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So, each of the Nine Schools has got its own associated weapons, and some weapons are associated with several schools (like, Unarmed Attack for Tiger Claw, Shadow Hand and Stone Dragon). But are the maneuvers still usable with non school-related weapons (hammer with Shadow Hand, whip with White Raven, etc.)?

If they are, what about unarmed attack? It's still treated as a weapon choice by many schools, but some of maneuvers add some sort of funny effect to the weapon like igniting it, making a shadow replica, or powering it up with the might of a mountain. Does unarmed strike work the very same way, and does it cause any harm to initiator's body?

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Yes, maneuvers can be used with any weapon.

Using a maneuver with unarmed strike is just like using it with any other weapon: it doesn't hurt the user unless the maneuver specifically says so. A shadow replica of your unarmed strike might be a full shadowy replica of the user, or it might be just a floating fist/leg/elbow (depending on how you describe your unarmed attacks).

The associated weapons are part of restrictions in the following feats: Blade Meditation, Desert Wind Dodge, Shadow Blade, Reaping Talons, and Shards of Granite. The Bloodclaw Master prestige class also has an ability that includes a restriction based on a style's associated weapons.

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Any ability should never directly harm its user. Any twists from magic or external special abilities might, but otherwise no.

When it comes to using Unarmed in place of weapons, I would need to see the text but I imagine that it says "when using weapon X apply benefit Y [under Z conditions]" which would limit it to that weapon. I would need to know which sourcebook you are going from for this to be certain.

EDIT: I have done some browsing. The maneuvers themselves don't seem to require any specific weapons, but the feats that require the maneuvers do. So it all depends on what benefits the character wants to include.

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