Both new and experienced CRPG players can take huge damage and even suffer defeat from receiving too many Attacks of opportunity (AoO). I made this guide as there is too much false information on the Internet about how AoO work in the video games Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous and Pathfinder: Kingmaker. I consider that players will greatly benefit from knowing what follows…
Table of Contents
Attacks of Opportunity: The Facts and How to Avoid Them
How to avoid them
First, a word about what is the Threatened Area in which AoO can occur… In short, this depends on the melee Reach of the opponent. If they have a 10 feet reach (some polearms, large demons, etc.), you might suffer an AoO even if you are between 5 and 10 feet away. Of course, your initial movement towards melee or within melee reach does not provoke an AoO.
How your party members can avoid deadly Attacks of opportunity :
- Toggle on the Acrobatics (Mobility) skill (icon) before doing a risky action. All characters have this skill, but it is toggled off by default. You move at half-speed while it is on, but this should avoid AoO whether it is from moving, casting, reading a scroll, etc. Your character must though succeed a Mobility check.
- Move only 5 feet or less (aka the “5-Foot Step”, rather obvious in turn-based mode). Note that if the enemy has a melee Reach longer than 5 feet, this will not place you outside of their threat area (we can presume some large demons have Reach).
- When casting a Spell, using a Spell-Like Ability or reading a scroll within a threatened area, you automatically attempt to cast defensively to avoid an AoO (Concentration check DC: 15 +x2 spell level. Roll: caster level +casting modifier). So low level spells are much easier to use in melee.
— In WotR, if Acrobatics (Mobility) is toggled on for that given character, it actually gives you a second chance (same DC) at avoiding the AoO!
— If you are hit by the AoO, you do another Concentration check (DC depends on damage) to see if you nonetheless manage to cast the spell/scroll/ability (otherwise the effect does not occur). In all cases, the spell slot, scroll or use is gone.
— There are some odd exceptions, such as casting Cure Light Wounds on yourself does not provoke an AoO, but casting it on another character does.
- Enemies that are flat-footed and/or surprised do not make Attacks of opportunity. Therefore, if you move/attack before your enemies, you will most probably not receive AoO during the first round.
Actions that provoke AoO
- Moving out of melee or reach from an enemy ;
Note: beware that moving within the Threatened Area of an enemy with a Reach of 10 feet or more is risky [need to test more], but should not provoke an AoO in this video game (it would in the tabletop rules).
- Using a ranged weapon in melee or within threat Reach ;
- Casting a spell in melee/threat Reach (see Casting Defensively above) ;
- Reading a scroll in melee/threat Reach (see Casting Defensively above) ;
- Using a Spell-Like Ability in melee/threat Reach (see Casting Defensively above) ;
Note: abilities/powers that are considered Spell-Like should say so in their description (there can be errors in the game currently though).
- Standing up from being prone ;
- Unarmed attack if you do not have a feature to avoid the default AoO (Monks of course bypass this risk, but other classes and even a background can change this).
The following false information is common on the Internet :
Automatic Mobility check against AoO when moving out or in weapon reach. This is false both in Kingmaker and WotR. If you do not toggle on the Acrobatics (Mobility) skill icon, you will always provoke an AoO when moving over 5 feet out of melee or within the threatened area (unless enemy has none left of course). The truth: only when Acrobatics is toggled on, does that character roll a Mobility check.
Drinking a potion does not provoke an AoO. The confusion comes from the tabletop rules, but potions are safe to use in this video game.Helpful Feats
- Point Blank Master feat : with one chosen type of ranged weapon, you no longer provoke AoO in melee/threatened area.
- Combat Casting feat : this does not automatically avoid AoO, but you gain +4 on Concentration checks, which applies both to the Casting Defensively check (to avoid the AoO) and the check to not lose your spell when taking damage.
- Warrior Priest feat gives a +2 to Concentration checks (see above how this works) and +1 to Initiative rolls. I do not know if this stacks with Combat Casting.
- Combat Mobility feat : this does not automatically avoid AoO, but you gain an extra +4 Dodge to AC against AoO (Dodge bonuses always stack).
- Combat Reflexes not only gives you more than 1 AoO per round, it also allows you to make an AoO even if you are flat-footed.