If you start your turn save-ends blinded, can you ready an attack with the trigger "when I can see and X happens" and then attack later during the round, on someone else's turn, after having saved against the blind?

The rules seem to say that I can, but it seems so exploitive that it makes me think I must be missing something.

  • \$\begingroup\$ check out the quoted txt from this answer: rpg.stackexchange.com/a/10138/3358 , makes it sound like this situation/use of ready action is not valid or will not have any net effect on the situation. \$\endgroup\$
    – Colin D
    Commented Oct 19, 2012 at 20:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't see why not. Also, the wording for Ready and Acton reads differently nowadays. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ravn
    Commented Oct 19, 2012 at 20:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Colin D: If you make sure to specify another trigger while non-blind then the readied action should trigger normally as acting before the trigger condition won't make them act before they were cured of blindness. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lunin
    Commented Oct 19, 2012 at 21:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Fun fact. If you acheive "when I can see" on your turn, your readied action cannot trigger because it's an immediate action which cannot happen on your turn. This method would have to rely on out of turn saves. \$\endgroup\$
    – wax eagle
    Commented Oct 19, 2012 at 22:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @wax eagle That's why I specified "on someone else's turn". You should still be able to save at the end of your turn, then react to the trigger when/if it happens later during the round. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ravn
    Commented Oct 21, 2012 at 8:27

3 Answers 3



This is a perfect example of what Readying an Action is meant to accomplish. Likewise, you could ready a move action until after you save against Immobilized (save ends) or even until after a "Slowed until the end of your turn" effect from a monster ends.

Quite simply, it's not exploitative, for at least four reasons:

  • You can fail your saving throw against the blindness, thereby never reaching the condition to trigger your readied action. Your next turn will start and your standard action will be lost.
  • If you do succeed the saving throw, it's possible the other condition for your readied action is not met. For example, if you say "I see an enemy move adjacent to me" as your trigger, and no enemy moves adjacent to you, you waste your standard action.
  • It relocates you later in the turn order. This could mean you now go after an ally instead of before them when they were relying on you to set up some condition, such as relying on you to slow so they could get combat advantage with Vicious Advantage.
  • It consumes your Immediate action, so if you have other Immediate actions you won't be able to use them in the round where you used your Readied action. This can be a huge disadvantage, especially for a Defender that relies on Immediates to protect his or her allies.
  • \$\begingroup\$ readied actions cannot be used to avoid end of your turn effects \$\endgroup\$
    – wax eagle
    Commented Oct 20, 2012 at 20:12

Well I know there is a stop against delaying turn to avoid the effects of save-ends or until end of your next turn effects.

End of Turn when the Creature Delays: At the moment the creature delays, any effect that it has been sustaining ends. In addition, effects that last until the end of the creature’s turn now end if they are beneficial to it and its allies—they cannot be prolonged by delaying. For instance, if the creature stunned an enemy until the end of its next turn, the stunned condition ends as soon as the creature delays.

This means pretty much all beneficial effects end on where your turn should have been

End of Turn after the Creature Acts: After the creature returns to the initiative order and takes its delayed turn, it makes the saving throws it normally makes at the end of its turn. In addition, harmful effects that last until the end of the creature’s turn now end—they cannot be avoided by delaying. For instance, if the creature is weakened until the end of its next turn, the weakened condition ends only after it acts.

And this means that you wouldn't get to save until you actually took your turn.

While these lines seem to be specifically in guard against what you mention, they are specifically for Delay Turn. If the same applied to readying an action I would imagine it would specify in a similar manner.

This means that for readied actions you would still get your save at the end of your normal turn and you could be cured of blindness between the end of your turn and your readied action.

However, looking at your example, the Readied Action isn't exactly a freebie. Readied Actions limit you to a single action for one, meaning at most a standard without blindness. On top of that your place in initiative gets moved to just before the triggering creature and they also require you to specify a trigger which you must then adhere to.

Choose Trigger: Choose the circumstance that will trigger the readied action. When that trigger occurs, the creature can use the readied action. If the trigger doesn’t occur or the creature chooses to ignore it, the creature can’t use the readied action and instead takes its next turn as normal.

If you use the trigger you specified, then fail to save on blind, your readied action wouldn't trigger. On top of that if the X doesn't happen after you're able to see, you will similarly not be able to take your action. Even if both trigger you will only have that instance to choose whether to take the trigger or not, limiting your options considerably depending on wording and what you want to do. If you choose to ignore the first opportunity to trigger you lose the readied action. Another downside most people forget is that readying an action that draws an OA draws an OA. So you could in theory get smacked for readying an action that you never get to trigger!

Overall I think a Readied Action is a great solution for those who are blind and don't have a better course of action, but it's far from foolproof or overpowered. Especially considering it risks wasting your standard action just to avoid a -5 penalty on an attack roll (considerable but not insurmountable – you still know the squares people are in unless they're actively hiding).

  • \$\begingroup\$ The last line is something I wasn't entirely clear on. My situation was a blinded barbarian three squares away from the closest enemy. I was pretty sure I couldn't just walk up to him and attack him with just the -5 attack penalty, I assumed I had to locate his square first. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ravn
    Commented Oct 19, 2012 at 21:16
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ When you're blind enemies just count as having total concealment. Unless they are actively trying to hide (using Stealth) noises they make and such allow you to pin them down to somewhere in their 5ft square. Even being invisible doesn't automatically make you hidden. See this link for more details: community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/25474357/… \$\endgroup\$
    – Lunin
    Commented Oct 19, 2012 at 21:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ravn Yeah, "blind" in 4e isn't actual blindness as real people experience it. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 19, 2012 at 21:44

Since a readied action is treated as an immediate, you will not be able to take a readied action on your own turn, and so will not be able to react to making a save at the end of your own turn.

You could ready an action triggered on "I can see an enemy move within X squares"

  • \$\begingroup\$ That's why I specified "on someone else's turn". \$\endgroup\$
    – Ravn
    Commented Oct 21, 2012 at 8:28

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