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What is the point of Bull Rush?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion


okay, I am not being a negative Nelly here i just honestly don't understand win what situation bullrush would be good? except to push an enemy off a cliff ect.

can you guys give me a few scenarios, where you used bullrush, and what happened? and how was it applied?

please don't get all but hurt if you are a bullrush champ i am trying to under what it is used for and why.


Cliffs. Or antimagic fields. Or a bunch of allies in a good formation.

Any time the enemy could be moved to create a situation better than a single attack on that enemy.


It's not the most powerful combat maneuver, imo, but it can be very useful for things like positioning, for instance setting someone up to get flanked, or seperating a target from a group, etc etc


Lobolusk wrote:
except to push an enemy off a cliff ect.

This is probably the #1 purpose. But I've also seen it used quite recently to push back an enemy who was blocking a 5' wide corridor.

In 3.5, you used to be able to play "murder pinball" where you would bull rush an enemy past a bunch of your allies, forcing him to provoke attacks of opportunity with his movement. But in PFRPG, that requires the Greater Bull Rush feat, so it's not worth it.


Well my wizard used bullrush via the Hydraulic Torrent spell to toss some baddies into a spiked pit.

But other than that I have not used it to much.

I have a feeling I will be though. I have a cleric of gorzeh with both windblast and surge. Should be fun


Another idea is combo fighter + wizard (or barbarian + sorcerer or whatever).

Bull rush enemies into black tentacles and pits is fun.

Andoran

The point of combat maneuvers (bull rush, disarm, sunder, trip, etc.)in d20 is to give codified rules for options other than attacking. In previous editions and games, trying to trip or push someone in combat was either not allowed or required some quick house-ruling by the DM. The combat maneuver feats, including bull rush, have two purposes: They allow a player to specialize (good from both a power gamer or roleplayer perspective), and they draw attention to the fact that you can use ANY of these combat maneuvers, if you're willing to take an AoO.

Side note: I have never had a player take Improved Bull Rush (or Disarm, or any of the new maneuvers from the APG), but I have had players use bull rush (example: they decide that taking an attack to shove the dark lord into the portal to Bad Places is worth it), and I've given Improved Bull Rush to NPCs to add some difficulty to an encounter (example: The party has to cross a narrow bridge over a deep gorge guarded by a nimble barbarian with Improved Bull Rush. If they attack directly, even with a bull rush, they risk getting bull rush'd themselves).

I do not know any bull rush champs. If there are any, please post here and tell us how that's working out for you.


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Poor Wandering One wrote:
Well my wizard used bullrush via the Hydraulic Torrent spell to toss some baddies into a spiked pit.

If you are at a high level and REALLY want to mess up you enemy, try Prismatic Wall -> Quicken'd Hydraulic Push... :D


brreitz wrote:

.

I do not know any bull rush champs. If there are any, please post here and tell us how that's working out for you.

I had a player with an excellent TWF + Shield bash + flail + trip + lunge fighter.

Quite awesome, but because I allow 25 PB. You know, pimp 4-5 stats...


I guess as people have pointed out, Bull Rush is very rarely on it's own a devastating ability (certainly not on the level that, for example, trip can be), but it does work very nicely when used in conjunction with the other people in the group.

You can, as has been pointed out, bull rush the bad guy over the cliff (or into the pit trap that the wizard just conjured behind him). Or you can use it for positioning to get the rogue his flank, or to break through a unified line of enemies. I have also used it to get people away from the wizard and other squishies. Or you can have a bull rusher out front wreaking havoc with enemy formations in order to clear a line for the party charger to get a clear line at THEIR squishies.

So no, its not the sort of thing where you pull it out and it causes the DM to groan because his boss encounter just disappeared. It is, however, the sort of thing which can turn a battle subtly. In other words, it is fighter's doing battlefield control, which is (IMHO) never a bad thing.


Keeping people from full attacking the softer members of the party. you run up and instead of getting one attack you bull rush them away.


I once used hydraulic push to knock a ballista shooting bad guy off of his wagon so he could no longer target our first and second level party with his 3d8 damage. Then we were able to dispatch him. This is a spell that I have a lot of fun with.

In a different campaign, my ranger was flying and shooting arrows at the enemies on the castle walls. The rest of the party was trying to cut through the gate while the composite bow wielding BBEG with human as a favored enemy was sniping them off. (Our initially strategy went horribly wrong.) Finally, I decided to flying charge bullrush him off the wall. He landed five feet from where the party was positioned, where they proceed to flank and judgement him to death.

I think bullrush is situationally very useful, as well as provides for some fun action scenes.


Remove people from combat. Monster runs up to threaten the wizard? Push the monster away and elect not to follow.

I've been considering letting Bull Rush be a combat maneuver you can do in place of an attack maneuver as well. You can trip as an AoO which ends movement entirely, so bullrushing someone 5 feet as an AoO is not that big of a deal.

Making Greater Bull Rush provoke from the person doing the rushing (but only once) would also help it level out with trip. You'd see a lot more bull rush going on then.

Shadow Lodge

Lobolusk wrote:

okay, I am not being a negative Nelly here i just honestly don't understand win what situation bullrush would be good? except to push an enemy off a cliff ect.

can you guys give me a few scenarios, where you used bullrush, and what happened? and how was it applied?

please don't get all but hurt if you are a bullrush champ i am trying to under what it is used for and why.

-Lion ambushed the party and tore into the wizard. Fighter bull rushed the lion backwards so the lion could retreat and the cleric could heal him

-You need to move another party member NOW and its not their turn

- Getting a mook out of the way so the wizard or archer can have a clear shot at the big bad.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I've used it to move allies into position so they could get a charge.


Blave wrote:
Poor Wandering One wrote:
Well my wizard used bullrush via the Hydraulic Torrent spell to toss some baddies into a spiked pit.
If you are at a high level and REALLY want to mess up you enemy, try Prismatic Wall -> Quicken'd Hydraulic Push... :D

that sir is awesome


Most of the time I see it used, it is used with shield slam and greater bull rush to reposition foes to set up flanks and AoO. Particularly in 5' or 10' wide corridors, it is used as a sort of martial ballet to keep most of the enemy's DPR occupied with a heavily armored shieldman while a foe or two is deposited, usually prone, behind the slowly advancing front line to be ripped apart by squishier melees, especially rogues.

Andoran

We fought this buffed-up barbarian once who had the ability to use a Bull Rush as an AoO, and he was Large Size. We couldn't charge him, and he kept knocking us around so we couldn't full attack him.

Oh, and he dealt his damage on a Bull Rush. He was a hard fight.


Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Assuming a party of 5 players with one or two hirelings.. you could setup flanking positions around a large 10'x10' square and allow the person with Greater Bull rush to push something into that square. Everyone would get an immediate AoO and flanking bonuses. It's great for battlefield manipulation. :)


Shadow_of_death wrote:
Keeping people from full attacking the softer members of the party. you run up and instead of getting one attack you bull rush them away.

I was gonna say something similar to this. But if you build it right, this gets better. If you are at least a 6th level fighter, then there are 3 feats that describe a way to use bull rush defensively. They are combat reflexes, shield slam, and combat patrol (which technically requires combat reflexes, but explicitly stating that feat helps explain what I'm talking about).

First, you establish a combat patrol, which increases the distance at which you threaten by an extra 5 feet, i.e., you threaten upto 10 feet away with a regular melee weapon (still need to move into reach of the weapon, but combat patrol lets you do this). The enemy attempts to cross this space to reach your squishies and provokes. You slide in for the AoO and attack with the shield. In addition to the bash damage, Shield Slam gives you a free bullrush that doesn't provoke and uses your attack roll for the CMB check. This pushes them back during their turn at least 5 feet, which keeps them in your threatened area. Now they have to provoke again if they wish to continue doing anything. Rinse and repeat. (Totally building this kind of fighter next time I play one.)


bishop083 wrote:
Now they have to provoke again if they wish to continue doing anything. Rinse and repeat. (Totally building this kind of fighter next time I play one.)

You can't provoke more than once for any given action.

You don't provoke for each time you move from one threatened square to another, for instance.

But combat patrol and shield master are cool. Combine that concept with a mobile fighter to get bonuses?


hogarth wrote:
Lobolusk wrote:

But I've also seen it used quite recently to push back an enemy who was blocking a 5' wide corridor.

This. It is used fairly frequently in my group to break up the "sack of death" when enemies are holding a position in front of a corridor preventing anyone but the lead PC from getting in melee attacks, while they are able to concentrate three or more attacks on that lead PC. Unless you can kill folks in one round (not likely in many of the encounters I run) and step up into the gap, bull rush is the only practical way to clear room for others to get into the fight.

More generally, bull rush becomes more useful the more detail you have on your tactical map. If most of your encounters take place in empty rooms or plains, bull rush isn't very useful. If, on the other hand, they take place in rooms full of furniture, traps and other faetures, or in detailed terrain with trees, bushes. rocks, ravines, etc. you will find a lot of cases it will be situationally very useful.


Well, in a recent game of DC Adventures, as Wonder Woman I bull rushed Darkseid several hundred feet into parkland, so that he was no longer close enough to urban buildings to threaten their occupants. That was pretty dang useful.

I suppose in fantasy games, the scale is usually smaller, but generally "get the bad guy in the spot I want him to be rather than the spot he is" can have a lot of tactical value. I don't see it used a lot, but when it is, it tends to be useful.

Further, I've also seen traps that do bull rush attacks (a statue that pushes an unwitting PC into a spiked pit or some such) which can be very effective.


Using Shield Slam to bull rush people for free, freeing some space around you. If they hit a wall, they fall prone. If your GM allows the Dungeon Crasher ACF from 3.5, hitting walls also incur them some damage. Useable with Whirlwind Attack and Lunge for extra battlefield control.


Louis IX wrote:

Using Shield Slam to bull rush people for free, freeing some space around you. If they hit a wall, they fall prone. If your GM allows the Dungeon Crasher ACF from 3.5, hitting walls also incur them some damage. Useable with Whirlwind Attack and Lunge for extra battlefield control.

Yeah, my current campaign has a sword and axe dwarven fighter who is getting a lot of mileage out of Shield Slam.

Sczarni

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This is very helpful info.

I have been thinking of taking Improved Bull rush but have always thought what reasons would i need this.

Good Read.

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