Moving away from a square which is within threatening reach of an enemy, provokes OA if one does not shift, is pushed/pulled/slid or teleports.

Further, so far I know, squares are 3d, as indicated here as well (jump over an enemy): http://community.wizards.com/content/forum-topic/2623551

Let's say I have an enemy directly in front of me. When I fly one square upwards, I leave the square adjacent to the enemy I stand on and therefore provoke OA. When flying one square higher, I actually provoke OA again (they can't hit me twice during the same turn, I know) because I leave that adjacent square which is diagonally top/front of the enemy.

I now look at the monk power "Whirlwind Kick" which says as a movement action: "You fly your speed. The first square of this movement doesn't provoke Opportunity Attacks." When I consider the above stated situation, the enemy could attack me with an OA when leaving the diagonal adjacent square (if I don't fly backwards first, but this won't work if there is an enemy behind me). Assuming that the idea behind this movement action is to get away after gathering enemys around yourself and assuming there is an enemy behind you as well, this won't work because you leave adjacent squares twice but only the first square doesn't provoke OA.

Can you please tell me if my understanding of 3d squares and OA is correct and if so, if there is a possibility to fly away from several adjacent enemies using the mentioned monk movement action?


2 Answers 2


The Mechanics of Whirlwind Kick's Movement Technique

Effect: You fly your speed. The first square of this movement doesn’t provoke opportunity attacks.

Powers in 4e do what they say, nothing more nothing less. Thus you are free from provoking only for the first square of movement.

How to use whirlwind kick and avoid provoking

As you say, against one enemy you can use that first square to move diagonally up and back to leave their range and then fly where you want to go from there.If you have more enemies near you such as 2 flanking, the 1 square still help to limit it to only one opp attack vs multiple. Similarly, if you have 3 enemies adjacent and they are spaced out evenly there should still be 1 square that only exposes you to one opp attack.

Fluff has no bearing on mechanics

Fluff vs. crunch. Crunch are the rules, the parts of the power card that refer to the rules and the mechanics of the game. Fluff is any part of the powercard that is not crunch: the name of the power and the description of the power.

The descriptions of powers & items in 4e are simply that; no more, no less. The descriptions/flavor text/fluff printed on power cards has zero bearing on rules. Its there to make the power sound more fun, spice up the game, and/or help you visualize what the power is doing better.

  • \$\begingroup\$ two enemies are enough that all 26 square around you are threatened. If they are flanking. This power's strength is that it lets you effectively shift, then move on the same turn. If there is a sticky situation that you wouldn't be able to get out of in a shift and move, you won't get out of it with this either. \$\endgroup\$
    – wax eagle
    Commented Apr 18, 2014 at 0:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @waxeagle yeah totally failed to communicate that it still helps to limit opp attacks vs getting away free. Edited my post \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 18, 2014 at 0:18

You are absolutely right about how it works.
You leave the first square without a problem, and than get the Opportunity Attacks.

Based on the fluff and the fact that giving you fly does not help your escape in any way, I also agree that it is not the intended way. Talk to your DM about this, I would allow not to take opportunity attacks for the first 2 squares. Large creatures would still be able to attack you.

Fluff alone would not convince me, as there are quite a lot of powers out there where the actual rule text directly contradicts the fluff. The movement technic makes me think however that the creator of this power just did not think in 3D like you do.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you very much. Could you explain me what a "fluff" is? \$\endgroup\$
    – telandor
    Commented Apr 17, 2014 at 13:22
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ "fluff" is the mechanics irrelevant stuff; the description or what the power looks like when being executed. For example, Whirlwind Kick says that you're creating a "vortex of wind" -- that's fluff. It doesn't matter what you're actually doing, all that matters is that you make the attacks, pull the targets, and deal damage. \$\endgroup\$
    – Brian S
    Commented Apr 17, 2014 at 13:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ -1 The power works as intended, despite saying fluff isn't the justification, you go onto use fluff as a justification for saying the power was designed poorly and the the DM should house-rule it to be more powerful. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 17, 2014 at 18:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ The power works somehow, I do not know what was intended, but neither do you. (Unless you created this power, in this case shame on you). However previously we both agreed on the generally poor quality of DnD4e writing and editing. \$\endgroup\$
    – András
    Commented Apr 17, 2014 at 19:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ So on RAW you are right, and I say the same. But RAI we can never now, and it would be far from overpowered to allow actual escape. \$\endgroup\$
    – András
    Commented Apr 17, 2014 at 19:08

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