NOTE: I recently posed this question to Wizards Customer Support, and thought I'd share with the community. This came up when the offline Character Builder appeared to be mishandling the AC bonus of Iron Parry, and I found the verbiage of the feat to be mildly confusing.

Iron Parry grants a +1 to AC under the following condition (quoted from D&DI Compendium):

"When you are wielding a weapon (other than your monk unarmed strike), wearing cloth armor or no armor, and not using a shield"

However, "other than your monk unarmed strike" seems to be sort of confusing. Is it meant to be exclusive, meaning you cannot wield your monk unarmed strike at all? Or is it inclusive, meaning that you must at least wield something other than monk unarmed strike in one hand - but you can still have monk unarmed strike in the other hand?


2 Answers 2


From Robert, of the WotC Online Response Crew:

Wielding Monk Unarmed Strike in one of your hands does not prevent you from getting this bonus. You simply must be wielding a weapon that is not your Unarmed Strike to get the +1 bonus to AC.


The Parry part - the IRON parry is coming (at least in part) from the weapon/held object. In effect- you are using it as a shield (this is why you can't use a shield).

As a DM I would also allow improvised weapons to be held- this could be anything from a chair to a stick to a frying pan. You just have to be holding something.


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