do the Push and Pull maneuvers provoke AoOs?


Rules Questions


My search-fu is failing me. If a monster uses the push/pull monster ability on someone, or an eidolon uses the push/pull evolutions (basically the same as the monster abilities) on them, does the victim get an attack of opportunity?

The use of push/pull is consistently described as a combat maneuver check.

Unless otherwise noted, performing a combat maneuver provokes an attack of opportunity from the target of the maneuver. If you are hit by the target, you take the damage normally and apply that amount as a penalty to the attack roll to perform the maneuver.

The similar monster grab ability specifies it is used "without provoking an attack of opportunity" (though the grab evolution doesn't say that). The push/pull entries say no such thing.

OTOH, someone could argue that push/pull are not actually combat maneuvers, just something very similar that is implemented as a combat maneuver check.

So... which way is it? (Please don't say "ask your GM" as I am the GM and I've been waffling over it.)


Pull wrote:
An eidolon gains the ability to pull creatures closer with a successful attack. Select one type of natural attack. Whenever the eidolon makes a successful attack of the selected type, it can attempt a free combat maneuver check. If successful, the target of the attack is pulled 5 feet closer to the eidolon. This ability only works on creatures of a size equal to or smaller than the eidolon. Creatures pulled in this way do not provoke attacks of opportunity. The eidolon must have a reach of 10 feet or more to select this evolution. This evolution can be selected more than once. Its effects do not stack. Each time an eidolon selects this evolution, it applies to a different natural attack.
Push wrote:
An eidolon gains the ability to push creatures away with a successful attack. Select one type of natural attack. Whenever the eidolon makes a successful attack of the selected type, it can attempt a free combat maneuver check. If successful, the target of the attack is pushed 5 feet directly away from the eidolon. This ability only works on creatures of a size equal to or smaller than the eidolon. Creatures pushed in this way do not provoke attacks of opportunity. This evolution can be selected more than once. Its effects do not stack. Each time an eidolon selects this evolution, it applies to a different natural attack.

Ask your GM on how they work.

I agree with the other hand, they aren't combat maneuvers, they're combat maneuver checks.

Comparing their wording to awesome blow, there's a definite difference in wording.

Awesome Blow wrote:
As a standard action, the creature may perform an awesome blow combat maneuver. If the creature’s maneuver succeeds against a corporeal opponent smaller than itself, its opponent takes damage (typically slam damage plus Strength bonus) and is knocked flying 10 feet in a direction of the attacking creature’s choice and falls prone. The attacking creature can only push the opponent in a straight line, and the opponent can’t move closer to the attacking creature than the square it started in. If an obstacle prevents the completion of the opponent’s move, the opponent and the obstacle each take 1d6 points of damage, and the opponent is knocked prone in the space adjacent to the obstacle.

So I would say they don't provoke.


I think this comes down to action economy. I was under the assumption that Free and Swift actions couldn't promote AoO. This is why Quickened Spells don't promote.


SorrySleeping wrote:
I think this comes down to action economy. I was under the assumption that Free and Swift actions couldn't promote AoO. This is why Quickened Spells don't promote.

No, the reason quickened spells don't provoke is this line in the magic rules.

Quote:
Casting a spell with a casting time of 1 swift action doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity.

Moving as a swift or free action still provokes, as does drinking a potion, etc.


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by RAW they provoke, as per quoted by the OP. By RAI? Well, lets see. Looking at the universal rules I see 7 abilities that are resolved as and/or reference combat maneuvers:

Capsize
Grab
Pull
Push
Smother
Sallow Whole
Trample

Only two of those abilities state if an AoO happens as a result, grab says no and trample says yes. Swallow Whole and Smother are basically just new grapple options meaning there isn't really a question about provoking since the can't even be used until after a grapple has been established.

I think trample helps establish that the other 3 abilities probably should provoke. Since it basically clarifies that even though no combat maneuver check was rolled, it still provokes AoO. So, it seems that it's the intention that these abilities provoke. Unless of course the monster entry specifies that it doesn't provoke when using the ability.

edit: just because its a free action to perform the combat maneuver it doesn't mean it doesn't provoke. We see this with the investigator talent Twilight Talon Improvisation. Part of the confusion is that often times a feat that lets you make a combat maneuver for free chains off of the one that makes performing said maneuver not provoke.


Hmm, so far the hivemind is waffly too.

LordKailas (or anyone else in the "they provoke" camp), what do you think of this RAI argument?

If pull/push provoke AoOs, there's a clear need for monster feats Improved Pull/Push to make them not do so. Moreover, we'd expect that a bunch of pulling/pushing monsters would have those feats. The fact that they don't exist suggests that they would be redundant, i.e. that AoOs are already not an issue.


Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:

Hmm, so far the hivemind is waffly too.

LordKailas (or anyone else in the "they provoke" camp), what do you think of this RAI argument?

If pull/push provoke AoOs, there's a clear need for monster feats Improved Pull/Push to make them not do so. Moreover, we'd expect that a bunch of pulling/pushing monsters would have those feats. The fact that they don't exist suggests that they would be redundant, i.e. that AoOs are already not an issue.

Does a feat need to exist for monsters to not provoke?

Certainly, the presence of a feat like improved push/pull that makes these actions not provoke would confirm that they normally do. But the absence of such feats doesn't automatically make the opposite true.

As for them having the relevant feat to negate AoO isn't necessarily the case.

Kigyo Oni for example have multiple grapple abilities but shockingly lack grab or improved grapple. While you could argue that it doesn't need it for it's eddy ability. It's second ability applies to all grapple attempts it makes meaning use of that ability can result in an AoO as per the normal grapple rules.

In looking at examples of monsters with push and/or pull abilities I've noticed the following:

Some monsters (but not all) with push have improved bull rush, but don't list bullrush as something it can do for free in conjunction with it's normal attacks. Suggesting that Push is being treated like bullrush (see cervine protector).

Monsters that have the pull ability have it attached to an attack that has 10ft reach or more. This means that the combat maneuver doesn't provoke unless it's attacking something with similar reach as per this FAQ.


LordKailas wrote:
Does a feat need to exist for monsters to not provoke?

No, but they do need an ability to not provoke when performing a combat maneuver, since per the combat rules, performing a combat maneuver provokes.

Quote:
Certainly, the presence of a feat like improved push/pull that makes these actions not provoke would confirm that they normally do. But the absence of such feats doesn't automatically make the opposite true.

No, but the rule does make it true.

Quote:

As for them having the relevant feat to negate AoO isn't necessarily the case.

Kigyo Oni for example have multiple grapple abilities but shockingly lack grab or improved grapple. While you could argue that it doesn't need it for it's eddy ability. It's second ability applies to all grapple attempts it makes meaning use of that ability can result in an AoO as per the normal grapple rules.

Correct, if it attempted to grapple without using the eddy, it would provoke an AoO, because it lacks Improved Grapple.

Quote:

In looking at examples of monsters with push and/or pull abilities I've noticed the following:

Some monsters (but not all) with push have improved bull rush, but don't list bullrush as something it can do for free in conjunction with it's normal attacks. Suggesting that Push is being treated like bullrush (see cervine protector).

Monsters that have the pull ability have it attached to an attack that has 10ft reach or more. This means that the combat maneuver doesn't provoke unless it's attacking something with similar reach as per this FAQ.

That's due to the wording of those monster abilities.

Push wrote:

A creature with the push ability can choose to make a free combat maneuver check with a certain successful attack (often a slam attack). If successful, this check pushes a creature directly away as with a bull rush, but the distance moved is set by this ability. The type of attack that causes the push and the distance pushed are included in the creature’s description. This ability only works on creatures of a size equal to or Smaller than the pushing creature. Creatures pushed in this way do not provoke attacks of opportunity and stop if the push would move them into a solid object or creature.

Format: push (slam, 10 feet); Location: Special Attacks and individual attacks.

Pull wrote:

A creature with this ability can choose to make a free combat maneuver check with a successful attack. If successful, this check pulls a creature closer. The distance pulled is set by this ability. The type of attack that causes the pull and the distance pulled are included in the creature’s description. This ability only works on creatures of a size equal to or smaller than the pulling creature. Creatures pulled in this way do not provoke attacks of opportunity and stop if the pull would move them into a solid object or creature.

Format: pull (tentacle, 5 feet); Location: Special Attacks and individual attacks

Push creatures have Imp. Bull rush, because push works like bull rush. Pull only works if the attack has a range of 10 feet or more as you can't pull them into your square.

The issue is eidolon evolutions don't just grant the monster ability, instead using their own wording.


willuwontu wrote:
LordKailas wrote:
Does a feat need to exist for monsters to not provoke?
No, but they do need an ability to not provoke when performing a combat maneuver, since per the combat rules, performing a combat maneuver provokes.

why does that facilitate the need for a feat?

monks take a penalty to hit when they flurry, does that mean a feat "needs" to exist to negate that penalty? Just because there is a downside to using an ability or combat option doesn't mean a feat must exist that removes said downside.

willuwontu wrote:
Quote:
Certainly, the presence of a feat like improved push/pull that makes these actions not provoke would confirm that they normally do. But the absence of such feats doesn't automatically make the opposite true.
No, but the rule does make it true.

??? what rule?

willuwontu wrote:

Pull only works if the attack has a range of 10 feet or more as you can't pull them into your square.

The issue is eidolon evolutions don't just grant the monster ability, instead using their own wording.

While its true that an eidolon must have a reach of 10 feet in order to take the ability, there is no such limitation on using it. Using it on a creature who is next to you might not make sense under normal conditions because it doesn't do anything beneficial, but doesn't mean you can't perform the action.


willuwontu wrote:
The issue is eidolon evolutions don't just grant the monster ability, instead using their own wording.

Could you expand on this? I can't find any wording differences between eidolon and monster abilities that impact the question of provoking.


LordKailas wrote:

why does that facilitate the need for a feat?

monks take a penalty to hit when they flurry, does that mean a feat "needs" to exist to negate that penalty? Just because there is a downside to using an ability or combat option doesn't mean a feat must exist that removes said downside.

I think you misunderstood, I'm not saying that there needs to be a feat for those abilities. I'm saying, that if it's a combat maneuver, they need an ability to negate the AoO, otherwise they provoke one.

Quote:
??? what rule?

This one.

Unless otherwise noted, performing a combat maneuver provokes an attack of opportunity from the target of the maneuver. If you are hit by the target, you take the damage normally and apply that amount as a penalty to the attack roll to perform the maneuver.
Quote:
While its true that an eidolon must have a reach of 10 feet in order to take the ability, there is no such limitation on using it. Using it on a creature who is next to you might not make sense under normal conditions because it doesn't do anything beneficial, but doesn't mean you can't perform the action.

Oh fair point, I missed that that wasn't included. The only potential use I can think of, is making a reach weapon user unable to 5ft back and attack you.


Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
willuwontu wrote:
The issue is eidolon evolutions don't just grant the monster ability, instead using their own wording.
Could you expand on this? I can't find any wording differences between eidolon and monster abilities that impact the question of provoking.

For instance, push no longer functions like bull rush for an eidolon, pull lost its restrictions on pulling creatures.


willuwontu wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
willuwontu wrote:
The issue is eidolon evolutions don't just grant the monster ability, instead using their own wording.
Could you expand on this? I can't find any wording differences between eidolon and monster abilities that impact the question of provoking.
For instance, push no longer functions like bull rush for an eidolon, pull lost its restrictions on pulling creatures.

Do you conclude that therefore they provoke for eidolons but not for monsters? Or vice versa? Or do you think neither provokes because of the "combat maneuver check" language?


Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
willuwontu wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
willuwontu wrote:
The issue is eidolon evolutions don't just grant the monster ability, instead using their own wording.
Could you expand on this? I can't find any wording differences between eidolon and monster abilities that impact the question of provoking.
For instance, push no longer functions like bull rush for an eidolon, pull lost its restrictions on pulling creatures.
Do you conclude that therefore they provoke for eidolons but not for monsters? Or vice versa? Or do you think neither provokes because of the "combat maneuver check" language?

I think they don't provoke for either.


willuwontu wrote:
I think they don't provoke for either.

Odd, your responses seem to indicate the exact opposite. Since you seem to agree with me on every point.

edit: I've been trying to follow your logic and it seems to be

Since the rule states, Combat maneuvers provoke AoO unless otherwise specified. Push and Pull must not provoke an AoO even though it is not specified that they do not provoke, because otherwise push and pull would provoke thanks to the rule?

It's like saying the no parking sign must not apply because if it did then you wouldn't be able to park there.....

Grand Lodge

I don't think they provoke in either instance.

Both use the wording: free combat maneuver check. (usually with a slam attack)

The wording on the combat maneuvers is performing a combat maneuver provokes an attack of opportunity. Not making a check.

Since you are not performing a combat maneuver and only making the check, I would say they don't provoke.


LordKailas wrote:
willuwontu wrote:
I think they don't provoke for either.

Odd, your responses seem to indicate the exact opposite. Since you seem to agree with me on every point.

edit: I've been trying to follow your logic and it seems to be

Since the rule states, Combat maneuvers provoke AoO unless otherwise specified. Push and Pull must not provoke an AoO even though it is not specified that they do not provoke, because otherwise push and pull would provoke thanks to the rule?

It's like saying the no parking sign must not apply because if it did then you wouldn't be able to park there.....

Jared has the gist of what I've been saying, they're not combat maneuvers, they're combat maneuver checks. If we compare to the language of awesome blow, we see that the abilities are not granting combat maneuvers, just making combat maneuver checks as part of the ability.


Jared Walter 356 wrote:

I don't think they provoke in either instance.

Both use the wording: free combat maneuver check. (usually with a slam attack)

The wording on the combat maneuvers is performing a combat maneuver provokes an attack of opportunity. Not making a check.

Since you are not performing a combat maneuver and only making the check, I would say they don't provoke.

Shock wave blunderbuss has the same phrase and then proceeds to go out of its way to explain that it doesn't provoke an AoO.

Gallow dead also uses the same phrase(chains of the dead) and Its lack of a grab ability or improved grapple seems to suggest that this ability would provoke an AoO. Provided of course that the enemy its striking has 10ft reach or better.


Only three people taking a stand? There must be more people with opinions on this. Actual experience, even---have you ever played or GM'd a character whose pet had push or pull? How was it ruled? Ditto for monster encounters....


Jared Walter 356 wrote:

I don't think they provoke in either instance.

Both use the wording: free combat maneuver check. (usually with a slam attack)

The wording on the combat maneuvers is performing a combat maneuver provokes an attack of opportunity. Not making a check.

Since you are not performing a combat maneuver and only making the check, I would say they don't provoke.

I don't think there is any meaningful distinction to be made by stating "make a combat manuever check" vs "perform a combat manuever". Different words to mean the same thing IMO. Eg, if you perform a manuever you make a check to see if it succeeds. If you are making a combat manuever check, it is because you are a combat manuever.

This really looks more like authorial freedom of use of words to state something without being repetetive.

Grand Lodge

bbangerter wrote:


I don't think there is any meaningful distinction to be made by stating "make a combat manuever check" vs "perform a combat manuever". Different words to mean the same thing IMO. Eg, if you perform a manuever you make a check to see if it succeeds. If you are making a combat manuever check, it is because you are a combat manuever.

This really looks more like authorial freedom of use of words to state something without being repetetive.

Maybe. If so, sloppy writing. However other free checks like grab, specifically call out of that you make a combat maneuver as a free action that doesn't provoke an attack of opportunity. This one says you make a combat maneuver check. I think it's far more likely that they realized that could say space by saying "make a CM check" than "make a CM as a free action, that doesn't provoke an attack of opportunity"

A combat maneuver triggering a check, doesn't necessarily mean that a combat maneuver check is always triggered by a combat maneuver. Just as damage always follows a successful attack, but not all damage comes from an attack.

attacks of opportunity are generally triggered by a character taking a specific type of action that causes you to drop your guard. The action being taken here is attack, not combat maneuver. Attack doesn't typically provoke. Therefore logically tacked extras don't provoke.

In my mind, this ability functions like other attack add-ons such as trip, or grab.

Hasn't come up for me in my GMing, but I wouldn't have them provoke AoOs.

Grand Lodge

LordKailas wrote:

Shock wave blunderbuss has the same phrase and then proceeds to go out of its way to explain that it doesn't provoke an AoO.

Gallow dead also uses the same phrase(chains of the dead) and Its lack of a grab ability or improved grapple seems to suggest that this ability would provoke an AoO. Provided of course that the enemy its striking has 10ft reach or better.

Disagree about Gallow Dead as well. I don't see that this would provoke an AoO either. It seems like this is a special property of the weapon, and doesn't need grab or improved grapple to function.

Blunderbuss seems to call out that you use the weapons bonus, and that differently from normal trip checks, you cannot knock yourself prone. It reads to me more like reminder text than special rules. Particularly because they move that section back 2 sentences.

This may be an "agree to disagree" situation, because I can't see it working the way you see it.


After looking over things again and reviewing it critically I can see why you make a distinction. Initiating a combat maneuver is different from making a combat maneuver check. Grapple is probably the clearest example of this delineation. If you don't have improved grapple and you attempt to initiate a grapple you will provoke an AoO.

However, if you are successful despite the AoO you would not provoke from the enemy again when you make your grapple check to maintain the grapple.

So, what it really boils down to.

Are push, pull, capsize and awesome blow combat maneuvers?

I believe that they are combat maneuvers because these actions call for a combat maneuver check instead of some other kind of check. Since they are combat maneuvers they would provoke an AoO when the character initiates it unless an ability, feat or just plain positioning prevents the AoO. A creature's CMD is literally its ability to resist combat maneuvers.

Its worth noting that if you initiate a grapple against something that doesn't threaten your square (for example a tiny creature who is adjacent to you), you don't provoke an AoO. So the combat maneuver called pull will rarely provoke since the purpose of it is to bring enemies adjacent to you and the typical targets (PCs) don't tend to threaten anything that's not adjacent.

Grand Lodge

LordKailas wrote:


So, what it really boils down to.

Are push, pull, capsize and awesome blow combat maneuvers?

I agree that this is what it boils down to. I don't agree that they are combat maneuvers. In my mind, they are extra effects of an attack using a combat maneuver check to establish effectiveness. Similar to poison, stun, fear, paralysis, etc. that many creatures inflict as part of their attacks. These may require a save as a spell-like ability would, but their use is not a SLA.

The wording of combat maneuvers and AoO states that performing a combat maneuver provokes and AoO, and that damage is added to the check. In other words, the act of performing the maneuver triggers the AoO, and also then triggers the CM check. It is the action of the combat maneuver, not the check that is triggering the AoO. This is a three event chain. push and pull initiate only the last part of the chain.
ie. Perform maneuver --> Resolve AoO --> make & resolve CM check.

Copied from above:
Unless otherwise noted, performing a combat maneuver provokes an attack of opportunity from the target of the maneuver. If you are hit by the target, you take the damage normally and apply that amount as a penalty to the attack roll to perform the maneuver.

Like I said, I think we are in the agree to disagree territory, as we are fundamentally different in our interpretation of what constitutes making a combat maneuver.


Jared Walter 356 wrote:
LordKailas wrote:

So, what it really boils down to.

Are push, pull, capsize and awesome blow combat maneuvers?

I agree that this is what it boils down to. I don't agree that they are combat maneuvers. In my mind, they are extra effects of an attack using a combat maneuver check to establish effectiveness. Similar to poison, stun, fear, paralysis, etc. that many creatures inflict as part of their attacks. These may require a save as a spell-like ability would, but their use is not a SLA.

The abilities you're talking about are very well defined however. They fall into one of 3 categories. Extraordinary, Supernatural and Spell-like. Yes, there are extraordinary abilities that trigger saving throws, but saving throws are not exclusive to spells. They represent the creature's ability to avoid danger whether though mental fortitude, reflexes or physical endurance. Even in a campaign that features no magic you would still have saving throws because they apply to more then just spells.

In the same way that an ability that requires a combat maneuver check is by definition a combat maneuver, an ability that requires an attack roll is by definition an attack.

I recognize the consistency in your logic. If you were my DM and ruled that these abilities were not combat maneuvers then I agree that the result is that they do not provoke an AoO. I would disagree on the definition of these abilities but not with the ensuing logic.


LordKailas wrote:

So, what it really boils down to.

Are push, pull, capsize and awesome blow combat maneuvers?

To reiterate the abilities and wordings of these maneuvers.

Pull wrote:
An eidolon gains the ability to pull creatures closer with a successful attack. Select one type of natural attack. Whenever the eidolon makes a successful attack of the selected type, it can attempt a free combat maneuver check. If successful, the target of the attack is pulled 5 feet closer to the eidolon. This ability only works on creatures of a size equal to or smaller than the eidolon. Creatures pulled in this way do not provoke attacks of opportunity. The eidolon must have a reach of 10 feet or more to select this evolution. This evolution can be selected more than once. Its effects do not stack. Each time an eidolon selects this evolution, it applies to a different natural attack.
Push wrote:
An eidolon gains the ability to push creatures away with a successful attack. Select one type of natural attack. Whenever the eidolon makes a successful attack of the selected type, it can attempt a free combat maneuver check. If successful, the target of the attack is pushed 5 feet directly away from the eidolon. This ability only works on creatures of a size equal to or smaller than the eidolon. Creatures pushed in this way do not provoke attacks of opportunity. This evolution can be selected more than once. Its effects do not stack. Each time an eidolon selects this evolution, it applies to a different natural attack.
Awesome Blow wrote:
As a standard action, the creature may perform an awesome blow combat maneuver. If the creature’s maneuver succeeds against a corporeal opponent smaller than itself, its opponent takes damage (typically slam damage plus Strength bonus) and is knocked flying 10 feet in a direction of the attacking creature’s choice and falls prone. The attacking creature can only push the opponent in a straight line, and the opponent can’t move closer to the attacking creature than the square it started in. If an obstacle prevents the completion of the opponent’s move, the opponent and the obstacle each take 1d6 points of damage, and the opponent is knocked prone in the space adjacent to the obstacle.
Capsize wrote:
A creature with this special quality can attempt to capsize a boat or a ship by ramming it as a charge attack and making a combat maneuver check. The DC of this check is 25, or the result of the captain’s Profession (sailor) check, whichever is higher. For each size category the ship is larger than the creature attempting to capsize it, the creature attempting to capsize the ship takes a cumulative –10 penalty on its combat maneuver check.

Awesome blow has different wording than the others, while the others are vague on their status as a combat maneuver.

Given how Capsize is worded, if paizo were to attempt to give it bonuses through being a combat maneuver, I'm guessing they'd classify it as a bull rush.

Looking through monsters with capsize (using aonprd search), they all seem to have improved bull rush (while not noting they have a bonus to bull rushing in their CMB and CMD).

So in this case, I'm conceding that push and pull are combat maneuvers, and push would likely benefit from improved bull rush (whereas pull get nothing that benefits it).

Scarab Sages

Combat maneuvers provoke from the target. If Capsize does provoke, then it provokes from the boat. So maybe if it’s an intelligent boat capable of threatening and making melee attacks on its own?

For Trample, there are conditions on the AoO it grants. Namely that you only get to make one if you don’t attempt the reflex save.

Neither are particularly helpful for figuring out whether Push and Pull provoke.

Keep in mind that even if the creature provoked, the target still needs to be able to reach them to attack when they provoke.

I’m... not sure what the right answer is in this situation.

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