Some attack powers, such as Seeker's Possessing Spirits, do damage on a hit and cause the target to attack an enemy (or take some other action).

Hit: 1[W] + Wisdom modifier damage, and the target makes a melee basic attack as a free action against an enemy adjacent to it....

If the damage portion would kill the target, does the other action still happen?

What about if it's an Effect, not part of the Hit?

As always, concrete references or supporting logic preferred over personal opinions.

  • \$\begingroup\$ good question. This has come up in my group as well. Personally I'd lean toward no because the creature dies before the MBA is resolved, but I don't have any rules to cite for that. \$\endgroup\$
    – dpatchery
    Jun 17, 2011 at 18:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ My standard assumption with games is that you perform the actions given to you in the order they are written. Top to bottom, left to right. However, I was unable to find this explicitly stated for 4e the last time I looked. \$\endgroup\$
    – AceCalhoon
    Jun 17, 2011 at 18:25

1 Answer 1


Typically things happen in the order from beginning to end. When this is not the case you will see things like "Before" show up and/or an Effect listed before the Hit.

If part of an effect is impossible, generally the effect is skipped.


Hungry for the Kill

Druid Attack 17
Encounter ✦ Beast Form, Healing, Implement, Primal
Standard Action ✦ Melee touch

Effect: Before the attack, you shift 2 squares.
     Primal Predator: The number of squares you shift equals your Dexterity modifier.
Target: One creature
Attack: Wisdom vs. Reflex
Hit: 2d12 + Wisdom modifier damage. If either you or the target is bloodied or at 0 hit points or fewer, you can spend a healing surge, make a saving throw, or both.

Here the effect before is directly listed as before and above the hit box. And the check to see if you or the enemy is bloodied or dead is after the damage listing. The dead part would make very little sense if it didn't take place after the damage was registered.

In the case of your attack, the dead/unconscious enemy tries to make an attack, but can't because of the dead/unconscious state.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I say this is pretty good to say as most things tend to have that "beginning to end" from read. If this was even submitted to Wizard's themselves for a question, I'm more than willing to bet that it would be described as how Lunin said. \$\endgroup\$
    – zapoqx
    Jun 18, 2011 at 2:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ In the case of Possessing Spirits, it can't be listed as before the attack, because it only happens on a hit. As for "in the order", believe damage is always listed first. I would be happy to see a counter example to either of these. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 18, 2011 at 2:58

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