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Would you mind casting an eye over this and check my understanding is correct?

This question refers to an NPC I'm modelling from AD&D Pegasus magazine #8. It's a 5th level Thri Kreen fighter and its base attack bonus is +7 it has +5 from its fighter levels and +2 from its hit dice. It has the Multiweapon Fighting feat. It has an 18 strength (+4). Therefore its total attack modifier is +11

Multiweapon Fighting penalties for fighting with multiple weapons are reduced by 2 with the primary hand and reduced by 6 with off hands. Normally a creature without this feat takes a -6 penalty on attacks made with its primary hand and a -10 penalty on attacks made with its off hands. It has one primary hand and all the others are off hands.

And the multi-attack feat.

Multi-attack the creature’s secondary attacks with natural weapons take only a -2 penalty. Without this feat the creature’s secondary attacks with natural weapons take a -5 penalty.

It's using a Gythka and a longsword (actually rather than a long sword it's a chain blade from Bastion Press' Torn Asunder 3rd party rule system, but for simplicity of this question let's assume it's a longsword)

The Gythka is being used as a double weapon:

Gythka: This two-handed exotic melee weapon is a polearm with a blade at each end. You can fi ght with it as if fighting with two weapons, but if you do, you incur all the normal attack penalties associated with fighting with two weapons, just as if you were using a one-handed weapon and a light weapon. A thri-kreen can wield two gythkas at once as double weapons due to its four arms, but takes penalties as if its off-hand weapon were a one-handed weapon, not a light weapon.

Therefore full attack bonuses would look like this:

+7 / +7 gythka, +7 longsword and two secondary with natural weapons +9 claw and +9 bite.

-4 penalty is imposed upon the manufactured weapons because although the thri kreen is using a double weapon (normally treated as a one handed and a light weapon therefore imposing a -2 penalty on manufactured weapon attacks with multi weapon fighting feat) he is also using a longsword which is a one handed weapon and instead a -4 penalty is imposed on ALL manufactured weapon attacks. The claw and the bite have a -2 penalty instead of -5 due to the Multi-attack feat.

Is my understanding of the total attack bonus with the respective weapons correct?

Also because it's part of the same question in the Expanded Psionics handbook on page 15 gives an example of a thri kreen fighting with 3 shortswords and seems to be implying the thri-kreen can only take a bite OR a claw as a secondary attack. I believe this is incorrect.

Natural Attacks: Thri-kreen can attack with four claws and a bite. The claws deal 1d4 points of damage, and the bite is a secondary attack that also deals 1d4 points of damage. A thri-kreen can attack with a weapon (or multiple weapons) at its normal attack bonus, and make either a bite or claw attack as a secondary attack. For example, a thri-kreen ranger with the Multiweapon Fighting feat who is armed with three short swords could attack with all three swords at a –2 penalty (the normal penalty for fighting with multiple weapons while using light weapons in its off hands) and also make a bite attack at a –5 penalty.

Because, however this is not the case when we consult the entry for thri-kreen on page 213 of the same book.

Full Attack: 4 claws +3 melee (1d4+1) and bite –2 melee (1d4 plus poison); or longspear +3 melee (1d8+1/×3) and 2 claws –2 melee (1d4) and bite –2 melee (1d4 plus poison); or javelin +4 ranged (1d6+1)

Wherein it takes a primary attack with the longspear, 2 claw attacks AND a bite attack.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Don't worry about the chainblade it's irrelevant I regret mentioning it now, just assume it's a longsword. The version of the thri-kreen and the gythka are being sourced from expanded psionic handbook. \$\endgroup\$ – MichaelDorf Jan 31 at 21:07
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On the either/or of the natural attacks of the thri-kreen

When the Wizards of the Coast thri-kreen originally appeared for Dungeons & Dragons, Third Edition in Monster Manual II (Sept. 2002) (195–6) there was no statistical or narrative mention of limitations on its natural weapons, but the creature's full attack entry includes only its gythka (once) and its bite, despite it having available two claws.

The second Wizards of the Coast thri-kreen appearance—the first after the 3.5 revision—in the Expanded Psionics Handbook (Apr. 2004) in the narrative Thri-Kreen Racial Traits on Natural Attacks, in part, says, "A thri-kreen can attack with a weapon (or multiple weapons) at its normal attack bonus, and make either a bite or claw attack as a secondary attack," and includes the 3 short swords and a bite example (15 and emphasis mine), but it omits this information in the thri-kreen's monster entry (213—14).

Noonan's "Dark Sun: Setting and Races" (Dragon #319 (May 2004)) presents the same information as the XPH's narrative—including the example—but omits a thri-kreen stat block (29—30). Identically, Shining South (Oct. 2004) does the same as the XPH, presenting the narrative information first (15–16) then contradicting it in the book's monster entry (72–3).

There's a legal argument that says that that the narrative can take a hike because a monster's stat block is the primary source for that monster ("A monster’s statistics block supersedes the descriptive text" (Monster Manual v.3.5 Errata 1)). While that may be technically true, convincing the DM that the Shining South stat block for the thri-kreen is right and the Shining South chapter "Races and Religions" on the thri-kreen is wrong could take some effort. A campaign could end up with a compromise sees thri-keen PCs' natural attacks suffer that weird either/or limitation and thri-kreen NPCs' natural attacks not suffer that limitation. (This DM recommends against this anti-PC bias.)

In case you're curious, in Logue and Victorson's "The Obsidian Eye" (Dungeon #120 (Mar. 2005)), the thri-kreen antagonists make their full attacks with their manufactured weapons and all of their available natural attacks: each attacks twice with a gythka, once with each remaining claw, and bites once. Editorial control on Dungeon is, in my opinion, pretty tight—if it's not then characters die and subscriptions were cancelled, and the writer's guidelines for adventures mandated the inclusion of a spreadsheet showing the adventure's treasure distribution—, so this points this reader in the direction of treating all thri-kreen's natural weapons like any other creature's and just ignoring that weird either/or limit.

That thri-keen fighter 5 with a chainblade or gythka on a full attack

I can confirm the question's numbers are accurate. When a Strength 18 thri-keen fighter 5 that possesses the feats Multiattack (Monster Manual 304) and Multiweapon Fighting (304) and that wields in two hands either a chainblade (Torn Asunder (2003) 73, 74) (300 gp; 6 lbs.) or a gythka (Shining South 16) (60 gp; 25 lbs.) and in one hand a longsword (Player's Handbook 116, 119) (15 gp; 4 lbs.) makes a full attack with its manufactured and natural weapons, it's attack bonuses for its attacks are as follows:

  • chainblade or gythka: +7 base +4 Str −4 penalty via the feat Multiweapon Fighting (reduced from −6 from two-weapon fighting with a nonlight offhand weapon) equals +7 melee or +7/+7 melee (1d8+6/17–20 or 1d10+4/1d10+2) .
  • longsword: +7 base +4 Str −4 penalty via the feat Multiweapon Fighting (reduced from −6 from two-weapon fighting with a nonlight offhand weapon) equals +7 melee (1d8+2/19–20).
  • claw: +7 base +4 Str −2 penalty via the feat Multiattack (reduced from the normal −5 penalty from it being a secondary natural attack) equals +9 melee (1d4+2). The DM may rule that during a full attack the thri-keen can make attacks with one or more manufactured weapons and either only one claw or a bite; see above.
  • bite: +7 base +4 Str −2 penalty via the feat Multiattack (reduced from the normal −5 penalty from it being a secondary natural attack) equals +9 melee (1d4+2 plus poison). The DM may rule that during a full attack the thri-keen can make attacks with one or more manufactured weapons and either only one claw or a bite; see above.
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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for this. \$\endgroup\$ – MichaelDorf Jan 31 at 22:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MichaelDorf You're welcome. Like many things about this game, I only wish the source material were clearer. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jan 31 at 23:01

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