You can break up your movement on your turn, using some of your speed before and after your action". (PHB, Ch9, Movement and Position)

... you can take the Ready action on your turn so that you can act later in the round using your reaction." (PHB, Ch9, Actions in Combat)

What happens if your movement after taking the Ready action results in circumstances satisfying the trigger? Does it trigger immediately even if you still have a bonus action and your turn isn't over? Does it trigger right after it is over? Does it trigger at all?

E.g. A scout readies to run at the first sight of an enemy and turns a corner, revealing a hostile wererat. Will his action trigger even though his turn isn't done and he still has a bonus action? Does his turn continue after the reaction is used? Or does the trigger “wait” until his turn is over and then activate immediately after his turn?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Your example also includes a question about the timing of readied actions that trigger at the same time. Can you move that into a separate question? \$\endgroup\$
    – Marq
    Commented Feb 20, 2016 at 17:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MarkCogan I've found this was discussed before. But are they triggered simultaneously? \$\endgroup\$
    – Nerdrage
    Commented Feb 20, 2016 at 19:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Nerdrage I think that should be a separate question. You've got one solid question here already (“how does triggering readied actions on your turn work / affect the rest of your turn”), and adding another question (“if two people have readied actions like so, are they simultaneously triggered, and if so which goes first”). Mixing the two will only get you mixed-up answers, right? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 20, 2016 at 19:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ To that end I've changed your example to be an example of what the rest of the question is asking about already (since that's what examples are for). If you want to ask about how opposed “run way” and “attack” readied actions trigger and the timing thereof, ask that by itself in a new question post rather than tucking it into an example in a different question. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 20, 2016 at 19:55

1 Answer 1


Readied actions use your reaction, which is available from the start of your turn.

A character taking the Ready action may, when the triggering condition occurs later in the round, use their reaction to take the readied action. Note that this is a reaction, not a bonus action, and there's nothing that restricts this to happening only after the character's turn ends.

But this usually isn't necessary, since players don't need to declare actions before they take any movement. A player can declare their character is moving a short distance to where they can see an area that wasn't visible, and then declare their action (or move some more).

Here are examples of both options in play, first using Ready:

Player: "Okay, I'm going to Ready an action to run back to safety if I see anything nasty, then I'm going to move around the corner. What do I see?"

DM: "You see a wererat, poised to throw a dagger at you..."

Player: "So that triggers my readied action, and I run back around the corner!"

DM: "Not before1 the wererat takes their own readied action and attacks ... the dagger misses you, and now you can move for your reaction."

Or their turn could go like this:

Player: "I'll move around the corner. What do I see?"

DM: "You see a wererat, poised to throw a dagger at you..."

Player: "Crap! Okay, I'll Dash and move back around the corner!"

DM: "The wererat takes their own readied action first and attacks ... it's a miss. You can continue with your turn."

While both of them achieve the same immediate result, the first option also (assuming the player has their character flee) consumes the character's reaction for the turn, meaning they can't (for example) make opportunity attacks later in the round. Also note:

  • In both cases the player could still use a bonus action (casting healing word, for example) before ending their turn.
  • In neither case does the player prevent the wererat from using their readied action.

So, while a player can Ready an action that is likely to be triggered on their turn, generally they are better off not doing that and just waiting to use their regular action.

1 The timing of simultaneously triggered reactions isn't strictly governed by the rules, so while the DM might rule that the wererat can attack before the PC moves away, they don't have to. They may choose to let whichever of the two had the higher initiative roll act first, or require a contested Dexterity check. Or they could rule that even if the PC has the higher initiative, they can't move out of range of the wererat's knife before it can attack.

  • \$\begingroup\$ That's exactly the core of the problem. Taking a Ready action before moving is expensive: you lose your reaction, you can't use your bonus action to augment it, no extra attack and so on. So shouldn't there be some benefit to doing it? It models "going cautiously", trading potential offense for (possibly) guaranteed defense. \$\endgroup\$
    – Nerdrage
    Commented Feb 20, 2016 at 19:38
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ The benefit is that you can potentially act after your turn ends; I don't think the primary intent of the ready action is for caution on your own turn. \$\endgroup\$
    – Marq
    Commented Feb 20, 2016 at 19:45

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