Posted by : David Guyll February 16, 2012

How should multiple attacks--if any--be handled? The poll breaks this up by asking if they should be penalized for multiple attacks (albeit by giving you two contradicting polls), or just make one attack that either spreads the love or just lumps extra damage on one target.

If fighters are going to get multiple attacks, then they can not be penalized. This was one of many reasons why fighters in 3rd Edition sucked so bad. Yeah you got multiple attacks faster than in older editions, but you had to spend your full turn swinging and you took a pretty severe penalty to your attack rolls, meaning that you were not likely to hit. If you are not going to give the fighter multiple attacks and instead allow it to divvy up the damage in another way or just deal extra damage, then this needs to come as a feature and not a cost. The fighter should not be forced to spend feats in a futile attempt to remain viable as in 3rd Edition.

Personally I want a fighter to have scaling damage built in. This is one of the reasons why the warblade was sooo much better than the fighter; where the fighter was doling out 1d8 damage, the warblade was stacking an extra 1d6 from a stance, and could easily roll out an extra 2d6 every other round through a maneuver. The best part? She didn't fucking have to spend a full-round doing it. Even better as you got higher level you got more powerful maneuvers that could be used with a single action, so while the fighter was wiffing with extra attacks you were landing one super-attack with a shitload of d6's piled on top.

I guess my answer is to have both: allow fighters to deal scaling damage, make multiple attacks at no penalty, and preferably have some other benefit keyed to a weapon category (so hammers could knock creatures around, swords could give a defense bonus, etc). Oh, and no feat taxes. Fighter players should get what they need to remain viable and spend their feats, talents, whatever on ways to make their character more unique. I would prefer to avoid cookie-cutter fighters of editions past.

{ 7 comments... read them below or Comment }

  1. I want multiple attacks per round as a possibility for 5E.

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  2. I like the idea of one super attack or mode switch to wide area attack it's a good direction for fighters. Also with some of the recent discussion on Save or Die a Deathblow-like maneuver available for fighters would also give them some viability as damage dealers.

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  3. I think their damage should scale automatically as they level up, kind of like how lightsabers dealt more damage over time in the Star Wars d20 games. That, or there should be a feat/talent tree that lets them deal more damage or impose conditions with their attacks. Hell, what about letting them remove damage dice to deal conditions? That is something that was in 3rd Edition and is in 4th Edition (though something for strikers).

    I'm also a fan of a stamina system (ala Dragon Age and Skyrim), where fighters get several options to choose from, and burn through it to deal more damage or execute exploits. I could also see them burning through healing surges, as it would allow them to monitor one resource but also make them choose carefully to do things. Not only extra damage or conditions, but letting the fighter move further, jump higher, etc.

    Ideally the feat trees would let a fighter's weapon be as big a factor as they are in 4th Edition. I'm just really jonesing to see the playtest doc, and see what they are and are not doing.

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  4. The problem with multiple non-penalized attacks is that a second attack doubles your damage output, making it a huge step up in power, which is probably undesirable.

    On the other hand, increasingly penalized attacks mean diminishing returns.

    If you hit ALL THE TIME with your first attack, a second one is some +75% to your damage (under the 3E scheme). The fourth is only +10%.

    I've seen one sensible solution in Legend d20: ALL attacks after the first are at a fixed -5 (rather than stacking -5 per attack). So BAB +20 is +20/+15/+15/+15, giving you a nice linear growth in muderpower.

    http://www.ruleofcool.com/about-legend/

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  5. I guess it would depend on when the second attack is gained. If a second attack is gained at, say, 5th level, is it /really/ that much worse off than the wizard who can roll out area-effect spells with built in scaling damage? What about if the fighter needs to use a full-round action, as opposed to a single standard action?

    Personally I like the idea of scaling damage as well, and secondary attacks could instead deal less damage. So if at 5th level your attacks all deal 2[W] damage, a secondary attack could instead just deal 1[W]. You could also have it so that fighters can reduce their overall damage to hit multiple targets.

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  6. They could keep it simple and just allow fighters to swap a move action for a standard action, the same way all classes can swap a standard for a move.

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  7. I could see giving them a Move action attack that does less damage (like, just weapon damage or ability modifier).

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