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I have a charging Slayer wearing Cat Tabi. Cat Tabi are boots that make you always land on your feet, and have a daily ability that makes you take no falling damage.

I was imagining scenarios where those might come in handy, and thought about jumping off a 100-ft tower to help an ally who was attacked below.

Then, I thought that it would be a lot cooler to jump off and land on an enemy with my spear. Moving and attacking at the end is a charge. Is there any reason I couldn't fall 100 feet and land on my feet as part of a charge?

The main thing that concerns me is that I've moved more than my move speed if you count the falling as moving.

If there's some way to do more damage due to the fall, that would be nice to know as well.

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If everyone at the table finds it suitably cinematic, I'd say go for it. It sounds like an awesome maneuver to pull off. 4e doesn't have any general guidelines for damage from something falling on you, as shown in What happens when a creature falls on another creature?, so one would need to invent their own, possibly using the normal falling damage rules as a guideline.

That said, for the RAW answer:

Generally, no.

(Unless you have some extremely specific circumstances.)

For a variety of (potential) reasons relating to movement restrictions.

1. Movement at the beginning of the charge

The Rules Compendium (pg 240) notes that one requirement for making a charge attack is that "Each square of movement must bring the character closer to the target," counting the distance to the target even through squares (or cubes, in this case) of blocking terrain. Unfortunately, this means one would be unable to move horizontally off the cliff edge, as by 4e's measurement system, there's no way this could be moving you closer to your target. You're also unable to move diagonally down towards them, as a character can't move diagonally through solid objects, such as the cliff you were just standing on.


Note: The remaining arguments hinge on the fall from the cliff being considered voluntary movement from purposely stepping off. If the actual falling is considered involuntary, akin to forced movement, these entire points are pretty much invalid, though point 1 still holds.

2. Total amount of movement

As you've mentioned in your question, the distance one has to fall may itself be a limiting factor. The description of Charge includes "1. Move: The creature moves up to its speed toward the target." (Emphasis added.) Presumably the hypothetical character in question doesn't have a speed of 20+, and thus would not be allowed to charge such a distance.

3. Movement at the end of the charge

Same requirement from point 1 causing a problem again, except at the other end of the charge this time. Assuming a flat surface at the bottom of the cliff you're falling off of, I can't really imagine any fall in which that would be possible, since altitude 1 and altitude 0 would both be 1 square away. If you happened to land on a ledge or slope one square higher than the target, this problem could be avoided, but that would be an extremely specific setup to have to hope for.

You might wonder if one could stop their movement at the closest possible point, altitude 1, so as to make the attack, but that would mean the charging character stopped moving in midair. Even a flight-capable creature couldn't make a charge like that with a fall, since the only way to catch yourself while falling is with an Immediate Reaction, which you can't take on your own turn and requires you to have already been flying.

The only general-purpose exception I can think of might be if you're a Pixie landing in the same space as the target, since only a Tiny character would be allowed to share a space. However, despite the Fly speed, you would still need the cliff or some other form of elevation in order to attempt your trick. Altitude limit only makes you fall at the end of your turn, and falling prone to fall requires a Minor action, so you wouldn't be able to do it in conjunction with a Standard action Charge. On the other hand, a Pixie is perfectly capable of charging downwards while flying instead of falling, if you're just looking for some Death From Above.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't have the Rules Compendium on hand right now to look over myself, but that's not how I've interpreted the "Each square of movement" requirement in the past. I've interpreted that as a restriction on the squares in which you could choose to move into, rather than a limiting condition to check at the end of the charge. For instance, if you were somehow pushed during a charge, and that square moved you away from the target, it wouldn't matter so long as you still had enough movement to finish the charge and continued to move toward them under your own power. \$\endgroup\$ – DCShannon Feb 22 '16 at 20:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ The bigger problem would be the top of the cliff, where you are probably 20 squares away for every square of movement. \$\endgroup\$ – DCShannon Feb 22 '16 at 20:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DCShannon Whoops, yes it is, must've missed that line. Anyway, rolled some of my comments into the answer itself to expand it, and separated the one definite ruling from the more questionable ones. \$\endgroup\$ – Michaellogg Feb 22 '16 at 21:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ That looks pretty good. My takeaway: strictly speaking, no, but they're technicalities, so a lot of groups would probably be fine with it. \$\endgroup\$ – DCShannon Feb 22 '16 at 23:05
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Yes, I believe you can do exactly that. Nice thinking.

Charging (RC p240) just needs you to move a minimum distance, then make a meele basic attack or bull rush. You'll do this just fine.

First, Movement: Do a high jump or a long jump (Athletics, RC p138) or just walk off the edge if that's enough, and then begin to Fall (RC p209).

  • Two cubes is enough to satisfy having moved two squares. You're falling a hundred feet, so you've met your minimum distance.
  • Falling means you "can't move any farther as part of the current action". That's not totally accurate because you will hit the ground this turn (you fall 500 feet/turn, see "high-altitude falls").
  • Falling doesn't actually do anything to stop your action, so you'll still be moving through your charge. It's only a problem if you hit the ground, take damage, and fall prone — but you'll hit the ground with no damage at all.
  • As a bonus, you trigger no opportunity attacks by falling past enemies.

So, you've landed, completing your movement portion of the charge. You've either landed in your opponent's square or next to them, you take no damage, and stay on your feet. Make the last part of your charge attack.

The sticking point for some groups will be that second bullet point: whether "you can't move any farther" should mean "you can't do the last part of your charge now". YMMV.

However, if your group's fine with the above, you can also do this from smaller distances if you can use Acrobatics to cover for the falling damage (RC p133).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @MikeKellogg probably has the more accurate RAW answer, but this is probably closer to how we would interpret it while playing. Everybody in the group thinks the lack of hypotenuses is stupid, so would probably recognize the movement as "toward them". \$\endgroup\$ – DCShannon Feb 22 '16 at 20:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DCShannon Regarding the "lack of hypotenuses," that becomes necessary due to the removal of the 3e requirement that you have to charge in a straight line, which would be rather difficult to determine in any other fashion thanks to the non-Euclidean geometry of the 4e universe. =P \$\endgroup\$ – Michaellogg Feb 22 '16 at 21:58

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