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Questions tagged [initiative]

For questions about the rules governing the order of action in turn-based combat systems, commonly known as "initiative".

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Dominate Person/Dominate Monster and action order for the dominated creature

A creature fails the saving throw and is dominated by the Dominate Person/Monster spell: Can the caster command a first order to the dominated creature (e.g., 'move closer to me') immediately, or ...
Tarod's user avatar
  • 901
3 votes
1 answer
208 views

How can Arcanist max out his Initiative?

As the title says, I'm looking for ways to guarantee my Arcanist (currently level 7) goes first in every single encounter. Ways that I figured out already: +2 Initiative Trait, sadly I had to pass on ...
Nec Xelos's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
76 views

In Rolemaster Unified, when in the combat round do persistent spell effects occur?

Using the lvl 4 spell from "Wind Law" Stun Cloud I as an example (Rolemaster Unified Spell Law pg 159), but this question comes up for other spells. Stun Cloud I – Creates a 5'R cloud of ...
JWT's user avatar
  • 7,058
6 votes
1 answer
600 views

In D&D 5e during naval ship combat, do the PCs still roll initiative alongside the ship? If so, even when they are crewmates and not passengers?

I'm using the ship combat rules provided by Ghosts of Saltmarsh, and unless I'm missing it, how initiative works is not very well explained. It explains how a ship's initiative is calculated but ...
PapaWuwu's user avatar
  • 403
4 votes
2 answers
201 views

On what initiative order do you act after possessing a creature?

In a ongoing campaign I'm playing a character themed around ghosts and possession. I'll later gain access to the Possession spell. But I don't have a grip on how it's supposed to work regarding ...
Snappie's user avatar
  • 4,093
15 votes
2 answers
2k views

Does the rogue's Reliable Talent feature apply to a harengon's initiative checks (thanks to the Hare-Trigger trait)?

Rogues gain the Reliable Talent feature at level 11: By 11th level, you have refined your chosen skills until they approach perfection. Whenever you make an ability check that lets you add your ...
Vylix's user avatar
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10 votes
6 answers
4k views

Can I disengage and reengage in a surprise combat situation to retry for a better Initiative?

There are lots of questions posted about surprise and initative, but one scenario still seems ambiguous to me. If this has been answered, please link, as I couldn't find it. Scenario: A player is ...
Dfvx990mq321pl's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
725 views

When should Death Saves be rolled under the rules for Speed Factor Initiative?

In my new campaign I am using the Speed Factor variant for Initiative (DMG pp. 270-271). We like this a lot but it is confusing concerning unconscious PCs. This question says that taking Actions while ...
Anagkai's user avatar
  • 16.6k
2 votes
0 answers
43 views

How can I to balance player action narrative with the initiative system? [duplicate]

In my last session, a player attempted to get in an attack on some giants that were not yet aware of him, so we rolled initiative. The giants were surprised, so they didn't get to go first, but the ...
C. Ross's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
396 views

Which editions of D&D had Initiative rules like 5E's Speed Factor Initiative?

D&D 5E has a variant Initiative rule called Speed Factor Initiative which has two differences compared to the standard Initiative rule: Initiative is rolled every combat round In addition to ...
Anagkai's user avatar
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19 votes
4 answers
4k views

Does a legendary action occur “outside” of a turn?

The rules for legendary actions state: A legendary creature can take a certain number of special actions — called legendary actions — outside its turn. Only one legendary action option can be used at ...
Dale M's user avatar
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9 votes
3 answers
1k views

How will this static Initiative houserule affect game balance?

In my current D&D group all the PCs have a static Initiative (8 + Proficiency + Dex + any other bonuses) while enemies and NPCs keep rolling the original way (d20 dice roll + Dex). This enables us ...
Smasher's user avatar
  • 91
5 votes
2 answers
616 views

Does a party get a full round of readied actions after an enemy comes back from banishment spell?

So our party has a dragon banished. Our plan is to drop the banishment spell right after the dragon's turn in initiative. Can the whole party get a whole round of readied attacks and/or advantage and ...
Dnd junkie's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
1k views

Do initiative bonuses stack?

I am asking this specifically with regard to the bonus from Gift of Alacrity (if two different characters knew the spell and cast it on the same person), but if there is a general rule on stacking ...
K.L.R.'s user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
656 views

How to handle prepared actions when you are expecting to see an enemy but you haven't yet?

In my last session my group and I have encountered this situation: We found a trap that would trigger two hostile creatures to enter our room through a portal each. We knew that because there was a ...
Francesco Rogo's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
413 views

Is there a prescribed method to determine order of combat within the three phases?

My group played our first round of combat in Avatar Legends and definitely stumbled through it. It went fairly well, but there was a confusing point when we weren't sure how to determine order of ...
NotArch's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
2k views

Can you choose to not participate in combat?

The combat rules state, on page 189 PHB: Initiative determines the order of turns during combat. When combat starts, every participant makes a Dexterity check to determine their place in the ...
Nobody the Hobgoblin's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
791 views

When can new monsters joining a combat act?

My question is if, during a combat, I introduce a second wave of enemies (the party is fighting 10 goblins but then a second party of 5 who were flanking/hiding joins on the second round), when can ...
Acrazylema12's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
1k views

Can a Soulknife Harengon add a Psionic Energy Die to Initiative Checks?

I've been searching forums and brainstorming about this idea. I am curious about how many holes can be put in this theory and how many DMs would allow this at their table. Supporting Evidence Every ...
Tails's user avatar
  • 101
2 votes
2 answers
652 views

When rolling initiative for DM-controlled creatures, does their Dexterity modifier apply?

When the DM is rolling initiative for its monsters, does their Dexterity modifier apply, or does the DM just roll a d20 on its own?
Benny S.'s user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
116 views

Are there any systems that use a continuous initiative order? [closed]

Essentially, I am wondering if there are any tabletop-roleplaying games in which players are always playing in turns. I am curious about how it impacts the game tempo, the participation of the players,...
plerpsandplerps's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
1k views

What are the odds of being able to disrupt a spellcaster?

What are the chances that the opponent is able to get their attack in to disrupt a spellcaster as a function of casting time and weapon speed? Assume the opponent will hit, and use this summary of the ...
Dave's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
225 views

What combination of initiative rolls need to occur to disrupt spellcasting with a melee attack?

What initiative roll conditions need to occur for a successful melee attack to disrupt spell casting? E.g. Wizard is casting a spell that takes X segments to cast. What combinations of initiative ...
Dave's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
1k views

What ways are there of changing the result of your initiative roll before the initiative order is set?

For a lot of PCs, initiative order doesn't matter that much (beyond 'higher being better'). But for some, it matters a lot - I am thinking at the moment in particular of healers/buffers, who want to ...
Vigil's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
783 views

Does an Initiative Roll imply combat?

I am wondering if a initiative roll means combat started, for the purpose of perks like the Assassin rogue's Assassinate which states You have advantage on attack rolls against any creature that hasn'...
Malanar's user avatar
  • 51
5 votes
2 answers
2k views

When a character regains consciousness mid-fight after their initiative passed, do they get a turn?

I have a problem understanding regaining consciousness. From what I know, a creature that loses its consciousness during the battle needs to have its HP to be raised above 0 once again. But what if ...
Jack_Russell's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
211 views

How to improve the initiative of a familiar

As a Wizard I have a quite high Initiative (at level 9 +18). My improved familiar (in this case a faerie dragon) has an initiative value of 3. Since I would like to do spell combos with him I am ...
ruedi's user avatar
  • 6,577
5 votes
0 answers
89 views

How does "hold action" work in EABA?

For EABA ("End All Be All" game system), you can "hold action" (page 8 of the quickstart rules) to act preemptively to a specific trigger (e.g. shoot if they try to shoot). How ...
MLee17's user avatar
  • 91
11 votes
3 answers
2k views

Our GM has us roll new initiative every round. Just how broad of a change is this?

I am playing in a campaign based on Pathfinder 2nd edition rules. My GM decided to introduce the house rule of rolling initiative every round, basically altering one of the base concept of the game. ...
Francesco Rogo's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
667 views

Can a Bard's Superior Inspiration be used on the initative roll that generated it?

I'm curious of the timing around the bard's level 20 Superior Inspiration. Superior Inspiration simply states: At 20th level, when you roll initiative and have no uses of Bardic Inspiration left, you ...
Dom's user avatar
  • 3,660
6 votes
2 answers
2k views

Am I allowed to double-dip on my mount's turn, granting it extra dashes?

Here's a very silly situation that I'm sure would be easy to rule around, but as an exercise to understand the rules better, I'd still like to know how this works. It might even just be a variation of ...
AncientSwordRage's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
670 views

Can you become first in initiative by taking the Delay action?

The Delay action says that you can return to the initiative order as a free action triggered by the end of any other creature’s turn. Can you ever become first in initiative by taking said action? ...
Snakehelm's user avatar
  • 2,427
6 votes
1 answer
277 views

How do you abort an action in M20 if there is no declaration phase?

In other editions of the old world of darkness games, there is a declaration phase during combat rounds, where every participant declares what he intends to do in the next turn, from lowest to highest ...
Yopi Lapi's user avatar
  • 3,835
9 votes
1 answer
880 views

Eyes of the Eagle and Initiative

Eyes of the Eagle gives a bonus to Perception checks "that involve sight". Usually, a Perception check can be used for Initiative. When does Initiative not involve sight?
András's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
825 views

How does initiative work for the giant constrictor snake from the Staff of the Python magic item? [duplicate]

The description of the Staff of the Python magic item reads: […] The staff becomes a giant constrictor snake under your control and acts on its own initiative count. […] As the DM, I’ve been making ...
joelforsyth's user avatar
24 votes
4 answers
2k views

What is the impact of moving a fallen PC in the initiative order?

If you receive more damage than your current hitpoints, you are Knocked Out. Among other things, "You immediately move your initiative position to directly before the turn in which you were ...
András's user avatar
  • 65k
8 votes
1 answer
1k views

What happens when an unnoticed creature rolls Stealth for initiative and fails the check?

Suppose the adventurer Alice is moving stealthily and using the Avoid Notice exploration activity, and then tries to sneak up on an enemy Bob. Alice rolls a Stealth check for initiative versus Bob's ...
MikeQ's user avatar
  • 31.6k
25 votes
11 answers
8k views

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
35 votes
4 answers
6k views

Ambushed while Sleeping (with a Watch)

The party goes to sleep around the campfire, and one member volunteers to take the first watch. A couple of hours later, a dozen bullywugs try to stealthily ambush them. The DM makes stealth rolls for ...
cbaer's user avatar
  • 493
5 votes
3 answers
2k views

what are the issues with rolling initiative every round, looking for mechanical reasons rather then opinion [closed]

A friend of mine has mentioned he is thinking of trialing rolling initiative at the start of every round in combat, vs 1 roll at the start of combat for his table. This sounds like a really bad idea ...
Richard C's user avatar
  • 6,326
11 votes
1 answer
2k views

On an initiative roll in Cyberpunk Red, can you roll a critical success or a critical failure?

On an initiative roll in Cyberpunk Red, can you roll a critical success or a critical failure? The Cyberpunk Red Jumpstart Kit rules read, "When you roll a natural roll of 10 on your d10, you've ...
drew's user avatar
  • 213
13 votes
2 answers
2k views

Does a stunned creature roll Initiative with disadvantage?

Part of our group got stunned before Initiative was rolled: Stunned A stunned creature is incapacitated (see the condition), can’t move, and can speak only falteringly. The creature automatically ...
Vadruk's user avatar
  • 10.1k
12 votes
2 answers
5k views

When do the objects animated by the Animate Objects spell take their turn?

The Animate Objects spell description says: You decide what action the creature will take and where it will move during its next turn, or you can issue a general command, such as to guard a ...
gto's user avatar
  • 5,276
6 votes
1 answer
4k views

When should initiative be rolled during a surprise attack?

This question does a good job explaining how surprise attacks work for the most part, but I'm not sure how such an attack would actually play out, here is what happened in my last game: There was a ...
Yopi Lapi's user avatar
  • 3,835
3 votes
1 answer
348 views

Can my Primal Companion roll initiative instead of my character?

In Tasha's Primal Companion feature it doesn't say that the beast doesn't roll initiative, just that it acts during the player's turn. Is that enough to mean that it's the player that has to roll ...
Nic's user avatar
  • 160
12 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is Initiative a check?

Inspired by debate on this question's answer, are the rolls made for Initiative considered checks (for purposes such as Conditions affecting them)?
Ifusaso 'he-him''s user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
788 views

Does Battle Cry happen before or after Initiative is rolled?

The Feat Battle Cry reads When you roll initiative, you can yell a mighty battle cry and Demoralize an observed foe as a free action. If you’re legendary in Intimidation, you can use a reaction to ...
Ifusaso 'he-him''s user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
477 views

What's the deal with readying a swift action?

From Combat Readying an action is a Standard Action You can ready a Swift Action. Interrupting someone with your readied action places your initiative just ahead of that person for the next round. ...
hamburgerpls's user avatar
  • 1,708
-8 votes
1 answer
307 views

How should one interpret the word "identical" in the initiative rule?

The rule for initiative in PHB read (emphasis mine) Initiative determines the order of turns during combat. When combat starts, every participant makes a Dexterity check to determine their place in ...
Eddymage's user avatar
  • 31.7k
4 votes
5 answers
3k views

Is this house-rule that has each monster/NPC roll initiative separately (even when there are multiple creatures of the same kind) game-breaking?

The rules for initiative in PHB read (emphasis mine): Initiative determines the order of turns during combat. When combat starts, every participant makes a Dexterity check to determine their place in ...
Eddymage's user avatar
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