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In Pathfinder (as D&D) if you make a move action, you forfeit your secondary attack.

However, an Eagle has natural "2 x talon attack" listed as its primary, with a bite attack as a secondary.

Some GM's seem to treat the "two talon attacks" the same as a two weapon fighter attack (despite it not having the same off-hand penalty etc), only allowing 1 claw after a move action.

Other GM's treat the "two talon attack" as the primary attack, allowing both with a move action, but not the secondary bite attack.

Who is right? Please cite sources - either online or the relevant Pathfinder book and page.

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up vote 12 down vote accepted

In Pathfinder, natural attacks are treated somewhat differently from weapon attacks. There is also a section on natural attacks under the Attack Action (not the Full Attack Action) in the Combat section. But the Combat section clearly says, after talking about all these kinds of attacks (weapon, unarmed, natural) that "A character who can make more than one attack per round must use the full-attack action (see Full-Round Actions) in order to get more than one attack."

I also checked the Paizo forums; in general everyone is of that opinion, though I couldn't find a thread where one of the designers specifically spoke out on it. So by RAW, one of those attacks is all you get with a move action (barring other feats/abilities like pounce).

Of course, in the end your GM is always correct. I would be tempted to have an eagle hit with both talons on a single attack too, just because that is kinda how eagles attack, they don't thrash around with single claws that often, but per the rules they only get one of those attacks unless full attacking.

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I agree, I'd expect an Eagle to dive with both talons. I wonder if it was intended as a 'single' attack? ...maybe that's just my wishful thinking. ;) RAW it doesn't seem to allow that. –  Mikaveli Apr 13 '11 at 23:27
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In general, beasts and monsters will get more things to attack with to keep them as a threat when the players are able to face things that can plot plan and cast spells.

If it lists something as 2 Slams or 2 Claws then that is a standard action to use either of those. If it lists things like Bite, 2 Claws and Tail, using all three would require a full action. That is why animals can still be a threat to higher level adventurers. It is how they cope with the player power level as players gain more attacks as the BaB increases and their magical gear pushes them even further up the power arc.

...and why Cats with pounce and wolves/dogs with attacks that trigger Trip are so particularly nasty. Either all the face mauling all the time, or provoking All the opportunity attacks each time you try and stand.

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