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5E Does an item to enhance Unarmed Strike exist?

Sabathius42

Villager
My monk player asked (reasonably) if there was any way he could get a magic item to boost his unarmed strike to-hit and damage like a magical weapon would. Essentially he wants a +1 weapon, but just for his hands.

Quickly glancing through the DMG magic items (which are horribly organized IMHO) I didn't see anything. Since he is gaining the bonus to hit AND damage, but not gaining anything from the "counts as a magic weapon" ability I let him purchase a custom made spiked glove affair from a dwarven craftsman for 600gp.

Does such an item actually exist and I missed it?

DS
 

EzekielRaiden

Explorer
I don't recall seeing such a thing either, but I haven't done an exhaustive search myself so I dunno.

I can say, I don't think it would be weird to make a magic fisticuffs or handwraps item that functions as a +1 "weapon" for unarmed strike. It's not like unarmed strikes are incredibly overpowered or anything; even with the Monk damage die, you need to be at a moderately high level before they even compete with a short sword or (other people wielding) a rapier.
 

DMCF

Villager
Monks aren't exactly OP in combat so I think the DM should be able to do anything for unarmed strikes that is done for weapons. At many monk levels it is just flavor anyways. A 1d6 finesse weapon or a glove that gives +'s is just fine.

You can also mix up some gloves for different damage types.
Tiger Claw = Slashing
Spiked Gauntlet = Piercing

This will make them think hard about their weapon choices just like any other character.
 

Celtavian

Dragon Lord
I did not see one. Easy enough to add. Still pretty annoying playing a monk and not having one. I'm sure if it is designed by WotC it will require attunement for no good reason.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Previous editions have added such monk items, and so will this one.

But they're almost never added in the DMG. For official support, you'll have to wait.
 

Jester David

Adventurer
pathfinder (and likely 3.5e) had the amulet of mighty fists that did this. But it was needed for the math in that case. It's not in 5e do just giving the monk an item that gives them magic fists seems like a boring waste of an item.

Something cooler would be more interesting. Like hand wraps that can be ignited once per day giving your monk fire damage. Or a set of five rings that can unleash a blast of force, or a tiger claws weapon that shifts monk damage to piercing or slashing.
 

Sabathius42

Villager
You can also mix up some gloves for different damage types.
Tiger Claw = Slashing
Spiked Gauntlet = Piercing
Great thinking. He asked for "spiked brass knuckle things" which would probably be piercing, but I will ask him which kind of damage he would like to have and we can describe it thusly.

Thanks for everyones reply!

DS
 

Sabathius42

Villager
Something cooler would be more interesting. Like hand wraps that can be ignited once per day giving your monk fire damage. Or a set of five rings that can unleash a blast of force, or a tiger claws weapon that shifts monk damage to piercing or slashing.
I'm all for creative magic items!

In my campaign, because I hate boring magic items, I consider plain +1 weapons and armor to be extremely well crafted but mostly mundane items. They do barely register as magical because magic was used in the steel creation, however they are not enchanted in the traditional sense. If my campaign was Game of Thrones, Valerian Steel weapons would be the same as +1 weapons.

I think the player mostly wants the +1 for unarmed attacks to make the attack numbers all the same and ease play when switching between his already owned +1 monk weapon and his non enhanced unarmed strike.

DS
 

Jester David

Adventurer
I'm all for creative magic items!

In my campaign, because I hate boring magic items, I consider plain +1 weapons and armor to be extremely well crafted but mostly mundane items. They do barely register as magical because magic was used in the steel creation, however they are not enchanted in the traditional sense. If my campaign was Game of Thrones, Valerian Steel weapons would be the same as +1 weapons.

I think the player mostly wants the +1 for unarmed attacks to make the attack numbers all the same and ease play when switching between his already owned +1 monk weapon and his non enhanced unarmed strike.

DS
Handwraps that ignite one per day could also provide a +1 to attack and damage, keeping the math the same but also adding some "cool" factor.
I'm inspired now. I might do some monastic magic for my blog now.
 

jgsugden

Explorer
One thing to consider... it is not certain that all PCS will have magic weapons/implements in this edition. All permanent magic items are intended to be special... and this is done by recommending they be less common than in prior editions. If you look at the magic item distribution and treasure tables you'll see that there should be about 6 permanent magic items found per pc over 20 levels....and about of those come between 5th and 15th level. A high level pc might be able to buy a +1 weapon if they never found one, but having a magic item is generally a luxury in this edition, not an assumption.

You folks might have some fun doing mock combats and seeing how rarely there is a meaningful difference in the result when there was no magic weapon and when there was a +1 weapon. Often, the extra 1 hit in 20 attacks and extra point of damage per attack made do not change the amount to resources es used by PCS or hp lost by PCS Ina combat.
 

MonkeezOnFire

Explorer
I noticed that except for the generic magical weapons a lot of weapon types don't really get represented very much. There are a lot of swords but I don't recall any pole arms or crossbows, and I think there's only one bow (oathbow). I started ignoring a lot of the restrictions where it doesn't make sense that that enchantment should be exclusive to a certain weapon type. I don't see why I can't have a flametongue maul, a dragonslayer longbow or a holy avenger halberd.

Anyway, you could very easily do the same with anything worn on your hands.
 

jbkucer1

Villager
If you want to use an official item, there is the "Insignia of Claws" which can be found in the HOTDQ. From what I remember it gives a +1 to hit & dmg for unarmed and natural attacks.
 

Grakarg

Explorer
In the 3.0 supplement there were 'Ki Straps' that boosted a monk's save DC +5 on their stunning attacks.
There was also the 'ring of shocking grasp', and monks in 3.0 & 3.5 could deliver touch attack spells as part of their unarmed strikes. So a magic ring that adds an elemental effect to damage like 1d6 or 1d8 would be fine option too.

I feel like the monks can gets overlooked in the treasure department. People seem to assume that because a monk can still be functional w/o any gear (no weapons, no armor) that they are still effective, but they quickly fall behind the power curve which leads to unhappy players and an un-fun game.

So good on you for looking to take care of your players. Make the game fun.

'Fist Wraps of the Southern Wind', Cestus of Facepunching, Corduroy Pants of Static Shock... go nuts!
 

Jester David

Adventurer
A first draft of some ideas. I'll probably throw these onto my blog next week after a second glance or two.

Hand Wraps of the Inferno
Weapon (unarmed strike), rare
These long strips of loosely woven silk cloth appear pale yellow in hue but subtly shift to shades of orange and red when wrapped around the hands and wrists.
While wearing these hand wraps, you gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls with unarmed strikes that use your fists.
Additionally. when you slam your fists together, you can choose to ignite the hand wraps, wreathing your fists in fire. This fire does no damage to your hands or arms, but targets hit by unarmed strikes with your hands take an extra 1d6 fire damage. The flames last for 1 minute or until you choose to extinguish the flames as a bonus action. Once used, this property cannot be used again until the following dawn.

Bands of the Tiger
Weapon (unarmed strike), uncommon
These metal rings are made of solid bronze, and appear worn, dented, and scuffed. While the rings are loose, when the wearer makes a fist the rings pull together, acting as a solid piece of metal. The rings are found in sets of four, but there are occasionally paired sets with eight rings.
While wearing these rings you gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls with unarmed strikes that use that fist, and your unarmed attacks use a d4 for damage.
As a bonus action, you can cause the rings to produce either small spikes or blades. This changes the damage type of your unarmed strikes to piercing or slashing, chosen when the item is activated. If wearing two sets of rings, the rings change at the same time, but need not be the same damage type.

Ring of Forceful Striking
Weapon (unarmed strike), rare (requires attunement)
Forged of heavy platinum, this ring is adorned with a stylized fist.
While wearing this ring you gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls with unarmed strikes.
The ring has 12 charges. You can expend a charge while making an unarmed attack to increase your reach with this attack by 5 feet, and this attack deals force damage. The ring regains 1d4+5 expended charges daily at dawn.

Encircling Blades
Weapon (dagger), uncommon
This dagger has a wide, flat blade. When placed over the knuckles the blade curves, wrapping around the hand. While the weapon encircles the hand, it loses its edge and appears as a single wide band of metal.
You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls with this dagger, including unarmed strikes while worn around the hand. While the dagger is wrapped around your hand, your unarmed strikes with that fist use a d4 for damage.

Rope Arm Wrap
Weapon (unarmed strike), rare
This short length of hemp rope coils around the hands and forearms.
You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls with unarmed strikes with the first encircled by the cord. When you hit with an unarmed strike using this weapon, as a bonus action you can choose to have the rope uncoil from you arm, wrapping around the the target grappling them (escape DC 12 + your proficiency bonus). On your turn, as a bonus action you can end the grapple and return the rope to your arm.
 
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Remember that an unarmed strike is not necessarily made with the hands. It could be an elbow strike or a kick or a headbutt. This means you can get very creative with these items. The "gloves of +1 unarmed" could be a sash or a tunic or a pair of boots.

Personally, I really like the Hand Wraps of the Inferno posted above. I'm going to use those. Cheers, Jester.
 

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