Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition’s Dungeon Master’s Guide (DMG) presents an array of optional rules that, regrettably, often recede into obscurity. One such overlooked provision, nestled within Chapter 9 of the DMG, is the “Mark” option. This rule, seemingly promising on the surface, is burdened with unnecessary complexities, offering marginal benefit.

A fighter slashing at the back of an enemy as they run away. Black and white line art.
No Running!

The original Mark option requires a character to ‘mark’ a target each turn and diligently keep track of this choice. The upside? The ability to execute an Opportunity Attack without consuming a reaction - a beneficial yet sporadic occurrence. However, the tediousness of marking a target every round, coupled with the relative rarity of Opportunity Attacks, seems needlessly complex and limiting, making this rule an unwieldy addition to many campaigns.

Nevertheless, with a sprinkle of creativity and modification, we believe this rule harbors the potential to significantly enhance the gameplay experience, especially for martial characters. Here, we propose a tweak aimed at simplifying the Mark option and boosting its relevance in melee combat dynamics:

Mark (Improved)

This option amplifies the capability of melee combatants to challenge each other with opportunity attacks.

An Opportunity Attack against a creature that the attacker has struck with a Melee Attack since their last turn does not consume the attacker’s reaction. Characters are still limited to one Opportunity Attack per round.

This alteration doesn’t bog down gameplay with added choices, applies uniformly to all melee characters, provides the most substantial impact to characters with multiple attacks, and spares the added complexity of tracking marked targets. It retains the viability of Opportunity Attacks while synergizing well with abilities such as Protect, Intercept, Hide in Plain Sight, and many others, making martial characters, particularly fighters, far more dynamic.

That’s my take on this potential enhancement to the Mark rule, but what about you? Do you see the value this could bring to your game? We’re all ears for your thoughts, so let’s start a conversation.