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Lances and Multiple Attacks

Eric V

Hero
How do you all handle PCs using lances while mounted with the Extra Attack feature?

If there are multiple targets, spread out, I get it. What if there's only one target? They charge up on the horse, stab the enemy 4 times from distance, then keep moving? Has anyone played with alternate rules for this? I was thinking one attack but 3e style hit depending on how many attacks the lance user has. E.g. an 11th level Cavalier would do 3d12+3xbonus on a single hit.

Any other ideas?
 

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You are right in that moving both before and after the attack can lead to silly outcomes. I am almost certain that the vast majority of groups simply don't worry about it.

The most fair solution would be to make all three attacks, total up damage the normal way, and then narrate it all as one thrust if you feel it necessary. Making a single attack for thrice damage would lead to some mechanical issues.
 

Hussar

Legend
D&D has never handled this well. By the rules, yes, you would get your full suite of attacks against that one target. Note, that since there's no actual "charge" action anymore (outside of a feat that is), there's no actual difference, rules wise, what weapon you are using from horseback.

And, since there's no bonus damage for lances, limiting them to a single attack would make them pretty much useless. Why would I use a lance instead of a longsword?
 

77IM

Explorer!!!
Supporter
...Because a lance is a d12 reach weapon, so you're doing more damage than a longsword and not drawing Opportunity Attacks.

I agree with earlier posters: just make your 3 attacks as normal and describe it differently. The first attack is stabbing with the lance, the second attack is driving the lance further in, the third attack is ripping it back out!
 

S

Sunseeker

Guest
I'd make it +X Weapon damage dice. So, if you had two extra attacks you would deal +2d12 on a hit. I think that is a fair representation of the increased impact (buh dun tish) of a lance. Keeps the visual of a single charge and a single powerful hit in tact, while respecting the multiple attacks.
 

Iry

Hero
Combat is already an abstraction, with your character making feints and probing strikes (or whatever imagery is appropriate for your character concept). So you could handwave the entire thing as being a single incredibly potent strike that drives straight through the enemies defenses.

Alternatively, you can imagine it as several lightning fast strikes. As they charge forward they thrust the lance out for the first impact, then quickly draw it back for another impact before they move past the enemy. Something mostly impossible for us, but certainly possible for superhuman PCs. Like this delightful bird!

[video=youtube;3VyXti89LSg]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VyXti89LSg[/video]
 
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happyhermit

Adventurer
1 attack doesn't necessarily map to one swing of a sword, after all that would make for some incredibly slow duels at low level. So in situations like this we usually see highly skilled fighters as simply having more combat force, in a way that lets them distribute it to multiple enemies if they want. So when they put "multiple attacks" on a single target they might swing their sword a dozen times or put their skill, time and effort into a single blow. Then again with the lance in particular I have played where they were restricted to one target for all their attacks in normal situations (there were more than a few memorable shish kabob events with unusually close or small enemies) and it worked fine, it did seem a tiny bit more lancey.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I'd make it +X Weapon damage dice. So, if you had two extra attacks you would deal +2d12 on a hit. I think that is a fair representation of the increased impact (buh dun tish) of a lance. Keeps the visual of a single charge and a single powerful hit in tact, while respecting the multiple attacks.

I really hope you've discussed with the player beforehand how you intend to impose a huge nerf on their chosen combat style and let them rebuild to avoid it. Otherwise that's a really nasty move to pull in the middle of a game.
 

S

Sunseeker

Guest
I really hope you've discussed with the player beforehand how you intend to impose a huge nerf on their chosen combat style and let them rebuild to avoid it. Otherwise that's a really nasty move to pull in the middle of a game.

I would bring it up when they talked about wanting to be a lancer.

But nobody has. I've had Knightly types who want to ride horses, do some mounted combat, but lancing? Nope.
 


jaelis

Oh this is where the title goes?
But there’s no kind of requirement to actually charge with a lance. You can just sit stationary on your horse and stab at enemies around you. I don’t see a big difference between doing that once or doing it three times.

But I am not a big fan of how the lance was implemented, period.
 


Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I would bring it up when they talked about wanting to be a lancer.

But nobody has. I've had Knightly types who want to ride horses, do some mounted combat, but lancing? Nope.

That's fine then. DM house ruling to meet their vision is good. DM surprising a player mid-session with a house rule that invalidates part of their character is not. :)
 

S

Sunseeker

Guest
That's fine then. DM house ruling to meet their vision is good. DM surprising a player mid-session with a house rule that invalidates part of their character is not. :)

Sure I agree with that. To be fair I've got a similar houserule that lets you add +1dX(where X is your weapon damage)+1 for each extra attack, instead of taking those extra attacks.
 

Draegn

Explorer
An idea: any extra attacks after the first apply a negative modifier to the saving throw to avoid being unhorsed. If unhorsed the person takes addition damage from falling and or being trampled.
 

ehren37

Explorer
I'd make it +X Weapon damage dice. So, if you had two extra attacks you would deal +2d12 on a hit. I think that is a fair representation of the increased impact (buh dun tish) of a lance. Keeps the visual of a single charge and a single powerful hit in tact, while respecting the multiple attacks.

That's still robbing them of their damage bonus, which would be applied multiple times. I say let them keep the multiple attacks. The spellcaster is over there raising the dead and conjuring planar entites and we're quibbling over a master of combat doing something that barely registers in comparison?
 
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S

Sunseeker

Guest
That's still robbing them of their damage bonus, which would be applied multiple times. I say let them keep the multiple attacks. The spellcaster is over there raising the dead and conjuring planar entites and we're quibbling over a master of combat doing something that barely registers in comparison?

That is 1: Assuming their damage bonus is higher (they'd need a 14 strength and even then that's only one point per attack), 2: assuming they'd hit, of which they are not guaranteed.

My houserule isn't about quibbling. My houserule is for players like myself who enjoy the concept of a fighter but aren't real hot on rolling lots of attacks.
 

My houserule isn't about quibbling. My houserule is for players like myself who enjoy the concept of a fighter but aren't real hot on rolling lots of attacks.
Do you give them a bonus To Hit to balance out the fact that multiple attacks have a much greater chance to deal some amount of damage, as opposed to missing entirely?
 

S

Sunseeker

Guest
Do you give them a bonus To Hit to balance out the fact that multiple attacks have a much greater chance to deal some amount of damage, as opposed to missing entirely?

Yes, it's +1 to damage and +1 to hit per sacrificed extra attack.
 

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