Here's the scenario:

The character in question has both the Tunnel Fighter fighting style from Unearthed Arcana: Light, Dark, Underdark!, which says:

You excel at defending narrow passages, doorways, and other tight spaces. As a bonus action, you can enter a defensive stance that lasts until the start of your next turn. While in your defensive stance, you can make opportunity attacks without using your reaction, and you can use your reaction to make a melee attack against a creature that moves more than 5ft while within your reach.

As well as the Polearm Master feat (PHB, p. 168), the second bullet point of which says:

While you are wielding a glaive, halberd, pike, or quarterstaff, other creatures provoke an opportunity attack from you when they enter your reach.

Assuming you hit every target that enters your reach (10 feet, unless you're using a quarterstaff), could you essentially take out a stampede of kobolds who have no ranged weapons? (Or some other instance of lots of easy-to-hit targets rushing at the player.)

Am I correct in assuming this means all approaching targets are attacked once as they enter my reach? Am I missing something that says otherwise in this scenario?

This combination seems really good to protect the rest of the group from a swarm of enemies and to abuse choke points. It's almost too good against weaker enemies.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ It's worth noting that UA rules are "unofficial"; they're playtest rules that are explicitly not guaranteed to be balanced against the published rules. \$\endgroup\$
    – Wyvern
    Oct 23, 2019 at 18:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ You forgot Sentinel. \$\endgroup\$
    – User 23415
    Apr 5 at 15:57

4 Answers 4


You are correct.

Tunnel Fighter lets you make opportunity attacks for free, and Polearm Master lets you do so at a distance.

An intelligent or reasonably aware force would have a good chance to figure this out after you skewer the first few.

As for "too good," it's powerful but not unrealistic. Choke points are good strategy in the real world, too; see the Battle of Thermopylae or various castle designs that involve narrow gates or low doorways. Given that the PC has spent a precious feat and their fighting style choice on this, they deserve to have it be pretty useful.

  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ Couple that with the sentinel feat to stop the enemies at the edge of your reach. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 27, 2017 at 22:57

You are reading the combination correctly. A Tunnel Fighter with Polearm Master can produce a formidable blockage. The opportunity attacks you're allowed to make against those entering your reach are not limited by the action-economy.

It is really good, in a very specific situation. You need to be able to avoid their ranged attacks and any areas of effect, and those whom you don't eliminate upon entering your reach can still bull-rush you in numbers to grapple you or knock you down.


Yes you can do this in theory; No you can't do it to kobolds.

It says what it means and it means what it says. You use your bonus action to take up the defensive stance. A creature you can see entering your reach without taking the Disengage action is subject to an opportunity attack due to your Polearm Master feat; this does not use your reaction due to your Tunnel Fighter feat. Therefore you can do it again and again.

You can't do this to kobolds because: Tucker's Kobolds. Kobolds are not that stupid.

It is really good to protect the rest of the group from a swarm of enemies because that is exactly the situation it is designed to be good for. It is less useful against, say, a Red Dragon's breath weapon: when that happens the feats Resilient (Dexterity) and Shield Master are much better.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Not sure how your link factors in at all, wrong edition completely. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 17, 2015 at 2:28
  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ The point is, regardless of edition, kobolds are viciously clever and cleverly vicious. The strategy is sound against stupid enemies willing to run blindly onto the PCs waiting halberd, but will quickly be overcome by enemies with any sense in them. \$\endgroup\$
    – CrusaderJ
    Dec 17, 2015 at 3:16
  • 31
    \$\begingroup\$ The point of Tucker's Kobolds is not that kobolds in particular are especially clever, it's that any monsters can/should be stiff opposition by just not running them as if they're no smarter than a bag of hammers. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 17, 2015 at 7:28

You're exactly right. I'd imagine this combined with the sentinel feat would be near unstoppable against a horde of enemies. However not only does this cost you TWO feats and a fighting style but the situation is so specific that is will probably never occur unless you specifically ask to DM to include it.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! TAke the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Feb 6, 2019 at 14:20

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .