The PHB States:

You choose when to take a bonus action during your turn, unless the bonus action’s timing is specified, and anything that deprives you of your ability to take actions also prevents you from taking a bonus action.

I've found lots of triggering specifics, but nothing that says WHEN you have to take it.

Are there example(s) where the exact timing of the bonus action is dictated and not just the triggering requirement FOR a bonus action that you then choose when or if to use.


3 Answers 3


Yes, one example of a specified timing is the Monk class ability Flurry of Blows, which says, "immediately after," its triggering event.

Barring wording like this, the bonus action can occur at any time during the same turn, including before the triggering event, so long as the trigger still takes place.

  • \$\begingroup\$ That's what I'm looking for! I think I glossed over it when I was scanning through. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Jun 24, 2016 at 20:31
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ This is incorrect. You cannot take a bonus action before it is triggered. \$\endgroup\$
    – BlueMoon93
    Commented May 18, 2018 at 10:36
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @BlueMoon93s Not all bonus actions have triggers. (Example, spell Healing word ... ) \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 18, 2018 at 12:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ While correct, Korvin, I assume @BlueMoon93 was pointing out that bonus actions contingent on taking a specific action (and similar) can't be taken before that action is taken. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Sep 9, 2020 at 2:58

According to Jeremy Crawford, lead rules designer for D&D:

Any bonus action that is conditional on a certain action (e.g. the Attack action) being taken can only occur after that action is completed.

For instance, for the Shield Master feat, you can't do the bonus action shove before the Attack action, because the bonus action shove is conditional upon you taking that action.

Jeremy Crawford addresses this situation on Twitter here:

Clarification about bonus actions: if a feature says you can do X as a bonus action if you do Y, you must do Y before you can do X. For Shield Master, that means the bonus action must come after the Attack action. You decide when it happens afterward that turn.

Here, he is apparently reiterating an earlier change of mind from 2017 regarding the timing of such bonus actions. This contradicts a previous ruling by him via Twitter, in which he stated that, "As with most bonus actions, you choose the timing, so the Shield Master shove can come before or after the Attack action." Crawford acknowledges this change here:

In 2017, I changed the ruling on bonus action timing because the old ruling was illogical. The original ruling failed to account for the fact that X relying on Y is a form of timing. The new ruling corrects that oversight.

And further explains his reasoning here:

The old ruling on bonus action timing didn't quiet questions on that timing. Instead, the illogical ruling fueled questions, and it even inadvertently led some fans to think our choice of words like "if" or "when" had super-precise meanings in bonus actions. They don't.

In addition, if you can make multiple attacks as part of the Attack action, you can not take the Shield Master bonus action - or any other bonus action - until after your Attack action (as well as any intervening movement, if desired) is complete, unless explicitly stated otherwise. Crawford confirms this here:

No general rule allows you to insert a bonus action between attacks in a single action. You can interrupt a multiple-attack action with a bonus action/reaction only if the trigger of the bonus action/reaction is an attack, rather than the action.


Most of the time, the time frame is "when it's your turn". There are a few instances, however, that specify a trigger or condition for your bonus action.

For example, the Monk's Martial Arts feature allows you to add a single unarmed attack as a Bonus action when you take the Attack action unarmed or with a monk weapon (from SRD pp. 26-27).

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ However, unlike Flurry of Blows, there isn't an "immediately" on it, so you can use it whenever you like, as long as it's after an attack action (so you can move between those blows as opposed to Derek's FLurry of blows example where you can't move first because it has to happen immediately" \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Jun 24, 2016 at 20:41

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .