Can a monk + bear warrior do a flurry of blows?

If the unarmed damage of the monk was 2d10 (e.g. the monk was at level 20) would the damage be the same (unarmed) when becoming a bear and "punching/kicking" enemies?


1 Answer 1



Every creature has an unarmed strike—they don’t usually use them because of their natural weapons, but they still can, and if they’re a monk, they very well may wish to.

Proving this is tricky, however: the books don’t come out and say “every creature has an unarmed strike.” However, the rule for making an unarmed attacks doesn’t limit their use to those who lack natural weapons:

An unarmed strike from a Medium character deals 1d3 points of damage (plus your Strength modifier, as normal). A Small character’s unarmed strike deals 1d2 points of damage, while a Large character’s unarmed strike deals 1d4 points of damage. All damage from unarmed strikes is nonlethal damage. Unarmed strikes count as light weapons (for purposes of two-weapon attack penalties and so on).

Tangential, but you may want to consider Beast Strike or similar

Beast Strike is a weird feat from Dragon vol. 355 that allows you to add claw (or slam) damage to your unarmed strike, effectively letting a monk with claws combine their unarmed strikes and their claws. The wording is a bit wonky and there’s a lot of questions about how exactly it works, so you should discuss it with your DM, but ultimately it’s a pretty good idea and a decent feat to take. In this case, since you’re making unarmed strikes, the interaction with flurry of blows is much clearer, and your claws are still “worth something” because you get bonus damage from them (personally, I think this is how they should have modeled natural attacks in the first place).

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    \$\begingroup\$ Most creatures (e.g. many of those without the improved grab ability) that get to Step 3: Hold deal their unarmed damage. That giraffe holding you down will neckslap you. Or something. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 9, 2022 at 4:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan I don’t know about grapples, but have you seen footage of giraffe fights? They swing their heads around like flails, it’s astonishing and terrifying. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Dec 9, 2022 at 5:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan Thank you for the clear answer! I have a follow up question about numbers of attack if that is ok: If the monk when human has 4+2 attacks during the flurry of blows would she have another attack (so 5+2) when doing flurrying of blows as a bear because she has the "Bite" natural weapon in that form? \$\endgroup\$
    – Digius
    Commented Dec 9, 2022 at 7:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Digius Actually, that’s one of the first answers I wrote on this site. (Note that the accepted answer is explicitly wrong, both RAW and, going by the FAQ, RAI.) \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Dec 9, 2022 at 12:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Digius Oh, but on the other hand, note that if you also take Beast Strike, that gets into one of the “questions about how exactly it works.” \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Dec 9, 2022 at 13:28

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