I'm working on a build that uses the feats Great Throw and Knock-Down, so even with the errata'd version of Knock-Down I can still deal unarmed strike damage again with almost every attack. Problem is, I want to use a reach weapon for the initial attack (one that can't be used to trip), so I need a way to extend the reach of my unarmed strikes without extending the reach of that weapon, so there's an overlap.

Why can't I just use a different weapon, or no weapon at all? Well, I'm trying to pull this off with Eldritch Glaive (which attacks as a reach weapon), and I assume any trip attacks (which have to be made unarmed since the glaive can't trip) have to actually be within unarmed reach.

Is there anything that extends the reach of unarmed strikes without extending the reach of reach weapons?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Were a warshaper to employ the supernatural ability morphic reach, it seems like the ability would also increase the reach of its reach weapons ("A warshaper of 3rd level or higher can suddenly stretch…, giving it 5 more feet of reach than the creature it's emulating"). Nonetheless, I'm not really clear on why you wouldn't want your reach increased all the time, especially if using reach weapon. After all, just because you can hit foes that are far away doesn't usually mean you must. Could the question explain this process in more detail? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan May 30 '19 at 7:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Ugh you're right, for some reason I thought Morphic Reach only worked on natural weapons. As for why I need it, as part of a trip attack you need to make an unarmed touch attack, so if you're using a reach weapon to trigger Knock-Down you can't actually (I think) take advantage of your free trip attempt because the target is out of reach of that unarmed touch attack. \$\endgroup\$ – Poetically Psychotic May 30 '19 at 7:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ I guess it's a good ask, but it sounds almost contradictory. I mean, the obvious solution is either Get closer or Don't use a reach weapon then go ahead and increase your reach generally by as much as you want. But, sure, How can I increase my unarmed strike reach without increasing my overall reach? is legit. Have fun! \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan May 30 '19 at 7:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Problem is I want to use it with Eldritch Glaive, which doesn't have any options besides "reach weapon that can't trip" \$\endgroup\$ – Poetically Psychotic May 30 '19 at 7:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ Aha! Mention the glaive in your question! That'll help folks get a handle on what you're after. (Also, consider asking the separate question Can the benefit of the feat Knock-down be used in conjunction with any weapon or only with weapons that can trip? I can see going answers going either way on that!) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan May 30 '19 at 7:25

The biggest problem is that using the Eldritch Glaive is a full round action. It makes many feats, spells and powers invalid in this case. You could use a quickend spell or psionic power, but they would either have limited uses per day or would cost a lot of gold if it was a magic or psionic item.

Fixing the problem with one simple feat.

If the biggest problem is having an enemy in reach of both the glaive and unarmed attacks, you may consider Shorten grip feat (Dragon Compendium) . Since Eldritch Glaive is treated as a glaive, this feat should work for it. It allows you to treat the weapon as it wasn't a reach weapon, but it imposes -2 penalty to such attacks.

Using a stance

Dancing Blade Form (Tome of Battle) is a 5-th level stance from the school of Iron Heart. It increases your reach by 5 feet. Activating it is a swift action, so you could initiate it after the attack with the glaive.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Does that work? Eldritch Blast (and by extension Eldritch Glaive) isn't a weapon-like effect, and so typically feats like this don't work for it. EDIT: I think it does! Genius! \$\endgroup\$ – Poetically Psychotic Jun 1 '19 at 3:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Shorten Grip does not work on eldritch glaive. Eldritch glaive isn't an actual weapon, you just get to use it as if it were one for the purposes of attacks. How far that goes is debatable but Shorten Grip is going vastly farther than I have ever seen anyone allow it. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jun 1 '19 at 12:53

Assuming you have an existing character, or want to start as a normal race: Get a grappling tentacle graft installed (Fiend Folio). Cast extend tentacles (Savage Species), and permanency (explicitly called out as allowed).

Et voila, natural attacks with ten-foot reach that do not affect weapon reach. Note that this is a pricey option, and you can get cheaper versions if you are willing to spend feats or other character options.


Lords of Madness p. 180 has the Aberrant feat Inhuman Reach.

It increases your reach by 5 ft. by elongating your arms, making you obviously, well aberrant. It comes with the Prerequisite of Aberration Blood (another feat in that book) and, sadly, you take a -1 penalty on all melee attack rolls.

Probably for having rubber tentacle arms, or something.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Ummm... Why was this downvoted? \$\endgroup\$ – MrHiTech May 30 '19 at 17:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MrHiTech Not my downvote, but I expect this answer was downvoted because the Inhuman Reach feat increases the creature's overall reach and the question asks for ways to increase the creature's reach only for its unarmed strike. (Yes, the question's an odd one—see my comment on the question beginning, "I guess it's a good ask,…"—, but it's valid, and this answer was posted before the asker mentioned the reach issue had to do with eldritch glaive.) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan May 30 '19 at 17:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan ahh. Missed that. \$\endgroup\$ – MrHiTech May 30 '19 at 20:14

The Bloodwind spell from the Spell Compendium is your friend.

In part, the spell is described as follows:

The subject can take a full attack action to use all of its natural weapons or unarmed strikes as if they were thrown weapons with a 20-foot range increment. The subject gestures as if making a melee attack, but the result of the attack affects a target within range. This spell does not actually grant reach....

The action limitation of a full attack action might bother some, but otherwise this might be just the ticket.

As a first level spell, it is pretty cost effective to make it into an at will magic item.

You might want to pair it with some action granting effects.

The nice thing about this effect is that it can count as both ranged and melee, if not in the same round, unless you use effects which grant extra actions, same as for the glaive.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Sadly using the Eldritch Glaive is a fullround action. \$\endgroup\$ – Momonga-sama May 31 '19 at 9:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's why you make it an at-will magic item. The cost increase isn't as bad as normal because it's a first level spell. Pair it with some action granting effect. This allows you to use it with the glaive. \$\endgroup\$ – nijineko May 31 '19 at 15:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Bloodwind requires you to use a fullround action. Eldritch glaive also requires you to use a fullround action. You'd need to make 2 full round actions in a single round. \$\endgroup\$ – Momonga-sama May 31 '19 at 16:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Entirely doable, if pricey. \$\endgroup\$ – nijineko Jun 1 '19 at 1:54

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