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    Default 3.5 Monk, Unarmed + TWF

    I am writing this thread in response to numerous incorrect answers posted regarding Monks attacking with Unarmed Strikes as a main-hand attack and an off-hand attack as part of Two-Weapon Fighting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaern View Post
    The Two-Weapon Fighting feat line allows you to make extra attacks with your off hand weapon at a penalty.
    The monk's Unarmed Stike ability says that "there is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a monk striking unarmed."

    Now let's say, hypothetically, I wanted to level as a fighter with Superior Unarmed Strike intending to be a better fistfighter than a regular monk. Naturally, the two-weapon fighting feat chain will give me extra attacks.
    However, let's say that I hypothetically want to dip two levels of monk for Evasion and saving throw bonuses. I now have the monk's special Unarmed Strike qualities, meaning that there is no such thing as an off-hand attack for me any more.


    Sooo... Q372
    Does taking a level or two of monk mean that my unarmed attacks can no longer benefit from the effects of Two-Weapon Fighting?
    Spoiler: Wrong Answers and Stuff
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    No, it only means you can't use it as an offhand weapon. You can still use it as your main hand.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaern View Post
    I meant for the purposes of using exclusively unarmed strikes. I mean, yeah, I could be throwing a right hooks while slashing someone with a sword in my left hand, but it looks like I technically can't just use both of my fists for TWF.
    Quote Originally Posted by Andezzar View Post
    Whether monk or not, an unarmed strike only ever is one weapon.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaern View Post
    Where is this at? All I can find regarding unarmed stikes and off-hand attacks is in Two-Weapon Fighting, were it says penalties are lessened if your off-hand weapon is light and that unarmed strikes are always considered light for this purpose. I'm not seeing anything, other than the monk's class description, which says that you can't make unarmed attacks both main- and off-handed simultaneously.
    Quote Originally Posted by Andezzar View Post
    Q 374



    A 374

    An unarmed strike is a natural weapon. Nowhere does it say that anyone has more than one of those. Just as you cannot use a dagger as both the main hand weapon and the off-hand weapon, if you only have one, you cannot use the unarmed strike to use as both.


    Let's start by answering the original question: Can you, as a monk, attack with Unarmed Strike in your main hand and then in your off-hand (Two Weapon Fighting)?

    Yes.

    Can you do this with flurry of blows too?

    Yes.

    Source: FAQ page 19-20
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    The description of the flurry of blows ability says
    there’s no such thing as a monk attacking with an off-hand
    weapon during a flurry of blows. What does that mean,
    exactly? Can the monk make off-hand attacks in addition to
    flurry attacks?


    Actually, the text to which you refer appears in the entry
    for unarmed strikes. When a monk uses her unarmed strike
    ability, she does not suffer any penalty for an off-hand attack,
    even when she has her hands full and attacks with her knees
    and elbows, using the flurry of blows ability to make extra
    attacks, or both.

    The rules don’t come right out and say that a monk can’t
    use an unarmed strike for an off-hand strike (although the exact
    wording of the unarmed strike ability suggests otherwise), and
    no compelling reason why a monk could not do so exists.
    When using an unarmed strike as an off-hand attack, the monk
    suffers all the usual attack penalties from two-weapon fighting
    (see Table 8–10 in the PH) and the monk adds only half her
    Strength bonus (if any) to damage if the off-hand unarmed
    strike hits.

    To add an off-hand attack to a flurry of blows, stack
    whatever two-weapon penalty the monk has with the penalty (if
    any) from the flurry. Attacks from the flurry have the monk’s
    full damage bonus from Strength, but the off-hand attack gains
    only half Strength bonus to damage.


    Can a monk fight with two weapons? Can she combine
    a two-weapon attack with a flurry of blows? What are her
    penalties on attack rolls?


    A monk can fight with two weapons just like any other
    character, but she must accept the normal penalties on her
    attack rolls to do so. She can use an unarmed strike as an offhand
    weapon. She can even combine two-weapon fighting with
    a flurry of blows to gain an extra attack with her off hand (but
    remember that she can use only unarmed strikes or special
    monk weapons as part of the flurry). The penalties for two weapon
    fighting stack with the penalties for flurry of blows.


    Regarding the claim that an unarmed strike is a natural weapon- this is completely false. Rules Compendium page 16 directly contradicts this statement.

    Long story short: You can TWF Unarmed Strike as a Monk, with or without Flurry of Blows. Offhand Unarmed Strike only gets 1/2 Str to damage. If you use both TWF and Flurry, the attack penalties stack (with Unarmed Strikes being treated as light for the TWF penalty).

    Edit: Additional quote about TWF: "If your off-hand weapon is light, the penalties are reduced by 2 each. (An unarmed strike is always considered light.)"

    Why would this be mentioned if you couldn't strike with an Unarmed Strike as your off-hand attack?
    Last edited by SirNibbles; 2017-01-03 at 08:27 PM.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Monk, Unarmed + TWF

    Quote Originally Posted by SirNibbles View Post
    Regarding the claim that an unarmed strike is a natural weapon- this is completely false. Rules Compendium page 16 directly contradicts this statement.
    Keep going in the monk section for unarmed strike and you'll see where the confusion comes.

    Quote Originally Posted by PHB PG 41
    A Monk's unarmed strike is treated as both a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon . . .
    However, it goes on to state.

    Quote Originally Posted by PHB PG 41
    . . . for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons (such as the magic fang and magic weapon spells) .
    So I can see where the confusion comes from, it both is and isn't a natural weapon, depending on what is going on.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Monk, Unarmed + TWF

    The FAQ isn't considered a very reliable source due to a history of wrong and sometimes contradictory answers. Nothing in the FAQ counts as rules text, it's just somebody's interpretation.

    Moreover, there are numerous rules sources which list "unarmed strike" as an example of a natural weapon.

    And finally, nothing in your quote from the FAQ says anything about using unarmed strikes as both the main hand AND the off-hand side of a Two-Weapon Fighting routine (which was what the question from the Simple Q&A thread was actually about).
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    Default Re: 3.5 Monk, Unarmed + TWF

    An unarmed strike is not two weapons. You can use it as one of your two weapons when fighting with two weapons (although for Monks it cannot be an offhand weapon), but not as both.
    Last edited by Troacctid; 2017-01-02 at 07:11 PM.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Monk, Unarmed + TWF

    Quote Originally Posted by Ludic View Post
    So I can see where the confusion comes from, it both is and isn't a natural weapon, depending on what is going on.
    I've read that part and I can understand it causing confusion. However, Rules Compendium page 16 clearly makes a distinction between Unarmed Attacks and Natural Attacks.


    ____

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    An unarmed strike is not two weapons. You can use it as one of your two weapons when fighting with two weapons (although for Monks it cannot be an offhand weapon), but not as both.
    "A one-handed weapon can be used in either the primary hand or the off hand."

    "A light weapon is used in one hand."

    "An unarmed strike is always considered a light weapon."

    __

    "There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a monk striking unarmed. A monk may thus apply her full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all her unarmed strikes."

    The context surrounding this is more likely to mean that when you TWF with Unarmed Strikes, you get to use your full Strength bonus for both your 'main' and 'off-hand' attacks. I'm sure there's quite a bit of interpretation surrounding this.

    Either way, it's not too overpowered to get one extra hit in exchange for a penalty.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Monk, Unarmed + TWF

    Quote Originally Posted by SirNibbles View Post
    I've read that part and I can understand it causing confusion. However, Rules Compendium page 16 clearly makes a distinction between Unarmed Attacks and Natural Attacks.
    an unarmed attack is not the same as an Unarmed Strike. Yes, you can make more than one unarmed attack in a round, but that does not mean you have more than one unarmed strike to make them with. Just as a fighter does not magically acquire a second greatsword as soon has he gets BAB 6, you only have one Unarmed Strike. Some unarmed attacks aren't even performed by an unarmed Strike (such as the touch attack to initiate a grapple)


    Quote Originally Posted by SirNibbles View Post
    "A one-handed weapon can be used in either the primary hand or the off hand."
    This clearly is an exclusive or. If it wasn't, you could use a single dagger as the main hand weapon AND as the off-hand weapon with the same full attack. Does that make sense?


    Quote Originally Posted by SirNibbles View Post
    "A light weapon is used in one hand."
    Yes, in one hand, not in one hand and also in the other one hand at the same time.


    Quote Originally Posted by SirNibbles View Post
    "An unarmed strike is always considered a light weapon."
    Exactly, it is considered a (as in one) light weapon, not as two or more.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirNibbles View Post
    Either way, it's not too overpowered to get one extra hit in exchange for a penalty.
    Of course it wouldn't be overpowered, but the rules do not allow it. And if you ask what the rules say, you should get an answer telling you what the rules say and not how to change them to make them better.
    Last edited by Andezzar; 2017-01-02 at 11:34 PM.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Monk, Unarmed + TWF

    Quote Originally Posted by SirNibbles View Post
    Let's start by answering the original question: Can you, as a monk, attack with Unarmed Strike in your main hand and then in your off-hand (Two Weapon Fighting)?

    Yes.
    No, you can't. You only have one Unarmed Strike. Doing this would be like a normal human TWFing a greatsword with itself. Or, to point to an explicit part of TWF that disallows this:
    Quote Originally Posted by srd

    If you wield a second weapon in your off hand, you can get one extra attack per round with that weapon. You suffer a –6 penalty with your regular attack or attacks with your primary hand and a –10 penalty to the attack with your off hand when you fight this way. You can reduce these penalties in two ways:
    Wielding an unarmed strike in your offhand and in your mainhand is not wielding a second weapon. It's wielding the same weapon.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Monk, Unarmed + TWF

    Quote Originally Posted by Necroticplague View Post
    No, you can't. You only have one Unarmed Strike. Doing this would be like a normal human TWFing a greatsword with itself.
    That doesn't even remotely make sense. You'really comparing using the same weapon as two weapons to throwing a punch with your right hand, and then punching with your left hand. I fon't see any reason this wouldn't work, besides the terrible wording we see everywhere in d&d.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Monk, Unarmed + TWF

    Quote Originally Posted by Necroticplague View Post
    No, you can't. You only have one Unarmed Strike. Doing this would be like a normal human TWFing a greatsword with itself. Or, to point to an explicit part of TWF that disallows this:
    Wielding an unarmed strike in your offhand and in your mainhand is not wielding a second weapon. It's wielding the same weapon.
    Can you give me a rules quote on that?
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    Default Re: 3.5 Monk, Unarmed + TWF

    Quote Originally Posted by Crake View Post
    Can you give me a rules quote on that?
    There isn't any. I've looked.

    While the FAQ does discuss unarmed strikes as offhand attacks, all the examples it gives involve a manufactured weapon in the primary hand.

    For the counter-argument, there's the Kensai referring to each fist individually, but this is a bad example, as I suspect whoever wrote that didn't understand how unarmed strikes work.

    The argument boils down to whether you prefer unarmed strikes to be treated as a single striking surface or multiple striking surfaces. The RAW on this isn't clear, so you have to decide which way works best for your group.

    For the purposes of RAW discussions on forums, I tend to lean towards the "single" side of things, but in actual play, I prefer "multiple". Not that this really helps the discussion in any meaningful way.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Monk, Unarmed + TWF

    If a Barbarian can TWF(City Brawler) with unarmed I think a monk should be able to as well. Though honestly, what Monk build wouldn't benefit from a Barbarian dip anyway. May need to Chaos Monk unless your DM hand waves that stupid alignment rule.
    Last edited by Ruethgar; 2017-01-03 at 09:43 AM.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Monk, Unarmed + TWF

    Quote Originally Posted by Crake View Post
    Can you give me a rules quote on that?
    Conversely, where does it say you have multiple unarmed strikes? I don't see anything that supports that, and UAS lack any text like Double Weapons do that would allow them to be held in both the main and off hand at the same time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_McSnatch View Post
    That doesn't even remotely make sense. You'r really comparing using the same weapon as two weapons to throwing a punch with your right hand, and then punching with your left hand. I don't see any reason this wouldn't work, besides the terrible wording we see everywhere in d&d.
    Except that throwing a punch with your left hand, and throwing it with your right hand, are using the same weapon. Either way, that's your unarmed strike. It's the same weapon. Just as one edge of the greatsword, and it's opposite edge, are still the same weapon.

    The fact it doesn't make sense is the point. It's a reducto ad absurdum ("If this is true, this other clearly false thing is also true. Ergo, this is also false").

    For a more related one, what about non-hand unarmed strikes? Can a basic human monk make 8 attacks at level one (left fist, left knee, left elbow, left foot,right fist, right knee, right elbow,right foot)? After all, by your own logic, each of those is a different weapon (monk notes you can attack from any of those). Or are these somehow limited by amount of hands, despite making no use of them?So a normal human monk can kick twice, while a thri-kreen monk can kick twice and knee twice, somehow, despite the same amount of legs?
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    Default Re: 3.5 Monk, Unarmed + TWF

    I like how everyone assumes that if there is no such thing as an off-hand attack then it means you cannot use unarmed strike as an off-hand weapon that makes "on"-hand attacks but they are willing to go so far as to argue meaningless personal opinions on how to split hairs in anything else in just about every other thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by KillianHawkeye View Post
    The FAQ isn't considered a very reliable source due to a history of wrong and sometimes contradictory answers. Nothing in the FAQ counts as rules text, it's just somebody's interpretation
    Well, over looking that it was officially listed as part of the game rules and is official content written by a guy that helped write several rule books making it far more than "somebody's interpretation". There is nothing in your post full of wrong and contradictory points that counts as rules text to persuade me into supporting sombody's opinion otherwise.

    You'll just have to settle with I like the FAQ better than you.
    Last edited by Mato; 2017-01-03 at 01:12 PM.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Monk, Unarmed + TWF

    Quote Originally Posted by Mato View Post
    [...] but they are willing to go so far as to argue meaningless personal opinions on how to split hairs in anything else in just about every other thread.
    You're welcome!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mato View Post
    Well, over looking that it was officially listed as part of the game rules and is official content written by a guy that helped write several rule books making it far more than "somebody's interpretation". There is nothing in your post full of wrong and contradictory points that counts as rules text to persuade me into supporting sombody's opinion otherwise.
    The FAQ is a hodge-podge of Sage Advice articles, custserv responses, and anonymous off-the-cuff answers of uncertain provenance. A good chunk of them contradict each other, misunderstand the core rules, and a few even manage to completely fail to answer the question altogether. I will continue to remain deeply suspicious of anything in the FAQ until I see it enshrined in an actual rules update or in the official errata. (Unless the FAQ agrees with me, in which case it's obviously gospel.)

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    Default Re: 3.5 Monk, Unarmed + TWF

    Quote Originally Posted by Darrin View Post
    The FAQ is a hodge-podge of Sage Advice articles, custserv responses, and anonymous off-the-cuff answers of uncertain provenance. Unless the FAQ agrees with me, in which case it's obviously gospel.
    And that's an accurate summery of the entirety GitP and how it treats all of the rule books.

    I think you won the thread.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Monk, Unarmed + TWF

    Quote Originally Posted by Necroticplague View Post
    For a more related one, what about non-hand unarmed strikes? Can a basic human monk make 8 attacks at level one (left fist, left knee, left elbow, left foot,right fist, right knee, right elbow,right foot)? After all, by your own logic, each of those is a different weapon (monk notes you can attack from any of those). Or are these somehow limited by amount of hands, despite making no use of them?So a normal human monk can kick twice, while a thri-kreen monk can kick twice and knee twice, somehow, despite the same amount of legs?
    No, why would that make sense either? Use all the fancy latin phrases you like, At first level, there's no way anybody is fast enough to attack with 8 accurate, damage dealing strikes. But 3 isn't unreasonable. A punch, a kick, and lets say an elbow strike. There's your flurry of blows.

    As for the thri-kreen example, I couldn't tell you. I make it a point to mention that I don't know everything about d&d. I don't know every spell, feat, skill, and obscure rule, but it's pretty obvious there's some stupidly written stuff. Why should they get more kicks than a human with the same number of legs? They shouldn't, that's dumb. Getting the kicks, and then extra punches thanks to their multiple limbs makes perfect sense, and there's a feat specifically for that sort of thing.

    How often do people complain about monk being a basket of crap and scented soaps on this site? Here's a simple fix. Don't read "no off hand attacks" like a jerk dm. Let them have their extra twf attacks. Hell, let them take supreme twf and double their flurry of blows. It's no worse than the dervish, the ubercharger, or any other ridiculous class build that gets absurd numbers of devestating attacks. It still wouldn't make monk 20 worth it, but it'd make it more worthwhile than the two level dip that you never touch on again.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Monk, Unarmed + TWF

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_McSnatch View Post
    No, why would that make sense either? Use all the fancy latin phrases you like, At first level, there's no way anybody is fast enough to attack with 8 accurate, damage dealing strikes. But 3 isn't unreasonable. A punch, a kick, and lets say an elbow strike. There's your flurry of blows.
    Actually there would be a crerature fast enough if each punch, kick etc. were a separate natural weapon. Any creature with n natural weapons would have n attacks on a full attack regardless of BAB.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_McSnatch View Post
    How often do people complain about monk being a basket of crap and scented soaps on this site? Here's a simple fix. Don't read "no off hand attacks" like a jerk dm. Let them have their extra twf attacks. Hell, let them take supreme twf and double their flurry of blows. It's no worse than the dervish, the ubercharger, or any other ridiculous class build that gets absurd numbers of devestating attacks. It still wouldn't make monk 20 worth it, but it'd make it more worthwhile than the two level dip that you never touch on again.
    This thread is about what the rules are, not how they can be improved. Sure you can houserule that you can TWF with a single Unarmed Strike, but that is a houserule just like removing the multi-class penalties.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Monk, Unarmed + TWF

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_McSnatch View Post
    No, why would that make sense either? Use all the fancy latin phrases you like, At first level, there's no way anybody is fast enough to attack with 8 accurate, damage dealing strikes. But 3 isn't unreasonable. A punch, a kick, and lets say an elbow strike. There's your flurry of blows.
    Why would the 8 be impossible? It uses the same logic that allows for the 3. If each of those listed are a different unarmed attack, then you can lash out with all of them at once, just like how a kraken can lash out with 8 9 attacks at once on it's full-round attack action.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Monk, Unarmed + TWF

    Quote Originally Posted by Necroticplague View Post
    Why would the 8 be impossible? It uses the same logic that allows for the 3. If each of those listed are a different unarmed attack, then you can lash out with all of them at once, just like how a kraken can lash out with 8 9 attacks at once on it's full-round attack action.
    Because in order to deliver a proper unarmed attack you need to stand, pivot, step, and/or otherwise move in all the right ways. The same things you have to do to deliver a blow with a manufactured weapon. A kraken is a multiple HD creature with a ton of natural attacks, compared in this example to a level 1 human(oid) monk who just spent at least 10 years learning proper form. Natural attacks don't require proper form, it's literally just flailing the most dangerous part of your body. Hell, the flurry of blows ability even mentions that it can't be used with natural weapons. Natural weapon damage dice doesn't increase with monk levels. Natural weapons are natural. You just know how to do it. An unarmed strike isn't natural, because humanoids need a proficiency feat to use it, just like a sword. Ergo, unarmed attacks are not natural weapons.

    Just like everything else on this site, we could argue about it til the pigs come home. I think the only thing this thread will be able to determine is that there is no official, recognized ruling on unarmed attacks + twf, and that lots of people on this site disagree on simple things.
    Last edited by Jack_McSnatch; 2017-01-03 at 04:37 PM.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Monk, Unarmed + TWF

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_McSnatch View Post
    Because in order to deliver a proper unarmed attack you need to stand, pivot, step, and/or otherwise move in all the right ways. The same things you have to do to deliver a blow with a manufactured weapon. A kraken is a multiple HD creature with a ton of natural attacks, compared in this example to a level 1 human(oid) monk who just spent at least 10 years learning proper form. Natural attacks don't require proper form, it's literally just flailing the most dangerous part of your body. Hell, the flurry of blows ability even mentions that it can't be used with natural weapons. Natural weapon damage dice doesn't increase with monk levels. Natural weapons are natural. You just know how to do it. An unarmed strike isn't natural, because humanoids need a proficiency feat to use it, just like a sword. Ergo, unarmed attacks are not natural weapons.
    And, this is relevant to my argument......how? My argument relies on all unarmed attacks, regardless of what extremity they come from, being the same weapon. Whether that weapon is a natural attack or not it entirely irrelevant, at least at this point in the argument. I'm saying 'you can't TWF with only an unarmed strike because it violates TWF's requirement for a second weapon'.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_McSnatch View Post
    Just like everything else on this site, we could argue about it til the pigs come home. I think the only thing this thread will be able to determine is that there is no official, recognized ruling on unarmed attacks + twf, and that lots of people on this site disagree on simple things.
    Agree, the rules about unarmed strikes in this addition are a poorly organized, poorly thought out clusterf***. However, I would argue that makes this not a simple thing. Simple things don't take much arguing over.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Monk, Unarmed + TWF

    Quote Originally Posted by Necroticplague View Post
    Agree, the rules about unarmed strikes in this addition are a poorly organized, poorly thought out clusterf***.
    If only WotC thought about doing a three part article for celerity and releasing under the game rules tab on the web site.

    Oh yeah, they did. And all GitP did was denounce it with ad hominem attacks because they love arguing more than they like the rules or resolutions. It's the festering cancer of this forum but why change right? I'll see you all next monkday!

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    Default Re: 3.5 Monk, Unarmed + TWF

    Quote Originally Posted by Andezzar View Post
    an unarmed attack is not the same as an Unarmed Strike.
    Hang on a moment.

    So, if a Monk cannot use TWF with an Unarmed Strike by itself with each hand, then can they do it with one hand wielding Unarmed Strike and one hand using an Unarmed Attack (thus using the normal Unarmed Attack rules for non-monks)?

    It could be like the difference between a Jab and a solid Punch, where the offhand isn't meant to deal damage like the followup punch does.

    If we're looking for justification for this, isn't it legal for a monk to TWF with Unarmed Strike and a Manufactured Weapon in another? Or am I misunderstanding things?
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    Default Re: 3.5 Monk, Unarmed + TWF

    Quote Originally Posted by Mato View Post
    If only WotC thought about doing a three part article for celerity and releasing under the game rules tab on the web site.

    Oh yeah, they did. And all GitP did was denounce it with ad hominem attacks because they love arguing more than they like the rules or resolutions. It's the festering cancer of this forum but why change right? I'll see you all next monkday!
    The article doesn't cover this scenario. It covers using a different weapon+unarmed strike offhand (and even delineates between natural, manufactured, and monks in the same scenarios). However, it is very quiet on the possibility of using an unarmed strike in the mainhand and the offhand.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pleh View Post
    Hang on a moment.

    So, if a Monk cannot use TWF with an Unarmed Strike by itself with each hand, then can they do it with one hand wielding Unarmed Strike and one hand using an Unarmed Attack (thus using the normal Unarmed Attack rules for non-monks)?

    It could be like the difference between a Jab and a solid Punch, where the offhand isn't meant to deal damage like the followup punch does.
    Sorry, but the Rules of the Game articles specifically states Unarmed Strike and Unarmed Attack are synonyms.
    Quote Originally Posted by RoTG, UA, P1
    Unarmed Attack/Unarmed Strike: These two terms are used interchangeably to describe an attack with an appendage that is not a natural weapon, such as a human's fist. An unarmed attack usually deals nonlethal damage and provokes an attack of opportunity from the creature being attacked.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pleh View Post
    If we're looking for justification for this, isn't it legal for a monk to TWF with Unarmed Strike and a Manufactured Weapon in another? Or am I misunderstanding things?
    Yes, indeed, it is. In fact, the same articles go over how doing so works.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Monk, Unarmed + TWF

    Quote Originally Posted by Necroticplague View Post
    Sorry, but the Rules of the Game articles specifically states Unarmed Strike and Unarmed Attack are synonyms.
    Quote Originally Posted by RotG UA P1
    Unarmed Attack/Unarmed Strike: These two terms are used interchangeably to describe an attack with an appendage that is not a natural weapon, such as a human's fist. An unarmed attack usually deals nonlethal damage and provokes an attack of opportunity from the creature being attacked.
    And this is why you should disregard the RoTG articles as source for rules. It directly contradict the actual rules from the PHB.
    Quote Originally Posted by PHB p. 251
    You can’t cast this spell on a natural weapon, such as an unarmed strike
    Emphasis mine.
    If the writers intended to change a rule they would have issued an erratum.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Monk, Unarmed + TWF

    Quote Originally Posted by Necroticplague View Post
    Sorry, but the Rules of the Game articles specifically states Unarmed Strike and Unarmed Attack are synonyms.
    I was checking my copy of UA, but it looks like you're referencing something else? I'm not familiar with RotG.

    But Rules Compendium (Page 16) really goes into some detail about the differences between Unarmed Attacks, Natural Weapons, and the Monk abilities (which are categorized as "Armed" Unarmed Attacks).

    Basically this section of the rules gives me the impression that the best definition for "Unarmed Attacks" is a catchall term for any attack that cannot be considered "armed" in any sense. No Natural Weapons, no Manufactured Weapons, and no Unarmed Strikes that can still be considered "Armed". These "truly" unarmed attacks provoke AoOs from the person you're attacking (if they're considered armed) and you cannot make AoO at all if you are "truly" unarmed.

    The exact words for "Armed" Unarmed Attacks:
    Sometimes a creature’s unarmed attack counts as an armed attack. A monk, a character who has the Improved Unarmed Strike feat, and a spellcaster delivering a touch attack spell all count as armed. Being armed in this way counts for both offense and defense. So a creature armed in this way can make attacks of opportunity, and such a creature doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity when attacking. (The act of casting a spell provokes attacks of opportunity as normal.)
    Of course, this means that my post earlier is wrong because a Monk is ALWAYS considered Armed, even when supposedly unarmed, so they are actually incapable of making "truly" unarmed attacks (so they can't pair Unarmed Strike with an Unarmed Attack).

    On a different point, what if we considered Unarmed Strike to be a Double Weapon? A common argument in this thread is you can't use TWF with a single weapon, but a double weapon is a single weapon that happens to be armed on both ends. Since it doesn't matter which arm the monk uses for his Unarmed Strike, wouldn't it be fair to argue that his arms linked by his shoulders form a double weapon?
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    Default Re: 3.5 Monk, Unarmed + TWF

    Quote Originally Posted by Pleh View Post
    On a different point, what if we considered Unarmed Strike to be a Double Weapon? A common argument in this thread is you can't use TWF with a single weapon, but a double weapon is a single weapon that happens to be armed on both ends. Since it doesn't matter which arm the monk uses for his Unarmed Strike, wouldn't it be fair to argue that his arms linked by his shoulders form a double weapon?
    If we consider it a double weapon, that would allow for the basics idea of using it as a main hand and an off hand, and be consistent with Kensai. However, that would lead to it's own wierdness, due to this:
    Quote Originally Posted by srd
    The character can also choose to use a double weapon two handed, attacking with only one end of it. A creature wielding a double weapon in one hand can’t use it as a double weapon—only one end of the weapon can be used in any given round.
    This is in contradiction to the SRD entry for unarmed Strike
    Quote Originally Posted by srd
    An unarmed strike is always considered a light weapon. Therefore, you can use the Weapon Finesse feat to apply your Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier to attack rolls with an unarmed strike.
    There's also the fact that there's nothing that explicitly states Unarmed Strikes are double weapons, so saying they are without some extraordinary evidence is very questionable.

    That also still leaves a problem that pops up "what about non-hand-using unarmed strikes?" How many 'sides' does this weapon have, and how many can you use at once?
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    Default Re: 3.5 Monk, Unarmed + TWF

    This is one of those things that I remember really irritating me about this edition. Of course, you can two weapon fight with just your unarmed strikes. It's called "left punch, right punch, continue as necessary". Heck, by the rules, you can legitimately TWF with gauntlets, since they're two separate weapons. But what they actually are is you making punches with a pound of metal around your hands. Are we really going to say that adding weight makes you go faster? If adding two pounds of metal to my fists lets me TWF with my punches where I couldn't before, can I add more weight to get faster? How much to get to up to Saitama's level?

    And why doesn't this work with the encumbrance rules? They say you get slower the more weight you have, while the number of punches I can do gets higher.

    Oh, but wait. What if the gauntlets are the ones that automatically come with a suit of full plate armor? They're two gauntlets, but it's only one suit of armor. If two fists connected by one body only count as one unarmed strike, then shouldn't two gauntlets connected by one suit count as one gauntlet, as well.

    Such a disconnect between what the rules seem to be saying and basic common sense and logic.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Monk, Unarmed + TWF

    Quote Originally Posted by Pleh View Post
    I was checking my copy of UA, but it looks like you're referencing something else? I'm not familiar with RotG.

    But Rules Compendium (Page 16) really goes into some detail about the differences between Unarmed Attacks, Natural Weapons, and the Monk abilities (which are categorized as "Armed" Unarmed Attacks).

    Basically this section of the rules gives me the impression that the best definition for "Unarmed Attacks" is a catchall term for any attack that cannot be considered "armed" in any sense. No Natural Weapons, no Manufactured Weapons, and no Unarmed Strikes that can still be considered "Armed". These "truly" unarmed attacks provoke AoOs from the person you're attacking (if they're considered armed) and you cannot make AoO at all if you are "truly" unarmed.

    The exact words for "Armed" Unarmed Attacks:


    Of course, this means that my post earlier is wrong because a Monk is ALWAYS considered Armed, even when supposedly unarmed, so they are actually incapable of making "truly" unarmed attacks (so they can't pair Unarmed Strike with an Unarmed Attack).

    On a different point, what if we considered Unarmed Strike to be a Double Weapon? A common argument in this thread is you can't use TWF with a single weapon, but a double weapon is a single weapon that happens to be armed on both ends. Since it doesn't matter which arm the monk uses for his Unarmed Strike, wouldn't it be fair to argue that his arms linked by his shoulders form a double weapon?
    People seem to forget that even non-monks already use their whole body for their one unarmed strike.
    Quote Originally Posted by PHB p. 121
    A Medium character deals 1d3 points of nonlethal damage with an unarmed strike, which may be a punch, kick, head butt, or other type of attack.
    So while you can add another gauntlet and thus have two weapons and be eligible for TWF, you cannot with the unarmed strike, because the whole body already is in use.

    Additionally unarmed attacks =/= Unarmed Strike whether "armed" or not. A touch attack to initiate a grapple definitely is an unarmed attack (the rules say so) but not an unarmed strike (it does not deliver damage. the same goes for the attack used to deliver a touch spell.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Monk, Unarmed + TWF

    Quote Originally Posted by Andezzar View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Weapon
    You can’t cast this spell on a natural weapon, such as an unarmed strike
    an erratum.
    Did you know the errata tells you to handle any contradictions by using the primary source?

    Spoiler
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    Like if you thought unarmed strikes were a natural weapon,
    Quote Originally Posted by PHB139
    Unarmed Attacks: Striking for damage with punches, kicks, and head butts is much like attacking with a melee weapon,
    Quote Originally Posted by MM312
    Creatures do not receive additional attacks from a high base attack bonus when using natural weapons
    Then you'd have a contradiction where the MM, primary source on monsters and natural weapons, resolves natural weapons not to have iterative attacks. And the PHB, primary source on equipment/BAB/unarmedstrike, resolves unarmed strikes to have iterative attacks. Which means the two cannot be the same thing. And reaching clear into the magic weapon spell's rules isn't really going to help you claim other wise according to the erratum.

    Spoiler
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    So now that we know you're wrong, let's take a better look at the rules. First off "unarmed attack" and "unarmed strike" are not the same thing, they even have two different glossary entries. The unarmed strike entry is about characters with no weapons. But according to the glossary an unarmed attack is any attack without a weapon in hand. So a spell, tentacle, blowdart, a telekinetically thrown sword, a knife glued to your foot, and so on are all "technically" unarmed attacks. PHB139 even supports this.
    Quote Originally Posted by PHB139
    “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 (page 96), a spellcaster delivering a touch attack spell, and a creature with claws, fangs, and similar natural physical weapons all count as being armed. Note that being armed counts for both offense and defense. Not only does a monk not provoke an attack opportunity when attacking an armed foe, but you provoke an attack of opportunity from a monk if you make an unarmed attack against her.
    See? When the PHB was printed everything in that book thought natural weapons were armed unarmed attacks.

    But thankfully we had the FAQ, Rules of the Game, and other rule updates to help us understand that the PHB's concept of what is or isn't an unarmed attack isn't very accurate. And since many people think unarmed "attacks" were unarmed "strikes", because those words are almost identical to the untrained eye, they provided a little extra help in this area. Like
    Quote Originally Posted by RC16
    “Armed” Unarmed Attacks
    Sometimes a creature’s unarmed attack counts as an armed attack. A monk, a character who has the Improved Unarmed Strike feat, and a spellcaster delivering a touch attack spell all count as armed. Being armed in this way counts for both offense and defense. So a creature armed in this way can make attacks of opportunity, and such a creature doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity when attacking. (The act of casting a spell provokes attacks of opportunity as normal.)
    They completely removed removed the concept that natural weapons should be treated as armed unarmed attacks so you wouldn't get confused and try looking in the spell descriptions chapter for the rules on combat and weapons.

    Spoiler
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    They even tried to make it abundantly clear
    Quote Originally Posted by RC16
    Natural Weapons
    A creature that has a natural weapon, such as a claw or slam, is considered armed. It can make unarmed attacks, but it can’t use its natural weapons as if they were unarmed attacks, nor can it apply abilities that affect only unarmed attacks to its natural weapons.
    That natural weapons should never be considered an unarmed strike, ever, by anyone that has read the rule books.

    Then they also published an official rules article that further explained in easy to understand text
    Quote Originally Posted by http://archive.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/rg/20060829a
    A manufactured weapon allows a combatant with a high base attack bonus to make iterative attacks when using the full attack action.

    Natural Weapon: An appendage or other body part (such as teeth or claws) that a creature can use to attack other creatures or objects. Natural weaponry can deal normal (lethal) damage without recourse to a class feature or feat, such as Improved Unarmed Strike. Creatures fighting with natural weapons do not gain iterative attacks from a high base attack bonus when using the full attack action.

    A creature could have fighting appendages that are not natural weapons. For example, a human's fists are not natural weapons. A human fighting with her fists is considered unarmed and she deals nonlethal damage with her attacks. A class feature or a feat such as Improved Unarmed Strike allows a human to function as though armed with a manufactured weapon.
    And a rule FAQ
    Quote Originally Posted by FAQ21
    You can’t use a natural weapon (claw, bite, or whatever) as part of a flurry of blows—only unarmed strikes and special monk weapons can be used in a flurry of blows.
    To try and help you really understand the picture they were trying to paint.

    And they never even got paid for many of these helpful guides and explanations that they for provided for free or even a decent thank you. Instead they subsequently were verbally attacked by people with an obvious misunderstanding of the rules and an unwillingness to concede that there is more than one paragraph to read just so they can remain argumentative on an anonymous forum.

    But I'm sure you're not one of those guys right?

    Spoiler
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    But has famous movies have taught me,

    Not everyone can understand stuff that others take for granted.

    So if you want help Andezzar, there is all kinds of resources to help you understand the rules. All you have to do is come forward with an open mind and want to learn about them. I'm sure someone will help you.
    Last edited by Mato; 2017-01-04 at 01:34 AM. Reason: Condensed into spoilers for a more chapter-like lay out to help the reader take breaks while reading.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Monk, Unarmed + TWF

    Oh, I didn't mean to suggest that the "double weapon" solution wouldn't have problems or have the right justification. I meant it as a question of the entirely non-rhetorical variety.

    It WOULD allow the following kinds of shenanigans for wielding your Unarmed Strike as a Double Weapon used as a single weapon with THF:



    I wasn't ignoring the problem of "Monks are an Omni Sided Weapon." Just wanted to clear some of the air before we tried to tackle that one. First we had to know a bit more about what we're dealing with, then we can ask about what to do when there's more of them.

    Another non-rhetorical question: Does the variability of the Monk's attacks mean they should instead be using Multiweapon Fighting rather than TWF? What are the implications of that?


    Finally, I think I see an important distinction on the issue of monks having "natural weapons." What I see in the RAW is that Unarmed Strike is considered a natural weapon for the purpose of magical buffs that normally only benefit natural weapons. However, RAW also seems to indicate that they are considered Natural Weapons for no other purpose AND it also indicates that Natural Weapons are not considered unarmed strikes in any capacity. The exception goes one way and only for specific purposes.
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