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Mark Hall
2009-03-09, 12:08 PM
Does a charge have to be in a straight line? We get into this EVERY SINGLE TIME because we have a barbarian who's built around charging things.

MammonAzrael
2009-03-09, 12:14 PM
Yes.


Movement Requirements: You must move at least 2 squares from your starting position, and you must move directly to the nearest square from which you can attack the enemy. You canít charge if the nearest square is occupied. Moving over difficult terrain costs extra squares of movement as normal.

Bolding mine. You must move directly, which is the shortest distance possible, which is a straight line.

Of course, he can still take a move action first if he wants to. :smallsmile:

EDIT: Or maybe not, if LanceKepner is a viable source for an answer. (http://forums.gleemax.com/showpost.php?p=16083959&postcount=123)

Mando Knight
2009-03-09, 12:16 PM
No, but you do have to charge to the nearest square from which you can attack the target, so you still can't charge past the enemy and strike him from behind in one move.

Sir Homeslice
2009-03-09, 12:23 PM
No, but you do have to charge to the nearest square from which you can attack the target, so you still can't charge past the enemy and strike him from behind in one move.

As a note, I would like to add that the Acrobatic Charge feat for Rogues bypasses this problem.

Saintjebus
2009-03-09, 12:35 PM
As a note, I would like to add that the Acrobatic Charge feat for Rogues bypasses this problem.

Just another note, I imagine this feat as the Rogue backflipping all the way to the enemy and stabbing him. lol

AgentPaper
2009-03-09, 01:10 PM
Directly doesn't mean a straight line. It means you have to take the shortest route, which is sometimes a straight line. You can use any path you want, as long as you spend as little movement doing so as possible. Which isn't always a straight line. For example, if there was a pit between you, you could charge around it. Heck, with the way diagonals work, you could zig-zag your way there.

nightwyrm
2009-03-09, 01:34 PM
Well, one of the problems with figuring out the closest square in 4e is that diagonal movements is the same as horizontal movements. A charge target can be adjacent to multiple squares that require the same number of moves from the charger's original square.

Hzurr
2009-03-09, 02:38 PM
Ok, here's a more specific question to go along with Mark Hall's generic one:

Say you have the following setup in a room

XXXX
XXCB
XMXX

Where 'X' is a blank space, C is a column, B is a barbarian, and M is a monster. The Barbarian can't move diagonally to get adjacent to the monster because of the pillar, so he has to move down, and to the left to attack. Technically, he is moving two squares, and the square he is moving to is the closest square from which he can attack the enemy. Is it legal for this to be a charge attack?

Izmir Stinger
2009-03-09, 02:58 PM
Is it legal for this to be a charge attack?

Ambiguous per RAW, but I am pretty sure the RAI answer is no. I think they intended that if you are X squares away from the closest square you could attack from, your charge movement must be exactly X squares (and X must be greater than 1).

Remember, you can move your full speed as a move action (or shift or run speed+2 or whatever) before charging, which again lets you move your full speed. If you can't get a strait line bead on a guy with that much movement, he has positioned himself well (or you have positioned yourself poorly) and deserves to be save from your charge.

ColdSepp
2009-03-09, 03:25 PM
No. You can go around obsticals and pits, as long as you move at least two squares toward the target.

In the example above, no, because the first move isn't toward the target. But in general, you can move in a non straight line and charge.

You can even charge around walls, if you wanted.

1of3
2009-03-09, 04:52 PM
The quoted text is absolutely correct. Charging does not require a straight line, because the doesn't say so. Best forget everything you learned in former editions of D&D.

The barbarian in the example can charge the monster.

Izmir Stinger
2009-03-09, 05:23 PM
Might as well make this a poll. Obviously there is widely varied opinion on what the phrase "move directly" means.

Under the "not a strait line" interpretation, the following would be a valid charge:
X = empty, P = player charging, T = target of charge, 0 = pit, M = other monster, W = Wall

XXXXXX
XXXMXX
XXX0XX
XXTWXX
XXXWPX

XXXXXX
XXXMXX
XXX0XX
XXTWPX
XXXWXX

XXXXXX
XXXMXX
XXX0PX
XXTWXX
XXXWXX

XXXXXX
XXXMPX
XXX0XX
XXTWXX
XXXWXX

XXXPXX
XXXMXX
XXX0XX
XXTWXX
XXXWXX

XXXXXX
XXPMXX
XXX0XX
XXTWXX
XXXWXX

XXXXXX
XXXMXX
XXP0XX
XXTWXX
XXXWXX

I'm not willing to accept that a player gets to move up to speed +2, then do this, and get an attack bonus for doing it.

Also, cheese like this is enabled:

X = empty, P = player charging, T = target of charge, M = other monster

MXXX
TPXX
MXXX

MXXX
TXPX (player shifts back)
MXXX

MXPX
TXXX (player charges)
MXXX

MXXX
TPXX
MXXX

Hatu
2009-03-09, 05:26 PM
Ok, here's a more specific question to go along with Mark Hall's generic one:

Say you have the following setup in a room

XXXX
XXCB
XMXX

Where 'X' is a blank space, C is a column, B is a barbarian, and M is a monster. The Barbarian can't move diagonally to get adjacent to the monster because of the pillar, so he has to move down, and to the left to attack. Technically, he is moving two squares, and the square he is moving to is the closest square from which he can attack the enemy. Is it legal for this to be a charge attack?

You have to be at least two squares away to charge something; reach extends this distance even further. In this example, M starts off too close to B to charge it.

-H

AgentPaper
2009-03-09, 06:01 PM
You have to take the shortest possible route, and that route has to be at least 2 squares long. You can charge through terrain, around walls and pillars and pits, etc. You can't shift backwards and then charge someone, as then you'll only be 1 square away, and the shortest route will be 1 square to be right next to the target again. Not enough room to charge. If you could shift at least 2 squares, though, then yes, you could shift away and then charge. And if you move your speed normally away, then come back and charge, that also works.

Note that if you have to run through difficult terrain, and are 1 square away, you can't charge even though it would take 2 movement to go there. You have to be 2 squares away, so you'd have to spend 4 move at least to charge. You can still charge, though, as is made very obvious by the sentence saying that difficult terrain uses 2 movement points as normal.

(And Izmir, your "cheesy" example doesn't work, since you have to charge 2 squares. Just because you don't have to run in a straight line doesn't mean you can waste movement)

TheEmerged
2009-03-09, 06:55 PM
It does not have to be a *completely* straight line -- you can move around obstacles (like a pit, for example). You can also take your regular move action BEFORE the "move at least two squares" requirement kicks in; in my expierence, that part is usually enough to get around a lot of issues. The "move directly as possible", in my reading, refers only to the squares that constitute the movement of the charge.

There are oddities with this, like the 'Kobold Charge'. Of course you are pretty restricted in the actions you can take at the end of the charge (bull rush, basic melee attack, any powers that specify they can be used at the end of a charge or in place of a basic melee attack), so I don't consider it to be an abuse even if it does mean most kobolds with room to move could effectively get the +2 attack bonus every turn.

Kobold Charge works as follows. Kobold A starts next to Player B, with three blank squares behind Kobold A.

___AB

On its turn, the kobold takes a move action to shift 1 square back.

__A_B

It then takes a minor action to use Shifty, shifting another square back.

_A__B

As it's standard action, it then charges two squares ahead and performs a basic melee attack.

___AB

Yakk
2009-03-09, 07:52 PM
"Directly" as a term is relatively uniquely used at that point.

If you use "Directly" to mean "the shortest path", you run into cases that do not line up with what one would think of as directly, due to how 4e measures distance.

Ie:


......X........
.....x.x.......
....x...x......
...x.....x.....
..x.......x....
...x.....x.....
....x...x......
.....x.x.......
......Y........

Those are 'direct' paths under the 'shortest distance'.

A simple solution that is easy to adjudicate, generates lines that are close to 'direct' in the intuitive sense, and allows for dodging of minor obstacles, is that "you may only enter squares that are at least somewhat between some point of one of the squares you started in, and one of the squares you end up in at the end of the charge" as the meaning of squares "directly" between the start and the end of a charge.

Then use 'closest' in the 'least distance to get to, ignoring terrain'.

This generates a relatively liberal definition of 'directly'. In particular, a charge like this is still legal:


.......X.......
.......k.......
......x........
.......x.......
......x........
.......x.......
......x........
.......x.......
......Y........

where k is the spot you want to be at the end of the charge.

I say it is easy to adjudicate, because it is a matter of the PC saying where he wants to end the charge, then moving, and the DM saying "wait a second, prove that square is between your start and your end". It is easier than cover.

Speaking of which, this rule has precedent -- it lines up nicely with the rules for cover/concealment. The squares you are allowed to move to during the charge are exactly the squares which are checked in determining cover/concealment.


There are oddities with this, like the 'Kobold Charge'
The Kobold Charge is more fun if you use shifty to shift away, then use your move action to run to a completely different part of the battle, then charge a completely different target.

Often an entire swarm of Kobolds can do this at once. :)

Even if you are against a Fighter who has marked all of you, the Fighter can only take 1 immediate interrupt, and the immediate interrupt doesn't prevent the shift.

"WTF, where did the runts all GO?"

Izmir Stinger
2009-03-10, 08:40 AM
(And Izmir, your "cheesy" example doesn't work, since you have to charge 2 squares. Just because you don't have to run in a straight line doesn't mean you can waste movement)

Where are rules for deterring which squares of movement are wasted and which are not?

MammonAzrael
2009-03-10, 10:33 AM
Where are rules for deterring which squares of movement are wasted and which are not?

The charging requirements state that you must move directly to the nearest square. In your "cheesy" example, the most direct method is only 1 square forward. If the most direct path to a creature is only 1 square away, you can't charge it.

Hatu
2009-03-10, 10:51 AM
Ie:


......X........
.....x.x.......
....x...x......
...x.....x.....
..x.......x....
...x.....x.....
....x...x......
.....x.x.......
......Y........

Those are 'direct' paths under the 'shortest distance'.

A simple solution that is easy to adjudicate, generates lines that are close to 'direct' in the intuitive sense, and allows for dodging of minor obstacles, is that "you may only enter squares that are at least somewhat between some point of one of the squares you started in, and one of the squares you end up in at the end of the charge" as the meaning of squares "directly" between the start and the end of a charge.


I don't think that solution is necesary: the curved patterns you show above seem perfectly acceptable to me. As long as the route you take is as short as possible, the "direct" mandate is satisfied.

It's certainly odd that there can be multiple, distinct routes from one point to another all of the same length, but that's what happens when the system ignores the cost of diagonal movement.

-H

Izmir Stinger
2009-03-10, 11:30 AM
The charging requirements state that you must move directly to the nearest square. In your "cheesy" example, the most direct method is only 1 square forward. If the most direct path to a creature is only 1 square away, you can't charge it.

I'm saying if the most direct path to a creature is blocked by wall, pitfall, enemy or other impassible obstacle, you cannot charge. I gave two cheezy examples. Is the first one a perfectly valid charge? I say no.

Because D&D grids have such a blatant disregard for Pythagoras, there are often multiple "most direct route" from point A to point B, as Yakk points out, but if all of them are blocked, you are SOL.

Asbestos
2009-03-10, 11:32 AM
Izmir's 'cheesy' example does not work because of this...



Movement Requirements: You must move at least
2 squares from your starting position...

The end square is not at least 2 squares from the origin square, therefor all other movement is 'wasted'. If you shift back one square and then 'charge' by going back 2 and forward 3 you have only moved 1 square from your starting position, the backwards part of the charge is wasted movement.

At least this is how I would interpret it, and hopefully how anyone who has played the DDM skirmish game would interpret it. DDM uses pretty much the same combat rules as the RPG, but with a lot less powers. Any power that says 'move at least x before attacking' is really 'move at least x squares from your square of origin' thanks to some needed errata, which was needed for exactly the same reasons we're seeing here with Charge.

Yakk
2009-03-10, 11:34 AM
The "direct" mandate is not defined so claiming that "X causes the direct mandate to be filled" is inaccurate.

You can define, via fiat, what direct should be. But universal statements, without that definition being explicitly referenced, aren't a clear way to put it in a discussion about "how should it work".

Should it involve large right-angle turns in the middle of running, or not? If you think "direct" includes large right-angle turns, you can say "crosses the least number of squares is what direct means". If you don't think it should, you shouldn't use that definition.

The most narrow definition of direct would be "pick a qualifying ending square. Hang a thread from some part of your starting square to some part of the ending square. You may only enter those squares, and must enter the fewest squares possible".

This generates a pretty good approximation of a strait line "direct" path, but is difficult to adjudicate (there is no simple challenge/response that doesn't involve executing the entire algorithm and testing all squares traversed in one pass, really).

Note that the geometry of 4e isn't "really" diagonals are equal to horizontals. That is a conscious simplification for the purposes of keeping movement simple. If that was the case, then the curved arrow shot would also be following a direct line between the bow and the target (a line between two points, geometrically, is any shortest path between two points... ;) ) The concept of a "direct path" that is distinct from "least squares entered" is consistent with 4e world geometry and movement rules.

Which way you choose to define "direct" is up to what you want to happen. Do you want it to be easier, or harder, to guard the back line from people charging them by standing "in between" the charger and the target?

Izmir Stinger
2009-03-10, 11:38 AM
The charging requirements state that you must move directly to the nearest square. In your "cheesy" example, the most direct method is only 1 square forward. If the most direct path to a creature is only 1 square away, you can't charge it.

The exact same thing is the case in Hzurr's example. Why can he charge it? I say the are both illegal charges.

MammonAzrael
2009-03-10, 12:04 PM
The exact same thing is the case in Hzurr's example. Why can he charge it? I say the are both illegal charges.

Because in Hzurr's example there is a column in the way, and you can't move diagonally through the corner of a column. So the shortest distance is still 2 squares.

(I'm not saying this makes logical sense, just wacky RAW sense...I guess. Bloody WotC, making simple things, and things they already had right, more confusing.)

Asbestos
2009-03-10, 01:38 PM
The exact same thing is the case in Hzurr's example. Why can he charge it? I say the are both illegal charges.

I'd say that Hzurr's example is also illegal since he isn't moving 2+ squares from the origin square. However, in Hzurr's example, there is really no reason why he can't just move normally into a position to charge from.

Izmir Stinger
2009-03-10, 01:46 PM
I'd say that Hzurr's example is also illegal since he isn't moving 2+ squares from the origin square. However, in Hzurr's example, there is really no reason why he can't just move normally into a position to charge from.

OK, we agree on that, but what about my first example. I say it should be illegal.

Asbestos
2009-03-10, 03:14 PM
OK, we agree on that, but what about my first example. I say it should be illegal.

By the 'move at least 2 squares from origin' rule of thumb I'm throwing around, it isn't legal. However... I can see situations where that rule is satisfied but its still as wonky as that example. Sadly, by the RAW of the RPG it is legal (though dangerous since you provoke from monster M), by the RAW of DDM it isn't because a charge is considered an attack action in which you need line of sight to your target, the character in your example does not have line of sight.

They should really add in that you can't charge something you don't have line of sight to from your origin square.

I mainly play with the same group that I played DDM with, so we never even thought to bring this up or noticed the discrepancy.


I'm assuming you are getting "speed + 2" movement from a feat/ability?

Saintjebus
2009-03-10, 03:20 PM
The charge action is a standard action that lets you move your speed +2, and then make a basic attack.

Izmir Stinger
2009-03-10, 03:47 PM
I'm assuming you are getting "speed + 2" movement from a feat/ability?

Are you talking about my example? He only moves 6.


The charge action is a standard action that lets you move your speed +2, and then make a basic attack.

Where are you getting that from?

Mando Knight
2009-03-10, 03:47 PM
The charge action is a standard action that lets you move your speed +2, and then make a basic attack.

Incorrect. A normal charge only allows you to move your speed. You need the Fast Runner feat (PHB page 195) to move at Speed +2 when charging. (incidentally, when combined with the Fleet-footed feat, you can run at your racial speed +5, or charge at your racial speed +3)

Note that you have to charge to the nearest square from which you could normally attack your target, and the charge is invalid if that square is occupied. Thus, if the enemy is opposite a wall from you, and the nearest square to the opponent from your current position is inside the wall, you cannot charge.

Asbestos
2009-03-10, 04:11 PM
Izmir, I meant in your example. Mando Knight has provided the examples I forgot about (left out being an Orc though).



Note that you have to charge to the nearest square from which you could normally attack your target, and the charge is invalid if that square is occupied. Thus, if the enemy is opposite a wall from you, and the nearest square to the opponent from your current position is inside the wall, you cannot charge.

No, it isn't the "nearest square" it is...



...and you must move directly to the nearest square from which you
can attack the enemy. You canít charge if the nearest
square is occupied.

Since you can't attack the enemy from a wall square it isn't a legal square.

For example, character C can not charge to attack monster M since his allies, As, occupy the nearest squares from which he can attack.

XXXMZX
XXAAAX
XXXXXX
XXXXXX
XXXXCX

However, if say... A was 'Abyssal Pit', then the A squares are not squares from which character C can attack the monster. In this case, C will be able to charge around A to square Z and get the charge bonus.

Weird, isn't it?

Yakk
2009-03-10, 04:33 PM
You can attack the enemy from that square. It is just occupied by a wall.

If it wasn't occupied by the wall, you could attack from that square. It is the occupant of the square that makes it unusable, not the square itself.

Note that this interpretation is both consistent, and gets rid of your "weird" corner case. And yes, you are free to take words and interpret them to generate models that contain weird corner cases, but don't expect that they should be taken as canon.

The existence of models that are consistent with some interpretation of the words of the rules contain weird corner cases is not interesting, and not avoidable in any sufficiently complex system. Claiming them as canon is misleading -- they are one possible set of RAI, and the weird corner cases they admit are evidence against them being good RAI.

Izmir Stinger
2009-03-10, 08:21 PM
However, if say... A was 'Abyssal Pit', then the A squares are not squares from which character C can attack the monster. In this case, C will be able to charge around A to square Z and get the charge bonus.

Weird, isn't it?

Its not weird, its HAX.

If the nearest square from which the player can attack the monster is occupied by anything that would prevent her from moving there - be it a pit, ally, enemy, wall, cosmic vortex of doom, whatever - then she cannot charge. I don't know why this is such a big deal, she has 5-7 squares of movement to position herself before she even makes the charge, which is another 5-7 points of moment (or more, if she took one of the charge happy feats). If she can't find a "straight line" path to the enemy with that much movement, then the bad guy gets a pass. Especially as crocked as "straight lines" can be on a battle grid where the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the square of either of the other two sides.

If the elite artillery leader monster has 5 soldiers lined up between him and the good guys, he's doing it right. He shouldn't have to worry about Crazy McBarbarian making ludicrously sharp turns while sprinting full out to bypass them. Its tactically unbalancing and clearly not what was intended by the rules.

Colmarr
2009-03-11, 01:01 AM
You can attack the enemy from that square. It is just occupied by a wall.

I don't accept that interpretation, but I'm having trouble explaining why.

I think the best summary goes something like "If the designers intended that (1) you need line of effect to a target to charge it or (2) you must charge in a straight line, they would have said so".

Ultimately, I think it comes back to the comment you made earlier about fiat. The charging rules give DMs leeway to decide what they will and won't allow.

miserable
2009-03-11, 01:13 AM
The square you move too has to be one that allows a character to attack from it. Squares with walls in it are not able to be moved into so therefore are void when it comes to a charge square. Hazard terrain , like pits , are void as well , because if you can't move onto it without falling to your death , then you can't attack from that square.

Asbestoz is correct . If the As in his example are allies or monsters then he can't charge , but if the As are pits then he can charge to the Z square since that would then be the closest square he could attack the enemy from with a melee attack.

Colmarr
2009-03-11, 01:23 AM
The square you move too has to be one that allows a character to attack from it. Squares with walls in it are not able to be moved into so therefore are void when it comes to a charge square. Hazard terrain , like pits , are void as well , because if you can't move onto it without falling to your death , then you can't attack from that square.

You'll never win that argument.

An insubstantial creature can move through walls and a creature with a Fly (hover) speed can stay in pit squares, so the square is not inelligible simply by virtue of containing a wall or a pit.


Asbestoz is correct . If the As in his example are allies or monsters then he can't charge , but if the As are pits then he can charge to the Z square since that would then be the closest square he could attack the enemy from with a melee attack.

So your position is that allies are more effective at blocking charges than walls? How does that make any sense at all?

Like I said, any RAW argument on this particular area of the rules quickly devolves. IMO, it's best to stick to fiat and trust your DM to make reasonable rulings.

Asbestos
2009-03-11, 02:05 AM
Like I said, any RAW argument on this particular area of the rules quickly devolves. IMO, it's best to stick to fiat and trust your DM to make reasonable rulings.

I was caught! I pretty much set up a straw man of why the RAW for Charge sucks.

Anyway, as I said before, I use the DDM rules for charging (and so do those I game with) and it works just fine. Here they are in case anyone was curious:



413.3.a. When making a charge, choose an enemy in line of sight from the acting creature that it can move adjacent to by moving up to its current speed. The acting creature moves adjacent to that enemy, then targets that enemy with a basic attack and resolves the attack against that enemy with a +1 Attack bonus.
413.3.b. The creature must move at least 2 squares away from its starting position and must finish its movement in the nearest space adjacent to the enemy. It doesnít have to move in a straight line, nor does it need to move in the shortest path. If none of the closest possible adjacent spaces are legal positions, the charge is prevented.


Edit: Oh, a legal position is basically defined as one that you can end your movement in. So, can't be a wall or a pit (unless you can hover) or an ally or enemy or what have you.

Yakk
2009-03-11, 11:35 AM
DDM rules are clear simplifications. "It doesn't have to move the shortest path" is pretty clearly not what the 4e rules intend. D&D miniatures is intended as a simpler variation of the 4e combat rules.

...

And yes, they didn't say strait line. There are only 8 strait lines on a grid:


\..|../
.\.|./.
..\|/..
---*---
../|\..
./.|.\.
/..|..\

Every other path on a grid is somewhat crooked:


----.........
....----.....
........----.
............*

That, in a sense, isn't "strait", but it is "direct" under my interpretation.

I'm reading "moves directly" as "moves through the squares that are directly between the source square and end square, entering the fewest number of squares". Ie, no backtracking, no hugely curved paths, etc.

The reason why I support that interpretation is that it allows a character to 'get in the way' of charging in more situations, and makes 'being on the front lines' matter more. It still makes moving past the front line doable, especially if you are willing to eat an OA.

miserable
2009-03-11, 10:25 PM
An insubstantial creature can move through walls and a creature with a Fly (hover) speed can stay in pit squares, so the square is not inelligible simply by virtue of containing a wall or a pit.





Yes , but those creatures have the special abilities required to attack FROM those squares. Ordinary Characters do not. If they did , ex: a Barbarian has flight of some sort untill the end of his turn, then yes , he would have to fly to the square closest to him , which might be a bottomless pit .

It isn't a legitimate square to attack from if you can't get into the square, or remain standing long enough to attack from it. Some creatures just are lucky enough to have those abilities required to do so.

The charge rules make perfect sense.



So your position is that allies are more effective at blocking charges than walls? How does that make any sense at all?


Really , I wouldn't allow the charge to take place if the target had total concealment if I were the DM. A character can't target something if it doesn't know where it is. Hmm tremorsense might work though...

If its a pit or a low wall in the way though and the character can see the target and there isn't any blocker characters in the way between him and the closest square he can attack from then it is entirely legal by RAW. Sometimes the shortest distance is an arc....

VirOath
2009-03-12, 02:00 AM
Might as well make this a poll. Obviously there is widely varied opinion on what the phrase "move directly" means.

Under the "not a strait line" interpretation, the following would be a valid charge:
X = empty, P = player charging, T = target of charge, 0 = pit, M = other monster, W = Wall

XXXXXX
XXXMXX
XXX0XX
XXTWXX
XXXWPX

XXXXXX
XXXMXX
XXX0XX
XXTWPX
XXXWXX

XXXXXX
XXXMXX
XXX0PX
XXTWXX
XXXWXX

XXXXXX
XXXMPX
XXX0XX
XXTWXX
XXXWXX

XXXPXX
XXXMXX
XXX0XX
XXTWXX
XXXWXX

XXXXXX
XXPMXX
XXX0XX
XXTWXX
XXXWXX

XXXXXX
XXXMXX
XXP0XX
XXTWXX
XXXWXX

I'm not willing to accept that a player gets to move up to speed +2, then do this, and get an attack bonus for doing it.

Also, cheese like this is enabled:

X = empty, P = player charging, T = target of charge, M = other monster

MXXX
TPXX
MXXX

MXXX
TXPX (player shifts back)
MXXX

MXPX
TXXX (player charges)
MXXX

MXXX
TPXX
MXXX

The first example may or may not be an allowed charge. The most direct path isn't available not due to terrain or other obstacles but from a Mob, something that is actually active. This may stop a charge in it's tracks....

Rather, lets look at it in another way, a Conan movie. Now, Conan has to run through a rank and file of soldiers to get to the general and take off his head. He should be able to run between them, taking the most direct path to build momentum for the swing even if he has to zig zag. Now here is a small problem, because he will be getting an AoO against him by every person he runs past.

Ok, so the Mob would be getting 4 AoO, if it could make as many, and if any had any stun, interrupt or push effect than the charge would be stopped (broken the rule of the most direct path.).

Then again, it is also moving two squares away from his target to start with, so it can't be a charge. Even though he is taking the most direct route to his target, it isn't toward his target.

The only way that would be a legal charge would be if he was in frame 5 by moving before he charged.



And the second example is not a legal charge. You move in the most direct route, though it technically is two squares, it isn't the most direct path or to the closest square.

So you can't shift a square then charge. He would have to move away first then charge, which is fine and legal as not only is he giving up his move action for a waste but he is also subject to an AoO, if I remember correctly.


Edit: Though, in the second example it is possible to charge. If he shifts up and to the right, he can then charge the one in the lower left. Most direct route, no extra squares.