Trample ability


Rules Questions


Trample (Ex)
As a full-round action, a creature with the trample ability can attempt to overrun any creature that is at least one size category Smaller than itself. This works just like the overrun combat maneuver, but the trampling creature does not need to make a check, it merely has to move over opponents in its path. Targets of a trample take an amount of damage equal to the trampling creature’s slam damage + 1-1/2 times its Str modifier. Targets of a trample can make an attack of opportunity, but at a –4 penalty. If targets forgo an attack of opportunity, they can attempt to avoid the trampling creature and receive a Reflex save to take half damage. The save DC against a creature’s trample attack is 10 + 1/2 the creature’s HD + the creature’s Str modifier (the exact DC is given in the creature’s descriptive text). A trampling creature can only deal trampling damage to each target once per round, no matter how many times its movement takes it over a target creature.

"Attempt" to me says chance of failure. Is there one? If so what is the chance (an attack roll)?


You make an Overrun combat maneuver.

If you fail, you don't overrun them. So yes, there is a chance of failure. You make a combat maneuver roll with any special bonuses you might have for Overrun and if you succeed you overrun them and deal damage. If you fail, you stop if front of the creature.


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Anvil Mithrashield wrote:

Trample (Ex)

As a full-round action, a creature with the trample ability can attempt to overrun any creature that is at least one size category Smaller than itself. This works just like the overrun combat maneuver, but the trampling creature does not need to make a check, it merely has to move over opponents in its path. Targets of a trample take an amount of damage equal to the trampling creature’s slam damage + 1-1/2 times its Str modifier. Targets of a trample can make an attack of opportunity, but at a –4 penalty. If targets forgo an attack of opportunity, they can attempt to avoid the trampling creature and receive a Reflex save to take half damage. The save DC against a creature’s trample attack is 10 + 1/2 the creature’s HD + the creature’s Str modifier (the exact DC is given in the creature’s descriptive text). A trampling creature can only deal trampling damage to each target once per round, no matter how many times its movement takes it over a target creature.

"Attempt" to me says chance of failure. Is there one? If so what is the chance (an attack roll)?

Attempt in this case is referring to the creature who has to make the save.

In this part of the description of the special attack Trample it says the following:
Targets of a trample take an amount of damage equal to the trampling creature’s slam damage + 1-1/2 times its Str modifier. Targets of a trample can make an attack of opportunity, but at a –4 penalty. If targets forgo an attack of opportunity, they can attempt to avoid the trampling creature and receive a Reflex save to take half damage.

The last sentence says: If targets forgo an attack of opportunity, they can attempt to avoid the trampling creature and receive a Reflex save to take half damage.

The bold section highlights the part of what the "Attempt" is referring to. Also, unlike overrun, the targets of trample have to be at least one size category smaller than the creature Attempting to Trample them. Because of this, they cannot merely allow the creature with Trample, that is at least one size category or larger to pass through their square unharmed. The smaller targeted creatures have to make a reflex save to jump out of their way and take half damage upon a success without the feat evasion or similar ability.

To better understand how Trample works lets break up the wording a little and read through it.

First part As a full-round action, a creature with the trample ability can attempt to overrun any creature that is at least one size category Smaller than itself. This works just like the overrun combat maneuver, but the trampling creature does not need to make a check, it merely has to move over opponents in its path.

The first part says that it works like the overrun, but the trampling creature does not need to make a check.

Here is what at Overrun says:

Overrun
As a standard action, taken during your move or as part of a charge, you can attempt to overrun your target, moving through its square. You can only overrun an opponent who is no more than one size category larger than you. If you do not have the Improved Overrun feat, or a similar ability, initiating an overrun provokes an attack of opportunity from the target of your maneuver. If your overrun attempt fails, you stop in the space directly in front of the opponent, or the nearest open space in front of the creature if there are other creatures occupying that space.

When you attempt to overrun a target, it can choose to avoid you, allowing you to pass through its square without requiring an attack. If your target does not avoid you, make a combat maneuver check as normal. If your maneuver is successful, you move through the target’s space. If your attack exceeds your opponent’s CMD by 5 or more, you move through the target’s space and the target is knocked prone. If the target has more than two legs, add +2 to the DC of the combat maneuver attack roll for each additional leg it has.

Right off the bat we can see how the special attack Trample is upgraded from Overrun. Overrun is a standard action that is taken during your move or as part of a charge. That still leaves the character making the Overrun action to make another maneuver, unless it is making a Charge. Charging is a special full-round action that allows you to move up to twice your speed and attack during the action. Charging, however, carries tight restrictions on how you can move. Also, overrun only allows you to overrun a target (singular as in one) and that target: You can only overrun an opponent who is no more than one size category larger than you. Trample can target multiple creatures, but A trampling creature can only deal trampling damage to each target once per round, no matter how many times its movement takes it over a target creature.

So Overrun allows you to overrun an opponent who is no more than one size category larger than you and initiating an overrun provokes an attack of opportunity from the target of your maneuver.

Also, a key point of difference that has been explicitly overruled by the trample ability is this part of overrun: When you attempt to overrun a target, it can choose to avoid you, allowing you to pass through its square without requiring an attack. If your target does not avoid you, make a combat maneuver check as normal. If your maneuver is successful, you move through the target’s space. If your attack exceeds your opponent’s CMD by 5 or more, you move through the target’s space and the target is knocked prone.] This part right here is addressed in the Trample ability: This works just like the overrun combat maneuver, but the trampling creature does not need to make a check, it merely has to move over opponents in its path. Therefore, no roll is needed by the creature that is making the Trample Special attack. Trample does not allow the target that is one size category smaller than the Creature with Trample to avoid it without making a reflex roll to get out of the way.

Everything is written in the Special Attack under Trample which is formatted on creatures as
Format: trample (2d6+9, DC 20); Location: Special Attacks

I hope this helps to clear some things up.

Edited to close a bold tag.


A question we had a few games ago is can the trampling creature do a double move or just a single move as part of a trample?


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Penthau wrote:

A question we had a few games ago is can the trampling creature do a double move or just a single move as part of a trample?

It says it works like overrun with the key differences I pointed out. Overrun allows you to do a single move or a charge attack. The charge let's you move up to double your movement to attack a target, but there are restrictions.

Charging is a special full-round action that allows you to move up to twice your speed and attack during the action. Charging, however, carries tight restrictions on how you can move.

Movement During a Charge
You must move before your attack, not after. You must move at least 10 feet (2 squares) and may move up to double your speed directly toward the designated opponent. If you move a distance equal to your speed or less, you can also draw a weapon during a charge attack if your base attack bonus is at least +1.
You must have a clear path toward the opponent, and nothing can hinder your movement (such as difficult terrain or obstacles). You must move to the closest space from which you can attack the opponent. If this space is occupied or otherwise blocked, you can’t charge. If any line from your starting space to the ending space passes through a square that blocks movement, slows movement, or contains a creature (even an ally), you can’t charge. Helpless creatures don’t stop a charge.
If you don’t have line of sight to the opponent at the start of your turn, you can’t charge that opponent.
You can’t take a 5-foot step in the same round as a charge.
If you are able to take only a standard action on your turn, you can still charge, but you are only allowed to move up to your speed (instead of up to double your speed) and you cannot draw a weapon unless you possess the Quick Draw feat. You can’t use this option unless you are restricted to taking only a standard action on your turn.

Attacking on a Charge
After moving, you may make a single melee attack. You get a +2 bonus on the attack roll and take a –2 penalty to your AC until the start of your next turn.
A charging character gets a +2 bonus on combat maneuver attack rolls made to bull rush an opponent.
Even if you have extra attacks, such as from having a high enough base attack bonus or from using multiple weapons, you only get to make one attack during a charge.
Lances and Charge Attacks: A lance deals double damage if employed by a mounted character in a charge.
Weapons Readied against a Charge: Spears, tridents, and other weapons with the brace feature deal double damage when readied (set) and used against a charging character.

From <https://www.d20pfsrd.com/gamemastering/Combat/#Charge


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Pathfinder RPG Bestiary Frequently Asked Questions wrote:

Trample: The Trample Universal Monster Rule indicates that the monster is moving around as part of the trample, but it never says how far it can move. How far can a trampling creature move?

A trampling creature can move up to twice its land speed as part of the trample.


Zombre wrote:
Anvil Mithrashield wrote:

Trample (Ex)

As a full-round action, a creature with the trample ability can attempt to overrun any creature that is at least one size category Smaller than itself. This works just like the overrun combat maneuver, but the trampling creature does not need to make a check, it merely has to move over opponents in its path. Targets of a trample take an amount of damage equal to the trampling creature’s slam damage + 1-1/2 times its Str modifier. Targets of a trample can make an attack of opportunity, but at a –4 penalty. If targets forgo an attack of opportunity, they can attempt to avoid the trampling creature and receive a Reflex save to take half damage. The save DC against a creature’s trample attack is 10 + 1/2 the creature’s HD + the creature’s Str modifier (the exact DC is given in the creature’s descriptive text). A trampling creature can only deal trampling damage to each target once per round, no matter how many times its movement takes it over a target creature.

"Attempt" to me says chance of failure. Is there one? If so what is the chance (an attack roll)?

Attempt in this case is referring to the creature who has to make the save.

In this part of the description of the special attack Trample it says the following:
Targets of a trample take an amount of damage equal to the trampling creature’s slam damage + 1-1/2 times its Str modifier. Targets of a trample can make an attack of opportunity, but at a –4 penalty. If targets forgo an attack of opportunity, they can attempt to avoid the trampling creature and receive a Reflex save to take half damage.

The last sentence says: If targets forgo an attack of opportunity, they can attempt to avoid the trampling creature and receive a Reflex save to take half damage.

The bold section highlights the part of what the "Attempt" is referring to. Also, unlike overrun, the targets of trample have to be at least one size category smaller than the creature Attempting to Trample...

I don't wanna say I vehemently disagree with you and while I think your explanation was incredibly lengthy it really is you just rewriting what I can easily read. Did you have an alternative source to verify that is what the "attempt" is? Specifically attempt means chance of failure. Save for half is NOT a chance for failure.


On a side note. If you read "Overrun" it says as part of a "Charge" you can overrun an opponent. I don't think anyone needs clarification on what Overrun means there... you simple get to the next square - easy enough.

But attacking during a charge requires an attack action.

The way I read trample is you don't need to roll a CMB to overrun your target but, that says NOTHING about damage and an attack.

In my mind Trample is the 2nd part of a Charge whole round action which if you choose to attack and you hit the creature does slam + str×1.5.


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Anvil Mithrashield wrote:

On a side note. If you read "Overrun" it says as part of a "Charge" you can overrun an opponent. I don't think anyone needs clarification on what Overrun means there... you simple get to the next square - easy enough.

But attacking during a charge requires an attack action.

The way I read trample is you don't need to roll a CMB to overrun your target but, that says NOTHING about damage and an attack.

In my mind Trample is the 2nd part of a Charge whole round action which if you choose to attack and you hit the creature does slam + str×1.5.

“This works just like the overrun combat maneuver, but the trampling creature does not need to make a check, it merely has to move over opponents in its path.”


Zombre wrote:
Anvil Mithrashield wrote:

On a side note. If you read "Overrun" it says as part of a "Charge" you can overrun an opponent. I don't think anyone needs clarification on what Overrun means there... you simple get to the next square - easy enough.

But attacking during a charge requires an attack action.

The way I read trample is you don't need to roll a CMB to overrun your target but, that says NOTHING about damage and an attack.

In my mind Trample is the 2nd part of a Charge whole round action which if you choose to attack and you hit the creature does slam + str×1.5.

“This works just like the overrun combat maneuver, but the trampling creature does not need to make a check, it merely has to move over opponents in its path.”

Again, here is the problem. Where does it show what you wrote in official writing?

If you look at linear logic it's simple: Trample is Overrun and Overrun is Charge and Charge says if you wanna damage someone roll an attack. Trample says the overrun part of the charge needs no roll (but, in RAW Overrun does NO damage). Essentially the text for Overrun should say this ability allows you to move thru enemy squares. In my mind Trample damage is the damage done at the end of a Charge attack which requires an attack roll. But, I maintain the right to be wrong!


Penthau wrote:

A question we had a few games ago is can the trampling creature do a double move or just a single move as part of a trample?

I personally find that to be an insightful question because if Trample is NOT a Charge (overrun is a charge) then how is movement's limitation determined?

"Charging is a special full-round action that allows you to move up to twice your speed and attack during the action. Charging, however, carries tight restrictions on how you can move."

Dark Archive

Trample wrote:


As a full-round action, a creature with the trample ability can attempt to overrun any creature that is at least one size category Smaller than itself. This works just like the overrun combat maneuver, but the trampling creature does not need to make a check, it merely has to move over opponents in its path.

Usually an overrun requires a combat maneuver check (which is an attack roll) to see if it succeeds, however the text for trample tells us that the creature does not need to make a check, therefore there is no attack roll, the trample just happens and the way to avoid the attempt to trample you is by choosing to making a reflex save.


Richard Lowe wrote:
Trample wrote:


As a full-round action, a creature with the trample ability can attempt to overrun any creature that is at least one size category Smaller than itself. This works just like the overrun combat maneuver, but the trampling creature does not need to make a check, it merely has to move over opponents in its path.
Usually an overrun requires a combat maneuver check (which is an attack roll) to see if it succeeds, however the text for trample tells us that the creature does not need to make a check, therefore there is no attack roll, the trample just happens and the way to avoid the attempt to trample you is by choosing to making a reflex save.

Agreed! My issue is overrun just lets you move thru an enemy occupied square NOT attack. Charge let's you overrun and then there is the part that lets you attack. That attack has a chance for failure because of AC. The word "attempt" to me suggests the attack needs to be made not the CMB.

My issue with this is not can you get to the other side, my issue is what mitigation is available for a character on the damage? Does everyone need to play a character with evasion to not take damage from this? I'm the GM in my campaign - not the player - seems unbalanced.

Grand Lodge

Anvil Mithrashield wrote:


My issue with this is not can you get to the other side, my issue is what mitigation is available for a character on the damage? Does everyone need to play a character with evasion to not take damage from this? I'm the GM in my campaign - not the player - seems unbalanced.

Special Attacks trample (2d8+18, DC 29) for example

It's like every effect allowing a save for half, comparison with a Fireball is apt. The two effects need evasion to potentially take nothing, or take an AoO. The DC is difficult to reach sometimes, but the damage is not always backbreaking.


Philippe Lam wrote:
Anvil Mithrashield wrote:


My issue with this is not can you get to the other side, my issue is what mitigation is available for a character on the damage? Does everyone need to play a character with evasion to not take damage from this? I'm the GM in my campaign - not the player - seems unbalanced.

Special Attacks trample (2d8+18, DC 29) for example

It's like every effect allowing a save for half, comparison with a Fireball is apt. The two effects need evasion to potentially take nothing, or take an AoO. The DC is difficult to reach sometimes, but the damage is not always backbreaking.

Fireball has spell resistance and a more finite number of uses per day.

I know I am the final say in my game but, I'd feel better if there was paizo text on this subject... on another it says "successful" which again implies there is a chance to not be successful...


Anvil Mithrashield wrote:
Philippe Lam wrote:
Anvil Mithrashield wrote:


My issue with this is not can you get to the other side, my issue is what mitigation is available for a character on the damage? Does everyone need to play a character with evasion to not take damage from this? I'm the GM in my campaign - not the player - seems unbalanced.

Special Attacks trample (2d8+18, DC 29) for example

It's like every effect allowing a save for half, comparison with a Fireball is apt. The two effects need evasion to potentially take nothing, or take an AoO. The DC is difficult to reach sometimes, but the damage is not always backbreaking.

I know I am the final say in my game but, I'd feel better if there was paizo text on this subject... on another it says "successful" which again implies there is a chance to not be successful...

Fireball has spell resistance and a more finite number of uses per day.

Not every creature has spell resistance. Most do not, just like most do not have evasion, but can get it as a feat.

A few of us have already pointed out in the RAW that says Trample works like Overrun without a check needed. The Trample can be unsuccessful as written in the description if the targets succeed in their reflex roll(s), if the smaller creature(s) were successful, the creature(s) will still take half damage from the larger creature, that is one size category or larger, plowing through the space the smaller creature occupies. A medium creature occupies a 5 foot square. One size category larger is a creature that occupies a 10 foot by 10 foot space, and one size category larger than that is a creature that occupies a 15 x 15 foot area. Trample only works when the target is one size or more smaller than the creature with Trample. Overrun works against creatures up to one size category larger than the creature attempting an Overrun. When a equal in size or smaller creature is trying to overrun another creature equal in size or larger, it is easy for it to move out of the way to avoid the overrun, so they have the option to do that. When the creature that is equal or larger to the creature attempting to overrun it stands its ground, that is when the creature trying to preform the Overrun has to make a CMB check.

Buffalo/Bison/Auroch are large creatures with trample, when they rush a medium size creature or smaller they will do damage as the creature with Trample has a 10 x 10 square or larger moves through the medium sized creature's 5 foot square.


sorry in advance linking this form me on reference of the ability:

https://paizo.com/threads/rzs2tw0c?Druid-Trample-you-can-attempt-to-overrun

Silver Crusade

Your giving the players extra protections that are not part of the tramlpe ability. If your running a home game your fine. If your running PFSP you need to run it as written. The only protection they get as writen is the reflex save if they don't take the AoO. Normally the save is so high it's not worth it to try the save. As a player your better off taking the AoO and spreading out to keep them from trampling every one each round. The only good way to fight trample but that's on the player end knowing how to survive different encounters.


Anvil Mithrashield wrote:
My issue with this is not can you get to the other side, my issue is what mitigation is available for a character on the damage? Does everyone need to play a character with evasion to not take damage from this? I'm the GM in my campaign - not the player - seems unbalanced.

It would be unbalanced - if it would be a dangerous ability. It isn't. Most creatures with trample can do more damage by attacking (or doing something different, many of them have spell-like abilities).

And seriously, stop being so hung up over the word "attempt". Maybe it's leftover from an earlier draft, stuff like that happens all the time. What we know is that the actual rule text doesn't require any kind of roll. It's not like it's the only ability in the game that always damages a target.

If it's a PC (or animal companion), be happy they aren't using pounce instead. If it's an NPC, remember that limited uses aren't that big a deal for creatures having only one fight.

Grand Lodge

As a rule of thumb, the general reading superseded any slightly misguided interpretation of a single word (attempt in that case). On the overrun text, what attempts means shouldn't be opened to any discussion. Haven't saw a single GM interpreting your way.


First let me say, I appreciate anyone who has answered!

I've been GMing for 35 years, if I learned anything, it's assume nothing. The rules on Trample and Overrun are incredibly vague and poorly written as per the hundred or so threads I've read. I'm satisfied with the answers given if a moderator wants to close the thread???


Anvil Mithrashield wrote:
The rules on Trample and Overrun are incredibly vague and poorly written as per the hundred or so threads I've read.

Oh god yes. And you know the worst part? Paizo managed to f*&~ up both trample and overrun even worse than what 3.5 had! The 3.5 description of trample didn't reference overrun at all, which is way better. Overrun was also made worse, because due to a comma added after "standard action", the sentence can be condensed to "standard action taken as part of a charge", which simply doesn't make any sense rule-wise. 3.5 also had a "(In general, you cannot take a standard action during a move; this is an exception.)" clarification that was removed for the CRB.

I actually see zero reason to reference overrun in the first place - basically, as written, the only thing that trample (in PF) takes from overrun is that stuff that explicitly helps against overrun would also help against trample (and stuff triggering on overrun also trigger on trample). Do such things even exist?

In case anyone wants too confer them, here're the 3.5 descriptions:

3.5 Overrun:
OVERRUN
You can attempt an overrun as a standard action taken during your move, or as part of a charge. (In general, you cannot take a standard action during a move; this is an exception.) With an overrun, you attempt to plow past or over your opponent (and move through his square) as you move. You can only overrun an opponent who is one size category larger than you, the same size, or smaller. You can make only one overrun attempt per round.
If you’re attempting to overrun an opponent, follow these steps.
Step 1: Attack of Opportunity. Since you begin the overrun by moving into the defender’s space, you provoke an attack of opportunity from the defender.
Step 2: Opponent Avoids? The defender has the option to simply avoid you. If he avoids you, he doesn’t suffer any ill effect. If you were attempting the overrun as part of a charge, you may keep moving. (You can always move through a square occupied by someone who lets you by.) In either case, the overrun attempt doesn’t count against your actions this round (except for any movement required to enter the opponent’s square). If your opponent doesn’t avoid you, move to Step 3.
Step 3: Opponent Blocks? If your opponent blocks you, make a Strength check opposed by the defender’s Dexterity or Strength check (whichever ability score has the higher modifier). A combatant gets a +4 bonus on the check for every size category he is larger than Medium or a –4 penalty for every size category he is smaller than Medium. You gain a +2 bonus on your Strength check if you made the overrun as part of a charge. The defender gets a +4 bonus on his check if he has more than two legs or is otherwise more stable than a normal humanoid (such as a dwarf). If you win, you knock the defender prone. If you lose, the defender may immediately react and make a Strength check opposed by your Dexterity or Strength check (including the size modifiers noted above, but no other modifiers) to try to knock you prone.
Step 4: Consequences. If you succeed in knocking your opponent prone, you can continue your movement as normal. If you fail and are knocked prone in turn, you have to move 5 feet back the way you came and fall prone, ending your movement there. If you fail but are not knocked prone, you have to move 5 feet back the way you came, ending your movement there. If that square is occupied, you fall prone in that square.
Improved Overrun: If you have the Improved Overrun feat, your target may not choose to avoid you.
Mounted Overrun (Trample): If you attempt an overrun while mounted, your mount makes the Strength check to determine the success or failure of the overrun attack (and applies its size modifier, rather than yours). If you have the Trample feat and attempt an overrun while mounted, your target may not choose to avoid you, and if you knock your opponent prone with the overrun, your mount may make one hoof attack against your opponent.

3.5 Trample:
Trample (Ex): As a full-round action, a creature with this special attack can move up to twice its speed and literally run over any opponent at least one size category smaller than itself. The creature merely has to move over the opponents in its path; any creature whose space is completely covered by the trampling creature's space is subject to the trample attack.
If the target's space is larger than 5 feet, it is only considered trampled if the trampling creature moves over all the squares it occupies. If the trampling creature moves over only some of a target's space, the target can make an attack of opportunity against the trampling creature at a -4 penalty. A trampling creature that accidentally ends its movement in an illegal space returns to the last legal position it occupied, or the closest legal position, if there's a legal position that's closer.
A trample attack deals bludgeoning damage (the creature's slam damage + 1-1/2 times its Str modifier). The creature's descriptive text gives the exact amount.
Trampled opponents can attempt attacks of opportunity, but these take a -4 penalty. If they do not make attacks of opportunity, trampled opponents can attempt Reflex saves to take half damage. The save DC against a creature's trample attack is 10 + 1/2 creature's HD + creature's Str modifier (the exact DC is given in the creature's descriptive text). A trampling creature can only deal trampling damage to each target once per round, no matter how many times its movement takes it over a creature.

Anvil Mithrashield wrote:
I'm satisfied with the answers given if a moderator wants to close the thread???

On these boards, threads don't get closed because they're "done", they only get closed to combat repeated rule infridgements. Or when Paizo gets critizised too much...


Derklord wrote:

Oh god yes. And you know the worst part? Paizo managed to f@$* up both trample and overrun even worse than what 3.5 had! The 3.5 description of trample didn't reference overrun at all, which is way better. Overrun was also made worse, because due to a comma added after "standard action", the sentence can be condensed to "standard action taken as part of a charge", which simply doesn't make any sense rule-wise. 3.5 also had a "(In general, you cannot take a standard action during a move; this is an exception.)" clarification that was removed for the CRB.

I actually see zero reason to reference overrun in the first place - basically, as written, the only thing that trample (in PF) takes from overrun is that stuff that explicitly helps against overrun would also help against trample (and stuff triggering on overrun also trigger on trample). Do such things even exist?

In case anyone wants too confer them, here're the 3.5 descriptions:
** spoiler omitted **...

I agree, the 3.5 description of Trample was way clearer, they should have just kept it as is.

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