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The special ability pounce says

When a creature with this special attack makes a charge, it can follow with a full attack—including rake attacks if the creature also has the rake ability. (Monster Manual 313)

When bound to the hands chakra, the soulmeld sphinx claws says

When you use the charge action, at the end of your charge you can make a full attack using any natural weapons you possess. You can use natural weapons that you have by virtue of your race or kind, or natural weapons derived from soulmelds you have shaped. If you elect to use this ability, you cannot make any attacks with manufactured weapons at the end of the same charge. (Magic of Incarnum 88)

Can a meldshaper who possesses the special ability pounce and who has the soulmeld sphinx claws bound to his arms chakra make two full attacks at the end of a charge? (The second full attack, obviously, limited to attacks not involving manufactured weapons.)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ No, even if possible, I don't really expect a DM to let me get away with this. I'm just curious if it's technically possible as I'm playing a character who will soon have access to both. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan May 31 '15 at 18:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ Given the lack of "additional" in either wording, I would say only a single "full attack" is allowed, as neither allude to stacking them, but I am curious as what support the rules will provide. \$\endgroup\$ – Matthieu M. May 31 '15 at 18:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan -- there are situations where cheese is entirely appropriate, and not just on hamburger patties. ;) \$\endgroup\$ – Shalvenay May 31 '15 at 19:07
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Obviously, it is inappropriate to allow a 6th-level character to double their full-attacks. That said...

As it turns out, the rules for Pounce are kind of a mess

I am actually going to borrow some terminology from that other Wizards product to describe what’s going on, but it is important to keep in mind that D&D doesn’t use these or define these terms, which is why this is not a determinable case under the rules.

So, in Magic terms, both Pounce and sphinx claws are written like triggered abilities. In Magic, triggered abilities are indicated by phrasing like “when,” “whenever,” or “at,” and both Pounce and sphinx claws are clearly using the “when” phrasing. In fact, they both happen “when” the same event occurs: you complete a charge. Magic has detailed timing rules, and states explicitly that simultaneously-triggered abilities go on the stack in any order their controller wishes.1

However, despite how they are written, this is not how anyone actually runs either ability. I have never met anyone who has treated Pounce as a triggered ability: everyone runs it as what Magic calls a “replacement effect,” specifically a replacement of the single attack you usually get when you charge. The descriptions of neither Pounce nor sphinx claws indicate this, however. As written, as triggered abilities, you would expect the full attack to follow after a charge – including its one attack.

If Pounce and sphinx claws are understood as replacement effects, even though they definitely aren’t written as such, then this becomes clear: both are replacing the same thing, you cannot get both.

If we go with the rules as written, then both are triggered by the conclusion of the charge (including its own solitary attack), and then we run into a conundrum: Magic defines what happens when two abilities are triggered by the same event. Dungeons & Dragons 3.5e does not. Anything and everything is possible, including having to just pick one and not getting the other at all.

The most reasonable approach, I would think, is to mimic the bonus-stacking rules: multiple triggered abilities can all happen, in any order the controller chooses, but you cannot get the same thing twice. In this sense, the “full attack” is effectively a “type” of bonus effect, that does not stack with itself. But then, while this is most reasonable for full attacks, I’m sure there are other cases where this seems less fair.


  1. Technically, Magic has the players who have abilities triggered by an event each place one of the triggered abilities they control on the stack consecutively, continuing around the players until all triggered abilities are handled.
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  • \$\begingroup\$ I get it that "follow with a full attack" means "after you did this, make a full attack", if taken at face value. Isn't there anywhere in the rules a place where the "follow with a full attack" wording has the meaning of "Keep attacking after your first attack in order to get a full attack as a result"? Just as in, you know, you can decide to make a single attack, then either take a movement action or follow into a full attack? \$\endgroup\$ – Zachiel Feb 14 '17 at 19:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Zachiel That would be terrible English, if so, but just to be sure, I checked: no dice. Officially, the way full-attack reads, you start a full-attack and have the option of abandoning it after the first attack, regaining your move action. Certainly nothing about the full-attack “following” the initial attack action by making more attacks. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Feb 14 '17 at 20:07
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RAW

By RAW, using that wording, you get two full attacks (and the single attack from charge, as well).

In Play

No-one ever uses that interpretation. Let me repeat that. Never. It is widely understood that Pounce, which typically only comes up in optimized games to begin with unless it's on a druid's pet leopard, replaces the single attack you get at the end of a charge with a full-attack, and anything that lets you repeat that ability should be houseruled to not.

Sources; Various CO forums, 3.5e Con experiences, etc

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