Does a fall, if done on purpose, trigger an attack of opportunity

Rules Questions

If a player makes a JUMP to get to an opponent, that is climbing down the side of a tower.

Is this a movement that would provoke an attack of opportunity as the player moved through the enemies 10ft reach, allowing that enemy to use any appropriate attack.

Or does it change to being a "forced movement" that does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

Keeping in mind, the player still had their standard action, was withing their "movement" (so hasn't moved to the distance where TTRPGS just assume t fall instantly ended) and planned to take that standard action upon reaching the altitude the enemy was at to grapple.

I would say yes, it would provoke, unless the player succeeded at an Acrobatics check against the enemy's CMD, with the usual penalties applied (on both individuals).

"You need both hands free to climb, but you may cling to a wall with one hand while you cast a spell or take some other action that requires only one hand. While climbing, you can’t move to avoid a blow, so you lose your Dexterity bonus to AC (if any). You also can’t use a shield while climbing."

Probably not. the climbing character would have both hands empty and aside from a single unarmed punch, would probably not be threatening any adjacent square.

Obviously it will be difficult for the enemy to do anything of note to the attacking player. The enemy either is or isn't threatening, though. If he has a free hand, and a 10 ft. reach, I don't see why he wouldn't be able to take an attack of opportunity.

Since the players is purposefully falling I would allow the movement to provoke, but it's a low likelihood that the enemy can capitalize on it.

However, imagine a scenario where the enemy the player is targeting isn't the only one and that there are flying enemies next to the tower in the climbing path. Now it seems much more likely that you're going to get cut to shreds as you fall past them towards your intended target. And that strikes me as reasonable.

Basic rule of thumb is voluntary movement provokes and involuntary movement does not.

If they are actively moving through a square to get to the fall, yes it provokes, if they are in the middle of the fall, it doesn't provoke. Even though they "chose" to enter a square where they are forced to fall, they do not actually have a choice of whether or not they are falling; even if they could fly, gravity is forcing you to fall when you aren't hovering. This also means you can 5ft step off a ledge without provoking, fall without provoking, and then hopefully land soundly enough that you don't have to risk provoking as you would stand up.

Which rule/section states that your movement doesn’t provoke an attack of opportunity if you’re in the middle of a fall?

What rule/section states that it does. A fall isn't part of your move, it doesn't count against your distance moved, it can only end your move if it becomes no longer legal for you to continue moving at the end of the fall from becoming prone, or you would fall further than 500ft because the round will end before you hit the ground (but you will still eventually hit the ground and be prone).

There is no distinction between falling when you chose to fall and when you didn't therefore when the game explicitly states that you do not provoke from involuntary movement, even giving the example of a creature falling, it doesn't matter once you are already in motion if you chose to enter the square that made you fall or if you were forced there from a bull rush or similar.

That’s what I’m asking about (in good faith): where does the game explicitly state that you do not provoke an attack of opportunity through involuntary movement, even giving the example of a creature falling? I didn’t see that in the Actions in Combat, Attacks of Opportunity, or Falling rules sections, or under the Acrobatics or Climb skill sections.

All I’ve seen is statements like “Regardless of the action, if you move out of a threatened square, you usually provoke an attack of opportunity” and “Moving out of a threatened square usually provokes attacks of opportunity from threatening opponents,” with qualifiers pointing to what doesn’t provoke (such as 5-foot steps, acrobatics checks, etc.).

A clear example is bull rush itself, you don't provoke from movement, you provoke from taking an action or when something makes an exception like Greater Bull Rush making your forced movement provoke. You aren't provoking because you moved when you move, you are provoking because the action itself "move" provokes (also why you don't provoke for each square and just once for the action), and specifies it checks when you leave a square from your movement. But falling isn't your movement, and thus wouldn't trigger the AoO from the action. The same is true for the other movement maneuvers (Awesome Blow, Drag, and Reposition). Admittedly to infer from these maneuvers, which are the only place "involuntary movement" is addressed in the CRB, that all involuntary movement doesn't provoke is an assumption, but its the same assumption every one else here is making when they say "involuntary movement doesn't provoke", because it's uniform in all common cases of forced movement.

There are also still some niche exceptions where you could get an AoO from someone falling (e.g. a barbarian with unexpected strike positioned correctly), but it is the result of things independent of the fall/movement.

Bull Rush is actually not a clear example of that, though. If anything, it better ties to a another example of provoking an attack of opportunity, which is a non-proficient unarmed attack. Hence why when you take Improved Bull Rush—which grants you actual skill at pushing your foes around—you don’t provoke.

Nor do the other feats you named don’t prove anything regarding involuntary movement. They’re simply representative of Paizo’s game design, wherein entry-level feats are a tax you must pay before you can get the full benefit—typically provided in Improved or Greater versions of the same feat.

Absent any actual qualifier, the rules definitively do say that moving out of a threatened square usually provokes an attack of opportunity, and that the 5-foot step and the withdraw action are the two most common ways to avoid this. So what we’re looking for is other ways that are explicitly allow you to do this. With that in mind, none of the above feats state that falling (whose rules section is utterly silent about sparing you from AOOs) doesn’t constitute exiting from a threatened square.

I'm saying when you are pushed by someone bull rushing you, you do not provoke short of the opponent having Greater Bull Rush. Same again with the Greater Drag/Reposition. The guy getting pushed does not provoke on that involuntary movement.

As this action sequence is not explicitly or directly inferred by RAW - the answer is NO, can't do that. Characters need to finish an action rather than pretend they have Lunge or Spring Attack or some combo thereof. Logically a faulty premise.

The way Acrobatics is worded it's a) move on narrow/tricky surfaces & b) avoiding an AoO by movement XOR c) jumping (which is not movement but constrained by Speed, and the CRB FAQ supports this through a lack of text).

I'll add that Falling rules like Mounted Combat rules involve a lot of hand waiving and simplification on the part of RAW.

AwesomenessDog wrote:
I'm saying when you are pushed by someone bull rushing you, you do not provoke short of the opponent having Greater Bull Rush. Same again with the Greater Drag/Reposition. The guy getting pushed does not provoke on that involuntary movement.

You’re still trying to apply specific exceptions provided by feats for specific actions to a general rule, AD. The Bull Rush combat maneuver, Improved Bull Rush, etc., weren’t written that way to subtly provide a roundabout exception to the rules for movement and provoking AOOs in lieu of one being explicitly stated in the appropriate rules sections. The writers were simply keeping players from having their cake and eating it too (without first paying the appropriate feat tax).

It's not an exception, it's clarifying text. Nothing will provoke short of an action that says it provokes. Falling isn't an action, even if it happens in the middle of an action, ergo it doesn't provoke.

It’s not clarifying text, AD. It’s simply stating what benefits you do and do not get from performing a specific action when you have that feat. Beyond that, Table 8-2 isn’t an exhaustive list, and the general rule under Attacks of Opportunity distinguishes movement from actions taken within a threatened square.

None of what you said changes "AoO (in general) only come from taking an action that provokes" and anything that isn't an action, such as involuntary movement, will not provoke unless something says otherwise.

If you want to be literal about it, you can literally combine several sentences from multiple paragraphs and get the same conclusion:

Attacks of Opportunity wrote:
An enemy that takes certain actions while in a threatened square provokes an attack of opportunity from you.... Two kinds of actions can provoke attacks of opportunity: moving out of a threatened square and performing certain actions within a threatened square.

Not once is the term "move(/moving)" used in the CRB's combat section to mean anything other than moving with the "move action". Elsewhere, it is always referred to as movement or being moved, "An enemy being moved by a bull rush does not provoke an attack of opportunity because of the movement unless you possess the Greater Bull Rush feat." If you are being moved by something other than an action you spent, you are not provoking because you didn't spend an action as part of the movement.

Ergo, falling does not provoke, no matter how you got into a position to fall.

AD, what you quoted in the first half of your post are your words. You then quoted the actual rules, which distinguish movement from actions.

As for “move” and “moving” always meaning the move action itself, with respect, that’s just your reading. Even on a purely literal level, however, neither “move a heavy object” (under Table 8-2) nor “not even friends can move his limbs” (under “Paralysis” in the special abilities section) has anything to do with “moving with the move action.” More to the point, both the paralyzed condition and the Paralysis section distinguish between “move,” “speak,” and “act”/“take any physical action.” That’s important, because Table 8-2 clearly states that “Regardless of the action, if you move out of a threatened square, you usually provoke an attack of opportunity. This column indicates whether the action itself, not moving, provoked an attack of opportunity.” That second sentence is utterly redundant/unnecessary if “moving” is synonymous with the move action, given that that the move action is itself one of the actions listed in the table.

All of this circles back to the central point I’ve been trying to make. The rules make it clear what conditions usually provoke attacks of opportunity: moving out of a threatened square (with two exceptions), and certain actions—which include the move action itself. For movement or an action to not provoke an attack of opportunity, the onus is on the GM or player to find a stated exception. Some—bull rush, for example—are as clearly stated as they are contrived, but they apply only to those specific situations.

You're right, this is how paraphrasing works: meaning is preserved even if exact wording is not.

And movement in all cases is not synonymous with the "move action" that provokes. You are the one putting things where they do not belong and have to prove that there is some rule that makes it as such. Short of such a clarification, taking the Move action to move provokes along the movement you voluntarily take, falling as involuntary movement does not because it isn't movement as a part of your action.

AD, 'Not once is the term "move(/moving)" used in the CRB's combat section to mean anything other than moving with the "move action"' is not paraphrasing. With respect, it's simply a very direct, but incorrect, statement.

I'm not saying movement is somehow synonymous with the move action. I'm literally arguing the opposite.

Nor am I "putting thins where they do not belong." All I've done is quote the RAW to you, by section. Again, moving out of a threatened square, with the exception of the 5-foot step and the withdraw action, usually provokes an attack of opportunity. This movement, per RAW, is distinct from "performing certain actions within a threatened square." The move action, per RAW, is one of those "certain actions," and thus distinct from undefined movement such as falling. Given all this, the onus isn't on me to provide any additional rules; it's on you to find a qualified exception to the above. Even then, that exception would apply to that specific situation, or that specific feat, skill, or spell's application.

If you disagree, that's fine! It wouldn't be the first time two people couldn't come to an agreement re: RAW. I'd rather not continue a circular argument, though.

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