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The 5e rules are a little unclear on this, and I haven't found anyone who has asked this yet. I've been wondering if it is possible to use your bonus action to ready an action.

For example, can a monk use their bonus action to prepare a dodge, or another attack?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for arguing about policy; this conversation has been moved to chat. Please folks, if you disagree with something you see, bring it up on Role-playing Games Meta — it is literally what it's for. Don't edit war and don't blow up comment threads. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Jul 31 at 20:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ a turn is broken up into standard action, movement, bonus action, or some variation of that. using a readied action would expend my standard action. so could I ready another standard action for a later round using my remaining bonus action? \$\endgroup\$ – IsaacSmitriski Aug 1 at 0:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've edited to remove the first part of the example. I think it is not relevant to the question asked, and can be safely removed without affecting what you actually ask. (I was actually confused because the example) \$\endgroup\$ – Vylix Aug 1 at 9:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast yeah, the first part of the example suggest that, but seems the actual question is the title, and the last part of the example. We need the OP to see the edit first and if it's the actual question they want to ask or not. \$\endgroup\$ – Vylix Aug 1 at 14:08
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A bonus action can only be used for a specific ability that your PC has access to

A bonus action is specific to any abilities your class has access to. You cannot use your bonus action for anything other than abilities specifically marked as a bonus action in your ability/spell list, per the rules on bonus actions (emphasis mine):

Various class features, spells, and other abilities let you take an additional action on your turn called a bonus action. The Cunning Action feature, for example, allows a rogue to take a bonus action. You can take a bonus action only when a special ability, spell, or other feature of the game states that you can do something as a bonus action. You otherwise don't have a bonus action to take.

All classes do have access to bonus actions, either to use as abilities, or cast spells with the specified casting time (i.e. the spell must have a casting time of "1 bonus action"). In this situation, this ability has a specific outcome.

For example, the "Cunning Action" feature can only be used by rogues to Dash, Disengage, or Hide. Fighters can use their "Second Wind" feature to regain hit points. And monks, per the Martial Arts feature, can use their bonus action to attack an additional time, provided they use monk weapons or unarmed strikes as part of their main Attack action:

When you use the Attack action with an unarmed strike or a monk weapon on your turn, you can make one unarmed strike as a bonus action. For example, if you take the Attack action and attack with a quarterstaff, you can also make an unarmed strike as a bonus action, assuming you haven’t already taken a bonus action this turn.

Therefore, you cannot use your bonus action to "prepare" a Ready action, unless it specifically states that you can.

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Currently, no

You can use bonus action to ready an action if you have a feature that explicitly allows you to take bonus action to ready an action.

The Bonus Actions section clarifies this.

Various class features, spells, and other abilities let you take an additional action on your turn called a bonus action. The Cunning Action feature, for example, allows a rogue to take a bonus action. You can take a bonus action only when a special ability, spell, or other feature of the game states that you can do something as a bonus action. You otherwise don't have a bonus action to take.

Up until now, there is nothing that allows you to take Ready action as bonus action. Because of that, it is safe to say that you cannot use bonus action to Ready an action.

In my opinion, this is unlikely to change in the future.


A side note: you don't actually need to prepare/ready the Dodge action. When you take it, usually on your turn as an action or bonus action, you impose disadvantage on enemy attacks against you (if you can see the attacker) and you gain advantage on Dex saves, all until your next turn comes up. It is not an automatic evasion against the next attack.

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