Sustaining a power provokes OAs?

Nail

First Post
Last night a goblin Hexer and his minions attacked our party. He hit us with a "Vexing Cloud", which is an area attack. Eventually we were able to surround him, so he used a minor action to sustain the cloud, and move it over himself.

We players said "We get OAs 'cause he used an area power while adjacent to us!"

Were we right?
 

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cmbarona

First Post
I would say no. You weren't adjacent to him at the time he used the power, you were adjacent at the time it was sustained. Sustaining itself is quite a different concept from the initial use of the power which is later sustained.
 

tiornys

Explorer
You get an OA when an adjacent enemy makes a ranged or area attack, moves from a threatened square, or takes an action that specifically provokes an OA. Sustaining a power doesn't specifically provoke an OA. Vexing Cloud doesn't attack anything when you sustain it. If it did (e.g. Hunger of Hadar), I'd say it provoked an OA. Since it does not, I say no OA.

t~

edit: note that using an area power explicitly provokes, but sustaining a power <> using a power, so we fall back on the basic OA triggers noted above.
 
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Nail

First Post
I would say no. You weren't adjacent to him at the time he used the power, you were adjacent at the time it was sustained. Sustaining itself is quite a different concept from the initial use of the power which is later sustained.
Rules text quote?

"concept" |= RAW


...and don't I know it.....<grumble, grumble> ;)
 

Fion

Explorer
On the initial use of the power it invokes an OA because it has the Area keyword (and powers with Area or Range keyword 'provoke' OA's by anyone adjacent.) So you are RIGHT if he uses the power while you are adjacent. However, sustaining the power does not provoke OA's, so after round one you would not be right.

As per PHB 290 "If an enemy adjacent to you uses a ranged power or area power, you make an area Opportunity Attack against that enemy."

Notice it says nothing about provoking from sustaining a power. Therefore you get an OA only on the round they use the power, not any rounds where they sustain it. In game turns I'd consider that he's concentrating on the power but has turned his focus back on threatening enemies, or using another power. ;)
 

cmbarona

First Post
Perhaps "concept" was the wrong word. I meant "idea" or, a far better term, "mechanic." I wish I had the books in front of me for a quote, but I guess that will have to wait until either I get home or someone else beats me to it.

EDIT: Ninja'd by Fion.

In this case, I think the term "using" is the source of the confusion. I see "using" to mean the initial implementation of a power.

On another note, side with the DM. Trust me. Your Wizard will not want to provoke OAs just from sustaining Flaming Sphere.
 
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eleran

First Post
Based on the fact that there a couple of terrain hazards in the DMG that use sustain Standard I would say that sustaining does not provoke an OA. You would look silly taking a swipe at an avalanche or a rock slide.

Thats the ruling for my game, YMMV of course.
 

MarkB

Legend
There was a thread on WotC's 4e Rules Q&A forum (can't link to it as they're down at the moment) posting a CustServ response to questions about Flaming Sphere. Their ruling was that only the initial casting of the spell provoked - even directing the Sphere to attack on subsequent rounds would not provoke.

As usual with CustServ, take the answer with a pinch of salt (large or small, to taste).
 

There was a thread on WotC's 4e Rules Q&A forum (can't link to it as they're down at the moment) posting a CustServ response to questions about Flaming Sphere. Their ruling was that only the initial casting of the spell provoked - even directing the Sphere to attack on subsequent rounds would not provoke.

As usual with CustServ, take the answer with a pinch of salt (large or small, to taste).
FWIW, I ruled that directing the sphere on a subsequent turn is a Melee attack for purposes of determining cover and OAs and anything else it might matter for. Seemed like common sense to me...
 

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