Friday, May 25, 2012

More thoughts of hatred for Attacks of Opportunity

Playing in the Thursday night Pathfinder game yesterday I was again confronted with how much I hate attacks of opportunity.  My general statements in the past have been that they drive play in negative directions.  Last night I saw how they are just plain bullshit.

Part of the story last night involved my character getting pretty damaged and there being a retreat called.  Being the cleric myself how do I pull out that situation?  I disengage with a five foot step to get a non attack of opportunity casting action or I can flee.  There is no real situation where I run and get healing of any kind.  There is not situation even where I run and others cover me.  This was perhaps the biggest area I was pissed about.  Without going for MMO taunts game need some mechanism for covering a retreat.  Perhaps a ranged weapon could be used to target a few squares are covered.  Moving through them could require a will save.

Over and over again I just find attacks of opportunity are bullshit and some other mechanic could be used.  I really don't see any case were an AoO should occur if you have a weapon out and your focus on the opponent.  Well barring things that are forced by the opponent like a riposte or pressing the attack.  If you do not have the opponents focus your attack actions should be generated by yourself and you should be able to not draw AoOs unless the opponent specifically has an ability.  This huge checklist of gotchas in D&D work out poorly for role playing and poorly for a tactical combat game.

Honestly if you are doing a role playing game if the player presents a situation that the combat rules would interrupt, you are doing a bad job if you stop them.  Perhaps barrel of salt messes up your giant slug attack but not allowing quick wits and cleaver minds to come up with solutions also derails the game.  You end in a place where players feel rolls are more important than roles and now you are playing a minis game.

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