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D&D 5E [Rules Question] Opportunity Attacks and Total Cover

mcbobbo

Explorer
I am not swayed by the 'xorn moves easily' argument. People move easily, too, and yet still provoke. I do agree that those not on the same plane can't attack him, but that's moot. OAs are a game construct to make movement tactical, not necessarily a strictly - logical thing. I see it as more consistent that when the xorn crosses from the surface to below it, he provokes.
 

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fjw70

Adventurer
I am not swayed by the 'xorn moves easily' argument. People move easily, too, and yet still provoke. I do agree that those not on the same plane can't attack him, but that's moot. OAs are a game construct to make movement tactical, not necessarily a strictly - logical thing. I see it as more consistent that when the xorn crosses from the surface to below it, he provokes.

I agree. By the book no provoke is the right answer, however I think provoking should happen when leaving a threatened square for a non-threatened square.
 

Joe Liker

First Post
I agree. By the book no provoke is the right answer, however I think provoking should happen when leaving a threatened square for a non-threatened square.
I'm curious why you think that.

Pretend you are fighting a human wizard, and that wizard has conjured a magical force field that he can move through freely, but you cannot. He has placed that force field so that it completely encases a 5-foot cube adjacent to you. (We'll say it's a short wizard.)

The wizard starts the fight adjacent to you, but outside the force field. By the normal rules, we all agree that he can move to any square adjacent to you outside the force field without provoking an opportunity attack.

Why, then, would you say he provokes an attack for moving into the force-field-protected square? It costs him no more effort or attention than moving to any of those other adjacent squares.
 

fjw70

Adventurer
I'm curious why you think that.

Pretend you are fighting a human wizard, and that wizard has conjured a magical force field that he can move through freely, but you cannot. He has placed that force field so that it completely encases a 5-foot cube adjacent to you. (We'll say it's a short wizard.)

The wizard starts the fight adjacent to you, but outside the force field. By the normal rules, we all agree that he can move to any square adjacent to you outside the force field without provoking an opportunity attack.

Why, then, would you say he provokes an attack for moving into the force-field-protected square? It costs him no more effort or attention than moving to any of those other adjacent squares.


Using a similar argument moving out of reach does take any more effort than moving through the force field. So if are going to use AO then it should probably be moving from any threatened square.
 

Joe Liker

First Post
Using a similar argument moving out of reach does take any more effort than moving through the force field. So if are going to use AO then it should probably be moving from any threatened square.
There's no such thing as a threatened square in 5e.

I guess we disagree on what an attack of opportunity actually is, why it exists, and possibly 5e combat dynamics in general.

Your argument sounds a lot like a desire to put the 5-foot step back into the game.
 
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Skyscraper

Explorer
I think Joe Liker and I are of a similar mind on this.

I'll paraphrase the rules, as I understand them. The idea behind 5E OAs is that you are either "engaged" with an opponent, or not. To disengage, you need to leave the opponent's reach, which normally provokes an OA; or to use the disengage action.

While you remain "engaged" with an opponent, you can move as much as you like, limited only by the distance you can cover on your turn. You can run around the enemy, shift to the side, roll under its legs. As long as you remain within the enemy's reach, you remain engaged. If you're a xorn, you can shift into the ground and go underneath the enemy. You have not left the enemy's reach, and thus you remain "engaged" with it. You do not provoke an OA.

Once the xorn, that remains engaged, is beneath ground level, it can disengage the enemy, but at that point, the enemy (1) cannot see the xorn anymore and (2) cannot target it through the ground with spell or sword. So the xorn indeed has an easy way to avoid OAs altogether.

So yes, I see readying actions as pretty much the only way to deal with a xorn. However, I don't think that this is a problem with the rules or the creature. It's simply that you need to react to a xorn, you can't initiate an action through the ground against it. It seems pretty intuitive to me. It's like in Jaws, they waited for the shark to make the first move, they couldn't simply dive into the water to attack it.

*******

By the way, to the poster who suggested that the xorn leaves a trench behind it: it doesn't because of its "earth glide" ability.
 

fjw70

Adventurer
I think Joe Liker and I are of a similar mind on this.

I'll paraphrase the rules, as I understand them. The idea behind 5E OAs is that you are either "engaged" with an opponent, or not. To disengage, you need to leave the opponent's reach, which normally provokes an OA; or to use the disengage action.

While you remain "engaged" with an opponent, you can move as much as you like, limited only by the distance you can cover on your turn. You can run around the enemy, shift to the side, roll under its legs. As long as you remain within the enemy's reach, you remain engaged. If you're a xorn, you can shift into the ground and go underneath the enemy. You have not left the enemy's reach, and thus you remain "engaged" with it. You do not provoke an OA.

I would say engaged is a good way to put it. However, I would say that moving to a space the the enemy can't attack you is leaving the engagement and should provoke.
 

Except I was taking about the Xorn hiding and only popping out when it is its turn. The Xorn pops out, hits, and then melts back into the ground. The only way to do anything is by readying an action for when the Xorn pops out. So you could grapple it, but only if you readied an action to do so when it pops out. Like I said, not the end of the world, but I cannot think of another way of dealing with it.

Note that with 5E allowing a move to be broken up with an attack, the situation with the Xorn is no different than that of a rogue who pops out from behind a wall, shoots an arrow, then duck back into cover all on his move -- the only way to hit him short of charging around the corner is to ready an action.
 

Tormyr

Hero
Note that with 5E allowing a move to be broken up with an attack, the situation with the Xorn is no different than that of a rogue who pops out from behind a wall, shoots an arrow, then duck back into cover all on his move -- the only way to hit him short of charging around the corner is to ready an action.
There is a difference. While readying an action to pop the rogue is valid, there are many other ways of dealing with the rogue.
1. Teleport next to him, on the other side of the corner or sideways to see around the corner.
2. Launch a fireball or other area of effect attack
3. Charge.
4. Others I haven't come up with.

With the Xorn, it seems like you are stuck with waiting.
 

Uchawi

First Post
I am not sure of the Xorn has earth sight, but you could also rule it has left combat and when it re-appears you re-roll initiative or have a surprise round.
 

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