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Solo

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Natural Weapons and You: A Mini-Guide
« on: February 10, 2011, 09:48:27 AM »
Natural Weapons and You: A Mini-Guide
Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love My Claws
By Keld Denar and Solo


This guide is dedicated to Aelrynth, who was instrumental in developing my understanding of the natural weapon rules


So, why do we need to have a guide to the usage of natural weapons, you ask? BECAUSE WE LIVE HERE!!!

Though primitive and crude to the untrained eye, the world of natural weapons offer much to melee characters. The main attraction of natural weapons is, of course, the ability to use them following your regular iterative attacks such as manufactured weapons and unarmed strikes.

What is a natural weapon?
“I know what you're thinkin', punk. Question is: 'Can I get Wolverine before he turns me into shish kabob with those claws?' Now bub, seein' that those claws are adamantium, the strongest metal known, and can slice through vanadium steel like a hot knife through butter, buddy, you gotta ask yourself: do I feel lucky?”

To begin, let us first start with another installment of my long running, Emmy nominated series “What is a Natural Weapon?”
Quote
 Natural weapons are weapons that are physically a part of a creature. A creature making a melee attack with a natural weapon is considered armed and does not provoke attacks of opportunity. Likewise, it threatens any space it can reach. Creatures do not receive additional attacks from a high base attack bonus when using natural weapons. The number of attacks a creature can make with its natural weapons depends on the type of the attack—generally, a creature can make one bite attack, one attack per claw or tentacle, one gore attack, one sting attack, or one slam attack (although Large creatures with arms or arm-like limbs can make a slam attack with each arm). Refer to the individual monster descriptions.
    Unless otherwise noted, a natural weapon threatens a critical hit on a natural attack roll of 20.
  When a creature has more than one natural weapon, one of them (or sometimes a pair or set of them) is the primary weapon. All the creature’s remaining natural weapons are secondary.
  The primary weapon is given in the creature’s Attack entry, and the primary weapon or weapons is given first in the creature’s Full Attack entry. A creature’s primary natural weapon is its most effective natural attack, usually by virtue of the creature’s physiology, training, or innate talent with the weapon. An attack with a primary natural weapon uses the creature’s full attack bonus. Attacks with secondary natural weapons are less effective and are made with a -5 penalty on the attack roll, no matter how many there are. (Creatures with the Multiattack feat take only a -2 penalty on secondary attacks.) This penalty applies even when the creature makes a single attack with the secondary weapon as part of the attack action or as an attack of opportunity.
    Natural weapons have types just as other weapons do. The most common are summarized below.
Bite
    The creature attacks with its mouth, dealing piercing, slashing, and bludgeoning damage.
Claw or Talon
    The creature rips with a sharp appendage, dealing piercing and slashing damage.
Gore
    The creature spears the opponent with an antler, horn, or similar appendage, dealing piercing damage.
Slap or Slam
    The creature batters opponents with an appendage, dealing bludgeoning damage.
Sting
    The creature stabs with a stinger, dealing piercing damage. Sting attacks usually deal damage from poison in addition to hit point damage.
Tentacle
    The creature flails at opponents with a powerful tentacle, dealing bludgeoning (and sometimes slashing) damage.

How Fighting With Natural Weapons Works
“Haven't met anybody who's invulnerable to a well planted elbow in the groin.”

Main hand weapons are weapons you get your iterative attacks with. This is NOT required to be a single weapon. You could make main hand attacks with 3 different weapons, so long as you have enough BAB to make 3 attacks. Main hand attacks typically get 1x +str, unless you wield them in both hands. Note: You don't actually have to wield a weapon in any hands, provided its description allows it.

Offhand weapons are weapons who's attacks are derived from the two weapon fighting (henceforth to be referred to as TWFing) combat option, or through the higher tier TWFing feats. You don't need TWFing to TWF, but it helps reduce the penalties. You DO need Improved TWF and Greater TWF to make more than one offhand attack. All offhand attacks have to be with the same weapon, and it can't be with any weapon you used as part of your iterative attacks. Offhand attacks only ever recieve .5x +str damage, regardless of how many hands you wield them with. If you aren't TWFing, you don't have an offhand.

Primary natural attacks are a creature's main mode of attack. This is typically an attack with either the highest damage, or a combat ability such as Improved Grab. Its also typically the attack a creature makes AoOs and standard action attacks with. Primary natural attacks almost always get 1x Str, although some creatures, especially those with only a single natural weapon, may get 1.5x. There is no hard rule for this though, so consult a stat block for more details. In the presence of a weapon capable of making iteratives (manufactured weapon or UAS), all primary weapons are converted to secondary natural weapons. A natural attack that is full (such as carrying gear or a manufactured weapon) can not make attacks.

Secondary natural attacks are a creature's alternate modes of attack. During a full attack, each other natural weapon the creature possesses may make 1 attack at -5 from highest AB (-2 with Multiattack). Secondary natural weapons always only receive .5x+Str regardless of whether or not they dealt 1x or 1.5x as primary weapons. A natural attack that is full (such as carrying gear or a manufactured weapon) can not make attacks.

Obtaining Natural Weapons
“Snikt!”

Now, how do we get natural weapons? There are several routes, such as race, template, spells, and etc that can grant them, a full list of which can be found here.

Naturally, even the best natural weapons are useless without a means of reliably achieving full attacks. Fortunately, there is also a list of ways to obtain pounce or free movement.

The best natural weapons to get are ones that will not be occupied when you make your regular attacks. For example, a fighter who uses a greatsword would be better off with tails, bites, and tentacles rather than claws. A monk, on the other hand, is capable of making an unarmed strike with any part of his body so he can take on as many natural weapons as he feels like.

Enchanting Natural Weapons
"You're the one who oughtta be shakin' 'cause I'm about to carve you up into sushi."

The Amulet of Mighty Fists is three times as expensive as it should be, so it is only worthwhile if you have 3 or more natural weapons. The Necklace of Natural Weapons from Savage Species is cheaper to enchant and offers more options than just enhancement bonuses, but only applies to one natural weapon unless you pay a straight multiplier.  The break even point between the two is at 3 weapons or more when the AoMF becomes cheaper.  The NoNA does have the advantage of allowing +equivalent enhancements (like Wounding) and can reach a +10 total enhancement like a manufactured weapon, which the AoMF does not offer, if you are willing to pay the extra cash.

The Fanged Ring (Dragon Magic) grants INA and deals 1 Con damage on a critical hit, which is a pretty useful property to have. Only costs 10,000 gp.

The Ring of Adamant Touch (MIC) makes all your weapons overcome DR as if they were Adamantine for 6,000 gp.

Bracers of the Arcane (MIC) allow you to overcome DR silver and magic.

Jaws of the Dragon (Draconomicon) grants a bite attack as a creature one size larger for 40,000 gp.

Wyrmfang Amulet from the MIC is 1350 vs the 2500 for the one in Draconomicon.

Bands of Blood Rage from the MIC will boost all of your natural attacks for 2600 gp.

The Ghost Shroud from the MiC costs 5,000 gp and will grant you a +1 deflection bonus to AC and give your attacks the Ghost Touch property, allowing you to bust ghosts.

The best method for enchanting is probably the Kensai, which can enchant all of its natural weapons for XP. It’s not even a bad class for melee types. Failing that, if you're a Druid or have access to a Druid, casting Superior Magic Fang will give an enhancement bonus to all of your natural weapons.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2011, 07:21:11 AM by Solo »

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Solo

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Re: Natural Weapons and You: A Mini-Guide
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2011, 10:05:17 AM »
Reserved

"I am the Black Mage! I cast the spells that makes the peoples fall down!"

The Legend RPG, which I worked on and encourage you to read.

Solo

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Re: Natural Weapons and You: A Mini-Guide
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2011, 10:05:27 AM »
Reserved

"I am the Black Mage! I cast the spells that makes the peoples fall down!"

The Legend RPG, which I worked on and encourage you to read.

Wyvernhand

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Re: Natural Weapons and You: A Mini-Guide
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2011, 10:13:09 AM »
My name is Keld Denar (no, seriously!) and I approve this guide.

Felix Underwood

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Re: Natural Weapons and You: A Mini-Guide
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2011, 08:58:33 PM »
Nice guide!  I've already recommended it to some friends.

Quote from: Solo
The Ghost Shroud from the MiC costs 5,000 gp and will grant you a +1 deflection bonus to AC and give your attacks the Ghost Touch property, allowing you to bust ghosts.
 How about this instead:  Gauntlets of Ghost Fighting (MIC, 216)  4,000gp

"This pair of heavy, black leather gloves bears suns and skulls of gold on the knuckles and around each wrist."

(I could see alowing for 'fingerless' leather gloves... all the cool kids from the 80's are doing it)

The wearer deals damage normally to incorporeal creatures with spells or attacks, ignoring the 50% miss chance.  Also, melee attacks made by the wearer deal an extra 1d6 damage vs incorporeal foes.

A thousand gp cheaper and you swap the +1 deflection (that you probably already have from a Ring of Protection) for an extra 1d6 damage and give ghost touch-like effect to your spells or "Attacks" (read: any attack? incarnum, (Su), breath weapon, etc...).

It's cheap enough that you could +50% slap it on another set of gloves...
« Last Edit: February 10, 2011, 09:00:25 PM by Felix Underwood »

PlzBreakMyCampaign

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Re: Natural Weapons and You: A Mini-Guide
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2011, 09:20:39 PM »
:love this

My first thread on these boards was on graft weapon. It is doable for non-psionic melees and is useful for cheesing out weapon damage 'tiers' like improve natural weapon. It's definitely niche, but you can link to my charger build if you like.
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An interesting read, nice to see a civil discussion
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Bigtuna

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Re: Natural Weapons and You: A Mini-Guide
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2011, 03:26:16 PM »
I like what i see so far :-)

Here is a few thinks I would like in a natural weapons guide:

1) How to get more natural attacks (well the link kinda covers this)
- totemist dip (2 lvls for garillion totem bind)
- items
- templates
- races (Thri-Kreen)

2) how to get more attacks out of your natural attacks
- rapid attack (and how to get it)
- imp rapid attack

3) How to optimize damage from natural attacks
- imp natural attack feat
- grow in size (enlarge person, expansion, giant size, templates)
- claw of the beast (imp. claw dam)
 


bearsarebrown

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Re: Natural Weapons and You: A Mini-Guide
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2011, 05:13:12 PM »
What's so interesting about natural attacks is that there is no penalty for using a fuck ton of them. As long as you have a strong damage base past weapon damage(Str, Magic, Negative Levels), you can just keep piling on the attacks. If you're okay with creating an lovecraftian monstrosity you can easily have 17+ natural attacks.

Bigtuna

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Re: Natural Weapons and You: A Mini-Guide
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2011, 12:31:43 PM »
A little more input, for natural weapons:

items: Fanged ring is NOT from sandstorm - it's from one of the dragon books: draconomicon, dragon magic or races of the dragon.
A few other items: Jaws of the dragon - (40k) Bite attack +1 size (draconomicon)
Spell: Magic, fang superior. Buff for ALL natural attacks, but personal so mostly for Gish or druids.(draconomicon)

Wyrmfang amulet - take the MIC version it's only 1350 vs the 2500 for the one in draconomicon.
Bands of blood rage (2600) from MIC is a nice way to boost all your natural attacks.
 

Shiki

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Re: Natural Weapons and You: A Mini-Guide
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2011, 12:41:12 PM »
items: Fanged ring is NOT from sandstorm - it's from one of the dragon books: draconomicon, dragon magic or races of the dragon.

Bolded one, p.101.
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Hitoshura

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Re: Natural Weapons and You: A Mini-Guide
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2011, 08:38:19 PM »
How about some Builds? I'm kinda interested in see how an Anthropomorphic Giant Octopus mixed with Kensai would go...

Solo

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Re: Natural Weapons and You: A Mini-Guide
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2011, 10:20:58 PM »
Actually, if you go to my Barbarian Handbook and look up Fistbear Bearfist...

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Bigtuna

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Re: Natural Weapons and You: A Mini-Guide
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2011, 02:58:39 AM »
Well as long as we are brainstorming:

The BIG BUG with big sharp claws: (Tri-Kreen)
ECL 1/Monterous humanoid 2/Ardent1/Totemist 2/Warmind 10/+4 X
Feats: Flaw 1 (Multiattack), Flaw 2 (Imp. Multiattack),Racial: Deflect arrows Lvl 1(Education), Ardent (weapon focus: Claws ) lvl 3 (linked power), lvl 6 imp natural attack: (claw), lvl 9 practiced manifester lvl 12 open lvl 15 open lvl 18 open

The ardent + education is for meeting pre req for warmind, if you start at low levels a 1 lvl barbarian for pouche would help a lot getting through the first few levels.
Totemist is for garrillion bind: +2 claw attack and +2 to hit/dam on all claw attacks.
Warmind is for sweeping strike - so we can use all 6 attacks on 2 targets, and then like King of Smack we make our claws better with Claw of the beast, make them bigger with expansion and heal with Claw of the vampire

For the last few level a warblade 1+bloodclaw master 1 for full str to claw attacks is an option. Along with the barbarian as mentioned before...


AtomicKitKat

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Re: Natural Weapons and You: A Mini-Guide
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2011, 04:44:12 AM »
Clarification on Kensai: You can only imbue one type of Natural Attack. Make it the one you have the most of(and cry me a river of experience! ;))

cru

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Re: Natural Weapons and You: A Mini-Guide
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2011, 01:30:57 PM »
Superior magic fang was updated in SpC, now druid/ranger 4, no longer a sor/wiz spell; however, it still sucks with standard action for round/level duration. Consider chaining greater magic fang with a lesser metamagic rod (14k, MIC).

If you have claws, Claws of the Savage (BoVD) can grow them by 2 size categories and gives +2 enhancement; 4th level spell, 10 mins/level.

Evard's menacing tentacles (PHB2) is a third level spell (druid, sor/wiz) that gives 2 tentacles with 10 feat reach. It is a standard action buff with round/level duration, but: you can attack with each tentacle as a free action once per round; i.e., you can cast the spell, move to target, and attack in the same round. Another neat thing is that each tentacle can make one attack of opportunity per round.

Align Fang (2), and its mass version (3) can be usable.

Bastian

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Re: Natural Weapons and You: A Mini-Guide
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2011, 02:24:03 PM »
Nice guide!  I've already recommended it to some friends.

Quote from: Solo
The Ghost Shroud from the MiC costs 5,000 gp and will grant you a +1 deflection bonus to AC and give your attacks the Ghost Touch property, allowing you to bust ghosts.
 How about this instead:  Gauntlets of Ghost Fighting (MIC, 216)  4,000gp

"This pair of heavy, black leather gloves bears suns and skulls of gold on the knuckles and around each wrist."

(I could see alowing for 'fingerless' leather gloves... all the cool kids from the 80's are doing it)

The wearer deals damage normally to incorporeal creatures with spells or attacks, ignoring the 50% miss chance.  Also, melee attacks made by the wearer deal an extra 1d6 damage vs incorporeal foes.

A thousand gp cheaper and you swap the +1 deflection (that you probably already have from a Ring of Protection) for an extra 1d6 damage and give ghost touch-like effect to your spells or "Attacks" (read: any attack? incarnum, (Su), breath weapon, etc...).

It's cheap enough that you could +50% slap it on another set of gloves...

Nice find! I am so getting this for my current character (we tend to fight a lot of ghosts).
« Last Edit: February 27, 2011, 02:25:37 PM by Bastian »

bearsarebrown

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Re: Natural Weapons and You: A Mini-Guide
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2011, 04:45:54 PM »
Person_Man has a great guide to getting more natural attacks and increasing effective size over at GitP.

Solo

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Re: Natural Weapons and You: A Mini-Guide
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2011, 09:20:15 PM »
Which were linked to in the original post, iirc.

"I am the Black Mage! I cast the spells that makes the peoples fall down!"

The Legend RPG, which I worked on and encourage you to read.

bearsarebrown

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Re: Natural Weapons and You: A Mini-Guide
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2011, 09:29:04 PM »
 :twitch :banghead Reading fail. Soul Eater from BoVD might be worth mention of adding Negative Levels to each natural attack.

AtomicKitKat

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Re: Natural Weapons and You: A Mini-Guide
« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2011, 04:40:41 AM »
:twitch :banghead Reading fail. Soul Eater from BoVD might be worth mention of adding Negative Levels to each natural attack.

Nice. Bonuses which are not specific to a single type of natural weapon work best. That being said, Claws of the Beast adds 1 point to each Natural Attack/UAS for each Abyssal Heritor Feat possessed(despite the fluff portion implying it affects Sneak Attacks, which it doesn't mention at all anywhere else! Edit fail.). At the very least, it's like getting Weapon Specialisation at half the price, for half the effect, except it's to at least 2 weapon types(UAS and 1 Natural Attack), if not more, so more than pays for itself.