Whip Trip Dex


Rules Questions

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

When making a trip or disarm maneuver with a whip, do you need Weapon Finesse or Agile Maneuvers to use your dex instead of str for the check?

And would Fury Fall add the dex a second time?


1. You can use Weapon Finesse to attempt trip, sunder, or disarm maneuvers with your Dexterity bonus instead of your Strength bonus so long as you're using the whip (or other finessable weapon) to perform the maneuver. You can use Agile Maneuvers for any maneuver regardless of whether it involves a weapon.

2. Some Paizo officials have stated that you cannot add the same ability score modifier twice due to the "same source" rule, though there is not yet any official ruling that I'm aware of. Expect GMs to say "no", even though it's a reasonable thing to allow.

After all, you can add Strength and Dexterity if you aren't using Agile Maneuvers or Weapon Finesse, and you spent at least one extra feat for the privilege.


The rules on stacking can be pretty weird, but as a general rule you can't add the same bonus from the same source twice.

One odd little exception is Dragon Ferocity, which allows you to add 50% of your strength bonus to your unarmed strikes. It is worded this way so that a non-monk using TWF with his unarmed strikes still only deals 100% strength damage with his off-hand attacks.

However, this is a very explicit example. As a GM I would nip the double dipping usage of Fury's Fall in the bud right away, as it reeks of abuse.


Abuse? They took at least an extra feat (Finesse or Agile) to add the same attribute twice instead of two different attributes. I just can't see the abuse, especially for something like trip, which is mostly awful.

It's gotten to where posters look at any example of synergy and instantly knee-jerk into cries of "ABUSE!" without actually checking the numbers. If a player spends all of a characters feats to make them really good at Dex-tripping, let them be good at Dex-tripping!

Shadow Lodge

There's a lot of other threads about the Agile Maneuvers / Fury's Fall combination and no official ruling. Also a lot of debate that have merit on both sides.

The closest ruling was that James Jacobs said the dex bonus doesn't stack, but there was plenty of people who believed he'd made a mistake on that ruling (and that was a very long time ago, and there's still been no official ruling).

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Synergy, is not abuse.

Liberty's Edge

At least my whip/spiked light shield bard only needs weapon finesse then.


Focusing on one stat (DEX) instead of two (STR and DEX) can be very efficient. DEX for AC, REX saves, initiative, Chance to hit (via weapon finess), Damage (via Agile enchantment, derwish dance) and doubled to CMB sounds too good to be true. Show me a feat that gives you a bonus of 4+ (Dex 18 or more) on something at first level.

As mentioned before there is no RAW answer but on my table it is not allowed.


Weapon finesse. Improved initiative. Combat casting. Endurance. Mobility. Steel Soul.

Liberty's Edge

Fury's Fall requires Combat Expertise and Improved Trip only a fighter can get it at first (and not if he takes finesse or agile maneuvers). Also it is a prereq for the (rather lame) feat fury snare which is just for whip users who would most likely be finessing their whip anyway.

I don't think it is unbalancing, and probably won't take it anyway since a whip user doesn't really need improved trip or disarm but am curious about RAW.


Eridan wrote:

Focusing on one stat (DEX) instead of two (STR and DEX) can be very efficient. DEX for AC, REX saves, initiative, Chance to hit (via weapon finess), Damage (via Agile enchantment, derwish dance) and doubled to CMB sounds too good to be true. Show me a feat that gives you a bonus of 4+ (Dex 18 or more) on something at first level.

As mentioned before there is no RAW answer but on my table it is not allowed.

I could show you many such feats, but that's neither here nor there.

Fury's Fall can provide a bonus of 4+ regardless of whether you're using Agile Maneuvers or Weapon Finesse. It simply allows a Dex-focused character to gain the benefit of that Dex at the cost of a feat instead of a bunch of Strength points. They only get the benefit of double Dex for the purposes listed in the feat--trip attacks. Abilities with very specific purviews generally grant larger bonuses.

The character still does not get Dex to damage without separate feats or abilities. The only thing it grants is Dex to trip attacks.

What you're really arguing against in your post above is a synergy of abilities that allows someone to forgo Strength while still gaining some (but by no means all) of its benefits. They still have to worry about carrying capacity, subpar weapon selection, lack of armor, getting caught in a cave-in, and numerous others. These can be overcome with investment--just like allocating points to Strength is an investment. There's no imbalance here, just what I said before--a knee-jerk reaction to unexpected synergy.


I don't think its a knee jerk... it is an odd feat that says you get strength and dex on trip CMB. If you want to say that specific trumps general, then apply this feat as it is worded exactly: You get dex and str, not you get dex and str which is replaced by dex and therefore get dex twice.

I think it is always best to err on the side of what sounds correct. Just because a non-core feat has some particular wording does not mean that we should all assume that it was intended to have these weird consequences when combined with other feats or features.

I mean, just look at the problems with Animal Ally. You can easily follow the wording on this feat to double stack your character level for determining animal companion level. This doesn't feel right at ALL, and I wouldn't expect anyone to run it this way.


The feat doesn't say "you get Str and Dex". It says "add your Dex" without qualification. It's one of the shortest and most simply-written feats ever published.

What sounds correct to me is, you add your Dex to whatever other modifiers you had, whether those include Str or Dex. It doesn't feel or sound wrong to me at all, and if it had then I'd still hesitate to block it based on "ick" factor alone.

Animal Ally is the opposite. It's a long, complicated feat that attempts (but fails) to account for edge cases. The cases it misses collide with long-established mechanics, and the consequences for game balance are much larger than simply double-dipping one stat versus dipping two stats.


I would agree that the specific rules say to add dex to the trip. People are looking for vague or non-described rules to look for reasons for this not to work. I never saw a rule that did not say you could not add stat mods twice. Certain inquistor builds do this same thing.

I would strongly argue RAW says you add dex twice. Since there are no rules saying you can not add it twice I was able to find. Specific rules trump general rules.

Now you do not NEED combat expertise if you got imrpvoed trip without it(flowing monk) you could get this too.

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