I'm not quite sure how the total attack bonus interacts with BAB.

  1. Can you make more attacks than shown by your BAB (e.g. +11/+6/+1 BAB allows you to make 3 attacks) by having a high enough DEX, STR or other attack bonus modifiers?
    Assuming I have +11/+6/+1 BAB, and a spell gives me +6 attack bonus, would that make me able to attack as if I had +17/+12/+7/+2 BAB, giving me an extra attack?)

    1. Can you make multiple attacks even if you have one of your stats drained, making your attack bonus negative, or less than 5?

It says in the SRD that the formula for attack bonus in melee is this:

Base attack bonus + Strength modifier + size modifier

I've also been told that you can make multiple attacks in one turn, but each attack gains a -5 penalty to attack bonus.


1 Answer 1


Additional attacks made using the full-attack action from a high attack bonus are determined only by your Base Attack Bonus. The rules for Base Attack Bonus say:

Each creature has a base attack bonus and it represents its skill in combat. As a character gains levels or Hit Dice, his base attack bonus improves. When a creature's base attack bonus reaches +6, +11, or +16, he receives an additional attack in combat when he takes a full-attack action (which is one type of full-round action—see Combat).

Emphasis mine. Your additional attacks are based only on your BAB. No additional bonuses to your attack bonus will change how many attacks you earn for taking a full-attack action.

Therefore, assuming you're making a melee attack:

  • A character with a +12 BAB and +0 STR gets 3 attacks (+12/+7/+2)
  • A character with a +9 BAB and +3 STR gets 2 attacks (+12/+7). His strength bonus does not give him an additional attack, because his BAB is less than +11.
  • A character with a +12 BAB and -3 STR gets 3 attacks (+9/+4/-1). His strength penalty does not cause him to lose an attack, because his BAB is +11 or higher.
  • A character with a +9 BAB, a +1 STR, and a +2 magic weapon gets 2 attacks (+12/+7). The bonus to his attack roll from the magic weapon does not grant him an additional attack.
  • A character with a +9 BAB, a +0 STR, and true strike cast on them (giving a +20 to one attack) gets 2 attacks (+29/+4). The benefit of true strike does not grant them additional attacks.

Note that this does not apply to natural attacks, and that there are other ways to gain additional attacks on a full round attack, such as using two weapons, the spell haste, or the Monk's Flurry of Blows.


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