How can one make multiple opportunity attacks during one round?

PixelMaster 06/12/2018. 3 answers, 493 views
dnd-5e opportunity-attack reactions

The title is pretty straight-forward. By default, players can make only one opportunity attack per round, since it uses their reaction of which they only have one.

Which features, spells etc. exist that allow a player to make multiple opportunity attacks during one round? These attacks don't necessarily have to be able to occur during the same turn (nor do they have to be able to occur on different turns).

3 Answers

PixelMaster 06/13/2018.

One feature I'm aware of is the level 18 feature of the Fighter subclass Cavalier:

Vigilant Defender

Starting at 18th level, you respond to danger with extraordinary vigilance. In combat, you get a special reaction that you can take once on every creature’s turn, except your turn. You can use this special reaction only to make an opportunity attack, and you can’t use it on the same turn that you take your normal reaction.

Another possibility is to True Polymorph into a creature such as the Hydra or Marilith, both of which can take multiple reactions each round. While the Hydra can only use these for opportunity attacks, Mariliths can take one reaction/turn, but they're normal reactions, usable for spells as well (at least RAW). Hydras can take more than one reaction on a single creatures turn, though.

V2Blast 06/12/2018.

As you noted in your answer, the Cavalier, a fighter subclass from Xanathar's Guide to Everything (p. 30-31), has this feature:

Vigilant Defender

Starting at 18th level, you respond to danger with extraordinary vigilance. In combat, you get a special reaction that you can take once on every creature’s turn, except your turn. You can use this special reaction only to make an opportunity attack, and you can’t use it on the same turn that you take your normal reaction.

This lets you make one extra opportunity attack on every creature's turn (except a turn in which you use your regular reaction).

Alternately, Unearthed Arcana: Light, Dark, Underdark! features an additional Fighting Style option (for fighters, paladins, and rangers who have the Fighting Style class feature), the Tunnel Fighter fighting style:

Tunnel Fighter

You excel at defending narrow passages, doorways, and other tight spaces. As a bonus action, you can enter a defensive stance that lasts until the start of your next turn. While in your defensive stance, you can make opportunity attacks without using your reaction, and you can use your reaction to make a melee attack against a creature that moves more than 5 feet while within your reach.

This fighting style allows the character to make as many opportunity attacks as they can without using their reaction, and additionally allows them to use their reaction to attack a creature that moves around them within their reach - all for the cost of just a bonus action.

However, keep in mind that UA is playtest content, and may not be balanced. The two Fighting Style options from this 2015 UA (Close Quarters Shooter, and Tunnel Fighter) have not been published in any 5th edition book so far. It is possible that Wizards of the Coast deemed them unbalanced in their current form, or that Wizards decided the fighting styles required further tweaking/iterations before publication.

Especially by comparison to the Cavalier's 18th-level feature, the Tunnel Fighter fighting style seems quite overpowered, especially for a 1st-level fighter feature (or a 2nd-level feature for rangers and paladins).

Gandalfmeansme 06/13/2018.

High level powers, or an optional DMG rule

As mentioned in other answers, there are some features of specific classes (Vigilant Defender for Cavalier) or creature types (Hydras or Marilith) that can allow creatures to take multiple reactions per round. But since true polymorph is a 9th level spell, these tactics will not be available until very high levels (17 or 18, depending on which tactic is being used).

There is also the optional rule in the DMG called Mark (DMG, p. 271)

MARK This option makes it easier for melee combatants to harry each other with opportunity attacks.

When a creature makes a melee attack, it can also mark its target. Until the end of the attacker's next turn, any opportunity attack it makes against the marked target has advantage. The opportunity attack doesn't expend the attacker's reaction, but the attacker can't make the attack if anything, such as the incapacitated condition or the shocking grasp spell, is preventing it from taking reactions. The attacker is limited to one opportunity attack per turn.

This is a resource free option, which could be done by any creature regardless of level or class. Of course, in order to use it to make more than two opportunity attacks in one round, a character would need to target multiple opponents in combat with melee attacks (two could be made from a Marked target and a second target which uses up your Reaction). Since it is usually advantageous to focus attacks on an single enemy until they fall, this strategy does have a tactical cost. But it is a viable way to gain multiple opportunity attacks in a single round. - Download Hi-Res Songs


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