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Is there any way to Charge (literally, not a functional equivalent, so as tot rigger every 'on a charge' trick in the book) while also applying Spring Attack or an equivalent feature?

The objective here is to Charge, strike and move past the target, all as part of the charge's movement (so no travel devotion to then move as a swift). To 'charge past' an enemy, if you will.

Note that the charge has to be unmounted (and in my specific case, flying, but let's not complicate it this much).

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    \$\begingroup\$ You may be interested in answers to this question. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan May 13 at 13:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Did you veto travel devotion because it's not the same action, or do you literally require something that says it modifies the charge's movement as opposed to giving you more movement? \$\endgroup\$ – topquark May 13 at 17:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ The latter, need it to modify the charge's behavior itself, or I guess offer movement as part of the charge's effects. \$\endgroup\$ – ThanosMaravel May 13 at 18:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ RE: "The objective here is to Charge, strike and move past the target, all as part of the charge's movement (so no travel devotion to then move as a swift). To 'charge past' an enemy, if you will." So the objective doesn't actually involve anything about the feat Spring Attack at all? Attacks of opportunity and all that don't matter, correct? What's important is the sequence of charge then move, yes? Is the issue with Travel Devotion that it takes a swift action? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan May 13 at 19:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ It has to be off of Spring Attack or derivatives/alternatives thereof, due to other effects at play triggering off of that. \$\endgroup\$ – ThanosMaravel May 13 at 19:12
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No game element expands the mandate of Spring Attack like the question desires

A charge is a special attack that typically takes a full-round action and the attacker typically makes an attack at its end. Similarly, the feat Spring Attack offers the creature that takes the feat a new full-round combat option that allows the creature to move, make a standard melee attack, and move again.

A creature can make a charge then that creature, on the same turn, can move after having completed that charge in a variety of ways, usually involving the charging creature taking a swift action. That is, the creature can, after its charge, take a swift action to activate the chronocharm of the horizon walker (Magic Item Compendium 86) (500 gp; 0 lbs.) or the anklet of translocation (MIC 71) (1,400 gp; 0 lbs.) or the benefit of the feat Travel Devotion (Complete Champion 62-3). Alternatively, prior to his charge, the creature could've taken a swift action to activate boots of the battle charger (MIC 76) (2,000 gp; 2 lbs.) and made the charge as a standard action then take a move action to make a normal move after the charge.

Then, if the creature wants to avoid utterly attacks of opportunity from the foe he's picked as the target of his charge (like a creature that possesses the feat Spring Attack does), the creature can take the feat Elusive Dance (Dragon #333 88). When combined, these game elements give onlookers the illusion that the creature is using some kind of charge combined with the feat Spring Attack, even though the creature isn't.

A creature can do more with the feat Spring Attack by taking the feats Bounding Assault (Player's Handbook II 75) and Rapid Blitz (82), for example (and, to be clear, further examples build from, instead, the feat Whirlwind Attack (PH 102)), or by wearing claw gloves (MIC 199-200) (5,604 gp; 0 lbs.). However, there just isn't much more support beyond these elements for the feat Spring Attack. (The best support for the feat Spring Attack? Vast speed and hide in plain sight.)

That is, there's no Improved Spring Attack feat, for example, and prestige classes more often give away the feat free (e.g. dervish (Complete Warrior 25), scaled horror (Savage Species 83), swiftblade) than they do meaningfully improve it (e.g. elocator (Expanded Psionics Handbook 142), tempest (CW 81), champion of Corellon Larethian (Races of the Wild 113)—all improve the feat but not really meaningfully).

With all this in mind, there's just no way, so far as this reader is aware, that, using official material, a creature can combine the special attack charge and the feat Spring Attack into a unified whole—into some kind of springing charge.

Workarounds

  • A springing charge can be simulated by using the feat Flyby Attack (Monster Manual 303) in conjunction with a dive, but, as this fine answer explains, determining how that works mechanically may see the DM rend his garments.
  • As this fine-but-deleted answer explains, the feat Ride-by Attack (PH 99) has as its mandate making a charge and moving afterward (in theory—in practice, it's more complicated). While the question specifies that the creature must move under its own power, with the DM's permission, the feat Ride-by Attack can be taken by a member of an appropriate tauric race (also see this question), therefore the tauric creature seeing itself count as its mount.
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Flyby Attack is basically the same idea as Spring Attack, except more versatile. And one of the ways it's more versatile is that it allows charging, in certain circumstances. Although unlike Spring Attack it doesn't protect you from AOOs.

Flyby Attack [general]
Prerequisite: Fly speed.
Benefit: When flying, the creature can take a move action (including a dive) and another standard action at any point during the move. The creature cannot take a second move action during a round when it makes a flyby attack.

From the Monster Manual glossary:

A creature that flies can make dive attacks. A dive attack works like a charge, but the diving creature must move a minimum of 30 feet and descend at least 10 feet. It can make only claw or talon attacks, but these deal double damage.

The wording of Flyby Attack is weird, since a dive is normally a full-round action (like any other charge), not a move action; but it says you can dive, so you can, regardless of how that works out. The obvious sane interpretation is that the standard+move actions it costs to perform a Flyby substitutes for the standard+move=fullround cost of the charge, and when it says you can perform your standard action in the middle of the move, it means the charge's attack.

But if you want the super-literal RAW, I suppose it might mean that you can perform a dive (including attack at the end) as a move action regardless of its normal cost, and then also get another attack as a standard action (which doesn't benefit from charge bonuses, and thus doesn't solve your problem).


As a completely different solution, Salamander Charge (a Desert Wind maneuver from Tome of Battle) is a charge with relaxed movement rules that allow you to pass through enemy spaces and take a non-straight path. The actual weapon attack still has to come at the end of the movement, though you can tumble through the final enemy and stop-and-attack on the other side. It also deals fire damage to everyone you pass through or adjacent to.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I always understood that 'dive' line to refer to the speed bonus for a descent, since it says 'dive', not 'dive attack' or 'diving charge', and the wording points to it being a move action. Otherwise, it'd be 'a move action (or a dive)'. I should look into that. \$\endgroup\$ – ThanosMaravel May 13 at 18:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThanosMaravel Because I was interested, I did look into it. There's no reference in the Dungeon Master's Guide to an action called diving in conjunction with aerial combat. That Monster Manual section on movement modes seems to be the primary source on the act called a dive (or, technically, a dive attack) when used in a flying context, including the feat Flyby Attack. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan May 14 at 12:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yea, couldn't find it either, it mentions a 'down speed' but doesn't call it a dive. Guess we could really use a word from the company, and good luck getting that for 3.5... \$\endgroup\$ – ThanosMaravel May 14 at 15:51
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I'm not certain that dive triggers charge effects, as it works like a charge, but that doesn't mean it counts as a charge by RAW.

Situational Answer If you're pouncing and there are multiple targets in melee then you could pseudo spring attack by charging in and using your last attack as a bull rush and pushing one target out along with you, depending on how high your check is. This would of course trigger a mess of attacks of opportunities, but since bull rush is not damaging, means that you could use a weak summon or an ally for the bull rush target. A decent tactic to rescue a party member too.

Grey zone answer Another option would be to somehow trigger your charge off a single move, perhaps your DM would let you declare a jump off an immovable rod as the first move of spring attack, have that count as "throwing yourself off" for battle jump to trigger a charge, then for the second move your fly back to the rod. You'd need the rod as to legitimize the push off as battle jump doesn't really allow fly. This solution depends on certain interpretations of how battle jump operates.

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