Iterative Attacks (Gneech's Readthrough Impressions #1)


Combat & Magic

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The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Frank Trollman wrote:

The multiple attack mechanic has been part of D&D for generations, and is a quite satisfactory method of handling higher level play. ...

1> All iterative attacks are at a flat -5 penalty. You can take a feat (multiattack) to drop that penalty to -2, and another feat to drop it to -0. Thus, players only have two attack bonuses to remember: Primary Attack and Bonus Attacks. Also, the Bonus attacks would actually matter at all levels.

Frank, I like this suggestion a great deal, and I'll probably incorporate it into my game immediately.


tussock wrote:

Iterative attacks are vital to 3e's balance, you have to redo all the monsters to work with SWS/4e style single attacks.

This is a big reason to keep iterative attacks, and why 4e moved towards the 1:1 ratio between PC:monster and developed "elite" and "solo" monsters.

The other option is to say, damn Monster/NPC/PC equity and just allow high level monsters iterative attacks and deny it to class-based monsters, NPCs, and PCs.

Ultimately though, I don't see changing this to be in Paizo's interests (it also belies a problem: ask 10 different DMs what's need to "fix" 3e, you'll get 10 different responses. It's probably best to make minor changes to 3.5 and then let people house-rule away).


Joe Mucchiello wrote:
Set wrote:
So if a Fighter with a +1 Longsword and a Strength 18 scored an attack of 26 against someone with AC 16, he'd 'hit by 10' and get to add +2d8 damage to his 1d8+5 normal damage.
The problem here is you need to tell the players the opponent's AC. This makes it easier for them to optimize things like power attack.

There is no Power Attack optimization in the current version of the pRPG. Same with Combat Reflexes. The values that are added aren't chozen by the player.

Dark Archive

I would also see the iterative atacks removed.

To improve damage output for the martial classes, you can easily add aditional damage giving x2 weapon damage+strenght bonus, (wihtout other bonifiers) when you get the second iteration and x3 with the third and last one.

That would be an easy rule and give backwards compatibility, after all you would only need to see the number of attacks the creature or character has .

Kind regards


Perhaps the "solution" is simply this:

Characters with a high BAB may make multiple attacks as a standard action by reducing their chance to hit. A character may gain one additional attack for every 5 point reduction in BAB. BAB may not be reduced below 0 in this fashion.

Thus, a character with a +12 BAB could make one attack at +12 or two attacks at +7 or three attacks at +2.

This way multiple attacks are kept in much the same fashion as the original rules, but as an option instead of a given. This way there is no diametrically opposed situations where a big opponent will possibly be hit by the +12, but almost never by the +2, and minor opponents could be hit with just the +2, but the +12 is really overkill.

Plus, it will be easier to handle the rolls at the table since the BAB for all multiple attacks will be the same instead of in 5 point increments.

And the overall reduction to multiple attacks would be balanced by making it a standard action instead of a full action to use; it's a standard action to attack once at +12 or twice at +7.

Might be worth considering.

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I haven't read the entire thread. My apologies if this has been addressed.

I'm lukewarm about iterative attacks. Yes, they can slow down combat. Yes, they can cause the Fighter to become a static battlefield fixture. But I think removing them entirely would be problematic. The Fighter would become even less of a threat at higher levels than he is now. Also, SRD monsters would have to be rebalanced to account for PC's lower per round damage output.

So, why not make interative attacks into feats? Improved Attack would require BAB+6 and would allow a second attack at a -5 penalty, but can only be used as part of a FRA. Greater Attack would require BAB+11 and grant a 3rd attack at -10. Superior Attack would require BAB+16 and grant a 4th attack at -15. This would be similar to the Two-Weapon Fighting feats.

A Fighter will have enough feats that he could easily take these. A couple of other classes might invest in them also (Rogue might take one, Ranger and Paladin might take a couple), but the non-melee classes wouldn't bother. The Fighter would still take more time to roll all those dice, but not everyone would need to do that.

This has the added advantage of allowing a player to customize his fighter builds more. I had a player that played a bulrush/shieldbash fighter. He didn't stay in 1 place for very long; he always wanted to keeping moving. He didn't care about iterative attacks. The same player is playing a melee reach fighter in my STAP campaign and iterative attacks are fundamental to his combat prowess. The idea is that if iterative attacks are important to you, you can take them; if not, you can spend resourcs (feats) elsewhere.

-Skeld


If nerfing the fighter is the big fear, that's easy to fix -- give them a class-based damage bonus (say, +1 on every odd level, effectively giving them +level damage instead of +1/2 level damage).

Alternatively, give them something that behaves like sneak attack, but +1d6 every 3 levels instead of every 2 and without the flanking/lost Dex bonus requirement.

Given their higher BAB and access to things like Power Attack, I still suspect the fighter will rule the battlefield in terms of straight-up hurt put on the badguys.

-The Gneech


I am opposed to making iterative attacks feat based. This would result in a fighter spending feat slots to pick up an ability designed to balance him aganst other classes. It is even worse for other melee combatants who do not get the fighter's bonus feats.

No the best option would be to allow melee types to make multiple attacks as some form of special standard action. Monks could even get the same benefit when using flurry of blows.

Another option is to create new combat feats that would allow special combat maneuvers as standard actions, forceing players to choose between a full attack static round or a single attack with an extra effect (and maybe even allowing for limited movement without provoking an AoO). Spring Attack is a good example of that kind of effect.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens Subscriber

I think you can´t remove iterative attacks without jeopardizing backwards compatibility - many stats in published adventures would be obsolete.

The feat idea to make fighters more mobile in melee, giving half or even full movement and full attack, making full attack a standard action for fighters could solve this nicely. All other solutions would necessitate tinkering with stats even more. This way, it is one simple rule. (Perhaps half movement as standard ability, and full movement as a feat.) There have been complaints that high-level fighters are less powerful than other classes. This could be at least a partial solution for this.

For non-fighters, iterative attacks still necessitate a full-attack action, allowing only minimal movement.

Stefan


I'll start off by saying I'm for iterative attacks. But I understand the desire for more movement in combat. However, just removing iterative attacks totally nerfs Fighters and requires too much rewrite of existing NPCs and monsters. Its not backward compatible (which is a primary requisite).

While an light fighter in a mobile combat is cool, there is still the need for a heavy fighters to be able stand toe to toe with the monster and duke it out.

A simple and elegant solution is either a feat or general rule option in combat that allows a combatant with iterative attacks to voluntarily give them up for a bonus to damage.

The bonus shouldn't be based on the weapon dice or the attack bonus that is sacrificed because heavy weapons would out class the lighter weapons of light fighters and the attack bonuses under some circumstances may actually be a negative number.

IMO the bonus should be a simple d6 per attack sacrificed. Maybe fighter feats to increase the die or grant more dice, Improved Bonus Damage and Extra Bonus Damage.

The damage is the same type as the weapon, so it would help against DR in some circumstances. It helps fighters at higher levels which is needed. Its not overpowered; compare it to Rogue snaek attack and spellcasters' dice per level. And it doesn't require a total rules rewrite!

-Repairman Jack


I'm a fan of iterative attacks. The problems with the way they work right now is that they always miss, and you can't move if you want to use them. It would work if you got fewer iterative attacks, they could hit, and you could move while using them. They should also all be at the same attack bonus to keep things simple.


I really like Skeld's suggestion about making iteratives into feats...but in order to be more backwards compatible they'll likely keep it as-is.

In _my_ perfect world they'd go to 2 standard actions in a round - you can move and attack or attack twice, or move twice. No full round attacks, just a double-attack if you don't want to move.

The Exchange

Lord Zeb wrote:

I really like Skeld's suggestion about making iteratives into feats...but in order to be more backwards compatible they'll likely keep it as-is.

In _my_ perfect world they'd go to 2 standard actions in a round - you can move and attack or attack twice, or move twice. No full round attacks, just a double-attack if you don't want to move.

This would be 3.0 haste all over again. This would have the effect of making arcane casters EVEN better and fighters would still not keep up at high levels (unless their damage was significantly boosted).


Frank Trollman wrote:


1> All iterative attacks are at a flat -5 penalty. You can take a feat (multiattack) to drop that penalty to -2, and another feat to drop it to -0. Thus, players only have two attack bonuses to remember: Primary Attack and Bonus Attacks. Also, the Bonus attacks would actually matter at all levels.

-Frank

I could support this one, it has the added attraction of making itarative attacks work more like the natural attacks of monsters.


I'd be very disappointed to see iterative attacks go away. :/


I'll add my vote to removing iterative attacks. I'd rather see more emphasis on the abilities that grant one extra attack only, like flurry of blows, rapid shot, two-weapon fighting, etc. This is more of a flavor thing for me than game balance or mechanics, but I am a firm believer that iterative attacks greatly reduce your mobility in combat.

Even if this doesn't make it into the RPG, I'm sure using the Saga rules or making a house rule would not be too hard.


I think it would be a bad idea to remove iterative attacks, greatly hampering those who depend on weapon attacks like fighters. If you want a mobile combat, that's what Spring Attack, Rapid Blitz and the like is for.

I would like to see a way to cut down on the dice rolls (the extra damage if you exceed AC by 5 would be worth investigating) and a way for 2-weapon fighting to not be inferior against DR vs. 2-handed weapons would be nice. As well as making 2-weapon fighting + sneak attack not so ridiculous (maybe a ruling that you can't use sneak attack dice with an offhand weapon?).


Why not allow the last iterative attack to be given up for a limited type of action. As it has been stated previously, the last attack often misses anyway. Things that come to mind are

An additional 5 foot step.
Change feat in play, ie activate Combat Expertise.
Change weapon.
Move (would only be useful for 3 or more attacks).

I am sure there are thinks other people could add to the list. The advantage of this approach is that all existing 3.5 stat blocks in pre-printed adventures still stand as valid.


I kinda like the idea of each +5 you beat the target's AC by is an additional hit -- provided that this does away with criticals. I don't think it's worth pursuing for Pathfinder, but it's a neat idea to play with.

-The Gneech


I can see why people dislike iterative attacks, and understand wgy 4e has moved away from them (as it does speed up combat), but removing iterative attacks would cause severe problems for martial characters unless you redesigned the entire system (particularly how monsters attack). There have been several great ideas thrown about here by the way, and any one of them could work with further development. I just doubt Paizo will make such a dramatic change to combat. They will see iterative attacks as a high-level play issue, since at low and medium levels it's not such an issue (unless everyone is a ranger using two weapons).


I like the compromise solutions. I think a second attack (at full BAB) for melee types is a good idea but more than that is probably gratuitous and iterative attacks are not needed for the other classes.


A vote in favor of iterative attacks. One of the most sensible things third edition did, and a major reason I converted from first edition.

Besides, players will always find an infinite number of ways to get more attacks, and roll more dice, on their turn.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

I'm for keeping itervative attacks, both for backwards compatability and for the full attack action. I guess I just don't see the fighter as an immobile platform at higher levels. A slower moving one? yes, immobile? no.

15th level fighter, full attack. First attack is a normal attack, slamming the target for good old fashioned damage. Second attack is the same. Third attack? Trip him, launch a grapple, disarm, do something that doesn't attack his really high AC, but goes after his touch AC. Also I like the idea of the combat feats being used as part of a full attack for combos.

My proverbial fighter above goes into combat. He uses Power Attack, hits, second attack uses a trip, 3rd attack uses a combat maneuver that allows it to be delivered as a touch attack.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

Iterative attacks are clunky, but I have to agree that revamping the iterative attack mechanic wholesale would hurt backwards compatibility. On the other hand, I like the suggestion that feats be developed that modify iterative attacks (to increase mobility, for example, or to combine multiple attacks into one big attack). That way, the old system would be preserved, but more combat options would be available to higher-level warriors.


Keep iterative attacks intact please!

Removing them is a serious blow to backwards compatibility and would be little more than change for change's sake. One of the major draws of Pathfinder RPG is that it keeps the majority of 3.5 intact. If we are just changing everything that anyone has an issue with, we might as well be playing 4e.

Keep the changes as minimal as possible, and then only where there is a real need for it. Iterative attacks should stay.


Frank Trollman wrote:

The multiple attack mechanic has been part of D&D for generations, and is a quite satisfactory method of handling higher level play. The problem comes in where simply getting "2 attacks" at 6th (or any) level is a really jarring doubling of your offensive potential. Various strategies have been employed including giving out attacks at penalties (the 3.x way), or giving out attacks that happen every other round (the AD&D way).

The 3.x way has the drawback that the bonus attacks make very little difference past the first. Also, there's more than two attack bonuses to remember, which makes it more work than it is worth. There are a number of possible solutions:

1> All iterative attacks are at a flat -5 penalty. You can take a feat (multiattack) to drop that penalty to -2, and another feat to drop it to -0. Thus, players only have two attack bonuses to remember: Primary Attack and Bonus Attacks. Also, the Bonus attacks would actually matter at all levels.

2> Iterative attacks increase by +2 when your BAB increases until they catch up with your primary attack, then you get a new iterative attack. In this way the progression of attack potential is relatively smooth from level to level. Unfortunately, it's also kind of hard to explain the transition of:

+6/+1
+7/+3
+8/+5
+9/+7
+10/+9
+11/+11/+6

-Frank

FRANK IS A GENIUS.

But, seriously, that is very similar to how I thought they should be fixed. They need to stay in the game, to make martial characters worthwhile, but they need to be better on the low end. The level 20 fighter praying for a natural 20 on his 4th attack is lame.

Make the iterative attacks better - either all at a flat -5, or escalating like the monk's flurry.

The standard action for a full attack for fighters sounds good, but methinks it could get as crazy as a warforged barbarian scout dervish with a glaive.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If you could find a portable way to do it (SWSE's approach might work, but I wonder if you'd hit some portability snags), I think it's a very compelling change. This, along with buffs, are the bane of high level play to me.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16

Nervous Jester wrote:

Perhaps the "solution" is simply this:

Characters with a high BAB may make multiple attacks as a standard action by reducing their chance to hit. A character may gain one additional attack for every 5 point reduction in BAB. BAB may not be reduced below 0 in this fashion.

Thus, a character with a +12 BAB could make one attack at +12 or two attacks at +7 or three attacks at +2.

(snip)

I really like this idea. Perhaps this could be added as an option for standard attacks (Paizo has said they like adding things more than removing them) while keeping iterative attacks as-is with a full attack action. Makes fights more mobile and doesn't require one jot of stat block change for old modules... Longsword +18/13/8 (for example) could mean three attacks at +18/13/8 as a full attack, or one attack at +18, two at +12, or three at +8 as a standard attack. Does give an edge to fighters compared to the old rules but I think most people will agree that's a good thing.

And maybe when taking a full round action one could also take a 5-foot step (as normal) or move 10 feet while provoking attacks of opportunity like regular movement. Little more mobility but completely backwards compatible.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

First off, I'm in favor of getting rid of iterative attacks. Rolling the dice may not be time-consuming, but calculating all the relevant modifiers, adding up all the damage, and so forth takes a lot of time. Plus, it can be very confusing for players who aren't very familiar with the rules. And anything that increases the mobility of combat is good.

I think blundith's idea of doubling the base damage when you get a second attack, tripling with the third, etc. is a great and simple way to do this.

Nervous Jester's idea of making the attacks optional (e.g. +12 or +7/+7 or +2/+2/+2) is also a great way to solve many of the problems with iterative attacks.

For those who worry about breaking compatibility, I don't really think that will be a problem. If a stat block has three attacks listed, just take the best one and tack on the extra damage or whatever. Many of the other changes for the PFRPG would break compatibility much more than this.

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Nervous Jester wrote:

A character may gain one additional attack for every 5 point reduction in BAB. BAB may not be reduced below 0 in this fashion.

Thus, a character with a +12 BAB could make one attack at +12 or two attacks at +7 or three attacks at +2.

I have a hard time envisioning many scenarios where this would work. Perhaps if the BAB+12 character greatly outmatched his opponents. Against an evenly matched opponent, this would likely just mean 3 misses.

-Skeld

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Zinegata wrote:
1) "Static Combat" can be fixed by allowing full attacks as a standard action for certain martial classes.

If one of our goals is to speed up higher level combat, this is exactly the wrong thing to do.

Allowing a character to make a FRA as a standard action means that the character will have a move action left over. If we allow them to take all their iterative attacks AND move in the same round, then we're adding to that character's time in turn. Now there's the possibility of the same set of time-consuming iterative attacks, plus they might take a move which will likely require additional adjudication (AoO's, etc.).

-Skeld

Dark Archive

Keep Iterative Attacks.

There one of the few things that keep fighters from being completely outclassed by spellcasters. Plus getting rid of them hurts backwards compatibly.

I going to second the full-attack as a standard action. It will help non-caster get closer in terms of power to spellcaster. Balance wise, it looks like this at level 20, assuming the average:

A fighter with a +5 greatsword(the weapon with the highest average damage) will do 25(7 for average weapon damage, +5 for the enchantment, +5 for the new level 20 fighter bonus, +8 for strength) per hit, so assuming all attacks hit, a fighter will deal 100 damage precisely to one target, before adding in extra sources of damage dice.

In comparison a lvl 20 spellcaster doing the most likely sub-optimal thing, which is to cast a simple spell that does 1d6 damage per caster level, will do an average of 70(20d6) points of damage to all targets in the area of effect.

Even making full-attack a standard action is not going to solve the balance issue on its own, and getting rid of the iterative attacks is going to make it worse. Giving fighters bonus damage dice is sub-optimal as it makes the fighter class more like the rouge.

I suggest this: Make full-attack a standard action. In addition, change the rules for combat feats to "you can only use one combat feat on one attack."

This does 3 things.

A)Help close the gap between non-caster and casters.
B)Allow one to complete combat feat trees in one round.
C)Adds in a unique form of resource management for fighters,baarbarians, and full BAB PCs, in which they manage the way spend their multiple attacks.


I or the guys I play with who by the way will no longer play 3e because of its clunky high level play; True20 is are system we use but there isn't enough crunchy bits to keep the meta gamers happy, anyways... WE do not like iterative attacks. HOWEVER I do not see how you can get rid of them and keep backwards compatibility. BUT it does need to be fixed for me to stay with 3E.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

Hey there All,

I believe that pulling iterative attacks constitutes a major change that might seriously hamper backwards compatibility. I agree with a lot of the concerns here, but until that third attack comes into play, it is usually not that bad of an issue (imo).

That said, I am looking for a few more ways to up the fighter power curve. Although it only adds to some problems, a feat that allowed you to move an make a full attack might be interesting. Especially with a requirement like BAB +11.

Continue the discussion. I will check back in.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer


Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Although it only adds to some problems, a feat that allowed you to move an make a full attack might be interesting. Especially with a requirement like BAB +11.

Glad to hear that you're in favour of keeping iterative attacks. As for this feat suggestion, I think it's a decent idea (and one I've always thought should be a feat in 3.5 already anyway.) Making it a feat means that not everyone has to have, thus protecting backwards compatibility, but keeping the option open to include it if you want.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

I like iterative attacks. They should stay.


Darkjoy wrote:
I like iterative attacks. They should stay.

I like them and like them not. I would prefer keeping, but reducing them. We are talking over at 3point75.org forum about iterative attacks. there also are other discussion such as turn undead rules or grappling strewn all over the board. perhaps the site (along with the wiki-entries of the "Torn Lands" entries) has some ideas for some of you or for pathfinder rpg

here link to iterative attack discussopn: http://mydndboard.proboards58.com/index.cgi?board=wishlist&action=displ ay&thread=1203181994


I've been toying with an idea that might solve some of these issues. It works like this:

1. No iterative attacks.
2. You can use all your attacks (from Haste, TWF, whatever) as a standard action.
3. Spells take two consecutive standard actions to cast. The first of these actions you invoke the spell, singing and gesturing, the second you fire it. (Spells with a casting time of 1 round take three consecutive standard actions to cast, quickened spells only one).

These suggestions chop the regular combat flow in two chunks, allowing for less waiting before it's your turn again and more moving around. As a side benefit, they decrease the power level of spellcasters, make counterspelling a lot more intuitive and add tension as the PCs see the BBEG start to cast yet another devastating spell that they have one round to somehow disrupt.

I'm sure it is too drastic for many people's taste, but I thought I'd throw it in anyway.


First, since wizards and sorcerers are often viewed as underpowered by many people I don't think making it impossible for them to cast spells as solving the problem unless you change how the ready action or Concentration checks change (oh look, you're still casting a spell. I hit you lots of times with different monsters. Make multiple Concentration checks please).

I don't think mobility is really an issue with iterative attacks. Fighters would still generally just hammer away until the oppponent in front of them is dead (unless they are given a reason to move). The issue is a time one really, but removing iterative attacks won't necessarily change this. Battles would be longer simply by virtue that monsters would take longer to kill. Maybe this is better than the time issue related to iterative attacks, but it has to be playtested to know for sure.

I'm going to completely turn this discussion around by drawing on someone's suggestion about iterative attacks and saying that anyone can make iterative attacks (up to a total of 4 per round). If you make two attacks in a round they both take a -5 penalty to hit, if you make 3 attacks each gains a -10 penalty to hit and if you make 4 attacks each gains a -15 penalty to attack. Then I would add in a number of feats to make single attacks and multiple attacks both more effective. I would keep monster attacks as normal and change flurry of blows and two-weapon fighting accordingly. This would mean that some characters would choose to make iterative attacks and others wouldn't, depending on their feats and what they want to do.

In other words, one of the feats would be something like this...

Improved Iterative Attack [General]
You can multiple attacks more efficiently.
Prerequisites: Base Attack +6.
Benefit: The penalty for each of your iterative attacks reduces by -5.
Special: A fighter can take Improved Irterative Attack as a bonus feat.

for iterative attack lovers, or...

Measured Strike [General]
When you use a full-round action to make a single attack, your blow deals more damage as you carefully line up your foe.
Prerequisites: Base Attack +6.
Benefit: When you make a single attack roll as a full-round action you deal extra damage equal to your character level.
Special: A fighter can take Measured Strike as a bonus feat.

for those who like the single attack option.

Poo on this as necessary. ;)


Phil. L wrote:
Since wizards and sorcerers are often viewed as underpowered by many people

Pardon?


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there All,

I believe that pulling iterative attacks constitutes a major change that might seriously hamper backwards compatibility. I agree with a lot of the concerns here, but until that third attack comes into play, it is usually not that bad of an issue (imo).

That said, I am looking for a few more ways to up the fighter power curve. Although it only adds to some problems, a feat that allowed you to move an make a full attack might be interesting. Especially with a requirement like BAB +11.

Continue the discussion. I will check back in.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

Jason,

You might want to consider feats that allow for limited movement without provoking AoO from threatened spaces. The AoOs from big damage creatures with reach is one thing that will prevent a melee character from moving to much.

The battle dancer in my AOW game is highly mobile due to her tumble and the ability to full attack after a charge. Combine that with Spring Attack and an a magic item pulled from the WOTC website that allows for a 10-foot step when making a full attack and she has become hard to pin down. The 10-foot step is a big boost by itself since she fights with a longspear, putting her on even terms with big reach creatures.

A couple of feats that encourage movement or help with AoO in limited situations would give melee types the option of moving instead of staying put. A feat could even let them sacrifice an attack for movement or some other effect.


Chris Braga wrote:
Phil. L wrote:
Since wizards and sorcerers are often viewed as underpowered by many people
Pardon?

James Jacobs for one. That's one of the reasons they have increased the power level of clerics and wizards in the Pathfinder RPG. Your suggestions just don't cut it with the way 3.5 is contructed.


Phil. L wrote:
Chris Braga wrote:
Phil. L wrote:
Since wizards and sorcerers are often viewed as underpowered by many people
Pardon?
James Jacobs for one. That's one of the reasons they have increased the power level of clerics and wizards in the Pathfinder RPG. Your suggestions just don't cut it with the way 3.5 is contructed.

You're probably right on that last count. But clerics and wizards underpowered? That's a first for me. Even if James Jacobs thinks so. :)

Liberty's Edge

Gah! Why would you want to get rid of iterative attacks? They're one of the few things keeping combat classes close to spellcasting classes in terms of playability. Especially with true strike and divine favor out there, why would you ever play anything but a primary spellcaster without iterative attacks? Leave them in!

Sovereign Court

Jason,
I was beginning to form the same idea when I got down to your post. I might suggest something like:

Battlefield Stride (combat)
You move quickly to take advantage of openings and relentlessly persue your enemies.
Requirements: BAB +12, ...
Effect: You may take a move action before or after a full attack action.

As for the additional requirement, I might suggest Cleave but that would be restrictive to more finesse-based classes like the rogue and swashbuckler.

The Exchange

Phil. L wrote:
Since wizards and sorcerers are often viewed as underpowered by many people...
Chris Braga wrote:
Pardon?

The examples being given of wizards blowing away hordes of enemies, while the poor warriors are left with nothing to do, just isn't happening for us. In fact, it's often the other way round.

The 20th level caster who uses a 6th-level slot to deal 70 damage in an area...sounds good, until you factor in Spell Resistance, Spell Turning, Counterspelling, Energy Resistance, saves for half damage, Evasion, etc.
Sure, you can kill rooms full of mooks who are many levels beneath you, but you shouldn't really be facing them, or gaining xp for defeating them.
A creature rated as appropriate to your caster level is often very difficult to even effect.

At the same time, our 'warriors' are hacking away, hitting with 4 attacks per round, and easily capable of delivering 100 damage per round, yet none of the three has the benefit of a full BAB history.

My job seems to be to deliver them to the objective, smash the scenery up, dispel harmful spells, and identify the loot. Damaging the enemy is not a worth the attempt unless they're in my face, or as a side effect of killing themselves on my defences (Moltenwing in one round!).

This is not a rant against my group or campaign, but I simply cannot relate to the statements that 'iterative attacks are useless', or 'fighters cannot contribute at high level'.


I'll add in another voice for removing iterative attacks. This eases the relation between manufactured and natural weapons.

In place of them, I'd include a Devastating Strike full-round action (replacing the full attack), that dealt more damage.

Want more attack rolls? Pick up two weapons.

Scarab Sages

Trying to think of ways to keep battles moving, but also still allow the iterative attacks that I love. Dunno if this would be too complex... but how about maybe allowing a feat (or a standard rule) that would allow characters to 'cash in' iterative attacks to allow movement. Starting with the lowest iterative attack first, allow 5' of movement for every point they cash in, up to their standard movement rate, as part of a full round attack.

At 9th level, +9/+4 is the standard fighter BAB. Starting with the lowest attack, they could switch out 1 for a +9/+3, and move 5' more than their free five foot step. '+9/+2 would allow a total of 15' movement. '+9/+1 would allow a total of 20' movement.

I know there would be some wonkiness due to the rule that you only get your free 5 foot step if you make no other actual movement. this could be the only exception. Or you could just say that they don't get the free 5 foot step, and lower the amounts I've listed above by 5'.

Then At 14th level, +14/+9/+4. I would suggest also that if you switch enough out to drop an attack down to +0, you lose that attack that round. They could switch down to '+14/+9/+0, move 20' and make attacks at +14/+9, losing their last attack, but still getting multiple swings.

Dunno, too complex? Possibly. It solves the problem of stand-still full attack combats, but doesn't help to increase fighter damage up to the godly levels the wizard is capable of. It also gives some use to that last, puny iterative attack that never seems to hit.

Jorv.

Dark Archive

After a quick tinkering, I came up with this possible solution, keeping in mind the backwards compatibility issue:


  • Iterative attacks stay as they are in the SRD. This means a +11 BAB equals to 3 possible attacks (+11, +6, +1) and is a full round attack.

  • Martial classes can give up any number of extra attacks (keeping 1 as a minimum) to gain extra damage bonus equal to their STR modifier. Let's just call it "Combat Adaptation" or any other useful name.

  • Martial classes can give up any number of extra attacks (keeping 1 as a minimum) to gain an extra move action of 10 feet per attack lost. This extra movement causes an AoO, and can be performed at any time before or after any remaining attack.

So let's take a 16° level fighter with STR 18 for an example.

He can use his usual full round multiple attack option against mooks, or he feels lucky, all of them against a single enemy.

He can give up the least effective attack to gain an extra +4 to damage with the other attacks. He can also give up 3 extra attacks to gain a whopping +12 to damage with his remaining attack, performed at his best bonus.

He can give up the least effective attack to move an extra 10 feet. He goes for the first enemy with 2 attacks, moves 10 feet and uses his last attack to go for another enemy.

Any other mix-up of the aforementioned options. The AoO caused by the extra movement means that feats such as Mobility and Spring Attack remain palatable for this style of combat.


Rule suggestion: Iterative attack as a fighter feat

Feat: Follow through attack

"You swing your weapon in a broad arc and backhand your opponent with the return swing"

Should your first melee attack succeed in hiting your opponement, you may immediately make another melee attack against the same target with the same weapon as a free action.

Pre-requisite
BAB +3, Combat expertise or fighter class

Pros:
* Iterative attacks are in
* The remain an halmark of the fighter class while being open to other classes
* Combat is speed up as only fighters are likely to have this feat and because you only roll the second dice if you hit first.
* The second attack has a decent chance to hit but this is balanced by the fact that you only get to roll if you hit first.
* Fighter get their secondary attack earlier in the progression

Cons:
* You lose the ability to engage multiple targets. This is made so that you can't target a minion to trigger the feat which I would see as an exploit

Additional work
* Should you envisage a penalty on the second roll? (need to calculate some probabilities on this)
* Should fighter automatically get this feat at level 3?

Please discuss. Like it or not?

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