|1 person marked this as a favorite.|
Consider the scenario: your party is attacked by a group with a crossbow wielding rogue, and you are last in the initiative order.
Now, he doesn't come close enough to provoke an AoO, so he hits you with a sneak attack. Ouch.
Now change the scenario: You have a manservant who happens to be carrying (for reasons unknown) a bag full of rats. He managed to get a higher initiative than the bad guys. On his turn, he unleashes the rats. The rats scurry by you, provoking an attack of opportunity. You skewer one, and are no longer flat footed. The rogue still hits you with a crossbow, but no longer gets sneak attack.
It's a thought experiment designed to highlight an odd consequence of allowing AoO to negate flat-footedness. Personally I find it convincing enough -- an enemy provoking an AoO shouldn't somehow help you out defensively.
(There used to be a similar but more broken exploit using Great Cleave and Combat Reflexes -- when the rats run by you, you kill them all with AoO, then cleave onto the guy your actually fighting. It allowed you to get your Dex modifier in extra attacks per round, which is clearly ridiculous but allowed by the RAW. So a lot of us would recognise 'bag of rats' as an allusion to this type of rules abuse.)