[RPG] Unarmed Attacks, animal forms and Natural Weapons


Is it possible for a creature like a bear to make an attack that counts as an unarmed attack, even though it has a claw attack as a Natural Weapon?

Best Answer

Yes. A non-monk bear without Improved Unarmed Attack could throw a punch, and that would be an unarmed attack that used the typical unarmed attack values for a creature of the bear’s size, be nonlethal, and provoke attacks of opportunity. Because a punch “uses” the bear’s paw, doing so prevents the bear from using his claw attack. He may still use his bite attack, but at a −5 penalty.

It can reasonably be assumed that a wild bear would never do so, but it could, and more relevantly someone shapeshifted into a bear could and might even want to do so, particularly if that person had Improved Unarmed Strike to eliminate the AoO provoking.

If a bear was also a monk (or, again, more realistically: a monk turned into a bear), the bear’s unarmed strike damage would deal damage as appropriate for a creature of the bear’s size with the given number of monk levels. Moreover, the unarmed strike would not need to be a punch (e.g. a kick), allowing the bear to also use his claws (again, at a −5 penalty).

Some relevant information about monks with natural attacks: