When using a lance while charging on a mount, the rules say that it deals double damage.

My question is, what all damage is doubled? From what I can find, the die roll and strength bonus are doubled, but what about damage such as from a smite ability, or power attack? And how would it work on a crit? Is the damage doubled, then tripled? Or does it work more like vital strike?

I'm building a mounted paladin, and the rules for the lance are kind of vague.


Okay, so, I did find a partial answer. Here Under Multiplying Damage, it states that you "Roll the damage (with all modifiers) multiple times and total the results," whenever you multiply damage, and then " When you multiply damage more than once, each multiplier works off the original, unmultiplied damage. So if you are asked to double the damage twice, the end result is three times the normal damage."

So, from what I can tell, on a critical you would just multiply the damage by four (2 for lance, three for lance crit) or five with the Spirited Charge feat.

However, that still makes me wonder about what falls under 'all modifiers.' Working with a fifth level paladin, average stats of 14 across the board (not likely, but not great stats and easier math) that means you could have 2d8+4(str. doubled from lance)+20(smite damage, double for first attack, double again for lance), for a total average of 33. One attack, at fifth level, dealing 33 damage seems a bit high, but not impossibly so.

Now, for my paladin, who's level 10, took spirited charge and power attack, and who has a +2 lance and a strength of 22 after magic items, and who two-hand wields it while charging. That works out to 3d8+27(three times 1 1/2 str. for two-hand wielding)+6(enchantment bonus on weapon)+27(two-hand wield power attack)+60(smite damage on first attack). That comes out to 133 damage, bypassing DR, and not even on a crit, or as min-maxed as I could make it. That seems ridiculous, which is why I'm wondering about it.

  • \$\begingroup\$ And I think we could extend any of the answers to the "brace" quality for weapons. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 15, 2012 at 3:55

2 Answers 2


You and @KRyan are correct.

  • all multipliers work alike (crit, lance, brace, whatever);
  • everything is included in the multiplier except bonus dice
  • multipliers are additive not multiplicative, see Multiplying Damage, Core Rulebook 179

It doesn't say anything more about it because there's nothing more to say, the rule is simple and all-encompassing.

Your math is slightly off however. For a tenth level paladin with STR 22, Spirited Charge (req: Mounted Combat, Ride-By Attack), Power Attack...

  • BAB +10
  • Lance: 1d8 damage
  • Magic enhancement: +2 to hit/+2 to damage
  • Strength: +6 to hit/+9 to damage assuming you're two-handing the lance
  • Power Attack: -3 to hit/+9 to damage
  • Base Melee Attack: +15 to hit, 1d8+20 damage
  • Charging: +2 to hit (-2 to AC)
  • Smite: +10 damage vs evil, +20 vs "super-evil"
  • Mounted and Spirited Charging: +17 to hit, 3d8+60 damage
  • Smiting Too: 3d8+90 damage vs evil, 3d8+120 vs super-evil
  • On Crit: 5d8+100 vs normal, 5d8+150 vs evil, 5d8+200 vs super-evil
  • The aristocrats.

On a crit, you can one-shot a Hezrou (CR 11). It'll live through the first non-crit shot, but you can get it with the next normal blow (assuming you make your save against the blasphemy...). Yes, that's how it's supposed to work. Yes, it's pretty hardcore. You can only do it 4x/day and need to set up a mounted charge and to crit, though. But many super-optimized builds are built around charging for this reason.


This is going to be a weak answer because I cannot cite rules, but for lack of any other answers at the moment, this is my understanding:

  1. The lance’s doubling is the same as a critical hit’s doubling (or what have you). A critical hit with a lance therefore increases the multiplier (×3 becomes ×4 not ×6).

  2. Damage multipliers apply to the weapon’s own damage (1d8 for a lance), and any “flat” numbers you apply to it, including your Strength (or 1.5× thereof for two-hands), Weapon Specialization, Power Attack, the collision weapon special ability, and so on.

  3. Damage multipliers do not multiply bonus damage dice, such as Sneak Attack or the flaming weapon special ability.

The gist of it is that numerical bonuses are “modifiers” while bonus dice are somehow separate. I cannot find the correct rules citation for this, however.


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