As the title says. Is there a way for a character to leave melee combat without causing opportunity attacks? Do they have to make an athletics or acrobatics check to do so?

  • 10
    \$\begingroup\$ I think the reason this has so many downvotes is that it is basically 'read the book to me'. There isn't any room for discussion or interpretation here, just pointing out a rule in the combat section. \$\endgroup\$ – Ladifas Jun 23 '16 at 15:58
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ That said, we should allow this sort of question. See point 2 in the top-voted answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Ladifas Jun 23 '16 at 16:01
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Francisco I suppose those DM's could've homebrewed a few rules about leaving melee combat, but it could be worth asking them about if they haven't previously agreed with the group how they're changing the rules. Either way, you're welcome! \$\endgroup\$ – Jamie Brace Jun 23 '16 at 16:03
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @Ladifas Yes, downvotes don't mean a question isn't allowed. :) Questions that aren't allowed get closed; questions that get downvoted are merely being sorted downward in the display order of the site (because they're unlikely to help future readers and other questions deserve more visibility). That said, this isn't a “read the book to me” question so much as a “I didn't realise I missed something in the book” question. In any case, the kind of read-the-book-to-me questions that are a real problem are the ones that are trying to get book info for free to avoid buying it. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jun 23 '16 at 17:50
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Tijnkwan How does a character leave melee combat without invoking an opportunity attack." is that what you mean? Francisco, does that phrasing accurately capture your question? \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jun 24 '16 at 16:18

Disengage Action, D&D Basic Rules, pg 72


If you take the Disengage action, your movement doesn't provoke opportunity attacks for the rest of the turn.

Also, if you're a Rogue, you can use Cunning Action to take Disengage as a Bonus Action.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Does this activate automatically, as in there is no rolls required by the player? Would a player then be able to Disengage then attack if they have Extra Attack? \$\endgroup\$ – Francisco Jun 23 '16 at 15:54
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Francisco no, it's an action you take on your turn instead of Attack, so you would be taking the Disengage action instead of the Attack action, so no, you wouldn't get the Extra Attack, but you are correct in saying there are no rolls involved! EDIT: unless you're a Rogue of course, but I can't remember if Rogue's get Extra Attack or not \$\endgroup\$ – Jamie Brace Jun 23 '16 at 15:55
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Monks also can spend 1 ki starting at second level to disengage as a bonus action. @Francisco on your turn you can move your speed, take one action, and one possible bonus action. Disengage is your action. The extra attack feature says "whenever you take the attack action" so it does not apply when you use the disengage action. I would highly recommend rereading the Your Turn (pages 189–90) and Actions in Combat (pages 192–93) sections of chapter 9. It's all there \$\endgroup\$ – Christopher Jun 23 '16 at 17:14


Disengage, as has been given in other answers,does allow you to use your action to move away without provoking an opportunity attack.

If you take the Disengage action, your movement doesn't provoke opportunity attacks for the rest of the turn.

Disengage just happens, no rolls on athletics to see if it is successful.

Rogue's Cunning Action

Rogues starting at the 2nd level can disengage as a bonus action. (Mentioned in Jamie Brace's answer.)

PHB p. 96

Monk's Step of the Wind

Starting at the second level may disengage as a bonus action by spending a Ki point. (As Christopher mentioned in the comments on Jamie Brace's answer)

PHB p.78

Mobility Feat

One of the abilities gain from taking the mobility feat is when you attack a creature, you can move away from it without it being able to take an opportunity attack:

When you make a melee attack against a creature, you don't provoke opportunity attacks from that creature for the rest of the turn, whether you hit or not.

PHB p.168 (Thanks – Tijnkwan)


PHB, p.195

Using the Attack action, you can make a special melee attack to shove a creature, either to knock it prone or push it away from you. If you're able to make multiple attacks with the Attack action, this attack replaces one of them.

Since Opportunity Attack reads:

You can make an opportunity attack when a hostile creature that you can see moves out of your reach.

Since he is the creature moving out of reach, he can't take an opportunity attack, and you can use your extra attack action.

This can only be done if the target is no more than one size larger than you, and has to be within your reach. Also, this does require an Athletics roll contested by their Acrobatics roll.

Spells or Features

Spells or features that allow you to "push up to X feet away" or make the enemy flee. Each spell will have different attack rolls, or saving throws, depending on the spell.

Push Spells

There are a number of other ways to force an opponent to move, like:

  • Gust of wind
  • Eldritch blast (with repelling blast Invocation)
  • Thunderous smite
  • Thunderwave
  • Grasping Vine
  • Control Water (whirlpool option, if the enemy is standing in water)

Fear Spells

Likewise, if a creature gains the Frightened condition, the enemy can't willingly move any closer to you. Moreover, a number of spells that impart fear have clauses that force the enemy to expend their movement trying to get away from you.

The creature can't willingly move closer to the source of its fear (PHB p.290)

Spells that contain this language include:

  • Eyebite (Panicked option)
  • Fear
  • Compulsion

This won't make them move on your turn, but will provide you with an opportunity attack against them.

Take away their Reaction

An opportunity attack requires use of the reaction. If the enemy has already done an opportunity attack, used a readied action, or the like, they cannot take an opportunity attack. Likewise, the spells shocking grasp and arms of hadar prevents the target(s) from using reactions until the start of its next turn.

Get Pushed

Also, if you are forced away by pushed or shoved you don't open opportunity attack. If you are afraid, and must move, you still will provoke an opportunity attack. So, if you can get the enemy or an ally to push you, you don't provoke an attack.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Another spell of note is shocking grasp. If it hits, it prevents its target from taking reactions—and opportunity attacks are reactions. \$\endgroup\$ – Christopher Jun 23 '16 at 17:47
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ You may want to point out that Eldritch Blast only pushes if the caster has the Repelling Blast Eldritch Invocation. \$\endgroup\$ – Javelin Jun 23 '16 at 18:26
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ And just to be complete perhaps add the mobile feat (PHB page 168): Mobile: You are exceptionally speedy and agile. You gain the following benefits: • Your speed increases by 10 feet. • When you use the Dash action, difficult terrain doesn’t cost you extra movement on that turn. • When you make a melee attack against a creature, you don’t provoke opportunity attacks from that creature for the rest of the turn, whether you hit or not. \$\endgroup\$ – Tijnkwan Jun 23 '16 at 19:05

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.