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Normally you can only attack once in a round with a natural weapon, regardless of BAB. However, Improved Trip grants an extra attack outside of BAB with a successful trip; could you make that attack with a natural weapon you've already used that turn?

Example: a character with a bite attack, the Trip special attack (free trip attempt on a hit with bite attack), and the Improved Trip feat. They hit with the bite and successfully trip; could they make the free attack with their bite attack too?

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Yes, you can make your free attack from Improved Trip with a natural weapon you have already used that round.

There's no ironclad rule that you can only attack once in a round with a given natural weapon. The rule you're probably thinking of is that you don't get extra attacks with natural weapons from having high Base Attack Bonus, the way you get iterative attacks with manufactured weapons. From the SRD:

Creatures do not receive additional attacks from a high base attack bonus when using natural weapons.

This rule does not prevent creatures from attacking multiple times with a single natural weapon if they find some way of doing so other than iterative attacks from high BAB. Possibilities include:

  • The Rapidstrike and Improved Rapidstrike feats from Draconomicon
  • Having the ability to take multiple attack actions in a single round, like from the Shadow Pounce ability provided by Telflammar Shadowlord (Unapproachable East)
  • Taking an attack of opportunity in a round when you have already attacked
  • Getting extra attacks from the Cleave feat

The free attack from Improved Trip is an extra, triggered attack like those listed above - you're free to take it with any weapon, including a natural weapon that's already attacked.

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Never mind Improved Trip for a moment. If a creature has the Trip special ability, and only has one natural attack, how would it make the trip attempt after a successful attack if it could not use the same natural weapon? (Wolf, for example.)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ In case of a wolf it effectively substitutes its regular attack for usual touch attack made before trip attempt itself. Its not like making two attacks. Its like people make touch attack + trip attempt as a consequence of that initial touch attack, and wolfs make regular attack + trip attempt as a consequence of their initial non-touch attack. So I think your reasoning is false here. \$\endgroup\$ – annoying imp Sep 16 '18 at 20:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ (One of the things my groups missed for years was that the wolf's extraordinary ability trip "can attempt to trip the opponent… as a free action" (emphasis mine) so that it can't use that ability off-turn like during an attack of opportunity. Just sayin'.) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Sep 16 '18 at 20:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, I think it does. I'll leave my comment as a thing to consider for people examining your answer. \$\endgroup\$ – annoying imp Sep 18 '18 at 17:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @annoyingimp - If there is anything in the text that leads to your description, I certainly don't see it. It's an interesting way to look at it, but the text clearly describes a second free action. If they were the same action, then why mention free? Or is this some other interpretation of what a free action is? \$\endgroup\$ – Wyrmwood Sep 18 '18 at 18:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Let us continue this discussion in chat. \$\endgroup\$ – annoying imp Sep 19 '18 at 11:44

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