Opinion on a House Rule - Opportunity attacks

14 posts / 0 new
Last post
So I played with a group recently and was surprised by a house rule that the DM was using. It had to do with how opportunity attacks were provoked.

Official Rules: (paraphrased) 
Moving Provokes:If enemy leaves a square adjacent to you, you make opportunity attack. cannot be a shift, teleport, or forced movement

House Rule:
Moving Provokes:If an enemy moves from an adjacent square to a non-adjacent square, you can make an opportunity attack. Cannot be a shift, teleport, or forced movement.

So for example. A halfling rogue could run up to an enemy, and then continue to run around the enemy and as long as the rogue stays in adjacent squares throughout the move, he would not provoke an opporunity attack. On the other end a goblin skirmisher who has a dwarven fighter adjacent to him could move to anywhere around the fighter he pleases and as long as the goblin stays adjacent to the fighter he is safe from any opportunity attacks.

Now I am all for house rules but this one just seemed to really break the movement system for 4e. Am I the only one who thinks this way? I would love to hear some opinions from the community.
Yeah, that's a pretty bad houserule.  Flanking is supposed to be at least somewhat difficult to accomplish.  That's one thing it breaks horribly - there are others.  I could go on, but yeah, no, I'd reject that houserule as really dumb.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Now I am all for house rules but this one just seemed to really break the movement system for 4e.

I am completely against all house rules, but this doesn't seem like it would make a huge difference... effectively allowing an extra square of shifting if you stay adjacent. And most players should be able to establish flanking even without this.

Nevermind: I see what you mean now... you could do this at the end of a normal move, allowing you to instantly circle around enemies even though you started far away, or even charge past them a bit. Yeah... that's silly.

Making house rules has been the time-honored purview of the Dungeon Master since D&D books were the size of TV Guide and came in little boxes. In the end, it doesn't matter what anybody (even the self-proclaimed experts) on these forums says about how good or bad your house rules are. If they work for you, and your players keep coming back game after game then guess what? You win.

With the AD&D 1st Edition campaign I run, I tend to be more liberal with using house rules than I am with the D&D 4th Edition campaign I run because, well, AD&D 1st Edition is vaguely written and, in some cases, internally inconsistent. D&D 4th Edition, however, tends to be a comparatively more mechanically sound game that has come closer to achieving what might be impossible to fully achieve in a tabletop RPG: game balance. As such, I tend to leave the rules alone. In fact, at this time I use only one house rule in my D&D 4th Edition campaign, and it's a pretty minor one.

Since you're actively soliciting opinions on this house rule, I'll say that I'm not a fan of it. I think there is a sensible rule already in place to accomplish moving around a combatant without being attacked: shifting. It should be difficult to move around someone who is actively trying to kill you. You should have to be on your guard against getting your melon knocked in, hence being only able to move one square.

But as I said above, if it's working for you guys then bravo. I'm a much bigger fan of having fun playing the game than I am of slavishly adhering to a set of rules that is governing make-believe.

================================================ "Your life is an occasion. Rise to it." -Mr. Magorium ================================================

But as I said above, if it's working for you guys then bravo. I'm a much bigger fan of having fun playing the game than I am of slavishly adhering to a set of rules that is governing make-believe.


The OP is posting here because it's not working for him.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Yes, as Mand12 stated I am asking for the opinions of the D&D community (whose experience far exceeds mine) because this rule really doesn't work with me, but seems to work with the DM who made it, and I was at a loss of what to do. I don't really see the point of the rule, but the DM argues that this houserule makes moving less time-consuming. He states that with the official rule in place, his combat encounters would slow to a crawl and make the gaming session go on for 1.5+ hours longer than when he used the houserule stated above, and I just don't see how this is possible. I don't find the official rules to be limiting or slow paced in any way.

This is why I come to you, my experience with the D&D world is very limited compared to his, so I wanted opinions from a similiarly experienced crowd, that is all. :D 

Thank you for the comments and opinions so far!
4e combat can tend to run on the slow side, that's true.  But gutting tactical movement isn't something that should be done lightly.  The game is designed with those restrictions on movement in mind, and extreme care should be taken when adjusting things that are that core to the mechanics.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
He states that with the official rule in place, his combat encounters would slow to a crawl and make the gaming session go on for 1.5+ hours longer than when he used the houserule stated above, and I just don't see how this is possible.


Yeah, that seems like a pretty incredible claim to me as well. It feels counterintuitive that a change like that could shave an hour and a half off of combat. But obviously I can't speak intelligently to that because I haven't witnessed his game sessions.

================================================ "Your life is an occasion. Rise to it." -Mr. Magorium ================================================

He states that with the official rule in place, his combat encounters would slow to a crawl and make the gaming session go on for 1.5+ hours longer than when he used the houserule stated above, and I just don't see how this is possible.



That must be massive exageration, there is no way you could take up an extra 1.5 hours/session with opportunity attacks.  If you add up every Opportunity Attack I have seen taken since 4e came out I don't even think it would add up to 1.5 hours, and I have been playing in 2 bi-weekly games since 4e came out.

EDIT: Unless he's claming that changing that rule gives the players superior tactical options that end encounters way faster.  I'm still incredulous.
I think my DM is refering to how it 'opens' up the flow of combat so you can pretty much move wherever you want, thus less thinking on where you move tactically? This is just my interpetation though. However, even with all those things considered, I still can't see it speeding up combat by very much, if at all. :/ I am glad to not be the only one who believes this is an odd houserule. Your comments have helped me to better understand the situation, and I am thankful for that.
If you have any other House Rules questions, you should direct them to the House Rules & Homebrew Forums.
I think my DM is refering to how it 'opens' up the flow of combat so you can pretty much move wherever you want, thus less thinking on where you move tactically? This is just my interpetation though. However, even with all those things considered, I still can't see it speeding up combat by very much, if at all. :/ I am glad to not be the only one who believes this is an odd houserule. Your comments have helped me to better understand the situation, and I am thankful for that.

4e combat is supposed to be tactical. If people are taking too long, get an egg timer.
Well, your DM just broke/gimped several controller and defender capabilities with that silly rule, possibly making those type of characters less effective, but he probably never thought of that.  If he did think of that and he thinks it will become a problem, he'll probably just pile on some more broken houserules to unbalance the game further until it spirals into a mess of severely bad unintended consequences and resentful players.  That's usually how this kind of thing goes.

If turns are taking too long then institute a shotclock with a reward for those players who consistently take their turns before the timer runs out.  Avoid penalizing players who take a long time though, some people just need more time and I would not want to institute any penalty for that with the possible exception of maybe just having the player Delay until they're ready.

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

So I played with a group recently and was surprised by a house rule that the DM was using. It had to do with how opportunity attacks were provoked.

Official Rules: (paraphrased) 
Moving Provokes:If enemy leaves a square adjacent to you, you make opportunity attack. cannot be a shift, teleport, or forced movement

House Rule:
Moving Provokes:If an enemy moves from an adjacent square to a non-adjacent square, you can make an opportunity attack. Cannot be a shift, teleport, or forced movement.

So for example. A halfling rogue could run up to an enemy, and then continue to run around the enemy and as long as the rogue stays in adjacent squares throughout the move, he would not provoke an opporunity attack. On the other end a goblin skirmisher who has a dwarven fighter adjacent to him could move to anywhere around the fighter he pleases and as long as the goblin stays adjacent to the fighter he is safe from any opportunity attacks.

Now I am all for house rules but this one just seemed to really break the movement system for 4e. Am I the only one who thinks this way? I would love to hear some opinions from the community.



So your DM basically gave Pass Forward to everyone on the table.  Not really that gamebreaking when you look at it that way, but given how much tactical advantage that power actually had (see how well it's rated in the guides here), that's a pretty powerful change nonetheless.

But regarding the logic behind the change, I'd have to say this: there are quite a number of abilities that allow multi-square shifting, teleporting and overall avoiding opportunity attacks anyway, so there's no real need to change opportunity attacks much.  If you want faster and smoother combat, however, might as well remove all the out-of-turn actions save for the following:

1. Change Combat Challenge to: "once per round, when an enemy you've marked shifts or makes an attack against an ally outside of your turn, as a free action before the movement or attack resolves, make a basic attack".
2. Change Combat Superiority to "once per turn, when an enemy moves from a square adjacent to you to a square that is not adjacent to you, as a free action make a melee basic attack".
3. Essentials-style defenders' mechanic, change to something similar to #2
4. Basically all other defenders would utilize free actions (1/turn or 1/round) to make up for the lack of out-of-turn actions.

It's not pretty, but it SHOULD help cut down the time during combat, as there wouldn't be that many out-of-turn actions to resolve AND it would still keep the defenders pretty decent.
Show

You are Red/Blue!
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

You are both rational and emotional. You value creation and discovery, and feel strongly about what you create. At best, you're innovative and intuitive. At worst, you're scattered and unpredictable.

D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - D&D Compendium

57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
Sign In to post comments