Backswing and Maneuvers


Rules Discussion


Backswing wrote:
You can use the momentum from a missed attack with this weapon to lead into your next attack. After missing with this weapon on your turn, you gain a +1 circumstance bonus to your next attack with this weapon before the end of your turn.

Does this allow you to get a +1 if you fail something like trip or shove, assuming the weapon has that trait?


If we're subscribing to the "maneuvers are attacks and therefore the check you use to make them is an attack roll" interpretation, yes, under the same reasoning that a finesse weapon with the trait would allow you to use dexterity.


No. Trips and Shoves don't miss, they fail. You aren't rolling vs an AC.

Shadow Lodge

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Grapple, Trip, Shove and Disarm all have the Attack trait.

Attack wrote:
An ability with this trait involves an attack. For each attack you make beyond the first on your turn, you take a multiple attack penalty.

You are making the attack with the weapon. You fail to hit. You get the bonus on the next attack.

Aratorin wrote:
No. Trips and Shoves don't miss, they fail. You aren't rolling vs an AC.

By RAW, that has no bearing here.

Step 3: Compare the Result to the DC wrote:


This step can be simple, or it can create suspense. Sometimes you’ll know the Difficulty Class (DC) of your check. In these cases, if your result is equal to or greater than the DC, you succeed! If your roll anything less than the DC, you fail.
Armor Class wrote:
Attack rolls are compared to a special difficulty class called an Armor Class (AC), which measures how hard it is for your foes to hit you with Strikes and other attack actions. Just like for any other check and DC, the result of an attack roll must meet or exceed your AC to be successful, which allows your foe to deal damage to you.

Note neither of those have a special "miss" clause that differentiates a Strike failure from a Trip/Grab/etc failure.


Sammy T wrote:

Grapple, Trip, Shove and Disarm all have the Attack trait.

Attack wrote:
An ability with this trait involves an attack. For each attack you make beyond the first on your turn, you take a multiple attack penalty.

You are making the attack with the weapon. You fail to hit. You get the bonus on the next attack.

Aratorin wrote:
No. Trips and Shoves don't miss, they fail. You aren't rolling vs an AC.

By RAW, that has no bearing here.

Step 3: Compare the Result to the DC wrote:


This step can be simple, or it can create suspense. Sometimes you’ll know the Difficulty Class (DC) of your check. In these cases, if your result is equal to or greater than the DC, you succeed! If your roll anything less than the DC, you fail.
Armor Class wrote:
Attack rolls are compared to a special difficulty class called an Armor Class (AC), which measures how hard it is for your foes to hit you with Strikes and other attack actions. Just like for any other check and DC, the result of an attack roll must meet or exceed your AC to be successful, which allows your foe to deal damage to you.
Note neither of those have a special "miss" clause that differentiates a Strike failure from a Trip/Grab/etc failure.

The word miss is never actually defined in the rulebook, but every instance where it is used it is a roll vs AC.

Pg. 15 wrote:

Erik rolls an attack roll for the ghast, getting an 9 on the

die. Looking at the monster’s statistics, he adds 11 for a
total of 20. Merisiel’s AC is normally 19, but the Nimble
Dodge feat lets her use her reaction to increase her AC by 2
against a single attack. In this case, it turns the ghast’s attack
into a miss.

Erik: Does a 20 hit you?
James: Nope, just missed!
Erik: You twist away from the ghast as its tongue
leaves a slimy film on your armor. With its final
action, the undead menace lashes out at you
with its claw.
Pg. 148 wrote:

GUARDIAN’S DEFLECTION [reaction] FEAT 6

FIGHTER
Trigger An ally within your melee reach is hit by an attack,
you can see the attacker, and the ally gaining a +2
circumstance bonus to AC would turn the critical hit
into a hit or the hit into a miss.
Requirements You are wielding a single one-handed
melee weapon and have your other hand or hands free.
You use your weapon to deflect the attack against your ally,
granting a +2 circumstance bonus to their Armor Class against
the triggering attack. This turns the triggering critical hit into
a hit, or the triggering hit into a miss.
Pg. 478 wrote:

Ranged attacks that deal bludgeoning or slashing

damage automatically miss if the attacker or target is
underwater, and piercing ranged attacks made by an
underwater creature or against an underwater target
have their range increments halved.
Pg. 601 wrote:

LUCK BLADE ITEM 17+

RARE DIVINATION FORTUNE MAGICAL
Usage held in 1 hand; Bulk L
Luck and good fortune bless the wielder of this +3 greater
striking shortsword. Luck blades are crafted in a variety of
styles, but their hilts or blades always incorporate
symbols of luck, such as clovers, horseshoes,
fish, ladybugs, or other symbols.
Activate [reaction] envision; Frequency once per day;
Trigger You miss on a Strike with the luck blade; Effect
Reroll the triggering attack roll and use the new result. This
is a fortune effect.

We can either infer from this that "miss" specifically refers to attacks that roll against AC and can "miss", or we can reach the inevitable conclusion that at least some people will argue for, which is that because Miss is never actually defined, any ability or effect that revolves around "missing" simply does nothing, until Errata is released that defines "Miss".

With a Trip/Grab/Shove, you do not "miss", or "fail to hit". You always hit, because you never have to roll to do so. The roll is simply to determine the degree of success of the hit.

For that matter, Attack Rolls aren't even clearly defined:

Pg. 446 wrote:

Attack Rolls

When you use a Strike action or any other attack action,
you attempt a check called an attack roll.

This seems clear enough, until you get to this:

Pg. 447 wrote:

Armor Class

Attack rolls are compared to a special difficulty class called
an Armor Class (AC), which measures how hard it is for
your foes to hit you with Strikes and other attack actions.

So, if something is an Attack, but is not compared to AC, it both is and is not an Attack Roll.


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Aratorin wrote:
The word miss is never actually defined in the rulebook, but every instance where it is used it is a roll vs AC.

As a mathematician, I have to point out that that argument is statistical insignificant.

Trip is mentioned in only 15 places in the Core Rulebook: on Rock Dwarf heritage, barbarian Wolf Instinct, BRUTAL BULLY barbarian feat, AWESOME BLOW barbarian feat, KNOCKDOWN figher feat, IMPROVED KNOCKDOWN fighter feat, MOUNTAIN STANCE monk feat, WOLF STANCE monk feat, FLURRY OF MANEUVERS monk feat, MIXED MANEUVER monk feat, TRIP action, TITAN WRESTLER skill feat, as a weapon trait and the definition of trip trait, and TELEKINETIC MANEUVER spell. Rock Dwarf heritage improves defenses against trips, and the trip weapon trait talks about critical failure, but all the others are about attempting a trip and do not mention a failure nor a miss. Thus, the rulebook essentially has only 2 places to mention a trip missing rather than failing.

In contrast, the Core Rulebook mentions AC hundreds of times. And that resulted in only 6 examples--the 4 examples that Aratorin provided and two more on pages 544 and 559--of the word "miss" used in the sense of missing an attack against AC. Thus, the absence of "miss" in the two discussions of trip failure is to be expected simply from the rarity of the word "miss."

However, when we expand to more topics, we find two more uses of the word "miss" in the failure sense. On page 51, under the description of Keen Eyes, the rulebook talks about missing a Perception check. On page 466-467, in a discussion about targetting an undetected creature, it mentions missing the creature. I presume these rules about missing also apply to trying to trip or shove the undetected creature. The similar discussion about targetting a hidden creature says "fail" rather than "miss."

However, let me add a question to the backswing argument. A critical failure on a Trip or Shove results in "You lose your balance, fall, and land prone." If using a weapon with an appropriate trait, you can drop the weapon to turn critical failure into regular failure. How does this affect the backswing? A character could fit Shove (critical failure dropping weapon), Interact (pick up weapon), and Shove (with same weapon) into one turn.


Coldermoss wrote:
If we're subscribing to the "maneuvers are attacks and therefore the check you use to make them is an attack roll" interpretation

I mean, that's just what the rules say, so yeah.

Mathmuse wrote:
How does this affect the backswing? A character could fit Shove (critical failure dropping weapon), Interact (pick up weapon), and Shove (with same weapon) into one turn.

That seems reasonable. Backswing's only requirements are that the attack come before the end of your turn and the attack must come from the same weapon. So... backswing should work in that scenario.


Squiggit wrote:
Coldermoss wrote:
If we're subscribing to the "maneuvers are attacks and therefore the check you use to make them is an attack roll" interpretation
I mean, that's just what the rules say, so yeah.

I just wish it was explicitly stated that skill checks can also be attack rolls. It's never said they're mutually exclusive, either, but that's hardly concrete evidence.

Shadow Lodge

Grab, Trip, etc. are tagged with the trait "Attack" -- it doesn't get more RAW than that.


RAW: I think no. A miss is what you get when you attack AC and fail. Trip etc. target a different DC.

RAI: I'd allow it. Balance-wise, Backswing is essentially half an Agile trait – it alleviates your MAP but only if you didn't hit with the first attack (and only with that particular weapon). So from that point of view, I'd allow it.


See, the fact we've had two separate people come into this thread saying "that's not how it works" should be evidence the rules could stand some clarification.


Coldermoss wrote:
See, the fact we've had two separate people come into this thread saying "that's not how it works" should be evidence the rules could stand some clarification.

Yes, but not for the reason you stated.

The contention is over whether or not a failed Trip is a miss, not whether or not Trip is an attack.


Squiggit wrote:
Coldermoss wrote:
See, the fact we've had two separate people come into this thread saying "that's not how it works" should be evidence the rules could stand some clarification.

Yes, but not for the reason you stated.

The contention is over whether or not a failed Trip is a miss, not whether or not Trip is an attack.

Whether or not the athletics check made to trip is an attack *roll*. To answer one is to answer the other, or if not, at least it would be closer.

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