Except a cloud of gnats would count as a swarm and you wouldn't kill the swarm with one hit if there were 1500 of them.Does Sweeping Strike just act like a second type of Cleave effect? Isn't there a maximum number of times per round or something?
I know Cleave is limited in the times you can do it per round. Great Cleave is a pretty messed up feat - they should have said instead that you can Cleave up to once per point of Dex or something.
It's really their fault for putting in an infinite thing to begin with.
I'm looking at Whirlwind Attack here and it says when you use it you forfeit any other bonus or extra attacks from feats, etc. Does that mean you can't Cleave off a Whirlwind Attack? Seems kind of lame to me.
But if you can Cleave off a Whirlwind, what happens when you're using a flaming weapon in the middle of a cloud of gnats? You'd kill some hundred or so gnats during your whirl and smack down a hundred Cleave hits on the one dude you're adjacent to.
By the way, Cleave says it gives you a free attack if you "drop" an opponent. It says you "typically" do this by reducing them to zero HP or killing them. But it looks like dropping them using Improved Trip is still "dropping" them. Or putting them to sleep.
Does this mean a Wizard who used his hands to cast a Sleep spell and "dropped" six Orcs would be able to use his hands to punch with six extra Cleave attacks on an adjacent Ogre? His hands are "the weapon used to drop the previous creature".
They could have worded this better ...
(Someone will reply trying to tear me up about reading it too literally. Another will proclaim if I tried that in his group he'd kick me out. This is expected.)