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Whirlwind of questions about Whirlwind Attack


Rules Questions

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

I have some questions about the Whirlwind Attack feat:

Quote:

Whirlwind Attack (Combat)

You can strike out at every foe within reach.

Prerequisites: Dex 13, Int 13, Combat Expertise, Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack, base attack bonus +4.

Benefit: When you use the full-attack action, you can give up your regular attacks and instead make one melee attack at your highest base attack bonus against each opponent within reach. You must make a separate attack roll against each opponent.

When you use the Whirlwind Attack feat, you also forfeit any bonus or extra attacks granted by other feats, spells, or abilities.

So picture a fighter with Whirlwind Attack wielding a pole arm in both hands. He's also wearing a spiked gauntlet. At the start of his turn, he declares that he's whirlwinding with the guisarme, and attacks everyone who is exactly 10 feet away from him. Then, as a free action, he drops the guisarme with his gauntlet hand, but maintains his grip with the other hand. Can he then continue his whirlwind attack with the gauntlet against everyone exactly 5 feet away from him?

Next question, same fighter with a guisarme and whirlwind attack. Let's say he has Improved Trip and Greater Trip. From the way I'm reading it, he should be able to make a trip attack against everyone exactly 10 feet from him with the guisarme, then take an attack of opportunity for damage against everyone he successfully trips, assuming he has Combat Reflexes and a decent dexterity score. Is that correct? A trip is a type of melee attack, so it would seem to qualify for Whirlwind Attack, and I don't see anything that would prevent Greater Trip from getting its normal advantage when you do this, but I just wanted to double check to make sure.

Edit: I knew there was another question I wanted to ask about this.

I know you can take a 5 foot step between normal attacks from high BAB, but can you take a 5 foot step in the middle of Whirlwind Attacking?


1) No, I don't think so. Using your warrior, say he just uses his normal full attack to hit things with the polearm. He cannot switch mid-attack phase to his gauntlet to punch some people. That would be a two-weapon combat situation which must be declared as your full-attack so the penalties may be applied in all cases.

2) Hmm. Trip can be made as part of an attack action. So it depends if "make one melee attack" is an attack action or not. I believe making a melee attack is a type of attack action, just as trip or disarm, so I'd say no to this question. The logic being that you're choice of the type of the attack action is dictated by whirlwind as being "one melee attack". But I can see how other GMs would interpret it differently.

3) No. You are no longer making a full attack. You are spending the action but doing an entirely different activity, namely getting a swing against everyone around you. So you can't do what you'd normally get to do in a full attack.

Silver Crusade

I see your point on the first and third questions, but the second question is the one I was pretty sure about. Now I want to look it up again and see if I can figure out where I got that idea.

Double checking the wording on combat maneuvers in the "Combat" chapter of the Core Rulebook, the "Actions in Combat" table lists combat maneuvers as "Action Type Varies", with a reference to footnote 6. Footnote 6 says:

Quote:
Some combat maneuvers substitute for a melee attack, not an action. As melee attacks, they can be used once in an attack or charge action, one or more times in a full-attack action, or even as an attack of opportunity. Others are used as a separate action.

So then you have to look at individual combat maneuvers.

Some of them, such as bull rush and grapple, specifically say that they are standard actions. So you can't do them as part of a full attack, attack of opportunity, or in this case, a whirlwind attack.

But others, such as disarm and trip, say they are made in place of a melee attack, which doesn't define them as a particular action type. Per the wording of footnote 6 in the actions table, that would seem to mean that you can use those maneuvers anywhere you'd make a d20 roll to attack something in melee. It specifically calls out full attacks and attacks of opportunity as allowed, so it's not much of a jump to allow them in whirlwind attacks, too.

Of course, the bigger question is whether Whirlwind Attack is worth the feat investment, or just a waste of feats. I'm doing a Lore Warden, so I'll have the dex and int requirements covered, and I'll get Combat Expertise as a bonus feat whether I want it or not. I was already planning to take Dodge and considering Mobility, since Lore Wardens only get light armor. That just leaves Spring Attack and Whirlwind Attack as additional feats to take, and being a fighter, I'll have enough feats to do it. It just means delaying other stuff like Power Attack, Weapon Focus, Furious Focus, etc for quite a few levels until I get WA.


number one is allowed
http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2n253&page=last?Weapons-in-both-hands-and-i terative-attacks last line from anwers it and it was FAQ
http://paizo.com/paizo/faq/v5748nruor1fm#v5748eaic9onf. but I belive you draw an AAO from everyone with in 5 ft of you. By attacking with the reach weapon.

You can swap weapons. in the middle of attack, Two-weapon fighting is only to get the extra attacks.

2 is allowed to my understand also, but note you do not get to getting the AAO from greater trip because whirlwind does not allow you to get any extra attacks while preforming it. After whirlwind is done and so is your turn you can get AAO as normal. Thus when people get up from being nocked prone.

3 to my understand is no.


MurphysParadox wrote:
1) No, I don't think so. Using your warrior, say he just uses his normal full attack to hit things with the polearm. He cannot switch mid-attack phase to his gauntlet to punch some people. That would be a two-weapon combat situation which must be declared as your full-attack so the penalties may be applied in all cases.

What about taking a swift action mid-Whirlwind? If my dwarf is using a dorn-dergar and the Darting Viper feat allows him to change from reach to normal as a swift action, can the Whirlwind include include enemies at 5' and 10'?

Cheliax

I would say yes to all three.

1) You are only making one attack against each opponent within reach right? So you should be able to hit them with what you have available, as long as you have the capacity to make the adjustment.

2) I don't see how the exclusion of gaining bonus attacks applies to Attacks of Opportunity. AOOs are part of the core combat rules and they interrupt the normal flow and are resolved immediately when triggered. They are not "feats, spells, or abilities".

3) You can 5' step in the middle of a full attack action, so you should be able to 5' step in the middle of your whirlwind attack.


Veldebrand wrote:
3) You can 5' step in the middle of a full attack action, so you should be able to 5' step in the middle of your whirlwind attack.

I don't know if the two situations are perfectly analogous.

In the case of a regular ole full attack action, we have a series of iterative attacks that happen sequentially, one at a time. We can make the shift movement because the rules say so, but conceptually because we have a gap in time between each attack.

In a whirlwind attack, the description leads me to believe that all of the attacks are made at or effectively at the same time, meaning there is no point in time in which we could shift.

As an aside, whirlwind attack allows one to smack everyone "within reach." By allowing the shift maneuver mid-whirlwind, whether or not an enemy is within reach is dependent on whether or not the attacker shifts during the attack. Models within reach at the start of the whirlwind might not be within reach after the shift.

Cheliax

Quote:
You can take a 5-foot step before, during, or after your other actions in the round.

You can 5' step during an action. So you don't have to wait for it to fully complete. Just 5' step during your whirlwind attack and you are attacking things within your reach still.

EDIT: removed some irrelevant text.

It's clear that you can 5' step during your actions, including whirlwind attack.


That does not bolster your reasoning.

While it certainly bolsters your premise that you can shift between the iterative attacks of a full attack (a premise that is not in contention), it does not lead to the conclusion that you can shift in the middle of a whirlwind attack.

Your logical challenge is to make your premise lead to the conclusion, not to further reinforce your premise.


1) No. The feat specifies you make one melee attack against each opponent within range. It takes multiple attack rolls vs each target but it's still only a single melee attack that is "swung around" to all targets. Using your gauntlet would count as two-weapon fighting and is prohibited by the feat. So you chose to either make the attack with your polearm or your gauntlet. Also, since it's one melee attack "spread around", you roll damage once and apply that roll to all targets that you managed to hit.

2) Yes, you could. Keep in mind that, as per Part 1, it's a single melee attack being "spread around" to multiple targets. Therefore, if you replace it with trip, you're tripping all people around you (you can't say, I'll trip this guy, disarm that guy, damage that other guy). Attacks of Opportunity aren't "extra attacks" in the full-attack action so nothing prevents you from taking them.

3) 5 foot step is a little ambiguous here. Can you interrupt the single melee attack being spread around with Whirlwind Attack? If you can, I'd say that any targets that you had a successful attack roll against, that is no longer in your "new attack range", are no longer targeted. For example:

Original position - You threaten and roll attack against all the x's but you can't reach the y's.

ooxxoo
yooooo
oxoCox
yooooo
ooxooo

5 foot step - You can no longer reach the y at the far right or the y that you moved adjacent to. Even if you successfully rolled against them before your step, you no longer get to attack them now. You can, however, roll against the 2 x's at the far left that are now in your range.

ooxxoo
xooooo
oyCooy
xooooo
ooxooo

Cheliax

This is the part that I think is causing confusion:

"one melee attack at your highest base attack bonus against each opponent within reach"

I read that as one attack against each person in reach. Meaning each opponent gets hit by you with a separate attack. It also calls out for separate attack rolls, and makes no mention for a single damage roll.

So it's like hitting everyone in your reach one time, (separate attack rolls support this), and you do damage to each individually.

Therefore, based on the FAQ about fighting with multiple weapons, you could easily select which weapon you are attacking each valid target with.

So if you have a sword in one hand, and a dagger in the other. You can chose which weapon you hit each creature with. You aren't Two - weapon fighting because you aren't gaining any extra attacks. That is also explicitly forbidden in the feat.

Furthermore, since you can 5' step in the middle of your actions, you can just use whirlwind attack, roll your attack rolls against the targets you threaten, then 5' step and continue on with your whirlwind attack routine and hit the targets that are now valid.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Fromper wrote:
So picture a fighter with Whirlwind Attack wielding a pole arm in both hands. He's also wearing a spiked gauntlet. At the start of his turn, he declares that he's whirlwinding with the guisarme, and attacks everyone who is exactly 10 feet away from him. Then, as a free action, he drops the guisarme with his gauntlet hand, but maintains his grip with the other hand. Can he then continue his whirlwind attack with the gauntlet against everyone exactly 5 feet away from him?

I'll ignore for a moment the debate about the action cost of switching grips, and just pretend he's dropping the polearm on the ground. This appears to be totally legal (however, see my answer to your third question for a caveat). Though that might sound odd at first, consider that if you had a level of monk you would be simultaneously threatening at 5ft and 10ft and get to attack the exact same set of enemies as your hypothetical fighter, only without having to drop anything. Same goes for when your fighter is wielding a non-reach weapon but is enlarged.

And regardless, it would most definitely not be related to TWF in any way.

Quote:
Next question, same fighter with a guisarme and whirlwind attack. Let's say he has Improved Trip and Greater Trip. From the way I'm reading it, he should be able to make a trip attack against everyone exactly 10 feet from him with the guisarme, then take an attack of opportunity for damage against everyone he successfully trips, assuming he has Combat Reflexes and a decent dexterity score. Is that correct? A trip is a type of melee attack, so it would seem to qualify for Whirlwind Attack, and I don't see anything that would prevent Greater Trip from getting its normal advantage when you do this, but I just wanted to double check to make sure.

Even without the Trip feats, you can always replace any melee attack with a trip attempt. So with Greater Trip, Whirlwind Attack, Combat Expertise and enough DEX you could trip every enemy within reach and get a "normal" AoO against each of them. Interestingly, a Disarm can replace any attack as well, so you could trip everyone in reach and disarm each of them before they hit the ground.

Quote:

Edit: I knew there was another question I wanted to ask about this.

I know you can take a 5 foot step between normal attacks from high BAB, but can you take a 5 foot step in the middle of Whirlwind Attacking?

As some others have pointed out, you can take a 5ft step during other actions. However, it's possible that "within your reach" is checked only once, when you begin your action. I seem to recall something like that with Cleave, that you can't change your eligible targets by using a 5ft step partway through. It could be the same here (this could also affect the weapon-switching answer).


Fromper wrote:

I have some questions about the Whirlwind Attack feat:

Yes to all three.

1. You could have a mace in one hand and a dagger in the other. You could elect to make a whirlwind attack. On each person in reach you could decide to attack with either the mace or the dagger. If somehow you lost the dagger in the middle of this, you could quickdraw a sword and continue.

2. You can certainly substitute trip attacks anytime you get an attack be it part of a full attack action, an AOO, etc. Nothing is wrong here, and AOOs are not 'bonus or extra attacks'.

3. You can 5-ft step in the middle of a whirlwind. A whirlwind attack is not a simultaneous attack on all foes, but a sequential one. Reach and the like is determined at the point of attack. Crazy example: a whirlwinder has 3 foes adjacent. Number 3 readies an action to withdraw when you attack number 2. You whirlwind attack them 'in order'. Do you get to hit number 3, or is he gone by the time that you get to him? Likewise if they are all fireshielded, you might be dead before getting to attack number 3 (if he had stayed still)..

Whirlwind attack is a form of full attack action, and what's good there is good here.

-James


Jiggy wrote:
As some others have pointed out, you can take a 5ft step during other actions. However, it's possible that "within your reach" is checked only once, when you begin your action. I seem to recall something like that with Cleave, that you can't change your eligible targets by using a 5ft step partway through. It could be the same here (this could also affect the weapon-switching answer).

So I could whirlwind with a dagger, elect to step BACK AND AWAY from the target and THEN hit him when he's currently out of range?

Doesn't make sense. Keep it simple. You are making melee attacks, such things are checked at the moment of attack.

-James

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Cards, Companion Subscriber

We play it as Whirlwind Attack requires a separate roll to hit for each adversary. The reason being:

[i]True Strike[i] would be awesome if it was a single attack roll, as would aid another and various other "buff next attack roll" abilities.

If a vorpal weapon is used, a natural 20 is rolled, and the crit is confirmed, everyone within reach just got decapitated. But moreso the single attack roll usually means all or nothing.

Sczarni

Interesting. It would seem that Whirlwind Attack could be a fantastic feat for a Whip using Lore Warden!

Whips are unique in that you can attack any distance within your 15' reach. After you've acquired the relevant feats I see no reason by RAW you couldn't attempt a trip/disarm attempt against every opponent within reach in place of a "melee attack".

By RAW I'd contend the AoO's are not permitted. You don't get an AoO from tripping a foe unless you have Greater Trip. Therefore the AoO is granted by a feat.


Horselord wrote:

We play it as Whirlwind Attack requires a separate roll to hit for each adversary. The reason being:

[i]True Strike[i] would be awesome if it was a single attack roll, as would aid another and various other "buff next attack roll" abilities.

If a vorpal weapon is used, a natural 20 is rolled, and the crit is confirmed, everyone within reach just got decapitated. But moreso the single attack roll usually means all or nothing.

The idea I was bringing up isn't that it's a single attack roll but that it's a single damage roll; a single melee attack spread over multiple targets. To illustrate:

Say you're attacking at +10 and your damage is 1d8+5. You have 4 targets in range with AC 18, 12, 13, and 15. You roll attack against all targets first to determine which ones were hit:
1) Roll 10 vs 18: Miss
2) Roll 15 vs 12: Hit
3) Roll 15 vs 13: Hit
4) Roll 30 vs 15: Hit + Crit

Then you roll damage:
Normal) 1d8 + 5 = 11
Crit) 11 + 1d8 + 5 = 20
Target 1 is missed completely. Targets 2 and 3 take 11 damage. Target 4 takes 20 damage. That's how I see it working.


Krodjin wrote:

Interesting. It would seem that Whirlwind Attack could be a fantastic feat for a Whip using Lore Warden!

Whips are unique in that you can attack any distance within your 15' reach. After you've acquired the relevant feats I see no reason by RAW you couldn't attempt a trip/disarm attempt against every opponent within reach in place of a "melee attack".

By RAW I'd contend the AoO's are not permitted. You don't get an AoO from tripping a foe unless you have Greater Trip. Therefore the AoO is granted by a feat.

AoOs are never considered "extra attacks". In fact, by definition, they interrupt the normal flow of combat; they exist outside of the full-attack action.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
james maissen wrote:
Fromper wrote:

I have some questions about the Whirlwind Attack feat:

Yes to all three.

1. You could have a mace in one hand and a dagger in the other. You could elect to make a whirlwind attack. On each person in reach you could decide to attack with either the mace or the dagger. If somehow you lost the dagger in the middle of this, you could quickdraw a sword and continue.

2. You can certainly substitute trip attacks anytime you get an attack be it part of a full attack action, an AOO, etc. Nothing is wrong here, and AOOs are not 'bonus or extra attacks'.

3. You can 5-ft step in the middle of a whirlwind. A whirlwind attack is not a simultaneous attack on all foes, but a sequential one. Reach and the like is determined at the point of attack. Crazy example: a whirlwinder has 3 foes adjacent. Number 3 readies an action to withdraw when you attack number 2. You whirlwind attack them 'in order'. Do you get to hit number 3, or is he gone by the time that you get to him? Likewise if they are all fireshielded, you might be dead before getting to attack number 3 (if he had stayed still)..

Whirlwind attack is a form of full attack action, and what's good there is good here.

-James

Thanks for this clarification. I have a reach-weilding Lore Warden with Lunge, Whirlwind Attack and Dazing Assault. Between Lunge and 5' step, he pretty much hits the entire battlefield every round by level 6, and by level 11 is Dazing at least half the foes he hits (since every attack is at full BAB).


Krodjin wrote:
By RAW I'd contend the AoO's are not permitted. You don't get an AoO from tripping a foe unless you have Greater Trip. Therefore the AoO is granted by a feat.

That seems like a pretty sketchy argument. The AoO isn't being granted by a feat; it's being granted by the target provoking an AoO. It just so happens that the target provoked as a result of one of your feats.

If you want to go down that path, things get murky very quickly. Consider Combat Reflexes. Now all but one of my attacks of opportunity are "granted by a feat". Does that mean I can only make one attack of opportunity during a Whirlwind Attack (assuming people provoke for other reasons, like a readied attempt to trip me without Improved Trip when I attack)? Which one is my "natural" AoO? If I make an Attack of Opportunity earlier in my turn (provoked by something done as a Swift action) and then Whirlwind Attack, can I not make any because they're all extra AoO's, or can I treat my first AoO as an extra and make an AoO during the whirlwind as my natural one?

The intent of that clause of Whirlwind Attack is pretty clear: the usual things you can do to get extra attacks during a full-attack don't work. You can't use iteratives, flurries, TWF, a bonus trip from the Order of the Seal, or anything else that adds extra attacks to your full-attack action. But Attacks of Opportunity aren't part of the full-attack action, even if they happen to occur in the middle of the full-attack's resolution, so they shouldn't be affected.

Remember that if you want to use Whirlwind Attack with a whip to trip everybody and then disarm people when they fall, you're going to need to be spending a fairly ridiculous number of feats to set up that combo:

Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Whip) (or a level of bard or the half-orc racial proficiency)
Weapon Focus (Whip)
Whip Mastery
Improved Whip Mastery
Combat Expertise
Improved Trip
Greater Trip
Improved Disarm
Dodge
Mobility
Spring Attack
Whirlwind Attack
Combat Reflexes
Weapon Finesse (since the heavy Combat Reflexes use means you're probably Dex-based)

That's 14 feats. A Human/Half-Elf/Half-Orc Lore Warden won't have that engine put together until level 11, when full-casters are tossing around sixth-level spells and combat maneuvers have sharply dropped off in effectiveness anyhow. If you do some weird and heavy dipping, you can get it by level 8 with a Human Magus [Kensai] 1 / Monk [whatever] 2 / Cavalier [Gendarme] 1 / Fighter [Lore Warden] 4 - but you'll pay dearly for it in effectiveness, since you've missed out on two points of BAB, +2 CMB from Lore Warden, and a level of Weapon Training, for a total of -5 to all of your attack rolls compared to a straight Lore Warden. And considering how quickly CMD shoots up and how many opponents have bonuses to CMD against trip attempts due to extra legs, you can't afford that.

And even then, you only get your AoO's against opponents within a ten-foot radius, and you still need to spend another feat if you want Lunge.

Kazaan wrote:
That's how I see it working.

Having a single attack spread out across multiple targets creates a lot of fuzziness with effects that refer to the attack target; the text certainly does nothing to imply that anything so out of the ordinary is occurring; and I can't for the life of me imagine why anyone would consider designing it that way.

I can kind of see how you're getting that from the "one melee attack against each opponent within reach" thing, but I don't think that's a reasonable reading. The intent seems clear to me. For each opponent within reach, you get to make an attack against them. If there were supposed to be one single damage roll to govern all the attacks, the feat would say so, not kinda sorta imply it if you squint from a weird angle.


Not much to say other than James Maissen is correct.

I wasn't completely sure if the AoOs would be considered extra/bonus attacks, but considering in 3E tripping gave you a bonus attack that was not counted against your AoOs, I'm pretty sure there's a difference as far as WWA is concerned.

Wiggz, don't orget enlarge person for doubled reach! :)

WWA is a cool feat, it's main drawbacks are:
1) The pre-reqs are lengthy and not that good
2) The game HEAVILY rewards focus fire on one guy till he drops (he does the same damage at 1 hp as at 100, so best to eliminate foes completely so they can no longer attack you), so only attacking each foe once is a weak option in actuality, though combining with Dazing Assault greatly alleviates this issue by turning WWA into basically a melee area of effect save or suck
3) People misunderstanding how it works and cheating the WWA player out of his legitimate benefits; most commonly, the 5 ft step thing -- it's still a full attack action, you can 5 ft step during (ie, in the middle of performing) a full attack.


Wiggz wrote:


Thanks for this clarification. I have a reach-weilding Lore Warden with Lunge, Whirlwind Attack and Dazing Assault. Between Lunge and 5' step, he pretty much hits the entire battlefield every round by level 6, and by level 11 is Dazing at least half the foes he hits (since every attack is at full BAB).

Well if they are failing DC 21 Fort saves then they deserve to be dazed.

Throw in Enforcer, Blade of Mercy(trait), and Intimidating Prowess and also demoralize everything that you hit as well... Worse take 2 levels of thug rogue and frighten them instead...

-James

Sczarni

Roberta Yang wrote:
Krodjin wrote:
By RAW I'd contend the AoO's are not permitted. You don't get an AoO from tripping a foe unless you have Greater Trip. Therefore the AoO is granted by a feat.
That seems like a pretty sketchy argument. The AoO isn't being granted by a feat; it's being granted by the target provoking an AoO. It just so happens that the target provoked as a result of one of your feats.

And you say my argument is sketchy?

Greater Trip wrote:

You can make free attacks on foes that you knock down.

Prerequisites: Combat Expertise, Improved Trip, base attack bonus +6, Int 13.

Benefit: You receive a +2 bonus on checks made to trip a foe. This bonus stacks with the bonus granted by Improved Trip. Whenever you successfully trip an opponent, that opponent provokes attacks of opportunity.

Normal: Creatures do not provoke attacks of opportunity from being tripped.

I bolded the relevant part. Note that by RAW creatures do not provoke AoO's from being tripped. It's Greater Trip that grants the AoO.

To be honest though I hope I'm incorrect.


Krodjin wrote:


I bolded the relevant part. Note that by RAW creatures do not provoke AoO's from being tripped. It's Greater Trip that grants the AoO.

To be honest though I hope I'm incorrect.

Rejoice then, as you are.

Certainly the feat makes them provoke. But that doesn't grant an attack.

The whirlwind user might have already taken his (allotment of) AOO(s). If, as you contend, the feat granted an attack then he would get it regardless, but he does not because the feat is NOT granting an attack.

Likewise the whirlwind user still gets to make AOOs (plural) via combat reflexes throughout the entire round despite having made a whirlwind attack.

The clause in the whirlwind feat was to avoid old 3.5 cleave, old 3.5 improved trip, haste, two-weapon fighting, and the like. Attacks of opportunity are different.

-James

Sczarni

Citation?


Krodjin wrote:
Citation?

Logic.

To spell it out:

If the feat granted an attack then you would get the attack regardless of Combat Reflexes/DEX score.. you don't.

Whirlwind wouldn't stop one from making other AOOs, right?

Your contention is convoluted, but ultimately just doesn't hold up to the letter that you wish to ascribe to it.

-James


Fromper wrote:

I have some questions about the Whirlwind Attack feat:

Quote:

Whirlwind Attack (Combat)

You can strike out at every foe within reach.

Prerequisites: Dex 13, Int 13, Combat Expertise, Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack, base attack bonus +4.

Benefit: When you use the full-attack action, you can give up your regular attacks and instead make one melee attack at your highest base attack bonus against each opponent within reach. You must make a separate attack roll against each opponent.

When you use the Whirlwind Attack feat, you also forfeit any bonus or extra attacks granted by other feats, spells, or abilities.

So picture a fighter with Whirlwind Attack wielding a pole arm in both hands. He's also wearing a spiked gauntlet. At the start of his turn, he declares that he's whirlwinding with the guisarme, and attacks everyone who is exactly 10 feet away from him. Then, as a free action, he drops the guisarme with his gauntlet hand, but maintains his grip with the other hand. Can he then continue his whirlwind attack with the gauntlet against everyone exactly 5 feet away from him?

Next question, same fighter with a guisarme and whirlwind attack. Let's say he has Improved Trip and Greater Trip. From the way I'm reading it, he should be able to make a trip attack against everyone exactly 10 feet from him with the guisarme, then take an attack of opportunity for damage against everyone he successfully trips, assuming he has Combat Reflexes and a decent dexterity score. Is that correct? A trip is a type of melee attack, so it would seem to qualify for Whirlwind Attack, and I don't see anything that would prevent Greater Trip from getting its normal advantage when you do this, but I just wanted to double check to make sure.

Edit: I knew there was another question I wanted to ask about this.

I know you can take a 5 foot step between normal attacks from high BAB, but can you take a 5 foot step in the middle of Whirlwind Attacking?

First question: No, you cannot switch weapons mid-whirlwind to attack with a different weapon. Even if you argue two-weapon fighting, using the "other weapon" is not a single attack, as specified in the feat. They are considered iterative attacks, and do not qualify to be a part of a Whirlwind because you "give up your regular attacks". Meaning iteratives are out of the question.

That being said, if you had a feat allowing you to attack with a polearm at close opponents as well as at full extended reach, this scenario would be entirely legal RAW.

Second question: Yes, since trip is used in place of a melee attack, it seems by RAW semantics that you can indeed trip everyone in place of a Whirlwind attack. However, since you agreed to give up any regular attacks you'd get, you would not qualify for AoO's due to Imp Trip.

Although a less strict DM than me may rule that an AoO isn't exactly a "normal" attack you'd get during a full attack action because it requires a specific set of circumstances (Trip actions) to be executed. I can see this one being debated as RAI. Excellent question.

Third question: Yes, by RAW, since you can take a five-foot step DURING an action, you could do it during your Whirlwind.

However, as a DM, I would not allow the above to qualify for "additional" opponents or even without perhaps an Acrobatics check to keep from falling over.

The other thing I find amazing is that RAW, in this situation, you can be surrounded at a 5 foot range and still jam your polearm inbetween all those opponents to strike at everyone in the "outer circle" at 10 foot range. Spin-Stab-Spin-Stab-Spin. That's like the Messerschmitt of melee fighting right there!


Barry Armstrong wrote:


First question: No, you cannot switch weapons mid-whirlwind to attack with a different weapon. Even if you argue two-weapon fighting, using the "other weapon" is not a single attack, as specified in the feat. They are considered iterative attacks, and do not qualify to be a part of a Whirlwind because you "give up your regular attacks". Meaning iteratives are out of the question.

That being said, if you had a feat allowing you to attack with a polearm at close opponents as well as at full extended reach, this scenario would be entirely legal RAW.

Where does Whirlwind Attack specify a single attack? Whirlwind Attack lets you make a melee attack against each opponent within reach. That's likely several attacks, not one.

You only get to make a single attack against each opponent, but you clearly make multiple attacks. You even have to make multiple attack rolls


Quantum Steve wrote:
Barry Armstrong wrote:


First question: No, you cannot switch weapons mid-whirlwind to attack with a different weapon. Even if you argue two-weapon fighting, using the "other weapon" is not a single attack, as specified in the feat. They are considered iterative attacks, and do not qualify to be a part of a Whirlwind because you "give up your regular attacks". Meaning iteratives are out of the question.

That being said, if you had a feat allowing you to attack with a polearm at close opponents as well as at full extended reach, this scenario would be entirely legal RAW.

Where does Whirlwind Attack specify a single attack? Whirlwind Attack lets you make a melee attack against each opponent within reach. That's likely several attacks, not one.

You only get to make a single attack against each opponent, but you clearly make multiple attacks. You even have to make multiple attack rolls

Hmm, you're right. I misinterpreted the original statement. One melee attack AGAINST EACH OPPONENT. Clearly meaning multiple attacks are indeed happening. My objection to number one is redacted. Whirl away.


Whirlwind attack is really quite simple.

Step 1: Determine what is within your reach. Due to the ruling on cleave this does not change if your weapons change or you move between attacks. (Yes, I know that was a cleave specific ruling but since both check what you can reach at the START of the action, it should apply.)

Step 2: Make one attack against each creature within your reach. Anything that can be made as an attack (including things like trip) count. If, at the start of the whirlwind, you have multiple weapons that qualified then you can choose the weapon for each attack assuming it is a legal choice.

Example: You have a reach weapon in one hand (perhaps you are a Titan Mauler) and a non-reach weapon in the other hand. With the reach weapon you may make attacks at 10' and with the non-reach weapon you may make attacks at 5'. If you have Lunge you may make attacks at 15' with the reach weapon, 10' with EITHER (not both) weapons, and 5' with the non-reach weapon.

This is NOT TWF. There are no TWF penalties here. This is also not Iterative attacks. It is exactly as written, you are making an attack against each creature within reach. It does not state you can only use one weapon to determine what you can reach.

You may use other attack options that replace a single attack. An example of this is Trip. So yes, you may try to trip each creature within reach using a Whirlwind attack.

Note: You gain no extra attacks due to things like Haste and 3.5 Cleave (Cleaving Finish now) due to the Bag of Rats trick. This may or may not prevent AoOs, there has been much debate on this. I believe that the intent is that yes, you can perform AoOs normally since AoOs are limited and the Bag of Rats was not. However, I have no proof of this. Perhaps someone else does.

- Gauss


Barry Armstrong: one other note, attacking a creature at a 10' reach with someone between you results in the target gaining a +4 soft cover bonus to AC. So in the case of Whirlwind attack if you were able to make an attack at 5' and an attack at 10' I would suggest making your 5' attacks first just in case you drop a few. This eliminates that soft cover bonus.

- Gauss

Sczarni

james maissen wrote:
Krodjin wrote:
Citation?

Logic.

To spell it out:

If the feat granted an attack then you would get the attack regardless of Combat Reflexes/DEX score.. you don't.

Whirlwind wouldn't stop one from making other AOOs, right?

Your contention is convoluted, but ultimately just doesn't hold up to the letter that you wish to ascribe to it.

-James

If you think my contention is convoluted you must be mistaking someone else's contention for my own.

My contention is pretty straightforward. Whirlwind Attack expressly states that you give up any other attacks granted by feats, spells, or abilities.

The benefit of Greater Trip is that you receive an AoO if you successfully trip a foe. You do not get an AoO for tripping a foe unless you have the feat Greater Trip.

I'm not saying that my contention is right. I'm saying it is ambiguous enough that it warrants official clarification, because by RAW it's not clear.

You claim it's written that way to include one feat, but not others. Which would be fine if it were expressly written that way.

It would best if we kept logic out of a fantasy rules discussion, lest we all be sorely disappointed.


Krodjin, it was a change made back in 3.0->3.5 and it was clear that the change was to nerf the Bag of Rats trick.

If you do not know what that trick is, it was you dropping a bag of rats on the ground. Begin Whirlwind attack + Cleave (Cleaving Finish in PF). Whirlwind attack and kill a rat, cleave the BBEG, kill another rat with Whirlwind attack, cleave the BBEG again. Keep going until you run out of rats or the BBEG is dead.

PF has not changed this in any way so the rationale for the wording is still sound.

Note: I am not saying you are wrong. It is unclear if the intent is to prevent AoOs.

- Gauss


Gauss wrote:


Step 1: Determine what is within your reach. Due to the ruling on cleave this does not change if your weapons change or you move between attacks. (Yes, I know that was a cleave specific ruling but since both check what you can reach at the START of the action, it should apply.)

I disagree.

Whirlwind is a series of attacks and are NOT simultaneous.

If readied actions occur between these attacks this can change who can and who cannot be attacked by the whirlwind. Likewise one can make a 5' step in the middle of the series of whirlwind attacks.

Obviously we cannot accept a PC declaring whirlwind with a dagger, then 5' step AWAY from opponents to say avoid fireshield damage...

The cleave ruling should stay specific to the cleave ruling... in general one should not take a FAQ answer and try to apply it elsewhere.

-James


Krodjin wrote:


My contention is pretty straightforward. Whirlwind Attack expressly states that you give up any other attacks granted by feats, spells, or abilities.

The benefit of Greater Trip is that you receive an AoO if you successfully trip a foe. You do not get an AoO for tripping a foe unless you have the feat Greater Trip.

Causing them to provoke an AOO is NOT the same as granting another attack. Likewise you do not 'receive' AOOs, but rather enemies provoke them.

You are contending otherwise, and that is where you are wrong.

I can whirlwind with a whip and greater trip all my foes. How many attacks of opportunity do I get? None even under my reading. Why? Because I don't threaten any squares. Yet greater trip is causing the tripped foes to provoke AOOs from everyone that threatens their squares. Yet they would need to have AOOs remaining in order to elect to take an AOO. It's not granting attacks to them, rather it is letting them take attacks that are due them.

Causing someone to provoke an AOO, is not generating extra attacks.. it is allowing those that have AOOs available to elect to use them.

-James


I would disagree that you'd be able to reach both the 5 and 10 foot opponents unless he did all the 5' opponents first, risked taking the +4 cover bonus to ac, regripped his polearm, and went after the 10 foot opponents on the "second pass".

The feat doesn't say there's only one "circle", it says there's only one attack per opponent. He could whirl around multiple times to catch everyone within his reach.


James: Cleave is a series of attacks and are not simultaneous. The point is BOTH feats have the first step of 'what is in your reach'.

CRB p119 Cleave wrote:
As a standard action, you can make a single attack at your full base attack bonus against a foe within reach.
CRB p137 Whirlwind Attack wrote:
When you use the full-attack action, you can give up your regular attacks and instead make one melee attack at your highest base attack bonus against each opponent within reach.

Notice that both use the exact same wording of 'within reach'. Both feats first check to see what is within reach. Thus, if you cannot change your within reach for Cleave neither can you change it for Whirlwind attack.

- Gauss


My example specifically stated that the polearm wielder was using a polearm one handed. No regrip required. In the other hand is your 5' reach weapon. In fact, since you have to check who you can reach at the START of the whirlwind attack you cannot regrip and continue a whirlwind at a new distance.

Example: you cannot use your polearm at 5' radius and then use the Polearm Master's ability to switch to 10' radius.

Example:
Let us assume that the whirlwind attacker is completely surrounded out to a distance of 10', has a mace, and a 1handed reach polearm.

At the start of the whirlwind attack the attacker threatens 5' reach with his Mace and 10' reach with his 1handed polearm.

Since he isn't stupid, he is going to make the attacks with the Mace first in case he drops a target. He attacks all targets at 5' with his Mace and then attacks the targets at 10' with the polearm. Any targets at 10' that have a body at 5' have a +4 soft cover bonus. Any which do not (due to the Mace attack dropping them) no longer have the soft cover bonus.

- Gauss


Gauss wrote:


Notice that both use the exact same wording of 'within reach'. Both feats first check to see what is within reach. Thus, if you cannot change your within reach for Cleave neither can you change it for Whirlwind attack.

- Gauss

First, you should never take FAQ rulings and run with them. It's like running with scissors.

Second, I personally don't really care for the FAQ ruling as I think it causes errors like those I will describe below.

Third, the FAQ ruling nowhere made this a general rule, but rather it was just made specific to cleave. I guess this is part and parcel with 'first' but it does deserve to be highlighted.

All that said let's go with a few absurd scenarios:

1. The dagger example to hit creatures from 10' away (15' with lunge) with a dagger without natural reach.

2. An enemy readies to tumble away if you attack his friend. You whirlwind attacking one person, then his friend, and he successfully tumbles away. Never fear! He is STILL hit by the whirlwind from 30-40ft away... why? because the reach was already checked.

3. An enemy charges in while you are in the middle of making a whirlwind attack. He is immune to your series of blows, but no one else is.

Are these reasonable scenarios? To me they are not. They are trying to demand that whirlwind be a simultaneous attack, and it is not.

This exact situation existed with whirlwind prior to cleave changing with pathfinder. There was no FAQ or mention of the feat in regards to this. I don't believe that they would read these scenarios as palatable. I certainly do not.

Lastly, what is gained by 'check at the first'? Whirlwind is just a special kind of full attack action with sequential attacks. Check at the point of attack. If the PC is disarmed in the middle of the whirlwind he does not finish his attacks (with the disarmed weapon) to the remainder. Likewise via fireshield he might be dropped before he finishes. Heck after the first attack the whirlwinder can elect to abort the whirlwind and move. This, too, is different from cleave in that the cleaver is committed to the AC penalty.

-James
PS: If you feel the need to justify separating the two.. cleave is a standard action and normally doesn't have multiple parts, while whirlwind is a full attack action and naturally can be expected to have multiple parts. That said cleave is still a bad FAQ, and really should be errata to alter its wording for further requirements.

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