Vital Strike & Step Up and Strike


Rules Questions

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I tried finding an answer, but none of the results seemed to answer this clearly.

Can Vital Strike be used when using the Step Up and Strike ability?

Quote:

Vital Strike (Combat):
Vital Strike

You make a single attack that deals significantly more damage than normal.
Prerequisites: Base attack bonus +6.
Benefit: When you use the attack action, you can make one attack at your highest base attack bonus that deals additional damage. Roll the damage dice for the attack twice and add the results together, but do not multiply damage bonuses from Strength, weapon abilities (such as f laming), or precision-based damage (such as sneak attack). This bonus damage is not multiplied on a critical hit (although other damage bonuses are multiplied normally).

Step Up and Strike (Combat):
Step Up and Strike
When a foe tries to move away, you can follow and make an attack.
Prerequisites: Dex 13, Following Step, Step Up, base attack bonus +6.
Benefit: When using the Step Up or Following Step feats to follow an adjacent foe, you may also make a single melee attack against that foe at your highest base attack bonus. This attack counts as one of your attacks of opportunity for the round. Using this feat does not count toward the number of actions you can usually take each round.
Normal: You can usually only take one standard action and one 5-foot step each round.

Following Step (Combat):
Following Step
You can repeatedly close the distance when foes try to move away, without impeding your normal movement.
Prerequisites: Dex 13, Step Up.
Benefit: When using the Step Up feat to follow an adjacent foe, you may move up to 10 feet. 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.
Normal: You can only take a 5-foot step to follow an opponent using Step Up.

Step Up (Combat):
Step Up
You can close the distance when a foe tries to move away.
Prerequisite: Base attack bonus +1.
Benefit: 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 so long as you end up adjacent to the foe that triggered this ability. If you take this step, you cannot take a 5-foot step during your next turn. If you take an action to move during your next turn, subtract 5 feet from your total movement.

Generally Vital Strike is considered an attack action, and an attack of opportunity is a no action. As written however SUaS doesn't state that it is an attack of opportunity, only that it uses one - this would make sense for the basis of doing more than one in a round.

The 'Normal' & 'Benefit' for SUaS are also confusing as if it was intended to act as an AoO, it could have easily said "You can only take an AoO when an adjacent foe attempts to move through a threatened square" or similar. Instead it is specifically noting that you normally have a standard action & 5-foot each round. This again implies that it is intended for a single standard attack action.

Does anyone know any clarification, specifically on how SUaS interacts with VS?


You can only VS as an attack action, so the single melee attack granted by SUaS can't be a VS.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies, Representative - D20 Hobbies

Vital Strike is a standard action (attack action).

So unless you are doing a standard action, you are not Vital Striking.


I guess my confusion is how SUaS is worded. The Normal case of SUaS is completely wrong for a AoO being used for the SUaS, whereas if intended as a single attack action, it makes sense.

How do you parse 'single melee attack' to be AoO and not attack action?

The way it reads 'may also make a single melee attack' and the normal case of 'you can usually only take one standard action and one 5-foot step each round' implies that you can perform these multiple time (if multiple people 5-ft anyway) and would include the standard action (as a single attack action) and a 5ft (potentially further augmented to 10ft by following step).

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies, Representative - D20 Hobbies

“Single melee attack” never means attack action.
Only “make an attack action” means that.


James Risner wrote:

“Single melee attack” never means attack action.

Only “make an attack action” means that.

This


While Risner and Dallium are right, I've found that it's easy enough to bluff DM's about this. Most know that the vital strike line can't be used with feats like cleave or spring attack, but tend to be a little fuzzy on what exact type of action specifically an attack of opportunity is.


So, are you advocating cheating?


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Absolutely.

To paraphrase Eddie Guerrero, if you're not cheating, you're not trying.

Shadow Lodge

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If you get caught, you ain't trying hard enough.


The annoying part is that none of the books i've found differentiate this. They don't spell out that an attack action is a melee attack, but not a 'single-melee attack' - even though a melee attack is just one attack.

Most feats define their attacks and it's more a matter of learning the definitions, but both Spring attack & Cleave define it properly. Specifically with SUaS, it leaves the vague statement of single melee attack and then compounds it by having a useless 'normal' statement

'Single melee attack' has made a lot of trouble it seems. It would have solved so many confusing debates if they had just simply added 'single melee attack' to the Table 8-2 (CR) and stuck it to the 'action type varies' and be done with it.


TOZ wrote:
If you get caught, you ain't trying hard enough.

And probably go down a level, depending on the game.

Grand Lodge

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Azten wrote:
And probably go down a level, depending on the game.

Or just straight up kicked from the game.

Shadow Lodge

A lot of humorless folk around here.


At least I was referencing Munchkin's rule for cheating. :)

Grand Lodge

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Not so much humorless as responding more to the serious suggestion to actually just cheat mentioned further upthread :)


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Cheating can be done in good humor. Especially when said cheating is not abusive.

One needs to remember that the game isn't competitive but cooperative. Playing a martial character and fudging the rules to get more out of the vital strike feat chain than the RAW strictly allows benefits the whole of the group. It's certainly not going to break the game.

And if one take advantage of a dm's ignorance on the minutia of the rules to get that little edge, well that's more a friendly ribbing than anything. And any DM who's reaction to figuring it out isn't to laugh and say "you got me" is a DM who I'm probably not going to have a lot of fun playing with to start with.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

I personally just tell the GM "by the rules, Vital Strike is only intended to be used with a creatures standard action, but if you want to allow it on this I'm cool with it".

Of course, what's good for the PC is good for the NPC. :)


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FormerFiend wrote:

Cheating can be done in good humor. Especially when said cheating is not abusive.

One needs to remember that the game isn't competitive but cooperative. Playing a martial character and fudging the rules to get more out of the vital strike feat chain than the RAW strictly allows benefits the whole of the group. It's certainly not going to break the game.

And if one take advantage of a dm's ignorance on the minutia of the rules to get that little edge, well that's more a friendly ribbing than anything. And any DM who's reaction to figuring it out isn't to laugh and say "you got me" is a DM who I'm probably not going to have a lot of fun playing with to start with.

I'd be that DM then. Considering my reaction to reading this.


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Additional. This is the rules forum. Stop promoting cheating in the section about rules.

Grand Lodge

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TriOmegaZero wrote:

I personally just tell the GM "by the rules, Vital Strike is only intended to be used with a creatures standard action, but if you want to allow it on this I'm cool with it".

Of course, what's good for the PC is good for the NPC. :)

Oh yeah for sure. I'm all for asking the GM to let you houserule stuff like that. Just against doing it to get an advantage without asking first.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies, Representative - D20 Hobbies

bobsayshi wrote:
The annoying part is that none of the books i've found differentiate this.

The core is crystal clear, if you understand the words.

They define two types of generic actions to attack.
Attack action - standard action single attack.
Full attack action - full attack action more than one attack.

All this was bashed out in 2009, and never since.
Now a days you get posts like yours and a choir of people like me stating what we think is obvious to us. Those around in 2009 when it wasn’t obvious to us or others.


James Risner wrote:
bobsayshi wrote:
The annoying part is that none of the books i've found differentiate this.

The core is crystal clear, if you understand the words.

They define two types of generic actions to attack.
Attack action - standard action single attack.
Full attack action - full attack action more than one attack.

All this was bashed out in 2009, and never since.
Now a days you get posts like yours and a choir of people like me stating what we think is obvious to us. Those around in 2009 when it wasn’t obvious to us or others.

Sure but that isn't the confusion, the confusion is that

Attack action == standard action single attack
Single attack != Attack action

Attack action is listed in the types of actions a player can perform.
Single attack is not a listed action a player can perform.

Now I think i'm in agreement with the intent, but i still can't see that line connecting the two without a leap and an assumption.


bobsayshi wrote:
James Risner wrote:
bobsayshi wrote:
The annoying part is that none of the books i've found differentiate this.

The core is crystal clear, if you understand the words.

They define two types of generic actions to attack.
Attack action - standard action single attack.
Full attack action - full attack action more than one attack.

All this was bashed out in 2009, and never since.
Now a days you get posts like yours and a choir of people like me stating what we think is obvious to us. Those around in 2009 when it wasn’t obvious to us or others.

Sure but that isn't the confusion, the confusion is that

Attack action == standard action single attack
Single attack != Attack action

Attack action is listed in the types of actions a player can perform.
Single attack is not a listed action a player can perform.

Now I think i'm in agreement with the intent, but i still can't see that line connecting the two without a leap and an assumption.

A full attack will contain multiple single attacks. e.g, BAB +6 is two single attacks. An AoO is a single attack. SUaS is a single attack. Along with any number of other feats and abilities. A single attack is not an action in and of itself. Its just an attack.

The attack action, per FAQ, is the specific standard action to make a single attack.


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Cavall wrote:
FormerFiend wrote:

Cheating can be done in good humor. Especially when said cheating is not abusive.

One needs to remember that the game isn't competitive but cooperative. Playing a martial character and fudging the rules to get more out of the vital strike feat chain than the RAW strictly allows benefits the whole of the group. It's certainly not going to break the game.

And if one take advantage of a dm's ignorance on the minutia of the rules to get that little edge, well that's more a friendly ribbing than anything. And any DM who's reaction to figuring it out isn't to laugh and say "you got me" is a DM who I'm probably not going to have a lot of fun playing with to start with.

I'd be that DM then. Considering my reaction to reading this.

Count me as that DM as well. The game is fun. People who think "I've pulled one over on someone else is fun or entertaining" is just meh. If you can't have fun without that kind of attitude, then your right, you would not enjoy my table. But that would be nothing to do with the type of game I run, and more to do with you as a person.


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I can't even imagine a GM finding out you were intentionally cheating going "you got me" like it's a prank oor something, I would expect it to be more like, "Why would you do that? "

It is abusing your friend's trust. I just don't understand where you're coming from on this, Former Fiend, am I missing something?

Scarab Sages

A prank is just an abuse of trust with small/funny consequences. Some people like em, some don't. Though it's supposed to be small enough that "abuse" is too strong a word.


Sah wrote:

I can't even imagine a GM finding out you were intentionally cheating going "you got me" like it's a prank oor something, I would expect it to be more like, "Why would you do that? "

It is abusing your friend's trust. I just don't understand where you're coming from on this, Former Fiend, am I missing something?

My gm would just let you play and simply fudge around your abuse of the rules so as to render it moot.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies, Representative - D20 Hobbies

bobsayshi wrote:

Attack action is listed in the types of actions a player can perform.

Single attack is not a listed action a player can perform.

On your turn you take actions, you don’t attack.

If you have no feats and all your class abilities do not allow attacks, then the only way for you to attack is the full attack action or the attack action and the attack of opportunity assuming someone provokes.

When you start taking feats (like SUaA), you gain new ways to attack. This is not the attack action. Otherwise it would be “Step up and Attack action”.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It's not hard, but does raise some confusion (I will advocate for the term "strike" to mean a single attack another time).

If the action you are using is not the standard action called "Attack" (known commonly as the "attack action", which is a specific standard action), then Vital Strike doesn't work. This is why Vital Strike is worded the way it is. To be more generally applicable it would need to say something like "when making an attack" or "when making an attack or full-attack action".

As James Risner says, several abilities/feats/class features include "as a [standard, move, free, immediate, swift] action, [do whatever]", and unless they say "as an attack action", Vital Strike doesn't work with them.


<standing on soap box>
A bit off-topic ... I just played a session, where a team-member consistently attempted to use Lunge to give himself reach until his next turn ... after being repeatedly pointed to the rules.

In previous games, I've seen people perform / attempt to perform actions which violate the rules. In each case, I either find myself having to implicitly support their actions, or call them on it.

Either way, it disrupts my enjoyment of things as a player ...

Back on topic -- as a player who took a player to level 12 in PFS using the vital strike watching someone advocate to bypass rules, it's sad.

For the original poster ... look up the divine fighting feat related to vital strike ... if you do this right, you charge the enemy (per divine fighting feat, you can vital strike), then if they 5' away from you, step-up and strike allows you to follow them, and then make an AoO (which the divine fighting feat would then allow you to make a vital strike on).

<-- using rules correctly to allow the poster to do what he looks like he is asking.
</standing on soap box>


meyerwilliam wrote:

<standing on soap box>

...

<-- using rules correctly to allow the poster to do what he looks like he is asking.
</standing on soap box>

Thanks for telling me what i was asking.

I was just asking if it could or could not. As mention here have implied lying and cheating is not fun and i didn't want to be doing this. I had my assumption, but i couldn't find a clear rationale for the decision, additionally i couldn't find a previous discussion of a feat with a similar language - so i figured i'd ask.

To me there was some implied knowledge that you had to have from a FAQ or other decisions to learn that an attack vs attack action were difference, it wasn't clearly spelled out in the core rules.

I found a bit more clarity in that connection, to me however it is still not a clear tangible line without some background knowledge, but regardless it seems the consensus is clear either way.


The point is can you make a Vital Strike as part of a AoO ?
As written you cannot make a VS as a AoO, so you cannot use SuAS and VS together.
SuAS indicate clearly that it is a AoO and it is a Immediate Action, and VS use Attack Action, you cannot use VS.
A lot of No for something that could be usefull to Martial Characters... As we use to say "Martials never get good things"...


Yondu wrote:

The point is can you make a Vital Strike as part of a AoO ?

As written you cannot make a VS as a AoO, so you cannot use SuAS and VS together.
SuAS indicate clearly that it is a AoO and it is a Immediate Action, and VS use Attack Action, you cannot use VS.
A lot of No for something that could be usefull to Martial Characters... As we use to say "Martials never get good things"...

look at the divine feat Greatsword Battler it let you make a VS with one AoO only if you have make a VS before the AoO

''Initial Benefit(s): If you have the Vital Strike feat, you can apply its effect to an attack you make with a greatsword at the end of a charge. If you don’t have the Vital Strike feat, that attack deals 1 additional point of damage instead. The first time you make an attack of opportunity with a greatsword after using Vital Strike with a greatsword on your turn, you can apply Vital Strike to that attack of opportunity.''


John Murdock wrote:
Yondu wrote:

The point is can you make a Vital Strike as part of a AoO ?

As written you cannot make a VS as a AoO, so you cannot use SuAS and VS together.
SuAS indicate clearly that it is a AoO and it is a Immediate Action, and VS use Attack Action, you cannot use VS.
A lot of No for something that could be usefull to Martial Characters... As we use to say "Martials never get good things"...

look at the divine feat Greatsword Battler it let you make a VS with one AoO only if you have make a VS before the AoO

''Initial Benefit(s): If you have the Vital Strike feat, you can apply its effect to an attack you make with a greatsword at the end of a charge. If you don’t have the Vital Strike feat, that attack deals 1 additional point of damage instead. The first time you make an attack of opportunity with a greatsword after using Vital Strike with a greatsword on your turn, you can apply Vital Strike to that attack of opportunity.''

Hi John,

You're right in this case with this specific feat, with a specific weapon and with the right combination of feats, you can do it but it does not change the base rule.
The question was if it is possible with the feats he gave, and it was not.


sorry, i didn't really understand what you meant originally before i post, i thought you meant something else, now its clearer with what you said. yeah you are right without that combo no VS on an AoO


FormerFiend wrote:

Cheating can be done in good humor. Especially when said cheating is not abusive.

One needs to remember that the game isn't competitive but cooperative. Playing a martial character and fudging the rules to get more out of the vital strike feat chain than the RAW strictly allows benefits the whole of the group. It's certainly not going to break the game.

And if one take advantage of a dm's ignorance on the minutia of the rules to get that little edge, well that's more a friendly ribbing than anything. And any DM who's reaction to figuring it out isn't to laugh and say "you got me" is a DM who I'm probably not going to have a lot of fun playing with to start with.

I've played with people like you. At least now I know their mind set better. didn't make sense to me before. Since its cooperative why try to cheat the DM? Granted not a huge deal but a lot of this behavior is annoying. I eventually don't invite people back for overdoing this kind of stuff. I've had players that are very rules oriented and they would be upset by this as well.

Also (to be on topic) I personally allow vital strike to be used in conjunction with charges and several other options. so That wouldn't bother me. It would be a house rule however. I might be a little hesitant on AOO isn't their a feat that does something similar to that?


John Murdock wrote:
sorry, i didn't really understand what you meant originally before i post, i thought you meant something else, now its clearer with what you said. yeah you are right without that combo no VS on an AoO

No issue, John, maybe I was not enough explicit, English is not my native language..:-)


Yondu wrote:
No issue, John, maybe I was not enough explicit, English is not my native language..:-)

i understand too often too, english is also not my native language so from time to time i can have difficulties to always correctly understand what people say or write


You two's polite mannerisms totally make up for it however^^^


It's nice to know that in the Rules Question section, barely anyone references the rules or any errata'd or added rules from FAQ, and instead constantly implies i was trying to cheat.

Apparently my sarcasm in my last post was too slight for many here.


A level 6 vigilante with Vital Punishment can actually do one AOO per round with Vital Strike. And a level 10 rogue can steal this ability via Stalker Talent...


bobsayshi wrote:

It's nice to know that in the Rules Question section, barely anyone references the rules or any errata'd or added rules from FAQ, and instead constantly implies i was trying to cheat.

Apparently my sarcasm in my last post was too slight for many here.

Hmm, didn't think the cheating commentary was directed at you, rather another poster who admitted knowing how the rule works, but advocated slipping past the GM if they were less savvy, bit a a siderail from your question.


Java Man wrote:
bobsayshi wrote:

It's nice to know that in the Rules Question section, barely anyone references the rules or any errata'd or added rules from FAQ, and instead constantly implies i was trying to cheat.

Apparently my sarcasm in my last post was too slight for many here.

Hmm, didn't think the cheating commentary was directed at you, rather another poster who admitted knowing how the rule works, but advocated slipping past the GM if they were less savvy, bit a a siderail from your question.

Some where.

Regardless now though it seems like there is no clear answer, other than a no. Found through some implied FAQ, that hashed it out years back without actually going and fixing or defining the things properly; some added knowledge that everyone apparently is supposed to know and interpret their extrapolated intended results.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Jason Bulmahn on what type of action Vital Strike uses, from 2009.

To the best of my knowledge neither he nor PDT as a whole have ever said anything else.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies, Representative - D20 Hobbies

There is no FAQ on this because they didn’t start FAQkng things until years past the start.

What you see, bobsayshi, is a consensus about how the rules work.

Go to the core, look up actions in combat. You will see Attack action is a standard.
Attacks of Opportunity are no actions. You don’t gain a standard action with AoO.

Does that help?

If not, ask more clearly what part is confusing and I’ll try again.


bobsayshi, my understanding of your confusion is that you think that 'single melee attack' and 'attack action' are or should be synonyms. They are not. They are related, but different things. Not because of an FAQ or special instructions on reading Pathfinder, but because that's how parsing English works.

If this is NOT the source of your confusion, I am in error and apologize in advance.


Dallium wrote:

bobsayshi, my understanding of your confusion is that you think that 'single melee attack' and 'attack action' are or should be synonyms. They are not. They are related, but different things. Not because of an FAQ or special instructions on reading Pathfinder, but because that's how parsing English works.

If this is NOT the source of your confusion, I am in error and apologize in advance.

That I believe is the source of the confusion. Without some outside knowledge, the available 'Actions in Combat' don't define a 'single melee attack' as a term which leaves only really two options, it isn't in the list or it is equivalent to an attack action which is a single attack. As a standalone either are really equivalent, only after considering the weight of balance for each can you start to make assumptions about what is intended or not.

The jump from, it's a term undefined but should be handled separately, is one that is really only found through FAQ and general past interpretations and not any rule set.
It doesn't appear even a direct FAQ tries to correct it, just answers that you can compare to. I still think that they should have just added a line to table8-2 to resolve all the confusion clearly and future questions while keeping with the intent.


The answer is in the first feat of the Step Up line, you take an immediate action to follow the 5-stepping opponent and all is linked to this immediate action, and as VS is not an immediate action, you cannot VS (in a standard configuration, without specific feats or power..)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

It is interesting that there are some feats/class abilities that allow for AoO's to use Vital Strike (At least on the first one in a round). Normally, it is an indicator that they are allowing an exception to what is not normally done.

Most of the time, Vital Strike is a single attack done on the character's turn.

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