Cumulative -5 penalty to iterative attacks


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Silver Crusade

I cannot find anywhere in the CRB where it mentions taking a cumulative -5 penalty to iterative attacks.

So for instance, if your base attack bonus is high enough to grant multiple attacks (let's say 6), you get an extra attack, but instead of two attacks at +6, you get one at +6 and one at +1. Everyone knows this, but where is the actual ruling?

Silver Crusade

I could be mistaken, but I don't believe there's actually a ruling stating so. The reason it's evident comes from everyone's attack bonus for iterative attacks coming in increments of 5, even for monsters. As such, a ruling would be redundant, since you can already see that every extra attack you gain is at a -5 relative to your prior attacks.

Scarab Sages

It's listed on the advancement chart for every class.


Is this what you are looking for?

Common Terms wrote:
Base Attack Bonus (BAB): Each creature has a base attack bonus and it represents its skill in combat. As a character gains levels or Hit Dice, his base attack bonus improves. When a creature's base attack bonus reaches +6, +11, or +16, he receives an additional attack in combat when he takes a full-attack action (which is one type of full-round action—see Combat).

Silver Crusade

At this point, Daniel, having scanned the pdf for every wording I can think of, I believe you that there might not be a ruling :P The only problem then is, how do we interpret this? Do you actually take a -5 penalty on your second attack, or do you just gain an extra attack at a BAB bonus that is 5 lower? We can't say either way without an actual ruling.

The reason this could be a big deal is for things that replace your BAB. If it's the -5 penalty, then things that replace your BAB would take a -5 penalty as well, but if it's just a reduced BAB, then things that replace your BAB would get massive benefits.

So while it definitely seems intuitive, an actual ruling would be helpful.

Silver Crusade

Gisher wrote:
Is this what you are looking for?

Unfortunately, that only tells me that I get an additional attack at those BAB values. It does not mention a penalty or a reduced BAB for secondary attacks. Thanks though.


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It would help if we knew exactly why this question us asked. What's the difference between making two attacks at 6/1 and taking one attack at six and the second at 6-5?

That's how iterative attacks gained from higher BAB is. I don't see any reason to discriminate between the two.

Iterative attacks gained from special circumstances (haste, weapon of speed) are generally an extra attack calculated using your first attack's BAB unless stated otherwise and typically it will be stated in the effect that this attack is at your highest BAB.

Also, secondary attacks and iterative attacks are not the same. Look in the bestiary for rules on secondary attacks. They are indeed taken at a -5. And usually if you gain secondary attacks in addition to your primary (say a natural weapon) or iterative attacks (like a barbarian attacking with a sword and a bite gained from a trait or class ability) it will state in the description that this is a secondary natural attack and it's taken at a minus 5 from your highest BAB, not a cumulative minus five from your previous attack in the round.

Now that I've written all of this I realize it would have been easier to find the relevant text and quote it, but I'm sure somebody else will. Maybe this will clear it up a little more though

Silver Crusade

vorpaljesus wrote:
It would help if we knew exactly why this question us asked. What's the difference between making two attacks at 6/1 and taking one attack at six and the second at 6-5?

I answered this in my previous post:

The reason this could be a big deal is for things that replace your BAB. If it's the -5 penalty, then things that replace your BAB would take a -5 penalty as well, but if it's just a reduced BAB, then things that replace your BAB would get massive benefits.

vorpaljesus wrote:


That's how iterative attacks gained from higher BAB is. I don't see any reason to discriminate between the two.

Why is that how it is? Without a rule, we cannot just say "that's just how it is".

vorpaljesus wrote:


Also, secondary attacks and iterative attacks are not the same. Look in the bestiary for rules on secondary attacks. They are indeed taken at a -5. And usually if you gain secondary attacks in addition to your primary (say a natural weapon) or iterative attacks (like a barbarian attacking with a sword and a bite gained from a trait or class ability) it will state in the description that this is a secondary natural attack and it's taken at a minus 5 from your highest BAB, not a cumulative minus five from your previous attack in the round.

My bad, I should have been more specific. I meant iterative attacks. Basically, attacks that would either incur the -5 penalty or have the lower BAB.


The tables for each class list their attack progression. For example a 6th level fighter has a BAB of 6/1. Their BAB for the initial attack is 6. The BAB for their second attack is 1, not 6 with a -5 penalty.

Thinking of the second attack as BAB - 5 is just an easy way of quickly calculating it under normal circumstances but not technically accurate.


I cannot find a statement in the CRB either. Probably it was absolutely natural for the developers since it has been handled this way since DnD 3.0 (?) or they didn't want to throw the abstract rule at the players, instead they provided tables where it's easier to apply the rule to a given character.

Given they write attack bonus tables for any class and every table follows the 'cumulative -5 penalty' rule, there is no gap in the rules. At least not for single class characters - there is still a little bit of room to argue about multiclassing, since there no table is referred:

Quote:

Instead of gaining the abilities granted by the next level in your character’s current class, he can instead gain the 1st-level abilities of a new class, adding all of those abilities to his existing ones. This is known as “multiclassing.”

(...)
He adds all of the hit points, base attack bonuses, and saving throw bonuses from a 1st-level wizard on top of those gained from being a
5th-level fighter.

The missing text about the penalty is a nice catch, but I don't think it will have serious impact on gaming tables. The penalties are quite rooted as common sense...


Noobz wrote:
vorpaljesus wrote:
It would help if we knew exactly why this question us asked. What's the difference between making two attacks at 6/1 and taking one attack at six and the second at 6-5?

I answered this in my previous post:

The reason this could be a big deal is for things that replace your BAB. If it's the -5 penalty, then things that replace your BAB would take a -5 penalty as well, but if it's just a reduced BAB, then things that replace your BAB would get massive benefits.

Can you give an example of something that replaces BAB? I don't know of any.

Noobz wrote:
vorpaljesus wrote:


That's how iterative attacks gained from higher BAB is. I don't see any reason to discriminate between the two.

Why is that how it is? Without a rule, we cannot just say "that's just how it is".

Noobz wrote:
vorpaljesus wrote:


Also, secondary attacks and iterative attacks are not the same. Look in the bestiary for rules on secondary attacks. They are indeed taken at a -5. And usually if you gain secondary attacks in addition to your primary (say a natural weapon) or iterative attacks (like a barbarian attacking with a sword and a bite gained from a trait or class ability) it will state in the description that this is a secondary natural attack and it's taken at a minus 5 from your highest BAB, not a cumulative minus five from your previous attack in the round.
My bad, I should have been more specific. I meant iterative attacks. Basically, attacks that would either incur the -5 penalty or have the lower BAB.

The thing is that iterative attacks don't actually suffer from a -5 penalty. They just start progressing five BAB later than the previous attacks do. That's what my previous quote states. You won't find anything talking about the -5 penalty because that is not how they are defined.

Silver Crusade

Gisher wrote:
Can you give an example of something that replaces BAB? I don't know of any.

I made a post earlier about a similar question, and I concluded that the underlying problem was the question I addressed in this current thread.

Gisher wrote:
The thing is that iterative attacks don't actually suffer from a -5 penalty. They just start progressing five BAB later than the previous attacks do. That's what my previous quote states. You won't find anything talking about the -5 penalty because that is not how they are defined.

Yeah, that definitely seems to be the consensus view, and maybe we all just made up or took for granted how BAB/Attack values were supposed to be calculated for years from DnD v3.0 on.

So if everyone is correct in that there is no -5 penalty, but that iterative attacks gain a separate, lower BAB as shown on character advancement tables, then I have to assume that the Oracle ability from the link above would actually grant full Oracle level to both Trip attempts (because it's replacing both BAB values with Oracle level), but that the number of trip attempts still derive from the iterative attacks granted by the class's BAB progression.

Wow...quite a mouthful. Still, this is very enlightening, and I think very bad. I don't like the idea of the Oracle being able to substitute his level for his BAB on his iterative attacks, turning his probable attack misses into a more than probable Trips (or Sunders/Disarms). That seems overly powerful.

Thanks everyone for your responses.


Now it makes sense and I can see where that would be confusing, I'm not sure how that works by RAW either but I'm assuming the intent is for iterative trip attempts to progress the same way as iterative attacks.

Basically, your base attack bonus is +6/+1 at 6th level for trip attempts when you have that ability. The +1 part can't be ignored. Your BAB isn't simply "+6", it's "+6/+1".


Here is text from the FAQ in the Combat section of the PFSRD. Seems to make it clear enough.

"Any combination of a creature's attacks during a melee full attack can be replaced by a trip, disarm, or sunder maneuver (any maneuver that says "in place of a melee attack"). When doing this, the calculation for the creature's Combat Maneuver Bonus uses the base attack bonus of the attack that was exchanged for a combat maneuver. For example, a creature with a BAB of +6/+1 who performs a trip with her second attack uses +1 as her BAB for the CMB of the trip. "


Yes, the second one takes the penalty too. There is no way around the lower iteratives.

Silver Crusade

vorpaljesus wrote:

Here is text from the FAQ in the Combat section of the PFSRD. Seems to make it clear enough.

"Any combination of a creature's attacks during a melee full attack can be replaced by a trip, disarm, or sunder maneuver (any maneuver that says "in place of a melee attack"). When doing this, the calculation for the creature's Combat Maneuver Bonus uses the base attack bonus of the attack that was exchanged for a combat maneuver. For example, a creature with a BAB of +6/+1 who performs a trip with her second attack uses +1 as her BAB for the CMB of the trip. "

Yeah, but that's the general rule. The Oracle ability is the more specific rule. Still, it is compatible in the following way:

Quote:
For example, a creature with a BAB of +6/+1 who performs a trip with her second attack uses +1 as her BAB for the CMB of the trip.

Ok, so I use the +1 as my BAB for the CMB, but then my Oracle ability says I use my Oracle level, so the +1 becomes my level instead.

Chess Pwn wrote:
Yes, the second one takes the penalty too. There is no way around the lower iteratives.

But we've decided there is no such thing as the penalty, it is a new lower BAB that was gained. Therefore, the lower BAB would get replaced by the Oracle ability.


2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

Does that mean the attack penalties and damage bonuses for Power Attack are lower on iteratives?


An Oracle with a BAB of +6/+1 who uses that ability will be +8/+3 for trips. Mix and match those as you want. If you attack with the +6 and then trip for your second you use the "second attack bab" from the ability which is +3.

Silver Crusade

Chess Pwn wrote:
An Oracle with a BAB of +6/+1 who uses that ability will be +8/+3 for trips. Mix and match those as you want. If you attack with the +6 and then trip for your second you use the "second attack bab" from the ability which is +3.

I agree on this as RAI, and it will be what I use in my game. However, RAW, used in things like PFS, I feel this is not adequate.

Matthew Downie wrote:
Does that mean the attack penalties and damage bonuses for Power Attack are lower on iteratives?

While I don't know for sure, because that fits in with the ambiguity of BAB that I'm struggling with right now, it does say that you change it for all attacks...that would be my only guess. That is to say it seems like it's tied to your highest BAB and applied similarly to all iterative attacks.


Noobz wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
Does that mean the attack penalties and damage bonuses for Power Attack are lower on iteratives?
While I don't know for sure, because that fits in with the ambiguity of BAB that I'm struggling with right now, it does say that you change it for all attacks...that would be my only guess. That is to say it seems like it's tied to your highest BAB and applied similarly to all iterative attacks.

Reading the feat again, it says things like, "When your BAB reaches 4", implying a character has a BAB, not a different BAB value per attack.


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Holy cats. When I first clicked on this, I was like "that is something only a noob would ask."

But I became far less certain as time passed.
Far less certain.

Noobz, you have genuinely shaken my understanding of the foundation of Pathfinder's combat system with this question. This is the kind of madness and tactical genius that I love to see in players.

Mind you, I strictly play 5e now (where this highly interesting situation doesn't even exist), but I would love to get something resembling an official ruling on this matter.


Your BAB is +6/+1. you don't have two BABs. So for the oracle ability your replace your level for your BAB = +8/+3.

You can see a similar thing with the CMonks Flurry of blows.
"For the purpose of these attacks, the monk's base attack bonus from his monk class levels is equal to his monk level. "
And then it lists the Flurry of Blows Attack Bonus in the table, showing us what replacing BAB with level looks like.

For your first attack you use the first number, if an attack +6, if a maneuver +8. Then you do your second attack at +1 or +3 if a maneuver.

This is explained in the BAB section quoted. You have a BAB, and when it reaches certain numbers you get a additional attacks. Thus you'd replace BAB with your Level and then check what the secondary attack bonus is if you have access to a second attack.

*Also as a side note. "Stupid RAW" isn't required in PFS. GMs are to use their best and fairest interpretations of the rules in the game. Thus even in PFS I believe you'd not find a GM that would agree with you.


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Why are we debating a non issue???

for example. Two Weapon Fighting gives you an extra attack, but not at -5. there are different rules for it.

Iterative attacks only happen when your BAB is at +6 or higher, and you have a chart to tell you what your second attacks BAB is.. why is this debated at all.

Woohoo you have +6 BAB congrats on getting a second attack at +1 BAB.

Also if you want a true ruling then here:

Quote:

Natural Attacks

Most creatures possess one or more natural attacks (attacks made without a weapon). These attacks fall into one of two categories, primary and secondary attacks. Primary attacks are made using the creature’s full base attack bonus and add the creature’s full Strength bonus on damage rolls. Secondary attacks are made using the creature’s base attack bonus –5 and add only 1/2 the creature’s Strength bonus on damage rolls. If a creature has only one natural attack, it is always made using the creature’s full base attack bonus and adds 1-1/2 times the creature’s Strength bonus on damage rolls. This increase does not apply if the creature has multiple attacks but only takes one. If a creature has only one type of attack, but has multiple attacks per round, that attack is treated as a primary attack, regardless of its type.

So consider your iterative attack as a secondary attack, your next iterative at +11 is considered a tertiary attack and so on. Thus the rule is -5 for each iterative attack.

Again though I dont know why we are debating a non-issue.....

And before anyone says that iteratives are not the same as secondary natural attacks, I challenge you to read the dictionary description of an iterative. it is simply defined as the next thing to come in a sequence. So if your PRIMARY attack is +6, then your SECONDARY attack is +1, thus iteratives can be thought of and ruled on based on the Natural attacks section. so yes your BAB is +6/+6-5.

And lets get real technical here. IF you're talking about things that allow you to use your class level as your BAB, then lets go with the rule that a specific thing can't benefit from the same source twice. Since you want to think of +6/+1 being 2 different BAB's one is just lower then you can increase your Primary BAB up to your level, but you cannot increase your Secondary BAB up to your level or even up to your level - 5, because while they are 2 different BAB's they are still a BAB and they can't benefit from the same source (Your level) twice. So your BAB with the adjustment would actually look like (Taking Oracle Here) +8/+1.

So once again I say this is stupid to be debating a non-issue, when its clear how it works. The OP is just trying to convince others to think this way so he can go to his GM and say look, these people think this is how it works so I should get +8/+8 when I activate this ability.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Alric Rahl wrote:

Why are we debating a non issue???

for example. Two Weapon Fighting gives you an extra attack, but not at -5. there are different rules for it.

Iterative attacks only happen when your BAB is at +6 or higher, and you have a chart to tell you what your second attacks BAB is.. why is this debated at all.

Woohoo you have +6 BAB congrats on getting a second attack at +1 BAB.

Also if you want a true ruling then here:

Quote:

Natural Attacks

Most creatures possess one or more natural attacks (attacks made without a weapon). These attacks fall into one of two categories, primary and secondary attacks. Primary attacks are made using the creature’s full base attack bonus and add the creature’s full Strength bonus on damage rolls. Secondary attacks are made using the creature’s base attack bonus –5 and add only 1/2 the creature’s Strength bonus on damage rolls. If a creature has only one natural attack, it is always made using the creature’s full base attack bonus and adds 1-1/2 times the creature’s Strength bonus on damage rolls. This increase does not apply if the creature has multiple attacks but only takes one. If a creature has only one type of attack, but has multiple attacks per round, that attack is treated as a primary attack, regardless of its type.

So consider your iterative attack as a secondary attack, your next iterative at +11 is considered a tertiary attack and so on. Thus the rule is -5 for each iterative attack.

Again though I dont know why we are debating a non-issue.....

Your quote is 300% unrelated. Natural Attacks are their own plate of spaghetti, and only going to confuse things.


Alric Rahl wrote:

Why are we debating a non issue???

for example. Two Weapon Fighting gives you an extra attack, but not at -5. there are different rules for it.

Iterative attacks only happen when your BAB is at +6 or higher, and you have a chart to tell you what your second attacks BAB is.. why is this debated at all.

Woohoo you have +6 BAB congrats on getting a second attack at +1 BAB.

Also if you want a true ruling then here:

Noobz provided the reason it is relevant in his/her Oracle example. This is a legitimate case of RAW not matching RAI and needs to be corrected.


QuidEst wrote:
Alric Rahl wrote:

Why are we debating a non issue???

for example. Two Weapon Fighting gives you an extra attack, but not at -5. there are different rules for it.

Iterative attacks only happen when your BAB is at +6 or higher, and you have a chart to tell you what your second attacks BAB is.. why is this debated at all.

Woohoo you have +6 BAB congrats on getting a second attack at +1 BAB.

Also if you want a true ruling then here:

Quote:

Natural Attacks

Most creatures possess one or more natural attacks (attacks made without a weapon). These attacks fall into one of two categories, primary and secondary attacks. Primary attacks are made using the creature’s full base attack bonus and add the creature’s full Strength bonus on damage rolls. Secondary attacks are made using the creature’s base attack bonus –5 and add only 1/2 the creature’s Strength bonus on damage rolls. If a creature has only one natural attack, it is always made using the creature’s full base attack bonus and adds 1-1/2 times the creature’s Strength bonus on damage rolls. This increase does not apply if the creature has multiple attacks but only takes one. If a creature has only one type of attack, but has multiple attacks per round, that attack is treated as a primary attack, regardless of its type.

So consider your iterative attack as a secondary attack, your next iterative at +11 is considered a tertiary attack and so on. Thus the rule is -5 for each iterative attack.

Again though I dont know why we are debating a non-issue.....

Your quote is 300% unrelated. Natural Attacks are their own plate of spaghetti, and only going to confuse things.

Nope because a Humanoids natural attacks are its Fists or Unarmed Strikes, or whatever weapon it is wielding because that is what is Natural for it with its training. Your BAB can be directly correlated to Primary and Secondary Natural attacks, thus the ruling is all iteratives are -5 from the previous iterative.

And before you start. Yes a Humanoids, Unarmed strikes or the weapon it is trained to wield is a Natural attack. it is what is natural to them. A monsters or any other creature that has claws or a bite, are considered natural attacks for them because that is all they know. they dont know how to punch or wield a weapon. (Well some do)...


OldSkoolRPG wrote:
Alric Rahl wrote:

Why are we debating a non issue???

for example. Two Weapon Fighting gives you an extra attack, but not at -5. there are different rules for it.

Iterative attacks only happen when your BAB is at +6 or higher, and you have a chart to tell you what your second attacks BAB is.. why is this debated at all.

Woohoo you have +6 BAB congrats on getting a second attack at +1 BAB.

Also if you want a true ruling then here:

Noobz provided the reason it is relevant in his/her Oracle example. This is a legitimate case of RAW not matching RAI and needs to be corrected.

This is ridiculous, RAW says your second iterative BAB is at a -5. It's so common sense there was no need for an actual ruling, especially when there are other sources to support the -5. Like Natural Attacks. All Noobz wants is to be able to make her character OP by having +8/+8 when activating this ability so they are using twisted logic to get you all to think differently


James Langley wrote:


Mind you, I strictly play 5e now (where this highly interesting situation doesn't even exist), but I would love to get something resembling an official ruling on this matter.

I've managed to convert all but one of my three game groups to 5e. Wife of the GM had never played an rpg before we started the PF game and doesn't want to learn a new system no matter mow easy.


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Alric Rahl wrote:


This is ridiculous, RAW says your second iterative BAB is at a -5. It's so common sense there was no need for an actual ruling, especially when there are other sources to support the -5. Like Natural Attacks. All Noobz wants is to be able to make her character OP by having +8/+8 when activating this ability so they are using twisted logic to get you all to think differently

Actually RAW says nothing of the sort. RAW simply lists a certain number of BABs on the table. It never says anywhere in any rulebook that a second iterative attack is made at Full BAB - 5 or anything similar. The tables just give to discrete numbers.

Natural attacks have absolutely nothing to do with this question. They work totally differently than iterative attacks by class. There is no such thing as a "primary" iterative and "secondary" iterative like with natural attacks.

Last of all if you had read Noobz post you would find that they are apparently the GM and have already said they would run it as intended. So not a player trying to pull a fast one.

So to summarize your post contains one completely unsupported assertion, one completely irrelevant argument and one ad hominem argument. Nothing of any value whatsoever to the discussion.


Alright lets put this to rest. Everyone please take a look at the monk level chart. Please note at 6th level his Flurry attack bonus is +4/+4/-1

Please note the following listed in Flurry of Blows, which will shown to reveal that this is the same wording as the OP's Oracle ability.

Quote:

Starting at 1st level, a monk can make a flurry of blows as a full-attack action.

When doing so, he may make one additional attack, taking a –2 penalty on all of his attack rolls, as if using the Two-Weapon Fighting feat. These attacks can be any combination of unarmed strikes and attacks with a monk special weapon (he does not need to use two weapons to utilize this ability).

For the purpose of these attacks, the monk's base attack bonus from his monk class levels is equal to his monk level. For all other purposes, such as qualifying for a feat or a prestige class, the monk uses his normal base attack bonus.

Please note that at 6th level this means his BAB would be +6/+1, he gains an extra attack for Flurry so +6/+6/+1 and takes a -2 for making a Flurry, thus making his final adjusted BAB +4/+4/-1. this means that your BAB is +6/+6-5, as his second iterative which is granted at +6 BAB was not changed to his level of 6. If it worked the way the OP thinks then his Flurry would be +6/+6/+6.... but its not...

This concludes that yes iteratives are -5, whether there is an official ruling or not. no the Battle Oracle can not have a BAB of +8/+8 when she activates that ability.

This non-issue is now resolved.


OldSkoolRPG wrote:
Alric Rahl wrote:


This is ridiculous, RAW says your second iterative BAB is at a -5. It's so common sense there was no need for an actual ruling, especially when there are other sources to support the -5. Like Natural Attacks. All Noobz wants is to be able to make her character OP by having +8/+8 when activating this ability so they are using twisted logic to get you all to think differently

Actually RAW says nothing of the sort. RAW simply lists a certain number of BABs on the table. It never says anywhere in any rulebook that a second iterative attack is made at Full BAB - 5 or anything similar. The tables just give to discrete numbers.

Natural attacks have absolutely nothing to do with this question. They work totally differently than iterative attacks by class. There is no such thing as a "primary" iterative and "secondary" iterative like with natural attacks.

Last of all if you had read Noobz post you would find that they are apparently the GM and have already said they would run it as intended. So not a player trying to pull a fast one.

So to summarize your post contains one completely unsupported assertion, one completely irrelevant argument and one ad hominem argument. Nothing of any value whatsoever to the discussion.

I think its safe to assume that the ruling exists in the chart, when EVERY SINGLE character chart shows it at -5. again being so common sense they thought there was no need for a direct ruling.

Then Noobz player is the one trying to pull a fast one. Please see my last post about the Monk's Flurry. which has the same wording as the Battle Oracle ability in question.


James wrote:

Holy cats. When I first clicked on this, I was like "that is something only a noob would ask."

But I became far less certain as time passed.
Far less certain.

I agree. Instead it is something that only a flippant rules lawyer would ask to start a conversation. This is a non-issue. Let's all stop posting in this thread since it is so pointless.

Silver Crusade

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Alric Rahl wrote:
This is ridiculous, RAW says your second iterative BAB is at a -5. It's so common sense there was no need for an actual ruling, especially when there are other sources to support the -5. Like Natural Attacks. All Noobz wants is to be able to make her character OP by having +8/+8 when activating this ability so they are using twisted logic to get you all to think differently

Now let's all calm down. Don't assume things. This is not for my character at all. This is actually a point someone brought up in a game I run for their character. This is explained in my link earlier.

Alric Rahl wrote:
RAW says your second iterative BAB is at a -5

Where? Where does RAW say that? That is the whole point of this thread. I can't find it anywhere! You'd make me a happy man if you could give me a reference.

The whole secondary natural attack thing from earlier doesn't relate (300%), otherwise all iterative attacks would suffer 50% strength loss. Plus, this is with a manufactured weapon. So this is apples and oranges.

Silver Crusade

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CampinCarl9127 wrote:
James wrote:

Holy cats. When I first clicked on this, I was like "that is something only a noob would ask."

But I became far less certain as time passed.
Far less certain.

I agree. Instead it is something that only a flippant rules lawyer would ask to start a conversation. This is a non-issue. Let's all stop posting in this thread since it is so pointless.

Ignoring a problem never helps. If you're so sure it is a non-issue, then please give me the ruling. Again, I really want it to be a simple, clear-cut rule like "you take a cumulative -5 penalty to all iterative attacks", but I don't see it in the rules.


Noobz wrote:
Alric Rahl wrote:
This is ridiculous, RAW says your second iterative BAB is at a -5. It's so common sense there was no need for an actual ruling, especially when there are other sources to support the -5. Like Natural Attacks. All Noobz wants is to be able to make her character OP by having +8/+8 when activating this ability so they are using twisted logic to get you all to think differently

Now let's all calm down. Don't assume things. This is not for my character at all. This is actually a point someone brought up in a game I run for their character. This is explained in my link earlier.

Alric Rahl wrote:
RAW says your second iterative BAB is at a -5

Where? Where does RAW say that? That is the whole point of this thread. I can't find it anywhere! You'd make me a happy man if you could give me a reference.

The whole secondary natural attack thing from earlier doesn't relate (300%), otherwise all iterative attacks would suffer 50% strength loss. Plus, this is with a manufactured weapon. So this is apples and oranges.

It says it in every single character level chart. That is your RAW ruling right there. if having a +6 BAB meant you got an extra attack then it should be at the same BAB as the first. but the 5 lower is to represent that it gets harder to make a second attack in the same round. thus its a penalty of -5 for your second BAB. and yes Natural attacks can be directly related to BAB without the strength reduction. You have a Primary BAB Attack just as you have a Primary Natural Attack, you then have a Secondary BAB attack (Read: Iterative) just like you have Secondary Natural attacks. and a creature can gain a secondary Natural attack before they have a +6 BAB yes, but if you notice that Secondary attack is at -5 from it's first regardless if its +6/+1, or +13/+8, its always at -5. this can be used to help determine that the ruling is -5. The ruling is clearly shown in the character level charts of every single class, and is so obvious that it shouldnt need a direct text ruling.

And again check my previous post about Monks Flurry of Blows which has the same wording as the Battle Oracle ability in question. this Shows that it is -5 as well as the monk still gets a -1 BAB despite getting "His level to BAB for the purposes of making a Flurry"


James Langley wrote:

Holy cats. When I first clicked on this, I was like "that is something only a noob would ask."

But I became far less certain as time passed.
Far less certain.

Noobz, you have genuinely shaken my understanding of the foundation of Pathfinder's combat system with this question. This is the kind of madness and tactical genius that I love to see in players.

Mind you, I strictly play 5e now (where this highly interesting situation doesn't even exist), but I would love to get something resembling an official ruling on this matter.

Out of curiosity, if you only play 5e now, what do you gain from hanging out on the Pathfinder rules forum? I'm not sure I see the benefit.


Alric Rahl wrote:
Quote:

Starting at 1st level, a monk can make a flurry of blows as a full-attack action.

When doing so, he may make one additional attack, taking a –2 penalty on all of his attack rolls, as if using the Two-Weapon Fighting feat. These attacks can be any combination of unarmed strikes and attacks with a monk special weapon (he does not need to use two weapons to utilize this ability).

For the purpose of these attacks, the monk's base attack bonus from his monk class levels is equal to his monk level. For all other purposes, such as qualifying for a feat or a prestige class, the monk uses his normal base attack bonus.

Please note that at 6th level this means his BAB would be +6/+1, he gains an extra attack for Flurry so +6/+6/+1 and takes a -2 for making a Flurry, thus making his final adjusted BAB +4/+4/-1. this means that your BAB is +6/+6-5, as his second iterative which is granted at +6 BAB was not changed to his level of 6. If it worked the way the OP thinks then his Flurry would be +6/+6/+6.... but its not...

This concludes that yes iteratives are -5, whether there is an official ruling or not. no the Battle Oracle can not have a BAB of +8/+8 when she activates that ability.

This non-issue is now resolved.

That is a valid argument. It does say that the monk gets his class level as his BAB and then gives the example that this doesn't apply to iterative.

However, your statement, and that of Campin Carl, that this is a non-issue is still hokum. To arrive at this conclusion we have to turn to the example provided in a specific ability of one particular class.

The tables do not say anything about second iterative being Full BAB - 5. They are listed as discreet values hence the confusion. Also no one here was debating how it was intended to work it was purely a discussion of whether the RAW matches the intent and the RAW needs to state that clearly rather hide it in the Monk rules.


This FAQ provides an example of how BAB is calculated for iterative attacks. Examples (A) to (D) describe iterative attacks for a 6th level fighter. Notice the second attack in examples (A) to (D) is always made at a BAB 5 less than the first attack.


Noobz wrote:
CampinCarl9127 wrote:
James wrote:

Holy cats. When I first clicked on this, I was like "that is something only a noob would ask."

But I became far less certain as time passed.
Far less certain.

I agree. Instead it is something that only a flippant rules lawyer would ask to start a conversation. This is a non-issue. Let's all stop posting in this thread since it is so pointless.
Ignoring a problem never helps. If you're so sure it is a non-issue, then please give me the ruling. Again, I really want it to be a simple, clear-cut rule like "you take a cumulative -5 penalty to all iterative attacks", but I don't see it in the rules.

It is simple. Your player is the one who made it complicated and convoluted saying there is no official text ruling. Don't Forget that Pathfinder is not a legal document where everything is clearly and concisely laid out for every single rule and situation. you are supposed to use your best judgement when it comes to things like this. I have given multiple examples to show that despite there being no text ruling. the actual ruling is still that BAB iteratives are at -5. and Ill recap.

1. Iteratives can be directly correlated to Natural attacks in that there is a Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, and Quarternary attack when your BAB reaches appropriate levels. Natural attacks clearly state that the next attack in the sequence, or those designated Secondary attacks take a -5 penalty.

2. The actual definition of Iteratives is simply the next thing to come in a sequence, thus cementing that BAB iteratives can be correlated to Natural Attacks.

3. Monk's Flurry ability has the same wording as the Battle Oracle Ability in question, but the Monk does not get his level to iteratives, he gets his level, then his level -5, then his level -10 and so on as he progresses.

4. Every single class level chart shows each iterative at -5 the previous BAB. its not just 5 lower, its -5 the previous one.

5. this game is all about Bonuses and Penalties. Your Full BAB takes a -5 Penalty for each iterative you make as it gets harder and harder to swing your weapon and still be accurate in the same round.

6. Use Rule Zero. if there is no clear and concise ruling then use your judegment as a smart human being. Look at all the evidence and all the examples and make a ruling based on that.

This was a non-issue as there are so many signs that it is -5. Not to mention your player was obviously trying to be OP by getting +8/+8 BAB, it doesnt say thats the way it works therefore thats not how it works is a poor argument.


OldSkoolRPG wrote:
Alric Rahl wrote:
Quote:

Starting at 1st level, a monk can make a flurry of blows as a full-attack action.

When doing so, he may make one additional attack, taking a –2 penalty on all of his attack rolls, as if using the Two-Weapon Fighting feat. These attacks can be any combination of unarmed strikes and attacks with a monk special weapon (he does not need to use two weapons to utilize this ability).

For the purpose of these attacks, the monk's base attack bonus from his monk class levels is equal to his monk level. For all other purposes, such as qualifying for a feat or a prestige class, the monk uses his normal base attack bonus.

Please note that at 6th level this means his BAB would be +6/+1, he gains an extra attack for Flurry so +6/+6/+1 and takes a -2 for making a Flurry, thus making his final adjusted BAB +4/+4/-1. this means that your BAB is +6/+6-5, as his second iterative which is granted at +6 BAB was not changed to his level of 6. If it worked the way the OP thinks then his Flurry would be +6/+6/+6.... but its not...

This concludes that yes iteratives are -5, whether there is an official ruling or not. no the Battle Oracle can not have a BAB of +8/+8 when she activates that ability.

This non-issue is now resolved.

That is a valid argument. It does say that the monk gets his class level as his BAB and then gives the example that this doesn't apply to iterative.

However, your statement, and that of Campin Carl, that this is a non-issue is still hokum. To arrive at this conclusion we have to turn to the example provided in a specific ability of one particular class.

The tables do not say anything about second iterative being Full BAB - 5. They are listed as discreet values hence the confusion. Also no one here was debating how it was intended to work it was purely a discussion of whether the RAW matches the intent and the RAW needs to state that clearly rather hide it in the Monk rules.

And there were people for both sides, hence why its a debate. But thats just it, it does state it clearly in the charts. just because there is no text saying "Iteratives are BAB-5 " does not mean that isnt how it work. It's fairly obvious that it is how it works. the Devs assumed this is such common sense that this would be a non issue. they are all about saving page space, why print a line or paragraph stating this when the conclusion can be drawn from the evidence presented throughout the book.

Again this isnt a legal document where everything is going to be spelled out nice and neatly. conclusions have to be drawn too and the obvious one is that its BAB-5. so yes it is a non issue.


Alric Rahl wrote:
just because there is no text saying "Iteratives are BAB-5 " does not mean that isnt how it work. It's fairly obvious that it is how it works.

Yes, everyone is clear on the intent. That was never in question so why do you keep mentioning it. We are discussing the actual RAW which doesn't spell that out.

Dark Archive

OldSkoolRPG wrote:
Alric Rahl wrote:
just because there is no text saying "Iteratives are BAB-5 " does not mean that isnt how it work. It's fairly obvious that it is how it works.
Yes, everyone is clear on the intent. That was never in question so why do you keep mentioning it. We are discussing the actual RAW which doesn't spell that out.

This is an easy, simple semantics switcharoo: replace every time someone says 'Iteratives are BAB-5' with 'Iteratives are a number that happens to be 5 less than the number before it in all cases'.

Dark Archive

one of these days ill make a class that blatantly states "Iterative are a third of the previous attacks BAB rounded to the nearest whole #" then alric will be wrong and we can all get together at a single table and slay dragons as the civilized murderhobos we are. I bet I could do it and still be completely balanced.


It's a derived value. If you really need this spelled out for you I don't advise multi-classing.

Your BAB, when it reaches a certain value, grants an additional attack. This is in the getting started section. The only place that tells you the value of these additional attacks is on the class tables. EVERY SINGLE ONE has iterative attacks at a value 5 less than the previous. There is absolutely NOTHING to suggest you use any other value. Any claim that iterative attacks can result in a different value needs some evidence to back up such an assertion.

Otherwise I could just claim that all my oracle iteratives are 5 higher than the previous attack, because nothing tells me it isn't.

Community Manager

Removed some posts and their responses. Please be civil to each other, thank you. I've also changed the thread title to be more clear.


I don't think i saw any discussion of this above, but aren't there actually at least TWO other interpretations even without -5 being a rule?

1) "+6/+1" --> "+level/+level", i.e. you use level for both of two iterative attacks.

1) "+6/+1" --> "+level", i.e. you lose your iterative attack entirely, because you only have a single number as a BAB now instead of a double slashed number.

Even if it's unclear which one would occur, a GM could, within valid RAW, seemingly suggest either (or even both) to a player to highlight the fact that "I can still nerf OR buff you within the scope of the written text, so what do you say we just compromise and settle on a nice happy house rule of -5 penalty for second attack?"

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Noobz wrote:
Ok, so I use the +1 as my BAB for the CMB, but then my Oracle ability says I use my Oracle level, so the +1 becomes my level instead.

No. Not at all.

If you think so, you will find significant resistance at most tables that understand the type of interpretation you are employing.

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