Natural attacks granted by items


Rules Questions


I've run into a bit of an abnormal situation, and am not 100% sure how the rules would apply in this situation.

If a character has a Tail Slap attack from race, no other natural attacks, I know it is treated as Primary with 1.5x STR if it is their only natural attack but otherwise is a Secondary with .5x STR (as tail slaps are normally secondary).

Now, if said character were to obtain a claw attack via an item, would simply wearing the item turn their tail slap back into a Secondary attack with .5x STR, or would it only change if the claw attack is used?


I think by RAW it'd change the tail slap.

I think a reasonable house rule would be to only have that happen if they're both used. This seems like something that's caught in the general rule, but wasn't really addressed by the rules.


Which, is precisely why I asked... It's just kinda that odd spot where it's unclear if the general rule actually applies or not.


I think it does apply since it's a catch-all rule, but if they'd thought of this situation they might have said it differently (probably not, but who knows).


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think it would depend on how the item works. Does the item need to be activated in some way to get the natural attacks? A tentacle cloak, I'm pretty sure is just a cloak when you aren't actually using it, but a Helm of the Mammoth Lord always has out those tusks that grant the Gore Attack.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Chell Raighn wrote:
Now, if said character were to obtain a claw attack via an item, would simply wearing the item turn their tail slap back into a Secondary attack with .5x STR, or would it only change if the claw attack is used?

These rules only care about the natural weapons that you have, they never care about actually attacking with them. As long as you could make a claw attack, you have a claw attack. Scott Wilhelm has it right (feels weird saying that), everything that needs to be activated only counts when activated, anything permanent counts whenever worn.

So it depends on the item. What item are we talking about?


Derklord wrote:
Chell Raighn wrote:
Now, if said character were to obtain a claw attack via an item, would simply wearing the item turn their tail slap back into a Secondary attack with .5x STR, or would it only change if the claw attack is used?

These rules only care about the natural weapons that you have, they never care about actually attacking with them. As long as you could make a claw attack, you have a claw attack. Scott Wilhelm has it right (feels weird saying that), everything that needs to be activated only counts when activated, anything permanent counts whenever worn.

So it depends on the item. What item are we talking about?

Yeah, it does feel weird: us agreeing.


The exact item in question is actually a 3pp weapon that changes ones unarmed strike into primary claw attacks when worn, but there are a few items in the official books as well that would yield the same dilemma.

Talons of Leng for example... and actually seem to exasperate the issue even more with the fact that they explicitly change the claw attacks granted by them into secondary attacks if you attack with any other natural weapons, though based on the wording they remain primary if you don’t attack with another natural weapon that round...

A ring of Rat Fangs would be another such item...

The way I understand it, a creature that possesses only one natural attack is meant to be considered so proficient in its use of that single attack that it can innately use it at it’s full strength (thus always primary). However, if they develop a second natural attack then their regular usage is balancing their strength and maneuverability between the two attacks (thus one possibly becoming secondary)

Items like the Talons of Leng seem to create a precedent for considering item based natural attacks as somewhat unwieldy to creatures that have natural attacks of their own in that it turns a claw attack (normally primary) into a secondary attack when used along side any other natural weapon...

Anyways, ya’ll have provided the input I was looking for. I’m going to run the info by my DM to see where he lands his final ruling on it before pursuing the actual item in question. (As mentioned the actual item is 3pp, but it is from the book for the campaign we are doing... just trying to iron out how the weapon may impact my character’s natural tail attack if taken...)

For reference the item:

Quote:
Feral Claw Gauntlets: This set of metallic gauntlets can easily be equipped on races that lack natural weapons. Whilst worn, they change the creatures unarmed attacks into claw natural attacks, gaining all benefits and penalties of such. This attack counts as a primary, dealing 1x STR damage on attacks and allows 1 attack per hand. Creatures with more limbs must buy another pair, enchanting them separately. The user can still use manufactured weapons while wearing these gauntlets, but take a -2 penalty to attack rolls, -4 if the weapon is ranged. While wearing these gauntlets you are unable to make unarmed strikes or make use of flurry of blows, including any similar ability. A character can’t benefit from Feral Claw Gauntlets and other items that provide enhancement bonuses or weapon special abilities (such as an amulet of mighty fists) on the same attack. Any items/feats that note Natural Weapons apply for the gauntlets.


Chell Raighn wrote:
Talons of Leng for example... and actually seem to exasperate the issue even more with the fact that they explicitly change the claw attacks granted by them into secondary attacks if you attack with any other natural weapons, though based on the wording they remain primary if you don’t attack with another natural weapon that round...

Actually, no, that's reminder text. Rise of the Runelords was written before Pathfinder was it's own game, meaning the item was written for D&D 3.5, where the natural attack rules were different (you only had one primary one and all others were secondary). If you look at the version from Ultimate Equipment, it doesn't have any such text.

Reading your item, it is active "Whilst worn", just like how Talons of Leng or Ring of Rat Fangs work, and thus the Feral Claw Gauntlets turn your tail slap secondary whenever you wear them.

I'm pretty sure you got it all correct, but for completeness:
► If you only have one single natural weapon, natural attacks with it are primary at 1.5xStr. Bonus attacks like from Haste don't count.
► If you only have one type of natural weapons (but multiple attacks), natural attacks with them are primary.
► If you have more than one type of natural weapons, you use the given classification for their natural attacks.
► If you use the natural weapon(s) in addition to manufactured weapon (or unarmed strikes), the three points above get completely ignored and the natural attacks are secondary, period.

Classification gets checks at the time of attack. Note that if you attack with the tail slap as a primary attack, you cannot make attacks with any other natural weapons , manufactured weapons, or unarmed strike even if you manage to gain natural weapons later on the same turn (e.g. claws from Draconic Bloodline), because doing so would make the tail slap retroactively illegal.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Rules Questions / Natural attacks granted by items All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.