The barbarian charged toward the ice giant, screaming with rage. He swung his massive sword at the giant, but the creature easily dodged the attack. The barbarian followed up with a second swing, but the giant managed to land a counterattack, slamming the barbarian with its club.
The force of the blow knocked back the barbarian, but he regained his footing and charged at the giant once more. This time, the barbarian was able to land a series of hits on the giant, thanks to his quick reflexes and powerful swings.
The giant was no match for the barbarian’s onslaught and soon fell to the ground, defeated.
In Pathfinder, making multiple attacks is a very powerful tactic. Players can deal the optimum amount of damage every turn using multiple attacks. However, the penalty for doing so is prohibitive.
In this blog post, we want to provide some recommendations on the best weapons for multiple attacks. We’ll also mention strategies that can increase your damage output when using this tactic.
How Do Multiple Attacks Work in Pathfinder?
In Pathfinder, the more attacks you make, the greater the penalty against your attack roll. So, if you are making three attacks, your first attack will be at full strength, but the second and third will be penalized.
The multiple attack penalty is one of the engaging features of Pathfinder 2e combat. It forces players to do more with their actions each turn than simply attack. Even martial characters will need to rely on feats to overcome the penalties incurred by taking multiple attacks in a single round.
This can make it very difficult to hit multiple targets, especially if they are spread out. There are two main ways to reduce the effects of this penalty: by choosing the right weapons and by using combat abilities.
The first way to reduce the multiple attack penalty is by choosing the right weapons. In general, you want to pick weapons that have the agile trait. Weapons with this trait reduce your character’s multiple attack penalties.
Some combat abilities, like Double Shot, can also improve your skills at making multiple attacks in a round.
Multiple Attack Penalty
|Attack||Multiple Attack Penalty||Agile|
|Third and subsequent||-10||-8|
Source: Core Rulebook pg. 446
Buying the Right Gear for Multiple Attacks
The first step in making multiple attacks is to buy the right gear. Players have a lot of choices when it comes to choosing a weapon for their character. If you plan on making multiple attacks, you should probably choose a weapon with the agile trait.
Weapons with the agile trait will make it easier for your to land multiple strikes, increasing your overall damage.
There are a variety of different weapons that have the agile trait. Some examples include:
Of course, the best weapon for you will depend on your character’s class and build. Daggers, for example, are great for rogues who want to make multiple attacks while remaining stealthy. Swords are a good choice for warriors who want to deal a lot of damage with every swing.
You can also find weapons that are specific to certain classes. The monk’s shuriken, for example, is a great choice for making multiple attacks.
A dagger is a simple weapon, so it doesn’t have the extra damage bonuses that other weapons do. However, its low weight, cost, and helpful traits make it a good choice for characters who want to be able to make multiple attacks early in the game.
Daggers are readily available throughout Golarion, making them easy for players to obtain. And they can be thrown, which is an excellent bonus for characters who want to be able to make attacks at range.
A spiked gauntlet offers players both excellent defense and a chance to deal extra damage when attacking. Spikes protrude from each knuckle of this vicious weapon, dealing piercing damage with each punch!
Wearing a gauntlet does not interfere with spellcasting and can be used as a free-hand weapon. That means it doesn’t take up your free hand when worn, so player characters using a gauntlet have the opportunity to either strike a blow with the gauntlet or use the free hand for other actions, such as manipulating the environment or wielding an additional weapon.
With the agile trait and the versatility to work as a free hand, the spiked gauntlet is worth considering for those who want to specialize in making multiple attacks.
A light mace typically has a wooden or metal handle and a heavy metal head. You can use a light mace to deal powerful blows to opponents. This is a good weapon for bludgeoning your enemies and smashing their bones.
The light mace is suitable for delivering multiple attacks partially because it’s a one-handed weapon, giving you the option to use your other hand for things like holding a shield or casting spells. It also has the agile feat, which reduces your multiple attack penalty, and the shove feat, which allows you to push an opponent back with your mace.
This can be helpful for creating distance between you and an enemy or for pushing an enemy into a trap or off a ledge.
A shortsword is a martial weapon that’s typically around 2 feet long, and it’s ideal for multiple attacks. It has the agile trait, reducing your multiple attack penalty, and it’s a one-handed weapon, giving you options when it comes to using your other hand.
Additionally, you can use a short sword to deal slashing or piercing damage, making it a versatile weapon for handling different types of enemies.
The shortsword is also a finesse weapon, meaning that you can use your dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier for attack and damage rolls. This can be helpful for characters who want to focus on dexterity.
Thanks to the sweep trait, scimitars are great for attacking multiple enemies at once. The scimitar’s curved blade allows you to hit multiple adjacent foes with a single swing.
Scimitars are also one-handed weapons, giving you the option to use your free hand to wield another weapon for additional attack opportunities.
Lastly, the scimitar has the forceful trait, which means it becomes more deadly as your momentum builds. When players attack with the scimitar more than once during a turn, they get a circumstance bonus to damage on the second attack.
This bonus increases with each additional attack, making the scimitar an excellent choice for characters who want to focus on dealing as much damage as possible.
A starknife has a basic star shape: four metal blades extend from a central metal ring. A bar crosses the middle of the metal ring, creating a comfortable handhold.
Players can either use this martial weapon for close-range melee attacks, or they can throw it at enemies within 20 feet.
It comes with a fairly expensive price tag, but the starknife can be worth the investment for players who want the versatility of a melee and ranged weapon in one.
The trait-heavy starknife has the deadly d6 trait, which means it deals extra damage on critical hits. This–combined with its agile and finesse feats–makes the starknife an uncommon, but practical choice for characters who want to deal a lot of damage.
The light pick is a pickaxe that’s been modified for suitability in battle, which can also be great for roleplaying purposes. For example, a former miner may prefer a light pick because they’re more familiar with the weapon or because they or an ancestor used it in the mines before its modification.
This one-handed weapon has the agile trait as well as the fatal d8 trait, so it deals extra damage on critical hits. These traits ensure that the light pick is a powerful weapon in the hands of a skilled warrior.
A shuriken may also be called a “throwing star.” The shuriken is primarily known as a monk weapon and used for making ranged attacks.
Shuriken are small, lightweight, and easy to conceal, making them ideal for characters who want to be prepared for anything. The flat metal disc features incredibly sharp edges, but it can be carefully hidden in the folds of a cloak or up a sleeve. Then with the flick of a wrist, the shuriken can be sailing through the air towards an enemy.
Shuriken have the thrown and agile traits, making them a suitable choice for multiple attacks. For example, you can surprise your enemy with a shuriken attack before launching in with your fists or feet or follow up on your first attack with a shuriken throw.
Additionally, shurikens have reload 0, so you don’t have to use an action to draw them. Just be sure to retrieve them after the battle.
Darts are smaller than javelins but can still pack a deadly punch. They usually have a wooden shaft and a sharp, deadly metal tip. Some darts feature feathers or fur, typically used for stabilization and decoration, but not all of them.
Darts are affordable, easy-to-carry weapons that are perfect for long-range attacks. They don’t deal as much damage as some other weapons, but they’re easy to throw and can be used in a pinch.
Strategies for Using Multiple Attacks in Pathfinder 2e
Now that we’ve gone over some of the best weapons for multiple attacks let’s talk about how to make the most of them.
First, it’s important to understand the multiple attack penalty. This is a penalty that applies to every character who tries to attack more than once during a single turn.
There are a few ways to minimize the multiple attack penalty. Once you’ve chosen a weapon, it’s time to turn your attention to combat feats.
You can also increase your damage with multiple attacks by wielding two weapons instead of one.
If you’re using a longsword in your main hand and a dagger in your off-hand, you’ll take a -0 penalty on your first attack and then use the dagger to reduce the penalty on your second attack. This is called two-weapon fighting, and it’s a great way to increase your damage.
Some abilities can also improve your accuracy with multiple attacks. For example, with the Double Shot feat, a fighter can take two shots in quick succession, each with a -2 penalty.
Double shot is the perfect ability for fighters who want to make multiple attacks. Available at level 4, It gives you two shots, each with a -2 penalty as long as you’re attacking separate foes.
Perfect for taking down a group of enemies, double shot is a great way to clear a room quickly.
Another ability for multiple attacks is agile grace. This lets you reduce your multiple attack penalty with agile weapons. So, if you’re making two attacks with an agile weapon, you’ll only take a -3 on your second attack, making it much easier to hit your target.
With this feat, you can make the most of your power attacks by using a two-handed weapon. When you’re using Furious Focus, two-handed power attacks will only count as one attack toward your multiple attack penalty.
Attack of Opportunity
This feat doesn’t reduce your multiple attack penalty but can give you an extra attack during combat. By taking advantage of moments when your opponent is distracted, you can use your reaction to make an additional attack at full strength.
Attack of opportunity is available to fighters by default, but other classes also have the option of learning this feat.
Multiple Attack Scenario
We’ve created a scenario to help players understand how to use multiple attacks effectively. In this scenario, you’ll use the weapons and abilities we discussed to defeat a group of enemies.
You’re a level 1 fighter who’s been ambushed by goblin warriors. It’s the first turn of combat, and you have the initiative.
What do you do? Should you draw your trusty short sword and attack? Or should you charge the goblins with the spear you found?
You reach for your shortsword, take a -0 penalty on your first attack, and strike a goblin warrior. You take a -4 penalty on your second attack but still hit the goblin for 9 damage. Goblin warriors only have six hit points, so you kill it.
You turn to another goblin on your third attack and take a wild swing. There’s a -8 penalty on the attack roll, so you miss the creature.
If you had chosen to attack with the spear, you would have taken a -0 penalty on your first attack and hit the goblin for 5 piercing damage; not quite enough to kill it.
You would have taken a -5 penalty on your second attack and missed the goblin. On your third attack, you would have taken a -10 penalty and missed the goblin again!
Your spear would have looked puny as you stood shaking in your boots waiting for the goblins to counterattack.
|Weapon||First Attack||Second Attack||Third Attack||Total Damage|
|Shortsword||5 P||9 P||MISS||14 P|
|Spear||5 P||MISS||MISS||5 p|
|Greataxe||3 S||MISS||MISS||3 S|
Three Strikes, You’re Out!
The best weapons for multiple attacks in Pathfinder 2e are swords, darts, and other agile weapons. These weapons reduce the multiple attack penalty, making it easier to hit your marks. Additionally, two-weapon fighting is a great way to increase your prowess on the battlefield.
So, choose the right weapons and use the right strategies if you want to make the most of your multiple attacks. With the proper weapons and abilities, you’ll be able to take down your enemies in no time.