[RPG] Do natural attacks count as melee weapons

pathfinder-1e

Consider a barbarian that loves to charge at things. On top of his trusty axe (which is indeed a manufactured weapon) he also has a pair of claws by the virtue of Beast Totem or maybe from some another source. He then gets on a mount.

Spirited Charge says this:

Benefit: When mounted and using the charge action, you deal double
damage with a melee weapon (or triple damage with a lance).

Now, if the guy charges and attacks with his axe, he obviously deals double damage. What if for some reason he decides to attack with his claws? Is the damage doubled or not?

Best Answer

I'd say yes, they do, based primarily on the following:

"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).

d20pfsrd (emphasis mine)

Also, if natural weapons didn't count as melee weapons, creatures would be unable to deliver a coup de grace, since its rules explicitly say:

As a full-round action, you can use a melee weapon to deliver a coup de grace (pronounced "coo day grahs") to a helpless opponent. You can also use a bow or crossbow, provided you are adjacent to the target.

d20pfsrd (emphasis mine)

So, if a natural weapon isn't a melee weapon, then you could deliver a coup de grace with a dagger, but a dragon couldn't deliver one with a foot-long claw. That would be weird. :)

Sure, whether natural weapons are melee weapons isn't explicitly stated in the RAW, but it seems strongly implied... to me, at least. (Check also that some creatures with natural weapons only have Weapon Focus as a feat, etc.)

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