|Description:||An unarmed strike is the default attack a character makes when not equipped with weapons. Unarmed strikes will provoke an attack of opportunity unless the character has the improved unarmed strike feat (or has something equipped in the gloves or bracers slot).|
|damage||1d2 (small creature) or|
1d3 (medium creature)*
|damage type||bludgeoning damage|
* Unarmed damage for monks is special. See the monk article for details.
- Unarmed strike benefits from the weapon finesse feat.
- Gloves can give an attack or damage bonus to unarmed strikes.
- Even though unarmed strikes are weaponless, it is possible to get weapon focus in unarmed strikes. However, this focus does not satisfy the "weapon focus in a melee weapon" requirement for the champion of Torm and weapon master prestige classes.
- Unarmed strikes are traditionally favored by monks since many monk abilities only operate while fighting unarmed. In addition, monks get improved unarmed strike for free.
- Monk abilities that are functional only when unarmed include stunning fist (which has improved effectiveness for monks), ki strike, and the monk's increased unarmed damage (going up to 1d20 at level 16 for medium-sized monks).
- Monk abilities that are functional only when unarmed or fighting with a kama include flurry of blows and the monk's unarmed base attack bonus.
- It is not possible to dual-wield fists, so a non-weapon item (e.g. a shield) may be held in the off-hand with no penalty to attacks.
- Many creatures that do not appear to have a weapon use natural weapons instead of unarmed strike. This is usually the case for polymorphed creatures.
- In several respects, natural weapons are treated as unarmed strikes. Natural weapons benefit from the unarmed variants of improved critical and overwhelming critical, and they allow stunning fist, flurry of blows, ki strike, circle kick, and the monk unarmed base attack bonus to be used.
- Natural weapons are unlike unarmed strikes in that their use does not provoke an attack opportunity, they do not benefit from a monk's increased unarmed damage, and they do not benefit from the unarmed variants of epic and regular weapon focus, epic and regular weapon specialization, nor devastating critical. Unlike attacks with creature weapons, attacks with unarmed strikes do not penetrate a target's damage reduction according to the attacker's damage reduction.