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D&D 5E How broken is tunneling speed?

Well that whole issue of leaving reach is pretty tricky it sounds like.

Interpretation 1: If you have 5 feet of reach, you threaten a 5' radius, whether your attacks would be blocked or not.

Interpretation 2: You do not threaten, or have reach to, any area within that 5' that has total cover from you.

Imagine you are fighting someone near the edge of an opaque wall of force. Do you threaten the space on the far side of the wall of force that has complete cover from you (and which you couldn't even get to without leaving your current space/location)?

Interpretation 1 says, yes, you do, and therefore an opponent could sidestep from a space you could reach them to that space behind the wall and you would not get an opportunity attack.

Interpretation 2 says, no, you don't threaten it and it isn't within your reach (because you literally can't reach it), and you would get an opportunity attack when they moved out of your actual reach to behind the wall.

I don't think I'd really considered this before, but I'm leaning towards interpretation 2.
 

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Voadam

Legend
Well that whole issue of leaving reach is pretty tricky it sounds like.

Interpretation 1: If you have 5 feet of reach, you threaten a 5' radius, whether your attacks would be blocked or not.

Interpretation 2: You do not threaten, or have reach to, any area within that 5' that has total cover from you.

Imagine you are fighting someone near the edge of an opaque wall of force. Do you threaten the space on the far side of the wall of force that has complete cover from you (and which you couldn't even get to without leaving your current space/location)?

Interpretation 1 says, yes, you do, and therefore an opponent could sidestep from a space you could reach them to that space behind the wall and you would not get an opportunity attack.

Interpretation 2 says, no, you don't threaten it and it isn't within your reach (because you literally can't reach it), and you would get an opportunity attack when they moved out of your actual reach to behind the wall.

I don't think I'd really considered this before, but I'm leaning towards interpretation 2.
Interpretation 2 then says you can run around someone fine without provoking unless you can get to a safe protected spot, in which case you do provoke. That seems a weird choice
 

fedosu

Garbage Bear
Interpretation 2 then says you can run around someone fine without provoking unless you can get to a safe protected spot, in which case you do provoke. That seems a weird choice
Since you don't provoke the OA until you try to leave reach, Interpretation 1 and Interpretation 2 both allow that behaviour, except that #1 also sometimes allows you to avoid any OA at all.

I'll be honest, the 5E OA rules have always seemed a mess to me. I miss my 4E Shift.
 

Voadam

Legend
Page 195 PH:

"Used in hand-to-hand combat, a melee attack allows you to attack a foe within your reach. A melee attack typically uses a handheld weapon such as a sword, a warhammer, or an axe. A typical monster makes a melee attack when it strikes with its claws, horns, teeth, tentacles, or other body part. A few spells also involve making a melee attack.
Most creatures have a 5-foot reach and can thus attack targets within 5 feet of them when making a melee attack."

The general rule seems to be 5 feet around a creature's square is its reach and you can attack things within that reach.

A specific rule overcoming the general rule would be something like you can't attack a creature with total cover.

Page 196:

"A target with total cover can’t be targeted directly by an attack or a spell, although some spells can reach such a target by including it in an area of effect. A target has total cover if it is completely concealed by an obstacle."

This states you can't target an attack, no reference to it affecting reach.

Does anyone have any references that say reach is only stuff you can actually attack and so more variable as a baseline than the 5 feet squares around a creature?
 

Plaguescarred

D&D Playtester for WoTC since 2012
If Threaten = Opportunity Attack possible, then you do not threaten spaces you can't see since creatures you can't see don't provoke OA from you. Creatures can therefore safely burrow their way under others at the surface without any risk of OA.
 

Iry

Hero
Burrow speed is incredibly powerful in the hands of a creative player, but it does come with two major limitations:

1) Sensory Deprivation - Without some kind of supernatural sense, you're totally oblivious to what's going on above ground. Are they waiting with a ready action? Are they even standing nearby? Who knows. You can't see anything, and you generally can't hear anything unless your DM is feeling generous about "general noise above you." This opens up a discussion about PEEKING*, where you stick an eyeball out of a small crack to see what is going on, and maybe get Three-Fourths cover against readied attacks, etc.
* This can come up in the Strahd fight as well, if he peeks at you through walls.

2) Not All Substances - Sand, earth, mud, and ice are the usual materials, with Earth being the most relevant one. This can be really DM dependent, with some deciding that solid rock happens pretty quick, and others letting you earthshark around a bit. I've also seen a middle ground where a DM counted thick tree roots and rocky but not solid rock material to be difficult terrain. Talk to your DM about how she handles burrow speed, and/or pick up some Nature to ask about the ground in various areas.
 

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