A Fighter With IUS feat Is Holding Something With Both Hands. Can He AoO?

Rules Questions

Like the title said.

If a fighter with IUS (not a monk/brawler) is holding something (not a melee weapon) with both hands and then an opponent provokes an AoO, can the fighter perform an attack of opportunity using something other than his hands?

The basic combat rules mention using unarmed strikes attacking with kicks and such, but I want to make sure. It might be exclusive to the monk.

I thought I should ask, especially because this question risks being drawn into the endless abyss known as the "how many hands/armor-spikes/beards/body-parts" do I have?", which makes me want to slam my head into a wall. Repeatedly.

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Short answer: Yes.

Anyone can attack with kicks. It's not restricted to monks, but you require Improved Unamred Strike to make AoO asyou wouldn't threaten otherwise.

Yes. But it doesn't really matter how many limbs he has, because they won't give him extra attacks. He can TWF (not in AoO of course) unarmed by kicking with both feet, if he has TWF. Mechanically it's the same as kicking twice with one foot, except that he won't get the full Str bonus.

He can headbutt, elbow, knee, bite, etc but that would only be appropriate in grappling range. And he'd still be limited to one attack, plus iteratives, TWF, etc as normal.

It matters in this case since it's the difference between attacking with your feet and not attacking at all.

I don't recall whether it is ever specified what a non-monk creature can use to make an unarmed strike, but I hazily remember some developer posts to the effect that pretty much any creature could make an unarmed strike even if they didn't have limbs. Not much help, I suppose.

Anyway, it's simpler to allow kicks, headbutts, elbows, etc. than it is to parse for rules disallowing it--so long as the "metaphysical hands" nonsense is kept intact.

For the sake of clarity, the reason why I'm asking is that I'm making a trench fighter who uses two-handed guns.

I'm making him take IUS so he can use "Cut from the air", even while holding his gun. I'm envisioning him using his legs, shoulders and forearms to deflect bullets wonder-woman style.

I assume this can work?

Monk rules:

At 1st level, a monk gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. A monk’s attacks may be with fist, elbows, knees, and feet. This means that a monk may make unarmed strikes with his hands full. There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a monk striking unarmed. A monk may thus apply his full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all his unarmed strikes.

This suggests that they wouldn't be that good at kicking. But that's a bit silly. You have to be a monk to kick? I think kicking (without penalty) is pretty hard when grappling someone, even if you're skilled enough not to provoke opportunity attacks.

Mudfoot wrote:
He can headbutt, elbow, knee, bite, etc but that would only be appropriate in grappling range.

I don't know about all that. Plenty of situations where a knee, elbow or headbutt are viable besides a grapple/wrestle/clinch.

As to the OP, I can't see why it wouldn't work. Definitely a cool image.

Is there anywhere that defines an Unarmed Strike as only with one's hands? The CRB doesn't say, so it covers any unarmed strike, including kicks, elbows, etc.

CRB: “ Unarmed Attacks

Striking for damage with punches, kicks, and head butts is much like attacking with a melee weapon...”

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