Can you make the target of a Drunken Monkey attack themself ?

The point is the "against one enemy of your choice" ... couldn't you pick the target ?

Hit: 1d8 + Dexterity modifier damage, and you slide the target 1 square. The target then makes a melee basic attack as a free action against one enemy of your choice. The target gains a bonus to the attack roll equal to your Wisdom modifier.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'd suggest waiting a little longer to accept answers. My answer may be the correct one, but it might not be the *best one you'll get. Recommend waiting 12-24 hours. \$\endgroup\$
    – wax eagle
    Commented Apr 5, 2012 at 17:42

2 Answers 2


I would argue No

A Melee basic attack specifics that the target is "One Creature" this power goes further and specifies that the controlled enemy must target one of your enemies, however it does not subsume the targeting rules of the MBA.

Because I do not believe you are a valid target for your own MBA (I think it would specify that you could be included in the target line, most powers that can affect you do specify this) the enemy would not a valid target for its own attack.

If you're going to argue the other way you have to rely on the "One Creature" wording not giving location information beyond melee range. This brings up an interesting point from PHB1 56:

Melee 1: A melee power that has a range of 1 can be used only on an adjacent target.

Most weapons are melee 1. You are not adjacent to yourself (you are however, adjacent to creatures in your square). Thus you cannot use a melee weapon on yourself, and cannot attack yourself.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, I'm also of the opinion that you can't attack yourself, unless there is a specific exception in the power / effect \$\endgroup\$
    – SteveC
    Commented Apr 5, 2012 at 17:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was poking about a bit, and came across two powers similar in effect that specifically say you cannot make the target attack themself - Phantom Reality (which makes it think friends are foes, so it makes sense it can't self-target) and Curse of the Dark Delirium, which controls them for standard, minor and move, and says you can't make them take suicidal actions like attack themself or leap off a cliff - presumably because you are essentially taking away their turn. You can make things leap off a cliff with Hypnotism on your own turn, if they don't save. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ananisapta
    Commented Jun 24, 2012 at 15:40

I would say Yes

The wording in the Rules Compendium (pg 100) is a little different than that of the Player's Handbook:

The power can be used against a target that is within the specified number of squares of the power's origin square. For example, a melee power that has a range of 1 can normally be used only against an adjacent target, whereas a melee power that has a range of 0 can be used only against a target sharing the attacker's space

The addition of the preceding and following lines seems to me to imply that the range is a maximum, not a minimum. Supporting this is the actual entry on Melee Basic Attacks (pg 239), which does not specify a range, only that it is a Melee Weapon attack. The entry on Melee weapon (pg 100) says:

The power can be used against a target within the reach of the melee weapon that is used with the power

Additionally, it seems a little surreal to suggest that a character is physically unable to hit himself with his own weapon. In terms of the specific power, it strikes me as being akin to Pokemon — The Wild Kobold is Confused — It attacked itself in it's Confusion.

Following extended discussion with Wax Eagle, I became curious enough to have a general poke around the net — universally the answers have been in favour of allowing someone to hit themselves if the power didn't specify 'enemy' or 'ally' — though there is disagreement regarding triggering of marks and whether attack bonuses apply (i.e. Hypnotism grants +4).

The reasoning seems to be:

  1. The power lets you hit a creature within range.

  2. A creature in your square is in range.

  3. You are a creature in your square.

  4. Therefore you can hit yourself.

    It turns out there is actually rules-support for this last point - the Bard power Mocking Epigram.

    While affected by the mocking epigram, the target is weakened, and whenever it hits an ally with an attack, that attack also hits one enemy of your choice within range of that attack, including the target itself.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I agree that its surreal, but 4e is definitely not a simulation game. (there is plenty else about the game that is surreal). The change in wording is interesting. However, can you be considered to be "sharing" your space? (I have to believe this was changed to clarify that swarms and tiny creatures could be targeted (they always could be as they were adjacent, but it might have been unclear)) \$\endgroup\$
    – wax eagle
    Commented Apr 6, 2012 at 2:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ I wasn't arguing that the 'range 0' rule applied in this situation, but rather that it meant that the power was saying 'you can't attack something further away than the power specifies' instead of both that and 'you also can't attack something closer than the range of the power'. Ranged powers don't work that way - why should melee? \$\endgroup\$
    – Ananisapta
    Commented Apr 6, 2012 at 3:10
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ True. But the question her is whether the originator of the power is a valid target, they are skipped in bursts and blasts (even though creatures in their square are targeted in bursts. Can The orginator be a valid target in a melee or ranged attack that specifies creature? You say yes, I say no :) \$\endgroup\$
    – wax eagle
    Commented Apr 6, 2012 at 3:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Skipping it in bursts and blasts is not terribly suprising - if you have a familiar, you can specifically choose not to target it with your bursts and blasts, and a later feat allows you to extend that to your allies. Wouldn't it just be the same effect applied to yourself? I can see where you are coming from re originator, but it just doesn't convince me. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Ananisapta
    Commented Apr 6, 2012 at 3:50
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @okeefe Two other powers which do similar things, Phantom Reality and Curse of the Dark Delirium, explicitly say that they cannot be made to target themselves. So going off that it would appear that being unable to target itself is the exception rather than the rule, on two citations versus one - or, more realistically, that it is simply not something covered by the rules. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ananisapta
    Commented Jun 25, 2012 at 1:29

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