Sage Advice article on tripping

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I've looked and looked and looked, but I can't find the sorta-recent
Sage Advice (I think) article on tripping that mentioned the DC 35
Tumble check to stand up from prone as a free action, the impossibility
of tripping snakes, and something about trying to trip flying creatures.
Does anyone else remember this? I seem to remember it having been
discussed here, but I can't find it with Deja, Google, etc.

- Ron ^*^
 
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Werebat wrote:
>
> I've looked and looked and looked, but I can't find the sorta-recent
> Sage Advice (I think) article on tripping that mentioned the DC 35
> Tumble check to stand up from prone as a free action, the impossibility
> of tripping snakes, and something about trying to trip flying creatures.
> Does anyone else remember this? I seem to remember it having been
> discussed here, but I can't find it with Deja, Google, etc.
>
> - Ron ^*^
>

Here's what I could find in the FAQ about tripping Apologies for any
line break errors:


I have a monk with the Vow of Poverty feat (from Book
of Exalted Deeds). Does the exalted strike bonus apply to
grapple, sunder, disarm, and trip attempts?
The exalted strike bonus gained by a character who has
taken Vow of Poverty applies only on attack and damage rolls.
Unless something is described as an attack roll or a damage
roll, the bonus doesn’t apply.
• The touch attack made to start a grapple is an attack
roll (so the bonus would apply to this roll), but a
grapple check is not an attack roll, and thus the bonus
wouldn’t apply to the grapple check. Likewise, the
touch attack made to start a trip attack would gain the
bonus, but the Strength check you make to trip the
defender is not an attack roll and wouldn’t gain the
bonus.
• To attempt a disarm attack or a sunder attack, you
make an attack roll opposed by the defender’s attack
roll, so the exalted strike bonus would apply.




Suppose a character with the Improved Trip feat uses
the Bluff skill to successfully feint in combat and uses his
next melee attack to trip the duped opponent. It seems clear
that the character ignores that opponent’s Dexterity bonus
to Armor Class for the touch attack to initiate the trip.
Assuming that the trip attempt is successful, Improved Trip
provides an additional attack as if the character hadn’t
used her attack for the trip attempt. Does this mean that
the character continues to ignore the tripped opponent’s
Dexterity bonus to Armor Class for the additional attack
only” effects (like the true strike spell) work with the
Improved Trip feat?
In each case, the initial attack in trip attempt is the “next
attack,” not the extra attack that you get from the Improved
Trip feat. That is, if you’ve made a successful feint, your foe is
denied any Dexterity bonus to Armor Class when you make the
initial melee touch attack to start your trip attempt, but not
when you attack him after a successful trip. Likewise, if you
use the true strike spell, the +20 attack bonus applies to the
touch attack, not to the free attack.
The Improved Trip feat description says that you get an
extra attack after a successful trip attempt “as though you
hadn’t used your attack for the trip attempt.” That, however, is
just a shorthand way of explaining what part of your normal
attack routine you use for the extra attack; it’s not meant to
imply that you enter some kind of strange time warp when you
make trip attacks.


The section on page 159 of the Player’s Handbook that
covers using a weapon to make a trip attack says some
weapons can be used for tripping, and then it lists a few
weapons. Is the list the complete list of weapons that you
can use to make trip attacks, or are there others? Can a
character use, say, a quarterstaff to trip?
The list on page 159 is not intended to be a complete list;
you can use several weapons described in Chapter 7 for trip
attacks, and new weapons get added to the game from time to
time. To determine if any particular weapon is useful for
tripping, read the weapon’s description. If you can use the
weapon to make trip attacks, its description will say so. If a
weapon’s description does not specifically say you can make
trip attacks with it, you cannot make trip attacks with it.
Weapons from the Player’s Handbook you can use to make trip
attacks are bolas, spiked chains, dire flails, heavy flails, flails,
guisarmes, halberds, gnome hooked hammers, kamas, scythes,
sickles, and whips.
You cannot use a quarterstaff to make a trip attack, because
tripping isn’t one of a quarterstaff’s properties.
In the D&D game, a trip attack involves grabbing a foe and
somehow yanking him off balance. All the Player’s Handbook
weapons that allow trip attacks have some kind of hook that
can snag a foe or some flexible portion that you can wrap
around an opponent’s limb or body.



Is it possible for an attack of opportunity to provoke an
attack of opportunity? For example, a fighter attempts to
trip a cleric. The cleric chooses to make a sunder attack
against the fighter’s weapon as his attack of opportunity.
Does the sunder attack then provoke an attack of
opportunity from the fighter?
Yes. An attack of opportunity is adjudicated just like any
other attack, and it is subject to the same rules (including
provoking additional attacks of opportunity). This can lead to
odd situations where as the reason for the original action no
longer exists. If this starts to confuse you, just remember that
D&D combat is an abstract representation of battle, and not
necessarily a precise second-by-second representation of every
maneuver. Even the “sequential” nature of D&D combat—I
make my attacks, then you make your attacks, then I make my
attacks, and so forth—is an artificial creation used to keep
combat moving quickly.
Using the example you provide, the fighter is indeed
allowed to make an attack of opportunity against the cleric.
(This attack could, in turn, provoke yet another attack of
opportunity from the cleric, but the cleric could only make such
an attack if he were allowed more than one attack of
opportunity in a single round.)
These attacks are performed in a “Last In, First Out”
sequence. The last attack of opportunity declared is the first one
resolved, with the remaining attacks resolved in reverse order
of their declaration, assuming the character is still capable of
making the attack. If the fighter drops the cleric with his attack
of opportunity, the rest of the attacks in the sequence—
including the cleric’s attack of opportunity and the fighter’s
original trip attack—do not occur. The actions are still “spent,”
however—the fighter doesn’t get to use that original attack on
some other target (although if he has other attacks remaining he
may take them as normal).



Being tripped makes you prone. Who can be tripped?
Beholders? Gelatinous cubes? What effect does tripping
have on these creatures? Can a prone character be tripped
again? What about flying and swimming creatures? Many
creatures have neither legs nor any relationship to the
ground or gravity. How does tripping affect them?
Anything using limbs for locomotion can be tripped.
Things that don’t need limbs for locomotion can’t be tripped.
You can’t trip a snake, a beholder, or a gelatinous cube. You
won’t find this in the rules, but then it really doesn’t need to be
in there—the rules can leave some things to the DM’s common
sense.
A creature flying with wings can be “tripped,” in which
case the creature stalls (see Tactical Aerial Movement on page
20 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide). You can’t make an
incorporeal creature fall down. You also can’t trip a prone
creature.
Creatures can’t be tripped when they’re swimming (the
water holds them up). Likewise, a burrowing creature is driving
its body through a fairly solid medium that serves to hold it up.




When a character gets up from prone, when does the
attack of opportunity take place? When he is still prone?
When he is standing? Can the attacker choose when to
attack? In one case, the attacker can get a +4 bonus to hit.
In the other, he can make another trip attack.
All attacks of opportunity happen before the actions that
trigger them (see Chapter 8 in the Player’s Handbook). When
you make an attack of opportunity against someone who’s
getting up, your target is effectively prone, and therefore cannot
be tripped. You could ready an action to trip a prone foe after
he gets up, however.



Can prone characters move? The rules on crawling
would obviously apply here, but this question also includes
things like limbless creatures and oozes. Can a creature
tumble while prone? Can he tumble to get out of the
threatened area? How fast would he move? You can tumble
as part of normal movement. What is a “normal move”
anyway?
If a creature has no motive limbs, you move at your normal
speed when prone, otherwise you must crawl or tumble.
There’s no game definition of the term “normal move” but the
rules use it as shorthand for using a move action to travel up to
your speed (as opposed to using a skill such as Climb or
Swim). Crawling isn’t “normal movement,” but tumbling is the
art of moving with acrobatic skill, and there’s no reason why a
prone tumbler couldn’t artfully roll away from a foe.




When a monster uses a special attack option, such as
trip or sunder, must it make the attack with its primary
natural weapon? Are there any limits on which natural
weapons can be used in a trip or sunder attack? When a
monster has multiple natural weapons, can it use each of
those weapons to make trip or sunder attacks?
A monster with natural weaponry doesn’t need to use its
primary natural weapon to make sunder or trip attacks. If it
uses a secondary weapon, however, the penalty for a secondary
weapon applies to the attack (–5 or –2 with the Multiattack
feat). In the case of sunder, the secondary weapon penalty
applies to the opposed attack roll the creature makes to
accomplish the sunder attack. In the case of a trip attack, the
secondary weapon penalty applies to the melee touch attack roll
the creature makes to start the trip attack.
A creature can make a trip attack with just about any
natural weapon, although the DM must exercise some common
sense in the matter. Claw and bite attacks are excellent for trip
attempts, as are tentacle attacks. Since tripping in the D&D
game involves grabbing a foe and pulling him down, stings,
gores, hooves, and most slam attacks should not work for
tripping (although tail slaps work).
A natural weapon must deal bludgeoning or slashing
damage to be useful for a sunder attack. Gore and sting attacks
deal only piercing damage and thus aren’t useful for such
attacks (see page 312 in the Monster Manual for a list of
natural weapons and their damage types), but again, some
common sense is in order here. Creatures with pointy fangs,
such as monstrous spiders or big snakes, probably deal only
piecing damage with their bite attacks and aren’t really smart
enough to make sunder attacks anyway.
In either case, a monster making a sunder or trip attack
follows all the rules a player character uses for the attack in
question, including provoking an attack of opportunity.
A monster with several natural weapons can make a sunder
or trip attack with each one, provided that it uses the full attack
action, and its natural weaponry is useful for the attack in
question.
Note that some monsters have special trip or sunder attacks.
In such cases, use the rules given in the monster’s description,
not the general rules discussed here. For example a wolf can
make a free trip attempt when it hits with its bite attack and
does not provoke an attack of opportunity when doing so.
Likewise a bebilith’s rend armor attack is similar to a sunder
attack, but it works only on a foe’s armor, and only when the
bebilith hits with both claws. Rend armor doesn’t provoke an
attack of opportunity.
 
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Werebat wrote:
>
> I've looked and looked and looked, but I can't find the sorta-recent
> Sage Advice (I think) article on tripping that mentioned the DC 35
> Tumble check to stand up from prone as a free action, the impossibility
> of tripping snakes, and something about trying to trip flying creatures.
> Does anyone else remember this? I seem to remember it having been
> discussed here, but I can't find it with Deja, Google, etc.
>
> - Ron ^*^
>


Here's the stuff about standing up from prone:

According to the Epic Level Handbook, a DC 35 Tumble
check allows a character to stand up from prone as a free
action (instead of a move action). Does this provoke attacks
of opportunity? What happens if the check fails? How does
it differ from the thief-acrobat prestige class’s “kip up”
class feature?
The “free stand” action described in the Epic Level
Handbook, and repeated in Complete Adventurer, still provokes
attacks of opportunity as normal. If the check fails, the
character still stands up but must spend a move action to do so.
(This is similar to the fast mount or dismount action given in
the Ride skill description in the Player’s Handbook.) If the
D&D FAQ v.3.5 26 Update Version: 03/25/05
character does not have a move action remaining, she remains
prone.
As originally described in Song & Silence, the “kip up”
class feature was silent on whether the act provoked attacks of
opportunity, and thus it must be assumed that it doesn’t change
the normal rules for standing up from prone. However, the new
thief-acrobat prestige class description in Complete Adventurer
stipulates that this action does not provoke attacks of
opportunity, and takes precedence over the older version. It
also doesn’t require any kind of check on the thief-acrobat’s
part.


Given that being prone means you are lying on the
ground (Player’s Handbook, page 311), who can be prone?
Can oozes be prone? What about creatures with no limbs
like snakes? What about incorporeal creatures?
Anybody can be “prone.” Creatures that use limbs for
locomotion can use a free action to drop prone and must use a
move action to stand up again. Something with no motive
limbs, such as a snake, can go prone or “stand up” as a free
action. Such creatures might want to become prone to gain an
Armor Class bonus against ranged attacks. (Although giving
something like a gelatinous cube that option defies common
sense and should not be allowed.) Officially, there’s an attack
of opportunity any time a creature stands up. The Sage,
however, heartily recommends no attack of opportunity when a
snake or similar creature “stands up.”
Being tripped makes you prone. Who can be tripped?
Beholders? Gelatinous cubes? What effect does tripping
have on these creatures? Can a prone character be tripped
again? What about flying and swimming creatures? Many
creatures have neither legs nor any relationship to the
ground or gravity. How does tripping affect them?
Anything using limbs for locomotion can be tripped.
Things that don’t need limbs for locomotion can’t be tripped.
You can’t trip a snake, a beholder, or a gelatinous cube. You
won’t find this in the rules, but then it really doesn’t need to be
in there—the rules can leave some things to the DM’s common
sense.
A creature flying with wings can be “tripped,” in which
case the creature stalls (see Tactical Aerial Movement on page
20 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide). You can’t make an
incorporeal creature fall down. You also can’t trip a prone
creature.
Creatures can’t be tripped when they’re swimming (the
water holds them up). Likewise, a burrowing creature is driving
its body through a fairly solid medium that serves to hold it up.
 
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Some Guy wrote (quoting the Sage):
>
> As originally described in Song & Silence, the “kip up”
> class feature was silent on whether the act provoked attacks of
> opportunity, and thus it must be assumed that it doesn’t change
> the normal rules for standing up from prone.

This is what bugs me about the Sage. Rather than note
that standing up from prone did not provoke an AoO in
3.0, and thus there was no *need* to specify whether
the "kip up" class feature provoked an AoO or not, he
stupidly concludes that "it must be assumed" the 3.5
designers *intended* to change the way "kip up" worked
when they changed the way standing up from prone
worked! <sigh>

-Bluto
 
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Between saving the world and having a spot of tea Werebat said

> I've looked and looked and looked, but I can't find the sorta-recent
> Sage Advice (I think) article on tripping that mentioned the DC 35
> Tumble check to stand up from prone as a free action, the impossibility
> of tripping snakes, and something about trying to trip flying creatures.
> Does anyone else remember this? I seem to remember it having been
> discussed here, but I can't find it with Deja, Google, etc.

Seeing snakes and flying creatures when tripping is very common. The DC35
is prevent yourself falling over when you try not to stand on the giant
pink and purple flumph.

--
Rob Singers
"All your Ron are belong to us"
Credo Elvem ipsum etiam vivere
 
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Some Guy wrote (quoting the Sage):
>> As originally described in Song & Silence, the "kip up" class feature
>> was silent on whether the act provoked attacks of opportunity, and
>> thus it must be assumed that it doesn't change the normal rules for
>> standing up from prone.

Senator Blutarsky wrote:
> This is what bugs me about the Sage. Rather than note that standing
> up from prone did not provoke an AoO in 3.0, and thus there was no
> *need* to specify whether the "kip up" class feature provoked an AoO
> or not, he stupidly concludes that "it must be assumed" the 3.5
> designers *intended* to change the way "kip up" worked when they
> changed the way standing up from prone worked! <sigh>

I also caught this in Some Guy's other quotation: "The touch attack made
to start a grapple is an attack roll (so the bonus would apply to this
roll), but a grapple check is not an attack roll ...." In the past, the
Sage has stated that offensive grapple checks /are/ attack rolls (when
explaining that the natural 20 & 1 rules apply to offensive but not
defensive grapple checks).
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
 
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Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
> Some Guy wrote (quoting the Sage):
>
>>>As originally described in Song & Silence, the "kip up" class feature
>>>was silent on whether the act provoked attacks of opportunity, and
>>>thus it must be assumed that it doesn't change the normal rules for
>>>standing up from prone.
>
>
> Senator Blutarsky wrote:
>
>>This is what bugs me about the Sage. Rather than note that standing
>>up from prone did not provoke an AoO in 3.0, and thus there was no
>>*need* to specify whether the "kip up" class feature provoked an AoO
>>or not, he stupidly concludes that "it must be assumed" the 3.5
>>designers *intended* to change the way "kip up" worked when they
>>changed the way standing up from prone worked! <sigh>
>
>
> I also caught this in Some Guy's other quotation: "The touch attack made
> to start a grapple is an attack roll (so the bonus would apply to this
> roll), but a grapple check is not an attack roll ...." In the past, the
> Sage has stated that offensive grapple checks /are/ attack rolls (when
> explaining that the natural 20 & 1 rules apply to offensive but not
> defensive grapple checks).

The Sage is dead! Long live the Sage!

:)