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The horned helmet (Races of Faerûn 155, 156) (25 gp; 4 lbs.) is a martial Small weapon (hence light in terms) with which a Medium creature deals 1d4/×2 points of piercing damage. Already, I am amused (but not surprised) that the Gruumsh Martial Weapons College has as a required course Introduction to Helmets 100: Goring for Pleasure and Treasure, but it gets better: The weapon's description says

A horned helmet resembles a normal helmet with bull’s horns attached to each side. A horned helmet deals double normal damage when used during a charge action, but the helmet has a reach of 0 ft. (156)

What does a Medium creature's turn look like if the creature that's wielding (on its head, presumably) a horned helmet charges 30 ft. across a featureless plain at, for example, a hill giant? By the same token, what does such a creature's turn look like if the creature wants to make a full attack using its horned helmet against an adjacent hill giant?


Note: I assume the creature must enter the foe's space, but how the creature can do that and what happens to the creature afterward are significant concerns (square occupancy in particular). And, yes, of course this Medium creature intends to wear an inappropriately big horned helmet so that the creature can benefit from wielding the horned helmet two-handed while using the feat Power Attack. See, too, in Races of Faerûn the spiked helmet, an identical weapon dealing slightly less damage for weirdos folks who don't use antlers in all of their decorating. While Races is for I plan to use this in a campaign, hence tags for both; however, answers should focus on the weapon's use in the latter game.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This is probably not the answer you're looking for: by enchanting it with an initiative bonus or similar passive enchantments and never, ever using it to attack (unless while swallowed, maybe). :) \$\endgroup\$ – Zachiel Aug 9 '16 at 15:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Note: you forgot using 'Monky Grip' to enlarge the helmet even further ;) \$\endgroup\$ – G0BLiN Aug 9 '16 at 15:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @G0BLiN O, man, I wish that worked. On the other hand, the feat Wield Oversized Weapon is a go. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Aug 9 '16 at 16:06
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How to attack on a charge

Here are the rules we get for tiny or smaller creatures (without reach):

Creatures that take up less than 1 square of space typically have a natural reach of 0 feet,

But what does having 0 ft reach mean?

meaning they can’t reach into adjacent squares. They must enter an opponent’s square to attack in melee. This provokes an attack of opportunity from the opponent. You can attack into your own square if you need to, so you can attack such creatures normally. Since they have no natural reach, they do not threaten the squares around them. You can move past them without provoking attacks of opportunity. They also can’t flank an enemy.

All of this applies to the charging horned helmet user - you must enter the space to attack with it, and doing so provokes. The helmet grants no reach so you cannot threaten or flank.

However, the charge rules are unfriendly to your cunning plan:

First, you must move to the closest space from which you can attack the opponent.

Even without weapons drawn, a Medium creature has an unarmed strike with a reach of 5 feet, so when charging, it must stop 5 feet away, which is too far to use the helmet.

How to attack normally

The helmet's "but" suggests that the 0ft reach applies only on a charge. If you begin your turn next to someone you want to gore (for pleasure and/or treasure) you can go ahead and do that the same way as you would with any weapon.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So the helmet's mildly dysfunctional in that if an attacker wishes to use it during a charge the attacker must be somehow unable to make unarmed strikes? (Unarmed strikes, by the way, can be kicks or headbutts, and snakes and beholders can make unarmed strikes). I'm troubled by that. I've always assumed the attacker picks the weapon with which its attacking during a charge, hence wielding a longspear doesn't stop a dude from body checking a fool (i.e. making an unarmed strike at the end of the charge), and, therefore, folks can play hockey. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Aug 9 '16 at 16:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think the 'closest space from which you can attack the opponent' refers to the specific weapon you are using for the charge action - otherwise, this means a creature with, say, a whip (reach 15ft) and a sword (5ft reach) will not be able to charge with the sword, as she must stop 15ft away from her target... \$\endgroup\$ – G0BLiN Aug 9 '16 at 16:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ I see no indication in the rules that you pick a weapon when charging, but I may be missing the relevant quote? \$\endgroup\$ – SPavel Aug 9 '16 at 16:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ When a creature makes an attack, the creature picks with what. Why does that change on a charge? That is, reading it as "from which you can attack the opponent [with the longest weapon you're wielding]" seems to assume at least as much as "from which you can attack the opponent [with a weapon you're wielding of your choice]." \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Aug 9 '16 at 21:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ I know. Why does the answer say, "Even without weapons drawn, a Medium creature has an unarmed strike with a reach of 5 feet, so when charging, it must stop 5 feet away, which is too far to use the helmet"? That is, why is the creature's unarmed strike preventing the creature from attacking using the helmet? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Aug 9 '16 at 23:20

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