D&D 5E Using booming blade on a reaction attack with sanctuary question

Irlo

Hero
Triggers as a general rule must complete before the reaction can happen.
Can you cite the rule? I can't find it. The general rule seems to be "follow whatever timing is specified in the reaction's description."

We have this from the DMG:

Typical combatants rely on the opportunity attack and the Ready action for most of their reactions in a fight. Various spells and features give a creature more reaction options, and sometimes the timing of a reaction can be difficult to adjudicate. Use this rule of thumb: follow whatever timing is specified in the reaction’s description. For example, the opportunity attack and the shield spell are clear about the fact that they can interrupt their triggers. If a reaction has no timing specified, or the timing is unclear, the reaction occurs after its trigger finishes, as in the Ready action.
 

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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Can you cite the rule? I can't find it. The general rule seems to be "follow whatever timing is specified in the reaction's description."

We have this from the DMG:
That's for the timing on when the AOO happens. From that rule we can see that usually the trigger has to fully complete before the AOO happens. At no point in that section, the general reactions section in the PHB, or in the section about AOO when moving out of reach is there any language that says or implies that an interrupted action can change and/or remove the reaction trigger while still allowing the reaction. For that to happen you'd need specific language doing that. Otherwise the default would be to continue the action after the interruption.
 

Irlo

Hero
That's for the timing on when the AOO happens. From that rule we can see that usually the trigger has to fully complete before the AOO happens. At no point in that section, the general reactions section in the PHB, or in the section about AOO when moving out of reach is there any language that says or implies that an interrupted action can change and/or remove the reaction trigger while still allowing the reaction. For that to happen you'd need specific language doing that. Otherwise the default would be to continue the action after the interruption.
Okay, so there's no general rule to cite? That's okay. Your inference is a reasonable one, but I can't see that it's explicit in the rules. Reactions are best dealt with specifically, rather than with general rules, because there's so much variety.

I wouldn't allow an attacker to "take back" an attack that was interrupted by a shield spell, but I would probably allow movement that provoked an OA to be aborted (either by choice or by an effect brought on by the OA). But I see movement as a special case. I wouldn't object to a DM who ruled otherwise.
 

ECMO3

Hero
Okay, so there's no general rule to cite? That's okay. Your inference is a reasonable one, but I can't see that it's explicit in the rules. Reactions are best dealt with specifically, rather than with general rules, because there's so much variety.

I wouldn't allow an attacker to "take back" an attack that was interrupted by a shield spell, but I would probably allow movement that provoked an OA to be aborted (either by choice or by an effect brought on by the OA). But I see movement as a special case. I wouldn't object to a DM who ruled otherwise.

So if you walk 25 feet across a room towards someone with polarm master and he makes his AOO when you enter his reach you can abort the entire move and go back to where you started moving from 25 feet away?

Or how about if you start outside someone's reach, 15 feet away and then you walk past them and provoke an AOO (lets say they are invisible and you don't know they are there). You can now abort the entire move and go back to where you started moving from?

I have no problem with interrupting the movement and stopping it at the point he is attacked - he was going to move further, now he isn't. That is reasonable. My problem is with suggesting he did not move at all or that he is in the same place he started his turn in.

Whether he moved 1 foot or 100 feet before he triggered the AOO, he still moved and that caused an opportunity attack. The movement (no matter how much or how little) is what caused an opportunity attack and it happened. There is no way to suggest otherwise.
 
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Irlo

Hero
So if you walk 25 feet across a room towards someone with polarm master and he makes his AOO when you enter his reach you can abort the entire move and go back to where you started moving from 25 feet away?
No, I don't think that's a reasonable ruling, for a few reasons but mostly because PAM doesn't specify that the AO happens just before the target enters reach. I was thinking specifically of a standard AO triggered by leaving reach with the attack resolving before the move is complete.
 

ECMO3

Hero
No, I don't think that's a reasonable ruling, for a few reasons but mostly because PAM doesn't specify that the AO happens just before the target enters reach. I was thinking specifically of a standard AO triggered by leaving reach with the attack resolving before the move is complete.
What makes 5 feet reasonable but 25 feet not reasonable?

What about my second example - you walk past an invisible creature and he makes his AOO when you leave his reach. Now you can abort the move and go all the way back to where you started.

How about I circle/spiral around someone 3 times gradually getting further and further away each rotation until I finally leave his reach the third time circling him. So I have walked about 45 feet of movement and moved about 2 feet further away from him in the last time I circled (15 feet) I walked and that 2 feet is what put me out of his reach. Do I go back to where I was before I circled him? Do I get 2 feet closer? Do I get 5 feet closer? How far do I go back?

I can totally buy the argument that you have not left his reach, you are at the very limit of it and still within his reach and can abort any further movement (and attack if you have the same reach as me). I can't buy that you have not moved at all, because whether you have to move 1 foot to leave my reach or 100 feet to leave my reach you still have to move.

I mean if we are going to say this what is the limit 1 inch, 1 foot, 5 feet, 15 feet, how much movement can I "take back" and why is it THAT number.
 

Plaguescarred

D&D Playtester for WoTC since 2012
Polearm Master is more specific as it requires the creature to be within reach in order to work, or else it couldn't be attacked. This is also the Dev opinion;


 

Plaguescarred

D&D Playtester for WoTC since 2012
I mean if we are going to say this what is the limit 1 inch, 1 foot, 5 feet, 15 feet, how much movement can I "take back" and why is it THAT number.
The last feet making you change space/square, because its the ammount making you move by increment so you can change space/square.

Moving a 4 feet or less means you are still within your 5 feet space/square. Moving 5 feet makes you change space/square
 

Irlo

Hero
What makes 5 feet reasonable but 25 feet not reasonable?
5' is the increment of movement that provokes an attack that occurs before that 5' movement is completed.

What about my second example - you walk past an invisible creature and he makes his AOO when you leave his reach. Now you can abort the move and go all the way back to where you started.
No, I would suggest that after the OA from the invisible creature, you can stop where you are -- adjacent to the creature, not all the way back to where you started. Again, it's because the attack occurs just before moving out of reach.

How about I circle/spiral around someone 3 times gradually getting further and further away each rotation until I finally leave his reach the third time circling him. So I have walked about 45 feet of movement and moved about 2 feet further away from him in the last time I circled (15 feet) I walked and that 2 feet is what put me out of his reach. Do I go back to where I was before I circled him? Do I get 2 feet closer? Do I get 5 feet closer? How far do I go back?
No, that's not what I'm suggesting at all. Only that last bit of movement that provokes the OA.
I can totally buy the argument that you have not left his reach, you are at the very limit of it and still within his reach and can abort any further movement (and attack if you have the same reach as me). I can't buy that you have not moved at all, because whether you have to move 1 foot to leave my reach or 100 feet to leave my reach you still have to move.
I wouldn't argue that you haven't moved at all.
I mean if we are going to say this what is the limit 1 inch, 1 foot, 5 feet, 15 feet, how much movement can I "take back" and why is it THAT number.
5' is the number. Why? Because any movement less than 5' is abstracted in the rules as remaining in the same space.

It's a reasonable DM ruling to say that you must finish moving out of reach after the OA resolves. It's also reasonable to say that you don't have to.
 

ECMO3

Hero
The last feet making you change space/square, because its the ammount making you move by increment so you can change space/square.

Using a grid is an optional rule to start with and not one that supports this argument in the rules anyway.

Moving a 4 feet or less means you are still within your 5 feet space/square. Moving 5 feet makes you change space/square

Moving 4 feet or less means you did not leave my reach and did not cause an AOO. You need to move 5 feet to get to the end of my reach. If you say 5 feet puts you in the next square then it puts you in the next square when the AOO happens.
 

ECMO3

Hero
5' is the increment of movement that provokes an attack that occurs before that 5' movement is completed.

Not true.

Any movement that takes you outside my reach causes an AOO. If you are 4 feet away and move 2 feet that 2-foot move causes an AOO (when the first foot is moved). IF you are 4 feet away and move 1 more foot that does not cause an AOO if you stop then.

No, that's not what I'm suggesting at all. Only that last bit of movement that provokes the OA.

This is exactly what I am saying! You move, only that last bit of that, not the whole 5 feet causes that.


5' is the number. Why? Because any movement less than 5' is abstracted in the rules as remaining in the same space.

To start with it is moving 5 feet away that causes an AOO not "less than" 5 feet away.

Second can you provide a reference suggesting that movement less than 5 feet means you are in the same place?

It's a reasonable DM ruling to say that you must finish moving out of reach after the OA resolves. It's also reasonable to say that you don't have to.
I agree on both points. What I don't agree on is that you have not moved or that you can take back the movement that happened up until that point.

I am not saying you have to move out of reach, what I am saying is you have moved to the limit of the reach (in this case 5 feet) and that is how far away you are.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Using a grid is an optional rule to start with and not one that supports this argument in the rules anyway.



Moving 4 feet or less means you did not leave my reach and did not cause an AOO. You need to move 5 feet to get to the end of my reach. If you say 5 feet puts you in the next square then it puts you in the next square when the AOO happens.
That really depends on where in the 5 foot square they are standing. It might only be a few to leave your reach and enter a new 5 foot square. If the person is in the middle of his 5 foot square, it doesn't take more than that few feet to enter the next square.
 

Irlo

Hero
Not true.

Any movement that takes you outside my reach causes an AOO. If you are 4 feet away and move 2 feet that 2-foot move causes an AOO (when the first foot is moved). IF you are 4 feet away and move 1 more foot that does not cause an AOO if you stop then.
I was trying to explain my rationale for my suggested ruling, not making any claims to "truth." In game terms, in my experience, and how we play at my tables, movements on that scale are abstract.
This is exactly what I am saying! You move, only that last bit of that, not the whole 5 feet causes that.
Then we're in agreement on that point. We do disagree on whether distances less than 5' are meaningful in game terms. Creatures occupying and control spaces. They are not points in space with a distance between them that can be measured with that precision.
To start with it is moving 5 feet away that causes an AOO not "less than" 5 feet away.
The OA occurs before the target moves 5' though. So, in that sense, yes, the target is less than 5' away.
Second can you provide a reference suggesting that movement less than 5 feet means you are in the same place?
Nope. I was explaining my interpretation of the overall rules, not suggesting that my interpretation is the only right one. The D&D rules are not that explicit. I think my interpretation is supported (but not required) by the rules about creatures of different sizes occupying spaces.
I agree on both points. What I don't agree on is that you have not moved or that you can take back the movement that happened up until that point.
Agreed. But I wouldn't require a creature to follow through with the movement that would have carried it out of reach of another creature that just made an OA.
I am not saying you have to move out of reach, what I am saying is you have moved to the limit of the reach (in this case 5 feet) and that is how far away you are.
Okay!
 
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Plaguescarred

D&D Playtester for WoTC since 2012
Using a grid is an optional rule to start with and not one that supports this argument in the rules anyway.

Moving 4 feet or less means you did not leave my reach and did not cause an AOO. You need to move 5 feet to get to the end of my reach. If you say 5 feet puts you in the next square then it puts you in the next square when the AOO happens.
Right, and we know that a creature provoking an OA didn't move 5+ feet because it would be out of your reach. It is precisely still within 5 feet of you, thus having moved 4 feet or less while it was moving out of your reach. It is attacked before moving that fifth feet that would move it out of your reach since ''the attack occurs right before the creature leaves your reach.''. If it decides not not move further, it will remain within 5 feet of you and have moved 4 feet or less.

Thats why i used space/square, because wether you use grid play or not, creatures still occupy a space of 5 feet and have a reach of 5 feet and wether they move by X feet increment or square, there is a minimum distance moving you into a space, square, area or reach.
 

ECMO3

Hero
Right, and we know that a creature provoking an OA didn't move 5+ feet because it would be out of your reach. It is precisely still within 5 feet of you, thus having moved 4 feet or less while it was moving out of your reach. It is attacked before moving that fifth feet that would move it out of your reach since ''the attack occurs right before the creature leaves your reach.''. If it decides not not move further, it will remain within 5 feet of you and have moved 4 feet or less.

Not 4 feet or less, 5 feet, this would be 5- feet, not 4-. I agree it is still in my reach, but my reach is 5 feet not feet or less and not 4 feet.
 

Somewhat related to the question at hand: do you people allow someone who has been targeted by an OA triggered by leaving reach to interrupt their movement and decide to remain where they are?
In the case of booming blade - yes. If they get hit with BB for trying to move, they can give up the move to avoid the extra damage. New information means a new decision.
 

The use of a grid seems to be an issue here. The reaction attack occurs when the target is EXACTLY 5 feet away. This means they are standing on the gridline between two cells. Fortunately, Booming Blade does not force an instant stop - they can continue to move without triggering the effect so long as it's less than 5 feet. It's 2.5 feet on to the next square, or 2.5 feet back to the square they just left. I.e. the target gets to choose which cell they end up in. This principle can be extended to any situation where a moving target is hit by an opportunity attack.
 

The use of a grid seems to be an issue here. The reaction attack occurs when the target is EXACTLY 5 feet away. This means they are standing on the gridline between two cells. Fortunately, Booming Blade does not force an instant stop - they can continue to move without triggering the effect so long as it's less than 5 feet. It's 2.5 feet on to the next square, or 2.5 feet back to the square they just left. I.e. the target gets to choose which cell they end up in. This principle can be extended to any situation where a moving target is hit by an opportunity attack.
If anything I'd say it makes sense on a grid but not without: on a grid, you're either adjacent or 5 feet away - there's nothing in between. So before you actually move to the next square, you trigger the AoO for trying to move. If you successfully move, you trigger BB. The order is clear.

This still mostly works with smaller squares, though it gets a bit weird.

If you try to think of movement as analogue, things get very confusing very quickly, because there's a weird moment where you're both 5 feet away (triggering to AoO) not quite 5 feet away (because you're still in reach).
 

ECMO3

Hero
The use of a grid seems to be an issue here. The reaction attack occurs when the target is EXACTLY 5 feet away. This means they are standing on the gridline between two cells. Fortunately, Booming Blade does not force an instant stop - they can continue to move without triggering the effect so long as it's less than 5 feet. It's 2.5 feet on to the next square, or 2.5 feet back to the square they just left. I.e. the target gets to choose which cell they end up in. This principle can be extended to any situation where a moving target is hit by an opportunity attack.
Agree completely.

The only thing I will note though is booming blade movement damage triggers on movement of "5 feet or more" so "exactly 5 feet" is included in this and is enough to trigger booming blade from the original effect. If the wording was "more than 5 feet" it would not trigger (assuming he did not keep moving after the reaction attack).

This is of course from the original spell, not from the reaction attack. As for the reaction attack, if you hit with that then the

So to sum up (and I am now pretty convinced this is RAW)

1. I hit enemy with booming blade
2. I cast sanctuary
3.Enemy moves away to attack someone else.
4. Assuming he moves directly away, once he hits exactly 5 feet the booming blade damage triggers and a reaction attack happens
5. Reaction hits for normal damage.
6. He can now move less than 5 feet in any direction without triggering more BB damage. He can also swing at me from where he is standing since I am exactly 5 feet away (if he has a 5 foot reach).
 


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