I want to get spiked gloves as a weapon but my DM says if I have spiked gloves, that counts as a normal weapon and I can't use my unarmed strike with my hands. Is it true?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Did your DM explicitly say that the spiked gloves are not monk weapons? (See "monk weapons" in the class description in the PHB). \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Sep 11 '17 at 14:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ When you made an unarmed strike, were you attempting to gain the benefits of the Monk's Martial Arts and related features? \$\endgroup\$ – illustro Sep 11 '17 at 14:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ Do you mean a bonus strike from the Monk's Martial Arts feature, or just any unarmed strike using hands explicitly? (keep in mind a monk can do unarmed strikes with elbows, knees, etc.) \$\endgroup\$ – enkryptor Sep 11 '17 at 16:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ No my Dm didnt say about gloves and I'm asking in my normal action turn attacks gloves or another improvement(like I want add some spikes on my arm and leg etc...) count as unarmored strike ? \$\endgroup\$ – MrDewitt Sep 12 '17 at 6:19

Yes, your DM is correct, you cannot use unarmed strikes with your hands

There is a decent amount to unpack in this answer, so I've broken it up and addressed each portion directly.

Do spiked gloves count as unarmed strikes?


Unarmed strikes themselves are described on page 195 of the PHB:

Instead of using a weapon to make a melee weapon attack, you can use an unarmed strike: a punch, kick, head-butt, or similar forceful blow (none of which count as weapons). On a hit, an unarmed strike deals bludgeoning damage equal to 1 + your Strength modifier. You are proficient with your unarmed strikes."

As you are wearing your spiked gloves, and your spiked gloves are weapons1 you cannot make an unarmed strike with your hands unless you remove the spiked gloves (as part of your free object interation on your Attack action).

How do spiked gloves interact with Monk class features

I am assuming that you want to make an unarmed strike with your hands because you want it to interact with the Monk Martial Arts feature, but wielding these gloves will cause you problems here.

The text relating to Martial Arts unarmed strikes states (PHB pg 78):

You gain the following benefits while you are unarmed or wielding only monk weapons and you aren't wearing armor or wielding a shield

As mentioned earlier spiked gloves are weapons. As they are not monk weapons you cannot get any of the Monk Martial Arts benefits for any of your unarmed strikes while you are using the spiked gloves.

In particular you cannot activate this Martial Arts feature:

When you usc the Attack action with an unarmed strike or a monk weapon on your turn, you can make one unarmed strike as a bonus action.

What weapons are "monk weapons"?

The is one place in the PHB that defines monk weapons (PHB pg 78):

[...] monk weapons, which are shortswords and any simple melee weapons that don't have the two-handed or heavy property. [...] Certain monasteries use specialized Forms of the monk weapons. For example, you might use a club that is two lengths of wood connected by a short chain (called a nunchaku) or a sickle with a shorter, straighter blade (called a kama). Whatever name you use for a monk weapon. you can use the game statistics provided for the weapon in chapter 5.

Weapons are divided into three categories:

  • Simple
  • Martial
  • Improvised

and two sub categories:

  • Melee
  • Ranged

Since they have been crafted as a weapon the spiked gloves clearly are not improvised weapons. They are also clearly melee weapons.

So the remaining question to ask is are they simple weapons?

The default list of simple melee weapons is available on page 149 of the PHB. The DM can determine that other weapons are also simple melee weapons, but our default position should be that the list presented in the PHB is exhaustive for the purposes of the game.

Spiked gloves are not on that list (nor could they be reasonably be construed to be a specialised form of one of those weapons).

As a result, unless your DM rules otherwise, they are not monk weapons as they are not simple melee weapons.


Your DM has made a ruling, and as a result, for your game your DMs decision would stand, regardless of what the rules actually say.

1. You stated that you wanted to use spiked gloves as a weapon, so we will assume that they have been made to be weapons in the game you are playing in.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Sep 13 '17 at 17:35

Spiked gloves are not listed in the weapons table (PHB 149) and therefore all their properties are ultimately up to the DM.

However, you may try to persuade him by asking the question: would spiked gloves be a martial weapon? All known weapons are classified as either simple, martial or improvised, and

monk weapons [..] are shortswords and any simple melee weapons that don't have the two-handed or heavy property. (PHB 78)

Spiked gloves are obviously neither two-handed, nor heavy. They were crafted to be used as weapons, so they are not improvised either. About martial weapons:

Martial weapons [..] require more specialized training to use effectively. (PHB 146)

Using spiked gloves is not that much different from striking unarmed and all characters are proficient in unarmed strikes. Why would the gloves "require specialized training"?

But do not forget that while you are free to persuade, do not argue, as the last word is the DM's.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for your answer too. I cant selcet two answer.Your answer seem pretty helpful too... \$\endgroup\$ – MrDewitt Sep 12 '17 at 6:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ For Reference, in 3.5E and 4E--the closest thing to what you are describing, the 'Spiked Gauntlet,' was a Simple weapon. 3.5 had it dealing d4 damage, 4E had it dealing d6. \$\endgroup\$ – guildsbounty Sep 12 '17 at 16:03

I would say that Spiked Gloves do require special training, and makes them incompatible with Monk's Unarmed Strikes.

Untrained Unarmed Strike do only 1 damage, whereas Monk training upgrades them to at least 1d4, and allows you to use the DEX modifier for bonus attack and damage.

This indicates that a trained Unarmed Strike is more than punching someone. You're doing something that is causing significantly more damage (potentially several times), and allows you to do additional damage via DEX and not just raw STR.

  • \$\begingroup\$ So when I hit somebody where is my damage come from?Unarmored strike from martial arts or my gloves? \$\endgroup\$ – MrDewitt Sep 13 '17 at 7:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's a ruling up to the DM. Will the DM allow you to still use Monk Unarmed Strikes with the Spiked Gloves. It's really up to him. If you have added flavor to your Monk style, and he's mostly kicks, then the Spiked Gloves won't prevent that. But the main point is you cannot increase the damage of your Monk Unarmed Strikes via Spiked Gloves. \$\endgroup\$ – Nelson Sep 13 '17 at 7:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ All weapons require some training. That is why the wizard learns so few of them. But there is a huge difference in the amount of training required to use efficiently let's say a Dagger (a Simple Weapon) vs a Greatsword (a Martial Weapon). Spiked Gloves seem pretty much intuitive to use, and most DMs would classify them as Simple Weapons. \$\endgroup\$ – Pat Oct 10 at 2:39

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