Down with Iterative Attacks?


New Rules Suggestions

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Arne Schmidt wrote:
I think I'm going to try introducing a new kind of full round action called a Multi-attack.

Multi attack is already a monster feat so the word choice in not great.

Arne Schmidt wrote:
When you make a multi-attack you divide your speed by the number of attacks you get and then for each attack that you sacrifice you may move that amount.

What about just simplifying this to a feat:

Quickstep
Prereq: Spring Attack
During a full attack action you can forfeit an attack to move 10' in between attacks. Your total movement in a round cannot exceed your normal movement.

At 11th level a fighter could 5' step into combat, attack, sacrifice and attack to move 10' then attack again. At 15th level you could make 2 attacks 20' apart or attack, move 10', attack, move 10'.


Dennis da Ogre wrote:

Quickstep

Prereq: Spring Attack
During a full attack action you can forfeit an attack to move 10' in between attacks. Your total movement in a round cannot exceed your normal movement.

At 11th level a fighter could 5' step into combat, attack, sacrifice and attack to move 10' then attack again. At 15th level you could make 2 attacks 20' apart or attack, move 10', attack, move 10'.

Nice. Keeping it simple *and* useful. I like the fact that your movement can't exceed your normal movement for the round. Injects some movement, keeps things balanced. Good job Ogre!


Nice idea, but it doesn't satisfy my criteria. Requiring a 4 feat chain to be able to do this doesn't really address my combat mobility concerns. It's just a new form of specialization available to very few characters.

I want everyone moving more freely.

I'm not worried about the naming since one is an action type and one is a pre-calculated feat that is probably never going to be mentioned in combat. Confusion should be minimal.

I do want to point out that under my multi-attack system you can't multi-attack and exceed your normal movement. Since you divide your speed by the number of attacks it's mathematically impossible to move more than your speed. So if you're going to make one attack you'd take a move and a standard action because that option always allows you the most movement combined with an attack (other than a charge if the criteria is met).

It also allows TWF fighters to move a significant amount and make both TWF attacks (since they're treated as a single iterative attack). So an 11th level TWF ranger could sacrifice 2 iterative attacks, move 2/3 of his speed and make both TWF attacks or 1/3 of his speed and make 4 TWF attacks (2 iterative, 2 off-hand), something he can never do in the RAW.


Arne Schmidt wrote:

Nice idea, but it doesn't satisfy my criteria. Requiring a 4 feat chain to be able to do this doesn't really address my combat mobility concerns. It's just a new form of specialization available to very few characters.

I want everyone moving more freely.

Hmm... I'm not fond of giving something like this away to everyone. Yes, it's a 4 feat chain but it's a good one and it matches the theme of the chain and it's a decent chain (now). Dodge gives a +1 bonus which is mostly stackable, Mobility gets you around without AoOs, Spring Attack... A fighter could easily get this feat chain by 7th or 8th level and still get weapon focus, power attack (or 2WF), and specialization. I like the idea of some fighters who specialize in dealing massive damage to a single opponent and some that flit around the battlefield.

Setting the question of who gets it aside for a second, my big issue with the system you propose is that it involves math. No I have no trouble with math personally but it complicates the battlefield.

A fighter with 30' movement and 4 attacks moves 7.5'/ attack sacrificed? No you just moved 10' you can only move 5' before this attack...

A fighter with 20' movement and 3 attacks moves 6.9'/ attack or 13.8'/ attack when hasted (40/ 3)... or wait is it 10'/ attack while hasted (40'/ 4). Hey, I just cleaved now I can only move 8'! Great Cleave WTF?

Thus I took your idea and tried to make the movement amount static. Maybe 10' is too much?


It's certainly not that I think your idea is a bad one it just doesn't answer my particular concerns.

I considered the math issue, but I think it's doable especially since you can always pre-calculate the numbers for yourself when hasted and when not hasted. So you just keep them handy. Other than haste/non-haste they shouldn't change much in the course of a single game.

You always round down. So the guy who gets 7.5 feet per attack gets 5 feet or 15 if he sacrifices two attacks (and uses them together instead of broken up).

FYI Cleave/Great Cleave/Combat Reflexes don't affect the system. They just grant you extra attacks whenever they would apply. They have no impact on making a multi-attack (they are niether counted as attack, nor factored into your move amount).


Solientious wrote:


When I heard that Dnd 4th Edition was coming out I was excited because I was under the impression that they would use the same mechanics as the Saga Edition Star Wars, but they didn't... :(

same here. I really like the Star Wars Saga rules. Every other level a class feat. every opposite level a talent. you could really build your own class within the rough archetype frameworks provided. very cool stuff. I was very let down by 4E. I've been toying with adapting the Saga rules to a D&D setting for a little while. Maybe even take it a step further and have certain features available to more classes than before. I think its perfectly valid if a barbarian wanted to have a wolf animal companion. He'd have to give something up though.


VorpalSpork wrote:
Solientious wrote:


When I heard that Dnd 4th Edition was coming out I was excited because I was under the impression that they would use the same mechanics as the Saga Edition Star Wars, but they didn't... :(

same here. I really like the Star Wars Saga rules. Every other level a class feat. every opposite level a talent. you could really build your own class within the rough archetype frameworks provided. very cool stuff. I was very let down by 4E.

Welcome to the club. If 4E had been D&D Saga Edition I would be in the cheering section. Sadly, it was not.

I like the way Saga replaced iterative attacks. Not sure if it works as well when you have creatures that get claw/claw/bite/wing buffet/tail slap/rend/swallow whole (Ok, maybe not ALL of those at once, but close enough).

We've got the skill consolidation (alpha 1 tried tying skills directly to level but that was shot down).

I love how classes were done with feats and Talent trees. Might not go over so well with some and not exactly backward compatible, but the flexibility is a win for me.
Also like the level dependent damage bonuses.

Not sure if the Force Powers are a fair comparison to magic in D&D so adding in a magic system could be unbalancing.


Freesword wrote:


I love how classes were done with feats and Talent trees. Might not go over so well with some and not exactly backward compatible, but the flexibility is a win for me.
Also like the level dependent damage bonuses.

Not sure if the Force Powers are a fair comparison to magic in D&D so adding in a magic system could be unbalancing.

The adoption of the class talent trees in SW Saga (very similar to those in d20 Modern) IMHO is one of the best things in Saga.

Just think - if this had been done for D&D bards could have a songs talent tree, and by learning some songs (talents) they could expand their repertoire and learn different songs. Paladins could have had healing, smite and leadership talent trees. Rangers could have survivalist and nature trees. There could even be a bit of overlap between the talent trees amongst similar classes (Rangers and druids? Clerics and paladins? Wizards and sorcerers).

If you followed it up to the end, you could even have a radically different magic engine, with spell schools and domains being trees of their own - should a wizard be able to cast fireball if he doesn't even know how to cast light or flare? Could a 'manifest flame' tree like that comprise of something like Flare, Burning Hands, Fireball, Firetrap and Wall of Fire?

Anyway, that's a bit off-topic. If iterative attacks ever got dumped, there would need to be a mechanic that increased the damage considerably in each hit (by a melee class?) to make up for it. The additional attacks could become rerolls if the previous hit missed, or something, i.e. a BAB on a +10/+5, you would only get the reroll of +5 if the +10 missed.

Chobbly


Chobbly wrote:
If iterative attacks ever got dumped, there would need to be a mechanic that increased the damage considerably in each hit (by a melee class?) to make up for it. The additional attacks could become rerolls if the previous hit missed, or something, i.e. a BAB on a +10/+5, you would only get the reroll of +5 if the +10 missed.

Well, as was said earlier, extra attacks could be converted into damage multipliers. For example:

At BAB 1-5, attack damage = [weapon]+Str+enhancement
At BAB 6, attack damage = 2x([weapon]+Str+enhancement)
At BAB 11, attack damage = 3x([weapon]+Str+enhancement)
At BAB 16, attack damage = 4x([weapon]+Str+enhancement)

and so on. Feats like Rapid Shot and Two-Weapon Fighting grant a second attack, if the first attack hits. The second attack does not get the multiplier. However, taking Improved Two-Weapon Fighting increases the off-hand damage to 2x, Greater to 3x.

Rerolls aren't really a good idea, as the point is to reduce the number of rolls made.

However, several questions emerge:
-How to handle Power Attack? I'm leaning towards not multiplying Power Attack damage.
-How to handle Sneak Attack? As we've just nerfed full-attacking for sneak attack damage, unless we also multiply that.
-How to handle Energy weapons? I would say the d6s from Frost, Flaming, etc. multiply as well, if a same-priced enhancement bonus multiplies.
-How to handle critical hits? If a weapon has an x2 crit range, do we double the total, or follow typical D&D multiplication rules and turn it into a x3 (at BAB 6-10)?
-What about the bad guys? If damage is dealt in a huge spike instead of over multiple attacks, monsters wielding manufactured weapons become more deadly, as they can't halt their sequence anymore.
-What about Haste? I'm kicking around having Haste let you roll 2d20 when attacking, and take the better of the two rolls. Extra attacks should be granted from feats and be special.

-Matt


Mattastrophic wrote:
Chobbly wrote:
If iterative attacks ever got dumped, there would need to be a mechanic that increased the damage considerably in each hit (by a melee class?) to make up for it. The additional attacks could become rerolls if the previous hit missed, or something, i.e. a BAB on a +10/+5, you would only get the reroll of +5 if the +10 missed.

Well, as was said earlier, extra attacks could be converted into damage multipliers. For example:

At BAB 1-5, attack damage = [weapon]+Str+enhancement
At BAB 6, attack damage = 2x([weapon]+Str+enhancement)
At BAB 11, attack damage = 3x([weapon]+Str+enhancement)
At BAB 16, attack damage = 4x([weapon]+Str+enhancement)

and so on. Feats like Rapid Shot and Two-Weapon Fighting grant a second attack, if the first attack hits. The second attack does not get the multiplier. However, taking Improved Two-Weapon Fighting increases the off-hand damage to 2x, Greater to 3x.

Rerolls aren't really a good idea, as the point is to reduce the number of rolls made.

And you do reduce the numbers of rolls made. It only works on a Full Attack. If you hit on the first attack, that's it, done, no more rerolls and work out damage. Only if you miss, and have secondary attacks do you get the chance for a reroll.

A 3.5 BAB stat of say +9/+4 would still be valid, but mean something different, on a full attack only if you miss on a +9 do you get a second attack on a +4. Once you hit the target, that's it, no more rerolls even if you had some left.

Mattastrophic wrote:


However, several questions emerge:
-How to handle Power Attack? I'm leaning towards not multiplying Power Attack damage.
-How to handle Sneak Attack? As we've just nerfed full-attacking for sneak attack damage, unless we also multiply that.
-How to handle Energy weapons? I would say the d6s from Frost, Flaming, etc. multiply as well, if a same-priced enhancement bonus multiplies.
-How to handle critical hits? If a weapon has an x2 crit range, do we double the total, or follow typical D&D multiplication rules and turn it into a x3 (at BAB 6-10)?
-What about the bad guys? If damage is dealt in a huge spike instead of over multiple attacks, monsters wielding manufactured weapons become more deadly, as they can't halt their sequence anymore.
-What about Haste? I'm kicking around having Haste let you roll 2d20 when attacking, and take the better of the two rolls. Extra attacks should be granted from feats and be special.

-Matt

I'd say leave most things as they are, for backward compatibility's sake, but you have some valid thoughts.

Chobbly


Guys, many people complain about iterative attacks, but so they do about a creature with a zillion of attacks that are reduced to 1 if they have to move... and so they have to insert in their build the worst power combos in order to simply USE their 2 weapon fightinf feat.

What about these few rules:

-You can ALWAYS give up one of more of your extra attacks for a cumulative +4 bonus on hit and damage rolls in the others attacks of that round. For ex a BAB 11 pc with 3 attacks can give up the worst 2 of them and he can choose to attack one time at +19 with a +8 damage bonus, with great chance of power attacking, expertising, etc.

-Speed and similar effects now give an extra attack ALWAYS. No more full attack action required.


Instead of getting rid of iterative attacks, how about limiting the total number of attacks/round?

Spells and feats which give extra attacks could then be altered to give bonuses to these attacks.

Scarab Sages

Wow, there has been a huge number of suggestions here, so I thought I'd add in my £0.02*.

How about reducing the rate at which a PC gets iterative attacks, so instead of +1 per +6 the PC gets +1 per +8 or +9, however to speed up combat the extra attacks are at FULL BAB. This I believe would compensate for the reduced number of attacks, and thus also the reduced damage.

Cheers! :D

*Excluding inflation.


ComicJam wrote:

Wow, there has been a huge number of suggestions here, so I thought I'd add in my £0.02*.

How about reducing the rate at which a PC gets iterative attacks, so instead of +1 per +6 the PC gets +1 per +8 or +9, however to speed up combat the extra attacks are at FULL BAB. This I believe would compensate for the reduced number of attacks, and thus also the reduced damage.

Cheers! :D

*Excluding inflation.

That's my preferred solution too, I'd also fancy having fighters gain 'Secondary Attacks' in between which use full BAB but do half damage. So the progression goes something like:

BAB 1 to N - one Primary Attack.
BAB N+1 to 2N - One Primary plus One Secondary Attack.
BAB 2N+1 to 3N - Two Primary Attacks.
BAB 2N+1 to 4N - Two Primary Attacks plus One Secondary Attack.
BAB 2N+1 to 5N - Three Primary Attacks.

Where N is, say 5 or 6. A fighter could have the ability to freely 'split' any number of his Primary attacks into Secondary ones to handle multiple weak foes. I'm also toying with the idea of Tertiary Attacks that do half damage at -5 BAB, for moving through the rabble.

I wouldn't include it in the Pathfinder RPG though, since it plays havoc with reverse compatibility.

Scarab Sages

Sounds interesting. Though wouldn't the half damge would take a little more time to work out (I personally wouldn't use it, but everyone's different)?

Though I do think that this would really only apply to games that you know will run beyond Level 11. If they do, I'd more than likely give iterative attacks out at every +10 BAB, as well as an additional half level damage from Level 1 (a la Star Wars: Saga Ed.).

I would also allow the 5-foot step to be taken at any time during the turn, even between attacks, thus sorting out the lack of mobility a little.

Again, everyone's different and I think there is no right way of doing it...

Cheers! :D


Increasing or reducing damage gets in the way of the damage reduction rules however.

There should also be a way for a character to choose between high hit probability and high damage. Even if it comes to the same total at the end of the round, it does make a difference in the approach your character has to combat. It also has a strategic influence:

Hit hit probability/lower damage = more reliability, more chances for critical hits. This approach is advantageous vs. numerous smaller creatures.

Lower hit probability/higher damage = less reliable attacks, but when it hits, it hurts! This approach is advantageous vs. bigger monster with high DR.

For all the trouble it brings at higher levels, the present iterative system allows that.

That is why I would suggest to give everybody the option to be mobile AND get multiple attacks (lets say 2) in a single round. Feats would then allow characters to forfeit 1 attack for more damage, or reduce hit probability for more damage or more AC (Power Attack and Combat Expertise) or get feat that allow extra attacks in special circumstances (such as TWF)

By comparison to the present iterative attack system, a character would have more attacks at lower level and less at higher level, stretching the sweet spot where the characters have enough tools to face the challenges and the point where they just have too many to make the game run smooth.

The challenge is to make this compatible or easily convertible with the present system...


In the end, capping the maximum amount of attacks per round to 4 may just do it.

The ranger with 4 attacks at +13/+13/+8/+8 is still more interesting than a strait +15/+10/+5. Especially if Greater Two-Weapon Fighting (now obsolete if attacks are capped at 4/round) simply removes all penalties (for a +15/+15/+10/+10)


ComicJam wrote:
Sounds interesting. Though wouldn't the half damge would take a little more time to work out (I personally wouldn't use it, but everyone's different)?

I'm thinking it'd be easiest just to halve the die size and damage bonus, so a longsword doing 1d8+9 damage as a primary attack becomes a 1d4+4 secondary attack. May break down with lots of dice though, does a 5d6 giant's club become 2d6+1d3?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

I would prefer more full action attack feats honestly. If you create a feat that requires you to have a +x/+y/+z BAB, then you can have a feat that lets you deal 3d8+STR if you land the attack.


Dennis da Ogre wrote:
Personally I think the biggest thing that slows down combat is players. I'm thinking an 30 second egg timer would be the best combat speedup you could do.

Absolutely, but what slows a player down is the multitude of options, especially at high level. While I do think the amount of possible options should be reduced at high level, it's especially the feeling that choosing the wrong option might be be catastrophic for the party (or the character).

Add to that the fact that unless you're the kind of player that knows its character inside-out with all the associated rules and a good idea of the statistical probabilities of success/efficiency (which is probably the majority of the players on this board, but not necessarily of all the players out there), you have the feeling that with all the options your character have, there MUST be one that is optimal for the situation. You just have to find which one...

That is why adding more options to what you can do with your iterative attacks may not be as the best way to tackle the problem IMO.

D&D is a cooperative game, but some players do get frustrated when their teammates do not cooperate with optimum efficiency. Some DMs design their encounters in such a way that success is impossible if the characters are not used optimally. This put pressure on players that are not the best rule-savvy, and therefore take more time to make sure they take the right choice.

That is why I believe that eliminating the option of full-round actions is a stem in the right direction. The mechanics have to be re-built to leave at least a certain amount of options and keep the game compatible and equivalent to older prints.


Quote:
That is why I believe that eliminating the option of full-round actions is a stem in the right direction. The mechanics have to be re-built to leave at least a certain amount of options and keep the game compatible and equivalent to older prints.

Agreed. I was thinking of reducing iteratives to every +10 AB (so you get a second attack at +10, and a third at +20; after that, the EAB kicks in). Reducing the number of attacks has two benefits: a) combat lasts longer than 5 rounds; and b) the PCs might actually do something besides "I full attack" because other options might be as good or better.

I think the easiest way to encourage full-round actions with attacks is to make some high-level feats like Quick Step (I changed this one to let the PC get half his move and a full attack). Make some feats that allow you to take an action and make one or two or all of your attacks. Make a feat like Pounding Strike that lets the PC make a single attack with a bludgeoning weapon as a standard action, but it deals extra damage and knocks the opponent prone. PHB II has some interesting stuff toward this end.


Sounds like you're into house rule territory. The iterative attack thing being the defining advantage of fighters (tied in with hit probability and along with HD) I doubt it's going to be changed in a game that wants backward compatibility with 3.5. As for PCs not knowing what to do with their characters... that may be true for players who are handed high level characters for an adventure. Mine have "grown" with their their characters and pretty much know them inside and out (they're currently between 9th and 11th level as a group). I think it was Ogre who said the biggest problem was players who won't get off the fence and choose. For a lot of them reducing the choices won't make a difference. *shrug* They'll dither over what choices they do have. Personally I don't see fewer (but more damaging) attacks as a suitable replacement either. The iterative attacks serve to average your luck over multiple attacks and deliver a certain volume of damage, with fewer attacks being more a matter of hit / miss "luck". And I like to see fighters get in close and "whittle down" their enemies... payback for all that long range damage those pesky magical types do :D


R_Chance wrote:
Sounds like you're into house rule territory.

Definitely, there's no way we can change the Iterative Attack rule and keep backwards-compatibility, so I'm viewing this thread as more of a thought-exercise.

I don't like the way Full Attacks work as per RAW. A high-level fighter loses 75% of their max damage potential if they choose to make a standard attack, more if they're a two-weapon warrior. Plus, it stifles a dynamic battlefield.

I'd prefer them to be able to make multiple attacks as a standard action, and have about a 50% boost on max damage potential if they take a full attack. It'd be easy enough to implement in the Primary / Secondary / Tertiary attack system I proposed earlier. Just have the option of a fighter being able to spend a Move action to either:

Rapid Blows - gain an additional Secondary attack for every Primary attack they possess.
Mighty Blows - each Primary attack you make does 50% extra damage.
Charge! - the Primary attack you make after the charging move does 50% extra damage for every Primary attack you can make.

So, if you have, say, a 16th level fighter who can make two Primary Attacks as a standard action and does 1d8+9 with a longsword (and 1d4+4 as a secondary attack, as I describe earlier) they could either:

Standard - Attack twice for 1d8+9 and make a normal move.
Rapid Blows - Attack twice for 1d8+9 and twice for 1d4+4 make a 5' step.
Mighty Blows - Attack twice for 1d8+1d4+13 and make a 5' step.
Charge! - Attack once for 2d8+18 (after a charge move) and once for 1d8+9.

And yes, that does mean a high level fighter can strike a mook down with their first blow then Charge! to make a second attack against someone else. It's something they should be able to do.

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