One, two or three creatures

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Good day,

I'm having some trouble during my D&D game, fourth edition.

Some powers, speacially ranger powers, "like Twin strikes" and "attack on the run" indicates  the power has one, two or three targets.

What is happenig is the following: the player  is attacking the same target two or three times with such attacks. Is it correct to use these powers in such manner or does the targeting "one, two etc" opens the possibility to target more enemies but not the same one more than once?

Thanks for your help. 
You are correct, your player is wrong.

1, 2 or 3 creatures, means 1, 2 or 3 creatures. Nothing says he can attack the same creature more than once, so he can't. 
Back to Basics - A Guide to Basic Attacks You might be playing DnD wrong if... "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." Albert Einstein
It depends on the attack, but if it's noted as "1, 2 or 3 creatures" then that is seperate creatures.

Twin Strike does make 2 attacks that can be aimed at 1 or 2 creatures.

Spirit Flay:
Show
Target: One or two creatures
Attack: Charisma vs. Reflex
That's one attack that targets 1 or 2 creatures.

Rain of Blows:
Show
Target: One creature
Attack: Strength vs. AC. Make the attack twice against the target.
self explanitory

and a monster attack:
Show
Attack: Melee 2 (one or two creatures);
+16 vs. AC. If the minotaur targets only one creature, it can make this attack twice against that creature
Thanks for your help.

But the problem is the flavor texts are misleading, speacially the ranger ones.

For instance, for twin strikes it says: "If the first attack doesn’t kill it, the second one might". for the lvl.9 daily, "Attacks on the run", the text is the following: " Without breaking stride, you make two attacks against a single foe or two different targets".

In both cases the attack description applies that the ranger is making two different attacks, making it even more confusing. Other ranger power, "split the tree", lvl1 daily, clearly implies two targets must be choosen because it writes "two targets" and not "One or two targets".

Sorry for asking the same question again, I just want a little bit more of explanation so I can be sure it's the right decision.

The main problem is that "twin stirkes" becomes too weak if they cannot be used on the same targget and "Attacks on the run" becomes too strong. I tried to search for answers on the Players and the DM handbook, but I couldn't find any rule aproaching the subject.

 
Twinstrike would not be a weak power if it made you target separate targets (see throw and stab).

Attacks on the run is a good daily but it's hardly overpowered for a striker d9.

Also, ignore flavour text when it comes to the mechanics of how powers work. 
Back to Basics - A Guide to Basic Attacks You might be playing DnD wrong if... "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." Albert Einstein
  Similar to Twin Strike, Attacks on the Run states that you make two attacks under the "Attack" line. This means they can both be against the same target. Split the Tree does not specify that.

  The presence of "two attacks" is what allows the doubling up on a single target.
If it says 'make X attacks, target 1 creature' (c.f. Manticore's Volley), you make all x attacks versus the single chosen target.

If it says 'make x attacks, target 1, 2 or 3 creatures' (c.f. Twin Strike, Attacks on the Run), you make x attacks, which must be targetted at your choice of no more than 3 creatures - all against a single target, or each against a different one.

If it says '1 attack, target 1, 2 or 3 creatures' (c.f. the Wizard's Icy Rays), you get to make a single attack against each of your choice of up to 3 creatures.

Twin Strike makes two attacks, which can be one against each of two targets, or two against one target.

Split The Tree is one attack, which must be against two targets within X squares of each other, and if one hits, both hit.  It's an unusual attack.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.

Targets: Two creatures within 3 squares of each other


Attack: Dexterity vs. AC. Make two attack rolls, take the higher result, and apply it to both targets.



Technically you would roll 4 dice and apply the higher each pair to both targets, but that's a really cheesed reading.
Back to Basics - A Guide to Basic Attacks You might be playing DnD wrong if... "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." Albert Einstein
I had the same impression because of the two attacks note.

but once again, a player just scored 84 damage on a hit using "Attacks on the run", because he aimed both attacks on the same target. That is insane because we play an official D&D adventure based only on the main books.

I thank everyone for the help, your oppinions and explanations are more than satisfactory and I thank you all for the imput. Still, does anyone have an errata or the indication on one of the books where the subject is treated? Even thou the DM has the power, the right and the obligation to treat and decide upon dubius game matters, I wanted some actual rule to backup my decision.

Once again, thank you all. 
If you can attack 1, 2, or 3 targets, well, it means precisely that. And yes, you can stack it all on one.
If it says that you cannot attack the same target twice, or specifies that you attack 1 target, then a 2nd target, and then a third, then only one per attack.
Usually the powers specify. If they don't, then they are not limited.
Rangers are the damage kings. Between their attacks and their interrupts, expect to be disgusted, disturbed, and outclassed.
I had the same impression because of the two attacks note.

but once again, a player just scored 84 damage on a hit using "Attacks on the run", because he aimed both attacks on the same target. That is insane because we play an official D&D adventure based only on the main books.

I thank everyone for the help, your oppinions and explanations are more than satisfactory and I thank you all for the imput. Still, does anyone have an errata or the indication on one of the books where the subject is treated? Even thou the DM has the power, the right and the obligation to treat and decide upon dubius game matters, I wanted some actual rule to backup my decision.

Once again, thank you all. 



He rolled close to max damage or crit on both attacks? (3d12+8 or +10 w/bracers at most +1d6/8 for Quarry) 46 potential damage per attack, +1d6 or 1d8 for Hunter's Quarry on one attack, max damage = 100

I still don't see where this is a problem. He either blew his Daily to take down a regular monster, or he used it to cut an elite monster's HP by 25%. Strikers do damage. That is their function. When they use their Daily powers, they should be doing lots of damage.

3d12+1d8+6[str]+3[con]+2[enh]+2[item]+2[feat]+1[shard]+2[gloves]+5[vuln] = 3d12+21 per attack, which is 39.5 per attack plus an extra 1d8 from quarry. If both attacks hit, the average would be 83.5 which is pretty much bang on the 84 the OP described.

Hower that is probably rather beyond the optimsation level of the character in question, so we can just assume that he rolled well on d12s.

This is using two frost fury waraxes while bloodied. 

Max damage = 122 + 4d10 = 162.

The average takes out a level 7 standard, the max takes out a level 17 standard.
Back to Basics - A Guide to Basic Attacks You might be playing DnD wrong if... "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." Albert Einstein
Yeah, if your players aren't already steamrolling your monsters in straightforward "kill-em-all" combat, they eventually will. It's never too soon to start thinking outside that particular box.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

I had the same impression because of the two attacks note.

but once again, a player just scored 84 damage on a hit using "Attacks on the run", because he aimed both attacks on the same target. That is insane because we play an official D&D adventure based only on the main books.

I thank everyone for the help, your oppinions and explanations are more than satisfactory and I thank you all for the imput. Still, does anyone have an errata or the indication on one of the books where the subject is treated? Even thou the DM has the power, the right and the obligation to treat and decide upon dubius game matters, I wanted some actual rule to backup my decision.

Once again, thank you all. 


Sounds about right.  He's a striker (and one of the best in the business, at that) burning a daily power.  If something doesn't die when he does that, something's gone wrong.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
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Sounds about right.  He's a striker (and one of the best in the business, at that) burning a daily power.  If something doesn't die when he does that, something's gone wrong.



Confirmed.
I see, I only found it rather strange because he is a new player and the striker we had before him wasn't as much effective.

I just wanted to be sure he can strike the same target twice and that he isn't overpowered. The dimanic of my game changed quite a lot because the groud no longer has a leader and now plays with three strikers.

I guess the group just need to be pushed a little more, and that may be accomplished by adding a couple of encounter per day. 

Once again, I thank everyone for the help, I beleive, now the best decision can be made.

Thanks. 
you could also try alternate ways to challenge the party instead of just monster slug fights.  Because they have no leader, they would probably be more vulnerable to things outside the usual formulae.
"Non nobis Domine Sed nomini tuo da gloriam" "I wish for death not because I want to die, but because I seek the war eternal"

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Agreed.

It's the DM job to adapt and make the adventure more challenging.

If the fights became esier they must be challanged other ways. 
Some people do enjoy steamrollering things, so have a chat to your players to see if they want a difficulty increase.
Back to Basics - A Guide to Basic Attacks You might be playing DnD wrong if... "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." Albert Einstein
Different strikers have different side effects. Warlocks don't do as much damage, but they cause all sorts of fun side contitions. Rogues do other fun things. Barbarians have heavier weapon options (usually). Avengers get to roll twice and try do max damage to one target at a time.
 What was the last one?
Also, if this guy figured out a neat, more damage-optimal effect, and the last one didn't...
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