Very simple AoO suggestion

If a creature enters and leaves your melee range on the same turn, you may make a melee attack against it as a reaction.
If a creature enters and leaves your melee range on the same turn, you may make a melee attack against it as a reaction.



In D&DNext, there is no AoO yet.  Players and creatures can move freely.  There are many discussions about this topic.  

In previous editions, 4e most recently, if a creature or PC moved out of a threatened square, he took an attack, unless he or she only shifted 1 square, or if he used a power that allowed him to move through threatened squares (like the Rogue's Tumble Utility Encounter Power).

 

A Brave Knight of WTF

 

Rhenny's Blog:  http://community.wizards.com/user/1497701/blog

 

 

Indeed...many people are already up in arms about the lack of AoOs in the game. Does 5e/DDN really need it though? We, the playtesters, don't even know how the race and class builds or progressions really look as of yet...and I think that's a little more important to an extended story than an AoO will ever be.

For now, we're supposed to play without opportunity attacks, so..roll with the punch or join one of the other AoO/OA threads out there. 
The purpose of this suggestion is to bring up an idea that is simple enough that it could be made part of the rules without significantly slowing the system down.  While I enjoyed DMing it without the attacks of opportunity, I think some sort of rule for it is inevitable. The concern I have is that it stay as simple as possible to accomplish the basic gist of what it is designed to do (prevent free spring attacks for all, give people a reason not run past the fighter on their way to the wizard).

I think this does that. I'd like to get it into the public awareness for consideration, since there are plenty of overly complex (for this edition) alternatives being thought up.
I get that, and understand your standpoint...and I do hope that WoTC weighs in on considering the simplicity of your approach.
I think it'd be fine as an optional rule add on, but I hate AoOs tremendously, and their mere existence encourages the use of the battlemaps.  I hate battlemaps with a passion, so I do not want AoOs in the core rules.
Just moving away from an attacker didn't incite AoO in any edition of D&D through 3.X.

I see the rationale for it and agree that a case could PLAUSIBLY be made for AoO's, but it slows the game down like nothing else.  That price is steep.  More important than that though is this thought:  Reach of weapons gives the defender the advantage most of the time when retreating as you retreat before the enemy can react chronologoically speaking so the enemy pretty much has to move and swing awkwardly to hit you meaningfully.  Makes no snese ot give him free movement to do that.

So.

if you want to add a layer of positional tactics, the map and obstacles can provide some of it.  So can the forthcoming rules, like Bull rush and such that will be coming.  Another possibility is that a person can "lock" a person in place, sacrificing an attempt at damge to instead cut the enemy off, shifting and moving (opposed check perhaps if they try to move away). 

I do not want slow combat.  I just don't.
Indeed...many people are already up in arms about the lack of AoOs in the game. Does 5e/DDN really need it though?


YES.  YES WE DO.

Because without AoO, combat becomes a game of kill the squishy, because no one can stop you.


Ahh, so THIS is where I can add a sig. Remember: Killing an ancient God inside of a pyramid IS a Special Occasion, and thus, ladies should be dipping into their Special Occasions underwear drawer.
Because without AoO, combat becomes a game of kill the squishy, because no one can stop you.



It would be nice if someone could take a defensive stance as an action, similar to the dodge action, that allowed them to make AoOs. Give up attack and move for the round and gain the benefit of the 3.5 combat reflexes feat. Basically, allows an action to simulate when someone wants to say "I will defend this area and attack anoyone who tries to get past me." That is the only situation I think AoOs may be necessary.


Because without AoO, combat becomes a game of kill the squishy, because no one can stop you.



If your tanks and squishies aren't actively trying to protect the squishies (tanks getting in the way and squishies moving out of the way) then it's pretty easy to say that something's wrong with your tactics.

AoOs are a passive block and while they require setting up the situation, they don't require any further effort. 
Indeed...many people are already up in arms about the lack of AoOs in the game. Does 5e/DDN really need it though?


YES.  YES WE DO.

Because without AoO, combat becomes a game of kill the squishy, because no one can stop you.

The GM and Players should be using basic logic to determine whether "kill the squishy" should or even could happen in any given situation.

For example, if the Figher and Cleric are shoulder to shoulder in the tunnel, the enemies shouldn't be able to fit by and get to the squishies, regardless of AoO rules.  If the Fighter is taunting the Ogre relentlessly, he should not walk right by to punch the guy in a dress behind him.  Game world logic--not mechanics--rule the day here.

Plus, the GM has a responsibility to play the npcs honestly, as well, so most should be unable to indentify the squishies as priority targets--only very smart enemies from cultures with magic should.  And you can argue that a guy throwing fireballs makes himself a target, but it could just as likely make them think he's too difficult a target to attack.

Indeed...many people are already up in arms about the lack of AoOs in the game. Does 5e/DDN really need it though?


YES.  YES WE DO.

Because without AoO, combat becomes a game of kill the squishy, because no one can stop you.

The GM and Players should be using basic logic to determine whether "kill the squishy" should or even could happen in any given situation.

For example, if the Figher and Cleric are shoulder to shoulder in the tunnel, the enemies shouldn't be able to fit by and get to the squishies, regardless of AoO rules.  If the Fighter is taunting the Ogre relentlessly, he should not walk right by to punch the guy in a dress behind him.  Game world logic--not mechanics--rule the day here.

Plus, the GM has a responsibility to play the npcs honestly, as well, so most should be unable to indentify the squishies as priority targets--only very smart enemies from cultures with magic should.  And you can argue that a guy throwing fireballs makes himself a target, but it could just as likely make them think he's too difficult a target to attack.




Good points.   There are just different tactics needed when there are no AoO.   Plus, without AoO, if a Wizard gets hit once, he can run away and seek protection from the others in the next round.  In our playtest, the players often moved back from an attacker when HP were low (even the fighter did this).  It actually made the combats more dynamic.



A Brave Knight of WTF

 

Rhenny's Blog:  http://community.wizards.com/user/1497701/blog

 

 


Good points.   There are just different tactics needed when there are no AoO.   Plus, without AoO, if a Wizard gets hit once, he can run away and seek protection from the others in the next round.  In our playtest, the players often moved back from an attacker when HP were low (even the fighter did this).  It actually made the combats more dynamic.



Which is the point. AoOs allow for combatants to be a little lazier in setting themselves up on the battlefield...granted, movement is still needed, but not as much. Battles become less about life and death, and more about "lets get this over with."

However, with constantly needing to keep the enemies at bay and away from the squishies...new tactics are formed, ones that rely on movement and communication. Battles can become dire in a heartbeat, and the tides can turn just as quickly...and, without using as many monsters in a single encounter. It also makes chosing which battles to be in and which ones to stay away from an integral part of battle tactics, once again.

Good points.   There are just different tactics needed when there are no AoO.   Plus, without AoO, if a Wizard gets hit once, he can run away and seek protection from the others in the next round.  In our playtest, the players often moved back from an attacker when HP were low (even the fighter did this).  It actually made the combats more dynamic.



Which is the point. AoOs allow for combatants to be a little lazier in setting themselves up on the battlefield...granted, movement is still needed, but not as much. Battles become less about life and death, and more about "lets get this over with."

However, with constantly needing to keep the enemies at bay and away from the squishies...new tactics are formed, ones that rely on movement and communication. Battles can become dire in a heartbeat, and the tides can turn just as quickly...and, without using as many monsters in a single encounter. It also makes chosing which battles to be in and which ones to stay away from an integral part of battle tactics, once again.



Yup, yup.  I'm with you, but I also think WoTC needs to come up with a way for optional use of AoO to give those groups that like them a chance to use them.

A Brave Knight of WTF

 

Rhenny's Blog:  http://community.wizards.com/user/1497701/blog

 

 

Agreed
Yup, agreed.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

Just moving away from an attacker didn't incite AoO in any edition of D&D through 3.X.

Yes, it did. It was, in fact, one of the few things (spellcasting in melee and using ranged weapons in melee being the others) that DID provoke what were, for all practical purposes, AoOs going at least back to 1st Edition and BECMI. There was no particular name for the mechanic until the Player's Option books for 2nd Edition AD&D introduced the term "Attack of Opportunity" (before that some players I knew called it the "stupid tax" - a payment, in hit points, for the privelege of doing things that are stupid to do in a fight), but it's been there as long as I've been playing. That's not from the beginning, but I'll bet it's longer than a lot of the people in this thread have been alive.


Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011
Just moving away from an attacker didn't incite AoO in any edition of D&D through 3.X.

Yes, it did. It was, in fact, one of the few things (spellcasting in melee and using ranged weapons in melee being the others) that DID provoke what were, for all practical purposes, AoOs going at least back to 1st Edition and BECMI. There was no particular name for the mechanic until the Player's Option books for 2nd Edition AD&D introduced the term "Attack of Opportunity" (before that some players I knew called it the "stupid tax" - a payment, in hit points, for the privelege of doing things that are stupid to do in a fight), but it's been there as long as I've been playing. That's not from the beginning, but I'll bet it's longer than a lot of the people in this thread have been alive.



You do realize that you quoted something about movement...not about spellcasting or ranged attacks. This new addition to the D&D lineup is trying to keep things at least somewhat alive by giving Disadvantage as the form of "stupid tax" (yes, I've heard of it and a couple of its cousins...though I'm not old enough to have used the terms during game).

Anyways...I am hoping that the option is put into the game for groups that want to use it. However, I hope it's as an optional rule...and not a standard one. I actually don't mind forgoing the possibility of clobbering dumb baddies so that I can see my group come together as a more cohesive unit when it comes to tactics. 
Just moving away from an attacker didn't incite AoO in any edition of D&D through 3.X.

Yes, it did. It was, in fact, one of the few things (spellcasting in melee and using ranged weapons in melee being the others) that DID provoke what were, for all practical purposes, AoOs going at least back to 1st Edition and BECMI. There was no particular name for the mechanic until the Player's Option books for 2nd Edition AD&D introduced the term "Attack of Opportunity" (before that some players I knew called it the "stupid tax" - a payment, in hit points, for the privelege of doing things that are stupid to do in a fight), but it's been there as long as I've been playing. That's not from the beginning, but I'll bet it's longer than a lot of the people in this thread have been alive.



You do realize that you quoted something about movement...not about spellcasting or ranged attacks.

Yes, I undersatand that perfectly. You do realize that I described it as ONE OF the things that provoked AoO's in early editions, right? And that the ones you mentioned were described at the OTHER things that did this? You do understand the concept of examples, and the meaning of the word "others", right?

Also, that being snotty and sarcastic doesn't look good on you when you're essentially reporting a failure of reading comprehension on your own part, not a mistake on mine.

Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011
And as I recall it "Just moving away" means exactly that...I do believe 3.x decided to dub this maneuver a "withdraw." Just movement, not attacking and moving away, not moving away and spellcasting...just moving away. 
I really like the speed of play that 5E is providing. So what I'm looking for actually is a standard version of AoO. One simple enough that it's not going to noticeably slow down the game. I also like how tactics change a bit by not having to be locked down all the time for fear of getting slapped around. My criteria for desirability in both of those categories is something along these lines:

1. Should only apply in one particular situation.
2. Should not require remembering consequences after the action is resolved (ie, no "you lose your action next turn" nonsense)
3. Should not require keeping track of a new resource (ie, number of AoO per round from Combat Reflexes and it's ilk).
4. Should not require usage of a grid, rules for flanking, or other tactical battlefield configurations.
5. Should have few (if any) exceptions.

In addition:
6. Shouldn't be ridiculous (ie, not provide unlimited numbers of AoO per round)
7. Shouldn't require new math
8. Shouldn't be overly punitive.

I'm definitely open to additional suggestions beyond the one I offered. I think it fits these criteria fairly well, which is why I like it. Other suggestions that I've seen seem to either create a complex system, or violate 6, 7, or 8.

The early D&D version did a fairly good job with everything except 6 and 8. My version takes care of that. They get an attack only if they move *past* you. They can approach you regardless of your reach. They can leave your space just fine. They just can't do both on the same turn. So there is a degree of potential protection provided for rear-rank combatants in either one of two ways. You can position front rank combatants so that one would have to run past them to get to the rear. That way they either take the AoO or are forced to stop and fight the front rank, giving them a chance to reposition to defend the squishies. Or, they can position themselves right by the squishies, taking away automatic Spring Attack capability from all attackers.


1. Should only apply in one particular situation.
2. Should not require remembering consequences after the action is resolved (ie, no "you lose your action next turn" nonsense)
3. Should not require keeping track of a new resource (ie, number of AoO per round from Combat Reflexes and it's ilk).
4. Should not require usage of a grid, rules for flanking, or other tactical battlefield configurations.
5. Should have few (if any) exceptions.

In addition:
6. Shouldn't be ridiculous (ie, not provide unlimited numbers of AoO per round)
7. Shouldn't require new math
8. Shouldn't be overly punitive.



I think your suggestion violates number 4. While it will be easy enough to determine in a tight hallway whether or not the fighter has a chance to hit the goblins rushing past, anywhere there is room to move around will require carefully calculating the goblin's speed and determining his exact path to the wizard.

Now let's look at my suggestion of engagement:

1. Should only apply in one particular situation.
Check. Creatures are only engaged once they have attacked or been attacked.

2. Should not require remembering consequences after the action is resolved (ie, no "you lose your action next turn" nonsense)
Partial check. You need to remember who you are engaged by. This is not especially hard.

 3. Should not require keeping track of a new resource (ie, number of AoO per round from Combat Reflexes and it's ilk).
Check

4. Should not require usage of a grid, rules for flanking, or other tactical battlefield configurations.
Check – by not being movement-dependent, but rather action-dependent, engaging is useful without ever referencing a grid.

5. Should have few (if any) exceptions.
Check – Although themes or feats could key off of engagement to give specific builds specific benefits, the core mechanic is very simple.

6. Shouldn't be ridiculous (ie, not provide unlimited numbers of AoO per round)
This is impossible to judge. Only you can judge if you find something ridiculous.

7. Shouldn't require new math
Check

8. Shouldn't be overly punitive.
Check – in fact there are times when it will be advantageous for some creatures to attack even at a disadvantage, as that will allow them to engage a second creature and thus better protect their allies. 
It also breaches the action economy.

So far only one spell and the defender ability do this.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

Mearls has weighed in on this in Legends and lore a week or so ago. They are seeing that combat is a bit unrealistic for the squishy types. Both in their favor and against them. They can withdraw too easily without penalty and get killed too easily by onrushing foes who have no fear of the repurcussions of charging into combat. He really didn't say how they are going to address it, but hammering out this idea goes a long way to fairly resolving the difficulty.
"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs. He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own." --Gary Gygax
Men at arms should be able to get AoO's, Men of Magic should not. IMO.  Another good way for fightets to protect the squishies and something to make fighters stand out a little more. 
A shield wielding fighter can sort of play the "Left Tackle position" for his quarterback(s), which might come at a price on is own attack(s).

What if a character is allowed to use up to 10 feet of UNused movement (and takes disadvantage on his attacks) to physically move and block as a reaction?  That would allow fighters to attack, but not at full speed, which represents them sort of "readying" themelves to move and splitting their attention between their target and those who he is charged with protecting.  

Maybe this is an advantage that only shield wielders get sicne two handed weapons are kind of unwieldy by their nature and maybe don't allow you to commit to two things at once.  Yer either cleaving someonee in Twain or yer not.  Lol.

We could test the idea and see how well it works.  But that way there is a way to defend casters.



@lofgren

Your suggestion, if I'm correct:



  • If, an enemy has attacked you with a melee attack since the end of your last turn, you are engaged by that enemy and that enemy is engaged by you.

  • If you are currently engaged and you attack a creature who you are not engaged by, you can choose whether to take an attack of opportunity (wreckless disengage) or disadvantage on the attack roll (careful disengage).


My suggestion:



  • If a creature both enters and exits your melee reach during the same turn, you may make a melee attack against it as a reaction.



1. Should only apply in one particular situation.
2. Should not require remembering consequences after the action is resolved (ie, no "you lose your action next turn" nonsense)
3. Should not require keeping track of a new resource (ie, number of AoO per round from Combat Reflexes and it's ilk).
4. Should not require usage of a grid, rules for flanking, or other tactical battlefield configurations.
5. Should have few (if any) exceptions.

In addition:
6. Shouldn't be ridiculous (ie, not provide unlimited numbers of AoO per round)
7. Shouldn't require new math
8. Shouldn't be overly punitive.


I think your suggestion violates number 4. While it will be easy enough to determine in a tight hallway whether or not the fighter has a chance to hit the goblins rushing past, anywhere there is room to move around will require carefully calculating the goblin's speed and determining his exact path to the wizard.


I disagree. Carefully determining speed and exact path is what you don't do for effective theater of the mind combats. I don't think any significant difference will be noted by using this rule, compared to determining who is hit by a fireball, or whether or not you can send a lightning bolt at those three bugbears without hitting your two companions, or even whether or not cover is being provided. None of this is exact without a grid. All this requires is for the DM to be able to answer your question about whether you can make it to where you want to get to without moving through someone's melee reach, and the same for monsters. As a DM, I'd assume that everyone is taking the path that most easily avoids this problem, unless that's the only option.


Now let's look at my suggestion of engagement:

1. Should only apply in one particular situation.
Check. Creatures are only engaged once they have attacked or been attacked.

2. Should not require remembering consequences after the action is resolved (ie, no "you lose your action next turn" nonsense)
Partial check. You need to remember who you are engaged by. This is not especially hard.

 3. Should not require keeping track of a new resource (ie, number of AoO per round from Combat Reflexes and it's ilk).
Check

4. Should not require usage of a grid, rules for flanking, or other tactical battlefield configurations.
Check – by not being movement-dependent, but rather action-dependent, engaging is useful without ever referencing a grid.

5. Should have few (if any) exceptions.
Check – Although themes or feats could key off of engagement to give specific builds specific benefits, the core mechanic is very simple.

6. Shouldn't be ridiculous (ie, not provide unlimited numbers of AoO per round)
This is impossible to judge. Only you can judge if you find something ridiculous.

7. Shouldn't require new math
Check

8. Shouldn't be overly punitive.
Check – in fact there are times when it will be advantageous for some creatures to attack even at a disadvantage, as that will allow them to engage a second creature and thus better protect their allies. 


I agree that the suggestion your offer has merit. However, here is why I see the one I've offered as simpler in practice.

a) "Move Past": The DM is already keeping a rough mental map of the combat (or not, based on preference). Determining the path from point A to B is going to take advantage of that rough map that is already present for other purposes, or isn't going to add one, because if the DM isn't keeping any sort of mental image for the other stuff going on, he/she will just rule this as a yes/no situation too. No new resource is required to adjudicate the action.
b) "Engagement": When taking an action, one must apply disadvantage if necessary. This isn't a big deal.
c) "Move Past": Since the action is resolved when it happens, and no longer relevant afterward, there is nothing to keep track of afterwards. (With the exception of whether or not you have taken your reaction for that turn--a resource already tracked in the rules.)
d) "Engagement": The player or DM has to keep track of who is engaged by who. This means that after the initial situation is created, there is now a new component to keep track of (as you mentioned). I think we will find that this might slow things down more than expected.

So for purposes of speed, I think the "move past" suggestion is simpler and faster. I also think that it preserves a bit of the flavor of the earliest versions of attacks of opportunity (old school D&D).

The primary difference is about what it does to combat tactics. The "engagement" suggestion gives melee attackers the ability to draw attacks to themselves, without directly effecting combat mobility. The "move past" suggestion primarily effects maneuverability and positions, rather than targetting.  I prefer that consideration.  However, if you prefer the other consideration, then your suggestion would be preferable.


What if instead of AoO we treat the fighter as occupying any square he can reach?

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

Then fighter would have to constantly move to attack...which can make things awkward.

Plus...one person holding the fort on a 15'x15' patch of ground seems a little super-cinematic. Even the 3 Musketeers couldn't pull that one off (any of the portrayals)...though they were lithe and swift fighters, and often their opponents were bumbling fools. 
True,

The idea wasn't perfect by any means.

Having the enemy be able to move base to base to attack is necessary but having the enemy require a contest to pass his flanks could be a solution. No extra attacks but rather a loss of enemy attack one passed would give them a reason to attack.

AoO wasn't far from the musketeers description to begin with.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

I am a fan of Threatened areas costing double to move out of instead of providing AoOs. It makes it a little bit harder for everyone to disengage, but it doesn't bring in the slowness/meta-movement aspects of AoOs. I never really thought about it in 4e/3.x, but a lot of my PCs' turns were spent figuring out how to get to enemies w/out provoking. I actually enjoyed the dancing in and our of combat aspects of the DNDN playtest.

Fortunately for the vocal AoO majority, it seems like AoO will in some way be making their way into the next playtest. I can only hope that the mechanic leaves again. Although, I do like the idea of using an action to instead ready AoO-like mechanics (as others have mentioned). I like the notion that a fighter could forego his attack to instead attack X enemies who move through his threat-range (or use an Adrenaline Fighter Surge thingy to attack and do that).
"What's stupid is when people decide that X is true - even when it is demonstrable untrue or 100% against what we've said - and run around complaining about that. That's just a breakdown of basic human reasoning." -Mike Mearls