Suppose my character in PF1 is unconscious and dying, and the party cleric's turn is not until after mine in the initiative round. I would like to avoid wasting a turn by delaying until after the cleric's turn. This way, the cleric can heal my character and he can get back up immediately if he heals above 0 HP. My understanding of the rules for dying is that I would still need to make my check to stabilize, but that is not what I am trying to avoid here, I'm only asking about whether I can delay at all.

Is it possible to save my action economy this way? I know that you can't take any actions while you're unconscious, but is delaying your turn considered an action or not? The entry seems to imply that it is not.

By choosing to delay, you take no action and then act normally on whatever initiative count you decide to act.

Is there a more definitive ruling on this anywhere?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Directly related \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Aug 7, 2019 at 19:09

1 Answer 1


It isn't exactly clear, but the implication is that you cannot delay when unconscious.

  1. The section is titled Special Initiative Actions, and you cannot take "actions" while Dying

  2. "You" must make the choice to delay, something your character is (probably) incapable of doing while unconscious

    By choosing to delay... you decide to act... waiting to see what's going to happen...

  • \$\begingroup\$ This interpretation seems in direct conflict with the part of the Delay entry originally quoted ("you take no action"). Are you saying that the entry is just poorly worded but correctly labeled? \$\endgroup\$
    – R. Barrett
    Aug 8, 2019 at 18:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm saying Delaying is a form of action (albeit inaction), not simply not acting. It is poorly worded, however (hence "It isn't exactly clear"). I was originally going to cite that they fixed it in 2e (possibly showing intent as a sub-point), but I also could not find clear wording in the new edition. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Aug 9, 2019 at 4:53

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