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Can the melee attack of Skald's Armour be further than the melee range?

In the case where I have creature A, one square to my north and creature B, one square to my south, i.e. the range between the two creatures A & B is 2 ...

Could I get creature A to attack creature B? ... I'm thinking "No"

This is assuming the melee range of the creature is 1 ... if it was 2+, then I'd say "Yes"

Power Daily (Immediate Interrupt)
Trigger: An enemy targets you with a melee attack.
Effect: The triggering enemy instead targets a creature of your choice adjacent to you.

Full details on WotC

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Looking in the RC, I read it as the power/effect has to state it overrides, so the standard melee attack range rules apply \$\endgroup\$ – SteveC Aug 27 '15 at 16:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have never seen a more specific rule specifically call out that it is overriding a more general rule, so I'm not sure about that logic. Still, I agree with your conclusion, as the specific rule here doesn't pertain to range, merely to which creature is responsible for selecting a valid target for the attack. \$\endgroup\$ – webbcode Aug 28 '15 at 18:45
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While Nibelung's answer has its heart in the right place, and is correct in its explanation of 4e's design ethos, it's missing a key element:

In 4th Edition, rules do what they say they do, and ONLY what they say they do.

This rule says that the attack targets a creature of your choice adjacent to you, but it fails to specify "even if the new target would normally be outside the range of that attack." -- so it does not do that.

The general rule in play here is "the creature making an attack selects the target of that attack," and that is being overridden by a more specific rule that fails to account for the situation outlined in your question.

It's ultimately up to the DM to determine exactly how to adjudicate resolving this, but here's a few possible interpretations:

  1. The Skald Armor power should not be used in a situation where there are no other valid targets for you to select from, because you would be the only valid choice, so the attack would still target you.
  2. The Skald Armor power cannot be used in a situation where there are no other valid targets for you to select from. This is essentially a common-sense houserule based on #1, effectively modifying the trigger line -- but this requires a bit of metagaming in terms of knowing or discussing the triggering monster's reach.
  3. The Skald Armor power can be used in a situation in which there are no other valid targets for you to select from, in which case it results in an automatic miss. This, too, would be a houserule based on the silliness of #1.
  4. The Skald Armor power can be used to extend the reach of an enemy's attacks to include any target adjacent to you. This may or may not have been the actual rule's intent (discussing intent is almost always subjective and pointless), but is a perfectly acceptable houserule, again considering how silly #1 would be.

Interpretation #1 is the literal reading of the rules text, but, as is implicit in Nibelung's answer as well, is silly enough that either you (or your DM) should consider adopting further clarifying houserules, or discourage use of this item in that situation.

For what it's worth, this is one of my favorite items, and I almost always use it to target the triggering enemy ("Stop hitting yourself!"), though that doesn't work if they're making a reach attack and I'm not adjacent.

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There isn't actually a conclusive answer available for this and unfortunately it's probably going to be a ruling thing.

There's no errata or FAQ on this item, and digging around, a transcript from customer support in 2010 suggests customer support didn't know either. Vanishingly few powers redirect targets like this — the only other I could find by the keywords "instead targets" was Deflecting Thunder (PHB2 just like Skald's Armor, p36; also no errata or FAQ) and that one at least specifies it can't be the attacker.

Taking the power at face value, it just says you pick a new target adjacent to you — no other constraints are stated or implied by the rules; you can target anyone. There's no conditions about "valid target" or "in range", and this is not working through the usual target selection process, which customer support acknowledges. (They mention those targeting rules initially, but it's evident they were confused about the question.) It would be helpful to have the power mention target validity explicitly, but the version we have is perfectly functional and says nothing about that.

In my own game, I'd treat that power with the same spirit of immediate interrupts that let you dodge out of the way (the canonical ones that invalidate attacks). You can pick an invalid target, and since the since the power's target is no longer valid, the power fizzles and the action is lost. It's a power that can only be used once a day anyway, and not an amazing one either.

You could alternately require they pick someone in range, and either play 20 guesses with them or just tell them outright who's adjacent and in range. Personally I'd prefer not doing either, to maintain surprise — maybe they'll one day target the attacker's ally or someone they think is out of range, but something unexpected happens or it turns out that the new target is in range.

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Yes.

D&D 4e is build on the basis that any specific rule that contradicts a general rule have priority over the general rule (Player's Handbook, pg 11). A character usually can't target something beyond their range. A power that allows them to target someone out of that range is an exception to that rule.

There are various examples of powers and abilities allowing characters to reach targets beyond their usual range like Orb of Deception or Elemental Escalation. Many soldier monsters also have an ability like that to take a hit in the place of another one, like the Phantom Brigade Squire's Shielding Martyr power.

Those "hit another target" powers have a clear intent. It is not supposed to fizzle an attack, but to make the enemy hit one of their friends (or a more meaty ally of yours). That, to me, means that the RAI has a very clear meaning that the attack will hit the target even if it is not within range of the original attack. There are precedents in the system for that and it makes sense thematically. They could easily change the item power to "chose another target within range of the attack" or simply "The attack will miss you" instead of the way it was worded if the intend was otherwise.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Objections to this answer's reasoning would be more profitably registered by simply providing a competing answer. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Aug 27 '15 at 23:40

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