In many 3.5 games that I have played, a roll of a natural one on an attack roll is basically just a miss, but you cannot make any more attacks that round. I thought this was an official variant rule, but I am not finding it anywhere. In fact, when I looked it up in the SRD, it just says that it is a miss, and does not mention anything about ending a full attack action. I thought it was in the Unearthed Arcana section of the SRD, but I did not find it there, either.

Am I misremembering? If it is an actual official variant rule that it ends a full round attack, could someone point me to its location?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Related: Is a fumble on a natural 1 an official rule? \$\endgroup\$ Aug 10, 2020 at 20:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ What is "attack progression"? I didn't find that in my PHB, and the SRD only seems to mention it in regards to leveling up (i.e., "attack progression" is how your BAB increases over time). \$\endgroup\$ Aug 10, 2020 at 20:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ @indigochild I think OP means taking a Full Attack, like with a fighters +20/+15/+10/+5 and rolling a 1 on any hit but the last. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 10, 2020 at 20:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RevenantBacon yes, that is what I am referring to. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 10, 2020 at 20:21

1 Answer 1


Sort of, open to intepretation

The D&D 3.5 Dungeon Master's Guide, p.28, has a "fumbles" variant:

If you want to model the chance that in combat a character could fumble his weapon, then when a player rolls a 1 on his attack roll, have him make a DC 10 Dexterity check. If he fails, his character fumbles. You need to decide what it means to fumble, but in general, that character should probably lose a turn of activity as he regains his balance, picks up a dropped weapon, clears his head, steadies himself, or whatever.

Losing a turn of activity could be interpreted to mean that you lose your current turn. If you had multiple attacks in that turn, it would be possible to hit with the first one before losing your turn, which could easily lead to the situation where rolling a 1 causes you to lose your turn when already partway through your iterative attacks. I would probably interpret it as losing your next turn, but I can see the logic that it wouldn't make sense to continue your multiple attacks this turn and lose the next. If rolling a 1 is interpreted as dropping your weapon, it wouldn't make as much sense to keep making attacks after you drop it.

Losing an entire next turn also isn't much fun, but critically missing all attacks this turn is a more reasonable experience.

I can't find any other fumble rules in the DMG, DMG2 or Unearthed Arcana, or any 3.5-era Dragon articles on fumbles, so my guess is that there are probably no other fumble rules in an official D&D product.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This was the quote my mind went to when I saw the question. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Aug 10, 2020 at 22:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ Worth noting that both this rule and the rule in the DMG Are badrules \$\endgroup\$ Aug 10, 2020 at 22:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Pleasestopbeingevil Indeed, immediately following the quoted text, the DMG warns that "Fumbles are not appropriate to all games. They can add excitement or interest to combat, but they can also detract from the fun." \$\endgroup\$ Aug 11, 2020 at 0:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Pleasestopbeingevil the only times we have used it have been campaigns with action points. One of the possible uses for the action point is to negate the natural one ending your attack sequence. Since this is only available to PCs and rare NPCs that have action points, it is actually a fairly awesome rule. Prior to implementing this rule, my players would wind up losing half their action points every level up. Now, they tend to level up just as they finish their last action point for the level. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 11, 2020 at 1:19

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