How do I handle claws / natural attacks?

Rules Questions

So I'm working on a tiefling currently with the "Claw or Maw" alternate racial trait, I want to give them the claws but I realized that I have no idea how to even handle natural attacks.

The character is a level 8 druid with a BAB of 6, So that's a +6/+1.

I have two claws apparently from what I understand each that do 1d4 damage plus strength right?

The problem I'm having is actually handling this stuff, Do I just treat the attack like any normal weapon and it's like I do 1d6 if the +6 lands and then do a 1d6 if the +1 lands? Or do "Claws" suggest that it's like I'm doing my attacks twice? Would that be two sets of +6/+1 attacks independent of each other? I'm feeling a bit dumb because I can't figure this out on my own here, Can you try to explain it to me like a child or something because this is either really complex or I'm basically just being an idiot here.

Thanks in advance for the help!

natural attacks don't get the extra attacks from high bab. each natural attack get one attack at ether full bab and full str for damage(if primary attack). or with -5 to hit(and full bab) and half str for damage(for secondary attacks).

each natural attack form might be one or more attacks (usually depend on the limbs used) for example, bite is one attack but talons or claws are two. and some such as tentacles might be even eight or more.

remember that if:
- you only have one form of attack ,even if it's normaly secondary it get treated as primary.
- if you only have one natural attack form and it is only one attack (like bite as opposed to claws which are two attack in one form) then the str damage is 1+1/2.
- you can not use the same limb for both natural attack and manufactured weapon. so using a sword in one hand will prevent using same hand with it's claws.
- and if you use any kind of manufactured weapon\unarmed strike ALL natural attacks become secondary, even if they are normally primary.

if you have 3 or more natural weapons you can get multi attack feat which will make secondary take only -2 to hit instead of -5. (might also need a high bab, i don't remember atm)

as normal making more then one attack in a round require using a full attack action (unless you also have pounce which then allow you to do it while charging)

Silver Crusade

Natural attacks work differently from attacks made with manufactured weapons.

Manufactured weapon attacks follow BAB progression, that is, when full-attacking (i.e. when you do not use a move action), you get an extra iterative attack when your BAB gets to 6, but this second attack is made at a lower BAB, specifically BAB-5. Similarly, you get an extra iterative attack when your BAB gets to 11 and then again to 16.

Natural attacks, on the other hand, do not follow BAB progression. When full-attacking you can make all your natural attacks at once, and all of them are made at full BAB. However, you do not get any extra iterative attack with any of them when your BAB gets to 6/11/16.

In other words, the number of attacks made with manufactured weapon depends on level, and successive iterative attacks are made at a lower BAB. On the other hand, the number of natural attacks depends only on how many said natural attacks you have (in your case: 2 claws, attacknig at full BAB), but does not increase with level (unless you gain more natural attacks, for example a bite, or a gore, or tail slap).

You can find more information here, specifically on the interaction between manufactured and natural weapon attacks when they are used together in the same full-attack, and the difference between primary and secondary natural attacks.

Just remember, since you are a Druid, if you Wildshape you are going to lose you claw attacks while in Wildshape, and you will be actually using the animal's natural attacks instead. So, if by default, you can full-attack with your 2 claws, if you transform into a tiger you will be able to full-attack with 2 claws and 1 bite, but if you transform into a wolf, you will only have 1 bite.

I did a big break-down of this a month ago in another thread:


Two things worth adding:

1. You DO get 1.5x damage if you ONLY have a single Natural Attack (which has already been mentioned in this thread, but I thought I'd include it again here for completion's sake).

2. The rule about Primary Natural Attacks becoming Secondary Natural Attacks when you wield a weapon is only relevant for Full-Attacks. If you make an Attack of Opportunity (or a Vital Strike or something) with a Bite Attack while holding a sword your Bite Attack is considered a Primary Natural Attack.

Hope that helped.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

To simplify things as much as possible

Two claws at level 1 with full BAB class:
At level 20

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Maw or Claw states that it give a 1d6 bite or two 1d4 claws, and all are primary natural attacks.

Thus, with your BAB of 6 and the two claws option you would have a full attack of;

2 claws 6+Str (1d4+Str)

If you wanted to make dagger attacks with one hand it would change to;

dagger 6+Str/1+Str (1d4+Str), claw 1+Str (1d4+1/2 Str)

I think most is already said, but I want to adress this:

NihilsticBanana wrote:
Or do "Claws" suggest that it's like I'm doing my attacks twice?

When you have two claws, you have one set on each hand. During a full-attack action, you can attack with both hands, dealing the listed damage + strength modifier, each time you hit. You do not attack with one claw twice, but once with each one, which is relevant for things that affect only one hand and not the other (e.g. Possessed Hand).

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Rules Questions / How do I handle claws / natural attacks? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.