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by Craig Antoun

I use Cleave in my Classic D&D campaign, and have for about a year now. I added it to the Fighter class, and only they and their sub-classes (Paladin, Avenger, Druidic Knight, Knight, etc.) can make use of this maneuver. I do have a version of the Ranger for BECMI that I created, but I don't allow them to use Cleave, as they have a whole host of other special abilities, and I want the Fighter to have something other classes do not. But, I do allow Elves and Dwarves to have this ability, since they are technically Fighter classes, but not the Halfling, as thematically it does not make sense (to me).

The Cleave was added to the Fighter Maneuvers that all Fighters start with at 1st level (Lance Attack, Set Spear vs. Charge), so they now begin with three special abilities in my campaign.

Here is how the Cleave special ability is described in my campaign:

Cleave: The fighter is trained to exploit his offensive momentum to the maximum. When he fells an opponent (reducing it to zero hit points), he gets an immediate, extra melee attack against another opponent within reach. The fighter cannot move before making this extra attack, and must make it with the same weapon that slew the previous opponent. This ability can be used only once per round.

Fighters are limited to cleaving only once per round, which keeps the carnage from getting out of hand.