Trip is mechanically superior to the bull rush, right?


Advice


I know both have their uses and limitations,

I think bull rush is definitely easier, comes online sooner, has a cheaper feat buy in, sets up an easy way to do multiple types of damage from armor spikes, and works wonders with shield smashing. But... You're literally just pushing your enemy backwards, he can still do whatever he wants

Tripping makes the opponent prone, essentially ending their turn, and predictably determines their next turn, opening up AoO from everyone within reach.

Now, the question is, if you had to choose between Power Attack with Improved Bull Rush, or Combat Expertise with Improved Trip, which is the smarter choice?

You don't get Greater Trip until BAB +6, which, IF you have Combat Reflexes AND a DEX bonus, you can immediately make AoO against whoever you trip. Whereas a human fighter can take Power Attack, Improved Bull Rush, and Spiked Destroyer at level one...


Be aware that essentially every monster Paizo publishes either gets massive bonuses against trip, or is outright immune. By the time you get Greater Trip, you're at the point where no enemy can be tripped, so what's the point?

It seems like bull rush might be okay if you had superior reach and Combat Reflexes, but meh otherwise -- but I haven't tried it.


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Largely depends on if you're fighting humany enemies much or not. If you fight human-shaped things then they are pretty easy to pull manuevers and trip is really good.
If they are snakes, or flying or spiders etc. that are hard or impossible to trip then tripping is useless meaning bull rush wins by default of actually being usable (saying nothing if it's worth using or not).


I like trip a lot. You can substitute any attack with a trip attempt, something you need Quick Bull Rush to do with a bull rush.

Prone is a fairly nasty condition with -4 on AC against melee attacks, -4 to hit with melee attacks and provoking if you stand up.

The biggest drawback of trip is being losing your weapon or being knocked prone yourself if you fail by 10 or more but with the right build that shouldn't be an issue too often.

Greater Trip, Vicious Stomp, Combat Reflexes and 16+ DEX can get you 3 AOOs on the same target in a single round if they try to get up. If they stay put, you still get 2 AOOs and they will be easier to hit and likely be less effective.

Fury's Fall gives you both STR and DEX to CMB for trip attempts.

A Maelstrom Shield gives you a free trip attempt with every shield bash.

Dueling (PSFG) and Leveraging gives a weapon an effective 4x it's current enhancement bonus for the purposes of trip attempts.

I have a trip build Shield Champion Brawler that is working very nice so far. It takes a lot of investment, but it's worth it IMO.


Bull rush is more reliable, with a prereq that I'd be taking anyways.

Trip annihilates humanoids, but is useless against too many for me.

If these were bonus feats, then would go with trip with a ranged character, who could go for ranged/ace trip too. Also if the campaign is likely to focus on humanoid foes, or targeted for sweet spot levels. Otherwise, BR FTW.


Even with traits like Snowstrider that expand the size limitations of both maneuvers, their utility is essentially confined to humanoid opponents.

I'm trying to find ways to try make relevant melee characters that don't rely on magic or rage. But the only ways I have found seem to start getting kinda munchkin-y or situational.

Pathfinder really ruined Cleave, even more so if you don't allow it to be combined with Vital Strike (it can be but people argue). So it is not worth pursuing.

Charge is too situational to be the focus of a build.

The best I have found is to keep it stupid simple with Power Attack and Furious Focus, and then go for movement feats... Both to improve your movement and impair or deny the movement of your opponents. But it's pretty underwhelming to play, even if it is relatively effective.


The sword and board ranger with shield brace and a fauchard seems like a wonderful bull rush build. Go critical fishing with the fauchard and earn free shield bashes with every crit, free bull rush with every bash, free armor spike attack with every rush... Munchkin madness for days and days...


If you build for it, you should be able to trip most things on an average roll. By level 12, a +40 Trip CMB is certainly possible if crafting is available, +50 if you really wanted to.


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Gallant Armor wrote:
If you build for it, you should be able to trip most things on an average roll. By level 12, a +40 Trip CMB is certainly possible if crafting is available, +50 if you really wanted to.

The issue is that by that point, large numbers of things you run across just aren't able to be tripped.

CR 12 creatures from the PRD bestiary

A's

7 creatures, five fly.

B's

1 creature, it is actually easy to trip

C's

4 creatures, 2 fly or otherwise cannot be tripped.

D's

23 creatures, 20 fly

E's

2 creatures, both fly

F's

1 creature, cannot be tripped

This trend continues throughout the bestiary.

Unless you're mid- to upper-CR opponents consist of humanoids with character levels, most creatures you run into at this level have simple ways to completely avoid being tripped.


The ridiculous CMB bonuses, and the usual progression of both maneuvers lead to free or automatic attacks, which is really appealing.

You can forego an attack for a maneuver which has a higher bonus than your attack would have, plus you get your attack after the maneuver anyways.

Fury's Fall is insane. Would it double your DEX mod if you had Agile Maneuvers? Things that make you say "Hmm."

Looks like trip is where it's at, though, because a prone enemy is a dead enemy.

However, Greater Bull Rush and Sliding Dash, shield bashing the enemy back towards your team could be legit.

But overall, with so many things immune to most maneuvers, it is almost better to be boringly consistent and have good movement instead of tricks.


Saldiven wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:
If you build for it, you should be able to trip most things on an average roll. By level 12, a +40 Trip CMB is certainly possible if crafting is available, +50 if you really wanted to.

The issue is that by that point, large numbers of things you run across just aren't able to be tripped.

CR 12 creatures from the PRD bestiary

A's

7 creatures, five fly.

B's

1 creature, it is actually easy to trip

C's

4 creatures, 2 fly or otherwise cannot be tripped.

D's

23 creatures, 20 fly

E's

2 creatures, both fly

F's

1 creature, cannot be tripped

This trend continues throughout the bestiary.

Unless you're mid- to upper-CR opponents consist of humanoids with character levels, most creatures you run into at this level have simple ways to completely avoid being tripped.

Ace trip is an option to trip flying enemies (Relentless Shot is good to have here as well). While flying enemies certainly exist, most APs I've played don't use them excessively. Into the upper levels there are still plenty of trippable foes.


Bullrush with enlarge person is a great way to knock a guy back and 5 foot step back to gain AoO, or push them around to change the battle field. Trip doesn't work on many legged guys or flying or snake type foes.

Both rock. Just have different uses.


Last time I remember using either in a game, I was bull rushing to knock someone into a river because I wanted to do something nonlethal. Angry bloodrager vs a halfling :)


Gallant Armor wrote:
Ace trip is an option to trip flying enemies (Relentless Shot is good to have here as well). While flying enemies certainly exist, most APs I've played don't use them excessively. Into the upper levels there are still plenty of trippable foes.

Ace Trip is great if you're a Fighter or Molthuni Arsenal Chaplain (requires the Weapon Training class ability).

I guess our experiences differ. In my experience, starting around lvl 10, the viability of most combat maneuvers dramatically drops off and becomes far less optimal than just using that action to do more damage.


Saldiven wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:
Ace trip is an option to trip flying enemies (Relentless Shot is good to have here as well). While flying enemies certainly exist, most APs I've played don't use them excessively. Into the upper levels there are still plenty of trippable foes.

Ace Trip is great if you're a Fighter or Molthuni Arsenal Chaplain (requires the Weapon Training class ability).

I guess our experiences differ. In my experience, starting around lvl 10, the viability of most combat maneuvers dramatically drops off and becomes far less optimal than just using that action to do more damage.

Martial Focus allows anyone to take Ace Trip. Also, the text that you cannot trip "flying creatures" refers to creature who are currently flying. Trip is still potentially useful against a creature with a fly speed during the first round of combat and any other time they land.


I really like the ranged trip stuff. Tripping flying creatures is too cool.

Leave the bull rush for the shields and trip to the bows. The bull rush can be good for rearranging the battlefield, which definitely has its advantages. So does knocking everything prone. The Fighter Archer can trip with Volley, which with Greater Trip, could be brutal for everyone within 15ft of him depending how many AoO he has at his disposal.


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If you create a character with a laser-like focus you can make your one trick usable all the time. You will get bored of always tripping or whatever though - trust me on this one.

If you're planning to spend 3 feats ever on a combat maneuver you're going to find it isn't worth doing most of the time, eventually. Unless you've got some shockingly good bonus like a magus using spell combat with the true strike spell.


That is like saying a fighter gets bored hitting things with their sword. You build what you enjoy playing.

There are a few ways I know of to get the combat maneuvers for free making them a great opportunity to build towards. Getting a free maneuver that leads to 2 or 3 AOOs will significantly boost damage output.

As I said previously, you should be able to consistently trip most things by mid level. There are other ways to boost bull rush as well such as Pauldrons of the Bull to make them significantly more likely to hit.


Gallant Armor wrote:

That is like saying a fighter gets bored hitting things with their sword. You build what you enjoy playing.

There are a few ways I know of to get the combat maneuvers for free making them a great opportunity to build towards. Getting a free maneuver that leads to 2 or 3 AOOs will significantly boost damage output.

As I said previously, you should be able to consistently trip most things by mid level. There are other ways to boost bull rush as well such as Pauldrons of the Bull to make them significantly more likely to hit.

I agree. The only bull rush build I have considered revolves around Shield Slam triggering the bull rush for free after you already hit with your weapon (the shield). Bull rush triggers Spiked Destroyer for free.

Tripping at range eliminates the danger of failing and falling prone yourself. It also makes the archer a little more versatile in a lot of scenarios. Combined with the Archer Fighter archetype, you can also Sunder at range, so shooting wands and holy symbols becomes a thing.

A melee fighter needs any access to extra damage they can get, so free maneuvers are worth the feat tax to perfect them. Ranged characters need to be able to provide more versatility.


Kirth Gersen wrote:

Be aware that essentially every monster Paizo publishes either gets massive bonuses against trip, or is outright immune. By the time you get Greater Trip, you're at the point where no enemy can be tripped, so what's the point?

It seems like bull rush might be okay if you had superior reach and Combat Reflexes, but meh otherwise -- but I haven't tried it.

Am currently running a campaign in book 6 of a published AP with characters at 17th level.

Trip is still effective against ~80% of encounters.

Please explain when exactly this "no longer usable" threshold is reached.

VoodistMonk wrote:


Tripping makes the opponent prone, essentially ending their turn, and predictably determines their next turn, opening up AoO from everyone within reach.

Depends on your build.

I've been looking at a battlefield control fighter with Shield Brace, a reach weapon with the trip property, and Shield Slam.

If you had Greater Bull Rush not only could you position opponents who closed to melee, they will provoke from your party members while moving and fall prone if they hit a wall.


Gallant Armor wrote:
Saldiven wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:
Ace trip is an option to trip flying enemies (Relentless Shot is good to have here as well). While flying enemies certainly exist, most APs I've played don't use them excessively. Into the upper levels there are still plenty of trippable foes.

Ace Trip is great if you're a Fighter or Molthuni Arsenal Chaplain (requires the Weapon Training class ability).

I guess our experiences differ. In my experience, starting around lvl 10, the viability of most combat maneuvers dramatically drops off and becomes far less optimal than just using that action to do more damage.

Martial Focus allows anyone to take Ace Trip. Also, the text that you cannot trip "flying creatures" refers to creature who are currently flying. Trip is still potentially useful against a creature with a fly speed during the first round of combat and any other time they land.

I'd still argue that opting to trip an opponent is very rarely a superior option to just using that action to do more damage.


Wrong.

Assuming you have planned for it and taken the proper feats, the trip maneuver triggers a AoO against the target, so you still do damage and the target is prone. This helps everyone in your party way more than just damage dealt.


avr wrote:

If you create a character with a laser-like focus you can make your one trick usable all the time. You will get bored of always tripping or whatever though - trust me on this one.

If you're planning to spend 3 feats ever on a combat maneuver you're going to find it isn't worth doing most of the time, eventually. Unless you've got some shockingly good bonus like a magus using spell combat with the true strike spell.

Most melee characters are 1-trick ponies. Most don't even trip: they just hack and hack and hack. Some have higher AC. Some have higher DPR. Some have a 2 handed weapon. Some have a shield. Some Rage.

Captain Sarcastro wrote:
Oh, my goodness, you're a Half Orc Barbarian with a Keen Falchion? How exciting and original! What? your Monk has Flurry of Blows? How does that work in Combat?

That being said, I agree with you completely that diversification is essential. Trip and Bull Rush are each ideal tools for certain jobs. Dirty Trick is a much more veratile tool, but it is harder to aggregate bonuses for Dirty Tricks. Grappling can be devastating, and it works against anything that has a body, unless your enemy has Freedom of Movement, then it's useless. And generally, Grappling only works on 1 opponent at a time.

Another problem to bear in mind is that if you generalize too much, you might end up with a character who isn't good at everything, but bad at everything, maybe meh at everything. I'm thinking that I can make a character that is good at 2, maybe 3 things: a Grappler/Archer, melee at either 1 or multiple opponents, a Grappler that is also good at multiple opponents, a Bull Rush Fighter with a powerful mundane weapon system, stuff like that.


Saldiven wrote:


I'd still argue that opting to trip an opponent is very rarely a superior option to just using that action to do more damage.

Felling Smash -> AoO from Greater Trip -> AoO from Vicious Stomp

Or, if you have a reach weapon, just trip them as they approach and then deal your damage with your second AoO. If you also have shield Brace and Shield Slam, you can keep this up indefinitely while denying an opponent the opportunity to attack.


Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Saldiven wrote:


I'd still argue that opting to trip an opponent is very rarely a superior option to just using that action to do more damage.

Felling Smash -> AoO from Greater Trip -> AoO from Vicious Stomp

Or, if you have a reach weapon, just trip them as they approach and then deal your damage with your second AoO. If you also have shield Brace and Shield Slam, you can keep this up indefinitely while denying an opponent the opportunity to attack.

I'm so glad someone brought this up. The Shield Brace/Shield Slam/Power Attack/Felling Smash/Greater Trip/Vicious Stomp is the exact sort of munchkin madness melee characters have to rely on to be beneficial.


Saldiven wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:
Saldiven wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:
Ace trip is an option to trip flying enemies (Relentless Shot is good to have here as well). While flying enemies certainly exist, most APs I've played don't use them excessively. Into the upper levels there are still plenty of trippable foes.

Ace Trip is great if you're a Fighter or Molthuni Arsenal Chaplain (requires the Weapon Training class ability).

I guess our experiences differ. In my experience, starting around lvl 10, the viability of most combat maneuvers dramatically drops off and becomes far less optimal than just using that action to do more damage.

Martial Focus allows anyone to take Ace Trip. Also, the text that you cannot trip "flying creatures" refers to creature who are currently flying. Trip is still potentially useful against a creature with a fly speed during the first round of combat and any other time they land.
I'd still argue that opting to trip an opponent is very rarely a superior option to just using that action to do more damage.

Given how high you can push trip CMB compared to attack bonus, you can reliably trade an iterative attack for 2 or 3 AOOs at full BAB. As an added bonus, they are now easier to hit, will have a harder time hitting you and have decreased mobility (while prone 5 foot step is a move action that provokes, provoke if they stand up). It is generally a good trade, that is the whole point of these builds. If you are able to get the trip for free that is just gravy.


Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:

Be aware that essentially every monster Paizo publishes either gets massive bonuses against trip, or is outright immune. By the time you get Greater Trip, you're at the point where no enemy can be tripped, so what's the point?

It seems like bull rush might be okay if you had superior reach and Combat Reflexes, but meh otherwise -- but I haven't tried it.

Am currently running a campaign in book 6 of a published AP with characters at 17th level.

Trip is still effective against ~80% of encounters.

Please explain when exactly this "no longer usable" threshold is reached.

VoodistMonk wrote:


Tripping makes the opponent prone, essentially ending their turn, and predictably determines their next turn, opening up AoO from everyone within reach.

Depends on your build.

I've been looking at a battlefield control fighter with Shield Brace, a reach weapon with the trip property, and Shield Slam.

If you had Greater Bull Rush not only could you position opponents who closed to melee, they will provoke from your party members while moving and fall prone if they hit a wall.

Just for funsies I looked at what I thought would be the worst case scenario - book 6 of Strange Aeons - assuming everything would be some sort of monstrosity that couldn't be tripped.

Even there, it ends up not being totally useless. Out of approximately 41 sets of enemies, 19 of those are outright trippable, 4 of them are unlikely with cmd in the upper 40s into the 50s, and 5 are in between (they have an ability to become airborne but aren't constantly flying.)


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Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:

Be aware that essentially every monster Paizo publishes either gets massive bonuses against trip, or is outright immune. By the time you get Greater Trip, you're at the point where no enemy can be tripped, so what's the point?

It seems like bull rush might be okay if you had superior reach and Combat Reflexes, but meh otherwise -- but I haven't tried it.

Am currently running a campaign in book 6 of a published AP with characters at 17th level.

Trip is still effective against ~80% of encounters.

Please explain when exactly this "no longer usable" threshold is reached.

Don't know what but I'm guessing you're still fighting a lot of humanoid shaped enemies then.

As someone showed early for lv10 or 11, there were A LOT of non-trippable creatures in the bestiary for that CR. If your game has a large variety of creatures you'll likely find tripping to not be that great. If your game has lots of humanish things then tripping can stay relevant.


VoodistMonk wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Saldiven wrote:


I'd still argue that opting to trip an opponent is very rarely a superior option to just using that action to do more damage.

Felling Smash -> AoO from Greater Trip -> AoO from Vicious Stomp

Or, if you have a reach weapon, just trip them as they approach and then deal your damage with your second AoO. If you also have shield Brace and Shield Slam, you can keep this up indefinitely while denying an opponent the opportunity to attack.

I'm so glad someone brought this up. The Shield Brace/Shield Slam/Power Attack/Felling Smash/Greater Trip/Vicious Stomp is the exact sort of munchkin madness melee characters have to rely on to be beneficial.

Not even close to munchkin madness. It's just a concept for battlefield control as a martial.

If I wanted to munchkin it there would be no point in combat maneuvers, nothing would survive the first round of combat.


Chess Pwn wrote:
Don't know what but I'm guessing you're still fighting a lot of humanoid shaped enemies then.

I think humanoid shaped is an important point here. It's not just humanoids who are vulnerable to trip, fey are even more. Monstrous humanoids have full BAB progression, but are usually bound to two legs and often to Medium or Large size. Aberrations, outsiders and undead are erratic when it comes to trip, meaning there are some which are rather vulnerable to it. So while trip is situational, it's not limited to humanoids.

And if trip would simply work all the time, it would become as tedious as mundane attacking - at least to me.


Chess Pwn wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:

Be aware that essentially every monster Paizo publishes either gets massive bonuses against trip, or is outright immune. By the time you get Greater Trip, you're at the point where no enemy can be tripped, so what's the point?

It seems like bull rush might be okay if you had superior reach and Combat Reflexes, but meh otherwise -- but I haven't tried it.

Am currently running a campaign in book 6 of a published AP with characters at 17th level.

Trip is still effective against ~80% of encounters.

Please explain when exactly this "no longer usable" threshold is reached.

Don't know what but I'm guessing you're still fighting a lot of humanoid shaped enemies then.

As someone showed early for lv10 or 11, there were A LOT of non-trippable creatures in the bestiary for that CR. If your game has a large variety of creatures you'll likely find tripping to not be that great. If your game has lots of humanish things then tripping can stay relevant.

In every AP I've ever run, the majority of opponents remain humanoid with class levels all the way through to the end.

Yes, there are a lot of high CR creatures that cannot be tripped, but I've never seen them as the focus for a campaign. Even Wrath of the Righteous, ending at level 20, 10th tier mythic, had quite a few opponents that could be tripped all the way to the end.


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Trip is better than the Bestiary makes it look. Adventures often create high-CR enemies by using class levels to boost giants, monstrous humanoids, oni, etc. Giant slug monsters, winged demons, krakens and so on rarely get class levels.


I'm a dedicated supporter of combat maneuver builts over pure dps builts, they are way more fun and often better, especially when there are others who already to dps in the group.

I like both Trip and Bullrush. What has not been mentioned is the defensive aspect of bullrush. You prevent a full attack against you, which is pretty nice and saves you a lot of money on AC items for something that can be utilized very well offensively.

Suggestions for bullrush (as we have more options mentioned for trip):

Hurricane Punch feat for swift action bullrush along with full attacking. Either unarmed or combine with Ascetic Style to do it with all monk weapons (Tri point double edged sword maybe?)

Merciless Rush and Squash Flat (combine bullrush and trip and prevent monster from attacking you at all)

Knockback rage power to include it into a full attack and do some STR damage and Raging Throw feat to make sure the CMB is on the top.

In my opinion Barbarians and Bloodragers are best suited for Combat Maneuvers.


My most recent generation of PCs includes a Tripper, a Shield Slammer, and a Grappler. The Tripper is also a Dirty Trick Fighter who can take anything without a super high CMD out of combat by spamming Dirty Tricks (though honestly I only use that once in a while since “Haha, you don’t get a turn!” could get old quickly)

Overall I’d say that Trip is a great trick for those who have enough feats to afford it. You will dominate trippable foes and make them easy for your allies to finish off, but enemies will still be able to fight back in theory, unlike if a maxed out Grappler pins them or a Dirty Trick Master applies more conditions than they can remove in a round.

Moving folks around with Bull Rush (my PC did so exclusively with Shield Slam) can be the most satisfying maneuver when you get the chance to push somebody off a cliff, out of a window, or perhaps down a well (sorry, Timmy). Whether or not Shield Slamming a flying creature against a wall should result in it crashing is probably a DM decision made table to table (my DM allowed it), but trippable creatures can be knocked prone with Shield Slam too, and once again there’s a certain satisfaction in bouncing somebody off a wall, tree, etc onto the ground to get beaten some more. Depending on the casters in your party some options like “Push enemy back through Wall of Fire” might exist too.

Sovereign Court

I think, like pretty much everything in this game, you need to have the right party and situation to capitalize on either of these feats. If I am THE frontliner and I'm backed up by a DPS archer, I'm probably going with Bull Rush so I'm not granting our foe a +4 AC vs the archer when I make them prone and can keep them off of the backline. If I'm in a party with two or three bruisers, I'd probably want one of us to go trip so we can just eat up whatever decides to fight us. Personally, I like Bull Rush better since I can move someone, which can be super useful in forcing them to take an action to close again (goodbye to that full attack!) or just knock them into/off of something. Trip has the benefit of greatly reducing movement (crawling is pathetic), but doesn't always stop a full attack (-4 sucks, but some things can just eat the penalty and be fine).

Sidenote: Has it ever been officially clarified what happens when, for example, someone charges past you and you AoO them with a Bull Rush, knocking them 20ft to the side? Or if you AoO them 20ft back as they charge you? Obviously they are moved, but what happens to the rest of their turn/actions?


Not that I'm aware of.

Though the latter seems clear to me by RAW, they continue to move toward you to complete their charge. If they run out of movement, charge is successfully prevented, if not, they'll get their attack, although it seems more reasonable to have the interrupted momentum end the charge.

The former seems more tricky. They can't complete the charge in a direct line, but if you exclude involuntary movement from the requirement, they move (twice) in a direct line towards you and thus can complete the charge.

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