monk of two sizes larger?

Sure.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Jodokai wrote:
Gisher wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

Unarmed strikes by and large follow the rules for manufactured weapons. They let you attack based off of your base attack bonus , two weapon fight with your left and right fist, and combine with natural weapons in ways natural attacks can't.

But obviously you can't cast magic weapon on a normal persons fist.
...

That's an interesting choice for your example

Magic Weapon wrote:
You can't cast this spell on a natural weapon, such as an unarmed strike (instead, see magic fang). A monk's unarmed strike is considered a weapon, and thus it can be enhanced by this spell.

As I read that, it says that all Unarmed Strikes are Natural Weapons. Not just 'treated as' Natural Weapons, but actually Natural Weapons. As far as the spell is concerned, what makes a Monk's Unarmed Strike different from an average person's Unarmed Strike is that it is also considered a manufactured weapon. I have to say that isn't the way I thought this worked, but there it is.

And that is the only location it's like that. So either we believe that one singular spell is worded incorrectly or we believe every other place is worded incorrectly.

If a monk has a bite attack and the make an unarmed strike, the bite is treated as a secondary natural attack, if unarmed strike was a natural attack they would both be primary

And Monk Unarmed Strikes do count as Natural Weapons for the purposes of effects that improve Natural Weapons. For the purposes of improving the Bite Attack, the Monk would use this class ability to have his Unarmed Strike count as a Natural Weapon.

I agree, but to a point.

If there was an effect that improved only the Bite Natural Attack, an Unarmed Strike would not qualify for its effects, because an Unarmed Strike is not a Bite Natural Attack. It's an Unarmed Strike. Therefore, it wouldn't receive that benefit.

Monk Unarmed Strikes only count for effects which (generically) improve Natural Weapons. You couldn't even, for example, take Improved Natural Attack (Unarmed Strike), because an Unarmed Strike doesn't count as a Natural Weapon for the purposes of being a valid selection for the feat, it only counts as a Natural Weapon for the purposes of effects which improve Natural Weapons, but not for any selection or similar pre-requisites.


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TLDR

CORE RULEBOOK
Equipment
-Weapons
--Weapon Descriptions
---Strike, Unarmed
An unarmed strike is always considered a light weapon. Therefore, you can use the Weapon Finesse feat to apply your Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier to attack rolls with an unarmed strike. Unarmed strikes do not count as natural weapons (see Combat). The damage from an unarmed strike is considered weapon damage for the purposes of effects that give you a bonus on weapon damage rolls.

Combat
-Actions in Combat
--Attack
---Unarmed Attacks
Striking for damage with punches, kicks, and head butts is much like attacking with a melee weapon, except for the following:...

-Natural Attacks
Attacks made with natural weapons, such as claws and bites, are melee attacks that can be made against any creature within your reach (usually 5 feet). These attacks are made using your full attack bonus and deal an amount of damage that depends on their type (plus your Strength modifier, as normal). You do not receive additional natural attacks for a high base attack bonus. Instead, you receive additional attack rolls for multiple limb and body parts capable of making the attack (as noted by the race or ability that grants the attacks).

Equipment
-Weapons
--Simple
Unarmed Strike

In summary...
Light, Simple Weapons
NOT Natural Attacks, NOT Manufactured Weapons


Lady-J wrote:
here is another argument for why they are not really natural attacks if they were every single monk out there would need to have feral combat training to use them in a flurry of blows as you can't use natural attacks with flurry of blows with out it

The monk's unarmed strikes only count as natural weapons for the purpose of beneficial effects.


Tyrant Lizard King wrote:

TLDR

CORE RULEBOOK
Equipment
-Weapons
--Weapon Descriptions
---Strike, Unarmed
An unarmed strike is always considered a light weapon. Therefore, you can use the Weapon Finesse feat to apply your Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier to attack rolls with an unarmed strike. Unarmed strikes do not count as natural weapons (see Combat). The damage from an unarmed strike is considered weapon damage for the purposes of effects that give you a bonus on weapon damage rolls.

Combat
-Actions in Combat
--Attack
---Unarmed Attacks
Striking for damage with punches, kicks, and head butts is much like attacking with a melee weapon, except for the following:...

-Natural Attacks
Attacks made with natural weapons, such as claws and bites, are melee attacks that can be made against any creature within your reach (usually 5 feet). These attacks are made using your full attack bonus and deal an amount of damage that depends on their type (plus your Strength modifier, as normal). You do not receive additional natural attacks for a high base attack bonus. Instead, you receive additional attack rolls for multiple limb and body parts capable of making the attack (as noted by the race or ability that grants the attacks).

Equipment
-Weapons
--Simple
Unarmed Strike

In summary...
Light, Simple Weapons
NOT Natural Attacks, NOT Manufactured Weapons

A very good job summarizing the general rules.

And completely wasted. Monk's have a specific rule that allows their unarmed strikes to count as natural weapons for beneficial effects.

Power attack is a beneficial effect. Exactly what that effect is depends on weapon type, weapon usage, and strength modifier applied with the specific weapon.

In the case of Dragon Ferocity + Power Attack, counting as a natural weapon is more beneficial than counting as a manufactured weapon.


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Snowlilly wrote:

And completely wasted. Monk's have a specific rule that allows their unarmed strikes to count as natural weapons for beneficial effects.

Power attack is a beneficial effect. Exactly what that effect is depends on weapon type, weapon usage, and strength modifier applied with the specific weapon.

This part is false. They ONLY count for spells and effects that benefit or enhance natural weapons.

NOT

For any beneficial effect the player wants them to.

Power attack, while potentially beneficial to the character, isn't beneficial to the natural weapons. It's not doing anything to natural weapons and thus it bypasses the monk's special clause of when they count.


Snowlilly wrote:

Power attack is a beneficial effect. Exactly what that effect is depends on weapon type, weapon usage, and strength modifier applied with the specific weapon.

In the case of Dragon Ferocity + Power Attack, counting as a natural weapon is more beneficial than counting as a manufactured weapon.

Not really. Since Power Attack only gets you -1 attack for +2 damage with an Unarmed Strike (even with Dragon Ferocity).

Unarmed Strikes are not Primary Natural Attacks.


Quote:

Power attack is a beneficial effect. Exactly what that effect is depends on weapon type, weapon usage, and strength modifier applied with the specific weapon.

In the case of IUS + Dragon Ferocity + Power Attack, counting as a natural weapon is more beneficial than counting as a manufactured weapon.

Power attack is more beneficial for primary natural attacks. Monks ability doesn't let them treat their unarmed strike as a primary natural attack, so they can't get that benefit.


Snow Lilley you are incorrect. I am trying to hunt the quote down but one of the designers(rules people) has already said they are not natural attacks.
If I can find it I will put the quote here. Nothing has changed since they made that comment.


wraithstrike wrote:

Snow Lilly you are incorrect. I am trying to hunt the quote down but one of the designers(rules people) has already said they are not natural attacks.

If I can find it I will put the quote here. Nothing has changed since they made that comment.

are you looking for the post that I linked in my first post as the fourth post for this thread?


Chess Pwn wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:

And completely wasted. Monk's have a specific rule that allows their unarmed strikes to count as natural weapons for beneficial effects.

Power attack is a beneficial effect. Exactly what that effect is depends on weapon type, weapon usage, and strength modifier applied with the specific weapon.

This part is false. They ONLY count for spells and effects that benefit or enhance natural weapons.

NOT

For any beneficial effect the player wants them to.

Power attack, while potentially beneficial to the character, isn't beneficial to the natural weapons. It's not doing anything to natural weapons and thus it bypasses the monk's special clause of when they count.

Power attack is an effect that modifies weapon damage.

Power attack's affect is determined by the type of weapon

In this case, the more beneficial affect is applied to natural weapon.

In the case of effects, monk's IUS counts as a natural weapon.

Power Attacks specifically calls out affect based on weapon type, and modifies the damage that weapon deals on a successful attack. As such, it is applied to the monks IUS based on the weapon type that is most beneficial.


Tarantula wrote:
Quote:

Power attack is a beneficial effect. Exactly what that effect is depends on weapon type, weapon usage, and strength modifier applied with the specific weapon.

In the case of IUS + Dragon Ferocity + Power Attack, counting as a natural weapon is more beneficial than counting as a manufactured weapon.

Power attack is more beneficial for primary natural attacks. Monks ability doesn't let them treat their unarmed strike as a primary natural attack, so they can't get that benefit.

Your are conflating attack with weapon. Monk's IUS counts as a natural weapon for beneficial effects.

All natural weapons are either primary or secondary. RAW has been repeatedly quoted making this explicit.


Chess Pwn wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

Snow Lilly you are incorrect. I am trying to hunt the quote down but one of the designers(rules people) has already said they are not natural attacks.

If I can find it I will put the quote here. Nothing has changed since they made that comment.
are you looking for the post that I linked in my first post as the fourth post for this thread?

I don't see any developers when I use that link unless it is on a different page for that topic.


Snowlilly wrote:
Tarantula wrote:
Quote:

Power attack is a beneficial effect. Exactly what that effect is depends on weapon type, weapon usage, and strength modifier applied with the specific weapon.

In the case of IUS + Dragon Ferocity + Power Attack, counting as a natural weapon is more beneficial than counting as a manufactured weapon.

Power attack is more beneficial for primary natural attacks. Monks ability doesn't let them treat their unarmed strike as a primary natural attack, so they can't get that benefit.

Your are conflating attack with weapon. Monk's IUS counts as a natural weapon for beneficial effects.

All natural weapons are either primary or secondary. RAW has been repeatedly quoted making this explicit.

Monks don't have a natural weapon, they have an unarmed strike

Monks unarmed strike counts as a natural weapon for benefits and effects, but it does not specific primary or secondary, so it does not count as either. It only counts as a natural weapon.

A monks unarmed strike is not counted as a primary natural weapon, so it doesn't get the power attack benefit.

You have shown many times how similar a monks unarmed strike is to a primary natural weapon, and they are similar, but the unarmed strike is not a primary natural weapon.


Snowlilly wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:

And completely wasted. Monk's have a specific rule that allows their unarmed strikes to count as natural weapons for beneficial effects.

Power attack is a beneficial effect. Exactly what that effect is depends on weapon type, weapon usage, and strength modifier applied with the specific weapon.

This part is false. They ONLY count for spells and effects that benefit or enhance natural weapons.

NOT

For any beneficial effect the player wants them to.

Power attack, while potentially beneficial to the character, isn't beneficial to the natural weapons. It's not doing anything to natural weapons and thus it bypasses the monk's special clause of when they count.

Power attack is an effect that modifies weapon damage.

LIES,

"You ... to gain a +2 bonus on all melee damage rolls"
That is NOT weapon damage. But damage rolls. This is NOT doing anything to a weapon, BUT TO YOU.


wraithstrike wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

Snow Lilly you are incorrect. I am trying to hunt the quote down but one of the designers(rules people) has already said they are not natural attacks.

If I can find it I will put the quote here. Nothing has changed since they made that comment.
are you looking for the post that I linked in my first post as the fourth post for this thread?
I don't see any developers when I use that link unless it is on a different page for that topic.

It's Mark in his "really unofficially" account.


Snowlilly wrote:
Tarantula wrote:
Quote:

Power attack is a beneficial effect. Exactly what that effect is depends on weapon type, weapon usage, and strength modifier applied with the specific weapon.

In the case of IUS + Dragon Ferocity + Power Attack, counting as a natural weapon is more beneficial than counting as a manufactured weapon.

Power attack is more beneficial for primary natural attacks. Monks ability doesn't let them treat their unarmed strike as a primary natural attack, so they can't get that benefit.

Nowhere are monks weapons listed a primary or secondary because they are not natural weapons. They just have rules that let them enjoy the benefits in some cases when natural attacks are called out and manufactured effects are not allowed. An example is the magic fang and strong jaw spells. There is nobody on the PDT who agrees with your stance, and yes I am still looking for that quote.

Edit: Basically what I am saying is that just because you cast a spell(just one example) that does not turn an unarmed strike into a natural weapon. Because it is not a natural weapon it can not have the primary or secondary designation.


Summed up like this
Does the spell or effect work on natural attacks? If yes, u can use it on ius
Does IUS become a natural weapon under spell/effects? No

IUS just means if the spell/effect works on natural weapons (such as Magic Fang), a monks IUS is counted as a natural weapon to work BUT it doesn't BECOME a natural weapon, meaning you don't get the bonuses of having an actual natural weapon, it's still just ur monks IUS.


Snowlilly wrote:


A very good job summarizing the general rules.

And completely wasted. Monk's have a specific rule that allows their unarmed strikes to count as natural weapons for beneficial effects.

Power attack is a beneficial effect. Exactly what that effect is depends on weapon type, weapon usage, and strength modifier applied with the specific weapon.

In the case of Dragon Ferocity + Power Attack, counting as a natural weapon is more beneficial than counting as a manufactured weapon.

An unarmed strike is a Light, Simple weapon.

A monk's unarmed strike is treated as both a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons.

For Power Attack and your Unarmed Strike you don't get to change what an unarmed strike is. Power Attack is not an "effect" that enhances any weapon, it simply adds damage at the cost of accuracy. Additionally, an unarmed strike is NEVER considered a Primary Natural Attack(automatically gaining 1.5 STR to damage rolls from being the only natural attack a creature has).
As Natural Attacks read: "You do not receive additional natural attacks for a high base attack bonus. Instead, you receive additional attack rolls for multiple limb and body parts capable of making the attack (as noted by the race or ability that grants the attacks)." Unarmed Strikes are not treated as natural attacks in THAT regard because you DO get to make additional unarmed strikes due to a higher BAB.
Furthermore, a Monk may make an unarmed strike with ANY part of his body... allowing an absurd amount of "Natural Attacks"(you receive additional attack rolls for multiple limb and body parts capable of making the attack) at FULL BAB! This simply is not allowed and you are mistaken.

Dragon Style would still benefit Power Attack though in the way Power Attack would benefit from wielding a weapon in 2 hands(1.5 STR) making it -1 attack for +3 damage for the first strike and +2 damage for the rest. Dragon Ferocity would up it to -1 attack for +4 damage on the first strike(2xSTR) and +3 damage on the rest(1.5 STR).


Snowlilly wrote:


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.

Monk unarmed strikes meet the definition for Primary natural weapons. They are made at full BAB and use the monk's full strength bonus.

Monk attacks do not meet the definition for Secondary natural weapons. They do not incur a -5 attack penalty or use 1/2 strength.

There are no other classifications within RAW.

That is not true.

CRB wrote:
You do not receive additional natural attacks for a high base attack bonus

<---aka iterative attacks due to a high BAB do not get you more natural attacks.

With a monk's unarmed strikes a high BAB will get you more attacks.


wraithstrike wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:


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.

Monk unarmed strikes meet the definition for Primary natural weapons. They are made at full BAB and use the monk's full strength bonus.

Monk attacks do not meet the definition for Secondary natural weapons. They do not incur a -5 attack penalty or use 1/2 strength.

There are no other classifications within RAW.

That is not true.

CRB wrote:
You do not receive additional natural attacks for a high base attack bonus

<---aka iterative attacks due to a high BAB do not get you more natural attacks.

With a monk's unarmed strikes a high BAB will get you more attacks.

  • The action of attacking is not an effect that improves weapons.
  • Power attack is an effect that improves weapons.

The argument is not, "are monks IUS attacks natural weapons."
The argument is, "monks IUS attacks count as natural weapons for the purpose of resolving Power Attack, when that consideration is beneficial."


It still doesn't make them a Primary Natural Attack which is required for the Power Attack benefit.


Brain in a Jar wrote:
It still doesn't make them a Primary Natural Attack which is required for the Power Attack benefit.

it would have to be your only natural attack, but you can two weapon fight with them.


Snowlilly wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:


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.

Monk unarmed strikes meet the definition for Primary natural weapons. They are made at full BAB and use the monk's full strength bonus.

Monk attacks do not meet the definition for Secondary natural weapons. They do not incur a -5 attack penalty or use 1/2 strength.

There are no other classifications within RAW.

That is not true.

CRB wrote:
You do not receive additional natural attacks for a high base attack bonus

<---aka iterative attacks due to a high BAB do not get you more natural attacks.

With a monk's unarmed strikes a high BAB will get you more attacks.

  • The action of attacking is not an effect that improves weapons.
  • Power attack is an effect that improves weapons.

The argument is not, "are monks IUS attacks natural weapons."
The argument is, "monks IUS attacks count as natural weapons for the purpose of resolving Power Attack, when that consideration is beneficial."

Umm, what?

Power Attack improves the damage of your attack. Not the damage your weapon deals. If it improved your weapon damage, it would be called Power Weapon. But it's not. It's called Power Attack.

It even says in the first sentence:

Power Attack wrote:
You can choose to take a –1 penalty on all melee attack rolls and combat maneuver checks to gain a +2 bonus on all melee damage rolls.

Most effects, if they improve the weapon's damage, would say "weapon damage rolls." But this one doesn't, which means it applies to damage dealt not from weapons, but from melee attacks in general. Heck, by that understanding, I could be doing Touch Attacks with Power Attack, and simply be doing upwards of 2 damage per Touch Attack (since it improves the damage roll that I make, which would result in 0D0+2). Thankfully, it includes a clause which says touch attacks and non-damaging hit point effects don't receive the benefit, so there is that...

It then says that the damage bonus is increased or decreased based on the type of weapon you are using; the damage increase only applies if the weapon is two-handed, wielded in two hands (if it were a one-handed weapon; light weapons don't count), or stated to be a Primary Natural Attack that adds 1.5x Strength.

It's quite clear that an Unarmed Strike is not a two-handed weapon, nor can it be wielded in two hands (since it's a light weapon, not a one-handed weapon, it wouldn't work anyway), but as far as a natural attack is concerned, it still doesn't fit the bill.

Why?

1. Unarmed Strikes are only treated as natural weapons for effects which improve natural weapons as a whole. That does not make them, in and of themselves, natural weapons. Just like how Weapon-like Spells aren't Weapons, and Spell-like Abilities aren't Spells.

2. Unarmed Strikes do not share the same mechanics of natural weapons. Natural Weapons can only attack once per round (or on attacks of opportunity or some other special case). Unarmed Strikes, on the other hand, follow your iterative BAB. This can be a case of specific trumps general, but it's highly unlikely, especially if the case is to be meant that they're Natural Weapons all the same.

3. Unarmed Strikes are listed on the Manufactured Weapons Table. This gives credence to the factor that they function more as Manufactured Weapons in terms of mechanics than Natural Weapons. At best, you can say that Unarmed Strikes are listed on there for ease of reference, but there's a separate table for Natural Weapons that denote what sort of damage they deal, whether they're Primary or Secondary, and so on, which Unarmed Strikes can easily fit under (but for some reason do not, providing further evidence that they indeed aren't Natural Weapons).

4. Unarmed Strikes aren't given a denomination of what sort of Natural Weapon they fit under. Are they Primary? Are they Secondary? When you have a table that states what sort of Natural Attack it is (Primary/Secondary), and any effects which give you Natural Weapons (such as a Helm of the Mammoth Lord) would usually defer to that very table, or overwrite what sort of Natural Attack it is by stating it is a Secondary instead of a Primary, or vice-versa. Unarmed Strikes do not have any of this, and because you must be using a Primary Natural Weapon, which must deal 1.5x Strength in damage, in order to benefit from Power Attack's increased damage, Unarmed Strikes cannot normally do so, even with Dragon Ferocity's help.

5. The full Natural Attacks entry from the PRD, which states the following:

Natural Attacks wrote:

Most creatures possess one or more natural attacks (attacks made without a weapon). These attacks fall into one of two categories, primary and secondary attacks. 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 the creature's Strength bonus on damage rolls. This increase does not apply if the creature has multiple attacks but only takes one. If a creature has only one type of attack, but has multiple attacks per round, that attack is treated as a primary attack, regardless of its type. Table: Natural Attacks by Size lists some of the most common types of natural attacks and their classifications.

Some creatures treat one or more of their attacks differently, such as dragons, which always receive 1-1/2 times their Strength bonus on damage rolls with their bite attack. These exceptions are noted in the creature's description.

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 natural attacks as secondary attacks during that attack, regardless of the attack's original type.

The Damage Type column refers to the sort of damage that the natural attack typically deals: bludgeoning (B), slashing (S), or piercing (P). Some attacks deal damage of more than one type, depending on the creature. In such cases all the damage is considered to be of all listed types for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Some fey, humanoids, monstrous humanoids, and outsiders do not possess natural attacks. These creatures can make unarmed strikes, but treat them as weapons for the purpose of determining attack bonuses, and they must use the two-weapon fighting rules when making attacks with both hands. See Table: Natural Attacks by Size for typical damage values for natural attacks by creature size.

So, these are the things you need to overcome before you can say that Unarmed Strikes receive Power Attack's increased damage benefits. Until that point comes (which I fear it never will), saying Unarmed Strikes amplified by Dragon Ferocity receive Power Attack's increased damage, will never come to pass.


Brain in a Jar wrote:
It still doesn't make them a Primary Natural Attack which is required for the Power Attack benefit.

RAW states all natural weapons must be categorized as either primary or secondary. When an effects checks if a natural weapon is primary or seconday, you don't get to say neither.

If you can present evidence that a monk's IUS should be classified as a secondary natural weapon for the purposes of effects please do so.


Snowlilly wrote:
Brain in a Jar wrote:
It still doesn't make them a Primary Natural Attack which is required for the Power Attack benefit.

RAW states all natural weapons must be categorized as either primary or secondary. When an effects checks if a natural weapon is primary or seconday, you don't get to say neither.

If you can present evidence that a monk's IUS should be classified as a secondary natural weapon for the purposes of effects please do so.

There are three classifications for natural weapons

Primary (full str), Secondary (-5 to hit and half strength), and only (1.5 x Strength) Only only gets the 1.5 x strength (baring some weird circumstances like a dragon or a druids pet getting multi attack)


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

Umm, what?

Power Attack improves the damage of your attack. Not the damage your weapon deals. If it improved your weapon damage, it would be called Power Weapon. But it's not. It's called Power Attack.

It even says in the first sentence:

Power Attack wrote:
You can choose to take a –1 penalty on all melee attack rolls and combat maneuver checks to gain a +2 bonus on all melee damage rolls.

Power attack modifies weapon damage, and explicitly lists that damage modification based upon weapon type, weapon status (primary, secondary, main hand, off-hand, two-handed.), and strength bonus.

Quote:
This bonus to damage is increased by half (+50%) if you are making an attack with a two-handed weapon, a one handed weapon using two hands, or a primary natural weapon that adds 1-1/2 times your Strength modifier on damage rolls. This bonus to damage is halved (–50%) if you are making an attack with an off-hand weapon or secondary natural weapon.

Now, you could try to make the argument that the damage from Power Attack is separate and distinct from the damage dealt by the weapon, but that would be an extraordinarily bad argument to make. It would, in effect, be arguing that DR is applied twice, once for damage originating with the weapon and again for damage originating from Power Attack. We all know that is not how it works. Power Attack is modifying an attribute of the weapon; damage dealt. All damage is dealt from a single source, the weapon.

Grand Lodge

Snowlilly wrote:
Brain in a Jar wrote:
It still doesn't make them a Primary Natural Attack which is required for the Power Attack benefit.

RAW states all natural weapons must be categorized as either primary or secondary. When an effects checks if a natural weapon is primary or seconday, you don't get to say neither.

If you can present evidence that a monk's IUS should be classified as a secondary natural weapon for the purposes of effects please do so.

Ask your self this, are unarmed strikes natural weapons? Answer is no but they are considered unarmed weapons for certain effects.

Do the rules say "weapons considered natural weapons under certain circumstance have to have the category of primary or secondary"? No. Because this is a partial effect unarmed strikes can but considered natural weapons without following every rule of being a natural weapon. Eg. gaining attacks from multiple BAB and not being classified as either primary or secondary.

So, because unarmed strikes are not natural weapons they do not need the category of primary or secondary. Moreover, because the special monk rule that states that they are to be considered natural weapons does not include classifying them as a primary weapon then the current rule of them not having a type should stand.

To head this argument off at the pass. Being classified primary or secondary is not a effect. It is a rule it is not covered by monk clause.

To summaries the arguments as I see them.

Power attack does not benefit weapons. If a fighter was swinging a great sword and teleported a great axe in its place they would still be power attacking. If you did the same a spell warrior skald's song you would lose the effect because it is on the weapon. Can you provide evidence that power attacks target is a weapon?

Because unarmed strikes are not natural attacks but are considered natural attacks under special conditions they are only governed by natural attack rules that cover these special conditions ie "spells and effects".

Scarab Sages

Snowlilly wrote:
Brain in a Jar wrote:
It still doesn't make them a Primary Natural Attack which is required for the Power Attack benefit.

RAW states all natural weapons must be categorized as either primary or secondary. When an effects checks if a natural weapon is primary or seconday, you don't get to say neither.

If you can present evidence that a monk's IUS should be classified as a secondary natural weapon for the purposes of effects please do so.

Primary and Secondary are not defined by the rules text you have quoted ad nauseam. The text you have quoted is simply the explanation for how primary and secondary work. Primary and secondary are defined by the Natural Weapons Chart in Universal Monster Rules.

In that chart, Natural weapons are defined as primary or secondary as listed below:

Bite Primary
Claw Primary
Gore Primary
Hoof, Tentacle, Wing Secondary
Pincers, Tail Slap Secondary
Slam Primary
Sting Primary
Talons Primary
Other Secondary

Unarmed strikes do not appear on the chart, so even if we accept that the monk unarmed strike is an actual natural weapon instead of only being treated as one for specific effects, then it is treated as a secondary attack because it falls under the other entry on the chart.


Snowlilly wrote:
Brain in a Jar wrote:
It still doesn't make them a Primary Natural Attack which is required for the Power Attack benefit.

RAW states all natural weapons must be categorized as either primary or secondary. When an effects checks if a natural weapon is primary or seconday, you don't get to say neither.

If you can present evidence that a monk's IUS should be classified as a secondary natural weapon for the purposes of effects please do so.

IUS is not a natural weapon so it is not required to be classified as primary or secondary.

The Monk ability that says to treat its IUS as a natural weapon for spells and effects does not specify primary or secondary, so it is neither.


Snowlilly wrote:
Brain in a Jar wrote:
It still doesn't make them a Primary Natural Attack which is required for the Power Attack benefit.

RAW states all natural weapons must be categorized as either primary or secondary. When an effects checks if a natural weapon is primary or seconday, you don't get to say neither.

If you can present evidence that a monk's IUS should be classified as a secondary natural weapon for the purposes of effects please do so.

You clearly just don't get it.

An Unarmed Strike isn't a Natural Attack and the Monk's ability to treat it like a Natural Attack for certain effects doesn't change that.

It's not Primary or Secondary because it's not a Natural Attack.

Cite a rule that says a Unarmed Attack is a Primary Natural Attack? Not just why you think it should be.

Your opinion of why it should function as a Primary Natural Attack is fully noted. But that doesn't make it a rule.


Snowlilly wrote:
Brain in a Jar wrote:
It still doesn't make them a Primary Natural Attack which is required for the Power Attack benefit.

RAW states all natural weapons must be categorized as either primary or secondary. When an effects checks if a natural weapon is primary or seconday, you don't get to say neither.

If you can present evidence that a monk's IUS should be classified as a secondary natural weapon for the purposes of effects please do so.

To begin with, I don't like the way you are being treated. I have flagged one or more posts on this thread because people are being verbally abusive to you.

But I have come around to disagreeing with you.

Snowlilly wrote:
RAW states all natural weapons must be categorized as either primary or secondary.

But Monk Unarmed Strikes are not Natural Weapons. Of course you are aware of this. You aren't trying to say that MUS are natural weapons, only that they are treated as such sometimes to the benefit of the Monk.

Monk Unarmed Strike wrote:
A monk's unarmed strike is treated as both a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons.

But this rule doesn't specify that a MUS is to be treated as a primary or a secondary natural attack, so we need to consider the possibility that it is not intended to be treated as either. And I do believe it is must be considered neither.

Consider:

Natural Attacks wrote:
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.

Most Monk PCs don't have any other Natural Attacks. That would mean that a Monk Unarmed Strike would be the Monk's only Natural Attack and should benefit from +1.5 on all attack and damage rolls just because.

But I have never heard of anyone invoking these 2 rules to try to claim a +1.5 on Damage Rolls. An appeal to popular opinion is a fallacy, though, and I would be the first one to point that out.

But look at Dragon Style Feats.

Dragon Style wrote:
you can add 1-1/2 times your Strength bonus on the damage roll for your first unarmed strike on a given round.... Normal: With an unarmed strike, you usually add your Strength bonus on damage rolls.

It really does seem that while the Monk Unarmed Strike may be treated as a Natural Weapon, that class ability does not allow it to be treated as a Primary Natural Weapon. For starters, it does not specify that it does. We have the Dragon Style Feats which specify that they don't: an official rules source--albeit a tangential one--and then there is the fact that nobody plays the game this way.

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