Bestial mutagen and poison?


Rules Discussion


This question is relevant for all "natural" attacks builds e.g. Animal Instinct Barbarian but particularly for Mutagenist Alchemists.

One of the benefits of the Alchemist is that you can craft poisons for free (and poisons are so much better than in PF1 btw). With the Powerful Alchemy feat, you can make poisons scale to your class DC which is really great, and by taking the Potent Poisoner feat, you can add 4 to that DC! Unfortunately Alchemists don't have any way to apply poisons quickly to their weapons, but you could do that in advance. But that's not all, Bestial Mutagen gives you bite and claws but unfortunately it looks like you can't apply poison to your claws.

CRB p.550 wrote:
Injury: An injury poison is activated by applying it to a weapon, and it affects the target of the frst Strike made using the poisoned weapon.

Injury poisons can only be applied to weapons.

CRB p. 278 wrote:
However, unarmed attacks aren’t weapons, and effects and abilities that work with weapons never work with unarmed attacks unless they specifcally say so.

(typo on specifcally btw)

And unarmed attacks are not weapons. I can understand why you couldn't apply injury poison to your fists, but it seems counter intuitive that you couldn't apply poison to your claws (I'm sure there are monsters somewhere that have poisoned claws, or used to).

That seems to be another bummer for the Mutagenist Alchemist who can't benefit themselves of around one quarter of the alchemical items they can craft :(

What do you think? Is that an oversight? Is poison not considered an ability therefore we should be able to apply poisons to claws?


poisons are an effect that applies to weapons. Yeah it's kind of a bummer but that's the name of the game.

What you can do is become a weapon wielding alchemist, poison your weapon and beg your GM to let you pick up energy infusion from fall of plaguestone.


Sure, but that's not my point. My point is that it's another nerf to Bestial Mutagen which really didn't need it. And I personally don't think that nerfing "natural" attacks is the name of the game tbh.

It feels more like an oversight to me and that you should be able to apply poison to claws attacks.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

In the playtest the Alchemist had the Poison Touch feat. It'd be nice to get something like that back. PF1 had a number of discoveries that let alchemists make their own bodies poisonous, but they weren't that useful since poison was pretty meh. Now poison is a viable option, but the Alchemist got most of its poison support cut. Hopefully we get it back in the APG.

As an aside, while looking at the Poison Touch feat, I counted 47 different alchemist feats in the playtest. The final Core Rulebook has 38. I know space was at a premium, but surely we could've made do with just one of those character build sidebars, and gotten some more alchemist feats?


Oh wow, I just looked it up, and you're right, that's exactly what the Alchemist needs, such a shame it disappeared.

Poison Touch wrote:

You can spend 1 Resonance Point to apply a dose of contact or injury potion of your level or lower to your hands. Applying the poison does not poison you, but after the poison is applied, you can make a melee touch attack with your hand or a fist attack to poison your target. On a success, the poison is applied to the target. On a failure, the poison is wasted.

If you don’t use the poison before 1 hour after applying it, your body harmlessly absorbs the poison and it is wasted.

Level 12 though, something earlier would be great...

Maybe we'll get Poisoner’s Gloves in the future as well.


I guess an option is to also just carry a dagger to apply the poison then switch back to claws, but that would do a lot less damage which obviously erodes the benefit of using poison in the first place.

Would handwraps allow to use poison with your claws?

Handwraps of Mighty Blows wrote:
These handwraps have weapon runes etched into them to give yourunarmed attacks the benefts of those runes, making your unarmed attacks work like magic weapons.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Faenor wrote:

I guess an option is to also just carry a dagger to apply the poison then switch back to claws, but that would do a lot less damage which obviously erodes the benefit of using poison in the first place.

Would handwraps allow to use poison with your claws?

Handwraps of Mighty Blows wrote:
These handwraps have weapon runes etched into them to give yourunarmed attacks the benefts of those runes, making your unarmed attacks work like magic weapons.

RAW... maybe? RAI, almost certainly not.


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The energy Mutagen is the most hilarious example why the arbitrary restriction on natural weapons is so bad:

You drink a Mutagen that allows you to emit so much energy from your body that you can even transmit it through your weapon... But not through the hand that is transmitting it...

Just sigh...


Faenor wrote:

Sure, but that's not my point. My point is that it's another nerf to Bestial Mutagen which really didn't need it. And I personally don't think that nerfing "natural" attacks is the name of the game tbh.

It feels more like an oversight to me and that you should be able to apply poison to claws attacks.

Doubt it's an oversight. If I recall, it's always been difficult to use poison while applying it to your skin/body directly. Since unarmed attacks don't have to be claws, what if I want to poison my forhead to headbutt someone?

Luckily an easy solution are spiked gauntlets, which I'm going for with my alchemist. Bite and claw for bigger damages, gauntlets for style and poisoning.


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shroudb wrote:

The energy Mutagen is the most hilarious example why the arbitrary restriction on natural weapons is so bad:

You drink a Mutagen that allows you to emit so much energy from your body that you can even transmit it through your weapon... But not through the hand that is transmitting it...

Just sigh...

Yeah they are really going out of their way to nerf natural attacks. I understand it could easily be abused in PF1, but instead of making them balanced, it seems that they are doing everything possible to make them subpar.

Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
Luckily an easy solution are spiked gauntlets, which I'm going for with my alchemist. Bite and claw for bigger damages, gauntlets for style and poisoning.

Yeah but now you need potency and striking runes for your spike gauntlets otherwise you pretty much lose all the benefits of using poison in the first place.

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