Power Attack


Rules Questions

Liberty's Edge

Hello fellow gamers, I have a fairly basic question. When making a full attack action , does power attack apply to all attacks made in that round?
And when fighting with two weapons does it apply to both weapons or just the primary hand??
Thanks in advance!!


Power attack applies to all attacks made in that round, including attacks of opportunity made before the beginning of your next turn.

Liberty's Edge

Thanks for the info. I was almost afraid that was the case. It just seems crazy the amount of damage a straight class fighter can dish out two weapon fighting with high strength and power attack.
He can easily do 75+ dmg a round .
For the first time our group is starting to try higher level play, normaly we stop before we hit level 10. So some of this is still shocking to us lol.


Thorbrin wrote:

Thanks for the info. I was almost afraid that was the case. It just seems crazy the amount of damage a straight class fighter can dish out two weapon fighting with high strength and power attack.

He can easily do 75+ dmg a round .
For the first time our group is starting to try higher level play, normaly we stop before we hit level 10. So some of this is still shocking to us lol.

Off hand attacks deal 1/2 strength damage (as well as 1/2 power attack damage) not straight strength like main hand attacks. This is evened out by having to roll a second time for off hand attacks and that you might miss the attack due to penalties as opposed to a 2H fighter who just rolls once and gets 1.5 damage and 1.5 PA damage.

If all attacks from a TWF hit they could possibly do more damage depending on the weapon (getting 2 weapon damage rolls instead of 1 for the 2Her). But it remains comparable to 2H weapons because of the lesser str damage on the TWF attacks.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The penalties with Two-Weapon Fighting plus the penalties for Power Attack most assuredly means your fighter will hit enough to do respectable damage.

It's better to choose one or the other and, unless your a rogue or something else with extra dice of damage, simply wielding a two-handed weapon with Power Attack is almost always better for the purposes of damage output.

Always remember: the ability to hit more, means the ability to damage more.

Doing 150% power attack damage because you are using a two-handed weapon doesn't hurt either. :P

Lantern Lodge

Skylancer4 wrote:


Off hand attacks deal 1/2 strength damage (as well as 1/2 power attack damage) not straight strength like main hand attacks.

Not if you take the double slice feat.


Lex Talinis wrote:
Skylancer4 wrote:


Off hand attacks deal 1/2 strength damage (as well as 1/2 power attack damage) not straight strength like main hand attacks.
Not if you take the double slice feat.

OP was just about power attack and then they mentioned the TWF, I try not to assume things not brought up.

Lantern Lodge

Skylancer4 wrote:
OP was just about power attack and then they mentioned the TWF, I try not to assume things not brought up.

It's worth mentioning that the concept that they are looking for is possible. That was my point.

Furthermore, when talking about TWF, the other feats that augment it, such as double slice, deserve a pointing out, especially in this conversation about power attack (since damage out put seems to be their primary goal)

It's very possible for a character to dish out over 17+ damage (minimum) per round at 4th level by building around power attack, higher if you use TWF. So I think it does speak to the OP. ;)


Lex Talinis wrote:
Skylancer4 wrote:
OP was just about power attack and then they mentioned the TWF, I try not to assume things not brought up.

It's worth mentioning that the concept that they are looking for is possible. That was my point.

Furthermore, when talking about TWF, the other feats that augment it, such as double slice, deserve a pointing out, especially in this conversation about power attack (since damage out put seems to be their primary goal)

It's very possible for a character to dish out over 17+ damage (minimum) per round at 4th level by building around power attack, higher if you use TWF. So I think it does speak to the OP. ;)

Actually what I got from them was that the character was ALREADY doing very good damage and they weren't sure that was what was supposed to happen, not that they were looking for a "concept" to make it better.

I didn't say you were off topic, just saying I try not to bring anything into the mix or assume things that weren't stated regarding the OP. Had it been "how can I make it better" that is one thing. It was "Does this seem right" which doesn't make me jump into "how to make it better" mode and start making suggestions. If there is confusion, adding more to it before sorting it out... Well, it just makes it worse.


can weapon fineness change the strength prerequisite to a dex mod?

Sovereign Court

Thorbrin wrote:

Thanks for the info. I was almost afraid that was the case. It just seems crazy the amount of damage a straight class fighter can dish out two weapon fighting with high strength and power attack.

He can easily do 75+ dmg a round .
For the first time our group is starting to try higher level play, normaly we stop before we hit level 10. So some of this is still shocking to us lol.

Of note - Power Attack actually becomes less useful past level 10, as once you get the 2nd iterative attack the Power Attack accuracy penalty has a good chance of making it miss, while at the same time your static damage bonuses without Power Attack are only growing, making Power Attack a smaller % of your base damage.

The sweet spot for Power Attack are levels 4-10, outside of that range it's much more situational when you get a full attack. (Still probably worth having unless your build is feat starved, as situationally it's pretty awesome depending upon your foe's defenses, and it's still almost always worth using when you move unless you have some form of pounce.)


o0NAVI0o wrote:
can weapon fineness change the strength prerequisite to a dex mod?

no but pirana strike is power attack for light weapons


Thorbrin wrote:

Thanks for the info. I was almost afraid that was the case. It just seems crazy the amount of damage a straight class fighter can dish out two weapon fighting with high strength and power attack.

He can easily do 75+ dmg a round.

Unless the enemy uses some really advanced, complex high level tactics... Like moving away.


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That was a nice six year nap.

Dark Archive

Does Double Slice increase the half Power Attack bonus to a full one? Or does it only apply to you're normal STR bonus?


Double Slice doesn't tchange what Light Weapons are, so it doesn't effect Power Attack.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Azten wrote:
Double Slice doesn't tchange what Light Weapons are, so it doesn't effect Power Attack.

Um, they were asking about TWF, not light weapons (granted there were previous mentions of light weapons and Piranha Strike but this post seemed a new question, which is kinda what this thread is atm, a general Power Attack interaction thread :3)


the answer is still no.


Rysky wrote:
Azten wrote:
Double Slice doesn't tchange what Light Weapons are, so it doesn't effect Power Attack.
Um, they were asking about TWF, not light weapons (granted there were previous mentions of light weapons and Piranha Strike but this post seemed a new question, which is kinda what this thread is atm, a general Power Attack interaction thread :3)

Power Attack states "This bonus to damage is halved (–50%) if you are making an attack with an off-hand weapon or secondary natural weapon." It makes no mention of what strength modifier is being used (except for a primary natural attack that's benefiting from 1.5xStr mod) so it wouldn't be affected by Double Slice allowing off-hand attacks to use full strength modifier.


Protoman wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Azten wrote:
Double Slice doesn't tchange what Light Weapons are, so it doesn't effect Power Attack.
Um, they were asking about TWF, not light weapons (granted there were previous mentions of light weapons and Piranha Strike but this post seemed a new question, which is kinda what this thread is atm, a general Power Attack interaction thread :3)
Power Attack states "This bonus to damage is halved (–50%) if you are making an attack with an off-hand weapon or secondary natural weapon." It makes no mention of what strength modifier is being used (except for a primary natural attack that's benefiting from 1.5xStr mod) so it wouldn't be affected by Double Slice allowing off-hand attacks to use full strength modifier.

you only get the 50% power attack mod on offhand because its normally your weaker hand(thus you cant put as much power into the power attack) double slice basically just makes your offhand another main hand for the purposes of damage so you get full str with the attack and full power attack


No, because if it did then Double Slice would have a "Special: This feat lets you apply Power Attack's bonus to damage to your offhand weapon as if it was a weapon held in your main hand."


Lady-J wrote:
Protoman wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Azten wrote:
Double Slice doesn't tchange what Light Weapons are, so it doesn't effect Power Attack.
Um, they were asking about TWF, not light weapons (granted there were previous mentions of light weapons and Piranha Strike but this post seemed a new question, which is kinda what this thread is atm, a general Power Attack interaction thread :3)
Power Attack states "This bonus to damage is halved (–50%) if you are making an attack with an off-hand weapon or secondary natural weapon." It makes no mention of what strength modifier is being used (except for a primary natural attack that's benefiting from 1.5xStr mod) so it wouldn't be affected by Double Slice allowing off-hand attacks to use full strength modifier.
you only get the 50% power attack mod on offhand because its normally your weaker hand(thus you cant put as much power into the power attack) double slice basically just makes your offhand another main hand for the purposes of damage so you get full str with the attack and full power attack

That's wishful thinking and unsupported by any reading of the feat Power Attack.

If a non-unchained rogue, ie. everyone else, wields an agile elven curve blade two-handed for 1xDexterity damage, they get the +50% Power Attack bonus, because it's a two-handed attack, not that they get 1.5xStr normally.


Lady-J wrote:
you only get the 50% power attack mod on offhand because its normally your weaker hand(thus you cant put as much power into the power attack) double slice basically just makes your offhand another main hand for the purposes of damage so you get full str with the attack and full power attack

Double Slice does not state this, nor does Power Attack.

What Power Attack does say is: "This bonus to damage is halved (–50%) if you are making an attack with an off-hand weapon"
I have not yet seen a rule that contradicts this statement.

Woof. Double ninja'ed.


double slice is just a less wordy ambidextrous feat from 3.5


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Undead Thread wrote:
That was a nice six year nap.

I love that you exist <3


Lady-J wrote:
double slice is just a less wordy ambidextrous feat from 3.5

Um, how does this support getting full power attack bonus for an off hand weapon? Power attack does not say this, double zlice does not say this, twf does not say this, PF does not say this.

If a similiar feat in 3.5 had this effect, so what?


Actually, Ambidexterity was from 3.0 and only removed the penalties for attacking with two weapons.


Azten wrote:
Actually, Ambidexterity was from 3.0 and only removed the penalties for attacking with two weapons.

different feat from the one i was talking about ambidextrous basically just made your off hand a 2nd main hand. and power attack is also linked to the str gained from the attack if you can get more oomph from an attack you can get more oomph from power attack and the elven curve blade example is moot because it simply just has magic effects and another feat allowing it to be dex based if you use an ECB on a barbarian they get power attack for +3 because its 1.5 str on the attack and if they for some reason used agile it would still be +3 because it would normally be 1.5 stat but agile states it caps it off at 1.0

Sovereign Court

Lady-J wrote:
Azten wrote:
Actually, Ambidexterity was from 3.0 and only removed the penalties for attacking with two weapons.
different feat from the one i was talking about ambidextrous basically just made your off hand a 2nd main hand. and power attack is also linked to the str gained from the attack if you can get more oomph from an attack you can get more oomph from power attack and the elven curve blade example is moot because it simply just has magic effects and another feat allowing it to be dex based if you use an ECB on a barbarian they get power attack for +3 because its 1.5 str on the attack and if they for some reason used agile it would still be +3 because it would normally be 1.5 stat but agile states it caps it off at 1.0

Even if it is a different rule - why does any 3.5 rule have any effect upon a Pathfinder one?


That's the only Ambidexterity feat there is. Power Attack is also not linked to Strength at all, aside from the prerequisite, unless you are using a primary natural weapon that grants the extra 1.5 from Strength.


Lady-J wrote:
double slice is just a less wordy ambidextrous feat from 3.5

More importantly 'differently worded' as is pathfinders power attack when compared to 3.x's power attack. This means they don't interact in the same way.

As others have noted PF power attack specifically refers to off-hand attack. 3.x doesn't.

These differences matter.


if its doing full str to damage i is not longer an "off hand"


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Not how two weapon fighting works. It is still an off hand attack.

double slice wrote:
Benefit: Add your Strength bonus to damage rolls made with your off-hand weapon.


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That is simply not true. In fact...

"Double Slice wrote:

Benefit: Add your Strength bonus to damage rolls made with your off-hand weapon.

Normal: You normally add only half of your Strength modifier to damage rolls made with a weapon wielded in your off-hand.

Ninja'd!


If you want the full damage bonus for your off-hand, go for claws. No special feat like Double Slice needed, less worries about AB (because no iteratives) and more Str bonus on both claws together than for a two-handed weapon respective two weapons. Of course there are drawbacks (effort to get these claws, defenses vs. natural attacks etc.), but it's an alternative to two-weapon fighting.

Dark Archive

SheepishEidolon wrote:
If you want the full damage bonus for your off-hand, go for claws. No special feat like Double Slice needed, less worries about AB (because no iteratives) and more Str bonus on both claws together than for a two-handed weapon respective two weapons. Of course there are drawbacks (effort to get these claws, defenses vs. natural attacks etc.), but it's an alternative to two-weapon fighting.

And it's 2 attacks, vs 7 from TWF...


ohokwy wrote:
SheepishEidolon wrote:
If you want the full damage bonus for your off-hand, go for claws. No special feat like Double Slice needed, less worries about AB (because no iteratives) and more Str bonus on both claws together than for a two-handed weapon respective two weapons. Of course there are drawbacks (effort to get these claws, defenses vs. natural attacks etc.), but it's an alternative to two-weapon fighting.
And it's 2 attacks, vs 7 from TWF...

Trust me, it is possible to get 7+ natural attacks.


Snowlilly wrote:
ohokwy wrote:
SheepishEidolon wrote:
If you want the full damage bonus for your off-hand, go for claws. No special feat like Double Slice needed, less worries about AB (because no iteratives) and more Str bonus on both claws together than for a two-handed weapon respective two weapons. Of course there are drawbacks (effort to get these claws, defenses vs. natural attacks etc.), but it's an alternative to two-weapon fighting.
And it's 2 attacks, vs 7 from TWF...
Trust me, it is possible to get 7+ natural attacks.

only with significantly more investment like 2-3 times the feats and a crap ton of gold

Sovereign Court

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Lady-J wrote:
a crap ton of gold

Is that bigger or smaller than a normal ton? Or is it just sticky?


Heh, I can get 5 natural attacks at level 2. Ragebred Skinwalker and Extra Feature give me a gore and two hoof attacks. The class? Ranger, so at level two with Natural Weapon Style I can pick up Aspect of the Beast and get two claw attacks. Two levels of Alchemist after and I have tentacle attacks now.


Azten wrote:
Heh, I can get 5 natural attacks at level 2. Ragebred Skinwalker and Extra Feature give me a gore and two hoof attacks. The class? Ranger, so at level two with Natural Weapon Style I can pick up Aspect of the Beast and get two claw attacks. Two levels of Alchemist after and I have tentacle attacks now.

My preference is beast totem barbarian, with a bite attack a 4th level and eventual pounce.

Aasimar with metallic wings is another example. One that can eventually get 8-9 natural attacks.

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