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I want to make a melee weapon whose main purpose is mowing down large numbers of low-level creatures. I can't find magic weapon special abilities that grant Cleave, though the specific weapon Sylvan Scimitar gives it in certain circumstances, and there are some abilities that do seem to basically give feats (like the 3x/day whirling ability, but I'd like the weapon to be usable at will)

Are there any rules that point to a way to deconstruct the scimitar and/or apply feats to magic weapons in general, or maybe some special abilities that would accomplish what I want without dealing with getting a feat or two onto a weapon? And in any case, what would the impact on weapon bonus/price be?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you doing this as a player for your character, or as DM? The difference will be in how much you should stick to the rules - a DM has freedom to interpret magic item designs and homebrew to solve this problem, whilst a player ideally sticks closer to RAW. Ultimately you are likely to need at least some homebrew here though \$\endgroup\$ Dec 28 '19 at 9:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ Technically neither right now, but I like to think of PCs/NPCs/items so I have them on hand when I want something for whatever. When possible, I like to try and stick as close to RAW as I can, so that it's easier to slot stuff into campaigns when I want them. \$\endgroup\$
    – 47948201
    Dec 28 '19 at 10:11
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Guidelines for magic items that grant feats are provided by the Arms and Equipment Guide…

To summarize the Arms and Equipment Guide sidebar Magic Items that Grant Feats (128), a magic item that grants a feat costs 10,000 gp plus from 5,000 to 10,000 gp per prerequisite possessed by the feat that's being granted. Thus a magic item like a magic sword that grants the bearer the feat Great Cleave (Player's Handbook 94) would cost 10,000 gp plus an additional 20,000 to 40,000 gp for that feat's prerequisites of a Strength score of 13, a base attack bonus of +4, and the feats Cleave (92) and Power Attack (98)… plus, of course, the price of the magic sword itself.

That is, ultimately, the DM determines the value of the Great Cleave feat when it's granted by a weapon, but the guidelines say that a weapon that grants the feat should be at least the price of the masterwork weapon plus 2,000 gp for the weapon's +1 magical enhancement bonus plus at least 30,000 gp. Although the Arms & Equipment Guide doesn't come right out an say so, this reader's always assumed that a magic item that grants a feat allows the bearer to realize the feat's benefit without also meeting the feat's prerequisites. (This reader assumes that's why prerequisites must be paid for.) However, ask the DM.

For comparison, both the sylvan scimitar (Dungeon Master's Guide 229) (47,315 gp; 4 lbs.) and the rankbreaker glaive (AE 114) (32,308 gp; 10 lbs.) grant their wielders the Cleave feat at an extrapolated price of probably 20,000 gp. This DM figures going straight to the feat Great Cleave must be prohibitively expensive or magic craftsmen would've standardized such a feature, so pricing a feature that allows a wielder to use the feat Great Cleave at 40,000 gp to 50,000 gp isn't unreasonable in context.

(By the way, out of context that price is totally unreasonable: The feat Great Cleave is worth 50,000 gp only to warriors who consistently find themselves facing stacks of largely insignificant foes… which, to be clear, could very well be the nature of your campaign. In my experience, though, that surrounded-by-endless-hordes problem is usually solved way better by the wizard than by the warrior… even a warrior with a +1 great cleaving sword.)

…Or just stick a wand in that sword

Instead of taking an everyday magic weapon and spending upwards of 30,000 gp to add to it the feature that the weapon's wielder gains the benefit of the feat Great Cleave, consider instead adding to even a mundane weapon a wand chamber (Dungeonscape 30, 34) (100 gp; 0 lbs.). That accessory allows a wand to be tucked into the weapon and the weapon's wielder to use that wand as if she were wielding it. That wand could be a wand of heroics [trans] (Spell Compendium 113) (2nd-level spell at caster level 3) (90 gp/charge). A wielder who can activate the wand can gain for 30 min. the feat Great Cleave if she already meets the feat's other prerequisites. (This DM doesn't allow a creature to benefit from multiple castings of the heroics spell, but another DM may rule differently; also see this question.)

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    \$\begingroup\$ "Guidelines for magic items that grant feats are provided by the Arms and Equipment Guide… In sum, Arms and Equipment Guide says that a magic item that grants a feat costs 10,000 gp plus from 5,000 to 10,000 gp per prerequisite possessed by the feat that's being granted." This appears on Pg. 139 and it speaks to Intelligent Item Creation, not normal items... \$\endgroup\$
    – CrimRei
    Dec 29 '19 at 14:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ @CrimRei The sidebar Magic Items that Grant Feats appears on AE 128 and has nothing to do with intelligent magic items. Really. Go look. I will make what's being discussed more obvious, though. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 29 '19 at 17:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ Nice find for the wand of heroics, combined with Rankbreaker Glaive it would work if the subject has power attack, 13 STR and BAB+4. UMD could be used if the user cannot normally cast spells. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 29 '19 at 22:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Hey I Can Chan I did not see that before. Sorry about that. However, the only table that actually shows prices for feats on magic Items appears on pg 139 and is for Intelligent Items. \$\endgroup\$
    – CrimRei
    Jan 2 '20 at 4:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @CrimRei The question asks, "Are there any rules that point to a way to… apply feats to magic weapons in general…?" Table 6–2 (AE 139) provides prices for adding some specific feats to intelligent items but doesn't say how those prices were arrived at. Those guidelines (that Table 6–2 follows inconsistently) are described where this answer says they are. But, still, I'd like to improve this answer, so what do you recommend I include in or exclude from this answer to improve it? \$\endgroup\$ Jan 2 '20 at 4:38
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YES

(Original question was Cleave)

The only Weapon that grants cleave I could find (I couldn't find another item that does so):

Rankbreaker Glaive:

This +2 glaive allows its wielder to make use of the Cleave feat if she lacks it. Furthermore, whenever the wielder takes a charge action using a rankbreaker glaive, he deal an additional +1d6 damage on each successful hit. Moderate transmutation; CL 9th; Craft Magic Arms & Armor, righteous might; 32,308 gp

Arms and Equipment Guide p.114

Similar effects:

  • Sylvan Scimitar (as you mentionned)

Sylvan Scimitar:

This +3 scimitar, when used outdoors in a temperate climate, grants its wielder the use of the Cleave feat and deals an extra 1d6 points of damage. Moderate evocation; CL 11th; Craft Magical Arms and Armor, divine power or creator must be a 7th-level druid; Price 47,315gp; Cost 23,657 gp and 5 sp + 1,893 XP.

  • The Mighty Cleaving Weapon Enhancement

Mighty Cleaving:

A mighty cleaving weapon allows a wielder with the Cleave feat to make one additional cleave attempt in a round. Moderate evocation; CL 8th; Craft Magical Arms and Armor, divine power; Price +1 bonus.

For Great Cleave and more options See Hey I Can Chan's Answer

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