Using Combat Manuevers without AoOs



For me, Attacks of Opportunities are a needless complication. I can understand how others might not view them as such, but combat, IMO, is much simpler without them. AoOs are single-handedly the biggest rules-argument in every d20 game in which I've played and run. Although personally I think they're pretty simple to understand, it seems every group has their own specialized interpretation and I've also seen DMs change their own understanding of AoOs to suit whatever whim is driving their "plot." For this reason, I prefer to do without AoOs. I've explained them to too many people too many times for a paltry reward of too many glazed expressions. I also doesn't help that I don't like playing with mapboards and, in order to adjudicate AoOs fairly, mapboards are pretty much a requirment, IMO.

But Conan d20 has even made this pretty standard house rule (dropping AoOs) a dilemma for me.

If I were going to run Conan d20 and got rid of AoOs, what problems do you, as fellow d20 DMs, see emerging? How would it affect reach weapons, IYO? How could we retain the utility of keeping opponents at range with reach weapons but eliminate AoOs?

Also, how could we keep some of the kewl combat manuevers, like Decapitating Slash, but get rid of AoOs? Conan d20 does a great job of making feats (like Improved Trip) worthwhile in a "no AoOs" game where they would be rendered useless in other "no AoO" games. But does anyone have any musings on how removing AoOs might affect other areas of the Conan RPG and how those effects might be mitigated or re-tooled in the system?