Overrun- pg. 43 Players revolt!


Combat & Magic

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Maybe not that dramatic, but two of my group are unhappy with Overrun (and bull rush) sharing the CMB mechanic. This came up in playtest last night.

We were playing Home Under the Range (Michael Kortes, Dungeon 134), and at one point, a giant scarab beetle got spooked during a fight and tried to bolt. The cleric (1/2 orc cleric of Gorum) tried to block the beetle, and we got to test out the overrun rules. The beetle overran (but didn't knock prone) the cleric. Fine and good, the rules seem to work O.K.

But that player got to thinking, and talking, with the party fighter. And They decided that the DC is stacked too heavily against success for bull rush or overrun attempts. Their specific argument was that a lvl 1, str 16 human fighter (CMB +4) has to roll a 12 to overrun a housecat-sized imp (bab+3, -2 size, +0 str, CMB +1), and a 17 to knock said tiny outsider on his tuckus. And if it's that hard to overrun a tiny creature, how much harder will it be as levels go up?

They want the movement-based combat actions (bull rush and overrun) to remove BAB from the equation. So it's just size and strength.


But that player got to thinking, and talking, with the party fighter. And They decided that the DC is stacked too heavily against success for bull rush or overrun attempts. Their specific argument was that a lvl 1, str 16 human fighter (CMB +4) has to roll a 12 to overrun a housecat-sized imp (bab+3, -2 size, +0 str, CMB +1), and a 17 to knock said tiny outsider on his tuckus. And if it's that hard to overrun a tiny creature, how much harder will it be as levels go up?

They want the movement-based combat actions (bull rush and overrun) to remove BAB from the equation. So it's just size and strength.

I was with you until you said Imp rather than just a house cat. Knocking a figure prone is a huge advantage, since with more figures around they all get bonus's to hit. I would be in favor of changing the size difference from -2 to -2, but don't take out BAB since an Imp is a tough little opponent versus a very green 1st level fighter.

My 2 cents.


I thought the overrun worked pretty good. Our party had cornered a human Fighter in a a small room, and he tried to bolt past a human rogue blocking the doorway and failed. Everyone sat there like "that's it?" waiting to have to do something else unnaccustomed to that level of flow!


Hmmm...I guess it's a little odd that Joe the peasant (CMB +0: 10 Str, +0 BAB, medium size) has only a 65% chance of being able to overrun a chicken (CMB -7: 1 Str, +0 BAB, tiny size). I'm pretty sure I could do it at least 90% of the time, personally.


hogarth wrote:
Hmmm...I guess it's a little odd that Joe the peasant (CMB +0: 10 Str, +0 BAB, medium size) has only a 65% chance of being able to overrun a chicken (CMB -7: 1 Str, +0 BAB, tiny size). I'm pretty sure I could do it at least 90% of the time, personally.

While this sounds funny, it isn't - you've obviously never dealt with chickens (chickens are the reason I laugh in the face of vegetarians when they say that animals have feelings - some do, but chickens don't). And the overrun can be quite successful, it just fails to knock them on their kiester, which is both a powerful advantage and also hard to do unless you're lashing out at somebody's knees (which would be a trip, not a bull rush).


Pneumonica wrote:
hogarth wrote:
Hmmm...I guess it's a little odd that Joe the peasant (CMB +0: 10 Str, +0 BAB, medium size) has only a 65% chance of being able to overrun a chicken (CMB -7: 1 Str, +0 BAB, tiny size). I'm pretty sure I could do it at least 90% of the time, personally.
While this sounds funny, it isn't - you've obviously never dealt with chickens (chickens are the reason I laugh in the face of vegetarians when they say that animals have feelings - some do, but chickens don't). And the overrun can be quite successful, it just fails to knock them on their kiester, which is both a powerful advantage and also hard to do unless you're lashing out at somebody's knees (which would be a trip, not a bull rush).

The 65% chance is the chance to overrun the chicken at all. The chance to knock it over is 40%.

I staunchly maintain that in real life I could run past a chicken 9 times out of 10 (I'm probably a 1st or 2nd level expert with 8 Str). If you want to try some empirical tests, bring some live chickens down to my office and let's experiment.

Dark Archive

Amardolem wrote:
I thought the overrun worked pretty good. Our party had cornered a human Fighter in a a small room, and he tried to bolt past a human rogue blocking the doorway and failed. Everyone sat there like "that's it?" waiting to have to do something else unnaccustomed to that level of flow!

We got that culture shock too when we first used CMB. Now this level of flow is expected.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
hogarth wrote:

...

I staunchly maintain that in real life I could run past a chicken 9 times out of 10 (I'm probably a 1st or 2nd level expert with 8 Str). If you want to try some empirical tests, bring some live chickens down to my office and let's experiment.

How would you make sure the chicken wouldn't "choose to avoid you"? I guess you'll need to get the fierce south-american fighting roosters (10 of them actually!). That's going to be a cool experiment! I'm not voluntering to clean up!

Actually geese woul be a better bet for not avoiding, these birds are just mean... (and still tiny)...

Liberty's Edge

Amardolem wrote:
I thought the overrun worked pretty good. Our party had cornered a human Fighter in a a small room, and he tried to bolt past a human rogue blocking the doorway and failed. Everyone sat there like "that's it?" waiting to have to do something else unnaccustomed to that level of flow!

Same thing happened to us with a grapple. Everyone paused for a good solid two seconds when we realized that we had nothing else to roll.


I think a much better empirical test would involve dwarves (actual dwarves, not the fantasy kind). Chickens are likely to be, well, chicken. They'd probably just choose to avoid you most of the time. I know that's what happened the last time I tried to chase a chicken.

Grand Lodge

Vigil wrote:

Maybe not that dramatic, but two of my group are unhappy with Overrun (and bull rush) sharing the CMB mechanic. This came up in playtest last night.

We were playing Home Under the Range (Michael Kortes, Dungeon 134), and at one point, a giant scarab beetle got spooked during a fight and tried to bolt. The cleric (1/2 orc cleric of Gorum) tried to block the beetle, and we got to test out the overrun rules. The beetle overran (but didn't knock prone) the cleric. Fine and good, the rules seem to work O.K.

But that player got to thinking, and talking, with the party fighter. And They decided that the DC is stacked too heavily against success for bull rush or overrun attempts. Their specific argument was that a lvl 1, str 16 human fighter (CMB +4) has to roll a 12 to overrun a housecat-sized imp (bab+3, -2 size, +0 str, CMB +1), and a 17 to knock said tiny outsider on his tuckus. And if it's that hard to overrun a tiny creature, how much harder will it be as levels go up?

They want the movement-based combat actions (bull rush and overrun) to remove BAB from the equation. So it's just size and strength.

You ever try to overrun a cat? First you will NEVER even come close to it. To do so you need to roll a natural 20 about fifteen times in a row, then balance on your head and drink ten bottles of Mountain Dew without throwing up, then bribe the DM with pizza for a life time and MAYBE you have a chance of doing it.

Liberty's Edge

I guess I'm not seeing the problem.

Because overrun allows the target to avoid, the 'thought experiments' are just that - most of the time the creature is going to get the heck out of the way. Since overrun is just about moving past their square, if they choose to avoid, that's good for you. If they don't choose to avoid, you still have the chance to slip past them.

I guess I'm thinking of the defensive line in Football. They'd love to knock the offensive line (the offensive line defends the quarterback, while the defensive line attacks the quarterback - crazy, I know) on their keisters, but that isn't what happens. Instead they often 'windmill' their arm to 'slip around' the O-Line and hit the quarterback.

Now, overrunning big monsters is going to be quite hard. I guess the idea of overrunning a creature that is 8 feet tall at the shoulder, has four legs, and a breath weapon that turns people to stone isn't the kind of thing I would usually think about doing. If I did, it was probably cause I was pretty confident in my ability to do so - and not so much knock the creature down as 'slip past'.

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