I recently had a discussion with my GM about Dimensional Slide exploit. The problem is the wording of the exploit:

This ability is used as part of a move action or withdraw action, allowing her to move up to 10 feet per arcanist level to any location she can see. This counts as 5 feet of movement. She can only use this ability once per round. She does not provoke attacks of opportunity when moving in this way, but any other movement she attempts as part of her move action provokes as normal.

I haven't found any rules about the description of "as a part of move action". Is it meant that I must start moving, for example, from threatened square, provoking an AoO, then do DS, or simply perform DS w/o any AoOs?

It is unclear that "as part of the action" require you to make this action exclusively in the middle of an action, not before or after it.

Please, follow your answer with some rules link, so it can be approved point, not just an opinion, because I really need some solid evidence.

P.S. I've read the thread below, and it states that I can avoid AoOs from any point of blinking, but it has no proof of ability to do so by rules.

Arcanist Dimensional Slide usage specific cases!


1 Answer 1


She does not provoke attacks of opportunity when moving in this way, but any other movement she attempts as part of her move action provokes as normal.

Okay so. It seems that you're getting the fluff (a dimensional rift, 5' of movement, part of a move action) of the dimensional slide ability confused with what the ability says it does in rules text.

A GM might rule as a houserule that due to the fluff text of the ability, if you dimensionally slide from adjacent to an enemy, that enemy gets an AoO on you 'as you walk into the dimensional portal' but that would be a houserule. It is not what the ability says. The ability says the following;

  • The ability is activated as part of a move or withdraw action.
  • It allows you to move [your character] up to 10' per arcanist level to a location you can see.
  • Activating this ability costs you 5' of movement [from your move or withdraw action], subtracting that from the regular movement allotted by the action (but not from the arcanist dimensional slide movement).
  • You do not provoke attacks of opportunity when moving via Dimensional Slide, but still provoke a normal for the other, regular movement.

This ability is actually amazingly clear about not provoking AoOs.

Now you may (inferring from the question) be thinking that you somehow need to walk some distance to 'count as' having a move action before you can activate dimensional slide, or that the rules text in AoOs about 'leaving a threatened square' supercedes Dimensional Slide's rules text - it's unclear, as the question is written as if dimensional slide provoking AoOs is self-evident. But to answer those concerns, a move action or withdraw action are declared before any movement is made. The order of events is like so -

Jim: 'I'm taking my move action to move out over here, behind these pillars. One-two-three-four-five-'

The DM: 'Okay so when you leave square three and four these two Bugbears get to Attack of Opportunity you, they get 31 and 40 to hit, does that hit?'

Jim: 'Yep. Damn.'

Jim can declare his move action to move and then activate an immediate action magic item that lets him teleport or anything else he's capable of doing during a move action without actually moving anywhere first. There's no requirement in the rules for him to move a distance to 'count as' taking a move action or anything - a move action is simply a type of action all creatures are allowed to take on their turn, at any time during that turn.

As for AoOs from moving trumping dimensional slide, it is actually the opposite. Specific always trumps general in PF. The general case (movement triggers AoOs) is specifically negated by Dimensional Slide saying it doesn't. Dimensional Slide, is a specific movement case, and the rules on AoOs are general rules, ergo, specific wins.

What is unclear about the ability and would potentially fall into GM fiat territory is whether or not this movement can be taken when a character is unable to move as part of a move action, such as when being Grappled or chained to a wall. Even prone movement would probably be enough (having 5' of move to spend) but RAW is sorta silent about when you can take move actions but are restricted from moving normally and this ability.

But the AoO from using it adjacent to enemies very much is not. It is quite specific about how that works.

  • \$\begingroup\$ So, the 5-foot movement cost is spent when the movement form move action IS DECLAIRED, not actiually after the movement has begun, isn't? \$\endgroup\$
    – InnCanary
    Commented Feb 7, 2021 at 15:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ P.S. The problem was solved. The GM's point was that this ability works similar to stealth mechanic: "Action Usually none. Normally, you make a Stealth check as part of movement, so it doesn’t take a separate action. However, using Stealth immediately after a ranged attack (see Sniping, above)". Text from Stealth skill errata. But the "as part of MOVE ACTION" and "as a part of MOVEMENT" is a complitly different things, because movement usually provokes, but move action doesn't. Finally, the conclusion is that movement form starting point DOESN'T provoke AoO. Thank you again for your answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – InnCanary
    Commented Feb 7, 2021 at 17:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @InnCanary yep, MOVE ACTION and MOVEMENT are two different things - you can 'move' via non move actions, and use move actions for things like drawing or stowing a weapon without moving at all. No worries. \$\endgroup\$
    – user2754
    Commented Feb 7, 2021 at 17:52

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