Natural Attacks - A Comprehensive Look at RAW


Rules Questions


I am in a circumstance where I thought it prudent to consult the forums regarding the Rules as Written for Natural Attacks as I now have 2 DMs with different takes on the usage of natural weapons.

I have researched the the rules on my own and have my own viewpoint on the matter.

NOTE: I am not trying to be harsh or start a conflict, both DMs are good friends of mine. Additionally, there is always the possibility that I could be wrong, I just want to be sure. I also understand that the DM gets the final say. Nonetheless, we have a good number of characters in our campaigns with access to natural attacks, so I don't want myself or the others to have our damage potential - or potential choices for character builds - be limited because of a misunderstanding.

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Here are the main points that I am attempting to address based on the viewpoints of these DMs.

DM1:
Natural attacks are for creatures only, and should a PC get a natural attack, they must choose between the natural attack or their manufactured weapon in any given situation. His ruling comes from - in part - this forum post on another site: Pathfinder: 2 Talon Attack or 2 Attacks?

DM2:
Claws count as unarmed attacks.

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Anything else in regards to natural attacks in this post is for clarification and understanding to prevent future issues/debates.

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TLDR

Contrary to my DMs, I believe that the rules state that claws consider the PC as armed, and you can attack at full BAB for a manufactured weapon and still attack with all of your available* natural attacks - albeit all natural attacks in this manner are considered secondary and take a -5 penalty to attack rolls.

*claws that are holding objects or manufactured weapons do not qualify as available

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Rules as Written

Natural Attacks:

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 times 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. 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).

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

Some creatures do not have natural attacks. These creatures can make unarmed strikes just like humans do. See Table: Natural Attacks by Size for typical damage values for natural attacks by creature size.

Format: bite +5 (1d6+1), 2 claws +5 (1d4+2), 4 tentacles +0 (1d4+1); Location: Melee and Ranged.


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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). If you possess only one natural attack (such as a bite—two claw attacks do not qualify), you add 1–1/2 times your Strength bonus on damage rolls made with that attack.

Some natural attacks are denoted as secondary natural attacks, such as tails and wings. Attacks with secondary natural attacks are made using your base attack bonus minus 5. These attacks deal an amount of damage depending on their type, but you only add half your Strength modifier on damage rolls.

You can make attacks with natural weapons in combination with attacks made with a melee weapon and unarmed strikes, so long as a different limb is used for each attack. For example, you cannot make a claw attack and also use that hand to make attacks with a longsword. When you make additional attacks in this way, all of your natural attacks are treated as secondary natural attacks, using your base attack bonus minus 5 and adding only 1/2 of your Strength modifier on damage rolls. Feats such as Two-Weapon Fighting and Multiattack can reduce these penalties.

Multiple Attacks

A character who can make more than one attack per round must use the full-attack action (see Full-Round Actions) in order to get more than one attack.


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Unarmed Attacks:

“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).


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Threatened Squares:

You threaten all squares into which you can make a melee attack, even when it is not your turn. Generally, that means everything in all squares adjacent to your space (including diagonally). An enemy that takes certain actions while in a threatened square provokes an attack of opportunity from you. If you’re unarmed, you don’t normally threaten any squares and thus can’t make attacks of opportunity.


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Touch Spells in Combat:

Holding the Charge: If you don’t discharge the spell in the round when you cast the spell, you can hold the charge indefinitely. You can continue to make touch attacks round after round. If you touch anything or anyone while holding a charge, even unintentionally, the spell discharges. If you cast another spell, the touch spell dissipates. You can touch one friend as a standard action or up to six friends as a full-round action. Alternatively, you may make a normal unarmed attack (or an attack with a natural weapon) while holding a charge. In this case, you aren’t considered armed and you provoke attacks of opportunity as normal for the attack. If your unarmed attack or natural weapon attack normally doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity, neither does this attack. If the attack hits, you deal normal damage for your unarmed attack or natural weapon and the spell discharges. If the attack misses, you are still holding the charge.


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Simple, Martial, and Exotic Weapons:

Most character classes are proficient with all simple weapons. Combat-oriented classes such as barbarians, cavaliers, and fighters are proficient with all simple and all martial weapons. Characters of other classes are proficient with an assortment of simple weapons and possibly some martial or even exotic weapons. All characters are proficient with unarmed strikes and any natural weapons they gain from their race. A character who uses a weapon with which he is not proficient takes a –4 penalty on attack rolls with that weapon.


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Animal Companions:

BAB

This is the animal companion’s base attack bonus. An animal companion’s base attack bonus is the same as that of a druid of a level equal to the animal’s HD. Animal companions do not gain additional attacks using their natural weapons for a high base attack bonus.

Multiattack

An animal companion gains Multiattack as a bonus feat if it has three or more natural attacks and does not already have that feat. If it does not have the requisite three or more natural attacks, the animal companion instead gains a second attack with its primary natural weapon, albeit at a –5 penalty.


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Monster Entry Format:

Melee The creature’s melee attacks are listed here, with its attack roll modifier listed after the attack’s name followed by the damage and crit modifiers in parentheses. See example for details.


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Personal understanding:

I believe that the rules state that claws consider the PC as armed, however I find it odd that it has to state that "a creature with natural physical weapons all count as being armed," under the unarmed section. Does this mean that natural attacks are technically unarmed, but for the sake of rules count as armed?

The reason this came up as an issue was the fact that I was looking at being able to perform combat maneuvers, and disarm states that "Attempting to disarm a foe while unarmed imposes a –4 penalty on the attack."

However, the consequences of having claws be considered as unarmed are significant:
-"If you’re unarmed, you don’t normally threaten any squares and thus can’t make attacks of opportunity."
-you also provoke attacks of opportunity if your standard action in a threatened square is an attack (unarmed) (reference: Table: Actions in Combat).
-if claws are are considered unarmed attacks, then what is preventing all natural attacks as counting as unarmed?
-You would have to burn a feat slot in order to grab improved unarmed strike so you are considered as armed.

It should be noted however that natural attacks states "Most creatures possess one or more natural attacks," and it appends "(attacks made without a weapon)." Once again, this seems odd since natural weapons or unarmed strikes qualify for the Versatile Weapon spell, and unarmed strike also can be choose as a weapon focus (I would hope that a natural weapon would also qualify for this feat).

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I believe you can attack with all natural attacks alongside your normal weapon attacks.

To start with this one, I will tackle some basic rules/terms for taking actions in combat.

Combat terms and rules:

Melee Attack - standard action (used for an attack of opportunity, and can be used with with a combat maneuver such as sunder or disarm)

Attack Action - Standard Action (can be a melee attack or combat maneuver such as trip)(can be coupled with a move action)

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

Additionally

"Deciding between an Attack or a Full Attack

After your first attack, you can decide to take a move action instead of making your remaining attacks, depending on how the first attack turns out and assuming you have not already taken a move action this round. If you’ve already taken a 5-foot step, you can’t use your move action to move any distance, but you could still use a different kind of move action."


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Base Attack Bonus (BAB) states that "Each creature has a base attack bonus and it represents its skill in combat. As a character gains levels or Hit Dice, his base attack bonus improves. When a creature’s base attack bonus reaches +6, +11, or +16, he receives an additional attack in combat when he takes a full-attack action (which is one type of full-round action—see Combat)."

Natural attacks state, "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)," and "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 available natural attacks as secondary attacks during that attack, regardless of the attack’s original type."

Note: "Attacks with secondary natural attacks are made using your base attack bonus minus 5"

It is my understanding then, that at full BAB, a PC can use a manufactured weapon will all its BAB increments and still attack with all of his or her available* natural attacks - albeit all natural attacks in this manner are considered secondary and take a -5 penalty to attack rolls.

*claws that are holding objects or manufactured weapons do not qualify as available

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Pathfinder: 2 Talon Attack or 2 Attacks? claims that RAW states you as a PC only gets one of your two claw attacks in an attack action while a beast/monster gets both in a single attack action.

Does anyone know of a written rule that supports this or clearly refutes it?

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Examples:

Kitsune Fighter (dagger/bite):

BAB: 6/1
STR: 14
Dagger: 1d4 (one-handed)
Bite Attack: 1d4 (only natural weapon gets 1-1/2 STR mod)

Attack action:
+8 Dagger 1d4 + 2 STR
and
+3 Dagger 1d4 + 2 STR

or

+8 Bite Attack 1d4 + 3 STR

Full attack action:
+8 Dagger 1d4 + 2 STR
and
+3 Dagger 1d4 + 2 STR
and
+3 Bite Attack 1d4 + 3 STR


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Kitsune Fighter (dagger/2claws):

BAB: 6/1
STR: 14
Dagger: 1d4 (one-handed)
2 Claws: 1d3 (hypothetical) (only natural weapon gets 1-1/2 STR mod)

Attack action:
+8 Dagger 1d4 + 2 STR
and
+3 Dagger 1d4 + 2 STR

or

+8 Claw 1: 1d3 + 2 STR
(claw 2 cannot attack since it holds the dagger)

Full attack action:
+8 Dagger 1d4 + 2 STR
and
+3 Dagger 1d4 + 2 STR
and
+3 Claw 1: 1d3 + 2 STR
(claw 2 cannot attack since it holds the dagger)


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Kitsune Fighter (dagger/bite/2claws):

BAB: 6/1
STR: 14
Dagger: 1d4 (one-handed)
Bite Attack: 1d4
2 Claws: 1d3 (hypothetical)

Attack action:
+8 Dagger 1d4 + 2 STR
and
+3 Dagger 1d4 + 2 STR

or

+8 Bite Attack 1d4 + 2 STR

or

+8 Claw 1: 1d3 + 2 STR
(claw 2 cannot attack since it holds the dagger)

Full attack action:
+8 Dagger 1d4 + 2 STR
and
+3 Dagger 1d4 + 2 STR
and
+3 Bite Attack 1d4 + 2 STR
and
+3 Claw 1: 1d3 + 2 STR
(claw 2 cannot attack since it holds the dagger)


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Kitsune Fighter (dagger/bite/2claws/tail slap):

BAB: 6/1
STR: 14
Dagger: 1d4 (one-handed)
Bite Attack: 1d4
2 Claws: 1d3 (hypothetical)
Tail Slap: 1d4 (hypothetical)

Attack action:
+8 Dagger 1d4 + 2 STR
and
+3 Dagger 1d4 + 2 STR

or

+8 Bite Attack 1d4 + 2 STR

or

+8 Claw 1: 1d3 + 2 STR
(claw 2 cannot attack since it holds the dagger)

or

+3 Tail Slap: 1d4 + 2 STR

Full attack action:
+8 Dagger 1d4 + 2 STR
and
+3 Dagger 1d4 + 2 STR
and
+3 Bite Attack 1d4 + 2 STR
and
+3 Claw 1: 1d3 + 2 STR
(claw 2 cannot attack since it holds the dagger)
and
+3 Tail Slap: 1d4 + 2 STR


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Kitsune Fighter (2claws):

BAB: 6/1
STR: 14
2 Claws: 1d3 (hypothetical)(only natural weapon gets 1-1/2 STR mod)

Attack action:
+8 Claw 1: 1d3 + 3 STR
and
+8 Claw 1: 1d3 + 3 STR

Full attack action:
+8 Claw 1: 1d3 + 3 STR
and
+8 Claw 1: 1d3 + 3 STR


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Kitsune Fighter (bite/2claws):

BAB: 6/1
STR: 14
Bite Attack: 1d4
2 Claws: 1d3 (hypothetical)

Attack action:
+8 Bite Attack 1d4 + 2 STR

or

+8 Claw 1: 1d3 + 2 STR
and
+8 Claw 1: 1d3 + 2 STR

Full attack action:
+8 Bite Attack 1d4 + 2 STR
and
+8 Claw 1: 1d3 + 2 STR
and
+8 Claw 1: 1d3 + 2 STR

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Kitsune Fighter (bite/tail slap):

BAB: 6/1
STR: 14
Bite Attack: 1d4
Tail Slap: 1d4 (hypothetical)

Attack action:
+8 Bite Attack 1d4 + 2 STR

or

+3 Tail Slap: 1d4 + 2 STR

Full attack action:
+8 Bite Attack 1d4 + 2 STR
and
+3 Tail Slap: 1d4 + 2 STR


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Kitsune Fighter (bite/2claws/tail slap):

BAB: 6/1
STR: 14
Bite Attack: 1d4
2 Claws: 1d3 (hypothetical)
Tail Slap: 1d4 (hypothetical)

Attack action:
+8 Bite Attack 1d4 + 2 STR

or

+8 Claw 1: 1d3 + 2 STR
and
+8 Claw 1: 1d3 + 2 STR

or

+3 Tail Slap: 1d4 + 2 STR

Full attack action:
+8 Bite Attack 1d4 + 2 STR
and
+8 Claw 1: 1d3 + 2 STR
and
+8 Claw 1: 1d3 + 2 STR
and
+3 Tail Slap: 1d4 + 2 STR


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So the short answer: you're correct.


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You have a lot of superfluous information there. Much of it is completely irrelevant..

First and most importantly, the rules do not distinguish between PCs and Monsters for how rules affect them (unless called out specifically) - the rules are exactly the same.for everything..

For DM1

natural attacks wrote:
You can make attacks with natural weapons in combination with attacks made with a melee weapon and unarmed strikes,

seems pretty comprehensive to me - explicitly you can mix weapons and natural attacks - the "pathfinder 2talon attacks or 2 attacks" is largely bad rules interpretation - especially the second answer.

For DM2

unarmed attacks wrote:
“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)

.A natural attacks is an unarmed attack that counts as armed - it is unarmed as you are not wielding a weapon, but it is counted as armed - so you threaten with it, you do not provoke attacks of opportunity when you attack with it etc.

For everyone

multiple attacks wrote:
A character who can make more than one attack per round must use the full-attack action (see Full-Round Actions) in order to get more than one attack.

Unless you are taking the full attack action (or have another ability that explicitly permits it) Any character whether monster or PC can only make a single attack - even if it's entry lists (for example) 2 claws..


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One way to help see the interaction is the Unchained Barbarian rage power Animal Fury.

Pathfinder Unchained wrote:


Animal Fury (Ex) (Pathfinder Unchained pg. 9): The barbarian gains a bite attack. This is a primary natural attack that deals 1d4 points of damage (if the barbarian is Medium; 1d3 if the barbarian is Small) plus the barbarian’s Strength modifier. If made as part of a full attack action with manufactured weapons, the bite attack is made at the barbarian’s full base attack bonus –5, and she adds only 1/2 her Strength modifier to the damage roll.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

There is another rule you should remember: you can't use the same limb to make multiple attacks or actions unless you are making iterative attacks.
That means that if you attack with a weapon in your right hand you can't make a claw attack with the same hand, but you can make a claw attack with your left hand.

Some useful find about the whole argument:

Pathfinder Design Team wrote:
Natural attacks are light weapons (though they are never expressly defined as such in the rules).

About mixing natural and weapon attacks:

Pathfinder Design Team wrote:

FAQ: http://paizo.com/paizo/faq/v5748nruor1fz#v5748eaic9rc5

Alchemist, Tentacle/Vestigial Arm: What does "extra attacks" mean for these discoveries?

It means "extra," as in "more than you would be able to make if you didn't have that discovery."

For example, if you're low-level alchemist who uses two-weapon fighting, you can normally make two attacks per round (one with each weapon). If you take the tentacle discovery, on your turn you can make
* two weapon attacks but no tentacle attack,
* a weapon attack with your left hand plus a secondary tentacle attack, or
* a weapon attack with your right hand plus a secondary tentacle attack.
At no time can you make a left hand weapon attack, a right hand weapon attack, and a tentacle attack on the same turn because the tentacle discovery says it "does not give the alchemist any extra attacks or actions per round." This language is calling out that the tentacle is not a standard natural weapon and doesn't follow the standard rules for using natural weapons (which would normally allow you to make the natural weapon attack in addition to your other attacks).

Likewise, if you instead took the vestigial arm discovery and put a weapon in that arm's hand, on your turn you can make
* a weapon attack with your left hand and one with your right hand,
* a weapon attack with your right hand and one with your vestigial arm, or
* a weapon attack with your left hand and one with your vestigial arm,
At no time can you make a left hand weapon attack, a right hand weapon attack, and a vestigial hand weapon attack on the same turn because the vestigial arm discovery says it "does not give the alchemist any extra attacks or actions per round."
The exact same restrictions would apply if your race had claws or you had some other ability to add claws to your limbs: the text of both discoveries says they do not give you any extra attacks per round, whether used as natural weapons, wielding manufactured weapons, or adding natural weapons to a limb that didn't originally have natural weapons.

Remember that these two discoveries do not have any level requirements, and therefore are not especially powerful; permanently adding additional attacks per round is beyond the scope of a discovery available to 2nd-level alchemists.

You can find gigabytes of posts on mixing natural attacks and weapons in threads about alchemists and barbarians.


Thank you for your time and attention to this post. I spent more time away from it that I had hoped for.

DM2 at this point recognizes natural attacks as counting as armed.
As for DM1, I haven't had a solid opportunity to discuss the matter due to time constraints we have both had going into the holiday season.

dragonhunterq wrote:
You have a lot of superfluous information there. Much of it is completely irrelevant..

It is true, I could have been more concise in what I was trying to say and convey.

Diego Rossi wrote:

For everyone

multiple attacks wrote:
A character who can make more than one attack per round must use the full-attack action (see Full-Round Actions) in order to get more than one attack.
Unless you are taking the full attack action (or have another ability that explicitly permits it) Any character whether monster or PC can only make a single attack - even if it's entry lists (for example) 2 claws..

And

dragonhunterq wrote:

dragonhunterq quotation:

There is another rule you should remember: you can't use the same limb to make multiple attacks or actions unless you are making iterative attacks.
That means that if you attack with a weapon in your right hand you can't make a claw attack with the same hand, but you can make a claw attack with your left hand.

Some useful find about the whole argument:

Pathfinder Design Team wrote:
Natural attacks are light weapons (though they are never expressly defined as such in the rules).
About mixing natural and weapon attacks:

Pathfinder Design Team wrote:
FAQ: http://paizo.com/paizo/faq/v5748nruor1fz#v5748eaic9rc5

Alchemist, Tentacle/Vestigial Arm: What does "extra attacks" mean for these discoveries?

It means "extra," as in "more than you would be able to make if you didn't have that discovery."

For example, if you're low-level alchemist who uses two-weapon fighting, you can normally make two attacks per round (one with each weapon). If you take the tentacle discovery, on your turn you can make
* two weapon attacks but no tentacle attack,
* a weapon attack with your left hand plus a secondary tentacle attack, or
* a weapon attack with your right hand plus a secondary tentacle attack.
At no time can you make a left hand weapon attack, a right hand weapon attack, and a tentacle attack on the same turn because the tentacle discovery says it "does not give the alchemist any extra attacks or actions per round." This language is calling out that the tentacle is not a standard natural weapon and doesn't follow the standard rules for using natural weapons (which would normally allow you to make the natural weapon attack in addition to your other attacks).

Likewise, if you instead took the vestigial arm discovery and put a weapon in that arm's hand, on your turn you can make
* a weapon attack with your left hand and one with your right hand,
* a weapon attack with your right hand and one with your vestigial arm, or
* a weapon attack with your left hand and one with your vestigial arm,
At no time can you make a left hand weapon attack, a right hand weapon attack, and a vestigial hand weapon attack on the same turn because the vestigial arm discovery says it "does not give the alchemist any extra attacks or actions per round."
The exact same restrictions would apply if your race had claws or you had some other ability to add claws to your limbs: the text of both discoveries says they do not give you any extra attacks per round, whether used as natural weapons, wielding manufactured weapons, or adding natural weapons to a limb that didn't originally have natural weapons.

Remember that these two discoveries do not have any level requirements, and therefore are not especially powerful; permanently adding additional attacks per round is beyond the scope of a discovery available to 2nd-level alchemists.

You can find gigabytes of posts on mixing natural attacks and weapons in threads about alchemists and barbarians.


I had some additional questions regarding claws, and I think these help my understanding.

So, to verify, having 2 claws means that you are essentially equipped with two light weapons (comparable to having a dagger in each hand), and that means that a single attack action can only use one of the 2 claws, unless you apply two-weapon fighting penalties, in which case you can use both? (a -4 and a -8 attack penalty respectively if you do not have the two-weapon fighting feat)

I expect it is the same principle if using a manufactured weapon in one claw and nothing in the other(two-weapon penalties to do both).

Additionally, that would mean that during a full-round action you could choose to use just one claw at full BAB or both with their respective two-weapon fighting penalties?

Lastly, it is my understanding that '2 Claws' does not qualify for the 1 1/2 multiplier on attacks, but each claw gets a strength modifier added to it.

Is this correct?


No, natural weapons don't use the TWF rules. You get both claw attacks at your best BAB, but you don't get iterative attacks (the ones BAB allows at -5, -10 or -15) with either. Both claws get full (1x) Str bonus to damage because they are primary natural weapons.

If you're mixing manufactured weapon attacks and natural weapon attacks then the manufactured weapon takes no penalty, but the natural weapon becomes a secondary natural attack, i.e. -5 attack penalty and half Str modifier to damage. TWF still does not apply.


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I'm going to reply to these out of order, but I think it'll help.

Dragonarkon wrote:
Lastly, it is my understanding that '2 Claws' does not qualify for the 1 1/2 multiplier on attacks, but each claw gets a strength modifier added to it.

This is correct. I believe you only get 1.5x damage on a natural attack if it specifically says you do, not on all natural attacks(maybe someone else can weigh in here). Regardless 2 claws would not qualify.

Dragonarkon wrote:
Additionally, that would mean that during a full-round action you could choose to use just one claw at full BAB or both with their respective two-weapon fighting penalties?

No. If you do a full round action you can use both claws at full BAB with no penalties. They would both use your full STR modifier, and get the benefits from power attack as if using a one handed weapon (no 1.5x for two handed, but no 0.5x for offhand, they're both "main hand").

Dragonarkon wrote:
I expect it is the same principle if using a manufactured weapon in one claw and nothing in the other(two-weapon penalties to do both).

No. If you're using a sword in one hand an a claw in the other you'd make all your regular attacks with the sword (so a 12 BAB Fighter would get 3 attacks at +12/+7/+2), with no penalties for Two Weapon Fighting. Then you would also get to make your claw attack as a SECONDARY Natural Weapon. This means the attack would be made at full BAB-5 (+7) and would only add half STR/Power Attack to the damage (as if an offhand weapon).

These interactions with manufactured weapons work the same no matter how many you have.

Let's say you have: Claw/Claw/Bite/Gore/Wing/Wing.

As a full round action you can attack once with each natural weapon. Claw/Claw/Bite/Gore are all Primary Natural Attacks, so they all use your Full BAB, and you deal full STR/PA damage. The Wing/Wing attacks are secondary Natrual Attacks so they attack at a -5 and deal half STR/PA damage.

Let's say your BAB is +12 again, and for the sake of the scenario let's say you roll 1d6+10 damage with each attack. Your attack routine is: Claw (+12/1d6+10) / Claw (+12/1d6+10) / Bite (+12/1d6+10) / Gore (+12/1d6+10) / Wing (+7/1d6+5) / Wing (+7/1d6+5).

You can make all the attacks, but you gain no iteratives. You take no penalties to attack for using more attacks, but secondary attacks are at a penalty and deal less damage.

Now if you were to put a Longsword in one hand, you'd still get all your natural attacks (minus the claw from the hand you're using to hold the sword), but ALL of your Natural Attacks become Secondary Natrual Attacks.
Your Attack routine would look like: Longsword (+12 1d8+10) / Longsword (+7/1d8+10) / Longsword (+2/1d8+10) / Claw (+7/1d6+5) / Claw (+7/1d6+5) / Bite (+7/1d6+5) / Gore (+7/1d6+5) / Wing (+7/1d6+5) / Wing (+7/1d6+5).

Your Sword gets 1x damage and iterative attacks, but all of your natural attacks are made at a -5 to hit and only get 0.5x damage.

If you were to hold the Longsword in both hands you would get 1.5x damage with it, but you would lose your other Claw attack as well.

Because Natural attacks don't get iterative attacks you could make all of those attacks at BAB +1 (or +0 even), but even at level 20 with +20 BAB you only get one attack with each Natural Attack.

Lastly Haste: If you're hasted (or similar) you can make one extra attack per round. This can be made with any one weapon. It could be with your Longsword, or Wing, or whatever you like. If you have a rock in your hand you could throw that as your hasted weapon. You decide this each round, so if you use your sword one round then get disarmed you can use a different weapon next round for your hasted extra attack.

(Sorry for the wall of text.)


MrCharisma wrote:
Dragonarkon wrote:
Lastly, it is my understanding that '2 Claws' does not qualify for the 1 1/2 multiplier on attacks, but each claw gets a strength modifier added to it.
This is correct. I believe you only get 1.5x damage on a natural attack if it specifically says you do, not on all natural attacks(maybe someone else can weigh in here). Regardless 2 claws would not qualify.

That's not entirely correct, as there is an exception: If you have only one natural attack, it's always primary and at 1.5x Str. Two claws are not one attack, though, so that doesn't apply. If you have only one type of antural attacks, it's always primary, for which 2 claws would count, if they weren't already primary. The rule that makes your natural attacks primary (with 0.5x Str) overrules both of these instances, though.


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@Dragonarkon: I think a big issue here is lack of seperation of different things.

Unarmed: There are basically two different things that use the word "unarmed". #1 is the quasi-weapon "unarmed strike". Unarmed Strikes mostly behave like manufactured weapons, e.g. you use the TWF and iterative attack rules for making more attacks with them. #2 is the state of being unarmed, which is something that every character is in, unless he has one of the four following things: Equipped weapon ready to make an AoO, Improved Unarmed Strike feat, holding the charge of a touch spell, or natural weapons. This is what the Catch Off-Guard feat refers to, by the way.
I don't know which version GM#2 was talking about, but it's wrong either way. Natural weapon attack are completely seperate from unarmed strikes (as is evident by the rules sections being seperate), and you explicitly count as armed when you have natural weapons. The rules are indeed badly written because they themself mix the two different things, but just because the paragraph headed with "“Armed” Unarmed Attacks" mentions natural weapons, doesn't mean those use the rules for "punches, kicks, and head butts".

Two-Weapon Fighting: "If you wield a second weapon in your off hand, you can get one extra attack per round with that weapon." CRB pg. 202 It says "wield"; and you never wield natural weapons. Therefore, you can't use the TWF rules with natural weapons.
However, you don't need to, because "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)." CRB pg. 182 In exchange, "You do not receive additional natural attacks for a high base attack bonus."

In either case, "A character who can make more than one attack per round must use the full-attack action (...) in order to get more than one attack." CRB pg. 184

If you only use natural weapons, you don't have to even know the TWF or iterative rules. If you're using both at the same time, you're using the TWF and iterative rules only for the manufactured weapons only, and the natural weapon rules (including the "When you make additional attacks in this way, all of your natural attacks are treated as secondary natural attacks" constraint) for the natural weapons only. The unarmed strike rules (threaten AoOs, nonlethal only, etc.) only apply to unarmed strikes, not to natural weapons. If you don't plan on using unarmed strikes, and have natural weapons, you don't have to use any rules regarding unarmed whatever.


Derklord wrote:
The rule that makes your natural attacks primary secondary (with 0.5x Str) overrules both of these instances, though.

I'm assuming this is referring to wielding a manufactured weapon and natural weapons at the same time, and that this was a typo.

Derklord wrote:
If you have only one natural attack, it's always primary and at 1.5x Str.

Are you sure about this? I knew the part about always being primary, but not the 1.5x STR (although it sounds familiar). I have a Half Orc Bloodrager with a bite attack so I'll be happy if it's true.


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MrCharisma wrote:
Are you sure about this? I knew the part about always being primary, but not the 1.5x STR (although it sounds familiar). I have a Half Orc Bloodrager with a bite attack so I'll be happy if it's true.

this is correct.

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. This increase does not apply if the creature has multiple attacks but only takes one.

You tend to only see it pop up with things like giant snakes though, where it just has 1 bite attack and nothing else.

Now, with regard to your bloodrager, I think the rule about combining weapons with natural attacks superceedes the one I quoted. So, if your bloodrager bites someone and doesn't make any attacks with manufactured weapons they get 1.5 x str. When combined with weapons it would drop to 0.5 x str. at least that's how I've been running it on my hunter that has a bite attack.


LordKailas wrote:
MrCharisma wrote:
Are you sure about this? I knew the part about always being primary, but not the 1.5x STR (although it sounds familiar). I have a Half Orc Bloodrager with a bite attack so I'll be happy if it's true.

this is correct.

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. This increase does not apply if the creature has multiple attacks but only takes one.

You tend to only see it pop up with things like giant snakes though, where it just has 1 bite attack and nothing else.

Now, with regard to your bloodrager, I think the rule about combining weapons with natural attacks superceedes the one I quoted. So, if your bloodrager bites someone and doesn't make any attacks with manufactured weapons they get 1.5 x str. When combined with weapons it would drop to 0.5 x str. at least that's how I've been running it on my hunter that has a bite attack.

Awesome!

And yes if he makes attacks with other weapons it drops to a secondary natural attack. I gave him a bite attack as a backup so he can't be disarmed, it's nice to know his backup is better than I thought


MrCharisma wrote:
Derklord wrote:
The rule that makes your natural attacks primary secondary (with 0.5x Str) overrules both of these instances, though.
I'm assuming this is referring to wielding a manufactured weapon and natural weapons at the same time, and that this was a typo.

Yes, you're correct on both parts. Thanks for the correction and sorry for the error (and lack of explicitness).

MrCharisma wrote:
Are you sure about this?

Yep, mainly because it is a notable argument against folks who claim that a Monk with Dragon Style/Ferocity gets 3:1 Power Attack ratio: If the the rule that classifies natural weapons as primary or secondary is transfered to a Monk's US, than this rule would be as well, and you wouldn't even need the feats.

LordKailas wrote:
You tend to only see it pop up with things like giant snakes though, where it just has 1 bite attack and nothing else.

There are actually more creatures that make use of the rul than one'd think, wolfs come to mind, but it's just that PC natural attack builds practically never use only one natural weapon (with the exception of Cave Druids). It gets semi-interesting for Shifters (Snake or Dragonfly) because Shifter's Fury would let you make multiple attacks with the 1.5xStr attack, but that still can't compete with pounce builds.


Once again, thank you for the follow up feedback.
If I am understanding correctly, the conclusion is as follows:

-'2 Claws' does not qualify for the 1.5x STR mulitplier
- You may use 1 claw as a standard attack, or both claws as a part of a full attack action
-If using both claws, then they both use full BAB and 1.0x STR
- If using a manufactured weapon in one hand and a claw with the other hand, then the manufactured weapon uses full BAB with 1.0x STR and the claw uses full BAB -5 with 0.5x STR

==========

This information has been really helpful as I have looked over the various scenarios in which I have been exposed to with a number of in-game circumstances.

----------

I have a hunter with an animal companion (monitor lizard) that I was trying to figure out if it would be worth adding on additional natural attacks for him to use. In the end, I decided to just focus on upgrading his bite.

Monitor Lizard Setup:

This Monitor lizard will take advantage of the following:
-base bite at lvl 7 - 1d8 with grab and poison
-improved trip (bully archetype)
-multiattack* at lvl 9 - BAB +6/+1 Bite
*"An animal companion gains Multiattack as a bonus feat if it has three or more natural attacks and does not already have that feat. If it does not have the requisite three or more natural attacks, the animal companion instead gains a second attack with its primary natural weapon, albeit at a –5 penalty."

Primal Companion hunter archetype grants him access to
-improved damage (increase bite by one die size)
-increased animal companion size from medium to large (limited time effect per day)

Suddenly, with this setup, it feels like I have a mini-Godzilla on my hands (minus the atomic breath).


-------

Another character of mine I also was concerned about was my human swashbuckler, through unfortunate circumstance (depends on your viewpoint) became a part-spider thing, so he gained a bite attack with a poison effect. I was trying to figure out how the bite attack would fit into his attack lineup, and it seems that I could use just the bite attack at full BAB and 1.5x STR, or use it during a full attack action alongside my manufactured weapon's full BAB of +7/+2 as an additional attack at full BAB -5 (+2) at 0.5x STR.

-------

Then I have other players I was looking out for. One plays a kitsune which can morph between a humanoid and fox form.

Another I was helping build out a tiefling that was going to primarily make use of a racial trait to have claws. Always being considered armed is a neat concept, but I was worried about keeping his claws relevant in the long-run since added BAB attack iterations do not apply to natural weapons. We decided that his character would have a manufactured weapon as a backup, but he would primarily focus his character into becoming proficient with grappling enemies so he can pin them and make full use of combat feats Deadly Grappler and Throat Slicer. (Deadly grappler to attack with natural weapons while grappling or Throat slicer to coup de grace a pinned enemy within 3 turns.)


It sounds like you understand it pretty well.

Heh, one advantage for the swashbuckler is that a bite attack counts as a light piercing weapon, so it gains the benefits of Swashbuckler Finesse, Swashbuckler Weapon Training and most deeds (though not Precise Strike), and can regain Panache by getting a critical hit or a killing blow with a bite attack.


MrCharisma wrote:
Heh, one advantage for the swashbuckler is that a bite attack counts as a light piercing weapon, so it gains the benefits of Swashbuckler Finesse, Swashbuckler Weapon Training and most deeds (though not Precise Strike), and can regain Panache by getting a critical hit or a killing blow with a bite attack.

It can definitely become useful because of this.

Actually, I was wondering, could I take the Slashing Grace Combat feat to bypass the limitation on the precise strike (as long as I take bite as my weapon focus)?


I don't think so.

Precise Strike specifically says it doesn't work with natural weapons.

Also Slashing Grace makes the weapon viable for Swashbuckler deeds, but a bite attack already is viable for them (except that one).

(And if I'm being nit-pick-y, Slashing Grace says you have to be wielding the weapon "one-handed")

If you're investing 3 feats into it (well, two plus a class feature) I'd probably let it work though.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Parring a mace with your teeth ... OUCH!

Heve a good 2020.


That is a good point, and I understand the nit-pick, but I feel it is more just do to the fact bite was just never really a consideration when the rule was conceived. I feel the focus was on making sure that a slashing weapon was used only one-handed so a swashbuckler could not bypass the restriction to keep a hand free when using his class features. And you can see this with the last sentence in the description, "You do not gain this benefit while fighting with two weapons or using flurry of blows, or any time another hand is otherwise occupied."

It also appears that there was an FAQ that also states, "Attacking with natural weapons beyond the weapon you chose for Slashing Grace also does not work. Slashing Grace only works with melee attacks, not thrown attacks with a melee weapon."

Even so, with RAW, bite doesn't look compatible due to that particular wording, ("When wielding your chosen weapon one-handed"), but a claw could be.

Diego Rossi wrote:
Parring a mace with your teeth ... OUCH!

Yeah, what an odd scenario, and I am sure it is bound to happen at some point.

Anyway, have a wonderful 2020 year, and may your pathfinder sessions be consistent.

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