As written, a Scout Rogue "can move up to half your speed as a reaction when an enemy ends its turn within 5 feet of you." What exactly constitutes when an enemy "ends its turn"?

Does this mean the enemy gets to make their attack(s) before the Scout can use Skirmisher and move away?


3 Answers 3


The enemy must actually fully end its turn there

The Scout Rogue's Skirmisher feature states:

You can move up to half your speed as a reaction when an enemy ends its turn within 5 feet of you. This movement doesn't provoke opportunity attacks.

The section on "The Order of Combat" states:

4. Take turns. Each participant in the battle takes a turn in initiative order.

It is agreed upon that one's turn ends just before the next person in the initiative order's starts.
But if that were not clear the "Your Turn" section lists what you can do on your turn:

On your turn, you can move a distance up to your speed and take one action...
Bonus Actions
You can take only one bonus action on your turn...
Other Activity on Your Turn
You can communicate however you are able, through brief utterances and gestures, as you take your turn...
You can also interact with one object or feature of the environment for free, during either your move or your action...

Because these all happen during/on your turn, your turn can only end after you have done these things (or will not do any more of them).

If the developers had wanted the feature to activate at another time they could've used the phrase "When an enemy ends its move within 5 feet of you" or "When a creature enters a space within 5 feet of you". Their wording makes the feature only activate at a turn's end, which is after the enemy has potentially attacked you.

The benefit of this feature is that it allows you to get away from an enemy without provoking opportunity attacks using your reaction whereas normally a Rogue would have to take the Disengage action (using either their action or Cunning Action feature). This leaves both your bonus action and action available for other things.
The feature also provides a significant amount of movement which does not subtract from the rest of your movement for that turn.


In a nutshell...

The enemy gets to make their attack(s) before the Scout can use Skirmisher and move away.

In D&D 5e there are generally 5 steps when it comes to combat and are the following:

1) Determine Surprise
2) Establish positions
3) Roll Initiative
4) Take turns
5) Repeat step 4 until the fighting stops.

We will be focusing on the 4th step, or "Take turns". According to the official rules:

On Your Turn, you can move a distance up to your speed and take one action.

Combat actions in D&D 5e

The Skirmisher ability activates only when an enemy moves up to you, does their thing (Attack, speak, etc) and end their turn within 5 ft. from you. That means the enemy has the chance to hit you before you get to use the ability.

The Skirmisher grants you the following benefit:

  • When a creature ends its turn within 5 feet of you, you can use your reaction to move up to half your movement speed.

Skirmisher allows you to move, as a reaction, after an enemy ends its turn within 5 ft of you, so that enemy will have used all its actions. The enemy does not have to have moved, where it was when it started its turn does not matter, neither does it matter where you were when it started its turn (if, for example it used some ability to move you). Also the opponent does not have to have interacted with you (it might have attacked someone else).

Remember, you only get one reaction, so if you've already used it (opportunity attack, uncanny dodge, etc.) you can't use Skirmisher.

What is of significant importance though, and you will have to discuss this with your DM, is the order that multiple enemies act in.

For example...

Your rogue is 5 ft away from 2 opponents and in line of sight of a 3rd. One of the opponents 5 ft away is incapacitated and all 3 have the same initiative.

The order that the DM resolves the opponents' movement and actions has a huge effect on how useful Skirmisher is. If the incapacitated opponent goes first, you move before being attacked at all. If the 3rd opponent goes first and makes a ranged attack you don't get to use Skirmisher to get to cover before that attack.

Obviously there are many other possibilities, but you get the idea.

I strongly suggest that some kind of house rule be implemented to avoid arguments. Ranged attacking->melee attacking->not attacking makes Skirmisher a lot less useful than not attacking->melee attacking->ranged attacking. Of course having all the opponents act in a specific order within their initiative works best, but makes combat a bit more complicated.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ That's a good point at the end, the initiative rules state "The DM makes one roll for an entire group of identical creatures, so each member of the group acts at the same time." but it's not clear how it breaks down below that. I've seen DMs move everyone, then have everyone attack, I've seen them do it in a varying order each turn, you're right it can make a big difference. \$\endgroup\$
    – user73918
    Commented Nov 18, 2021 at 5:27

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