Can i take attack of opportunity against an ally?


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Title says it.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Expect GM ruling to override RAW on this, especially since the rules are written with some underlying implicit assumptions about what you're trying to do in combat.

Yes.


Nothing in the rules prevents it. I've done it several times in the past. We even had a cleric use cure moderate wounds on a charging barbarian ally who ran through his threatened area to attack a beastie. The cleric cast it the round before and held the charge so that he could tag the barbarian on the way, knowing that the enemy would also get an attack of opportunity (it had reach, but the barbarian did not).


No. Either it's an ally, in which case you don't attack them. Or you do attack, in which case it's clearly not an ally.

Choose wisely.

(The real question might be: "what constitutes an attack?")


I could see this coming up in a situation where an enemy used an ability to make your ally flee, so you trip him or use the Stand Still feat.


VRMH wrote:

No. Either it's an ally, in which case you don't attack them. Or you do attack, in which case it's clearly not an ally.

Choose wisely.

(The real question might be: "what constitutes an attack?")

Hmm, but in Bob's example the attack is not anything but beneficial, and mechanically, well the ally provoked...


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This is what I call Schroedinger's Ally. If you attack them, they are no longer considered to be an ally. But for how long?

Does the guy you just attacked have to agree to be an ally before he can be considered an ally?

If you follow up the AoO with a spell that affects allies, can you include the guy that you just attacked?

The ally/enemy thing is one of the more problematic thing when it comes to spells/effects.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I forget when, but they had a FAQ about something very similar, you choose, moment by moment, who your allies are and are not. You can cast Bless, and affect everyone, both your allies and the people trying to kill said allies, just your opponents, or any combination of both groups. HOWEVER, once made, you can't change it for that effect, so you can't drop a barbarian out of Bless if he gets dominated in battle.


Theoretically yes, but if you do they won't remain your ally for long.


DarkPhoenixx wrote:
Title says it.

The rules presume that an Attack of Opportunity will almost always be used against an enemy. That being said, it doesn't change the factor that allies performing actions normally provoke an Attack of Opportunity from any creature that threatens the square in which the action is being made, both ally and enemy alike.

But tell me, what if an ally is Dominated/Charmed into fighting you, would the GMs tell me that I can't take an Attack of Opportunity against someone who is normally an ally, but clearly acting against their own free will?

If any GM says "No, you can't take Attacks of Opportunity against Dominated/Charmed allies, because they're still allies," then that GM is out to screw you over with his ridiculous enforcement of RAW. If the GM says "I don't see any reason why you would want to outside of some backwoods exploit, in which case I wouldn't allow it based on those grounds," then he's just covering his bases from players being exploitable jerks.

That being said, I don't see what is extremely overpowered from allowing allies to provoke Attacks of Opportunity.


You provoke an AoO when you open an oppertunity for someone to hit you. Since there's no limit to how many creatures one action can provoke an AoO from, I really don't see why not.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I think the real question is whether you can use an attack of opportunity to cast a spell or use lay on hands. I always assumed that an attack of opportunity had to be an attack action.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
David knott 242 wrote:

I think the real question is whether you can use an attack of opportunity to cast a spell or use lay on hands. I always assumed that an attack of opportunity had to be an attack action.

Touch attack.


David knott 242 wrote:

I think the real question is whether you can use an attack of opportunity to cast a spell or use lay on hands. I always assumed that an attack of opportunity had to be an attack action.

Correct.

However, if you have a touch spell (or similar effect) already active on your hand, you can deliver it as an "armed" unarmed attack, which can be done as an attack action, which means it's grounds for an Attack of Opportunity.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
DarkPhoenixx wrote:
Title says it.

The rules presume that an Attack of Opportunity will almost always be used against an enemy. That being said, it doesn't change the factor that allies performing actions normally provoke an Attack of Opportunity from any creature that threatens the square in which the action is being made, both ally and enemy alike.

But tell me, what if an ally is Dominated/Charmed into fighting you, would the GMs tell me that I can't take an Attack of Opportunity against someone who is normally an ally, but clearly acting against their own free will?

If any GM says "No, you can't take Attacks of Opportunity against Dominated/Charmed allies, because they're still allies," then that GM is out to screw you over with his ridiculous enforcement of RAW. If the GM says "I don't see any reason why you would want to outside of some backwoods exploit, in which case I wouldn't allow it based on those grounds," then he's just covering his bases from players being exploitable jerks.

That being said, I don't see what is extremely overpowered from allowing allies to provoke Attacks of Opportunity.

In most cases I agree, but for Pathfinder Society play that has special player versus player restrictions and more limitations on the GM it would be different, although I'm not an expert on Society play.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yes, but Society also has a clause that a player can allow it, specifically referring to if a character happens to be in the area of effect of a spell, he can refuse to let them cast the spell to avoid the damage, and force the caster to choose another spell. By that logic, he can allow them to hit him, so it should be fine.


Val'bryn2 wrote:
Yes, but Society also has a clause that a player can allow it, specifically referring to if a character happens to be in the area of effect of a spell, he can refuse to let them cast the spell to avoid the damage, and force the caster to choose another spell. By that logic, he can allow them to hit him, so it should be fine.

I'm glad that you have given me this info, I've never played in a Society game, so I'm glad to hear they're more flexible than I feared. =)


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:

I think the real question is whether you can use an attack of opportunity to cast a spell or use lay on hands. I always assumed that an attack of opportunity had to be an attack action.

Correct.

However, if you have a touch spell (or similar effect) already active on your hand, you can deliver it as an "armed" unarmed attack, which can be done as an attack action, which means it's grounds for an Attack of Opportunity.

Ignoring, of course, the rule that states it is a standard action to touch an ally.


I guess consensus here is

Invisibility wrote:
Exactly who is a foe depends on the invisible character's perceptions.


Calth wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:

I think the real question is whether you can use an attack of opportunity to cast a spell or use lay on hands. I always assumed that an attack of opportunity had to be an attack action.

Correct.

However, if you have a touch spell (or similar effect) already active on your hand, you can deliver it as an "armed" unarmed attack, which can be done as an attack action, which means it's grounds for an Attack of Opportunity.

Ignoring, of course, the rule that states it is a standard action to touch an ally.

If the caster threatens with a natural or unarmed attack then they can deliver with that.


Snowblind wrote:
If the caster threatens with a natural or unarmed attack then they can deliver with that.

Yes but you don't threaten an ally, now do you?


VRMH wrote:
Snowblind wrote:
If the caster threatens with a natural or unarmed attack then they can deliver with that.
Yes but you don't threaten an ally, now do you?

There is a majority consensus in this thread that by strict RAW you probably do threaten an ally.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You can refuse to take an attack of opportunity that is provoked, so what generally happens is that your ally provokes, but unless you're a drow or other CE race, you're probably not going to take them.

And actually, Snowblind, since a held charge for a touch attack counts as being armed, you DO threaten, you don't need a natural attack or improved unarmed strike to do it.


Huh, you are right. TIL...

Combat wrote:

...

"Armed" Unarmed Attacks: Sometimes a character's or creature's unarmed attack counts as an armed attack. A monk, a character with the Improved Unarmed Strike feat, a spellcaster delivering a touch attack spell, and a creature with natural physical weapons all count as being armed (see natural attacks).

Note that being armed counts for both offense and defense (the character can make attacks of opportunity).
...


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VRMH wrote:
you don't threaten an ally, now do you?

You don't actually threaten creatures, you threaten squares. (For the purpose of determining AoOs, that is.)


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I once had my druid buddy get feared past my witch, and knowing it was certain death down the place he ran I tripped him with a very lucky natural 20. In saving his life he was of course still considered my ally.

Plus it's not often you see a tRex get tripped by a hairdo.


Few things.

On Bob's example, did the creature got the +2 Flanking bonus on its AoO against the barbarian?

On Cavall's example, you must be pretty big to trip a small tRex.

--- Back on the OP question.

I'm on the base that the concept of enemies/allies are fluid during a combat. But being fluid does not change the fact that on a given moment you are one thing or the other, so based on rules such "Only a creature or character that threatens the defender can help an attacker get a flanking bonus.", "An enemy that takes certain actions while in a threatened square provokes an attack of opportunity from you." and "You threaten all squares into which you can make a melee attack, even when it is not your turn.", my conclusion is that you should declare that you are actively threatening your regular allies volitionally, and not just in a reactive way.

Is either that or accept that allies can also provide a Flanking bonus to your enemies, which is an absurdity.

---

The way I see it is that you pay more attention on what your enemies do than what your allies are doing, at least on the matter of the "distracting actions".

---

That being said, I'm not sure which one is the right RAI here, although I believe that the relevant question would have been "When can you declare an ally to be an opponent/enemy?" If the answer to this question is "anytime, even when is not your turn" then I have to admit that as long as you provide the Flanking -and Sneak attack ones- bonus properly, answer to OP's question is "yes, always".

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Numarak wrote:

Few things.

On Bob's example, did the creature got the +2 Flanking bonus on its AoO against the barbarian?

On Cavall's example, you must be pretty big to trip a small tRex.

--- Back on the OP question.

I'm on the base that the concept of enemies/allies are fluid during a combat. But being fluid does not change the fact that on a given moment you are one thing or the other, so based on rules such "Only a creature or character that threatens the defender can help an attacker get a flanking bonus.", "An enemy that takes certain actions while in a threatened square provokes an attack of opportunity from you." and "You threaten all squares into which you can make a melee attack, even when it is not your turn.", my conclusion is that you should declare that you are actively threatening your regular allies volitionally, and not just in a reactive way.

Is either that or accept that allies can also provide a Flanking bonus to your enemies, which is an absurdity.

---

The way I see it is that you pay more attention on what your enemies do than what your allies are doing, at least on the matter of the "distracting actions".

---

That being said, I'm not sure which one is the right RAI here, although I believe that the relevant question would have been "When can you declare an ally to be an opponent/enemy?" If the answer to this question is "anytime, even when is not your turn" then I have to admit that as long as you provide the Flanking -and Sneak attack ones- bonus properly, answer to OP's question is "yes, always".

Except that the character in question is deliberately watching his ally for a chance to "hit" him. As for flanking, flanking specifically calls out that it only works if the people on opposites sides are both enemies, from the flanked creature's perspective. The section on attacks of opportunity only says that "combatants near her" can take advantage of a lapse in defense.


Numarak wrote:

Few things.

On Bob's example, did the creature got the +2 Flanking bonus on its AoO against the barbarian?

No one was flanking. It was an attack of opportunity caused by movement. Even the creature the barbarian charged would not have been flanking the barbarian.


Snowblind wrote:
There is a majority consensus in this thread that by strict RAW you probably do threaten an ally.
Quote:
An enemy that takes certain actions while in a threatened square provokes an attack of opportunity from you.

Bolded for emphasis. You do not.


swoosh wrote:
Snowblind wrote:
There is a majority consensus in this thread that by strict RAW you probably do threaten an ally.
Quote:
An enemy that takes certain actions while in a threatened square provokes an attack of opportunity from you.
Bolded for emphasis. You do not.

You've taken that out of context, though. The only time the entire section mentions enemy is that one sentence. The rest of the time it is much more generic. Also, many people have said that you should be able to declare someone an enemy if you choose and then an ally if you choose. I'm in this camp. It opens up tactics that you didn't have available before.


DarkPhoenixx wrote:
Title says it.

It would help if you elaborate more on the context of the question.

The problem is that the title doesn't say enough.


As a GM I definitely don't allow it and think its cheesy.

Just like combat maneuvers used on allies.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Hogeyhead wrote:
VRMH wrote:

No. Either it's an ally, in which case you don't attack them. Or you do attack, in which case it's clearly not an ally.

Choose wisely.

(The real question might be: "what constitutes an attack?")

Hmm, but in Bob's example the attack is not anything but beneficial, and mechanically, well the ally provoked...
PRD wrote:
Threatened Squares: You threaten all squares into which you can make a melee attack, even when it is not your turn. Generally, that means everything in all squares adjacent to your space (including diagonally). An enemy that takes certain actions while in a threatened square provokes an attack of opportunity from you. If you're unarmed, you don't normally threaten any squares and thus can't make attacks of opportunity.

Not an ally.

If you are taking an AoO against ally you treat him as an enemy.
So:
- doing that break invisibility and sanctyary 8and similar spells or effects);
- touching him require a to hit;
- he get a save;
- tripping him require a successful Combat Maneuver;
- his status for several spells casted by you change;
- similarly your status for several spells casted by him change;
- some allied creature (as an example summoned monsters) will see you as a enemy and could attack you.

Essentially you are taking an action that change your status from ally to enemy.

Val'bryn2 wrote:
I forget when, but they had a FAQ about something very similar, you choose, moment by moment, who your allies are and are not. You can cast Bless, and affect everyone, both your allies and the people trying to kill said allies, just your opponents, or any combination of both groups. HOWEVER, once made, you can't change it for that effect, so you can't drop a barbarian out of Bless if he gets dominated in battle.

Citation please. I have read all FAQs and generally recall them with reasonable precision and I don't recall anything saying that.


I did this once. One time I played a Hellknight and our chaotic bard was falling into some death water off the boat we were on. I asked the gm if I can hit him as an attack of opportunity for him losing his balance and falling off the boat. He said yes. I proceeded to smite him with the blunt sides of my spear like a baseball bat and he fell back onto the boat unharmed from the death water, but bruised. Was one of my favorite moments of the game.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
DarkPhoenixx wrote:
Title says it.

The rules presume that an Attack of Opportunity will almost always be used against an enemy. That being said, it doesn't change the factor that allies performing actions normally provoke an Attack of Opportunity from any creature that threatens the square in which the action is being made, both ally and enemy alike.

But tell me, what if an ally is Dominated/Charmed into fighting you, would the GMs tell me that I can't take an Attack of Opportunity against someone who is normally an ally, but clearly acting against their own free will?

If any GM says "No, you can't take Attacks of Opportunity against Dominated/Charmed allies, because they're still allies," then that GM is out to screw you over with his ridiculous enforcement of RAW. If the GM says "I don't see any reason why you would want to outside of some backwoods exploit, in which case I wouldn't allow it based on those grounds," then he's just covering his bases from players being exploitable jerks.

That being said, I don't see what is extremely overpowered from allowing allies to provoke Attacks of Opportunity.

Sure, you can take them. Simply you aren't his ally anymore.

My opinion is that "playing" this kind of games, changing the status to ally/not ally moment by moment is a bad idea. It will generate more problems that benefits.

And I disagree with your last statement. Anything that can give you a better action economy is a big advantage.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Snowblind wrote:
VRMH wrote:
Snowblind wrote:
If the caster threatens with a natural or unarmed attack then they can deliver with that.
Yes but you don't threaten an ally, now do you?
There is a majority consensus in this thread that by strict RAW you probably do threaten an ally.

To be precise: you threaten the square, but only actions by an enemy provoke an AoO:

PRD wrote:


Threatened Squares: You threaten all squares into which you can make a melee attack, even when it is not your turn. Generally, that means everything in all squares adjacent to your space (including diagonally). An enemy that takes certain actions while in a threatened square provokes an attack of opportunity from you. If you're unarmed, you don't normally threaten any squares and thus can't make attacks of opportunity.
Bob_Loblaw wrote:
swoosh wrote:
Snowblind wrote:
There is a majority consensus in this thread that by strict RAW you probably do threaten an ally.
Quote:
An enemy that takes certain actions while in a threatened square provokes an attack of opportunity from you.
Bolded for emphasis. You do not.
You've taken that out of context, though. The only time the entire section mentions enemy is that one sentence. The rest of the time it is much more generic. Also, many people have said that you should be able to declare someone an enemy if you choose and then an ally if you choose. I'm in this camp. It opens up tactics that you didn't have available before.

No Bob, he is right. The rule is very clear, you threaten, but only an enemy action provoke an AoO.


Domestichauscat wrote:
I did this once. One time I played a Hellknight and our chaotic bard was falling into some death water off the boat we were on. I asked the gm if I can hit him as an attack of opportunity for him losing his balance and falling off the boat. He said yes. I proceeded to smite him with the blunt sides of my spear like a baseball bat and he fell back onto the boat unharmed from the death water, but bruised. Was one of my favorite moments of the game.

I would have allowed instead an immediate action and improvised rules as needed to cover the mechanics of what you wanted to do. That way I don't get the Combat Reflexes wonk who says that he could do what you did multiple times per round.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Domestichauscat wrote:
I did this once. One time I played a Hellknight and our chaotic bard was falling into some death water off the boat we were on. I asked the gm if I can hit him as an attack of opportunity for him losing his balance and falling off the boat. He said yes. I proceeded to smite him with the blunt sides of my spear like a baseball bat and he fell back onto the boat unharmed from the death water, but bruised. Was one of my favorite moments of the game.
I would have allowed instead an immediate action and improvised rules as needed to cover the mechanics of what you wanted to do. That way I don't get the Combat Reflexes wonk who says that he could do what you did multiple times per round.

That, especially if you were out of combat.

Having a GM mean that he can rule about this kind of action. As an heroic action it well within the spirit of the game to find a way to allow it.
"Breaking" action economy allowing it to be done regularly isn't.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Threatened squares talks as if only enemies can provoke, but attacks of opportunity talks using the more generic term "combatants". The problem is the wording of the rules is not quite internally consistent.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Val'bryn2 wrote:
Threatened squares talks as if only enemies can provoke, but attacks of opportunity talks using the more generic term "combatants". The problem is the wording of the rules is not quite internally consistent.

Only if you want to have it work another way. The rule is clear: "An enemy that takes certain actions while in a threatened square provokes an attack of opportunity from you."

Reading something different in that phrase from what it say mean that someone is purposefully misreading it.


It's great that you came to that conclusion for your game. Obviously not everyone agrees. I think that it's important that the GM remain consistent on this no matter how he rules.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Bob_Loblaw wrote:
It's great that you came to that conclusion for your game. Obviously not everyone agrees. I think that it's important that the GM remain consistent on this no matter how he rules.

1) Rule forum;

2) the rule has a clear text;

3) it is not "for my game", it is what the rule set say, having a different opinion is "for your game" as it is a houserule.


My take: the game does not clearly identify who is an enemy and who is an ally. That is up to the people playing to determine.

However, you still cannot deliver a held cure spell as an AoO if that cure spell has a positive benefit. You can only deliver it as an AoO if it has a negative benefit (thus constituting an attack).


Semi-obligatory "relevant" OOTS link

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Gauss wrote:

My take: the game does not clearly identify who is an enemy and who is an ally. That is up to the people playing to determine.

However, you still cannot deliver a held cure spell as an AoO if that cure spell has a positive benefit. You can only deliver it as an AoO if it has a negative benefit (thus constituting an attack).

Where do the rule say anything of the sort?

The only reason you don't have to make an attack roll when using it to heal normally is because, well, people don't tend to dodge healing.


One of the reasons I have been avoiding the message boards for a long time now is the people who think that they are right even though it's clear that it's an interpretation.

If it was 100% clear there wouldn't be a discussion about it with multiple people ob both sides using valid arguments.

You interpret it the way you think is right.


CRB p208 wrote:
Attacks: Some spell descriptions refer to attacking. All offensive combat actions, even those that don’t damage opponents, are considered attacks. Attempts to channel energy count as attacks if it would harm any creatures in the area. All spells that opponents resist with saving throws, that deal damage, or that otherwise harm or hamper subjects are attacks. Spells that summon monsters or other allies are not attacks because the spells themselves don’t harm anyone.

Right there, if there is no harm, it is not an attack.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Gauss wrote:
CRB p208 wrote:
Attacks: Some spell descriptions refer to attacking. All offensive combat actions, even those that don’t damage opponents, are considered attacks. Attempts to channel energy count as attacks if it would harm any creatures in the area. All spells that opponents resist with saving throws, that deal damage, or that otherwise harm or hamper subjects are attacks. Spells that summon monsters or other allies are not attacks because the spells themselves don’t harm anyone.
Right there, if there is no harm, it is not an attack.

If I cast Harm on an enemy, not knowing that he's a vampire/lich/some undead that doesn't necessarily LOOK like a bag of bones, is it not an attack because he benefits? Same for hitting a golem with a spell that would, in fact, heal it?

PRD wrote:

Attacks of Opportunity

Sometimes a combatant in a melee lets her guard down or takes a reckless action. In this case, combatants near her can take advantage of her lapse in defense to attack her for free. These free attacks are called attacks of opportunity.

No mention is made of enemies, just combatants near the provoking character

PRD wrote:

Threatened Squares

You threaten all squares into which you can make a melee attack, even when it is not your turn. Generally, that means everything in all squares adjacent to your space (including diagonally). An enemy that takes certain actions while in a threatened square provokes an attack of opportunity from you. If you're unarmed, you don't normally threaten any squares and thus can't make attacks of opportunity.

Here it DOES mention enemies, but still, two separate paragraphs on the same rules say different things.

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