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D&D 5E 5E - Time for Attacks of Opportunity to die?

Should D&D next have attacks of opportunity?

  • Yes

    Votes: 54 34.8%
  • No

    Votes: 29 18.7%
  • Maybe, in a tactical module.

    Votes: 72 46.5%


First Post
Attacks of opportunity, love em, or hate em, they served a purpose in systems full of tactical combat rules, but do they deserve to be core, or for that matter even involved in D&D next?

Attacks of opportunity as written provided a punishment for DM's to hand out to players trying things they 'shouldnt' be doing in combat, and provided a deterrent in the ruleset for those players to even think of having their wizard attempt to disarm the half orc barbarian. It was a way to speed gameplay along, as most players knew what provoked and didnt, and could skip by those possible clumsy actions of disarm, bullrush, trip etc, and get down to the meat of hack'n'slash.

But in a system founded upon the ideas of quick, easy combat, and a ruleset that seems (at this point) to favor DM empowerment, are AoO's even necessary?

If the system is streamlined enough, I favor no AoOs. In a system designed to be empowering to player thoughtfulness and DM arbitration, AoO's are no longer necessary. We have reports stating that characters were basically swinging from chandeliers, or jumping on tables and kicking swords from baddies hands, and no reports of complex mechanics or DM's saying no.

Do attacks of opportunity even have a purpose in D&D next? Should they even be considered for the 'tactical combat' module?

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Personally, I like them. Like 'em lots I do. However, I know other posters hate them so my vote is that I can see them in a module ruleset and not part of base.


Eternal Optimist
Historically, in the early versions of D&D, when you moved out of combat, the opponent got a free swing at you. In addition, if you lost initiative (alternatively some arcane system involving weapon speeds and casting time) and got hit, you lost the spell you were casting. Ranged weapons just couldn't be used once you were in melee.

Once 3E came along, with cyclical initiative, the second point - being hit spoils the spell - no longer worked as originally designed. Thus, the free swing of moving away got adapted for 3E and the more general "attack of opportunity" was born. Likewise, you could use ranged weapons in melee, but provoked an AoO for doing so.

Of course, then 3E made the spell-casting AoOs mostly irrelevant with the Concentration skill!

4E kept the Opportunity Attack, removed Concentration (but added special abilities to avoid it), and made a more consistent terminology (Area, Ranged, Close, Melee) to show when they apply.

That's the history of the AoO until now - it's always been part of D&D, but it's been made more encompassing due to the adoption of cyclical initiative, even though a lot of things allow you to get around it!



First Post
I think you can have D&D without them, but I'd like to see them presented as a prominent option.

Beyond the AoO and all the associated rules about what provokes one and what doesn't, the simple idea of out of turn action is important and something I'd like to see emphasized in the base game.


I want OA's in the tactical module, but I prefer the 4e incarnation of them. Much simpler and less fiddly than the 3e version, IMO.

Heck, if I had my druthers, the 5e tactical module would look as close to 4e's combat system as I could get it. :)


They're very useful for a means of battlefield control in a tactical combat. So I'd certainly like to see them there. And dodging an opportunity attack (ala a 4E rogue's "Artful Dodger" power) is a lot of fun. But I'd love a mechanic that didn't punish movement. I want combat to be more mobile, rather than less.



I certainly like 4e's implementation of them. Occasionally OP, but overall a very useful way for everyone to exert some battlefield control.


Shouldn't Yes = Tactical Module? Obviously if the core allows for no minis, AoO shouldn't be part of the core.

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