Why shove?


Advice


A little advice here my friends. We've got a fighter who's wielding two hammers and they have the Shove trait, why would he ever substitute a Shove roll instead of an attack roll for damage with his hammer? He normally uses Double Slice and a third action like Demoralize or a move action. What's the benefit to substituting one of his attacks (these attacks are made at 0/0) for shoving an enemy 5ft back rather than attacking potentially critting and knocking them prone in addition to some serious damage.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Cliffs. Pits. Known traps. Blocked doorways. Magical portals. Piranha filled rivers. Away from your squishy, squishy wizard friend (before stepping in to block the path)

You don't shove someone 5 ft to shove them 5 ft. You shove them to somewhere or away from somewhere based on the specific situation.

Situations where you want to Shove will be less common than times when you want to Double Slice. Because it's a situational trick, not something with White Room value.

Note: In case it isn't just an ambiguous phrasing, you don't substitute the shove for one of the strikes in Double Slice, you take a different set of actions.


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To reposition someone.

That can be used to open passage from a chokepoint, to push someone in a hazard, off a cliff, etc, or to simply align them up for an aoe, and etc.

Shove isn't the strongest action that exists, but there are some pretty good uses for it occasionally.

That's the beauty of the pf2 "maneuver" systems, you don't need to specialize in a circumstantial ability, if yuo have athletics, it doesn't cost any resources to actually be good at shoving people if such a need arises


I am running a tournament style game, and had 4 paladins as the enemies. My group made great use of the shove action to toss the enemies into the pit because they were having a hard time hitting them, and it also removed their horses from the equations (spinning blade at the bottom mopped them up).


Blade Barrier and Shove make for some fun interaction.

Liberty's Edge

When my hammer and board Paladin of Torag needed to push an enemy away from their strategic positioning close to our squishies, I was delighted that my hammer had the Shove trait. And I stepped in the freed square to protect my fellow PCs.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Honestly, the shove trait is a lot less relevant than the critical specialization on a hammer. It can come in handy occasionally though.


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The most obvious use of Shove is when if it succeeds it outright wins the battle, as in off a cliff, etc.

Shove can be used defensively to push back an enemy that threatens AoO particularly if the threatened character is like a Wizard or other that is squishy and needs to manipulate. If you aren’t in range to kill it you can play defense.

Lastly, getting Shoved forces a grapples end. That might matter more than raw damage in the moment. Actually a few games back I shoved a vampire off our Bard and then slapped it with a ranged heal. Turned out to be pretty clutch.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Shoving to end a grapple may see some table variation in how it actually works.

Some people say that, by RAW, the check to overcome an immobilized condition would only be used if you shoved the creature that was grabbed, so shoving the grabber out if reach always ends the grapple. Others will require the check to separate the two creatures regardless of which one you push, because it makes more sense.

Best to be clear how things will work in your game before you count on it in a high stakes situation, so that a silly argument doesn't derail the game.

Sovereign Court

A while back my players were as low level characters fighting a lot of orcs. They tried to keep the orcs from overwhelming and flanking them by using a doorway as bottleneck. But the orcs used Shove to push them back and surrounded the PCs anyway.

Just as an example that you don't need exotic cliffs to make it matter.


Sure, like if there is one open space enemies might Flank from (with the potential Shoved enemy), shoving enemy there may prevent a whole lot more pain and potentially waste more enemy actions.

It can also be an effective way to "trade" action between you and your allies: Instead of your ally needing to move to attack that enemy /and others, you Shove the enemy into position so your ally now has free action to use on offense or defense.

Or just optimal positioning for you and ally, e.g. they have Reach weapon and can hit the Shoved enemy and other nearby ones from your position, so Shoving and following the enemy lets everybody be effective.

Shove combined with a Stride away could be enough to force enemy to spend 2 actions to move to melee with you again, it could also let you avoid an AoO Reaction that it has.

Anti-Grapple is a nice one.

Also not mentioned, it may not work on Level+ enemies (at least without Flanking/Debuffs/lowFort), but everybody else (who you typically can suss out, given they tend to show up in large numbers VS single high level enemy) CAN often be Shoved with Assurance, so you can use it for 3rd action that would otherwise suffer -10 MAP.


Shove also can reposition an enemy for a casters area spell


HammerJack wrote:
Situations where you want to Shove will be less common than times when you want to Double Slice. Because it's a situational trick, not something with White Room value.

Note that a double slice fighter might not be the best for a shove build in general.

Now, a 2 hander with brutish shove is a good example of a shove focused character. They get a single action attack that inflicts flat footed until the end of the turn and also shoves. That allows them to work fairly well bullying enemies across the battlefield with brutish shoves and flat footed regular shoves.

Maybe combine that with a reach weapon, and they can do a distance control reach build- where enemies have to keep on walking up to you and eating AoOs.

Of course, the threat of that kind of combo might also be the reason why there are not any weapons that have both shove and reach naturally, due to fear that it would be a standard part of the reach moveset across classes. So it is the sole domain of the most powerful things in the game right now: reach fighters....and Leshies (they can add reach with a feat).


I think there was another thread about whether or not shove ends a grapple, but the rules as written for grapple state if you move the grapple ends. Shove targets a creature and moves that creature if successful. The target of a grapple only ends the grapple if it escapes, so while shoving the grappled character off may make more sense (or be mechanically easy if the targets not a physical character and lower level), I find that one to be frankly more dubious. There is no rule that allows you to drag a character you are grappling with you if you are moved.


lemeres wrote:


Note that a double slice fighter might not be the best for a shove build in general.

Someone else said it up-thread, but I think it bears repeating - you don't need to make any/many conscious choices to have a "shove build."

Anybody with a hammer-type weapon can shove if they want. Anyone with a free hand, or who is willing to let go of their weapon for a moment, can shove. All they need is a half-way decent STR score and training in Athletics.

I figure if you have a strong STR score, you'll keep Athletics at the highest proficiency you can since it does so many great things. So it's not too hard to have the ability to shove when you want.

Others have listed many great ways to use Shove, I won't beat the dead horse.


jdripley wrote:
lemeres wrote:


Note that a double slice fighter might not be the best for a shove build in general.
Someone else said it up-thread, but I think it bears repeating - you don't need to make any/many conscious choices to have a "shove build."

I understand that, but when your bread and butter is double slice, you often do not play well with other attack options because of both the action cost and the straight shot to max MAP. While you could do the shove first, that weakens one of the main advantages of double slice (getting to high crit chance attacks).

Which is part of why brutal shove amazed me- it sets up a second, regular shove fairly well by apply flat footed. That helps to sooth MAP issues, and you can be the bouncer that pushes a guy straight out of the club.

You don't have to specialize, but it helps.


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If the opponent has a reaction of some kind (like attack of opportunity) it can be very useful to push them away by 5 feat so that you or an ally can safely reposition without eating an attack, or that you or an ally can cast a spell without eating an attack from those enemies that get a specialised aoo's that disrupt spellcasting.


I like readying a shove to interrupt someone entering into melee. It forces (at least) another action so that it can slow down heavy hitting actions or sudden charge.


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jdripley wrote:
Anybody with a hammer-type weapon can shove if they want.

You can shove if you want to. You can leave my friends behind.


lemeres, I see your point, and it’s a good one. I was getting at the idea that in the rare case where Shove is really useful, all it takes is a good proficiency in Athletics and good STR. As it’s a rare case, it’s probably not worth investing in beyond that (and you probably took Athletics more to Trip or Disarm or Jump anyways), and yes your damage output for the round will suffer, that is a given, but if the enemy now needs to spend 2 rounds climbing back up the cliff, that is more than worth it IMO.

Also recently had a player use a shove on an ally to get them out of harm's way. Far easier to shove the caster than it is to shove the beefcake enemy lol!


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jdripley wrote:
Anybody with a hammer-type weapon can shove if they want.

On a side note, I kind of wish the same was true for Trip. But the one-handers with Trip are either Uncommon (temple sword, khopesh), loaded with other traits and thus deal less damage (flail, whip), or both (kukri, scorpion whip, gaff, hooked hammer, kama, tekko-kagi).

Also, shields should totally have the Shove trait.


I could get behind Shoving shields.

Don’t mind that Trip weapons are more rare. Trip is a very powerful effect as it debuffs and soaks an action, and that action could trigger reactions. Very strong! But keep a hand free, or simply drop grip for a moment, and tripping is available. Very strong. Very very strong!

Grand Lodge

Staffan Johansson wrote:
Also, shields should totally have the Shove trait.

This, very much this. When a light hammer has the ability to shove, it doesn't make sense that a shield would not have shove. I'm having a very hard time not making it a house rule for my AP campaign


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TwilightKnight wrote:
Staffan Johansson wrote:
Also, shields should totally have the Shove trait.
This, very much this. When a light hammer has the ability to shove, it doesn't make sense that a shield would not have shove. I'm having a very hard time not making it a house rule for my AP campaign

Light hammers don't have Shove. Their traits are Agile and Thrown 20'.

But I agree shields should have it. They may not be massive like a warhammer, but their shape is perfect for shoving.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Huh. I didn't realize shields didn't have shove, and I let a champion in one of my games shove with his shield because it just made sense. I know what house rule is retroactively in place.

Grand Lodge

Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Light hammers don't have Shove

Sorry, I meant light mace, but your comment confirms the oddnes as well. Forgetting the shield for the moment, why would a light mace have shove and not a light hammer? A mace has shove, as does a light mace. A maul and warhammer have shove, yet a light hammer does not?!? I would settle for just the shield having shove though.


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jdripley wrote:
I could get behind Shoving shields.

Well, yeah, that is the whole point!

Thinking about it a bit, I can see the reasons why they don't have Shove:

1. It would essentially give Shove as a free trait to all one-handed weapons — well, they wouldn't get item bonuses, and it wouldn't work with dual-wielding, but it would mostly render it meaningless on hammers and the like. Given that Shove in most situations is the weakest combat maneuver, I'm kind of OK with that.

2. That portion of offensive shield use is covered in the Aggressive Block feat and the feats behind it. I have more of an issue with this, because (a) Shield block is situational, and (b) pushing people around with a slab of wood/steel doesn't seem like the kind of thing that should require specialized training.

Quote:
Don’t mind that Trip weapons are more rare. Trip is a very powerful effect as it debuffs and soaks an action, and that action could trigger reactions. Very strong! But keep a hand free, or simply drop grip for a moment, and tripping is available. Very strong. Very very strong!

I kind of agree on that too, but it's a bit weird that Trip seems to be priced the same as other traits, and yet mostly occurs on uncommon weapons.


Well that rare occurrence would be the “increased price” right? :)


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jdripley wrote:
Well that rare occurrence would be the “increased price” right? :)

Rarity is not supposed to be compensation for things being powerful — it's too easy to bypass for that. I mean, with GM permission I could just say "My family is from Osirion so I got a khopesh from them." Or if I fight someone who has a khopesh or temple sword, I could just take it from them once they're not using it anymore and use it without any penalty. Rarity is supposed to be used for three things:

1. This is a thing that's specifically connected to an in-world thing, and you generally need to get it through them. For example, to take the Lion Blade archetype, you need to be trained in one of Taldor's spy schools. To learn Paragon Battle Medicine, you need to be trained by Kassi Aziril. To get a khopesh, you need to go to Osirion.

2. This is a thing that's connected to a particular game-mechanical thing. Most focus spells fall into this category — you can't just learn the spell Elemental Toss, you get it by being an elemental-bloodline sorcerer.

3. This is a thing that can cause campaign issues, not through power level but because it lets you do weird things. This is why Speak With Dead or Raise Dead are Uncommon — having them around changes the way the world works, and that's may or may not fit the GM's view of the setting.

But if a weapon is meant to be more powerful, that's handled by making it an Advanced weapon, and perhaps introducing a means of making it easier by paying a mechanical cost. For example, a Dwarf Waraxe is an improvement over the basic battleaxe (adding Two-handed d12 on top of the battle axe's Sweep), and as a result it is an Advanced weapon. Dwarves can take an ancestry feat that makes them treat it as a Martial weapon instead.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

As a GM, I love creating encounters where shove can be useful. Grabbing an edge is usually possible, but with the requirement that you have to crit succeed to do so with your hands full, it can make decisions about weapon load a lot more meaningful. My party's fighter almost falling off a boat because they hand no hands free made the whole party understand why the pirates were running around with free hands.


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

If nothing else, shoving an enemy that doesn't have reach back 5 feet costs them an action. And if they're whooping your butt, it can help buy you time. Also, if they have attack of opportunity, it would let you get back away from them.


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Ched Greyfell wrote:
If nothing else, shoving an enemy that doesn't have reach back 5 feet costs them an action. And if they're whooping your butt, it can help buy you time. Also, if they have attack of opportunity, it would let you get back away from them.

In most cases, Step would serve the same purpose and be automatically successful. Shove lets you get the opponent away from someone else, though, and that's not nothing.


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I'm hoping we get some new shield choices in an upcoming book. We could use a shield attachment used for shoving. Hell, we could have all sorts of battle shields.


jdripley wrote:
I was getting at the idea that in the rare case where Shove is really useful, all it takes is a good proficiency in Athletics and good STR. As it’s a rare case, it’s probably not worth investing in beyond that (and you probably took Athletics more to Trip or Disarm or Jump anyways)

Wait, people are using Disarm now? I thought it was useless for anyone but the Swashbuckler, since it ends at the beginning of the enemy's turn. Trip is great though.


Liegence wrote:
I think there was another thread about whether or not shove ends a grapple, but the rules as written for grapple state if you move the grapple ends. Shove targets a creature and moves that creature if successful. The target of a grapple only ends the grapple if it escapes, so while shoving the grappled character off may make more sense (or be mechanically easy if the targets not a physical character and lower level), I find that one to be frankly more dubious. There is no rule that allows you to drag a character you are grappling with you if you are moved.

Be careful, if you want to Shove the grappled Wizard, the DC to beat is the same than for the Wizard to Escape. You can't choose to move the low fortitude Wizard by using his own Fortitude DC. It's inside the Immobilized condition.


Lawrencelot wrote:
jdripley wrote:
I was getting at the idea that in the rare case where Shove is really useful, all it takes is a good proficiency in Athletics and good STR. As it’s a rare case, it’s probably not worth investing in beyond that (and you probably took Athletics more to Trip or Disarm or Jump anyways)
Wait, people are using Disarm now? I thought it was useless for anyone but the Swashbuckler, since it ends at the beginning of the enemy's turn. Trip is great though.

Fighters have Disarming Twist at later levels, which (though a Press attack) helps make the maneuver more accessible, increasing the chance of landing the potentially debilitating critical effect. (Disarming Stance also exists, I guess.)


jdripley wrote:

Anybody with a hammer-type weapon can shove if they want. Anyone with a free hand, or who is willing to let go of their weapon for a moment, can shove. All they need is a half-way decent STR score and training in Athletics.

I figure if you have a strong STR score, you'll keep Athletics at the highest proficiency you can since it does so many great things. So it's not too hard to have the ability to shove when you want.

Yeah it doesn't need much, GMing plaguestones rn and our archer monk that has a decent but not high str score for their composite bows yeeted a surprised orc straight into a pool of acid.

I was surprised I had to make up the damage of the pool considering the setup tbh.

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