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I've been reading the PF core rulebook, but confused over some of the data in the Character tables, and not found anywhere in the book that explains it, so wondering if someone could explain it?

Taking the Monk class table for example:

Level | Base Attack Bonus | ..... | Flurry of Blows Bonus

1st | +0 | .... | -1/-1

2nd | +1 | .... | +0/+0

...

...

16th | +12/+7/+2 | .... | +14/+14/+9/+9/+4/+4/-1

17th | +12/+7/+2 | .... | +15/+15/+10/+10/+5/+5/+0

18th | +13/+8/+3 | .... | +16/+16/+11/+10/+6/+6/+1

What do the slashes between the bonuses mean?

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This is great thank you. I was also staring at the character table.. What I assumed was correct. However like you said no where in the book does it state such in chapter3 –  IgotaHat Dec 12 at 6:43

2 Answers 2

up vote 15 down vote accepted

Those are iterative attacks.

You get to make an attack at each listed bonus when you make a full attack.

A level 1 monk can make 1 attack with a +0 bonus, or two attacks, each with a -1 bonus, if s/he decides to use Flurry of Blows.

A level 16 monk can make 3 attacks, one at +12, one at +7, and one at +2. Or, if s/he uses Flurry of Blows, make 7 attacks: two at +14, two at +9, two at +4, and one at -1.

Note that those are only the bonuses from base attack. Other bonuses, such as strength bonus, magic weapon bonus, etc. are applied to each attack.


From the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, p187:

Full-Round Actions
A full-round action requires an entire round to complete. Thus, it can't be coupled with a standard action or a move action, though if it does not involve moving any distance, you can take a 5-foot step.

Full Attack
If you get more than one attack per round because your base attack bonus is high (see Base Attack Bonus in Chapter 3) ... you must use a full-round action to get your additional attacks.
If you get multiple attacks because your base attack bonus is high enough, you must make the attacks in order from highest to lowest. ...

It doesn't actually explain base attack bonus in chapter 3, of course. It's cunningly hidden in Chapter 1.

From the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, p11:

Base Attack Bonus (BAB): Each creature has a base attack bonus and it represents its skill in combat. As a character gains levels or Hit Dice, his base attack bonus improves. When a creature's base attack bonus reaches +6, +11, or +16, he receives an additional attack in combat when he takes a full-attack action.

It's not clearly explained here, but the additional attack is at a bonus equal to the bonus of your lowest extra attack minus 5.

From the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, p57:

Flurry of Blows(Ex): Starting at 1st level, a monk can make a flurry of blows as a full-attack action. When doing so he may make one additional attack ... For the purpose of these attacks, the monk's base attack bonus from his monk class levels is equal to his monk level.

Thus the monk has two choices for iterative attacks: he can make a normal full attack using his regular (lower) BAB, or he can make a Flurry of Blows full attacks, which gives him several additional attacks but restricts him to unarmed strikes and special monk weapons.

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Additional attacks

In D&D 3rd Edition and Pathfinder, characters gain "additional attacks," sometimes called "iterative attacks." These are based on increases to the character's Base Attack Bonus:

When a creature's base attack bonus reaches +6, +11, or +16, he receives an additional attack in combat when he takes a full-attack action

Each extra attack is at -5 from the preceding one. Which is how you get "+12/+7/+2."

You can also get additional attacks from other sources, such as fighting with two weapons, or the Monk's Flurry of Blows ability.

Normally your character just makes one attack, using the first number, plus other modifiers, like from ability scores, feats, and equipment. In order to use all of your additional attacks, you must take a full attack action.

The Flurry of Blows ability

Flurry of Blows is a weird special case. In Pathfinder, when you flurry, you ignore your actual BAB number and instead use your monk level as your BAB (which actually increases your BAB compared to the normal value, if you are a pure monk). Then you get a bunch of extra attacks based on your monk level, as detailed in the Flurry of Blows ability description.

The chart provides all these values in a separate column because they're pretty hard for a new player to calculate otherwise.

A note on multiclassing

(This is detail you can ignore if you're just playing a single-class monk.)

Note that your actual "BAB" is that first number. In the chart, the numbers after the slashes are mostly there for convenience. This comes up when you're multiclassing: add the BAB numbers together and then recalculate your additional attacks using the step rule quoted above. So, for example:

  • If I take six levels in fighter (+6 BAB, listed as "+6/+1" in the chart) and three levels in rogue (+2 BAB), my attacks are +8/+3, no +8/+1.
  • If I take six levels in fighter (+6 BAB, listed as "+6/+1" in the chart) and six levels in barbarian (ditto), my attacks are going to be +12/+7/+2, not +12/+2.

If you multiclass as a monk, you'll have to recalculate your Flurry attacks by hand as well:

A monk using flurry treats his BAB from monk levels as equal to his monk level. He still adds BAB from other sources (such as other classes or racial Hit Dice) normally to this total.

Unfortunately, you'll then have to figure out your additional attacks yourself based on the text of the Flurry of Blows ability.

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