Someone making a full attack might become staggered partway through their attack chain - for example, a fighter with a BAB of +11 is going to make 3 attacks with a longbow. The first shot provokes an attack of opportunity from an adjacent enemy, who lands a Staggering Critical. Can the fighter still make the 2 additional iterative attacks as part of the full-round action they already started?

  • \$\begingroup\$ This question is, ultimately, probably a duplicate of this question. However, given the other question's broad mandate, I'm comfortable with this one existing separately. To differentiate these two questions further, though, consider citing that linked question in your question and explaining how this one's different. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 9, 2021 at 5:29

1 Answer 1


No, you can perform no more than one attack.

If you become staggered during a full attack action, you can only perform a single attack. If the attack of opportunity staggers you on any subsequent attack, then the triggering attack is disrupted.

A number of places in the rules make this clear as the intended outcome. The rules for full attack specify that you can begin a full attack action (full round action) and transition it into an attack action (standard action) after your first attack.

Deciding between an Attack or a Full Attack: After your first attack, you can decide to take a move action instead of making your remaining attacks, depending on how the first attack turns out and assuming you have not already taken a move action this round. If you’ve already taken a 5-foot step, you can’t use your move action to move any distance, but you could still use a different kind of move action.

The rules for attacks of opportunity and this FAQ make it clear that AoOs resolve before the triggering the action. The FAQ also heavily implies an AoO can disrupt an action if the triggering action cannot be resolved after the AoO completes.

Trip: When a prone character stands up and provokes an attack of opportunity, can I use that attack to trip the character again?

No. The attack of opportunity is triggered before the action that triggered it is resolved. In this case, the target is still prone when the attack of opportunity occurs (and you get the normal bonuses when making such an attack). Since the trip combat maneuver does not prevent the target's action, the target then stands up.

Finally, nothing in the rules say or suggest that a condition effect is delayed until in between actions. To the contrary, the above FAQ makes it clear that a creature can be knocked prone after an action begins but before it resolves.

Thus, we can piece together the sequence of actions.

  1. Your turn begins.
  2. You begin a full-attack action.
  3. You attempt a ranged attack roll.
  4. The ranged attack provokes an attack of opportunity.
  5. The attack of opportunity staggers you.
  6. The ranged attack resolves, because staggered does not prevent you from making a single attack on your turn.
  7. Your full attack action transitions to an attack action, because you cannot perform full round actions while staggered.
  8. You can then either perform a swift, immediate, or free action.

Or alternative, this could happen.

  1. Your turn begins.
  2. You begin a full-attack action.
  3. You attempt a melee attack roll.
  4. The melee attack resolves
  5. You attempt a ranged attack roll.
  6. The ranged attack provokes an attack of opportunity.
  7. The attack of opportunity staggers you.
  8. The ranged attack does NOT resolve, because you have no way of performing two attacks while staggered.
  9. Your full attack action ends immediately because you cannot perform further attacks.
  10. You can then either perform a swift, immediate, or free action.
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    \$\begingroup\$ This makes sense when limiting you to only 1 attack in your chain, but what if you've already made two attacks and are staggered before making your third? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 6, 2021 at 23:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ The second scenario would apply. The second attack resolves because you were not staggered at the time. The third attack is disrupted because you became staggered before it could resolve. Staggering you does not retroactively affect the second attack because it resolved before you became staggered. \$\endgroup\$
    – Cyrad
    Jul 7, 2021 at 1:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Cyrad Why would the second scenario apply in the case of two attacks already done ? Unlike the first and second scenarios, where the interruption occurs between the choice to switch from a standard to a full-round action, from the moment you are on the third attack a full-round action is triggered anyway and becoming staggered cannot change anything about that. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rophe
    Jul 7, 2021 at 10:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @rophe The stagger disrupts the full attack action because you cannot perform full attack actions while staggered. The only reason the first scenario can happen is because of a rule that lets you transition a full-attack action to an attack action. You cannot do that if you're attempting your third attack. The stagger disrupts the full-attack action as well as the third attack that had not resolved yet. \$\endgroup\$
    – Cyrad
    Jul 8, 2021 at 21:24

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