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ThrustVectoring
2008-10-27, 12:13 AM
I am considering making a character with Greater Cleave and an spiked chain enchanted with the Exploding trait (from the D3.5 warrior rulebook)

If I kill someone with the explosion (2d4, 5 foot radius), will that trigger cleave? Here are some example situations, with opponent 1 being the target of the attack and opponent 2 receiving the explosion damage, and opponent 3 being in range to hit with cleave'd attacks:

A) opponent 1 has 10 hp, opponent 2 has 3 hp
spiked chain hits opponent 1 for 15 damage, explosion hits opponent 2 for 5 hp. Do I get 1 or 2 cleave attacks vs opponent 3?

B) same as A, except spiked chain deals 8 damage

C) same as A, except opponent 1 has 40 hp (so you kill someone with your meelee attack, but it isn't the person you targeted)

ps: how would you optimize a someone trying to make a chaotic neutral frenzied berserker doing this? My thinking is human barb with 2 level fighter dip, gets 10 total feats: power attack, cleave, great cleave, destructive rage, intimidating rage, exotic weapon proficiency as "must haves". Which is handy, since you get 6 feats by level 7, which is the earliest level you can take Frenzied Barbarian as a prestige class. Last 4 feats would be some combination of: combat reflexes, spring attack (w/ dodge + mobility), weapon focus, etc. Combat reflexes being the one you'd get at level 9, most likely. You'd need weapon focus to take a level of exotic weapon master for flurry of strikes.

Temp.
2008-10-27, 01:20 AM
how would you optimize a someone trying to make a chaotic neutral frenzied berserker doing this? My thinking is human barb with 2 level fighter dip, gets 10 total feats: power attack, cleave, great cleave, destructive rage, intimidating rage, exotic weapon proficiency as "must haves". Which is handy, since you get 6 feats by level 7, which is the earliest level you can take Frenzied Barbarian as a prestige class. Last 4 feats would be some combination of: combat reflexes, spring attack (w/ dodge + mobility), weapon focus, etc. Combat reflexes being the one you'd get at level 9, most likely. You'd need weapon focus to take a level of exotic weapon master for flurry of strikes.
This part I can help to answer now. The rest will probably need books.

The Fighter dip is a good idea--There are lots of great feats for you and only mediocre Barbarian class abilities for those levels. Great Cleave is not until you reach absurd levels of damage output: Usually, if you can kill an enemy in one hit, that enemy isn't a threat. This changes a bit once you get a Leap Attacking Frenzied Berserker doing triple-digits of damage with each swing, but I would still wait on the feat until your level's reached the mid- to high-teens.

Combat Reflexes is going to be one of the first feats to pick up with a SPiked Chain: it basically gets you extra attacks each round, far more than most other feats will do for you.

Leap Attack from the Complete Adventurer is a must: It increases your Power Attack damage further on a charge. You should be charging a lot (I'll get to that). Depending on whether you use the errata or not, it will either double your Power Attack bonus (which is huge for a Frenzied Berserker) or increase it by 1 per point of attack penalty (still worthwhile).

Shock Trooper from Complete Warrior lets you take your Power Attack penalty from your AC instead of your attack roll. You'll be able to survive damage with a Berserker and being able to Power Attack for all you can (and still hit) is a beautiful thing. It also gives free Trip attempts against enemies you bull rush into other occupied squares. This requires Improved Bull Rush, which you should probably take early.

Robilar's Gambit (PHB2) or Karmic Strike (CW) are safe investments for Shock Troopers: They let you retaliate against attackers, taking AoOs whenever they attack you. With FB, Leap Attack and Shock Trooper, you should have the highest damage output around, so you'll come out far ahead of the baddies. Robilar's Gambit is probably better--allowing AoOs even when enemies miss--and only requires Combat Reflexes; Karmic Strike requires both Dodge and Combat Expertise. If you go the KS route, you have no excuse not to also grab Improved Trip, which will give you invaluable Battlefield Control abilities.

Combat Brute from Complete Warrior might also be worthwhile--it increases your Power Attack output the round after you charge an enemy, gives an Improved Trip-type option with Sunder and gives attack and damage bonuses against targets you've successfully Bull Rushed. It requires Improved Sunder and should probably only be taken once you've tapped your other options.

Your party will need to work out a way to control you once you enter a Frenzy. This will probably mean deliberately giving you an Achilles Heel (weak will saves, easily-dispelled source of Fly, inablity to see invisible creatures), just so they have a reasonable chance of survival. Iron Heart Surge might work, but that's debateable. I think there's a feat from the Book of Exalted Deeds that does similar.

ThrustVectoring
2008-10-27, 02:06 AM
I'll keep in mind making sure to have a low will save. Hold person or Sleep are the obvious options. Magic Circle against Chaos will work too, if the rest of the party is nonchaotic. In this case you have to deliberately not have a ranged weapon. In fact, if there are no targets other than that inside a ward against chaos while under a frenzy, I think frenzy would force me to throw anything I could at the people inside (continue attacking, etc).

jcsw
2008-10-27, 02:24 AM
Calm Emotions. Because it's funny.

Eldariel
2008-10-27, 06:44 AM
Since you'll be low on Rage-uses, pick up Extra Rage. Also, having a high Will-saves would kick ass; pick up Resolute ACF for Fighter from Complete Champion, get save-bonuses and profit. Cumbrous Will (Savage Species) would help too.

Pick up Extra Rage from Complete Warrior too. You can Rage while Frenzying. Getting really strong = good idea. Oh yeah, and consider Steadfast Determination. It'd probably mean you'd never fail Will-saves.

Keld Denar
2008-10-27, 09:41 AM

Cleave is ok, but Great Cleave is a waste of a feat. If you find yourself needing those extra cleaves a lot, either you are doing something wrong, or your DM is doing something wrong.

Other than that, feat suggestions above are all pretty good.

ThrustVectoring
2008-10-27, 11:18 PM
the current party is caster heavy anyhow, so opportunities for great cleave are probably going to get hedged out by people casting fireballs.

where do I look up the rules for steadfast determination?

Anyhow, as a human fighter2/barb4/FB 1, I'd have 6 feats. Exotic Weapon Proficiency, Power attack, Destructive Rage, Intimidating Rage are all "musts" for the build. That means to get steadfast determination before becoming a frenzied barbarian, I'd have to give up cleave(!) until level 9.

Also, isn't having many rage/frenzy usages per day not all that useful since you get fatigued/exhausted afterwards? Or does using rage/frenzy get rid of fatigue/exhaustion

Temp.
2008-10-27, 11:25 PM
It's in the PHB2.

It requires Endurance, in case you want to start building up to it early.

ThrustVectoring
2008-10-27, 11:59 PM
It's in the PHB2.

It requires Endurance, in case you want to start building up to it early.

I could get it before my first level of frenzied berserker, but I'd need to give up cleave until level 9 for it. That, or I run fighter4/barb2/FB1

Michaelos
2008-10-28, 06:06 AM
the current party is caster heavy anyhow, so opportunities for great cleave are probably going to get hedged out by people casting fireballs.

where do I look up the rules for steadfast determination?

Anyhow, as a human fighter2/barb4/FB 1, I'd have 6 feats. Exotic Weapon Proficiency, Power attack, Destructive Rage, Intimidating Rage are all "musts" for the build. That means to get steadfast determination before becoming a frenzied barbarian, I'd have to give up cleave(!) until level 9.

Also, isn't having many rage/frenzy usages per day not all that useful since you get fatigued/exhausted afterwards? Or does using rage/frenzy get rid of fatigue/exhaustion

The SRD has the Fatigue only last for that specific encounter, so it is a lot shorter than the normal 8 hour fatigue.

Glimbur
2008-10-28, 09:08 AM
Spring Attack only gives you one attack/round. That's bad.

One idea I've had on controlling FB's is to have the caster pre-buff you with Levitate. When the battle is over, said caster just raises you 5' off the ground until you calm down. You don't get a save because you would have saved when it was cast, and you allowed it.

ShneekeyTheLost
2008-10-28, 09:30 AM
First off: Frenzied Berzerker = TPK. Sooner or later, no matter how high your Will save is, you're gonna roll a Natural 1 and the whole party will be dead before they get a chance to do anything about it.

Party members don't let party members take Frenzied Berzerker.

Second, you want Chains Fall, Everyone Dies? Here's what you do:

2 level Fighter dip is good. More feats is good. Take Lion Totem Barbarian for Pounce. If your GM lets you take Psionics, take a couple of levels from PsiWar, then merge into Slayer.

Reason?

First off, PsiWar grants you some more feats, and gets you access to Expansion, probably one of the best feats for this. You get to increase your size, which not only means damage increase, but also REACH increase. I think I had a build at one point that could threaten in a 30' radius.

Okay, let's talk Feats. We've got a lot of them to get this combo to work, but you should be able to pull this off by level 10 easy.

Fighter 1: Power Attack, Exotic Weapon Proficency: Spiked Chain
Fighter 2: Weapon Expertise
PsiWar 1: Improved Bull Rush, Combat Reflexes
PsiWar2: Shock Trooper
Barb(lion totem)1:
PsiWar3: Track
Slayer1-3: Improved Trip

At this point, the character is 9th level, can Expansion himself to Large size, which increases his reach as well as expanding the size of his spiked chain. Reach is now 20'. He can Power Attack 8 points to give him +16 to damage, with a -8 to AC. He can also trip instead of attacking, and with a large size gets a +4 on his trip attempt, and then do a full attack. He can also make a full attack on a charge, so he's getting 2 attacks right up front.

Person_Man
2008-10-28, 09:49 AM
Several things you may or may not find useful:

1) Entry into Frenzied Berserker is usually Fighter 2/Barbarian 4 or Barbarian 1/Fighter 2/Half Orc Paragon 3 or Barbarian 2/Paladin of Freedom 4. Barbarian 6 is a bad idea, because Trap Sense is worthless and Improved Uncanny Dodge is only worth while if you keep taking levels of a class that grants you Improved Uncanny Dodge. Otherwise, Rogues et al can usually still flank you.

2) All of these will want to use the Complete Champion Lion Totem Barbarian variant for Pounce.

3) Any Barbarian build will want Extra Rage ASAP.

4) I prefer Orc or Half Orc for a Barb build, because it gives you access to Headlong Rush (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20030301a). Alternatively (or in addition) you could look at Battle Jump (Unapproachable East) or Rhino's Rush (Paladin spell). Any of these will multiply your damage on a charge. Darfellon (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20050805a&page=2) is also a good choice, in that you get a bite attack. Natural Attacks work with Power Attack. Of course, human also works for almost any build.

5) Playing a FB is ridiculously dangerous. Saves always fail on a roll of a 1. So it's just a matter of time before you accidentally kill a party member.

6) Optimizing melee damage beyond a certain point is pointless. You end up "wasting" tons of damage on mooks, killing them by huge amounts. And when fighting a BBEG, your DM is just going to scale their defenses higher in order to challenge you. I suggest that you take Power Attack, Leap Attack, Improved Bull Rush (pre-req for), Shock Trooper, and Headlong Rush or Battle Jump. After that, move on to something different. Focus on defense, or battlefield control, or find a PrC that offers some psionics or Skills or whatever. Otherwise you'll be a one trick pony, and when the DM prevents you from using that trick, you'll be worthless.

7) Spiked Chain is generally considered a waste of a feat. You can use armor spikes or a natural weapon to threaten adjacent enemies, or you can just take a 5 ft. step. The exception is if you have a very potent Spiked Chain (+5 Brilliant Energy Wounding etc) and a ton of reach (Expansion, Inhuman Reach, etc).

8) Cleave and Great Cleave are also generally considered a waste. Cleave gives you 1 extra attack when you drop an enemy, if you are threatening another enemy at the time. This happens pretty often at low levels, but happens more rarely at high levels. Great Cleave is an even bigger waste, in that you have to drop multiple enemies with one attack. The exception is if you build up at least 30+ feet of reach, and Leap Attack/Battle Jump/etc into the middle of a bunch of enemies, dropping all of them with one attack. But with Pounce, that's not really necessary, as you almost always have enough attacks to drop everyone you threaten. And again, it just means that your DM will add 3 times as many mooks, just so that he can challenge you.