Fractional Base Bonuses


Rules Questions


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The fractional base bonuses variant in Pathfinder Unchained says:

"For classes with a d8 Hit Die, their BAB increases by 3/4 per level. For classes with a d10 or d12 Hit Die, their BAB increases by 1 per level (so it's not necessary to round the BAB for these classes). A multiclass character's base attack bonus will only ever improve using this variant."

However e.g. Dragon Disciple (not sure if there are others) has d12 HD but their BAB progression is 3/4. Should there be another way than HD to determine what is the correct BAB progression for each class? Or should the Dragon Disciple BAB progression be changed to match this rule?


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A dragon disciple gains 3/4 BAB per level, as an exception to the norm.


If you're invoking the fractional base bonuses for your campaign, then I believe dragon disciple is bumped to full BAB (holy crap hellooooo nice PrC).

That said, I don't think intent was to make the Drag Disciple that much more awesome and you would be well within your means to disregard the rule for that class.

The "Multiclass character's BAB will only ever improve" bit might actually make me think otherwise though.. Perhaps that is there to prevent the new rule from actually nerfing certain classes unintentionally.


Hydromancer wrote:

If you're invoking the fractional base bonuses for your campaign, then I believe dragon disciple is bumped to full BAB (holy crap hellooooo nice PrC).

....

This is silly.


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Cap. Darling wrote:
Hydromancer wrote:

If you're invoking the fractional base bonuses for your campaign, then I believe dragon disciple is bumped to full BAB (holy crap hellooooo nice PrC).

....
This is silly.

Hence the rest of my reply.

I don't think it was anywhere near designer intent for the DrD to get bumped.


The D12 classes exist outside the normal HD/BAB combinations. Use your judgement on deciding whether you want to nerf these classes, buff these classes, or make some straightforward inferences that allow you to leave them alone.


kestral287 wrote:
The D12 classes exist outside the normal HD/BAB combinations. Use your judgement on deciding whether you want to nerf these classes, buff these classes, or make some straightforward inferences that allow you to leave them alone.

Barbarian is core with d12 HD and full BAB so it is not outside normal combinations.

I'm not trying to nerf or buff any classs but I had never thought that was some kind of a connection between BAB and HD so I found it confusing when it was presented like this in the Unchained.


There is a connection, and there are also a handful (to my knowledge, two) exceptions to that connection-- and it's the two D12 classes.

In general...
D10 = full BAB
D8 = 3/4ths BAB
D6 = 1/2 BAB

Look at 99% of Pathfinder classes and you'll see that.


"For classes with a d8 Hit Die, their BAB increases by 3/4 per level. For classes with a d10 or d12 Hit Die, their BAB increases by 1 per level"

This statement is true for everything but Prestige Classes.

I view the governing mechanic for fractional bab to be the rate at which the class increases its attack bonus, and which can be determined by fairly simply math. The use hit dice to determine fraction is a quick way of getting there and mostly works, but I think it should be viewed as a shortcut/explanation not as a governing mechanic.


kestral287 wrote:
The D12 classes exist outside the normal HD/BAB combinations. Use your judgement on deciding whether you want to nerf these classes, buff these classes, or make some straightforward inferences that allow you to leave them alone.

No, there is no judgment call needed, this is just a small oversight; they are referring to the guidelines by which they built the BAB/HD combos on base classes. All DMs can do what they want in their games with cooperation of the players, but, all classes (including Dragon Disciple) have one of three BAB progressions. Forget about the HD, the fractional rule is based on the actual BAB of the class. In this case, 3/4.


Can'tFindthePath wrote:
Forget about the HD, the fractional rule is based on the actual BAB of the class. In this case, 3/4.

Indeed, and just the reason why it is confusing. Why not put 1/1, 3/4 and 1/2 to the column title in "Fractional Bonuses by Class Level" table rather than HD? The intent is clear enough.


I like the full BAB on dragon disciple, it's great for sorcerers, and buffs bards and Eldritch scions.

It also makes it viable for draconic blood ragers.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Earl Grey wrote:
Can'tFindthePath wrote:
Forget about the HD, the fractional rule is based on the actual BAB of the class. In this case, 3/4.
Indeed, and just the reason why it is confusing. Why not put 1/1, 3/4 and 1/2 to the column title in "Fractional Bonuses by Class Level" table rather than HD? The intent is clear enough.

Unfortunately, I don't believe anything actually refers to these classes as having a consistent BAB increase. In official rules, there's nothing that officially has 'Good BAB' or '3/4 BAB'. At least, not that I know of. Perhaps monster rules may have something? So you couldn't refer to a 3/4 BAB class or a 1/2 BAB class without first defining what those are, which takes up quite a bit of page space.

Still, I'm upset they let this fly as-is. Should have been caught and addressed.


Earl Grey wrote:
Can'tFindthePath wrote:
Forget about the HD, the fractional rule is based on the actual BAB of the class. In this case, 3/4.
Indeed, and just the reason why it is confusing. Why not put 1/1, 3/4 and 1/2 to the column title in "Fractional Bonuses by Class Level" table rather than HD? The intent is clear enough.

Did they really? Wow, in that case, this is a major oversight. That was really kinda dumb, as all rules references to class BAB progressions is Poor, Average, and Good.

Although, I do note that the Level bonuses table in the CRB does not include BAB at all, whereas the D&D3.5 table does (which is not Open Content, and therefore not reproduced). Possibly the origin of the problem...


Xethik wrote:
In official rules, there's nothing that officially has 'Good BAB' or '3/4 BAB'. At least, not that I know of. Perhaps monster rules may have something? So you couldn't refer to a 3/4 BAB class or a 1/2 BAB class without first defining what those are, which takes up quite a bit of page space.

In the Bestiary, the descriptions of the various creature types do include "Base attack bonus equal to 1/2 total Hit Dice (slow progression)", "Base attack bonus equal to 3/4 total Hit Dice (medium progression)", and "Base attack bonus equal to total Hit Dice (fast progression)."

So there are references to slow, medium, and fast progression BAB as well as 1/2 and 3/4 fractions.


Jeraa wrote:
Xethik wrote:
In official rules, there's nothing that officially has 'Good BAB' or '3/4 BAB'. At least, not that I know of. Perhaps monster rules may have something? So you couldn't refer to a 3/4 BAB class or a 1/2 BAB class without first defining what those are, which takes up quite a bit of page space.

In the Bestiary, the descriptions of the various creature types do include "Base attack bonus equal to 1/2 total Hit Dice (slow progression)", "Base attack bonus equal to 3/4 total Hit Dice (medium progression)", and "Base attack bonus equal to total Hit Dice (fast progression)."

So there are references to slow, medium, and fast progression BAB as well as 1/2 and 3/4 fractions.

Well I'll be damned again. You are correct; I can't find anything in the CRB that says that.

This just illustrates why we DO need a revised edition (NOT 2.0). You really do need to have a history with D&D 3.x, or have a someone to point to all this stuff, in order to fully learn the game.

I think a revised CRB (preferably broken into two, and including things like Traits, and a brush with Archetypes, while changing no rules (except stealth, shhhh), would be worth it.


Just compared core monk and unchained monk and noticed that core has d8 HD and 3/4 BAB and unchained has d10 HD and 1/1 BAB. I didn't find any other class than DrD that doesn't fit into to this rule.

Nevertheless, I find this weird from the balance point of view. E.g. if you'd like to create a nimble martial class (kind of like rogue) and you'd like to give it full BAB and maybe d8 HD and compensate lower HD with other skills, it would be against this rule.

I also checked slayer more thoroughly for the first time and I have to say I still not see why would someone create unchained rogue rather than slayer.

Slayer has better HD, better BAB, two good saves vs one, sneak attack, 6 skill ranks vs eight, access to rogue talents via slayer talent (not vice versa), martial weapon prof, shield prof, medium armor prof and other stuff.

Is evasion, danger sense, trapfinding, rogues edge, rogue finesse and uncanny dodge really comparable with all that? And why wasn't slayer talents added to unchained rogue? I understand that it wasn't in the core because slayer didn't exist when it was created but there is no excuse now.


Earl Grey wrote:

Just compared core monk and unchained monk and noticed that core has d8 HD and 3/4 BAB and unchained has d10 HD and 1/1 BAB. I didn't find any other class than DrD that doesn't fit into to this rule.

If you look at stuff from the supplementals you will find a few examples.

Champion of Irori has full BAB and a d8 hit die, for example


Keep in mind, this is not rules legal, it's my opinion.

My group has been using Fractional BAB for years. My advice: don't tie the fraction applied to the HD. If the class normally has 3/4 BAB (Rogue for Example) they get 3/4 BAB each level. If they normally have 1/2 BAB (Wizard for example) they get 1/2 BAB each level. If they normally have full BAB (Fighter for example) they get 1 BAB each level.

In other words, the Dragon Disciple would get 3/4 BAB. I'd imagine that this is also the Intent. By Unchained RAW however, they would get full BAB.

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