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D&D 5E How do OAs trigger when an enemy has multiple reaches?

double post...

but wait, having 10 feet of reach isn't having multiple reach. So you should be able to move anywhere within 10 feet of an opponent unmolested.

So the longer the reach of the creature, the more freedom you have to maneuver around them. That doesn't make sense to me.
 

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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I don't know if it's the "right way" or not, but the way I would rule it: if the character moves 5 feet away, the dragon can use its reaction to make an OA with its claw. If the character moves 10 feet away, the dragon can use its reaction to make an OA with either its claw or its bite. And if the character moves 15 feet away, the dragon can use its reaction to make an OA with either its claw, its bite, or its tail.

That sounds backwards, to me. If they move 5' away, then they could use any attack. If the dragon passes on the OA at that time, and the character moves farther away to the 10' mark, the claw is no longer an option. If they pass on that, and the character continues to move, then only the tail remains as an option.
 

That sounds backwards, to me. If they move 5' away, then they could use any attack. If the dragon passes on the OA at that time, and the character moves farther away to the 10' mark, the claw is no longer an option. If they pass on that, and the character continues to move, then only the tail remains as an option.
Except, you only get an AoO when someone moves out of your reach and, using the Polearm as the example, you haven't left the reach of the weapon until they move beyond 10 feet.

So, for the dragon, moving 5 to 10 feet only allows an AoO for the claw because that's the only threatened weapon that you're leaving. You haven't left the threat range of the other two weapons.
 

double-post(again)
Although, once an attack gets provoked, Do the rules specify which weapon you must use to make the attack? The logic, to me, feels like it should be the weapon that caused you to provoke the attack.

Personally, the more I think about it, I dislike the fact that you can move anywhere within a long reach without provoking an attack.
 


GMMichael

Guide of Modos
Personally, the more I think about it, I dislike the fact that you can move anywhere within a long reach without provoking an attack.
I don't know why you and MarkB are suggesting that it's safe to be near an opponent, within that opponent's reach. That's where the opponent makes melee attacks. If you call that safe, I don't want to be in your adventuring party.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I don't know why you and MarkB are suggesting that it's safe to be near an opponent, within that opponent's reach. That's where the opponent makes melee attacks. If you call that safe, I don't want to be in your adventuring party.
Especially when the example monster given is a dragon, which can use legendary actions to smack you pretty much whenever it wants, whether you move or not. :)
 

I don't know why you and MarkB are suggesting that it's safe to be near an opponent, within that opponent's reach. That's where the opponent makes melee attacks. If you call that safe, I don't want to be in your adventuring party.
Obviously. But, sorry, did I use the word safe? If so, then that wasn't what I meant. I used the word unmolested. It's probably better to use the phrase 'with impunity'.

But we're talking about Attacks of Opportunity.

If the creature has a 15 foot reach you can do circles around it, with impunity, without incurring an extra attack (on top of it's usual attacks) but step away from there, it suddenly catches you off guard and can attack you. Just seems strange to me.
 

MarkB

Legend
I don't know why you and MarkB are suggesting that it's safe to be near an opponent, within that opponent's reach. That's where the opponent makes melee attacks. If you call that safe, I don't want to be in your adventuring party.
Dragons are fast. If it wants to make a melee attack against you on its turn, it can do so, no matter how far you run. Giving it the option to also do so on your turn is definitely a reduction in safety.
 

Tom Bagwell

Explorer
I'm not sure I'm following correctly. So, if you're within 5' of a dragon and try to withdraw totally...are you saying the dragon gets 3 OAs? Or that he gets to pick any OA?
 



GMMichael

Guide of Modos
I'm not sure I'm following correctly. So, if you're within 5' of a dragon and try to withdraw totally...are you saying the dragon gets 3 OAs? Or that he gets to pick any OA?
Erm, no. If you Disengage, the dragon gets zero OAs as you flee or pass by. So yes, one of the combat actions that emulates fleeing or passing by (the others being Dash and Dodge), and should be most likely to provoke an opportunity attack actually prevents opportunity attacks. Which makes me wonder why there's a rule for Opportunity Attacks. (Hmm, new thread?)
 

Li Shenron

Legend
This does open a minor exploit for ranged attackers in melee. Normally the dichotomy for such characters is that they must either attack with disadvantage if within 5 feet of the foe, or move away and risk being attacked themselves. With the above rule, they can step back 5 feet with no risk and then attack normally.

Not the point here, but this suggests me that the 5ft rule for range shooting in melee would have been better if it said within an enemy's melee range.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
You can simplify; you provoke an OA by moving away from a creature, never towards.

Covers 99% of cases the same and the remaining 1% cases are dumb.
 

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