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Here is the situation that has come up often in our group:

  1. A creature is immobilized(save ends) at the start of its turn. As no enemies are adjacent, its options are limited.
  2. The creature readies a charge
  3. The trigger chosen is "When I am not immobilized"
    • Note that Ready requires an action to trigger off of. For a while, we ruled that the trigger had to be something like, "When Bob tells me I'm not Immobilized." Talking is a free action, so that satisfied our inner rules lawyer. It got silly fast, and we went with this shorthand.
  4. The creature processes its end of turn actions, saving half the time* and immediately charges an opponent.

Both characters and monsters have been doing this awhile. However it doesn't sit well with me, and some others in the group as it does nerf the Immobilized condition. We've agreed to play this way as we think it is how we interpret the rules.

Is this legal? Are we reading the rules correctly? Are we missing a rules clarification somewhere?

My group and I are very much "Rules as Written" players, so we aren't very interested in house rules to change it. Thanks for the suggestions though.

* ok, not exactly half, but that isn't the point here, nitpickers :)

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3 Answers 3

So my question would be how is the immobilizing being put onto the target? Is it something that is "until the end of the target's next turn" or "save ends". I personally don't count your turn over with until all of your actions have preformed. Since a readied action moves your place in the initiative order, I treat it just like a delay.

The rules for delay specify that harmful effects end when you ACT, while beneficial effects end when you DELAY. I think that because readied actions and delayed turns are very similar, you should apply that logic to the player's readied actions.

If the immobilizing effect was put onto the target from an power that said, "until the end of the caster's next turn", then I think you would have an argument for allowing what is happening. That is because the end of the effect isn't based upon the person who is readying the action, but instead is based upon who used the power in the first place.

In the end, I tend to just follow the rule of "is it too good to be true". These players were effectively making immobilizing useless in most cases, as the player was able to still move and attack and basically ignore the condition.

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I also would adapt the rules for delay. Otherwise a lot of powers could be negated by simply readying an action. Immobilized at least forces to use a charge but think of conditions like weakened until end of your next turn. Move in position, ready an attack to trigger when the next creature acts and you lose exactly nothing. Just seems not right to me. –  LostInNovelty Dec 14 '11 at 11:57
    
EoNT effects cannot be escaped with a delay. If you delay they are still in effect even if you delay until after the caster's turn. –  wax eagle Dec 14 '11 at 12:34
    
@wax eagle: Good point, it does mention that in the delay rules, I just skimmed over it –  Xphile Dec 14 '11 at 16:27
    
I clarified the question. Yes the immobilized is (save ends). Is there a rules basis for using the penalties associated with Delay for Ready as well or is this just a proposed house rule? Have you played this way and how did it turn out? –  Pat Ludwig Dec 14 '11 at 17:50
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@Pat Ludwig: Rules as Written (RAW), I do not think that there is an answer to your question. Readied actions are defined in a vague manner and don't say you can't do what your group is doing. Rules as Intended (RAI), I think what I posted above about treating a Readied action with the same rules as Delay make sense. I don't know why the developers would intend for them to be treated differently when they generate the same problems and are similar beasts. –  Xphile Dec 14 '11 at 18:07
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Your reading is correct

Rules as written, there is nothing preventing your groups actions.

As others have noted, it is a small stretch of a house rule to give ready and delay the same treatment with respect to AEOT effects, but though you could consider it "preemptive errata" with the thinking that WotC just has not seen fit to disco yet, it would be a house rule.

I would also note that it doesn't completely nerf immobilized, as you still can't use your move action to move, and you may not have your full selection of attack powers available to you on the charge.

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There are two issues:

  1. Unlike Delay, it doesn't explicitly say when (if) you get your End of Turn saving throw, but it makes sense to follow Delay's example and have it be Make Saving Throws after You Act:

    After you return to the initiative order and take your actions, you make saving throws against effects on you.

  2. The action triggered by Ready an Action is an immediate action, which means you can't take it on your turn.

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re - #2, correct, but there is no functional difference between the end of your turn and the start of the next one, so the charge should happen –  Pat Ludwig Dec 14 '11 at 17:45
    
It's certainly not anyone else's turn, at the end of your turn, is it? –  okeefe Dec 14 '11 at 18:42
    
assuming you make the save then you are not immobilized at the end of your turn, AND the start of the next. Ready doesn't restrict you from acting only upon the first trigger. –  Pat Ludwig Dec 14 '11 at 19:07
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@PatLudwig nit pick: Ready notes that: "If the trigger doesn't occur or you choose to ignore it! You can't use you readied action", so I think you would need to be explicit that you intend to use the second instance of the trigger when readying –  Simon Withers Dec 15 '11 at 0:44
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As a DM for this group, I find that per the Compendium, readying does not require the trigger to be an action, so the readying part is fine. I also interpret the readied action as occurring immediately following the save. Thus on the saver's turn, during the 'end of turn' phase. This is a double "no-no": no immediate reactions on your turn, no actions during end of turn. The reason for the allowance is simple: it's not a stretch for the player to instead 'ready for the next guy to go', or something that results in the same timing anyway. Call it 'picking my battles.' –  Trey Kirk Dec 20 '11 at 5:43
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