Three allies and I are in a room fighting an enemy. On his turn, the enemy goes underground. Waiting for him to pop up, can I ready my action with my bow saying, “When an ally yells, ‘Over here!’ I attack there”?

Is this possible?


2 Answers 2


Yes, you can.

The only restriction on the trigger is that your character can perceive it. Hearing something is a perceivable circumstance.

But for your specific circumstance I want to add, that cannot move as part of a readied attack, so you cannot attack the enemy if he is out of range/reach or stands behind full cover.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ You most certainly can attack creatures you can't see, albeit with disadvantage \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Apr 22, 2017 at 23:55

Not only possible but working as intended

The ready action (SRD93)

First, you decide what perceivable circumstance will trigger your reaction. Then, you choose the action you will take in response to that trigger, or you choose to move up to your speed in response to it.

When the trigger occurs, you can either take your reaction right after the trigger finishes or ignore the trigger.

In your example, your ally yelling is the perceivable circumstance and the attack action is your response.

The important parts of the ready action are

  1. A perceivable circumstance—"when the monster fails a save" is not perceivable, for example, nor is "at the end of the round"
  2. An action to take in response or moving your speed—you can't move and act with the ready action
  3. You have the choice to act when the trigger occurs—you're not a slave to the decision, you can ignore it
  4. But you do have to pre-declare you action—if something surprising happens, your only option is to continue anyway or do nothing. You can't decide to take a different action (or move) instead1

1thanks to @mattdm for number 4


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