The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed - Coming in December and available for pre-order now
Results 1 to 27 of 27
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    MonkGirl

    Join Date
    Jul 2019

    Default Whats the point of having claws?

    I was just wondering what the point is for having claws as a racial trait, they always seem kind of pointless since it just lets you do 1d4 + your strength mod (and juggernaut warforged Iron fists). Maybe I'm missing something but I don't see the point other than flavor. If I'm going to be using unarmed strikes in combat, I'm going to be a monk which gets 1d4+dex at level 1, I suppose you could be a strength monk but that's kind of pointless since dex is just so much more useful to have for everything else a monk gets. If I want to use strength to attack I'd use almost any weapon other than my hands because it's going to do more, usually a lot more.

    I'm not saying it can't be fun to use your claws when you're a more bestial race, I just don't really see the point since it doesn't add much more to a character in combat.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Zombie

    Join Date
    Jun 2015

    Default Re: Whats the point of having claws?

    It's a weapon equivalent of a dagger that isn't going to be taken from you. When you've gone to see the king and everyone is disarmed and then the grans vizier tries his coo, you've got something reasonably effective to fight with before you and your allies down a few opponents and get your self proper armed.
    I am the flush of excitement. The blush on the cheek. I am the Rouge!

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2016

    Default Re: Whats the point of having claws?

    To scratch things!

    Half-jokes aside, (a) flavour/style for the character to actually use, (b) flavour for the race even if unused, and (c) something to use even if you've otherwise been disarmed. (IIRC not all natural weapons from races are 1d4 -- I think there were 1d6 cases -- but that doesn't matter much in the end.)

    Plus you're proficient with the weapon and it does damage equivalent to a dagger... so nice as a backup option. Flipping it around, why would a character ever use a dagger when other weapons exist?

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Flumph

    Join Date
    Aug 2019

    Default Re: Whats the point of having claws?

    For starters, rule of fun. Sometimes you just want to be a bestial creature instead of using civilized weapons.

    Second, sometimes, you get disarmed, or thrown in prison. Suddenly, compared to other disarmed people dealing 1+ STR, you dealing 1d4+STR isn't too bad.

    It is totally a niche benefit, but not devoid of purpose.

    The real benefit is when it's a 1d6, though. They buff most any character that lacks good weapon proficiency, and even can buff Monk during the low levels. This is just Lizardfolk, I think.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2014

    Default Re: Whats the point of having claws?

    I guess it's also a weapon you don't have to draw and doesn't occupy your hands.
    I believe you find life such a problem because you think there are good people and bad people. You're wrong, of course. There are, always and only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides.
    - Lord Havelock Vetinari, Patrician of Ankh-Morpork

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2014

    Default Re: Whats the point of having claws?

    Quote Originally Posted by Protolisk View Post
    The real benefit is when it's a 1d6, though. They buff most any character that lacks good weapon proficiency, and even can buff Monk during the low levels. This is just Lizardfolk, I think.
    I don't think there is any character which lacks at least a d8 weapon proficiency. Even wizards have quarterstaves.

    The real benefit of Lizardfolk bites IMO is for when you want to grapple/prone an enemy, protect yourself with a shield, and still do d6+Str damage while still getting your proficiency-bonus to-hit. A non-Tavern Brawler human would be stuck whaling away with his shield for d4+Str at a greatly reduced chance to hit (though advantage helps compensate).

    It's still pretty niche though, since a human could also spend their bonus feat on Warcaster instead, and then they could grapple/prone enemies while still blasting away with cantrips like Toll the Dead and Eldritch Blast. (Advantage for prone enemy cancels out disadvantage for using ranged cantrips when enemies are within 5'.)

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Whats the point of having claws?

    Minotaurs have d6 as well, as far as I know. Though there have been several official (or UA) version of it by know, I think.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Default Re: Whats the point of having claws?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bloodyshadow1 View Post
    I was just wondering what the point is for having claws as a racial trait, they always seem kind of pointless since it just lets you do 1d4 + your strength mod (and juggernaut warforged Iron fists). Maybe I'm missing something but I don't see the point other than flavor. If I'm going to be using unarmed strikes in combat, I'm going to be a monk which gets 1d4+dex at level 1, I suppose you could be a strength monk but that's kind of pointless since dex is just so much more useful to have for everything else a monk gets. If I want to use strength to attack I'd use almost any weapon other than my hands because it's going to do more, usually a lot more.

    I'm not saying it can't be fun to use your claws when you're a more bestial race, I just don't really see the point since it doesn't add much more to a character in combat.
    You're an archer fighter, shooting arrows. The wizard is behind you shooting brain bullets or whatever it is wizards do. Some goblin gets it in his head that because you don't have a melee weapon, he can run past you to get at the wizard. But when he tries, you sink your claws into him. You always have a melee weapon.

    You're a polearm fighter with a glaive, and you're up in the face of an enemy archer. The archer thinks because you have a reach weapon, it's safe for it to step back 5 feet from you so it can get a shot off with its bow without taking disadvantage. But you have two weapons, one with reach and one without. When it leaves the reach of your claws it provokes an opportunity attack.

    There are a number of situations where having an extra weapon always on your person is useful.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGirl

    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Subang Jaya, Malaysia
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Whats the point of having claws?

    Monks can have their unarmed strikes deal slashing damage instead of bludgeoning.
    Last edited by Jerrykhor; 2019-10-30 at 10:46 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Default Re: Whats the point of having claws?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    The real benefit of Lizardfolk bites IMO is for when you want to grapple/prone an enemy, protect yourself with a shield, and still do d6+Str damage while still getting your proficiency-bonus to-hit. A non-Tavern Brawler human would be stuck whaling away with his shield for d4+Str at a greatly reduced chance to hit (though advantage helps compensate).
    Or vanilla Unarmed Strike (kick, headbutt, or if you really want, a pelvic/hip thrust) for 1 + Str bonus damage, but with prof (you are always considered proficient with Unarmed Strikes, regardless of class).

    It doesn't count as a weapon though (it's still a melee weapon attack, regardless), which could be a major downside if you have any abilities or game effects that specify they only work with (melee) weapons. Then again most of the claw/bite/fist/slam 'racial natural weapon' options are basically Unarmed Strikes (but with an upgraded damage die) anyway, so this point is (usually) moot.

    (Edit: Note that the "proficiency" and "doesn't count as a weapon" part are introduced by the errata [specifically, the update to the Combat → Melee Attack rules and the removal of Unarmed Strike from the weapons table]. In case anyone is stuck with an old print of the PHB and wondering where the rules are from.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Damon_Tor View Post
    You're an archer fighter, shooting arrows. The wizard is behind you shooting brain bullets or whatever it is wizards do. Some goblin gets it in his head that because you don't have a melee weapon, he can run past you to get at the wizard. But when he tries, you sink your claws into him. You always have a melee weapon.

    You're a polearm fighter with a glaive, and you're up in the face of an enemy archer. The archer thinks because you have a reach weapon, it's safe for it to step back 5 feet from you so it can get a shot off with its bow without taking disadvantage. But you have two weapons, one with reach and one without. When it leaves the reach of your claws it provokes an opportunity attack.

    There are a number of situations where having an extra weapon always on your person is useful.
    Unarmed Strike. Granted, it's less damage, but still.

    --

    Overall, the Bite/Claw attacks can be useful, but even in niche situations it's usually only a small upgrade over already-available options.
    Last edited by NNescio; 2019-10-31 at 12:44 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by kardar233 View Post
    GitP: The only place where D&D and Cantorian Set Theory combine. Also a place of madness, and small fairy cakes.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Troll in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Finland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Whats the point of having claws?

    Well, considering that the normal Unarmed Strike damage is 1 + Strength, getting 1d4 + Strength is a big boost already. As a bonus, a 1d4 is multiplied on a critical hit, while a flat number isn't.
    Last edited by Arkhios; 2019-10-31 at 03:33 AM.
    My 5th Edition D&D Homebrew:
    Don't look for an insult when there is none.


    Quote Originally Posted by Anon von Zilch View Post
    Words actually mean things, people!

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Default Re: Whats the point of having claws?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arkhios View Post
    Well, considering that the normal Unarmed Strike damage is 1 + Strength, getting 1d4 + Strength is a big boost already. As a bonus, a 1d4 is multiplied on a critical hit, while a flat number isn't.
    On average that's less than 2 extra damage. With the crit factored in.

    (Usually, assuming you have a ⩾30% chance of hitting.)
    Last edited by NNescio; 2019-10-31 at 04:20 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by kardar233 View Post
    GitP: The only place where D&D and Cantorian Set Theory combine. Also a place of madness, and small fairy cakes.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Troll in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Finland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Whats the point of having claws?

    Quote Originally Posted by NNescio View Post
    On average that's less than 2 extra damage. With the crit factored in.

    (Usually, assuming you have a ⩾30% chance of hitting.)
    It's still more than flat 1 + Str.

    More is better than less, right?

    Personally, I wipe my rear with the glorification of averages anyway. Average numbers weigh nothing in actual play (unless you actually use averages instead of rolling, which kills at least half the fun).
    Last edited by Arkhios; 2019-10-31 at 05:10 AM.
    My 5th Edition D&D Homebrew:
    Don't look for an insult when there is none.


    Quote Originally Posted by Anon von Zilch View Post
    Words actually mean things, people!

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGirl

    Join Date
    Oct 2016

    Default Re: Whats the point of having claws?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arkhios View Post
    It's still more than flat 1 + Str.

    More is better than less, right?

    Personally, I wipe my rear with the glorification of averages anyway. Average numbers weigh nothing in actual play (unless you actually use averages instead of rolling, which kills at least half the fun).
    I think OP wasn't asking "is 1d4 bigger than 1" but rather "why would I use my natural weapons at 1d4+STR when theres so many weapons in the game that are better than that?"

    And the answer is that it seems to me to be a ribbon ability more than anything else, unless you're playing the kind of game where it comes up.
    Quote Originally Posted by DragonSorcererX View Post
    In a world with grey morality you could say that your mission is "I will magically nuke every hobgoblin settlement." (Neutral Good)...

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

    Join Date
    Oct 2016

    Default Re: Whats the point of having claws?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerrykhor View Post
    Monks can have their unarmed strikes deal slashing damage instead of bludgeoning.
    surprised it took 8 answers to get this one.

    yeah, damage versatility...
    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    Just, please don't. Insisting on that technicality improves nothing.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Chimera

    Join Date
    Dec 2015

    Default Re: Whats the point of having claws?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bloodyshadow1 View Post
    If I'm going to be using unarmed strikes in combat, I'm going to be a monk which gets 1d4+dex at level 1, I suppose you could be a strength monk but that's kind of pointless since dex is just so much more useful to have for everything else a monk gets. If I want to use strength to attack I'd use almost any weapon other than my hands because it's going to do more, usually a lot more.

    If you are designing a character around being an unarmed combatant, then yes you would build a monk. This is distinct from (ex.) 3rd edition where there were multiple viable claw- or bite- based character concepts (outside of druids, which both editions have) that used unarmed claw attacks as a primary combat type. This, along with the Tavern Brawler feat, seem more designed to shore up vulnerabilities (being caught unarmed, or with your weapon being a ranged weapon). It's comparable to a Str-based warrior carrying a javelin than to a monk. It's worth noting that multiclassing into monk is a pretty big side-track for most builds, while picking lizardfolk or tabaxi or the like is frankly pretty reasonable if your picking a class where their stat bonuses support the build. A tabaxi valor bard, hexblade, or dexadin is perfectly reasonable regardless of how often you use your claws, as is a lizardfolk ranger or the like.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2016

    Default Re: Whats the point of having claws?

    Quote Originally Posted by NaughtyTiger View Post
    surprised it took 8 answers to get this one.

    yeah, damage versatility...
    I think it's because damage versatility between the typically non-magical damage types matters too rarely (unless the DM homebrews otherwise, which I encourage!). If it were that some race's punches deal Force damage, that would probably be quite different in terms of responses.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    The Land of Cleves
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Whats the point of having claws?

    Ah, yes, and doing slashing damage instead of bludgeoning would be critical if... um, maybe if you're fighting a... OK, help me out, here.
    Time travels in divers paces with divers persons.
    As You Like It, III:ii:328

    Chronos's Unalliterative Skillmonkey Guide
    Current Homebrew: 5th edition psionics

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2016

    Default Re: Whats the point of having claws?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
    Ah, yes, and doing slashing damage instead of bludgeoning would be critical if... um, maybe if you're fighting a... OK, help me out, here.
    The only case I'm coming up with... is a case where Bludgeoning is better. (Skeletons)
    Thinking harder, I get the same thing. (Black Puddings, Ochre Jellies; unless you'd rather they split for better AoE damage)

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    stoutstien's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    SD
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Whats the point of having claws?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
    Ah, yes, and doing slashing damage instead of bludgeoning would be critical if... um, maybe if you're fighting a... OK, help me out, here.
    Treants. 😀
    what is the point of living if you can't deadlift?

    All credit to the amazing avatar goes to thoroughlyS

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Whats the point of having claws?

    It helps when you're trying open those damned gummy bear bags.

    Seriously, they've got some benefits. For one, damage versatility can be beneficial, as anyone who's tried to attack a treant with a rapier can tell you. Not game-breaking, but a occasionally useful. Second, depending on how you codify it with the DM, they might be able to rip ropes up, helping in situations where you've been taken captive, or even score manacles. In worst case scenarios, maybe you go for the eyes and try to blind enemies. Maybe you can parlay them into a static bonus on Athletics checks to climb. Hell, you could have a wizard with claws use them to carve arcane runes into rock, making their magic circle spell very hard to disrupt. Just think, "If I had claws, what could I do with them?"

    Then there's the nice dramatic benefits. For a finishing move, maybe your monk rips people's hearts out, which is why he's nicknamed Heartsbane. Maybe you scarify your skin with them, commemorating each kill your character made. Maybe you use them to help you carve bas-reliefs for fun (depending on how hard the DM rules your claws are). Or you could go comedic, and maybe you obsessively mark territory. That's why there's a scratching post in your room of your base.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Default Re: Whats the point of having claws?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChildofLuthic View Post
    And the answer is that it seems to me to be a ribbon ability more than anything else, unless you're playing the kind of game where it comes up.
    It is a minor ability, yes. It isn't useless: there are plenty of uses noted here in this thread. To summarize:
    • Improvement over unarmed strikes for ranged attackers making opportunity attacks
    • Improvement over unarmed strikes for reach wielders who want to use opportunity attacks at 5ft
    • Gives monks and other unarmed attackers access to effects that require a weapon
    • Situations where slashing damage is required (cutting ropes or nets, applying poisons)
    • Situations where bludgeoning damage is resisted but slashing is not (Treants)
    • Immune to disarming effects
    Last edited by Damon_Tor; 2019-10-31 at 09:38 AM.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2016

    Default Re: Whats the point of having claws?

    Quote Originally Posted by stoutstien View Post
    Treants. 😀
    True -- Piercing and Bludgeoning both 'suffer', but Slashing is 'spared'!

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Default Re: Whats the point of having claws?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhantomSoul View Post
    True -- Piercing and Bludgeoning both 'suffer', but Slashing is 'spared'!
    Axes cut down trees, I guess.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Whats the point of having claws?

    Quote Originally Posted by Damon_Tor View Post
    [*]Situations where slashing damage is required (cutting ropes or nets, applying poisons)[/LIST]
    OH MY GOD YOU COULD HAVE POISONED FINGERNAILS THIS IS AMAZING!!!

    This would be amazing for someone like a social rogue who wants to use an injury poison without actually attacking. "Oh, so sorry, did I get you?"

    "Ye..yeah. I feel kind of funny."

    "Yeah, drow poison does that. Night night!" *rummages through their belongings.*

    I love weird little quirky threads like this. Just so much fun.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2014

    Default Re: Whats the point of having claws?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
    Ah, yes, and doing slashing damage instead of bludgeoning would be critical if... um, maybe if you're fighting a... OK, help me out, here.
    Wood woads are resistant to blunt and piercing damage (including magical weapons) but not slashing.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Default Re: Whats the point of having claws?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    Wood woads are resistant to blunt and piercing damage (including magical weapons) but not slashing.
    And the awakened tree as well.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •