It’s been a little more than three months, but long-time fans of this column will no doubt remember that we’ve made a habit, over the course of the past year or so, of devoting articles to groups of feats that are designed to provide different groups of weapons with unique and interesting tactical styles, allowing the experience of wielding a rapier to really feel different from the experience of wielding a longsword, battleaxe, or other weapon. Well, it’s time to return to that tradition.
I’ve already touched on axes once in the past, but as any dwarf will tell you, the only real axe is one that takes two hands to wield, so today is all about the greataxe, favored weapon of dwarves, barbarians, and, of course, dwarven barbarians everywhere.
Greater Headsman (Combat)
You are such an accomplished executioner that you can ply your trade even on those who are not helpless.
Prerequisite: Headsman, base attack bonus +16.
Benefit: When wielding a greataxe, as a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity, you may make a single melee attack with that axe. You suffer a -4 penalty on the attack roll. If the attack hits, the target must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 10 + damage dealt) or suffer an additional 1d6 points of damage per point of base attack bonus that you possess, as your strike cleaves through one of their vital areas. This is precision-based damage.
Greater Heedless Charge (Combat)
The wild strength of your reckless swings is devastating to your foes.
Prerequisite: Heedless Charge, base attack bonus +11.
Benefit: Whenever you use the Heedless Charge feat, the critical multiplier of the weapon that you are wielding is also increased by 2 for all attacks made as part of that charge action.
You are unflinching when delivering death with your axe.
Prerequisite: Weapon Focus (greataxe).
Benefit: When wielding a greataxe, you can perform a coup de grace as a standard action, rather than a full-round action, and doing so does not provoke attacks of opportunity. Additionally, you can perform a coup de grace on creatures that are immune to critical hits, as long as they are corporeal and have a head of some kind. Finally, the DC to avoid dying as a result of a coup de grace you perform is equal to 15 + damage dealt, instead of 10 + damage dealt.
Heedless Charge (Combat)
You lunge into battle like a madman, completely ignoring your own safety in order to see your foe destroyed.
Prerequisite: Weapon Focus (any two-handed weapon), base attack bonus +6.
Benefit: Whenever you use the charge action while wielding a two-handed weapon, you may choose to suffer an additional -4 penalty to AC (for a total penalty of -6). If you do, the bonus to attack as a result of charging is increased to +4, and you also gain this +4 bonus on damage rolls made as part of the charge, as well.
Heedless Swing (Combat)
You swing your axe with reckless abandon, and can ensure that you will hit your foe because you don’t care if he hits you, too.
Prerequisite: Weapon Focus (greataxe), base attack bonus +6.
Benefit: Whenever you make a full-attack action with a greataxe, you may choose to provoke an attack of opportunity from all adjacent enemies. If you do, you gain a +2 bonus on attack and damage rolls made as part of that full attack action. Resolve the attacks of opportunity before resolving the full-attack action.
When your base attack bonus reaches +10, and every four points thereafter, the bonus to attack and damage increases by +1 (to a maximum of +5 at 18th level). Heedless Swing stacks with Power Attack and similar abilities.