Attacks of Opportunity
Sometimes a combatant in a melee lets her guard down or takes a reckless action. 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.
You threaten all areas into which you can make a melee attack, even when it is not your turn.
- Most creatures of Medium or smaller size have a reach of only 5 feet. This means that they can make melee attacks only against creatures up to 5 feet away. However, Small and Medium creatures wielding reach weapons, such as a bardiche, have a reach of 10 feet and threaten as far out. In addition, most creatures larger than Medium have a natural reach of 10 feet or more (which can be extended even further by reach weapons).
Provoking an Attack of Opportunity
|Standard Actions||Attack of Opportunity|
|Activate a magic item other than a potion or oil||No|
|Cast a spell (1 standard action casting time)||Yes|
|Drink a potion or apply an oil||Yes|
|Escape a grapple||No|
|Read a scroll||Yes|
|Use extraordinary ability||No|
|Use skill that takes 1 action||Usually|
|Use spell-like ability||Yes|
|Use supernatural ability||No|
|Move Actions||Attack of Opportunity|
|Draw a weapon||No|
|Pick up an item||Yes|
|Stand up from prone||Yes|
|Retrieve a stored item||Yes|
|Full-Round Actions||Attack of Opportunity|
|Prepare to throw splash weapon||Yes|
|Use skill that takes 1 round||Usually|
|Swift Actions||Attack of Opportunity|
|Cast a quickened spell||No|
Making an Attack of Opportunity
An attack of opportunity is a single melee attack, and most characters can only make one per round. You make your attack of opportunity at your normal attack bonus, even if you’ve already attacked in the round.
Combat Reflexes and Additional Attacks of Opportunity
- If you have the Combat Reflexes feat, you can add your Dexterity modifier to the number of attacks of opportunity you can make in a round. This feat does not let you make more than one attack for a given opportunity, but if the same opponent provokes two attacks of opportunity from you, you could make two separate attacks of opportunity (since each one represents a different opportunity). All these attacks are at your full normal attack bonus.