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Mark Seifter wrote:It's cool to see all the different speculation, particular those in this thread who were clever enough to predict that "Attack of Opportunity" might have some extra benefits now for fighter and friends, and that someone dedicated to interrupting without that reaction could ready an action. AoOs are pretty nice at interrupting actions nowadays, and they're not the only game in town for these kind of "attack when the enemy does something particular" reactions; they're just the one that's most recognizable. A certain character might hate magic enough to attack whenever someone casts any spell, even one they thought was safe, and another might be so skilled at combat that they get an attack whenever an opponent misses them by 10 or more! The reaction system allows characters to have all sorts of different reactions that surprise and confound their foes!
Let me get this straight. If I want to be able to stop a guy from drinking a potion or casting a spell right next to me, I either have to have special training to react to this situation, or I have to devote part of my turn to preparing to interrupt the action?
Are there going to be penalties to performing actions that would normally provoke an opportunity attack? (Like casting defensively)
It feels kinda video game-y to just have to stand there while someone does something utterly defenseless because I lack special training.
I don't see what is so special about swinging your sword at someone who let's their guard down.
I'm going to argue that this isn't any more video gaming than taking turns has been since 3.0. Your actions on your turn are supposed to represent what you are doing during the round. A character isn't standing still while other characters act, that is a conceit to manage the game. The whole structure is video gamey! I actually enjoyed the everyone declare then everyone act structure of older style games but they tended to be slower and harder to wrap your mind around. Shadow of the Demon Lord sort of brings it back with their quick and slow action system.
If a character wants to pay more close attention to their opponent's actions and attempt to disrupt it, it sounds like the ready action should be good for that since it works off of reactions and only requires one action. My hope that the ready action allows a degree of open endedness (I hit them if they let down their guard). Ready in 3.x style games had a huge opportunity cost. Now it is one of three actions and depending on how readying a third attack works might be a really good circumstantial option even without reaction abilities.
AoO were a way to make combat feel more dynamic, live and simultaneous. They did good at that. But now actions are being broken down a little more fluidly in a turn. Since the opportunity cost of the ready action is significantly lower, it makes sense to meld everything together. That some characters will be better at this sort of thing does not mean that other characters will be horrible. They will just likely have different incentives.
Rogue-like characters being good with AoOs is a style I hope carries forward in the system. I just don't expect it to work out exactly the same. My suspicion is that Fighter types and Rogue types will have a very different feel to the reactions, and opportunist style rogues will still be a thing.