I got this idea from mxzyplk answer to use a single roll, and from KRyan comments on how this can nerf the warriors in a substantial way. I did the math, and... yep. Rolling a single dice can be harmfull for the figther. Rolling multiple die can, however, be harmfull for the fun, since it can take a long time to resolve a single turn.
How we can resolve that?
Warriors, and other "Melee Types", are normally heavily underpowered against Wizards and other Tier-1 classes. So, anything you use to buff them up can't really get them overpowered. With that in mind, we can go changing stuff without so much fear that we would be breaking something. 3.5 is already too much broken for us to do any more serious damage anyway. First, let's fix the "chance to hit" of our character:
- Count how many attacks a character of that level would have on a full attack.
- Add this value to the "RAW BAB" of the character.
So, if a character have, let's say, +15/+10/+5, he would end with +18 as his BAB. A +3 bonus, seens ok.
Next, we fix the Crit Chance. If you roll more attacks, you have more chances to crit, since you obviously throw more dice. Each extra attack gives an extra 5% of rolling a 20 in your turn, so a character with four attacks have four times the chance to land a Natural 20 than a "single hitter". We will ignore the different Weapon Threat Ranges for now.
- For each attack the character has, after the first, add +1 to the Threat Range.
Our sample fighter has +15/+10/+5, so he would add +2 to the Threat Range to compensate for the extra attacks he would be losing. So, if our figther use a Longsword (19-20), he would have now a 17-20 threat range. Keen and similar stuff add first, so a Keen Longsword (17-20) would have a threat range of 15-20 on the hands of our warrior.
Okay, that seens good. But, our DPS is still much lower than a traditional "Full Attacker". So, let's add an extra spice. If the character have multiple attacks, do this:
- If the character has two attacks (+6/+1), he rolls 1d2.
- If the character has three attacks (+11/+6/+1), he rolls 1d3.
- If the character has four attacks (+16/+11/+6/+1), he rolls 1d4.
Multiply the damage dice (and all aplicable modifiers) by the die result.
Can't see that working? Let's go for a full example:
Bert the Barbarian is a 15th level Human Barbarian. He is not really optimized, so he didn't take a ton of feats to raise his precision or damage output.
Bert is kinda bulky, having a STR of 22 (+6), without any auxiliar gear. He don't like axes, so he uses a +2 Keen Greatsword.
Bert also have Weapon Focus on his Greatsword, and nothing else that matters.
When he is not "Full Attacking", bert has a good BAB of 24(15+6+2+1). He can move up to his speed and deliver a blow at that value, for 2d6+11 worth of damage, with a threat range of 17-20. Not much.
However, when he is already nearby the enemy, and chooses to full attack:
- His BAB goes up by +3 (He would have 3 attacks on the Normal Ruleset), and becomes 27.
- His Threat Range goes up by 2, and for the Full Attack his threat is 15-20 now.
- He rolls a 1d3 if he hits, since he would have 3 attacks on the Normal Ruleset.
Bert's Player rolls the d20 and the d3 at the same time, to save a few secs.
He scores a 14! Not enough to crit, but a Hit, nevertheless. The d3 rolls up a 3, so he rolls his damage 3 times and add up: (2d6+11) x3, to a total of 6d6+33.
Now we have some interesting damage! If Bert had roll a 15 and scored a crit, he would roll instead: ((2d6+11)x2)x3), that, by the D&D Multiplication Rules, equals to (2d6+11)x4, or 8d6+44. Note that the crit is not whooping damage, but since it becomes more common, those things kinda offset each other.
How do I implement this stuff?
I need some prep before you go to combat, but once you do it, it turns up easy to roll:
Bert has no change on his normal attack.
If Bert does a Full attack, he receives +3 to hit, +2 to the Threat Range, and roll a 1d3 dice to see how much times his damage goes up.
He only will need to change that values once he hits lvl 16, when every number will go up by +1 (+4 to Hit, +3 to Threat Range, 1d4 dice).