Quicker Combats, More Options

One widely perceived problem with 3.5E combat is the drag on play created by PCs with iterative attacks. This comes beyond just the extra die rolls to determine attack success. Iterative attacks also had variable attack bonuses. I’ve seen more than one player with a mid- to high-level character have to break out a matrix to figure out his PC’s various attack bonuses. Fencing & Firearms uses OGC from Trailblazer by Bad Axe Games to help solve this problem. Here’s how it works:

If you get more than one attack per round because your base attack bonus is high enough, because you fight with two weapons or a double weapon or for some special reason you must use a full-round action to get your additional attacks.

Base Attack Bonus
If your base attack bonus is +6 or higher, you can make two attacks per round with a full attack:

* When your BAB equals +6, you get a second attack, but both attacks suffer a -2 penalty instead of 0/-5).
* When your BAB equals +11, the penalty drops to -1/-1 (instead of 0/-5/-10).
* When your BAB equals +16, the penalty drops to -0/-0 (instead of 0/-5/-10/-20).

Another perceived weakness is that saving throw DCs don’t scale well, especially at mid- to high-level play. In other words, it gets increasingly easier to make saving throws against higher-level spells. F&F gives spellcasters something like a full-attack option when casting. Let’s take a look:

Cast a Spell
If your caster level is 6th or higher, you can use a full-round action to cast any spell that has a normal casting time of one standard action. Doing so increases either the spell’s save DC or to your caster level check to overcome spell resistance (your choice when casting the spell).

* If you caster level is 6th or higher, you gain either a +1 bonus to the save DC or your caster level to overcome spell resistance.
* If you caster level is 11th or higher, you gain either a +2 bonus to the save DC or your caster level to overcome spell resistance.
* If you caster level is 16th or higher, you gain either a +3 bonus to the save DC or your caster level to overcome spell resistance.

So, what do you think?

December 18th, 2009  in RPG 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “Quicker Combats, More Options”

  • Alzrius says:

    I like the new rules for spellcasters! I think this does a good job of adding some new options, as well as oomph, for spellcasters without adding a “feat tax” or similar cost-to-purchase.

    My one concern is that, since it requires a greater casting time to gain these bonuses, this provides even greater disincentive for spontaneous spellcasters to invest in metamagic feats, since those increase the casting time of spells for them, making them mutually exclusive with the new options here (unless you’re using Trailblazer’s rules that spontaneous spellcasters do not increase their casting times when using a metamagic feat).

    Similarly, no spellcaster will ever be able to use Quicken Spell with these new options.

  • admin says:

    Alzirius:

    I’d never even considered spontaneous spellcasters. Amazing what a different pair of eyes can see!

    On that note, I am very inclined to get rid of the extra casting time for spontaneous metamagics. I’ll add that to my list of Things to Revisit.

    Your point about Quicken is a good one. A caster could not use the full attack spellcasting option and Quicken at the same time for the same spell. The caster could, however, still cast a Quickened spell and use the full attack spellcasting option for a second spell that same round.

    Unless I’m missing something (which is possible). 🙂

    Thanks for the comments!

Leave a Reply