6
\$\begingroup\$

Do you have to Ready a reaction to use it? Thus, you would have had to used Ready as your action on your turn and wait for the trigger to use the reaction.

Would it be correct to say that you cannot use a reaction without first Readying your reaction, except in opportunity attacks and abilities that specifically say they don't have to be Readied?

\$\endgroup\$
2
9
\$\begingroup\$

Yes, and no

Yes, you can ready an action (technically called "take the Ready action", but people rarely say it like that) on your turn (which becomes your Reaction)

Per the rules of "Ready":

Sometimes you want to get the jump on a foe or wait for a particular circumstance before you act. To do so, you can take the Ready action on your turn, which lets you act using your reaction before the start of your next turn.

First, you decide what perceivable circumstance will trigger your reaction. Then, you choose the action you will take in response to that trigger, or you choose to move up to your speed in response to it.

So you can, as your action for your turn, take the Ready action and declare that you will do something as a Reaction. This gives you great flexibility is what you can accomplish: cast a spell, fire a weapon, yell real loud, whatever. In these cases, you are giving up your Action for the trade off of doing something at a later time.

No, not everything needs to use up an Action

There are certain spells, feats, and other things that are naturally taken as a Reaction, without using your Action. An example would be the Shield spell. It has a normal casting time of "1 Reaction *". The asterisks has the qualifier:

  • which you take when you are hit by an attack or targeted by the magic missile spell

So you can use it under those conditions without using up an Action to say, "I'm going to cast Shield."

Attacks of Opportunity are also Reactions.

Just remember that you only get one Reaction per round.

\$\endgroup\$
2
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ "It has a normal casting time of "1 Reaction". You can use it whenever (within reason) you need without using up an Action to say, "I'm going to cast Shield."". I would recommend editing this part to convey that anything that is taken a reaction has a specific requirement about the event you would be reacting to. In the case of the Shield spell, 'whenever (within reason)' actually means "when you are hit by an attack or targeted by the magic missile spell". \$\endgroup\$
    – Kazim
    Apr 29 '20 at 9:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kazim Done, also added a little more clarity to some points. \$\endgroup\$
    – MivaScott
    Apr 29 '20 at 16:55
13
\$\begingroup\$

You can't ready reactions

When using the Ready action, you can only ready actions and movement:

you choose the action you will take in response to that trigger, or you choose to move up to your speed in response to it

Bonus actions, non-actions, legendary actions, lair actions, and reactions cannot be readied in this way.

You don't need to ready reactions

The Ready action lets you do something with your reaction-- importantly, potentially off-turn-- that you ordinarily would be doing on-turn. Reactions already can be used off-turn-- that's why the ready action works-- so there's no point in readying them. If you could ready reactions, which you can't, an argument could be made that you could through so doing use them without needing their triggering conditions to have occurred, but 1) reactions generally trigger off of whatever makes them useful, so you don't usually want to use a reaction when its trigger isn't happening, and 2) Readying takes an action, which is sufficient cost to outweigh whatever potential benefits might be gained from such use.

\$\endgroup\$
0
6
\$\begingroup\$

No, Ready actions are a specific action in combat.

Ready is a specific action option you have on a turn. It states:

Sometimes you want to get the jump on a foe or wait for a particular circumstance before you act. To do so, you can take the Ready action on your turn, which lets you act using your reaction before the start of your next turn.

First, you decide what perceivable circumstance will trigger your reaction. Then, you choose the action you will take in response to that trigger, or you choose to move up to your speed in response to it. Examples include "If the cultist steps on the trapdoor, I'll pull the lever that opens it," and "If the goblin steps next to me, I move away."

When the trigger occurs, you can either take your reaction right after the trigger finishes or ignore the trigger. Remember that you can take only one reaction per round.

These actions you want to Ready and release as a Reaction can really be anything you want. You're only limited by needing to specify the action/movement and what the trigger will be.

Reaction mechanics for other existing options

There are many other mechanics that trigger off as a reaction, but you do not need to Ready those. You only need to meet the trigger that they each require. As an example, the spell hellish rebuke (PHB, 250) requires the following to take:

which you take in response to being damaged by a creature within 60 feet of you that you can see

Reaction mechanics and requirements are determined by each specific mechanic. Ready actions are something you opt to try and to do using the rules above.

\$\endgroup\$
2
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I think it might be worth pointing out that what Ready allows for is arbitrary Reactions - it lets you turn any regular action into a Reaction with a trigger the player decides. \$\endgroup\$
    – T.J.L.
    Apr 29 '20 at 13:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @T.J.L. Good call, thank you! \$\endgroup\$
    – NautArch
    Apr 29 '20 at 13:19

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.