[RPG] Is an Unarmed Strike considered a Weapon attack


For the purposes of the fighter Battle Master archetype, whenever a maneuver calls for a "weapon attack" does that include an unarmed strike?

Best Answer

From the Errata:

Melee Attacks (p. 195). The rule on unarmed strikes should read as follows: “Instead of using a weapon to make a melee weapon attack, you can use an unarmed strike: a punch, kick, head-butt, or similar forceful blow (none of which count as weapons). On a hit, an unarmed strike deals bludgeoning damage equal to 1 + your Strength modifier. You are proficient with your unarmed strikes.”

The wording on this is a bit strange.

You could interpret it to be saying that instead of making a melee weapon attack, you can make an unarmed strike (inferring unarmed strikes are distinct from melee weapon attacks).

Or, you could interpret it to be that instead of making a melee weapon attack with a weapon, you can make one with an unarmed strike. This interpretation is a bit confusing, since it implies that your fists are not weapons, yet are capable of making weapon attacks.

You could make a case for either interpretation - the former plainly makes more sense as written, but the latter might be their attempt at enabling you to use your fists the way you would weapons for certain attack mechanics, while still not allowing you to do something silly like parry a hammer-blow with your skull, or enchant your feet to do +1 damage.