Attack Roll Modifiers

Use these adjustments whenever a character is making a melee, ranged, full, or other type of attack action.

Table: Attack Roll Modifiers
Circumstance Melee Ranged
Attacker flanking defender +2  
Attacker on higher ground +1 +0
Attacker prone –4 **
Attacker invisible +2*** +2***
Defender sitting or kneeling +2 –2
Defender prone +4 –4
Defender stunned, cowering, or off balance +2*** +2***
Defender climbing (cannot use shield) +2*** +2***
Defender surprised or flat-footed +0*** +0***
Defender running +0*** –2***
Defender grappling (attacker cannot) +0*** +0****
Defender pinned +4*** –4***
Defender has cover
See Cover
Defender concealed or invisible
See Concealment
Defender helpless
See Helpless Defenders
* A character flanks a defender when the character has an ally on the opposite side of the defender and that ally threatens the defender

** Most ranged weapons can't be used while the attacker is prone, but a character can use a crossbow while prone.

*** The defender loses any Dexterity bonus to AC.

**** Roll randomly to see which grappling character is struck when an attack is made against two or more grappling characters. The character attacked also loses any Dexterity bonus to AC.

Helpless Characters

A melee attack against a helpless character gets a +4 circumstance bonus on the attack roll. A ranged attack gets no special bonus. A helpless defender has a Dexterity score of 0.

Two Weapon Fighting

If a normal character (i.e. a character without the multiattack and/or multidexterity feats) wields a second weapon (fights two handed), that character can get one extra attack per round with that weapon. Fighting in this way is very hard, however, and the character suffers a -6 penalty for regular attacks with the first hand and a -10 penalty to the attack with a other hand.

A character can reduce these stiff penalties in three ways:

Double Weapons

A character can use a double weapon to make an extra attack as if the character were fighting with two weapons. The penalties apply as if the off-hand weapon were light. If the character does not elect to take the extra attack, the character is not penalized for fighting with two weapons.

Gaining the extra attack from fighting with two weapons always requires the use of the Full Attack action, even when using a double weapon.