[Opportunity Attacks] 'Creature hugging' And why I view it as bad thing.

'Creature hugging', Its the concept of moving around a character in such a way that you don't provoke opportunity attacks, for example if A fighter bursts through a double door an takes up a defensive position while a wizard stands 5-10ft behind him, a creature shouldn't be able to just walk up to the fighter, walk around him in such a way that he never leaves 5ft and hit the wizard. At the moment that example is doable, yet feels incredibly unnatural. Its caused by the nature of opportunity attacks as they are, and the fact that as long as you never move away from a creature you can conceivably do a little dance around him never provoking opportunity attacks, even to go as far as to turn your back to someone who is intending to attack you.


Personally the way I think it should be handled is with a kind of 'line of sight' system, It functions under the assumption that since you provoke opportunity attacks from leaving a creatures range, therefore looking away from him, he can hit you pretty easily. This also fits into the idea of shifting and disengaging, as it is assumed you kind of back away from a creature rather then walk away, hence it is harder, requiring special skills (feat) or specific focus (action).


I think one possible way to make it seem more natural could be:
-Firstly if you want to move while adjacent to a hostile creature you should have to put some effort into it, as such it should be treated as difficult terrain or something to that effect, requiring twice as much movement, to somewhat emulate edging around a creature while keeping your guard up.
-And secondly if you want to engage something, or preform some action, your facing direction is taken into account. You are assumed if you are adjacent to a hostile creature you are facing it, so if you try to preform some action that requires you to look away from it, e.g. attacking someone behind you, or pulling a leaver, you are assumed to have turned and faced the action or lowered your guard enough to not be paying attention to the person and as such provoke an opportunity attack.


This causes a few different things, firstly it justifies opportunity attacks from people walking past you, for example if someone chooses not to 'edge' past you, hence not to be affected by the difficult terrain effect, they provoke an opportunity attack, secondly it means that if someone chose to walk past you then use their action to disengage, they can but it will be difficult and will allow someone to move no further than a few feet away from you (how far they can disengage), and finally will make attacking while surrounded incredibly risky, for example if I find myself with a fighter on either side of me to attack one would provoke opportunity attacks from the other. However if they aren't positioned in a way that I would put myself at a disadvantage to attack one of them, similar to how flanking works, then I am still able to engage them both normally.



I feel these changes would make the game feel a lot more tactical and interesting  requiring you to think about your movement before making it, for example not putting yourself into a bad position, or choosing to be in such a place as to protect an ally therefore placing a much higher value on correct positioning. Also it would remove the notion of standing there staring as an enemy runs around you an attacks your friends, which seems a bit unnatural. However that's just my take on how it should be handled.
"Death by a thousand paper-cuts" This shall be all my decks name and theme from now on.
Some sort of "attacking a hostile while adjacent to another hostile invokes OOA from that other hostile" rule will cover this.
Sort of, adjacent is one thing, but if you are standing facing two opponents, that;s hardly grounds for an opportunity attack, perhaps "Attacking a hostile while flanked by another hostile provokes opportunity attacks from the flanking hostile"
"Death by a thousand paper-cuts" This shall be all my decks name and theme from now on.
"Attacking a hostile while flanked by another hostile provokes opportunity attacks from the flanking hostile"

Sounds good to me.

I agree the "hugging" is a problem, but I don't think making it difficult terrain will fix it.  Imagine your fighter throws open the double doors and steps in.  It is a guard room, and the baddies are in the middle.  The closest is 10 feet away and the farthest 20.  The near guy can still spend 10 feet getting to the fighter, and then still go to the back with his remaining movement, even at double cost.  Even the farther ones can move up and still get to the fighter's sides.   If the ones in back attack the wizard, the fighter gets an OA, but so would baddies in (what was) front of him.  The fighter still can't block off the door.  I really think you just have to make all movement adjacent provoke.  Otherwise, the best you are doing is delaying it by one round at best.   
In actual combat, it's perfectly reasonable for two opponents to circle around each other without lowering their defenses at all. In fact, circling around your opponents grants a greater advantage to you than your opponent. Turning your attention to a different person and attacking them, however, would lower your defenses against the original opponent. So maybe the rule suggested above could make sense and solve the problem.

It might be overpowering, though, because two combatants could completely shut down one opponent by flanking him, when reasonably flanking only provides a benefit to the flankers, not complete control.
Also in Theater of the Mind its not unreasonable that when the fighter says he's taking up a defensive position in the doorway that he's not leaving any space for people to walk around him and he should be able to prevent the at least one enemy form ever getting by him.  Without the grid he's not forced to to be in the left side or the right side.
I totally agree with this, and as a GM I let my players spend 2.5 ft of movement to put themselves on a gridline, or any amount of movement to put themselves wherever they want, reach is still 5 feet and so on so they're more likely to get hit, but they can do things like block hallways like this.

I completely agree that enemy hugging is really simple, and there needs to be a solution.  Provoking an opportunity attack when you attack a hostile while being flanked makes a lot of sense and isn't terribly complicated.
I just don't understand why they don't use the 4e rule for AoO's and shifting (instead of this "disengage" horse ****). It was simple and easy to understand, and all of this just seems like trying to reinvent the wheel.

"If an enemy within your reach moves without shifting or makes a ranged attack while within your reach you can make an opportunity attack (a special melee attack) against them as a reaction. A creature can avoid provoking opportunity attacks and move up to five feet by sacrificing the remainder of their normal movement for that turn. "

There. Problem solved.

Now, you may have to play around with the wording to include casting spells in melee and make "shifting" less jargony, or you could just make that a separate rule, but regardless, there really isn't much of a problem here that I'm seeing.

Anyway, as for enemy hugging, all you really have to do is add a clause in there so that if an enemy attacks an ally while within your reach you can make an opportunity attack. I'd honestly just make this a fighter class feature, but all the people who see 4th edition as a pestilence from Satan would probably develop a new hate boner.
I'm actually glad they made Shift a feat. Being able to take a 5-foot-step to escape from an enemy at any time shut down any strategy to keep ranged attackers from firing. Now if you want to get out of melee you have to sacrifice your action (or use Shift or Spring Attack). So I'm okay with the current system, allowing you to safely move around an enemy but not away from them.
I just don't understand why they don't use the 4e rule for AoO's and shifting (instead of this "disengage" horse ****). It was simple and easy to understand, and all of this just seems like trying to reinvent the wheel.

"If an enemy within your reach moves without shifting or makes a ranged attack while within your reach you can make an opportunity attack (a special melee attack) against them as a reaction. A creature can avoid provoking opportunity attacks and move up to five feet by sacrificing the remainder of their normal movement for that turn. "

There. Problem solved.

Now, you may have to play around with the wording to include casting spells in melee and make "shifting" less jargony, or you could just make that a separate rule, but regardless, there really isn't much of a problem here that I'm seeing.

Anyway, as for enemy hugging, all you really have to do is add a clause in there so that if an enemy attacks an ally while within your reach you can make an opportunity attack. I'd honestly just make this a fighter class feature, but all the people who see 4th edition as a pestilence from Satan would probably develop a new hate boner.

Not sure how the rule you're proposing is different from 3.5e, except it already includes rules for casting spells in melee.

Yes. Attacks of opportunity being provoked by attacking an opponent's ally causing attacks of opportunity, which of course would provoke attacks of opportunity, which of course would provoke attacks of opportunity in an endless spiral toward the bottom level.

Where's Virgil when Dante needs him?
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
I think some of the problems arise from the necessity of turn-based combat. Combat is happening all at once, but has to be resolved mechanically in terms of initiative, each player taking a turn.

Similar problems arise when it comes to giving chase. He's 30 feet away. He's 150 feet away. He's 30 feet away. He's 150 feet away.

I've got a rule that will never fly that I think should be included somewhere. It might not solve this chase situation, but might help cover those pesky situations like the fighter in the doorway. It's kind of second editiony, but should be engraved in stone somewhere.

Rule 1: If a situation arises where the rule as written creates an outcome that a rational person would consider unlikely given the circumstances, DM must use common sense.
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
I think some of the problems arise from the necessity of turn-based combat. Combat is happening all at once, but has to be resolved mechanically in terms of initiative, each player taking a turn.

Turn-based combat is not a necessity - it is a tradition.

HackMaster has a very robust and easy to use combat system that operates on the counting of seconds and every participant in the combat being able to act simultaneously - with weapons having attack speeds to determine when to make a roll, and in the case of melee having attacks with superior reach resolve first (example: two opponents engage in melee, one with a longsword (3 1/2 foot reach) and the other with a pair of short swords (2 foot reach), meaning the longsword attack is resolved and then the first of the pair of shortswords - assuming the wielder did not fall due to the longsword attack).

It even breaks up movment speed in a more realistic fashion, and makes a monster that has 2 claws and a bite much more dynamic to deal with - rather than 3 attack rolls all at the same time on its turn, the monster has a speed listed for its attacks (example: 3) and then has a described attack routine (example: leads with its claws trying to grab and hug relentlessly, will peck if unableto grab before attempting the routine again) such that it would turn out as follows:

Second 4 of combat: A warrior wielding a longsword and an owlbear have just closed into melee range. Comparing reach the warrior attacks first, then the owlbear's first claw attack.
Second 6 of combat: The warrior's rougish friend joins the melee and attacks with a dagger.
Second 7 of combat: The owlbear's second claw attack is made.
Second 10 of combat: The owlbear attacks with its beak since it didn't manage a grab.
Second 13 of combat: The rogue stabs again with his dagger right after the owlbear claws at the warrior again.
second 14 of combat: the warrior attacks again.
second 16 of combat: the owlbear hits the warrior with its second claw and begin to hug
second 20 of combat: the rogue stabs again, trying to get the owlbear to let his buddy go.
second 21 of combat: damage occurs from the owlbear hug.
second 24 of combat: the warrior manages to kill the beast and free himself.

Rather than an "I get three attacks, then you get one, then he gets one, and repeat" sort of mess.

ATTENTION:  If while reading my post you find yourself thinking "Either this guy is being sarcastic, or he is an idiot," do please assume that I am an idiot. It makes reading your replies more entertaining. If, however, you find yourself hoping that I am not being even remotely serious then you are very likely correct as I find irreverence and being ridiculous to be relaxing.

I think the problem with opportunity attack is that they are extremely strong right now due to MDD being returned on each player's turn.  What about an advantage/disadvantage mechanic instead of OAA?  (I know some people don't like them, but ...)

"When flanked, your attacks are made at a disadvantage."

I immediately notice that this would be a problem if we are also assuming that flankers gain advantage on attacks.  That could be solved by modifying the disadvantage rule to trigger only when someone circles around an enemy into a flank, but I think that loses too much simplicity to be a useful option.

Another solution could be simply that the DM is regularly giving out advantage/disadvantage based on the situatiosn of the game, and chooses to give out disadvantage in such a situation.  I think the most recent play-packet indicates that it's the DMs job to give out adv/disadv and that doing so regularly makes the fighting fun and interesting.
When you have a stronger opportunity attack, then tactical avoidance becomes more important, e.g. possible rogue skill tricks that avoid triggering, fighters chancing an attack or reducing damage, wizards avoiding moving through the battle or becoming invisible to move through, &c. I think this seems reasonable. 

I thought the 4e rules on opportunity attacks and combat advantage did a good job codifying the abstract intuitive understanding of melee combat: if you run past/away, you drop your guard, and an experienced adventurer would try to take advantage of that. If you are surrounded by enemies, each of them is harder to defend against, so you take a penalty. (But being flanked doesn't affect your attacks, just defenses.)

I really like the Next rules for combat, so I'd support some rules on specific situations and some guidance on how to rule when the rules are unclear. Opportunity attacks provoking opportunity attacks actually seems like a reasonable thing, and increases the tactical nature of combat in a way that I find appealing. Say you're a fighter out front protecting a wizard from several weaker melee enemies. You engage one enemy in combat. Another wants to get past you to attack the wizard. It can move into your reach and then spend its action to disengage, waiting for the next round to attack the wizard (simulating it moving carefully past you and not presenting you with an undefended flank). Or it can try to run past you to strike the wizard. That triggers an opportunity attack. You can attack it and trigger another opportunity from the enemy already engaged, or just let it run past. So you attack it to protect the wizard. Now you're engaging two enemies: do each enemy's attacks against you have advantage?

Does attacking one provoke an opportunity attack from the other? How much of this depends on relative positions, and how far can you go complicating these rules before you require a grid?

Doesn't this seem like a reasonable abstraction of a battle? The only problem I see is that advantage is probably bigger than a +2 bonus to attack, so you would probably need to use it in narrower circumstances.
'Creature hugging', Its the concept of moving around a character in such a way that you don't provoke opportunity attacks, for example if A fighter bursts through a double door an takes up a defensive position while a wizard stands 5-10ft behind him, a creature shouldn't be able to just walk up to the fighter, walk around him in such a way that he never leaves 5ft and hit the wizard. At the moment that example is doable, yet feels incredibly unnatural. Its caused by the nature of opportunity attacks as they are, and the fact that as long as you never move away from a creature you can conceivably do a little dance around him never provoking opportunity attacks, even to go as far as to turn your back to someone who is intending to attack you.


Personally the way I think it should be handled is with a kind of 'line of sight' system, It functions under the assumption that since you provoke opportunity attacks from leaving a creatures range, therefore looking away from him, he can hit you pretty easily. This also fits into the idea of shifting and disengaging, as it is assumed you kind of back away from a creature rather then walk away, hence it is harder, requiring special skills (feat) or specific focus (action).


I think one possible way to make it seem more natural could be:
-Firstly if you want to move while adjacent to a hostile creature you should have to put some effort into it, as such it should be treated as difficult terrain or something to that effect, requiring twice as much movement, to somewhat emulate edging around a creature while keeping your guard up.
-And secondly if you want to engage something, or preform some action, your facing direction is taken into account. You are assumed if you are adjacent to a hostile creature you are facing it, so if you try to preform some action that requires you to look away from it, e.g. attacking someone behind you, or pulling a leaver, you are assumed to have turned and faced the action or lowered your guard enough to not be paying attention to the person and as such provoke an opportunity attack.


This causes a few different things, firstly it justifies opportunity attacks from people walking past you, for example if someone chooses not to 'edge' past you, hence not to be affected by the difficult terrain effect, they provoke an opportunity attack, secondly it means that if someone chose to walk past you then use their action to disengage, they can but it will be difficult and will allow someone to move no further than a few feet away from you (how far they can disengage), and finally will make attacking while surrounded incredibly risky, for example if I find myself with a fighter on either side of me to attack one would provoke opportunity attacks from the other. However if they aren't positioned in a way that I would put myself at a disadvantage to attack one of them, similar to how flanking works, then I am still able to engage them both normally.



I feel these changes would make the game feel a lot more tactical and interesting  requiring you to think about your movement before making it, for example not putting yourself into a bad position, or choosing to be in such a place as to protect an ally therefore placing a much higher value on correct positioning. Also it would remove the notion of standing there staring as an enemy runs around you an attacks your friends, which seems a bit unnatural. However that's just my take on how it should be handled.

Well, once the creature EXITS the threatened square (if he doesn't take a disenage action) he does in fact provoke an AOO
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@lordpoee, I read it as if they leave your reach, meaning that as long as they can hit you in mele, your safe to move around.

This brings to mind the creatures with a reach of 10. What an advantage the other creature has. They can move to within 10 feet of you without provoking.
I would personally rule it as "if a creature leaves one of the reaches of another creature, it provokes an opportunity attack." So lets say there is a giant scorpion with reach 5 claws and reach 10 tail attack, the scorpion could either attack with claws after 5 ft movement or attack with the tail after 10 ft of movement.

In terms of the changing system, I like it how it is. Maybe an advanced rules module could add in extra stuff like flanking but its too complex for core I think. I wouldn't mind some isolated things like a feat that gives you a flanking bonus.

I actually really like the creature hugging aspect. I think it adds more tactical consideration to the game. One person can keep one creature close to him/her, but s/he can't lock the creature down. The fight still involves the two opponents constantly circling each other. If you want to block passage you need to make use of terrain AND position. On the other hand, two opponents can lock a foe down into a single square when they work together. Looks good to me!

The lock-down "feature" is exactly what I don't like. It makes the fight feel stagnant and static, rather than lively and dynamic. Lack of flanking rules really kill it for my group too. Movement feels dumbed down and uninteresting overall.
I also don't really have a problem with how it currently stands.  

If a warrior wants to lock down an area around them, they must devote themselves to the task.  Normally, they are too busy attacking/defending to effectively stop someone from moving past them; at most they get a quick attack when the foe's back is turned.  However, if they let up on the aggresively attacking, they can take care of someone trying to move past them.

Mechanics:  Ready an action for when someone comes into reach or tries to move past you.  Either attack them outright for punishment, grapple them to prevent further movement, or knock them on their ass.  

Grappling someone who is moving will force them to use their action to either try to break free or force them to attack you since you are the only thing in reach.  Knocking someone down sadly isn't really effecitve by RAW as they can just spend another 5ft of movement and stand up.  I'd probably houserule something like "If, during your movement, you are forced prone against your will, you can make no further movement that turn except for standing up."

The lock-down "feature" is exactly what I don't like. It makes the fight feel stagnant and static, rather than lively and dynamic. Lack of flanking rules really kill it for my group too. Movement feels dumbed down and uninteresting overall.



I strongly disagree. Two opponents working hard to lock a creature down is what flanking is about in DDN. So, there are flanking rules. Meanwhile, combat does stay dynamic. Foes will still move around enemies as they "hug their squares." From the platests I have seen so far, movement is a big part of this edition--far more so than in 3e.
I don't understand the problem?

Okay, so the monster goes past the fighter and sets of an AOO, then can hit the wizard.

So what do you want to happen? The people who let the fighter block the ten foot doorway simply stop the monster from EVER being able to do that.

Do you want it to never happen? If so, okay, but it's hard to tell that right now?

Otherwise it'll just take X amount of rounds for it to happen, no matter what mechanics you use.

What do you actually want to happen?

"In the game there is magic" - Orethalion

 

Only got words in my copy.

I think in most situations the hugging rules would be appropriate as fighters have to give ground and take it back over the course of a duel, simply reality is you can't stand perfectly still.  At the same time the involvement of additional creatures (hostile or friendly) in a compact space change the dynamics from a 1v1 duel to an entirely different form of combat.

Look at the forms of combat seen in say the charging mass of Scottish and British troops in Braveheart versus the organized lines of the Spartans in 300.

To me the unorganized style of combat is the more natural feel, and for a character that doesn't spend feats representing training in that organized style of combat it is entirely reasonable to use the current rules for Hugging.  That being said, there should be feat options that allow a character to reserve a certain amount of their movement on a turn to prevent that Hugging style of movement of an opponent reaching a back line.  While D&D utilizes a turn based system the reality of combat is that it is simultaneous and the reserved movement would emulate a defensive fighter making subtle shifts in position to prevent and enemy from getting behind them easily.

So in response to your "Do you want it to never happen?" the answer is No.  But sometimes happen, in the right situations and the right style of character?  Yup.

And to be honest, there are counters to this style of defensive positioning with bull rush type actions.  A wall of humanoids is quite rarely immoveable
I have never been a big fan of the opportunity attack especially from 4th edition where 6 people could run by a creature and it would get 6 extra attacks.

i mean how much time do you think is in a round. D&D has become too much like a board game though next seems to make strides back to the old and far superior ways. Now i believe that if a target moves away from you you should have the option of either an opportunity attack or a move to stay in pursuit. In basic or AD&D when you engage in combat you don't simply move away,an example if you were fighting a tiger let me see you move away. People seem to forget that every characters roun of initiative more or less happens at exactly the same time and if there is enough time left for someone to move away then there is enough time to follow, it is the dance we call combat. 
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