During a readied action, can a character perform speech? For example:

Can I speak while enacting my readied action? Such as if my readied action is to stab someone and yell "cowabunga!" when they walk by. Per this question it seems you can't normally speak outside of your turn.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. Good Luck and Happy Gaming! \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Apr 29, 2019 at 15:31
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch Ah ok, I was thinking of it as one big question of what can I do during a readied action besides move/action. I think I understand the bonus action/reaction well enough, so I'll just copy the first question into it's own question. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 29, 2019 at 16:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ You may want to have this just include speech. This question covers the free interaction/ready action. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Apr 29, 2019 at 16:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ I removed the section on free interactions since my earlier comment shows that one is a dupe. If you disagree, let us know! \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Apr 29, 2019 at 16:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ You are correct, I was unable to find that question during my previous searches. Thanks. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 29, 2019 at 17:38

1 Answer 1


While the post you reference has an answer, saying that you could speak using your reaction, the RAW say nothing about being able to speak out of turn, while performing a separate readied action. However, the SRD states:

You can communicate however you are able, through brief utterances and gestures, as you take your turn.

In RAW if and only if your reaction occurs on your turn could you speak in character and perform an action, but this seems to be a stiff interpretation of the RAI. It seems likely that because your character is acting in that moment that they could also speak a short phrase in whatever time that specific reaction gives them. As a DM in a situation where intra-party communication was critical 1 or 2 words seems perfectly reasonable for a reaction.

Narratively, if your character was waiting at a corner to strike the first person they saw coming around it, they would not be magically gagged while attacking.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Sounds reasonable, as you mention the question I linked suggested using your reaction to speak outside your turn, but in this case since you're using your reaction for your readied action I wasn't sure that was applicable. I feel a reasonable DM would allow it, but I guess I was hoping there were official rules/rulings somewhere. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 30, 2019 at 15:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah I looked and I had a feeling the 5e official rulings for talking in character and at the table were as small as I thought. It basically provides a framework so everyone can say what they want to do on their turn and that's it, to keep from being talked over. \$\endgroup\$
    – Abelark
    May 1, 2019 at 15:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Per this meta, you should clarify what you mean by "RAI" or expand the acronym to write out what it's referring to. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Jul 24, 2019 at 6:40

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