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I'm playing a 3rd level Path of the Beast Barbarian. If my claws are out can a shield be used and still get 2 claw attacks in?

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    \$\begingroup\$ And with that out of the way, Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already and see the help center or ask us here in the comments (use @ to ping someone) if you need more guidance. Good Luck and Happy Gaming! \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Commented Dec 3, 2022 at 0:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Haha You're not so Evil !! \$\endgroup\$
    – Troy P
    Commented Dec 3, 2022 at 0:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ Part of this question is "can you make two claw attacks with one hand?" but the other part "can you still use a shield if each of your hands is a claw?" A good answer will address both parts. Related: this and this and this \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Commented Dec 14, 2022 at 19:40

1 Answer 1

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If one hand is free, you get two attacks

The OP asked if you can still get 2 claw attacks in.

At first it may seem one way...

Each of your hands transforms into a claw, which you can use as a weapon if it’s empty. It deals 1d6 slashing damage on a hit. Once on each of your turns when you attack with a claw using the Attack action, you can make one additional claw attack as part of the same action.

This says you can use the claw as a weapon if the claw is empty. Since it has a shield in it, the 2nd claw can't be used as a weapon.

But RAW,

it doesn't explicitly says that the second attack comes from the second claw, though many DMs would read it that way.

A combat round is 6 seconds long, which is plenty of time for a single claw to land 2 attacks. So you could argue that as long as one claw is empty, both attacks can be taken.

It's not overruled by more specific rules

Yes, the rules for Two-Weapon Fighting are more specific:

When you take the Attack Action and Attack with a light melee weapon that you’re holding in one hand, you can use a bonus Action to Attack with a different light melee weapon that you’re holding in the other hand. You don’t add your ability modifier to the damage of the bonus Attack, unless that modifier is negative.

But unless this is described as a two-weapon attack (it's not), this only demonstrates a precedent where if a second attack is meant to come from a second light weapon, it will say so.

The Beast Claw isn't described as two-weapon fighting or 'multiattack' in the Form of the Beast - Claws entry. In fact, it doesn't even cost a bonus action like 2-weapon fighting does. So it stands to reason that it would need to be specifically stated if the second attack was meant to have come from the second claw.

RAW, if one hand is free, you get two attacks.

Addendum: I checked the Monster Manual, and any references to Multiattack which uses specific limbs or specific attacks for their multiple attacks are always specified. Otherwise it's like, "X makes 3 tentacle attacks." The Beast Barb claw isn't even described as a Multiattack, but this is more evidence for the "it would say so" argument.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Now, if your raging beast dropped a weapon to free up one claw, did it have the presence of mind to hold onto the piece of wood in the other claw? \$\endgroup\$
    – Feygon
    Commented Dec 3, 2022 at 0:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ Well, that's a whole new question. How much mind sense does a "Raging" Barb still retain? \$\endgroup\$
    – Troy P
    Commented Dec 3, 2022 at 0:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ (The raging barbarian can't cast or concentrate on spells, but they have Danger Sense and enough awareness that their rage ends if they haven't attacked a hostile creature or taken damage, so they still know what's hostile. Those are the only standards of awareness mentioned) \$\endgroup\$
    – Feygon
    Commented Dec 3, 2022 at 0:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Feygon Two-weapon fighting only applies to weapons held in your hands. A level 5 thri-kreen beast barbarian can do 2 claw attacks & two-weapon fight with a pair of light weapons, though. \$\endgroup\$
    – Adeptus
    Commented Dec 5, 2022 at 3:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ Part of this question is "can you make two claw attacks with one hand?", which you address. But the other part of this question is "can you still use a shield if each of your hands is a claw?" and you don't address that. The answer would be improved by dealing explicitly with the second question. You might want to start here or here \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Commented Dec 14, 2022 at 19:37

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