DarthGM here with the 76th Installment of Fragments From the Rim.
I’m heading back to the Unknown Regions for a Feat that…well…it scares the crap outta me. Which is appropriate, because it’s called Frightening Cleave. You need to have a Strength of 13, Power Attack, Cleave, and a Base Attack Bonus of +4. Given these requirements, any 4th level soldier built for melee combat could take advantage of this Feat. Any Jedi built for melee combat could too; it would just take some creative character building.
What this feat does is immediately after you use the Cleave feat, each enemy within a 6 squares of you and with line of sight takes a -1 penalty to its reflex defense, attack rolls, and skill checks against you until the end of the encounter. This penalty stacks to a maximum of -5. This effect is a mind-effecting effect.
If you’re a rampaging Wookie with a vibro-axe, or a droid-wrecking Jedi with a lightsaber, you can potentially layer on the pain of a major villain by ruthlessly eviscerating their minions before them. One thing that concerned me, and always has about cleave, is that it’s hard to use round after round. As you go up in levels, the opponents get tougher, and the major villains get meaner. That makes it really tricky to be the one to drop a target, and have another enemy nearby to cleave into. Plus if you’re obeying the The List, your GM has spread out the foes and kept them from clustering up too much.
That being said, if you could still get some good mileage out of this feat with a little help from your friends. If you have a Force using buddy who likes to toss people around with Move Object, get on their good side and talk them into constantly moving opponents into adjacent squares to you, injuring them, and letting you finish them off. If you’re toe to toe with a Sith Warrior, you can keep finishing off his minions, cleaving into the Sith, and imposing a cumulative penalty to them, lowering their defense to your attacks, hindering their Use the Force checks against you, and distracting their attacks so they miss.
Maybe this feat isn’t scary…maybe it’s just mean.
Ah well, on that note, we’ll see you next time, Gamer Nation. This is Darth GM wishing you the 20 side up, and the one side down.