I have a player who wants to use gauntlets with his Brawler for enchanting purposes, and the race he chose grants him Powerful Build. By my understanding of the Brawler's Unarmed Strike ability text:

A brawler may attack with fists, elbows, knees, and feet. This means that a brawler may make unarmed strikes with her hands full.

…the answer would be a definite a negative. However I would like to see if anyone else has any other information, RAW or RAI (Rules as Interpreted), to assist in this matter.

  • \$\begingroup\$ RAI = Read As Intended, which may vary between person to person but is still based on what appears to be the meaning based on contextual clues. eg, opinion based on fact, context, and precident. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dorian
    Dec 23, 2015 at 20:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ thank you - you'd be suprised how differently people interpret that term :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Wibbs
    Dec 23, 2015 at 20:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ironically, your explanation of "rules as intended" is actually what's called "rules as interpreted". ("Rules as intended" means the designer's intentions as stated outside the rules text.) I've put that in your question as such. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 23, 2015 at 21:08
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Ah, I always kinda stuck actual designer intentions as errata, and when not actually published or official (eg "hard errata") it's at least soft errata. Either way, as long as the point gets across that's all that matters right? lol \$\endgroup\$
    – Dorian
    Dec 23, 2015 at 21:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Exactly! But that was a great example of why the abbreviation "RAI" by itself is pretty useless. :) \$\endgroup\$ Dec 23, 2015 at 22:19

1 Answer 1


Probably Not

The status of gauntlets, cesti, rope gauntlets, and other weapons of that sort has never been officially FAQed, but Sean Reynolds and James Jacobs have made forum statements that no, these all count as weapons and therefore are not vectors for enchanting unarmed strikes (nor do they count as unarmed strikes for monk or brawler improved unarmed damage, stunning fist, etc.). That is also the general Pathfinder Society practice. Here's a Paizo forum post (one of hundreds) that is nicely concise. http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2t2ss?Gauntlet-to-unarmed-strike

However, since there has never been a ruling of impeccable authority on the question, it is ultimately up to your table. To save the usual monk haters the time, I will note that many believe that monk/unarmed stuff is weak enough that allowing gauntlet etc. enchants is still balanced, though these analyses largely don't account for the brawler, unchained monk, and other newer, more powerful classes trying to do the same thing.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .