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D&D 3E
Too much pain...? 
12th-Feb-2006 10:57 pm
Okay, here we go... Player wants to be a centaur/fighter, focusing on mounted combat... Of course, it makes sense, right...? The game is a 13th level romp, she takes Centaur (4 HD with +2 LA= +6 ECL)and seven levels of Fighter. Being a Centaur, she qualifies for any feat requiring 'Mounted Combat' as a pre-req... Trample, Ride-by-Attack, Spirited Charge... Now, she wants to use a lance, which also makes sense... She's a Large creature, she gets a large lance (2d6 dmg)... Lances do double damage on a charge, or triple if you have the feat 'Spirited Charge' The critical modifier for a lance is x3... You see where I'm going with this... 6d6+30 on a charge, x3 for a critical... If she scores a critical hit while executing a Spirited Charge (she also took improved critical-lance) does she do x9 damage...? She has a strength score of 24 (a naturally rolled 15, +8 for being a centaur, +1 at 8th HD), so that's a +7 to damage, and she's using a +3 Lance, so that brings it up to +10... 18d6+90 on a critical charge...!?!?!?!? Shudder to think if she ever decided to PrC into the Cavalier...

Am I miscalculating this...? Or is every charge simply a critical hit...? Does anybody else have characters (not necessarily monstrous) that focus on Mounted combat? Do they kick this much arse...?

Oh, I know I'm letting her get away with a lot but the game IS a romp...
12th-Feb-2006 01:14 pm (UTC)
It's true, mounted characters are brutal in combat, but there's several counters to this.
1. enemies can ready polearms against a charge.
2. Charging is required for this much madness, which means ride-by or trample is required, which all means that space to to this is necessary, and you can't charge with any difficult terrain of characters in your way.
3. the player can be unhorsed, or the horse can become impractical in certain terrains.

Unfortunately #3 doesn't apply to your centaur. As the DM, make the terrain work for you. If he can't charge, the narrow focus of his character will lose its sparkle. Be sure to let him mop floors once in a while, but be glad to have enemies fire arrows or spells from cover, or ready a spear against him.
12th-Feb-2006 01:36 pm (UTC)
The improved critical doesn't double the crit mod, it doubles the crit range, so instead of having a crit on a nat 20 onlt, it's on a 19-20.

Otherwize, yeah. That shit is pretty brutal. If it was me, I'd buy some Horseshoes of the Zypher and take Paladin for my main class, mainly for access to the spell Divine Sacrifice, which adds 5d6 to your attack at the cost fo 10 hp (1d6/2hp scarificed, max 5d6). Add a potion of Bull's Strength, a potion of Enlarge Person, and dayam!

I'm gonna go make this, now.

Oh, and do answer your question, I'll find and post Everard, my paladin calveryman, and Diligence, his super mount.
12th-Feb-2006 02:38 pm (UTC)
can clerics cast that spell, and do they have to cast it on themselves? what lvl is it?

in my current campaign i'm the meat shield and could kick even more ass if that spell was cast on me.
12th-Feb-2006 02:45 pm (UTC)
Awesome icon.

Divine Sacrifice
Level: Blk 1, Pal 1
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Personal
Target: You
Duration: 1 round/level
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No

You can sacrifice life force to increase the damage you deal. Once each round, as a free action, you can sacrifice up to 10 of your hit points (doing this does not trigger an attack of opportunity). For every 2 hit points you sacrifice, on your next successful attack you deal +1d6 damage, to a maximum of +5d6 on that attack. Your ability to deal this additional damage ends when you successfully attack or when the spell duration ends. You can make as many sacrifices as the spell duration allows. Sacrificed hit points count as normal damage. For example, an 8th-level paladin can cast this spell with a duration of 4 rounds. If she sacrifices 10 hit points a round and hits in every round, she can spend up to 40 hit points and deal up to +5d6 points of additional damage all 4 rounds.

Source: Complete Divine 2004 p.163

Doesn't look like it. Maybe you can fall ass-backwards into a Pally/Blackguard with the Brew Potion feat? a Draught of Divine Sacrafice?
12th-Feb-2006 05:42 pm (UTC)
I dunno how well Enlarge Person would work while mounted
13th-Feb-2006 04:38 am (UTC)
I was a paladin. I had "Share Spells" with my mount.
13th-Feb-2006 09:32 am (UTC)
Riiight, haven't played enough paladins.
13th-Feb-2006 01:51 pm (UTC)
There's a lot tobe said for the quintessential knight...
12th-Feb-2006 01:45 pm (UTC)
Here he is -- My mounted charger of doom

Everard Montague, Paladin of Tyr and Mightiest Knight on Life and Diligence, his faithful mount from the realm of Celestia.

I thought about going for Cavalier, but I like the spellcasting too much.
12th-Feb-2006 01:51 pm (UTC)
i dunno about centaur levels, but in the end it's still a fighter class with all its weakness (except maybe hold person) =P
sure the PC does a ton of damage... but other than that i don't think it can do much.
a relatively easy problem to handle =)
12th-Feb-2006 01:52 pm (UTC)
Also, remember that triple damage, tripled, is 5x damage, not 9x damage.
12th-Feb-2006 04:46 pm (UTC)
I was going to say something about that. It's like the doubling-doublings, which is just basically added together, for a total of X6 on a critical.

I could be wrong though? clarification?
12th-Feb-2006 07:04 pm (UTC)
Triple "is same damage again, twice".

Triple Triple is two of those i.e. "same damage again, four times".

i.e. x5 is correct.

And good luck charging through any corridors less than 10' wide (half movement, -4 on attacks and AC).
19th-Feb-2006 02:14 am (UTC)
Centaurs are long, but not wide... They take up a 10'x5' rectangle on the battle grid... She can charge down a 5' wide corridor...
19th-Feb-2006 09:56 am (UTC)
Centaurs are large so take up 10x10 square. "long" just means "not tall" so they only have 5' reach. Maybe you are misreading the Space/Reach line? Or maybe it was different in 3.0 when facing was part of the rules?
12th-Feb-2006 02:42 pm (UTC)
One thing to note is that a lance is not a two-handed weapon when used for charing from horseback, can't see if you've taken that into account or not, but it makes a big difference what high strengths are involved along with power attack.

Oh and akitrom is right, at least about it not being X9, I don't know if X5 is right or not but it sounds it.

Sounds like a one trick pony for damage, which makes them a bit weak in other circumstances-like climbing a wall...no; etc.
12th-Feb-2006 05:44 pm (UTC)
Or being dehorsed
13th-Feb-2006 05:09 pm (UTC)
This is a subject of much debate in rules forum circles. The counter-argument is "it's always a two-handed weapon, whether you're using it one- or two-handed." (there's no "one-handed lance" entry in the weapons table in the PHB)
13th-Feb-2006 05:16 pm (UTC)
It's mentioned in either the FAQ or the errata that the 1.5X damage thing applies to a weapon weilded 2-handed, and that that's not how a lance is weilded. There is no such thing in the rules as a 2-handed weapon, there are only different sizes.
13th-Feb-2006 06:56 pm (UTC)
That's ridiculous. The rules specify categories for weapons of each size category: light, one-handed, and two-handed.

Note how these categories are segregated into separate sections in the table on the following page:


Other places where this supposedly-non-existent rule appear include TWF rules (lesser penalties for light offhand weapons), STR bonuses to damage (*1.5 for two-handed weapons or one-handed weapons wielded in two hands), and Power Attack (2-for-1 tradeoff for two-handed weapons).

As for the FAQ or errata...decide which one you want to cite and do so. I can't refute a vague "oh, I read somewhere official that it works otherwise". I can't believe an argument like that without proof, either.

If you're going to cite the FAQ, keep in mind that there are numerous examples in the past where it has directly contradicted the rules as written (I can dig up specific examples if you're curious, but that will take more time than I care to spend atm), so a FAQ entry isn't necessarily very convincing.
13th-Feb-2006 07:28 pm (UTC) - P.20-21 FAQ
You can get a host of benefits from wielding a twohanded
weapon, such as 1-1/2 times your Strength bonus on
damage (and twice your damage bonus from the Power
Attack feat) and a +4 bonus on your opposed attack roll if
someone tries to disarm you. So when is a weapon “twohanded?”
For example, a lance is a two-handed weapon,
right? But you can wield it in one hand when you’re
mounted. Since the weapons table shows that a lance is a
two-handed weapon, I get all the two-handed benefits no
matter how I wield the lance, right?

Wrong. Table 7–5 in the Player’s Handbook lists weapons
as light, one-handed, or two-handed strictly as a matter of
convenience. These size categories are always relative to the
wielder’s size, as explained in some detail in the section on
weapon size on page 113 in the Player’s Handbook (also see
next question).
When the combat rules speak of “two-handed” weapons,
they’re referring to how the weapon is being used. A Medium
character using a Medium longsword in two hands is using a
“two-handed” weapon. The same character using a Medium
lance in one hand while mounted is using a one-handed
weapon. Light weapons are an exception. If you wield a light
weapon in two hands you get no advantage on damage (see
page 113 in the Player’s Handbook). Likewise, you always
take a –4 penalty on your opposed roll when you’re wielding a
light weapon in a disarm attempt (when someone tries todisarm you or you try to disarm someone) regardless of
whether you wield it one- or two-handed."
14th-Feb-2006 02:29 am (UTC) - Re: P.20-21 FAQ
Okay! Now we're getting somewhere.

This FAQ entry is wrong. The D&D rules are quite clear about the differences between light, one-handed, and two-handed weapons (it's not just a convenience - light weapons get a penalty on Sunder and Disarm attempts, two-handed weapons get a bonus. If I use my lance to try and Sunder my foe's weapon during mounted combat, do I suddenly lose the two-handed bonus because it somehow transforms into a one-handed weapon?

More discussion from true rules gurus is available here:

14th-Feb-2006 03:37 am (UTC) - Re: P.20-21 FAQ
About citing sources: I wasn't sure which it was and had no time to check, I thought it was best to give some idea where I'd got it from rather than none (limiting it to two sources rather than thousands or simply a concept original to myself); apologies if you felt that was inappropriate.

Having read through the EN world discussion I can see where they/you are coming from, but still tend to disagree. The developmental reasoning for the 1.5X damage appears to be that using a weapon two-handed should give the same result as using two weapons, ie that the overall affect is 1.5X strength either way; this is c.f the AC advantage from using a shield and a weapon in one hand.

Why should the players on EN world be considered a more accurate source than the publishers official one? (although a valuable resource definately). I tend to see the FAQ (as an official source from the publishers) as a latter clarification and also probably more reliable than most other sources. Although largely I view rules as rather flexible anyway, and feel people should use what works for them; for conventions etc there is value to be gained from using RAW, unfortunately as with any other set of rules (religious, political, whatever) there is debate about what wording actually means, which causes disagreements such as this (and much worse in many other cases:>).
14th-Feb-2006 04:22 am (UTC) - Re: P.20-21 FAQ
Heh. I understand about time constraints on citing sources (as is obvious from my above post!), and I also extend apologies if you feel I jumped on you over that (very) minor issue.

As to the validity/quality of the FAQ as a rules source, that is also a topic of much debate...the rulebooks don't cite the FAQ as a place to look for updates. Therefore, when the FAQ makes up rules, it annoys people who are trying to master the rules.

Also, there are places where the FAQ very obviously contradicts the rules in the books (this issue is one of them - it's painfully obvious that the handedness classifications are an actual rule that affects several in-game elements, not merely a convenience to refer to how the weapon is currently being used. Unlike in 3.0, where a Medium Shortsword was a Small Longsword and a Tiny Greatsword, a Medium Shortsword is always a Medium Shortsword and as such a light one-handed weapon.

If you like, I could dig up some more disinterested examples of the FAQ contradicting the rules in a very obvious way...sadly, I haven't committed these examples to memory. OTOH, we're probably at the point where we simply need to agree to disagree: you hold the FAQ, coming from WOTC, in a much higher regard than I do.

As for the validity of ENWorlders, well, they are avid fans of the game who discuss the fine points of rules on a daily basis. By contrast, the writer of the FAQ considers only a few rules questions at a time, devoting the lions' share of his time to other tasks.
14th-Feb-2006 12:48 pm (UTC) - Re: P.20-21 FAQ
To be fair I have seen bits where I've wondered what the heck the FAQ was on about, mostly I find it ok though.
Yes it does appear that we see it differently, although I'm not saying that it always contains the rule I'd use in my personal games (EN world IS somewhere I'd check for that purpose); for conventions, especially RPGA, I would tend to use it's interpretation rather than someone elses (mostly due to both things being WOTC-it saves arguments:>).

P113 of the PHB does say that a small two-handed weapon is a one-handed weapon for a medium character still. Which is partly where the confusion comes in, it speaks of the handedness as being a measure of the difficulty of wielding the weapon. However I think some of what I was considering was a holdover from 3.0 (still happens occasionally).
14th-Feb-2006 04:19 pm (UTC) - Re: P.20-21 FAQ
I seem to recall this question being asked in a Sage Advice column. Can't pinpoint the issue :(
19th-Feb-2006 02:16 am (UTC)
She's a Centaur, she CAN'T be dehorsed... And she doesn't have power attack... She doesn't need it... Centaurs can climb ropes like most other races, they just use their arms- they're +8 to strength helps here...
12th-Feb-2006 05:40 pm (UTC)
just make sure you never giver her a keen lance. If I remember correctly, it decreases the crit range before the feat critical strike comes into play, so you get a 19-20 that's decreased to a 17-20 I think? Might be 18-20, I'm not fully sure at the moment.

Oh, and if she stacks keen on something like a sonic lance then she get's her charge range right there. Add in the mod's for the lance she has now, and you'd have a +3 keen, sonic lance.
12th-Feb-2006 06:56 pm (UTC)
In 3.5, the Keen ability doesn't stack with Improved Critical, the keen edge spell, or any other effect that expands the threat range of a weapon. (And, IMHO, thank God for that.)
13th-Feb-2006 01:35 am (UTC)
ah k. That probably is a GOOD thing if you're a DM...I do remember it stacking in 3.0, so I must have skimmed over that rule.
13th-Feb-2006 02:28 am (UTC)
They definitely did in 3.0. You could build something pretty nasty with Improved Critical, a keen weapon, and prestige classes like Sword and Fist's Weapon Master and more obscure prestige classes. If you look at the 3.5 Improved Critical feat and the Keen effect, they both state they don't stack with anything else.
12th-Feb-2006 11:13 pm (UTC)
terrain would be the key,,out doors,this charicter is going to kick some serouse arse, in fact its completely sick,,,,but indoors ,,ehh not so sick,,no room to move ,no room to charge no room for all the nifty bonuses,so it would probably balance itself in the ways of other charicters getting to shine sometimes,,,but thats still some pretty sick stuff
13th-Feb-2006 05:10 pm (UTC)
Even with the main trick disabled in tight quarters, though, the character is still quite strong, plus the benefit of reach from Large size...
19th-Feb-2006 02:20 am (UTC)
She only needs 10' of space to charge... Even without the lance, she can trample folks, use her sword or bow... She does only take up a rectangle of 5'x10'...
13th-Feb-2006 09:41 am (UTC)
Given that the character's upper body, the part using the weapon, is the same size as a human, I'd probably rule that he would use a human scaled lance.
13th-Feb-2006 05:12 pm (UTC)
The Monster Manual disagrees with you.
13th-Feb-2006 05:12 pm (UTC)
(but it's a ruling with a rational argument behind it...just make sure you tell the player about it BEFORE they stat up their centaur character!)
14th-Feb-2006 04:20 pm (UTC)
We had a flying character doing something similar to this. It was pretty ridiculous.

Fortunately, he threw a hissy fit when the GM told him (jokingly) that gorgon's were constructs and thus immune to his critical damage, and the player took it seriously and didn't add his skirmish dice *facepalm*.

Oh yeah, that's probably another way to make this brutal. Skirmish. Oy.
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