Imagine a 5th level fighter, Battle Master archetype.

He uses the Trip Attack maneuver with the first attack of his Attack action and knocks the enemy prone. With his second attack, he hits the enemy with advantage, then as a bonus action (thanks to the Shield Master feat) he shoves the prone enemy 10 feet away into a pit.

Is this allowed by the rules? If an enemy is already prone, can a character then shove that enemy away?


1 Answer 1


Neither the description of shoving enemies nor of the prone condition have any mention that a prone enemy can't be shoved. So going by the letter of the rules, it is indeed possible to shove a prone creature.

(Though given circumstances of what is supposed to happen in the action of the adventure, GMs are entirely in their right to overrule such an outcome for being nonsensical at their discretion.)

  • 13
    \$\begingroup\$ I'd disagree that the outcome is nonsensical, consider the following scene: The fighter trips the foe, then as the foe is falling the fighter bashes them with his shield, sending them sprawling into the pit \$\endgroup\$
    – Josh
    May 7, 2019 at 9:18
  • 13
    \$\begingroup\$ I think the logic makes perfect sense, pushing someone off-balance and then ramming then with a shield works well both mechanically and story telling wise. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    May 7, 2019 at 11:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would note as well that though the common meaning of prone is to be lying flat, you could narratively say that a prone creature has just been dropped to its hands and knees, which would still impede movement and justify the other effects of the prone condition. Shoving someone who is up on hands and knees seems easier than shoving someone who's actually lying flat. \$\endgroup\$
    – Carcer
    May 7, 2019 at 15:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ You should also consider - it's easier in some ways to shove someone lying prone, than it is for someone standing up. All you have to do is roll their body by kicking it hard enough. With a shield, you could even use it as leverage to roll them in the direction you want. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zibbobz
    May 7, 2019 at 16:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ At first I imagined some monster that is nearly as tall or taller than the PC even when its prone. Then I thought about the friction involved but that seems pretty easy to represent with weight classes/STR scores, etc \$\endgroup\$
    – Elininja
    May 7, 2019 at 19:07

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