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Tactical feats offer a number of maneuvers that are usable in certain situations. For example, Shock Trooper from Complete Warrior offers the directed bull rush, domino rush, and heedless charge maneuvers; the first two are used during bull rushes, while the third is used while charging and using the Power Attack feat.

Can you use two or even all three of these maneuvers at once, that is, can you charge into someone, bull rush them, using directed bull rush to aim where they go, domino rush to shove your foe into another to knock them both down, and all the while apply Power Attack penalties to AC rather than attack thanks to heedless charge?

Answers should specifically address whether or not there are any rules for tactical feats in general preventing this, and if not, also address whether or not there is any reason specific to Shock Trooper that you could not do so with that particular tactical feat.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Complete warrior, Shock Trooper specifically but all Complete warrior would be nice if there was any general rule on that. \$\endgroup\$ – Simon Jun 1 '17 at 22:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ All the maneuvers in the Shock Trooper feat. IF there is any general feat forbidding a large group of them, that would be relevant information that I would like to know. \$\endgroup\$ – Simon Jun 1 '17 at 23:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan I really don’t think he does. He’s asking if there is a general rule about tactical feats having some restriction on using multiple maneuvers at once. It really seems to me that your confusion stems at least in part from the fact that you already know the answer, and are assuming the question goes deeper than it does. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jun 1 '17 at 23:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, as someone who doesn't know the answer, this question seems pretty clear. Like, all 3 maneuvers from Confound the Big Folk have the same trigger. When you move into the square of a foe two size categories bigger than you, does it trigger all 3, or do you have to choose one? \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Jun 1 '17 at 23:22
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Tactical feats are introduced in Complete Warrior with the following explanatory text:

Feats with the tactical descriptor allow characters to perform a number of powerful attacks.

If you’re playing a character who has a tactical feat, it’s your responsibility to keep track of the actions you’re performing as you set up the maneuver that the feat enables you to perform. It’s also a good idea to briefly mention to the DM that you’re working toward performing a tactical maneuver; a remark along the lines of “I attack the troll, using Combat Expertise to the maximum, and that’s the first step in a tactical maneuver” is appropriate.

Some of the tactical feats refer to the first round, second round, and so on. These terms refer to the timing of the maneuver, not the battle as a whole. You don’t have to use Combat Expertise in the first round of combat to begin a tactical maneuver, for example; the round in which you use Combat Expertise is considered the first round of the maneuver. (108)

Complete Warrior includes the feat Shock Trooper (112). Later texts that include tactical feats like Complete Mage, Races of Eberron, Player’s Handbook II, Races of the Wild, and Tome of Battle include similar—but often significantly abbreviated—explanatory text. None of them change how tactical feats (and the maneuvers they provide) function.

This means so long the tactical maneuvers' in-combat requirements are met, any number of tactical maneuvers can be used together when the set-up is complete. (Note that while it's "a good idea to briefly mention to the DM that you’re working toward performing a tactical maneuver," that's not a requirement for being able to use maneuvers—although the DM may make a house rule saying that it is!)

The Shock Trooper feat's tactical maneuvers

A typical creature can use on the same turn the tactical maneuvers directed bull rush and domino rush, but this DM views these tactical maneuvers as usually incompatible with the tactical maneuver heedless charge.

The tactical maneuver directed bull rush says that the creature "must make a successful bull rush attempt as part of a charge" (links added). The tactical maneuver domino rush says that the creature "must make a successful bull rush attempt that forces a foe into the same square as another foe." Thus, a creature that took the action charge and, at the charge's conclusion, made a successful bull rush attempt against a foe so as to send the foe into another foe's square could employ both tactical maneuvers.

However, the tactical maneuver heedless charge says that a creature "must charge and make the attack at the end of the charge using [its] Power Attack feat." Since a bull rush attempt at the end of a charge is typically made instead of the attack at the end of the charge, this DM would rule that a creature can't bull rush at the charge's end then reallocate its penalty on attack rolls from the feat Power Attack (PH 98) to his AC, the creature having not met the maneuver's set-up conditions.1

However, this DM can imagine another DM ruling differently: a bull rush is an attack—albeit a special attack and one not requiring an attack roll—, and such a reading makes even the tactical feat heedless charge usable in conjunction with the Shock Trooper feat's two other tactical maneuvers. Ask your DM which reading he prefers.


1 A variety of reasons exist for a creature wanting to do reallocate its Power Attack penalties when the creature hasn't actually made a traditional stabbity-stab style attack, not the least of which is the creature hoping he'd trip a foe using the tactical maneuver domino rush therefore allowing the creature to make an attack against the tripped foe (or foes!) via the feat Improved Trip. (The FAQ says that the benefit of the feat Improved Trip "applies any time you trip a foe in melee combat, even if that trip comes from a special power" (41), but, as an unsourced FAQ ruling, take that with a grain of salt.) Also, because the benefits of the feat Power Attack (hence the tactical maneuver heedless charge) remain until the creature's next turn, making high-damage attacks of opportunity—provoked by, for example, the foe or foes standing up from prone—is also a thing.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Too bad the Master of the Unseen Hand can't power attack.... \$\endgroup\$ – nijineko Jun 2 '17 at 17:23
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There is nothing written about tactical feats stating that their use is limited. In fact, it explicitly states that tactical feats grant multiple abilities. Furthermore, feats are never restricted from being used simultaneously unless the feat explicitly defines those restrictions (for example, Whirlwind Attack does not allow you to use any other feat, ability, spell, or anything else to increase your number of attacks).

The only rules and explanations regarding tactical feats are on page 108, and neither the Behind the Curtain: Tactical Feats nor the initial explanation section labeled Tactical Feats gives any hint that it is intended for these feats to be limited based on anything other than meeting sometimes-stringent pre-requisites for their various maneuvers' activations.

I would hazard to guess that it is actually the intention of the Shock Trooper feat to use all of its maneuvers simultaneously, but they made it into separate abilities because they did not want a single checklist of those 3 items to stop you from using any part of the feat.

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