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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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,...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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7 votes
2 answers
272 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 ...
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4 votes
1 answer
283 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'...
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5 votes
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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 ...
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4 votes
1 answer
94 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 ...
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4 votes
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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 ...
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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. ...
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11 votes
1 answer
229 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 ...
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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 ...
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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? ...
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6 votes
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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 ...
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9 votes
1 answer
404 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?
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5 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
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23 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 ...
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6 votes
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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 ...
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23 votes
11 answers
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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 ...
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35 votes
4 answers
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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 ...
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  • 445
5 votes
3 answers
642 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 ...
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10 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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13 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
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11 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
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4 votes
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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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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12 votes
2 answers
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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)?
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10 votes
2 answers
355 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 ...
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5 votes
1 answer
172 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. ...
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-8 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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4 votes
5 answers
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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 ...
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5 votes
1 answer
148 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 ...
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3 votes
2 answers
118 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 ...
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11 votes
1 answer
260 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 ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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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 ...
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1 vote
0 answers
44 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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
166 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 ...
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0 votes
0 answers
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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 ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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4 votes
6 answers
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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 ...
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  • 1,613
2 votes
1 answer
171 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 ...
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0 votes
1 answer
179 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 ...
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  • 6,054
15 votes
2 answers
6k 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 ...
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28 votes
2 answers
5k 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 ...
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5 votes
4 answers
394 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 ...
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22 votes
4 answers
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 ...
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4 votes
2 answers
326 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 ...
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15 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
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6 votes
2 answers
200 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&...
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-2 votes
2 answers
618 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?
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8 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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