I am considering proposing a houserule that would remove the exemption to opportunity attacks (OA) when a creature is moved against it's volition. The intent being to permit players (and monsters) to trigger OA for their allies by forcibly moving enemies into compromising situations. The creature that caused the forced movement would not be able to make an OA, only others would.

For example, a Barbarian is engaged in melee with a Gnoll and his Druid friend attacks with Thornwhip, pulling the Gnoll away thereby triggering an OA from the Barbarian.

Naturally, this would cut both ways.

Has anyone else tried this? Were there game-breaking consequences as a result?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you often employ monsters that can force movement in their attacks? \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Sep 20, 2017 at 15:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ If a monster has an attack that could cause forced movement in it's stat block, then it's fair game of course. But if not, Shoving is a universal action that anyone could do. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 20, 2017 at 15:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ You might want to make a rule about falling past someone else. ;) \$\endgroup\$
    – Erik
    Sep 20, 2017 at 15:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Erik I think I'd say that the falling creature is subject to a forced movement effect and thus OA can be made on them as they pass. Might be at Disadvantage because of how fast they're (probably) moving, but otherwise I think it fits fine into this house rule. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 20, 2017 at 15:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Pyrotechnical could you clarify, what problem are you trying to solve with this house rule? \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Sep 20, 2017 at 20:08

4 Answers 4


Dissonant Whispers kind of does this already

Having recently played a bard in an extended campaign, I got a lot of mileage out of Dissonant Whispers, which uniquely forces movement that provokes opportunity attacks:

On a failed save, it takes 3d6 psychic damage and must immediately use its reaction, if available, to move as far as its speed allows away from you.

It will allow for crazy combos

Most of the time, the damage output won't be increased that much, because most creatures only have one reaction. However, it's possible to set up very damaging combos against single targets.

For example, imagine an enemy surrounded by a paladin, a warlock, and an eldritch knight. On the warlock's turn, he casts eldritch blast and hits, allowing him to push his target 10ft without a save. The paladin and eldritch knight both get opportunity attacks: the paladin gets to smite, and the eldritch knight, with war caster, gets to cast a spell. Moreover, because the warlock can shoot multiple eldritch blasts, this combo could theoretically be triggered multiple times in one turn if there are enough friendly creatures to make OAs. You can easily see how powerful such a combo can be.

Of course, Dissonant Whispers means that these combos are possible in vanilla 5e, but your tweak allows classes like warlocks to do it for free and without a save. Whether or not that breaks your game will depend a lot on how your PCs and monsters are built, but it opens the possibility of very powerful single-target combo attacks.

I realize that these combos are pretty much the intent of this houserule, but my point is that a party that builds around this houserule will become far more powerful than a party that doesn't.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I think your "most of the time" comment nails it. If the players play "as normal" it's not a big deal. But if they optimize for the house rule, there's some powerful things they can do. \$\endgroup\$
    – AceCalhoon
    Sep 20, 2017 at 17:50

If your player's build a character around it, it will be very unbalancing. For example, a grappling character.

You could basically grap an enemy, and drag him along all of your friends. They all would get to make an Oppurtunity attack against the enemy.

Depending on your allies, this could double their damage output (Rogues would get another sneak attack, basically doubling their damage).

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    \$\begingroup\$ Excellent point, and a simple but devastating example. It's worth pointing out that this could be even worse if used against player characters. An enemy could grapple a character and then simply walk by a horde of enemies, granting them all OA on the character. This could effectively double the damage dealing potential of many enemies against a single target. The situation becomes even worse if the grappler is Huge or larger, since their speed wouldn't be halved when grappling. It would allow bosses (Giants, Dragons, etc.) to give every single minion they have a free hit. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 22, 2017 at 15:06

The likely result is unbalanced


The biggest issue to review here regarding balance is the rate of Forced Movement by players vs monsters. Player Characters have multiple ways that they can force movement and therefore generate Opportunity Attacks. Monsters are much more limited in their ability to force movement and do not have all of the same options.

In addition, some of the PC abilities require no save (either as a result of the ability or as a secondary effect that is included with the primary after a save.) This tips the scales very heavily towards the PCs in being able to force movement and generate guaranteed OAs.

If allowed, then PCs have a huge incentive to surround an enemy and have someone force movement to generate multiple OAs.


This would result in combats where the PCs have a clear advantage and can vastly increase their combined DPR.

  • \$\begingroup\$ "Many of the PC abilities require no save": Other than Repelling Blast, what other no-save abilities are there? \$\endgroup\$
    – sharur
    Sep 20, 2017 at 20:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @sharur I am going to update my language. Forced movement is often a secondary effect of other abilities/spells/actions - some of which require saves for the primary but not the secondary. However, the end result remains the same in the sheer number of opportunities PCs have to force movement vs what monsters can do. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Sep 20, 2017 at 20:36

Be mindful that your players will exploit this as many times as they can, while not all your monsters may be able to abuse this feature.

That aside, it could potentially open room for alternative fun combat tactics

  • \$\begingroup\$ This was where I was going with my comment about how often the monsters will be able to do this. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Sep 20, 2017 at 15:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ My original question inquires if you've tried this. If so, would you recommend modifying monster stat blocks to add additional effects that cause either push or pull effects as a consequence of a successful attack? \$\endgroup\$ Sep 20, 2017 at 16:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Pyrotechnical your question asks if it's been tried and if it was gamebreaking. I think asking for homebrewing monster stat blocks to accommodate it answers your own question. If you have to add balance, then it's not balanced. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Sep 20, 2017 at 17:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch I'm simply asking if the poster has tried this and if it there were problems, how they might've been solved. I skimmed through the MM and there are several (mostly powerful) creatures that are able to inflict forced movement effects. If the 'fix' is making sure most monsters have some means of inflicting forced movement besides just shoving, then it's helpful to know that now. Maybe the issue is player DPS becomes very high and it's appropriate to give monsters extra HP to compensate or to modify the CR chart. I'm not sure, which is why I'm asking for an experienced answer. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 20, 2017 at 17:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Pyrotechnical I definitely understand the request for experience, but this answer is clear in that monsters don't have as many opportunities to inflict forced movement as PCs do and if you have to add those to Monsters, then it's unbalanced. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Sep 20, 2017 at 17:25

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