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, they doing their best to avoid incoming blows by
dodging. Sometimes, however, a combatant lets their guard down. In this case, combatants near them can take advantage of their lapse in defense to attack their for free. These free attacks are called attacks of opportunity (AoO).
A character threatens all squares adjacent to their space (including diagonally). An enemy that takes certain actions while in a threatened square provokes an attack of opportunity.
Provoking an Attack of Opportunity:
Moving: Moving out of a threatened square does not provoke an attack of opportunity from the threatening opponent, only moving out of melee range of an enemy. A character can move freely within melee range of an enemy but moving out of that range, provokes an AoO.
Performing a Distracting Act: Some actions, when performed in a threatened square, provoke attacks of opportunity as they divert attention from the battle. Using class abilities and attacking with a ranged weapon are distracting actions. Some actions that normally provoke attacks of opportunity may have exceptions to this rule.
Making an Attack of Opportunity: An attack of opportunity is an optional, singular melee attack or pistol shot that can only be made once per round. Attacks of opportunity are quick actions, consequently, combat maneuvers, special abilities, special items (such as grenades) and other abilities cannot be used unless stated in their description. If a character has the Quick Draw feat, they can draw and fire a pistol as an AoO. 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 combat.
Firing while threatened in melee: If a character tries to fire a projectile weapon or a heavy weapon while being threatened in melee, each attack action provokes AoO. Pistols, however are the exception to this rule. Pistols can be used to make attacks against a target in melee range, but only against the the creature that threatens AoO. However, if a character is dealt damage to Shields, Plating or HP, the attack action is disrupted and is lost. The Close Contact Shooting feat, allows a character to make attack actions even when they take damage from AoO.
Free Actions and AoO: No Free Action provokes AoO unless