All tripped up (questions on tripping...)


Rules Questions

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Scarab Sages

Just drew up this fighter and played him the other night and everyone at the table went into a rules debate frenzy. Interested to see what I hear here...

Magmar Ironfist (lv7 dwarven warrior)-

feats: greater trip, lunge, combat reflexes
wep: Falchion
Enhancements: Enlarge Person (made permanent for 2500gp by the spell)

Questions:
1. Can I make trip attempts with a non-trip weapon? Read the description in the equipment chapter on trip (p145) and see if that isn't a bit ambiguous...
2. On permanency (p318) it describes being dispelled by a caster of higher lv than when the permanency was cast...is this dispel permanent? I had a GM friend describe that it was only temp, for 1d4 rounds...this is based off (p272) dispelling magic item properties. I'm of the feeling it's a spell tho, and it is removed permanently.
3. Isn't greater trip broken??? My warrior has been powergamed a fair bit, but as far as I see I'm inside the rules (we were able to buy equip for a lv8 char, high fantasy point buy)...I'm able to reach (and threaten) all squares around me out to 10ft (I'm considered a large creature) and during my turn I can reach out to 15ft (lunge). I trip the mob and not only do I get a free opp attack but all other threatening friends of mine do as well (greater trip), not to mention I make this check at +17...I get three of these attacks of opportunity from tripping during one round (combat expertise). My falchion hits at a +11 and for +17dmg and is keen (15-20 x2).
4. Can I use attacks of opp to make trip attempts? Since the rules on 199 say "in place of melee attack" I imagine I can.

Thanks! to all who take the time to look this over and share your wealth of knowledge.


1) No you cannot make a trip attack with weapons not marked with the trip property. In those cases, the trip is performed as an unarmed attack suffering any penalties there might be. At least this was the 3.5 rule and I don't believe it has changed.

2) You are correct here. Dispelling a permanency spell will completely remove it. It is still a normal spell effect but only it's duration has been changed so it would be treated as a normal spell effect for all purposes.

3) Greater trip is exceptionally good on paper but in a game session you'll risk a decent chance of failure and ending up prone yourself. Also remember you can only trip up to one size larger than you, DC increases by 2 for every additional leg a creature has beyond 2, many creatures types or spells render the foe untrippable. In addition to some of these conditions and risks, a character dedicated to tripping ends up having to invest alot of their progression to such a build to be effective and even still the DCs you'll likely encounter make failing a very real possibility. It does have one of the most severe failure penalties of all the maneuvers.

4) Yes, you can use a trip in place of any melee attack.

Liberty's Edge

Sprith wrote:


4) Yes, you can use a trip in place of any melee attack.

This holds true so long as the AoO is not provoked by "standing up". This condition provokes an AoO but since the target is already prone they cannot be "tripped". At least, thats the way it used to work in 3.5e.


Crimson Night wrote:


Questions:
2. On permanency (p318) it describes being dispelled by a caster of higher lv than when the permanency was cast...is this dispel permanent? I had a GM friend describe that it was only temp, for 1d4 rounds...this is based off (p272) dispelling magic item properties. I'm of the feeling it's a spell tho, and it is removed permanently.

Go out and buy yourself a ring of counterspells and stick a dispel magic in it.


Spacelard wrote:
Go out and buy yourself a ring of counterspells and stick a dispel magic in it.

Good advice, also, remember at least it's just money, in 3.5 that dispel cost you permanent XP.


Liquidsabre is correct. Likewise, during the AoO they provoked standing from prone, they have -4 AC to melee attacks due to the prone condition.

'Ring of Couterspell' and other similar spells in a ring are definitely your friend as was mentioned. Also 'ring of spellbattle' would be an excellent choice.


Sprith wrote:

1) No you cannot make a trip attack with weapons not marked with the trip property. In those cases, the trip is performed as an unarmed attack suffering any penalties there might be. At least this was the 3.5 rule and I don't believe it has changed.

2) You are correct here. Dispelling a permanency spell will completely remove it. It is still a normal spell effect but only it's duration has been changed so it would be treated as a normal spell effect for all purposes.

3) Greater trip is exceptionally good on paper but in a game session you'll risk a decent chance of failure and ending up prone yourself. Also remember you can only trip up to one size larger than you, DC increases by 2 for every additional leg a creature has beyond 2, many creatures types or spells render the foe untrippable. In addition to some of these conditions and risks, a character dedicated to tripping ends up having to invest alot of their progression to such a build to be effective and even still the DCs you'll likely encounter make failing a very real possibility. It does have one of the most severe failure penalties of all the maneuvers.

4) Yes, you can use a trip in place of any melee attack.

Correct me if I'm wrong, as I'm playing in the same game as Crim here, and I'm still new to P&P RPGs, why can you not make trip attempts with non-trip weapons? I mean, the only "benefit" I can tell from the book to use a trip weapon is that you can drop a trip weapon should you fail a trip attempt in order to prevent yourself from being tripped. Doesn't this mean I can take a falchion and swipe at someone's legs? It may not be the best weapon to use to trip someone, but if I see a giant sword swung by a large dwarf at my feet, I'm going to do whatever I can not to get them cut off.

The Exchange

Actually the Trip wording states that you can trip in place of a melee attack and doesn't mention anything about using a free hand (or foot) to trip with. It seems like you can trip with a weapon, whether it is a tripping weapon or not.
The Improved Trip feat wording doesn't mention anything about using hands, feet, arms, or legs to trip with either, so it seems that any weapon can trip, but only tripping weapons can be dropped (strange as that sounds) and you provoke AOOs while doing so unless you have the proper feat to avoid it.
The 3.5 version of trip actually had wording like "unarmed melee touch attack" and the Improved Trip had "you attempt to trip an opponent while you are unarmed" in the text, those words are obviously gone from the PRPG text so I assume it was a design decision to omit them and allow tripping to occur via weapons now also.


Yeah, but then why even designate certain weapons as able to be used to make a tripping attack? Also I wonder if the whole drop your weapon in order to avoid being tripped in return thing went away. Now it says that if your attack fails by 10 or more you fall prone (as the attacker) instead. But that doesn't match what it says on pg.145 regarding trip.


It's weak, but on page 145 of the Core Rulebook, it says

Pathfinder Core Rulebook page 145, Weapon Qualities wrote:
Trip: You can use a trip weapon to make trip attacks. If you are tripped during your own trip attempt, you can drop the weapon to avoid being tripped.

Note the first sentence: "You can use a trip weapon to make trip attacks."

Now, weak as this argument is, if the rules intended you to make trip attacks with anything, this sentence would not be here. In fact, it probably would state "You can use any weapon to make trip attacks." instead.

So the fact that it specifically calls out the aiblity for a "trip" weapon to make trip attacks infers that the converse must also be true: you cannot use "non-trip" weapons to make trip attacks.

Now, sure, a rules lawyer could argue that they don't explicitly say that, so it must not be true.

But when we apply common sense to the discussion, look at the weapons that have the "trip" special quality. Think about how they do it. A flail, for example, literally wraps around the opponent's leg, then you yank on it and he falls down.

Now consider what happens if you fail by 10 using a flail. You simply drop the flail and there is no ill effect. But according to our flawed misinterpretation, if you're using a falchion, then you MUST fall down. Your falchion is not in any way tangled in the foe's armor, wrapped around his leg or anything. Yet, all you can do is fall down while the other guy with the flail that is hopelessly tangled up can simply open his fingers to avoid falling?

Suddenly, viewed this way, the nonsensical rules-lawyer-ish version that says you can trip with any weapon but only drop the "trip" weapons looks really silly.

This silliness illuminates the erroneous nature of the flawed interpretation and consequently supports the (weak) interpretation I gave above: The rules truly state that trip weapons can be used to make trip attacks and by unstated inference, non-trip weapons cannot. In addition, if you use a weapon for a trip attack and fail by 10, you can drop that weapon instead of falling down (but note, there still are only a few designated weapons that can be used in this fashion).

Weak as this interpretation is, it's the right one. Any other interpretation defies common sense.

And yes, I completely agree that this could have and should have been made more clear in the rules.


I think your interpretation fits. But is it possible that they overlooked that footnote on page 145 about dropping the weapon during the conversion? Because dropping a weapon to avoid being tripped by your opponent, and falling prone due to failing by 10 or more on your roll, seem different to me.


see dm_blake above. Though on another note, PF no longer makes any indication of penalties performing a trim unarmed so it seems they've done away with that portion the 3.5 rules.


Murgen wrote:
Because dropping a weapon to avoid being tripped by your opponent, and falling prone due to failing by 10 or more on your roll, seem different to me.

It's the same thing, said two different ways.

If they had spelled it out thoroughly, it would not say you fall prone if you fail by 10 or more. It would say "You fall prone if you fail by 10 or more because you are so off balance from your badly failed attempt that your opponent automatically trips you."

That would be the long version they should have used.

And if they had used that long version, then on page 145 it would say "when you use a weapon to attempt a trip and fail by 10 or more, you can drop the weapon instead of being tripped by your opponent."

Still saying the same thing, but the longer versions kind of bring the two concepts together in black and white where they belong.

Alas, they did not use the longer versions, but it's relatively clear that they intended them, and that the short versions they did use really are saying the same thing, although they are saying it poorly.


1. The rules for trip are not clearly outlined. With the addition of the CMB vs. CMD system they have not clearly outlined trip like in the 3.5 rulebook. If we use 3.5 as a guide then the only way to make a trip attempt is an unarmed strike. In Pathfinder it ISN'T clearly stated. I've looked it over an it doesn't even state that unarmed strikes can make trip attempts (unless I missed my perception check). Now monks can, when they use flurry of blows, but joe smith fighter cannot ... odd. In 3.5 there was a specific list of weapons that can be used in place of an unarmed strike to trip, with the same advantage as listed in Pathfinder for "trip" weapons.
Think of it this way ... with Improved Trip you can make a trip attempt without inuring an attack of opportunity, why can't you make an unarmed strike while holding your weapon in your off hand? or use your leg/knee to help out? I think we are looking at GM and player styles here, I think you can make a trip attempt while holding a melee weapon you just don't actually use the weapon as the source of the trip.

2. In the description of permanency it does say it is vulnerable to dispel magic as normal as other have described above.

3. fun times.

4. Yes

The Exchange

So apparently it is easier to trip someone with a sickle than a shortspear or longspear? How about a staff? A kama is better than a glaive or ranseur for tripping? And this is all dictated by "common sense" rules?
Sorry, I say you can trip with any weapons but the style of trip is different. A hooked weapon (trip weapon) would catch the leg and yank the dude down and you can drop it if the dude is braced so you don't go down, while a normal weapon would be used for more of a sweep that the dude could jump to avoid, possibly landing on the weapon's length to snap it down suddenly to the ground yanking the wielder down without a chance to release his grip.
Not being able to trip with a staff or spear is too asinine to be a real rule to me so by common sense the creator of the rules must have meant for it be that any weapon can trip but only tripping weapons can be dropped if the attempt fails.
Also I trust more the actual rules for tripping and improved tripping to be correct over the wording from equipment.
Logic dictates.

I once saw a gladiator movie where the one guy swings his net to trip up his opponent. Really. It's true I tell you! In a later match the dude tried the same move and got himself tripped when the opponent was ready for the move. Seriously!

Liberty's Edge

As far as I can tell so far, these are all the reqs for handling the new trip.

(1) A trip may now be performed as part of a melee attack. No distinction made here, so any melee attack will do.

(2) Trip weapons have the bonus of allowing the weapon to be dropped to avoid being tripped on a failure of 10 or more.

(3) Every attempt to Trip provokes an AoO, unless you have the Improved trip feat.
.


Fake Healer wrote:
So apparently it is easier to trip someone with a sickle than a shortspear or longspear?

Trip, yes. Much easier.

Of course, we're assuming two foes facing each other in combat. I could trip you as you sprint past me with little more than a chopstick, but we're not really talking about tripping someone who is at a full run/sprint.

So yes, if you're facing me, mano a mano, in combat, and you try to trip me with a spear, you will fail. You try with a sickle, you mght succeed.

Why will you fail? Because the most you will do is bonk my ankle with your spear, maybe even slice my flesh with the edge of your spearhead. Sure, that will hurt like the dickens. But my weight won't remain on that leg, so I won't fall down. I will just bruise and maybe bleed. And since your spear lacks any way to actually entagle my leg, you cannot yank on it to force me to fall down.

Nothing more than a bruise.

Fake Healer wrote:
How about a staff?

Sickle vs. staff? Much much easier with a sickle. Again, you're just bruising my leg with your staff.

Fake Healer wrote:
A kama is better than a glaive or ranseur for tripping?

Absolutely. The kama gets behind my leg, you yank, I fall. Much harder to do that with a glaive or ranseur.

Fake Healer wrote:
And this is all dictated by "common sense" rules?

Yep.

Fake Healer wrote:
Sorry, I say you can trip with any weapons but the style of trip is different. A hooked weapon (trip weapon) would catch the leg and yank the dude down

Every word you say, here, in this latest quote, is true.

Fake Healer wrote:
and you can drop it if the dude is braced so you don't go down,

More truth.

Fake Healer wrote:
while a normal weapon would be used for more of a sweep that the dude could jump to avoid,

Again, true.

Note that sweeping my leg with your greatsword will not trip me. It will likely amputate my leg, and then I will certainly fall - but that is hardly called a trip.

Sweeping my leg with your staff or spear might be painful, but it won't make me fall, unless you injure my leg so badly that I can't put weight on it - again, not a trip.

Sure, I might fall from a bruised shin because you swept my leg, but only if I were foolish enough to allow myself to become off balance before your attack - my fault, not your clever use of a trip attack.

Fake Healer wrote:
possibly landing on the weapon's length to snap it down suddenly to the ground

Entirely possible.

Fake Healer wrote:
yanking the wielder down without a chance to release his grip.

Now, for a guy talking about common sense, you really need to revisit this sentence right here.

You really think anyone, any human, has the strength in their tiny little fingers to maintain a grip so tightly that such a sudden, violent shap will pull all 180 pounds of their body to the ground, against their will, without breaking their puny little grip?

You find the me the gorilla-like body builder with that kind of grip, and I'll show you his legs and abs and shoulders are equally gorilla-like and he won't fall down either.

In other words, snap a weapon that hard, and you'll break the weapon or break the grip before you'll make your opponent fall down.

Unless he's using a locking gauntlet, in which case he's screwed - but this is an extreme corner case not mentioned anywhere in the "trip or be tripped" rules.

Fake Healer wrote:
Not being able to trip with a staff or spear is too asinine to be a real rule to me

I'm sure you mean "not being able to sweep with a staff or spear" right?

Surely a sweep is not a trip? I would agree with you that being unable to sweep with a staff or spear would be assinine.

But for simplicity of the rules, we probably should combine sweeping and tripping into one simple unified rule, and it's very likely the writers did exactly that, so yes, I'll agree with you here. You really should be able to try to trip/sweep with any weapon or object you are holding.

Some are vastly better at it than others.

Tripping with a greatsword is nearly impossible; you're better off just lopping off your foe's leg instead. It should have big penalties. Tripping with a spear or staff is quite hard and should have medium penalties. Tripping with a glaive or ranseur is somewhat hard and should have small penalties. Tripping with a flail or whip or kama is relatively easy and should have no penalties. (note that CMB vs. CMD is hard enough - the weapons with no penalties still have to overcome this roll, just like all the rest, so nothing is guaranteed, not even with a flail, whip, or gladiator net).

At least, that's how I would do it.

Fake Healer wrote:
so by common sense the creator of the rules must have meant for it be that any weapon can trip but only tripping weapons can be dropped if the attempt fails.

No no no no NO!

There is nothing commonly sensible about that!

A greatsword, spear, staff, whatever, is EXACTLY as easy to drop as a flail or kama is. Why on Earth (or anywhere else) would a man be unable to drop a sword when he is perfectly able to drop a flail? It's the same exact finger motion, the same exact thought process. Identical.

So by common sense the creator of the rules would have had to be completely insane to have meant for it to be that any weapon can trip but only tripping weapons can be dropped if the attempt fails.

Fake Healer wrote:

Also I trust more the actual rules for tripping and improved tripping to be correct over the wording from equipment.

Logic dictates.

Yes, logic does dictate. But why is one rule in the book more or less worthy of your trust than another rule in the same book? I completely miss that logic. I have an encyclopedia that says "aardvarks eat ants" and it also says "antelopes don't eat ants" but I'm not likely to doubt the passage about antelopes - I trust both entries equally.

And, as I've mentioned, I completely miss the logic that it's easier to drop a flail than it is to drop a sword. No logic in that idea at all.

So yes, logic needs to dictate here.

Fake Healer wrote:
I once saw a gladiator movie where the one guy swings his net to trip up his opponent. Really. It's true I tell you! In a later match the dude tried the same move and got himself tripped when the opponent was ready for the move. Seriously!

I think I saw that movie too...


This is surprisingly easy, and some of you are making it surprisingly hard...

Pathfinder Core Rulebook page 145, Weapon Qualities wrote:
Trip: You can use a trip weapon to make trip attacks. If you are tripped during your own trip attempt, you can drop the weapon to avoid being tripped.

Note the first sentence: "You can use a trip weapon to make trip attacks."

The fact that it specifically calls out the aiblity for a "trip" weapon to make trip attacks infers that the converse must also be true: you cannot use "non-trip" weapons to make trip attacks.

It really is that easy.

Here, let me dissect that passage from the core rules and make it crystal clear:

Crystal Clear Trip Rule wrote:
You can use a trip weapon to make trip attacks. Because we bothered to state that first sentence in the first place, you can darn well be certain that if it doesn't say it's a trip weapon, you cannot make trip attacks with it. If you are using a trip weapon to make trip attacks (and you won't use a non-trip weapon for this purpose since that would violate the rule we clearly stated in the first sentence of this paragraph) and you fail by 10 or more such that you would be tripped, you can choose to drop your weapon instead, because it is impossible to force you to fall down by yanking hard on your weapon, so you will only fall down if you foolishly choose not to release your grip. It is your choice to fall down or drop your weapon, not your opponents."

This is exactly and precisely what the trip rule means. No other argumentative rules-lawyering or uncommonly nonsensical interpretations need apply.

I hope that helps clear this up.


Sprith wrote:
see dm_blake above. Though on another note, PF no longer makes any indication of penalties performing a trim unarmed so it seems they've done away with that portion the 3.5 rules.

Pg 57 says that monks can substitute trip for unarmed attacks with flurry of blows.

The Exchange

Wow Blake, quite the *** today, eh?

I've had over 10 years of martial arts training and I have trained with a huge variety of weapons ranging from ringswords and sais to a large variety of pole weapons. Tripping someone with a pole is exponentially easier than with a 1 foot long sickle. I've used the techniques. I've trained with kamas dual-wielded and they are good for tripping but a staff or other polearm is far better and would be an easy choice for me to pick if I wanted to trip someone.
Your "crystal clear" interpretation is only you tossing out your opinions on the rules and not a factual accounting of them. 2 of the 3 rules about tripping say you trip instead of a melee attack. 1 is fuzzy and simply states that you can use a tripping weapon to trip and may drop that weapon if you fail. Saying that you can use a tripping weapon to trip doesn't automatically remove other weapons from being used.
Can you disarm with a club? It's not a disarming weapon and nowhere does it say you can't use any weapon to disarm.
You can use a trip weapon to trip. That statement doesn't mean you can't trip with other weapons. If I tell someone that they can use my car to run out grocery shopping that doesn't mean they must only use my car. They could take a bus. Someone else's car. A bike.
The statement that you can use something isn't an automatic statement that you can't use anything but that, especially if there are other rules that state things differently.

Now isn't that a better response than a line-by-line nitpicking response that borders on a 5 year old's tantrum tactics?

The Exchange

Also, if all you can use to trip is a tripping weapon then why wouldn't they state in the trip and Imp Trip rules that you could just drop your weapon to avoid getting return tripped? If all you can use is a trip weapon then that would always apply, no? Then it would be in those rules. It's not which implies that there are other methods of inefficiently tripping, like maybe with non-optimal weapons or something crazy like that...


Fake Healer wrote:

Wow Blake, quite the *** today, eh?

I've had over 10 years of martial arts training and I have trained with a huge variety of weapons ranging from ringswords and sais to a large variety of pole weapons. Tripping someone with a pole is exponentially easier than with a 1 foot long sickle. I've used the techniques. I've trained with kamas dual-wielded and they are good for tripping but a staff or other polearm is far better and would be an easy choice for me to pick if I wanted to trip someone.

Nah, now you're dragging in an element that doesn't exist in D&D or Pathfinder.

It's not that it's easier to trip someone with a pole than with a sickle. In fact, once you connect with your foe's leg, it's much easier to trip them with that sickle.

The challenge is connecting.

You are exponentially more likely to hit someone with a pole than you are with a short sickle, especially if you're trying to hit them in a lower extremity. Heck, to hook someone's knee with a kama you have to step up practically in their face then bend down to hit your target. Very dangerous. Much easier to hit that knee with your pole instead.

But, D&D doesn't apply attack penalties to little crappy weapons, or attack bonuses to big long useful weapons.

So, in a system where all weapons are created equal in terms of actually reaching and connecting with your foe, it really does become easier to trip soemone when your weapon has a pronounced angle or hook on it.

Fake Healer wrote:
Your "crystal clear" interpretation is only you tossing out your opinions on the rules and not a factual accounting of them. 2 of the 3 rules about tripping say you trip instead of a melee attack.

You can.

These two rules are not incorrect, or invalidated, just because somehwere else it limits which kinds of weapons can be used to make a trip instead of melee attack.

So, these two rules say you can make a trip instead of a melee attack AND elsewhere you are told that only certain weapons let you take advantage of these two rules.

I see no problem with that. It doesn't make these two rules wrong, or give these two rules precedent to ignore the further limitation expressed elsewhere.

Fake Healer wrote:
1 is fuzzy and simply states that you can use a tripping weapon to trip and may drop that weapon if you fail. Saying that you can use a tripping weapon to trip doesn't automatically remove other weapons from being used.

Well, yes, it does.

In the real world, there are many kinds of vehicals. Cars, trucks, motorcycles, pogo sticks, airplanes, helicopters, hang gliders, trains, trollies, tractors, ships, boats, submarines... It's quite a big list. Some of those have a special quality we might call "flight". Vehicals with this special ability are vehicals like airplanes, helicopters, space ships, etc.

Somewhere in the big rulebook of life it states a rule that says "You can fly in a vehical with with the 'flight' quality." Nowhere in the big rulebook of life does it state that I cannot fly in the rest of the vehicals that lack the "flight" quality.

Still, for some reason, I cannot fly my car to work in the morning.

See, when a rule is explicitly stated, such as "You can use a trip weapon to make trip attacks" then it automatically connotes that the converse is true, in this case, that you cannot use non-trip weapons to make trip attacks.

Fake Healer wrote:

Can you disarm with a club? It's not a disarming weapon and nowhere does it say you can't use any weapon to disarm.

You can use a trip weapon to trip. That statement doesn't mean you can't trip with other weapons.

Yes it does.

If not, then it's a waste of a sentence. Much like if it said "you can breathe air". Hey, wait, but if it said that, then the converse would be implicitly true, that you cannot breath non-air. Hmmmm, guess my interpretation still works...

Fake Healer wrote:

If I tell someone that they can use my car to run out grocery shopping that doesn't mean they must only use my car. They could take a bus. Someone else's car. A bike.

The statement that you can use something isn't an automatic statement that you can't use anything but that, especially if there are other rules that state things differently.

Now you're confusing definitions of the word "can".

In your example, you are using "can" to give permission. In the Trip rule in the Pathfinder book, they are using "can" to define a capability.

Capability and permission are two different things.

To bring this back down to apples vs. apples, you might tell someoene they can (capability, not permission) use a vehical that is capable (see?) of carrying some amount of cargo to run out grocery shopping. This definitely includes the converse as also true: they cannot run out grocery shopping with a vehical that is incapable of carrying cargo - they would have nowhere to put their groceries.

Fake Healer wrote:
Now isn't that a better response than a line-by-line nitpicking response that borders on a 5 year old's tantrum tactics?

Not really.


Fake Healer wrote:
Also, if all you can use to trip is a tripping weapon then why wouldn't they state in the trip and Imp Trip rules that you could just drop your weapon to avoid getting return tripped? If all you can use is a trip weapon then that would always apply, no?

Certainly you can trip with no weapon at all. In addition, some weapons can be used to trip (which gives you the benefit that you can drop the weapon if you're tripped in return).

I agree that it would be reasonable to classify the various pole weapons as Trip weapons.


Fake Healer wrote:
Also, if all you can use to trip is a tripping weapon then why wouldn't they state in the trip and Imp Trip rules that you could just drop your weapon to avoid getting return tripped?

Well, now you're reading too much into this rule.

Nobody says "all you can use to trip is a tripping weapon".

In fact, you don't need a weapon at all to trip. You can attempt a trip unarmed. Further, if you're holding a sword in your hand, you might still attempt an unarmed trip using your leg and maybe adding leverage with one or both of your arms (but not really taking a swing at their legs with your sword).

In cases such as this, it would be impossible to drop your bare hands to avoid being tripped, and it would make no sense to try to trip someone with your foot and then be able to drop your sword to avoid being counter-tripped when you fail by 10 or more.

Fake Healer wrote:


If all you can use is a trip weapon then that would always apply, no?

Irrelevent, as I've just shown, because that is not all you can use.

Fake Healer wrote:


Then it would be in those rules.

It would have been nice to include this clause in those rules, but since those rules cover all trips, not just trip attempts with eligible weapons, it would have been extraneous and possibly a misuse of space.

This is a big book. They had to consider how much space they used for every rule they wrote. Evidently, the authors assumed we could find a rule in one place and use it without needing to waste space and run up the page count write each rule in multiple places throughout the book.

Fake Healer wrote:


It's not which implies that there are other methods of inefficiently tripping, like maybe with non-optimal weapons or something crazy like that...

Sure, if by non-optimal you mean using a cheap or lame trip weapon instead of using a really cool and effective trip weapon.

Or maybe with your hands and feet. Or with your tentacles (if you have them) or your teeth (maybe you're a wolf), or with other types of attacks (Telekinesis maybe).

But not with non-optimal weapons, because the core rulebook provides a rule that clearly states "You can use trip weapons to make trip attacks". That rule, uh, rules out using non-trip weapons for trip attacks.


One point that gets lost in this debate over how to read rules is this:

I personally think that every weapon should be a "trip" weapon. I personally think that you should be able to attempt trip attacks with spears, staves, greatswords, whatever you want.

Because, in the real world, you can attempt to trip, or more realistically, to sweep, with such weapons. Certainly, some are better than others. Some are much more effective at tripping while others are much more effective at sweeping.

But, ultimately, anything you hold in your hands is capable of taking your opponent to prone if you use it right.

So I am not really debating or suggesting that the rule in the the Pathfinder book is realistic or that it accurately depicts real-world combat.

I am debating two things:

1. I am debating the RAW. Rules as Written clearly state that only trip weapons can be used in the Pathfinder rules to make trip attacks.

2. I am debating the silly notion that seems to be sprouting from misreading this rule, that somehow you can use any weapon to attempt a trip but you can only drop certain weapons if your trip fails so badly that you are tripped in return. Preposterous. Unless you strap or lock the weapon to your hand (which you can do with every weapon and which you do not do with any weapon unless you specifically purchase or craft additional equipment to make it possible), you can instantly drop every weapon in the game with equal ease, regardless of whether its classified as a trip weapon.

So, for those who want to debate that in the real world you can trip/sweep an opponent with any weapon, I am already on your side.

Heck, my Aikido instructor taught his advanced students how to "throw" an oppontent to the ground without ever touching them or letting them touch us - zero physical contact. I've done it on multiple occasions in the real world. I've also learned to throw and sweep foes using a bo and a jo quite effectively.

None of which is relevent in D&D or Pathfinder, according to RAW.

Hey, if you want to take this to the houserules section, I'll be glad to chime in there and discuss how we can fix the lame RAW restriction and open up rules for sweeping with all weapons, maybe even incorporating bonuses or penalties for better and worse weapons.

The Exchange

Where in the RAW does it state that you can trip with an unarmed attack?


Fake Healer wrote:

Where in the RAW does it state that you can trip with an unarmed attack?

It's not "tripping with an unarmed attack", it's just "tripping". Then there's "tripping with a weapon", which is slightly different (because you can drop the weapon).

The Exchange

hogarth wrote:
Fake Healer wrote:

Where in the RAW does it state that you can trip with an unarmed attack?

It's not "tripping with an unarmed attack", it's just "tripping". Then there's "tripping with a weapon", which is slightly different (because you can drop the weapon).

"Trip

You can attempt to trip your opponent in place of a melee attack. You can only trip an opponent who is no more than one size category larger than you. If you do not have the Improved Trip feat, or a similar ability, initiating a trip provokes an attack of opportunity from the target of your maneuver.
If your attack exceeds the target's CMD, the target is knocked prone. If your attack fails by 10 or more, you are knocked prone instead. If the target has more than two legs, add +2 to the DC of the combat maneuver attack roll for each additional leg it has. Some creatures—such as oozes, creatures without legs, and flying creatures—cannot be tripped."

Hmm, nothing there stating that a trip is something that is done with a free hand or that you need to have a hand free to perform one....

"Improved Trip (Combat) - Final
You are skilled at sending your opponents to the ground.
Prerequisite: Int 13, Combat Expertise.
Benefit: You do not provoke an attack of opportunity when performing a trip combat maneuver. In addition, you receive a +2 bonus on checks made to trip a foe. You also receive a +2 bonus to your Combat Maneuver Defense whenever an opponent tries to trip you.
Normal: You provoke an attack of opportunity when performing a trip combat maneuver."

Hmmm, not here either....maybe under "unarmed strike"......

"Strike, Unarmed: A Medium character deals 1d3 points of nonlethal damage with an unarmed strike. A Small character deals 1d2 points of nonlethal damage. A monk or any character with the Improved Unarmed Strike feat can deal lethal or nonlethal damage with unarmed strikes, at his discretion. The damage from an unarmed strike is considered weapon damage for the purposes of effects that give you a bonus on weapon damage rolls.
An unarmed strike is always considered a light weapon. Therefore, you can use the Weapon Finesse feat to apply your Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier to attack rolls with an unarmed strike. Unarmed strikes do not count as natural weapons (see Combat)."

Hmmmm again....oh wait! Monk says something.....

"A monk may substitute disarm, sunder, and trip combat maneuvers for unarmed attacks as part of a flurry of blows."

Well that seems to say that only a monk can trip with anything other than a tripping weapon.
So in conclusion, by RAW you can't trip with a "free hand" or unarmed strike unless you are a monk, in which case you can.
Assuming that a trip is done with a free hand is a predisposition emanating from 3.5 trip rules.

It would be great to have an official Paizo person toss in their 2 cents to clear this all up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Fake Healer wrote:
Where in the RAW does it state that you can trip with an unarmed attack?

There's a confusion of several things here. Most of the problem is caused by changes from 3.5 to PF.

In 3.5, you used to make an unarmed melee touch attack on a target, which provoked an attack of opportunity as if it were an unarmed attack.

In PF, there is no touch attack. You just roll a CMB attack versus CMD DC. Note that the touch attack is "built in" to the system:

PRD wrote:
Combat maneuvers are attack rolls, so you must roll for concealment and take any other penalties that would normally apply to an attack roll.

The only text for trip is:

PRD wrote:

You can attempt to trip your opponent in place of a melee attack. You can only trip an opponent who is no more than one size category larger than you. If you do not have the Improved Trip feat, or a similar ability, initiating a trip provokes an attack of opportunity from the target of your maneuver.

If your attack exceeds the target's CMD, the target is knocked prone. If your attack fails by 10 or more, you are knocked prone instead. If the target has more than two legs, add +2 to the DC of the combat maneuver attack roll for each additional leg it has. Some creatures—such as oozes, creatures without legs, and flying creatures—cannot be tripped.

There is nothing that mentions unarmed melee touch attacks.

A trip weapon does two things:

  • If the trip weapon is also a reach weapon (Guisarme or Whip) or a ranged weapon (Bolas), it allows you to make trip attacks with a reach beyond your own natural reach.

  • It allows you to drop it to avoid being tripped yourself after your trip attempt fails by 10 or more.

A notable change from 3.5 to PF is that trip weapons don't let you avoid the attack of opportunity from making a trip attempt *unless* you use a reach/ranged trip weapon and are outside of the reach of your opponent.

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Trippy.


Fake Healer wrote:

"Trip

You can attempt to trip your opponent in place of a melee attack. You can only trip an opponent who is no more than one size category larger than you. If you do not have the Improved Trip feat, or a similar ability, initiating a trip provokes an attack of opportunity from the target of your maneuver.
If your attack exceeds the target's CMD, the target is knocked prone. If your attack fails by 10 or more, you are knocked prone instead. If the target has more than two legs, add +2 to the DC of the combat maneuver attack roll for each additional leg it has. Some creatures—such as oozes, creatures without legs, and flying creatures—cannot be tripped."

Hmm, nothing there stating that a trip is something that is done with a free hand or that you need to have a hand free to perform one....

Agreed; you don't need to have a hand free in order to perform a trip.

The Exchange

meabolex wrote:
Fake Healer wrote:
Where in the RAW does it state that you can trip with an unarmed attack?

There's a confusion of several things here. Most of the problem is caused by changes from 3.5 to PF.

In 3.5, you used to make an unarmed melee touch attack on a target, which provoked an attack of opportunity as if it were an unarmed attack.

In PF, there is no touch attack. You just roll a CMB attack versus CMD DC. Note that the touch attack is "built in" to the system:

PRD wrote:
Combat maneuvers are attack rolls, so you must roll for concealment and take any other penalties that would normally apply to an attack roll.

The only text for trip is:

PRD wrote:

You can attempt to trip your opponent in place of a melee attack. You can only trip an opponent who is no more than one size category larger than you. If you do not have the Improved Trip feat, or a similar ability, initiating a trip provokes an attack of opportunity from the target of your maneuver.

If your attack exceeds the target's CMD, the target is knocked prone. If your attack fails by 10 or more, you are knocked prone instead. If the target has more than two legs, add +2 to the DC of the combat maneuver attack roll for each additional leg it has. Some creatures—such as oozes, creatures without legs, and flying creatures—cannot be tripped.

There is nothing that mentions unarmed melee touch attacks.

A trip weapon does two things:

* If the trip weapon is also a reach weapon (Guisarme or Whip) or a ranged weapon (Bolas), it allows you to make trip attacks with a reach beyond your own natural reach.

* It allows you to drop it to avoid being tripped yourself after your trip attempt fails by 10 or more.

A notable change from 3.5 to PF is that trip weapons don't let you avoid the attack of opportunity from making a trip attempt *unless* you use a reach/ranged trip weapon and are outside of the reach of your opponent.

I understand all of that but in PRPG there is nothing stating that a trip or other combat maneuver requires a free hand to perform (although grapple give a -4 to the CMB if you don't have 2 free hands). In fact, Sunder has the exact same wording as trip to start with!

"Sunder
You can attempt to sunder an item held or worn by your opponent as part of an attack action in place of a melee attack. If you do not have the Improved Sunder feat, or a similar ability, attempting to sunder an item provokes an attack of opportunity from the target of your maneuver."
"Trip
You can attempt to trip your opponent in place of a melee attack. You can only trip an opponent who is no more than one size category larger than you. If you do not have the Improved Trip feat, or a similar ability, initiating a trip provokes an attack of opportunity from the target of your maneuver."

As far I can tell the only difference is the "as part of an attack action" which, by definition, could be an unarmed strike or something done with a whip or something.
I have to assume you can use a weapon to sunder but the text doesn't add in that factor to the equation or remove the option (however suboptimal) of you punching some dudes weapon into shards.
Trip follows the same wording convention, so assuming normal weapons usage for one but not the other is fallible logic.


Fake Healer wrote:
Trip follows the same wording convention, so assuming normal weapons usage for one but not the other is fallible logic.

No, it isn't fallible logic.

The difference is, there are "trip" weapons, and there are no "sunder" weapons.

The rule very clearly states that you can use a "trip" weapon to make trip attacks. It does not state that you can use any weapon to make trip attacks. In fact, this rule clearly limits what types of weapons can be used to make trip attacks.

There is no such wording anywhere that limits what types of weapons can make sunder attacks.

That is why it's perfectly infallible logic to interpret the rules the way they are written.

The Exchange

Yes but nowhere does it say that a free hand or appendage is used for a trip, yet there are claims that say that IS the standard tripping unit and only tripping weapons may be used otherwise. No rule backs up that.
Nowhere does it say that a weapon is used for sundering, yet there are claims that say that IS the standard sundering unit. All weapons. Including whips assumingly. Yet again, no rules back that up.

How is the assumption that a free hand or appendage is used for a trip, instead of any weapons, with no rules to back that up? By RAW interpretation it states you can only trip with tripping weapons.
How is the assumption that a weapon is used to sunder with, including unarmed attacks and whips, with no rules to back that up?

Why assume one thing in one rule but not in another?

The Exchange

DM_Blake wrote:

There is no such wording anywhere that limits what types of weapons can make sunder attacks.

There is no such wording anywhere that says you can use weapons at all to make sunder attacks. It is assumed.


Fake Healer wrote:
Yes but nowhere does it say that a free hand or appendage is used for a trip, yet there are claims that say that IS the standard tripping unit and only tripping weapons may be used otherwise. No rule backs up that.

Except for, you know, the line that says "You may use a Trip weapon to make Trip attacks."

Why would that line be there if it was entirely redundant?

Quote:


There is no such wording anywhere that says you can use weapons at all to make sunder attacks. It is assumed.

Likewise, you can "assume" that if one group of weapons is specifically mentioned as being capable of tripping, that weapons not in that group function differently - i.e. cannot be used to trip.

The Exchange

Jabor wrote:
Fake Healer wrote:
Yes but nowhere does it say that a free hand or appendage is used for a trip, yet there are claims that say that IS the standard tripping unit and only tripping weapons may be used otherwise. No rule backs up that.

Except for, you know, the line that says "You may use a Trip weapon to make Trip attacks."

So are you saying that the only way to trip is with a Trip weapon? Because that is the only method to trip by Pathfinder RAW without assuming another option. You can't use a free hand or appendage by RAW. See what I'm saying or are you also allowing for your own interpretation (no matter how logical)to overshadow the rules?

Nowhere does it say "You must have a free limb to make a trip attack" so according to RAW a fighter caught in mud up to his knees with a heavy shield strapped to one arm and a club in the other can trip an opponent without dropping anything.
HOW IS THIS ACCOMPLISHED?
Does he magically whip up an arm made of psychic energy? Trip the guy with his chin? Come on tell me.
He does it with his club, a normal weapon. He can use a trip weapon to trip but because he didn't he is not able to drop his weapon if he fails the trip attempt and is knocked on his butt.


I'd like to ask you a question:

Is there a mechanical difference between using a non-trip weapon such as your staff to attempt to trip someone, and kicking them in the ankles while holding your staff?

The Exchange

Jabor wrote:

I'd like to ask you a question:

Is there a mechanical difference between using a non-trip weapon such as your staff to attempt to trip someone, and kicking them in the ankles while holding your staff?

Nope, according to the interpretation of RAW being thrown around you can't use either method. Or any other method besides a trip weapon.


I am asking for under your interpretation.

Also remember that "Unarmed Strike" is loosely a trip weapon, with the exception that you cannot drop it to avoid being knocked prone yourself.

The Exchange

However my belief is that the "you can use trip weapons to trip, but you can drop it if needed" doesn't exclude the use of other methods to trip, including normal weapons and kicking someone.

The Exchange

Jabor wrote:

I am asking for under your interpretation.

Also remember that "Unarmed Strike" is loosely a trip weapon, with the exception that you cannot drop it to avoid being knocked prone yourself.

Except that only a monk can do that according to his class feature.

No where does it state that an unarmed strike can trip besides for a monk.


Fake Healer wrote:
Yes but nowhere does it say that a free hand or appendage is used for a trip, yet there are claims that say that IS the standard tripping unit and only tripping weapons may be used otherwise. No rule backs up that.

Who here is saying that you need a free hand in order to trip? I did a search for "free hand" in this thread, and only your posts came up.


Kicking is an Unarmed Strike.

Why would "You can use a Trip weapon to Trip" be listed if it was entirely superfluous?

If any weapon could be used to trip but could only drop a Trip weapon (ignoring the fact that this would mean it's somehow easier to drop a flail than it is to drop a club), that line would read quite differently.

"If you would be tripped yourself while attempting a trip maneuver with a trip weapon, you can drop the weapon to avoid being tripped."

The Exchange

hogarth wrote:
Fake Healer wrote:
Yes but nowhere does it say that a free hand or appendage is used for a trip, yet there are claims that say that IS the standard tripping unit and only tripping weapons may be used otherwise. No rule backs up that.
Who here is saying that you need a free hand in order to trip? I did a search for "free hand" in this thread, and only your posts came up.

So the only way to trip is with trip weapons. Unless you are a monk using a flurry.


Fake Healer wrote:
Yes but nowhere does it say that a free hand or appendage is used for a trip,

Quite true.

Fake Healer wrote:
yet there are claims that say that IS the standard tripping unit

You're right, I do believe I saw someone upthread make that claim and somenoe else immediately refute it. I have not noticed anyone continuing to debate that point or defend a non-existent rule requiring a free hand, but I have seen you continue to debate that such a rule doesn't exist.

I think you've made the point. Relax about it. Nobody, now, seems to be saying a free hand is required.

Fake Healer wrote:
and only tripping weapons may be used otherwise. No rule backs up that.

Are you saying no rule backs up the statement that only tripping weapons may be used to make trip attempts?

I think I have repeatedly pointed out the exact rule, with page number cited, that does in fact back up that.

Fake Healer wrote:


Nowhere does it say that a weapon is used for sundering,

Quite true. I am fairly sure a dragon could sunder a shield with his claws, and I know I can sunder a shield with my armored teeth. I would have no problems with Hercules sundering a shield with his fist, nor any other massively overmuscled heroic figure.

It seems weapons would help, and since no rule says they cannot help, and there are no limiting rules similar to the rule that limits tripping attempts to trip weapons, then evidently weapons can be used to sunder. As they should be.

Fake Healer wrote:
yet there are claims that say that IS the standard sundering unit. All weapons. Including whips assumingly. Yet again, no rules back that up.

Who is claiming you must have a weapon to sunder? I make no such claims. I am not aware that the core rules make such a claim either.

Fake Healer wrote:
How is the assumption that a free hand or appendage is used for a trip, instead of any weapons, with no rules to back that up?

I would not assume such a thing.

Fake Healer wrote:
By RAW interpretation it states you can only trip with tripping weapons.

No, it says you can attempt to trip with a melee attack. That might be a kick, sweep, bite (ala wolf), weapon, shove, whatever. You have already poointed out that it says you can make a trip attempt in place of a melee attack.

So why would you now state you must use a weapon? Surely wolves don't need to whip out a whip to trip a deer?

So, you may make a trip attempt with any melee attack. However, if you wish to use a weapon to make this trip attempt, then you need to wield a "trip" weapon since other weapons are not eligible for making trip attempts.

Fake Healer wrote:
How is the assumption that a weapon is used to sunder with, including unarmed attacks and whips, with no rules to back that up?

Because it says you may make a sunder attempt as part of an attack action in place of a melee attack. First sentence, page 201, under the Sunder heading.

It says almost the same thing under the Trip heading, but there is a 2nd rule, which you are aware of, that says only certain weapons may be used.

Sunder has no such restriction.

Since Sunder is unrestricted, you may use any weapon, or no weapon. But Trip is restricted, so you may use Trip weapons, or no weapon.

I still don't see the problem reconciling these simple rules.

Fake Healer wrote:
Why assume one thing in one rule but not in another?

I daresay it strikes me that you're the only one making such disparate assumptions.

I keep answering your questions and yet you keep asking them again, often the same ones. I begin to wonder if you're arguing so vehemently in favor of your misinterpretation because you are dead set on a character build or concept that requires you to break this rule to build your character. I can't think of any other reason you would defend your point so diligently in the face of such evidence that your point is in the wrong. Unless maybe you're playing devil's advocate and debating the wrong just for the sake of the debate.

The Exchange

Jabor wrote:

Kicking is an Unarmed Strike.

Why would "You can use a Trip weapon to Trip" be listed if it was entirely superfluous?

If any weapon could be used to trip but could only drop a Trip weapon (ignoring the fact that this would mean it's somehow easier to drop a staff than it is to drop a club), that line would read quite differently.

"If you would be tripped yourself while attempting a trip maneuver with a trip weapon, you can drop the weapon to avoid being tripped."

Why would they state that you can drop a trip weapon to avoid being tripped if that is the only way TO trip?

They would just say "if you fail to trip you can drop the weapon to avoid being tripped" because you can't use anything else except for a trip weapon.
The fact that they clarify that you CAN drop a trip weapon informs us that there is other ways to trip people. Nowhere in Trip, Improved Trip or under Trip weapons is there listed any other way to trip people if you read the Trip Weapon statement "you can use" to mean that you can't use other weapons.
There are 10 trip weapons listed and under that interpretation of RAW, that is the ONLY way to trip. Unless you are a monk flurrying.


Fake Healer wrote:
Jabor wrote:

I'd like to ask you a question:

Is there a mechanical difference between using a non-trip weapon such as your staff to attempt to trip someone, and kicking them in the ankles while holding your staff?

Nope, according to the interpretation of RAW being thrown around you can't use either method. Or any other method besides a trip weapon.

Now you're just being silly and argumentative.

In the Trip section of the rules, it plainly states "You can attempt to trip your opponent in place of a melee attack." and it does not in any way limit such a trip attempt to using a weapon or not in this section. So, because there are no limits presented in this section, the rule allows you to make a trip attempt with ANYTHING that could have made a melee attack.

Your foot, your fist, your forehead, your teeth, your weapon, your magic spell, whatever - as long as it can make a melee attack.

THEN

Elswhere in the weapon section it says "You may use a trip weapon to make a trip attack."

Aha, here now, it does provide one restriction. This restriction clearly limits the use of weapons during a trip attempt to only those designated as trip weapons. It does not, however, preclude any of the other melee attacks from still applying as trip attempts. So wolves can still use their teeth, Grell could attempt a trip with a tentacle, people can use their hands or feet to attempt to trip an enemy, and so on.

To clarify:
1. Any melee attack can be made into a trip attempt.
2. Except those made with weapons that are not designated as trip weapons.


Fake Healer wrote:
hogarth wrote:
Fake Healer wrote:
Yes but nowhere does it say that a free hand or appendage is used for a trip, yet there are claims that say that IS the standard tripping unit and only tripping weapons may be used otherwise. No rule backs up that.
Who here is saying that you need a free hand in order to trip? I did a search for "free hand" in this thread, and only your posts came up.
So the only way to trip is with trip weapons. Unless you are a monk using a flurry.

You're the only one saying that.

So if YOU stop saying it, then it won't be said at all anymore.

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