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View Full Version : Readied action vs charge



Leicontis
2008-04-17, 08:20 AM
What would happen if you readied an action for being charged by an opponent, but that action would in some way alter the conditions for the charge, like moving 10' to the side? What happens to the charging opponent? Do they just get stuck double-moving to the place they were headed for, do they complete the charge before your readied action triggers, do they get to alter their action, or what?

I ask because I'm playing a bit of a gish, in a party with a spiked chain-wielding rogue. A trick I came up with involves me standing in front of her in a situation where we're likely to be charged - I ready an action to 5' step diagonally back and drop a Grease in the 10' square in front of us. Unless the charger has at least 5 ranks in Balance, they're considered flat-footed if they try to move through the area of the Grease, and there's someone with sneak attack and reach waiting for them. However, I'm not sure what happens when the target of a charge moves...

AslanCross
2008-04-17, 08:46 AM
The charge requires the terrain to be clear. Difficult terrain stops the charge. Since your readied action suddenly turns the terrain into (what I'd consider) difficult terrain, I'd say the charge is stopped without you even moving out of the way.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2008-04-17, 09:02 AM
AslanCross is correct that the creation of difficult terrain in itself could make the charge impossible or at the very least create conditions that would make the charger reconsider.

Difficult terrain is only a problem if it is not possible to jump over it, so the Gish in question might still be wanting to take the 5 foot step as part of the readied action, but even that does not necessarily remove the required conditions for the charge, that depends on the initial setup.

However, if the charge becomes illegal the charger is not forced to move to the square where the charge would have ended if the conditions had not changed. The charger is free to break off the charge at any point just as you are not required to make every attack in a full attack sequence if you do not want to.

If the charger had moved more than its speed when the conditions changed the options are reduced to using the rest of the second move action rather than doing something more useful.

ryuteki
2008-04-18, 12:04 PM
Also for what it's worth, Ready Action gives you a Standard action, I'm not certain you can add a movement of any sort to that. I think you have to take your 5' step along with your action to ready, rather than rolling it into your readied action. Many GMs probably overlook or houserule that problem away.

Deepblue706
2008-04-18, 12:18 PM
Yeah I always thought you couldn't do movement and an action as part of a readied action, since the readied action is just your turn, but delayed - and you can't do a normal move in addition to a 5ft move.

Frosty
2008-04-18, 12:37 PM
That is correct. You can take one 5 ft step as part of a readied action IF you didn't move at all during your turn. No other movement is allowed during a readied action.

That said, if the Charger has a reach weapon of some sort, he can still hit you even if you take a 5-ft step to the side.

Curmudgeon
2008-04-18, 03:19 PM
That said, if the Charger has a reach weapon of some sort, he can still hit you even if you take a 5-ft step to the side. Only if the distance moved is less than their normal speed, or they have a feat that allows them to turn during a charge, because sidestepping 5' generally makes this not a standard charge.
You must have a clear path toward the opponent, and nothing can hinder your movement (such as difficult terrain or obstacles). Hereís what it means to have a clear path. First, you must move to the closest space from which you can attack the opponent. (If this space is occupied or otherwise blocked, you canít charge.) Second, if any line from your starting space to the ending space passes through a square that blocks movement, slows movement, or contains a creature (even an ally), you canít charge. If they don't move directly to the nearest space from which they can attack you, it's not a charge. When you move 5' to the side the closest space to you almost always changes for them. (There are some exceptions, such as for enemies occupying more than one square). And when it's no longer a charge, they no longer get the special charge benefits:
double move before the attack
+2 to the attack
double damage with a lance when mounted
So they still might be able to hit you, but only if they can still do so when they no longer qualify for a charge. (Or if they have the Fleet of Foot feat or something else that makes them still qualify.)

AslanCross
2008-04-18, 05:20 PM
Also for what it's worth, Ready Action gives you a Standard action, I'm not certain you can add a movement of any sort to that. I think you have to take your 5' step along with your action to ready, rather than rolling it into your readied action. Many GMs probably overlook or houserule that problem away.


You are correct.



Readying an Action

You can ready a standard action, a move action, or a free action. To do so, specify the action you will take and the conditions under which you will take it. Then, any time before your next action, you may take the readied action in response to that condition. The action occurs just before the action that triggers it. If the triggered action is part of another characterís activities, you interrupt the other character. Assuming he is still capable of doing so, he continues his actions once you complete your readied action. Your initiative result changes. For the rest of the encounter, your initiative result is the count on which you took the readied action, and you act immediately ahead of the character whose action triggered your readied action.

You can take a 5-foot step as part of your readied action, but only if you donít otherwise move any distance during the round.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2008-04-19, 12:43 AM
You are correct.

No, as Frosty already pointed out and the quote from the SRD you yourself provided says: You may take a five foot step as part of the readied action assuming you have not moved any distance during your turn.

Talic
2008-04-19, 01:01 AM
Problem with this. If you make the terrain difficult, or you move out of the way, it has a few implications.

1) Jump checks are allowed as part of Move Actions. Charge is not a move action, so, by default, jump could not be used with charge. Certain feats, such as Leap Attack, could modify this.

2) After the readied action, the person charging would continue his action, if it was possible to do so. If you have moved so that a charge is no longer legal (I.E. the path he charged is no longer the closest path to his target, or he can no longer reach you with a straight line, or the destination square is blocked, or there is difficult terrain between the target and opponent), then that character cannot complete the action.

By RAW, since the full round action is started, it's used. I'd rule if he moved under a single movement, that only a move action was used, but that's personal DM style, and not RAW.

Frosty
2008-04-19, 01:22 AM
Problem with this. If you make the terrain difficult, or you move out of the way, it has a few implications.

1) Jump checks are allowed as part of Move Actions. Charge is not a move action, so, by default, jump could not be used with charge. Certain feats, such as Leap Attack, could modify this.

Incorrect as of the Rules Compendium


2) After the readied action, the person charging would continue his action, if it was possible to do so. If you have moved so that a charge is no longer legal (I.E. the path he charged is no longer the closest path to his target, or he can no longer reach you with a straight line, or the destination square is blocked, or there is difficult terrain between the target and opponent), then that character cannot complete the action.

I'd say the charger can also choose to keep on charging if there is a legal target still in my his path. He'll just charge the guy behind you...if there is someone behind you when you moved out of the way.


By RAW, since the full round action is started, it's used. I'd rule if he moved under a single movement, that only a move action was used, but that's personal DM style, and not RAW.
I can agree to that.

Talic
2008-04-19, 01:36 AM
I'd say the charger can also choose to keep on charging if there is a legal target still in my his path. He'll just charge the guy behind you...if there is someone behind you when you moved out of the way.

Again, I'd personally allow that as a house rule, but by RAW, that's a no. If the character taking an action, after a readied action, is unable to continue that action, it's not taken. Whether he's paralyzed, unconscious, disabled, entangled, currently in difficult terrain, or what have you, by RAW, he only continues his action if able to do the action as originally stated.

Otherwise, you get characters that can change their actions in response to readied actions, which pretty much nullifies the point of a ready action.

Generally, the way I see it is as this. If the action locks you into a specific course that is unalterable, such as charge (which SAYS it has a lot of restrictions), then the action is quite easy to make untakeable.

If it's a move action, then usually the action is triggered by an opponent moving to a specific square. When that occurs, the character is interrupted, and after that ready action, must continue moving into that square (if able). Thereafter, the character can alter his move to reflect the change in situation.

In the initial example, if the character with the ready action cast a grease spell into the square the charger was currently occupied, the charge would be broken, as he is currently in difficult terrain, and so can't jump to avoid it. If he moved such that the charge was illegal, the charge would be broken.

Charge is really a fragile mechanic. It's not nearly adaptable enough to provide everything needed against opponents ready for it.