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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    GnomePirate

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    Default How would you build an attack of opportunity based character?

    I like attacks of opportunity a lot, as one of the only ways to function throughout the round in 3.5. How would you build a character that can do a lot with them? Robilar's gambit / karmic strike would probably be the base, and a few other options come to mind, but what feats/classes would you use to build an AOO character?
    Last edited by H_H_F_F; 2020-08-29 at 05:41 PM.

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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: How would you build an attack of opportunity based character?

    If you just like having a lot of them I recommend the weapon master (kensei) 9 for 2 reasons: Superior Combat Reflexes and the unique wording combination of Ki Whirlwind and Spring attack. SCR gives you a number of AoOs up to your combined total dex and wis modifiers which ends up being a lot if you don't dump it and bump it up with buffs. Then comes the attack combo. Whirlwind attack substitutes a full attack action. Using it as a standard action would require a different substitute which would be the attack action. Spring attack allows you to move before and after an attack (while using the attack action) while also negating AoOs from movement. Whirlwind lets you strike at anything within reach during your action. This means you can run through a bunch of people abusing robilar's then abuse the interation between Ki Whirlwind and Spring Attack to high tail it out of there safely after attacking everyone with full ab.

    Keep in mind that if you want the prestige class by level 6 (which is the earliest I can figure out because of the +4 bab requirement of spring attack) you need the first 3 fighter bonus feats and human or another full bab class that gives a requisite feat benefit like swordsage. I personally like the being human and one level of swordsage as it gives you a much needed extra feat to squeeze in for personal preference. If you don't mind holding off one more level, you could get 2 levels of swordsage for wisdom bonus to AC. Cause Overreach from the Elusive target feat is a good option for this style of play. Improved trip can give you another attack if you succeed the trip attempt.
    Last edited by Darg; 2020-08-29 at 10:22 PM.

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    Default Re: How would you build an attack of opportunity based character?

    Take a level or two in martial monk for one or two fighter bonus feats without prereqs. You can take Robilar's Gambit as early as level 1, although (for some insane reason) Karmic Strike isn't considered a fighter bonus feat.
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    Default Re: How would you build an attack of opportunity based character?

    If you're going down the Tome of Battle line and can get a decent reach, consider whether Stormguard Warrior might fit your needs. Basically it allows you to forego AoOs for an increased attack and damage bonus the next round.

    One combination that should work by RAW but which I haven't road tested myself is Stormguard Warrior + Throw Anything + Ranged Threat from Dragon 354. Ranged Threat allows you to threaten anything within 15 feet with a ranged weapon, which includes any weapon you have under Throw Anything. You refrain from AoOs as the enemy closes on you and have a +8 to attack and damage next round.

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    Default Re: How would you build an attack of opportunity based character?

    I'm a big fan of Mercurial Strike, in conjunction with Robilar's Gambit/Karmic Strike and Sneak Attack and/or the Iaijutsu Focus skill. Anytime someone attacks you, you get to counterattack with all your bonus damage. I won a Junkyard Wars round with a build that made heavy use of that trick, along with a couple of other things (some of which were related to AoOs, some of which weren't).

    Double Hit is another nice feat that lets you attack again with your off-hand every time you make an AoO, though I don't think it counts as an AoO itself, so you won't benefit from (e.g.) Mercurial Strike on the second attack.

    Defensive Throw is the lesser cousin to Robilar's Gambit and Karmic Strike, giving you an attack when an opponent misses you. Lesser, because the attack can only be used to make a trip attempt.
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    Default Re: How would you build an attack of opportunity based character?

    If you want a good defensive option, take Evasive Reflexes to take a 5' step instead of an AoO, and find ways to turn that 5' step into a 10' step (or better yet, two 10' steps). If you can make AoOs when other creatures attack you, remember that AoOs take place before the action that provoked them, so you can hop out of the way any time a creature would hit you.
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    Default Re: How would you build an attack of opportunity based character?

    Well here is a pretty well made build. Jack B Quick which is entirely based on AoO's.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: How would you build an attack of opportunity based character?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darg View Post
    If you just like having a lot of them I recommend the weapon master (kensei) 9 for 2 reasons: Superior Combat Reflexes and the unique wording combination of Ki Whirlwind and Spring attack. SCR gives you a number of AoOs up to your combined total dex and wis modifiers which ends up being a lot if you don't dump it and bump it up with buffs. Then comes the attack combo. Whirlwind attack substitutes a full attack action. Using it as a standard action would require a different substitute which would be the attack action. Spring attack allows you to move before and after an attack (while using the attack action) while also negating AoOs from movement. Whirlwind lets you strike at anything within reach during your action. This means you can run through a bunch of people abusing robilar's then abuse the interation between Ki Whirlwind and Spring Attack to high tail it out of there safely after attacking everyone with full ab.
    Ki Whirlwind is not an attack action; itís a standard action. It canít be used with spring attack, which requires an attack action.

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    Default Re: How would you build an attack of opportunity based character?

    Quote Originally Posted by H_H_F_F View Post
    I like attacks of opportunity a lot, as one of the only ways to function throughout the round in 3.5. How would you build a character that can do a lot with them? Robilar's gambit / karmic strike would probably be the base, and a few other options come to mind, but what feats/classes would you use to build an AOO character?
    Oddly enough I just made one focused on it.

    So Martial monk lets you pick up [epic] improved combat reflexes for infinite AoO per turn, combine that with robmic gamit, and the dragon mag improved and greater combat reflexes, which make it so each time an enemy provokes you get an additional attack at -5 and -10, respectively. deft opportunist gives a +4 to hit on AoO so that's nice.

    interesting note: Robillar's gambit doesn't mention (as far as my source) only working on melee attacks, so you could also use this to make ranged AoO against opponents potentially. *more* interesting, it triggers off of each attack, so using the above build, you can provoke AoO from your opponent and get 3 in return.

    I just wish i could figure out how to get [epic] sneak attack of opportunity in there.

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    Default Re: How would you build an attack of opportunity based character?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kitsuneymg View Post
    Ki Whirlwind is not an attack action; itís a standard action. It canít be used with spring attack, which requires an attack action.
    Whirlwind attack isn't an action. It modifies an action already taken. It substitutes the attacks in the full attack action. It requires you to make an attack. Taking a standard action as you put it would leave you doing nothing as there aren't any attacks to give up. What standard action gives you an attack? The attack action. This leads you to use the attack action in order to benefit from ki whirlwind.
    Last edited by Darg; 2020-08-30 at 09:53 AM.

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    Default Re: How would you build an attack of opportunity based character?

    For an AoO build, I would use a level of Decisive Strike monk with Combat Reflexes, some size increases and Strength/Dexterity boosts, some type of annoying rider effect on AoOs, and some generic buffs (e.g. heart of x line of spells). For example, a monk 1/wizard 5/incantatrix 6 with draconic polymorph to turn into a war troll. The monk level is optional, but it's a good way to turn a generic gish into an AoO-focused build.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darg View Post
    Whirlwind attack isn't an action. It modifies an action already taken. It substitutes the attacks in the full attack action. It requires you to make an attack. Taking a standard action as you put it would leave you doing nothing as there aren't any attacks to give up. What standard action gives you an attack? The attack action. This leads you to use the attack action in order to benefit from ki whirlwind.
    Whirlwind Attack is a modified full attack action. Ki Whirlwind modifies Whirlwind Attack to take a standard action. Ki Whirlwind Attack is still a full attack action, it just doesn't take a full-round action. Since it is a full attack action, it is not an attack action, and can't be used with Spring Attack. It can be used with Flyby Attack, though.
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    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: How would you build an attack of opportunity based character?

    In Dragon Compendium there is a monk class called monk of the enabled hand. Level 3 gives you the ability to make an AOO whenever you get hit in melee. Well up to the limit of the amount of AOO's you can use.
    I would be a procrastinator, but I keep putting it off.

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    Default Re: How would you build an attack of opportunity based character?

    For low-OP anti-magic AOOs, Mage Slayer, Occult Opportunist, and Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Spiked Chain are a pretty good combination.
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    Default Re: How would you build an attack of opportunity based character?

    Quote Originally Posted by the_tick_rules View Post
    In Dragon Compendium there is a monk class called monk of the enabled hand. Level 3 gives you the ability to make an AOO whenever you get hit in melee. Well up to the limit of the amount of AOO's you can use.
    And apparently the ability to attack someone who hits you has to be magical in nature, since it's marked (Su).

    Unlike some other AoO-granting abilities, you can definitely combine that one with Evasive Reflexes to avoid attacks altogether.
    Last edited by MaxiDuRaritry; 2020-08-30 at 08:30 PM.
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    Default Re: How would you build an attack of opportunity based character?

    One level in the Devoted Defender prestige class will let you get around the problem with Karmic Strike/Robilar's Gambit/similar: opponents wising up and attacking your allies instead. The first level ability lets you swap places with an attacked ally (one specific ally, chosen when initiative is rolled), taking the hit in their place any number of times per round. The second level ability also gives you an AoO when someone attacks your charge.

    Funnily enough, there doesn't seem to be a restriction on making yourself your own charge. If you're also a Dvati (two bodies, one soul), then you can potentially get an absurd number of ripostes out of someone attacking one of your bodies: with Robilar's Gambit, you get 2 for the initial attack against Body 1 (potentially 3 or 4 actually if each body gets to take the opportunity attack), then use Harm's Way so Body 2 is now taking the attack, and get all of those opportunity attacks again. Go up to Devoted Defender 3 and you can also negate the attack with a Reflex save made by Body 1 so you're not taking damage from the whole thing.
    Last edited by PoeticallyPsyco; 2020-08-30 at 08:55 PM.
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    Default Re: How would you build an attack of opportunity based character?

    Go Wildshape Ranger or Divine Minion into Master of Many Forms. Take Frozen Wild Shape and Robilar's Gambit, turn into a 12-headed Cryohydra and make a 12-bite AoO every time someone attacks you.

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    Default Re: How would you build an attack of opportunity based character?

    I suppose, while we're on the subject, we should address the crippling weakness to any AOO build: Dragon Mag #333's Elusive Dance exists.

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    Your training in dance allows you to mirror and anticipate an opponent's moves.
    Prerequisite: Perform (dance) 5 ranks.
    Benefit: During your action, you designate an opponent. That opponent cannot make attacks of opportunity against you. You can select a new opponent on any action. If you have the Dodge feat you must designate the same opponent as the target for both feats.
    Special: A fighter may select Elusive Dance as one of his fighter bonus feats.
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    Default Re: How would you build an attack of opportunity based character?

    Quote Originally Posted by ExLibrisMortis View Post
    Whirlwind Attack is a modified full attack action. Ki Whirlwind modifies Whirlwind Attack to take a standard action. Ki Whirlwind Attack is still a full attack action, it just doesn't take a full-round action. Since it is a full attack action, it is not an attack action, and can't be used with Spring Attack. It can be used with Flyby Attack, though.
    It's an order of operations. Whirlwind Attack is a full attack action that can be modified after the action is taken but prior to making any attack:

    When you use the full attack action, you can give up your regular attacks and instead make one melee attack at your full base attack bonus against each opponent within reach.
    Use of the feat is declared by the giving up of attacks.

    The wording of Ki Whirlwind provides further support:

    A weapon master of 9th level or higher can make a Whirlwind Attack as a standard action rather than a full-round action. Only one whirlwind attack can be made per round.
    It uses the category type, rather than the specific action taken. Comparisons are done between similar things. This means that "standard action" is at the same level as "full-round action." Which leads to the conclusion that the attack action is being taken as it is on the same level as a full attack action. Another reason to believe this is so is that WotC doesn't capitalize actions in sentences. Whirlwind Attack is capitalized which means it isn't being addressed as an action itself. This further affirms that Whirlwind Attack is not an action itself.

    The first example of this last point that comes to mind is Order of the Bow Initiate's Ranged Precision ability:

    Ranged Precision (Ex): As a standard action, an initiate may make a single precisely aimed attack with a ranged weapon, dealing an extra 1d8 points of damage if the attack hits. When making a ranged precision attack, an initiate must be within 30 feet of his target. An initiate's ranged precision attack only works against living creatures with discernible anatomies. Any creature that is immune to critical hits (including undead, constructs, oozes, plants, and incorporeal creatures) is not vulnerable to a ranged precision attack, and any item or ability that protects a creature from critical hits (such as armor with the fortification special ability) also protects a creature from the extra damage.

    Unlike with a rogue's sneak attack, the initiate's target does not have to be flat-footed or denied its Dexterity bonus, but if it is, the initiate's extra precision damage stacks with sneak attack damage. Treat the initiate's ranged precision attack as a sneak attack in all other ways.

    The initiate's bonus to damage on ranged precision attacks increases by +1d8 every two levels.

    An initiate can only use this ability with a ranged weapon for which he has taken the Weapon Focus feat.
    Last edited by Darg; 2020-08-30 at 09:50 PM.

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    Default Re: How would you build an attack of opportunity based character?


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    Default Re: How would you build an attack of opportunity based character?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darg View Post
    [lots of stuff]
    I'm sorry, I don't see your point. What do capitalization and Order of the Bow Initiate have to do with Spring Attack + Ki Whirlwind?
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    Libris: look at your allowed sources. I don't think any of your options were from those.
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    Default Re: How would you build an attack of opportunity based character?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darg View Post
    Keep in mind that if you want the prestige class by level 6 (which is the earliest I can figure out because of the +4 bab requirement of spring attack) you need the first 3 fighter bonus feats and human or another full bab class that gives a requisite feat benefit like swordsage.
    Alas, swordsage is not a full BAB class, though itís a not too rare houserule.
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    Default Re: How would you build an attack of opportunity based character?

    Quote Originally Posted by ExLibrisMortis View Post
    I'm sorry, I don't see your point. What do capitalization and Order of the Bow Initiate have to do with Spring Attack + Ki Whirlwind?
    Nice of you to simply ignore what was written. If you weren't being so dismissive you might not have had to waste your energy posting that question.

    Quote Originally Posted by rrwoods View Post
    Alas, swordsage is not a full BAB class, though itís a not too rare houserule.
    Gah! Damn, back to the drawing board. The feat intensity is so high.
    Last edited by Darg; 2020-08-31 at 11:23 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darg View Post
    Nice of you to simply ignore what was written. If you weren't being so dismissive you might not have had to waste your energy posting that question.
    I'm not ignoring it, I don't understand it. If I were ignoring it, I wouldn't ask the question.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faily View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keledrath View Post
    Libris: look at your allowed sources. I don't think any of your options were from those.
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    Default Re: How would you build an attack of opportunity based character?

    WotC doesn't capitalize actions in sentences. Whirlwind Attack is capitalized which means it isn't being addressed as the action itself. As i mentioned above, Ranged Precision was the first example off the top of my head to show a comparison. The language of Ki Whirlwind makes inferring the unique nature of Whirlwind Attack very easy. Especially as they use the action category rather than the specific action taken with that same reference to Whirlwind Attack. A full attack action is a full-round action, but a full-round action isn't necessarily a full attack action. Because of this, the specificity of the "standard action" in the description comes into question. You don't generally refer to a square as a rectangle do you?

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    Default Re: How would you build an attack of opportunity based character?

    Its not super high OP, but I always love a dex based AoO-er - in 3.5 its a swordsage with the shadow blade feat, spiked chain, combat reflexes, and stand still.

    Not supremely powerful but simple and effective, I think.

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    Default Re: How would you build an attack of opportunity based character?

    I would probably go parry, old build that would need to tweaking and expanding into the full 20 levels instead of E6, but still a good base.

    Human Devil Bloodline 3/Fighter 2(Bodyguard)/Barbarian 1(City Brawler, Spirit Lion Totem, Dashing Step)/Chaos Monk 2(Passive Way of the Wing Chun Kuen which is obviously not intentionally legal but RAWfully is)

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    Flaw: Improved Parry
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    Default Re: How would you build an attack of opportunity based character?

    There are two possible tangents which weren't explored in this thread:

    Ranged Threat feat (Dragon #350): when armed with a ranged weapon, you're threaten every square withing 15' from you, and able to make a ranged AoO - but only one per round (Combat Reflexes and such are directly disregarded)

    Opportunity Power - when you make AoO, you can - by expending your psionic focus - manifest a touch-range power as an immediate action (but power's manifesting time shouldn't be longer than 1 full-round action); manifesting in this manner costs +6 pp (the common ML restriction is applicable)

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    Default Re: How would you build an attack of opportunity based character?

    Quote Originally Posted by ShurikVch View Post
    There are two possible tangents which weren't explored in this thread:

    Ranged Threat feat (Dragon #350): when armed with a ranged weapon, you're threaten every square withing 15' from you, and able to make a ranged AoO - but only one per round (Combat Reflexes and such are directly disregarded)

    Opportunity Power - when you make AoO, you can - by expending your psionic focus - manifest a touch-range power as an immediate action (but power's manifesting time shouldn't be longer than 1 full-round action); manifesting in this manner costs +6 pp (the common ML restriction is applicable)
    That's probably because both of those are nigh useless.

    Any build using Ranged Threat is likely to get hammered by AoOs when making its own AoOs, and it's only usable 1/round, despite possibly taking feats that grant additional ones. Plus, ranged weapons tend to deal very little damage, as they usually base their damage around making lots of low-damage attacks, and 15' is a pitiful range, when you rely on staying away from danger.

    Opportunity Power, on the other hand, is pretty much useless. The number of offensive powers that can be used with it is pitiful, and most of them belong to non-psychic warriors -- who are the only ones who'll actually want to get into melee. Not to mention the dearth of psionic foci to pull it off and the downsides to trying to become focused in combat.
    Last edited by MaxiDuRaritry; 2020-09-24 at 10:28 PM.
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    Default Re: How would you build an attack of opportunity based character?

    Ranged Threat's main utility is really in not actually throwing anything. It's when you combine it with Throw Anything and Stormguard Warrior that it gets some utility as the enemy closes in.

    Ranged Threat indicates that you can make AoOs with a ranged weapon. If you have the Throw Anything feat, you are always armed with a ranged weapon, because it renders you proficient with any melee weapon as if it were a ranged weapon.

    Stormguard Warrior requires that you refrain from AoOs in order to pick up +4 to attack and damage per foregone AoO. So as the enemy closes with you, when it moves from 15 feet out to 10 feet out, and 10 feet to 5 feet, you refrain from AoOs each time, foregoing 2 AoOs and thus picking up +8 to attack and damage next round without ever letting your weapon leave your hand.

    Also raises an interesting question if you're armed with a Reach weapon at the time. By RAW you pick up 3 AoOs to forego: 2 from Ranged Threat from the polearm you don't hurl, and 1 from the foregone AoO from the polearm as a melee weapon. +12 to attack and damage next round is nice, especially if you take a 5 foot step and start the process again.


    The other way Ranged Threat potentially be used is if you've got Double Hit and Hammer's Edge and you're using a short sword and a light hammer. Then you get two attacks with ranged weapons for each AoO and lay the target out prone if both of them hit. Sure, you could just get Improved Trip, but it's not as if this setup is meant to have general application.

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    Default Re: How would you build an attack of opportunity based character?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darg View Post
    If you just like having a lot of them I recommend the weapon master (kensei)
    Quick question because I don't 3.0 dumpster dive often, Weapon Master requires Expertise and Whirlwind Attack Combat Expertise, those are the same feat correct? As far as I can tell they have identical functions, but not completely sure...

    Anyways I anyone care to take a crack at making a Whisper Gnome Blade Bravo AOO build? I have always loved the idea of that class but not sure how best to optimize it.

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