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Straight forward question, I think.
Can you ready action a volley? (Ranger Hunger archetype, 11th level class ability).
I'm pretty sure the answer is "yes" but may be unaware of conflicts. Here's what looks like a conflict or inconsistency to one of our group.

A friend is upset that the "extra attacks" feature can't be used if you use the ready action. My point is that when you do a ready action your Action becomes a Reaction and you only have fraction of a second to respond. He pointed out that Rangers can ready action Whirlwind and Volley which goes against my argument.
I can explain Whirlwind as a quick reaction, not so sure about volley.

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Yes; that's how the action economy works. Volley is an Action.

Your friend's argument delves into reality simulation, rather than game mechanics.
Because Volley is an Action it can be used as a Reaction. An Extra Attack isn't an Action in this sense; it is something that takes place after your character chooses the Attack action on your own turn. When you are making a Reaction, you are typically acting during another creature's turn.

Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, when you take the Attack action on your turn. (PHB. 92; Extra Attack, Ranger class feature).

The five elements of the action economy are:


1. Move

Not an issue here.

2. Action

Attack is one choice, Cast a Spell is another, as are Dash, Dodge, etc.

The attack Action is an Action, and so is a Volley. Either of these actions can be used as a Reaction (which takes place during another creature's turn). An extra attack does not say that it triggers on a Reaction. Compare that to this Ranger class feature:

Giant Killer: When a Large or larger creature within 5 feet of you hits or misses with an attack, you can use your reaction to attack that creature immediately after its attack, provided that you can see the creature. {note that this works during the other creature's turn}

Volley has its own constraints (only targets within 10' of a point), in terms of what can be attacked using that Action. Extra Attack has no restriction on how close together the targets must be. (Volley is an Attack with multiple rolls. So is Whirlwind).

3. Reaction.

A ready action uses the character's reaction, which in the case of Volley would preclude an opportunity attack during that same round. (OA also uses reaction). For example, if I used Volley as a ready action/reaction I'd not be able to use the Giant Killer during that same round.

A reaction is an instant response to a trigger of some kind, which can occur on your turn or on someone else’s. The opportunity attack, described later in this chapter, is the most common type of reaction.

Ready
Sometimes you want to get the jump on a foe or wait for a particular circumstance before you act. To do so, you can take the Ready action on your turn, which lets you act using your reaction before the start of your next turn. First, you decide what perceivable circumstance will trigger your reaction. Then, you choose the action you will take in response to that trigger, or you choose to move up to your speed in response to it.

4. Bonus Action.

Not an issue here.

5. Interact with an object.

Not an issue here.


These game mechanics, or gamisms, are put in place to avoid things like my 11th level Fighter, Champion, getting his Action (three attacks) and also getting to use his reaction for an Opportunity Attack that gets three attacks rather than one.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Relevant Sage Advice: sageadvice.eu/2015/06/10/ready-extra-attack - "The Ready action lets you ready any action you can take, including Attack". (The tweet continues to talk about the Extra Attack ability, which doesn't applied to readied attacks specifically because Extra Attack only works on your own turn.) \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Feb 12 '18 at 10:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ In particular, Volley and Whirlwind Attack are both a single attack that has multiple attack rolls; they do not use the Attack action, but rather are a distinct thing that can be done as an action to make a particular type of attack. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Feb 12 '18 at 10:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast Is that any clearer? \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Feb 12 '18 at 14:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Looks good to me! \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Feb 13 '18 at 0:27
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Yes. The main thing to be aware of is that your Volley will only be able to hit targets that are eligible (within 10' of the selected point) when you fire it, not necessarily those that were there when you readied it.

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