The Unarmed Combat (UC) skill determines the effectiveness of all attacks made with your character's fists, claws, tentacles, and other forelimbs. It increases the damage, accuracy, and speed of your unarmed attacks. It does not boost auxiliary attacks, except for the off-hand punch done without a shield.
Your fists do not normally benefit from weapon brands and definitely don't have artefact properties. However, training Unarmed Combat gives a special bonus to base damage, and can benefit from Transmutations magic.
By default, Unarmed Combat has a base damage of 3, accuracy of +2, base delay of 1.0 decaAut, and a mindelay of 0.5 decaAut (reached at 27 skill). UC itself functions like any other melee weapon, though your fists cannot be enchanted or branded normally.
However, each level of Unarmed Combat skill gives different benefits than other weapon skills:
- Damage: Each level of UC adds +1 to base damage, which is then multiplied by strength and Fighting. This is instead of the usual +2% per level boost.
- Attack speed: Unarmed starts at 1.0 delay, and reaches its mindelay of 0.5 at 27 skill. Therefore, every 5.4 levels of UC reduces attack delay by 0.1 decaAut; each level of UC reduces delay by ~0.0185 decaAut. For comparison, it takes 2 levels of a weapon skill to reduce delay by 0.1 decaAut.
- As with weapons, your attack delay will be rounded to an integer aut (i.e. rounding to 0.1 decaAut) in a weighted fashion.
- Increases offhand punch damage and its chance to activate.
The to-hit boost is the same as other weapon skills (+0.5 to-hit per level).
Offhand punches are an auxiliary attack. Most species are unable to use the offhand punch unless their offhand is empty, which means not wearing a shield or wielding a two-handed weapon. Octopodes get tentacle slaps instead of offhand punches, and may slap even when their offhand is occupied.
If offhand punches/slaps are available, then increasing Unarmed skill increases the chance of an attack. At 0 skill, you have a 5% chance per attack to throw a punch, at 27 skill, you have a 50% chance. It scales linearly, meaning you are 1.67% more likely to proc a punch per skill level.
Offhand punch damage equals:
5 + (UC / 2) + 1d3 × Claws rank + 6 under Blade Hands
|Claws||+2 × level|| Wearing gloves negates this|
Ghoul: Claws 1, Troll: Claws 3
|Felid||5||Works well for stabbing|
|Statue Form||12|| All melee damage further multiplied by 150%|
(but all actions slowed by +50%)
|Dragon Form||38||Damage post-Claws|
|Storm Form||2 + pow/3||Cleaving, Electrocution|
|Pig Form||1||For damage, skill has 1/5 impact|
|Wisp Form||5||Uses (XL/2) for dmg instead of UC skill|
Unarmed Combat has three main advantages. You don't need to find a weapon, meaning dungeon RNG can't screw you over. Unarmed Combat scales better with skill, so skill 27 unarmed is one of the strongest things in the game. And unarmed can be boosted further with various Transmutations. The downsides are, as mentioned, the inability to enchant or brand fists, and the poor stats at low skill.
The skill scaling of Unarmed Combat can be overrated. At 16 skill:
- Unarmed Combat deals 19 base damage, and attacks at 0.7 delay.
- A morningstar deals 17 damage (after M&F skill), and attacks at 0.7 delay. However, a morningstar can be enchanted and branded.
At high enough skill, (pre-form) Unarmed Combat is around the level of the strongest two-handed weapons. But that's a huge chunk of the game where you are weaker, equal to, or just slightly better than a weapon wielder.
Many forms have high base damage, so you don't need to train that much Unarmed Combat skill to effectively use them. For example, Dragon Form has 38 + UC base damage. Even at 5 UC skill, that's enough to pulverize your enemies. Of course, you should still train at least some skill, to boost accuracy and speed of your attacks.
- In 0.31, unarmed combat will have a base accuracy of +6, but forms and the Claws mutation no longer give bonus to-hit.
- Prior to 0.20, certain forms (Blade Hands, Statue Form, Dragon Form) scaled their unarmed damage with strength.
- Prior to 0.17, unarmed combat attack delay was penalized by body armour. Also, trolls' claws could inflict the now-removed bleeding status.
- Prior to 0.11, Unarmed Combat gave a chance to perform kick and headbutt auxiliary attacks, if you didn't already have Hooves / Horns to do so. The off-hand punch was slightly weaker (
5 + UC/3).
- Prior to 0.7, Unarmed Combat improved the performance of your non-punch auxiliary attacks, giving all melee fighters a reason to train it.
- melee-attack.cc:1019 (0.30.0)
|Weapons||Short Blades • Long Blades • Ranged Weapons|
|Physical||Fighting • Armour • Dodging • Stealth • Shields|
|Magical||Spellcasting • Invocations • Evocations|
|Spell Schools||Air • Conjurations • Earth • Fire • Hexes • Ice • Necromancy • Poison • Summoning • Translocations • Transmutations|