Here's the question — How would combat work without opportunity attacks? It virtually asks "why games need opportunity attacks and what happens if we remove them".

It was asked in context of D&D 5e, thus attracted answers and comments about OA-based game features in 5e (like Sentinel feat, etc), which would become less effective or completely useless without OAs.

But these answers are obvious — there are OA mechanics in game, also there are features based on these mechanics, so if we remove OAs these features becomes meaningless. I actually wanted to ask another thing — why OAs are there in the first place?

So I've edited the question in order to make it more system-agnostic. Downvotes and VTCs appeared, presumably because it is a question about designers' intent now, therefore off-topic. But I don't think the reason for OAs is a particular designer's intent. OAs are ubiquitous, so I guess there must be an objective reason for them to exist in TRPGs and wargames.

What is the main problem with this question and how can I fix it to attract more high-quality answers?

  • \$\begingroup\$ So the problem is that the question changed from being about attacks of opportunity in 5e to being about attacks of opportunity generally. Is that accurate? If so, is it just too late to ask a new question about the latter? Or has that train left? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 7, 2020 at 17:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ You say "The reason I ask is because there are 5e-based games which do not have OAs at all (Five Torches Deep, for instance). I want to know what changes I should expect within basic 5e gameplay (no feats, no variant rules) if the DM introduces a "no opportunity attacks" house rule." Can you help me see what value you are trying to get by making this system agnostic and thus further away from 5e? Do you have some greater goal here? Just trying to understand. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 7, 2020 at 17:50

1 Answer 1


Your edit to make it system-agnostic substantially changes the scope of the question. When a Question Changes Completely, Should it be a New Question? says this should be a new question, not an edit. Accordingly I've rolled that question back to revision 16, the version that was about D&D 5e.

Originally you ask:

It seems the game developers consider this particular trigger as the most important one. To my knowledge, many wargames uses the similar rule. So what happens if we remove it? Why do we need it, in the first place?

Implicitly this question is just about D&D 5e. You are just asking why D&D 5e specifically needs opportunity attacks and what happens if we remove them just from D&D 5e.

You removed the last sentence and replaced it with this question:

What games need it and why?

Besides being a completely different question with completely different answers, this has gone from being about one game to being about hundreds of them. While the first question needed a deep dive into D&D 5e expertise specifically and very little else, this now asks people to dive into an entire large body of our hobby. Remember we've got thousands of games, and no small share of them are tactical combat games derived directly from Chainmail and D&D if not cloning one of those games outright.

(Not to mention that “list all the games that [in your assessment] need opportunity attacks and explain why” is not a request our site can handle.)

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm pretty sure if I ask another question about OAs in D&D-like games in general, it will be VTC-ed as "duplicate". The top answer is already as generic as it can be. \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Commented Apr 7, 2020 at 17:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ @enkryptor The top answer is very specific to how D&D handles tactics. It's applicable to other games that handle tactics just the same way D&D does, but as per normal, “the answers relate to some other games” doesn't inherently make a question system agnostic. I don't think it's generic at all. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 7, 2020 at 17:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ But, still, even supposing it arrived as an answer to a more generic question: it's specifically only evaluating D&D 5e, and evaluating some things vaguely common to D&D. It is sorely missing evaluation of other tactical combat games and tactical combat generally across our hobby. It doesn't even spare a moment to consider games like Dungeon World or 13th Age which instead use entirely different means of tracking movement or which look at combat, tactics, and OAs in new ways. As an answer attempting to tackle all tactical combat games in our entire hobby, it would be sorely lacking in rigour! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 7, 2020 at 17:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ @enkryptor I should also make clear: I do not think you should in fact ask that question generically. So I'm not suggesting “go do that”, I just mean to suggest this isn't edit territory. Such a question would be an enormous ask and there's a number of structural problems with asking it. Most importantly though, remembering we work best when focusing on solving real problems you're actually facing, your actual problem (‘I want to know what changes I should expect within basic 5e gameplay if the DM introduces a "no opportunity attacks" house rule’) does not require this task to resolve it :) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 7, 2020 at 17:52

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