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I have a player that currently has Aspect of the Beast and has chosen Claws of the Beast. This grants him a pair of claws. He would also like to take Eldritch Heritage and take the Abyssal Bloodline for fluff reasons that as the DM, I completely agree with. This would hypothetically grant him a second set of claws. He's also going into Dragon Disciple for fluff reasons I also agree with, and at first level of DD, would gain a set of claws due to the Blood of Dragons special.

Does this work? Can he gain 6 claw attacks? I'm aware of Natural Weapons rules meaning only one set would be primary and the rest would be at -5 and 1/2 Strength, so I'm not concerned with that. I just need to know if he can actually get more claws. I have personally got nothing against it, but I (and he) want to be certain it's allowed according to rules.

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Craig, is your PC considering something like the Dropsid to give him extra arms, or does he want fractal claws on a normal humanoid? –  Brian Ballsun-Stanton Mar 25 '14 at 11:42

2 Answers 2

I think you are in house-rule territory. I'd suggest upgrading the die type on the claws for each feat which grants claws, so that the character had claws that do 1d8 damage each (1d4 for basic claws -> 1d6 -> 1d8).

Possibly, by RAW, the character would have just one set of 1d4 claws, although I cannot find a definitive answer. The simplest rationale is that claws don't stack in the same way that magic daggers don't stack (you don't get 5 attacks just because you have 5 +1 daggers). None of the rules suggest the character has grown extra limbs or the ability to make extra attacks.

The reason I suggest the house rule is that this character has invested quite a bit into multiple effects that grant claws, and it seems fair to give them something for it whilst the game rules say nothing.

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That´s just what I was going to say. Claws are a binary state. Or you have them, or you don´t. Having claws from multiple sources should give some kind of compensation, though, since the basic premisse of each "claw-class" is that you would be GAINING something. If you character can´t benefit from gaining claws, it would be fair that something is given in compensation. If not the die type progression, at least an adittional feat. Think it in a similar way of gaining a feat from a class when you already have it - you get to choose another one. –  Thales Sarczuk Mar 25 '14 at 10:50
@ThalesPereira "Think it in a similar way of gaining a feat from a class when you already have it--you get to choose another one." Can you link to this rule? –  Hey I Can Chan Mar 25 '14 at 12:12
@HeyICanChan It´s not a rule per se, just common sense. For example, if you already have Endurance and get your 3rd Ranger level, what would happen? Endurance can´t stack with itself and the balance rules suppose that at 3rd level the ranger would have all the feats of a 3rd lvl char, PLUS endurance. It seens fairer to me (even from a rule-based approach) giving a "normal feat" instead of just... nothing. In a sense, it´s like you just "delayed" the feat and picked up endurance earlier. –  Thales Sarczuk Mar 25 '14 at 19:00
This don´t apply to the Ranger´s Combat Style, however. The combat style is a "transient feat" - a feat that you have only when a condition X is met - in this case, using light armor or less. Having Two Weapon Figthing AND becoming a TWF Ranger just enable you to use TWF even on Heavy Armor, by RAW. Since I really hate RAW over common sense, I normally give the player a new feat anyway. IMHO, RAW is slowly killing the "Roleplay" part of RPG... –  Thales Sarczuk Mar 25 '14 at 19:13
@ThalesPereira It's a fair house rule, and some folks agree it should work that way. It's just without labeling it a house rule, I thought I'd missed the actual rule. Spycraft 2.0 has this as a rule explicitly, for instance. –  Hey I Can Chan Mar 25 '14 at 19:20

The RAW is ambiguous on this point, but there are a few indications to go on. Language in the natural attack rules such as

(although often a creature must forgo one natural attack for each weapon clutched in that limb, be it a claw, tentacle, or slam).

seems to indicate that you get at most one claw attack for every one claw, and the creatures in the bestiary seem to support this, nearly always having a natural-weapon-bearing appendage for each natural attack they possess (excepting some slam attacks using a body slam). Based on this, I have long ruled, and it seems to work well, that the character requires one suitable appendage to put each claw on. Note that this does not completely ruin your example character's benefits from this (though it will keep him from getting 6 1d4 attacks per round at lvl1, which would be quite overpowered). There are plenty of ways to get additional limbs (Alter Self is probably the easiest example), and in this way, as he finds more ways to get more limbs, he will have attacks to apply to them.

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His character is not at lvl 1 by any means. Dragon Disciple is a Prestige Class and will get claws only on the second level, and one of those feats need 3rd lvl to be selectable. Also, if you use Alter Self or another polymorph to assume the form of another creature, you will be THAT creature, and have all the claw attacks of THAT creature. Also, most polymorphs don´t readily grant the use of the extra limbs for additional attacks. –  Thales Sarczuk Mar 25 '14 at 20:54
Alter Self is not a good example, also. You need to select a humanoid creature, and most humanoid creatures are... well, humanoid, so they have just a pair of arms. Most creatures that have tentacles and multiple limbs are of the Monstruous Humanoid type, so Alter Self don´t really apply. –  Thales Sarczuk Mar 25 '14 at 20:59
There are humanoids with more than 2 arms. Not all that many of them, but he only needs 1. –  Matthew Najmon Mar 26 '14 at 2:00
But those humanoids won´t have claws on all limbs. If they DO have claws on all limbs, he still need a piece of that humanoid to be able to use Alter Self to it. And in any case, if he polymorph on a humanoid with claws on all limbs, his feats will be useless, because the target already have them anyway. It´s like wings - if you have wings on your natural form and use Alter Self to assume the form of a creature without wings, the wings don´t carry over. Alter self let´s you become an average member of the target race, not an average member of the target race with your pyshical characteristics. –  Thales Sarczuk Mar 26 '14 at 10:31
The piece of that creature for Alter Self is a no-price-specified component. Therefore, all you really need is a component pouch or Eschew Material Components feat. The specific type of component needed is only relevant if you are deprived of the pouch and improvising. As for not having claws, the point is that he could apply the claws these class abilities give him to the limbs that the spell gives him. Humans don't normally have claws either, but they do if they apply those same abilities to their own regular arms. –  Matthew Najmon Mar 28 '14 at 19:45

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