Swipe, True Strike, and Sundries...

Rules Discussion

I noticed on Reddit an interaction between True Strike and (Fighter/Barbarian) Swipe...
Too good to be true? Or that's just how 2E rolls...?


The next time you make an attack roll before the end of your turn, roll the attack twice and use the better result. The attack ignores circumstance penalties to the attack roll and any flat check required due to the target being concealed or hidden.

Make a single melee Strike and compare the attack roll result to the ACs of up to two foes, each of whom must be within your melee reach and adjacent to the other. Roll damage only once and apply it to each creature you hit. A Swipe counts as two attacks for your multiple attack penalty. If you’re using a weapon with the sweep trait, its modifier applies to all your Swipe attacks.

At first glance they stack, very powerful move for any MC Gish. But I'm not quite so sure:

The wording of Swipe says "counts as two attacks [for MAP]" but goes on to reference "all your Swipe attacks" (plural).
It partly seems written as if it isn't multiple attacks (but only for MAP accrual) but then refers to plural attacks.
Independent of True Strike, it seems plausible you can have some attack bonus vs one target but not other,
which I assume would still benefit from those VS the relevant target, i.e. they are distinct, separately resolved attacks.
So although sharing the dice roll, I think they are distinct plural "attacks" / "attack rolls", even if you get to use same dice result.

I believe the intent is MAP doesn't apply to the 2nd of the Swipe attacks itself (accruing for it, but only applying to NEXT attack if any),
but if they are two distinct attacks, then MAP penalty does apply to the 2nd Swipe attack, even if using the same naked dice roll result.
Which is still potentially beneficial since any re-roll effects can apply to both, but significantly less than some people seem to think it works like.

I'm leaning towards True Strike NOT applying to both Swipe attacks, only the 1st, which seems straight enough by current wording,
but the MAP situation seems to have a discrepancy between plausible intent that MAP doesn't apply to (only accrues from) either Swipe attack,
and the direct reference to plural attacks which would make 2nd attack automatically suffer MAP, so I think the RAW isn't doing what it needs to there,
and the wording needs to more explicitly assert MAP doesn't APPLY to 2nd attack, but still accrues from both.
I think that was mostly standard phrasing that may work fine for other pseudo-dual attack effects,
but might not work here if affirmed as actually being 2 distinct attacks (that don't stack w/ True Strike)?

Thoughts? FAQ? Errata?

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True strike only cares about the next attack roll. Swipe only has you make 1 attack roll. Anything past that seems like overthinking IMO. It's a single strike with a single damage roll: the number of targets doesn't matter.

They may want to FAQ/errata if they don't want that to work, but as written they seem to work fine together.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

My reading is that Swipe is a single attack that counts as two for the purpose figuring out MAP once resolved. The language is just like Power Attack.

It also makes sense in the fiction. Swipe is described as a single wide arcing swing of your weapon.

Look at Power Attack:

CRB 144 wrote:
You unleash a particularly powerful attack that clobbers your foe but leaves you a bit unsteady. Make a melee Strike. This counts as two attacks when calculating your multiple attack penalty. If this Strike hits, you deal an extra die of weapon damage. If you’re at least 10th level, increase this to two extra dice, and if you’re at least 18th level, increase it to three extra dice.

Power Attack is a single hit but counts as two attacks for MAP (which can be adjusted to one by a later feat).

Swipe has the same wording. You roll once and apply that roll for 2 attacks. But now if you use your third action to attack it’s at -10 (-8 if agile) just like if you had used power attack.

So yes, true strike can be used for swipe. It can be used for power attack or a 2 action spell like Disintegrate. It’s a very handy 1st level spell but you can’t use it all day because of limited spell slots.

Yes, Power Attack was the sort of thing I was thinking re: usage of standard boilerplate.
I think they picked up on that standard boilerplate, but it doesn't quite fit for the job needed here.

But I don't think the exact same wording fits here, when the text itself is referring to multiple attacks.
Affirming it is multiple attacks means MAP applies, even if saying "still counts as 2 attacks for MAP" [accrual] is then superfluous.
Even aside from that, considering each attack is valid to use different attack bonuses per target, also leads to same conclusion.
(and if we want to say that doesn't apply, we have no guidance to which target's valid situational attack bonuses to use)

Or put another way, for it to work fine, the textual reference to plural attacks needs to be removed,
and we must also believe that distinct attack bonuses can't apply to different targets (say Dwarven Hatred vs 2nd target),
de facto requiring using attack bonuses vs 'generic target' or something to resolve ambiguity.

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Disagree, it works fine as written and I think you're just overthinking it.

You say the text is superfluous, but without it wouldn't necessarily convey the same meaning, because Swipe is one attack roll and one attack action.

But it's fine for ability to also refer to itself as plural attacks?
How are target specific attack bonuses resolved if it is one attack with one static modifier?

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Quandary wrote:
But it's fine to also refer to it as plural attacks?

Why wouldn't it be?

How are target specific attack bonuses resolved if it is one attack with one static modifier?

The ability tells you what to do. You make an attack roll and compare the result against the ACs of both opponents.

Yep, this is a trick I picked up and tried during the playtest, but the honest truth is I literally never pulled it off because the positioning on Swipe isn't too easy to obtain. Perhaps I just got unlucky, but enemies that move up are generally going to want to flank you, so they won't be adjacent to one another. If they have reach and are a space away, you also can't pull it off, because you need to step first, and that'd be 4 actions (minus extra action shenanigans).

We'll see, but this may be an instance where it isn't actually as good as you might suspect.

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Quandary wrote:
But it's fine for ability to also refer to itself as plural attacks?

Yes, one abilities come in all shapes and sizes. They can be:

Multiple attacks for a single action (eg Hunted Shot)
Multiple attacks for multiple actions actions (Double Slice)
Single attack for a single action (Exacting Strike)
Single attack for multiple actions (Intimidating Strike)

Each ability that involves multiple attacks tells you how to apply MAP.

If Swipe couldn’t attack two creatures at the highest attack bonus then it would be a waste of a feat, because it would be no different then using two single action strikes.

The wording on this feat is very clear.

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