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View Full Version : 5ft step free action, grants immunity to AoO



Devronq
2011-09-29, 04:40 AM
So taking a 5ft step as a free action that does not provoke a AoO. I would assume it still does even if your taking a 5ft step away from someone your in melee with. Does this mean your immune to AoO if your opponent does not have more than 5ft reach? You can take a 5ft step away then cast your spell or use whatever action that triggers a AoO but now your too far away and they don't get one now correct?

Longcat
2011-09-29, 04:50 AM
So taking a 5ft step as a free action that does not provoke a AoO. I would assume it still does even if your taking a 5ft step away from someone your in melee with. Does this mean your immune to AoO if your opponent does not have more than 5ft reach? You can take a 5ft step away then cast your spell or use whatever action that triggers a AoO but now your too far away and they don't get one now correct?

Yes. Your opponent can, however, invest in countermeasures to this. Thicket of Blades comes to mind.

deuxhero
2011-09-29, 06:18 AM
You can also be steping into one of their allies reach.

sonofzeal
2011-09-29, 06:24 AM
You can also be steping into one of their allies reach.
Entering a threatened square doesn't provoke.

LansXero
2011-09-29, 06:27 AM
Entering a threatened square doesn't provoke.

But casting a spell or using a ranged weapon may.

Ryu_Bonkosi
2011-09-29, 03:44 PM
But casting a spell or using a ranged weapon may.

Only if you don't full attack with the ranged weapon.

sonofzeal
2011-09-29, 03:51 PM
Only if you don't full attack with the ranged weapon.
Rules Compendium corrects this.

gbprime
2011-09-29, 03:52 PM
So taking a 5ft step as a free action that does not provoke a AoO. I would assume it still does even if your taking a 5ft step away from someone your in melee with. Does this mean your immune to AoO if your opponent does not have more than 5ft reach? You can take a 5ft step away then cast your spell or use whatever action that triggers a AoO but now your too far away and they don't get one now correct?

Another common foil to the 5 foot step is reach. Taking a 5 foot step back from a large or huge target that has run right up to you doesn't usually get you out of it's reach. Likewise with the hypothetical combatant who has both a reach weapon and a non reach weapon handy (glaive and spiked gauntlet, for example).

Blisstake
2011-09-29, 03:54 PM
Only if you don't full attack with the ranged weapon.

That's a silly oversight, and it's pretty obvious that it was intended for all ranged attacks to provoke an AoO regardless of it being a standard or full attack action. As stated earlier, it has also been corrected in the rules compendium.

Caphi
2011-09-29, 04:02 PM
I'm pretty sure there's a rule that says you can't take a step and any other kind of move in the same turn.

Frosty
2011-09-29, 04:39 PM
Thsi is the solution to enemy casters 5-ft stepping away from you: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/combat-feats/step-up-combat---final

Lateral
2011-09-29, 05:34 PM
Thsi is the solution to enemy casters 5-ft stepping away from you: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/combat-feats/step-up-combat---final

It's PF-only, though.

Major
2011-09-29, 10:10 PM
I'm pretty sure there's a rule that says you can't take a step and any other kind of move in the same turn.

There is. It is either a 5ft step or a move action.

Frosty
2011-09-29, 10:16 PM
It's PF-only, though.True, but still an option. Frankly, a lot of PF feats ought to be ported over to 3.5 anyways because they're good (and sometimes more balanced).

For example, Shock Trooper should be replaced by a feat from the APG called Furious Focus, which basically says your first attack of each round does not take the to-hit penalty from Power Attack (does not require charging). This allows you to still do increased damage, but doesn't give ridiculous damage if you have Pounce and can full-attack on a charge.

HunterOfJello
2011-09-29, 10:16 PM
There is. It is either a 5ft step or a move action.

Sort of. The rule is one of those annoying, "If not A, then B" rules instead of an actual, "A or B" rule. If you move no actual distance in a round, then you can usually take a 5ft step action.

You can still use a quote unquote move action to do something else during the round along with a 5ft step as long as you haven't moved.

~

These rules are weird.


It's PF-only, though.

There are similar abilities in the Tome of Battle like Striking Shadow and Mirrored Pursuit. I think they're there just to piss off mages who are trying to run away from crazy swordsages.

ericgrau
2011-09-29, 11:15 PM
And an often overlooked trick is that you can include a 5 foot step in a readied action. So if someone readies an action to disrupt casting in melee and you 5 foot step away, he can still get you. Without even burning his attack of opportunity, should you try to then use your move to draw something or take a second shot in a full attack.

Draz74
2011-09-30, 01:02 AM
And an often overlooked trick is that you can include a 5 foot step in a readied action. So if someone readies an action to disrupt casting in melee and you 5 foot step away, he can still get you. Without even burning his attack of opportunity, should you try to then use your move to draw something or take a second shot in a full attack.

That is indeed an underused tactic, but it comes with the downside (at least theoretically) that, if your caster opponent does something unexpected instead of casting a spell, your readied action (and thus your standard action) are wasted.

Hague
2011-09-30, 02:07 AM
There's also the Pursue feat from Eberron that uses action points to close gaps between targets.

Blinkbear
2011-09-30, 03:44 AM
Yes, the "5ft step to safety" exists in the rules. Yes, it is usually stupid. No, there is no simple way to house rule it without any other flaws. Okay, at least we did not find one.

The house rule we are currently play testing is:

As long as you are threatened by someone, you may not take the free 5ft step. Of course, you may decide 5ft away as a move action, which usually provokes AoO. Or you my double move, moving away from one enemy, not provoking an attack of opportunity. That's it.

Problem: Being threatened by invisible creatures is kinda stupidly resolved. But every other rule we tried, with following and what not, was not simple enough.

Longcat
2011-09-30, 04:54 AM
Basically, if you take away the 5ft step, everyone who's not a T1-2 caster gets boned against melee. Especially archers have it really tough.

Blinkbear
2011-09-30, 05:29 AM
Basically, if you take away the 5ft step, everyone who's not a T1-2 caster gets boned against melee. Especially archers have it really tough.

A) What is a T1-2 caster?
B) Archer makes 5-foot step back to fire his arrows. Melee makes five foot step forward and sunders the bow. Hardness 5 and 5 hit points. So basically 10 damage and it is broken. You don't even get an AoO to disrupt the sundering. Assume the typical two-handed sword guy with str 14 (poor, i know). 2d6+2 is an average of 9 - usually 1 or two attacks destroy the bow. Let it be a barbarian with STR 16, which is a bit more likely. Raged he has +5 Strength. That's 12 average damage. So that usually breas the bow in one hit. And then it simply resolves all other attacks.

To be honest - if you have a bow, stay away at least 20 ft from any melee guy. Even then, he may charge-sunder it. If you get into melee, you have to waste some effort to get away.

I mean in the end, it's a bow. Not a sword or an axe. It is supposed to be used from a distance.

Of course, if you want to go all Legolas *g* Simply go Order of the bow initiate and hope your DM does not know sunder.

candycorn
2011-09-30, 05:52 AM
T1-2 caster: Wizard, sorceror, cleric, druid, psion, etc. The powerhouse casters.

Also, there are defenses for archers. Among them is using allies to screen them. Another would be readying an action to attack if attacked. Someone moves in to charge, they 5 foot step back and shoot.

Yes, an archer lives and dies by mobility. Still, use of cover can deny AoO's, use of terrain can make it difficult to reach them, and use of ready actions can negate opponent ready actions.

Person_Man
2011-09-30, 08:16 AM
Basically, if you take away the 5ft step, everyone who's not a T1-2 caster gets boned against melee. Especially archers have it really tough.

Agreed.

Most new players have a tendency to treat D&D combat like Napoleonic combat, with clear lines of offense and defense (meat shields) backed up by artillery (casters and archers) and supported by cavalry (fast moving characters). But in reality that almost never occurs, because line of defense are so porous and movement is so easy (via Tumble, flight, Ride by Attack, etc). Thus everyone tends to clump together in a jumble. The writers tried to keep some semblance of "stickiness" for meat shields by adding in the needlessly convoluted AoO rules. But as you observed, doing so basically mandated the creation of the fiddly 5 ft step rule for archers and casters.

I haven't played 4E in a long time. Are the Opportunity Attack/Shifting rules any better?

ShneekeyTheLost
2011-09-30, 08:24 AM
After all, it's not like you can't Tumble to completely negate AoO anyways...

The DC is only 15, or 25 if you are trying to tumble THROUGH an opponent. That's trivial to boost, even with the investment of a single cross-class rank.

Tr011
2011-09-30, 08:28 AM
It's just a thing of Reach: If your opponent has only 5ft. reach, take a step back and cast. Or shoot. You can see this in any movie. But if your opponent has more than 5ft. reach or makes AoOs against 5ft-steps, you are bound. It's a pretty good rule imo and everyone who intends to bound casters can do so easily.

Tyndmyr
2011-09-30, 08:43 AM
Thsi is the solution to enemy casters 5-ft stepping away from you: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/combat-feats/step-up-combat---final

Or...you could just ready an action to follow and attack.

Greenish
2011-09-30, 09:36 AM
I mean in the end, it's a bow. Not a sword or an axe. It is supposed to be used from a distance.Elvencraft bows wish to disagree. :smalltongue:


Of course, if you want to go all Legolas *g* Simply go Order of the bow initiate and hope your DM does not know sunder.Order of the Bow Initiate is a huge trap. Avoid at all cost.

Telonius
2011-09-30, 09:41 AM
Difficult Terrain can also negate a five-foot step. A level-3 Knight with a reach weapon can basically prevent anybody from stepping away from him (unless they use only one attack then move). Reach means that every square the enemy could move into would be threatened, therefore difficult terrain, therefore can't 5-foot-step.

Longcat
2011-09-30, 10:00 AM
Elvencraft bows wish to disagree. :smalltongue:


That, or the Swordbow.

Frosty
2011-09-30, 10:22 AM
Or...you could just ready an action to follow and attack.
You can, but then you're using up your standard action to Ready.

Blisstake
2011-09-30, 10:34 AM
True, but still an option. Frankly, a lot of PF feats ought to be ported over to 3.5 anyways because they're good (and sometimes more balanced).

For example, Shock Trooper should be replaced by a feat from the APG called Furious Focus, which basically says your first attack of each round does not take the to-hit penalty from Power Attack (does not require charging). This allows you to still do increased damage, but doesn't give ridiculous damage if you have Pounce and can full-attack on a charge.

Still, I don't think PF feats should be mentioned unless a thread is titled [PF] or [3.P]. It's the same reason some people don't like 3.5-only solutions posted on threads regarding their Pathfinder questions/builds.

ninja_penguin
2011-09-30, 10:41 AM
I haven't played 4E in a long time. Are the Opportunity Attack/Shifting rules any better?

Opportunity attack? I don't know about 'better', but it's a heck of a lot simpler. I think it's a pretty short list of things like 'ranged/area attack, move away without shifting', and a couple other things.

Shifting? Well, you can give up your attack for the turn (usually) to shift a square and then just move away. Otherwise I'd say its pretty simple and runs easy.

Tyndmyr
2011-09-30, 11:02 AM
You can, but then you're using up your standard action to Ready.

However, like thicket of blades, it's a pure 3.5 option that points out that the 5ft step isn't quite immunity. And it's a more accessible option than thicket of blades.

Frosty
2011-09-30, 11:12 AM
However, like thicket of blades, it's a pure 3.5 option that points out that the 5ft step isn't quite immunity. And it's a more accessible option than thicket of blades.

That is true. However, you'll need to start your round already adjacent to the target, since you can't 5ft step with your action if you've already moved for the round.

Strormer
2011-09-30, 11:17 AM
A) Archer makes 5-foot step back to fire his arrows. Melee makes five foot step forward and sunders the bow. Hardness 5 and 5 hit points. So basically 10 damage and it is broken. You don't even get an AoO to disrupt the sundering. Assume the typical two-handed sword guy with str 14 (poor, i know). 2d6+2 is an average of 9 - usually 1 or two attacks destroy the bow. Let it be a barbarian with STR 16, which is a bit more likely. Raged he has +5 Strength. That's 12 average damage. So that usually breas the bow in one hit. And then it simply resolves all other attacks.

To be honest - if you have a bow, stay away at least 20 ft from any melee guy. Even then, he may charge-sunder it. If you get into melee, you have to waste some effort to get away.

I mean in the end, it's a bow. Not a sword or an axe. It is supposed to be used from a distance.

Of course, if you want to go all Legolas *g* Simply go Order of the bow initiate and hope your DM does not know sunder.

Not to go Legolas or anything, but a special material bow does quite nicely on such things. Just off the top of my head, dragonbone, darkwood, druid casts ironwood permanency, or make an adamantine bow. All are possible though various levels of effort, so sunder doesn't come into play as much. My favorite was to use close combat shot with a greatbow and manyshot. ^_^ ah, memories. I'd also thwack enemies with the bow as an improvised weapon.

Daftendirekt
2011-09-30, 11:36 AM
There is. It is either a 5ft step or a move action.

Unless you use your move action for something besides moving (i.e., taking out a potion or something).

Flickerdart
2011-09-30, 11:48 AM
If you're a Swordsage, you can use your move action to teleport (is teleporting a move? who knows!), or alternatively use your standard or swift to teleport (is teleporting as a not-move action a move? this is confusing).

Curmudgeon
2011-09-30, 11:56 AM
I haven't played 4E in a long time. Are the Opportunity Attack/Shifting rules any better?
I wouldn't call them better; they're just a lot more complex. For instance, instead of 3.5 Combat Reflexes to increase your AoOs, you get a 4e limit of one OA per each combatant's turn, but that's independent of who's doing the provoking. Shifting is similar to 5' adjustments in D&D 3.5, but there are a lot of racial capabilities, class powers, and feats that change how/when/how far you shift. For instance, Elves get to shift over difficult terrain, a Cleric power lets allies shift 1 square immediately, a Warpriest ability lets them get OAs on enemies who shift, and Fighters, Rangers, and Rogues have a zillion options for shifting either before or after attacks. The Rogue powers generally allow longer shifts: Tumble is a power to shift your speed, Bait and Switch shifts your CHA mod (with the Artful Dodger tactical option), Ignoble Escape shifts your full speed, and Dazzling Acrobatics shifts 2x your speed.

One on-topic note: a 5' step is never a free action; it's actually categorized as "no action".

Person_Man
2011-09-30, 01:30 PM
I wouldn't call them better; they're just a lot more complex. For instance, instead of 3.5 Combat Reflexes to increase your AoOs, you get a 4e limit of one OA per each combatant's turn, but that's independent of who's doing the provoking. Shifting is similar to 5' adjustments in D&D 3.5, but there are a lot of racial capabilities, class powers, and feats that change how/when/how far you shift. For instance, Elves get to shift over difficult terrain, a Cleric power lets allies shift 1 square immediately, a Warpriest ability lets them get OAs on enemies who shift, and Fighters, Rangers, and Rogues have a zillion options for shifting either before or after attacks. The Rogue powers generally allow longer shifts: Tumble is a power to shift your speed, Bait and Switch shifts your CHA mod (with the Artful Dodger tactical option), Ignoble Escape shifts your full speed, and Dazzling Acrobatics shifts 2x your speed.

One on-topic note: a 5' step is never a free action; it's actually categorized as "no action".

Ah, now I remember why I haven't played 4E in so long. I seem to remember an article for 4E where they said making everyone more mobile was a design goal, apparently unaware of the fact that virtually everyone in 3.5 was already very mobile and that meaningful battlefield control and lockdown was generally caused by magic, and not the AoO rules.

Maybe in 5E (which should come out in roughly 4-5 years, if not sooner) it'll be better/simpler.

Daftendirekt
2011-09-30, 01:35 PM
If you're a Swordsage, you can use your move action to teleport (is teleporting a move? who knows!), or alternatively use your standard or swift to teleport (is teleporting as a not-move action a move? this is confusing).

Rather, the Shadow Hand discipline (only open to Swordsages) has maneuvers that let you teleport. Lowest level one is as a standard, then one for a move action, then finally one for a swift action.

stainboy
2011-09-30, 09:57 PM
Ah, now I remember why I haven't played 4E in so long. I seem to remember an article for 4E where they said making everyone more mobile was a design goal, apparently unaware of the fact that virtually everyone in 3.5 was already very mobile and that meaningful battlefield control and lockdown was generally caused by magic, and not the AoO rules.


Low-op fighter types aren't very mobile. Although all you have to do to fix that is get rid of the full attack action. 4e having lots of different movement powers probably has more to do with the narrow scope of things powers are allowed to do.

The more I think about it the more I don't like the AoO mechanic. Half the people I play with don't understand it and it's better at punishing trip/grapple than the ranged abilities it was supposed to punish. I mean, I'm not about to houserule it out of 3.5, but I hope 5e or Pathfinder 2nd or whatever finds a better way to make casters care when they're forced into melee.

Tyndmyr
2011-10-01, 08:50 AM
Reach is the traditional answer. Then, the wizard generally has to cast defensively. This isn't hard, but if they have reach AND ready an action to attack if you cast...this is sad times for a caster. Better have defenses like miss chance and AC boosters already up.

Blinkbear
2011-10-03, 05:45 PM
Not to go Legolas or anything, but a special material bow does quite nicely on such things. Just off the top of my head, dragonbone, darkwood, druid casts ironwood permanency, or make an adamantine bow. All are possible though various levels of effort, so sunder doesn't come into play as much. My favorite was to use close combat shot with a greatbow and manyshot. ^_^ ah, memories. I'd also thwack enemies with the bow as an improvised weapon.

I am sure the improvised weapon was nearly as efficient as a greatsword? :smallbiggrin:

And, yes, I agree, special materials may fix it. And by the way, I always treated the "Items without metal parts cannot be made from adamantine. An arrow could be made of adamantine, but a quarterstaff could not. " as "bows cannot be made from adamantine. But I guess there are many other sufficient materials and enchantments :)

Gwendol
2011-10-04, 06:37 AM
As was noted earlier: not if you are in the threatened area of someone with Bulwark of Defence. The Knight also gets the Vigilant Defender (lvl 5), which adds the knight class level to the tumble DC, which further hampers tumblers who try and slip by (also, if they start tumbling in a threatened area the cost for moving is doubled due to the difficult terrain, which stacks with the increased movement cost for tumbling).

However, just get anklets of translocation (MiC) and teleport out of reach.

ShneekeyTheLost
2011-10-04, 07:47 AM
As was noted earlier: not if you are in the threatened area of someone with Bulwark of Defence. The Knight also gets the Vigilant Defender (lvl 5), which adds the knight class level to the tumble DC, which further hampers tumblers who try and slip by (also, if they start tumbling in a threatened area the cost for moving is doubled due to the difficult terrain, which stacks with the increased movement cost for tumbling).

However, just get anklets of translocation (MiC) and teleport out of reach.

Heh, who cares about Bulwark of Defense? Trust me, you can boost your Tumble check a HECK of a lot easier than he can boost the DC of the tumble check.

Gwendol
2011-10-04, 07:53 AM
Actually, BoD does nothing to tumble DC's. However, if the tumbler starts in a threatened area, the cost of tumbling increases due to difficult terrain which limits the range of movement. This is always a good thing.

ShneekeyTheLost
2011-10-04, 08:19 AM
Actually, BoD does nothing to tumble DC's. However, if the tumbler starts in a threatened area, the cost of tumbling increases due to difficult terrain which limits the range of movement. This is always a good thing.

Oh no... you've increased the DC by 2-5... I may actually have to be level 2 before I can't possibly fail the roll...

As far as range of movement, there's a simple 1st level Stance from Setting Sun that anyone can pick up with a pair of feats which negates this.

Gwendol
2011-10-04, 08:27 AM
I believe the Vigilant Defender DC increase is a minimum of 5, but since rogues tend to spend more than one skill point/level on tumble it is rather irrelevant.

The movement cost doubling however isn't.
If more than one condition applies, multiply together all additional costs that apply. (This is a specific exception to the normal rule for doubling)
This means that tumbling one square costs (at least) four squares of movement, thus limiting the distance a rogue can tumble past the knight, or attempt to leave a threatened area.

I don't know of the setting sun stance; care to elaborate?

ShneekeyTheLost
2011-10-04, 09:15 AM
I believe the Vigilant Defender DC increase is a minimum of 5, but since rogues tend to spend more than one skill point/level on tumble it is rather irrelevant.

The movement cost doubling however isn't.
This means that tumbling one square costs (at least) four squares of movement, thus limiting the distance a rogue can tumble past the knight, or attempt to leave a threatened area.

I don't know of the setting sun stance; care to elaborate?

Step of the Wind. Ignore penalties for difficult terrain, and gain bonuses against opponents when in difficult terrain.

In other words, your class ability just became my bonus. Thanks.

Curmudgeon
2011-10-04, 01:22 PM
However, if the tumbler starts in a threatened area, the cost of tumbling increases due to difficult terrain which limits the range of movement.

This means that tumbling one square costs (at least) four squares of movement, thus limiting the distance a rogue can tumble past the knight, or attempt to leave a threatened area.
If what makes the movement cost double is terrain obstructions, then that usually* can be ignored if the Rogue can make a somewhat higher Tumble DC. Check the "Surface is..." table in the Tumble (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/skills/tumble.htm) skill description. By making the more difficult Tumble check the Rogue avoids being slowed.

* - Deep bog is an exception; Tumble fails to help there.