Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Multiple attacks per round - Good idea or bad idea

As a warrior gains levels, he gains more attacks per level. It is a pretty well grounded tradition in roleplaying games. But after reading this post I'm back to wondering..should it be?

In the case of piecemeal the concept just creates headaches and wrinkles in game design. I already allow many opportunities to gain additional attacks per round if the situation is right. Be it from combat maneuvers such as "riposte", from the much loved "Opportunity Attacks" or the "Wild Attack" option.

And I'm wondering if that might be a better option all around. Rather than a character being "entitled" to two or three attacks a round, they earn extra attacks by either setting up the right circumstances or being darn lucky.

A higher level warrior is more likely to get 2 or 3 attacks a round, but even a level 1 character could (through extreme luck or stupidly favourable circumstances) gain more than that.

The good:

It allows for more varied combat options as the extra attacks aren't an "entitled" swing of the sword but a series of bonus. If a warrior has learned the combat trick (similar to a mage with a spell) the warrior may gain a "Free" shield punch or headbutt in the right circumstances.

The bad:

There is a mechanical simplicity in just a flat "three attacks per round", I'm simply not sure if its a good simplicity (elegance) or a bad simplicity (dumbing down)
As a high level concept for how to handle multiple attacks per round, what do you think?


  1. It is a tricky choice.
    --I have confidence you'll find your solution. :)

  2. I like multiple attacks, but a lot of people figure that is already accounted for in a better to-hit number, as you increase in level.

  3. That "I full attack" post is forgetting what too many forget. That D&D combat is abstract*. One attack does not mean one swing. It means created/found opportunity to cause "damage". Of course experienced fighters are more adept at creating/finding these opportunities.

    Still, for speed/flow/slowing power escalation I much prefer 1 round = 1 attack roll. Although, your lucky numbers/opportunity attack system convinced me to make exception.

    * The rest of D&D combat AC/hitpoints, saves, etc is abstract. If you want 1 attack = 1 swing you really need to go to a realistic & detailed system with hit locations and the rest.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.