Suppose a druid is shapeshifted into a beast of large size and adjacent (within 5 ft) of an enemy with a reach of 5ft.

On the druid's turn, he reverts to humanoid form, reducing his size from large to medium and placing him out of the enemy's reach. The druid can now move away without giving the enemy an opportunity attack.

Is this correct?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Is the point of reverting merely to avoid an attack of opportunity or use a bonus action to revert, move, and then use a normal action? \$\endgroup\$ – KumosAgosta Jan 27 '17 at 20:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think for a RAW answer, rules specifying how a user is place when they change size should be references. Specifically the wording for which square you occupy when you shrink. \$\endgroup\$ – John Grabanski Jan 27 '17 at 20:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ RAW, there is no need to consider squares unless you are using a grid \$\endgroup\$ – Sdjz Jan 27 '17 at 22:14

This sounds like a clever way to avoid an Attack of Opportunity.

The Druid is not moving, merely using a magical effect to take up less space. This is less "moving" than teleport, which expressly does not trigger an AoO. The druid has used a bonus action, and has not expended any part of their Speed.

Also consider that the druid has expended one of his or her most valuable resources to accomplish this action. Since the rules do not specifically call change shape a movement, I would rule that this enough of a sacrifice on the part of the druid to warrant tipping the judgment toward loss of AoO on their enemy's part.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Reverting from beast form is a bonus action for both archetypes \$\endgroup\$ – KumosAgosta Jan 27 '17 at 20:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think this answer heads in the right direction. The biggest selling points are the "not using their speed" and "the rules do not specifically call change shape a movement" bits \$\endgroup\$ – Adam Jan 27 '17 at 20:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KumosAgosta Thanks. I didn't know that reverting was a bonus action for both archetypes. I don't think I've ever known someone who played something other than a Moon Druid. :) \$\endgroup\$ – keithcurtis Jan 28 '17 at 0:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ I am unclear why this is presumed to not be a triggering event. Whether you move physically or because of magic you still moved out of threatened space with your own action, which provokes according to RAW. Are you suggesting instead that the OA description excludes bonus actions and thus this is a way around it? \$\endgroup\$ – Pyrotechnical Jan 28 '17 at 6:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ Not at all. Teleportation doesn't trigger an AoO, and that is actual movement (though not using your Speed), in the sense that you are now occupying a different position. Changing your shape to fill a new space is not movement. You are still overlapping your old space; you haven't moved. You are just occupying fewer squares—squares that are not adjacent to an attacker. \$\endgroup\$ – keithcurtis Jan 28 '17 at 7:19


A character provokes an opportunity attack when he moves out of a hostile creature reach:

You can make an opportunity attack when a hostile creature that you can see moves out of your reach. phb pg. 195, emphasys mine.

And this same character can avoid the OA if he teleports, or someone or something moves him without his action/movement/reaction.

You can avoid provoking an opportunity attack by taking the Disengage action. You also don't provoke an opportunity attack when you teleport or when someone or something moves you without using your movement, action, or reaction. Ibidem

I would rule that, because shapeshift is an action, this action is the one that moves the character, and this action was made by the character, then the character can't avoid the OA.

Keep in mind that this OA happens just when the character use his shapeshift action to get outside the hostile creatures reach. He can move freely after that, the enemy already used his reaction.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Since reverting from beast form is just a bonus action, does the action here still apply to bonus action? \$\endgroup\$ – KumosAgosta Jan 27 '17 at 20:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ I would argue that the action/bonus action/reaction bit is aimed at mechanics that have an effect that lets you move, like the Vengeance paladin's Relentless Avenger feature, which lets him move as a reaction after hitting with an opportunity attack. \$\endgroup\$ – Adam Jan 27 '17 at 20:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ Wild shape meets the requirements of moves you without using your movement or action. The action of using wild shape to change forms doesn't move you, it changes your size. \$\endgroup\$ – LegendaryDude Jan 27 '17 at 20:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ Fair enough. Removed that comment. Still don't agree based on the fact that changing size isn't movement. \$\endgroup\$ – Lino Frank Ciaralli Jan 27 '17 at 20:50

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