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Just so nobody has to find it, the Complete Adventurer errata says that in the feat Leap Attack that the

second sentence of the Benefit paragraph should read as follows: If you cover at least 10 feet of horizontal distance with your jump, and you end your jump in a square from which you threaten your target, you deal +100% the normal bonus damage from your use of the Power Attack feat.

But does the +100% of the bonus to damage from the feat Power Attack (PH 98) via the feat Leap Attack (CAd 110) interact--due to Dungeons and Dragons 3.X's multiplication rules--with...

  1. the feat Power Attack adding twice the attack roll penalty's absolute value as a bonus to damage when using a weapon two-handed?
  2. the doubling (or more) damage via a weapon with the weapon special ability valorous (Una 54-5), the feat Headlong Rush (Rac 164), or another means of multiplying damage?

That is, does the feat Leap Attack care if multiplication happens either before or after the feat's effect is determined? Or was the feat deliberately subjected to errata to avoid interaction with the multiplication rules?

A Medium creature with a base attack bonus of +6 and a Strength score of 18 uses a +1 valorous greatsword. The creature charges, satisfies the conditions for the feat Leap Attack, and uses Power Attack to the maximum he's able.

If the creature makes a successful melee attack roll, how much damage is dealt?

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I don't think you can expect there to be a definitive answer in all places that the rules are vaguely worded. You should make it clearer whether you want "reasonable suggestions" or the possibly quixotic RAW. – starwed May 25 '14 at 19:03
@starwed I left off rules-as-written to get reasonable suggestions in case a definitive answer's unavailable. – Hey I Can Chan May 25 '14 at 20:03

3 Answers 3

The most reasonable interpretation I can think of for this incredibly poorly written feat is, when using Leap Attack, that you gain +2× or +3× the attack penalty from Power Attack, for one-handed or two-handed weapons, respectively. As far as I know, the “+100% damage” phrasing is unique in 3.5, but it seems to imply that it’s +100% to Power Attack’s 100% or 200% based on how the weapon is being wielded. I would feel much more comfortable with this interpretation, though, if Power Attack actually used the terms “100%” or “200%” so I could point to it as evidence of intent via parallelism.

Unfortunately, read literally, “+100% of the normal bonus damage” is adding the full damage again, which means you double your bonus without multiplying and therefore ignore the multiplication rules. That would mean you get +2× or +4×, respectively.

And this is only the Power Attack bonus damage. The result is added to the rest of your damage, and that gets you your full damage... which might be multiplied again, e.g. with valorous. This effectively multiplies your multiplier, which is exactly what the multiplication rules try to avoid, but since two different things are being multiplied, the multiplication rules don’t actually come into play.

So for the example: 2d6+1 damage from the weapon itself, +6 for Strength, and the −6 attack penalty for maximum Power Attack results in double that for +12 damage from Power Attack without Leap Attack. Thus 2d6+19 is the baseline for all interpretations, and valorous doubles that for 4d6+38.

Under the first interpretation, the +12 is instead +18 (thrice the penalty), and the pre-valorous damage is 2d6+25, and with valorous that is doubled for 4d6+50.

Under the second interpretation, the +12 is instead +24 (quadruple the penalty), and the pre-valorous is 2d6+31, and with valorous that is doubled for 4d6+62.

It may not be a bad idea to try to eliminate the multiplication of a multiplier here through houserule, but note that the Power Attack bonus damage isn’t the only case of this: the bonus damage due to Strength also has a multiplier, +1½×, which is also being doubled by valorous. This, unlike Leap Attack, has strong precedent in the rules. The “fix” would be to apply the multiplication rule individually to all sources of damage, like so:

(valorous multiplier)×[(base weapon damage) +(enhancement bonus) +(Strength bonus) +(Power Attack damage)]

2×[2d6 +1 +1½×4 +2×(2×6)]

2×2d6 +2×1 +2×1½×4 +2×2×6

2×2d6 +2×1 +2½×4 +3×6

4d6 +2 +10 +18


But this is very-definitely a houserule, and I’m not convinced that it is good, even though it “enforces” the idea that you’re not supposed to get to mulitply multipliers.

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Nope. It's adding damage, not multiplying it, by the text. It's probably sloppy wording, but as written it adds another set of damage, as opposed to multiplying existing damage. KRyan covers this in his answer. – Jack Lesnie May 26 '14 at 1:07
"Under the first interpretation" - what exactly is the first interpretation, and which is the second? I don't follow exactly under what kind of interpretation those numbers come from. – doppelgreener May 27 '14 at 5:35
@JonathanHobbs The interpretation presented first and second? In the first and second paragraphs. – KRyan May 27 '14 at 12:45
Are you able to make that link more explicit, by e.g. reminding people what that interpretation is? This is not easy for a 3.5e newbie to follow and read through, and that would help. (After all, you're discussing a lot of stuff during those first paragraphs, and then discussing more stuff after them.) – doppelgreener May 31 '14 at 5:31

Just to TL;DR KRyan's excellent answer, you can think of it like this.

Normally, in DnD, you add all the multipliers together minus the principal, so x2 and x2 become x3, so forth.

Leap Attack is worded really weirdly, so it doesn't x2, it says 'take the power attack damage number, and then add it to your total damage again' and so by RAW avoids the multiplication rules. Technically, yes, that is multiplication, but it doesn't use the 'x2' or 'multiply' words so we can't apply the multiplier rules to it by RAW.

Since it's adding, it avoids multiplication entirely, which is why it's so popular for 'Charger' builds - it adds to the 'base damage' and so gets multiplied by all the multipliers - Heedless Rush, Valorous, Vaulting, Battle Jump, Spirited Charge, Deadly Charge, etc. When your base damage is 1d8+10, x6 is 87 damage, but when your base damage is 1d8+20, x6 is 147, or, noticeably larger.

Charger builds love base damage, and Leap Attack adds a lot.

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Both above examples are very inline with the issue. A simple (well, not simple, but GM rules argument free way to rule it!) is this; The Leap Attack Doubles the power attack damage as a x2 multiple on its own. and if you have a valorous weapon that then doubles it again, so doubling a doubling run goes into effect. I will show a example below. And if a Critical weapon hit is added for another doubling or Battle jump, ect. you keep with the multiplier rules. Example;

Level 8 Human, jotenbred,Shock Trooper, Pounce; Charging +Valorous Weapon +Rhino’s Charge spell +crit??.
Strength of 26. Damage; Large greatsword - 2 handed. +1 with Valorous enhancement and Keen (+3 total enhancement). (Do the math if you add more doubling or damage levels, ect.)

3d6 wpn +12 str. +1 magic +3 buff spell (you should have something up I hope) +16 (P.A. 8 x2 -> leap attack feat) = 3d6 +16 +16 Dam hit. Total average damage = 42 Dam

(A 1d6 damage average of 3.5 used to give a total damage example rounding down per RAW.)

x2 - Valorous Weapon bonus (So doublilng the Leap attack on its own makes it x3) 3d6 wpn +12 str. +1 magic +3 buff spell +16 x2 +(P.A. 8 x3 -> leap attack feat) = 6d6 +32 +24 Total average damage = 77 Dam

x2 – Rhinos Charge spell
3d6 wpn +12 str. +1 magic +3 buff spell +16 x3 +(P.A. 8 x4 -> leap attack feat) = 9d6 +48 +32 Total average damage = 111 Dam

x2 – Critical Hit
3d6 wpn +12 str. +1 magic +3 buff spell +16 x4 +(P.A. 8 x5 -> leap attack feat) = 12d6 +64 +40 Total average damage = 146 Dam

Doubling a Doubling multipliers per RAW; ( x2x2=x3 ) & ( x2x2x2=x4 ) & ( x2x2x2x2=x5 ) Ect..

The below listed adds are damage adders and not part of the weapons damage, so they do not get all the Doublings (If I have this wrong, please let ME know ASAP, I am missing some splatter fun otherwise.!) +2d6 (Rhino hide Armor) +2d6 (powerful charge feat) if you have them.

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Answers should stand on their own without referencing other answers. – Miniman Dec 15 '14 at 20:35

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