I'm playing a fiend totem barbarian so he gets a gore attack. He also gets a 3rd attack at level 11. If he uses this gore attack as his third attack, does he still make that attack at his base attack bonus −5?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site. Take the tour. There's a lot of material on the site relevant to natural weapons in Pathfinder. I recommend starting with this question sorting through the results of a search. Thank you for participating and have fun. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 16:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ Here's another related question: Multiple attacks \$\endgroup\$
    – MrLemon
    Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 16:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ Possible duplicate of How do multiple natural attacks work? \$\endgroup\$
    – user17995
    Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 17:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure how to interpret that duplicate's answers clearly enough to get an answer to this particular question, so I'm voting to leave open. (The answer might be in there somewhere, but it's obtuse enough I can't call this a duplicate.) Answers might want to reference that natural attacks question, though. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 18:55

2 Answers 2


The Universal Monster Rules about Natural Attacks say:

Creatures with natural attacks and attacks made with weapons can use both as part of a full attack action (although often a creature must forgo one natural attack for each weapon clutched in that limb, be it a claw, tentacle, or slam). Such creatures attack with their weapons normally but treat all of their available natural attacks as secondary attacks during that attack, regardless of the attack’s original type.

Now, it says they are secondary attacks, that means:

Secondary attacks are made using the creature’s base attack bonus –5 and add only 1/2 the creature’s Strength bonus on damage rolls. If a creature has only one natural attack, it is always made using the creature’s full base attack bonus and adds 1-1/2 times the creature’s Strength bonus on damage rolls.

If you make a regular attack action (standard action or attack of opportunity), you can choose to attack with your natural weapon at full BAB with no penalties.

But if you choose to use the full-attack action (full round), your weapon attacks will use your full BAB, plus extra attacks from high BAB (also known as iterative attacks), then your secondary attack at BAB -5.

This means that he cannot use his extra attacks from high BAB for his natural attacks.

The attacks from +11 and +6 BAB must be from his weapon attacks, or primary natural attacks, never secondary attacks, if you do happen to obtain 3 or more natural attacks.

The Multiattack is a monster feat, but reduces the penalty from -5 to -2 for all secondary attacks.

The Marilith is a good example of a statblock using both iterative weapon attacks with natural attacks on the same full-attack action.

Melee +1 longsword +24/+19/+14/+9 (2d6+8/17–20), 5 +1 longswords +24 (2d6+4/17–20), tail slap +17 (2d6+3 plus grab) or 6 slams +22 (1d8+7), tail slap +17 (2d6+3 plus grab)

First, keep in mind that she does not take the -5 to secondary attacks as an ability, and she has 6 arms and a tail weapon. Now, lets see her attack options:

  • Single attack with longsword or tailslap at full BAB;


  • Four iterative attacks with a longsword;
  • Five attacks with longswords wielded by her remaining five arms;
  • A single attack with her tail.


  • Six slam attacks (no weapons);
  • A single attack with her tail.

So let's apply this to your barbarian. He has +11 BAB and a gore secondary attack, so, his full-attack action would look like this:

  1. +11 Weapon attack
  2. +6 Weapon Attack
  3. +1 Weapon Attack
  4. +6 Gore Attack


  1. +6 Gore Attack
  2. +11 Weapon attack
  3. +6 Weapon Attack
  4. +1 Weapon Attack

Why his Gore is his first or last attack instead of second? Because the rules for full attack say:

If you get multiple attacks because your base attack bonus is high enough, you must make the attacks in order from highest bonus to lowest.

So all iterative attacks must be done in the order of highest BAB to lowest BAB attack, while everything else you can pretty much select the order you wish. Some GM's will allow you to apply them all on the order of highest to lowest (+11/+6/+6/+1), regardless of their type, but thats simply to keep the math easier.

This answer about natural attacks might give you an extra insight on the mechanics of natural weapons.


The question cannot be answered because you cannot use natural attacks with your BAB attack chain.

You simply cannot use your gore natural attack with your BAB first, second, third or whatever attack.

The most clear ruling is in the naturals attack entry of the Combat chapter:

Natural Attacks: [...] You do not receive additional natural attacks for a high base attack bonus. Instead, you receive additional attack rolls for multiple limb and body parts capable of making the attack [...]

If you have access to a third BAB attack, what you can do is to perform three attacks with a manufactured weapon, then perform extra attacks with your natural attacks (in this case the gore attack). Those natural attacks used in combination with weapon attacks are always considered secondary attacks (which is the reason of the secondary and -5 notes in the beast totem rage power).

For an expanded explanation on how natural attacks work, check "How do multiple natural attacks work?".

  • \$\begingroup\$ If you are not trying to perform a gore attack with your BAB incremental attacks, then sorry and if you rephrase the question I can try to improve my answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Balacertar
    Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 17:43

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