6
\$\begingroup\$

When a martial adept initiates the Tiger Claw maneuver death from above [strike] (Tome of Battle 86–7), does the maneuver's Jump check provoke attacks of opportunity?

\$\endgroup\$
0
4
\$\begingroup\$

Jump skill checks don't provoke attacks of opportunity; the movement the creature takes as a result of the the jump, however, can provoke attacks of opportunity. Pedantry aside, if what you mean is Does the movement that's part of the maneuver provoke attacks of opportunity? I'd argue...

Death from Above's Movement Doesn't Provoke

The 4th-level Tiger Claw maneuver death from above (strike) reads, in part,

To use this maneuver, you must be adjacent to a foe. As part of this maneuver, you attempt a DC 20 Jump check. If this check succeeds, you can make a single melee attack against an opponent that you were adjacent to when you began this maneuver. This attack occurs in the air as you soar over your opponent, also as part of the maneuver. Your attack deals an extra 4d6 points of damage, and your opponent is considered flat-footed against this attack. You then land in any square adjacent to the target of this attack, though no more than 20 feet away from your starting position.

Emphasis mine. The maneuver death from above abstracts precise positioning and trajectory as part of the maneuver's effect, making it impossible to determine exactly which creatures (if any) should get attacks of opportunity versus the initiator.

I suspect that the intent is to permit an attack while the target is flat-footed then allow the attacker to safely get some distance from the target, predicated on a fairly easy skill check, not to have the initiator make the Jump check only for the foe to stab the initiator in mid-leap while attempting to soar over his foe.

A legalistic DM may require the initiator of the maneuver death from above to trace his path up the adjacent creature and then up to 20 ft. away and allow creatures along that path attacks of opportunity if the initiator doesn't somehow avoid them (e.g. a Tumble skill check). However, given that the adjacent creature could be a Colossal primal elemental or a Tiny grig, that first seems unfair, and given that there's no limit on how much travel the initiator can do before he lands up to 20 ft. away, the initiator should feel free to visit the moon, circle the earth, and then return in a safe position, probably avoiding at least some attacks of opportunity.

It'll ultimately be up to the DM if the movement from the maneuver death from above provokes attacks of opportunity, but the DM'll probably agree to let the attacks of opportunity slide if the initiator agrees not to visit outer space.

\$\endgroup\$
4
  • \$\begingroup\$ Strictly speaking, isn't there a rule that just says "maneuvers don't provoke attacks of opportunity," period? \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Apr 29 '14 at 20:54
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I don't think that maneuver gives you distance from the target. It just deals with large targets too. \$\endgroup\$ – fectin Aug 2 '18 at 1:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @fectin I'm concerned, especially since another user upped your comment. The maneuver says, "You then land in any square adjacent to the target of this attack, though no more than 20 feet away from your starting position." I agree the maneuver doesn't give the adept distance from the foe, but the maneuver does allow the adept to move some distance from the space he was in when he initiated the maneuver! \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Aug 2 '18 at 14:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan okay, same page now. I would always tend to read "get some distance" as referring to the foe in that use. \$\endgroup\$ – fectin Aug 2 '18 at 15:25
4
\$\begingroup\$

According To the Player's Handbook:

Moving out of a threatened square usually provokes an attack of opportunity from the threatening opponent. There are two common methods of avoiding such an attack—the 5-foot-step and the withdraw action. (PH3.5 p. 137)

So any form of movement that brings the player outside a threatened square provokes an attack of opportunity unless specified otherwise. As Hey I Can Chan points out, the description implies that the user never leaves the threatened squares to make the attack.

*I'm Interpreting the word "Usually" as "unless specified otherwise" (E.G. Tumble)

\$\endgroup\$
1
\$\begingroup\$

Death from Above's Movement Does Provoke

The Tome of Battle states:

You do not provoke attacks of opportunity when you initiate a maneuver or stance unless its description explicitly says otherwise. Some maneuvers allow you to move, charge, and take other actions that could provoke attacks of opportunity. Unless the maneuver description specifically says that such actions do not provoke attacks of opportunity, they do. (ToB p.39)

Now let's look at the maneuver in question:

To use this maneuver, you must be adjacent to a foe. As part of this maneuver, you attempt a DC 20 Jump check. If this check succeeds, you can make a single melee attack against an opponent that you were adjacent to when you began this maneuver. This attack occurs in the air as you soar over your opponent, also as part of the maneuver. Your attack deals an extra 4d6 points of damage, and your opponent is considered flat-footed against this attack. You then land in any square adjacent to the target of this attack, though no more than 20 feet away from your starting position.

If your Jump check fails, you remain in the last square you occupied before the Jump check and can make a single attack normally. The maneuver is still considered expended.

Emphasis mine. You attack an adjacent foe as you "soar over him". You attack the foe after a part of your movement. A Tumble check or another means would be needed to avoid provoking. One would also need to take into account other enemies that threaten him.

Seeing that the movement from jumping would provoke an attack of opportunity, the next question should be, "Does this unbalance this maneuver or others like it?" To which the answer is, "no".

Since the Jump check doesn't count against your movement, a DC 15 Tumble (+2 to the DC for each additional enemy that threatens after the first) should be sufficient. This check should be easy for a player to make without much optimization. Besides having a good Tumble score, there are many other ways to avoid attacks of opportunity (magic items, spells, boost maneuvers, etc.).

If you fail the Jump check, you don't move. So therefore you wouldn't provoke.

The GM isn't being overly "legalistic" by enforcing balanced game rules. Like wanting to know the chosen trajectory a jumping character. If a player tried to go with "there's no limit on how much travel the he can do before he lands up to 20 ft. away". I would tell him, "that is obviously nonsensical and trying to go down that road is ill advised".

Bonus: When converting maneuvers like Death from Above to Pathfinder let the player use the 3.5 Tumble DC for their Acrobatics check. Otherwise it will be unbalancing.

\$\endgroup\$
2
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I don't know what's up with that downvote; I think this answer makes a good case for an alternative reading. However, the maneuver says, "Your attack deals an extra 4d6 points of damage, and your opponent is considered flat-footed against this attack," not that the the foe is actually flat-footed, and the foe should probably only get one attack of opportunity, movement during a turn typically being a lone provocation. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Aug 2 '18 at 2:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Finally! I can comment (Yea!). This is why I love this site! I made an error and Hey I Can Chan showed me my error so I can correct it for the good of all. Regardless of the voting mechanism (Which I like BTW). I'm certain my answer is correct, besides the minor error that was corrected. Thanks Chan! \$\endgroup\$ – Zarus Aug 2 '18 at 9:04
0
\$\begingroup\$

Death from above dose not threaten Attacks of Opt. from the target because he no longer threatens him as he is considered flat-footed, however the adept must suffer Attacks of Opt. from any other enemy that would be threatening him at the time of this maneuver.

\$\endgroup\$

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.