Can Vital Strike be used on Opportunity Attacks?


Rules Questions


I don't know if this has been asked before but I will ask it now.

Can Vital Strike be used as an opportunity attack?

This plays into a character my friend is building who is going to be aiming for greater trip at 6th level, along with whirlwind.

Basic concept is to get a group of enemies, whirlwind - use greater trip to replace melee attacks against everyone and trip attempt them, thus gaining opportunity attacks against those he does trip (he is taking combat reflexes).

I mean it would be pretty cool to visualize his character in a group of enemies with his scythe and making an arching swing with it to trip them, then following up with a downward slice/chop into them those he knocks prone with a scythe.


phalen wrote:

I don't know if this has been asked before but I will ask it now.

Can Vital Strike be used as an opportunity attack?

This plays into a character my friend is building who is going to be aiming for greater trip at 6th level, along with whirlwind.

Basic concept is to get a group of enemies, whirlwind - use greater trip to replace melee attacks against everyone and trip attempt them, thus gaining opportunity attacks against those he does trip (he is taking combat reflexes).

I mean it would be pretty cool to visualize his character in a group of enemies with his scythe and making an arching swing with it to trip them, then following up with a downward slice/chop into them those he knocks prone with a scythe.

I would say no, since Vital Strike is part of a standard attack, rather than a full-round attack. Vital Strike doesn't carry over until the next round (unlike Power Attack) either, so it doesn't "linger" long enough to benefit attacks of opportunity.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

No. Vital Strike specifically calls out attack actions. Attacks of Opportunity aren't attack actions.


Cool, thanks. I didn't think it would be able to be used, but wanted to ask just in case.


phalen wrote:
Cool, thanks. I didn't think it would be able to be used, but wanted to ask just in case.

The visual remains nonetheless, he just doesn't get the added damage die/dice that Vital Strike grants. Perhaps as part of his Greater Trip Whirlwind Attack, the damage dealt by the AoO/bonus attacks are a part of two massive swings? The first with the haft, knocking foes down, the second slicing the legs?


Turin the Mad wrote:
phalen wrote:
Cool, thanks. I didn't think it would be able to be used, but wanted to ask just in case.
The visual remains nonetheless, he just doesn't get the added damage die/dice that Vital Strike grants. Perhaps as part of his Greater Trip Whirlwind Attack, the damage dealt by the AoO/bonus attacks are a part of two massive swings? The first with the haft, knocking foes down, the second slicing the legs?

That is more or less how I visualize it yes, was just thinking of the scythe going into say the neck or something after they hit the ground. Still a snazzy trick, and I think I will still advise him to pick up vital strike for when he has to move, and to use in conjunction with spring attack (possibly charge?)

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

phalen wrote:
That is more or less how I visualize it yes, was just thinking of the scythe going into say the neck or something after they hit the ground. Still a snazzy trick, and I think I will still advise him to pick up vital strike for when he has to move, and to use in conjunction with spring attack (possibly charge?)

It doesn't work with Spring Attack or charge either. Think of Vital Strike as Improved Walking Up To People And Hitting Them.


A Man In Black wrote:
phalen wrote:
That is more or less how I visualize it yes, was just thinking of the scythe going into say the neck or something after they hit the ground. Still a snazzy trick, and I think I will still advise him to pick up vital strike for when he has to move, and to use in conjunction with spring attack (possibly charge?)
It doesn't work with Spring Attack or charge either. Think of Vital Strike as Improved Walking Up To People And Hitting Them.

Why wouldn't it work with spring attack? All spring attack allows you to do is move, attack (as in attack action) then move again. Basically it allows you to split your move action. Or am I wrong on this?


I strongly recommend house-ruling Vital Attack back to its original intent (as clearly shown in the Fighter preview) rather than the mistake-ridden, useless feat it currently is. Allow it to be used any time you make a single attack, including on non-pouncing charges and on AoOs.


Zurai wrote:
I strongly recommend house-ruling Vital Attack back to its original intent (as clearly shown in the Fighter preview) rather than the mistake-ridden, useless feat it currently is. Allow it to be used any time you make a single attack, including on non-pouncing charges and on AoOs.

That would be up to our DM, and as is he is an EXTREAMLY rules as written type, so I know this probably will not happen.


Zurai wrote:
I strongly recommend house-ruling Vital Attack back to its original intent (as clearly shown in the Fighter preview) rather than the mistake-ridden, useless feat it currently is. Allow it to be used any time you make a single attack, including on non-pouncing charges and on AoOs.

It's been working in my campaign so far (for the record, the vital strike chain is a single feat that upgrades by BAB in my case, but that's neither here nor there.)

But yeah, it's erm... really lame taking away the option to VS on charges.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

phalen wrote:
Why wouldn't it work with spring attack? All spring attack allows you to do is move, attack (as in attack action) then move again. Basically it allows you to split your move action. Or am I wrong on this?
Spring Attack wrote:
You can move up to your speed and make a single melee attack without provoking any attacks of opportunity from the target of your attack. You can move both before and after the attack, but you must move at least 10 feet before the attack and the total distance that you move cannot be greater than your speed.

Not "make a single attack action", but "make a single melee attack".

For reasons I don't fully understand, nearly all of the attack-replacement feats don't play nicely together in 3.PF.


A Man In Black wrote:
phalen wrote:
Why wouldn't it work with spring attack? All spring attack allows you to do is move, attack (as in attack action) then move again. Basically it allows you to split your move action. Or am I wrong on this?
Spring Attack wrote:
You can move up to your speed and make a single melee attack without provoking any attacks of opportunity from the target of your attack. You can move both before and after the attack, but you must move at least 10 feet before the attack and the total distance that you move cannot be greater than your speed.

Not "make a single attack action", but "make a single melee attack".

For reasons I don't fully understand, nearly all of the attack-replacement feats don't play nicely together in 3.PF.

The feats play qhite nice in PF. The point is that you cannot stack a vast majority of the feats on top of one another. Either you use one or the other, seem to be the general rule.

And it is important to distinguish between "attacks" and "actions"!

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

The Grandfather wrote:
The feats play qhite nice in PF. The point is that you cannot stack a vast majority of the feats on top of one another. Either you use one or the other, seem to be the general rule.

As they are designed specifically such that they cannot be used together, they do not play nicely together. I can guess at why this is, but it's another Nice Thing melee sorts had in 3.5 that they do not have in 3.PF.


A Man In Black wrote:
The Grandfather wrote:
The feats play qhite nice in PF. The point is that you cannot stack a vast majority of the feats on top of one another. Either you use one or the other, seem to be the general rule.
As they are designed specifically such that they cannot be used together, they do not play nicely together. I can guess at why this is, but it's another Nice Thing melee sorts had in 3.5 that they do not have in 3.PF.

Melee characters have generally become stronger in PF and do not need to stack feats the same way as they did in 3.5.

A benefit of this system is that melee characters have to be conscious about which feats they use from round to round and there by make the fighters role more challenging and interesting in a tactical sense.

I like it!

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

The Grandfather wrote:

Melee characters have generally become stronger in PF and do not need to stack feats the same way as they did in 3.5.

A benefit of this system is that melee characters have to be conscious about which feats they use from round to round and there by make the fighters role more challenging and interesting in a tactical sense.

I like it!

People keep saying that, but they just do more damage, assuming they weren't taking advantage of one of the several tools that were nerfed. In return, they lost a lot of combat options in the form of combining maneuvers, and now pay a doubled feat toll to use combat manuevers, which are now generally harder to perform.

The benefit you suggest does mean playing a melee character is simpler, which is a fine thing to strive for...until you realize that the largest disadvantage of melee classes is that their options going into mid levels are too few and too simple compared to classes who get scaling toys AND new toys at every couple of levels.

On top of all of this, almost all of the new options melee classes got are mechanically incompatible with their best maneuver (full attack) from level 6 on. Most of the melee options are not superior to a full attack, and many of them are only situationally superior to a charge.

When you have seventeen options and one is the clear-cut best the vast majority of the time, you have one option.


A Man In Black wrote:
The Grandfather wrote:

Melee characters have generally become stronger in PF and do not need to stack feats the same way as they did in 3.5.

A benefit of this system is that melee characters have to be conscious about which feats they use from round to round and there by make the fighters role more challenging and interesting in a tactical sense.

I like it!

People keep saying that, but they just do more damage, assuming they weren't taking advantage of one of the several tools that were nerfed. In return, they lost a lot of combat options in the form of combining maneuvers, and now pay a doubled feat toll to use combat manuevers, which are now generally harder to perform.

The benefit you suggest does mean playing a melee character is simpler, which is a fine thing to strive for...until you realize that the largest disadvantage of melee classes is that their options going into mid levels are too few and too simple compared to classes who get scaling toys AND new toys at every couple of levels.

On top of all of this, almost all of the new options melee classes got are mechanically incompatible with their best maneuver (full attack) from level 6 on. Most of the melee options are not superior to a full attack, and many of them are only situationally superior to a charge.

When you have seventeen options and one is the clear-cut best the vast majority of the time, you have one option.

All melee characters now have more feats and more "scaling toys" as you call them. Full-attack has always been the supremely best action for melee characters. Many feats and abilities still work well for full-attack, but the new way the feats work make it less obvious for warriors which action and what feat to use.

It is probably a matter of taste and style. And I like it!

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

The Grandfather wrote:

All melee characters now have more feats and more "scaling toys" as you call them. Full-attack has always been the supremely best action for melee characters. Many feats and abilities still work well for full-attack, but the new way the feats work make it less obvious for warriors which action and what feat to use.

It is probably a matter of taste and style. And I like it!

A scaling toy is a new ability, preferably one that increases your options, that improves as you level. Melee classes have about the same number of scaling toys in 3.PF as 3.5; most of them just got a scaling +damage (rage dice, smite, the generic warrior +damage).

3.PF gave melee classes more feats, but it also doubled the feat cost for combat maneuvers, while also giving everyone essentially a +5 to resist them. (And it put an extra tax on Improved Trip in that you need Combat Reflexes and decent dex to get the extra attack.) So if you want to be able to use the only maneuvers that still combine with things (trip, disarm, etc.), your feat cost is doubled and your chance of success is reduced.

Hitting things a bit harder, or being able have both Improved Trip and Improved Walking Up To People And Hitting Things makes melee classes more potent at low levels, but they're still falling behind at mid levels because their mobility and problem-solving abilities are still completely absent and at high levels they still blitz things to death then carry luggage until a new thing needs to be blitzed to death (and lord help them if a high-CR opponent isn't blitzed all the way to death).

It's the core melee problem: they're still playing 4e when all of the other classes have moved on to playing HERO.

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