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View Full Version : Bullrush on an AoO. Too powerful?



Frosty
2009-01-21, 02:44 AM
I was thinking how much better Battlefield control Fighter-types might have if they could Bullrush with an AoO. Right now, short of Tripping or the Stand Still feat, there's nothing really much you can do unless you happen to be a Goliath and qualify for the Knockback feat. Now, a Goliath with the Knockback feat is totally cool, but I just want to expand that to everyone.

So...in a nutshell, instead of coming up with new and complicated mechanics, should we just allow characters of any size to take Knockback? I feel it's really help out the melee-types, who need the boost. This is the perfect way to protect your sorcerer pal as he is casting some important spell. Enemies try to move past you to get to him, *POW* you push him away...possibly far enough so the enemy does't have enough movement to get in range anymore.

Zeful
2009-01-21, 03:05 AM
I was thinking how much better Battlefield control Fighter-types might have if they could Bullrush with an AoO. Right now, short of Tripping or the Stand Still feat, there's nothing really much you can do unless you happen to be a Goliath and qualify for the Knockback feat. Now, a Goliath with the Knockback feat is totally cool, but I just want to expand that to everyone.

So...in a nutshell, instead of coming up with new and complicated mechanics, should we just allow characters of any size to take Knockback? I feel it's really help out the melee-types, who need the boost. This is the perfect way to protect your sorcerer pal as he is casting some important spell. Enemies try to move past you to get to him, *POW* you push him away...possibly far enough so the enemy does't have enough movement to get in range anymore.

Having not seen the Knockdown feat I would recommend adding Str 25 as a requirement, along with an "Or" in front of it.

bosssmiley
2009-01-21, 04:30 AM
Should be fine. People might even take the option to bullrush every now and again if your mod. was in play.

Change the Knockback pre-requisites so that you can take it at Str ~18-20 (which is low superhuman in itself), and you're talking. Anything more than that is just excessive and treads on the toes of Awesome Blow.

Talic
2009-01-21, 04:43 AM
The big problem is that you have to move to bullrush. So you take a move action, and then a standard while moving to bullrush. Essentially, the move is a full round action, like charge.

I see it as a viable option for a feat, but the mechanics seem more like they'd fit better in a Bull rush themed PrC. Throw a variant of knockback in somewhere in the middle, and have the capstone be something like when you successfully bullrush a target back, you gain a free attack at the end of the movement.

Mid range abilities could impose dex-skill and AC penalties based on distance bull rushed (knocked off balance), and requiring the victim of your successful bull rush to make a concentration check to use any ability with a verbal component (knocked the air out of em).

Throw in a bonus to bull rush checks equal to half the class level, and it sounds ok.

Curmudgeon
2009-01-21, 07:07 AM
An attack of opportunity is only an attack. You can't move, so you can't (normally) bullrush. You can't even take a free action or a 5' adjustment ("not an action") on an AoO. Even if you have the Knockback feat, you can't enable it on an AoO, because you must use Power Attack, which can only be enabled on your action -- not an AoO. Knockback can only apply on an AoO if you've enabled Power Attack on your previous turn.

Yes, bullrush on an AoO as a general thing is too powerful.

AslanCross
2009-01-21, 07:50 AM
The big problem is that you have to move to bullrush. So you take a move action, and then a standard while moving to bullrush. Essentially, the move is a full round action, like charge.


Nope. The Bull Rush is either a standard action (when performed stationary) or a full round action (as part of a charge). You can bull rush while standing still, but you just end up moving as part of it should you choose to push him further than 5 feet away (and should your check actually allow it).

The real problem here is what Curmudgeon has pointed out: AOOs only allow for an attack. A Bull Rush is a standard action on its own. As such, you may disarm or trip as an AOO, but not bull rush.

Prometheus
2009-01-21, 08:58 AM
If we could find a way to Bull Rush without moving (i.e. shoving someone some distance), that would be good precedent for using it as an AoO and it also sounds more like what the OP really wanted (after all, if you move you can't push someone else out of the way). This could potentially be rolled into a PrC like Talic suggested.

The other question is what occurs after the bull rush AoO. Does movement stop automatically or is it simply displaced by the bull rush distance? Does the person get knocked down prone but than get the ability to use the rest of their movement to get up or to crawl?

Frosty
2009-01-21, 10:45 AM
You Power Attack at the beginning of YOUR round, and that choice lasts until the beginning of your NEXT round, so yes, you CAN use the Knockback feat with AoOs.

Also, with the Knockback feat specifically says that you do NOT move with the opponent. You just smack him so hard that he goes flying without the need for you to move with him. You also get a bonus to the BR check equal to how much you power attacked. And I think the bonus gets bigger if you wield a weapon two-handed.

Keld Denar
2009-01-21, 10:51 AM
And actually, you can set your PA on an AoO. It only specifies that you haven't attacked this turn. So, if a foe starts out of your attack range, and then moves into your attack range and provokes, you can choose right there and then to set your PA, since it is before you attack, and you haven't already made attacks that round.

I got called out on this once before, so I looked it up and nothing says you can't.

Person_Man
2009-01-21, 11:36 AM
I think that the other battlefield control options are sufficiently strong that you don't need to give away the Goliath's raison d'Ítre.

Standstill has a very high rate of success, because the save DC is equal to the damage you would have dealt. And it works well on enemies regardless of their size (unlike a Bull Rush, which tends to suck against sufficiently big and strong enemies).

Knockdown gives you a free Trip Attack, which has roughly the same success rate as a Bull Rush.

Scorpion's Grasp gives you a free Grapple attempt, which is more powerful for locking down a single enemy (though more dangerous when fighting multiple enemies).

Flindbars grant free Disarm attempts when you threaten a crit, which effectively neuter most humanoids.

Evasive Reflexes + reach weapon + Hold the Line and/or Rob's Gmabit and/or magic rollerskates and/or Sparring Dummy and/or DC 50 Tumble, lets you step out of the way of most attacks. That's not really battlefield control, but by the same token it makes it almost impossible to attack you.

A Knight with meaningful reach has several potent battlefield control options. Rangers, Paladins, and Hexblades also get some nifty casting options that can help on this front. They're not Fighters per se, but they're clearly in the same category.

Fighters with the Zhentarim add-on get a potent Fear option, which is very useful for battlefield control.

A Spell Storing weapon can hold plenty of battlefield control spells, and any full caster party member can refill it for you.

Knockback is potent. But it's not so uber that any Fighter type who lacks it sucks. In fact, I'd say that the other options are better in many situations.

TempusCCK
2009-01-21, 12:33 PM
I'd agree that a 21 STR allows you to use knockback. I mean, look at some animals with strength modifiers like that... I mean, a horse has a STR mod of 16 and if you don't think that one of their kicks can knock you flying...

There is an argument to be made for allowing Goliaths to have their "thing." But honestly, size isn't everything when it comes to knocking people around. I know that I've shoulder blocked a person back 10 feet in football, and I have an STR score of about... 14-15 if you take the overhead lift rules into consideration, which used to be alot higher...

Man, I made myself sad.

Edit-silly me, I was looking at the lowest number, when I should have been looking at the highest...

Frosty
2009-01-21, 07:42 PM
I think that the other battlefield control options are sufficiently strong that you don't need to give away the Goliath's raison d'Ítre.

Standstill has a very high rate of success, because the save DC is equal to the damage you would have dealt. And it works well on enemies regardless of their size (unlike a Bull Rush, which tends to suck against sufficiently big and strong enemies).

Knockdown gives you a free Trip Attack, which has roughly the same success rate as a Bull Rush.

Scorpion's Grasp gives you a free Grapple attempt, which is more powerful for locking down a single enemy (though more dangerous when fighting multiple enemies).

Flindbars grant free Disarm attempts when you threaten a crit, which effectively neuter most humanoids.

Evasive Reflexes + reach weapon + Hold the Line and/or Rob's Gmabit and/or magic rollerskates and/or Sparring Dummy and/or DC 50 Tumble, lets you step out of the way of most attacks. That's not really battlefield control, but by the same token it makes it almost impossible to attack you.

A Knight with meaningful reach has several potent battlefield control options. Rangers, Paladins, and Hexblades also get some nifty casting options that can help on this front. They're not Fighters per se, but they're clearly in the same category.

Fighters with the Zhentarim add-on get a potent Fear option, which is very useful for battlefield control.

A Spell Storing weapon can hold plenty of battlefield control spells, and any full caster party member can refill it for you.

Knockback is potent. But it's not so uber that any Fighter type who lacks it sucks. In fact, I'd say that the other options are better in many situations.

I've never seen the Zhentarim class or the Knockdown (I think it's 3.0) feat and never heard of Scorpion's Grasp or Flindbars, and I've been playing for a while. I want an option that even NEWBIES, the people that Fighters are recommended to, can easily see and take. Having Knockback is a very simple option, although Stand Still is also very nice. BF control should not be solely in the hands of long experts at the game.

Toliudar
2009-01-21, 07:49 PM
Flindbars grant free Disarm attempts when you threaten a crit, which effectively neuter most humanoids.

Dear god! What body part are people attacking you with? :smallwink:

Eldariel
2009-01-21, 07:50 PM
Knock-Down (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/divine/divineAbilitiesFeats.htm#knockDown)
Zhentarim Fighter Substitution Levels (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20060327a) (among other things)

Curmudgeon
2009-01-21, 08:00 PM
And actually, you can set your PA on an AoO. It only specifies that you haven't attacked this turn.
...
I got called out on this once before, so I looked it up and nothing says you can't. The Power Attack feat says you can't, right at the beginning:
Benefit

On your action, before making attack rolls for a round, you may choose to subtract a number from all melee attack rolls and add the same number to all melee damage rolls. An attack of opportunity happens on somebody else's action. Power Attack requires you to make the choice on your action.
action

A character activity. Actions are divided into the following categories, according to the time required to perform them (from most time required to least): full-round actions, standard actions, move actions, and free actions.
attack of opportunity

A single extra melee attack per round that a combatant can make when an opponent within reach takes an action that provokes attacks of opportunity.

Deepblue706
2009-01-21, 08:04 PM
I think Curmudgeon has it, Jim.

Frosty
2009-01-21, 08:08 PM
Right. The feat also specifies that the bonuses and penalties last until your next turn, hence it'll apply on your AoOs.

Deepblue706
2009-01-21, 08:16 PM
That makes sense too.

Person_Man
2009-01-21, 08:45 PM
I've never seen the Zhentarim class or the Knockdown (I think it's 3.0) feat and never heard of Scorpion's Grasp or Flindbars, and I've been playing for a while. I want an option that even NEWBIES, the people that Fighters are recommended to, can easily see and take. Having Knockback is a very simple option, although Stand Still is also very nice. BF control should not be solely in the hands of long experts at the game.

Eldariel was nice enough to post the link to the Zhentarim add on and Knockdown. Knockdown was 3.0 in Sword and Fist and a couple of other books, but it has been officially updated (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/er/20040125a), and is included in the 3.5 SRD.

Scorpion's Grasp is in Sandstorm. It gives you a free Grapple attempt when you hit an enemy. Flindbars are in the MMIII. They're also on Crystalkeep. Their mechanics are pretty simple, they're just a more obscure source.

But even a newbie can put a halfling Fighter or Paladin on a dog or whatever with a lance that you use two handed, and take Power Attack, Mounted Combat, Spirited Charge, Combat Reflexes, and Stand Still (or Improved Trip, if you want a core only build). That gives you mobility, high damage, high AC, possibly high Saves, and decent battlefield control.

Curmudgeon
2009-01-22, 06:32 AM
That makes sense too. Yeah, it does. Wait -- didn't I say that already?
Knockback can only apply on an AoO if you've enabled Power Attack on your previous turn. I guess I did. :smalltongue: