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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33
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
347 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 ...
10
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1answer
124 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 ...
13
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2answers
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 ...
11
votes
2answers
641 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
134 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
162 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 ...
12
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2answers
958 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)?
10
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2answers
201 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 ...
5
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1answer
105 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. ...
-9
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1answer
252 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 ...
4
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5answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
108 views

How do stunned and delay interact?

Character A takes the delay free action at the start of their turn, planning to act later. Afterwards, before Character A has acted, Big Bad Monster B inflicts stunned 3 upon Character A. Can ...
3
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2answers
116 views

When does initiative happen after a failed sleight of hand check?

If someone uses sleight of hand and gets noticed, can they still take their movement or swift action before initiative is rolled? Or is initiative rolled as soon as they fail their check? (assuming ...
11
votes
1answer
181 views

When do the skeletons, zombies, or ghouls created by Orcus' lair action take their turns in initiative?

Orcus' second lair action reads Orcus causes up to six corpses within the lair to rise as skeletons, zombies, or ghouls. These undead obey his telepathic commands, which can reach anywhere in the ...
1
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0answers
62 views

What are the game playing impacts of allowing players to take turns out of initiative order? [duplicate]

As per a previous question I asked RAW do not allow players to go later in initiative order in 5E as they could in earlier editions of DnD and other roleplaying systems. What are the potential things ...
1
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0answers
41 views

In RAW can a player choose to go later in initiative order? [duplicate]

I know a player can hold an action as per the hold action rules, but can they decide to take entire turn further down the initiative order? If they do is this there initiative position for all ...
2
votes
1answer
146 views

How should I be handling readied actions and turn order? [duplicate]

The monster my players were fighting acted first in the intitative order. It dove into the lake and out of sight. They all readied actions to attack when it revealed itself. On its next turn it ...
0
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0answers
177 views

Does holding an action change your order in inititiative? [duplicate]

I play in a group that has different levels of D&D experience from first time players to those that have been playing since the inception of D&D. We are currently playing in 5th edition. When ...
6
votes
1answer
582 views

Does the Gloom Stalker ranger's Dread Ambusher feature apply only when the party actually engages in combat, or when initiative is rolled?

The Gloom Stalker ranger's Dread Ambusher feature says, in part (XGtE, p. 42; emphasis mine): At the start of your first turn of each combat, your walking speed increases by 10 feet, which lasts ...
4
votes
6answers
633 views

Can Alert prevent Surprise if you don't know the enemy exists?

Here's the situation: In a large dark temple, a player character with the Alert feat has darkvision out to 60 feet. However, 100 feet away, there is an enemy with 120 feet of truesight within the area ...
2
votes
1answer
141 views

Can Alert prevent Surprise if you don't know combat is occurring yet? [duplicate]

If part of the party enters combat with enemies but the rest of the party is not aware of the threat or aware there is combat happening yet, does a player with the Alert feat who rolls highest on ...
0
votes
1answer
174 views

What is the mechanical reason for rolling the same initiative for a group of creatures? [closed]

The 5th ed Players handbook states that The GM makes one roll for an entire group of identical creatures, so each member of the group acts at the same time. Historically in other systems I have rolled ...
15
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2answers
4k views

If an NPC and a PC roll identical initiative who goes first?

Normally, when 2 players roll identical initiative in combat, they decide between themselves the order they do things in and then stick to that on subsequent rounds. How should the DM handle it if the ...
28
votes
2answers
3k views

Can I use Flash of Genius on an initiative roll?

The Artificer's Flash of Genius says: When you or another creature you can see within 30 feet of you makes an ability check or a saving throw, you can use your reaction to add your Intelligence ...
5
votes
4answers
322 views

Order of resolution of several identical initiative Attacks

It sometimes happens that several identical monsters, all using the same initiative, attack a single character. In my games, this is often a volley of missile fire after a PC has shown themselves to ...
22
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4answers
1k views

Interaction between Subtle Spell, Initiative and Alert Feat

I'm running a game and I'm trying to gank a few of my players with an NPC Sorcerer with Subtle Metamagic. However, one of the players has the Alert feat which states he cannot be surprised. Can I cast ...
4
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2answers
261 views

Is this magic Ranger amulet balanced?

Item description The following item was made with a 5th level ranger in mind. The goal was to create an item that is mechanically fitting, and combat-relevant but not a weapon or armor. Amulet of the ...
14
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2answers
1k views

Can an enemy “surprise” a character with the Alert feat by readying the Attack action before initiative is rolled?

My character with the Alert feat was attacked and received damage pre-combat. Specifically, our party was walking through a dark cave, and on the ceiling there was a swarm of insects (that none of the ...
6
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2answers
188 views

Mechanical tool for combat adjudication management

I'm working on my own homebrew RPG system which I want to keep light on rules. Therefore I add only rules when they are needed. One rule which I did not use was an implementation of "initiative&...
-2
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2answers
416 views

Wood elf initiative

I am playing a Wood Elf Monk. I have a 20 dex, so my initiative is +5. Do wood elves gain any other pluses to initiative?
8
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1answer
159 views

What can you do in combat if you don't have initiative?

Losing initiative is described as: When your foe has initiative against you, they are forcing you to react. ... Some moves are inherently proactive or offensive and can only be made when you have ...
6
votes
1answer
231 views

In the Ubiquity RPG system, what is the advantage of using continuous combat?

In the Ubiquity RPG system (as used in Hollow Earth Expedition or Space 1889), an alternative initiative system ("continuous combat", where actions take place continuously, without use of combat turns)...
2
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0answers
63 views

Do creatures of the same type go on the same turn? [duplicate]

According to the Basic Rules: Initiative determines the order of turns during combat. When combat starts, every participant makes a Dexterity check to determine their place in the initiative ...
10
votes
2answers
493 views

Ranged-attack initiative and sequencing for monsters and NPCs

How interesting that after over 20 years of playing RPGs, new basic rule questions still crop up...: The PC group I'm DM-ing got into a fight with two bugbears and eight goblins in a long 10-foot ...
6
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2answers
506 views

When does a banished creature act in initiative once the concentration on Banishment ends?

I have a question regarding the banishment spell in Dungeons & Dragons 5e, when can the banished target act? The spell duration end, the target acts in her turn? Rolls a new initiative because he ...
22
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7answers
4k views

Would this house rule on initiating combat be balanced?

My question is similar to this question about a house-rule that the initiator of combat acts first but skips their first turn in initiative, but about the opposite situation. The author of that ...
11
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2answers
4k views

How can I become guaranteed to move first in an encounter?

3.5e is a very exploitable game and I am vaguely aware of a number of ways to make it highly probable that my character will be the first to move in any given combat encounter. To name just a few ...
15
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7answers
4k views

Can I delay my turn to the end of a round, by not rolling for initiative?

I am a Cleric and the main healer in the party. I've noticed that often it can be quite helpful for me to have my turn towards the end of the round rather than at the beginning, but I tend to come up ...
14
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4answers
3k views

Are creatures in combat aware of the effects of others turns' in the same round before they begin their own turn?

I have never played tabletop D&D before. Lots of NWN and BG on my PC though, so I know the basics. I got a 5e D&D "Essentials Kit" for my birthday and I'm going to try to run a ...
2
votes
2answers
324 views

Can Nerveskitter be cast during a surprise round, let's say directly when you realize that you are being ambushed?

Let's say my group is ambushed and no one is aware, the ennemies then have a surprise round against us. As soon as I am aware of the attack (they could jump/charge in front of us, shoot an arrow AND ...
3
votes
1answer
303 views

How do the rules on Combining Game Effects and Combining Magical Effects relate to damage types?

How do the rules on Combining Game Effects and Combining Magical Effects relate to damage types? Fire Bolts and Fireballs! I have a question about how to interpret the sections on Combining Game ...
13
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6answers
763 views

How to manage players wanting to carry out opposing actions?

I need to pick your brains for experience in dealing with this sort of situation. So, in our campaign there was recently an occasion where a character interfered with another character's actions. [I ...
16
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3answers
1k views

To what extent would using the initiative system from Edge of the Empire in 5e break the game?

I've been checking out Star Wars - Edge of the Empire and I really like the initiative system used in it. ... Once all Initiative checks have been made, the CM notes down the results of each ...
29
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1answer
2k views

Can a surprised monster use lair actions if they roll an initiative above 20?

The rules for lair actions say: On initiative count 20 (losing all initiative ties), it can use one of its lair action options. It can’t do so while incapacitated or otherwise unable to take ...
19
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8answers
5k views

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 ...
2
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0answers
108 views

How to handle “I attack” during a peaceful narrative [duplicate]

Abdullah, Ben, and Caroline are talking to a Drow that they know may prove hostile. Abdullah and Ben are fine with seeing how the conversation goes, but Caroline doesn't want to risk it. As the ...
9
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2answers
1k views

Can a human variant take proficiency in initiative?

I was making a human (variant) character, and I didn't knew what skill proficiency I could give them. I was wondering if I could give them proficiency in initiative. Since the Jack Of All Trades bard ...
2
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0answers
123 views

Questions about new initiative mechanics for an RPG [closed]

I'm designing a new tabletop RPG. I've got an idea for how to handle battle initiative and am looking for feedback and if it sounds reasonable/workable. Each character has 6 stats: Strength, ...
17
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2answers
3k views

How does attacking during a conversation affect initiative?

Say the party is smooth-talking a guard, and the rogue loses patience and throws a dagger. Combat ensues...is the next step to roll initiative? If so, does the rogue's thrown dagger not count as his ...