Rules on Multiattack state the following:

Prerequisite: Three or more natural attacks.
Benefit: The creature's secondary attacks with natural weapons take only a –2 penalty.
Normal: Without this feat, the creature's secondary attacks with natural weapons take a –5 penalty.

Though the feat has as a prerequisite having 3 natural attacks, it doesn't makes any mention if one of these has to be a secondary natural attack, even though the feat only affects secondary natural attacks.

If a monster has 2 claws, 1 bite, and 1 gore, would it be allowed to take and benefit from the feat Multiattack?


3 Answers 3


There's a GM ruling to be had here, depending on the order they choose to apply effects. At my table, Yes, the creature can take and benefit from the feat, depending on the circumstances.

Taking the feat: The prerequisites are pretty straightforward. It's fairly clear you can take the feat if you have at least three natural attacks.

Benefiting from the feat: This is a little harder, and where the GM call comes in, but here is what I consider the "common sense" call. Normally, a creature with only primary natural attacks doesn't gain any benefit from Multiattack because they have no secondary natural attacks to reduce the penalty on. However, many creatures are intelligent enough to use weapons. When you make a full attack with one or more manufactured weapons, you can still add each of your natural weapons (except usually claw or slam attacks that use the hand you're holding the weapon in) to that full attack in addition to getting your full complement of normal attacks, but those natural attacks are treated as secondary attacks regardless of their normal status.

Your example creatures with two claws, a bite, and a gore could still use the bite and gore (and possibly a claw) while taking a full attack with a weapon. Depending on his BAB, he might be able to take multiple attacks with a weapon or two and still get in two or three of his naturals as well. In these cases, the Multiattack feat will offset three points of penalty to each natural weapon attack, changing them from -5 to -2. If the damage difference between his claws and his weapons is significant, this can be a very advantageous move.

Two other uses for using weapons in addition to natural attacks: reach weapons and ranged weapons. Using a longspear can double your reach, while allowing you to retain the ability to attack and threaten the adjacent squares as well, thanks to your bite and gore attacks. An archer or crossbowman could still make two attacks into his melee range as part of a bow full attack, and still threaten melee as well. Just note that your ranged attacks still provoke attacks of opportunity.

  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan I probably could have made it more clear that your complaint is exactly why I said the benefit is still a GM call, because RAW is ambiguous there. I'll revisit this and try to clean it up some when I wake up tonight (those words in that order are the reason I hate working third shift), but you're welcome to organize it if you like. I get wordy and ramble a bit when I'm half-asleep, so I'm sure it could use it. (Completely unrelated trivia: my rep is now over 9000! I feel special.) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 3, 2015 at 13:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ This answer is largely correct, if a bit disconnected and full of ancillary information. Should directly answer the question. 1) Yes you can take the feat. 2) You would only benefit if you have secondary attacks, like when fighting with 2 weapons and natural attacks. \$\endgroup\$
    – Wyrmwood
    Commented Aug 4, 2015 at 19:10

Yes, the creature would be able to take the feat Multiattack

Without any Secondary Attacks, the creature would not benefit from the feat.

The creature's secondary attacks with natural weapons take only a –2 penalty.

Emphasis Mine, the feat will only reduce the penalty for secondary attacks,

As according to Natural Attacks, Claw, Bite and Gore are all Primary attacks, you will not receive a benefit.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I never realized how vastly different PF and 3.5 were in regards to what constitutes a secondary/primary natural attack. The result is that multiattack is a lot less powerful for PF than it was for 3.5 I guess. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bas Jansen
    Commented Aug 3, 2015 at 9:12

Yes, the monster would be allowed to take Multiattack, and yes, you would need secondary attacks in order to benefit from it. The natural attacks in your example wouldn't benefit from the feat.

Monster: 2 Claws, One Bite and Horns (Gore) = 4 natural attacks. Primary or secondary doesn't mean anything for the feat prerequisite.


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