10
\$\begingroup\$

The War Caster feat (PHB, p. 170) states that:

When a hostile creature's movement provokes an opportunity attack from you, you can use your reaction to cast a spell at the creature, instead of making an opportunity attack.

The rules on opportunity attacks state that:

The attack occurs right before the creature leaves your reach.

Xanathar's Guide to Everything states about reaction timing (p. 5) that:

If you’re unsure when a reaction occurs in relation to its trigger, here’s the rule: the reaction happens after its trigger completes, unless the description of the reaction explicitly says otherwise.

Should the first statement take into account the second? That is, does the ruling given as to order of resolution in the rules of opportunity attacks still hold even when the opportunity attack never actually takes place? Or does the ruling revert to the general case stated in the third statement?

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to rpg.se! Take the tour and visit the help center to learn how things work around here. This is an excellent first question, but your last question is basically a duplicate of the linked one and doesn't ask the same thing as the title. I would suggest removing it and asking a new question if the answers from this and the original still don't answer your question. Thanks for contributing and happy gaming! \$\endgroup\$ – linksassin Apr 15 at 1:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for the suggestion and warm welcome. I have taken the opportunity as well to improve my question. \$\endgroup\$ – shosti Apr 15 at 1:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not a problem, great questions from new users are one of the best things about the site. With the edits this gets a +1 from me. Stick around, ask and answer questions and once you hit 20 rep join us in the Role-playing Games Chat. \$\endgroup\$ – linksassin Apr 15 at 1:29
7
\$\begingroup\$

It obeys the same timing

The only mention the the War Caster feat makes of timing, is that it occurs (emphasis mine):

When a hostile creature's movement provokes an opportunity attack from you, you can use your reaction to cast a spell at the creature, instead of making an opportunity attack.

There is no change to the timing of the reaction, only that you can cast a spell instead of an making an opportunity attack. So spells cast with a reaction using the War Caster feat still obey the rule for opportunity attack timing:

The attack occurs right before the creature leaves your reach.

Your quoted text from Xanathar's Guide to Everything says (emphasis mine):

If you’re unsure when a reaction occurs in relation to its trigger, here’s the rule: the reaction happens after its trigger completes, unless the description of the reaction explicitly says otherwise.

The rules for opportunity attacks do "explicitly say otherwise" as quoted above. Therefore this general case rule does not apply.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for the detailed response, but I fear I need a last bit of clarification: the "description of the reaction" pertinent to the XGE ruling includes the description of the opportunity attack, even though the reaction is, literally, not an opportunity attack? \$\endgroup\$ – shosti Apr 15 at 1:19
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @shosti It's not, but "when" indicates that it follows the same timing. \$\endgroup\$ – linksassin Apr 15 at 1:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.