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Tyrael
2007-10-09, 09:18 AM
Hiya, folks. I've got a character with a Huge-sized Greathammer (wielded via Strongarm Bracers and Monkey Grip, houseruled to have 10ft reach) that has the Knockback property, as well as having the Knockdown feat from Sword and Fist (side question, are there any 3.5 ways to get Knockback?).

I was recently running a theoretical battle with a BBEG I wrote up, when something odd happened. BBEG (skillmonkey duelist dude) 5'-stepped up to the char and full attacked. That's fine. However, the char then full-attacked the BBEG.

First attack hit, BBEG failed his Fort and STR checks, and was knocked 5ft away and Prone. Now, something odd happens. He's knocked 5' away, which means he's moving out of a threatened square. Does the char get an AoO even though this guy's flying in midair? Furthermore, since this guy was Prone, does he lose his DEX to AC, or is he flat-footed in any way? Logic dictates yes, but RAW (as I read them, might have missed it) says no.

On top of that, logically, does this Knockback AoO bug (I'm hesitant to call it a feature) apply to ALL Knockback builds, regardless of reach? Because at the end of the day, he's still leaving a threatened square without 5'-stepping. And...does the Knockback apply to the second hit, too? Would the Knockbacks stack? If you hit him and he flies 5' away, then you AoO, does he fly another 5' away for 10' total? That seems breakable.

What are your thoughts, forumites?

Raolin_Fenix
2007-10-09, 09:22 AM
I would say no, his being knocked back does not provoke an AoO from the character that struck him. By RAW, he probably would, honestly. But come on -- the dude just hit him with his hammer. He's in no position to hit him again right away. The hammer can't both be hitting and drawn back to hit.

It would, however, provoke an attack of opportunity from anyone else threatening him, just as if he were being Bull Rushed through threatened squares.

Being prone does not cause you to lose your Dex bonus to AC. He's just on his back, not helpless. Furthermore, he's not prone while he's leaving the square, so he's not prone for the AoO. He lands prone, which means he's only prone once he reaches his final destination.

Telonius
2007-10-09, 09:35 AM
Bull Rush Results
If you beat the defenderís Strength check result, you push him back 5 feet. If you wish to move with the defender, you can push him back an additional 5 feet for each 5 points by which your check result is greater than the defenderís check result. You canít, however, exceed your normal movement limit. (Note: The defender provokes attacks of opportunity if he is moved. So do you, if you move with him. The two of you do not provoke attacks of opportunity from each other, however.)


Emphasis added.

The only difference between Knockback and a standard Bull Rush is that you don't provoke AoO's when attempting a Knockback, and that you don't move with the enemy. Raolin's ruling is correct. You don't get an AoO from the Knockback, but anybody else who threatened gets one.

Ashtar
2007-10-09, 10:42 AM
If on your first attack you knock the guy away, what happens with all the other iterative attacks? Do you lose them for lack of a target?

Fax Celestis
2007-10-09, 10:49 AM
Unfortunately, yes, if they're now out of range.

Try and get your party arcanist to learn the spell legion of sentinels. Bull-rush people through that, and they can end up provoking seven, eight AoOs in a round.

Kaelik
2007-10-09, 11:57 AM
wielded via Strongarm Bracers and Monkey Grip, houseruled to have 10ft reach)

Strongarm Bracers and Monkey Grip do not stack.


that has the Knockback property, as well as having the Knockdown feat from Sword and Fist (side question, are there any 3.5 ways to get Knockback?).

There is a feat in Races of Stone called Knockback, you initiate a Bull rush with your attacks. There is also a weapon property called Brutal Surge, it initiates a Bull Rush as well.

As for your questions, No AoO because you moved him. He is prone, there are rules for that condition (he does not lose dex.)

Keld Denar
2007-10-09, 12:13 PM
What you need to get with that weapon is the Dungeon Crasher alt class feature for fighters (Dungeonscape). That states that whenever you bullrush someone into a wall, they take 4d6 - 8d6 additional damage, depending on your level. Knockback allows you to initiate a bullrush that does not provoke when you hit the target. If they have their back to a wall, your "bullrush" hit knocks them back into the wall. Repeat until you run out of iterative attacks and watch those d6s fly.

And no, being prone in no way makes you flat footed. All it gives a modifier of +4/-4 to hit to foes hitting the target with melee/ranged, a -4 to attacks made by a prone creature, and the the ability to spend a full round action to crawl 5' or take a move equivilent to stand (which usually provokes an AoO).

And yes, if you knockback someone out of your threatened range, you can no longer take iteratives (although you are allowed a 5' step at any point during your iteratives, so you could attack - knockback, 5' shift, attack - knockback). That's one most people don't realize, that you can take a 5' adjustment at any point during a full round action that doesn't involve movement (such as a full attack, but not a charge).

Person_Man
2007-10-09, 01:51 PM
Bummer. All the good advice has already been given:

1) Strongarm Bracers and Monkey Grip do not stack.

2) Bull Rushes do not provoke AoO from the from the character that initiated it.

3) The Knockback feat from Races of Stone gives you a free Bull Rush whenever you Power Attack. It requires that you be Large or have the Powerful Build class feature (Goliath, Half Giant).

4) The Dungeoncrasher ability from Dungeonscape is an alternate Fighter class ability. You trade your 2nd and 6th level bonus feats. Now whenever you Bull Rush an enemy into a wall or solid object you deal 8d6+(Str bonus*3) extra damage.

I would also add:

5) Knockback is a poor choice for most high level builds, because it deprives you of a full attack. Once you Bull Rush an enemy out of your threatened area, you can't hit them again. So unless you're using Dungeoncrasher, you should generally not use it above ECL 11ish.

6) Knock-Down gives you a free Trip attempt whenever you deal 10+ points of damage. But it does not give you a free follow up attack (which you would normally get from Improved Trip), as clarified in the FAQ. This is a great defensive ability for someone with a reach weapon and Combat Reflexes, but its duplicative in any build that uses Knockback. Knockback also prevents your enemies from attacking you, and if you're using it properly, you should be killing any enemy after just one hit. So it doesn't matter if their corpse is prone or not.

7) This is my personal Knockback build. Perhaps it will help you.

Flaming Homer, the Bowling Ball of DOOM!!!

Goliath
Barbarian 1/Fighter 6/Psychic Warrior 2/Pyrokineticist 1/Warmind 5/Full BAB class X

or

Half-Giant
Barbarian 1/Fighter 6/Pyrokineticist 1/Warmind 5/Full BAB class X

If your DM cares about experience penalties for multi-classing, you'll want to use Goliath Barbarian 6/Fighter 6/Pyrokineticist 1/Warmind 5/full BAB class. Or if you're willing to give up all day Pounce, the quickest method to get the combo working is Half Giant Fighter 6/Pyrokineticist 1/Warmind 5/Full BAB class X.

Feats: Power Attack, Improved Bull Rush, Knockback, Leap Attack, Shock Trooper, Combat Reflexes, Cleave, Hold the Line, Combat Expertise, Improved Trip, Dodge, Karmic Strike.

Other Feats for Consideration: Improved Unarmed Strike, Battle Jump, Mage Slayer, Extra Rage.

Books: SRD, Complete Warrior, Races of Stone (Knockback), Unapproachable East (Battle Jump), Dungeonscape (Dungeon Crasher ability), Complete Champion (Barbarian Pounce variant).

Before combat, use the Expansion power on yourself to increase your reach. Also, you should also note that all whips, including fire lashes, donít threaten the area into which you can make an attack. So you'll need Improved Unarmed Strike, armor spikes, or a natural weapon to make AoO. My preference is Claws of the Beast. Note that the FAQ specifically clarifies that you can switch between a two handed weapon and a natural weapon for in the same round. If your DM doesn't agree with the FAQ, you can use Bite of the Wolf or dip into a one level of Monk instead.

There are also a variety of spells, feats, items, and special abilities that improve your natural reach, and I suggest you use whatever you can.

Charge 10 feet into your enemy. Make a touch attack with your Fire Lash as a two-handed weapon (as it explicitly says you can in the FAQ). Transfer your full BAB to Leap Attack to increase your damage. Make sure that your initial enemy is close to you when you attack him if possible, as you want to keep your enemies in your threatened area each time you knock him back.

If your enemy is standing next to another enemy, each attack also applies to them (Warmind Sweeping Strike). Since Sweeping Strike requires that you move no more then 10 feet during your turn, you can use Hustle+Psionic Dimension Door to move around the battlefield. But your reach is pretty huge, so you shouldn't have to do that very often. You can also just wait for your enemies to come to you, and ready an action to smack them when they come near you.

Each enemy that you hit gets a free Bull Rush attempt (Knockback) on each attack, applying your damage and Leap Attack bonus to the opposed Str check.

This should allow you to push your enemy several spaces backwards. For each space you move your enemy backwards, you may also shift him one hex to the left or the right (Shock Trooper). If this pushes your enemy into the same hex as another enemy, you get a free Trip Attempt on each of them (Shock Trooper, again).

Assuming you still threaten their spaces, each successful Trip gets a free follow up attack (Improved Trip), and each successful melee attack gets a free Bull Rush, which can start another Shock Trooper+Improved Trip combo. And every melee attack can also apply to someone standing next to your enemy using Sweeping Strike.

If you kill someone (you will) you get a Cleave attack, which will also apply to whoever is standing next to them, and start the Attack+Bull Rush+Trip+Attack... combo, again.

And at any time you can Bull Rush an enemy into a wall or other inanimate object, you get to use the Dungeon Crasher ability to deal an extra 8d6 + (3 x Str mod) damage, in addition to your insane Leap Attack damage. This is really easy to pull off, since with Shock Trooper and your uber Bull Rush multiplier, you should be able to fling enemies pretty far. Alternatively, you can have a friend summon a wall in the middle of the battlefield, forcing your enemies to walk around it, and giving you something to Bull Rush them into.

In addition, a whip provokes an AoO from your enemy whenever you use it while adjacent to it. This is a great opportunity for you, because thanks to Karmic Strike it essentially gives you another chance to start up your chain of attacks if by some odd chance you miss on your first touch attack. Though obviously if you're more defense oriented, you'll want to keep your enemies 10 feet away from you when you hit them with the lash.

Using the Complete Champion Barbarian variant, you get Pounce. So you get a full attack virtually every round.

Or if you'd prefer better Expansion and less Pounce, you can dump your Barbarian levels and invest in more Warmind levels earlier instead, depending on Psionic Lion's Charge or Hustle when you need a full attack.

If someone charges you (they pretty much have to in order reach you) you get a free AoO from Hold the Line, resolved immediately before the charge attack, in addition to the normal AoO you'd get for them moving through your threatened area. Which AGAIN, can trigger your combo.

Be sure to buy a backup reach weapon that doesn't deal fire damage. Your DM is most definitely going to throw fire immune enemies at you. See Invisibility will also help a lot, as will flight.

Also, I'm well aware that this requires an obscene number of feats for the full combo to work. If you think its too many, just drop feats from the end of the list. All you really need is Improved Bull Rush, Power Attack, Knockback, and Shock Trooper. Everything else is just gravy.

Fax Celestis
2007-10-09, 02:31 PM
7) This is my personal Knockback build. Perhaps it will help you.

Flaming Homer, the Bowling Ball of DOOM!!!

Goliath
Barbarian 1/Fighter 6/Psychic Warrior 2/Pyrokineticist 1/Warmind 5/Full BAB class X

or

Half-Giant
Barbarian 1/Fighter 6/Pyrokineticist 1/Warmind 5/Full BAB class X

If your DM cares about experience penalties for multi-classing, you'll want to use Goliath Barbarian 6/Fighter 6/Pyrokineticist 1/Warmind 5/full BAB class. Or if you're willing to give up all day Pounce, the quickest method to get the combo working is Half Giant Fighter 6/Pyrokineticist 1/Warmind 5/Full BAB class X.

Feats: Power Attack, Improved Bull Rush, Knockback, Leap Attack, Shock Trooper, Combat Reflexes, Cleave, Hold the Line, Combat Expertise, Improved Trip, Dodge, Karmic Strike.

Other Feats for Consideration: Improved Unarmed Strike, Battle Jump, Mage Slayer, Extra Rage.

Books: SRD, Complete Warrior, Races of Stone (Knockback), Unapproachable East (Battle Jump), Dungeonscape (Dungeon Crasher ability), Complete Champion (Barbarian Pounce variant).

Before combat, use the Expansion power on yourself to increase your reach. Also, you should also note that all whips, including fire lashes, donít threaten the area into which you can make an attack. So you'll need Improved Unarmed Strike, armor spikes, or a natural weapon to make AoO. My preference is Claws of the Beast. Note that the FAQ specifically clarifies that you can switch between a two handed weapon and a natural weapon for in the same round. If your DM doesn't agree with the FAQ, you can use Bite of the Wolf or dip into a one level of Monk instead.

There are also a variety of spells, feats, items, and special abilities that improve your natural reach, and I suggest you use whatever you can.

Charge 10 feet into your enemy. Make a touch attack with your Fire Lash as a two-handed weapon (as it explicitly says you can in the FAQ). Transfer your full BAB to Leap Attack to increase your damage. Make sure that your initial enemy is close to you when you attack him if possible, as you want to keep your enemies in your threatened area each time you knock him back.

If your enemy is standing next to another enemy, each attack also applies to them (Warmind Sweeping Strike). Since Sweeping Strike requires that you move no more then 10 feet during your turn, you can use Hustle+Psionic Dimension Door to move around the battlefield. But your reach is pretty huge, so you shouldn't have to do that very often. You can also just wait for your enemies to come to you, and ready an action to smack them when they come near you.

Each enemy that you hit gets a free Bull Rush attempt (Knockback) on each attack, applying your damage and Leap Attack bonus to the opposed Str check.

This should allow you to push your enemy several spaces backwards. For each space you move your enemy backwards, you may also shift him one hex to the left or the right (Shock Trooper). If this pushes your enemy into the same hex as another enemy, you get a free Trip Attempt on each of them (Shock Trooper, again).

Assuming you still threaten their spaces, each successful Trip gets a free follow up attack (Improved Trip), and each successful melee attack gets a free Bull Rush, which can start another Shock Trooper+Improved Trip combo. And every melee attack can also apply to someone standing next to your enemy using Sweeping Strike.

If you kill someone (you will) you get a Cleave attack, which will also apply to whoever is standing next to them, and start the Attack+Bull Rush+Trip+Attack... combo, again.

And at any time you can Bull Rush an enemy into a wall or other inanimate object, you get to use the Dungeon Crasher ability to deal an extra 8d6 + (3 x Str mod) damage, in addition to your insane Leap Attack damage. This is really easy to pull off, since with Shock Trooper and your uber Bull Rush multiplier, you should be able to fling enemies pretty far. Alternatively, you can have a friend summon a wall in the middle of the battlefield, forcing your enemies to walk around it, and giving you something to Bull Rush them into.

In addition, a whip provokes an AoO from your enemy whenever you use it while adjacent to it. This is a great opportunity for you, because thanks to Karmic Strike it essentially gives you another chance to start up your chain of attacks if by some odd chance you miss on your first touch attack. Though obviously if you're more defense oriented, you'll want to keep your enemies 10 feet away from you when you hit them with the lash.

Using the Complete Champion Barbarian variant, you get Pounce. So you get a full attack virtually every round.

Or if you'd prefer better Expansion and less Pounce, you can dump your Barbarian levels and invest in more Warmind levels earlier instead, depending on Psionic Lion's Charge or Hustle when you need a full attack.

If someone charges you (they pretty much have to in order reach you) you get a free AoO from Hold the Line, resolved immediately before the charge attack, in addition to the normal AoO you'd get for them moving through your threatened area. Which AGAIN, can trigger your combo.

Be sure to buy a backup reach weapon that doesn't deal fire damage. Your DM is most definitely going to throw fire immune enemies at you. See Invisibility will also help a lot, as will flight.

Also, I'm well aware that this requires an obscene number of feats for the full combo to work. If you think its too many, just drop feats from the end of the list. All you really need is Improved Bull Rush, Power Attack, Knockback, and Shock Trooper. Everything else is just gravy.

It may be piddlin' damage, but if you knocked them through the middle of a legion of sentinels spell, they'd provoke 12 AoOs that deal 1d8+(CL/3) damage a piece, with an AB of +CL.

Person_Man
2007-10-09, 02:42 PM
It may be piddlin' damage, but if you knocked them through the middle of a legion of sentinels spell, they'd provoke 12 AoOs that deal 1d8+(CL/3) damage a piece, with an AB of +CL.

More fun. Legion of Sentinels is a 3rd level PHBII spell, yes?

There's literally a ton of different applications for this. I'm definitely going to have a Goliath Warlock/Fighter with Blend into Shadow (Hide in Plain Sight) and Knockback and a BBEG at some point. Maybe one of his minions will use Legion of Sentinels? Of course, I just want to knock the PCs around and challenge them, not kill them. So maybe I'll tone it down a bit.

Fax Celestis
2007-10-09, 02:49 PM
More fun. Legion of Sentinels is a 3rd level PHBII spell, yes?

There's literally a ton of different applications for this. I'm definitely going to have a Goliath Warlock/Fighter with Blend into Shadow (Hide in Plain Sight) and Knockback and a BBEG at some point. Maybe one of his minions will use Legion of Sentinels? Of course, I just want to knock the PCs around and challenge them, not kill them. So maybe I'll tone it down a bit.

PHB-II, 3rd level arcane spell. Beguilers get it too.

And honestly, it'd make a scary battlefield. Expanded legion of sentinels! 20' radius of AoO provocation of doooooooom.

EDIT: I correct myself. That spell just got scarier. As with all radius spells, legion of sentinels affects in a sphere of influence, not a circle. Therefore, one would provoke 16 AoOs, not 12, for moving through the center of a casting--there's some in the air, 5' up, that would also threaten squares.