Do you get attacks of oportuninty against an invisible caster?


Rules Questions


Caster is invisible (level 2 invisibility) at 5 ft of martial character. Martial is aware of somebody being invisible in the vicinity.

Caster cast a spell. Does the martial gets an attack of opportunity? My GM argues that that is what happens.

He says that if an attack of opportunity hits a caster while casting, it can disrupt the spell. Then the attack of opportunity comes before the end of the casting but it is called as soon as the caster start casting. He says that as soon as the caster starts casting the offensive spell, he becomes visible.

Is that true? Can I show him rules that say otherwise?

Lantern Lodge

Unless he readied an action to make an attack after making a successful perception check. I don't see this flying by at all.


Well, I would say depends if the spell has a verbal component or not. If so, the martial should get a perception check to see which square the spell comes from, than he may make his attack of opportunity at that square he believes the chanting came from. However, the caster gets total concealment against such attack unless the martial guessed the wrong square, which would be a miss anyway. If the attack hits, the caster must make a concentration check in order to cast that spell.


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Aeric Blackberry wrote:

Caster is invisible (level 2 invisibility) at 5 ft of martial character. Martial is aware of somebody being invisible in the vicinity.

Caster cast a spell. Does the martial gets an attack of opportunity? My GM argues that that is what happens.

He says that if an attack of opportunity hits a caster while casting, it can disrupt the spell. Then the attack of opportunity comes before the end of the casting but it is called as soon as the caster start casting. He says that as soon as the caster starts casting the offensive spell, he becomes visible.

Is that true? Can I show him rules that say otherwise?

"You can't execute an attack of opportunity against an opponent with total concealment, even if you know what square or squares the opponent occupies."

He's also wrong that the caster becomes visible as soon as he starts casting. He only becomes visible when he attacks someone (directly affects a target). He doesn't choose a target until he completes casting the spell (which is part of the reason why you can cast Summon Monster and choose both the creature and location when the spell completes, not have to choose when it starts).

Source 2: "You make all pertinent decisions about a spell (range, target, area, effect, version, and so forth) when the spell comes into effect."


Rynjin has the right of it. Can't make an AoO against something you can't see (total concealment). Presumably this is because you don't know they've provoked an attack of opportunity.

To expand on the second point, "The spell ends if the subject attacks any creature." It doesn't end when they cast a spell or choose a target, it ends when they attack something. So until they roll an attack roll (or all the other things that break invisibility) then they're still invisible. So the AoO your GM is trying to claim happens would be made against someone with total concealment because they still haven't attacked yet, which isn't allowed.


And to expand further. Summoning monsters and having them attack targets doesn't break your invisibility.
Casting a fireball that includes no targets doesn't break invisibility.
Casting a scorching ray that misses a target DOES break invisibility.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Bob Bob Bob wrote:

Rynjin has the right of it. Can't make an AoO against something you can't see (total concealment). Presumably this is because you don't know they've provoked an attack of opportunity.

I'm going to say it's even simpler. You can't threaten anyone you can't see. That's the primary qualifier right there.


That's not correct. You threaten anyone within your Reach as long as you can make attacks.


Rynjin wrote:
That's not correct. You threaten anyone within your Reach as long as you can make attacks.

Technically, one threatens the square, but I don't think one would be considered threatening the invisible character.


Right, right, you know what I mean.

You still threaten them (that's why you can make attacks against them and use certain special abilities). Nothing about invisibility gives you immunity to being threatened...just immunity to the main drawback of that.

Silver Crusade

The caster becomes visible at the same moment the attack he's making executes, too late for any enemy who can't see invisibility to fact to.

This is like the rule in American Football, 'the ground cannot cause a fumble', because at the instant the runner is down by contact the play is over, and if the ground causes the fumble then the play is already dead because the runner hit the ground.

If the action taken by the invisible person would break the invisibility, then that action has already completed by the time he is visible.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

The caster becomes visible at the same moment the attack he's making executes, too late for any enemy who can't see invisibility to fact to.

This is like the rule in American Football, 'the ground cannot cause a fumble', because at the instant the runner is down by contact the play is over, and if the ground causes the fumble then the play is already dead because the runner hit the ground.

If the action taken by the invisible person would break the invisibility, then that action has already completed by the time he is visible.

You lost me at American.

But as a side note isn't the whole "ready an action to attack invisible opponent" trick pretty old by now? Have older generations neglected to pass on the many tricks of D&D? Also why do so many GM's try to make encounters more difficult in the midst of the fight by blatantly cheating? Why can't they wait for the next fight like a normal person?


Rynjin wrote:

Right, right, you know what I mean.

You still threaten them (that's why you can make attacks against them and use certain special abilities). Nothing about invisibility gives you immunity to being threatened...just immunity to the main drawback of that.

I can't think of a situation where that makes a difference, but I have a nagging doubt in the back of my mind that I am just forgetting one that exists. Are there any you can think of?


boring7 wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

Right, right, you know what I mean.

You still threaten them (that's why you can make attacks against them and use certain special abilities). Nothing about invisibility gives you immunity to being threatened...just immunity to the main drawback of that.

I can't think of a situation where that makes a difference, but I have a nagging doubt in the back of my mind that I am just forgetting one that exists. Are there any you can think of?

I know a few classes and Feats have abilities worded along the lines of "anyone in a square you threaten/choose a square you threaten and you may " but I honestly can't think of any specific ones right now.

I tried searching them up on the SRD but the search function appears to be borked right now.


Eh, so it goes.


boring7 wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

Right, right, you know what I mean.

You still threaten them (that's why you can make attacks against them and use certain special abilities). Nothing about invisibility gives you immunity to being threatened...just immunity to the main drawback of that.

I can't think of a situation where that makes a difference, but I have a nagging doubt in the back of my mind that I am just forgetting one that exists. Are there any you can think of?

It's a distinction that matters for flanking. Since you still threaten even though you can't see them you can still flank them. Right?


sounds right.


I don't think you can flank an invisible opponent, or one with total concealment. If two people are in flanking position around an invisible, and one has See Invisibility but the other doesn't, I don't think the invisible is flanked.

The combat chapter uses the phrase "X is threatened by Y" and never explains exactly what that means. It obviously means EITHER "X is in a square threatened by Y" OR "X may provoke an attack of opportunity from Y". I favor the latter.


They can still flank an invisible opponent.

Flanking is a bit nebulous fluff-wise but the general consensus seems to be it's because the guy in the middle has a harder time defending himself from the people on either side, which doesn't change if he's invisible.


Remember, the combat round may be done sequentially but it's representing simultaneous actions. So presumably the person who can't see can still make a few jabs into that invisible person's square which would be enough to distract them.


boring7 wrote:
Eh, so it goes.

Wait, somebody died? Sad day.


boring7 wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

Right, right, you know what I mean.

You still threaten them (that's why you can make attacks against them and use certain special abilities). Nothing about invisibility gives you immunity to being threatened...just immunity to the main drawback of that.

I can't think of a situation where that makes a difference, but I have a nagging doubt in the back of my mind that I am just forgetting one that exists. Are there any you can think of?

Here are a couple. For these examples, assume the ally of the character in question has See Invisibility but the character does not.

Cavalier's demanding challenge: "As long as the target is within the threatened area of the cavalier, it takes a –2 penalty to its AC from attacks made by anyone other than the cavalier."
If the cavalier can not threaten invisible creatures, his buddy with See Invisibility can't take advantage of the -2 AC penalty.

Tandem Trip: "Whenever you attempt a trip combat maneuver against an enemy threatened by an ally with this feat, you roll twice and take the better result."
Again, if I don't threaten invisible creatures, my buddy with See Invisibility can't roll twice. Lots of teamwork feats have similar wording.

Here's a more potentially useful example:
Disruptive says: "The DC to cast spells defensively increases by +4 for all enemies that are within your threatened area. This increase to casting spells defensively only applies if you are aware of the enemy's location and are capable of taking an attack of opportunity. If you can only take one attack of opportunity per round and have already used that attack, this increase does not apply."

Clearly, Disruptive does not apply to an invisible spell caster. What's much more interesting is that this text explicitly separates the concept of "in your threatened area" from "capable of taking an AoO". To me, this means that "threatening someone" is a separate condition from "able to make an AoO".


Demanding challenge, as written, would apply to invisible creatures because it depends on being within the threatened area.


The core rulebook's definition of threatening:
"You threaten all squares into which you can make a melee attack, even when it is not your turn."

Other circumstances where it would make a difference whether or not you threaten an invisible creature:

The Sidestep feat. Actually, that would be really helpful for an invisible creature to have.

The Intimidating Confidence feat.


A related question:

Does the feat Blind-Fight change anything? (I mean in the same situation as described by the OP)


Nope.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Although Greater Blind-Fight could, I believe:

"Benefit: Your melee attacks ignore the miss chance for less than total concealment, and you treat opponents with total concealment as if they had normal concealment (20% miss chance instead of 50%). You may still reroll a miss chance percentile roll as normal."

Emphasis mine. It doesn't say you treat them as if they had normal concealment for the purpose of calculating miss chance, just that you treat them as if they had normal concealment. You can make attacks of opportunity against opponents with concealment.


Thats why I'm asking it. As GM I allow it, but it is the RAW thing I'm unsure.

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