Linked Questions

52 votes
5 answers

Punishing a player for instant-actioning

I GM a home-made D&D-style game which my friends and I play, and we had a scenario go as follows: After a player-character threw something at the wall, the players rolled a one and I was ...
schil227's user avatar
  • 631
52 votes
3 answers

When and how does combat start in a standoff?

I run Adventurers league at a local game cafe with a veteran group that has lots of experience playing prior editions. However these players knowledge of the rules is an amalgamation of 5e rules and ...
Passiflora's user avatar
  • 1,835
34 votes
5 answers

What is the proper use of initiative for a cautious encounter?

I DMed a specific situation last night, and I'm not totally sure that I handled it in the right way. For the last two sessions, the team has been facing off against a clever homebrew wraith (less ...
adavo's user avatar
  • 311
29 votes
5 answers

How does combat start when one PC is not seen as a threat?

Imagine a party of four - three honest characters standing face to face against three evil bandits, one sly, backstabbing type some 30 ft behind the bandits' backs; the bandits may know he's there, ...
J.E's user avatar
  • 5,840
25 votes
11 answers

If I start combat by making an attack, does a high-initiative enemy see it coming?

This is a follow-up question I had after reading the accepted answer in this related question. A player is talking to an NPC and then decides to stab the NPC. Let's assume the tension is high enough ...
RHS's user avatar
  • 2,300
21 votes
3 answers

If an attack alerts someone to your presence, can their initiative save them from being surprised in time?

In D&D 5e "Surprise" is a condition that can affect a creature during the first round of combat, only until the end of their turn: [... T]he GM compares the Dexterity (Stealth) checks ...
Isaac Reefman's user avatar
20 votes
8 answers

What's the correct way to determine turn order in this situation?

The situation: Four orcs, sitting around a campfire, are spotted by the party. Two more orcs are in a tent a couple meters away. The orcs do not notice the party. A Wizard casts invisibility on ...
Matteo Devi's user avatar
16 votes
4 answers

When exactly does combat start and surprise take effect?

Say I'm going to ambush an orc. I successfully sneak up on him and I attack. The DM determines that the orc is surprised. The orc happens to get an initiative roll of 19, while I get a 10. How would ...
Ponggoleechee's user avatar
13 votes
10 answers

If I move out of range of an attack/spell using a Readied Action, does that original attack/spell occur?

Related to this question and this question. In the case of a readied action where the trigger is specific enough to occur before the attack completes, does the attack complete? The timeline: ...
NotArch's user avatar
  • 126k
9 votes
1 answer

Can a creature be surprised if it is aware of possible danger, but does not perceive an immediate threat?

From the section on Surprise in the PHB: The GM determines who might be surprised. If neither side tries to be stealthy, they automatically notice each other. Otherwise, the GM compares the ...
Mars Plastic's user avatar
  • 4,967
4 votes
2 answers

Does Assasinate actually guarantee a critical hit on an attack that initiates combat from stealth?

From what I understand, the surprised condition works as follows. It is a status effect with a duration of 1 turn that forces a creature to skip their turn. A creature gets the status effect at the ...
Yuval Amir's user avatar
  • 1,413
3 votes
3 answers

If a hidden creature fails to surprise a character, is the creature still hidden?

If a hidden creature fails to surprise a character, is the creature still hidden? For example, a goblin is hiding in some bushes, and a PC walks by. To determine surprise, the DM rolls for the goblin'...
dnd72535's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers

Engaging combat from dialogue [duplicate]

This was one of my shower thoughts: what if someone from the party engages in combat out of a whim? Example: There is a 4 player party (classes does't matter right now) against a wizard and his ...
Wrait's user avatar
  • 467
2 votes
3 answers

Is there a surprise round?

Our party disguised ourselves as merchants, but when the enemy appeared and we attacked them, the DM just said, "Roll for initiative." Is there a surprise round in D&D 5e like there was in ...
Bakuranecro's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer

Can I ready an action before combat, and then use it immediately after, or just before combat starts? [duplicate]

I'm aware that you can use an action in combat in order to ready a specific response to be performed as a reaction when a certain event triggers it. But what if I'm in a situation where combat hasn'...
Tellsayuzer's user avatar

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