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Using a melee weapon (eg, gougeDDI) which has been turned into a thrown weapon (eg, with Hungry SpearDDI enchantment), do I gain the benefit of Assault BootsDDI (knock target prone when critting with a melee weapon) when I throw my weapon at the target (and score a critical hit)?

My melee weapon would normally count for the Boots' property, but because I'm treating it as a thrown weapon instead of a melee weapon at the time, I figured it'd be worth checking.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

A crit will knock the target prone

Assault Boots talk about a melee weapon:

When you score a critical hit with a melee weapon, your target is knocked prone.

It would have to say melee attack to exclude ranged attacks. As it is now, you can even use the Alfsair Spear enhancment on a Gouge to prone with your Implement attacks.

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András answer seems to cover the RAW interpretation adequately, but I'd say that, from a flavor and physical "How does this work?" perspective, the intention of that magic item (Assault Boots) is that it only applies to melee attacks.

That said, as with everything in D&D, it's really up to the DM to decide (and to the player to make a convincing case one way or another!)

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I'm afraid that's true for most D&D versions but not 4e; most groups take pure RAW very seriously. – mxyzplk Aug 2 '14 at 1:41
That hasn't been my experience at all, but I've played mostly with groups who had played a lot of 2e in the past and were used to sort of doing their own thing inside the main scope of a system. – sintax Aug 2 '14 at 1:53

You would NOT knock prone from the Assault Boots when throwing a melee weapon

Hungry Spear adds the following property:

This weapon has the heavy thrown property and a range of 10/20.

The DDI Glossary entry for both Heavy Thrown and Light Thrown weapons defines them as:

A thrown weapon is a ranged weapon that is hurled from the hand, rather than used to launch a projectile.

Items may have more than one type: they can be both "ranged weapons" and "melee weapons" and "implements" all at the same time. The type they assume at any given moment is based on the action being taken with them: when you take an action that has a "ranged weapon" requirement, the weapon that can be a ranged weapon is a ranged weapon for the duration of that action.

Likewise, you couldn't use Assault Boots with an implement power, because the Weapons as Implements entry specifies:

However, some magic weapons have properties and powers that work only with weapon powers.

If the power you are using is an Implement power, then the "weapon" is considered an "implement" for the duration of the power, and nothing that triggers off weapon, melee, or ranged hits would count.

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"The type they assume at any given moment is based on the action being taken with them" do you have a source quote for this? It appears to be the key factor of your "no" as an answer. – Brian S Aug 3 '14 at 6:28
This is incorrect. Please note RC275, Weapons as Implements and vice versa. It's still a weapon, both a melee weapon and a ranged weapon, and it's also an implement, and a spear. If it's a Gouge, then it's also an axe. The specific language that does what you're saying is "weapon attack," not "attack with a weapon." – JLan Aug 3 '14 at 7:26

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