The Ascension Project
Attacks of Opportunity
The melee combat rules assume that combatants are actively
avoiding attacks. Even if a character does not move on the
battlefield, she is doing the best to avoid incoming blows by
dodging. Sometimes, however, a combatant lets her guard
down. In this case, combatants near her can take advantage of
her lapse in defense to attack her for free. These free attacks are
called attacks of opportunity (AoO).
Threatened Squares: You threaten all squares into which
you can make a melee attack, even when it is not your action.
Generally, that means everything in all squares adjacent to your
space (including diagonally). An enemy that takes certain actions
while in a threatened square provokes an attack of opportunity
Provoking an Attack of Opportunity: Two kinds of actions can
provoke attacks of opportunity: moving out of a threatened square
and performing an action within a threatened square.
Moving: Moving out of a threatened square usually provokes an
attack of opportunity from the threatening opponent.
Performing a Distracting Act: Some actions, when performed in a
threatened square, provoke attacks of opportunity as you divert your
attention from the battle. Using class abilities and attacking with a
ranged weapon are distracting actions.
Remember that even actions that normally provoke attacks
of opportunity may have exceptions to this rule.
Making an Attack of Opportunity: An attack of
opportunity is a single melee attack and you can only
make one per round. You don’t have to make an attack
of opportunity if you don’t want to. Also, attacks of
opportunity are fast attacks so no combat maneuver (such
as trip or sunder), special abilities (such as tech and biotic
powers), special items (such as grenades) and other abilities
can be used unless they specifically say, in their description,
that they can be used in Attacks of Opportunity.
An attack of opportunity “interrupts” the normal flow
of actions in the round. If an attack of opportunity is
provoked, immediately resolve the attack of opportunity,
then continue with the next character’s turn (or complete
the current turn, if the attack of opportunity was provoked
in the midst of a character’s turn).
Firing while threatened in melee: If you try to fire
a projectile weapon or a heavy weapon while being
threatened in melee, each of your attack actions provokes
AoO. However, if you are dealt damage to Shields, Plating
or HP, your attack action that provoked that AoO is
disrupted and you automatically lose it. The Close Combat
Shooting allows you to make attack actions even though you
take damage from AoO.
Free Actions and AoO: No Free Action provokes AoO unless