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Questions tagged [initiative]

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

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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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956 views

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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3answers
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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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5answers
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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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1answer
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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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2answers
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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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4answers
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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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1answer
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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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4answers
248 views

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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1answer
114 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
251 views

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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4answers
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How to use table seating order for initiative without nerfing initiative-based features?

Although I've experimented with the alternative initiative rules in the DMG and with other ideas I've read about online, I always return to the standard initiative rules in 5e combined with initiative ...
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2answers
272 views

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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4answers
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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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3answers
708 views

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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3answers
380 views

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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1answer
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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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3answers
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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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1answer
486 views

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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3answers
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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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3answers
622 views

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, ...
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Should the DM reveal monster initiative?

I've recently picked up D&D 5e, and watching some You Tubes, noticed that some DMs do not reveal monster initiative during the first round, and the players only learn of the monsters initiative, ...
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2answers
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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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3answers
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Does initiative order pose team against team? Or shuffle all combatants up?

I've been out of the DM game since the early 80s, now coming back to 5e (which I love). I'm reading up like mad, but my mind mixes up versions of the game. I remember each team (PCs vs enemy NPCs) ...
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1answer
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Using Portent on Initiative Rolls

Say 4 goblins ambush a level 2 party, everyone is surprised but the Wizard decides to use his Portent feature to influence the initiative roll of the enemy. One of his portents is a natural 1, and he ...
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1answer
537 views

What would change if Initiative wasn't rolled?

What would change if there was no rolling for initiative and instead, whoever had the highest bonus to initiative went first (in descending order)? The only rolling would be for determining who would ...
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2answers
261 views

Can a Surprised character use powers triggered when initiative is rolled?

Certain powers are triggered when initiative is rolled, such as the power for the Casque of Tactics. Power (Daily): Free Action. Use this power when initiative is rolled. Swap initiative check ...
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2answers
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Is There A Non-Homebrew Way To Add Proficiency to Initiative?

I know in some homebrew classes, such as Matt Mercer's Gunslinger Archetype, you can add your proficiency bonus to your initiative modifer. Are there any ways of doing this in the official rulebooks?
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3answers
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Is Holding initaitive possible?

Can characters hold their initiative (or simply wait until another acts) in order to coordinate with each other, like to perfectly strike the enemy in sync? Would there be any mechanical benefit from ...
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2answers
816 views

How to optimize initiative?

I want to make initiative the highest possible for a level 1 character in Pathfinder. Here's what I got: +5 DEX 20 (18 plus race) +4 Improved Initiative (feat) +4 Familiar (compy or scorpion) +2 ...
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1answer
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From when to when does a 1 round effect last?

In Pathfinder with 3pp content allowed, I want to build a soulknife whose mind blade has the coup de grace enchantment. It reads: Coup de grace weapons are exceptionally dangerous. On a successful ...
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1answer
561 views

Lightning Lure / Falling Damage Question [duplicate]

So I'm playing a Variant Tiefling from the SCAG, and I took the Winged trait. I also took the Lightning Lure cantrip, so that I could combine LL's 1d8 lightning damage with the 1d6 bludgeoning damage ...
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4answers
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How to handle initiative when a new force joins a combat in progress

I am DMing a small hunger-games-like adventure where there are multiple parties of NPC who also are participating. It is pretty likely that the PCs will happen upon some of the NPCs fighting some ...
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2answers
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Would changing Surprise to just give Disadvantage on Initiative checks overlap with any existing sources of Disadvantage?

In an effort to make the game more interactive, I'm strongly considering house-ruling the Surprised condition to read "this creature has disadvantage on initiative rolls" instead of outright skipping ...
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2answers
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Can you “buff” yourself with minor actions before initiative is rolled?

There are items and powers in 4th edition that allow you to spend a minor action to have an effect until the end of the encounter. For example, An armor with a daily minor-action power that grants ...
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3answers
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When do you receive a bonus action and reaction?

When you start combat, after determining surprise and establishing positions; you roll for initiative. At this point, do all combatants have a reaction or bonus action even if they are not first? For ...
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4answers
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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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Does a Readied action extend into another round?

Had a 5e session today, with a player wanting to delay his turn. Since Delay was removed and Ready was the closest option, we tried to use it. In this situation his trigger action was to wait until ...
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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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3answers
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How do you handle “until next turn” effects with the Speed Factor Initiative Variant?

The point of the Speed Factor variant is to make combat more unpredictable by varying turn order. From the DMG (p. 270): Under this variant, the participants in a battle roll initiative every round....
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2answers
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How do I resolve RAW and 'common sense', with the phrase 'When you roll for initiative', when combined with initiative variants?

There are two class features, Perfect Self (PHB p. 79), and Relentless (PHB p.74), which contain the phrase 'when you roll for initiative.' Both allow the character to recover some expendable ...
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5answers
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Does a controlled mount share its rider's turn?

From "Controlling a Mount" on p.198 of the Player's Handbook: The initiative of a controlled mount changes to match yours when you mount it. It moves as you direct it, and it has only three action ...
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An old school experienced DM insists Magic Missile always goes first. Does it or not, and why?

A friend of mine is an experienced DM who started with D&D and then the AD&D 1st edition back in the day. I'm currently DMing AD&D Second Edition for him and he's playing a Wizard. He has ...
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3answers
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How to determine initiative for a summoned creature entering an ongoing combat?

Lets consider that a creature is summoned during an ongoing fight: Does it roll initiative normally? Does it have to wait a whole round to act? Can it act before other creatures (assuming it's got ...
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3answers
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Mechanical side effects of randomised Initiative in 5e

Initiative I am starting a new 5e campaign and I am planning to use randomised initiative. I feel recording initiative take too long, for both my players and me. I tried grouping monsters and pre-...
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1answer
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Do I also add half my level again if I can add a second attribute to a roll?

Consider a level 4 character with 14 Dex and 16 Int. Normally this character would have an initiative modifier of +4; +2 for Dex, and +2 for half level. If this character takes a feat or gains a magic ...
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Do creatures summoned by the Conjure Animals or Conjure Woodland Beings spells act on the round they are summoned?

When a druid or ranger summons creatures using the conjure animals or conjure woodland beings spells, do the creatures act on the round they're summoned, or do they not act until the following round? ...
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3answers
534 views

Group Initiative [closed]

Is there a way I could have the entire group roll initiative, add up their score, and do the same for the monsters. adding or subtracting to the amount of rolls depending on the number of creatures ...
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1answer
117 views

Do monsters summoned in a round get to roll init for the same round, when using per-round init?

Assume you're a caster in AD&D 2e with the ability to cast Monster Summoning I, and your game rolls init on a per-round basis. When you summon a monster on a round, does your monster roll init to ...
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1answer
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Casting, initiative, casting time modifiers, and deciding when to cast

Short form: can my character decide to use his turn for a spell instead of a weapon attack after initiative has been rolled for the round? A fight with some Bullywogs (which kept spawning new waves ...