A barbarian has picked up the Disarming Assault feat.

You attack with enough force to knock the weapon out of your foe's hands. Make a melee Strike; if you hit, you can attempt an Athletics check to Disarm that foe.

He uses it as his first action.

  1. Does the Strike increase his Multiple Attack Penalty?
  2. If the Strike increases his Multiple Attack Penalty, does the Athletics check to Disarm suffer the increased Multiple Attack Penalty?
  3. Does the Athletics check to Disarm increase his Multiple Attack Penalty?
  4. What is his total Multiple Attack Penalty after using Disarming Assault?

1 Answer 1


The multiple attack penalty (MAP) takes full effect

The strike and disarm actions both have the attack trait, which means that they both suffer and increase the MAP, as described in the quote below.

The more attacks you make beyond your first in a single turn, the less accurate you become, represented by the multiple attack penalty. The second time you use an attack action during your turn, you take a –5 penalty to your attack roll. The third time you attack, and on any subsequent attacks, you take a –10 penalty to your attack roll. Every check that has the attack trait counts toward your multiple attack penalty, including Strikes, spell attack rolls, certain skill actions like Shove, and many others.

In this case, strike and disarm are subordinate actions of the disarming assault, but that doesn't alter their traits and effects, unless the disarming assault explicitly says so, as described in the following quote.

An action might allow you to use a simpler action—usually one of the Basic Actions on page 469—in a different circumstance or with different effects. This subordinate action still has its normal traits and effects, but is modified in any ways listed in the larger action. For example, an activity that tells you to Stride up to half your Speed alters the normal distance you can move in a Stride. The Stride would still have the move trait, would still trigger reactions that occur based on movement, and so on. The subordinate action doesn’t gain any of the traits of the larger action unless specified. The action that allows you to use a subordinate action doesn’t require you to spend more actions or reactions to do so; that cost is already factored in.

Hence, the answers to questions 1, 2, and 3 are all yes, because disarming assault doesn't modify how strike and disarm interact with the MAP.

Assuming it is the first action on your turn, the MAP after a disarming assault will be -5 or -10 depending on whether you used disarm: if you used both strike and disarm, the MAP afterwards will be -10; if you only used the strike, the MAP afterwards will be -5.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I agree with the result but I think Subordinate Actions need to be mentioned for completeness' sake. \$\endgroup\$
    – Linus
    Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 0:48
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I was avoiding answering because I wanted to find a reason this wasn't the case. This ability is startlingly bad in a system that goes to lengths to avoid "trap" options. And there aren't even better abilities that build off of it like similar abilities... and I'll probably homerule a 1-MAP increase if I play with it. Solid answer though \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 4:20
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Ifusaso it's not a great ability, but it does allow one to Attack and (potentially) Disarm in one action. A lesser Flurry of Blows, from a certain perspective. Disarm is pretty mediocre, so it's still not a great ability, but there is at least marginal benefit. \$\endgroup\$
    – ESCE
    Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 16:14
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Disarm requiring a critical success to have a significant impact on the combat makes it a generally poor choice to do with any penalty, let alone leaving you with full MAP after one action. I agree that it has the opportunity be useful, but it's significantly weaker than other options... and on the off chance that you do critically succeed the check (probably only on rolling a 20), you do have more actions to act on them not having their weapon/item. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 16:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Technically, the MAP could be -4/-8 with an agile weapon. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben Barden
    Commented Mar 19, 2021 at 19:02

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