Jump attack against flying creature

28 posts / 0 new
oceansky
Joined Dec 2012
7 Posts
Hello guys,

I have a genasi swordmage and I'd like to know what's the best way to fight a creature that can fly up to altitude 2. I was thinking about jumping and attacking but could not find out the proper way to do this. Is there any other thing I can do? How does jump and attack work?
The_Silversword
Joined Apr 2009
1 Post
You dont have any ranged attacks!?

I guess it depends on how high you can jump, jumping is part of a move action, so yeah you could jump and attack, assuming you could jump high enough.

From the PHB page 182:

High Jump: Part of a move action.
✦ Distance Jumped Vertically: Make an Athletics
check and divide your check result by 10 (round
down). This is the number of feet you can leap up.
The result determines the height that your feet clear
with a jump. To determine if you can reach something
one-third rounded down (a 6-foot-tall character
would add 8 feet to the final distance, and a 4-foottall
✦ Running Start: If you move at least 2 squares
before making the jump, divide your check result by
5, not 10.
✦ Uses Movement: Count the number of squares you
jump as part of your move. If you run out of movement,
you fall. You can end your first move in midair
if you double move (page 284).

I survived Section 4 and all I got was this lousy sig Off-topic and going downhill from there
tehsquirrely
Joined Jun 2008
947 Posts
Attacking on the z axis is such a weird thing in D&D. Personally the way I run it is monsters on the z axis measure feet, not squares, because your height is measured in feet. So to determine if you can reach it take your height x 1.5 (to account for arm length) then add the length of your weapon to determine how far up you could reach with a swing. Add feet for jump as per check. It's an imperfect solution that totally disregards the rules, but it ends up making a whole lot more sense then trying to describe how many "squares" up a monster is in relation to you.
AbdulAlhazred
Joined Jan 2009
10581 Posts
TECHNICALLY, if you want to literally and mechanistically apply 4e RAW there is no way to make a 'jump attack' (barring some feat or item that might allow it, I believe there is a feat which might enable this kind of thing). The issue is that as soon as a PC jumps at the end of that action they IMMEDIATELY fall. Falling is not an action nor is it resolved in some specific phase of the character's turn. If as a result of a jump a character is not on the ground (or capable of flight, though this gets pretty technical) then the character has fallen and is presumably no longer adjacent to the target.

OTOH, while 4e's rules are fairly complete they are not meant to exclude the possibility of doing things that don't strictly fall within their letter. It just means that the general principles should be applied in accordance with the narrative requirements of the situation. In this case I would simply assign the attack a DC. If the character can pass an Athletics check or maybe an Acrobatics check depending on how the stunt is described, then I would treat it like a charge attack.

This kind of thing WILL come up pretty often. RPG rules can never cover everything. Its silly to assume that just because something falls through the cracks that it is somehow impossible to do it in the game. The rules let you handle whatever situations come up, they don't dictate actions nor form the totality of the laws of the setting the game takes place in. Narrative trumps mechanics, always. D&D is a toolbox not a complete game.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
Joined Oct 2010
12500 Posts
Speaking as someone playing a Swordmage, the answer is 'have Lightning Lure as one of your powers'.
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.
The_Silversword
Joined Apr 2009
1 Post
TECHNICALLY, if you want to literally and mechanistically apply 4e RAW there is no way to make a 'jump attack'

The rules are pretty clear that you can move and attack, jump is considered a move, so technically you could make a jump attack.

I survived Section 4 and all I got was this lousy sig Off-topic and going downhill from there
Joined Oct 2010
12500 Posts
You can move then attack, but in between your move and your attack, by RAW, you fall.

A good DM will work something out, however.
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.
The_Silversword
Joined Apr 2009
1 Post
You cant attack while falling?
I survived Section 4 and all I got was this lousy sig Off-topic and going downhill from there
tehsquirrely
Joined Jun 2008
947 Posts
You cant attack while falling?

Falling isn't even an action. If you fall you hit the ground, instantly. Which I guess makes enough sense because the amount of space you'd cover falling in six seconds (estimated time of a round) would be lethal. So any nonlethal amount of falling damage happens during the turn without any actions used.
Joined Oct 2010
12500 Posts
You cant attack while falling?

RAW, no.  RAI, who knows.
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.
The_Silversword
Joined Apr 2009
1 Post
Well where does it say that youd hit the ground instantly after your move (jump) action? As I understand youd be falling sure, but should still have enough time to get an attack in.

Regardless I would rule it as a normal move/attack. Of course its never been an issue in any of my games cause everyone has at least one ranged power.
I survived Section 4 and all I got was this lousy sig Off-topic and going downhill from there
AbdulAlhazred
Joined Jan 2009
10581 Posts
You can move then attack, but in between your move and your attack, by RAW, you fall.

A good DM will work something out, however.

You cant attack while falling?

Precisely. As soon as the move action ends, you fall, which is instantaneous, so it is Jump, Fall, then Attack (at which point you're not in range of your flying target). It is just a weird quirk of 4e's action-based rule structure. The basic out is to consider charge attacks, which combine the movement and a basic attack into one action. The core rules are a bit unclear about charging and jumping at the same time, especially with the RC wording, but why would the DM rule against it? LIke I say, maybe ask for a check to see if you made a good jump, that's all.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
Joined Aug 2007
6723 Posts

Yeah, jump-charging is about the closest thing you could do, but as mentioned it's open to interpretation whether or not it works... I'd personally say that the ability to make the basic attack would be dependent on making a good enough high jump check to reach the target, and would require the attacker to have enough movement left after the running start to jump that high (although few characters are going to be high jumping more than one square high anyway)...

Show

I am the Magic Man.

(Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.)

I am the Lawnmower Man.

(I AM GOD HERE!)

I am the Skull God.

(Koo Koo Ka Choo)

There are reasons they call me Mad...

The_Silversword
Joined Apr 2009
1 Post
I really think you guys are makeing this overly complicated. I thought I did a pretty good job answering the OP. Now you guys are just confusing him/her.

Since you guys seem more well versed with the rules than I am, when does a move action end exactly? Its my understanding you can move, then attack, then move again, assuming you still have some squares left.
I survived Section 4 and all I got was this lousy sig Off-topic and going downhill from there
Joined Oct 2010
12500 Posts
You're incorrect, maybe you're thinking of Next.

A move action is discrete, once you finish your movement, you can't continue until your next move action unelss you can move as part of another of your actions.
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.
The_Silversword
Joined Apr 2009
1 Post
You're incorrect, maybe you're thinking of Next.

A move action is discrete, once you finish your movement, you can't continue until your next move action unelss you can move as part of another of your actions.

Youre absolutely right (not sure why im telling you, you already knew that). Yeah I double checked, rules clearly state in 4e move up to your speed during your movement action, no during the round, like in Next, derpaderp! Yeah Ive been away too long.

But what about powers that let you attack and then move? That movement is counted as part of the Standard action not the move action right?

I dunno, I thought it was pretty clear, jump is a Move Action, you can use a Move Action and attack with a Standard Action, so you should be able to Jump and attack, you guys had to go and make everything confusing!
I survived Section 4 and all I got was this lousy sig Off-topic and going downhill from there
Joined Oct 2010
12500 Posts
By explaining the rules.  Yes.

There are plenty of good answers to the question, but in a discussion about the rules, that what we're going to talk about.
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.
Lathais
Joined May 2011
160 Posts
Hello guys,

I have a genasi swordmage and I'd like to know what's the best way to fight a creature that can fly up to altitude 2. I was thinking about jumping and attacking but could not find out the proper way to do this. Is there any other thing I can do? How does jump and attack work?

If a player in my game tried to do this, I would allow it.  a 2 square high jump, without a running start already has a DC of 20, with a running start it would be 10. If it was a "charge" attack with a melee basic, I'd let the 10 or 20 slide, however, if he is trying to use a Standard Action I would increase the DC by about 5, as long as he beats the 10/20 he still hits, but if he does not beat the 15/25 after hitting he would fall and take standard fall damage.  If he failed entirely, I would say he failed to reach the target -and- takes full fall damage.

As others in the thread stated, just because something is not laid out in the rules, does not mean it's immpossible, it's up to the DM to decide if it is and how to handle it.  Sadly, if your DM says it can't be done, it can't be done.  However, a decent DM would find a way to allow it in some fashion, though anything outside the norm like that will obviously have a risk of failure.
mvincent
Joined Jun 2004
8513 Posts
From the Rules Forum FAQ, if desired:
"Can you attack during a jump? Even though, strictly as written the rules might not allow for attacking while mid-air during a jump, this was apparently not the writer's intent. A DM could either allow it as RAI, or use the DMG p.42 stunt rules to accomplish the same thing as a jump attack."
Thazar-De
Joined Mar 2009
52 Posts
3. ?
4. Profit

You could also probably work out a charge, you may fall at the end of it.  If you're trained in Acrobatics, roll to reduce falling damage and land on your feet.

I am Blue/Green
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

I am both rational and instinctive. I value self-knowledge and understanding of the world; my ultimate goal is self-improvement and improvement of the world around me. At best, I am focused and methodical; at worst, I am obsessive and amoral.
The_Silversword
Joined Apr 2009
1 Post
Well, you can grab a rope or something as a free action, so couldnt you jump and then grab, and hold onto the creature, then hit it?
I survived Section 4 and all I got was this lousy sig Off-topic and going downhill from there
3. ?
4. Profit

You could also probably work out a charge, you may fall at the end of it.  If you're trained in Acrobatics, roll to reduce falling damage and land on your feet.

You can't take immediate action on your own turn if its what you implied because using a readied action is done as an immediate reaction.

DaBugbear
Joined Oct 2009
1 Post
Realistically, as a swordmage, who cares? Mark him, and then run away (stay around 10 squares though). From there, your Aegis becomes the issue.

If you are Aegis of Assault/Ensnaring, use your Standard to ready an attack once your Aegis is triggered. If you are Assault, you are teleported adjacent to the target. If you are Ensnaring, HE is teleported adjacent to YOU. If you are Shielding, then just negate his damage by 5+Con until he gets sick of doing no real damage, and flies over to you, or leaves.

In all cases, job accomplished!
So many PCs, so little time...
mvincent
Joined Jun 2004
8513 Posts
Well, you can grab a rope or something as a free action, so couldnt you jump and then grab, and hold onto the creature?

I like that reasoning. That particular topic has been kinda complicated before. From the Rules forum FAQ, if desired:
"How do I jump onto the back of an enemy dragon? This is outside the rules, so ask your DM. One option might be to allow PC's to grab oversized creatures, but then they move with it instead of immobilizing it (this is similar to an answer provided in the 3.5 FAQ, but the 4e mechanics make this more viable). Alternately, if the PC could've just as easily attacked the dragon without jumping on it's back (and doesn't necessarily care about moving with it), the stunt could merely be handled as a normal attack with altered fluff."

RisingZan
Joined Aug 2003
917 Posts
If its a possibility to get one, a Blade of the Eldritch Knight is a great weapon for Swordmages that can help in these situations.  It makes all your Standard Action Melee attacks with it have a reach of 5.
Thazar-De
Joined Mar 2009
52 Posts
3. ?
4. Profit

You could also probably work out a charge, you may fall at the end of it.  If you're trained in Acrobatics, roll to reduce falling damage and land on your feet.

You can't take immediate action on your own turn if its what you implied because using a readied action is done as an immediate reaction.

Damn...I keep forgetting that little rule.

I am Blue/Green
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

I am both rational and instinctive. I value self-knowledge and understanding of the world; my ultimate goal is self-improvement and improvement of the world around me. At best, I am focused and methodical; at worst, I am obsessive and amoral.
Astromath
Joined Sep 2007
6865 Posts
I had this exact problem come up with one of my players in a PbP.  The creature was at altitude 2.  I ruled that the PC could only attack it through a charge/jump.  By figuring out the reach of the weapon and the length of the PC's arms, the PC could attack the flying creature if he could jump at least 2 and a half feet into the air.  He made it with flying colors (I think he cleared 4 feet).  Falling was not an issue since his feet never left the square he started his high jump.  I also ruled that if the jump did not clear 2 and a half feet but was still greater than 1 and half feet, the charge could still happen, but he would have a -2 penalty to hit.  The player and I discussed this before the attack happened and he was ok with it.

You have the free will to agree or disagree.
You have the ability to act freely on the above choice regardless of the consequences.

skwyd42
Joined Mar 2011
89 Posts
I don't think any edition of D&D has ever adequately supported combat on a Z-axis.

That being said, I'd say just talk with the DM and see if you can come up with a decision that works for the group. Let everyone give input on their ideas and then let the DM make the final decision on it.

I can see a problem that the character doesn't have a ranged attack. I can also see a problem that maybe the DM is intentionally putting in a foe that the characters can't handle. But maybe it is just an oversight on everyone's part (in that group). In any case, like most issues, talk with the DM and see what can be done.

As a side note, I had a particularly awesome experience when I was playing a Bladesinger. Our group was attacked by some flying enemies. We had ranged attacks, but they were all pretty basic and we weren't able to dish out enough damage to stop them and we couldn't use most of our cool powers that would give us any advantage in the combat. We had killed the minions, but not the "big guy" and we weren't fairing very well. I think one of the party was dying and the rest of us were bloodied. Finally, I asked the DM if I could get into the air next to the monster if he'd let me take my attack before falling. He said that would be fine, but he wanted to make sure I understood that I would be falling 6 or 7 squares and taking damage from it. I told him that if this worked, even if my character died in the process it would be a cool story to tell.

So I got a running start and jumped. I cleared 2 squares vertically. Then, I used my standard action to use my Fey Step to get up the 4 more squares to be next to the creature. Then, action point, and MBA the creature. Scored a nice hit. But, what the DM didn't expect, was my use of the Unseen Hand Bladespell. The 3 force damage wasn't a big deal, but sliding the monster down 3  squares was. My allies could then reach it and keep it on the ground where we could do some real damage. The kicker was when I fell after the attack. I asked the DM if I could roll Acrobatics to try to reduce the falling damage. He said "sure". And so I got a 20 on the die and narrated it as landing forcefully, yet gracefully on the ground. I took minimal damage, and as my final minor action, I used my magic boots to stand from prone.

That was a fun campaign...