Since the Trip Action has the Attack Trait, it is subject to MAP (if you tried to Trip as your second action in a turn, your Athletics check would be at a -5).

What about weapons that have both the Agile and the Trip Trait? There are some, most of them monk/"eastern" weapons, but also the sickle. Would the Athletics check on the second Action get a -4 because of the weapons Agile trait?


2 Answers 2


Trip benefits from Agile

The Trip trait states:

You can use this weapon to Trip with the Athletics skill even if you don't have a free hand. [...]

And the Trip action has the Attack trait wich states:

An ability with this trait involves an attack. For each attack you make beyond the first on your turn, you take a multiple attack penalty.

The Trip action is an attack, and if you do it via a weapon's trip trait, then the Trip action is an attack made with a weapon.

That matches all the wording of the Agile trait, which states:

The multiple attack penalty you take with this weapon on the second attack on your turn is –4 instead of –5, and –8 instead of –10 on the third and subsequent attacks in the turn.


Trip does not benefit from Agile (or Finesse)

An errata (under Pathfinder Core Rulebook Errata) clarifies that Paizo officially does not support using an Finesse/Agile+(Skill Action) weapon to use Dex or reduce MAP to said skill check "Attacks".

Page 446: Attack Rolls. There was some confusion as to whether skill checks with the attack trait (such as Grapple or Trip) are also attack rolls at the same time. They are not. To make this clear, add this sentence to the beginning of the definition of attack roll "When you use a Strike action or make a spell attack, you attempt a check called an attack roll."

To clarify the different rules elements involved:

An attack is any check that has the attack trait. It applies and increases the multiple attack penalty.

An attack roll is one of the core types of checks in the game (along with saving throws, skill checks, and Perception checks). They are used for Strikes and spell attacks, and traditionally target Armor Class.

Some skill actions have the attack trait, specifically Athletics actions such as Grapple and Trip. You still make a skill check with these skills, not an attack roll.

The multiple attack penalty applies on those skill actions as well. As it says later on in the definition of attack roll "Striking multiple times in a turn has diminishing returns. The multiple attack penalty (detailed on page 446) applies to each attack after the first, whether those attacks are Strikes, special attacks like the Grapple action of the Athletics skill, or spell attack rolls." There is inaccurate language in the Multiple Attack Penalty section implying it applies only to attack rolls that will be receiving errata.

Because of this, weapon traits that apply to "attack rolls" do not apply to Athletics skill uses with the attack trait.

@Ruse's answer is a perfectly valid reason to homerule against this; just make sure to talk it over with your table(s).

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I don't believe anything you quoted here prevents an Agile Trip weapon from using a reduced MAP for a Trip attempt. The language for Agile, quoted in Ruse's answer, refers to Attacks, not attack rolls - "The multiple attack penalty you take with this weapon on the second attack on..." \$\endgroup\$
    – YogoZuno
    Dec 8, 2021 at 19:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ As YogoZuno says, this ruling doesn't apply for the agile trait because it never uses the 'attack roll' verbiage. You are correct that the ruling applies to the finesse trait, and I'd say it offers good additional context even if that trait isn't specifically mentioned in the OP. \$\endgroup\$
    – brandon
    Dec 8, 2021 at 20:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ I disagree about the basis of that argument (that the lack of the word "roll" in Agile somehow invalidates Trip being a Skill check) but, honestly, I disagree with this errata and plan to allow both Agile and Finesse to apply to Trip/Grapple/Disarm (etc in the future) if the weapon has both traits at my tables. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Dec 8, 2021 at 21:06
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Trip is an attack that lacks an attack roll. That's why agile applies (it's still an attack with MAP) and finesse would not (not an attack roll). The errata is certainly counterintuitive, the distinction between attack and attack roll seems bizarre. \$\endgroup\$
    – brandon
    Dec 8, 2021 at 23:13
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @ifusaso The errata is aimed at ruling out using finesse to change the stat used in the skill check for a combat maneuver with a weapon. So, Trip will always use Athletics based on Str, and never get your Dex bonus. It does absolutely nothing to any other traits at all that I can see. It also does not change that the maneuver is an attack, regardless of whether or not there is an attack roll. Agile modifies the MAP, regardless of what the MAP is applied to, be it attack roll, skill check or even saving throw (if that were somehow possible). \$\endgroup\$
    – YogoZuno
    Dec 9, 2021 at 0:50

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