Should unarmed melee weapons like fists and claws have the *finesse* and *light* traits? [closed]

In DnD 5e you find under Melee Attacks:

Instead of using a weapon to make a melee weapon attack, you can use an unarmed strike: a punch, kick, head-butt, or similar forceful blow (none of which count as weapons). On a hit, an unarmed strike deals bludgeoning damage equal to 1 + your Strength modifier. You are proficient with your unarmed strikes.

Also Martial Arts for monks, and Claws for tabaxis and tortles deal with unarmed strikes.

All use Strength for the attack and damage roll, with the exception of the Martial Arts for monks, which accepts Dexterity too.

Should "unarmed strikes with these natural weapons" have the finesse and light traits, because wrestling and boxing are not only based on strength but also dexterity like wushu or bujutsu, and there is no reason to use two daggers but can’t do so with claws or fists, feets etc.? The monk still has more damage and would gain two-weapon fighting with its body. So it would not unbalance in game, but give the tabaxi and tortle non-throwable natural daggers.

If your target has an enemy within 5ft, can you sneak attack without using a finesse or ranged weapon?

A rogue and fighter are engaged in melee combat with a goblin. The rogue is unarmed. Can the rogue activate Sneak Attack?

The rules for Sneak Attack state:

Beginning at 1st level, you know how to strike subtly and exploit a foe’s distraction. Once per turn, you can deal an extra 1d6 damage to one creature you hit with an attack if you have advantage on the attack roll. The attack must use a finesse or a ranged weapon.

You don’t need advantage on the attack roll if another enemy of the target is within 5 feet of it, that enemy isn’t incapacitated, and you don’t have disadvantage on the attack roll.

The question arises from the difficulty in parsing the bolded sentence. I have heard 2 interpretations:

  1. You can sneak attack if (you have advantage and the attack is made using a finesse or ranged weapon) or (an enemy of the target is within 5ft, etc).
  2. You can sneak attack if ((you have advantage) or (an enemy of the target is within 5ft, etc)) and the attack is made using a finesse or ranged weapon.

The first interpretation hinges on the idea that when the second paragraph says "on the attack roll" it is still talking about the same "attack" as in the first paragraph. The second interpretation hinges on the idea that the first interpretation is bizarre and unnatural – if that was the intent, there are many ways that it could have been worded to be clearer.

Thematically, I am leaning towards the first – not having a finesse or ranged weapon shouldn’t stop the rogue from exploiting a distracted foe.

Considering RAW only (no twitter please), how should this feature be interpreted?

As a Hexblade warlock , does a Finesse weapon use CHA as a damage modifier?

So the description of a Finesse weapon is that when you make and attack and damage roll , you use either Strenght or Dexterity . And it must be the same stat for both rolls. However , Hex Warrior says that as a warlock you can use your Charisma as an attack modifier. Now since the finesse weapon description states that both rolls must be the same , and Hex Warrior modifies it to Charisma , does that mean that the damage roll also uses Charisma modifier , since they have to be the same?

Can a character with the Defensive Duelist feat who never makes an attack with the finesse weapon still gain the benefit of the feat?

The description of the Defensive Duelist feat says (PHB, p. 165):

When you are wielding a finesse weapon with which you are proficient and another creature hits you with a melee attack, you can use your reaction to add your proficiency bonus to your AC for that attack, potentially causing the attack to miss you.

Assume a spellcaster who has the Defensive Duelist feat is holding a dagger and an arcane focus. For the duration of combat, they cast spells and never make a melee weapon attack. Do they still gain the benefit of the feat?

Are light hammers broken/underpowered, and would adding the finesse property fix this?

When playing RAW, the only simple melee weapon with the finesse property is the dagger (PHB page 149). Most other thrown weapons of this type (hand axe, javelin, and spear) all do 1d6 damage with a secondary property thrown in — hand axe is light, javelin has extended range, and spear is versatile. This makes the light hammer — 1d4, light, thrown — inferior to these other thrown weapons in damage, and short of the dagger in its lack of finesse. As written, I can’t see why anyone would choose it. Is this broken?

People elsewhere have discussed increasing light hammer damage to 1d6 as a possible homebrew fix. The typical objection I’ve seen is its potential for use against monsters vulnerable to bludgeoning attacks (e.g. skeletons). I am willing to concede this argument, though to me, the RAW light hammer still feels imbalanced vs. hand axe — most of the time, damage type just doesn’t matter.

The historically-appropriate change might be some kind of attack/damage bonus when hammers are used against solid armor types (breastplate, half plate, or full plate), but for this change to be meaningful you’d have to do the same for mace, war hammer, and maul — and none of those weapons need it.

My thought: could we instead assign it an additional weapon property to compensate for the lesser damage (perhaps as a race feature, if not for everyone)?

For characters of dwarven (and perhaps forest gnome?) ancestry, for example, it seems more race-appropriate to use light hammers in place of daggers, and if they were a finesse weapon, dexterity-based characters might do so. Is there anything specific to bludgeoning damage that would make this a bad idea? Dwarven rogues would thank you if it were done.

Does the multiplier for wielding a weapon two-handed apply to my Dex mod if I have the Weapon Finesse feat?

I have a rogue with the Weapon Finesse feat:

When making a melee attack with a light weapon or rapier, you may use your DEX Mod instead of your strength Mod on the attack roll.

Since a rapier’s hands datum is 1, I can wield it two-handed:

If you wield it two-handed, add 1-1/2 times your STR Mod to melee damage instead.

If the character’s Str mod is +1 and Dex mod is +3, and they have the Weapon Finesse feat, is a two-handed attack always +1.5, or can it be +4.5?

How does the Slashing Grace feat interact with the Swashbuckler Finesse ability?

The posts I have read indicate that it is possible to take the Slashing Grace feat as a Swashbuckler in order to get DEX to damage with a slashing weapon.

As much as I like the idea I see the following problem. The Slashing Grace feat lists as prerequisite weapon finesse with the weapon to be used, in this case a slashing weapon. But the Swashbuckler finesse is only valid for piercing weapons. Therefore, strictly speaking, Slashing Grace could never be applied to a Swashbuckler with a slashing weapon.

On the other hand, the description of the Slashing Grace feat explicitly refers to the Swashbuckler class and states that “…you can treat it as a one-handed piercing melee weapon”.

So, how do these two interact, what is the intention of the RAW rules?

Finesse Striker – Rogue Class Feature?

I’m preparing to demo Pathfinder 2e using the Torment and Legacy Demo Scenario for new players. 2e is new to me as well. I’m using the pre-gen characters included with the scenario. The Rogue character Merisiel lists the class feature “Finesse Striker”. I don’t see this anywhere in the physical CRB or the online version. I reviewed the Errata for the CRB and nothing. Googling, I find some sites showing Finesse Striker as a Class Feature for Rogue but without details. There is discussion about it on the Paizo boards, but I only see it under the “Play Test” version of 2e.

Is this missing from the CRB? Or was this only for the Play Test version and then removed? I’m assuming the latter and that the pre-gen character in Torment and Legacy is wrong.