# Critical hits and lances from a mounted charge

### Rules Questions

My player asked me what is the exact damage inflicted when a mounted Paladin scores a critical hit? 6d8 damage plus the Paladin's Strength bonus? And what about the Strength bonus to damage, do you get the +50% damage bonus from 2 handed weapons as well?

From other threads on the topic, I'm gathering that it is something like this.

Normal hit with a lance= 1d8+n
Mounted charge hit with a lance= 2d8+2n
Normal crit with a lance= 3d8+3n
Mounted charge crit with a lance= 4d8+4n

Where n is whatever static bonus you are adding to damage.

This is because you add up the number of damage rolls in a critical hit, but you don't count the original weapon dice twice. So x2 damage for the charge and x3 damage for the crit isn't x6 damage, but it is one bonus for the charge and two bonuses for the crit for four total damage rolls all added up.

Also, the lance does double damage when used in a charge, not just +50%. So a mounted paladin with an 18 STR on charge would do 2d8+8 ( not counting other buffs) and I'm prety sure the crit on a mounted charge would be 4d8+16.

Found the appropriate text...

Core Rule Book pg. 12 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.

Also

Core Rule Book pg. 179 wrote:

Multiplying Damage: Sometimes you multiply damage by some factor, such as on a critical hit. Roll the damage (with all modif iers) multiple times and total the results.

Note: When you multiply damage more than once, each multiplier works off the original, unmultiplied damage. So if you are asked to double the damage twice, the end result is three times the normal damage.

Sorry to do all the editing to one post, just wanted to get all my ducks lined up in the same place for people to shoot at. ;)

Piccolo wrote:
My player asked me what is the exact damage inflicted when a mounted Paladin scores a critical hit? 6d8 damage plus the Paladin's Strength bonus? And what about the Strength bonus to damage, do you get the +50% damage bonus from 2 handed weapons as well?

Short answer - A lance critical kills just about anything it hits.

Longer answer - You calculate damage for a two handed weapon (lance). So, assuming a medium character, that is 2d8+(Str mod * 1.5 + power attack for two handed weapon + magic + smite (if applicable) + whatever buffs) * 2

Then multiply all that by 2 (3 with spirited charge).

Note that if that is the first hit on a smite against an undead or evil outsider that is double level damage BEFORE being multiplied by 3.

So, yeah just about autokills anything remotely close to CR appropriate.

Edit: I believe that Stone dog is wrong. In this case, it IS x6 damage. Because the lance explicitly says that "A lance deals double damage". Or triple with Spirited charge.

Not that it makes a huge difference. x4 is likely enough :-)

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@pauljathome

You don't multiply multiples.

Core Rulebook, Combat, page 179 wrote:
When you multiply damage more than once, each multiplier works off the original, unmultiplied damage. So if you are asked to double the damage twice, the end result is three times the normal damage.
pauljathome wrote:
paraphrasing 1.5x str bonus stuff from you

I am unsure if you get 1.5x str with a lance while wielding it in one hand. Appropriate rules...

Core Rulebook, Combat, page 179 wrote:
When you deal damage with a weapon that you are wielding two-handed, you add 1-1/2 times your Strength bonus
Core Rulebook, Equipment, page 141 wrote:
Two-Handed: Two hands are required to use a two-handed melee weapon effectively. Apply 1-1/2 times the character's Strength bonus to damage rolls for melee attacks with such a weapon

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Cuenta wrote:

@pauljathome

You don't multiply multiples.

Quote:

I am unsure if you get 1.5x str with a lance while wielding it in one hand. Appropriate rules...

This is answered in the Core FAQ. The question isn't quite the same but it is close enough

Power Attack: If I am using a two-handed weapon with one hand (such as a lance while mounted), do still I get the +50% damage for using a two-handed weapon?
Yes.

@pauljathome

How-do multiplying is pretty clear as day in two different places in the Core Rulebook (pages 12 and 179).

You may well be right about the str thing.

A lance used while mounted is still being wielded as a two-handed weapon, though it has a special rule allowing you to weild it in one hand (hence 1.5 STR & PA bonus). Other times when a THW weapon is wielded in one hand, you are told to wield it "as a one-handed weapon", thus no 1.5 STR or PA bonus.

And to reaffirm, you do not multiply multiples. You simply add together the respective multiples of the base being multiplied (two doubles is not quadruple, but triple as each adds one more of the base number; a triple and a double is a quadruple, etc.).

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wow so much misinformation

When you multiply a multiply you add the multipliers together. Crit x3, spirited charge x3. They add up to x5, since you don't count the base damage twice. The x5 is you roll the damage 5 times for that attack and add them all together.

Okaaaaay... Looks like there's a lot of dissent here.

I'll try to make the problem clearer.

The Paladin in question has a 20 Strength (but crappy other stats). I know he does 2d6 +7 damage with a greatsword.

A lance does 1d8 damage. But on a charging horse with said lance, how much damage would the Paladin do if he had a confirmed critical?

Piccolo wrote:

Okaaaaay... Looks like there's a lot of dissent here.

I'll try to make the problem clearer.

The Paladin in question has a 20 Strength (but crappy other stats). I know he does 2d6 +7 damage with a greatsword.

A lance does 1d8 damage. But on a charging horse, how much damage would the Paladin do?

Assuming the paladin doesn't have spirited charge? 4d8+28

That's 2x damage for the charging lance, 3x crit weapon, and following the rules for multiplying in PF.

If he has spirited charge, the damage rises to 5d8+35.

The real key to understanding all of this is the multiplying rules. When you put multipliers together (like a lance charge and a crit) you don't simply multiply the two values together. You add in the extra damage each causes.
Normal lance damage: 1d8+7
Charge 2x additional damage above normal: +1d8+7
Crit 3x additional damage above normal: +2d8+14
And then add them all up for 4d8+28

If he wields the lance one-handed he only gets 1x strength damage. See the FAQ:

Quote:

Weapons, Two-Handed in One Hand: When a feat or other special ability says to treat a weapon that is normally wielded in two hands as a one handed weapon, does it get treated as one or two handed weapon for the purposes of how to apply the Strength modifier or the Power Attack feat?

If you're wielding it in one hand (even if it is normally a two-handed weapon), treat it as a one-handed weapon for the purpose of how much Strength to apply, the Power Attack damage bonus, and so on.

There is another FAQ that states you do get 1.5 damage for a lance wielded in one hand, at least for Power Attack.

Quote:

Power Attack: If I am using a two-handed weapon with one hand (such as a lance while mounted), do still I get the +50% damage for using a two-handed weapon?

Yes.

And the questions were answered within a couple months of each other. Frankly, I think I'd go with the longer answer over the one-word one. It's a bit more considered and less subject to being off the cuff. Plus, I think it's a better rule.

So, for my examples:

Me wrote:

Assuming the paladin doesn't have spirited charge? 4d8+20

That's 2x damage for the charging lance, 3x crit weapon, and following the rules for multiplying in PF.
If he has spirited charge, the damage rises to 5d8+25.

The real key to understanding all of this is the multiplying rules. When you put multipliers together (like a lance charge and a crit) you don't simply multiply the two values together. You add in the extra damage each causes.
Normal lance damage: 1d8+5
Charge 2x additional damage above normal: +1d8+5
Crit 3x additional damage above normal: +2d8+10
And then add them all up for 4d8+20

Bill Dunn wrote:

And the questions were answered within a couple months of each other. Frankly, I think I'd go with the longer answer over the one-word one. It's a bit more considered and less subject to being off the cuff. Plus, I think it's a better rule.

So, for my examples:

Me wrote:

Assuming the paladin doesn't have spirited charge? 4d8+20

That's 2x damage for the charging lance, 3x crit weapon, and following the rules for multiplying in PF.
If he has spirited charge, the damage rises to 5d8+25.

The real key to understanding all of this is the multiplying rules. When you put multipliers together (like a lance charge and a crit) you don't simply multiply the two values together. You add in the extra damage each causes.
Normal lance damage: 1d8+5
Charge 2x additional damage above normal: +1d8+5
Crit 3x additional damage above normal: +2d8+10
And then add them all up for 4d8+20

The only way to have the two mesh is to treat the Lance as a specific corner case. The way the Lance entry (and the specific FAQ) are worded means that you still treat the Lance as a THW, even though you are allowed to wield it in one hand. Pretty much every other ability which allows THW to be used in one hand tells you to treat it "as a one-handed weapon" or something similar (and that FAQ reflects that language as well).

Long story short, the Lance is a very specific special case.

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Rikkan wrote:
If he wields the lance one-handed he only gets 1x strength damage. See the FAQ:
Quote:

Weapons, Two-Handed in One Hand: When a feat or other special ability says to treat a weapon that is normally wielded in two hands as a one handed weapon, does it get treated as one or two handed weapon for the purposes of how to apply the Strength modifier or the Power Attack feat?

If you're wielding it in one hand (even if it is normally a two-handed weapon), treat it as a one-handed weapon for the purpose of how much Strength to apply, the Power Attack damage bonus, and so on.

Abraham Z. wrote:

There is another FAQ that states you do get 1.5 damage for a lance wielded in one hand, at least for Power Attack.

Quote:

Power Attack: If I am using a two-handed weapon with one hand (such as a lance while mounted), do still I get the +50% damage for using a two-handed weapon?

Yes.

There is no contradiction here, but the wording is confusing.

The lance says:

Quote:
A lance deals double damage when used from the back of a charging mount. While mounted, you can wield a lance with one hand.

It never talks about wielding as a one-handed weapon, only that you may wield it with one hand. I realize that distinction seems small, but it is important and the reason why those FAQs are not counter to one another.

The first FAQ is talking about weapons that use verbiage to the effect of "you may wield this as a one-handed weapon".

As an example, Quarterstaff Master says:

Quote:

Quarterstaff Master (Combat)

You can wield a quarterstaff as either a two-handed or one-handed weapon.

Prerequisites: Weapon Focus (quarterstaff), base attack bonus +5.

Benefit: By employing a number of different stances and techniques, you can wield a quarterstaff as a one-handed weapon. At the start of your turn, you decide whether or not you are going to wield the quarterstaff as a one-handed or two-handed weapon. When you wield it as a one-handed weapon, your other hand is free, and you cannot use the staff as a double weapon. You can take the feat Weapon Specialization in the quarterstaff even if you have no levels in fighter.

Even though it is normally a two-handed weapon you can wield it is as a one-handed weapon in all respects, including calculating strength damage bonus and power attack damage bonus.

The lance lacks this wording, and the FAQ that is specific to it exists to let us know it remains an exception because the wording of FAQ could easily lead you to think otherwise.

So, the lance does in fact get 1.5 str and +3 dmg -1 attack ratio for power attack.

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With that issue addressed, the general rules for multiplying multipliers tells us that instead of multiplying you subtract 1 from each extra multiplier and add them together.

So:
mounted lance charge X2 damage
critical lance x3-1 damage

Total multiplier of 2+3-1=4x damage.

So, if you paladin deals 2d6+7 damage with his greatsword and 20 strength...(he doesn't appear to be using power attack)

He would deal 1d8+7 while wielding a lance on foot (1d8+10 if power attack [maybe more depending on level])
He would deal 2d8+14 while wielding a lance during a mounted charge (2d8+20 with PA)
He would deal 4d8+28 while wielding a lance during a mounted charge if it is a critical hit (4d8+40 with PA).

The moral: Anything level appropriate hit by a mounted lance charge critical hit is probably dead.

fretgod99 wrote:

Long story short, the Lance is a very specific special case.

Honestly that's because there is nothing that really says that you only hold a lance with one hand while charging on a horse. I know we all 'know' in real life that's how it works but nothing in game requires it. Nothing in game requires you to give up any hands while riding on a horse.

Some of the rules don't mesh with real life - that's why it's a game and not a reality simulator.

Piccolo wrote:

Okaaaaay... Looks like there's a lot of dissent here.

I'll try to make the problem clearer.

The Paladin in question has a 20 Strength (but crappy other stats). I know he does 2d6 +7 damage with a greatsword.

A lance does 1d8 damage. But on a charging horse with said lance, how much damage would the Paladin do if he had a confirmed critical?

Assuming STR 20, mounted, and no other feats or modifiers, your damage would be:

Normal: 1d8+7
Charge: 2d8+14
Normal Critical: 3d8+21
Charging Critical: 4d8+28

Ckorik wrote:
fretgod99 wrote:

Long story short, the Lance is a very specific special case.

Honestly that's because there is nothing that really says that you only hold a lance with one hand while charging on a horse. I know we all 'know' in real life that's how it works but nothing in game requires it. Nothing in game requires you to give up any hands while riding on a horse.

Some of the rules don't mesh with real life - that's why it's a game and not a reality simulator.

It's assumed that you are only using one hand to wield a lance while mounted as you can also utilize a shield in this situation.

Rikkan wrote:
If he wields the lance one-handed he only gets 1x strength damage. See the FAQ:
Quote:

Weapons, Two-Handed in One Hand: When a feat or other special ability says to treat a weapon that is normally wielded in two hands as a one handed weapon, does it get treated as one or two handed weapon for the purposes of how to apply the Strength modifier or the Power Attack feat?

If you're wielding it in one hand (even if it is normally a two-handed weapon), treat it as a one-handed weapon for the purpose of how much Strength to apply, the Power Attack damage bonus, and so on.

I hate this ruling as it cause so much confusion. This is referring to abilities weapon ect. that use the exact words "treat it as a one-handed weapon" The lance has different wording. it says you can wield in one hand. a one handed weapon does not = wield it and one hand.

I really wish one hand meant one handed and two hands ment two handed. it also cause problem confusion and problems with metaphysical/invisible number of hands.

I say get rid of all that crap it just cause problems. one hand is one hand, two hands are two hands.

KainPen wrote:
Rikkan wrote:
If he wields the lance one-handed he only gets 1x strength damage. See the FAQ:
Quote:

Weapons, Two-Handed in One Hand: When a feat or other special ability says to treat a weapon that is normally wielded in two hands as a one handed weapon, does it get treated as one or two handed weapon for the purposes of how to apply the Strength modifier or the Power Attack feat?

If you're wielding it in one hand (even if it is normally a two-handed weapon), treat it as a one-handed weapon for the purpose of how much Strength to apply, the Power Attack damage bonus, and so on.

I hate this ruling as it cause so much confusion. This is referring to abilities weapon ect. that use the exact words "treat it as a one-handed weapon" The lance has different wording. it says you can wield in one hand. a one handed weapon does not = wield it and one hand.

I really wish one hand meant one handed and two hands ment two handed. it also cause problem confusion and problems with metaphysical/invisible number of hands.

I say get rid of all that crap it just cause problems. one hand is one hand, two hands are two hands.

Admittedly, the lance is the only exception I can think of to the general FAQ. Everything else uses the verbiage "treat as a one-handed weapon" if its handedness changes. In my mind it wouldn't be that big of a deal to change the lance to conform. Sure, its damage will go down but not unreasonably so. It's not as though mounted lance charges are weak, they could stand to do a little less damage. Although the classes that do specialize into it do end up having little to do besides damage, but that is a problem with the class not with mounted lance charges.

HangarFlying wrote:
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