Ok, I'm stuck in a rules question, and I can't decide on the answer. This is from a Rise of the Runelords campaign that's reached Fort Rannick. My players went up against the Ogre Fighters and one of my players has whips that he's used to disarm them. The Ogres then tried to punch him and we can't decide if their punches provoke attacks of opportunity or not, and if they do and he winds up tripping them, what then happens to their attack.
These are the relevant rules:
Unarmed Attacks: Striking for damage with punches, kicks, and head butts is much like attacking with a melee weapon, except for the following:
Attacks of Opportunity: Attacking unarmed provokes an attack of opportunity from the character you attack, provided she is armed. The attack of opportunity comes before your attack. An unarmed attack does not provoke attacks of opportunity from other foes, nor does it provoke an attack of opportunity from an unarmed foe. An unarmed character can’t take attacks of opportunity (but see “Armed” Unarmed Attacks, below).
“Armed” Unarmed Attacks: Sometimes a character’s or creature’s unarmed attack counts as an armed attack. A monk, a character with the Improved Unarmed Strike feat, a spellcaster delivering a touch attack spell, and a creature with natural physical weapons all count as being armed (see natural attacks).
Natural Attacks: (relevant section) Some fey, humanoids, monstrous humanoids, and outsiders do not possess natural attacks. These creatures can make unarmed strikes, but treat them as weapons for the purpose of determining attack bonuses, and they must use the two-weapon fighting rules when making attacks with both hands. See Table 3–1 for typical damage values for natural attacks by creature size.
Do the Ogre's fists count as "natural physical weapons" listed in the "Armed Unarmed Attacks" rule or not? I can make a case for both in this instance. I would count them as weapons to determine their attack bonus, and I would roll damage for them based off of the Natural Attacks by Size chart (I assume they fall under the "Other" listing), so for both attack and damage they count as physical weapons, but do they also count as such for attacks of opportunity?
Secondly, if they do provoke an AoO, and he then uses his whips and trips them, what happens to their attacks? The trip AoO would happen before the punch, so they fall prone. Does that then stop their punch completely and they lose their action, or do they get to still try to punch him while prone (with the penalty to attack roll)?