I'm just starting out DMing in D&D, using the Moldvay basic rules from 1981.

A player encounters a monster that is 100' away. The player wins initiative and wants to do the following on round 1:

  1. Move closer to the monster, to within 10 feet
  2. Arm himself with his crossbow while getting into his new location
  3. Fire at the monster.

My question is, is the player allowed to do all these things in a single round? If so, do I roll to see if the crossbow bolt strikes successfully and roll for damage, all before the monster gets a chance to react?

A round in this version of D&D is 10 seconds, so it seems plausible he could do all these things in one round…

Thanks for the help.

  • \$\begingroup\$ After some research on other sites, it sounds like (when using group initiative), when its a player's turn to act in a combat round, they can both move and do a missle attack in the same round. I'll leave my question open though because it would be helpful if someone can confirm this. Thanks. \$\endgroup\$
    – dvanaria
    Commented Dec 3, 2012 at 3:16

1 Answer 1


On page B24 it gives five things in order to resolve

  1. Morale check
  2. Movement, except if you start in melee special rules applies (explained later) and you forfeit casting spells if you move
  3. Missile Combat
  4. Casting Spells
  5. Melee

It doesn't make note of arming oneself. If you look at the section at using oil or holy water they both don't make mention of readying the item. It seems the assumption that within 10 seconds it just happens (as you noted).

On page B47 it notes that using a magic, except for weapons, armor, and protective devices, require concentration. While it could read clearer it probably means that using a magic item is the same as casting a spell. Using it is the only thing you can do in that round. This seems to apply to scrolls and potions as well.

With the exception of magic items and spells, you could generally abstract the above sequence into allowing the character to move and do one significant and time consuming action. Or to abstract it further the character can do two actions but only one of those actions can be an attack or a movement. And casting spells and using magic items consume two actions.


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