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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%

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
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.
And this was really all that was ever needed. And the move-out-of-combat free shot only applied of you (or your foe) turned tail and ran; if you backed up in a "fighting retreat" and kept your defenses up there was no free shot.

Once 3E came along, with cyclical initiative, .....
Truth be told, I thought cyclical initiative was a child of 2e.

Either way, it is evil. It's really very simple to re-roll initiative each round (but use a smaller die than d20 - I've used both d6 and d10 and those work fine) and if two or more rolls are the same then those actions happen simultaneously. But, a caveat: initiative bonuses of any kind are *much* more powerful in this system; on a roll-each-round system I'd scale any init. bonus back very sharply if not eliminate such things altogether.

And to get away from the all-attacks-at-once nonsense for those with multiple attacks, each attack gets its own initiative. If the two (or more) attacks are coming from the same weapon their init's cannot be the same; but when fighting with two weapons they can strike simultaneously.

Lan-"taking the initiative, one round at a time"-efan
 

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triqui

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

I ve played with AO without minis, dont see the relation. It just become DM fiat.

If you try to flee,he gets free swing. Was that way in ADnD even without minis.
 

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
Supporter
And this was really all that was ever needed. And the move-out-of-combat free shot only applied of you (or your foe) turned tail and ran; if you backed up in a "fighting retreat" and kept your defenses up there was no free shot.

The AD&D rules are a little obscure on this point, in fact!

Truth be told, I thought cyclical initiative was a child of 2e.

I don't know if it ever was presented in a 2E rulebook.

Original 2E was roll initiative every round (with possible individual initiatives), and Combat & Tactics gave a system where you attacked in the round according to the speed of your attack, with initiative breaking ties or changing the order slightly.

I was running AD&D last weekend with nine (NINE!) players and I very much appreciated the group initiative rules. I just had all the melee combatants roll their attacks simultaneously and then went round the table taking down damage when they hit...

Cheers!
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I was running AD&D last weekend with nine (NINE!) players and I very much appreciated the group initiative rules. I just had all the melee combatants roll their attacks simultaneously and then went round the table taking down damage when they hit...

Cheers!
Initiative discussion worth its own thread, you think?

Lanefan
 


Crazy Jerome

First Post
I'd also prefer side by side initiative. That's practically how I ran 3E after the first year, and how I run 4E now, anyway. But that may not be the preference of many people. I'd say it is simpler for the core game, but the skill of managing player communication with the DM using side by side is a bit different, and not one that I think fits a defined process very well.

So obviously that changes Opportunity Attacks somewhat. However, for those what I'd really like to see a game try is to replace all interrupts with conditions or status effects. That is, the whole point of an OA is that the thing you used to not be able to do at all (shoot a bow in melee) or only under serious constraints (cast a spell in melee) in early D&D, you can now choose to do at cost. But I don't see why the cost necessarily needs to be "interrupt the normal pacing of the action to resolve something else."

I've proposed elsewhere that some kind of Provoking system would be a -2 to hit all targets and/or a -2 to all defenses, until your next action. That would work well enough for a simple game, and doesn't depend on a grid. You either get it or you don't. A more tactical module, using the grid, could treat it as instead a -2 to attacks and a -2 to all defenses against those you provoke. For that same module, it is easy enough to adjust a 4E-style marking to impose more severe and different consequences, but still not be interrupts. Obviously, the exact numbers might be different in a new version. Either way, provoke, and you increase the chances that you'll take more damage, which is mainly what Opportunity Attacks do now, anyway.

All you need in any version is enough of a consequence so that people won't do it lightly, but not so much that they will never do it. I'll grant my suggestion is as much my distaste for interrupts as a desire to preserve some equivalent to Opportunity Attacks, though.
 




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