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# Full attack vs. Combat Reflexes: How many AoO?

### Rules Questions

 3 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

Combat Reflexes: This feat does not let you make more than one attack for a -given opportunity-

How many opportunities are generated by a full attack?

Scenerio 1:
A 6th level fighter making a full attack action with a bow against an opponent with combat reflexes who is 5 ft away. +6/+1

A full attack is a single action, so should generate 1 AoO?
You are shooting two arrows, so should generate 2 AoO?

Scenerio 2:
The real question that came up during the game was with the Bodyguard feat.

Bodyguard: When an adjacent ally is attacked, you may use an attack of opportunity to...

A 6th level fighter making a full attack action with a sword against your ally. +6/+1. You have bodyguard and combat reflexes. Is each swing an "is attacked"?

A full attack is a single action and only gives you one opportunity, so should allow you to protect once?
Each attack is a separate opportunity and you can defend against both?

Thanks,
-Judd

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Scenario 1: Two AoOs. Each ranged attack provokes. The act of making a full attack in and of itself does not provoke. The constituent parts of the full attack do.

Scenario 2: Yes, each attack is an attack. You can protect against each one.

Cheapy wrote:

Scenario 1: Two AoOs. Each ranged attack provokes. The act of making a full attack in and of itself does not provoke. The constituent parts of the full attack do.

Scenario 2: Yes, each attack is an attack. You can protect against each one.

I completely agree with you. Specifically, Table 8-2 of the Core Rulebook shows that a Full Attack does not provoke, so I believe that you would need to look at each component of the Full Attack to determine if there are AoO.

However, the people that I play with (and plenty of people online during my searches), do not play this way. Because of the way the movement is called out in the Combat Reflexes section, they have ruled that a single action cannot generate more than one AoO.

Combat Reflexes: This feat does not let you make more than one attack for a -given opportunity-

So the question really becomes does "opportunity" = "action"?

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

FAQ on whether ranged touch attack spells provoke twice.

Quote:

When you cast a spell that allows you to make a ranged touch attack, such as scorching ray, and an enemy is within reach, do you provoke two attacks of opportunity?

Yes, you provoke two attacks of opportunity, one for casting the spell and one for making a ranged attack, since these are two separate events. As a note, since all of the rays are fired simultaneously (in the case of scorching ray), you would only provoke one attack of opportunity for making the ranged attack, even if you fired more than one ray.

That one standard action gives two separate opportunities for AoOs.

Single Actions can and sometimes do generate more than one AoO.

Hope that helps!

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The line about movement only provoking once is a special case that allows you to actually disengage from an enemy without being torn to pieces if they have reach and Combat Reflexes :)

Cheapy wrote:
The line about movement only provoking once is a special case that allows you to actually disengage from an enemy without being torn to pieces if they have reach and Combat Reflexes :)

...or to charge and engage said enemy.

Having played with the PC this issue relates to, I love the build. However, I see the problems it can cause.

There is a precedent on the FAQ indicating a single action may provoke more than one AoO . ie casting a spell that results in a ranged attack (Scorching Ray). Casting the spell provokes and making the ranged attack provokes. However, if the spell results in multiple attacks, only one AoO is provoked for the attack event because they are fired "simultaneously".

Carrying this logic a bit further: If you consider each attack within a full round action to be a separate event that provokes the Bodyguard feat, the GM could calculate how the attacks are occurring. For example, if your opponent attacks twice because of a two weapon fighting attack the GM could legitimately rule that the attacks are simultaneous and only one could provoke the AoO per the FAQ. A claw, claw and bite attack could similarly be ruled as simultaneous and thus only provoke a Bodyguard AoO once.

You could also have a GM interpret this same FAQ as indicating all attacks within a full round action are a single "event". ie spell casting is one event and attacking is one event, etc... A further clarification from Paizo on use of what constitutes an "event" within an Action Type would help. Without it, I could understand PFS GM's calling each attack within an action an event or all attacks within an action a single event. You should be prepared to sit with GMS's calling this either way. I think I lean towards the simultaneous option at the moment.

Overall, this does not initially seem like a big deal until the Bodyguard is a Halfling granting a +4 instead of +2 and stacked with other Aid Another buffing magic items cranking the allies AC bonus another 2 to 6 for a total of +6 to +10 just for hitting an AC 10 on an AoO. At some point, this build begins to poke the GM with a short stick. Part of the fun of this game can be to find some of the outrageous combos and see them play out. I just caution about doing anything at the game table that causes anyone else (even the GM) to feel they should not have bothered showing up.

That said, I am still curious to see what the ultimate AC of someone standing between your Bodyguard and my Shielding Fighter will be during our next game. :)

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Juddimal wrote:
Cheapy wrote:

Scenario 1: Two AoOs. Each ranged attack provokes. The act of making a full attack in and of itself does not provoke. The constituent parts of the full attack do.

Scenario 2: Yes, each attack is an attack. You can protect against each one.

I completely agree with you. Specifically, Table 8-2 of the Core Rulebook shows that a Full Attack does not provoke, so I believe that you would need to look at each component of the Full Attack to determine if there are AoO.

However, the people that I play with (and plenty of people online during my searches), do not play this way. Because of the way the movement is called out in the Combat Reflexes section, they have ruled that a single action cannot generate more than one AoO.

Combat Reflexes: This feat does not let you make more than one attack for a -given opportunity-

So the question really becomes does "opportunity" = "action"?

Scorching Ray could really use a bit more explanation than the rays only provoking once because they're "simultaneous." The FAQ directly below that says you provoke two AoOs from tripping someone and them falling prone. That seems pretty simultaneous, too. So apparently simultaneity isn't really much of a deciding factor in counting AoOs.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

MacGrules: That's because the greater trip and elephant stomp are not simultaneous. You don't trip them and then they instantaneously hit the ground. This has been covered many a time in the threads about those two feat combinations, and if you'd like to read up on it, you should peruse those threads looking for the reasonings people post supporting them getting two AoOs.

I was well involved with several of those threads. I'm rather acquainted, thank you. My point is simultaneity isn't what judges opportunities. Provocations are. Scorching Ray could use wording to clearly indicate that it makes a single ranged attack with multiple targets or that the ranged attack portion provokes only once. Doing only a single thing or doing multiple things simultaneously is no guarantee against multiple provocations.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Simultaneity takes on a whole new meaning when magic is involved. Then things can truly be simultaneous.