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The D&D 3.5e counterpart to a previous question of mine: how do I get more attacks of opportunity as a low-Dex character? Between heavy armor, penalties from increasing my size, and grapples causing me to lose Dex to AC,1 Dexterity is a rather-poor ability score for me, and my character needs great Strength as well solid Constitution, Intelligence, and Charisma, so I lack the Dexterity to get even one attack of opportunity from Combat Reflexes most of the time.

So how can I get more attacks of opportunity? Does anything besides Combat Reflexes give more? All non-epic 3.5e content (including 3.5e-legal 3e content) published by Wizards of the Coast, or found in Dragon or Dungeon magazine, are acceptable sources for answers. Epic content cannot be assumed to exist at all. The goal is to actually make attacks when provoked, so doing other things when provoked (as with Tome of Battle’s Evasive Reflexes or Stormguard Warrior) don’t qualify.

Anything other than Combat Reflexes that increases the number of attacks of opportunity per round—even if it also keys off of Dexterity, or requires Combat Reflexes to get—is welcome, though obviously some potential options may not work for me, personally. But since as far as I know, Combat Reflexes is the only one, I’d be interested in anything just for my own edification/future characters/whatever. However, the benefit must be something my character can use in their own form; using polymorph effects to become something with better Dexterity, or otherwise get more attacks of opportunity, is not a desired answer.

  1. I realize that grappling also nixes my threatened area. I have improved grab, which allows me to sometimes avoid that, but more importantly I have invested a lot in making my threatened area very difficult to leave—often I will grapple someone just to pull them into my space, and then let go of them to grab someone else. That also restores my Dex to AC, if I relied on Dex to AC it would be more compulsory rather than an option that I have, and in any event I don’t really have the feats to spare.
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  • \$\begingroup\$ Has the character acquired somewhere along the line Two-weapon Fighting? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 16:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Not at the moment but it could be considered. Prerequisites of any stripe (even those requiring Dex) can be left as an exercise for the reader so long as they’re non-epic. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 16:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ It sounds like you need them to be attacks of opportunity with unarmed strikes. Are weapon-based options on or off the table? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 16:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Everything that is non-epic and not Combat Reflexes—even things that build off of Combat Reflexes—is on the table. I currently use natural weapons (which have been ruled legal to start grapples), but that isn’t a necessary part of the question. The first paragraph is my motivation for asking, but my actual question goes beyond this character. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 16:33

2 Answers 2

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Diamond Mind Rapid Counter maneuver grants you what is essentially an AoO that does not count as an AoO

The Diamond Mind Rapid Counter maneuver allows a pseudo-AoO at 5th level. Emphasis below added:

RAPID COUNTER Diamond Mind (Counter) Level: Swordsage 5, warblade 5 Initiation Action: 1 immediate action Range: Personal Target: You You lash out, your weapon a blur, hammering at the slightest gap that appears in your foe’s defenses. This maneuver allows you to make a free attack against a reckless enemy. When a foe provokes an attack of opportunity from you, you can initiate this maneuver. As part of this maneuver, you make an immediate melee attack against the foe that provoked the attack of opportunity. This attack does not replace the normal attack of opportunity you receive. You can also use this maneuver before making your normal attack of opportunity when an opponent provokes (or vice versa). The attack granted by the maneuver is not an extra attack of opportunity. You can initiate this maneuver before, after, in addition to, or instead of making an attack of opportunity against an opponent (thus possibly saving your attack of opportunity to use against another enemy later in the round).

Bracers of Opportunity

Bracers of Opportunity is a magic item that grants you an extra AoO two times per day. You'd have to buy them (2,300 gp), or get the DM to place them in a treasure horde (what kind of beer does he like?).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Wow, why on earth is that counter 5th-level? Anyway, thanks for these, though I am rather going there are other answers because both of these are rather limited... \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jan 26, 2021 at 12:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, I’m interested to follow this question and see what other answers are out there. \$\endgroup\$
    – ruffdove
    Commented Jan 26, 2021 at 17:05
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There are darn few

The sword of opportunity (Arms and Equipment Guide 120) (18,315 gp; 3 lbs.) is a +2 longsword except that it also grants the wielder an additional attack of opportunity per round that explicitly stacks with any gained from the feat Combat Reflexes (Player's Handbook 92). There's a heated debate to be had about how many attacks of opportunity a creature can make if it wields more than one sword of opportunity that's going to end up with the DM deciding anyway, so just ask. Also with DM approval the special ability of this +2 longsword can be added to any weapon for the DM's choice of either 10,000 gp or a +1 bonus. (This DM thinks the latter more appropriate but understands arguments for the former and for not allowing it all.) Finally, because it's never revised Third Edition material, the DM may make adjustments to the sword of opportunity (see Why a Revision? on Dungeon Master's Guide 4).

This fine answer mentions the bracers of opportunity (Magic Item Compendium 81) (2,300 gp; 0 lbs.) that allow their wearer twice per day to take an immediate action to make an extra attack of opportunity. Your DM may rule differently, but when I DM I tend to allow adding iterations of a wondrous item to itself to increase uses per day for 1½× the original price (an extrapolation of MIC 233–4). Hence in my campaigns bracers of opportunity that are usable 2/day are the normal 2,300 gp, but every 2/day more adds 3,450 gp to the bracers' price… or 1,725 gp per attack per day. The bracers' immediate action cost is really high, but if a weapon is out of the question this is the way to go. I have used this rule for several of MIC's stingier magic items, and my campaigns saw no great shifts in power, but, to be clear, I ban in my campaigns the belt of battle (MIC 73) (12,000 gp; 0 lbs.) and a couple of other things that've hurt my past gaming experiences.

The feat Backstab (Dragon #340 86) has this as its benefit: "Once per round, you may make an attack of opportunity against an opponent you flank who attacks a target other than you." It will be up to the DM as to whether this is or isn't in addition to your other attacks of opportunity. I think the language is mainly on your side, but, really, I can see it going either way. And, of course, it's prerequisite is the feat Combat Reflexes.

The feat Lightning Mace (Complete Warrior 113) may and the feat Snap Kick (Tome of Battle 32—and see here for more on a helpful ToB maneuver) will give additional attacks during an attack of opportunity, which isn't precisely the same thing, but it's close. Likewise, the feat Double Hit (Miniatures Handbook 25) allows two-weapon fighting during each attack of opportunity without spending an additional attack of opportunity, which is, by the way, the best way to do this (cf. Two-weapon Attack of Opportunity (Dragon #340 87)).


Note: Beyond the question's scope yet perhaps still of interest to other readers are two feats from Wizards of the Coast licensed and approved products: The Secrets of the Crane feat Eternal Vigilance (12) grants unlimited attacks of opportunity pre-epic with reasonable prerequisites, including only Dex 13 and a base attack bonus of just +6. The catch? Yes, unlimited attacks of opportunity… but only with a katana. Hope that's not a problem. The Faces of the Forgotten North feat Unarmed Reflexes (154) grants you a number of additional unarmed attacks of opportunity equal to your Wisdom modifier. Its prerequisite is just Wis 13 and the feat Improved Unarmed Attack [sic]. The catch? You have to be unencumbered and unarmored to realize the feat's benefit.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Great answer, but I don’t think backstab grants an extra AoO. It allows one in a case that normally would not provoke one, but there’s nothing in the language that even suggests it would not count as the PC’s normal AoO for the round. \$\endgroup\$
    – ruffdove
    Commented Jan 27, 2021 at 15:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ruffdove Thank you. I expect many will feel as you do, but I think it really can be read read both ways. Either the feat's providing a new ability (i.e. no matter the other circumstances, once per round you may make an attack of opportunity against an opponent you flank who attacks a target other than you) or it's creating a new exception (i.e. in addition to the normal circumstance during which you are entitled to an attack of opportunity, once per round you may make an attack of opportunity against an opponent you flank who attacks a target other than you). However… \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 27, 2021 at 16:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ …I don't think it will really matter. My suspicion is that no PC's ever taken the Backstab feat, and that this trend would continue even if the DM were to read the feat's benefit generously. :-) (So you know, the feat lacks a Normal entry, so we're left with DM's discretion.) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 27, 2021 at 16:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Heh - that's a good point about the popularity of feat. I guess a DM could interpret the rule that way. I would consider it awfully generous, but then lots of DMs tend to favor PCs when the wording of a rule isn't explicit. \$\endgroup\$
    – ruffdove
    Commented Jan 27, 2021 at 18:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hmm...not quite unlimited AOO's. The actual text of the actual "Eternal Vigilance" feat does not say you have no limit to your number of AOO's. Instead it seems to be trying to fix the problem of taking your attack of opportunity while you are not actually threatening your opponent because your weapon is in its sheath! A fatal problem for an Iajutsu Master. The prerequisites include "Way of the Crane" (a Quick Draw feat limited to Katana & Wakazashi) as well as Weapon Focus, both of which are required for Iaijutsu Master. \$\endgroup\$
    – Aceon
    Commented May 8, 2022 at 20:47

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