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Can you cancel a full-attack?


Rules Questions

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When you declare a full attack, it is already established that you can wait to see how each attack resolves before deciding your next target.

Is it possible, after the first attack has resolved, to instead opt out of the full-attack (and thus the full-round action) to turn it into a standard, and take a move action?


Not sure, but I know some people do that in my group (Full attack: first hit knocks out, then they move 30 feet and end.)

Andoran

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Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Yes.

The very next section in the 'Combat' chapter after the 'you can wait to see how each attack resolves' comment is;

"Deciding between an Attack or a Full Attack: After your first attack, you can decide to take a move action instead of making your remaining attacks, depending on how the first attack turns out and assuming you have not already taken a move action this round. If you've already taken a 5-foot step, you can't use your move action to move any distance, but you could still use a different kind of move action."


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yep! You make your first attack, and then decide if you want to continue.


Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
CBDunkerson wrote:

Yes.

The very next section in the 'Combat' chapter after the 'you can wait to see how each attack resolves' comment is;

"Deciding between an Attack or a Full Attack: After your first attack, you can decide to take a move action instead of making your remaining attacks, depending on how the first attack turns out and assuming you have not already taken a move action this round. If you've already taken a 5-foot step, you can't use your move action to move any distance, but you could still use a different kind of move action."

Nice! I did not know that.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Note that that section has a few...strange...consequences.

Like a monk's single attack can be at full BAB if he has to hit and run away, due to flurry of blows.

Or you can shoot two arrows as part of manyshot, and then cancel the rest of the full-attack.


Cheapy wrote:

Note that that section has a few...strange...consequences.

Like a monk's single attack can be at full BAB if he has to hit and run away, due to flurry of blows.

Or you can shoot two arrows as part of manyshot, and then cancel the rest of the full-attack.

Both of those are only possible when taking a full-attack action.

"Deciding between an Attack or a Full Attack: After your first attack, you can decide to take a move action instead of making your remaining attacks, depending on how the first attack turns out and assuming you have not already taken a move action this round. If you've already taken a 5-foot step, you can't use your move action to move any distance, but you could still use a different kind of move action."

If you want to take advantage of an ability that only works on a full attack action, then you have already decided to take the full attack action. You can not then cancel it back to a normal attack.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yes. That section is under the Full Attack action.

You don't take an attack action and then continue the full attack (If you did, then VS would be very popular!). You declare you're using a full attack, get those bonuses, and then call it off. You've made an attack as part of a full attack, but due to the text you've quoted, decided to stop.


Cheapy, If you want to use any abilities which require a "full attack" then you cannot choose to revert back to "an attack" when you've already declared a "full attack."


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Do you have specific text you are referring to? The full attack action rules that I'm looking at do not differentiate between an full attack action and a full attack action "that uses any abilities".

Quite frankly, I find the following situation extremely silly, but it follows from your interpretation.

Monk flurry of blows, and kills the creature with his first attack. There's no one within reach or within 5' step + reach of him. Suddenly he can't move? Even though he's taking a full-attack action, and the full-attack action specifically says you see what happens after your first attack to decide about your later attacks?

If the monk had not flurried but still made a full-attack action, he could've hit and move away? But suddenly doing a flurry of blows means he can't move at all further than 5' after dropping the enemy on the first hit?

That's far, far more silly than to say, as the rules do, that when you do the full-attack action, you do the first attack, and then decide afterwards what you'll do.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

God I spent too long trying to find this post.


6 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 2 people marked this as a favorite.

Shouldn't we faq this?

It's compatible with RAW though I don't think it's RAI, I think flurry of blows should have been a full round action rather than full attack action.
On the other hand, it might play into the mobile aspect of a monk. He's good at attack and moving though not at attacking and drinking a potion. Seem fair enough.


Cheapy wrote:
Do you have specific text you are referring to? The full attack action rules that I'm looking at do not differentiate between an full attack action and a full attack action "that uses any abilities".

You know, I went looking for the text I thought I remembered. And you're right. You can FOB and break off after the first attack.

This does cause the odd issue with manyshot where you can get 2 arrows for one, and spend the rest of your round moving. I guess the flavor of manyshot is that you put 2 arrows on the string at once, so it works.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

When I think Manyshot, I think this.


That is exactly what I was picturing.


So, because of this quirk in the rules, once your character gains the Manyshot feat he can basically get two arrows off in place of one during what equates to a standard attack action as long as he performs a move action after the attack rather than before.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yep. Kinda nice for a skirmisher.

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Flurry of blows requires a full attack action. Manyshot requires a full attack action. While you can choose to convert a full attack action to a standard after the first attack, this is on the premise that the attack used in the first attack is of a type that could be used as a standard action in the first place (my interpretation).

You get benefits from the FoB attack (better attack), and you get benefits from Manyshot (two arrows). Since these require a full attack action to get that benefit, it is reasonable that these, or any other rules resources that requires a full attack action, would not be eligible for conversion to a standard attack with a move action remaining.

YMMV.


Howie23 wrote:

Flurry of blows requires a full attack action. Manyshot requires a full attack action. While you can choose to convert a full attack action to a standard after the first attack, this is on the premise that the attack used in the first attack is of a type that could be used as a standard action in the first place (my interpretation).

You get benefits from the FoB attack (better attack), and you get benefits from Manyshot (two arrows). Since these require a full attack action to get that benefit, it is reasonable that these, or any other rules resources that requires a full attack action, would not be eligible for conversion to a standard attack with a move action remaining.

YMMV.

I used to side with this. The key differentiator for me was that it doesn't convert to a standard + move. It is still a full-attack action. Full-attack actions allow for you to either a) make all your attacks or b) make a single attack, then move your movement for the round.

It is still a full-attack action that has been spent.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

You're not converting it to a standard action, you're using the clause in the full attack action rules to make your first full attack action attack, and then forfeit the rest of your attacks to instead move up to your speed.


Cheapy wrote:


Quite frankly, I find the following situation extremely silly, but it follows from your interpretation.

Monk flurry of blows, and kills the creature with his first attack. There's no one within reach or within 5' step + reach of him. Suddenly he can't move? Even though he's taking a full-attack action, and the full-attack action specifically says you see what happens after your first attack to decide about your later attacks?

If the monk had not flurried but still made a full-attack action, he could've hit and move away? But suddenly doing a flurry of blows means he can't move at all further than 5' after dropping the enemy on the first hit?

That's far, far more silly than to say, as the rules do, that when you do the full-attack action, you do the first attack, and then decide afterwards what you'll do.

Your interpretation looks like a loop-hole that allows monks to make a single attack with a higher attack bonus, and then take a move action.


Smells fishy to me, but as the rules are written it works.

In Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 Manyshot works in a similar way but with a heavy penalty to the shot:

"As a standard action, you may fire two arrows at a single opponent within 30 feet. Both arrows use the same attack roll (with a -4 penalty) to determine success and deal damage normally..."

A house-ruling might be to grant the extra arrow on the last attack of a full attack action.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

That's precisely what the rule means, yes.

You can't be converting it either. Were that the case, then you'd get a situation like the following:

Monk flurries, kills enemy on first hit with his higher BAB. He has no one to attack, so he uses the rule to move instead of doing all the other attacks.

But if it were converted to a standard action, then he wouldn't have had the higher BAB. If this lowering of the BAB due to it "converting to a standard action" causes him to miss...

Well weird things are going on.

It's much cleaner to just follow the rules.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I don't see it as gamebreaking at all. It's just a case of where the rules interact in a way some haven't thought they'd interact in.


Cheapy wrote:

Monk flurries, kills enemy on first hit with his higher BAB. He has no one to attack, so he uses the rule to move instead of doing all the other attacks.

The player only needs to declare the change in action after the first attack.

Suppose the player decides before his action that he wants to take a single attack, and then move. He "declares" a full-attack/FOB, takes a single attack with a higher attack bonus, then "changes" to use a move action and tumble away from the enemy.


Oh, I don't necessarily think it's game breaking, just kinda' slimey.

Players declaring full round actions just to cancel them with no intent ever to complete the full attack is an example of playing the game rather than playing the game.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

What's the difference?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

A Full Attack isn't just a full attack :D


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate. 1 person marked this as a favorite.

Perhaps if we FAQ it, the Paizo staff will nerf this monk loop-hole?


Lakesidefantasy wrote:

Oh, I don't necessarily think it's game breaking, just kinda' slimey.

Players declaring full round actions just to cancel them with no intent ever to complete the full attack is an example of playing the game rather than playing the game.

Its slimey to use a way to cancel out of the full-attack via a clause that was explicitly added to the action?

What else is slimey? Oh man, I can't believe my players use power attack to hit for more damage!


Tarantula wrote:
Lakesidefantasy wrote:

Oh, I don't necessarily think it's game breaking, just kinda' slimey.

Players declaring full round actions just to cancel them with no intent ever to complete the full attack is an example of playing the game rather than playing the game.

Its slimey to use a way to cancel out of the full-attack via a clause that was explicitly added to the action?

What else is slimey? Oh man, I can't believe my players use power attack to hit for more damage!

No. It's slimey to gain advantage from taking a full attack and then not take the full attack.

The clause appears intended to cover the much more common case when the fighter kills someone with his first shot and has no more targets in range. Or some other situation where there is no difference in the first attack.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

No way that's RAI.

(1) If it was meant to work that way, then the wording of Fluury and Many Shot is pointless. Why would it say "as a full attack action" for those things if you get all the benefit and then decide not to make extra attacks and move?

(2) "Deciding between an Attack or a Full Attack" - Notice that this says deciding BETWEEN those two things. It doesn't say you get to start with a Full Attack and then turn it into something else. It says "After your first attack" - it doesn't say "after you've started a full attack you can cancel it". It says you make an attack - a normal attack - and then you can decide to turn that into a Full Attack.

(3) There's nothing "weird" about the target dropping on the first part of the full attack. Loading up those two arrows for many shot takes more time than a standard action. Setting up and delivering the combo for Flurry takes more than a standard action.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I don't see text to imply that.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Todd, under your interpretation, a monk's first attack in a flurry isn't at full BAB. And it's the second attack that has 2 arrows.

Either your first attack is part of a full attack, or that is true.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
DMFTodd wrote:

No way that's RAI.

(1) If it was meant to work that way, then the wording of Fluury and Many Shot is pointless. Why would it say "as a full attack action" for those things if you get all the benefit and then decide not to make extra attacks and move?

(2) "Deciding between an Attack or a Full Attack" - Notice that this says deciding BETWEEN those two things. It doesn't say you get to start with a Full Attack and then turn it into something else. It says "After your first attack" - it doesn't say "after you've started a full attack you can cancel it". It says you make an attack - a normal attack - and then you can decide to turn that into a Full Attack.

(3) There's nothing "weird" about the target dropping on the first part of the full attack. Loading up those two arrows for many shot takes more time than a standard action. Setting up and delivering the combo for Flurry takes more than a standard action.

You're right, it probably isn't RAI.

1) As a full-attack action you can't flurry/manyshot while staggered or otherwise reduced to taking only a standard/move action. You also can't move then attack with this combo. You must attack first, then choose if you want to move.

2) Unfortunately, the rules do not say you make an attack - a normal attack - and then you can decide to turn that into a Full Attack. they say "After your first attack, you can decide to take a move action instead of making your remaining attacks, depending on how the first attack turns out and assuming you have not already taken a move action this round." Notice how it doesn't say the first attack is a normal attack. It merely references the first attack made.

3) You sound like you are thinking of rapid shot here. Rapid shot allows for an extra attack to be made, which obviously would take more time. Manyshot lets you shoot 2 arrows with one attack.

The combo for FoB? You mean the other attacks which are highly unlikely to land anyway?


Cheapy wrote:
I don't see text to imply that.

Yeah, I know. And I don't see the text to imply your ruling. Your interpretation means that the wording of Flurry and Manyshot are completely pointless. My ruling doesn't mess with a bunch of other stuff.


Cheapy wrote:
Todd, under your interpretation, a monk's first attack in a flurry isn't at full BAB.

No, he decides first that it's a full attack flurry. He gets the bonuses.

Cheapy wrote:
And it's the second attack that has 2 arrows.

No, it's the first.


Tarantula wrote:
Lakesidefantasy wrote:

Oh, I don't necessarily think it's game breaking, just kinda' slimey.

Players declaring full round actions just to cancel them with no intent ever to complete the full attack is an example of playing the game rather than playing the game.

Its slimey to use a way to cancel out of the full-attack via a clause that was explicitly added to the action?

What else is slimey? Oh man, I can't believe my players use power attack to hit for more damage!

That's a funny joke Tarantula. You play it off so well, and you actually make it seem like you don't see the point.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The rules imply my interpretation.

Great. He says he does a full BAB flurry. Then he decides to forgo the rest of the attacks to move.

Find text that says there are times you can't use that rule, and then your interpretation will move away from. "I don't like it, so it can't be true."


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My interpretation doesn't require any additional text at all. That's because it's the rules.


Cheapy wrote:
My interpretation doesn't require any additional text at all. That's because it's the rules.

Well, you keep saying it so it must be true.

Why then does Flurry and Manyshot say "when making a full attack action"? There seems to be no reason for that given the way the rules work.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Lakesidefantasy wrote:
That's a funny joke Tarantula. You play it off so well, and you actually make it seem like you don't see the point.

Enlighten us, please!

Andoran

DMFTodd wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
My interpretation doesn't require any additional text at all. That's because it's the rules.

Well, you keep saying it so it must be true.

Why then does Flurry and Manyshot say "when making a full attack action"? There seems to be no reason for that given the way the rules work.

The problem you seem to be having is that, despite whatever you believe, you have two forms of full attack action, neither of which is (by RAW) "more" of a full attack than the other:

Form A) Attack once and move.

Form B) Multiple attacks.

Form A is still a full attack action. If the feat says "full attack action", then it works with Form A.

You can rag on about RAI all you want, but them's the breaks as far as RAW. (As an aside, it's cases like these that make me hate the BAB split on monks.)

As a fun note: There are more forms of full attack oddities thanks to various class abilities. Of note is the mobile fighter's full attack action being done as a standard, which means they can move-attack-move without spring attack by moving, declaring full attack, making one attack, then declaring movement for the remainder of the full attack action. This is, however, entirely appropriate for the archetype.

There is also another full attack action from the mobile fighter in which they take all BUT their first attack, but may take the remaining attacks at any point along their movement path.

There are many other full-attack-like abilities, but most of them are called "full round actions" rather than full attacks. The above two are specifically called "full attack" actions.


DMFTodd wrote:

No way that's RAI.

(1) If it was meant to work that way, then the wording of Fluury and Many Shot is pointless. Why would it say "as a full attack action" for those things if you get all the benefit and then decide not to make extra attacks and move?

(2) "Deciding between an Attack or a Full Attack" - Notice that this says deciding BETWEEN those two things. It doesn't say you get to start with a Full Attack and then turn it into something else. It says "After your first attack" - it doesn't say "after you've started a full attack you can cancel it". It says you make an attack - a normal attack - and then you can decide to turn that into a Full Attack.

(3) There's nothing "weird" about the target dropping on the first part of the full attack. Loading up those two arrows for many shot takes more time than a standard action. Setting up and delivering the combo for Flurry takes more than a standard action.

While I don't necessarily agree with the rammifications of this revelation, I must disagree with you Todd.

You actually don't start off with a standard attack then decide, you actually start off declaring the Full Attack Action. We know this because "Deciding between an Attack or a Full Attack" is listed under the Full Round Action heading. So you'd necessarily have to be starting with a full attack to invoke the rule to decide to cut off your full attack.

Regarding your 3, the time it takes to load arrows is irrelevant, it is a free action to load an arrow, so making temporal statements like this prove nothing in a game where time is abstracted.


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This is going to be a good thread, I can feel it.

I give you Parry, from the duelist

Spoiler:
Parry (Ex)

At 2nd level, a duelist learns to parry the attacks of other creatures, causing them to miss. Whenever the duelist takes a full attack action with a light or one-handed piercing weapon, she can elect not to take one of her attacks. At any time before her next turn, she can attempt to parry an attack against her or an adjacent ally as an immediate action. To parry the attack, the duelist makes an attack roll, using the same bonuses as the attack she chose to forego during her previous action. If her attack roll is greater than the roll of the attacking creature, the attack automatically misses. For each size category that the attacking creature is larger than the duelist, the duelist takes a –4 penalty on her attack roll. The duelist also takes a –4 penalty when attempting to parry an attack made against an adjacent ally. The duelist must declare the use of this ability after the attack is announced, but before the roll is made.

You can now use parry to deflect an AoO from moving away by declaring a full attack and giving up the attack then moving, then riposte them. Or tumble away and parry their (supposedly) one attack, then riposte them.

(I can't believe this thread has lead to situations that help monks and duelists)

Andoran

The rule text is: "Deciding between an Attack or a Full Attack: After your first attack, you can decide to take a move action instead of making your remaining attacks, depending on how the first attack turns out and assuming you have not already taken a move action this round. If you've already taken a 5-foot step, you can't use your move action to move any distance, but you could still use a different kind of move action."

You take one attack, it is a standard action. You take more than one, it is a full attack action. If you only take one, you can still move. There is only a loophole if you create it by arguing that this rule somehow allows a move action in addition the the full attack action that somehow remains a full attack action after terminating it after one attack.

I understand how the position that it isn't (effectively) converting it to a standard action. I think it's hogwash. :)


DMFTodd wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
My interpretation doesn't require any additional text at all. That's because it's the rules.

Well, you keep saying it so it must be true.

Why then does Flurry and Manyshot say "when making a full attack action"? There seems to be no reason for that given the way the rules work.

Todd, Cheapy is right the rules allow these things, but the rules aren't perfect.

It is not a problem if, depending on how your first attack turns out, you decide to take a move action instead of making your remaining attacks, it's not a problem even if you gain an extra arrow attack or a couple of bonus points on your attack; but it is unscrupulous of you as a player if you decide your character will take a move action regardless of how the first attack turns out just to gain these benefits and game the system.

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Lakesidefantasy wrote:
DMFTodd wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
My interpretation doesn't require any additional text at all. That's because it's the rules.

Well, you keep saying it so it must be true.

Why then does Flurry and Manyshot say "when making a full attack action"? There seems to be no reason for that given the way the rules work.

Todd, Cheapy is right the rules allow these things, but the rules aren't perfect.

It is not a problem if, depending on how your first attack turns out, you decide to take a move action instead of making your remaining attacks, it's not a problem even if you gain an extra arrow attack or a couple of bonus points on your attack; but it is unscrupulous of you as a player if you decide your character will take a move action regardless of how the first attack turns out just to gain these benefits and game the system.

I can agree with this.

However, rather than blame the player, I would ask myself how sensible the rule is that lead to this kind of manipulation. For example, I would probably find it perfectly acceptable that something like multi-shot could be used as a single attack (thinking purely simulation-wise), while I find it entirely unreasonable that a monk does not get their full BAB when making a single attack.

In other words, if there are oddities brought up by this revelation I don't believe it's the fault of the full-attack-to-attack/move clause, but instead representative of that clause exaggerating other non-sensible rules.


It's really hard to draw a clear line. I mean, you could have every intention of moving after you attack regardless, but it's reasonable to assert that it's always possible that something weird will happen in response to your first attack that would make you change your mind and actually want to full attack instead, and since there's no cost for doing so (for most characters), you might as well always declare a full attack, even if you intend to attack once and run away, because if something odd does happen in response to your initial attack, you'd be glad to have the option to make the rest of the attacks in the sequence if that's now the correct decision. So in the generic case it's always correct to full attack instead of standard-move, even if there'd normally be no distinction. If it happens that you're a monk or an archer that gets an extra benefit from doing that, well, that's icing.


Axl wrote:

Perhaps if we FAQ it, the Paizo staff will nerf this monk loop-hole?

It's funny because it's true!

It's also gut-wrenchingly sad because it's true...

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