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D&D 3E/3.5 Idea for full-attack action replacement 3e

Rampant

First Post
What if we removed the full attack action and iterative attacks, but then multiplied the base damage dice of weapon attacks based on the character's BaB?

So a level 6 barbarian with a great axe is swinging for 2d12 + mods.

A little tweaking to some feats would be required, two-weapon, a few of the archery feats, and the spring attack chain for example.

It would also make certain natural attack using monsters more deadly so I'm not sure about implementing it across the board.

BUt I'm thinking this would be a lot more fun for fighter types to not have to choose between doing relevant damage and using their cool combat maneuvers (whirlwind, charge, etc) at high levels.
 

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PureGoldx58

First Post
Why would you want to implement this? I think it has potential but the balance really hasn't been tested, not against casters of course, but think about Rogues....They would outstrip Fighters even more depending on the build of course.
 

kitcik

Adventurer
Death or sever nerf to:
- TWF (you mentioned)
- crit builds
- sneak attack
- skirmish / precision
- stuff like that maneuver that allows touch attacks one round to boost attacks in the next round
- weapon enhancements that add damage

But, most of all, it kills my wizard's iterative attacks. Wizards have no cool combat maneuvers, but they have iterative attacks. And, dammit, they need them!!! Don't touch my shiny toy!
 

Rampant

First Post
How?

Assuming the rogue burns a feat or something to grab a greatsword he's still a step or two behind the fighter most levels.

Level 6
rogue: 2d6
Fighter: 4d6

Level 11
Rogue: 4d6
Fighter: 6d6

Level 16
R: 6d6
F: 8d6

and when you consider most rogues use rapiers or short swords the difference is even bigger
Sneak attack. strength mod, enchant bonus none of those get multiplied, just the basic weapon dice.
If anything this nerfs the rogue because it means no more full-attack action sneak attack combos.


Or am I missing something?

Crit builds: Loose many chances, effectiveness when it works goes up.

Sneak attack: looking at the numbers yes the rogue can no longer stack up a half dozen or so sneak attacks on the same turn, in compensation the sneak attacks he does get deal a bit more damage, and he can actually hurt people without it, which means no more running in mortal terror from low level zombies.

Skirmish: This is a buff to skirmishers. Now they don't have to go out of their way to pick up pounce.

Damage boosting weapon enchants: ... Ok yeah they take a hit, might have to drop their enchant mod a point or two.

Wizard iterative attacks: Um huh? I mean if the fighter looses three, why is the wizard worried about loosing one? Admittedly he get's next to nothing out of this change, but with the possible exception shocking grasp I don't think they have a single feature that makes use of it. So I'm nerfing an entire spell... Yeah i don't think anyone besides the invisible joy buzzer fan club cares.

I don't know what that other thing is Kitcik so I can't comment.
 
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Sammael

Adventurer
Full attack action needs to die. It eats up time and prohibits movement on the battlefield.

Adding additional damage is a very good solution.

TWF as a concept is horrifyingly complicated and broken for classes like the rogue. TWF needs to be severely nerfed.

Skirmish requires movement, so it actually requires the character not to use the full attack action.
 

Shin Okada

Explorer
Well, if you think about that kind of change, you should better think about opponents' tactical decisions, too, IMHO.

Unlike 4e defenders, 3.5e tanks do not have real way to keep melee opponents in one place. At lower level, AoO is enough threat. But at higher level, most opponents, especially high HP monsters, can easily ignore one AoO and move onto softer PCs. Also, more and more foes gain some ways to prevent AoO (evil DMs can give tumble skill ranks to dragons...).

At higher level games, the fact that melee monsters must use full-attack action for inflicting the most damage is what preventing them from continually moving away from party warriors. Once engaged in melee, they must choose either to make a full attack against nearby PC or to move away from there and make one attack against more favorable PC.

So, if you remove full-attack action, something like 4e mark or some other additional "enemy locking" ability should be added to melee tank types. Something more effective than mere AoO.

And, as PCs and monsters use the same mechanics in 3.5e, you must add those abilities to many of the monsters, too. It will need a lot of works, I guess.
 

Greenfield

Adventurer
It speeds play at higher levels, but it also presumes that every attack hits.

Now, to be clear, this is clearly intended as a boost for melee types, and it will boost them as their levels increase, perhaps even enough to balance the steep power curve of the spell casters.

The down side is, if the DM plans an encounter that doesn't depend on a single big/bad, but on multiple lower level monsters, the warrior ends up overkilling one foe by two or three times, while being killed by the others.

Remember that iterative attacks can be split over several enemies, and frequently are when using ranged weapons. This removes that option.

Also consider the frustration when someone tries this and rolls poorly. One shot at damage that round, and nothing to show for it. Multiple attacks mean multiple chances to hit.

And how does this work with things like Haste? Do they get another swing, or just add to their multiplier?

And what about Cleave or Whirlwind Attack? Do you do multiplied damage to the secondary targets?

Consider it as a potential feat, "All or Nothing". Making it the standard rule changes far to many other things for us to really foresee where all the ripples go.
 

Sammael

Adventurer
IMC,

Many fighter maneuvers still have partial effects even on a miss. Not necessarily damage, but stuff like "if you miss the opponent, you gain a +2 non-cumulative bonus against that opponent until the end of the encounter."

Haste adds an additional Move action. Some fighter maneuvers can be executed as move actions, but not many.

The Cleave maneuver uses the original attack roll reduced by 2. If you drop the second opponent and the third is within reach, use the original attack roll reduced by 4. And so on...

Whirlwind Attack is an area of effect attack that deals automatic damage (Reflex save for 1/2).

The Fighter needs the ability to deal a lot of damage to a single opponent to offset the casters' ability to deal moderately high damage to a lot of opponents. He also needs some maneuvers to deal with multiple lesser foes (Cleave, Whirlwind, Ricochet, whatever).
 

kitcik

Adventurer
Now, to be clear, this is clearly intended as a boost for melee types, and it will boost them as their levels increase, perhaps even enough to balance the steep power curve of the spell casters.

Power attack - once per turn
strength mod - once per turn
weapon damage enhancements - once per turn
crit chance - once per turn
etc
etc

This is not a boost for melee types, it is a nerf.

It would widen the gap.
 

Sammael

Adventurer
Power attack - once per turn
strength mod - once per turn
weapon damage enhancements - once per turn
crit chance - once per turn
etc
etc

This is not a boost for melee types, it is a nerf.

It would widen the gap.
The actual damage increase needs to be playtested, of course.

I did reduce the casters' power in my games by reducing their effective casting level by 1/2.
 

kitcik

Adventurer
TWF ...is broken for classes like the rogue. TWF needs to be severely nerfed.

False. TWF rogues are not broken. They are so-so.

Many fighter maneuvers still have partial effects even on a miss. Not necessarily damage, but stuff like "if you miss the opponent, you gain a +2 non-cumulative bonus against that opponent until the end of the encounter."

Even in such a case, more misses = more benefit.

Haste adds an additional Move action.

False, it adds a single attack (partial action).


The Fighter needs the ability to deal a lot of damage to a single opponent to offset the casters' ability to deal moderately high damage to a lot of opponents.

- This is not the casters' primary ability.
- You can deal more damage with a full attack than with your bonus damage.

Now, obviously, you could make the bonus damage so high that it is, on average, better than a full attack. I'm just not sure what you gain. If you want to boost melee damage output, give +1 (or +2 or whatever) damage (untyped) per point of BAB.

This still does nothing to solve the real balance issues, but it would be more damage...


Getting back to the OP, who wanted to open up options for the fighter - fighters need to get automatic pounce (even on a non-charge) at some level or gain distance on their 5' steps (same effect). That would solve the OP's issue.
 


Rampant

First Post
Things to consider:

As the level increases the threat value of the AoO increases, meaning even high HP monsters are less likely to want to absorb one.

However you're right about the monster tactics changing to reflect this.

Fortunately while the monster damage while mobile increases, its total potential damage drops since it only gets to use its strength modifier and such once instead of stacking up something like getting 5 times its amazing strength modifier with multiple attacks.

Whirlwind and cleave would indeed get multiplied, thus making them useful at all levels of play. That's always been a source of annoyance for me, by the time you've completed the feat chain for whirlwind most of the monsters are tough enough the full attack action is the best way to go if you wanna do more than irritate them, and the low level monsters are non-threatening enough that you shouldn't be wasting your time with them when there's something tougher on the field.

Haste, or a speed weapon would grant extra swings, may have to bump their level.

As far as frustration, having also played 4e my response is "suck it up you whiners". I figure the monsters will have the same problem, and frankly I don't recall a lot of people missing with their primary attacks all that often. It's waiting around while they resolve all their increasingly unlikely to hit iterative attacks that sticks out as a problem.

The point about getting killed by lower level thugs rushing because you can't spread the damage around like you used to however ... that is a concern. Hmmmmmm
 

Sammael

Adventurer
False. TWF rogues are not broken. They are so-so.
From my experience, a properly built TWF rogue can outdamage just about any other class.

False, it adds a single attack (partial action).
Sorry, forgot to mention it's a house rule.

Anyways, the primary reasons I had in removing iterative attacks are (1) increasing the speed of play and (2) increasing battlefield maneuvrability. I personally added +1 damage per two points of BAB, but it bears mentioning that I also greatly reduced the overall hit points and damage output of just about everything in the game to increase lethality and stop the hit point bloat.

Coupled with the caster level reduction I mentioned above, it's working like a charm.
 

Buugipopuu

First Post
There are already a selection of ways to get around the Full Attack. Sudden Leap, Quicksilver Motion, Travel Devotion, Hustle, Psionic Lion's Charge, mounted combat, manoeuvres in general (because they're all Standard actions or incorporate a move), Belts of Battle, Chronocharms, being a Dervish, Zerth Cenobyte, or Umbral Disciple, or any one of the many ways of gaining Pounce. Also Dire Charge, but that's Epic, and kind-of meh.

Increasing the damage done by AoOs could be a thing I could support, mostly because AoO == Trip Attempt is pretty much an assumption I make with any melee type. If you can't trip, AoOs are a bit lame.

I personally added +1 damage per two points of BAB, but it bears mentioning that I also greatly reduced the overall hit points and damage output of just about everything in the game to increase lethality and stop the hit point bloat.

Of all the things I'd expect to see someone complain about in 3e, 'hit point bloat' isn't one of them. Hit points are one of the few things in 3e it's difficult to optimise for.

Also: You're reducing hitpoints, reducing caster level and removing iterative attacks? Why not just play lower level games?
 

Rampant

First Post
Tweaks

Two-weapon fighting: allows you to attack with off-hand weapon (normal penalties and off-hand weapon damage rules apply) when you make a standard action attack.

Whirlwind: requires a standard action

Monsters will be adjusted as they come up.

Haste: Grants an extra attack, but can only be used for a single regular attack with the weapon, doesn't trigger extras like from TWF. (should I allow cleaves off this?)

Speed weapon: As haste, they don't stack with each other.

Flurry (and similar abilities): can be used as part of the standard action attack routine

Treat linked natural attacks like two weapon fighting but without the penalties.

That look like enough for a play test?
 

Sammael

Adventurer
Of all the things I'd expect to see someone complain about in 3e, 'hit point bloat' isn't one of them. Hit points are one of the few things in 3e it's difficult to optimise for.
Monsters have entirely too many hit points, and this encourages players to find ways to deal more damage instead of trying out cool new options. This in turn encourages the design of monsters with even more hit points, which means that players want to deal even more damage... it's a hit point/damage arms race.

Also: You're reducing hitpoints, reducing caster level and removing iterative attacks? Why not just play lower level games?
Because I very much enjoy the options that high level characters have, but hate the underlying math. According to the DDXP seminar, Monte agrees with me, and he wrote 3e... ;)
 

Li Shenron

Legend
Overall I think it's an interesting HR, although I'm not sure if it might be too good at very high levels. With BAB +16 you'll have quadruple base damage, you won't multiply the damage bonuses, but how often would you hit anyway with the third and fourth attack?

If you like battles with lots of minions, you may want to keep the option of using those iterative attacks, so that e.g. an archer can shoot multiple guys in the same turn.

Death or sever nerf to:
- TWF (you mentioned)
- crit builds
- sneak attack
- skirmish / precision
- stuff like that maneuver that allows touch attacks one round to boost attacks in the next round
- weapon enhancements that add damage

Wouldn't TWF actually benefit? With BAB +6, you'd get 2 attacks at +4/+4 each of which with double base damage, instead of 3 attacks at +4/+4/+2 with normal base damage.

The other cases do look like some kind of nerf, but not too serious IMHO.
SA for instance isn't coming up all the time and by the time a Rogue gets a second attack per round, that's already at -7 to hit, compared to a full-BAB character primary attack.
Weapon enh and any other damage bonuses will count less, but this kinds of balances back a little bit the damage multiplier.

But, most of all, it kills my wizard's iterative attacks. Wizards have no cool combat maneuvers, but they have iterative attacks. And, dammit, they need them!!! Don't touch my shiny toy!

If it's a joke, it's actually a good one ;)
 

Buugipopuu

First Post
Monsters have entirely too many hit points, and this encourages players to find ways to deal more damage instead of trying out cool new options. This in turn encourages the design of monsters with even more hit points, which means that players want to deal even more damage... it's a hit point/damage arms race.

They have entirely too many hit points? You have maths to back this up, I presume, since looking at the damage outputs of even poorly optimised characters and monster HP of their CR suggests otherwise. I presume you also have maths to show an increase in monster hitpoints at a given challenge rating over the course of the edition. Anyway, if you lower monster HP, that doesn't encourage 'cool new options', since it makes optimising for damage even more important. Monsters can't fight back if they're dead, and when you kill everything in one hit, you don't need anything but damage and Initiative.

Because I very much enjoy the options that high level characters have, but hate the underlying math. According to the DDXP seminar, Monte agrees with me, and he wrote 3e... ;)

By halving caster level you don't actually give these options out. Full casters don't get 6th level spells before Epic, and half-casters don't get 3rd level spells before Epic.
 

Herzog

Adventurer
I've been thinking of a way to drop the full-attack option as well, but have been thinking in an entiry different direction:

I hate the fact that it is an all-or-nothing option, especially at higher levels.

At low levels, you gain no benefit from standing next to your target, since you get only 1 attack anyway (unless TWF).
At higher levels, you either get lots of attacks if you take full attack, or can only make one. Which always has seemed silly to me.

My idea was to allow players to take both move AND multiple attacks in (approximately, haven't worked out the details yet) the following way:

determine your (double)move, then divide by the number of attacks you can make +1 (this includes additional attacks originating from TWF, but NOT from FoB or similar attack forms that are a full round action by default)

So, MV 30 gives double move 60, with 2 attacks is move 20 (60/(2+1))
Now, you can move 20 foot, then attack twice, or move 40 foot and attack once. If you move more than 40 foot, you can't attack. If you move less than 20 foot, you can still only attack twice.

This improves moveability on the battlefield, while allowing melee types to make their attacks.

Note that these are attacks, and not standard actions. If you take a standard action, you have only one move action left, and you need to have a full round action to spend to pull off the -move-and-attack-anyway- option.

Anyway, just thought I'd throw this in the discussion.
 

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