Does the Quick Draw & Flick of the Wrist feat work with Unarmed Strikes?

Flick of the Wrist from Song and Silence makes a target flat-footed if you use the Quick Draw feat as part of the attack, assuming weapons are readily available and on your person. Can this work with unarmed strikes since you neither draw nor stow your arms or legs?

Flick of the Wrist [General]

With a single motion, you can draw a light weapon and make a devastating attack.

Prerequisite: Quick Draw (PH), DEX 17,

Benefit: If you draw a light weapon and make a melee attack with it in the same round, you catch your opponent fl at-footed (for the purpose of this attack only). This feat works only once per combat.

(Song and Silence: A Guidebook to Bards and Rogues, p. 39)

Theoretically, I can see it sort of work, almost like variation of a feint without a Bluff roll. A foe sees you unarmed, you appear vulnerable, and WHACK! hit 'em where it hurts. Great for brawler rogues or monk rogues.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ What feat? What third-party source? Already we have answers guessing, which doesn’t help you and actively hurts the site. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Mar 16, 2019 at 4:02
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ We can't accurately answer the question if we can't read the actual feat. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ruse
    Commented Mar 16, 2019 at 5:31
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ For the record, Song and Silence is a first-party, 3.0e supplement. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Mar 16, 2019 at 12:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ (You don't need that stinky, old nonupdated 3e feat as the feat Flick of the Wrist was updated to 3.5 by Races of the Wild (150-1). I'll leave it to you if you want to update the question.) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 16, 2019 at 12:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ The only differences with the Races of the Wild version of the feat are that it can be used multiple times in one combat (maximum once per opponent and once per round) and requires 5 ranks in Sleight of Hand. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 16, 2019 at 17:19

2 Answers 2


Not unless your DM lets you "sheathe" your unarmed strike.

The feat clearly only triggers when you draw a weapon. A generous DM may allow you to surprise an enemy with an unarmed strike this way, and it would probably not be unbalanced, but the rule as written does not allow this.

The real question here is whether an unarmed strike is a weapon, and whether or not you can "draw" it.

D&D 3.5 Player's Handbook, p. 121 describes unarmed strike:

A Medium character deals 1d3 points of nonlethal damage with an unarmed strike, which may be a punch, kick, head butt, or other type of attack.

In order to "sheathe" your unarmed strike so that you can later "draw" it, you cannot simply stow your fists, but would need to stow your entire body. There's no logical way for you to do this.

The monk class description also states that monks train to fight "without weapons".

While there are certain rules which describe unarmed strikes as being weapons, specifically that they are considered light weapons, PHB p.139 seems to clarify that they are merely treated as weapons in terms of how they interact with other rules:

Unarmed strikes count as light weapons (for purposes of two-weapon attack penalties and so on).

And under "Unarmed Attacks":

Striking for damage with punches, kicks and head butts is much like attacking with a melee weapon, except for the following:

This suggests that an unarmed strike is not a weapon in D&D 3.5.

Pathfinder RPG's Core Rulebook, drawing from D&D 3.5's SRD, omits the PHB p.121 description, but still concurs with the 3.5 rule on Unarmed Attacks (Pathfinder Core Rulebook p.182) which agrees with the description. The rules for drawing and sheathing a weapon are unchanged. The Pathfinder rules therefore also concur that you cannot draw or stow an unarmed strike.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This helps a lot and we did get kick discussing with our group. One even asked would it count if you were to put your hands inside your pockets count as stowing said "light weapons". LOL \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 17, 2019 at 21:22

The rules don’t support it; there is no way to sheathe or draw an unarmed strike, and Flick of the Wrist clearly says you have to be using Quick Draw, which requires, ya know, drawing something. So no dice, RAW. Quadratic Wizard’s fine answer lays out all of the relevant rules quotes, but really, honestly, it’s just the meaning of the relevant English words. You can’t draw your own hand; it’s just always there.

That said, I would allow it. Flick of the Wrist has no apparent default fluff, but the idea seems to be that since you don’t have a weapon out/ready, even if the target knows you are looking to attack they don’t necessarily know when/where/how that attack is coming and they’re flat-footed. Works exactly the same with a fist as it does with a weapon. And since Quick Draw is a completely wasted feat for someone using unarmed strikes, I am in no way concerned about balance.

...actually, on second thought, I might disallow it just because I don’t want anyone thinking it’s a good idea, because it isn’t. It really isn’t good for any brawler/rogues or monk/rogues you might have, because by multiclassing they aren’t really progressing their unarmed strike or flurry of blows and should probably just use a pair of weapons anyway—particularly if they’re taking Quick Draw. Though, for that matter, a monk/rogue or brawler/rogue is, itself, a pretty poor idea.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .