One of the most complicated thing to explain to people is how charging works in Pathfinder. "I *KNOW* it's the same distance but you have to move here."
It really feels to me like an unneeded pain point and something that is both spectacular, fun and exciting. Charging should happen fairly often. There is already a built-in penalty (the -2 AC). I love it when the barbarian goes "I rage, charge and destroy!"
Then he is told "no".
So how can we make charging easier to learn, explain, and see more of. This is a double-edged sword for the players however, for the bad guys might also get a boost from this. The bad guys may get more charges at the PCs. Which pleases me to no end...
I went and referred to the PRD for the exact wording. While there are other conditions for charging, they are clear and simple. The one thing that does cause issue is in the "Movement during a charge" section. For brevity, I have copied the wording here.
|You must have a clear path toward the opponent, and nothing can hinder your movement (such as difficult terrain or obstacles). You must move to the closest space from which you can attack the opponent. If this space is occupied or otherwise blocked, you can't charge. If any line from your starting space to the ending space passes through a square that blocks movement, slows movement, or contains a creature (even an ally), you can't charge. Helpless creatures don't stop a charge.|
That's a little convoluted and for someone who is NOT a rules lawyer - like me - this is confusing. Particularly the part about the "line". It's a concept that exists nowhere else in the game and that makes charge action, such as Ride-by-Attack a
Trying to simplify
Quite simply, I would change the wording to the following:
You must move to the closest space from which you can attack the opponent, with each square of movement you must get closer to the target. If this space is occupied or otherwise blocked, you can't charge. If you path has to go through any square passing through a square that blocks movement, slows movement, or contains a creature (even an ally), you can't charge..
Remove the "line" crap. Therefore, you still cannot charge THROUGH difficult terrain, an active ally or an enemy, but you don't have to charge "fully straight" at the enemy, allowing for charges that are NOT purely straight up. AND you can't charge around corners or going around large groups of people.
This type of charge move has been used in many other systems and encourages the charge action. If it is easier to do, people will do it more.
Now there is an important disclaimer: what's good for the goose is good for the gander. This means that enemies will get a lot more opportunities to charge as well. But frankly, I do not see an issue with a more dynamic combat where enemies charge each other every chance they get. If you want to charge through attacks of opportunity, go right ahead!
I think I may adopt this rule for my own games, it makes the charge rules simpler, easier and gets the action started faster...
The fact that I use a large number of barbarians in my games can have to do with this decision...
What do you guys think? Is this something I should allow in Legacies? Would it make combat more dynamic? More deadly? About the same?