I think this is the first time I've seen a way to make your own unarmed strike intelligent. I have no idea if it is legal or not, but I find the idea of a fighter dominated by the ego of his right hand absolutely hilarious! You could recreate the Evil Dead 2 scene. :)
There's also the Haunted Hand feat line too :3
Haunted/Possessed Hand is called Countenanced Carbuncle, and I'm pretty sure it's supposed to be for the Vampire Hunter class, specifically.
That being said, there is nothing As Written keeping you from actually choosing your unarmed strike for Steelbound Fighter.
If I was your GM, I would make you choose which hand, elbow, knee, or foot is becoming sentient... and I wouldn't allow it without Improved Unarmed Strike as a feat before it awakens.
But yes, please choose one hand for the Steelbound Fighter's sentient weapon, and take countenanced carbuncle for the other hand. Please.
It just says choose a weapon at level One. If you aren't carrying it consequences blah blah blah, it's doesn't say it has to be a weapon you can carry, and at level five must choose the same type of weapon as level one for the awakening. This being used on unarmed strikes just means he is never caught without it and never deal with the consequences...
At 1st level, a steelbound fighter selects one type of weapon (such as shortswords, longbows, or heavy flails). He gains Weapon Focus with that specific weapon. Whenever he isn’t wielding or carrying at least one weapon of this type (the weapon can be broken but not destroyed), a steelbound fighter takes a –2 penalty to his Wisdom score and can’t benefit from his fighter class abilities (excluding bonus feats gained from fighter levels). Once the steelbound fighter’s weapon awakens (see steelbound awakening below), these penalties apply whenever the fighter isn’t carrying or wielding that particular weapon.
This ability replaces the fighter’s 1st-level bonus feat.
Steelbound Awakening (Su)
At 5th level, one non-intelligent weapon carried by the steelbound fighter becomes possessed by the latent spiritual energies that cling to his soul, transforming that weapon into an intelligent weapon. The weapon must be of the type the fighter chose at 1st level as his steelbound weapon.
Steelbound Awakening (Su)At 5th level, one non-intelligent weapon carried by the steelbound fighter becomes possessed by the latent spiritual energies that cling to his soul, transforming that weapon into an intelligent weapon. The weapon must be of the type the fighter chose at 1st level as his steelbound weapon.
Yes, I see that. Note also, must be the same as what you chose at level one...
Level one has no such stipulation or requirement.
But, arguing over the wording Paizo used is freaking useless. They don't have any convention or rules as to clearly state intent. No formula for how descriptions are worded or structured. The intern who got tasked to type that has no idea what the developer was truly trying to get accomplished.
If you would stop someone at your table from being a Steelbound Fighter using an awakened unarmed strike, I really hope I never have to play with anyone as needlessly strict as you.
It's cool. There is enough contradiction in the typed text to argue, and the argument should always go to the side of creativity, not stifling proofreading and tyrannical interpretation.
What's it going to hurt?
Who cares enough to actually say no?
The entirety of Pathfinder 2.0 could literally just be rewriting everything in 1.0 to say what they mean and mean what they say, under one solid easy to understand system that uses the same language for action economy, spells, feats, and class abilities.
They could have simply said choose a manufactured weapon, but they didn't...
I don't typically think it is productive to try to argue about "what could have been used."
Also, it is unlikely that this was simply typed by an intern and then sent off for distribution. That isn't how the production of business materials work.
Anyway, this is the rules forum. The rule says that you one non-intelligent weapon carried by the steelbound fighter becomes possessed. I'm sorry you don't like that it says that.
If you feel that you can argue that it is possible to carry an unarmed strike, you can bring it up. If you can't, then you will have to accept the rule as it is.
For games that I have DM'd, I encourage my players to "play what they want." If they can't find something they like, I design things for them (usually using existing material.) I built my sister an "Avatar" style Elemental Fist monk using Master of Many Styles and Monk of the Four Winds (and Qinggong Monk). Master of Many styles and Monk of the Four Winds are not actually compatible archetypes because they both replace the lvl 20 ability Perfect Self. However, I told the DM ahead of time and he didn't care because there was no way they were going to make it to 20th level.
Rule 0 exists, everybody uses it. However, this is the rules forum, so responses typically are focused on the RAW (or RAI).
Level one didn't say pick a weapon capable of being carried.
Level one didn't say to pick a weapon other than unarmed strike or natural weapons.
Now, all the sudden, level 5 is adding language not used at level one... and that is on Paizo for being inconsistent.
The tie goes to the runner, in this case, the player.
Arguments based on inconsistencies in the official rules should always go to the side of the player, because SOMEONE (Paizo) can't get their $#!+ together and follow one conventional language through even this single archetype. That's not the player's fault.
The tie goes to the runner.
The similar Bladebound Magus specifically states that the Black Blade is always a one handed slashing weapon. See how easy that is?
Steelbound Fighter includes no such stipulation.
Here, it's easy, I was taught this in elementary school...
WHO do you want to use this ability?
WHAT can this ability be used with?
WHEN can this ability be used?
WHERE does this ability apply?
WHY is this ability different/special?
I can, and will, refrain from further comments on Paizo's inconsistencies.
But this is a rules discussion, and...
Even the 5th level verbage in question didn't specifically state that it must be a manufactured weapon.
A non-intelligent weapon carried...
The word carried is what we are discussing here, right?
A proud person carries their head held high, right?
When you attempt to reduce bleeding or swelling, you carry your hand above your heart, right?
It's not Paizo, it's the English language.
The English language used by Paizo does, in fact, leave room for interpretation.
Especially in juxtapose to other similar abilities that do include specifics.
It also requires additional context of what "Improved Unarmed Strikes" are that are not rules based. While it may be possible to "carry" a part of your body (which is a different context), it is not possible to carry "Improved Unarmed Strikes".
That's fair. Just stating that at level on it required a manufactured weapon would have been a lot easier to include, they even added parenthesis, why not actually say something definite?
Regardless, I'm wrong. You cannot awaken your unarmed strikes or natural weapons using the Steelbound Fighter ability.