question in dd 3.5:
if there is a character with a reach weapon (eg longspear), if it has a character before him, he may even attack when? Has it a penalty?
normal reach weapons, like the long spear,cannot hit enemys next that are in the range they would threaten with a non reach weapon. for medium characters that would be everything right next to their char. there are reach weapons, like the spiked chain, with which you can also hit the squares normally not threatend with a reach weapon.
If the question is "can you attack someone using reach even if there is someone between you and the target?" the answer is YES but you should note that the target will get cover from the thing between you.
I think we have another case of English being a second language here.
But I'll hazard a guess, by the word "when" in there...
I have a feeling he may be asking if he can attack before his initiative turn with a longer reach weapon than his opponent.
My understanding of the question:
If a character is equipped with a reach weapon (longspear, for example) and there's an enemy adjacent to him, can he attack it? Does it have a penalty?
If so, it's already been answered.
There are a couple feats that allow you to attack adjacent squares with a normal reach weapon.
Short Haft (PH2) allows you to shorten the reach of a reach weapon by 5' as a Swift Action. Returning it to its normal reach is also a Swift Action.
Shorten Grip (Dragon 331) allows you to attack adjacent enemies with a reach polearm with which you have proficiency at a -2 penalty.
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