My (theoretical) Path of the Beast Barbarian (lvl 3) Rune Knight Fighter (lvl 5) is already in a Rage (on a previous turn) and would like to use its claws (natural weapons) to make as many attacks as possible.

Build specifics:

Fighting style: Two Weapon Fighting (adds modifier to off hand attacks, STR in this case)

Feat: Dual Wielder (ignores the "light" requirement for weapons, as natural weapons aren't light)

The situation:

The character attacks with its claws (1d6+str+2), then, as part of the same action, it attacks with the claws again as part of the beast feature (1d6+str+2), then attacks again as an extra attack (1d6+str+2), then uses a bonus action to make an off hand attack (1d6+str+2), after that the character action surges and attacks again with the claws (1d6+str+2) and then again because of extra attack (1d6+str+2).

Assuming all the attacks hit, but no critical hits, that adds up to 6d6+6*str+12. If strength mod=+4, then this is a total of 6d6+36 damage, which averages about 57 in a round.

My question is, RAW can the character do this (have I interpreted all the rules correctly)? Does it depend on DM interpretation? Or did I just to the math wrong somewhere?


1 Answer 1


You are not holding your claws in your hand

Path of the Beast's Form of the Beast says:

Until the rage ends, you manifest a natural weapon. It counts as a simple melee weapon for you, and you add your Strength modifier to the attack and damage rolls when you attack with it, as normal.

Claws. Each of your hands transforms into a claw, which you can use as a weapon if it's empty. It deals ld6 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.

Two Weapon Fighting:

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.

Since your claws transform into weapons, you are not holding a weapon in one hand. As you only can take a bonus action for the second weapon attack when you attack with a weapon that you're holding in one hand, and you are not doing that, you cannot attack with the second claw using two-weapon fighting. (Which also makes sense, as you already can do that as part of the claws feature).

The rest looks correct to me. You have action surge from fighter level 2, and extra attack from fighter level 5.

So you can go:

First Attack action: claw, then added claw from claws, then extra attack claw, all with full Stat boni.

Action Surge Attack action: claw, then extra attack claw (you only get to use the additional claws once per turn).

Total 5 attacks, 5d6 + 5 x 4 Str + 5 x 2 Rage, total 47 damage.

That said, talk to your DM. There are certainly other builds that can get to 57 damage per round, so allowing the use of claws here (especially considering you invested a fighting style and feat) seems not over the top.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I think the talk to your DM bit is really important here, it's a perfectly logical thing that while claws aren't held it entirely fits the theme and balance of two weapon fighting \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Commented Sep 23, 2023 at 9:07

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