Multiplying Damage confusion

Rules Questions

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.


A number of feats and abilities say (paraphrased):

"When you charge, you do double damage (triple with a lance)."

Does the bracketed part replace or add to a lances normal doubling when used on the back of a charging mount?

(in a different thread, I made THIS post which breaks down various interpretations of various combinations of such feats and abilities)


Neither; it's simply a reminder of how it works.

In the world of 3.X/Pathfinder, two doublings typically equal a tripling, rather than a quadrupling.

So if you have two abilities that state you deal double damage, then if the base damage would be 10, this leads to a total damage of 30, rather than the ordinary mathematical result of 40.

PRD wrote:
Multiplying: When you are asked to apply more than one multiplier to a roll, the multipliers are not multiplied by one another. Instead, you combine them into a single multiplier, with each extra multiple adding 1 less than its value to the first multiple. For example, if you are asked to apply a ×2 multiplier twice, the result would be ×3, not ×4.


...uhm, yeah. But I think you've misinterpreted my question. The feats/abilities say "double (or triple with a lance)", meaning it's either x2 + x2 = x3, OR x2 + x3 = x4. I know it's not x2 + x3 = x5, and definitely not x2 x3 (for x6 total).

So you are saying that the bracketed text is simply a reminder, aka redundant, aka replacing the lances normal doubling (because x2 + x2 = x3).

Here in lies the confusion, which will be better explained (or at least in much more detail) by copy-pasting what I linked to.

Pirate wrote:

I think some people may think that the " (or triple with a lance)" is already taking into account that lances normally do double already, thus doing the adding of multipliers for you already (thus making the inclusion of the lance exception kinda redundant). Lets call this interpretation A.

While others take it as it is written, a flat tripling on top of the lance's normal boost. Lets call this interpretation B.

Then there are those who mix the two, thinking that Spirited Charge replaced the lances normal doubling instead of adding to it, but the double (triple) from Supreme Charge adds. Lets call this interpretation C.

So if we have a 20th level Cavalier character on a mount, charging, using a lance, with Spirited Charge, and Supreme Charge, we have: "lance deals double damage when used from the back of a charging mount" + "When mounted and using the charge action, you deal double damage with a melee weapon (or triple damage with a lance)" + " whenever the cavalier makes a charge attack while mounted, he deals double the normal amount of damage (or triple if using a lance)".

By interpretation A: The (triple) is a redundant clarification, so x2 + x2 + x2 = x4

By interpretation B: It all adds and lances use the triple instead of the double, so x2 + x3 + x3 = x6

By interpretation C: One replaces but the other adds, so x2 becomes x3 then + x3 = x5

note: this does not include the crit multiplying of the lance yet. If it is included, the final multiplier for A is x6, for B x8, and for C x7.

Most people I've seen tend to lean towards C, but thinking about it, A or B actually make more sense (applying the same logic to all parts of the equation).

Most everyone I know and posters I've seen here over the last several years tend to say interpretation C is correct... but that interpretation is inconsistent with itself.

I take it however that you feel interpretation A is correct (if this is not true, then my apologies for assuming so). However, many people (again, based on a mix of real life experience and forum observations) will disagree with that. Though recently I've been seeing all three interpretations coming up in conversations again. Hence the question.


Yes, I would automatically assume interpretation A. The way I see it, both "(or triple with a lance)" brackets are simply clarifications.

So someone using Spirited Charge with lance deals x3, someone using Supreme Charge with lance deals x3, and someone using both deals x4.

In any case, both Spirited Charge and Supreme Charge should work the same way, since they use (almost) the same exact words, so I can't see how interpretation C could be correct.

But I'll add to the FAQ request. Since people have differing points of view, it seems to be necessary :)

When you are dealing with multipliers, always subtract one, then do the addition and then multiply. So:

Normal attack= 1
Charging with lance: x2-1= 1
Spirited charge: x2-1= 1
Supreme charge: x2-1= 1
Critical hit with a lance: x3-1 =2


A critical spirited/supreme charge critical does x6.

The lance bonus does not stack twice.


Cool, and thanks. I am kinda surprised that only you two replied, and both giving interpretation A... especially with other recent threads and posters giving interpretation C their approval for how it works.

Though, there is also the "if" of if anyone even saw this thread and/or has read it. So in that light... *innocent bump*


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