How badly does it break the game if martials can move and full attack in the same round?


Homebrew and House Rules

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Basically - Combat is getting kind of static, and part of that seems to be a strong incentive against actually moving. Or throwing things at people. Or swinging from light fixtures. Part of that seems to stem from Full Attack - To get their damage output Martials and archers pretty much need to pick a spot and stay planted.

So how bad does the game break if they can just full attack as Standard action?

What I'm trying to get away from is players standing adjacent to an enemy rolling D20s at it until it runs out of hit points. Honestly, I'd like to get more action movie stuff going - Throwing weapons, throwing people, rolling around, shoving people into furniture.

So, uh... Help plox?


I'm not entirely sure how much I would like full attack as a standard action, but I think something like being able to trade one attack for say 10 or 15 feet of movement (perhaps based on which attack you give up, so full BAB gives the most movement?) that could be taken any time in the attack rotation could be interesting and would definitely make things less static and more mobile.

Like you have 15/10/5 as a 15th level fighter. The fighter could sacrifice the full BAB for 20 feet or movement, next for 15, and last for 10. Random idea.


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For monks I've always allowed 5 feet of movement for each attack in their flurry, and works well. Doing similar for a fighter shouldn't be game breaking.

Sovereign Court

How would you apply it to monsters, for example monsters with full BAB progression? I think that's where a lot of the trouble might come from.


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It doesn't break it at all in my experience, and it's a rule I use in every Pathfinder game I've run.

It makes martial characters more appealing, and breaks the stand still and shoot monopoly of archery.


If this became a common rule, you'd probably see archers vanish.


chaoseffect wrote:

I'm not entirely sure how much I would like full attack as a standard action, but I think something like being able to trade one attack for say 10 or 15 feet of movement (perhaps based on which attack you give up, so full BAB gives the most movement?) that could be taken any time in the attack rotation could be interesting and would definitely make things less static and more mobile.

Like you have 15/10/5 as a 15th level fighter. The fighter could sacrifice the full BAB for 20 feet or movement, next for 15, and last for 10. Random idea.

I recently made this a house rule in my games. Any attack in a given full attack may be substituted for 10ft if movement. You can use it a number of times up to your full movement. Movement provokes as normal.

It has really given martials a nice set of options without tipping the scales that much at all.


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Not to be brash but I rather like the rules as they are. Mind you, my group typically plays low-optimization, but frankly the people that can benefit from full attacks that aren't Archers usually prefer the viability of Vital strike after moving.

Most of them prefer to make a move, and then Vital strike, and after that, if the enemy hasn't moved, they full attack.

I think it's actually what it's there for.


chaoseffect wrote:


Like you have 15/10/5 as a 15th level fighter. The fighter could sacrifice the full BAB for 20 feet or movement, next for 15, and last for 10. Random idea.

Or maybe each attack is worth 10 ft of movement you lose the best attack first if you make more than one attack.

Thus a fighter with 30 ft movement and three attacks (15/10/5) can

1. Move 30 ft and attack +15 or

2. Move 20 ft and attack +10 and +5

3. 5 ft (same as now) and full attack

That did not really work out but something like that.


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Duboris wrote:

Not to be brash but I rather like the rules as they are. Mind you, my group typically plays low-optimization, but frankly the people that can benefit from full attacks that aren't Archers usually prefer the viability of Vital strike after moving.

Most of them prefer to make a move, and then Vital strike, and after that, if the enemy hasn't moved, they full attack.

I think it's actually what it's there for.

My group is the same, and I also find it encourages me to try more cinematic things like bullrush and overrun when the full attack isn't available. Charging leaping power attack vital strike! That sort of thing.


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My old dm use to do full attacks as standard actions(this was 3.5, so that may affect comparison) but he quickly discovered everything needed max hitpoints to compensate and it quickly broke into rocket tag right around when people could make 3 attacks. I like these other alternatives, but hated the playing with the unrestricted version.

Lyra Amary wrote:
If this became a common rule, you'd probably see archers vanish.

not really at all, archery gets even better as it helps to avoid the potentially super lethal risk of moving into enemy melee range. its just melee is even more damaging at a higher risk tahn ever. I could see urban barbarian archers loving it especially.


christos gurd wrote:

My old dm use to do full attacks as standard actions(this was 3.5, so that may affect comparison) but he quickly discovered everything needed max hitpoints to compensate and it quickly broke into rocket tag right around when people could make 3 attacks. I like these other alternatives, but hated the playing with the unrestricted version.

Lyra Amary wrote:
If this became a common rule, you'd probably see archers vanish.
not really at all, archery gets even better as it helps to avoid the potentially super lethal risk of moving into enemy melee range. its just melee is even more damaging at a higher risk tahn ever. I could see urban barbarian archers loving it especially.

I don't understand. If move+full attack was a standard thing, then the distance portion of archery would not make a difference in keeping a person safe, unless you stand outside of charge distance. Is that truly possible in a lot of situations unless you're fighting in a very large battlefield? And what happens when the melee enemy closes the distance? Melee combatants tend to have more battlefield control and it's not hard to become sticky.

Honestly, it would not break the game to make move+full attack standard. But it would make it so that no one would build archers for mechanical efficiency since you'd be able to do damage just as well with melee, but with less class restrictions and much less feat requirements.


Lyra Amary wrote:
If this became a common rule, you'd probably see archers vanish.

Why? Archers could move and full attack too.


As I just posted above: melee would be able to do as much damage with less feat requirements. The feat requirement for doing the most damage with archery is heavy enough that unless you get lots of bonus feats, it's tough to pull off.

Liberty's Edge

Why not have your monsters start doing crazy things to the Players? Have an orc throw pepper or hot coals in the face of the fighter! The goblin could kick the rogue in the nuts! The ogre could use the halfling as a club! The players will soon get crazy as well!


Archers are still viable because you never know when you're gonna face off against a bunch of fliers. Swords will do nothing against flying opponents. Or if you are in a position where you cannot hit your enemies with Melee weapons, but you can with arrows. Say for example you are on a cliff and there's a bridge spanning it to another cliff. Sure a Melee guy can use the bridge as a choke point, but you will want a way to take down the enemy archers on the other side too. Best martial way to do so here would be archery also.

Also, even in most combat situations I think archers would still not get hit that often with this rule. That is if the Melee guys offer suitable enough protection. And even so, the enemy Melee guys will have to soak up aoos from the PC meleers to get to the PC archers. It's all about how you position yourselves in a fight really.

Also heck, can't PC archers just keep running back 30ft and keep firing their arrows full on? They can definitely keep a huge distance away from their enemies this way still. Only problem would be indoor/cramped fights. Which wouldn't change much because archer builds suck in those conditions as is anyways.


Domestichauscat wrote:

Also heck, can't PC archers just keep running back 30ft and keep firing their arrows full on? They can definitely keep a huge distance away from their enemies this way still. Only problem would be indoor/cramped fights. Which wouldn't change much because archer builds suck in those conditions as is anyways.

nailed it on the head, ive had enough enough melee pcs slaughtered by this houserule to recognise the value of distance. "oh you are able to two handed, power attack, full attack the orc to do death with your falchion in one turn eh, great, anyways its his buddies turn and he returns the favor." hence rocket tag, it's even worse for melee because they function of putting themselves in range of their enemies.


Domestichauscat wrote:
Archers are still viable because you never know when you're gonna face off against a bunch of fliers. Swords will do nothing against flying opponents. Or if you are in a position where you cannot hit your enemies with Melee weapons, but you can with arrows. Say for example you are on a cliff and there's a bridge spanning it to another cliff. Sure a Melee guy can use the bridge as a choke point, but you will want a way to take down the enemy archers on the other side too. Best martial way to do so here would be archery also.

Yes. I should have specified. I meant as in martials who focused purely on archery would vanish. Archery would still be viable, but only in situations where melee is unable to be used.

Domestichauscat wrote:
Also heck, can't PC archers just keep running back 30ft and keep firing their arrows full on? They can definitely keep a huge distance away from their enemies this way still. Only problem would be indoor/cramped fights. Which wouldn't change much because archer builds suck in those conditions as is anyways.

It's easy a combatant to be sticky. If a PC archer is just running back 30 ft. and full attacking, they'd be eating an AoO each time. An enemy could just trip them, or use something preventing the archer from moving. Or heck, just move another 30 ft. next round and full attack the archer back. In that situation, an enemy would not only dealt their full attack to the archer, but also gotten an extra attack in from their AoO.

This tactic really isn't much different from the way it is now. The only difference is that both combatants are making more attacks.


I'm liking the "Move 5ft for every attack" thing GeckoGuy mentioned. Seems like it'd give people some maneuverability, but at the same time - you wouldn't be able to easily run down ranged fighters and casters. I'm thinking run it as 5ft of movement instead of a 5ft step, so you still have to think about where you're moving (also Acrobatics). So you could attack, move 5ft, then take your 5ft step.

A thought - If everyone could full attack and move the archers would be more vulnerable, but at the same time it would change the NPCs tactical considerations - They could bum-rush the archers but the fighters could catch up to the NPC as well.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

I considered houseruling that you can two-weapon fight as a standard action. It gives TWF fighters an interesting niche over their superior two-handed cousins. In addition, if the returning property was fixed, thrown weapons would have an appealing mobility advantage over sit-still-and-shoot archers. I'm also sure revolver gunslingers would love to run around stylishly going guns akimbo.

Liberty's Edge

Cyrad wrote:
I considered houseruling that you can two-weapon fight as a standard action. It gives TWF fighters an interesting niche over their superior two-handed cousins. In addition, if the returning property was fixed, thrown weapons would have an appealing mobility advantage over sit-still-and-shoot archers. I'm also sure revolver gunslingers would love to run around stylishly going guns akimbo.

I've done this, though only with base TWF not the successor Feats (which still require a Full Attack). Works fine. Doesn't make people take TWF that much more often, but I think they have more fun when they do.

I'm really not sure if it solves the problem this thread is addressing, though.


We found it to be problematic with the barbarian doing it. I can't imagine how much more annoying it would be with every melee doing it. We solved the stagnation problem by adopting some of the light saber form powers from the Jedi Academy Training Manual from SWSE. Works like a charm and there's a lot more battlefield movement.

You can probably find them with a google search of "force power cards". They're near the end of the PDF.

Edit: we had to convert them to Pathfinder, which was easy, and create a system to acquire them - again, easy.


To me it doesn't make sense that a character or creature could get their full number of attacks after spending half their time moving. Additionally what advantage would a character have to move tactically in combat to maximize their number of attacks? I mite be fine with creatures getting half of their attacks after a single move action, but beyond that it doesn't make sense to me, it would detract from the importance of planning combat tactically, and would further overpower melee specialists.

That is my opinion at least.


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I've used Half-attack option where a character can move half their total speed, rounded down, and make half of their total attacks,rounded down ( also I mean the first half not the second half). It came into use at level 11 when fighters get three attacks but are starting to really lag behind casters.

It really helped out monks (who had both speed and multiple attacks) and two weapon fighters. I let two weapon fighters use their off hand weapon in a half-attack if they had the double-strike ability (advanced players guide two-weapon warrior fighter archetype) which I let them take as a feat (prereq. TWF, Improved TWF, Dex 17, BAB +9).

I also allowed people who have a movement speed of 60ft (monks or people with expeditious retreat) to make full attacks when moving 10ft instead of just 5ft (moving more than 5th could invoke attacks of opportunity though). In theory I would allow someone with a speed of 90ft to move 15ft and full attack but that has not happened in a game I have run yet. It really boosted the usefulness of expeditious retreat.

Grand Lodge

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Not as badly as casters moving and casting spells does.


FrankManic wrote:
So how bad does the game break if they can just full attack as Standard action?

Makes combat deadlier and helps enforce rocket tag. Not a big fan of that, but it does help make it feel like the martial classes aren't somehow losing power as they level. Would help if it and two weapon fighting and HP were all rescaled probably, and spells... but that's probably a lot more than a quick thing.

I've been in a game with that houserule once, but that game had so many houserules and homebrew creatures piled on I'm not sure how much it really affected us. Only big thing was that it made my warblade feel a lot less powerful than the barbarian and we ended up rolling a lot more dice than we would've otherwise I felt.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Not as badly as casters moving and casting spells does.

Wow, I'd forgotten about that. If I remember right, spellcasters couldn't move in the same round they cast a spell in 2e AD&D, no? I know they couldn't add their Dex to AC, but I seem to recall a movement limitation, as well.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Not as badly as casters moving and casting spells does.

I would like to second this. Not sure why it's ok for an 8th level wizard to deal 4d6 damage with 2 attacks (per attack; scorching ray, 2 rays at 8th level) and still move 30 feet, but a fighter moving 30 feet can only hit something once for 2d6+(1.5 x Str, plus power attack).


As tier-1 characters, caster PCs deserve nicer things so that they can continue to exercise their innate narrative power advantages.

As lower-tier characters, martial PCs have no need for nice things as they have little narrative power anyway.

Scarab Sages

Adjule wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Not as badly as casters moving and casting spells does.
I would like to second this. Not sure why it's ok for an 8th level wizard to deal 4d6 damage with 2 attacks (per attack; scorching ray, 2 rays at 8th level) and still move 30 feet, but a fighter moving 30 feet can only hit something once for 2d6+(1.5 x Str, plus power attack).

The two are capable of doing roughly equivalent damage, but one can do so only a limited number of times per day.

Grand Lodge

Indeed, the fighter can only do it when he has an enemy to fight. :)


Lyra Amary wrote:
If this became a common rule, you'd probably see archers vanish.

Except of course that composite longbows (the most common archer weapon) can lay a full attack (without penalty) against a foe 110 feet away, and with only a -2 penalty at up to twice that distance, while even a hasted melee is only going to be able to move 60ish feet and full attack.


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Artanthos wrote:
Adjule wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Not as badly as casters moving and casting spells does.
I would like to second this. Not sure why it's ok for an 8th level wizard to deal 4d6 damage with 2 attacks (per attack; scorching ray, 2 rays at 8th level) and still move 30 feet, but a fighter moving 30 feet can only hit something once for 2d6+(1.5 x Str, plus power attack).
The two are capable of doing roughly equivalent damage, but one can do so only a limited number of times per day.

This 'limited number of times per day' thing really is kind of a joke in my experience. The party stops when the casters get low on spells.

EDIT: that, and there's the fact that a caster does his best work when he's not doing damage, in which case he can usually get away with very few spells per encounter. (1-2 usually suffices as far as I've seen in play.)


kyrt-ryder wrote:


This 'limited number of times per day' thing really is kind of a joke in my experience. The party stops when the casters get low on spells.

EDIT: that, and there's the fact that a caster does his best work when he's not doing damage, in which case he can usually get away with very few spells per encounter. (1-2 usually suffices as far as I've seen in play.)

This has been my experience, as well.


I mate vital strike a scaling feat rather than a feat chain and introduced a third party product that gives almost-ponce so I don't need it, but other than invalidating some feats I don't see too many problems. Instinctually I'd rather see such an option as a feat that grants pounce with an attack penalty.


The problems with Vital Strike, even as a scaling feat (though the scaling version is less of a waste than the default version) are A: it doesn't care about investments the character has made in their melee damage (strength/dex, enhancement bonus, most weapon enhancements, etc) B: it heavily favors huge weapons (to the point that I've only ever seen it used on druids wildshaping with spells to augment their bite damage) and C: still burns a feat to be able to do something meaningful past a 5' step.

Handing out full attacks (perhaps limited in some way) as a standard action is a far superior solution.


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kyrt-ryder wrote:
Handing out full attacks (perhaps limited in some way) as a standard action is a far superior solution.

Aye. one of the more awkward things about making a lot of solutions or combat options feats is that you have to take a feat to get them. If your fixing something it should probably be inherent rather than a bandage you have to purchase and apply yourself.

Shadow Lodge

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I think it would be better to somehow nerf spellcasting into full round actions than to buff full attacks to standard actions.


Some people do make casting spells into a Full Attack Action (which also has the side benefit of making Spontaneous Metamagic NOT be screwed over) to good effect.

Not the topic of this thread, of course, but it works for some people.


Avatar-1 wrote:
I think it would be better to somehow nerf spellcasting into full round actions than to buff full attacks to standard actions.

While I agree with you, I'm glad you said it before I did. I'm sure some folks think I hate spellcasters, which what I exclusively play on the rare occasion I'm not GMing.


Avatar-1 wrote:
I think it would be better to somehow nerf spellcasting into full round actions than to buff full attacks to standard actions.

Not sure if that's a perfect fix either. It feels like that awkward way of bringing other people through the mud because doing so makes it harder to act and take actions in the game. I'd think it really be the goal that everyone acts and shines, rather than making it more difficult.


One solution I once came up with (but have neither excessively analyzed nor used in play beyond a one-shot experiment) was to allow one 'quick-step' (a 5' step, though the size varies by the player's BAB) per Iterative Attack, with quicksteps being 5' until +6 BAB, at which point a player may choose to Quickstep 5 or 10 feet until +11 BAB, at which point a player may choose to Quickstep 5, 10, or 15 feet until +16 BAB, at which point a player may choose to Quickstep 5, 10, 15, or 20 feet.

A Quickstep which is not taken as part of its iterative sequence is lost. (This gives dual-wielders a slight advantage, in that they get two attacks as part of an iterative sequence, one in each hand, and thus become the slightly more mobile combatants dual-wielders are frequently envisioned to be.)

It certainly was a fun and fluid way to play combat. Can't speak to the longterm effects on the game though.

I will say that our Barbarian who had already built himself to have pounce was both happy to have the Quickstep options, and grateful to have Pounce for those times he couldn't quickstep far enough.


MrSin wrote:
Not sure if that's a perfect fix either. It feels like that awkward way of bringing other people through the mud because doing so makes it harder to act and take actions in the game. I'd think it really be the goal that everyone acts and shines, rather than making it more difficult.

As an alternative, make counter spelling easier to accomplish and not depend on clunky and awkward mechanics which force you to blow an action waiting for something that might not happen.

At the moment, the best counterspell is hit point damage.


As others have mentioned, it's never been about doing damage when it comes to casters moving and casting. It's about the ability to move your speed and still throw down tentacles that take up damn near the entire field/trapping an enemy in ice whether they save or not/putting up walls of force/dropping people into pits/all other control and debuff things that have quite debilitating effects.

Anyway, concerning moving and full attacking, I'm curious when people say that it takes the thought of moving tactically out of the melee game. Firstly, I don't know what that even means, and secondly, at least in my experience using the fleet warrior mythic ability was that you get that first rush to full attack, but after that when you're in the thick of things everyone just five foots anyway to avoid getting AoO'd unless you have an utterly fantastic acrobatics score.


What if characters just straight gained an extra five foot step every 6 BAB?


Short Move:
Substituting for a 5-foot step, a character may move up to half their movement speed. This movement provokes attacks of opportunity as normal.


I've done away with full attack altogether and am using a variant of the action points system in unchained.
PCs get 3 action points and +1 attack point per 5pts of base attack.
The attack points can only be used for martial attacks and combat maneuvers.
5' steps are 1 action point and never provoke.
PCs may perform one combat maneuver each round as a move action.
playing this way warriors often move,attempt maneuvers and make multiple attacks at their full base attack bonus.
The game has been funner than ever.
There's more to the system than what's written here ofcourse, didn't want to leave a text wall.
If a 5th level Wizard can cast 1 spell and give the entire party +1 attack(haste), why is just giving warriors more attacks without a built- in penalty broken?
With some of the games most powerful magic being usable as a standard action, why can't the fighter move and swing 2-3 times? It's far more "realistic" than what the caster is doing.


As someone who uses it already, it doesn't. In fact, I'd argue it makes the game LESS broken, considering that it helps with that whole argument about martials and the niceness of their things. My home game, which uses a lot of rules people worry might "break the game", actually works out rather well.

Players in my game can move up to 15 ft. and still full-attack as normal. While none of them have, since it hasn't been an issue, they can also take Spring Attack (Without Dodge/Mobility) to move a full 30 ft. to get the whole shebang. I also also Pounce for everybody, as the straight movement of charging makes it less useful in some situations.

With Unchained out, I've just taken to allowing everyone to move their full distance and then use the new Iterative rules. My one player with Vital Strike is exchanging it for a new feat, if you call that game breaking. We also have a dedicated archer inquisitor, and trust me, he hasn't complained once about the martials' mobility. He routinely has some of the highest damage output, even still. This is partially due to Dex to damage, but even without it he'd be cranking out damage.

I also allow combat maneuvers to be used in place of an attack in a full-attack action, and with the new Iterative rules it just means that they have one less maximum attack than normal.

tl;dr - No, it does not break the game, and neither do the twenty other things people seem to get their panties in a twist about.


Malwing wrote:
What if characters just straight gained an extra five foot step every 6 BAB?

I've done it, it works fairly well.

Slight correction, I've done it one extra 5 foot step with each iterative gained [so one at +6, one at +11, and one more at +16]


Lyra Amary wrote:
If this became a common rule, you'd probably see archers vanish.

You sure about that? Kind of hard for the melee types to shine when the enemy can fly, teleport or find other ways to stay out of reach.

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