This is part of my RPG series of entries here at SOB. See the inaugural entry in the series for more details.
The way certain Feats — such as Agile Maneuvers, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Grapple, Improved Overrun, and Improved Trip — are handled is kind of broken. Mostly, the problem is their relationship to each other and other feats. I’m listing Feats found in the Pathfinder RPG Beta, of course; Agile Maneuvers doesn’t exist in D&D 3.5, and it’s about damned time something like it appeared.
It seems to me that all of these are related. They all employ the Combat Maneuver Bonus to resolve their use. That, of course, is because they are all designed for use with Combat Maneuvers.
Despite this fact, in the way the Feats list is organized:
- Power Attack is a prerequisite for Improved Overrun and Improved Bull Rush.
- Improved Unarmed Strike is a prerequisite for Improved Grapple.
- Combat Expertise is a prerequisite for Improved Trip.
- Agile Maneuvers isn’t related to any of them.
I think I’d rather do things differently. I guess I’d just say that, for Improved Bull Rush, Improved Overrun, or Improved Trip, you can choose either Improved Grapple or Improved Unarmed Strike as a prerequisite — whichever you like. I guess Agile Maneuvers doesn’t really need to be directly related in terms of prerequisites — it’s basically the CMB‘s counterpart to the BAB‘s Weapon Finesse Feat.