Do you need a free hand to kick someone? Does a Space Minotaur Need to drop one of his pistols to horn someone?


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Do you need a free hand to kick someone? If you need a free hand to kick someone, do you need a free hand to use your natural weapon?

Unarmed strike — — 1d3 B — — Archaic, Nonlethal

An unarmed strike can be dealt with any limb or appendage. Unarmed strikes deal nonlethal damage, and the damage from an unarmed strike is considered weapon damage for the purposes of effects that give you a bonus to weapon damage rolls.

Normal: You don’t threaten any squares with unarmed attacks, and you must have a hand free to make an unarmed attack.

Option 1: You can make unarmed attacks with any appendage, the line about normal is incorrect

Option 2: The line about being able to use any limb is incorrect unless you take unarmed strikes. Karate kicks to the head take training.

Option 3: (Which I've seen around the forums but am NOT a fan of) is that if you put those two together what you have is you can punch or kick as long as your hands aren't full. Operative with a pistol and a free hand can punch kick or head but. If He's dual wielding pistols though now he can't kick.

If you need a free hand to kick someone, do you need a free hand to gore them?

Argument Yes: The normal line in the feat improved unarmed strike means that unless something specifically changes that requirement that requirement stays. Nothing in natural weapons changes that requirement, So the space minotaur holding two pistols

Argument No: Even if the rule itself isn't in error it describes the situation as normal without any other special abilities. Natural weapons are not the normal situation described, just as a ysoki with cheek pouches can draw a gun faster than a move action or stand up as fast as someone with kip up,

Grand Lodge

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I can only assume that was a copy-paste error from PF where you used either the unarmed strike rules or the natural attack rules on a given attack. When GMing, I'd probably go with letting PCs kick, headbutt, bite, tail slap, and gore with their hands full without special training.

And FAQed because I agree this needs official clarification.


I would love for this to be FAQ'd.

It's currently Option 3. That's the text of the rules at their most plain, assuming everything is correct.

You can kick or headbutt (or Natural Weapons), but you need a hand free to do so, presumably because kickboxing or face biting with your hands full is difficult, even if you are attacking with a different appendage. Balance and leverage means that having that hand open is necessary to attack proficiently unless you were specifically trained to do so.


In favor of Option 2 here. It's a lot easier to throw an effective punch untrained than an effective kick. I'd personally rule natural weapons as a specific exception to the general rule, but that's admittedly fudging RAW. Proper headbutts can take training too I guess.


From experience: Starfinder focuses more on having a balanced game system than realism. It is option 3 whether we like it or not, because to do otherwise strikes an imbalance between PCs on multiple levels.

The major one: Confusion/balance between multiple instances of the same ability. Reptoids, the Minotaur guys, Formians, Vesk, etc. all have the same Natural Weapons ability applying by the same rules. As it stands it works both ways, a Minotaur's may thematically be a Gore, and a Vesk's a claw, but without Improved Unarmed neither can use them with hands occupied, but both are also not limited by taking it. A vesk can still technically apply Natural Weapons with a kick and their hands full with Imoroved Unarmed, if the game was going to focus on specific limbs like Pathfinder did, then it would limit Vesks and other "claw" users while suddenly boosting the power of non-claws.


Isaac Zephyr wrote:

From experience: Starfinder focuses more on having a balanced game system than realism. It is option 3 whether we like it or not, because to do otherwise strikes an imbalance between PCs on multiple levels.

The major one: Confusion/balance between multiple instances of the same ability. Reptoids, the Minotaur guys, Formians, Vesk, etc. all have the same Natural Weapons ability applying by the same rules. As it stands it works both ways, a Minotaur's may thematically be a Gore, and a Vesk's a claw, but without Improved Unarmed neither can use them with hands occupied, but both are also not limited by taking it. A vesk can still technically apply Natural Weapons with a kick and their hands full with Imoroved Unarmed, if the game was going to focus on specific limbs like Pathfinder did, then it would limit Vesks and other "claw" users while suddenly boosting the power of non-claws.

Noting to avoid confusion, since I thought you were making a different argument at first. That's still "option 2" with Improved Unarmed allowing attacks with hands full.


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Samantha DeWinter wrote:
In favor of Option 2 here. It's a lot easier to throw an effective punch untrained than an effective kick. I'd personally rule natural weapons as a specific exception to the general rule, but that's admittedly fudging RAW. Proper headbutts can take training too I guess.

I do not get the idea that people think it's fudging with raw. If rules said "your space minotaur needs a free hand to gore people" THEN I'd be fudging with the rules

But the rules don't actually say that. People reach a conclusion using some very some if then reasoning and a couple of blatant suppositions. Namely, there is no raw way to apply normal conditions (written by a soft nailed human for a soft nailed human) to a species with a mouth of big sharp pointy teeth and a penchant for tail slapping. There are plenty of "normal" lines of feats that are violated by other abilities in the game

Run: Normal: You move four times your land speed and gain the
flat-footed condition while running.

Operative: Uncanny Agility (Ex) 7th Level

You are immune to the flat-footed condition

So is that supposed to be unless you're running because that's a feat?

Quickdraw: Normal: You can draw a weapon as a move action, or (if your
base attack bonus is +1 or higher) as part of a move action,
and you can draw a hidden weapon as a standard action.

Starfinder backpack: When you seek an object stowed in the backpack, you find it immediately, allowing you to retrieve the object as if you were drawing a weapon. In addition, you can stow objects of 1 bulk or less in the pack as if you were sheathing a weapon.

Ysoki Cheek pouches: Cheek Pouches

Ysoki can store up to 1 cubic foot of items weighing up to 1 bulk in total in their cheek pouches, and they can transfer a single object between hand and cheek as a swift action.

Shot on the run: Normal: You can move only before or after an attack with a ranged weapon, not both

Spring attack Normal: You can move only before or after an attack,
not both.

Haste: When making a full attack, a hasted creature can also take a separate move action in order to move. The movement can occur before, after, or between the attacks from the full attack.

The normal line tells you a baseline standard. It is NOT saying that there's no other way to get that ability.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
I do not get the idea that people think it's fudging with raw. If rules said "your space minotaur needs a free hand to gore people" -snip-

Yeah, that's fair. I should have said "not explicit in RAW" instead. It's a reasonable assumption.


Another bit of raw pushback against the need for Vesk to have a free hand: Vesk are always considered armed (able to make attacks of opportunity into adjacent squares). Not "considered armed when they have an empty hand" ALWAYS. That always includes while holding a laser rifle (a very common situation). That to me is more of a direct rules statement than the converse conclusion reached from putting two bits of rules together from situations where one might not apply.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

Another bit of raw pushback against the need for Vesk to have a free hand: Vesk are always considered armed (able to make attacks of opportunity into adjacent squares). Not "considered armed when they have an empty hand" ALWAYS. That always includes while holding a laser rifle (a very common situation). That to me is more of a direct rules statement than the converse conclusion reached from putting two bits of rules together from situations where one might not apply.

A vesk with both hands on a laser rifle IS considered "armed"... she has a laser rifle. A laser rifle is an armament. She is also armed when she doesn't have any weapons at all, because of her formidable natural weapons.

Nowhere does it say that she can attack adjacent squares without incurring an attack of opportunity if her hands are fully occupied with a two handed ranged weapon, unless she has Improved Unarmed Strike. "Armed" isn't even a term in the glossary or the index.

You're putting too much emphasis on that word. Attack of Opportunity on page 248 doesn't mention "armed" and Reach and Threatened Squares on page 255 just says:

If you are wielding a melee weapon or are otherwise capable of making a melee attack (e.g., if you have your own natural weapons), you threaten all squares into which you can make a melee attack, even when it is not your turn (the exception is unarmed strikes—if you’re making unarmed strikes, you don’t threaten other squares).

I said before that the "always considered armed" was basically fluff... well, it kinda is, because the rules for natural weapons threatening are already spelled out here, and "armed" doesn't have a specific meaning in the game.

You are not "capable of making a melee attack" with a natural weapon if you don't have a hand free.

Natural weapons are a modification of Unarmed Strike, which requires a free hand to use, regardless of what appendage is being used. Period. The rules are not contradictory; they never claim that the free hand is what is being used to make the attack.

Maybe the devs will errata it. Maybe we'll see an effect that lets an unarmed strike be used even with no hands free other than IUS. I hope it gets cleared up soon, though.


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Dracomicron wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

Another bit of raw pushback against the need for Vesk to have a free hand: Vesk are always considered armed (able to make attacks of opportunity into adjacent squares). Not "considered armed when they have an empty hand" ALWAYS. That always includes while holding a laser rifle (a very common situation). That to me is more of a direct rules statement than the converse conclusion reached from putting two bits of rules together from situations where one might not apply.

A vesk with both hands on a laser rifle IS considered "armed"... she has a laser rifle.

Nice try. What about a Vesk who has had both arms amputated?


Xenocrat wrote:
Nice try. What about a Vesk who has had both arms amputated?

I choose to believe it's more a statement of attitude than physiology. Vesk can and will go Black Knight on your ass. HAVE AT YOU!


Xenocrat wrote:


Nice try. What about a Vesk who has had both arms amputated?

Then may your enemies taste of barbecue and glory


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Xenocrat wrote:
Dracomicron wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

Another bit of raw pushback against the need for Vesk to have a free hand: Vesk are always considered armed (able to make attacks of opportunity into adjacent squares). Not "considered armed when they have an empty hand" ALWAYS. That always includes while holding a laser rifle (a very common situation). That to me is more of a direct rules statement than the converse conclusion reached from putting two bits of rules together from situations where one might not apply.

A vesk with both hands on a laser rifle IS considered "armed"... she has a laser rifle.
Nice try. What about a Vesk who has had both arms amputated?

She gets two fully functional prosthetic arms for 100 credits each.


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In the REACH AND THREATENED SQUARES entry on (CRB, p.255), a distinction is made between natural weapons and unarmed strikes. A Minotaur can gore even if its hands are full, because a natural weapon is not an unarmed strike.
I don't find anything on the claw/empty hand question. However, nowhere in the Vesk entry does it say that the natural weapon is a claw. I can see an interpretation that it is a bite attack (which, throwing back to Pathfinder, matches the damage described more closely) or even a tail slap. This would allow the Vesk natural attack with full hands, regardless.


I think a big thing here is that how many/what natural weapon you have matters a metric ton less in starfinder because they give you the same number of attacks no matter what, as opposed to pathfinder where you could stack them for more dakka!


But the Vesk natural weapon is bludgeoning, so it's a fist, or headbutt, or knee to the head. Compare it to other races Natural attacks (Reptoid say) where it specifies another type of damage, slashing. I think a minotaur goring with hands fulls is fine, same as a Vesk could charge into a head butt holding their longarm against their chest, then during the season next turn.

If it truly comes to it, you could say the minotaur can spend a swift action to change what is wielding, shifting its focus from guns to horn. The guns are then 'held' by not wielded. Change again next turn for a swift action. I just think it penalises a player so much to have to do sessions to use a natural attack.


Charlatan wrote:
But the Vesk natural weapon is bludgeoning, so it's a fist, or headbutt, or knee to the head.

OR the teeth are more crushing than piercing (It was all three in pathfinder). Or its the tailslap.

Quote:
If it truly comes to it, you could say the minotaur can spend a swift action to change what is wielding, shifting its focus from guns to horn. The guns are then 'held' by not wielded. Change again next turn for a swift action. I just think it penalises a player so much to have to do sessions to use a natural attack.

In starfinder the swift action is a HUGE deal, as it keeps you from full attacking if you need to spend it switching up.


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Neil77 wrote:

In the REACH AND THREATENED SQUARES entry on (CRB, p.255), a distinction is made between natural weapons and unarmed strikes. A Minotaur can gore even if its hands are full, because a natural weapon is not an unarmed strike.

I don't find anything on the claw/empty hand question. However, nowhere in the Vesk entry does it say that the natural weapon is a claw. I can see an interpretation that it is a bite attack (which, throwing back to Pathfinder, matches the damage described more closely) or even a tail slap. This would allow the Vesk natural attack with full hands, regardless.

That's blantantly untrue. No distinction is made, natural weapons are simply an example of wielding a weapon. Nowhere does it grant the same ability as Improved Unarmed Strike to make attacks with your hands full. And Natural Weapons the racial ability on multiple sources, describes itself each time as: "your unarmed strikes". This means Natural Weapons are indeed Unarmed Strikes, and thus apply by there rules except where specifically stated otherwise.

In this case, reach and threatened describes natural weapons (not capitalized thus may or may not actually be referring to the Vesk ability or is a generalization to attempt to clarify monsters and such can make AoOs even though many do not weild weapons) as equivalent to weilding a weapon for making AoO. This is the only thing it says in regards to them, thus you still have to apply the other Unarmed Strike rules, including not being able to make them with hands occupied.


CRB,p.55 wrote:
If you are wielding a melee weapon or are otherwise capable of making a melee attack (e.g., if you have your own natural weapons), you threaten all squares into which you can make a melee attack, even when it is not your turn (the exception is unarmed strikes—if you’re making unarmed strikes, you don’t threaten other squares).

Natural weapons are explicitly distinguished from unarmed strikes.

However, re-reading the Vesk entry, although the entry title is NATURAL WEAPONS, the text defines the attack as an unarmed strike that does lethal damage, not a natural weapon (unless there has been errata). That would cause me to change my interpretation of the Vesk (i.e., Vesk must have a hand free), but not Minotaur (gore is specifically a natural attack, so would not require a free hand).


To throw another wrench in the discussion, see Owen Stephens' comments in this thread, where he implies that we are expected to follow Pathfinder logic and rulings when not expressly countered.


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Neil77 wrote:
CRB,p.55 wrote:
If you are wielding a melee weapon or are otherwise capable of making a melee attack (e.g., if you have your own natural weapons), you threaten all squares into which you can make a melee attack, even when it is not your turn (the exception is unarmed strikes—if you’re making unarmed strikes, you don’t threaten other squares).

Natural weapons are explicitly distinguished from unarmed strikes.

However, re-reading the Vesk entry, although the entry title is NATURAL WEAPONS, the text defines the attack as an unarmed strike that does lethal damage, not a natural weapon (unless there has been errata). That would cause me to change my interpretation of the Vesk (i.e., Vesk must have a hand free), but not Minotaur (gore is specifically a natural attack, so would not require a free hand).

The minotaurs of Starfinder are the Nuar. You will find their Natural Weapons entry to be the same with the exception of stating a damage type. It is still described as "their unarmed strikes".

That said, their alien archive entry as a monster has the attack listed at horn. And doing some quick maths, it doesn't apply the 1.5× specialization to damage. Then again, Starfinder plays by different rules between creatures and players, so by all accounts you can't really apply the same rules to creatures as players. They may indeed be able to horn with their hands full.


I typically don't look at Alien Archive for PC things, so I was assuming that someone had an actual Minotaur. If the Nuar entry is like the Vesk, then I agree with you. RAW, they would need a hand free to gore.


Neil77 wrote:
I typically don't look at Alien Archive for PC things, so I was assuming that someone had an actual Minotaur. If the Nuar entry is like the Vesk, then I agree with you. RAW, they would need a hand free to gore.

How is it the raw? It doesn't t say that nuar are considered armed when they have a free hand. It says always.

RAW normal doesn t say it applies to someone with a similar ability.

I really wish people had more respect for the rules. As it is every time I hear someone say raw what they actually mean is an interpretation without sense.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Neil77 wrote:
I typically don't look at Alien Archive for PC things, so I was assuming that someone had an actual Minotaur. If the Nuar entry is like the Vesk, then I agree with you. RAW, they would need a hand free to gore.

How is it the raw? It doesn't t say that nuar are considered armed when they have a free hand. It says always.

RAW normal doesn t say it applies to someone with a similar ability.

I really wish people had more respect for the rules. As it is every time I hear someone say raw what they actually mean is an interpretation without sense.

I have perfect respect for the rules. It's not an interpretation it's how it works. Armed as mentioned is not in the glossary of terms as something specific. But let's break it down with another example.

A Human character weilding a pistol is considered armed. He has a weapon. However, that does not allow them to make an opportunity attack with it. This creates a case where a creature is "armed" but cannot attack because the rules say they cannot.

Another example, a character wearing a battleglove, and carrying a rifle. He is armed with both the glove, and the rifle, however if the hand with the glove is holding the rifle in order to fire it, he cannot use the battleglove (unless he uses a swift action to change his grip, at which point he cannot fire the rifle) for an opportunity attack. Being armed in this way also doesn't allow him to make an opportunity attack with his rifle, simply because he has a battleglove.

Because Natural Weapons are Unarmed Strikes, the rules which govern Unarmed Strikes apply to them in full, except where otherwise stated. They count as "armed" which is different, meaning they can make opportunity attacks with their unarmed strikes as this is stated in Reach and Threatening, however they must still be in a circumstance where they can use their unarmed strikes (as the battleglove example). This means they require having a free hand, unless they possess the Improved Unarmed Strike feat.

That is how the rules are written.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:

How is it the raw? It doesn't t say that nuar are considered armed when they have a free hand. It says always.

RAW normal doesn t say it applies to someone with a similar ability.

I really wish people had more respect for the rules. As it is every time I hear someone say raw what they actually mean is an interpretation without sense.

I say RAW, because it is literally the Rules As Written.

CRB,p.158 wrote:
You don’t threaten any squares with unarmed attacks, and you must have a hand free to make an unarmed attack.

Unarmed strikes require a free hand (without the Improved Unarmed Strike feat). That is Rules as Written.

CRB,p.52 wrote:
Vesk are always considered armed. They can deal 1d3 lethal damage with unarmed strikes and the attack doesn’t count as archaic.

The Vesk (and presumably Nuar) natural attack is an unarmed strike. This is also Rules As Written.

The fact that he is considered armed does not change this. A Human with a sword in his hand is armed; his fist, foot, head, etc. is still an unarmed strike. Since the Vesk (and presumably Nuar) natural attack is expressly defined as an unarmed strike, RAW means it requires a free hand.

Just because it doesn't make sense doesn't mean that's not what's written.


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Neil77 wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

How is it the raw? It doesn't t say that nuar are considered armed when they have a free hand. It says always.

RAW normal doesn t say it applies to someone with a similar ability.

I really wish people had more respect for the rules. As it is every time I hear someone say raw what they actually mean is an interpretation without sense.

I say RAW, because it is literally the Rules As Written.

CRB,p.158 wrote:
You don’t threaten any squares with unarmed attacks, and you must have a hand free to make an unarmed attack.

Unarmed strikes require a free hand (without the Improved Unarmed Strike feat). That is Rules as Written.

CRB,p.52 wrote:
Vesk are always considered armed. They can deal 1d3 lethal damage with unarmed strikes and the attack doesn’t count as archaic.

The Vesk (and presumably Nuar) natural attack is an unarmed strike. This is also Rules As Written.

The fact that he is considered armed does not change this. A Human with a sword in his hand is armed; his fist, foot, head, etc. is still an unarmed strike. Since the Vesk (and presumably Nuar) natural attack is expressly defined as an unarmed strike, RAW means it requires a free hand.

Just because it doesn't make sense doesn't mean that's not what's written.

So does that imply your rules as written reading means Vesk can't make AoO's with their natural weapon (unless they take the improved Unarmed Strike feat), since the Vesk being armed doesn't change the fact that unarmed strikes don't threaten any squares? I mean, as written, the non-threatening rule isn't changed, unless you're interpreting more into the "always considered armed" part. As written, it says nothing about threatening squares.

But why write always armed unless it implies they threaten squares?

CRB, page 255 wrote:

If you are wielding a melee weapon or are otherwise capable of making a melee attack (e.g., if you have your own

natural weapons), you threaten all squares into which you can
make a melee attack, even when it is not your turn (the exception
is unarmed strikes—if you’re making unarmed strikes, you don’t
threaten other squares).

So I'm curious if you let Vesk make AoOs with their natural weapon ability with your reading?


Neil77 wrote:


I say RAW, because it is literally the Rules As Written.

CRB,p.158 wrote:
You don’t threaten any squares with unarmed attacks, and you must have a hand free to make an unarmed attack.
Unarmed strikes require a free hand (without the Improved Unarmed Strike feat). That is Rules as Written.

That isn't the raw for two reasons. One, you left out a very important word. Two you equated two words that aren't the same.

Normal: You don’t threaten any squares with unarmed attacks, and you must have a hand free to make an unarmed attack.

You normally don't threaten with unarmed attacks and you must have a free hand to take an unarmed attack. You are assuming that normal terms apply when a racial ability similar to but slightly different from improved unarmed strike applies. Some of the raw is law proponents here tried to argue that meant that vesk couldn't threaten with their natural weapons (despite evidence to the contrary) which we know is wrong.

Two

You don’t threaten any squares with unarmed ATTACKS, and you must have a hand free to make an unarmed ATTACK

Vesk natural weapons are unarmed STRIKES. They are armed Attacks. It sounds silly but by raw they are not unarmed attacks they are armed attack unarmed strikes. You can't claim raw silliness and then change a word.

So you have two non raw suppositions there: that the normal applies when a very similar natural ability is being used AND that all (unarmed strikes) are (unarmed attacks) despite vesk being called out as armed and developer commentary that half of that "normal" definitely doesn't apply. If armed unarmed strikes sounds like a contradiction, its pretty much the wording from pathfinder about this sort of thing.


I have made no suppositions. I have cited two relevant written rules. Please cite a reference for an unarmed strike to be able to be made with no free hands if the character is also armed, or don't try to argue RAW.

I have made no comments on their ability to threaten squares with their natural attacks, because that's not in question. The developer's clarificaton (while good for the ruling) is also not relevant to RAW. RAW means "rules as written," not "rules as clarified."


Neil77 wrote:
I have made no comments on their ability to threaten squares with their natural attacks, because that's not in question. The developer's clarificaton (while good for the ruling) is also not relevant to RAW. RAW means "rules as written," not "rules as clarified."

Dev eratta, FAQs, and clarifications always count as part of RAW discussions.


Neil77 wrote:
I have made no suppositions. I have cited two relevant written rules.

One of which supposes that the normal conditions applies and the other of which supposes that all unarmed strikes are unarmed attacks despite natural weapons specifically counting unarmed strikes as armed.

Quote:

Please cite a reference for an unarmed strike to be able to be made with no free hands if the character is also armed, or don't try to argue RAW.

Please cite a reference for someone with a natural attack being unable to attack without a free hand or don't try to argue raw. You have not done this.

You cannot simply declare your position raw and then demand a specificity of evidence that you have not produced yourself.

The standard of evidence you need to meet has to support the inanity that a space minotaur holding two pistols can't gore you. That level of idiocy requires a direct statement of the rules that you don't have. You are trying to merge 2 different rules statements from a hundred pages apart and reconcile them. That is a persons CONCLUSSION about how that works.

Furthermore, we know that that same conclusion on putting those two parts of the rules together that way failed at least once. By that very same logic vesk don't threaten, but we know that they do.


Neil77 wrote:
I have made no comments on their ability to threaten squares with their natural attacks, because that's not in question. The developer's clarificaton (while good for the ruling) is also not relevant to RAW. RAW means "rules as written," not "rules as clarified."

Maybe we're just simply having a miscommunication.

Are you advocating people play by what you see as the RAW interpretation, or simply saying that is what you see as RAW, but that is not how people should interpret the rules? The first is answering the topic, while the second is merely making a side observation.

I mean, if developer clarification doesn't apply to RAW as you see it, then people should not necessarily play by RAW interpretations? Of the people I play with, none of them ignore developer clarifications in Starfinder society (or Pathfinder society) play, for example. At the end of the day, how is RAW any better than a house rule if it completely ignores how the game was designed and intended to be played?


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
The standard of evidence you need to meet has to support the inanity that a space minotaur holding two pistols can't gore you. That level of idiocy requires a direct statement of the rules that you don't have. You are trying to merge 2 different rules statements from a hundred pages apart and reconcile them. That is a persons CONCLUSSION about how that works.

Except I presented the evidence Norse. Nuars (your minotaurs) Natural Weapons are as follows.

Nuar: Natural Weapons
Nuars are always considered armed. They can deal 1d3 lethal piercing damage with unarmed strikes and the attack doesn’t count as archaic. Nuars gain a unique weapon specialization with their natural weapons at 3rd level, allowing them to add 1-1/2 × their character level to their damage rolls with their natural weapons (instead of just adding their character level, as usual).

It is a modification of their unarmed strikes, which means they must abide by the rules of unarmed strikes.

From Improved Unarmed Strike
Normal: You don’t threaten any squares with unarmed attacks, and you must have a hand free to make an unarmed attack.

The statement of them being armed, as clarified by Owen, means they do threaten with their unarmed strikes. However that does not remove the need for a free hand. Starfinder doesn't distinguish between a gore, slam, claw, or tail slap like Pathfinder did. All PC versions of Natural Weapons apply by the same unarmed rules. Likely for streamlining purposes.

To drive that home, I pulled up the Uplifted Bear from AA2, and this is how Natural Weapons is written.

Uplifted Bear: Natural Weapons
Uplifted bears have natural weapons that function like those of vesk (Starfinder Core Rulebook 52), except the bears’ natural weapons deal slashing damage.

And for the complete circle, we'll get the Vesk's, which is what Owen was originally commenting on.

Vesk: Natural Weapons
Vesk are always considered armed. They can deal 1d3 lethal damage with unarmed strikes and the attack doesn’t count as archaic. Vesk gain a unique weapon specialization with their natural weapons at 3rd level, allowing them to add 1–1/2 × their character level to their damage rolls for their natural weapons (instead of just adding their character level, as usual).

The always armed isn't unique to the Nuar. Starfinder doesn't care that it's their horns, they need a free hand, or Improved Unarmed Strike. Which they'll want anyway just for the incredible damage dice boosts. Keeps it on par with a Dueling Sword till level 11 or so.


Hiruma Kai wrote:
So does that imply your rules as written reading means Vesk can't make AoO's with their natural weapon (unless they take the improved Unarmed Strike feat), since the Vesk being armed doesn't change the fact that unarmed strikes don't threaten any squares? I mean, as written, the non-threatening rule isn't changed, unless you're interpreting more into the "always considered armed" part. As written, it says nothing about threatening squares.

No. In Reach & Threatened Squares, it makes a specific exception for Natural Weapons and AoOs.

Quote:
But why write always armed unless it implies they threaten squares?

Fluff. "Armed" is not a specific rule term. "Armed" can mean holding a rifle, but you can't normally make an AoO if you are holding a rifle, so it is largely meaningless, except as a colorful descriptor to state that even a naked vesk is a deadly weapon.

Quote:
CRB, page 255 wrote:
If you are wielding a melee weapon or are otherwise capable of making a melee attack (e.g., if you have your own natural weapons), you threaten all squares into which you can make a melee attack, even when it is not your turn (the exception is unarmed strikes—if you’re making unarmed strikes, you don’t threaten other squares).
So I'm curious if you let Vesk make AoOs with their natural weapon ability with your reading?

...Again, it's right there in the part you quoted. Natural Weapons are specifically called out in Reach & Threatening Squares as being an exception to the Unarmed Strike rule.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:

Please cite a reference for someone with a natural attack being unable to attack without a free hand or don't try to argue raw. You have not done this.

You cannot simply declare your position raw and then demand a specificity of evidence that you have not produced yourself.

All we have been doing here is quoting the relevant rules, man.

"Natural Weapons" is a category of Unarmed Strike. It follows all the same rules except where specifically noted. The noted differences are:

1. Not Archaic. (Vesk racial)
2. 1d3 + (1.5xVeskLevel after 3rd level) damage (Vesk racial)
3. Threatens Adjacent Squares (Reach & Threatened Squares)

I think that's it. Everything else about them follows the Unarmed Strike rules. If they were meant to be a different weapon with different rules, they would have their own entry in the weapon list.

It isn't "a similar ability." It is that ability, with some caveats.

It's RAW because that is the textual reading of the rules.


Why would they not be treated as a Kasatha with a rifle in 2 hands and a hand weapon in one hand? The Kasatha can shoot the rifle and use the hand weapon when you get too close or provoke an AOO.
The Naur do not wield their horns with their hands. I can see the problem of the Vesk having their hands full with a rifle. However looking at the rules, quickly, I do not see where you cannot take swift actions as part of a reaction; I.E. releasing one hand from a rifle to use it for an AOO. I could be missing something here AND I AM NOT SAYING THAT THEY CAN DO WHATEVER THEY WANT.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

There isn't a specific rule about not taking a swift action as part of a reaction, because there doesn't need to be. There would need yo be a rule saying that you could. They are separate action types. Only one of them is taken when it is not your turn.


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Dracomicron wrote:
Hiruma Kai wrote:
CRB, page 255 wrote:
If you are wielding a melee weapon or are otherwise capable of making a melee attack (e.g., if you have your own natural weapons), you threaten all squares into which you can make a melee attack, even when it is not your turn (the exception is unarmed strikes—if you’re making unarmed strikes, you don’t threaten other squares).
So I'm curious if you let Vesk make AoOs with their natural weapon ability with your reading?
...Again, it's right there in the part you quoted. Natural Weapons are specifically called out in Reach & Threatening Squares as being an exception to the Unarmed Strike rule.

Actually, I read that section completely opposite to the way you did.

Unarmed strikes are specifically called out as an exception to the general weapon and natural weapon rule. Natural attacks are not normally unarmed strikes. Only natural attacks which use the unarmed strike rules are unarmed strikes. Or am I misunderstanding and people are saying all natural attacks do use the unarmed strike rules, including for monsters and NPC stat blocks and thus monsters without hands are unable to attack?

If I say "All cakes are tasty, except any food with chocolate in it is not tasty", am I saying chocolate cakes are tasty or not? Vesk "natural weapons" are also "unarmed strikes", which is what I think people supporting RAW are saying, and thus would fall under the unarmed strike exception.

I argue I am capable of making a melee attack if I have a free hand (by invoking the unarmed strike rules). It looks to me like it would have fallen under the "otherwise capable of making a melee attack" clause, which is what natural weapons also fall under. So a normal unarmed strike and Vesk natural weapons would have had the unarmed strikes exception applied.

Which I think is partly BNW's point, is that rules will be read differently by different people. We literally just read the exact same rules section and came away with opposite readings of it. Its hard to declare RAW as absolute if two people disagree about the reading.

This is why Owen's clarification is valuable, as it shows what was intended by the developers - the general weapon rule or the unarmed strike exception.

I am no way advocating Vesk, Nuar, Formian, etc natural weapons do not threaten. They do threaten. But the only way I could get to it was via RAI, not RAW. Unless I also interpret "always armed" having game play implications and not just as fluff. Which I do think was the developer's intent.

Personally, if I'm running a Starfinder table, I'm going to let Vesk make tail slams and Nuar make gore attacks with their horns, and Formians bite their opponents. Even if their hands are full. Or even if they're unlucky enough to get hit by two wounding weapon critical hits that take both their arms off.

If I'm not running the table, then I'm going to do what the GM says.

If we get a FAQ clarifying the matter, then I'll try to match the developer's intent in society play.


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Hiruma Kai wrote:
Or am I misunderstanding and people are saying all natural attacks do use the unarmed strike rules, including for monsters and NPC stat blocks and thus monsters without hands are unable to attack?

I am not saying that. I think as mentioned, I cannot apply those rules to a monster because they do not play by the same rules as players. They receive full specialization on all attacks, even pre-level 3, they do not have feats listed, and their versions of attacks generally have different values than PC versions if they are available.

In the Drow's case, there a number of abilities just missing from the PC versions, like the ability to create darkness, and a number of their SLAs are limited. In the Nuar's case, the "horn" does higher base damage and only applies base specialization. It's really a GM's call if the monster version can make the attack holding their pike, or dueling sword + pistol or not.

For PCs however. Humans have heads, and feet capable of being used (and are mentioned as such by the game's description of unarmed strikes), but the game's rules insist they cannot be used with your hands full unless you have special training. PCs Natural Weapons are called out specifically as Unarmed Strikes, regardless of what they are, and thus unarmed strike rules apply except where otherwise specifically stated, such as their ability to threaten.

I believe someone from the Pathfinder forums put it to me: "If you want 100% realism then don't play Pathfinder." The same applies to Starfinder. Keeping options balanced takes a higher priority than whether they should realistically be able to horn someone with their hands full.

For balance context: At level 10, a heavy weapons user who's hands will always be full with their weapon. The generally agreed upon weakness of any ranged character is getting up in their face. 1.5× specialization results in this character's Natural Weapons dealing 1d3 + 15 + 2 (Str 15 min for high level heavy weapons) unhindered by archaic. (The only difference between them and a longarm user will be Str minimum, and that applies to any and all 2H ranged.)

Again, weilding a ranged weapon is still armed, just with a ranged weapon. But if we assume as is trying to be said that Natural Weapons is equivalent to always being able to be used, that above character can:

- Make Opportunity Attacks
- Full Attack with their melee + ranged

As a bonus as well, if it work the above way, Improved Unarmed would actually become a detriment to the character.

Improved Unarmed Strike
If you are immobilized, entangled, or unable to use both legs (or whatever appendages you have in place of legs, where appropriate), you lose the ability to make unarmed strikes without your hands. When making an unarmed strike without your hands, you can’t use such attacks for combat maneuvers or similar abilities—only to deal damage.

If it works like it is being suggested, then so long as any Natural Weapons character didn't have Improved Unarmed, they are still armed under any of those conditions. Because they are "always armed", it grants their unarmed strikes condition immunity, which I can guarantee is not the RAI. However it is what is being suggested by your interpretation. EDIT: They can also trip or disarm people with their face. Also not intended.


Armed is fluff is not the rules. You are doing FAR more than "Reading" the raw when you do that. That's not even interpretation that's making stuff up.

Armed is able to shoot a laser rifle is not the rules.

The idea that natural weapons are too good because they let you attack in melee and ranged at the same time doesn't square at all with the same ability being available for 300 credits for a bayonet bracket.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

Armed is fluff is not the rules. You are doing FAR more than "Reading" the raw when you do that. That's not even interpretation that's making stuff up.

Armed is able to shoot a laser rifle is not the rules.

Technically correct. The rules for all of that use the term "weilding", and is in the rulebook under "Holding and Weilding".

BigNorseWolf wrote:
The idea that natural weapons are too good because they let you attack in melee and ranged at the same time doesn't square at all with the same ability being available for 300 credits for a bayonet bracket.

300 is a fallacy, since there's also the cost of the weapon involved, which has incremental costs as you go up, in addition to on the light end, 0.5× specialization which is 1/3rd the bonus damage overall from Natural Weapons. You're also looking at level restrictions, penalties for certain types of equipment, and using the bottom rail of the weapon.

Trying to pick apart the weakest point of my statement with "what-about-ism" isn't addressing the actual issue.

By that arguement, I could say: "Well, the Barrathu have no limbs, thus can't make any unarmed strikes." or "Bantrids have a ball for a bottom, so can't wear shoes." However, that's not how Starfinder works. As Armory puts it in its first paragraph:

While Starfinder has a preponderance of nonhumanoid aliens with strange morphology, any playable alien race can purchase and use the equipment in this book. A betentacled barathu (Starfinder Alien Archive 20) soldier can wield a hydra cannon and make use of hoverskates just as easily as a kasathan soldier.

It doesn't matter if it's horns, claws, or a bite in the center of your chest, Starfinder treats them all equally. All Natural Weapons are Unarmed Strikes, and thus only useable when on could normally make one, which means a free hand unless you've got Improved Unarmed Strike.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Armed is fluff is not the rules. You are doing FAR more than "Reading" the raw when you do that. That's not even interpretation that's making stuff up.

Great. Back your argument up with a rules quotation. Right now all you have is "common sense" and an interpretation of "armed," even though armed is not listed as a game term.

Quote:
Armed is able to shoot a laser rifle is not the rules.

It is the literal meaning of the word, which, since "armed" does not have an entry in the index or glossary, we should probably go by. If we're going by "common sense," as you often say, ignoring the meaning of words not defined by the glossary does not help your case. "A vesk is always armed" simply does not equal "a vesk may always make attacks of opportunity on adjacent targets even if his hands are full in circumvention of the normal rules for Unarmed Strikes, which Natural Weapons are."

Quote:
The idea that natural weapons are too good because they let you attack in melee and ranged at the same time doesn't square at all with the same ability being available for 300 credits for a bayonet bracket.

"Too good" is not the correct term. You have to make an investment in the ability... somehow.

A bayonet bracket costs money (and not an insignificant amount of money for a low-level character), as does the attached weapon (the latter a considerable amount to stay competitive). A bayonet bracket suffers an attack penalty if the weapon is not a piercing weapon, which is harder to find than you'd think. A bayonet bracket adds bulk. A bayonet bracket uses a rail on your weapon that you could use for a grenade launcher or bipod. A bayonet bracket is attached to a weapon that can be disarmed, sundered, or otherwise interfered with.

You know what doesn't have any of those problems? Natural Weapons. If you rule that Natural Weapons don't have any of the flaws of Unarmed Strike, at all (and inability to make an attack while hands are full is practically the ONLY one), then it makes them vastly overpowered for the investment made (which is nothing except choice of race).

The ability to make melee attacks while one's hands are full is an ability that even vesk need to invest in, whether it is by buying a bayonet for their two-handed guns or by getting Improved Unarmed Strike.

I know you disagree. You are welcome to disagree. If I were at your table I would accept your ruling gratefully, but in order to win this argument about the textual interpretation of the rules, though, you're going to need to cough up some ACTUAL rules citations that refute what I and others have stated here.


Isaac Zephyr wrote:


Trying to pick apart the weakest point of my statement with "what-about-ism" isn't addressing the actual issue.

What aboutism and other logical fallacies have a definition besides being inconvenient for your point. Dismissing a legitimate point against your favor as such is disingenuous polemics, not discussion and not argument.

Quote:
All Natural Weapons are Unarmed Strikes, and thus only useable when on could normally make one, which means a free hand unless you've got Improved Unarmed Strike.

Circular


Isaac Zephyr wrote:
I am not saying that. I think as mentioned, I cannot apply those rules to a monster because they do not play by the same rules as players. They receive full specialization on all attacks, even pre-level 3, they do not have feats listed, and their versions of attacks generally have different values than PC versions if they are available.

Sorry, I was probably bit too flippant with that comment. I didn't think people actually thought that way, but was trying to illustrate the point that natural weapons are not the same as unarmed strikes. Which you're agreeing with. Natural weapons threaten. Unarmed strikes do not threaten. So what happens when you have a melee natural weapon which is also an unarmed strike? They are completely unrelated rule definitions, by how I read RAW.

Isaac Zephyr wrote:
PCs Natural Weapons are called out specifically as Unarmed Strikes, regardless of what they are, and thus unarmed strike rules apply except where otherwise specifically stated, such as their ability to threaten.

I guess that is where we disagree. I don't see their ability to threaten being called out as different. If I read the CRB in a RAW way for myself, I find no explicit line that says, "natural weapon unarmed strikes" are the exception to unarmed strikes not threatening.

Imagine there's an NPC melee natural weapon out there that has the special rules text that this particular natural weapon does not threaten. We would assume that specific rule overrides the general rule that natural weapons threaten, and that particular natural weapon does indeed not threaten?

I'm merely sticking the natural weapon and unarmed strike rules together. And so the specific rule of unarmed strikes trumps the general rule of natural weapons threatening.

Isaac Zephyr wrote:
For balance context

I was merely making a semantic argument about how I read RAW. I don't even agree with what I'm arguing in terms of how I actually play the game, because of Owen's clarifications and what I believe was developer's intent.

Although, if we are going to comment on balance, I will note I consider 4 arms a stronger racial than natural weapon in most cases. Mostly because EAC targeting advanced operative weapons on a high dex character/mid strength character typically do more damage on average. Even if you're using a cheap weapon a few levels out of date, since at 10th level, 14 Str vs KAC compared to 22/24 Dex vs EAC is like a +6 or +7 to-hit difference. At 10th level, an epics boss (CR 13) is likely to have a KAC of 29 versus your +12 to hit (assuming Soldier or Solarian - a 3/4 BAB class needs 20s to hit).

So the cost of natural weapons is the opportunity cost of not having a better racial trait.


Draconomicon wrote:
Great. Back your argument up with a rules quotation

This has been done, far in excess of any point you've made for it being fluff. I think you seriously need to reconsider whether my argument has been backed up against a reasonable standard of evidence commensurate with the evidence for your own position or whether it's been backed up against the absolute certainty that you believe your own position occupies.

And that's why you insist that you're not interpreting rules you are holding the one true raw. If you were interpreting rules either the inanity of the position or the amount of evidence for alternative readings would force you to abandon your point. You are letting your position influence your evidence to the point that evidence can't influence your position.

Vesk have natural weapons, and are always considered armed. They threaten with their natural weapons

Why is the lead designer using fluff to answer a question about whether vesk threaten the area around them?

"It's not in the glossary" is vacuous. There's a ton of game terms not there. It's obvious from the context in which it is written. It's obvious in the context of the developers post. Armed is the ability to threaten squares. Always armed is thus the ability to always threaten squares. Holding a laser rifle or a damoiseau in distress isn't some niche corner case where the vesk is on the Hannibal handcart, it's an every day adventuring occurrence.

The entire weight of your argument isn't resting on rock solid raw. It's resting on the idea that a passing mention of what's normal in a feat still applies even when a similar ability is being used. That isn't the 100% given you are taking it as.


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Hiruma Kai wrote:
Isaac Zephyr wrote:
I am not saying that. I think as mentioned, I cannot apply those rules to a monster because they do not play by the same rules as players. They receive full specialization on all attacks, even pre-level 3, they do not have feats listed, and their versions of attacks generally have different values than PC versions if they are available.
Sorry, I was probably bit too flippant with that comment. I didn't think people actually thought that way, but was trying to illustrate the point that natural weapons are not the same as unarmed strikes. Which you're agreeing with. Natural weapons threaten. Unarmed strikes do not threaten. So what happens when you have a melee natural weapon which is also an unarmed strike? They are completely unrelated rule definitions, by how I read RAW.

Which is fair, and un-antagonistic.

It's confusing because you are correct in that: natural weapons =/= unarmed strikes. However, Natural Weapons (Ex)* is an unarmed strike modification, as it states "they can deal x damage with their unarmed strikes". It isn't creating a new attack, but adding qualities to their unarmed strike, such as removing archaic, and as clarified by Owen, allowing them to threaten for opportunity attacks.

There are weird differeces like this in Pathfinder as well, such as Poison Use (Ex). Drow recieve it as a racial ability, but as such, it is not technically the "Poison Use class feature" called for in the metamagic feat Toxic Spell.

Either way, I'm finished with arguing with Norse on this one. He posed a rules question, got a rules answer. If he wanted to open discussion on whether it was fair or made sense he should have put it in general discussion. If there is evidence presented that shows the Natural Weapons PC ability as not an unarmed strike, then I welcome it for further discussion. As such, no such specific ruling has been presented, and thus I've nothing left to say that I haven't already.

*Given Ex here in order to clarify it is the Vesk/others racial ability, despite I believe Starfinder does not differentiate abilities that way.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Draconomicon wrote:
Great. Back your argument up with a rules quotation
This has been done, far in excess of any point you've made for it being fluff.

I must have missed it. Was it posted in this thread? You have been pursuing this all over the forum lately.

Quote:
I think you seriously need to reconsider whether my argument has been backed up against a reasonable standard of evidence commensurate with the evidence for your own position or whether it's been backed up against the absolute certainty that you believe your own position occupies.

I will reconsider.

Okay, I did.

In retrospect, I have presented considerably more evidence of my position than you have. I don't have certainty. I have a reading of the current rules, and their literal meaning.

Quote:
And that's why you insist that you're not interpreting rules you are holding the one true raw. If you were interpreting rules either the inanity of the position or the amount of evidence for alternative readings would force you to abandon your point. You are letting your position influence your evidence to the point that evidence can't influence your position.

"One true RAW" is an interesting turn of phrase. I'm not into Pathfinder, so I don't know if it was a thing there, but Starfinder and Pathfinder are different beasts, insofar as Starfinder does not have a decade of prints, reprints, supplements, and spinoffs to complicate the Rules As Written. Starfinder has one book where all this comes from, and, if you read the rules, they paint a specific picture of how unarmed combat (and by extension Natural Weapons) works. I'll grant you that they could use to be collected in one place, but the rules, as they stand, simply do not warrant questioning, because they do not contradict themselves.

Quote:

Vesk have natural weapons, and are always considered armed. They threaten with their natural weapons

Why is the lead designer using fluff to answer a question about whether vesk threaten the area around them?

He's literally just quoting the relevant rules. Tons of rules questions in this forum don't actually need a ruling because people just don't read the rules closely. All Owen was doing there is quoting the existing rules in the Vesk racial and Reach & Threatened Squares... which I have done repeatedly myself. You're putting more thought into this than Owen did there.

Quote:
"It's not in the glossary" is vacuous. There's a ton of game terms not there.

It is not vacuous if you're trying to create a meaning for the term in question that isn't represented in the game.

Quote:
It's obvious from the context in which it is written. It's obvious in the context of the developers post. Armed is the ability to threaten squares. Always armed is thus the ability to always threaten squares.

See, this is what I am talking about. Citation please. The closest I can find is the previously mentioned Reach & Threatened Squares and Holding & Wielding Weapons

You can attack with a weapon (or threaten an area with it, for all melee weapons except unarmed strikes) only if you are wielding it with the correct number of hands.

...which doesn't mention the Natural Weapon distinction listed in Reach & Threatened Squares. It does, however, mention the requirement of holding the weapon in the correct number of hands, for which unarmed strikes is "one free hand," per Improved Unarmed Strike.

Quote:
The entire weight of your argument isn't resting on rock solid raw. It's resting on the idea that a passing mention of what's normal in a feat still applies even when a similar ability is being used. That isn't the 100% given you are taking it as.

See, I keep saying this, and you keep ignoring me. It isn't a "similar ability." It's the SAME ability, with modifiers. Vesk Natural Weapons are Unarmed Strikes with three modifications:

1. Not Archaic
2. 1d3 + (1.5xVeskLevel after 3rd level) Bashing damage, which may be Lethal
3. Threatens Adjacent Squares

You know how I know that the Vesk racial does Bashing damage even though the entry doesn't specify a damage type? Because Unarmed Strikes do Bashing damage, and nothing about the entry mentions changing the damage type from that. The PC races with Natural Weapons who do have different damage types (Piercing for Nuar, Slashing for Reptoid) mention those modifiers in their Natural Weapons entries. This tells me that it is not an oversight.

We know that Natural Weapons DO work with Improved Unarmed Strike (pretty clearly identifying them as not a "similar ability," but as a modifier to the existing Unarmed Strike ability. Improved Unarmed Strike further modifies this to make the attacks do more damage, threaten squares within natural reach, and attack while hands are full. It doesn't make your attacks Not Archaic, mind you, and there are even restrictions about Combat Maneuvers: if you don't have a free hand, you can't do them, even with IUS.

That's right: you can't make a trip attack with just your legs if you don't have a free hand. Does that make perfect real life logical sense? Not really, but it is how the game is designed. "Hand economy" is clearly something that the developers cared a lot about. So would it make sense to be able to use Natural Weapons to do even more things that Unarmed Strikes can't do?

Norse, this is not me blindly ascribing to a rules interpretation. I have acknolwedged plenty of rules that didn't match my personal interpretation (the bit about Technomancers with archetypes and when they get their magic hacks hurt me from a logical, textual perspective, but I finally understood the intent of the rules), but I can't find any mechanical interpretations that don't involve broad assumptions about undefined game terms that support your case, EVEN THOUGH I WOULD LIKE TO. Like I keep saying, it would be pretty cool if you were right, but I understand the game balance reasons that you are not.


How would he quote a rule relevant to vesk threatening if that rule was FLUFF? How could fluff be relevant to anything? Note that he s not quoting the threatened and reach section he s quoting the bit about them being armed from the species section.


It's a catchy phrase. The podcasts use it as a catchphrase. "A VESK IS NEVER UNARMED." I don't know the inside of Owen's head, but I can't imagine that he thought about it as much as you have.

Regardless, as Isaac said, you got your rules answer. What you do with it is your own business.


Dracomicron wrote:

It's a catchy phrase. The podcasts use it as a catchphrase. "A VESK IS NEVER UNARMED." I don't know the inside of Owen's head, but I can't imagine that he thought about it as much as you have.

Regardless, as Isaac said, you got your rules answer. What you do with it is your own business.

From pathfinder

****
“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 that being armed counts for both offense and defense (the character can make attacks of opportunity).

***
So your argument is that the people that wrote pathfinder just threw the term "Armed" into the core rulebook in the HOPES that it would become a catch phrase.

They did this in a very crunchy section of the rules where they are trying to describe the rules for what natural weapons are and what the rules are for them.

And wanted the catchphrase out there SO badly that they used it to answer a rules question about threatening , which by sheer coincidence, just HAPPENS to be the exact same meaning it had in pathfinder?

Because it's either that or we have the insanity that "normal" rules written by a tiny nailed human for a tiny nailed human don't apply to a tail slapping space lizard. That is the ONLY thing going for your argument. Raw, you need to dismiss the meaning of always armed. RAI you have the inanity of a minotaur with two pistols unable to horn people unless he drops one. You have a higher standard of evidence and ONE incredibly subjective interpretation of a soft normal as an absolute rule.

AND unarmed attacks are what require a free hand. Vesk attacks are armed. It's entirely a coincidence that those words are opposites. It's not in the glossary so i can't conclude armed is the opposite of unarmed. Maybe it's like inflammable?

Quote:
So would it make sense to be able to use Natural Weapons to do even more things that Unarmed Strikes can't do?

Yes. A lot of sense. Because racial abilities are on par if not better than feats. Kip up is just 1/3rd of a Ysoki's moxie ability for example.

Cheek pouches let a ysoki quickdraw anything up to one bulk not just weapons (although quickdraw does have a few advantages)

Also note, attacking with an unarmed strike doesn't provoke in starfinder. Its not moving out of a threatened square, casting a spell or making with the pew pew lasers.

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