From Combat

  1. Readying an action is a Standard Action
  2. You can ready a Swift Action.
  3. Interrupting someone with your readied action places your initiative just ahead of that person for the next round.
  4. You cannot perform more than one Swift Action per turn.

What constitutes a turn ending, for the purposes of item 4? If I ready an action, is my turn considered finished once the next person in initiative begins to act, or is my turn considered "in progress" until I resolve my readied action?

Could I, for instance, perform a swift action, optionally perform a move action, and ready a swift action (which itself is a standard action) on my "turn", with the trigger for the readied action being, "When the next person in initiative performs an action," thus keeping my place in initiative once I perform the readied action?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you just trying to substitute your standard for a "second Swift" action, then? Or are you just curious how this would play out? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 3, 2021 at 23:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ That would be the gist of what I'm going for. In my defense, I'm not playing a caster. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 3, 2021 at 23:29

1 Answer 1


RAW, this works well

Based on the specific words used describing Swift Actions,

You can perform one swift action per turn without affecting your ability to perform other actions. In that regard, a swift action is like a free action. You can, however, perform only one single swift action per turn, regardless of what other actions you take. You can take a swift action anytime you would normally be allowed to take a free action.

and the definition of a turn,

In a round, a creature receives one turn, during which it can perform a wide variety of actions. Generally in the course of one turn, a character can perform one standard action, one move action, one swift action, and a number of free actions. Less-common combination’s of actions are permissible as well, see Combat for more details.

you are capable of performing a Swift Action* on your turn and during the next initiative creature's turn by using your Ready action. Doing so has no affect on your next turn.

*Only one of these Swift actions can be casting a Quickened Spell.

My Take

Using a Swift action off-turn is almost exactly what an Immediate Action is and should probably affect your next turn as though you had used an Immediate Action, or at least preclude also taking an Immediate Action.

As always, present this information to your GM before trying to "beat the system" to make sure they're ok with running by the rules or if you should expect them to impose any restrictions on it.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The key difference to my point of view, between a prepared swift action and an immediate action, is that an immediate action is something that is almost always ready to be used as a response to a specific situation, at the cost of a future action, as opposed to sacrificing a standard action now to perform a swift action later. Also, not sure if this is going too RAW, but on the same Combat page under Cast a Quickened Spell, it says: "Only one such spell can be cast in any round." idk if there's enough of a distinction between "Turn" and "Round" in this context, but it's worth mentioning. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 3, 2021 at 23:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Huh, I missed the part about that limitation on Quickened Spell. Yeah, Round and Turn are distinct; everyone acts in a Round and their designated time to act is their Turn. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 4, 2021 at 0:17

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