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Can a player ready a standard action and a move action to the effect that they constantly move out of reach of an advancing opponent?

Say a PC has a 50ft land speed, and a monster has a 30ft land speed. Can the PC ready both their standard and move actions to move out of the way of a creature whenever it approaches, and thus perpetually remain out of reach of the advancing creature?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure I understand. Why ready an action? If you have speed 50 ft., and your enemy has speed 30 ft., you can just outrun your enemy without any need to ready. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 6 at 7:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Hey I can Chan, Several scenarios come to mind why this may not be sufficient to avoid danger completely. Say a PC moving at 50ft takes only one readied action (readying a move action) and the monster uses both its move and another standard action to close the distance (30+30=60ft). Say it has some spell, spell like ability, or supernatural ability active that places a damage aura around itself so it only needs to be near the PC to damage it. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 6 at 7:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ It may be better to turn the question into that scenario so you can provide greater detail. I'm not seeing why the 50 Guy readied in the first place. Is the issue that chases are foregone conclusions in D&D 3.5? Because they are, and the DMG even says so: "In round-by-round movement, simply counting off squares, it’s impossible for a slow character to get away from a determined fast character without mitigating circumstances. Likewise, it’s no problem for a fast character to get away from a slower one" (20). \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 6 at 7:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ Alright let me give you a particular case. Example: Say a necromancer NPC has a rotting aura of 15 feet. The PC has a constant gaze attack active with a range of 30 feet. The PC wants to make sure it remains close enough (within 30 feet) of the creature for the gaze attack to function (forcing the necromancer to have to save at the beginning of each of its turns), while ensuring that the necromancer cannot close the distance (by using both their standard and move action) and harm the PC via the aura. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 6 at 8:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ Heavily related, but not, as I first thought, a duplicate. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Mar 6 at 15:07

1 Answer 1

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No, but no need

In a combat round a character can take:

  • a full-round action; or
  • a standard action and a move action; or
  • two move actions (since a character can always take a move action in place of a standard action).

(Ignoring free actions, swift actions and immediate actions as irrelevant to this question.)

From Table 8-2 of the Players Handbook, Ready (triggers a standard action) is itself a standard action. A character only gets one standard action in a round, so they can only Ready one action, which can trigger a move action because, as mentioned previously, a move action can always be taken in place of a standard action.

So, a PC with a 50' move that wishes to stay ahead of a creature with a 30' move can move between 10' and 50' with their Move action and Ready an action to move up to 50' if the creature starts moving towards them.

Note that this is insufficient if the terrain and/or creature abilities allow it to take a full-round Run action and the creature is not in heavy armour. If the creature can run then the PC had better do the same. Provided the PC has a movement rate advantage as stated here, they will still outdistance the creature.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan will add re the swift actions. However, 50' speed is definitely the PC's, with 30' for the monster. In the comments the OP mentions the PC as having a gaze attack with a range of 30'... \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 6 at 15:23

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