New technique: Sweeping Slash

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.

2 thoughts on “New technique: Sweeping Slash

  1. Peter Dell'Orto 2020-04-03 / 22:33

    Personally, I think that allowing a defense with the same weapon while using Committed Attack shouldn’t be allowed. It’s essentially taking a core tradeoff of CA – you can’t parry, but you gain back additional damage or more steps – and saying that’s worth a mere -1 to skill.

    Plus, using a force weapon knocks off the next major penalty – the need to penetrate the previous target in some meaningful way.

    This improves on Cleaving Strike in all respects:
    – you can Step (twice, even, when Cleaving Strike allows no step)
    – you can defend
    – you can defend with the same weapon (a downside to Committed Attack)
    – you have much less restriction on attacking the next target.

    So in other words, it’s like CS, only much, much better for a slight increase in cost if you bought it up to full skill (7 points, to CS’s 5 points.) Would you say that being able to step twice instead of not at all and having the ability to parry. Given that a mere +1 to Parry is -2 to defaults, and getting rid of Cannot Retreat on, say, Move and Attack is -1 for a situational +1 to +3 depending on the defense used for only one defensive response against one foe, getting rid of “Cannot Parry” seems like it must be much, much more or flat-out impossible. I’d go with the latter.

    This actually reads like just doing a three-strike Rapid Strike with TBAM or WM (-6 to each), but it also gives bonuses to knocking folks down for non-force weapons (-1 to default), requires you to knock them down, etc. (+1 to default), requires them to be adjacent (+1 to default). That evens out to -5. That’s if you want to be able to Parry. If you don’t, go with CA . . . but I can’t see allowing you to Parry anyway being a -1 to default cost. It’s way too big of a benefit. It’s really no longer “Committed” if it doesn’t carry one of the core effects of “Committed Attack.” If you’d like to keep the “Cannot Retreat” I’d say that’s worth a +1 t default. You generally can trade away a lot for a small reduction in cost, but you can’t buy new abilities in without a large cost in the Technique Design System. Otherwise . . . I think you’re stuck without a Parry if you base it on CA to get the second step.

    That’s all in my opinion, anyway.


  2. chaoticgm 2020-04-03 / 23:18

    You have some good points there. Regarding allowing a parry during Committed Attack – I see it no different than allowing a Parry during a Move and Attack, which was priced as -1 for Quicksilver Strike in Monster Hunters Power-Ups 1. So that’s what I went with.

    The version you proposed based on a normal Attack coming out at -5 seems like a too good of a deal to me. You get a triple Rapid strike at +0 with no drawbacks for 7 points. That’s why I went with Committed Attack, primarily for those -2 to defenses and Retreat being disallowed which I see as a good enough trade-off, but with the disallowed parry a bit too much for my taste. Getting a second step was collateral damage, so to speak. On the other hand, adding -2 to all defenses and disallowing Retreat to the version based on Attack would push it all the way to +0 without improvement, which isn’t good either.

    I did consider using the Committed Attack version that allows just a single Step and gets +2 instead, but a second step didn’t seem like that of a big deal to me so I went with that since it resulted in a higher penalty.

    Generally, I did set out to make something better than Cleaving Strike due to the reasons outlined in the post so you’re not wrong there. There’s no disputing that it’s flat out better, and the two don’t belong in the same campaign. Similar to how I think that Run and Hit doesn’t belong in the same campaign as Quicksilver Strike, the latter is simply better.


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