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I decided to try and build a Catfolk (with 2 claws) Unchained Monk because of their interesting Favored Class Bonus. Then I read about Claw Blades and was very confused.

So how do Claw Blades work, exactly?

  • If I use Claw Blades, which turn my natural claw attacks into light slashing weapons (weren't claws already Light slahsing weapons!?), does that mean I can't perform "2 Claws" attack routine anymore or do they just make my normal 2 claws be considered as manufactured for the purposes of enchanting and stuff, and I still attack as if they were natural weapon?
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If I use Claw Blades, which turn my natural claw attacks into light slashing weapons (weren't claws already Light slahsing weapons!?),

No.

Claws are not light slashing weapons, they are light slashing/bludgeoning natural weapons. The difference is subtle but there are rules that cover them separatedly, specially for natural weapons.

The difference being that manufactured weapons can be enchanted (ie: made into magical items), while natural weapons cannot, they can gain bonuses from spells and certain magic items, but by themselves, they cannot be enhanced magically. Natural weapons can also be enhanced by feats that enhance natural attacks, while manufactured weapons cannot.

does that mean I can't perform "2 Claws" attack routine anymore

Yes, that is exactly the drawback from using Claw Blades, you gain the ability to keep your damage die, gain an +1 enhancement on the damage, and it becomes a manufactured weapon for all purposes, including enchanting and enhancing them. And they can also be used on interative attacks from high BAB.

Similar to Brass Knuckles for monks.

However, the Rending Claw Blades seems to point that Claw Blades should work just like your claws, despite being manufactured weapons now.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Rending Claw blade makes it very confusing since they say they are used with multiple claw attacks and yet, they are still Claw Blades and should have the same rules. \$\endgroup\$ – ChibiNya Mar 15 '17 at 16:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ Exactly. If i had to guess the RAI, i would say they are still treated as natural attacks. But considering the can of worms about Brass Knuckles for monks, maybe the devs are also divided about it. One thing is certain, nothing really prevents all catfolks from using claw blades if there is no drawback on it. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Mar 15 '17 at 17:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Think they were introduced to make claw-centric Catfolk more viable, so all of them would use them. But we still don't know how a full attack with that weapon is supposed to be treated... \$\endgroup\$ – ChibiNya Mar 15 '17 at 21:44
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Claw blades turn your claws into manufactured weapons for everything, just as if you were wielding any other manufactured weapon. I have seen it ruled that they still count as claws for special abilities like claw pounce feat but I am not sure if that is RAW.

For monks (both unchained and core) claw blades can not be used to make a flurry of blows unless they have a special ability that adds them to the available weapons.

When using this ability, the monk can make these attacks with any combination of his unarmed strikes and weapons that have the monk special weapon quality.

Claw blades are neither unarmed nor monk weapons.

For other classes one of the best ways of using claw blades is to use them on one hand and leave the other hand your normal natural weapon claws because that way you get your attacks from BAB with the claw blades plus one additional secondary claw attack from the second hand.

Whether the claws without blades can be used by an unchained monk is discussed elsewhere so I will not include it in my answer.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Favored Class Bonus makes them Monk Weapons, but yeah. \$\endgroup\$ – ChibiNya Mar 15 '17 at 16:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, I did not find the favoured class bonus on the PRD. \$\endgroup\$ – Umbranus Mar 16 '17 at 7:49
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As said in their description : "change the weapon type from a natural weapon to a light slashing weapon". Natural attacks are different from light weapons but still benefit from feats and other special abilities that improve light weapons, such as Weapon Finesse. Then you cannot make two attacks at your highest base attack bonus in a full-attack with claw blades equipped.

On the plus side, you can make more attacks per round with these when your base attack bonus allows it. Unless you have a natural attack that somehow improves with levels, manufactured weapons are always better in the long run.

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