Question on Cleave Feat


Rules Questions


If a Paladin wants to use the Cleave Feat at first level. Can he for the attack roll only add the BAB (1) and not the STR modifiert to attack on enemy (and in case of a successful attack onto the next)? Meaning I take a higher risk to hit the first in order to attack the adjacent enemy.

Liberty's Edge

I don't think you understand how cleave works. You want to do everything possible to hit the first enemy because if you hit, you can cleave on to the next one.


So how does Cleave work?

For the attack roll do I add just the BAB or also the STR Modifier like on a regular attack?


divby0 wrote:

So how does Cleave work?

For the attack roll do I add just the BAB or also the STR Modifier like on a regular attack?

You add all your modifiers to hit against the first target. You must hit the first target in order to "Cleave" through to the second target.


For Cleave you do a normal attack (BAB + Str) and if it hits you get a second attack for free against a target that you threaten that is adjacent to the foe you just hit. This extra attack has the same bonuses as the first attack (BAB + Str).

Naturally other attack enhancers like a Bard's Inspire Courage or flanking or height advantage affect each attack as appropriate.


Daniel Waugh wrote:
divby0 wrote:

So how does Cleave work?

For the attack roll do I add just the BAB or also the STR Modifier like on a regular attack?

You add all your modifiers to hit against the first target. You must hit the first target in order to "Cleave" through to the second target.

Then I dont have any negatives on the first attack? It is basically a normal attack?

As a standard action, you can make a single
attack at your full base attack bonus against a foe within
reach.

As I am lvl 1 my attack bonus is 1. My STR Modifier is 4 so for a regular attack I add 5 to the attack roll.

I was not sure if i can do that for a Cleave also. OR if I have to only use 1 - my base attack bonus - for the attack roll


divby0 wrote:

Then I dont have any negatives on the first attack? It is basically a normal attack?

As I am lvl 1 my attack bonus is 1. My STR Modifier is 4 so for a regular attack I add 5 to the attack roll.

I was not sure if i can do that for a Cleave also. OR if I have to only use 1 - my base attack bonus - for the attack roll

You are correct. All bonuses and penalties apply.

Your attack bonus is:
Base attack bonus + Strength modifier + size modifier

Any additional bonuses or penalties that apply to your attacks will also apply. The Bless spell, for instance, or the enhancement bonus granted by a Masterwork weapon, or the +2 from flanking.

You might be confused by Power Attack, which is a pre-requisite for Cleave. You can choose if you want to Power Attack, and if you do, you take the -1 penalty on attack rolls in exchange for the damage bonus.

So your 18-Strength Human Paladin with Power Attack and Cleave can:

A) Standard attack: +5
B) Power Attack: +4 (+2 damage)
C) Cleave: +5 (and +5 to the next guy if you hit)
D) Power Attack Cleave: +4 (and +4 to the next guy if you hit, both with +2 damage)


divby0 wrote:
Daniel Waugh wrote:
divby0 wrote:

So how does Cleave work?

For the attack roll do I add just the BAB or also the STR Modifier like on a regular attack?

You add all your modifiers to hit against the first target. You must hit the first target in order to "Cleave" through to the second target.

Then I dont have any negatives on the first attack? It is basically a normal attack?

As a standard action, you can make a single
attack at your full base attack bonus against a foe within
reach.

As I am lvl 1 my attack bonus is 1. My STR Modifier is 4 so for a regular attack I add 5 to the attack roll.

I was not sure if i can do that for a Cleave also. OR if I have to only use 1 - my base attack bonus - for the attack roll

Cleave has no penalty to its use until you gain a second attack in some manner (haste, two weapon fighting, a natural weapon, or just BAB of 6 or more). The first attack is exactly the same as normal, and then if it hits you make a second attack against a different target exactly the same as normal.

Once you have a second attack from some source, you need to choose between cleaving as a standard action, or making a full attack and getting all your attacks.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

the benefit of cleave at any level is it being a standard action. so you can use a move action beforehand, close with your opponents ( hopefully so they're adjacent so you can qualify to use cleave ), and attack.

if you have iteratives or haste attacks, its usually better to just use those, since they're not contingent on enemy position or connecting with the first swing.

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