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    Goblin

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    Default Does a shove trigger Tavern Brawler's bonus trigger?

    I am currently thinking of a strength based rogue and was looking at how to do it. Roll stats so not that bad and going mountain dwarf. (It is for a "level 0" (but starting at level 5 once we do get classes) campaign so I do not have full control on my class but am thinking of different ways a character could go). I was looking at feats and saw Tavern Brawler. The main reason for this feat will be the bonus grapple "When you hit a creature with an unarmed strike or an improvised weapon on your turn, you can use a bonus action to attempt to grapple the target." So is a shove attempt with your fist an unarmed strike? Will this be up to the DM like many decisions or does this seem RAW?

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    Default Re: Does a shove trigger Tavern Brawler's bonus trigger?

    Quote Originally Posted by suplee215 View Post
    I am currently thinking of a strength based rogue and was looking at how to do it. Roll stats so not that bad and going mountain dwarf. (It is for a "level 0" (but starting at level 5 once we do get classes) campaign so I do not have full control on my class but am thinking of different ways a character could go). I was looking at feats and saw Tavern Brawler. The main reason for this feat will be the bonus grapple "When you hit a creature with an unarmed strike or an improvised weapon on your turn, you can use a bonus action to attempt to grapple the target." So is a shove attempt with your fist an unarmed strike? Will this be up to the DM like many decisions or does this seem RAW?
    A shove is not hitting someone with an unarmed strike. Your DM might let you do it anyway, but it would not be RAW.
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    Default Re: Does a shove trigger Tavern Brawler's bonus trigger?

    ^ this

    You could however dip 3 levels of fighter for the battlemaster subclass or invest a feat called "martial adept" for a so called "maneuver" (trip attack) that lets you attempt to knock an opponent prone after hitting them with an attack. You would only be able to do this once or a few times per day, but that'd be legal by RAW.
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    Default Re: Does a shove trigger Tavern Brawler's bonus trigger?

    It's actually unclear what's going on. Both grapple and shove are listed as special melee attacks that result in an athletics contest instead of an attack roll.

    Are they still attacks? Yes they are. But with what?

    You can shove anyone you can attack in melee. That means you can shove people with whips and polearms at reach (technically). Shove specifically says "within your reach." So you use the same implement to shove as you do to attack.

    So what about unarmed strike? "Instead of using a weapon to make a melee weapon attack, you can use an unarmed strike." So an unarmed strike replaces a melee weapon attack. Can you replace a special melee attack with an unarmed strike? Well, last I checked, you can push people with your hands. So yes. But does it still count as an unarmed strike? That's the tricky part. Is an unarmed strike any attack you make with your body, or is it only damaging attacks you make with your body? What is the order of operations here?

    I'm pretty sure that the devs have ruled on this (sage advice) in the past in regards to TWF. But the text makes things a bit unclear.

    Long story short, this is a ruling. Your DM may allow it. Or, he may not.
    Last edited by Easy_Lee; 2017-08-14 at 09:24 AM.

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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Does a shove trigger Tavern Brawler's bonus trigger?

    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_Lee View Post
    It's actually unclear what's going on. Both grapple and shove are listed as special melee attacks that result in an athletics contest instead of an attack roll.

    Are they still attacks? Yes they are. But with what?

    You can shove anyone you can attack in melee. That means you can shove people with whips and polearms at reach (technically). Shove specifically says "within your reach." So you use the same implement to shove as you do to attack.

    So what about unarmed strike? "Instead of using a weapon to make a melee weapon attack, you can use an unarmed strike." So an unarmed strike replaces a melee weapon attack. Can you replace a special melee attack with an unarmed strike? Well, last I checked, you can push people with your hands. So yes. But does it still count as an unarmed strike? That's the tricky part. Is an unarmed strike any attack you make with your body, or is it only damaging attacks you make with your body? What is the order of operations here?

    I'm pretty sure that the devs have ruled on this (sage advice) in the past in regards to TWF. But the text makes things a bit unclear.

    Long story short, this is a ruling. Your DM may allow it. Or, he may not.
    It's actually pretty clear. It triggers when you hit the target with an unarmed strike or improvised weapon. It won't trigger if you miss (unlike Mobile, where the attack itself is enough to get the "no OA" part, no matter if you hit or not), or if you use non-improvised weapon.

    So, let's look at Shove. Are you using non-improvised weapon to shove your target? Propably not. Did you hit the opponent? No, because there's no attack roll involved, Shove is ability check. So the Tavern Brawler isn't triggered.

    What's funny, however, is that the feat doesn't specify the hit must be in *melee*, meaning that you can grapple someone after you've thrown a rock at him.
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    Default Re: Does a shove trigger Tavern Brawler's bonus trigger?

    Quote Originally Posted by JackPhoenix View Post
    It's actually pretty clear. It triggers when you hit the target with an unarmed strike or improvised weapon. It won't trigger if you miss (unlike Mobile, where the attack itself is enough to get the "no OA" part, no matter if you hit or not), or if you use non-improvised weapon.
    In other words, these special melee attacks don't hit the target, is what you're saying, because a hit requires an attack roll.
    Last edited by Easy_Lee; 2017-08-14 at 11:24 AM. Reason: Clarification

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    Default Re: Does a shove trigger Tavern Brawler's bonus trigger?

    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_Lee View Post
    In other words, these special melee attacks don't hit the target, is what you're saying, because a hit requires an attack roll.
    Yes. It's a plain language vs. game terms issue. Just like you don't trigger on hit abilities when you "hit" something with a Fireball. Or if you bump into someone ("hit him") in a crowd.

    From the 3 kinds of checks (attack roll, ability check, saving throw), only attack roll uses "hit" as term for success.
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    Default Re: Does a shove trigger Tavern Brawler's bonus trigger?

    Quote Originally Posted by JackPhoenix View Post
    Yes. It's a plain language vs. game terms issue. Just like you don't trigger on hit abilities when you "hit" something with a Fireball. Or if you bump into someone ("hit him") in a crowd.

    From the 3 kinds of checks (attack roll, ability check, saving throw), only attack roll uses "hit" as term for success.
    That's a case where game terms need to be clear, hence the OP's question. In real life, hitting someone and pushing them are legally the same thing, meaning if you were charged with battery, you wouldn't try to defend yourself by saying, "I didn't hit him! I just pushed him...off a cliff."

    Tavern Brawler says "hit with a melee attack." It's easy to see melee attack as being the primary operator here. Shoves are still melee attacks, but they don't "hit" in the same way as regular attacks. A DM might very well rule that a successful shove counts as a hit, and a failed shove is equal to a miss.

    It makes reasonable sense that you could shove and grab someone at the same time. I imagine that'd be easier than punching and grabbing at the same time. So I do think this is ruling territory.
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    Default Re: Does a shove trigger Tavern Brawler's bonus trigger?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quoxis View Post
    You could however dip 3 levels of fighter for the battlemaster subclass or invest a feat called "martial adept" for a so called "maneuver" (trip attack) that lets you attempt to knock an opponent prone after hitting them with an attack. You would only be able to do this once or a few times per day, but that'd be legal by RAW.
    It would be more than just few times. It resets completely after a short rest.

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    Default Re: Does a shove trigger Tavern Brawler's bonus trigger?

    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_Lee View Post
    Tavern Brawler says "hit with a melee attack."
    No, it doesn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_Lee View Post
    It's easy to see melee attack as being the primary operator here. Shoves are still melee attacks, but they don't "hit" in the same way as regular attacks. A DM might very well rule that a successful shove counts as a hit, and a failed shove is equal to a miss.
    I think this is reasonable, though.

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    Default Re: Does a shove trigger Tavern Brawler's bonus trigger?

    Quote Originally Posted by smcmike View Post
    No, it doesn't.



    I think this is reasonable, though.
    Correction: it says unarmed strike or improvised weapon, both of which qualify as weapon attacks (based on interaction with other features).

    The reason I bring up hits is because there are a few features, such as fire shield, that deal damage when an opponent hits the recipient with a melee attack. If a player shoved an enemy under the effects of fire shield, I suspect most DMs would say the player takes damage, even though the player didn't "hit" with a melee attack if we don't count shoves as hitting.

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    Last edited by Easy_Lee; 2017-08-15 at 10:40 AM.

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    Default Re: Does a shove trigger Tavern Brawler's bonus trigger?

    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_Lee View Post
    Correction: it says unarmed strike or improvised weapon, both of which qualify as weapon attacks (based on interaction with other features).

    The reason I bring up hits is because there are a few features, such as fire shield, that deal damage when an opponent hits the recipient with a melee attack. If a player shoved an enemy under the effects of fire shield, I suspect most DMs would say the player takes damage, even though the player didn't "hit" with a melee attack if we don't count shoves as hitting.

    Consistency is key.
    How about touch spells, then? You're touching ("hitting") the enemy with your hand ("unarmed strike") to deliver the spell. Would you say that you can grapple foes you hit with Inflict Wounds, or something?
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    Default Re: Does a shove trigger Tavern Brawler's bonus trigger?

    Quote Originally Posted by JackPhoenix View Post
    How about touch spells, then? You're touching ("hitting") the enemy with your hand ("unarmed strike") to deliver the spell. Would you say that you can grapple foes you hit with Inflict Wounds, or something?
    Funny you should mention touch, because some of the shield features specify that they deal damage when a creature hits or touches the target, while others only say hit. It's strange.

    I compare the wording of tavern brawler to shield master. Tavern brawler requires hitting the target with an unarmed strike or improvised weapon. Shield master requires that you take the attack action on your turn. Based on the difference in wording, it should be possible to use tavern brawler after anything that counts as an unarmed strike or improvised weapon hit.

    But that's where one gets into the distinction between weapons, improvised weapons, and unarmed strikes. According to the devs at least, improvised weapons are not weapons and neither are unarmed strikes, though both of these make weapon attacks. The wording of green flame blade and similar reinforce this idea, as they require a melee attack "with a weapon."

    As far as I'm concerned, shocking grasp into tavern brawler grapple, as an example, should work just fine. That one is a melee spell attack against a target, and the spell specifies that the lightning springs from your hand.

    So this should count as an unarmed strike, I think, though a strict reading of the rules suggests that it doesn't. But this would be a case where throwing a rock at someone would make them easier to grapple than performing a shocking grasp on them. That's unacceptable.

    But 5e, because of the way it's written, has to be ruled on a case by case basis. Abilities use inconsistent language and so don't always work together the way one would expect, especially given DM fiat.
    Last edited by Easy_Lee; 2017-08-15 at 11:23 AM.

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    Default Re: Does a shove trigger Tavern Brawler's bonus trigger?

    Quote Originally Posted by JackPhoenix View Post
    How about touch spells, then? You're touching ("hitting") the enemy with your hand ("unarmed strike") to deliver the spell. Would you say that you can grapple foes you hit with Inflict Wounds, or something?
    Nope, they are not unarmed strikes. I would rule it is no different than hitting with a dagger. They are not even close as they are spell attacks, a completely different action.

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