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I'm unclear about what the real-world examples behind "Disengage" action, thus this question.

What's the difference between readied attack when an enemy moves away from you, and an Opportunity Attack? Both use Reaction, so arguably it's not "because you are ready, and Opportunity Attack is impulsive".

By the intent, what's making this type of ready attack unavoidable (or avoidable) by "Disengage" action?


I'm just looking for the difference between the two attacks, and the rationale of allowing/not allowing Disengage action to avoid Opportunity Attack but not Readied Attack.

By rules, I know Disengage specifically only avoid Opportunity Attack. So an ideal answer should cover what real world example of what constitutes as "Disengaging" that allow one to prevent Oppportunity Attack but not Readied Attack. A designer's intent is nice to have to provide insight on the rationale.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Rubiksmoose, Miniman, David Coffron, KRyan, SevenSidedDie Feb 27 '18 at 4:58

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ We can't explain to you why the rules are the rules. “Because the designers wrote them” is obvious, and beyond that it's outside the design of this site to handle “but why?” questions like this, looking for real-world justification, which cannot possible hope to have a “best” answer. Consider starting a thread on a proper RPG discussion forum, where this sort of question works great and can thrive and be informative. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Feb 27 '18 at 5:00
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By the rules, a readied attack CANNOT be avoided by disengaging. An opportunity attack is triggered when an enemy moves out of your reach. By the book, disengage avoids opportunity attacks - specifically opportunity attacks.

If you think about this mechanically, it makes sense. A character can take his action, and is still able to use his reaction to take an attack of opportunity, should the chance present itself. This means he could even attack on his turn and then attack again using his reaction. To ready an action though, a character must use his action, and then he must use his reaction to execute the attack.

While it may seem unfair at first glance that the disengage action does not prevent a readied attack, that readied attack could have instead been an attack action. (Granted, an attack may not have been possible when the action was taken, but that's exactly the reason why you would want to ready it in the first place.)

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