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The rules about readying a weapon against a charge states :

You can ready weapons with the brace feature, setting them to receive charges. A readied weapon of this type deals double damage if you score a hit with it against a charging character.

I'm wondering if this kind of readied actions should be visible or not during the combat and then possibly modifying the actions some characters or enemies would make ?

Here for the example, the PC group progress in a dungeon corridor, the fighter with a brace weapon opening the way. At that moment they face a hostile group of bandits. The fight begins and the fighter being first at the initiative roll decides to set its brace weapon as a readied action. If they had been first at the initiative roll, the bandits would have charge the fighter. Now that the fighter prepares to receive a charge, if the readied action is visible to them, it would obviously be a less appealing idea and they would engage him with a move action instead of charging.

The other examples I found on this subject are based with generic creatures which don't really bother of the ennemy tactics, but in this situation, should the bandits deny the fact that the fighter has readied its action and charge him anyway or should they notice this action and react accordingly to avoid impale themselves on the weapon ?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure of the question here. Is it just Is it obvious to onlookers when a creature has braced for charge? because that can be answered (although, given the vagueness of the ready action, probably not to your satisfaction). Did something specific occur during play that could help illustrate the issue? Maybe the question should be about that, like Did the GM make the right call here? As it stands, I think this may be a better conversation topic for a forum than as a question for a Q&A site. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Apr 17 at 17:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan : The core of the question is indeed the fact that onlookers should realized the readied action. I quoted the rules about is to underline the fact that unlike other readied actions, this one seems to involve a visible action, the fact to set the weapon to receive the charge. \$\endgroup\$ – Rophe Apr 17 at 18:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ O, I get that, but the problem is the second part: If it is obvious should it "modify… the actions some characters or enemies would make?" That is entirely dependent on the circumstances, which is why I suggested a scenario. (By the way, the lack of combat examples on Wizards of the Coast's and Paizo's parts is a place where both games have failed their consumers utterly. The readied action's opacity is a byproduct of this.) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Apr 17 at 18:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan : I understand your point. I added a real scenario corresponding to the question and reformulated the question accordingly. If it doesn't make the question suitable enough for the format of the stack, I'll remove it and try with the forums. \$\endgroup\$ – Rophe Apr 17 at 19:22
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That is up to your GM

Readying an Action is kind of vague, and the GM should adjudicate every case individually. Note that triggered readied actions happen before the action that triggered them:

Then, anytime before your next action, you may take the readied action in response to that condition. The action occurs just before the action that triggers it. If the triggered action is part of another character’s activities, you interrupt the other character. Assuming he is still capable of doing so, he continues his actions once you complete your readied action.

Nothing in the brace weapon quality changes how this works:

If you use a readied action to set a brace weapon against a charge, you deal double damage on a successful hit against a charging creature.

And we have no rules, or developer commentary, explaining how obvious are readied actions, leaving the interpretation of how to handle situations like that to GM Fiat.

That is a long debate, going all the way back to D&D 3.5, but it is commonly accepted that the charging character has no way to know what your readied action is about. The argument against it is due to how bracing a polearm is usually done in real life combat: by fixating the end of the pole to the ground while the enemy charges into the pointy and deadly part of it.

Friendly reminder that, through actions happen in sequence, combat is simultaneous. In the same 6 seconds it took you to brace your spear, the charging attacker ran towards you and tried to attack you. So, while our perception is that things are happening one after another, in reality (of our fantasy world) they are happening all at the same time, with decisions being taken in fractions of seconds, and their results finishing in seconds after that.

Normally, when I am GMing and someone asks what an enemy is doing and I know they are readying an action, I simply describe that it seems that they are waiting (which can be seen as if they delaying their action) or taking a breath to analyze the situation (such as making perception checks), which they won't know until they trigger the readied action and see what he was up to.

Personally, my view of that rule is this: How can you act, or perceive, or notice, something that hasn't happened yet?

Whatever an individual GM decides, just keep in mind that it affects both sides in combat.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Things happen simultaneously, but still some things starts a fraction of 6 seconds earlier than others. Any rule about bracing weapons being perceivable or not? Or about (not) being able to perceive and react to things that happened in someone's else turn just before yours in the round? \$\endgroup\$ – Mołot Apr 17 at 21:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mołot the rules we got is that readied actions happen before the triggering action, and nothing in the rules say if you can perceive a readied action or not, hence the answer: It's up to the GM. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Apr 17 at 21:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm eager to read the answers of the downvoters. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Apr 17 at 22:41

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