Cleaving and claw/claw/bite

How does cleaving work for a monster with multiple attacks per round, such as the venerable claw/claw/bite routine?

  • If it downs an opponent, does it get to cleave with all of its attacks or only the one which delivered the final hit?

  • If the latter, is there any good way of handling it while also rolling all the attacks at once? I find it much more convenient to roll three differently-colored d20s at once, along with the corresponding damage die for each, instead of “roll for first claw, determine result, roll for second claw…”

I am not an Autarch, but I went with the second option- If a Roc wounds you with its claws and then finishes you with its beak, it gets an additional beak attack.

I’d suggesting continuing to roll multiple d20s at once, and just have color denote order, rather than specific attacks. IE: Yellow die, red die, blue die is three attacks. If the first two don’t kill, the third is the bite; if the first one kills, then other two are the cleave and the second claw (or additional cleave)

1 - The same attack is used as the one which dealt the fatal blow. See here:

2 - There’s nothing wrong with continuing to roll them all at once. Simply know what order the attacks are in when necessary (claw/claw/bite or claw/bite/claw or whatever), and then you can apply the results in that order.

For example, say you roll claw for 6 points, claw for 5 points, bite for 10 points against an opponent who has 4 hp and your order is claw/claw/bite. You hit with your first claw, drop them, cleave, and then apply the claw for 6 and bite for 10 to your next target (assuming, of course, that the attack roll was good enough to hit them as well). If the target instead had 11 hp, you’d cleave with the second claw. If your order was claw/bite/claw and they had 7-17 hp, you’d cleave with the bite.

Thanks for the example! Both examples (yours and Alex’s in the linked post) resolve the main problem I was having with multiple attacks and cleaving: I was interpreting the entire attack routine as being locked in to the original target. So, in your example (all three attacks would have hit and the first one does enough damage to drop him), I would have cleaved with the first claw, while the second claw and the bite would be lost entirely since they were directed at a target who was already down, leaving no chance for them to score a kill. If they’re treated as sequential and can pass to a new target, that issue doesn’t exist.