Fewer Iterative Attacks (3.5e Variant Rule)

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Background[edit]

In higher levels of play, the third and fourth additional attacks you gain from the full attack action are oftentimes just wasted swings. This variant rule reduces how many attacks are gained as base attack bonus increases and changes the attack roll penalties. Two-weapon fighting is also included.

The result of this variant rule is that characters will deal slightly more damage on average—except when it is very easy or very hard to hit the target.

Rules[edit]

  • Up through BAB +5, a full attack consists of only one attack, at the character's full BAB, as usual.
  • From BAB +6 to +10, a full attack has two attacks at the character's full BAB, but all attacks that round suffer a −2 penalty.
  • From BAB +11 to +15, a full attack has two attacks at the character's full BAB, but all attacks that round suffer a −1 penalty.
  • From BAB +16 to +20, a full attack has two attacks at the character's full BAB, and no penalty is imposed on attacks that round.

Note that the penalties applied are to all attacks that round (including attacks of opportunity), not just the two from having a high BAB.

  • Fighting with two weapons, or a double weapon, grants one additional attack—with the off-hand weapon, after the initial attack(s)—at your full BAB during a full attack. Without any two-weapon fighting feats, all attacks that round suffer a −8 penalty.
  • If the off-hand weapon is a light weapon, the penalty to all attacks in the round is reduced by 2.
Two-Weapon Fighting
BAB Iterative Attacks Normal Penalties (No Feat) Two-Weapon Fighting Improved Two-Weapon Fighting Greater Two-Weapon Fighting Superior Two-Weapon Fighting
Primary Off-hand Primary Off-hand Primary Off-hand Primary Off-hand Primary Off-hand
+0–5 +0 −8 −8 −4 −4
+6–10 −2/−2 −10/−10 −10 −6/−6 −6 −6/−6 −6/−6
+11–15 −1/−1 −9/−9 −9 −5/−5 −5 −5/−5 −5/−5 −4/−4 −4/−4
+16–20 +0/+0 −8/−8 −8 −4/−4 −4 −4/−4 −4/−4 −3/−3 −3/−3 −2/−2 −2/−2
All penalties are reduced by 2 if the off-hand weapon is light when fighting with two weapons, or when fighting with a double weapon.

Feats[edit]

These are revised feats for this variant rule.

Two-Weapon Fighting[edit]

Prerequisite: Dex 15.

Benefit: Your penalties on attack rolls for fighting with two weapons (not including shields) are reduced. The penalty for your primary and off-hand is lessened by 4 each.

Normal: If you wield a second weapon in your off-hand, you can get one extra attack per round with that weapon when you make a full attack. When fighting in this way you suffer a −8 penalty with your regular attack(s) with your primary hand and a −8 penalty to the attack with your off-hand. If your off-hand weapon is light the penalties are reduced by 2 each. (An unarmed strike is always considered light.)

Improved Two-Weapon Fighting[edit]

Prerequisites: Dex 17, Two-Weapon Fighting, base attack bonus +6.

Benefit: In addition to the standard single extra attack you get with an off-hand weapon when you make a full attack, you may make a second (iterative) attack with your off-hand weapon in addition to the iterative attack you gain with your primary weapon.

Normal: Without this feat, you can only get a single extra attack with an off-hand weapon.

Greater Two-Weapon Fighting[edit]

Prerequisites: Dex 19, Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, base attack bonus +11.

Benefit: Your penalty for fighting with two weapons is reduced by another 1 to −3/−3. If your off-hand weapon is light, these penalties are reduced by another 2 each, to −1/−1.

Superior Two-Weapon Fighting[edit]

Prerequisites: Dex 21, Greater Two-Weapon Fighting, base attack bonus +16.

Benefit: Your penalty for fighting with two weapons is reduced by another 1 to −2/−2. If your off-hand weapon is light, these penalties are reduced by another 2 each, to +0/+0.

Notes[edit]

  • Abilities like the monk's flurry of blows are compatible with this variant rule, and require no changes.
  • These rules apply only to manufactured weapons. Natural attacks of monsters still use the +0/−5 modifiers for primary and secondary attacks.

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