As per the latest playtest packet, Bull Rush is a martial feat with the following text:

Effect: Choose a Large or smaller creature within 5 feet of you. Contest your Strength against that creature’s Strength. If you succeed, you push the creature up to 20 feet, provided you move with the creature along the same path. Doing so uses none of your regular movement, but you must be able to move.

As near as I'm able to tell, a Strength Contest has neither an action type or a limit to how often it can be repeated.

What limitations then, are there on Bull Rushing? Is there some reason I can't continually bull rush against the same target? (Other than that would be silly, because I realize that is not RAI)

How is Bull Rushing supposed to work, or how can it be made playable and more sensible?


3 Answers 3


This has changed considerably since the playtest version. In the published D&D 5e rules, there is no "Bull Rush" option defined as a feat or action, in either the Basic Rules or the Players Handbook.

However, you can achieve much the same effect through grappling, as described on pg 195 of the player's handbook. In fact, the mechanics entirely surpass the rules you listed.

  • You may only grapple a target no more than one size larger than you.
  • The grapple contest is Strength (Athletics) against either Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics).
  • While you have another character grappled, you can still move, although your speed is halved and the character you have grappled moves with you.
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Two things. Grappling is really not the most direct way to get to a "bull rush" style effect. The next section down "shoving a creature" is the equivalent action. \$\endgroup\$
    – wax eagle
    Aug 23, 2014 at 16:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think there is a feat to allow really good shoving somehow (maybe using a shield?) but I don't have the PHB handy. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mag Roader
    Aug 23, 2014 at 20:05

Reading through the Combat section, there is no explicit description of an action economy, but my understanding is that it's intentional so the system is more flexible and less hide-bound and interlocking. The boxed text in Improvising an Action (How to Play, p. 14–15) in particular clinched that impression, saying that the only limits to actions are "your imagination and your ability scores". So anything that you do in combat is an action. There aren't bonus actions (unless it says so) and no "partial" or "swift" actions (again, unless it says you can take another action).

Since Bull Rush is "doing something", it's an action. It explicitly says it doesn't consume your movement, but otherwise it's an action like any other. You can do it once in a turn instead of whatever other action (e.g. swinging a sword, flipping a table, casting a spell) that you would have taken.


You need the Charger feat:

Charger: When you use your action to Dash, you can use a bonus action to make one melee weapon attack or to shove a creature.

If you move at least 10 feet in a straight line immediately before taking this bonus action, you either gain a +5 bonus to the attack’s damage roll (if you chose to make a melee attack and hit) or push the target up to 10 feet away.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the RPG Stack Exchange! Could you include which sourcebook and page this feat comes from? It would make your answer much more useful. \$\endgroup\$
    – mech
    Sep 24, 2018 at 14:36

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