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Are there any means for an unarmed Brawler Fighter to count as "wielding" a weapon?

Wednesday Boy

The Nerd WhoFell to Earth
I like the aestetics of playing a bare knuckle Brawler Fighter but without wielding a weapon in his primary hand my PC would not get a shield and Fort bonus (see below).

Martial Power 2 said:
While you wield a weapon in your primary hand and your off hand is free or grabbing a creature, you gain a +1 bonus to AC and a +2 bonus to Fortitude.
Are there any means (barring houseruling) to count as wielding while not actually holding a weapon? I assume the monk's unarmed strike would not change the situation but maybe there's a rule about the monk unarmed strike that I overlooked. Thanks for the help!
 

mneme

Villager
Spiked gauntlets?

But I'd argue that the Monk Unarmed Strike certainly -does- count.

monk unarmed strike said:
Simple one-handed melee weapon

Damage: 1d8
Proficient: +3

Properties:
Off-Hand (An off-hand weapon is light enough that you can hold it and attack effectively with it while holding a weapon in your main hand. You can’t attack with both weapons in the same turn, unless you have a power that lets you do so, but you can attack with either weapon.).
 

D'karr

Villager
An unarmed attack is, by the rules, an Improvised Melee WEAPON

Proficiency - N/A
Damage - 1d4
Group - Unarmed

So unless you are carrying something else in that "primary hand" you are "wielding a Melee Weapon".

PHB Page 219 Melee Weapons Table
 

Incenjucar

Villager
You are basically always wielding a weapon of some sort unless you say you are not (holding instead of wielding, etc) or you are wielding something else (like an implement). If you have any object in your hand that would interfere with your wielding an unarmed attack weapon, you'd then just be able to wield that item as an improvised weapon.
 

Larrin

Entropic Good
wrist razors from dark sun work for certain..
Simple one-handed melee weapon
Cost: 1 gp
Damage: 1d4
Proficient: +3
Weight: 1 lb.

This weapon consists of three sharp blades that protrude from a sturdy bracer, freeing the wielder’s hand. A shield cannot be worn on the same arm as wrist razors. Wrist razors do not need to be drawn, nor do they need to be sheathed for the wielder to use the hand the razors are on. An enchanted wrist razor occupies the arms slot.
Spiked guantlets leaving your hand free, unarmed( and monk unarmed strike) being weilding a weapon, these are reasonable and probably legal, but are not slam dunks, based on what i can see from the compendium.
 
Its a nice theory but not really. When the rules talk about wielding a weapon they mean a weapon, not "unarmed attack", which isn't really a weapon. You can ALWAYS make an unarmed attack, even if you ARE holding weapons in your hands. It just represents your ability to say head butt, kick, punch, or any other sort of possibility. It isn't a weapon of its own. Consider, you can be holding a bow (a 2-handed weapon) and STILL make an OA using an unarmed attack.

Also things like two-weapon attack and defense would work fine with empty hands, which they really clearly are not intended to.

The Monk's Unarmed Strike mainly exists for exactly this reason. It defines an actual weapon and lets you treat your empty fist as one.
 

Incenjucar

Villager
Eh? An unarmed attack is totally a weapon. Look at any action movie and you're likely to see lots of punching and kicking and headbutting even by people using weapons.

If you're wielding a bow, you should be using it as a two-handed improvised weapon.
 
Yes, but the point is that while 'unarmed attack' is listed in the weapon table to tell you what stats to use for it, it literally doesn't count as a weapon. You aren't ARMED when you are UNARMED, lol. There would have never been a point in making these distinctions if 'unarmed attack' counted as a weapon. You can go talk to the rules lawyers on Q&A about it if you want, but we hashed this out over there 2 years ago. In order to be wielding a weapon you gotta be armed with an actual weapon.
 

Incenjucar

Villager
With the exception of obvious problems like "throwing" your weapon, I'm baffled that anyone would think you suddenly can't use Tide of Iron because you lost your whip.
 
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D'karr

Villager
Yes, but the point is that while 'unarmed attack' is listed in the weapon table to tell you what stats to use for it, it literally doesn't count as a weapon. You aren't ARMED when you are UNARMED, lol. There would have never been a point in making these distinctions if 'unarmed attack' counted as a weapon. You can go talk to the rules lawyers on Q&A about it if you want, but we hashed this out over there 2 years ago. In order to be wielding a weapon you gotta be armed with an actual weapon.
So according to the rules lawyers a "weapon" that appears as a Weapon in the Melee Weapon table and that appears on the category of improvised melee Weapons is not a weapon.

That is one very weird way of reading English. I don't actually have to interpret anything about this. It is there in plain language. If this was something from Customer Service they need to take remedial English.

By the way right above that entry in the table is Any, which means anything you pick up from a rock to a chair to a pool cue, and those are weapons too.

The effect says when you are wielding a melee weapon in your primary hand. It does not say when you are wielding a melee weapon with a proficiency bonus, or any melee weapon but for your own hand. When I'm wielding a bow and I make an opportunity attack I can use the unarmed weapon to make an unarmed attack. But I can't benefit from what the OP was talking about because I have a ranged weapon in my primary hand, I'm wielding something besides a melee weapon.

So if the PC was holding a chair leg in his hand he would be wielding a weapon, it has no proficiency bonus and does crap damage but it is a weapon, and would benefit from the effect the OP is referencing. The unarmed attack has no proficiency bonus and does crap damage, but it is a weapon in every reference in the books.

The next "rules lawyering" would be can an unarmed attack benefit from powers/feats that reference the off-hand? And the answer would be NO. The unarmed attack does not have the Off-Hand property of weapons so it does not benefit from effects that reference the off-hand.
 
The flaw in your reasoning is easily seen when you understand that you don't have ANY PARTICULAR THING that is an unarmed weapon. You don't have to have an empty hand, etc. Unarmed is not a normal weapon. It can't be enchanted, it doesn't get a prof bonus, you can't HAVE prof with it, and you can't say you are or are not 'wielding' unarmed. It can't be enchanted either. It isn't a WEAPON because it isn't any specific weapon. You can scoff at that all you want, but if you actually follow out what the implications are of unarmed being a weapon then you find it makes any number of other things not work right at all. It simply isn't RAW a weapon. I'm sorry if that offends you but go ahead and talk to CS if you want, etc. I would suggest going into the Q&A archive on the D&D forums. This kind of question has come up 1000's of times and has been quite thoroughly discussed there. I know, I answered many many many questions on the subject back when I was into doing that.

and yes, a chair leg is different from being unarmed, clearly. It is a specific weapon being wielded in a specific hand. Unarmed is not. You don't "make an unarmed attack with your left hand" for instance. You just make an unarmed attack. You CAN however hold a chair leg in your left hand (as long as you designate that your 'main hand').

You are also correct, unarmed attacks aren't off-hand, they aren't ANY hand. There are a number of things they won't specifically trigger or benefit from. Again, you may not like that, but it is still true.
 

Incenjucar

Villager
Your argument, Abdul, invalidates unarmed attacks as something that can ever be used in the game. A melee basic attack requires a weapon.

Unarmed Attack
Improvised one-handed melee weapon
Cost: — gp
Damage: 1d4
Weight: — lb.
Group:
Unarmed (When you punch, kick, elbow, knee, or even head butt an opponent, you’re making an unarmed strike. A simple unarmed attack is treated as an improvised weapon. Creatures that have natural weapons such as claws or bite attacks are proficient with those natural weapons.).

RAW, it's treated as a weapon.
 
No it doesn't. You can make unarmed attacks, what makes you say you can't? The rule is you can always make them. They just aren't a weapon you can wield. Tell me, which hand are you wielding this unarmed attack in? Eh? lol. It even says "when you punch, kick, elbow, knee, or even butt an opponent" and you then TREAT it as an improvised weapon. That doesn't mean it IS a weapon and again you're not wielding your head or your knee the way you are wielding a weapon. In some respects you CAN treat it like you're using a weapon (it works with the weapon keyword for instance) but it won't work with ANY specific language which says "you must be wielding a weapon... " where "..." is anything specific at all. Again, you can verify that this has been FULLY explored in Q&A.
 

Incenjucar

Villager
It's treated as an improvised weapon. That doesn't mean it isn't treated as a weapon. It already IS a weapon (which is redundant, because it already is an improvised weapon :p). While they could make it more explicit, since it is specifically a one-handed weapon, it follows all the rules of a one-handed weapon, and you can't wield multiple weapons in one hand at the same time. As with the monk's attack, what you actually attack with is basically just fluff, but you still need to have one hand available to wield your unarmed attack.

And dude, argument by authority only works if the designers are involved.
 
It's treated as an improvised weapon. That doesn't mean it isn't treated as a weapon. It already IS a weapon (which is redundant, because it already is an improvised weapon :p). While they could make it more explicit, since it is specifically a one-handed weapon, it follows all the rules of a one-handed weapon, and you can't wield multiple weapons in one hand at the same time. As with the monk's attack, what you actually attack with is basically just fluff, but you still need to have one hand available to wield your unarmed attack.

And dude, argument by authority only works if the designers are involved.
No, you do not need to have a hand free to do an unarmed attack. This is where you've got it wrong. Yes, I agree, when you make an unarmed attack you are making a weapon attack. There's no argument there. The argument is that you can simply say that your empty hand is an 'unarmed attack' and that you are wielding it for purposes like Two Weapon Defense, etc. You can't do that because there's no weapon that is 'in your hand'. See what I'm saying? It would be equally ridiculous if a caster claimed he could count his empty hand as an 'implement' because he can cast without an implement. It is just that in the case of weapons there had to be SOME way to say what the 'W' would be for an attack with no weapon.
 

Wednesday Boy

The Nerd WhoFell to Earth
Awesome! Thanks for the input everyone!!

Last night I made my brawler in the character builder and when you equip monk unarmed strike you get the bonuses. I know the CB has its bugs and isn't official but it does lend credence to what you all said.

(And since I got my answer and the discussion is getting heated, [MENTION=177]Umbran[/MENTION] you can close the thread. Thanks!)
 

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