I've got a PC who has the Extra Attack class feature, and he has polearm master. He is under the impression that every turn, he gets 4 attacks. Two regular attacks and two attacks with the "butt" of his glaive.

Am I wrong in saying that he only gets three because the butt attack is his one and only bonus action per turn? Also, should he be applying his strength modifier to the butt attack? It doesn't seem to be particularly clear in the book and I'm a very inexperienced DM.


2 Answers 2


The paladin should only get 3 attacks for 2 reasons.

The first is that, yes, you are limited to one bonus action per turn.

The second is that Polearm Master states:

When you take the Attack action [...] you can use a bonus action to make a melee attack...

And the Extra Attack class feature states:

Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

The second attack granted by Extra Attack does not use the Attack action and therefore doesn't meet the requirements for Polearm Master.

He would also apply his strength modifier to his bonus action attack, as stated by the PHB errata:

Polearm Master (p. 168). The bonus attack uses the same ability modifier as the main attack.


You are correct in that -- being a bonus action and players having a hard cap of one bonus action per round -- the PC should only get three attacks. However, the bonus attack should add his strength modifier to the damage.

  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ To expand on this... There is a difference between "making an attack" and "taking the attack action." Polearm Mastery grants the former, while the Extra Attack class feature improves the latter. \$\endgroup\$
    – AceCalhoon
    Dec 15, 2015 at 21:14

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