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%


Victoria Rules
I like attacks of opportunity because I really hate the idea that say, an ogre for example, could win initiative, and wander past three ranks of fighters and squish the mage. Especially when I'm playing the mage.

Attacks of Opportunity are important in making melee fighters actually useful; of the fighters can't protect the casters, what good are they?
The Ogre and the Fighters should have to roll some dice to see if the Ogre can push past, and the attempt to push past should be a full-round action - nothing to do with attacks, more like blocking in US football. The Ogre might have to choose between spending the whole round just trying to push past or clobbering one of the Fighters instead.

And this points out one of the main hazards of turn-based play: everybody freezes except the one whose turn it is. Easy for play, but not the least bit realistic.


log in or register to remove this ad


If I were to simplify the concept of "people in close quarters with heavy cutlery are dangerous, better not to ignore them", I'd do the following. In 4e parlance:

- If you start your turn or move at any point of it adjacent to a threatening enemy combatant you're Slowed for that move action, unless you Run and do nothing else in the turn.

- Threatening enemy combatants are those who can make melee attacks and can see you, and are big enough (tiny animals won't stop you from moving)

- Firing a ranged weapon in melee is tricky as you can barely aim. Weapon Ranged attacks when adjacent to a threatening combatant have a -whatever penalty.

- Casting spells when adjacent to a threatening enemy is impossible, except for spells explicitly marked as Instantaneous.


Eternal Optimist
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.

I've just double-checked my AD&D DMG, and there's no such rule for the fighting retreat. Breaking off from Melee (pg 70) gives the free shot, but Gary didn't describe a fighting withdrawal at all - despite giving morale options of "Fall back, fighting", "Disengage, retreat" and "flee in panic".

Rules from other editions...

Holmes Basic:
A character in melee can withdraw if there is space behind him; the attacker gets a free swing at +2 with no shield protection.

Moldvay Basic:
Fighting Withdrawal - movement backward at 1/2 speed.
Retreat - movement backward over 1/2 speed, gives +2 to hit and free shot ignoring shield.

Mentzer Basic:
As Moldvay, but Fighting Withdrawal explicitly allows opponent to follow and both to strike blows if so.



First Post
OA's do serve a purpose when you get into reach tactics and ranged/spellcasting in melee. But how they handle it is another topic indeed.

I would prefer to have core be without OAs. If you try something in combat that the DM feels would leave you open, its DM discretion. Once you add the tactical module, you can have OA's for most things that involve threat/reach. I still would not like OA's involved at all in combat maneuvers.

Player: "I take down my pants and moon the orc."
DM: "Ok, you moon him, but he swings.. and hits you in your bare arse for 10 points of damage."
Player: "But it wasnt his turn!"
DM: "He saw an opening... literally..."

An Advertisement