One of the particular rules from D&D 3rd edition that I really like is the attack of opportunity, which solves a lot of concerns about how to solve the issue of people drinking potions, casting spells, or using missile weapons in combat; and also enables the GM to penalize people who try to run away. Of course, in its direst incarnation it really slows the game down, since multiple people get multiple attempts at anyone who does anything not combative, but in essence I think it’s an excellent idea. I’ve adapted it for use in enhancing the effect of weapons with long reach, and I think it’s generally an excellent idea. I’ve noticed in reading the Warhammer 3 rulebook that there are hints that attempts to disengage from combat should incur some kind of penalty and risk provoking an attack, but there don’t appear to be any rules for it. So, in the interests of furthering the influence of D&D in the universe, I’ve come up with an action card for attacks of opportunity. The card is presented here, but here’s the outline idea:

  • unlike in D&D, one person can only ever suffer one attack of opportunity, so the party chooses which person will do it, and then adds a fortune die if they outnumber their opponents
  • you can’t do multiple attacks of opportunity in a round, which is handled by giving the card a recharge value
  • it’s harder to hit with an attack of opportunity than an normal strike (+1 challenge die)
  • if you get a bit lucky you should be able to escape the engagement without provoking an attack of opportunity, in order to pursue/reengage your opponent
  • if you get really lucky, you prevent your opponent disengaging, but only if you’re in a reckless stance

So here are the card’s two faces, conservative:

Note that the damage is lower than for a normal melee strike, and there is a risk of fatigue, but no other serious effects. The reckless face:

My thinking here is that, if you really get lucky you can stop the enemy escaping. So if the person escaping is your target in the adventure, you choose your most reckless and skilled fighter, he or she loads up with fortune points, and you go all out to either stop the enemy getting out of the engagement, or at the very least the chosen attacker is likely to get out of the engagement as well.

I’m not sure if this card is relevant in one-on-one engagements, or even one-vs.-many. A few notes on the conditions:

  • I have required weapon skill be trained for this action, in order to a) restrict the number of times it happens (since the downside of attacks of opportunity is that they really slow the game down, and prevent people being creative in combat or trying to escape) and b) reflect the fact that, actually, when you’re in the middle of a battle, taking time out to just whack a passer-by is not as easy as it looks
  • The conditions also only allow the card to be used when someone is attempting to disengage from combat, so the card can’t be used against someone casting a spell or using a potion
  • The conditions don’t state this, but if the target is taking advantage of a “disengage freely” outcome from another action, this card can’t be used

I’m going to translate this to Japanese and try using it in combat in my session this week. Comments would be appreciated…