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Divine power (without capitalization) is a cleric spell that, among other things, sets your BAB to equal your level.

Now, when you gain epic levels, you stop gaining BAB, you gain an epic bonus every two levels that counts as BAB for all purposes except determining extra attacks.

What happens if I were to cast the sell, via some magic ring shenanigans, on my level 30 fighter?

  1. I get a BAB of 30, plus that +5 epic bonus that counts as BAB, or
  2. I get a BAB of 30, instead of my BAB of 25 including the epic bonus, or
  3. the BAB from the spell is capped at 20 because you can't gain BAB after 20, plus 5 for epic.

The whys of each point:

  1. The epic bonus counts as BAB for all purposes except extra attacks. So I change my +20 BAB with a +30 and I add that +5 and now my BAB is +35.
  2. The epic bonus counts as BAB for all purposes except extra attacks. So I change my +25 BAB (including the epic, since it counts as BAB) with a +30 and now my BAB is +30.
  3. The rules say that you don't accrue BAB past 20. I don't know if the spell is a specific trumps general thing or if it just falls under the same conditions and it has a non-stated cap becausse the cap is in the general rule already. I know that accrue is different from giving but since I feel that the aim of the spell is to give a cleric as much BAB as a fighter (and not more) I'm still considering this might be RAI.
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The premium Player's Handbook stealth erratas divine power

The 4th-level Clr spell divine power [evoc] (Player's Handbook (2003) 224) has as its description the following:

Calling upon the divine power of your patron, you imbue yourself with strength and skill in combat. Your base attack bonus becomes equal to your character level (which may give you additional attacks), you gain a +6 enhancement bonus to Strength, and you gain 1 temporary hit point per caster level.

(This is also how the System Reference Document presents the divine power spell.) The premium edition Player's Handbook (2012) has a nearly nearly identical description of the spell except that its description addresses exactly the question's point:

Calling upon the divine power of your patron, you imbue yourself with strength and skill in combat. Your base attack bonus becomes equal to your character level (max. +20; which may give you additional attacks), you gain a +6 enhancement bonus to Strength, and you gain 1 temporary hit point per caster level. (224 and emphasis mine)

(This bibliophile finds the abbreviation amusing: Had the word maximum been spelled out rather than abbreviated the page layout would've been utterly fouled and someone would've had to've gone in and touched up the layout on, I imagine, the remainder of the Spells chapter, likely requiring more money than Wizards apparently wanted to spend on what is largely a reprint.) A similar stealth errata was inserted by the premium edition Player's Handbook into the 6th-level Sor/Wiz spell Tenser's transformation [trans] (PH 294), around which similar controversy swirls. (To be clear, though, the transformation spell says, instead of max. +20, max +20 (n.b. no period—gasp!). I'm certain that right now a lawyer's arguing in his brief for gamer court that the max +20 phrase is meaningless because the word max when not an abbreviation isn't a game term. Good luck and godspeed on that, Matlock.)

If the campaign does not follow the rules for primary sources or no one has access to the premium edition Player's Handbook, I agree with this answer: the divine power spell works like it says it works, setting the creature's base attack bonus to its character level even if that base attack bonus would exceed +20 but even a seemingly too high base attack bonus not allowing more than 4 base-attack-bonus-derived attacks during, for example, a full attack. However, the spell granting a seemingly too high base attack bonus is no longer an issue with the premium edition Player's Handbook available.

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The spell would confer exactly what it says.

Your base attack bonus becomes equal to your character level

As a 30th level character (in this case Fighter), your BAB would become +30. You would still only have 4 attacks a round however, but considering AC of epic-level monsters, that is a decent buff.


Point Breakdown

  1. You do get a +30 BAB from the spell; +5 EAB doesn't apply. The spell overrides BAB/EAB derived from class levels.
  2. EAB counts as BAB for the purpose of qualifying for prestige classes and feats and etc. EAB doesn't apply to gaining more iterative attacks. Yes, the spell would change your BAB to +30 for its duration.
  3. The spell does not specify that it is capped at all. It does specify that your BAB would equal your character level. Dragons are a good example of this. Their BAB equals their Hit Dice. That's why we see 25 Hit Dice Dragons with a BAB of +25. But you are correct that you don't normally gain BAB after character level 20. The spell, however, isn't normal.


Note: Any time a feat, prestige class, or other rule refers to your base attack bonus (except for gaining additional attacks), use the sum of your base attack bonus and epic attack bonus. So Divine Power trumps both. And you may substitute both for damage via power attack. Credit: Annoying Imp

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok, does EAB count for determining how much power attack you can get, for instance? Iterative attacks and prerequisites aren't the only two things BAB does. That was my reasoning on 2) \$\endgroup\$ – Zachiel Oct 5 '15 at 21:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Zachiel Yes it would, but under the effects of the spell, you would have a +30 anyway, which is more than the +25 you would normally have. \$\endgroup\$ – Ruut Oct 7 '15 at 15:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ then I think you understood my point 2. It is 2) because EAB gets counted in in the BAB that the spell changes. \$\endgroup\$ – Zachiel Oct 8 '15 at 17:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Zachiel I don't really understand what you mean. It is literally this simple: BAB = Character Level. Anything else has no meaning. \$\endgroup\$ – Ruut Dec 18 '15 at 21:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, @Ruut, BAB=character level, but (CL=BAB=BAB+EAB) or (BAB=BAB+EAB=CL+EAB)? (That was the question, which you solved already) \$\endgroup\$ – Zachiel Dec 19 '15 at 1:35
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I will concede, the spell does what it says. I wanted to continue discussing, but reflected I would never limit Tensor's Transformation, so why would I place a limit on Divine Power.

I will leave my below comment:

The reality is the spell caps at level 20 in the Players Handbook and the SRD is incorrect.

Base Attack Bonus (BAB) is often misunderstood. BAB only accumulates up to level 20 and does not increase afterwards. Epic level characters 21+ receive a different bonus called Epic Attack Bonus, not to be confused with Base Attack Bonus received from levels 1-20.

This means that a character that took 20 levels of Rogue (BAB 15) and then 20 levels of Fighter (Epic Attack Bonus +10) would have an attack bonus of +25 and three attacks/round (attack are calculated of BAB only)!

Whereas a character that took 20 levels of Fighter (BAB+20) then 20 lvls rogue (Epic attack bonus +10) would have +30 to hit and four attacks a round!

The character that took the rogue levels first would need Divine Power to get four attacks a round and a +30 to hit. This is a great spell for Rogues, Clerics and anyone who doesn't qualify for the extra attacks a round.

I was sure I found the reference in the Players Handbook but it has been a while since this came up. I do not have a PHB here, so thank you for the exact wording. Our group derived the answer from the Epic Level book. It says that Base attack bonus does not increase after character level 20.

Epic Attack Bonus: Similarly, your base attack bonus does not increase after our character level reaches 20th. However, you do receive a cumulative +1 epic bonus on all attacks at every odd-numbered level beyond 20th, as shown on Table 1–1: Epic Save and Epic Attack Bonuses. Any time feat, prestige class, or other rule refers to your base attack bonus (except for gaining additional attacks), use the sum of your base attack bonus and epic attack bonus.

The DM could rule a few ways on Divine Power.

  1. The BAB limit is 20, so the Divine Power caps at 20. I think this is the most logical interpretation.
  2. Divine Power references Base Attack Bonus and your new BAB and Epic Attack Bonus would be 40.
  3. A 40th level character who casts Divine Power gets a BAB of 40! This is awesome because it would definitely stack with your Epic Attack bonus! Making your attack bonus +40 for Divine Power, and +10 for 20 levels of Epic giving you a +50 Attack Bonus.

Each interpretation could be defended. I agree with the first interpretation because the Epic Level book opens by saying BAB caps at 20 and Epic Attack Bonus is different.

The second interpretation makes Divine Power an excellent spell at Epic levels...maybe more than excellent depending on how high your epic level game goes. It would be good with the persistent spell feat (24 hour duration).

The third interpretation, that Divine Power BAB would stack with Epic Attack Bonus is silly...

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    \$\begingroup\$ Could you cite what part of Divine Power indicates that level 20 cap in the 3.5e Player's Handbook? I don't see it. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Dec 18 '15 at 4:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Word for Word of the PHB: "Calling upon the divine power of your patron, you imbue yourself with strength and skill in combat. Your base attack bonus becomes equal to your character level (which may give you additional attacks), you gain a +6 enhancement bonus to Strength, and you gain 1 temporary hit point per caster level." -1 for inaccurate representation. \$\endgroup\$ – Ruut Dec 18 '15 at 8:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ruut at the light of the answer by Hey I Can Chan, I guess we've ben unjust to CJSon. They must have the 2012 version of the book. \$\endgroup\$ – Zachiel Jul 12 at 18:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener see above \$\endgroup\$ – Zachiel Jul 12 at 18:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Zachiel I'm happy to reverse my vote when the answer has a citation. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Jul 12 at 18:48

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