I already know that using trip as an AoO against a foe while they're trying to stand up doesn't cancel their standing-up action, they still make it to their feet. However, Greater Trip permits an AoO when you make a successful trip, not when an opponent falls prone from standing. The developers have issued errata very specifically stating that these are separate events - separate enough to permit two AoOs against the same target if the tripper has both Greater Trip and Vicious Stomp.

If they're that dissimilar, and nothing in either the trip nor the prone descriptions say otherwise, then a trip can be successful (and thus proc an AoO from Greater Trip, though not Vicious Stomp) even if the foe is already prone, right?

I'm building a character with a class from a third-party book that gains an animal companion and can select class features to give their companion access to all their own Combat feats, which means I can get Greater Trip onto my wolf companion despite the Int requirement. I also have a combo in mind that uses the same principle of successful trips against prone targets using Relentless Shot to allow me more battlefield control, since I'm not exactly a damage dealer.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Edited that all into the question, where you should be editing it in yourself instead of comments... \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 17:23

1 Answer 1


Although it's neither errata nor rules text...

James Jacobs says No

In the 2011 Paizo messageboard thread "Can You Trip a Prone Person?" Pathfinder creative director James Jacobs says

You can't trip someone who is prone. Just like you can't put a sleeping person to sleep, kill someone who's dead, or so on. This is a case where, I would hope, common sense would remove the need to write things down.

Thus, while the printed rules may not disallow tripping a prone foe, at least one of Pathfinder's developers is against the idea of tripping a prone foe. Also possibly of interest, Pathfinder lead designer Jason Bulmahn chimes in on the attack-a-foe-while-he's-standing issue in this thread from 2010. (Caution: Thread is 12 pages long.)

  • \$\begingroup\$ yeah, we've done the attack-a-foe-while-he's-standing-up thing in another question on this site, too, IIRC. That quote isn't exactly an errata, you're right, but I'll take JJ's word as word of God barring a more official source. It's a shame, I was really hopeful - oh well, two AoOs on a trip is enough, no need to chain them further. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 17:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ As an aside, a developer of the d20-system-derived 1st-edition Spycraft who was a big video game fighting game fan wrote some (deviously clever) martial arts rules in that game's Pan-Asian Collective sourcebook intending prone foes be knocked, somehow, even proner. So, I guess, there's some precedent, sort of? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 18:12

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