Can I Take an Immediate Action Before or During an Attack of Opportunity?


Rules Questions


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Specifically if I was to have both Elven Battle Torrent and Swordplay Upset active at once via Weapon Style Mastery, can I use both for the same missed attack? I would also like to know the more general answer for the question in the title.

What I've found so far relating to this is: Immediate actions are swift actions. Swift actions are treated as free actions usable once per round. Free actions can be used during any action.

"Free actions consume a very small amount of time and effort. You can perform one or more free actions while taking another action normally. However, there are reasonable limits on what you can really do for free, as decided by the GM."

However, Attacks of Opportunity must be made "Immediately." Or, to quote: "An attack of opportunity “interrupts” the normal flow of actions in the round. If an attack of opportunity is provoked, immediately resolve the attack of opportunity, then continue with the next character’s turn (or complete the current turn, if the attack of opportunity was provoked in the midst of a character’s turn)."

Feint says "If successful, the next melee attack you make against the target does not allow him to use his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any). This attack must be made on or before your next turn."

Feint implies it's before an attack, which I can do in no time at all because it's a free action, but attacks of opportunity must be immediate.

To reiterate, because an Immediate action is done as a free action, can I Feint before or during an attack of opportunity?

I'm aware that anything can be up to GM interpretation, but a more concrete answer would be helpful.


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

References:
Elven Battle Torrent
Swordplay Upset

Both of these trigger on your opponent missing you (assuming you are fighting defensively or using combat expertise per Elven Battle Torrent) and you have some way of being in two styles (Swordplay Style and Elven Battle Style) at the same time.

I don't see any sequencing that forces one (the immediate action feint) to come before or after the other (the attack of opportunity). They seem to function independently.


So is the attack modified by the feint or not?


Hang on - first off, Feint is NOT a free action - it is a standard action. If you end your turn conducting a feint (bluff check succeeds) your NEXT attack gets the benefit, that could be an AOO - whatever is your next attack.

Improved feint says - "You are skilled at fooling your opponents in combat. Benefit: You can make a Bluff check to feint in combat as a move action. Normal: Feinting in combat is a standard action."

So with that you can take a Feint at the start of your turn and a standard action attack in the same round.

Immediate actions occur out of sequence, you can do them even if it is not your turn, but they consume your use of a swift action when it is your turn again.

Free actions only occur in your turn. If you can elevate Improved Feint to a free action, you cannot do it as an Immediate action - it has to be your turn.


2bz2p wrote:
Hang on - first off, Feint is NOT a free action - it is a standard action. If you end your turn conducting a feint (bluff check succeeds) your NEXT attack gets the benefit, that could be an AOO - whatever is your next attack.

The Swordplay Upset feat gives an immediate action feint after someone misses you with a melee attack.


Red Barsoomian wrote:
So is the attack modified by the feint or not?

Unfortunately (and I know you wanted a concrete answer), I think there is likely to be table variation on this.

I would say you could use an immediate action to feint, then make the attack of opportunity. Within the Core Rulebook, there isn't anything I read that prohibits such an intepretation--though there isn't anything that specifically says you can do that either.

There are others who would say that the attack of opportunity itself constitutes an immediate action (this comes from some recent non-Core book I don't own and haven't read, but was cited to me on a different thread). Or others that would insist that the attack of opportunity has to happen immediately, precluding any other actions (including immediate actions like the Swordplay Upset feint).


Nothing in either style takes precedent. You may spend your immediate action and then attack.

You are, as far as these styles are worded, in the clear.


quibblemuch wrote:

]

The Swordplay Upset feat gives an immediate action feint after someone misses you with a melee attack.

That's pretty awesome, but Feint in combat remains the same - your NEXT attack gets the benefit. It that is an AOO - then it counts for that attack (if you take it), or you can start your next turn with a standard attack with the benefit of a Feint and still have a move action or full attack option after you see the results of that attack.


2bz2p wrote:
quibblemuch wrote:
The Swordplay Upset feat gives an immediate action feint after someone misses you with a melee attack.
That's pretty awesome, but Feint in combat remains the same - your NEXT attack gets the benefit. It that is an AOO - then it counts for that attack (if you take it), or you can start your next turn with a standard attack with the benefit of a Feint and still have a move action or full attack option after you see the results of that attack.

No one was disputing that.

The issue is whether you can take an immediate action prior to an attack of opportunity or whether you have to resolve the attack of opportunity first, without the ability to take an immediate action.

As I said above, I can see no clear argument within the rules that unambiguously gives an answer to that question. While I know which of the two options I use when I GM, I can respect that someone else might use the other option.


If the SwordPlay Upset is triggered after a missed attack, then if you are the one whom the AOO is on it would occur after your attacker misses you. So you could use the feint at that time. If you are the one with the AOO then it wouldn't trigger because it's based on you being missed by an attack. If I'm understanding the Swordplay Upset correctly.


Lazzerous wrote:
If the SwordPlay Upset is triggered after a missed attack, then if you are the one whom the AOO is on it would occur after your attacker misses you. So you could use the feint at that time. If you are the one with the AOO then it wouldn't trigger because it's based on you being missed by an attack. If I'm understanding the Swordplay Upset correctly.

It's not just Swordplay Upset. It's the combination of Swordplay Upset (which allows the immediate feint) and Elven Battle Torrent (which allows the attack of opportunity).

Assuming you are fighting defensively or with Combat Expertise or taking the total defense action:

ORDER 1:

1. You are missed by an attack.
2. Elven Battle Torrent allows you to make an attack of opportunity.
3. You must make an attack of opportunity immediately, before taking any other actions (including the immediate action from Swordplay Upset).

ORDER 2:

1. You are missed by an attack.
2. You use Swordplay Upset to take an immediate action to feint.
3. You use Elven Battle Torrent to take an attack of opportunity.

*****

The question remains: Which of the two orders above is the correct one?

And my answer remains: There isn't a way to decide that everyone can agree on. Therefore, expect table variation.


An immediate action takes place outside of your turn. It's triggered by being missed.

An AoO is also triggered.

No where does it say this must happen before anything else.

You're entirely in the clear to take your immediate action. Even if you normally couldn't this one is triggered by this specific action, meaning it would be allowed anyways.

You're fine


Cavall wrote:
No where does it say this must happen before anything else.

The original post quotes the rules on attacks of opportunity: "An attack of opportunity "interrupts" the normal flow of actions in the round. If an attack of opportunity is provoked, immediately resolve the attack of opportunity."

This would seem to suggest that you have to resolve the attack of opportunity before any other actions are taken. Even immediate ones.

This, of course, contradicts the text on immediate actions, which states: "An immediate action...can be performed at any time..."

Hence the two mutually exclusive interpretations. Hence the table variation.

Sovereign Court

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I'm of the opinion that your immediate actions can happen at any time. In my mind, "immediately" indicates that AoOs should be resolved before continuing with the normal flow of a turn. Both AoOs and immediate actions are interruptions and can happen in either order.


Can be performed at any time... It's not hard at all.

Here let's play it out in the form of a Christmas play.

You! Boy! What time is it?

Why...its any time sir!

They did it! They really did it. They got me back just in time. Boy!

Yes sir?

Take this immediate action, run down to the store and buy me the biggest attack of opportunity you can!

At any time. Before? After? During? Yes!


Cavall wrote:
Can be performed at any time... It's not hard at all.

So the attack of opportunity is not immediately resolved, then?

"Boy, immediately get me the biggest goose you can find!"
"Yes sir!"
"But first, immediately get me a plum pudding!"
"Yes sir!"
"But immediately get that goose!"
"And immediately get the plum pudding at the same time, sir?"
"Yes! It's obvious!"
"But you only gave me enough money to immediately get one or the other."
"Then immediately go to the cash machine and get more money!"
"So... immediately get a goose, a plum pudding, and go to the cash station!"
"It's not hard."


quibblemuch wrote:
Cavall wrote:
No where does it say this must happen before anything else.

The original post quotes the rules on attacks of opportunity: "An attack of opportunity "interrupts" the normal flow of actions in the round. If an attack of opportunity is provoked, immediately resolve the attack of opportunity, then continue with the next character’s turn (or complete the current turn, if the attack of opportunity was provoked in the midst of a character’s turn)."

This would seem to suggest that you have to resolve the attack of opportunity before any other actions are taken. Even immediate ones.

If you also note the first sentence to provide context to the second, and don't chop off the last half of the second sentence, it becomes clear that you resolve the immediate action before continuing the "normal" flow of turn by turn combat.

I mean what happens if my AoO provokes an AoO from someone else? I'm still supposed to immediately resolve my AoO before moving on to the next action right? And I can't do that if someone else's AoO is being resolved first. So the context is immediately resolve the AoO, unless something else interrupts your AoO. Only when all the interruptions are resolved do we then get back to the actions of the originally interrupted character.

Think of your immediate action feint then like the next AoO - it is perfectly reasonable for it to also interrupt the normal flow of actions - that is the entire purpose of immediate actions.

(Not to say there won't be table variation on this, but such table variation is going to be a result of GM's not understanding the building blocks of the rules in their proper context).


quibblemuch wrote:


There are others who would say that the attack of opportunity itself constitutes an immediate action (this comes from some recent non-Core book I don't own and haven't read, but was cited to me on a different thread).

This is blatantly wrong, or more likely simply a poor choice of wording on someones part to say an AoO is immediate action - they likely meant it happens/resolves immediately, and didn't think of the confusion with the named action called "immediate action".


bbangerter wrote:

I mean what happens if my AoO provokes an AoO from someone else? I'm still supposed to immediately resolve my AoO before moving on to the next action right? And I can't do that if someone else's AoO is being resolved first. So the context is immediately resolve the AoO, unless something else interrupts your AoO. Only when all the interruptions are resolved do we then get back to the actions of the originally interrupted character.

Think of your immediate action feint then like the next AoO - it is perfectly reasonable for it to also interrupt the normal flow of actions - that is the entire purpose of immediate actions.

The difference, I would think, would be in the sequence of triggers. You got your AoO from, I dunno, someone running through your threatened square. The other person got their AoO from your AoO. In my instance, though, it runs on the same trigger - an enemy missing their attack.


Sure, but now you have two things triggered off the same event that are both supposed to occur/be resolved immediately. Well resolved immediately in what context? In the context of the other character who attacked you, but beyond that nothing in the rules telling us one must take precedence over the other, that then becomes very much a character choice.

It would be the same if I readied an action to do something, and that something another character did also triggered an AoO from me. I get to do both my readied action and the AoO as an interrupt in the context of the other characters actions.


Hence the confusion and the question I'm posing. If there is nothing stopping me from doing one before the other, that's great. That's all I need to know.


If you say yes, does the same work in reverse? If the attacker misses but also had something that is an immediate action (say Immediate Judgement to change to a judgement that would benefit them defensively) can they use it before you resolve your Immediate Feint and the attack of opportunity? Who's Immediate action is more Immediate?

Though I agree, nothing in RAW resolves this situation.


If someone had something that results in a refill so that it didn't miss, then I'd say that logically goes off before the trigger of being missed does.

Grand Lodge

Immediate actions are almost always reactions. The order they get resolved is generally in reverse order of declaration. The nice thing is that everybody only gets one, and it uses their swift action. But yes, every single one of them would happen before the op attack. She feints. He interrupts her and judges. The wizard standing next to him interrupts him and casts Emergency Force Sphere. Now the op attack goes off. It's deflected by the force sphere.

There's no real rules language to back this up, but I'm not aware of any rules language the other way, and this seems to fit with the spirit of an immediate action.

Nobody would say that featherfall went off before the pit spell that triggered it. For one, it wouldn't work (you have to be falling). So I'd rule (and most of the folks I've played with in my area would probably agree) that immediate actions take place in reverse order of declaration, with each successive person cutting in front of the person before them.

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