Full attack and standard attack actions
Whoah! While researching Vital Strike, I learned an interesting bit of info. Apparently any feat listed as a “standard action” cannot be done with a full attack action.
Ok, no biggie, that’s what I figured it said about vital strike. It means I can only use Vital Strike if I’m only using one attack that turn. But on the boards I noted a comment that mentioned the same applies to cleave. I used to use the heck out of cleave as an Orc Ranger. Now you can only do it if you’re only using one attack that round.
So, bottom line, check your feats and make sure you’re not overstepping your authorized use.
I thought this was how it worked, but I didn’t want to slow things down in the middle of combat by pulling out the Book of Armaments. John is right, of course. Cleave is a standard action that allows a second attack at your full attack bonus against an adjacent foe. Characters may not move (even a 5 foot step) during a Cleave attack.
Vital strike is similar in that it works as an attack action, in other words, a standard action.
Incidentally, Power Attack can be applied to any melee attack roll, such as normal attack, full-round attack, or even fighting defensively (although this would be counter productive).
The real advantage of Cleave and Vital Strike is that you get to make multiple attacks or one big attack, respectively, using your highest attack bonus. This is great against big boss creatures with high AC’s. The full attack action is better if you get 3 or more attacks and are fighting opponents with lower AC’s, since each attack is less effective than the previous.
Thanks for clearing this up John!
I knew about Vital Strike, but did not know Cleave was just one attack now. I’m so used to 3.5 that I still take so many things for granted. It’s also good to clear up the movement during a cleave attack. They’re both good feats and it is nice to know when and how each may be used.