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At the different tables I've played at, it has always been assumed that you can attack while jumping. After reading this answer I'm not so sure you can.

By the rules, what ways can a character attack while jumping?

I'm looking for anything in 3rd/3.5 or Pathfinder that allows it.

The Character takes a move action to move, and jumps as part of that movement. When he succeeds on the DC of the desired distance of his jump, his move action ends and he then attacks with a standard action while in midair.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It's reasonable to add to the question (or maybe even make it its own answer) how you've seen this occur in actual play. For instance, In campaigns I've played in a dude can take a move action and, at the end, jump. Then, while in the air, he takes his standard action. He lands—ending his jump—on the initiative count on which he jumped next round or something. I mean, as the linked-to answer's author, were I at that table, I'd have a lot of questions about that process, but I'd still be interested in learning how the DM adjudicated it. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Oct 29 at 18:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Consider posing the following question separately: Can a creature take the ready action and pick the action make a standard attack and the trigger when I'm in mid-air then leap into the air? (I'm pretty sure, though, that the answer to that is made clear by the question!) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Oct 29 at 20:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan I think synchronicity could get around that, though uh, that’s not a great endorsement. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Oct 29 at 22:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Let us continue this discussion in chat. \$\endgroup\$ – annoying imp Nov 3 at 16:29
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Nothing says you cannot be mid-air when attacking. That rule simply doesn’t exist. So if you are mid-jump—i.e. mid-air—nothing says you can’t attack. So you can, provided you meet all the requirements that the rules do have for attacking (actions, armament, reach, and so on).

Note that you must have some way to attack mid-movement in order to actually attack mid-jump. Spring Attack covers that, for example.

Anyway, the issue is not addressed explicitly anywhere, which limits how much it can be truly backed up. But Tome of Battle’s Stone Dragon discipline says that “Unlike with other disciplines [...] Stone Dragon maneuvers can be initiated only if you are in contact with the ground,” (pg. 81), which suggests strongly that the default is the expectation that you can attack mid-air. The Tiger Claw discipline has many maneuvers that involve making a Jump check in order to gain some benefit to your attack, and are described as jump attacks (though mechanically you don’t actually move).

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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't feel like the Stone Dragon point helps the argument; that seems to be written against using it while flying at all (such as use of the Fly spell, etc) \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Oct 30 at 18:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ifusaso Sure, it covers everything—jumping, flying, possibly even climbing. The point is that if there were some general rule that prevented one from attacking while mid-air, this likely wouldn’t be written the way it is, wouldn’t be “unlike” the other disciplines, and so on. Or the ability to fly would specifically confer the ability to attack mid-air, which it doesn’t. Anyway, I’m not claiming this is a perfect argument, but the point is that there really can’t be a perfect argument—can’t prove a negative. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Oct 30 at 18:51
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There are a couple of different ones:

Pathfinder 1e has the Leaping Strike, which is a 3rd party feat requiring a charge attack:

You can leap to attack enemies from unexpected directions.

Prerequisite: Medium size, Acrobatics 5 ranks, BAB +5.

Benefit: You may make an Acrobatics check as part of a charge attack. The DC of this check is 16 if the target of your charge attack is a Medium or smaller creature and increases by +8 for each size category larger than Medium. If successful, and your attack hits the target, the attack automatically is considered a critical threat. If the target falls (either dead or unconscious) as a result of this attack, you can continue moving in a straight line to the extent of your remaining available movement.

For 3.5, Complete Adventurer has the Leap Attack feat:

Prerequisite: Power Attack (PH) , Jump 8 ranks

Benefit:

You can combine a jump with a charge against an opponent. 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. If you use this tactic with a two-handed weapon, you instead triple the extra damage from Power Attack.

This attack must follow all the normal rules for using the Jump skill and for making a charge, except that you ignore rough terrain in any squares you jump over.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Leap Attack was my first thought, too, but it explicitly has you land before attacking. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Oct 29 at 18:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan - Actually, it doesn't specify that you land first. It only says that you have to end your jump in a threatening square. There is nothing that specifies when the attack itself happens. So you have to end there, i.e. you can't jump from 5' away, attack and land 10' away. \$\endgroup\$ – JohnP Oct 29 at 18:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Zarus Jumps don’t “end” in the air. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Oct 29 at 18:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JohnP You have to trigger the feat before you can expect its bonus on your attack. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Oct 29 at 18:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan - Wouldn't that be a DM interpretation? It just says "on your action before attack rolls" for Power. \$\endgroup\$ – JohnP Oct 29 at 18:30
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It seems you can use a jump as part of a move action and attack as a separate standard action in 3.0/3.5

First, let's look at the 3.5 jump skill

Jump (relevant parts)

If you have ranks in Jump and you succeed on a Jump check, you land on your feet (when appropriate). If you attempt a Jump check untrained, you land prone unless you beat the DC by 5 or more.

The part about, "you land on your feet", is simply describing that you don't land prone. No house rules required.

High Jump: A high jump is a vertical leap made to reach a ledge high above or to grasp something overhead (The last part is descriptive text and it's not exhaustive, notice the following "If's".). The DC is equal to 4 times the distance to be cleared. If you jumped up to grab something, a successful check indicates that you reached the desired height. If you wish to pull yourself up, you can do so with a move action and a DC 15 Climb check. If you fail the Jump check, you do not reach the height, and you land on your feet in the same spot from which you jumped.

The move action+DC 15 Climb check that, "pulls yourself up", is separate from the move action made to jump. Implying that you can jump as part of a move action and use another action midair. One might say, "Jumps don’t “end” in the air". There is nothing in the 3.5 rules that implies you can't end a move action in the air. As the 3.5 Jump skill implies.

Here's how this would look in a turn. My 3rd level Monk with 40 ft. movement is going to attack an imp flying 10 feet in the air. The monk is 20 feet away from the imp.

As a move action, I get a "running start, which requires that you move at least 20 feet in a straight line before attempting the jump. (This is different from a full-round Run action.)". I make a DC 20 jump check (as part of this movement). I succeed, so I've reached my desired height. I now threaten the imp. I could try and grapple him as a standard action, but I'd rather use my signature "Kim Dragon Kick", ;-) instead, as a standard action. I hit and kill the imp, falling 5 feet to the ground. Even if the Imp lived I would not have provoked an attack of opportunity, due to it being tiny.

If you'd like to say that the Monk would start falling first after the move action, that's fine, as you could still make the standard action attack according to the Jumping down rules, with Battle Jump clarifying (see below).

Let's take a moment to look at the controversial Long Jump section

Long Jump: A long jump is a horizontal jump, made across a gap like a chasm or stream. At the midpoint of the jump, you attain a vertical height equal to one-quarter of the horizontal distance. The DC for the jump is equal to the distance jumped (in feet).

If your check succeeds, you land on your feet at the far end. If you fail the check by less than 5, you don’t clear the distance, but you can make a DC 15 Reflex save to grab the far edge of the gap. You end your movement grasping the far edge. If that leaves you dangling over a chasm or gap, getting up requires a move action and a DC 15 Climb check.

I believe the line "If your check succeeds, you land on your feet at the far end," is not meant to mean you can't take other actions after making a long jump as part of a move action. It's, if you just make a long jump and succeed, you will land on your feet (i.e. not prone) at the end of it. This way, not only does it work with the High Jump rules. It supports what is considered the "normal" rules by the Battle Jump feat and Acrobatic Attack special ability, as seen below.

Acrobatic Attack (Ex): At 5th level, if the blade dancer attacks by jumping at least 5 feet toward his opponent, jumping down at least 5 feet onto his opponent or swinging on a rope or similar object into his opponent, he gains a +2 bonus on attack and damage rolls. The blade dancer must make a jump check; if the result is less than 5 feet, he cannot use this ability on that attack. If the result is greater than the distance between the blade dancer and the opponent, the blade dancer can limit the distance to that between himself and the opponent as a free action.

The parts in bold directly above appear to be normal, except the "+2 bonus on attack and damage rolls". Meaning you can jump at your opponent and attack them.

This needn't lead into, "Mario Bros.-style double jumps", as there is a big difference between, jumping & attacking or pulling oneself up, and jumping again while already in the air!

Jumping Down: If you intentionally jump from a height, you take less damage than you would if you just fell. The DC to jump down from a height is 15. You do not have to get a running start to jump down, so the DC is not doubled if you do not get a running start.

If you succeed on the check, you take falling damage as if you had dropped 10 fewer feet than you actually did.

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Battle Jump

Benefit: You can execute a charge by simply dropping from a height of at least 5 feet above your opponent. For example, a ledge 10 feet above the floor of a cavern would suffice for jumping on a Medium-sized creature, while a ledge 15 feet high is required for a jumping on a Large creature. You can't jump from more than 30 feet above your opponent, nor can you effectively battle jump while under the influence of a fly or levitate spell or effect, as you have to hurl yourself down on your foe.

If you hit, you can choose either to deal double damage with a melee weapon or natural attack or to attempt a trip attack. You are treated as one size category larger than normal if you try to trip your opponent with the battle jump. After you attack, you take falling damage as normal for the distance you jumped. You are entitled to a Jump check (DC 15) to take less damage, as if you had fallen 10 feet less than you actually did. If you fail this Jump check, you fall prone 5 feet from your opponent.

You can also use Battle Jump to begin a grapple attempt instead of making a normal attack. If you do, you are treated as one size category larger than normal for the first grapple check following the battle jump.

Normal: Anybody can try to jump down on an enemy, but it is not considered a charge, and they do not gain double damage or the size bonus for the ensuing attack. (Unapproachable East, p. 42)

This clearly implies that normally you can use a move action to move and jump down as part of that movement, then take a standard action to attack your foe.

Making a long jump and grabbing a rope hanging above you in the middle of a chasm, or long jumping and then grappling a flying creature is something the rules should and do support, without the need for...a special ability, three feats, or employing magic!

Using Pathfinder rules as dominant across the board (which one should never do):

Pathfinder disallows this...

Leap and Bound (Ex) (Chronicle of Legends pg. 7 Release date: May 29, 2019): A vigilante with this talent adds his Strength bonus on Acrobatics checks in addition to his Dexterity modifier. He is always treated as having a running start when jumping, and his high jumps are treated as long jumps when determining the DC. When the vigilante jumps, he does not fall until the end of his turn, allowing him to attack or perform other actions in midair. If the vigilante grapples a creature capable of bearing his weight, he does not fall, instead remaining adjacent to the creature as it moves. A vigilante must be at least 10th level to select this talent.

This clearly implies that without this talent, or by another means, you cannot perform other actions midair after jumping! So long to...pulling yourself up after a high jump, grabbing a rope, etc.

...although a designer, Creative Director, Contributor, Developer, posting as a GM think otherwise. Maybe they were just thinking of 3.5!

If your GM takes this approach the following might help you...

Better yet, talk you GM to adopting this interpretation of the 3.0/3.5 rules for Pathfinder! Monks... nay, all melee combatants will thank you everywhere!

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  • \$\begingroup\$ RE: "There is nothing in the 3.5 rules that implies you can't end a move action in the air." Sure, not exactly, but on Long Jump says, "If your check succeeds, you land on your feet at the far end," and on High Jump says, "If you jumped up to grab something, a successful check indicates that you reached the desired height." There doesn't seem to be an option to jump and deliberately hang in the air except if you purposely run out of movement "mid-jump, [and then] your next action (either on this turn or, if necessary, on your next turn) must be a move action to complete the jump." \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Nov 2 at 17:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Answer's argument about your ability to perform other actions (grasping edges) than moving while in mid-air still stands. Rules contradict themselves; to a degree, but still they do. \$\endgroup\$ – annoying imp Nov 3 at 4:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Let us continue this discussion in chat. \$\endgroup\$ – Zarus Nov 4 at 20:34

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