Pathfinder: Alternative for Iterative Attacks

Paizo has pretty much said they have no intention of releasing material that expands the Beginner Box beyond 5th level, which means if you want to expand play beyond 5th level you’re on your own.  There may be some 3rd party companies working on BB related material, but who know’s when, or what, they’ll release.  As for myself, I’m having fun doing class conversions for the BB, but at this point I’m not looking at doing anything to expand the BB beyond 5th level.  If anything, whenever I do get a chance to run the BB, I was thinking of sticking to an E5 style campaign (i.e. 5th level is the most powerful any PC ever gets).

That said, an idea occured to me for those who may want to expand their BB game but not deal with the clumsy iterative attack system in the Pathfinder Core rules.  Rather than rolling multiple d20’s and adding +11 to one, then +6 to another and +1 to a third, instead roll three different sized dice and add the same +11 modifier to all three rolls.  For example, the first attack uses a d20, the second uses a d16 and the third would use a d12.  For a fourth attack use d8 and a fifth use d4.  I figure it’s a lot easier to roll three different dice and add the same modifier to each than it is to roll a d20 three times, or three d20’s of different colors, adding a different modifier to each roll.

Of course, there is the problem of critical hits.  Most weapons in Pathfinder inflict a critical hit on a ‘natural’ roll of 20 (some inflict crits on rolls of 19 and 20, or 18, 19 or 20, etc.).  Obviously, if you’re rolling a d16 or a d12, you’re can’t possibly roll a natural 20, and thus have no chance of inflicting a critical hit.  I have no solution for this, other than to say that perhaps your first attack, being the most ‘accurate’ is the only one that has a chance to inflict a crit; all the remaining attacks, being less accurate and more desperate, simply don’t have a chance to inflict a crit.  There are a few ways to increase a weapon’s crit range, so if you’ve somehow managed to increase the range to, say, 16-20 a d16 could theoretically score a critical hit on a roll of 16.

Another problem is that you’d have to pick up a d16 somewhere, if you don’t already have one, which can be harder than you’d think.

P.S.:  The inspiration for this idea came from Dungeon Crawl Classics rpg, FWIW.

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