# APG's Following Step

### Rules Questions

 2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

Anyone know if this ten feet of movement is exempt from attacks of opportunity? Reading it, it seems like it isn't, but that just seems odd considering how Step Up worked.

Step Up: Whenever an adjacent foe attempts to take a 5-foot step away from you, you may also make a 5-foot step as an immediate action . . .

Following Step: When using the Step Up feat to follow an adjacent foe, you may move up to 10 feet. . . .

Sounds like it to me.

Step Up lets you take a "5-foot Step" as an immediate action. But it's still a "5-foot Step" and those don't provoke.

Then Following Step doubles the distance you can move when you use Step Up, so your "5-foot Step" becomes a "10-foot Step". Unless there is extra text in the feat that talks about provoking (I don't have my book yet), it seems to me that all you're doing is doubling the movement distance allowed by Step Up.

Although, I'm having a hard time envisioning a scenario where I would want this feat. If your opponent starts out adjacent, and he only moves 5' (because he's using a "5-foot Step"), then you will never need 10' to stick with him.

Sure, it let's you move along side of your retreating enemy, but you'll almost never gain any advantage from doing that, so why take this feat in the first place when there are far more useful feats?

(or, maybe this feat does other useful things too, and this is just one of them? I sure do wish I had my APG now. Dang budget...)

Hmmm... Good question.

Personally I would go with saying that it does provoke because is it no longer a "5-foot step." The reason for this is that specific trumps general and since there is not specific rule here then you have to go with the general.

DM_Blake wrote:

Although, I'm having a hard time envisioning a scenario where I would want this feat. If your opponent starts out adjacent, and he only moves 5' (because he's using a "5-foot Step"), then you will never need 10' to stick with him.

Sure, it let's you move along side of your retreating enemy, but you'll almost never gain any advantage from doing that, so why take this feat in the first place when there are far more useful feats?

(or, maybe this feat does other useful things too, and this is just one of them? I sure do wish I had my APG now. Dang budget...)

The capstone feat ("step up and strike") allows you to take a swing during this movement as an AOO. But it still burns an AOO (it doesn;t give you and extra attack).

I don't think three feats is worth it, personally.

I don't think it's worth 3 feats either. I wish stuff like this would scale. It really pigeonholes characters into one-trick or two-trick ponies.

They sound great to me.

Feat starved classes, yeah it's a one trick pony issue. Sounds rocking on a fighter though. :)

A fighter with this full tree is sticky and gets to OA an opponent without that opponent actually casting, firing a bow, drinking a potion, or whatever. Then he still gets his 5ft step on the next round to set up flanks/etc.

Jarl wrote:

They sound great to me.

Feat starved classes, yeah it's a one trick pony issue. Sounds rocking on a fighter though. :)

A fighter with this full tree is sticky and gets to OA an opponent without that opponent actually casting, firing a bow, drinking a potion, or whatever. Then he still gets his 5ft step on the next round to set up flanks/etc.

I disagree:

1) Step Up, Following Step, Step Up and Strike
2) Power Attack, Improved Bull Rush, Greater Bull Rush
3) Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Greater Weapon Focus, Greater Weapon Specialization

Substitute any other feat tree combo into this…

and you basically have 10 of your 21 feats used up by these three feat trees alone. You're a two-trick pony.

I'm becoming more and more convinced that investing in most feat trees is not worth it. It's probably worth going all the way in one maybe two trees, but then diversifying.

OK, so arguably the Following Step feat might be useful as a stepping stone to Step Up and Strike. Fine.

But as a feat in its own right, does it really do anything?

Really, if we removed this feat altogether and replaced it with this one:

Your head sometimes itches. You are really good at scratching those itches.
Special: If you have this feat and "Step Up" you are eligible to learn the feat Follow Up and Strike.

If we did that, would the feat chain really be any less useful? Or to rephrase that in reverse, does the inclusion of Following Step let someone with this entire feat chain do any useful thing that they could not do if we make this replacement?

And by "useful" I mean something that accords a practical, tactical benefit in combat. I'm not sure I count being able to move alongside someone while they take a 5' step as being very useful (unless someone can show me a useful reason to do it beyond the really rare instance that doing so might provide a flank - I say "rare" because your enemies can almost always use a 5-foot Step to get away from flanking positions unless you really have them surrounded, which almost never happens in a typical 4-5 PC adventuring group).

anthony Valente wrote:

I disagree:

1) Step Up, Following Step, Step Up and Strike
2) Power Attack, Improved Bull Rush, Greater Bull Rush
3) Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Greater Weapon Focus, Greater Weapon Specialization

Substitute any other feat tree combo into this…

and you basically have 10 of your 21 feats used up by these three feat trees alone. You're a two-trick pony.

I'm becoming more and more convinced that investing in most feat trees is not worth it. It's probably worth going all the way in one maybe two trees, but then diversifying.

Sure, that is the very nature of feat trees. However, I don't see that as a bad thing. It forces some level of specialization and differentiation in character builds.

1) Step Up, Following Step, Step Up and Strike
2) Power Attack, Cleave, Great Cleave, Improved Bull Rush, Greater Bull Rush, Bull Rush Strike
3) Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Greater Weapon Focus, Greater Weapon Specialization, Penetrating Strike, Greater Penetrating Strike
4) Vital Strike, Improved Vital Strike, Greater Vital Strike
5) Iron Will, Improved Iron Will
6) Improved Critical

I'd play that with a Falcion or Elven Curved Blade. :)

DM_Blake wrote:
If we did that, would the feat chain really be any less useful? Or to rephrase that in reverse, does the inclusion of Following Step let someone with this entire feat chain do any useful thing that they could not do if we make this replacement?

Granted, it's weak, but "You may still take a 5-foot step during your next turn, and any movement you make using this feat does not subtract any distance from your movement during your next turn." Step Up and Strike is the goal here though and I could easily see dropping Following Step from the chain with little loss.

So yeah, I guess you guys are right. :)

Blahhhh. This weird buggy forum caused me to lose the entire post I'd made.

Anyway. I can think of a few good ways to use this feat. Specifically, the build I was going for utilizes this feat, Pushing Assault, and Lunge to help me control the battlefield. This feat allows me to have greater control over where I'm moving my target.

And, yes, while it sounds bad that you're "only" moving next to them, keep in mind that your turn comes up before their next turn. So right now you're beside them. On your turn, you're behind them, fully cutting off retreat and making flanking quite easy. Or in my case, shoving him right back into your allies to allow them to full attack with ease and make use of that cooperative whateveryoucallitflanking teamwork thingy feat.

In addition, imagine a scenario where a mage is ten feet behind and one square to the side of an archer. The archer five foot steps back. You ten foot step up and to the side. Now you threaten both the archer and caster.

WXX
2BX
XAX
X1X

That was a poor description. Here we have Wizard and Archer. Archer steps back to B and you then step forward from 1 to 2.

Edit: Oooh, ooh, and to add to this, when it's *your* turn, you ready to five foot step and interrupt the wizard when he takes a turn. Of course you have Disruptive and Spellbreaker, so even more fun abounds!

Definitely not as useful as some feats, but certainly not useless, and *great* for shaping the battlefield in your favor when it does come into play.

So, yes, lots of fun, and quite good, too. :)

DM_Blake wrote:

Or to rephrase that in reverse, does the inclusion of Following Step let someone with this entire feat chain do any useful thing that they could not do if we make this replacement?

And by "useful" I mean something that accords a practical, tactical benefit in combat. I'm not sure I count being able to move alongside someone while they take a 5' step as being very useful (unless someone can show me a useful reason to do it beyond the really rare instance that doing so might provide a flank - I say "rare" because your enemies can almost always use a 5-foot Step to get away from flanking positions unless you really have them surrounded, which almost never happens in a typical 4-5 PC adventuring group).

I can see it having occasional tactical use. For example:

F=Fighter with Following Step, E=Enemy, R=Rogue

Start
FER

Enemy steps
.E
F.R

Fighter Follows

F
.E
..R

The flank is maintained immediately, which wouldn't otherwise be true. This can become important if the enemy provokes an AoO from the rogue.

If the enemy is trying to five foot step to a door or some other strategically important location, the fighter with Following Step can probably prevent him from getting to that location.

In general, it does sound like it is on par with Endurance or 3.5 Toughness.

It has circumstantial use. Apart from providing a flank, it can make it easier to cut off an opponent from an escape route.

Like this (#=Wall, .=floor, @=character, o=orc warlord):

##########
@.o.......
@@........
##########

Orc backs up to throw a javelin:

##########
@..o......
@@........
##########

Character follows step:

##########
@..o......
@..@......
##########

Character takes a 5ft step and full attacks:

##########
@..o@....
@.........
##########

Now the orc can't Withdraw without provoking. Especially usefull against an opponent with Acrobatics.

It's still a highly circumstantial feat though. My suggestion for making it more useful is to skip the "if he moves away from you" sentence, so it works anytime an opponent takes a 5ft-step, including one to flank you.

anthony Valente wrote:

I'm becoming more and more convinced that investing in most feat trees is not worth it. It's probably worth going all the way in one maybe two trees, but then diversifying.

Sadly, you are right. Is convenient take a whole tree once, unless you are a fighter, in that case you can fill 2-3 of them and have some variety.

This is sad because limits PC versatility. Some feat, like vital strike, could scale with BAB without great problems.

Kaiyanwang wrote:
anthony Valente wrote:

I'm becoming more and more convinced that investing in most feat trees is not worth it. It's probably worth going all the way in one maybe two trees, but then diversifying.

Sadly, you are right. Is convenient take a whole tree once, unless you are a fighter, in that case you can fill 2-3 of them and have some variety.

This is sad because limits PC versatility. Some feat, like vital strike, could scale with BAB without great problems.

Agree. Power Attack is such a good feat because it scales, is an entry feat and is useful on any melee attack. The vital strike feat chain in comparison does not scale, needs three feats to acquire, and is only useful on melee attacks as a standard action. I think Power Attack will overall churn out more damage too.

anthony Valente wrote:
Kaiyanwang wrote:
anthony Valente wrote:

I'm becoming more and more convinced that investing in most feat trees is not worth it. It's probably worth going all the way in one maybe two trees, but then diversifying.

Sadly, you are right. Is convenient take a whole tree once, unless you are a fighter, in that case you can fill 2-3 of them and have some variety.

This is sad because limits PC versatility. Some feat, like vital strike, could scale with BAB without great problems.

Agree. Power Attack is such a good feat because it scales, is an entry feat and is useful on any melee attack. The vital strike feat chain in comparison does not scale, needs three feats to acquire, and is only useful on melee attacks as a standard action. I think Power Attack will overall churn out more damage too.

That's why Dodge bugs the hell out of me. It doesn't scale, and it gateways to other feats. But the other feats aren't great. Ever since 3.0, I've disliked how fighting classes absolutely needed to take all these "meh" feats just so spellcasters can take some spells and be better.

Scaling is what feats NEED in order to let fighting classes be free to explore feats that are situational (Vital Strike), as opposed to be good all the time (Power Attack).

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
anthony Valente wrote:
Jarl wrote:

They sound great to me.

Feat starved classes, yeah it's a one trick pony issue. Sounds rocking on a fighter though. :)

A fighter with this full tree is sticky and gets to OA an opponent without that opponent actually casting, firing a bow, drinking a potion, or whatever. Then he still gets his 5ft step on the next round to set up flanks/etc.

I disagree:

1) Step Up, Following Step, Step Up and Strike
2) Power Attack, Improved Bull Rush, Greater Bull Rush
3) Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Greater Weapon Focus, Greater Weapon Specialization

Substitute any other feat tree combo into this…

and you basically have 10 of your 21 feats used up by these three feat trees alone. You're a two-trick pony.

I'm becoming more and more convinced that investing in most feat trees is not worth it. It's probably worth going all the way in one maybe two trees, but then diversifying.

That still leaves you with over 50 percent of your possible feat selection open to other things. I hardly call that a "two trick" pony unless you really work to make it that way.

Not to mention you've got all your class fighter tricks as well.

Actually, for the fighter is not SUCH a bigh deal, because the sum of all feats combined is far better of the single feat chain (example: Shield Slam and Whirlwind Attack).

Classes like barbarian are struck more.

To be clear, this is not so troublesome (in fact, the above vital strike can be used for more than melee attacks: is very good for prepared actions ranged attacks). But speaking for an ideal game, more feats scaling could be handy IMO. That's all.

On this vein, I'm curious how balanced you all think condensing the vital strike tree would be as a house rule. Perhaps making it one or two feats instead of the three?

I'm quite happy with feat trees as long as all the necessary feats actually do something useful. It's when one of the feats in the chain does very little that it becomes painful :)

Are wrote:

I'm quite happy with feat trees as long as all the necessary feats actually do something useful. It's when one of the feats in the chain does very little that it becomes painful :)

You can put me down for a +1

A question concerning Step Up & Strike:

A fighter-rogue (dex 26, combat reflexes, Step Up & Strike) stands toe to toe with an enemy caster. He wants to 5-step away to cast. The rogue follows him and strikes, using up one of his attacks of opportunity. The caster survives the hit but begins casting. Can the rogue opportunity-attack him a second time (assuming he is not casting on the defensive)?

Thanks, Turgan

Turgan wrote:

A question concerning Step Up & Strike:

A fighter-rogue (dex 26, combat reflexes, Step Up & Strike) stands toe to toe with an enemy caster. He wants to 5-step away to cast. The rogue follows him and strikes, using up one of his attacks of opportunity. The caster survives the hit but begins casting. Can the rogue opportunity-attack him a second time (assuming he is not casting on the defensive)?

Thanks, Turgan

Yes. The 5' step provokes because of Step Up & Strike. Then the casting provokes because casting provokes. If the rogue doesn't have Combat Reflexes, he only gets one attack of opportunity per round, so can't take advantage of the second provocation, but it still is a provocation. If he does have combat reflexes (as in your example) he would get them both. If the wizard then used his move action to retrieve a potion, he'd provoke a third time and get attacked a third time.

Thanks a lot, Bobson.

Bobson wrote:
Turgan wrote:

A question concerning Step Up & Strike:

A fighter-rogue (dex 26, combat reflexes, Step Up & Strike) stands toe to toe with an enemy caster. He wants to 5-step away to cast. The rogue follows him and strikes, using up one of his attacks of opportunity. The caster survives the hit but begins casting. Can the rogue opportunity-attack him a second time (assuming he is not casting on the defensive)?

Thanks, Turgan

Yes. The 5' step provokes because of Step Up & Strike. Then the casting provokes because casting provokes. If the rogue doesn't have Combat Reflexes, he only gets one attack of opportunity per round, so can't take advantage of the second provocation, but it still is a provocation. If he does have combat reflexes (as in your example) he would get them both. If the wizard then used his move action to retrieve a potion, he'd provoke a third time and get attacked a third time.

And just for fun if he does manage to cast, and casts a ranged touch spell, he'd provoke a FOURTH time!

It's an awesome tree for those that want to kill casters.

@Udalrich: +1 for the example

The feet has 3 benefits:

1) If you were already flanking (at least with a 5-ft space creature), it either lets you maintain flank OR guarantees you provide flank to your rogue friend on his next turn, depending on how the enemy moves. Not sure how it plays out with larger creatures.

2) You still get to keep your 5-ft step, instead of losing it, so after you drop the caster you are following, you can reposition before or during a full attack, etc.

3) Also, it doesn't cost your movement, which is nice if you happen to be, say, a dwarf, where that 5-ft is a full 25% of your move.

Not a horrible feat, IMHO. Not the strongest ever, and it's a lot nicer if the GM rules it doesn't provoke in and of itself.

kikanaide wrote:

@Udalrich: +1 for the example

The feet has 3 benefits:

1) If you were already flanking (at least with a 5-ft space creature), it either lets you maintain flank OR guarantees you provide flank to your rogue friend on his next turn, depending on how the enemy moves. Not sure how it plays out with larger creatures.

2) You still get to keep your 5-ft step, instead of losing it, so after you drop the caster you are following, you can reposition before or during a full attack, etc.

3) Also, it doesn't cost your movement, which is nice if you happen to be, say, a dwarf, where that 5-ft is a full 25% of your move.

Not a horrible feat, IMHO. Not the strongest ever, and it's a lot nicer if the GM rules it doesn't provoke in and of itself.

4) it effectively allows a 5 foot step in difficult terrain when following a creature, without costing movement.

following step is epic in my book. he retreats, leaves your square AOO, you follow him 5ft he leaves your threatened square AOO he continues his move and you still have 5ft another AOO, then he finishes his move and you can catch him next round.

following step is epic in my book. he retreats, leaves your square AOO, you follow him 5ft he leaves your threatened square AOO he continues his move and you still have 5ft another AOO, then he finishes his move and you can catch him next round.

Movement only provokes once, even if you're leaving multiple squares threatened by the same creature. So only one AOO against that creature, but otherwise, yep.

following step is epic in my book. he retreats, leaves your square AOO, you follow him 5ft he leaves your threatened square AOO he continues his move and you still have 5ft another AOO, then he finishes his move and you can catch him next round.

Afraid not:

PRD:Feats:StepUp wrote:
Whenever an adjacent foe attempts to take a 5-foot step away from you...
PRD:Combat:Take 5-Foot Step wrote:
You can move 5 feet in any round when you don't perform any other kind of movement. Taking this 5-foot step never provokes an attack of opportunity.

Step up only works when they start adjacent (so forget you, enlarged polearm wielders), and it only works with a 5-ft step. If they take a move action instead, you get one AoO as usual, but don't get to use the feat chain.

Also, I can add one to my list earlier:
5) Between your 10-ft move and the 5-ft step on your following round, you are 10-ft up on movement versus your opponent. So if you start side-by-side with your friend and a caster 5-fts away, you can be behind the caster by the time you both act:
XX XX XU XU
XX UE XE XE
EX XX XX XF
UF XF XF XX
1...2...3...4

1: start (U=you, F=friend, E=enemy, X=nothing (annoying font))
2: after W 5-fts backward, you 10-ft forward
3: on your turn, you 5-ft diagonally and ready a full-round attack with flank
4: on your friend's turn, two full attacks with flank occur

With step-up alone, this situation (which doesn't seem horribly uncommon, given that you generally start the battle all on one side of the enemies) requires another full round, or a tumbling friend, or a provoking movement, prior to the full-attack flank happening.

Now, if you rule that following step provokes, this example becomes less interesting (unless you're a tank and you can afford the AoO).

Edit: Just noticed I got ninja'd by like nine months by Stringburka.