AoO suggestions


General Discussion


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The inability to block or even disincentive enemies from just strolling past the front line to get at the squishies in the back has been really frustrating to my group. I don't want PF1's AoO to come back in full, but can we have something in between? Here's a few suggestions.

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There is a default AoO that procs from anyone when you move AWAY from their reach. This does NOT trigger when you "would leave a square an opponent threatens" like PF1, it ONLY triggers when you "would leave an opponent's threatened reach." So, you can still weave and circle around enemies, better maneuver into and out of flanking, and so on, so long as you remain adjacent to your enemy.

This gives a lot more dynamic mobility than PF1 while still preserving that disengaging should be painful.

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The Fighter actually DOES get the old style, and you provoke from a Fighter if you leave any square they threaten. Being the best at AoO should definitely be a Fighter feature, it's just that the ability to AoO at all shouldn't be locked into the Fighter.

Likewise, the Fighter should get other abilities in this vein. For example, "Your threatened reach is 5 ft farther than your actual reach. When someone provokes an opportunity attack in the area you threaten, you can Step as a free action as part of taking the opportunity attack."

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Ranged weapons and attack spells... Have it, "If you make a ranged attack while threatened or cast a spell with an attack roll while threatened, and this attack is against one of the opponents threatening you, you do not provoke an opportunity attack. If you make a ranged or spell attack against a target farther away while threatened, you do provoke an opportunity attack."

Someone with a gun / crossbow / javelin / flaming hand / whatever who is up in your grille and focusing on you is just as dangerous as someone with a sword. If they're focusing on you, them attacking doesn't open themselves up to you. But trying to shoot someone at a distance does require some focus and leaving yourself open.

Since this introduces a bit more element of risk to ranged attacks again, ranged can be made a little better again in compensation. For example, propulsive weapons can add your full Strength modifier instead of only half, crossbows can be rated with an effective Strength modifier, etc.

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Healing abilities should have specific text that they do not provoke, despite having the manipulate trait. This could even be a universal feature of the Healing keyword.


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I'd rather not give AoO to anyone but fighter. I don't mind finding a way to keep enemies from moving past you, but I'd rather have something different, something that is passive and relatively simple and quick to resolve. Something that doesn't require considering whether any given creature wants to use its reaction or not, then making an attack, all before a different creature finishes 1/3 of their turn.

For instance, make squares threatened by enemies cost 5 extra feat of movement per square (unless stepping) so moving is just difficult to do. Throw in tumble reducing this speed tax, stepping past is an option if you want to slow down to a crawl. Or make a person flat-footed for moving through threatened squares unless they can tumble past.


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I like the difficult terrain idea. I might would also suggest a feat that allows grappling as a reaction.


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I'd rather that they give the squishes access to interesting reactions of their own. Like reactive teleport, magic shield, etc.


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I'd rather just bring back PF1 AoOs.


The Once and Future Kai wrote:
I'd rather that they give the squishes access to interesting reactions of their own. Like reactive teleport, magic shield, etc.

I'm not sure this would fix much.

If mobility in combat is too powerful right now (I'm not wholly convinced that it is, but I have a small sample size), then to protect anything you have to restrict that mobility's effectiveness. Reactions on a PC with low defenses makes movement less effective if the objective is to murder the PC, but still make guarding anything but the PCs with the reactions difficult in the face of mobile foes.

For instance, if you are trying to keep monsters from getting through a 10' hall, you can't really do more or less to keep them from getting past you just because your friend the wizard has a magic shield or can teleport 5' if someone advances on her. Either the monster can bust past you or it can't, but the wizard not being in danger doesn't protect the door or the room full of commoners behind or the ancient artifact that one of them is concealing.

This is why I'm in favor of something in place to make defending non-creatures a plausible (if not amazing) tactic for everyone.

Mind you, giving reactive teleporting and reactionary magic shields to casters is a really cool idea anyway, I really think the teleporting is a great thematic power and would love to see it in the game, but it is a band-aid at best IMO and it doesn't fix the deeper problem.


The Once and Future Kai wrote:
I'd rather that they give the squishes access to interesting reactions of their own. Like reactive teleport, magic shield, etc.

I believe it is the job of a tank to try to keep focus on them, but I like the idea of giving Squishies reactions to get away for when someone does slip by or pops up from behind.

I would like to think there could be a nice athletics feat that progress with skill. Something like:
T: you can make an AoO grapple with a -2 penalty.
E: remove the -2 penalty.
M: you can grapple with weapons, you no longer need a free hand to grapple (limit players that can be grappled simultaneously.)
L:you get a free reaction every round to make an AoO grapple.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Interesting idea was mentioned above. Have movement that can trigger an AoO from someone, but some individuals don't have the reaction to immediately benefit from. Have them be subject from one (and only one) attack from the provoked individual, until the next turn. Allow a couple exceptions.

If they use a list of certain defensive actions, like raise shield, or parry, after the action that could have provoked, it can eliminate that instance of the flat footed condition. Perhaps other things might eliminate it such as if the action in question damages the provoked, they lose the advantage.

This way if someone moves around someone quickly and still has an action to set up a defense, they only risk if the person is trained to fully take advantage of the actual provoking action with a reaction. In some cases someone might move in order to hurt someone, and if they are successful, they would prevent the opponent from necessarily capitalizing on the movement. However, if the movement created a risk from more than one opponent, they likely will not be able to prevent this risk from them all.

It actually is a somewhat simple way to make moving around someone without being careful more dangerous again. However it doesn't force them to focus on actual AoO resolutions.


Fuzzypaws wrote:
The inability to block or even disincentive enemies from just strolling past the front line to get at the squishies in the back has been really frustrating to my group.

The opposite of this is that, with older AoO, squishies can't safely escape from enemies. If the PCs enforced AoO, then the enemy was locked in and it was good, but if the enemy enforced AoO on them, the PCs were locked in, and it was bad.

With the new AoO rules, the squishies can escape from those enemies and find a place that might be more defensible (hopefully with the Fighter defending them from there), and as a corrolary, the PCs can do this as well! Walk up to the evil Wizard and apply Leng's Sting to them. Just a different paradigm for combat.


Any ranged attack/spell should provoke AoO.

Any movement in "threat square" should provoke AoO.

Disengage action(2 actions): you Step, your move does not provoke AoO.

Fighers should ge +2 to AoO and deal max damage on it.


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Yes, please. Lack of AoOs is one of the worst things about 2E. It's like a Benny Hill skit for the less defensive characters.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Please no AoO. We finally have gameplay where people aren't just five foot stepping every single turn. It's vastly superior to pf1 in that regard.


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Dire Ursus wrote:
Please no AoO. We finally have gameplay where people aren't just five foot stepping every single turn. It's vastly superior to pf1 in that regard.

Yes, and now that everyone ignores melee and just waltz through is sooo much better.

AoO makes closing in with melee more rewarding as it punishes ranged attackers for bad positioning.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Igor Horvat wrote:
Dire Ursus wrote:
Please no AoO. We finally have gameplay where people aren't just five foot stepping every single turn. It's vastly superior to pf1 in that regard.

Yes, and now that everyone ignores melee and just waltz through is sooo much better.

AoO makes closing in with melee more rewarding as it punishes ranged attackers for bad positioning.

The punishment for bad positional on ranged attackers is the fact that they get attacked at all. And there are plenty of other ways to slow, stun, or otherwise impede a characters movements. And if you really want AoO then just go fighter, or multiclass into it. Your choice. I like that it's a special ability not everyone has access to.


Because the difficult terrain idea doesn't address ranged attacks/drinking potions, maybe there should be some sort of fail chance on doing manipulate items tied to weapon proficiency. This would be in addition to the difficult terrain in squares enemies threaten.

For instance, if you attempt a manipulate action while threatened by another creature, you must make a flat check based on the highest proficiency threatening you:
U: DC2
T: DC4
E: DC6
M: DC8
L: DC10

Then have entangle or grab increase the DC by 2 (stacking or not) and maybe add some feats to set the flat DC a bit higher.

This way, proficiency in weapons feels more special than just another +x and doing things in melee is still discouraged, but it isn't impossible. Also, it is faster to resolve than an AoO while leaving AoO restricted to fighters (and those willing to invest in stealing the fighter's toys).


Remember, my proposed restoration of universal AoO above isn't the PF1 version, save for the Fighter and those few monsters which should behave like the Fighter. In the version I proposed, there's still a lot more mobility than PF1. People can still circle their enemies, which is cool and dramatic - think of all the times you've seen it in movies - and can more readily tweak flanking. You'd just get AoO for disengaging, which absolutely should happen.

Reach weapons can be restored to their projected ring but not threatening adjacent to the wielder, to make those still worthwhile. Reach weapons always deal less damage than non reach equivalents anyway.


Igor Horvat wrote:

Yes, and now that everyone ignores melee and just waltz through is sooo much better.

AoO makes closing in with melee more rewarding as it punishes ranged attackers for bad positioning.

If ranged attackers have melee foes just waltzing up to them, then they're being punished for bad positioning. The difference is, as Dire Ursus said, ranged attackers can't ever get out of AoO purgatory by disengaging.


EberronHoward wrote:
Igor Horvat wrote:

Yes, and now that everyone ignores melee and just waltz through is sooo much better.

AoO makes closing in with melee more rewarding as it punishes ranged attackers for bad positioning.

If ranged attackers have melee foes just waltzing up to them, then they're being punished for bad positioning. The difference is, as Dire Ursus said, ranged attackers can't ever get out of AoO purgatory by disengaging.

Ranged attacks can also just attack the target next to them and not face an AoO, or step 5 feet away.


EberronHoward wrote:
Igor Horvat wrote:

Yes, and now that everyone ignores melee and just waltz through is sooo much better.

AoO makes closing in with melee more rewarding as it punishes ranged attackers for bad positioning.

If ranged attackers have melee foes just waltzing up to them, then they're being punished for bad positioning. The difference is, as Dire Ursus said, ranged attackers can't ever get out of AoO purgatory by disengaging.

So add an action as I have suggested, 2 actions for one Step that does not provoke AoO. If that proves to easy or hard make it 3 actions for 1 Step or 3 actions for 2 Steps.

Also, we could add that if you do not have a melee weapon you suffer -2 AC penalty as you do not threaten your melee attacked or cant add "parry" to your AC and attacker can attack you without worry about his safety.

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