Pouncing Charge, From Tome of Battle: The Book of Nine Swords, page 88:

As part of initiating this maneuver, you make a charge attack. Instead of making a single attack at the end of your charge, you can make a full attack. The bonus on your attack roll for making a charge attack applies to all your attack rolls.

And then the lance:

A lance deals double damage when used from the back of a charging mount. It has reach, so you can strike opponents 10 feet away with it, but you can’t use it against an adjacent foe.

While mounted, you can wield a lance with one hand.

My question is this: Would a lance deal double damage on all attacks made during this charge? I know that "bonus damage" is only dealt on the first instance of damage, but it appears the lance doesn't do bonus damage, it just does more damage during a charge attack. I can imagine a high-level character annihilating large swaths of foes with his reach weapon doing insane damage for 5+ attacks during a charge. This could be further improved with additional feats and considerations, but I'm not looking to optimize. I just want to know if this works at all.

Also note: If pouncing charge cannot be used while mounted, which would be an entirely separate question, just assume that the attacker is a centaur:

A centaur employing a lance deals double damage when it charges, just as a rider on a mount does.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Related [rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/189015/…: Do feats that improve Power Attack charging damage last until your next turn?] As it pertains to charge feats and extra maneuvers, with differing opinions regarding charge feat interactions. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 24, 2021 at 21:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Huh! I missed that, my apologies. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Jul 24, 2021 at 22:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Pathfinder view on the subject, if you are interested. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 26, 2021 at 19:12

1 Answer 1


The lance probably deals the bonus damage.

First, allow me to clear up this point:

I know that "bonus damage" is only dealt on the first instance of damage...

This is only true of precision damage, like sneak attack or sudden strike, and only with regards to volley attacks (somewhat clunkily defined as multiple attacks made as part of something other than a full round action; since a charge attack is a full round action, you can apply sneak attack to all attacks during pouncing charge). Additionally, bonus damage dice don't get multiplied by critical hits, specifically. That only applies to critical hits, however.

Since the double damage a lance deals as part of a charge is not precision damage, it can apply to every attack you make as part of a charge. It's tricky to apply this to more than one attack; effects like Pounce or Psionic Lion's Charge let you make attacks after a charge, not as part of one. Effects like the feat Dire Charge or, yes, the maneuver pouncing charge give you additional attacks as part of the charge. Any bonuses that apply to a charge—things like a lance, Spirited Charge, or the valorous weapon ability—should apply.

The devil's in the details, though. So what are the details for a lance?

The lance itself says

A lance deals double damage when used from the back of a charging mount.

while the description of the Charge action says

A lance deals double damage if employed by a mounted character in a charge.

Finally, the mounted combat rules say

If your mount charges, you also take the AC penalty associated with a charge. If you make an attack at the end of the charge, you receive the bonus gained from the charge. When charging on horseback, you deal double damage with a lance.

The rules for mounted combat in 3.5 are an absolute quagmire. Basically, you don't charge, your mount does. Then, at the end of the charge, you're allowed to make an attack that gets the relevant charge bonuses. This means that your mount would need to be the one to initiate pouncing charge, not the rider; if the rider were to initiate pouncing charge, it would entail jumping out of the saddle or something. Many reasonable DMs will rule otherwise, since it's a bit silly, but many things in 3.5 are.

But for a centaur who initiates pouncing charge, yes, the lance should deal extra damage.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Turning the flavor description of Leap Attack into a hard-and-fast rule—that contradicts the actual mechanical text of the feat—is incorrect, per the official errata rules on how to handle conflicts between sources in D&D 3.5e. Then again, it doesn’t have to be a conflict—your one attack could be so devastating that all the rest of the attacks you make thereafter do more damage. Either way, though, claiming Leap Attack only applies to a single attack is wrong, and that mars an otherwise-excellent answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Jul 24, 2021 at 22:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan The errata rule to which your referring applies only to spells. In this case, though, the mechanical text is also quite clear: "you deal +100% the normal bonus damage from your use of the Power Attack feat. This attack must follow all the normal rules..." It's a single attack. Leap Attack makes no mention of duration, so if you don't read it as a single attack, you just get +100% power attack damage after triggering the feat once. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 24, 2021 at 23:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Your claim about the errata rules is false; primary sources vs. secondary sources is the fundamental rule for handling all conflicts, and the Benefit section of a feat is the primary source on what that feat does and how it works. Leap Attack applies to the “use of Power Attack.” Power Attack lasts until your next turn. “This attack” refers to the charge you make to trigger the feat—but just because the feat is triggered by a single attack does not mean its benefits are limited to that feat. As a matter of fact, since it modifies Power Attack, which lasts a turn, it is not. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Jul 25, 2021 at 0:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ The more I read Leap Attack, the more terribly it's worded. It assumes that ending a jump is use of Power Attack, and says "your use of the Power Attack feat," which is ambiguous as to whether "Power Attack" is specific or general (RAI, it's clearly specific, but not RAW). Then it says "this attack," (singular, but even without pouncing charge what about attacks of opportunity after your charge?), but there's no antecedent for "this"—neither jumping nor activating Power Attack is an attack. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 25, 2021 at 3:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ And then it says a jump attack must follow "all the normal rules" for jumping and charging, but you can't jump as part of a charge and JA doesn't actually let you do that (though see the Rules Compendium 27). RAW, the feat is nonfunctional; I believe the description means that RAI, it applies to only one attack. On review, though, I agree that bringing Leap Attack into the question was a mistake, and I'll delete my mention of it in the main answer. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 25, 2021 at 3:31

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