Suggestion: Middle ground between "AoO for all" and "AoO for select few"


Running the Game

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Obviously one of the big changes in the PT has been AoO's are no longer a global capability. This has increased mobility and made combat more dynamic, but it's also led to some quirky side effects like:

* You can drink a potion while in combat with (most) opponents
* You can walk around (most) hostile enemies with impunity

I have a suggestion for tempering this without abandoning or changing the AoO rule:

* Distracting actions in an enemy's threat range cost an extra action (and still trigger AoO's)
* Moving through a threatened area is difficult terrain (and still triggers AoO's)
* Spellcasting is unchanged, since it's already two actions (most of the time)

Adding an action to things like drinking potions and fetching things out of your pack tones down the silliness while still allowing much of the flexibility of movement in the new system.


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John Mechalas wrote:
* Moving through a threatened area is difficult terrain (and still triggers AoO's)

I like this a lot, could also port this over to 5th Ed, to rein in the dancing around your opponent within it's reach (especially if using flanking).


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On the off chance I like the actual release enough to play it, I will houserule AoOs for everyone. I really don't like the shenanigans that this change brought in.


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sherlock1701 wrote:
On the off chance I like the actual release enough to play it, I will houserule AoOs for everyone. I really don't like the shenanigans that this change brought in.

I feel like it should be given to those that are at least trained in their weapons they are wielding, or possible expert.


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I kinda wish they would offer AoOs with a feat that isn't tied to an archetype. But then again it also makes them feel more valuable that only certain people can use them.


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John Mechalas wrote:

Obviously one of the big changes in the PT has been AoO's are no longer a global capability. This has increased mobility and made combat more dynamic, but it's also led to some quirky side effects like:

* You can drink a potion while in combat with (most) opponents
* You can walk around (most) hostile enemies with impunity

I have a suggestion for tempering this without abandoning or changing the AoO rule:

* Distracting actions in an enemy's threat range cost an extra action (and still trigger AoO's)
* Moving through a threatened area is difficult terrain (and still triggers AoO's)
* Spellcasting is unchanged, since it's already two actions (most of the time)

Adding an action to things like drinking potions and fetching things out of your pack tones down the silliness while still allowing much of the flexibility of movement in the new system.

so... drinking a potion would be 4 actions and 2 AoO?

no ty.

also, no ty to going back to a boring, static, "i full attack!", "ok I full attack!", "ok, I full attack!"

the mobile battlefront is quite refreshing atm.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I love that AoO's are gone. Makes it feel like a real combat situation and dynamic. I hated that once you entered in PF1 you were "stuck." You don't enter combat and stay there in real life. I understand wanting there to be consequences when trying to drink something, but I prefer the capability of moving. I like how combat flows now.


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I like the idea of AoOs being something that only people who are skilled combatants can manage, but it probably should be extended to more people than it is currently (either automatically or with investment).

Like Fighters, Paladins, Barbarians, Rogues, Monks, and Rangers should be able to make AoOs. Wizards, Alchemists, Bards, Druids, Sorcerers, Clerics, and Hedgehogs should not. I could see AoO being made a general feat which requires both expert proficiency and critical specialization in at least one weapon.

But honestly I like moving around in combat a lot. It's much more fun than PF1's "move to melee range and make one standard, thereafter stand in place and full attack" model.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The sheer number of times I've had to remind people that they'll take an AoO if they do something without first taking a 5 foot step is enough to put me on the limited AoO bandwagon. I'd rather be able to use an enemy's reaction as an "Aha!" rather than an "Oooh, you forgot a simple part of the rules so here's your toll"

That said, I think every single character should have some reaction available to them at level 1 to interact with that part of the system. I wouldn't mind if they added a "swat" action that didn't do damage but disrupted drinking potions and reading scrolls in someone's face.


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Being able to run around during combat is a huge improvement relative to PF1. It makes things dynamic : We no longer gets stuck in melee. It expands the range of tactical options one can explore, for example it's possible to leverage higher movement for hit-and-run tactics. In addition, it creates an interesting uncertainty: What am I risking by taking a provoking action, whiles I don't know if this enemy can perform an AoO?

This is why I really don't want to see the universal AoO coming back.

The suggestion to increase the number of actions to drink a potion and taking things out of the pack makes potions useless in combat, since they're usually stowed away, so you'd end up with 4 actions total.

(Edit) That said, WatersLethe's suggestion for a "Swat" reaction is interesting.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
I like the idea of AoOs being something that only people who are skilled combatants can manage, but it probably should be extended to more people than it is currently (either automatically or with investment).

I agree, even hedgehogs being battle-savvy, opportunistic strikers, never sat right with me. Not every organism is looking for a distraction as a vehicle for attack (takes a swipe as you bail).


gwynfrid wrote:
so you'd end up with 4 actions total
shroudb wrote:
drinking a potion would be 4 actions and 2 AoO

Only when you are in that person's face and they are actively attacking. Right now, you can quaff a potion with no penalties while someone is actively swinging a sword at you, which is just silly.

WatersLethe wrote:
That said, I think every single character should have some reaction available to them at level 1 to interact with that part of the system. I wouldn't mind if they added a "swat" action that didn't do damage but disrupted drinking potions and reading scrolls in someone's face.

But I like this even better. Sign me up!


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I've been struggling to come to a final decision in what I think is best for this area, but I've narrowed it down to one of two basic scenarios. Keep in mind that, regardless of which it is, I would leave the NPCs and bestiaries where there are in terms of AOO ubiquity. I do very much think it helps out the feel of combat for a monster AOO to not be a given.

1) Attack of Opportunity as a level 1 General Feat: I do somewhat like that the fighter is better at controlling the battlefield by default, but I don't like the hoops that other classes have to go to in order to also be good at controlling the battlefield. I don't think anyone should have to multiclass fighter in order to patrol an area with a reach weapon or provide disincentives to enemies just going past you to get to the squishiest party members. A level 1 General Feat (especially if the General Feats are expanded to every odd level, like I'd prefer) feels like the right amount of opportunity cost to me.

2) AOOs for everyone, and the fighter gets Combat Reflexes for free instead: The idea is that everyone can control the battlefield a little if they want, but fighters get to control the battlefield more and better by default. Ideally, if there were more ubiquitous and attractive reactions provided by the other classes, then wanting to save your reactions for those would be the balancing factor to whether or not everyone is actually using their ability to AOO all the time. Do I want to swipe at this guy now? Or save my reaction to Nimble Dodge the big guy going next? Etc.

I started by leaning toward the first option, but as I think about it more and more I think the second option is a bit more attractive to me.


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John Mechalas wrote:


* Distracting actions in an enemy's threat range cost an extra action (and still trigger AoO's)

I would say they cost an extra action or they provoke an AoO, the extra care being taken removes the AoO, but you can choose to forgo the extra action potentially taking damage as a result.

Quote:
* Moving through a threatened area is difficult terrain (and still triggers AoO's)

Difficult Terrain or it provokes an AoO, for the same reasons as above.

Quote:


* Spellcasting is unchanged, since it's already two actions (most of the time)

I think a better approach would be to say any spell that costs more than 1 action (I don't think spells like Shield or 1 action cantrips should trigger AoO's)

Side Note:
With the current action economy where Reactions occupy AoO, it makes choosing your Reactions more valuable, so you will not always have your AoO available. In addition, because of the option to choose to avoid the AoO, it gives people tactical decision (i.e. "I can afford to be a little reckless, he just used his reaction on X") on when they can do certain acts.

Since AoO's are now competing for action economy with other Reactions, I don't think it will get used as much like it did in PF1 (where it was effectively always free).

As for what to do with Fighters, just give them either an extra Reaction or a "freebie" AoO Reaction a turn. I think that not only captures a very Fighter-esque design, it showcases Fighters as truly the most adaptive combatant since they can React more often than most combatants.


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I think drinking potions mid combat is good.

Potions became a last resort in PF1 because they provoked and typically took too many actions to use in PF1. And typically potion use was something that only applied to martial characters (during a fight), as most everyone else would just cast their own spells to accomplish the task.

And the lack of AoO encouraging movement is good in my opinion as well.

But I do think the quirk of just constantly re-positioning to create or avoid flanking is weird. I'm not sure how to avoid this specific scenario, but I want mobility to stay.


Claxon wrote:

And the lack of AoO encouraging movement is good in my opinion as well.

But I do think the quirk of just constantly re-positioning to create or avoid flanking is weird. I'm not sure how to avoid this specific scenario, but I want mobility to stay.

If you apply Difficult Terrain this helps alleviate the problem.

Also, if you say multiple threats stacks the Difficulty (I.E. Square is threatened by two people, costs 15 movement) then it makes it much harder to just "run away" from flanks. In fact, in that scenario it makes it impossible for anyone without 35ft movement to get out of threat range in 1 action (assuming two flankers with only 5ft of reach).

If you take the suggestion I made, where you can "opt" to treat the terrain as normal with the expense being it triggers an AoO, it allows the Flanked person to leave the flanked area at the cost of potentially being attacked by the persons with Reactions to spend that threaten.

I think the latter point creates a lot of tactical depth to flanking in general, but potentially stacking them might be a bit overkill (if they don't stack it costs someone 25ft of movement just to get out of threat range).


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People say being able to move around is realistic, but I find that slowly looking in my pack for a potion, picking it out, opening and drinking it all while completely unarmed while the enemy stands next to me and can do absolutely nothing about it is a lot more ridiculous. A lot of tactical depth really goes out the window when anyone can do whatever without caring. Could even use a ranged weapon in melee for no downside whatsoever.

I'm sure they can be a midway point here, as has been discussed. Some games do the thing where threatened area is "difficult terrain" so tanks can actually block the path and get rid of movement AOOs but make the ones for using items and other distracting things universal.


I think maybe I like the idea of actually just making one AoO something you can do if an enemy attempts to leave an area where they are flanked by 2 enemies. That actually makes flanking way cooler than it currently is.

But I think it has to only be 1 AoO from the pair, not 1 each. So we'd have to come up with a method of how to decide who gets to make the attack.

In this way, getting flanked is pretty perilous, but we don't return to AoO lockdown for the entire battlefield. And at least some classes have options, like the barbarian, to follow after an enemy if they move.


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ChibiNyan wrote:

People say being able to move around is realistic, but I find that slowly looking in my pack for a potion, picking it out, opening and drinking it all while completely unarmed while the enemy stands next to me and can do absolutely nothing about it is a lot more ridiculous. A lot of tactical depth really goes out the window when anyone can do whatever without caring. Could even use a ranged weapon in melee for no downside whatsoever.

I'm sure they can be a midway point here, as has been discussed. Some games do the thing where threatened area is "difficult terrain" so tanks can actually block the path and get rid of movement AOOs but make the ones for using items and other distracting things universal.

you know... you could have your potions in nice, easy to access, bandoliers or vial pouches.

no reason for unrealistic searching through a backpack for your life-saving measurements. I mean, we are professional daredevils, it makes sense we put our life insurance items in easy to access places.

drawing a vial from its pouch is certainly much less "opportunity provoking" than moving 5ft away.


Funnily enough, drinking a potion mid-combat has pretty much never come up, in decades of DMing/Playing this game.


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
Funnily enough, drinking a potion mid-combat has pretty much never come up, in decades of DMing/Playing this game.

Generally because potions were essentially vendor trash under normal circumstances and at best were something you prebuffed with (ie flight potions or water breathing ones). The fact you get bashed in the face for even trying to drink one didn't help matters.


Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Funnily enough, drinking a potion mid-combat has pretty much never come up, in decades of DMing/Playing this game.
Generally because potions were essentially vendor trash under normal circumstances and at best were something you prebuffed with (ie flight potions or water breathing ones). The fact you get bashed in the face for even trying to drink one didn't help matters.

Yeah, I guess, IME, I am not feeling some of the complaints some people have had for years with D&D/PF. I have some, obviously, no game is perfect, but some stuff I only came to be aware of via the internet (has never existed in my "reality").


Vic Ferrari wrote:
Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Funnily enough, drinking a potion mid-combat has pretty much never come up, in decades of DMing/Playing this game.
Generally because potions were essentially vendor trash under normal circumstances and at best were something you prebuffed with (ie flight potions or water breathing ones). The fact you get bashed in the face for even trying to drink one didn't help matters.
Yeah, I guess, IME, I am not feeling some of the complaints some people have had for years with D&D/PF. I have some, obviously, no game is perfect, but some stuff I only came to be aware of via the internet (has never existed in my "reality").

I feel the same way in reverse sort of. Like running into people who have evidently made their druid/rogue/fighter/monk quadriplegic the combat mvp of their game despite all my experiences being to the contrary with builds of that sort. People's games are weird.


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I would be in favor of it being tied to your proficiency with your weapon. In fact i wouldn't mind seeing some kind of reaction option being added to each level of weapon proficiency. Like a Parry that works similar to an active shield use and things like that.


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John Mechalas wrote:
Only when you are in that person's face and they are actively attacking. Right now, you can quaff a potion with no penalties while someone is actively swinging a sword at you, which is just silly.

Is it really? I always picture potions in a relatively easy to access belt pouch or pocket or something. Dodging away from a sword or even using a one handed weapon to parry (not a game mechanic parry, just the sort of parry we assume characters are always doing) while the other hand fishes into a pocket, flips open the lid, and then quickly drinking seems feasible.

On the other hand, using both hands to load a crossbow next to someone actively hostile does bother me.

I guess we all have different tolerances for when this becomes immersion breaking. I prefer they err on the side of not having a lot of AoO. I certainly don't want to see every martial in the game get them, but I'm not wholly opposed to some compromise.


Loved the swat idea. Oh yeah you don't know how to take advantage, but if you do something silly get slapped xD


Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Funnily enough, drinking a potion mid-combat has pretty much never come up, in decades of DMing/Playing this game.
Generally because potions were essentially vendor trash under normal circumstances and at best were something you prebuffed with (ie flight potions or water breathing ones). The fact you get bashed in the face for even trying to drink one didn't help matters.
Yeah, I guess, IME, I am not feeling some of the complaints some people have had for years with D&D/PF. I have some, obviously, no game is perfect, but some stuff I only came to be aware of via the internet (has never existed in my "reality").
I feel the same way in reverse sort of. Like running into people who have evidently made their druid/rogue/fighter/monk quadriplegic the combat mvp of their game despite all my experiences being to the contrary with builds of that sort. People's games are weird.

Yeah, that does sound rather stupid.


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It would be nice if enemy threatened areas always at least counted as difficult terrain even in the absence of AoO. The way PCs and monsters just move everywhere with impunity and no one can stop them or control the battlefield in any way whatsoever is upsetting.


Fuzzypaws wrote:

It would be nice if enemy threatened areas always at least counted as difficult terrain even in the absence of AoO. The way PCs and monsters just move everywhere with impunity and no one can stop them or control the battlefield in any way whatsoever is upsetting.

that does sound nice, but i feel that in cases where you do have access to AoO it would be too much since you couldn't even 5ft step to avoid the AoO.

Basically, AoO would be a guaranteed +1 attack, making 2 feats in fighter dedication almost mandatory for all marital builds.

At that point, you may as well remove the Step action from existing, since it would fundamentally offer absolutely nothing.


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shroudb wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:

It would be nice if enemy threatened areas always at least counted as difficult terrain even in the absence of AoO. The way PCs and monsters just move everywhere with impunity and no one can stop them or control the battlefield in any way whatsoever is upsetting.

that does sound nice, but i feel that in cases where you do have access to AoO it would be too much since you couldn't even 5ft step to avoid the AoO.

Basically, AoO would be a guaranteed +1 attack, making 2 feats in fighter dedication almost mandatory for all marital builds.

At that point, you may as well remove the Step action from existing, since it would fundamentally offer absolutely nothing.

You can Step out of difficult terrain, just not into difficult terrain. So you could still get out of a threatened area just fine, it'd just mean you couldn't easily get past someone who has an AoO, or move as easily to flank them. And to me that's fine. I don't think this makes AoOs any more or less attractive to characters who don't get them naturally, as the places where this will come up most often, such as an enemy rushing past a character to reach a squishier ally, already will provoke. The main thing this does is make it so every character will get some of the benefits of AoOs as far as limiting enemy movement, and making flanks less automatic but not entirely create the staticness of 1e combat.


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I like the idea of giving AoOs to weapons you have Master or Legendary proficiency in, and then fighters still get it for free. In combination with making it possible to feat into mastery.


If the problem for easily accessible AoO is movement, the idea to make threatened squares difficult terrain is just great.
You can move at full speed and eat the AoO, if you want; all the other provoking actions (spellcasting and such) still provoke as they used to.

Anyway, I like to be able to drink an healing potion without getting killed in the process.
I still remember when my character was brought to 0 HP from a critical hit when fighting a nasty opponent with no immediate backup from his group. I knew I couldn't probably kill it in one blow, so I wanted to drink a potion in hope that it would miss me on its next turn, and then I could act without dropping into the negatives. But I could not, because the chances to be missed by both the AoO and the normal attack were very slim.
I tried a desperate measure: I prepared an action to drink the potion when the enemy attacked me. My GM appreciated the idea and allowed it without counter-interrupting my action with an AoO; in the end it was useless because the monster scored another crit for much more damage than my potion had healed. It didn't even save me from dying outright...


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Megistone wrote:
Anyway, I like to be able to drink an healing potion without getting killed in the process.

I think that's a valid concern.

In essence though, I do like the idea of the action tax being the way to avoid dying when doing something dangerous, and it makes actual sense as well.

Within Paizo's newly designed action economy, they have a lot of room to foster some really strong integrations of old concepts.

For instance, "Casting Defensively" was a means to prevent AoO's for spells but it felt like a big loss when you failed to concentrate and required more rolls.

Ranged attacks in melee were never preventable, unless you got a feat that outright made it not provoke which made it mandatory to find a way to get this before pursuing it.

All of the above could be relegated to "costs 1 additional action or provokes a Disrupt" and then give every character "Disrupt" Reaction which prevents the action from being completed.

Then fill the action economy of Reactions with other choices, and limit it to the 1 per turn.

You've now created a lot more tactical depth in combat simply by making people choose whether they want to save their "Disrupt" reaction to stop an event, or save their Reaction for Nimble Dodge or something similar.

You now allow people to still adapt and be mobile in combat but at a cost of movement if Threatened Squares are Difficult Terrain.

I've heard a lot of playtesters say the action economy encourages "tactical interesting combat" but I don't know if that's been my experience. I have seen a lot of instances where the best move is to simply use Sudden Charge and run at the opponent, then follow up with an additional swing. Or just approach and attack as many times as you can.

If we want combat to be truly interesting there needs to be a lot more integration of Reactions into the base combat, to the point where using it should feel like a meaningful choice to make (not just "he's attacking me, so I use Nimble Dodge").

It might not have as many effects on low level play, but about level 3-4 it should add a lot more depth than currently, and a lot more realism than "I'm totally flanked so I spend two move actions to get away unscathed and then use a ranged weapon" or "I wave at him, drink my potion, fart in his general direction and end my turn" with no follow up from the opponent.


I like some of the suggestions here, but what if we combined them?

Default: Squares you threaten are difficult terrain.

General feat: Gain a reaction which allows you to make a Strike at a -2 penalty; success deals no damage, but interrupts the target's action.

General feat with prerequisites: When using Disruption, you also deal your Strike damage on a success.

Fighters and other martial classes could gain the upgrades as bonus feats or have abilities which tie into them.


only 1 caveat on the difficult terrian thing: It only applies after entering the threat range. It shouldn't take extra movement to just approach when you want to attack.


ChibiNyan wrote:
only 1 caveat on the difficult terrian thing: It only applies after entering the threat range. It shouldn't take extra movement to just approach when you want to attack.

I think a reasonable rule, in such a case, would be "if you are in a threatened area, all areas within the threatened area of that creature are difficult terrain" or, alternatively, if you want to minimize the issue of moving between two threatened areas that might have some overlap "if you are in a threatened area all areas within the threatened area of that creature that are not within the threatened area of a creature that is not already threatening you, are difficult terrain" to prevent corner-case situations, where you can't step to a nearby target when an enemy isn't between you and the target (though that might be unnecessary, except in extremely movement restricted situations, in which case the first rule might actually be more reasonable).


Actually, to me, it would make more sense in general that the move costing double is the one moving out of a difficult terrain square.


Possible simple middle ground idea : fighters get AoO all the time, but others can take an AoO if they have expert level proficiency with the melee weapon they have in hand.


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Sanmei wrote:
I like some of the suggestions here, but what if we combined them?

I was thinking the same thing before I reached your post.

Here's what I came up with:

Weapon Proficiency & Default Reactions: When you are wielding a weapon with which you have trained, expert, or master proficiency you gain access to the Disrupt, Lash Out and Attack of Opportunity reactions respectively.

DISRUPT - functions as AoO, but instead of doing damage you prevent the target from completing the triggering action.

LASH OUT - functions as AoO, but the damage from the attack is reduced by half.

Threat & Difficult Movement: When using the Stride action you treat threatened squares as if they were difficult terrain. Jumping and flying do not negate the extra movement costs of threatened squares. The Crawl and Step actions are not affected by threatened squares.

Provoking: Any time an action you take would provoke a Disrupt, Lash Out, or AoO, you may choose to spend and extra action to perform the task defensively without provoking.

Fighter Changes: Replace the Attack of Opportunity class feature with Combat Reflexes. Replace the Combat Reflexes class feat with Combat Expertise.

Combat Reflexes - At the start of each turn, you gain an additional
reaction that can only be used to Disrupt or Lash Out. Enemies using the Stride action treat squares you threaten as if they were greater difficult terrain.

Combat Expertise FEAT 10 - You may use your second reaction from Combat Reflexes to perform an Attack of Opportunity instead of using Disrupt or Lash Out.

This set up gives every class the ability to at least Disrupt enemies they threaten.

The Martial classes have a pretty good distribution of reaction abilities based on their weapon proficiencies.

Barbarian
-LV 13 gets Lash Out. (would be better if they got it earlier, IMO)

Fighter
-LV 1 gets Lash Out
----- gets 2 reactions from the start for greater versatility.
----- better battlefield control than the others.
-LV 3 gets AoO

Monk
-LV 3 gets Lash Out
-LV 13 gets AoO

Paladin
-LV 5 gets Lash Out
-LV 15 gets AoO

Ranger
-LV 3 gets Lash Out
-LV 13 gets AoO

By specifically calling out the threat range movement cost to not affect the Step action, it still allows you to fairly easily retreat from bad situations without too much hassle. The way I see it wading into battle should be a dangerous proposition.

The only thing I think I might like better is allowing movement costs from multiple enemies to stack. The Step exemption mitigates this a bit while potentially still making it very difficult to break enemy lines as I think it should be.


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LordVanya wrote:


Weapon Proficiency & Default Reactions: When you are wielding a weapon with which you have trained, expert, or master proficiency you gain access to the Disrupt, Lash Out and Attack of Opportunity reactions respectively.

DISRUPT - functions as AoO, but instead of doing damage you prevent the target from completing the triggering action.

LASH OUT - functions as AoO, but the damage from the attack is reduced by half.

Threat & Difficult Movement: When using the Stride action you treat threatened squares as if they were difficult terrain. Jumping and flying do not negate the extra movement costs of threatened squares. The Crawl and Step actions are not affected by threatened squares.

Provoking: Any time an action you take would provoke a Disrupt, Lash Out, or AoO, you may choose to spend and extra action to perform the task defensively without provoking.

Fighter Changes: Replace the Attack of Opportunity class feature with Combat Reflexes. Replace the Combat Reflexes class feat with Combat Expertise.

Combat Reflexes - At the start of each turn, you gain an additional
reaction that can only be used to Disrupt or Lash Out. Enemies using the Stride action treat squares you threaten as if they were greater difficult terrain.

Combat Expertise FEAT 10 - You may use your second reaction from Combat Reflexes to perform an Attack of Opportunity instead of using Disrupt or Lash Out.

This set up gives every class the ability to at least Disrupt enemies they threaten.

The Martial classes have a pretty good distribution of reaction abilities based on their weapon proficiencies.

Barbarian
-LV 13 gets Lash Out. (would be better if they got it earlier, IMO)

Fighter
-LV 1 gets Lash Out
----- gets 2 reactions from the start for greater versatility.
----- better battlefield control...

Here is what I'll say on this:

The more we complicate things, the more likely this rabbit hole just becomes a rabbit hole.

I think if Paizo is to actually consider integrating some form of AoO back into the game the most important thing above all else is that it removes the following issues that it used to have (which is why it was removed):

- It doesn't stifle combat mobility
- It isn't complicated

Those are the big reasons that it was let go.

Now the concerns with it being gone seem to be as follows:

- Flanking is now a lot less tactically viable, since it's easy to avoid it even if it triggers
- Some movement and actions should be harder to pull off in threatened areas because it makes no sense otherwise

Because of the above, I think coupling AoO's with proficiency in any way is going to create the "too complicated" problem, especially for a GM.

Whatever we come up with can't just be "look how good this makes combat or look how tactical this makes things" it needs to be simplistic, intuitive, and good for the game.

Now I think the commonalities that people have found that still remain simplistic are:

- Everyone should get a basic Reaction to disrupt an action (even if that action does not deal damage)

- Threatened area should in some way restrict an opponents movement, probably in the form of Difficult Terrain, as this is effectively a "movement tax" but not a complete cut off of movement

Now could we offer options for people to upgrade their "Disrupt" reaction? possibly.

If the Disrupt Reaction innately contains text for Expert Proficiency in Weapon that says "If you succeed, your Strike also deals damage" that might be intuitive enough and consistent with the design of actions as is.

I do think that Fighters, if this becomes available to everyone, should not count "Disrupt" as their one Reaction a turn (essentially built in Combat Reflexes in PF2 form).

That really isn't too much different from what you had here, just want to clarify that simple is better in this case, as that was a big reason for the removal of AoO.

It needs to encourage tactical behavior, without slowing combat down.

Silver Crusade

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Our group is using the base AoO playtest rule with two exceptions:
1. It's global (everyone is able to do it)
2. If you are not trained (i.e. Fighter, Paladin 5, etc.) you get a -4 modifier just like any other skill to match core math of the system.

Everything else is the same and we have had great results.
Making AoOs global restricts movement in combat and adds a very cool movement and positioning dynamic for martial classes that cannot be underestimated.

I liked this addition to D&D3e and the cool feats that PF1 added.

Happy Playtesting!


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... Did everybody forget about the '5-foot-step of impunity'? Remember how casters and archers in PF1 only need to take a free 5-foot-step to never have to worry about any pesky AoOs? And laugh in the face of an melee guy trying to do anything about them casting or shooting? Anything at all?

So then 'Step Up' happened. Not that it stop casters form simply casting defensively. Oh so at least Fighters can take a lv. 6 feat to impose a +4 on the concentrate check. That at least pushes a failed check into the realm of possibility. If you remembered to pay your feat tax on Step Up that is.

Having someone waving a sword in your face damn well SHOULD cramp your style, if you are not wielding a melee weapon yourself! Can't fighters at least have the ability to force casters and archers to pay an an actual action to move away before they can cast or shoot with impunity again? No? Not even that?

But then again, a Step Up equivalent may come out eventually...


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I mean, "Step" actually costly now, since it costs an action and not a non-action.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I mean, "Step" actually costly now, since it costs an action and not a non-action.

Precisely.

Removing the AoO from global use was a bit of an over correction.

Combat economy has changed so much and reactions and AoO now occupy the same pool for spending.

I would have wagered if left in as is it wouldn't have slowed down combat nearly as much as it did in PF1.

I think this has happened in a few places in the game in general, but to me combat is less interesting if there are no consequences for actions at all, and generally it's counter to realism in most cases.

If someone has to use Step to avoid an AoO they are giving up an extra attack, a extra move, single action spell, and a slew of other actions, like the AoO, the step in PF1 was always free since you could use it with full attack actions.

Now the economy has resolved that "free" behavior because it's costly, both for AoOs and Step.


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I can see the game logic being something like "Frequent AoOs slow the game down significantly, so we'll restrict them to people who are actually good at fighting with weapons."

But even by that logic it should be available to anybody who is good with weapons, even if it's not free.


One thing I wouldn't want to do is invalidate a fighter's AoO ability simply by letting people pay a "difficult terrain" cost.

I see suggestions that players be given the choice of moving through a threatened square at full vs/ half speed, but then that becomes a cheap way to invalidate a feat. And, it defeats the intent of threatened squares in the first place. Make it optional, and once you figure out the opponent has no AoO then we are back to the original state of moving around the battlefield with no penalties. The reason I suggested threatened squares count as difficult terrain was to cut down on mobility with impunity, not to give people an option to get out of AoO's.

I do, however, like the idea of a "Disrupt" reaction that is available to everyone, which does no damage but interferes with potions and scrolls. I think that's much better than what I had in mind.


John Mechalas wrote:

One thing I wouldn't want to do is invalidate a fighter's AoO ability simply by letting people pay a "difficult terrain" cost.

I see suggestions that players be given the choice of moving through a threatened square at full vs/ half speed, but then that becomes a cheap way to invalidate a feat. And, it defeats the intent of threatened squares in the first place. Make it optional, and once you figure out the opponent has no AoO then we are back to the original state of moving around the battlefield with no penalties. The reason I suggested threatened squares count as difficult terrain was to cut down on mobility with impunity, not to give people an option to get out of AoO's.

I do, however, like the idea of a "Disrupt" reaction that is available to everyone, which does no damage but interferes with potions and scrolls. I think that's much better than what I had in mind.

Perhaps I'm misinterpreting the suggestions, but I don't think anyone was suggesting difficult terrain as an Alternative to AoOs, for those who get access to it, but that classes that don't get AoOs still have some of the benefits of AoOs, by virtue of limiting movement, due to difficult terrain. My assumption though, it that classes that get AoOs, in some form or another, still get AoOs as normal, but that threatened areas also count as difficult terrain (I.e. if you try to move past a fighter, you trigger an AoO, and moving past anyone, including the fighter, but also other non-AoO enabled characters, counts as difficult terrain). If this is perhaps too powerful, I could see maybe there could be the choice, on the fighter's side as to whether to have the enemy provoke an AoO or have the enemy have to move through their threatened squares as difficult terrain, but even in such a suggestion, it'd be fighter's choice, not enemy's choice. But I haven't seen anyone suggest that the choice between provoking and moving with difficult terrain be the mover's choice, unless I'm misinterpreting things.


There was a suggestion that players be given an option to spend an extra action when doing something that provokes in order to do the action without provoking, but I don't think that was tied to the difficult terrain idea.


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Midnightoker wrote:
LordVanya wrote:


...stuff I wrote before...

Here is what I'll say on this:

The more we complicate things, the more likely this rabbit hole just becomes a rabbit hole.

etc...

Fair enough.

At this point I honestly don't care how likely Paizo is to do anything.
I'm just fleshing out ideas I find fun and interesting.

Sovereign Court

I don't really want AoO back in its entirety, but I do want everyone to be somewhat able to stop enemies from moving right past them. I'm okay with enemies disengaging, but if I'm playing a buff barbarian I want to be able to stand in front of my wizard buddy and stop enemies from just walking past me to get to him.

So, here's an idea for a reaction that every PC and monster would get:

Hinder Movement
Reaction
Trigger: an enemy tries to move i.e. anything with the Move trait from one space you threaten to another space you threaten.
Effect: unless the enemy spends another action point to keep going, their move stops in the first space. Any other reactions/free actions triggered by the attempted move can still be carried out (for example if it also provoked an Attack of Opportunity reaction from one of your buddies). If the enemy is subjected to multiple Hinder Movement reactions from you and your allies, the enemy needs to pay an action point for each of them to continue their movement.

* It's not absolute enough to grind combat to a halt completely.
* A single defender can slow down an enemy enough that the enemy probably can't use it's best multiple-action attack anymore. But the back ranks don't become completely untouchable either.
* Multiple defenders working together can make it a really strong frontline.
* Multiple attackers can exhaust the front line's reactions and push through.
* Doesn't stop enemies from withdrawing, although with a reach weapon you can slow them down.
* Because everyone would have this reaction, it's a little less of a "gotcha!" moment when enemies take reactions against PC movement. It's a little less necessary for every boss to get AoO as an ability.
* It promotes teamwork to get someone past defensive lines.
* It works just fine with feats like rogue Mobility that prevent reactions if they're moving in the right way. A rogue is your guy behind enemy lines.

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