Trip, The Staple for A Strength Based Melee Combatant

There are a large number of feats in DDO, especially for those who like to engage in melee combat.  A few of these melee feats are handed out to all characters during the creation process, with one of these being Trip.  To a melee combatant, the trip feat can be extremely useful.  By building up your trip ability, a melee character can use trip as an effective crowd control mechanism, especially if you don’t have an arcane or divine caster to help stop a crowd of enemies in their tracks.

The difficulty check for a trip attempt is based on 10 + strength modifier + enhancements + vertigo bonus against an enemies strength or dexterity saves.  If a creature is tripped and subsequently knocked down, they can then make a balance check to get back up after a short period of time.  Naturally, the higher the strength score you have the more likely you will be able to trip an enemy.  Barbarians, fighters, and paladins are more likely to use this type of attack and this can be especially useful against enemy spell casters and brutes that can do a large amount of damage over a large area.

There are a number of things that can increase your trip ability and difficulty check besides increasing your strength score.  One of these is by taking the Improved Trip feat.  The improved trip feat adds +4 to the difficulty check to knock down an enemy and to keep him down.  However, one issue with taking the Improved Trip Feat is that you have to take Combat Expertise as a pre-requisite.  And to take Combat Expertise, you need to have a intelligent score of 13, which could be an issue for a melee class which tends to spend their attribute points in other areas (strength, constitution, dexterity).


Suppply tripping an ogre in Sorrowdusk Isle.

Another way to increase the effectiveness of the trip attack is through various enhancements.  In particular, those in the fighter trees such as Alacrity and Tactics from the Kensai and Last Stand from Stalwart Defender increase the difficulty checks for all of your combat based attacks.  Other ways to increase your trip ability is to equip some gear that promotes a vertigo bonus.

Although the majority of trip attacks are based on your strength as a major portion of the character’s difficulty check there is at least one character class and enhancement line that uses dexterity instead of strength for its trip difficulty check with a special attack.  The special attack that I’m talking about is Sweeping Strikes from the Rogue Thief Acrobat line.  This special attack uses a difficulty check equal to 10 + rogue level + dexterity modifier as long as the rogue is equipped with a quarterstaff.  This attack is also special in that it is a cleave  attack meaning that it can trip numerous enemies that might be surrounding the rogue.

Overall, trip is a pretty fun ability.  I try it use it as much as I can with my appropriate melee characters.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!



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