Attack of Attack of Opportunity

I was just recently watching a live stream of a 4E D&D tabletop game, and I saw a situation that got me to thinking. One of the heroes of the story had just moved past an opponent, and therefore granted that opponent an attack of opportunity. The problem that I saw was that the opponent was already in melee with another player character.

Shouldn’t the enemy who took that moment to strike out at a passing PC have been immediately attacked by the PC that he was already in combat with? I mean, if you pass by a Hobgoblin that is fighting your pal, and that Hobgoblin (Yes, I do feel it necessary to capitalize it… Hobgoblins are nasty and I don’t want to piss one off) takes his attention off your pal just long enough to strike out at you, shouldn’t your pal be able to take that distraction to get his own attack of opportunity?

Also, very soon afterwards in that same fight, one of the PC’s was flanking one of the baddies. When that PC moved from that threatened square to another square right next to it that was also still right next to the baddie, the DM ruled that he was susceptible to an attack of opportunity. Am I wrong that you are only susceptible to an attack of opportunity if you leave a threatened square into a square that isn’t a threatened square of the same opponent?

What I mean is, if I’m facing off against an enemy and I move to my left (which keeps me right in front of the guy) should I be liable for an attack of opportunity? It seems to me like that takes to heart of the concept out and replaces it with grey rules-keeping.

Now, I know I may be WAY off on this… the DM of that particular session is my all-time favorite streamer Matt Colville, and I in no way want to second guess his rulings. I’m asking these questions because I’m interested in learning more about how attacks of opportunity work.

Any comments?

Oh, and BTW, I am extremely thankful to all of you that have taken a moment to comment on my posts. It’s really uplifting to see that someone is reading my stuff and enjoying it!


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