If you ready an action to move into threat range of an enemy triggered by that enemy doing something that would trigger an Attack of Opportunity (such as casting a spell or moving out of a square), do you get the attack of opportunity after the move?
Furthermore, assuming the answer is yes, does the enemy get the chance to alter the triggering action to avoid provoking the AoO--such as announcing at that point that he is casting defensively or tumbling, even though such actions were not declared before the readied action was triggered?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Don't readied actions trigger after the triggering event resolves? \$\endgroup\$
    – Ellesedil
    Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 21:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Ellesedil No, they don’t. I’m not sure of the answer here but I do know that much. Readying to interrupt some action is pretty much the point of readying. Counterspelling in particular depends on it. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 21:14

1 Answer 1


I was originally thinking it must be "no" to the first part, but after consulting the SRD to back that up, I think that I'll have to go with yes.

Emphasis is mine:

Readying an Action

You can ready a standard action, a move action, or a free action. To do so, specify the action you will take and the conditions under which you will take it. Then, any time before your next action, you may take the readied action in response to that condition. The action occurs just before the action that triggers it. If the triggered action is part of another character’s activities, you interrupt the other character. Assuming he is still capable of doing so, he continues his actions once you complete your readied action. Your initiative result changes. For the rest of the encounter, your initiative result is the count on which you took the readied action, and you act immediately ahead of the character whose action triggered your readied action.

In your scenario, you declare readied the move action, and when the enemy performs the action you interrupt it, "just before the action that triggers it." Thus you are now next to the enemy prior to them provoking the Attack of Opportunity. So I would say yes to the first part.

As for the second part of whether the enemy can now change his action, I read, "Assuming he is still capable of doing so, he continues his actions once you complete your readied action." to imply that his action cannot be changed at this point unless you have somehow made it impossible. Thus I would say no to the second part.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I share your interpretation on both parts, but it has been the source of much contention with other players. \$\endgroup\$
    – Epiphanis
    Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 21:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ I can understand that. As I said, I initially thought against it, and would also understand a DM ruling against it (or at least allowing the enemy to react). Very interesting questions. Something I never considered. \$\endgroup\$
    – amcintosh
    Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 21:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ It has significant tactical repercussions. Being able to attack at the end of a readied move makes interrupting spells much easier. A melee defender who can move next to charging attackers mid-charge and grapple them with the AoO to stop their movement becomes a lot more effective than having to find a much narrower chokepoint. \$\endgroup\$
    – Epiphanis
    Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 21:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Epiphanis For what it’s worth, spellcasters could use to be threatened more. Readying an action like that is decidedly non-trivial in terms of set-up and risk of failure, so it should be effective when it works. Note that ranged attackers can simply ready an attack to interrupt the spell; that DC 10 + damage dealt Concentration check can be very difficult. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 22:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Epiphanis: This may be a situation where an understanding is needed between the players and GM. If the players want to leverage readied actions to gain advantages against ranged and spell-casting targets, the enemies the players fight may begin to do the same. And vice versa. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ellesedil
    Commented Dec 5, 2013 at 16:21

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