Focusing on the Rogue actions, are these all allowable for a single Round? Could there have been any other actions taken?

5e Starter Set Encounter begins:

  • Fighter (lvl 2) engages 3 Ruffians in Melee.

  • Rogue (lvl 2) hiding behind a pillar 10 feet from 3 Ruffians.

    1. Action: Move 10 feet to perform Sneak Attack with Shortsword getting 2d6+3 (extra 1d6 Sneak dmg).
    2. Action: Offhand Attack with Longsword + 1 getting 1d8+1 dmg. (<-- does Sneak dmg apply here too?)
    3. Action: Disengage (Cunning Action lvl 2 Rogue)
    4. Action: Moves 10 feet back to Pillar.
    5. Action: Use Item: Drink Potion of Healing.
  • Other PC's / Ruffian actions.

  • End of Round
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Just to clarify something you cant use sneak attack with a longsword. It must be done with a finese weapon and long swords are not. Sorry to burst your bubble. \$\endgroup\$
    – user21029
    Commented Jan 24, 2015 at 19:50
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Keep in mind that you can only sneak attack with finesse or ranged weapons, which excludes longswords. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 24, 2015 at 20:44

4 Answers 4


Each combatant gets 1 action, a bonus action if they have a power to use it, a reaction and movement equal to their racial movement ability.

The rogue has way too many actions.

On action 1, do they have advantage or a buddy in melee? If so then they get SA. Action 2 if they have used SA, they don't get it again. Their bonus action is used to make this attack (see note below, this cannot be done with the longsword). Action 3 is impossible as they have no actions remaining. Action 4 is permissible, though it would provoke an opportunity attack. The rogue is left with some remaining movement but nothing else to do.

Also unless your rogue is human, and has taken a feat at L1, it cannot attack with TWF using a longsword. TWF requires light weapons be wielded in both hands.

So we have:

  1. Action: attack
  2. Bonus action: attack with off hand weapon
  3. invalid, both bonus and regular action used.
  4. Ok, but eats opportunity attack
  5. invalid, both bonus and regular action used.
  • \$\begingroup\$ Correct on the Longsword it's not listed as a Light weapon. \$\endgroup\$
    – CapitalBoo
    Commented Oct 1, 2014 at 3:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, SA is only on ranged and finesse weapons. \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    Commented Oct 1, 2014 at 3:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also note that drinking a healing potion requires an action, it's not a free interaction. PHB pg. 153 \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 5:50
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Just for completeness let me add the so called Object-Manipulation. PHB 190 "Other Activity on Your Turn", "You can also interact with one object or feature of the environment for free, during either your move or your action." For example if you decide to spend your action drinking a potion as part of that action you can also retrieve the potion from your backpack. \$\endgroup\$
    – Sent_
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 11:39
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @AlexisWilke The Oxford comma is a style choice, and as much as it's my personal preference, it's not mandatory at RPG.se nor ungrammatical to leave out. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 5, 2016 at 5:24

I think using the term "Action" is causing problems. It seems like you're using it as a synonym for "do a thing" and in 5e, it's a specific term with defined meaning.

It's important to understand that Move is very different in 5e than 4e - it's not an action at all. You can split up your move in any way you want, using it before, after or between your actions. So you can move, attack, move again, use a bonus action, then move again, as long as you have move left.

5e has "Action," "Reaction" and "Bonus Action" and you only get one of each of those per turn. There are some exceptions on Actions (Fighters can get a second Action with Action Surge) but there are no exceptions that I know of for Reaction and Bonus Action - you get only one of each of those per turn.

What this means is that you need to make choices.

Action: Move 10 feet to perform Sneak Attack with Shortsword getting 2d6+3 (extra 1d6 Sneak dmg).

This is two "things" - using part of your Move, and your Action - an Attack. As pointed out by Greenstone Walker, you don't get the Sneak Attack with a Longsword since it's not a finesse or ranged weapon.

Action: Offhand Attack with Longsword + 1 getting 1d8+1 dmg. (<-- does Sneak dmg apply here too?)

You can't do an offhand attack with a Longsword, as noted in other answers. But you can do an off-hand attack as a Bonus Action if you had something small (like a second Shortsword). You don't get the Sneak Attack damage on the second attack, nor do you get your attribute bonus to damage.

Action: Disengage (Cunning Action lvl 2 Rogue)

Cunning Action lets you use a Bonus Action to disengage, but you can't - you used it up with the off-hand attack.

Action: Moves 10 feet back to Pillar.

This is not an action, it's just more of your Move. You're going to take an Opportunity Attack, since you didn't Disengage.

Action: Use Item: Drink Potion of Healing.

You can interact with one item per turn as a Free Action, which lets you draw a weapon. Or get out a potion. But drinking one is an Action (PHB 153), so you can't use it. And remember, you have your hands full of steel, so you're going to need to drop one of your weapons in order to pull out the Potion.

What I think you should do with this round, after switching to a finesse weapon (+1 Rapier) so you can get sneak attack:

  1. Move 10' to engage
  2. Attack with the +1 Rapier, getting Sneak Attack bonus dice since your friend is engaged with the enemy
  3. Use the Bonus Action granted by Cunning Action to disengage
  4. Move 10' behind the pillar

You don't get a second attack, but it's still a heck of a round - you get to smack a foe with Sneak Attack damage and get out of combat.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ You won't get Sneak Attack damage with the +1 longsword because it is not a finesse or ranged weapon. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 2, 2016 at 21:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Dang, you're right. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 3:40

Each character can move, can interact with one object (open a door, draw/sheath a sword, pick up an object), and can perform an Action, a Bonus Action, and a Reaction.

  1. Uses your Action to perform an attack
  2. Uses your bonus action to perform your attack. Sneak attack damage can only be applied once per turn. If you already hit the target, this cannot apply sneak attack damage. If you missed, you have a second chance to hit and deal sneak attack damage.
  3. Uses your bonus action. You only get one bonus action per turn, so you cannot combine it with an offhand attack.
  4. Uses your movement. As long as you have movement remaining, you can continue to move however you like, although you will trigger an opportunity attack for your opponent if you move away.
  5. Using items requires your Action. You cannot combine it with an attack.

There is one action you did not take: a Reaction. By default you can only use your reaction to make an opportunity attack, or to prepare an action. Certain class features, feats, and spells offer new ways to use your reaction.

As for sneak attacks, they are once per TURN, but not once per ROUND. If you were to make an opportunity attack on your opponent's turn, you WOULD be able to apply sneak attack damage, even if you had already applied it on your turn.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Is Sneak Attack considered a Bonus Action? The PHB and Starter character sheet don't read as if it's a Bonus Action. I do understand your footnote indicating that it's once per Turn so it wouldn't apply twice in my turn \$\endgroup\$
    – CapitalBoo
    Commented Oct 1, 2014 at 3:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sneak attack isn't any action. It's just extra damage you get whenever you hit something under particular conditions. The only bonus actions I mentioned were using an offhand attack, and using a Cunning Action. \$\endgroup\$
    – Strill
    Commented Oct 1, 2014 at 3:39
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Clarification on preparing an action: you can use an action to Ready another action, which will occur as your reaction. So Readying an action kinda takes 2 actions (the main action of your turn plus your reaction later), except reactions are fairly rarely used anyway so it's usually not a big deal. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mag Roader
    Commented Oct 1, 2014 at 4:42

All of these answers are good. I just wanted to clarify it somewhat:

The rogue is attempting a hit and run tactic, but is attempting to do a few to many things. In his turn, he may Move (before and after any actions), take an Action (in this case an Attack Action), and one Bonus Action. his options are:

1) move 10 feet

2) Attack (he may add the Sneak Attack Damage if he has Advantage, or his Fighter Ally is within 5 feet of his own target. The Rogue must also be using a Finesse Weapon or Range Weapon - so he may not do this with a Long Sword)

3a) Use a Bonus Action for an attack with a weapon in his off hand (unless he has the TWF feat, he may not have a Long Sword in either hand), OR

3b) Use a Bonus Action (from his Rogue Cunning Action) to Disengage

4) move back 10 feet to the pillar (his opponents may use their Reaction for an Opportunity Attack if he chose 3a)

He may drink the potion on his next turn, as this is also an Action (Use an Object).

As a side note, I would suggest trading in the Long Sword for a Rapier (same one-handed damage), or a Short Sword or Scimitar (if he really wants to have a Bonus Attack instead of Cunning Action) in order to have use of his Sneak Attack Damage.

A better tactic would be as follows:

1) Attack with a Short Bow (allows for Sneak Attack, if his ally is within 5 ft of the target)

2) Move to another location that allows cover, drop a smoke bomb (or something else for a distraction) along the way

3) Hide (using the Cunning Bonus Action)

Repeat (this works best as a Halfling and does not require the distraction)


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