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Charge is a full-round action; can you also draw your weapon as part of that Charge using the rule that characters with at least +1 BAB can draw their weapon as part of a move action? Although a Charge does involve movement, it is not a move action. So, assuming a character does not have Quick Draw, but does have a BAB in excess of +1, is it possible to Charge and unsheath/attack with a sheathed weapon in a single turn? I cannot find anything in the rulebooks, and this seems like a glaring omission.

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The core rules say no

The Player's Handbook on Draw or Sheathe a Weapon, in part, says, "If you have a base attack bonus of +1 or higher, you may draw a weapon as a free action combined with a regular move" (142), and the term regular move goes undefined (q.v. here), yet most readers assume it means taking a move action to travel some distance using the creature's speed. Thus, technically, a creature is prohibited from drawing a weapon during a charge as the special attack Charge, in part, says, "You must move at least 10 feet (2 squares) and may move up to double your speed directly toward the designated opponent" (154). That is, while the special attack charge mandates that a creature move using its speed, the creature isn't taking a move action to move up to its speed so the creature can't draw a weapon.

The Rules Compendium says maybe

The Rules Compendium changes this restriction. The chart Actions in Combat has attached to the action Draw a weapon footnote 12 that, in part, says, "If you have a base attack bonus of +1 or higher, you can combine this action [i.e. draw a weapon] with moving your speed" (9).

Literally, because of the lack of the words up to between moving and your, a warrior is forced by the Rules Compendium to move the entirety of her speed to draw her weapon during movement, potentially running in circles in hopes of meeting that ill-conceived requirement. Nonetheless, even when taken literally, this rule does enable a warrior to draw a weapon during a charge if there's precisely enough distance between herself and her target.

However, a looser reading would have the reader herself insert the words up to between moving and your (i.e. you can combine this action with moving up to your speed) to lessen this absurdity. This change makes the Rules Compendium rule function in conjunction with a charge if the warrior's movement during her charge is no more than her speed.

This DM's house rules say yes

Folks have been drawing weapons during charges in my campaigns for years. My campaigns have not descended into anarchy. In fact, they've become less anarchic. Allowing drawing weapons on a charge removes from monsters one advantage they have over low-level PCs (i.e. many monsters are always armed with claws or teeth therefore always capable of charging; many PCs aren't so lucky). Further, allowing drawing weapons on a charge removes from some PCs the necessity of keeping their weapons in hand all the time. This allows those PCs to interact differently with the campaign's less aggressive inhabitants while not rendering those PCs completely defenseless. I've had no problems with this house rule, and it has improved my games.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Nice call on Rules Compendium! \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Aug 11 at 14:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ But when you charge, you move up to twice your speed. So wouldn't your Rules Compendium thingy require you to do a half-charge (for lack of a better term)? \$\endgroup\$ – eyecosahedron Aug 11 at 19:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ @eyecosahedron In both cases, by a literal reading, yes (i.e. "[T]his rule does enable a warrior to draw a weapon during a charge if there's precisely enough distance between herself and her target"—in other words, equal to the warrior's speed—, and, "This change makes the Rules Compendium rule function in conjunction with a charge if the warrior's movement during her charge is no more than her speed"—in other words, mandating a maximum of an up-to-half-normal-possible-distance charge). \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Aug 11 at 20:51
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There is nothing allowing it in 3.5 rules. Later, Pathfinder introduced the following:

If you move a distance equal to your speed or less, you can also draw a weapon during a charge attack if your base attack bonus is at least +1.

This could be back-ported, but, barring that, nope.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ There is, per HeyICanChan’s answer, something allowing it in 3.5e rules, and in any event Pathfinder has zero relevance here. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Aug 11 at 15:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ I can't find that quoted text in Pathfinder core. Where did you find it? \$\endgroup\$ – eyecosahedron Aug 11 at 19:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ @eyecosahedron It's on Charge on Movement during a Charge. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Aug 11 at 20:53

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