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Page history last edited by PBworks 17 years, 5 months ago

Iron Heroes Attacks of Opportunity FAQ


Since there's so many questions and confusions about Attacks of Opportunity (AoO's) in Iron Heroes, I thought I'd write up an FAQ.


How do you provoke AoO's?


You can provoke an AoO in two ways- by actions or by movement. Actions are easy to rule- pg. 174 in Iron Heroes lists the various actions and which ones provoke AoO's. Movement is where everyone seems to have problems, so I'm going to lay it out as simple as possible.


In Short:


0)The One-Square Step (aka, the 5' Foot Step) NEVER provokes an AoO.

1)What is 1/4th your Speed in squares (rounded down)?

2)How many threatened squares are you entering this round?

3)If you enter more threatened squares than 1/4th your Speed, THEN you provoke an AoO for each threatened square that is beyond 1/4th your speed.


In Depth:


0) The One-Square Step NEVER provokes an AoO.


This is the MOST IMPORTANT rule you must know. If you miss this, nothing can save you. Say it with me. Say it again. Can you keep this in mind? Ok, good.


1)What is 1/4th your Speed in squares(rounded down)?


If you want to make your life easier, draw a box on your character sheet and label it, “Threat Allowance” and put the number you come up with for this question there.


"Why do you call it a threat allowance?"


Because it's easier for people to have the math done rather than keep doing it over and over every round. Even if it is elementary math- you'll notice that the rest of the character sheet tries to have all the modifiers already calculated to save time- same concept here. Also- it helps people realize that it's a function of the Speed rating- not how many particular squares you happened to move this round.


"What if I have only a speed of 3 squares(15') because of heavy armor, or other reasons?"


Then 1/4th of 3 is 3/4th right? And rounding down to the nearest whole number, you get 0. You have a Threat Allowance of 0. UNLESS you do a one-square step (5' ft. step), you will always incur an AoO from movement into threatened squares.


"What if I want to measure in feet?"


Go ahead. Just remember, if you're using a map representing 5' squares, you need to round down to the nearest increment of 5'.


2)How many threatened squares are you entering this round?


Count ONLY the threatened squares for this purpose. You can move through as many safe squares as you want, all day, and it won't cause any AoO's. Ever.


"If I move through 2 different foes' threatened squares, do both their squares count against me?"


Yes. If you move through 1 of Thug A's threatened squares, then through 2 of Thug B's threatened squares, you have moved through a total of 3 threatened squares this round. Count the squares.


"If two foes threaten the same square, does it count twice?"


Nope- it's only one square. Count the threatened squares, not the enemies for this purpose. More enemies mean more of the squares on the map will be threatened, but that's about it.


3)If you enter more threatened squares than 1/4th your Speed (aka, your Threat Allowance), THEN you provoke an AoO for each threatened square that is beyond 1/4th your speed.


In other words, you can move into as many threatened squares as your threat allowance without any problem, but each threatened square beyond that provokes an AoO.


"What if I charge through 4 safe squares(20') and end in a threatened square?"


Then you moved into 1 threatened square. As long as your Threat Allowance gives you 1 square, you're gravy.


"What's up with Reach Weapons?"


Edit: Reach weapons have been altered in the errata. Each square a reach weapon threatens counts as two squares of movement for provoking attacks of opportunity. Diagonals count as three squares.


Reach weapons are not as formidable in IH as they are in other D20 games. If your character has a Threat Allowance of at least 1 square, you can approach a wielder of a reach weapon and get next to them without incurring an AoO from them. This is the only case where the new AoO system is wonky compared to the D20 AoO system.


If you are going to play strictly by the rules, having Combat Reflexes 3 and/or Spiked Armor is a must. Otherwise, an easy fix to implement is to declare that Reach Weapons threaten the adjacent squares for anyone passing through an actual threatened square. This keeps the rest of the AoO system intact without retooling the whole thing, and also allows reach weapons to retain some advantage.


The Obsessive Rules Lawyers section of the FAQ


The ONE exception to Rule 0, which probably should have been left out of the book...


If a character has a Speed of less than 1 square, or less than 5' feet, then taking a one-square/5'foot step DOES provoke an AoO. This is the only time this will happen, and honestly it's going to be SO rare that this exception should have simply been left out of the book, since it makes everyone get all stupid and forget Rule 0. My view? If you can't even move 5' in a turn, you probably ought to count as a inanimate object.. I mean, what are you fighting? Fine sized slugs?


Either way, you're best off remembering Rule 0 and forgetting this crazy exception, before it destroys any chance you had at remembering how AoO's work. I've only included it because it's in the book- though honestly- I'd leave it out of the FAQ if I could.

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