Consider this scenario. A sorcerer climbs 20 foot up a tree and gets surprised by a large snake. The snake misses, and then the sorcerer wins initiative and decides to let go of the tree branches. This results in the sorcerer falling to the ground and taking damage.

Does the snake get an opportunity attack?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Related: "When can I make opportunity attacks?" \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Jun 6 at 19:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ I suppose this boils down to "does voluntarily falling count as willing movement?" This isn't as obvious as I first thought it might be... good question. \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Jun 6 at 19:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ Note that initiative is rolled before the snake attacks. Surprise affects the first round of combat; any surprised creature can't take actions on its first turn of combat, and can't take reactions until the end of that turn. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jun 7 at 21:52

Player handbook section on Opportunity Attacks says (pg 195):

You also don't provoke an opportunity attack when you teleport or when someone or something moves you without using your movement, action or reaction. For example, you don't provoke an opportunity attack if an explosion hurls you out of a foe's reach or if gravity causes you to fall past an enemy.

(Emphasis mine)

From this I'd say letting go is being moved without using the sorcerer's movement, they don't need to turn their back on the snake or focus on moving themselves. The specific example given is a person falling past an enemy (into and out in one fall, as I read it) so granted they would probably be moving faster but I'd still say that no, falling doesn't cause an opportunity attack.

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    \$\begingroup\$ "...letting go is being moved without using the sorcerer's movement" -- and furthermore, is not using an action or reaction. Interacting with an object is a free action; the PHB uses opening a door as an example of this, so surely letting go of a tree branch would also be a free action. Since letting go of a tree branch is itself not something that would provoke OA, and since the motion also is not a result of something that would provide OA, it doesn't. IMHO the answer could be improved by emphasizing that nothing in the scenario involves any type of action or reaction either. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Duniho Jun 8 at 4:37

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