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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11
votes
3answers
613 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. ...
11
votes
1answer
190 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 ...
4
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2answers
1k 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 ...
47
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4answers
76k views

Can I choose to delay my turn in combat?

In D&D 4e there was an option to Delay your initiative: Perform your actions as desired and adjust your initiative to your new position in the order. Does this rule to change initiative ...
9
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1answer
362 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?
6
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1answer
149 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
197 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? ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

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. ...
23
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11answers
5k 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 ...
15
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4answers
11k views

When exactly does combat start and surprise take effect?

Say I'm going to ambush an orc. I successfully sneak up on him and I attack. The DM determines that the orc is surprised. The orc happens to get an initiative roll of 19, while I get a 10. How would ...
5
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2answers
497 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 ...
1
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2answers
2k views

For creatures animated using Animate Dead spell, whose initiative do they act on?

Regarding the initiative of creatures animated by the use of the animate dead spell. Is it correct that if there is more than one creature, they share the same initiative? Or can they just be ...
20
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6answers
4k views

How does having monsters of the same type go at the same time affect balance?

I'm running a group of 6 PC's through HotDQ. All of them are new to 5e and we just started, so the combat is pretty slow, and some of them aren't all that excited about combat to begin with. I'm doing ...
23
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4answers
1k 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 ...
13
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4answers
4k views

How can I solve burst damage problem when rolling group initiative?

Problem The PHB states, at p. 189 The DM makes one roll for an entire group of identical creatures, so each member of the group acts at the same time. Honestly, I usually ignored this one, except ...
6
votes
1answer
254 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 ...
45
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8answers
10k views

What to do when surprise and a high initiative roll conflict with the narrative?

Consider the following situation. Two creatures A and B sneak up on a creature X, successfully remaining unnoticed by it. Without signalling this to B in any way, A then throws a dagger at X from its ...
23
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4answers
32k views

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 ...
61
votes
7answers
16k views

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 ...
35
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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
470 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 ...
23
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3answers
18k views

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? ...
10
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1answer
280 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 ...
25
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3answers
3k views

Can a wizard cast a spell during their first turn of combat if they initiated combat by releasing a readied spell?

My wife plays a wizard. We hear Orcs coming up the hall. The wizard decides to ready a spell for when the door opens. So she casts the spell and holds it, until 10 seconds later, the door opens, ...
4
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1answer
299 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 ...
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
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2answers
1k 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 ...
2
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1answer
184 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 ...
10
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2answers
300 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 ...
12
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2answers
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)?
15
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2answers
5k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
140 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. ...
16
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4answers
11k views

How do I handle initiative when a new force joins a combat that's already 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 ...
-8
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1answer
261 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
votes
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 ...
23
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5answers
11k views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
128 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
votes
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 ...
25
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5answers
4k views

When do player characters leave turn-based action (i.e. initiative order) if they are in a hostile area?

In most circumstances, it is easy to determine when turn based combat ends: One side is completely killed, unconscious or has fled All parties declared truce But when in a hostile area, like a ...
11
votes
1answer
225 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 ...
4
votes
6answers
848 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 ...
1
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0answers
66 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
43 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
150 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
186 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
675 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
151 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 ...
9
votes
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
177 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 ...
52
votes
3answers
6k views

When and how does combat start in a standoff?

I run Adventurers league at a local game cafe with a veteran group that has lots of experience playing prior editions. However these players knowledge of the rules is an amalgamation of 5e rules and ...

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