Do the extra attacks from the Fencing Master feat and the extra attack 5th level class benefit stack? Do I get to attack 3 times in one turn when having both of these?


1 Answer 1


Yes, you get can get 3 attacks, but with a -5 penalty to each. Rarely worth it.

Once on your turn when you use your action to make a melee attack with a finesse weapon, you can make one additional attack with that weapon, but all of the attacks that are part of the action take a –5 penalty to the attack roll.

At 5. level as a paladin you can make melee 2 attacks as an action. With this feat (wielding the right weapon), you can decide to make one additional attack, but in this case you take a -5 penalty to all three attacks. Doing so is rarely good for you, usually only worths it if you have advantage.*

The main attraction of Fencing Master from an optimization standpoint is the ability to parry the attack with a reaction.

Connecting to your other question regarding an empty hand, even with this feat you benefit from a shield in your other hand.

*The mathematics of when is it better to attack 3 times with -5:

2 * H * D < 3 * (H-0.25) * D
2 * H < 3 * H - 0.75
2 * H + 0.75 < 3 * H
0.75 < H

Where H is your hit chance, and D is your damage. The 0.25 is the -5 converted from roll penalty to hit chance. As you can see, if you have a 0.75 chance (in other words you hit on a 6) it makes sense to make 3 attacks.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh, so taking the Fencing Master feat actually hurts the Extra Attack benefit by giving it a -5 penalty? Or do all extra attacks just naturally have -5? \$\endgroup\$ Jan 23, 2014 at 9:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ All your attacks during the turn are hurt by -5. Extra attacks do not suffer such a penalty if you do not use the additional attack by Fencing Master. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 23, 2014 at 9:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Updated the answer with the clarification. \$\endgroup\$
    – András
    Jan 23, 2014 at 9:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Wow, yeah definitely won't be using that part of the feat. That is absolutely horrible. Thanks for the help guys! \$\endgroup\$ Jan 23, 2014 at 9:18

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