I am playing a Zen Archer Monk. I have a question about using my full attack.

A monks unarmed strike is defined as

At 1st level, a monk gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. A monk's attacks may be with fist, elbows, knees, and feet. This means that a monk may make unarmed strikes with his hands full. There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a monk striking unarmed. A monk may thus apply his full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all his unarmed strikes.

The zen archer does not change or remove a monks unarmed strike.

Now a monk makes a flurry of blows using unarmed strikes while the zen archer uses a bow. But Im not asking or talking about the flurry, Im talking about the full attack action which is based off the class BAB of 3/4 progression. Once you get high enough it allows you to make multiple attacks. Am I allowed to change between making ranged attacks with my bow and making melee attacks with my fist (or Combat Maneuver) using the full attack using the correct modifiers for each?

It mostly comes down to making a single Combat Maneuver with the rest ranged attacks, but I need to find out if this is allowed.

I'm pretty sure it is possible, but another player has expressed doubt.


1 Answer 1


A creature that takes a normal full attack action can freely mix melee attacks, ranged attacks, and combat maneuvers counting as attacks

No limitations are placed on what kind of attacks can be made during a full attack, the action specifying only attacks and not requiring, for example, all attacks to be melee attacks because the first attack was a melee attack. (I'm not sure how else such a restriction would be adjudicated—good thing it doesn't matter!) During a full attack combat maneuvers that count as attacks like disarm, sunder, and trip can also be mixed freely alongside those melee and ranged attacks, but combat maneuvers taking a standard action like grapple and overrun can't.

Hence any creature—zen archer monk or not—that takes a full-round action to make a full attack (and not a flurry of blows) can lead with the combat maneuver trip (and possibly provoke attacks of opportunity) then follow that with ranged attacks (and, if threatened, possibly provoke more attacks of opportunity). (Also, such a creature will suffer a −4 penalty on ranged attack rolls made against that prone target.)

The only real advantage a zen archer monk has in using such a tactic is that, due to the monk's extraordinary ability unarmed strike, such a monk really doesn't need to take a free action remove one hand from his bow to attempt the combat maneuver trip then take a free action to put his free hand back on the bow to make the ranged attacks. Whether other creatures attempting the same routine must go through this rigamarole is up to the GM.

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    \$\begingroup\$ and to be clear Zen archers can only flurry with bows and not with unarmed strikes or combat maneuvers. \$\endgroup\$
    – Duncan
    Jul 18, 2016 at 19:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ While this seems legit, can I have a source on this? \$\endgroup\$
    – Frezak
    Jan 12, 2017 at 22:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Frezak I'm not entirely sure what you want sourced, but if looking for a source that says specifically A creature with a sufficiently high base attack bonus can freely mix melee attacks and ranged attacks, that's never stated outright but something folks seem to intuit, like in these threads from 2010, 2012, and 2014. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 12, 2017 at 23:31

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