Provoke is H'aanit's Path Action in Octopath Traveler. The ability allows H'aanit to set beasts on certain non-playable characters in the game, who must them duel them in one-to-one combat. This Path Action is the rogue counterpart to Olberic's Path Action, Challenge.
When the player sets beasts on townsfolk, they will enter combat between H'annit and the single enemy - other members of the party will be excluded from the fight. In these battles, H'aanit cannot attack. Therefore the only way to damage the opponent is to attack them with her captured beasts, as well as Linde. This Path Action is useful as Provoking can remove people that may be blocking a pathway, can be used to solve many side quests or can simply be used to extra earn money or experience. However, if you defeat someone with Provoke, you can not use any other Path Actions on them until you leave and come back to the area. Also, should you lose the duel, your reputation will drop in the town you are in.