Multiple Attacks

Multiple attacks by the same fighter in a single turn almost define cinematic combat, although they can occur even in realistic campaigns. These guidelines help explain how the many options for multiple attacks interact. They apply to all attacks, but focus on melee combat; see Ranged Attack Options (pp. 119-121) for additional rules for rapid ranged attacks.

Each combatant - however numerous his limbs and whatever his weaponry - starts with one attack per All-Out Attack, Attack, Committed Attack, Defensive Attack, or Move and Attack maneuver, and many normally select only one of those maneuvers per turn. Three situations modify these basic assumptions:

• Rules that make fighters more mobile - especially if they involve acrobatics! These include Acrobatic Stand (p. 98), Feints Using Non-Combat Skills (p. 101), Acrobatic Movement (pp. 105-107), Acrobatic Attack (p. 107), Flying Attack (p. 107), and Retreat Options (pp. 123-124).

None of these options is absolutely cinematic. Used conservatively, they might even be realistic. Nevertheless, a campaign that features a large proportion of these rules will feel cinematic, while one that omits most of them won't -regardless of the GM's intent!

Altered Time Rate (p. B38): Each level of the Altered Time Rate advantage bestows one additional maneuver per turn - not just an extra attack! The remaining rules in this section apply separately to each All-Out Attack, Attack, Committed Attack, Defensive Attack, or Move and Attack maneuver chosen.

Extra Attack (p. B53): Each level of the Extra Attack advantage gives one additional attack per All-Out Attack, Attack, Committed Attack, Defensive Attack, or Move and Attack maneuver. Extra Attack benefits only those maneuvers. For instance, someone with Extra Attack 2 could use Attack to make three attacks instead of one; if he also had Altered Time Rate 1, he could choose two Attack maneuvers and make three attacks with each.

All-Out Attack (p. B365): Selecting All-Out Attack (Double) lets a warrior add one attack to his usual number, with that maneuver only. If he has Extra Attacks, he still adds one attack - he doesn't double his attacks! All-Out Attack (Determined), (Long), and (Strong) give no extra attacks, but their benefits apply to all attacks with that maneuver. For those with Altered Time Rate, the effects of All-Out Attack don't carry over to later maneuvers; for instance, a super who chooses All-Out Attack (Double) and then Attack would get one extra attack with his All-Out Attack but only the usual number of attacks with his Attack.

Attacks can involve any combination of unrestrained body parts (hands, feet, Strikers, etc.) and ready weapons. Weapons that become unready after an attack can strike only once. Kicks are at -2 unless improved via a technique. Attacks with the "off' hand are at -4 for those without Ambidexterity (p. B39) or Off-Hand Weapon Training (p. 50).

Once per All-Out Attack, Attack, Committed Attack, Defensive Attack, or Move and Attack maneuver, a fighter who desires more attacks may trade one (and only one) of his attacks for one of these special options:

Rapid Strike (p. B370): Unless he took Move and Attack, a warrior can split one of his melee attacks into two attacks with the same weapon or two unarmed attacks, at an extra -6. Those with Trained by a Master or Weapon Master take half the penalty, and may be able to attempt three or more attacks; see Rapid Strike (below).

Combination (p. 80): A martial artist who has studied a Combination can substitute it for an ordinary Rapid Strike. Otherwise, treat this as a Rapid Strike.

Dual-Weapon Attack (p. B417): A fighter with two ready weapons in different hands can use one of his attacks to attack with both weapons at once. These two attacks are at an extra -4, but the Dual-Weapon Attack (p. 83) technique lets cinematic martial artists reduce this penalty. This option is allowed for two unarmed attacks with different hands.

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