Hey Logan Bonner or Mike Mearls, how to handle free actions after charge?
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  1. #1

    Hey Logan Bonner or Mike Mearls, how to handle free actions after charge?

    I once posted a thread here and asked for one of the designers to please step up and explain Rain of Blows. And Logan Bonner posted an answer that settled the dispute! That was before the errata, and very helpful!

    Perhaps one of you guys can settle one of the longest lasting disputes - how to handle free actions after, or triggered by a charge.

    Are free actions never allowed after a charge? The most disputed case are triggered actions like Rampage and Swift Charge.

    But then there is also the Warden's mark, where some argue it can't be used because charges end the turn.

    Thanks!

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    I'm not Logan Bonner or Mike Mearls, but I would definitely say that free actions are allowed right after a charge. I am not positive, and if a designer says otherwise I'll change my tune, but when the PH says "you can not take any actions after a charge," I take that to mean only actions that require time. Free actions, from what I see, are things that you do while you're doing your minor, move, and standard actions. I know that makes no sense for some free actions, but it's a legitimate view.

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    I agree with Camelot. A recent communication I had with WOTC Customer Service seems to back it up but take that for what it is worth. The question/answer can be found in this thread.

    http://www.enworld.org/forum/d-d-4th...uestion-2.html

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    You can take free actions when it's not your turn. If the free action has nothing to do with charging, it's just something you'd like to do after you charge, then you can just do it durring the next initiative.

  5. #5
    I asked Customer Service about this two months ago ('Dzance' is my handle on WotC boards) and got a definitive response from Sam per the following link at the end of the first post. Formatting is a bit messed up (there should be strikethroughs, Sblocks, etc.).

    CustServ_clarification_of_Barbarian_Fey_Charge_que stions

    Bottom line -- you can't take ANY actions after a charge per RAW. Perhaps the game designers can chime in too?

    Cheers, B A
    Last edited by Black Arrow; Saturday, 29th August, 2009 at 05:13 PM.

  6. #6
    I really wish people would simply STOP arguing around each other on this point.

    One side seems to be consistently arguing that you can't take ANY actions, including FREE Actions, after a Charge, on your turn, unless the action in question specifically says that you can.

    The other side seems to be consistently arguing that you can take Free Actions at the start of someone else's turn, AFTER your turn ends with a charge, but BEFORE they can take any actions.

    You can hold both of these positions simultaneously. I can agree with you that you CANNOT take any actions on your turn after a charge (barring listed exceptions) and STILL hold that my Free Action can be used AFTER my turn ends.

    What we really need to know, and what IS NOT in the rules as written, is WHEN specific triggered Free Actions occur, and WHEN you can take Free Actions.

    Does a Free Action triggered by an event on your turn also occur on your turn? We don't know. It can't occur during your End of Turn phase, because NO ACTION can be taken then. It can't occur during the next Start of Turn phase, because NO ACTIONS can be taken then. Can a Triggered Free action "fit in" before your "end of turn phase" (the period where you save against ongoing damage and conditions) but after your "turn ends". Clearly, after you make a charge attack, your turn doesn't actually END (because you get your saves and the like), but you enter your "end of turn" phase. Can the trigger happen there?


    The rules tell you that Free Actions can be taken at any time, but there are specific exceptions when no actions may be taken. Can you take a free action immediately before someone takes an action on their turn?

    What I keep trying to point out is that people who keep arguing the undisputed parts of their own argument, without addressing the disputed parts of someone else's argument, aren't making any useful case.

    We all know that your turn ends after your charge. We all know that you can't take actions after your charge. However, clearly, a charge doesn't prevent you from ever acting again for the lifetime of your character. It just prevents you from taking any more actions on YOUR TURN.

    There are tons of people who argue that the action doesn't occur on YOUR turn, but after YOUR turn. Are they right? When does a trigger resolve? When does a Free Action occur? Can we PROVE, via the rules, when a Triggered Action happens? Can we prove that it happens before but not during your End of Turn Phase? Can we prove that triggering a free action and resolving that free action occur the same time?

  7. #7
    One question that I failed to ask Customer Service at the time was whether a critical property like that on a rending weapon would grant the extra MBA if critting on a charge attack. For me, the answer is yes. Why -- because it's an effect that doesn't require 'spending' a [free] action. Similarly, a "no action" power could be used by a player following a charge (generally they affect saving throw die rolls) because it does not require the player to take an action.. it happens automatically at the player's discretion.

    While not only RAW, I also think in terms of game balance (RAI) denying a player triggered free actions after a charge is more balanced then permitting them. [Consider the feycharger combining Eladrin Swordmage Advance feat and Fey Charge feat as one egregious example (imo)].

    A charge attack already grants +1 hit, allows up to twice the normal movement to hit a creature that might otherwise be out of melee range, and can be used with a number of specific powers/PP features. But the player needs to weigh the potential opportunity loss of damage-amplifying or other free action effects (warden's Nature's Wrath, etc.). Rampage or other free action effects need to occur immediately after being triggered on your turn. Otherwise it would explicitly be stated whether such a free action could occur after your turn ended.

    Delaying or readying actions are good alternatives to consider if a player hopes to gain benefit from free actions after movement without taking the charge action. Or keeping an action point in reserve to be able to take actions after a charge.

    Most of the feats or class features granting a free action on critical hit (or similar) carry the following verbage...

    - Eladrin Swordmage Advance: "WHEN you use your fey step racial power... you can make a melee basic attack... as a free action"

    - Rampage (Barbarian Class Freature): "WHEN you score a critical hit with a barbarian attack power, you can IMMEDIATELY make a melee basic attack as a free action"

    - Two Weapon Opening (Paragon feat): "WHEN you... score a critical hit... you can make a melee basic attack... as a free action."

    - Reckless Attacker (Paragon Feat) "WHEN you score a critical hit... you can make a melee basic attack as a free action."

    - Swift Charge (Barbarian Class feature): "Trigger: [When] Your attack reduces an enemy to 0 hit points; Effect: You charge an enemy; Action Type: Free Action"

    - Nature’s Wrath (Warden Class Feature): "Once during each of your turns, you can mark each adjacent enemy as a free action..."

    I interpret "When" to be "when [or while] it's still your turn," in other words, immediately following the previous action. You can't delay the free action until after your turn ends or it would have an explicit provision to allow the action to be delayed or use a more ambiguous term such as "after." "When" is pretty specific. Occam's Razor aptly applies here... "the fewer assumptions an explanation depends on, the better it is." The game has no provision or rules explaining or permitting actions in-between player or other combatant's turns. You can use a free action during your turn or another combatant's turn, but you're making up rules out of the air to allow free actions in-between turns. And "when" you score the critical hit or cause the triggering effect happens during your turn, not during some other combatant's turn. If you're unable to take the triggered free action during your turn WHEN the triggering event occurs, you lose it.

    I think in terms of game balance, a literal interpretation of the charge rules and strict reading of feats, class features, or powers that grant free actions should be applied. DM's fiat applies of course, but given Customer Service's response to my query and follow-up query, that is how I would handle free actions after a charge in my game.

    This almost reminds me of the debate I've seen about whether one could split actions (e.g. take a partial move, standard action, and finish your move action). CustServ squarely debunked that hypothesis too. You can't split actions even with a free action unless explicitly stated in the description. Customer Service may not always be 'right,' but their responses are as 'official' as it gets (per WotC) barring contrary FAQ or errata.

    Would love to hear from one of the game designers to bring this topic -- free actions after a charge -- to finality.
    Last edited by Black Arrow; Saturday, 29th August, 2009 at 09:14 PM.

  8. #8
    <deleted>
    Last edited by Black Arrow; Saturday, 29th August, 2009 at 09:12 PM. Reason: duplicate entry

  9. #9
    Bump for Logan and Mike. Since gleemax is an awful mess, they must turn to this page for D&D chatter, no?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Orcus Porkus View Post
    Bump for Logan and Mike. Since gleemax is an awful mess, they must turn to this page for D&D chatter, no?
    Actually its not gleemax and has not been for sometime, and the new forums are actually quite nice. Work out a few bugs and it will be fine. Took a day or so to get used to but has been fine ever since.

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