Questions tagged [initiative]

The rules governing the order of action in turn-based combat systems.

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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 ...
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Does Rakish Audacity improve or change your Initiative bonus?

The Swashbuckler Rogue's Rakish Audacity (found in Xanathar's Guide to Everything) says: You can give yourself a bonus to your initiative rolls equal to your Charisma modifier. Is this meant to ...
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When does a target respond to social interactions in battle?

Suppose we meet a patrol of three hostile goblins. The DM already called for initiatives. On the first round of combat, my turn comes first, and I decide to bribe the goblins to leave us alone. The ...
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What rule(s) apply to duration and maintaining effects in relation to changing Initiative?

After reading over similar questions about 5e, I realized I don't really know how duration and resource cost is affected by Delaying Initiative. Examples: Spell effects, such as 'buffs' Conditions ...
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Can a druid's “Giant Insect” attack immediately upon casting?

The level 4 Druid spell "Giant Insect" reads, in part: You transform [some arthropods] into giant versions of their natural forms... A centipede becomes a giant centipede [etc.]. Each ...
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How do creatures moving on the same initiative handle the effects of Sleep and Hypnotic Pattern?

Imagine a small group of goblins moving on the same initiative that are hit by hypnotic pattern. When one goblin that was not affected uses its action (or an attack) to wake its ally that failed the ...
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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 ...
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What does a more Careful player going first in a mental Conflict represent narratively?

It's unclear what is meant in the rules: Determine Turn Order (page 21) In a mental conflict, compare your Careful approach—attention to detail will warn you of danger. What "danger" is it ...
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Can Moment of Prescience be applied to an initiative check?

The Moment of Prescience spell grants its caster a large one-time bonus on certain types of rolls and checks. The restrictions on the rolls it can be applied to are: ...any single attack roll, ...
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How does using Speed Factor initiative affect the speed of play?

My players tend to carefully plan their actions in combat, leaning heavily on their knowledge of the combat rules. They take into consideration who will act when, and which enemies still have ...
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How Does Assassinate Work when Reinforcing a Fight that has already started?

The Rogue Assassin sub-class has the Assassinate ability as its first subclass feature at 3rd Level, with text that reads: Starting at 3rd level, you are at your deadliest when you get the drop on ...
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Does Passive Initiative exist (can it be used instead of rolling for Initiative)?

Initiative is an ability check. From what I understand, a DM may ask his players to use Passive scores for ability checks and/or use them for his NPCs (ex: Passive Perception). Is Passive Initiative ...
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If a character delays on their first turn in combat, are they still flat-footed?

Characters are generally flat-footed until their first turn in combat. However, the “special initiative action” delay allows you to take no action and then act normally on whatever initiative count ...
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Holding an NPC at knifepoint vs quick draw

Suppose a PC walks into a room to find Evil Guy #1 holding Good Guy #1 with a knife to his throat. EG immediately says, "Don't move at all, or I kill him!" The player of the PC then tells me, the DM, "...
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In combat, what can change the order or value of initiatives? [duplicate]

I'm wondering if there is something that can modify initiatives in combat, something like "Slow" or "Haste" spell (they do completely different things, though). I'm thinking something that can add +5 ...
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Can you cast a spell before Initiative has been rolled? [duplicate]

I've started Lost Mines of Phandelver a week ago and I want to know if I'm doing this right. My group has a rogue and a sorcerer in it. When the rogue sneaks up on a target (he rolls a Stealth Check ...
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Who goes first on tied readied action? [duplicate]

PCs and enemies were on two sides of a closed door. Both parties readied actions in case someone opens the door - mostly attacking whoever is on the other side. Finally one enemy opened the door and ...
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Can you choose to delay rolling your initiative?

This is a follow-up to this question, specifically to that answer. I understand the concern of wreaking havoc on the duration of spells and other effects by delaying your turn at will in the ...
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How should modifiers work for the Side Initiative variant?

The Side Initiative variant in the DMG (pg 270) states that both sides in a combat roll a d20 for initiative with no modifiers. I think the stated exclusion of modifiers was primarily for ...
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Can a character purposefully delay his position in the initiative order? [duplicate]

Many actions in combat (like making an enemy fall prone), can give an edge to your teammates (in this case, melee advantage) until the enemy's turn (in this case, he would get back up to end the ...
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1answer
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Can leaving and returning to an encounter make you roll a new initiative? [closed]

Several features, like a Level 15 Battle Master's "Relentless", give one or more bonuses (in this case, a superiority die if you have none left) at the initiative roll of an encounter. My question is ...
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320 views

When does Summon Monster cast in the Surprise Round finish?

If I begin casting Summon Monster in the surprise round, and I win initiative, can I finish the spell at the beginning of round 1?
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How effective is the Reactionary trait? [closed]

First, I'm pretty sure that you can't really calculate how good an attack bonus is without knowing an opponent's AC. If that logic holds true, then we can't specifically calculate how good a +2 ...
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How many times per round does Hero's Beacon affect Tiamat?

In the final encounter of Scales of War, each of Tiamat's heads gets its own initiative (on 45, 40, 35, 30, and 25) and can use one standard and one minor action. (If she wants to move, one head must ...
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May the effect of “Seize the Initiative” be applied to multiple allies while rolling for initiative?

An inquisitor of the Tactics subdomain get "Seize the initiative" at level 1 : Seize the Initiative (Su): Whenever you and your allies roll for initiative, you can grant one ally within 30 feet ...
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When does Flaming Sphere do its damage if the caster delays?

This came up recently, our wizard cast Flaming Sphere, and attacked an enemy with it, knocking him unconscious. The next round he wished to delay his action. When does the flaming sphere do its damage ...
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Are there any official rules for or even suggestion of using initiative order outside of combat?

This seems a little silly and possibly pedantic, but as I was writing an answer to An initial stealthy/surprise attack with subsequent adventurers entering combat afterwards?, I looked to find rules ...
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When incapacitation goes away on an NPC's initiative order, can that NPC immediately act?

There are many ways for the players to stop a monster from taking actions on their turn. Often times, that condition can be removed on that monster's initiative order. Should they then be allowed to ...
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How does initiative work if the PCs and NPCs are negotiating, and then a PC wants to take a hostile action? [duplicate]

Consider the following situation. The PCs are going along a road when they meet some NPC bandits. At first there is just tense negotiations, but no actual combat, until at one point in the ...
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What are the implications of replacing initiative with “Enemy Phase” and “Player Phase”?

Something I've been debating about implementing for my group is whether or not to throw out D&D's concept of initiative order for a less granular "Phase" -- all the players act, then all the ...
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Can a character delay their action until a later Initiative count, or do they just forfeit their turn unless they Ready an action? [duplicate]

In D&D 4e (4e PHB pg.288) you can Delay, which allows you to save all your actions for a later time, coming back into the Initiative Order "After any other combatant has completed a turn." Is ...
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Does surprise begin during the planning of an ambush?

From the rules in 5e, I understand that a combat encounter starts with the DM determining surprise, then setting starting positions, and rolling initiative. Then round 1 starts. Surprised participants ...
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How can I create a 'simultaneous' Init Order for encounters? [closed]

During encounters there is always an Initiative Order that allows players to choose their actions one after the other. This is fine, but the only problem is that it doesn't really simulate the actual ...
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Does initiative change in combat?

As far as I'm concerned, you only roll initiative at the beginning of combat and keep those rolls for the rest of the encounter. If that's the case (if it isn't, why?), what happens when the ...
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Can you delay your turn into the next round if you're the last in the initiative order?

Let's the turn order is: 20, Player A 15, Player B 10, Player C Can Player C delay until after Player A's next turn? This is a point of contention in a current game. Argument Against ...
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Can you have advantage/disadvantage on your Initiative check?

From the rules, it seems that an initiative check is just an ability check. There are numerous effects that give Disadvantage on ability checks, and some that give Advantage. I don't see it called ...
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Does your initiative change if your dex changes?

After combat has started will changes to your DEX stat (sufficent to change your dex bonus) change your initiative score? Example: Wizard Bob sees a goblin approaching and initiative is rolled; the ...
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Timing of bonus action and initiative order

I read many topics in relation to bonus actions and their timing, but there is still on aspect I need to see clearly: how can the DM determine whose action or bonus action comes first? How do the ...
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Do turned undead get their save at the start or end of the round?

When an intelligent undead is turned, does it gets its save at the start or end of the round? "Intelligent undead receive a new saving throw each round to end the effect" is the exact text. As far ...
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How do you add extra waves of NPCs to an ongoing fight? [duplicate]

Players enter a room, they see a bunch of sleeping guards and some dogs. They try to sneak in to get the jump on them, but the dogs have advantage on perception checks and detect them, initiating ...
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If a character is woken up by an ally during combat, when is their next action?

When a character is awoken after being affected by a Sleep spell (or any other of the various ways to give an adventurer extra Zzz's), when do they act? Have they been 'delaying' initiative until ...
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Can any actions happen at the same time/instant?

I don't know if this is philosophical or physics...but hopefully we don't have to go there: Inspired by: Does the Spirit Guardians spell stack with multiple casters? How do you determine the '...
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Does the DM secretly determine initiative?

In adnd and adnd-2e, do the rules mandate, recommend, or suggest that the DM roll initiative for all combatants—including the PCs—and keep the results secret from the players? Note: I know that Gygax ...
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Is it possible to have a surprise round if your opponent is aware of you, but unaware of danger?

I couldn't find the proper answer for this question. There may happen scenarios with some doublecrossing used-to-be allies, but is it mechanically correct to allow the traitor to have a surprise ...
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How can we model “acting first” in a hostile parley?

Two parties are arguing with each other, but combat has not started. Perhaps leaders on each side are trying to avoid combat, but having trouble controlling their troops. Perhaps they were interacting ...
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Unearthed Arcana Ranger: Does Natural Explorer apply all the time?

I have a player who's using the new Unearthed Arcana Update Ranger. They argued that should have advantage on initiative and on their first turn during combat all of the time. As a level 1 ability, I ...
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What happens when initiative allows a player to act before the player that started the combat?

This example is a somewhat simplified version of what happened during the last game I DMed for a bunch of friends. A party of PCs was trudging through the woods when they happened upon a very small ...
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Handling fights with many combatants and constantly changing initiative values

How can I handle many different initiative values in a non-standard initiative system? This is a problem that came up in a recent (Roll20) session of the German RPG "Splittermond". Splittermond uses ...
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What are the rules for introducing new creatures with initiative in battle? [closed]

I'm a new DM running Lost Mines of Phandelver with a group of new players. We are all comfortable with not sticking 100% to the rules as we try and feel out what it means to play D&D 5e and what's ...
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Players stopping other player actions

I recently had this come up in a campaign and I know I read about it in a book somewhere but I can't find it... I had one player (a monk) that wanted to punch a chest to see if he could break it open, ...