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weenie
2007-09-06, 05:33 PM
This has allways been very conusing to me. Does a charachter get a bonus melee attack every time she drops a foe in melee? Like for example, if a fighter gets an AoO and kills an enemy, does he get an bonus attack from that too? And does said fighter choose on whom to use the bonus attack or is that up to the DM?

Flawless
2007-09-06, 05:42 PM
He gets indeed an extra attack, even if it was an AoO that felled the foe. The player gets tochoose which enemy to cleave but remember, you can only get one such extra attack per round unless you have great cleave.

daggaz
2007-09-06, 06:49 PM
so to further explain, cuz it seems you might be a bit new to this..

If on your turn you kill a guy, yeah, you get to choose another opponent (if they are within striking distance with the same weapon) and make an attack roll on them. Then later, in the same round, but on the enemies turn, if they draw an AoO and drop from your AoO, you can try to cleave another closeby enemy.

If you have greater cleave, you can cleave again IF your previous cleave attempt dropped (killed or incapacitated) a guy, and so on, and so on... Greater Cleave doesnt let you make extra attacks on your turn AND on enemies turns... it has to be one long chain of attacks which each kill an enemy (who has to be close enough), which allow the next cleave.

So you can see both feats really depend on 1) enemies being right next to you and 2) enemies having low enough HPs to be dropped in a single hit. Greater Cleave is even more dependant on the second requirement, and therefore..

Great Cleave is only good for low level mooks, and is a far worse feat to take than Cleave, which isnt that hot anyhow, unless you need it for some PrC.

Tyger
2007-09-06, 06:56 PM
While Daggaz's description of the uses of the feat seem pretty accurate, I'd say that Cleave is not nearly as ineffective a feat as he suggests. Getting a free attack, at full BAB, in reward for killing a foe? Sounds pretty sweet to me.

Every single time Cleave goes off for one of our warriors, its a good moment. It's like having another Haste effect on them.

Greater Cleave? Yeah, great in limited circumstances. The wizard has just Fireballed a whole bunch of blokes, almost killing them? Sweet. Move in and mop them all up in one long swing. A group of 10 goblins attacking your Spike Chain wielding level 10 fighter? Kill them all in one round. Granted, you won't get any XP for such an easy encounter, but its still neat.

Cleave is very much worth a feat. Great Cleave on the other hand... I'd get a different one entirely.

Reel On, Love
2007-09-06, 07:03 PM
While Daggaz's description of the uses of the feat seem pretty accurate, I'd say that Cleave is not nearly as ineffective a feat as he suggests. Getting a free attack, at full BAB, in reward for killing a foe? Sounds pretty sweet to me.

Every single time Cleave goes off for one of our warriors, its a good moment. It's like having another Haste effect on them.

Yeah, except Cleave goes off (and where you have another enemy in reach, too), what, once a fight? Twice if you're very lucky and have a bunch of enemies?

What's more, the tougher your enemies are, the LESS useful it's likely to be. Against a single powerful opponent, it's not going to do you -any- good.

At low levels, Cleave is okay, but it only gets worse from there.

ocato
2007-09-06, 07:23 PM
Well, cleave is nice in that it is at the attack bonus/effects of the last swing (I think). So would the leaping charging barbarian of doom who hits the crit out of someone get another leaping charging barbarian of doom attack bonus against his friend? Add in combat brute and that really sounds like an effective way to cut through a crowd fairly effectively.

Matthew
2007-09-06, 08:08 PM
Yep, Cleave works really well in that situation, as far as I understand it. If you're aiming to 'one shot' enemies who are standing reasonably close together (such as a pair of Ogres), Cleave has a lot of potential. It is situational, though.

martyboy74
2007-09-06, 08:08 PM
Cleave is not a good feat. There are much better feats to take. The only real reason to take cleave is if it is required to get into some PrC (such as Frenzied Berserker). The rest of the time there are much better feats that you can take.

KillianHawkeye
2007-09-06, 09:42 PM
I'm going to have to disagree with this description of the effects of Cleave/Great Cleave.


If on your turn you kill a guy, yeah, you get to choose another opponent (if they are within striking distance with the same weapon) and make an attack roll on them. Then later, in the same round, but on the enemies turn, if they draw an AoO and drop from your AoO, you can try to cleave another closeby enemy.

This part is mostly right. You can make a cleave attempt at any point in the round that you KO an opponent. However, without Great Cleave, you only get 1 such use each round, not 1 on your action and 1 on your opponent's action.


If you have greater cleave, you can cleave again IF your previous cleave attempt dropped (killed or incapacitated) a guy, and so on, and so on... Greater Cleave doesnt let you make extra attacks on your turn AND on enemies turns... it has to be one long chain of attacks which each kill an enemy (who has to be close enough), which allow the next cleave.

This is just not the case. Great Cleave allows you to make cleave attacks as many times in a round as enemies you KO. It does not merely allow you to do a multi-Cleave chain, although it certainly supports such usage, but it also allows you to kill one guy, cleave to his buddy, take your second attack to drop that guy, and cleave again to somebody else, so long as there are enemies within reach. Great Cleave is not the same as the sweep maneuver from older editions.

Great Cleave can especially be useful any time you are facing a lot of enemies at once, because any extra attack is a good attack.

ocato
2007-09-06, 09:44 PM
So wait, if I understand that right, you're saying that if you full attack and kill your target with attack 1, you may cleave a nearby enemy and continue the full attack against the second enemy with your second/third/etc attacks?? Are you sure about that?

Ralfarius
2007-09-06, 10:16 PM
That doesn't sound like a totally unreasonable use of Great Cleave. It makes it slightly less un-useful. Of course, many people conjecture that iterative attacks are not terribly helpful, probably because of the drop in to-hit bonus.

Flawless
2007-09-06, 11:16 PM
So wait, if I understand that right, you're saying that if you full attack and kill your target with attack 1, you may cleave a nearby enemy and continue the full attack against the second enemy with your second/third/etc attacks?? Are you sure about that?

It's correct. You can even make a 5-ft.-step between iterative attacks on a full-attack and change target. So, there's no reasn not tofinih your full attack on another enemy.

ocato
2007-09-06, 11:17 PM
I did not know that, very interesting!

skywalker
2007-09-06, 11:21 PM
It's correct. You can even make a 5-ft.-step between iterative attacks on a full-attack and change target. So, there's no reasn not tofinih your full attack on another enemy.


Are you sure about that 5-foot step thing? Because if you can, there seems to be no reason for Wizards to publish *Supreme Cleave,* which allows you to take a five foot step as part of your cleave. Seems like there would be no reason to write that feat(it has a very high BAB pre-req so it's not a feat you get before you have iterative attacks).

AwfulLawful
2007-09-07, 01:34 AM
The 5' step as part of a great cleave was in 3.0, it was removed in 3.5.

kpenguin
2007-09-07, 01:52 AM
Quick clarification about cleave:

The entry says that you need to "drop" an enemy. Now, a trip "drops" an opponent in a very literal sense. So, can you cleave trips?

Peregrine
2007-09-07, 03:38 AM
Flawless is quite correct: You can take a 5ft. step between any two attacks of a full attack.

This is not the same as the benefit of Supreme Cleave, which I understand lets you take that step between dropping an opponent and taking your cleave attack. (Where is this feat from, anyway? I can't find it listed anywhere, including Wizards' list of feats (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/lists/feats).)

Example:
{table]M1||M2|
|C||
|M3||M4[/table]

Here we have Cleavant (C), our cleaving character, and four Mooks (M). Cleavant attacks, and kills Mook #1 on his first blow.

Cleavant can now immediately attack Mook #2 or Mook #3 at his highest attack bonus again. He chooses Mook #2, who also dies.

With Cleave only, that's where it ends, for that attack. If Cleavant proceeds with a full attack, he can take his remaining attacks against Mook #3, or he can take a 5ft. step to get within range of Mook #4 as well.

With Great Cleave, Cleavant gets another cleave attack after dropping Mook #2. He can take this only against Mook #3.

With Supreme Cleave, he could also immediately take a 5ft. step before using the cleave attempt, and so attack Mook #4. If he drops Mook #4, he can still cleave back to Mook #3 as well. He's still used only a single attack action, and a 5ft. step, leaving him a move action free to bask in his own awesomeness.

PS No, I'm pretty sure "drop" only means "cause to become unconscious or dead", not prone. Nice try. :smalltongue:

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-09-07, 03:59 AM
(Where is this feat from, anyway? I can't find it listed anywhere, including Wizards' list of feats (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/lists/feats).)


It is not a feat, but an extraordinary ability. (i.e. see Frenzied Berserker)

AslanCross
2007-09-07, 04:00 AM
Isn't Supreme Cleave a class feature of Frenzied Berserker?

Edit: Ninja'd.

kpenguin
2007-09-07, 04:02 AM
How about a bullrush? You could make someone drop off a cliff...

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-09-07, 04:09 AM
How about a bullrush? You could make someone drop off a cliff...

I do not think that is what they mean by "drop" either...

kpenguin
2007-09-07, 04:19 AM
I don't think there's any wording that excludes tripping and bull-rushes, though. I can how it could be described. It might make Trip builds more powerful though.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-09-07, 04:23 AM
I don't think there's any wording that excludes tripping and bull-rushes, though.

No?


If you deal a creature enough damage to make it drop (typically by dropping it to below 0 hit points or killing it)


I think it is quite clear what "drop" means in this context.

Charity
2007-09-07, 04:25 AM
kp - Good luck finding a DM whom will let you cleave off trip attaks, I predict you never will.
I don't really think anybody really believes that was ever even near to the intension of the feat.
Roll on 4e, where we can have a whole new raft of poorly worded rules to argue about.

kpenguin
2007-09-07, 04:26 AM
Note the word "typically". This indicates that there are other situations in which cleave can be used.

Renx
2007-09-07, 04:26 AM
Example:
{table]M1||M2|
|C||
|M3||M4[/table]

Here we have Cleavant (C), our cleaving character, and four Mooks (M). *1 Cleavant attacks, and kills Mook #1 on his first blow.

*2 Cleavant can now immediately attack Mook #2 or Mook #3 at his highest attack bonus again. He chooses Mook #2, who also dies.

*3 With Cleave only, that's where it ends, for that attack. If Cleavant proceeds with a full attack, he can take his remaining attacks against Mook #3, or he can take a 5ft. step to get within range of Mook #4 as well.

*4 With Great Cleave, Cleavant gets another cleave attack after dropping Mook #2. He can take this only against Mook #3.

*5 With Supreme Cleave, he could also immediately take a 5ft. step before using the cleave attempt, and so attack Mook #4. If he drops Mook #4, he can still cleave back to Mook #3 as well. He's still used only a single attack action, and a 5ft. step, leaving him a move action free to bask in his own awesomeness.

PS No, I'm pretty sure "drop" only means "cause to become unconscious or dead", not prone. Nice try. :smalltongue:

Let's change the situation a bit.
{table]M1||M2|M5
|C||M6
|M3||M4[/table]

Just a comment: If the Cleavant has (just) Great Cleave, after *4 he can take a 5'-step towards Mob #6 and attack (as part of his full round attack), then attack Mob #4.

*6 If #4 dies, our Cleavant can now use Great Cleave yet again on Mob #5, and if he dies, again on #6.

This is just to clarify that you can still use your regular 5'-step even without supreme cleave ;)

Also, if the Cleavant has a reach weapon (or is large enough), he might be able to just Great Cleave the entire group into oblivion ;)

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-09-07, 04:31 AM
Note the word "typically". This indicates that there are other situations in which cleave can be used.

Yes, sometimes you render them unconscious by other means, but do note that the attack you use needs to deal damage and needs to be made with a weapon. (This alone would exclude most (but not all) bull rushes and trip attacks).

kpenguin
2007-09-07, 04:33 AM
Yes, sometimes you render them unconscious by other means, but do note that the attack you use needs to deal damage and needs to be made with a weapon. (This alone would exclude most (but not all) bull rushes and trip attacks).

Point conceded. I mised the damage part.

However, would a wolf's trip ability (or a similar effect) work?

Peregrine
2007-09-07, 04:41 AM
This is just to clarify that you can still use your regular 5'-step even without supreme cleave ;)

Thanks. :smallsmile: That's what I was trying to say with *3, but I do think you made it clearer.

A simpler way to sum up the differences would be: With Cleave only, Cleavant could kill two with one attack. With Great Cleave, he could kill three with one attack. With Supreme Cleave, he could kill all four with one attack. (Assumes all mooks die in one blow, and doesn't go into the whole full-attack-and-five-foot-step business.)

ShneekeyTheLost
2007-09-07, 04:44 AM
To clarify: YOU CANNOT TAKE A 5' STEP WITH GREAT CLEAVE unless you have something akin to the Supreme Cleave or the L5R clan feat (Crab?) which was evne more powerful (lets you take a 5' step after every cleave, letting you LITERALLY wade through an entire army in one turn, assuming you one-hit-KO every opponent.)

Cleave and Great Cleave are most useful in conjunction with weapons of reach and Power Attack/Shock Trooper combo, to increase the number of opponents in reach and do ensure you one-hit KO them to get the extra hits.

For example,

As a PsiWar/Slayer/Exotic Weapon Master/Pyrokeneticist and a BAB of +18, with Power Attack, Shock Trooper, and Great Cleave, EWP: Spiked Chain, and the EWM ability which lets you take shots at people with soft cover, and Expansion going, you can theoretically hit folks up to 20' away from you. That's a four square radius. That's a LOT of mooks you can wade through.

Furthermore, Great Cleave can get stupidly broken in conjunction with the War Mind's Sweeping Strike ability to get free hits with a bag of puppies. Sweeping Strike grants an extra attack on EVERY attack, EVEN cleaves. So you kill a puppy, get a free cleave attack, which you use on the BBEG, and a free attack from Sweeping Strike, which is used to kill another puppy. You have as many free shots as you have puppies. Have a nice day.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-09-07, 04:50 AM
Point conceded. I mised the damage part.

However, would a wolf's trip ability (or a similar effect) work?

That depends on your definition of "drop" to a certain degree.

I think it refers to incapacitating your foe and the description suggest that the "drop" is caused by the damage and not by other effects.

If you are tripped by a wolf it is not the damage that results in you dropping, but the free trip attempt that was triggered by the successful attack.
The trip attempt does not deal any damage.

Awesome Blow on the other hand is another deal entirely. Here there is no additional trip attempt, it is the blow that has the potential to make you fall.

AtomicKitKat
2007-09-07, 08:03 AM
Knockback? The special Bull-rush stuff from Combat Brute(Shock Trooper?)? Those are the only other Bull-rush-drop type effects I can think of off the top of my head. Maybe one of those "Battle Jump" type manoeuvres where you leap onto your enemy.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-09-07, 08:17 AM
Knockback? The special Bull-rush stuff from Combat Brute(Shock Trooper?)? Those are the only other Bull-rush-drop type effects I can think of off the top of my head. Maybe one of those "Battle Jump" type manoeuvres where you leap onto your enemy.

Yes, but a Bull Rush does not drop the enemy except under very special circumstances (back to a chasm etc.).

The target needs to be dropped prone before we can even begin to consider if Cleave should take effect.

KillianHawkeye
2007-09-07, 08:50 AM
It really is too bad that the word "drop" is not an official game term. The feat's description should probably be rewritten.

I agree that trips (and bullrushes?) were probably not intented to invoke the Cleave feat. I think they put in the line about the "typical" method of "dropping" your enemy because, for example, you could knock somebody unconscious with subdual damage (or a combination of subdual and normal damage) and this would qualify for allowing the use of Cleave.

ocato
2007-09-07, 11:18 AM
If you deal a creature enough damage to make it drop (typically by dropping it to below 0 hit points or killing it), you get an immediate, extra melee attack against another creature within reach. You cannot take a 5-foot step before making this extra attack. The extra attack is with the same weapon and at the same bonus as the attack that dropped the previous creature. You can use this ability once per round.

Here's an odd question, could an oddball rogue cleave-sneak attack when getting the drop on someones?

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-09-07, 11:49 AM
Here's an odd question, could an oddball rogue cleave-sneak attack when getting the drop on someones?

Only if second target was in a position/condition that would normally allow or rogue to sneak attack said target.

Tormsskull
2007-09-07, 01:47 PM
To clarify: YOU CANNOT TAKE A 5' STEP WITH GREAT CLEAVE...

No, but you can with a full-round action. So, if at the beginning of the round, you drop 1 opponent with your first attack as part of a full round action, then you can make a cleave attack on another opponent within range, THEN you take a 5' step, then you continue with your 2nd attack that is part of your full-round action, and if THAT attack drops an opponent, you can make another cleave attempt (assuming you have Great Cleave).

But you can only take that 5ft. step once during that round.


Another interesting question would be if the attacker was under the effects of the "True Strike" spell, and dropped a foe, would the cleave attack be under the affect of the "True Strike" ability or no?

kjones
2007-09-07, 01:53 PM
Just a word on Supreme Cleave, it was actually introduced with the relatively obscure Master Samurai prestige class from Sword & Fist in 3.0. Frenzied Berserker killed it and took its stuff.

ocato
2007-09-07, 02:00 PM
same weapon, same bonus, I assume that 'same bonus' means all the same little buffs. If you cleaved a smite evil or sneak attack and the second target was eligible it'd be a second 'free' smite or sneak I assume.

Tormsskull
2007-09-07, 02:04 PM
same weapon, same bonus, I assume that 'same bonus' means all the same little buffs. If you cleaved a smite evil or sneak attack and the second target was eligible it'd be a second 'free' smite or sneak I assume.

Which would make Power Attack even more crazy as you could cast True Strike, make sure you are equipped with a reach weapon that also strikes adjacent squares, then Power Attack for max. With the +20 from True Strike you should still hit, and you'll do max Power Attack investment x2 plus all normal benefits. And if you drop the opponent, then you make another attack, etc, etc.

Chronos
2007-09-07, 02:05 PM
Another interesting question I've seen reference to here is a monster which can swallow whole, and also has cleave. Does a gulp trigger a Cleave attack?

UserClone
2007-09-07, 02:18 PM
I don't think you would get your true strike bonus on your cleave attempt, as it is a "free extra attack," not part of the same attack, and true strike grants a bonus on "your next attack."

Tormsskull
2007-09-07, 02:29 PM
I don't think you would get your true strike bonus on your cleave attempt, as it is a "free extra attack," not part of the same attack, and true strike grants a bonus on "your next attack."

"The extra attack is with the same weapon and at the same bonus as the attack that dropped the previous creature. You can use this ability once per round."

But that text muddies the water a bit. I'd have to think on it before I ruled one way or the other for my game.

ocato
2007-09-07, 02:43 PM
The +20 is a bonus, the ability cleave says 'same bonus'. So, you get the bonus to your next attack and then cleave kicks in for another attack 'at the same bonus'.

I'd side with cleave.

UserClone
2007-09-07, 02:53 PM
That would be like saying that if you are flanking the first foe, you keep that +2 bonus when attacking the next foe, irrespective of whether you are actually flanking that new foe. reductio ad absurdum. :smallwink:
The "attack bonus" to which the feat refers is the amount of BAB which applied to the dropping attack. Since the Cleave attack is another attack, after and seperate from the first one, the spell simply couldn't apply as written.

Matthew
2007-09-07, 02:59 PM
That would be like saying that if you are flanking the first foe, you keep that +2 bonus when attacking the next foe, irrespective of whether you are actually flanking that new foe. reductio ad absurdum. :smallwink:
The "attack bonus" to which the feat refers is the amount of BAB which applied to the dropping attack. Since the Cleave attack is another attack, after and seperate from the first one, the spell simply couldn't apply as written.

It's a grey area, but a Bonus is different from a Base Attack Bonus. A literal interpretation of the text would indeed include Flanking Bonuses, but it would be up to the DM to decide yay or nay. There's nothing unusual about Feat wording being confusing or contrary to common sense.

woc33
2007-09-07, 03:00 PM
That would be like saying that if you are flanking the first foe, you keep that +2 bonus when attacking the next foe, irrespective of whether you are actually flanking that new foe. reductio ad absurdum. :smallwink:
The "attack bonus" to which the feat refers is the amount of BAB which applied to the dropping attack. Since the Cleave attack is another attack, after and seperate from the first one, the spell simply couldn't apply as written.

On the other hand, it could just as easily be explained as an attack which hits the first target and since it dropped moved on to the second one. The fluff of a cleave attack can be explained both ways. The question is wether the True Strike spell affects a single attack or a single swing, so i guess "next attack" could be interpreted both ways.

UserClone
2007-09-07, 03:53 PM
If you deal a creature enough damage to make it drop (typically by dropping it to below 0 hit points or killing it), you get an immediate, extra melee attack against another creature within reach. You cannot take a 5-foot step before making this extra attack. The extra attack is with the same weapon and at the same bonus as the attack that dropped the previous creature. You can use this ability once per round.

Emphasis mine.
This is clearly NOT an "extension" of the first attack; it is a wholly separate, extra attack. I fail to see how true strike could possibly apply.
Edit: I am not debating the fluff of how it could be described, simply the RAW of the feat.

Matthew
2007-09-07, 04:00 PM
It doesn't have to be an extension. The point is that it is made at the same Bonus as the previous Attack. Feats generally create exceptions; no matter how silly, the straightest reading is that a Cleave Attack is made at the same Bonus as the Attack that caused the Cleave.


CLEAVE [GENERAL]
Prerequisites: Str 13, Power Attack.
Benefit: If you deal a creature enough damage to make it drop (typically by dropping it to below 0 hit points or killing it), you get an immediate, extra melee attack against another creature within reach. You cannot take a 5-foot step before making this extra attack. The extra attack is with the same weapon and at the same bonus as the attack that dropped the previous creature. You can use this ability once per round.
Special: A fighter may select Cleave as one of his fighter bonus feats.

Damionte
2007-09-07, 04:01 PM
To the Original Poster. What you should learn from this thread, "On top of the correct rules for the question you actually asked." is that feat building is all about combo's.

Many feats may not seam all that strogn on paper by themselves. It's when you combine them with something else that you can get some use out of it.

Cleave is pretty good by itslef.
Great cleave is okay...

Cleave
Combat Expertise
Combat Reflexes
Power Attack
Cleave
Great Cleave

Reach / Though not nessesary for the combo.
Powerful Build + plus a big ole oversized weapon

Improved Bull Rush
Improved trip
Knockback
Shock Trooper
&
Sweeping Strike

Put together ... is freaking awsome!

Some of those feats in the chain are nearly useless by themselves. Put them together and thery becoem small parts to a much bigger butt wooping.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-09-07, 04:02 PM
The Sage clarified in the FAQ that "same bonus" refers to same BAB only.

The attack is otherwise conducted like you would conduct any other attack.

Matthew
2007-09-07, 04:03 PM
Heh, should have taken a look at the FAQ, then. So, no Charge Bonus? That sucks.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-09-07, 04:11 PM
Heh, should have taken a look at the FAQ, then.

Yes, shame on you for not looking in three different places (PHB, Errata, FAQ) to get the correct interpretation of a basic feat. :smallamused:


So, no Charge Bonus? That sucks.

Well, I don't think that would make the worst house rule. :smallsmile:

ShneekeyTheLost
2007-09-07, 04:12 PM
Heh, should have taken a look at the FAQ, then. So, no Charge Bonus? That sucks.

But, if you look up Power attack (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/feats.htm#powerAttack) it clearly states:


The penalty on attacks and bonus on damage apply until your next turn.

In other words, your Power Attack/Shock Trooper combo WILL affect every cleave attack. And really, Charge is just good for a +2, and for closing and attacking in the same round.

Mewtarthio
2007-09-07, 04:21 PM
That depends on your definition of "drop" to a certain degree.

I think it refers to incapacitating your foe and the description suggest that the "drop" is caused by the damage and not by other effects.

If you are tripped by a wolf it is not the damage that results in you dropping, but the free trip attempt that was triggered by the successful attack.
The trip attempt does not deal any damage.

What about Disruption weapons? It seems to me that a combatant who successfully disrupts an undead should get the cleave from dropping it that way.

Jasdoif
2007-09-07, 04:23 PM
What about Disruption weapons? It seems to me that a combatant who successfully disrupts an undead should get the cleave from dropping it that way.Certainly. "Killing it" is described as a typical way to make a creature "drop", so destroying an undead/construct creature should count.

ocato
2007-09-07, 04:39 PM
I'm not familiar with sweeping strikes, but I'm interested.

As for the cleave arguement, I can see how that makes sense. I mean, if you charging leaping power attack the crit out of someone, it doesn't make sense that you'd hit the guy next to him for just as hard, as you'd not have that momentum. Actually, it kind of does since cleave, at least in my head, is a broadly sweeping strike that cuts through the first target and strikes the second. I can see it going either way, so I guess it's up to you and yours. Have fun I say!

UserClone
2007-09-07, 04:43 PM
If you look at my above posts, I never claimed that things like Power attack woudn't apply, only conditional modifiers (charge attack, flanking) or true strike (because it applies specifically to only one attack, and the Cleave description dictates that the Cleave attempt is a separate, extra attack).[/rant]

Damionte
2007-09-07, 05:39 PM
I'm not familiar with sweeping strikes, but I'm interested.



Sweeping Strike is a class ability of the Warmind prestige class from the Psionics handbook

With each swipe you chose two squares and attack foes in both of those squares with each single attack. How the combo above works.

With Powerful build you can wield big ole weapons. So a Half Giant with a big ole weapon could be doing up to 4d8 per swing plus bonuses. Add in reach from expansion and he's coverign a lot of territory.

<Knockback> gives him a free <Bull Rush> attempt on any opponent he hits as long as he's using at least 1 point of <Power Attack>. <Power attack> points also add on to his <Bull Rush> attempts.

<Shock Trooper> letís him direct his <Bull Rush> attempts left or right if he bull rushes as part of a charge. It also gives him a free <Trip> attempt against a foe who he bull rushes into another enemy. As well as add any points from Power attack to his AC if he so chooses.

<Improved Trip> Gives him a free melee attack against anyone he successfully <Trips>.

<Sweeping Strike> let's him attack two squares at the same time with any melee attack, including attacks of opportunity and <Cleave> attempts.

So best case example, you're confronted with 1 big bad boss, and 2 henchmen in close quarters. Say the henchmen are flanking the boss to prevent your party members from flanking him!

Here we go.

You charge! Attacking two squares, say the one with the left henchmen and one with the big bad boss. You swing and hit them both for stupid damage. If you have not yet killed the henchmen, go ahead and bull rush him for free into the big bad boss. You now get a free trip attempt against THEM BOTH! If you trip either of them you get another attack so hit them BOTH again! You've now smacked the snot out of the henchmen twice for ridiculous damage. Now that he's dead <CLEAVE>

You don't have to stay with the two same squares so the cleave attempt you change two the new henchman and the big bad boss. Smacking them both with the same chain of events. When this second henchman goes down cleave one more time into the big boss himself.

Best case scenario, you have now cleaned up both henchmen, and possibly hit the big bad boss 5 times for stupid damage, with a single charge attempt, you've also most likely tripped him as well, which will give you another attack of opportunity against him when he get's up.

Like I said it's not about a single feat being the killer, it's about putting otherwise silly or less useful feats into combinations that work out for you. This combination above isn't even cheesy. There's nothing in there that requires any kind of special DM permission, or funky rules interpretations. All you need is a campaign with access to the Psionics Handbook, Races of Stone, Complete Warrior & The Players Handbook.

Chaos Bringer
2007-09-07, 06:12 PM
In regards to the "dropping" of the target, would a proc effect on the weapon that has a chance of causing sleep or unconsciousness be considered "dropping" the target thus giving you a cleave? From my point of view, you would still be connecting with the target with the weapon your intend to cleave with, so from a logical standpoint it works, but i'm curious as to the RAW on this one.

daggaz
2007-09-07, 06:25 PM
I welcome the day my players try to pull that 'drop' cheese in one of my games. Think about it...

Have you EVER heard a player say, 'I'm gonna use my improved trip feat to try and drop that hobgoblin. No, not likely. More likely, they use the word trip. Same thing with falling off a cliff. You dont 'drop,' you 'fall.' Or perhaps you 'plummet to your death, impaled on stalagmites before the slowly rising lava incinerates your corpse and all of your wordly belongings.'

Either way, the day somebody tries to pull that kinda word cheese on me, I will stand up and say, 'Rocks drop from the sky, your character falls.'

blacksabre
2007-09-07, 06:47 PM
This very conundrum came up in my PnP group and this is how "I" played bonusus the BaB when it comes the extra attack on the opponent..

This is a house rule..and has everything to do with what I consider the spirit of Cleave

The extra attack bonuses such as (True Stike) ONLY apply to the second attack IF the Second Target is Adjacent on the GRID..including reach weapons...This is envisioning a single swipe of the attack that follows through to the next target, making it a Single attack on both targets..basically trying to penetrate two AC's on the same Strike.

A target NOT adjacent to the DROPPED target requires a "wind up" to make the second attack, thus making it a "seperate" attack, and the additional True Strike bonus will not apply.



Example:
{table]M1|M5|M2|
|C||
|M3||M4[/table]

If C DROPs M1, Only M5 would get the same bonuses as the first attack.

If C DROPs M5, then either M1 or M2 get the same bonuses. M3 does not.

If C DROPs M4 (implied reach weapon), then only regular bonuses (no Truesrike) get applied to the free attack

Citizen Joe
2007-09-07, 07:46 PM
Yea, we need a better definition of 'drop'. Logically, it means making the target creature prone. There is a pre-existing free action to drop prone, so that makes sense.

So, assuming a successful trip, you can then immediately cleave the guy on the ground. Killing him if he's already down would not provoke extra (great) cleaves since he's already down and thus can't be dropped.

The nice thing about this is great trip cleaving a bunch of people and then stabbing one of them once they are all down, then AoO'ing them as they try to stand up. Ignoring the whole AoO thing, the large spiked chain wielder would be devastating... in so much as he'd keep tripping you... and everyone around you. At least until he misses... or hits a dwarf.

Still the simple Trip/Cleave for damage/AoO for damage on stand is cool on its own.

Improved Trip is in the Combat Expertise tree while Cleave is in the power attack tree. So, instead take Improved Overrun. So First level human fighter with 13 strength could do this at level 1. Unfortunately, you don't really get any better at the overrun with leveling since it's a strength check with no attack roll.

So, it would be +4 from Imp. Overrun, +STR, +size bonus/penalties (4 per size category) vs. STR/DEX, +size bonus/penalty, + stability bonus (dwarf, 4 legs etc). Typically, you'd get about +6 net bonus. So about 70/30 split between it working or you falling down.

The benefit you get from success would be an immediate cleave on that guy with a -4 AC penalty and a possible AoO if he tries to stand (again still at -4 AC).

Drawbacks are the possibility of falling down yourself, plus drawing AoO's from others (not the target) while moving.

ocato
2007-09-07, 07:54 PM
Is there a nonpsionic method of getting that sweeping strikes thing? Because that is pretty neat.

Flawless
2007-09-07, 08:03 PM
Is there a nonpsionic method of getting that sweeping strikes thing? Because that is pretty neat.

As far as I know, it's a unique class ability of the War Mind PrC. So, no.

Mojo_Rat
2007-09-08, 01:03 AM
To be honest You only need a better definition of drop if you are either trying to pull word cheese or prevent word cheese. It is clearly defined in the feat what drop is but for clarification

Monster has 10 hps, a player does 11 hps to him. the monster is now at -1 hp he has been 'dropped' he falls to the ground and the player gets his cleave attempt.

Its fairly simple.

As for the True strike/cleave bit it is fairly clear that True strike is intended to work for only one attack. So the decision is does Cleave Trump Trues trikes description or does True strike win?. Im inclined to side with true strikes description

Citizen Joe
2007-09-08, 05:44 AM
To be honest You only need a better definition of drop if you are either trying to pull word cheese or prevent word cheese. It is clearly defined in the feat what drop is but for clarification

Monster has 10 hps, a player does 11 hps to him. the monster is now at -1 hp he has been 'dropped' he falls to the ground and the player gets his cleave attempt.


That would be the definition of 'killing' the creature. The problem is they didn't use the simple term 'kill' with its predefined conditions. They used the term 'drop' and then further confused the issue by saying TYPICALLY by dropping the creatures hp below 0. If that is the typical way of dropping a creature, there should be an atypical way.

The deal enough damage part is what kills most cheese. The trip/bullrush stunts don't do damage. Damage pretty much only kills creatures. The death condition (by way of unconscious) causes the drop prone free action (I think. I'm not sure how exactly that works by RAW.). However some creatures may not actually drop [prone] when killed. For example: Someone that is already on the ground that you then kill would not drop [prone] because he is already prone. A snake is always prone.

Perhaps that is what the typical means. Killing stuff typically drops them, but sometimes the conditions exist where they don't drop.



If you deal a creature enough damage to make it drop (typically by dropping it to below 0 hit points or killing it), you get an immediate, extra melee attack against another creature within reach. You cannot take a 5-foot step before making this extra attack. The extra attack is with the same weapon and at the same [basic attack] bonus as the attack that dropped the previous creature. You can use this ability once per round.

AtomicKitKat
2007-09-08, 02:34 PM
War Hulk (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/iw/20030914a) Miniatures Handbook has Sweeping Strike(called "Swing" Different levels of use.). Have to be large though. And you basically get stupider skill-wise(not that it's really an issue, especially if you go the Frenzied Berserker route). And you lose BAB(this is the kicker. Which also means this class is really only good for a 4 level dip till Mighty Swing.) Massive Swing sounds fantastic(full Whirlwind with each attack), but losing all that BAB sucks(you gain Str to compensate, but your maximum Power Attack penalty/bonus is limited, and PA damage increase is exponential, while Strength damage increase is geometric).

Ideally, it would be something like:

Goliath Barbarian 1/Fighter 4/Frenzied Berserker 10/War Hulk 4

Barbarian is of course the Lion one from Complete Champion, with Pounce instead of Fast Movement, and using the Goliath Mountain Rage Substitution level so that he grows Large when Raging. Fighter 4 is for the Feats(you'll need plenty, for Shock Trooper/Combat Brute, Power Attack/Cleave is shared for FB and WH, Intimidating Rage for FB).

Your main "strategy": Rage to get bigger. Leap/Charge onto your enemies. Hit any 3 of them that are adjacent to each other(just as long as each one is beside one or the other of the other 2 is enough), Cleave any 3 more(same rules), then Full Attack. If you have Great Cleave, it applies once per Mighty Swing, but also means you get to hit another 3 targets.

Further breakdown:
1) Pouncing Leap >> 3 targets get smacked.
2) Anyone die yes/no? If yes, go to 3. Else go to 4.
3) Hit any 3 targets in range that are beside each other. (Great)Cleave kills yes/no? If yes go to 4. Else go to 5.
4) Have Great Cleave? If yes, go to 3. Else go to 5.
5) Spend remaining attacks on targets within reach. If kill anyone, go to 4. Else go to 6 when out of attacks.
6) All enemies are dead yes/no? If yes, go to 8. Else go to 7.
7) Angrily exhale while awaiting retaliation. If survive, go to 1. Else go to 8.
8) Build pile of skulls.

Almost forgot. The above combo is even better if you can somehow get Knockback(Races of Stone) in, since you will then have lots of enemies piled up ready to "drop"(or if you're abusive, the Knockback part counts as the "drop").

Stephen_E
2007-09-08, 10:32 PM
The most common Cleave houserule I've seen is allowing a Cleave from killing a already prone target.

As it stands, per RAW, if the target is already prone, or can't "drop" due to it's anatomy, i.e. Ooze, Purple Worm, you can't get the cleave.

Stephen

Chronos
2007-09-08, 10:51 PM
PA damage increase is exponential, while Strength damage increase is geometric).I don't think those terms mean what you think they mean. Geometric growth is just the discrete equivalent of exponential growth, and strength and power attack are both linear, not geometric. Perhaps what you meant to say is that power attack has a greater slope than strength?

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-09-09, 02:55 AM
The most common Cleave houserule I've seen is allowing a Cleave from killing a already prone target.

As it stands, per RAW, if the target is already prone, or can't "drop" due to it's anatomy, i.e. Ooze, Purple Worm, you can't get the cleave.

Again, this depends on the definition of drop you use.
Nowhere in the description does it say that it is actually talking about a physical drop or the target being prone after the attack.
In fact, the whole reference to killing (or dropping below 0) could easily be interpreted to mean that the drop is simply figuratively.

AtomicKitKat
2007-09-09, 01:48 PM
I don't think those terms mean what you think they mean. Geometric growth is just the discrete equivalent of exponential growth, and strength and power attack are both linear, not geometric. Perhaps what you meant to say is that power attack has a greater slope than strength?

My bad. I wrote it at 3.30 am. I meant Exponential vs Linear. Strength is a steady +1 per 2, whereas BAB is +4 per 1, or something. Well, higher exponential. Been too long since I bothered to use higher math terms.:smallconfused:

Person_Man
2007-09-09, 03:42 PM
I generally don't use Cleave for most builds. I find that I'm only really challenged when fighting powerful enemies. Powerful enemies tend to fight alone (otherwise they'd kill the party pretty quickly), or be supported by weak followers. Groups of weak or mediocre enemies that you fight on a regular basis are pretty easy for the full casters to clear out pretty quickly with area of effect attacks.

Keep that in mind when you make your build. When fighting orcs, you can always withdraw and drink a health potion, or just fight defensively and let someone else kill them. Killing mediocre enemies more quickly (via Cleave or something similar) doesn't really accomplish anything, except maybe get the DM to include more mediocre enemies in your next encounter. Instead, focus your feats on high damage combos, battlefield control, and/or special effects (Trip, Bull Rush, Grapple, Stun, etc) that might actually kill an enemy when it matters.

Stephen_E
2007-09-09, 09:14 PM
Keep that in mind when you make your build. When fighting orcs, you can always withdraw and drink a health potion, or just fight defensively and let someone else kill them. Killing mediocre enemies more quickly (via Cleave or something similar) doesn't really accomplish anything, except maybe get the DM to include more mediocre enemies in your next encounter. Instead, focus your feats on high damage combos, battlefield control, and/or special effects (Trip, Bull Rush, Grapple, Stun, etc) that might actually kill an enemy when it matters.

I think you're making a good case for taking Cleave.
You seem to be saying that taking Cleave encourages DMs to send more mediocre enemies against you. If you don't take it, DMs are more likely to throw the kind of threats that Fighters can't handle (Flyers, Wizards, big monsters).:smallwink:

Stephen

Stephen_E
2007-09-09, 09:20 PM
:Originally Posted by Stephen_E
The most common Cleave houserule I've seen is allowing a Cleave from killing a already prone target.

As it stands, per RAW, if the target is already prone, or can't "drop" due to it's anatomy, i.e. Ooze, Purple Worm, you can't get the cleave.

Again, this depends on the definition of drop you use.
Nowhere in the description does it say that it is actually talking about a physical drop or the target being prone after the attack.
In fact, the whole reference to killing (or dropping below 0) could easily be interpreted to mean that the drop is simply figuratively.

That sounds like the difference between RAW and RAI. I think that the figurative intepretation is what's intended, and the common way it's played, but I think it's a bit suspect to use "figurative" definitions when talking RAW.

Stephen

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-09-10, 02:23 AM
That sounds like the difference between RAW and RAI. I think that the figurative intepretation is what's intended, and the common way it's played, but I think it's a bit suspect to use "figurative" definitions when talking RAW.

Stephen

It is hardly suspect to chose the most reasonable interpretation if it is supported by the language used IMHO.

Even if we take things literally we still have no definition of "drop".
Interpreting it to mean "a drop that leaves the target prone" is still just an interpretation. It is not what the actual text says.

Taking this a bit further; saying that certain creatures cannot "drop" (as in drop prone, not drop as in die) due to their anatomy is still just a (reasonable) interpretation.
The RAW makes no such stipulation, one has to look at the FAQ for the designer's interpretation of this.