Recently a player in my Star Wars campaign asked if there was a way they could attack several foes near them at once, or rather if there was a better way of doing it than with Rapid Strike. Cleaving Strike from Dungeon Fantasy 11: Power-Ups came to mind immediately but I had a couple problems recommending it. Firstly, I’m personally extremely averse to All-Out Attack and almost never do it as a player. Cleaving Strike is therefore dead to me, so I can’t in good conscience recommend it to anyone else. Secondly, I really think that Force-users leaping around with lightsabers should be capable of doing something like that without remaining defenseless. So I came up with this:
Sweeping Slash (H)
Default: Any Melee Weapon skill -6; cannot exceed Melee Weapon skill.
Prerequisites: Unique Technique (Sweeping Slash) perk and one of Weapon Master or Trained By A Master (or alternatively ST 18+ for non-force weapons)
This is a special use of the Committed Attack maneuver. You attack up to three opponents adjacent to each other in a line within your reach with a wide swinging attack. All attacks must be with the same swung weapon. You may move two steps (before or after the attack, or split between both), you may not retreat, and all of your defenses are at -2 until your next turn. Unlike with a normal Committed Attack, you may parry with the weapon used to attack.
Additionally, if using a non-force weapon, at least one of the following conditions must be met by each attack in the sequence otherwise all subsequent attacks are lost:
- you miss your foe
- your foe retreats or dodges
- you knock your foe back or down
- you hit a limb or extremity with enough damage to dismember it
- you kill your foe
As a minor consolation, foes struck with non-force weapon suffer a -1 penalty to DX and HT rolls made to avoid falling down due to knockback and to avoid knockdown/stunning.
This is essentially a bit more cinematic version of Cleaving Strike optimized for force weapons (but usable with any swing-capable melee weapon). Retaining most of the defensive penalties of Committed Attack colors this as part of aggressive styles without going too far with an All-Out Attack. I have built the technique using the technique design system from Martial Arts as follows:
- A base penalty of -6 for a triple Rapid Strike with Trained by a Master or Weapon Master (and the same reasoning for high ST being equally valid as in Dungeon Fantasy)
- Benefit: being able to parry with the attacking weapon, -1
- Drawback: targets must be adjacent to one another, +1
- Drawback: the conditions which must be met in order to not lose subsequent attacks for a non-force weapon, +1
- Benefit: penalty to victim’s DX/HT rolls vs knockback and knockdown/stunning, -1
All of these come down to a default of -6 and the technique is Hard because it enables multiple strikes. I chose Committed Attack as the base because such a move without that kind of drawbacks would essentially be a rather cheap way to buy off the Rapid Strike penalty, especially since we use the house rule where each point invested in techniques counts double.
I am currently not counting the Unique Technique perk required for this technique against the limit of style perks. Doing so, or on the other hand completely dispensing with the perk wouldn’t be a big deal.