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From my understanding of Blood Crow Strike, a Monk can make an unarmed strike or flurry-of-blows against an opponent 100ft+10 per level away. Can the following feats/enchantments affect the blows, and if so, how?

  1. Stunning Fist/Mantis Style feat: Can you make a stunning fist attempt through the spell?

  2. Amulet of Mighty fists with Speed: Are you granted the additional attack from the speed enchantment?

  3. Medusa's Wrath feat: If the opponent fits the criteria of this feat are you granted the two additional unarmed strikes?

  4. Pummeling Style: Does this feat still allow you to add all damage together before subtracting DR, or in this case Energy Resistance?

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The spell blood crow strike causes the caster to take on his initiative count a 1-round action to cast the spell then, right before the caster's same initiative count in the next round, make his "unarmed strike or flurry of blows attacks" against one foe at up to medium range. What that part I just quoted means isn't entirely clear: Must the caster pick either to make his typical number of unarmed attacks for his base attack bonus plus his special abilities yet from those unarmed attacks exclude the special ability flurry of blows or make only and exclusively his flurry of blows attacks? Or is that or an inclusive or—both unarmed strike and flurry of blows modify attacks, after all—and the text is indicating that the caster can make unarmed strike attacks and flurry of blows attacks if the caster has the special ability flurry of blows?

Until a designer takes responsibility for the spell and explains what it means, this GM and player thinks it's safe to assume that if a caster's gonna take a 1-round action to cast a 4th-level spell, the payoff better be significant, so this GM would rule that when the spell is finally cast that the caster can take a full attack—and that includes specifically the full attack that is the extraordinary ability flurry of blows that's usually gained from taking at least 1 level in the class monk or unchained monk—, and if the caster makes a flurry of blows the caster can also make as many additional unarmed strike attacks as he's normally entitled to in conjunction with the special ability flurry of blows.

I mean, to this reader it seems like in the abstract the spell blood crow strike is supposed to let monks be monks at range by paying an extremely high price, and that should include benefiting from all the feats and stuff that work in conjunction with the monky stuff.

Thus the feat Stunning Fist that "forces a foe damaged by your unarmed attack to make a Fortitude saving throw" can be used in conjunction with the spell blood crow strike as can the feat Mantis Style. Similarly, the feat Pummeling Style can specifically augment the flurry of blows, so that's a go. This GM would even let the weapon special ability speed that's on an amulet of mighty fists and the feat Medusa's Wrath function in conjunction with the spell blood crow strike during a flurry of blows, despite both interacting with the full-attack action yet neither having any other particular relationship with the flurry of blows (The feat Medusa's Wrath, for instance, only requires the attacker make one unarmed strike during the full attack, but this GM would require all the extra attacks from that feat be unarmed strikes if used with the blood crow strike spell.)

(Note that I can imagine another GM saying No to the speed and Medusa's Wrath thing because whatever and me accepting such a ruling rather than flipping the table and walking away in disgust; I'd blame the spell's designer for a lack of clarity not the GM for a lack of vision.)

In short, the spell blood crow strike just isn't very clear. The spell's casting time should probably be 1 full-round action rather than 1 round like enlarge person and summon monster I et al. Further, the spell should say The caster can take a full attack action but can only use unarmed strikes (although this would possibly slightly diminish the spell's power) instead of the word salad that is The caster can make unarmed strike or flurry of blows attacks, that, for instance, leaves it unclear exactly how many unarmed strikes the caster makes if the caster lacks the class feature flurry of blows.

I know that you wanted a answer, but I can't provide one. The real answer is Negotiate with the GM how the spell works. Some effects the game's engine simply cannot parse, and when it can't, the GM must step in. This spell is one of those.


Note: You can read more about the blood crow strike spell—some of it contradictory and some of it flat-out wrong (often about how its range and targeting work)—in threads from 2011, 2013, 2013, 2014, 2014, 2014, 2016, and more. Despite all the threads about it, James Jacobs never mentions it even though he tended to take on all kinds of questions, and, despite several threads about the spell being marked as FAQ candidates, the spell is unmentioned in the Ultimate Magic FAQ.

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The Spell

Blood Crow Strike

School evocation [fire]; Level cleric/oracle 4

CASTING

Casting Time 1 round Components V, S

EFFECT

Range medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level) Target one creature Duration instantaneous Saving Throw none; Spell resistance yes

DESCRIPTION

Your unarmed strikes release blasts of energy in the form of bolts of fire or glowing red crows, which fly instantaneously to strike your target. You can make unarmed strike or flurry of blows attacks against the target as if it were in your threatened area; each successful attack deals damage as if you had hit it with your unarmed strike, except half the damage is fire and half is negative energy (this negative energy does not heal undead). For example, if you are a 14th-level monk, you can use a flurry of blows to attack five times, creating one energy crow for each successful attack against the target, and dealing 2d6 points of damage (plus appropriate unarmed strike modifiers) with each crow.

In combat, after you cast this spell, you can then make unarmed strike and Flurry of Blows attacks on the target as if the target were in your threatened area. In other words, everything else remains exactly the same, as long as you are making an unarmed strike or using Flurry of Blows. It does not allow you to, say, make a "flurry of trips", but you may use it to take a Flurry of Blows action with a monk weapon.

Stunning Fist

No

Based on the following line from the Stunning Fist feat:

You may attempt a stunning attack once per day for every four levels you have attained (but see Special), and no more than once per round.

A stunning attack is a separate kind of attack from an unarmed strike. Therefore, no, you cannot attempt a stunning strike through Blood Crow Strike. The same goes for Mantis Style.

Amulet of Mighty Fists (+1, Speed)

Yes

According to the Speed special weapon property, it applies on a full attack action. According to the following line from Monk under Flurry of Blows, a Flurry of Blows is a type of full attack action:

Starting at 1st level, a monk can make a flurry of blows as a full-attack action.

Therefore, Speed works and grants an additional attack via Blood Crow Strike.

Medusa's Wrath

Yes

Medusa's Wrath uses the phrasing "full attack action" and "unarmed strike" throughout, see above for how "full attack action" is the same as "flurry of blows", therefore if the opponent meets the prerequisites for Medusa's Wrath to happen, you will get the extra two attacks.

Pummeling Style

Yes but No

Pummeling Style does work with "full attack actions" and "unarmed strikes", but it specifies DR, not energy resistance. Therefore, it will successfully bypass DR on an ability that already does.


The above is, of course, RAW. As a GM, I might be a bit more permissive with this 4th-level spell, requiring a minimum caster level of 7, plus monk levels just to make worth the trouble. That said, I also would not have made it a 4th-level spell. As an archetype, though... looks off into the sky, thoughtfully considering a ranged variant of an elemental monk...

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