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D&D 3E
charging, cleaving, lances 
3rd-Mar-2006 03:40 pm
boke1
I'm planning on submitting this to Sage Advice, but I'd like to know what you all think. Also let me know if there is anything else that may modify or apply to this situation that you think I should ask about when I send in my letter.


The combat rules for Charge state:
"Even if you have extra attacks, such as from having a high enough base attack bonus or from using multiple weapons, you only get to make one attack during a charge"

The description of Cleave states:
"If you deal a creature enough damage to make it drop (typically by dropping it to below 0 hit points or killing it), you get an immediate, extra melee attack against another creature within reach"

How do they work together? If a character with the Cleave or Great Cleave feat charges and kills their opponent, do they get additional attacks from the feat?

The description of Cleave also says:
"The extra attack is with the same weapon and at the same bonus as the attack that dropped the previous creature"

If the charging character is entitled to additional attacks from Cleave, do they still do double or triple damage as may apply when using a lance, or would subsequent attacks granted by Cleave with the lance do normal damage since the charge is presumably over?
Comments 
3rd-Mar-2006 08:57 pm (UTC)
I would allow a Cleave to take place against a creature directly behind (relative to the charging character) the creature killed by the charge.
3rd-Mar-2006 09:04 pm (UTC)
that's kind of how i ruled in the game when it happened. what i said was if the foes were on the same line as the charge she could cleave with the lance with the same damage bonus. i said since a longsword is a slashing weapon that on a cleave with a sword on a charge that the foes need not be lined up. i have a few problems with my ruling though. the rules don't say anything about the foes being lined up. one rule says: you get one attack only, the other rule says: if you kill someone you get one more attack. neither one really puts conditions about the weapons used, and the weapon description for the lance doesn't say anything about it. i think that what i need to do is weigh the language in the two rules and see which is stronger and o with that. the language in the charge description seems stronger. it says "even if you have xtra attacks such as from a high bab or from using multiple weapons you only get to make one attack during a charge". but if i wanted to get really tedious and legalistic, and i kind of do, it says you only get to make one attack. but, the cleave attack can be considered a continuation of that one attack you get.
3rd-Mar-2006 09:22 pm (UTC)
This doesn't work at all, by the rules.

Cleave does not kill, nor is a Cleave attack, even with a lance, a guaranteed impalement.

As an example, Someone with nonlethal damage who gets dropped with a lance/Cleave: that person isn't even close to being impaled.
3rd-Mar-2006 09:12 pm (UTC)
Good questions.

I'd say that the bonus attack from Cleave is not included in the Charge rules; note that the example "extra attacks" listed for Charge are only usable in full attacks, which Charge isn't. I say yes, a charger with Cleave or Great Cleave gets their bonus attack(s).

All bonuses carry over to the extra attack, but I'm not sure I'd apply the double or triple damage for a lance, since that's all about momentum. Given that the damage multiplier only applies to the first target, there shouldn't be any location restriction (as suggested by the poster above) for the Cleave bonus attack other than the attacker's reach.
3rd-Mar-2006 09:15 pm (UTC)
I'd say that the Cleave attack can only be made against someone diectly behind the original target, because you can't swing the lance around like a sword. And the Charge damage multiplier wouldn't apply, because you slowed down too much on the first hit.

Sound fair?
3rd-Mar-2006 09:32 pm (UTC)
As a note: All responses that are forcing "adjacent", or "behind" to be required for the target of the bonus attack, remember this:

That restriction makes Cleave virtually worthless as a feat.
3rd-Mar-2006 09:38 pm (UTC)
i don't think it does. the replies that require a target to be adjacent or behind only require that of a lance attack on a charge. they assume this because of momentum and the charge rules. honestly, i suspect that when i write in the sage is gonna say you don't get a cleave on a charge, which makes the whole thing moot anyway. i guess we'll see, assuming they even answer my question.
3rd-Mar-2006 09:44 pm (UTC)
Not really. We're discussing the use of the Cleave feat in light of one instance for its use where the rules happen to conflict.
3rd-Mar-2006 09:39 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm going to voice the opposition here. I think a great example would be two weapon fighting. Two weapon fighting allows you to make an extra melee attack blah blah blah, however you cannot use two weapon fighting when combined with a charge. Since charge states you get a single melee attack and no other attacks, this supercedes the rules for Cleave.

I would be interested to hear what sage advice would say. I think you stated the problem efficiently enough in your initial statement and do not think anything needs to be added.
3rd-Mar-2006 09:43 pm (UTC)
The difference is that two-weapon fighting only allows an extra attack when using the full attack action. Same for iterative attacks. Cleave is neither of these; Cleave even permits a bonus attack on an attack of opportunity.
3rd-Mar-2006 10:37 pm (UTC)
How do they work together? If a character with the Cleave or Great Cleave feat charges and [drops] their opponent, do they get additional attacks from the feat?

Yes. Cleave as a feat that enables bonus attacks. Charge is a full-round action that does not allow one to make use of the Full Attack action.

If the charging character is entitled to additional attacks from Cleave, do they still do double or triple damage as may apply when using a lance, or would subsequent attacks granted by Cleave with the lance do normal damage since the charge is presumably over?

You are correct in the latter instance. The word "bonus" in the rules you quoted refers to attack bonus, not the special damage bonus from charging. Similarly, someone who used True Strike to drop their opponent would not gain +20 on any cleave attacks they made.

In standard D&D iterative attacks, if you strike someone down with one of your iterative attacks, your cleave attacks are at THAT bonus--at -5, -10, or -15 relative to your ordinary attack roll.


4th-Mar-2006 12:28 am (UTC)
While this is completely correct, I wanted to note one thing:
Similarly, someone who used True Strike to drop their opponent would not gain +20 on any cleave attacks they made.

This is not because of the lack of bonus damage. This is because true strike explicitly grants its bonus to the "next single attack roll", and only that attack roll (meaning it is not granted to Cleave attacks). Any other bonuses to one's attack roll would still apply. However, bonus damage only applies if its condition is still met; a Cleave attack after a charge is not a charging attack, just like a Cleave attack with a flaming burst weapon after a critical dropped an opponent does not automatically get the increased damage from a critical.
4th-Mar-2006 02:06 am (UTC)
Petty childish banter aside, I'd always wondered how a guy uses a lance when he's not charging from a mount. It just never seemed like a practical weapon at less then 20mph.
4th-Mar-2006 05:24 am (UTC)
Have you ever seen a real sharpened lance? I haven't, but I gather that they're somewhat more flexible and violent than the huge things used in the show-jousts we see nowadays. With a sharp pointy end and an ammount of weight and thrust at least equal to an eighteen inch steel sword.

Plus, in D&D at least, they're two-handed weapons.
4th-Mar-2006 05:18 am (UTC)
If you submit this to Sage Advice, please post the reply in it's entirety. I am curious about the response, but I don't subscribe to Dragon.
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