“As an action, you can move up to half your speed. If you move at least 15 feet in a straight line, you can make a single melee attack at the end of the straight line. You make this attack at a +2 bonus to the melee attack roll. You cannot make this attack if the straight line moves through difficult terrain. After taking this action, you suffer a -2 penalty to Armor Class until the start of your next turn.”
[details=Old]You can use your action to Charge your opponent, allowing you to move your speed in a straight line to your target. If you move at least 15 feet in a straight line immediately before arriving at your target, you can use a bonus action to make one melee weapon attack or to shove a creature. Your Armor Class is reduced by -2 until the start of your next turn. You cannot Charge over Difficult Terrain.
If you move at least 25 feet in a straight line immediately before taking this bonus action, you either gain +5 bonus to the attack’s damage roll (if you chose to make a melee attack and hit) or push the target up to 10 feet away from you (if you chose to shove and you succeed). If you take either of these actions, your Armor Class is reduced by -2 and you cannot take reactions until the start of your next turn.[/details]
Stack Exchange had the above discussion. The first response seems the most appropriate.
What I’m thinking is perhaps changing this Charge action to “Charging Attack” and reducing the bonuses so that the Charger feat still has its benefits. This might look something like:
The charge is not a full dash, letting dash keep its flavor.
The charge is an action, preventing the use of the Attack action and multiple attacks.
The straight line mechanic discourages zig-zag movement and puts a limit on the action.
The language for "end of the straight line" indicates you could perform the charge, and then use the rest of your movement afterwards. I feel this form of free-flowing movement keeps with the general order of 5e.
The +2 bonus to attack melee attack roll gives a reason for performing this action besides a few extra feet of movement.
The difficult terrain phrase allows the DM to decide where charges are possible, especially in open areas. Once more, a further limit on the action.
The armor class penalty discourages this from being used all the time. It effectively negates a shield's bonus to armor class.
This new Charge action allows bonus actions to be made on the same turn.
One of the key differences is the bonus action. This allows Rogues to still use Cunning Action, Sorcerers to use Metamagic for Quickened Spell, and anybody to make an off-hand attack per the normal rules of the game. Other bonus actions are still feasible so long as the requirements are met. Based on my understanding of the rules, this would prevent a Bard of Valor and Eldritch Knight from using their ability which allows them to cast a spell and then make an attack as a bonus action.
Beyond that, I feel it is more free flowing and allows for a greater understanding of how characters move and combat works, rather than a more rigid use of the ability.
Of interesting note, the Charge action as presented says you can move half your speed and if you move at least 15 feet you get the bonus. D&D 5e has presented other functions which operate on a 1 foot basis (rather than 5 feet).
As presented, this action is not useful for dwarves or halflings or those with 25 feet of move speed.
We could drop the value to at least 10 feet, but I feel that isn’t a lot of commitment for the bonus.
We could remove the distance requirement altogether and say that the movement has to be in a straight line. The problem with that would be then you could use it one square away.
We could put in a disclaimer for slower races but that isn’t very elegant.
We could set the requirement to a strange number, like 12, which is fairly normal for D&D 5e (all things considered), but this would prevent those wearing plate armor who are not strong enough to wear it (which won’t be very common). This wouldn’t truly hurt grid based combat and it would blur the lines between grid and theater of the mind. I propose setting the required distance charged to 12 feet to gain the bonus. This could be written as follows.
If you move at least 12 feet (three squares) in a straight line…
We could then put in a simple note that says races that have a base speed lower than 30 feet can still charge as long as they can move the 12 feet in a theater of the mind setting.
I would also want to change the first line to read as follows.
As an action, you can move up to half your speed in a straight line.
I think the simplest route to go regarding the amount of movement required and how that interacts with different races and their base speed, is to simply require they move half their speed (rounded up).
Updated it to read as follows.
As an action, you can move up to half your speed (rounded up to the nearest 5-foot increment). If you move either the entire distance or at least 15 feet in a straight line, you can make a single melee attack at the end of the straight line. You make this attack at a +2 bonus to the melee attack roll. You cannot make this attack if the straight line moves through difficult terrain. After taking this action, you suffer a -2 penalty to Armor Class until the start of your next turn.