Unarmed Strike is not Finesse

6 thoughts on “Unarmed Strike is not Finesse

  1. Colin Ryan says:

    However, a Monk’s Martial Arts trait specifies that the monk may use his Dexterity modifier for attack and damage with his unarmed strike and his “monk weapons”, which is a shortsword, or any simple weapon other than a greatclub (because it has the 2-handed property). Which also means that for monks, and ONLY for monks, a club, a mace, a quarterstaff, and a spear can use Dexterity for attack and damage, JUST LIKE a finesse weapon.

  2. Oziie says:

    This one is kinda semantical. You can absolutely treat Unarmed Strikes as a Monk like Finesse weapons, but they don’t—RAW—have the Finesse trait. I wouldn’t allow it for Sneak Attacks because of that, but would probably allow any other ambiguous usages.

    • Kale says:

      I’d absolutely say that a monk’s Martial Arts unarmed strike qualifies as a finesse weapon, despite unarmed strikes only counting as light weapons (normally). That being said, the reason a sucker punch works so well is because they are a flat footed sneak attack. That is why sucker punches can absolutely devastate someone of equal or greater power in a fight. I say, “Allow it!”

      • I am in concurrence with this opinion. Mechanically, using Dexterity a Monk is effectively using his fists as Finesse weapons in everything but name. Realistically, a sucker punch would be devastating.

        In my sessions, I personally consider Fists as a sort of “Half-Finesse” weapon for all classes. Only Monks get the full Martial Arts treatment, using Dex to attack and for damage, but Rogues can use their fists as Finesse weapons for the purposes of a Sneak attack.

        *Rogue taps on unsuspecting guard’s shoulder*
        *Guard turns to see who’s there*
        *WAP*
        [1 + Str mod + 3d6 non-lethal damage]
        Rogue: “Nite nite!”

        No, it’s not RAW but, in my opinion, Rule-of-Cool overrides that. And for story purposes, this works for all classes against mooks outside of combat situations. Surprise + Fist + Mook’s face = Unconscious Mook.

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