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The 5th level Desert Wind counter Leaping Flame allows you to teleport to an enemy within 100' that attacks you with a melee (which is useful if the enemy has reach, or if you need to quickly grant somebody a flanking bonus) or ranged attacks. This is highly useful - and as far as I see, it even gives you the "enemy is there" button against invisible/hidden attackers (like a short-sighted sniper who thought it would be wise to attack you from a 100 ft distance). Through, that brings us the question - are there combat situations in which Leaping Flame is useless? What are they?

What if the enemy uses a spell that deals no HP damage, like Touch of Idiocy? Or a Battlefield Control spell, like Solid Fog/Grease? What about delayed/continious damage effects like Acid Fog? And how about attacks that require no attack rolls like Magic Missile (or Power Word Pain (link will be later)?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Yes, the initiator can sometimes be hosed because

It Can Only Be Initiated After an Attack Is Resolved

The 5th-level Desert Wind martial maneuver leaping flame [counter] (ToB 55) says

You instantly appear in a square adjacent to a creature that attacks you with a melee or ranged attack, after resolving the enemy’s attack. You cannot move into a space that is occupied by a creature or object. You can move up to 100 feet in this manner.... (55)

Thus the creature who attacks the initiator must have made an attack--be it a melee, touch, ranged, or ranged touch attack--then the martial maneuver leaping flame can be used, but only then. The other situations you describe--acid fog [conj] (PH 196), grease [conj] (PH 237), power word pain [ench] (RDr 116), solid fog [conj] (PH 281)--don't have attack rolls. Even the continuing damage from the second and later rounds of something like Melf's acid arrow [conj] (PH 253), for instance, wouldn't qualify--the initiator would've had to've used the martial maneuver leaping flame when the attack was made rather than upon taking the continuing damage.

So, yeah, sometimes, even leaping flame won't let an initiator engage his foes in melee--a wizard who blasts the initiator with the spell magic missile [evoc] (PH 251)--which requires no attack roll--is totally safe from leaping flame, but the seductive storm giantess who, as a touch attack, gently caresses the initiator to inflict upon him the spell touch of idiocy [ench] (PH 294) may suddenly find the initiator adjacent to her via leaping flame.

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Hmmm... why did you go with the "has an attack roll" definition of attack rather than, say, the one given by invisibility? That definition seems more appropriate here. –  KRyan May 9 at 13:50
    
@KRyan Because of the specificity of leaping flame's language ("a melee or ranged attack") versus the vaguer invisibility spell language ("an attack includes any spell targeting a foe or whose area or effect includes a foe..."). If leaping flame just said it could be used after a foe attacks you, though, I would go with the invisibility spell guidelines. –  Hey I Can Chan May 9 at 17:37
    
Oh, yeah, misread that. Dumb, but you're right that it's almost-definitely what they meant. –  KRyan May 9 at 17:53

Weaponlike Spells are Defined in Complete Arcana

Leaping Flame should work on any 'weaponlike' spell.

Would It Be a Terrible Houserule to Allow it to work on any offensive action?

Not necessarily. As long as you kept a decent rein on what count, so like 'power word: pain' and 'cloudkill', sure, but not like 'Scrying'.

That seems fine to me in general. The 100' range means it's very unlikely to end up with Stupid Stuff Occurring.

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