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In Tome of Battle we find these 2 maneuvers:

  • Iron Heart (Strike) 8: Adamantine Hurricane (p. 66)
  • Tiger Claw (Stance) 8: Wolf Pack Tactics (p. 90)

And their interaction is unclear to me.

Specifically, I could not find any definite answer to:

  1. Can Wolf Pack Tactics be used to move 5 ft. after each attack of Adamantine Hurricane?
  2. If it can, do the targets of Adamantine Hurricane evolve after each step, or remain unchanging (ie, they were fixed when the strike was initiated)?

Note: I could find this thread on WotC forums, but I am not convinced by the hand-wavy arguments; maybe it is due to my own lack of knowledge on the subject of "Targets" of course.


Since the material can be found for free from Wizards of the Coast's Maneuver Cards resource, here are the text of those abilities in full (minus level/prerequisite which should not affect the answer):

Adamantine Hurricane

Initiation Action: 1 standard action

Range: Melee attack

Targets: One or more adjacent creatures you threaten

In a blur of motion, you make a short, twisting leap in the air. As you turn, your weapon flashes through the enemies around you like a blazing comet. As you drop back to the ground in your fighting stance, your enemies crumple to the ground around you.

You sweep your weapon in a circle around you, striking out at nearby enemies. You strike with the speed and ferocity of a lightning bolt, forcing your enemies to rely on their reflexes for protection rather than their armor and shields.

You make two melee attacks against each adjacent opponent you threaten when you initiate this maneuver. You receive a +4 bonus on each of these attacks, which are otherwise made with your highest attack bonus.

Wolf Pack Tactics

Initiation Action: 1 swift action

Range: Personal

Target: You

Duration: Stance

With each stinging attack that connects against a foe, you slip around him, using the distraction provided by your attacks to prevent him from hindering your movement.

You prowl the battlefield like a mighty hunter. You pick your spots to attack, striking foes when they are most vulnerable before moving on to attack elsewhere. Each attack allows you to move forward and press your advantage.

While you are in this stance, each successful strike allows you to slowly work your way around an opponent. Each time you make a successful melee attack, you can move 5 feet. This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity from the creature you struck. You cannot use this stance to move more than your current speed in a single round.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I have often wondered the same thing but for the combination of the Whirlwind Attack and Dance of Death abilities from Paimon, the Dancer from Tome of Magic. I am unsure. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jun 26 '15 at 19:11
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You can move after each attack...

Adamantine Hurricane has you make melee attacks. Wolf Pack Tactics allows you to move 5ft after every successful melee attack.

... and your targets change with each step.

Tome of Battle, pp.39-40, Resolving a Maneuver or Stance:

Actions during a Maneuver: The Initiation Action line of a maneuver description provides the action required to use that maneuver. For example, the initiation action of the radiant charge maneuver is 1 full-round action. Thus, as part of your full-round action, you bring about the effect in the maneuver description.

Tome of Battle, p.42, Maneuver and Stance Descriptions (Type): Strike:

Strikes almost always require a standard or full-round action to complete. Most of them involve a melee attack as part of completing the maneuver.

Tome of Battle, p.46, Duration: No Duration:

For example, a strike with an initiation action of 1 standard action would effectively have a duration of 1 standard action; the effect of the strike is tied to the action of making the attack.

These three pages all agree that the full effect described by a Maneuver, specifically including a Strike's melee attacks, are within the Initiation time. So while you attack your adjacent foes, you are still Initiating Adamantine Hurricane. This is important, but does not of itself mean your targets may change.

Targeting a Maneuver on p.45 says,

You might have to make some choice about whom your maneuver is to affect or where it will originate.

However, it does not say when you have to make this choice. I've found no text stating that a decision about targets or aiming when you choose a Maneuver to Initiate (the first step in Initiating it). Contrast with spells, where "you make all pertinent decisions about a spell (range, target, area, effect, version, and so forth) when the spell comes into effect" [PHB p.174].

As there is no general rules, the Maneuver's effect must guide us in when and how we choose our targets. The effect of Adamantine Hurricane says:

You make two melee attacks against each adjacent opponent you threaten when you initiate this maneuver.

As it happens, we make no choice for this one. All adjacent opponents threatened by our character are chosen as targets for us. If we move during Initiation, then that selection of targets changes - with clever use of Wolf Pack Tactics the number of "adjacent opponents you threaten when you initiate this maneuver" can be extended as far as your movement allows.

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1) Yes, you can move, as Wolf Pack Tactics states (emphasis mine):

Each time you make a successful melee attack, you can move 5 feet.

and Adamantine Hurricane allows you to make melee attacks (emphasis mine):

You make two melee attacks against each adjacent opponent you threaten when you initiate this maneuver.

You would still need to be in range for your attacks though; you can't move 5 feet away and still be able to make the attacks you are granted unless you have reach or something similar.

2) No, because Adamantine Hurricane specifically states (emphasis mine):

You make two melee attacks against each adjacent opponent you threaten when you initiate this maneuver.

Therefore, this doesn't change; you are only initiating the maneuver once when you take your standard action to use it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ In between attacks is still in the middle of initiating it. The initiation of the maneuver is not complete until after all attacks are finished. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jun 26 '15 at 21:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan this is because intiating is a D&D keyword and not the common word for "starting", right? \$\endgroup\$ – Zachiel Jun 27 '15 at 0:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Zachiel Yes, at least in the context of a maneuver, it is the keyword for using a maneuver, equivalent to “cast” for spells, “manifest” for powers, and so on. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jun 27 '15 at 0:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan For spells like scorching ray, the casting of the spell and the ranged attack it creates are separate events, and I would presume that they are using the 'when' in that sense. \$\endgroup\$ – firedraco Jun 28 '15 at 0:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @firedraco [citation needed]. And I mean that literally, not condescendingly: if you can demonstrate that, then that is a great answer, but I don’t believe the rules ever say that. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jun 28 '15 at 0:32

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