What are Bull Rushes For?


Advice


Honest question. I see a bunch of stuff getting you bull rush, but I don't really see many uses for it. Am I missing something? It seems moving someone back away from you makes it harder to attack them.


I used one in a PFS game to try to deal with a halfling pickpocket nonlethally. I punted him off the dock into the river.


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Sometimes a guy is blocking a chokepoint and you want to get him out of there.

Sometimes a guy is standing on the edge of a cliff and you want to send him tumbling.

Sometimes you just want a guy to be somewhere other than where he is.


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Used as an attack of opportunity, they can interfere with a full attack against you.


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You can move allies through threatened spaces as the movement doesn't provoke.


If you take Greater Bull Rush, you give out Attacks of Opportunities. A lot of character build features make it easy to build a Bull Rush on top of them or build things on top of a Bull Rush.


When knocked against a wall, the bull rushee gets knocked down to the ground. Also good for getting a dude off the squishy caster.


Tactical repositioning, mostly. Push someone away from someone in need, or into a flank, or whatever. I was once in a campaign that went underground for about half a year. GM was sparse with his maps, so he pretty much only drew the outlines of his maps, and it got lodged in my brain that ink on the map = wall. At some point we went onto a bridge 200 feet above water, and an enemy appeared at the edge of the bridge. I moved up to him, hit him. He five-foot stepped around me, and bull rushed me right over the edge. I should've seen it coming, but I didn't.


If you take Shield Slam, it's for free trips.

Most any time else it's to get a guy out of the way, or out of the fight entirely (punt somebody off a boat or a cliff and you have a few rounds to mop up everyone else and stomp him when he gets back).


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Granted, if you normally fight in a grassy meadow, they're not that good. But the more terrain, the more useful they become.


Thanks! I mostly do theory-crafting so this kind of stuff is hard for me to visualize. Certainly makes me rethink the value of certain feats.


By an amazing coincidence, I just finished this build using Shield Slam.


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You can also full attack an enemy, Bull Rush him with Shield Slam and 5 step away. If the enemy doesn't have reach, you have deprived him of his full attack.


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Love, man. The answer is, like, always love.

Think about it.


Historically, shoving was an important tactic to disrupt shield walls. In game terms, you're trying to break up enemy formations so you can flank individuals, or get to the vulnerable targets in the back.
If you're having trouble visualizing it, read Lords of the North or watch an episode of Vikings.
I have a PC that makes good use of teamwork feats and Shield Wall; Bull Rushing him away from his allies would be a good tactic for an enemy to use.

Sovereign Court

I think the trouble with Bull Rush is that you often don't know what it could do until you see the terrain you're fighting on. Whereas with Trip you always know that you can try to make an enemy Prone for bonuses.

So it's a bit hard to predict when Bull Rush will be good. With a GM who loves fights on bridges over lava and all that it's clearly much nicer than when you mostly fight on wide open fields.


One time an ally bullrushed a stilt-wearing clown assassin into a river. Another time a narcotic manufacturer blew drugs in my character's face and then defenestrsted him. Other characters have knocked enemies through fire, into holes, and down stairs.


Aldizog wrote:
Historically, shoving was an important tactic to disrupt shield walls. In game terms, you're trying to break up enemy formations so you can flank individuals, or get to the vulnerable targets in the back.

In particular, imagine the you have the following (_ represents an empty space, X is you, O is the bad guy, and T is a special "target" [like the quarterback or a caster]).

======= this is a wall ========
XO
XO
XO
XO_______T
XO
XO
XO
====== this is also a wall ======

The caster can sit and cast whatever he likes at you because you can't get to him, not without maxing your Acrobatics check (and good luck with that in plate armor).

however, if I can just bull rush him;

======= this is a wall ========
XO
XO
XO
X_O______T
XO
XO
XO
====== this is also a wall ======

I can now step forward and go around the center (yeah, sure, I'll eat an AoO, but so what) and get up in the caster's grille. In fact, so can everyone else (the guy below me can step into the same gap on his turn, etc.) so everyone can blitz the wizard....

Yeah, sure, it's situational, but so is Disarm.


I was in a 3.0 campaign and we encountered a werewolf but no one in the party cann bypass its damage reduction, so the fighter bullrushed it from the top of tower and called it a day.

We also bullrushed a villain in plate armor unto a pit so he cannot climb up and we just shot him to death from above.

It's rather situational but may come handy sometimes, such as pushing enemies into traps that they avoided.


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Orfamay Quest wrote:


In particular, imagine the you have the following (_ represents an empty space, X is you, O is the bad guy, and T is a special "target" [like the quarterback or a caster]).

Oh, of course. Football is all about competing bull rushes (to get the QB or to open up a rushing lane). Occasionally an Overrun in there as well.


Larkos wrote:
When knocked against a wall, the bull rushee gets knocked down to the ground. Also good for getting a dude off the squishy caster.

Where does it say this?


Globetrotter wrote:
Larkos wrote:
When knocked against a wall, the bull rushee gets knocked down to the ground. Also good for getting a dude off the squishy caster.
Where does it say this?

Actually, I'm pretty sure this only works with Shield Slam.

Bull Rush wrote:
You cannot bull rush a creature into a square that is occupied by a solid object or obstacle.

But if you have the Shield Slam Feat,

Shield Slam wrote:
Opponents who cannot move back due to a wall or other surface are knocked prone after moving the maximum possible distance.


Yeah, I think that's right.

I believe the monster feat Awesome Blow does this as well.

Grand Lodge

Wonderstell wrote:
You can move allies through threatened spaces as the movement doesn't provoke.

But can allies lower their CMD voluntarily? Maybe being flat footed?


Wonderstell wrote:
You can move allies through threatened spaces as the movement doesn't provoke.

The Tellian Shove chains have returned!


Bull Rush after a True Strike... It's for helping a friend across a river.


Bullrush is really a decent maneuver. Once you get around the size restrictions, you can bullrush almost every foe and get some use out of it. It has already been mentioned, but I want to emphasize the defensive aspect: Receiving only one attack instead of 3 or 4 or 5, that's what other tanks have to pay a lot of resources to improve AC.

Then there are several ways to stack damage to bullrushes (you need rage and good STR though). If you charge, let's say, 3 lined up Goblins with a knockback, merciless rush and raging throw improved bullrush, you deal more damage than you could ever do with a normal charge (unless mounted lance charge of Course).

With someone to help you with pit spells or fire walls, it's getting really awesome.

And then the already mentioned circumstance situations, like using cliffs or Lava or pushing foes tactically in or out of one's way or even pushing allies to get them out of the death zone without provoking.


Dealing damage if dipped in Fighter (siegebreaker) 2 dip or 6 (more Temp hp), or 8 (Disorienting blow is a nice ability since Str based DC).

Shield Slam works nicely with it too.


I've gotta say, it's kind of disappointing that the Siegebreaker's probably as close as we're gonna get to seeing Dungeon Crasher from 3.5 in PF.

I liked the idea of Dungeon Crasher. Bull-rush people for positioning as normal. Bull rush people off of an edge, as normal. But, with Dungeon Crasher, you gain a third option; Bull Rush people into walls and objects, dealing a powerful hit to them in the process. I like the idea of slamming someone against the wall or using them as an impromptu battering ram and actually doing some damage with it.


Sometimes your bulls are just too dang slow.


Blackwaltzomega wrote:
I've gotta say, it's kind of disappointing that the Siegebreaker's probably as close as we're gonna get to seeing Dungeon Crasher from 3.5 in PF.

Well, there's always this feat...

Doug M.


I remember one battle in Rise of the Runelords, which features a fight on top of a dam. One bullrush later and an ogre is very, very dead.

Scarab Sages

Ever Bull rush a summoned hellhound off the edge of a pirate ship? I have really turns the tide of battle


Jader7777 wrote:
Wonderstell wrote:
You can move allies through threatened spaces as the movement doesn't provoke.
But can allies lower their CMD voluntarily? Maybe being flat footed?

I guess it's the same discussion as the one about voluntarily lowering your AC. Some argue that choosing to get hit is choosing to be Helpless against that attack, treating your Dex score as 0 and granting melee attackers a +4 to hit.

Helpless wrote:
A helpless character is paralyzed, held, bound, sleeping, unconscious, or otherwise completely at an opponent's mercy. A helpless target is treated as having a Dexterity of 0 (–5 modifier). Melee attacks against a helpless target get a +4 bonus (equivalent to attacking a prone target). /.../

I'd probably rule that you treat both your Str and Dex score as 0 for CMD, making your 'Helpless CMD' BAB + Misc modifiers.


When your sorcerer buddy learns Wall of Fire, or Acid Pit, and likes to coordinate team-up moves, you'll suddenly love the Bull Rush option.

When the party rogue is just 1 or 2 squares beyond flanking, Bull Rush will bring a smile to both your faces.

When your ally is flanked by a pair of assassins and you can't kill them in 1 round, Bull Rush can literally be a life saver.

When you're surrounded by shovable foes and don't want to be, Bull Rush can save your buttocks.

When the enemy spellcaster is casting from behind cover, a Bull Rush can expose him to ally ranged attacks, or shove someone so that line-of-effect is broken.

Grand Lodge

Wonderstell wrote:
I'd probably rule that you treat both your Str and Dex score as 0 for CMD, making your 'Helpless CMD' BAB + Misc modifiers.

Let's say there's a river you need to cross, 20ft.

A level 1 fighter with 18 strength could with a roll of 20 could shove you across no big deal. Imagine an optimized barbarian? Martial at-will dimension door stuff.


Jader7777 wrote:
Wonderstell wrote:
I'd probably rule that you treat both your Str and Dex score as 0 for CMD, making your 'Helpless CMD' BAB + Misc modifiers.

Let's say there's a river you need to cross, 20ft.

A level 1 fighter with 18 strength could with a roll of 20 could shove you across no big deal. Imagine an optimized barbarian? Martial at-will dimension door stuff.

Are you saying bull rush disregards gravity? You bull rush someone into a river, they stay in the river. I suppose you could adjust the DC to compensate for the 1/2 to 1/4 speed, but I don't think your fighter is going to hit that DC.

Awesome blow maybe, but not bull rush.

Grand Lodge

Not sure how you want to rule it, I'd imagine if you bull rushed off a cliff for 5f a monk or whatever could use the wall slow fall, I'd even give a reflex save to grab the edge to stop the insta-death with a similar condition to prone, it's nice thematically created condition.

If you were rushed 20f I'd imagine it would put a 15f seperation between you and the cliff and that would seal your fate pretty badly.


Movement maneuvers like Bull Rush plus Paired Opportunists can be useful with an accomplice, or with a self-built accomplice of some type, or with some kind of Solo Tactics thing.

Grand Lodge

They happen when I hit s+~$ with my shield. Then I get a free attack and things die!

Bull rushes are good. Do not belittle the Bull Rush!


Jader7777 wrote:
Wonderstell wrote:
I'd probably rule that you treat both your Str and Dex score as 0 for CMD, making your 'Helpless CMD' BAB + Misc modifiers.

Let's say there's a river you need to cross, 20ft.

A level 1 fighter with 18 strength could with a roll of 20 could shove you across no big deal. Imagine an optimized barbarian? Martial at-will dimension door stuff.

Yes, if we assume the fighter rolls 20. Which is a strange assumption to make.

If we use the average for the roll, 10(.5), he'd fail.

===========

At level 6, the same Fighter now has both Improved and Greater Bull Rush, and a +2 Belt of Strength.

With the average, he'd land at 25, making it 20 feet since his ally probably has atleast +1 BAB. Resulting in the ally falling into the river 5 ft from the shore on the other side.

A far cry from at-will dimension door.

The Exchange

Jader7777 wrote:
Wonderstell wrote:
You can move allies through threatened spaces as the movement doesn't provoke.
But can allies lower their CMD voluntarily? Maybe being flat footed?

The bigger aspect to question the possibility is whether or not you can execute a bull rush on an ally. Certainly in a home game it could be permitted. In a PFS Situation, it should be considered a PVP act, even if it does no damage and helps the other person.

Either way, as soon as you start doing it in that manner you better be ready for the GM to flip the tables on you and start having your enemies pull the same trick to get past you without provoking an AoO.

The Exchange

Wonderstell wrote:
Jader7777 wrote:
Wonderstell wrote:
I'd probably rule that you treat both your Str and Dex score as 0 for CMD, making your 'Helpless CMD' BAB + Misc modifiers.

Let's say there's a river you need to cross, 20ft.

A level 1 fighter with 18 strength could with a roll of 20 could shove you across no big deal. Imagine an optimized barbarian? Martial at-will dimension door stuff.

Yes, if we assume the fighter rolls 20. Which is a strange assumption to make.

If we use the average for the roll, 10(.5), he'd fail.

===========

At level 6, the same Fighter now has both Improved and Greater Bull Rush, and a +2 Belt of Strength.

With the average, he'd land at 25, making it 20 feet since his ally probably has atleast +1 BAB. Resulting in the ally falling into the river 5 ft from the shore on the other side.

A far cry from at-will dimension door.

Funny... I would rule Bull rush is not a jump but a shove, therefore there is no upward momentum to counter gravity. So once you leave the ground over the river you are starting to fall, You are soon in the water where either bull rush may not work at all, or there are massive negatives, so you no longer reach the other side.


Glorf Fei-Hung wrote:
Funny... I would rule Bull rush is not a jump but a shove, therefore there is no upward momentum to counter gravity. So once you leave the ground over the river you are starting to fall, You are soon in the water where either bull rush may not work at all, or there are massive negatives, so you no longer reach the other side.

Yes, I was just trying to disprove his hyperbole. Globetrotter also points the whole gravity aspect out.

Sovereign Court

Glorf Fei-Hung wrote:
Jader7777 wrote:
Wonderstell wrote:
You can move allies through threatened spaces as the movement doesn't provoke.
But can allies lower their CMD voluntarily? Maybe being flat footed?
The bigger aspect to question the possibility is whether or not you can execute a bull rush on an ally. Certainly in a home game it could be permitted. In a PFS Situation, it should be considered a PVP act, even if it does no damage and helps the other person.

In my experience most GMs take the reasonable interpretation that it's only PVP if the target player doesn't want it to happen.

Yesterday we seriously considered setting the whole party on fire with Blistering Invective because it would have protected us from a far scarier dominate effect by the enemy that broke whenever the target took damage from a different source than the monster.

Glorf Fei-Hung wrote:
Either way, as soon as you start doing it in that manner you better be ready for the GM to flip the tables on you and start having your enemies pull the same trick to get past you without provoking an AoO.

There's that of course.


Also its the only repositioning maneuver you can do which can displace the enemy into "dangerous" situation such as and not limited to: Off cliffs, off docks, into fires, into oozes, down stairs, over chairs and into spikes.

So technically its a rather useful way of using enviroment against enemies in combat, though enviroments have a tendency to be less than stellar compared to a well placed weapon to the face.


Even tankier Shield-Slamming Skirnir Magus build for you. Dwarves are awesome. They are also more resistant than average to being Bull Rushed or Tripped themselves.

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