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The Stone Power feat (ToB. p. 32) allows you to voluntarily take a penalty to your attack rolls in order to gain temporary hit points:

When you use an attack action or a full attack action, or you initiate a Stone Dragon strike in melee combat, you can take a penalty of as much as -5 on your attack rolls. This number cannot exceed your base attack bonus. You gain temporary hit points equal to twice the number that you subtract from your attack rolls (to a maximum of+10). These temporary hitpoints last until the beginning of your next turn.

Stone Power is clearly based on the Power Attack feat (it can even be treated as Power Attack for for prerequisites). However, Power attack uses different wording for its attack penalty:

On your action, before making attack rolls for a round, you may choose to subtract a number from all melee attack rolls and add the same number to all melee damage rolls. This number may not exceed your base attack bonus. The penalty on attacks and bonus on damage apply until your next turn.

If you are attacking with a single action (using the Attack or Full Attack action, or initiating a single strike), adjudicating Stone Power is straightforward - the penalty applies to all the attacks that are part of the action.

However, it's possible to attack with more than one action during your turn:

  • You could attack with your standard action, then use something like Celerity (PHB2, p. 105) or a Belt of Battle (MIC, p. 73) to get a second standard action and use it to attack again.
  • You could have an ability like Shadow Pounce (Unapproachable East, p. 36) or the Sun School feat (CW, p. 112) that allows you to attack when you teleport, intiate a strike with your Standard Action, and then teleport with your move or swift action(s) to make additional attacks.
  • You could be something like a Choker or a 9th level Swiftblade that can naturally take multiple standard actions per turn.
  • Etc.

In cases like these, does the penalty from Stone Power apply to all your attacks for the round (like Power Attack), or only those that are made as part of the action on which you activated Stone Power?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ An Aside: The premium edition Monster Manual (2012) removes from the choker the supernatural ability quickness. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Feb 26 at 22:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ Master Transmogrifists everywhere weep bitter tears. \$\endgroup\$ – A_S00 Feb 26 at 22:41
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Unlike the penalty from the feats Power Attack (Player's Handbook 98) and Power Throw (Complete Adventurer 111) that lasts "until your next turn," or the penalty from the more obscure feats Windup (Dragon #304 85) and Called Shot (from the officially licensed product Secrets of the Mantis 65) that lasts "until your next action" (and for more on that confusing turn of phrase see this question or this question), the penalty from the feat Stone Power (Tome of Battle 32–3) lasts only as long as it takes the creature to make the standard attack or full attack.

This means that if the creature makes a standard attack or a full attack, after the creature makes that standard attack or after the creature finishes that full attack action, the penalty from the feat Stone Power disappears yet temporary hp from it remain.

The question sounds incredulous of this. While it may seem shady to gain 10 temporary hp by suffering a -5 penalty on an attack roll (during a standard attack) or on several attack rolls (during a full attack action) then to take an extra standard action or an extra full attack action to make a subsequent attack or multiple attacks immediately after at no penalty, taking additional standard actions—or even whole turns—is the most powerful ability in the game. Foes that can do this are rightly feared, and PCs that can do this regularly can be some of the most abusive.

Further, keep in mind that the ways to take extra actions and turns that are listed in the question are typically at least lower-middle-level strategies (a typical level 7 wizard's celerity spell, a 12,000-gp belt of battle, meeting the Sun School feat's prerequisites) if not at least middle-level strategies (a character is typically level 10 or 11 when he gains shadow pounce). At that point, trading a -5 penalty on either a lone attack roll during a standard attack or all attacks during a full attack for a measly 10 temporary hp usually isn't a good trade unless the creature is specifically built to take advantage of those temporary hp (e.g. the feats Lady's Gambit (Dragon #317 82) or Hida's Rage (Rokugan 51)) or has invested resources into mitigating that penalty… often at the expense of damage, other defenses, or further accuracy.

I can't know the power level of your campaigns, but in mine, a -5 penalty is significant, and 10 temporary hp aren't usually worth that penalty, especially to a PC or NPC who's capable of taking extra actions: That -5 penalty for 10 temporary hp can mean missing, and missing with an attack may mean giving the enemy another turn of its own.

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