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Does an invisible creature trigger an opportunity attack if it makes a ranged attack?

And if it does, is the opportunity attack -5 as it's against an invisible creature?

Where does the invisibility go down in the sequence?

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

No, Invisible Creatures Do Not Provoke Opportunity Attacks

(From Enemies That Can't See Them)

From page 221 of the Rules Compendium:

An invisible creature can take advantage of several benefits.

  • It can't be seen by normal forms of vision.
  • It has total concealment against any enemy that can't see it.
  • It has combat advantage against any enemy that can't see it (but it still has to be able to see the enemy).
  • It doesn't provoke opportunity attacks from enemies that can't see it.

(Emphasis mine)

While it is true that attacking will cause a creature to no longer be hidden, it will still retain the benefits of being hidden (including not provoking an opportunity attack) until the attack resolves. On page 153:

Not Remaining Hidden: If the creature takes an action that causes it not to remain hidden, the creature retains the benefits of being hidden, such as combat advantage, until the action is resolved. The creature can't become hidden again as part of that same action.

As defined on pages 196-197, opportunity actions (such as the opportunity attack) are interrupts, and therefore occur before their triggering action resolves:

Interrupt: Just like an immediate interrupt, an opportunity action interrupts its trigger, taking place before the trigger finishes.

Putting all of this together, you can see that the opportunity attack would not be provoked by an invisible creature making a ranged attack against an adjacent creature. The invisible creature's "doesn't provoke opportunity attacks" benefit would not be lost until the attack resolves, but an opportunity attack would have to occur prior to that attack resolving, and therefore the opportunity attack never occurs.

To break it down into a sort of sequence of situational facts/events:

  1. Creature A is invisible to Creature B, and they are adjacent to each other.
  2. Creature A uses a ranged attack against Creature B, becoming un-hidden as a result of making an attack action.
  3. Ordinarily, this is when an opportunity attack would be triggered from Creature B, but since Creature A has the benefits of invisibility against Creature B, the opportunity attack does not occur.
  4. Creature A's attack resolves.
  5. Creature A's invisibility benefits are now lost.

So, at the time that the opportunity attack would ordinarily trigger, the attacking creature still has the benefits of invisibility and no opportunity attack can trigger.

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@NeilSlater this is incorrect, the benefits of hidden are retained for the entire action. – wax eagle May 8 '14 at 20:16
@SteveC that happens after the attack is resolved. – wax eagle May 8 '14 at 20:17
@wax eagle: Invisibility is not Hidden. – Neil Slater May 8 '14 at 21:10
@NeilSlater no, but hidden is invisibility. – wax eagle May 9 '14 at 0:02
@wax eagle: My point - benefits of Hidden remain for whole action. Including being effectively Invisible during that action. But if you are not Hidden, just Invisible with a power that lasts until you attack, then there is no such rule covering Invisible that says benefits of Invisible remain for whole action. The rule is specifically about Hidden, which in general is a more powerful effect. – Neil Slater May 9 '14 at 7:13

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