I kept seeing people mention that you cannot move a target more than 5 feet with a Bull Rush without moving with them. This confused me as Pathfinder's Bull Rush rules make no mention of such a thing.

Bull Rush (Pathfinder)

... If your attack is successful, your target is pushed back 5 feet. For every 5 by which your attack exceeds your opponent’s CMD you can push the target back an additional 5 feet. You can move with the target if you wish but you must have the available movement to do so. ...

Seems clear enough to me; You can push you target back a certain amount based on how much you exceed their CMD, and optionally you can move with them.

I remained confused on this issue until I read up on the 3.5 rules for Bull Rush, which state:

Bull Rush (3.5E)

... If you beat the defender’s 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 defender’s check result. You can’t, however, exceed your normal movement limit. ...

So, was this an intentional change to make Bull Rush more versatile, or was this simply poor wording on Paizo's part and PF Bull Rush is meant to function much like 3.5's?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you link to one or more of the conversations wherein you've seen this? Perhaps some context would permit answers to address the issues raised in those threads directly. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 12, 2022 at 14:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Apart from my own GM bringing it up, I swear I've seen it mentioned in multiple threads but I can only find this one right now. The Inheritor's Smite spell also seems to assume that Bull Rush functions like 3.5's. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 12, 2022 at 17:33

1 Answer 1


No, you do not have to move with the target. You are correct, the rules for Bull Rush make it quite clear:

You can move with the target if you wish but you must have the available movement to do so.

You decide whether or not to move with the target.


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