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The feat Shock Trooper allows an "Directed Bull Rush" to push the opponent to the left or right.

CW p.112: To use this maneuver you must make a successful bull rush attempt as part of a charge. For every square you push your foe back, you may also push that foe one square to the left or right.

But the Bull Rush description says:

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.

What happens if I push the opponent more than one square? If I wish to push him further than one square I have to move with the defender. But if I push him left or right, I change direction - while charging. The PHB demands a "clear path" and the images imply a straight line.

You could also argue that the charge is over when the bull rush is initiated, so subsequent changes of direction would be ok. But how do you calculate the movement limit for the bull rush in this case? Plus, charge is a full-round-action that does even prohibit adding 5-fooot-steps.

A friend of mine proposed this interpretation of the feat: you push him back several squares, move with him, always in a straight line, and at the very end of the movement you push him several squares left or right without moving with him. Is that the right concept of "Directed Bull Rush"?

So, does Shock Trooper/Directed Bull Rush allow

a) changes of direction for the bull rush while charging
b) change from charge to normal movement after initiating the bull rush
c) pushing the opponent left or right after completing a bull rush in straight line?

And CW says "To use this maneuver you must make a successful bull rush attempt as part of a charge." So I think (b) is out of the picture. Leaves (a) or (c).

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Shock Trooper (CW p.112)

Directed Bull Rush: To use this maneuver you must make a successful bull rush attempt as part of a charge. For every square you push your foe back, you may also push that foe one square to the left or right.

Take note that in 3.5 parlance, 1 square is 5 feet. With this in mind, the maneuver can be stated thus:

Directed Bull Rush: To use this maneuver you must make a successful bull rush attempt as part of a charge. For every [5 feet] you push your foe back, you may also push that foe [5 feet] to the left or right.

Why note the square-to-feet conversion? The rules for diagonal movement is crazy in 3.5, and by using feet for measuring distance, the DM is given more freedom in resolving the movement (e.g. count diagonal squares as 5 feet, alternate between 5 and 10 feet, or simply measure the movement with a ruler on a gridless map or in the Theatre of the Mind, or whatever else is applicable).

In any case, the undisputed events in this maneuver occur like this:

  1. PC charges at Target. PC must move at least 10 ft. in a straight line before contact with Target.
  2. PC initiates the Bull Rush on Target. Resolve the contest per Bull Rush rules. Take note that the Charge is still in effect, and thus PC cannot change directions in the movement involved in the Bull Rush.
  3. The result of the contest specifies how many feet Target is pushed back.

At this point, things become tricky. I can see two rulings here (and our table used the second ruling):

  • Directed Bull Rush is resolved after each 5 feet of bull rush: From step 3, after every 5 feet that PC pushes Target, he decides whether to push him 5 feet aside. When he does choose to push aside, Target is pushed out of PC's path, and can no longer be pushed farther because PC can't change his path per the rules of charging and he needs to move with Target to bull-rush him farther; if he's still got movement left, PC can then choose to continue charging past Target or stay put. Under this ruling, if PC bull-rushes Target 15 feet, Target can only be shoved aside 5 feet at most because PC forfeited the first 10 feet of bull-rushing.

  • Directed Bull Rush is resolved after completing the bull rush: From step 3, Target is pushed back as many 5-feet increments as PC can push him, with PC moving with the push. At the end of the bull rush, Target is pushed to the side as many 5-feet increments as the bull rush already pushed him (or less if PC wants). Essentially, PC bull-rushes Target back and then shoves him far aside. Under this ruling, if PC bull-rushes Target 15 feet, Target can be shoved aside up to 15 feet.

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Direct Answers

a. Yes, Directed Bull Rush allows a direction of left or right during the bull rush as part of a charge.

b. No, Directed Bull Rush doesn't allow changing a charge to normal movement rate after intiating a bull rush. Your movement rate - is your movement rate - which would be increased by charging.

c. Yes and No, Directed Bull Rush allows pushing the opponent left or right after completing a bull rush in a straight line. No, it is not mandatory to do as such.


Let's clarify some key components of a Bull Rush as part of a charge:

  • Main advantage of a Bull Rush as part of a Charge is "may move up to double your speed." This gives you more feet available to move him back.
  • A normal Bull Rush is straight back; a normal charge is a straight line; a normal charging bull rush is a straight line and straight back.
  • A charging character gets a +2 bonus on the Strength check made to bull rush an opponent.

Now let's clarify some key components of Direct Bull Rush maneuver:

  • Wording is "as part of a charge" not "at the end of a charge."
  • For every square you would push your opponent straight back, you may also push him one square left or right.


This part of your question would be a House Rule:

A friend of mine proposed this interpretation of the feat: you push him back several squares, move with him, always in a straight line, and at the very end of the movement you push him several squares left or right without moving with him. Is that the right concept of "Directed Bull Rush"?


Here's Why it is A Houserule

Directed Bull Rush is basically allowing you to Bull Rush someone in a diagonal line. The grid on a map are squares. Since there are no diagonal movement methods, since everything is square, you are allowed to Bull Rush one square back, and then one square to the left or right. You can continue that method depending on your Bull Rush opposing roll check.

Let's assume you can Bull Rush someone 25 feet with Directed Bull Rush, below is an example of what you can do with Directed Bull Rush:

Directed Bull Rush 25 Feet

Why it is important to differentiate that you aren't having to move left or right at the end of the straight line movement, is due to sometimes a need of Bull Rushing someone into another person (such as using Dungeoncrasher ACF) that is in the path of that 25 feet and possibly not provoking attacks of opportunity from opponents in threatened squares on the grid.

This is also important for the advanced costs of moving diagonally on the grid.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It does not take shock trooper just to bull rush someone diagonally. The illustration at page 154 PHB shows a diagonal charge. A subsequent bull rush would certainly be diagonal as well. \$\endgroup\$ – Giorin Dec 2 '15 at 23:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Giorin The diagonal movement cost is very expensive without this feat. \$\endgroup\$ – Ruut Dec 3 '15 at 0:28

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