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I'm working on a build for a shifter with four natural attacks while shifting. I'm already taking levels of Warblade, so I looked at Bloodclaw Master, the shifter-themed prestige class for martial characters who TWF. The most interesting feature (to me, at least) is Superior Two Weapon Fighting, which removes the -2 penalty for TWF. However, it doesn't say anything about natural weapons, which are also taking an analogous -2 penalty with Multiattack.

RAW it looks like this feature provides no benefit for natural weapons. However, the class is clearly thematically linked to them: granting two while shifting, having alternate rules for shifters taking the class, and allowing Multiattack (which only works with natural weapons) as an alternative to TWF as a prerequisite for entry. Is there something I'm missing here that provides a benefit for natural weapon-wielding characters, Superior TWF or otherwise?

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Rending Claws is the only useful ability for a natural weapon only Shifter.

The Bloodclaw Master (Tome of Battle p.96-100) is described as a class primarily for those who use Two-Weapon Fighting with light weapons, as suggested in its introduction:

This class favors those who prefer fighting with two light weapons, and who are fond of the maneuvers of the Tiger Claw discipline.

The rules reflect that the abilities of this prestige class are not useful for a character who wields only natural weapons:

  • Claws of the Beast lets you add full Strength to your off-hand weapon, but a claw is not an off-hand weapon, it's a primary weapon. Natural weapons cannot be main/off-hand in D&D 3.5, only primary/secondary.
  • Superior Two-Weapon Fighting only affects the two-weapon fighting penalty, not the Multiattack penalty. You could ask your DM to adjust the class to allow it to work with Multiattack.
  • Pouncing Strike only works when wielding two weapons; this is different than the other abilities, which work when attacking with claws or certain weapons. You can't use this with claws.
  • Shifting will give you claws if you previously didn't have them, e.g. you were a Longtooth shifter, and will now have claws too. However, in that case you'd need to take the Two-Weapon Fighting feat to qualify for the prestige class, since you need three natural weapons to qualify for Multiattack. It's pointless if you already had claws; I'm not sure that this ability should be interpreted to give you a second set of claw attacks.

Rending Claws will still work for you, dealing an extra 2d6 damage when you hit with both claws.

The feat Improved Multiattack (Savage Species p.36) may benefit you more than this prestige class. It removes the penalty for secondary attacks entirely, assuming you have both claws and bite thanks to a feat like Extra Shifter Trait (Eberron Campaign Setting).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Multiattack’s switch from −5 to −2 is usually pretty relevant; Improved Multiattack taking you from −2 to +0 is usually less so. I’d only do that if I had a lot of natural weapons; 1-2 secondary weapons don’t seem like enough to justify it. (Though I agree it’s still probably better than bloodclaw master, which is a thoroughly mediocre prestige class even for those it works entirely for.) \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Sep 21 '18 at 21:14

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