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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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16
votes
2answers
768 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
votes
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
4k 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
96 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 ...
7
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2answers
811 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
84 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, ...
16
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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 ...
9
votes
2answers
529 views

What happens when two creatures actually share the same turn?

Related to this Q/A ("Does a controlled mount share its rider's turn?") where there doesn't seem to be a consensus on whether or not the rider and their mount actually share a turn. I am left ...
4
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1answer
105 views

Does an already controlled mount need to roll for Initiative?

The Player's Handbook has this to say about Controlling a Mount: The initiative of a controlled mount changes to match yours when you mount it. (...) A controlled mount can move and act even on he ...
10
votes
3answers
612 views

Is there a way, other than having a Diviner friend, for a player to avoid rolling Initiative at the start of a combat?

I've been starting to theorize the following concept: a player who would... never... roll dice... ever. Not in combat, not elsewhere. No dice. Literally. But I have come across a major obstacle: ...
9
votes
1answer
158 views

Can you delay action while unconscious?

Suppose my character in PF1 is unconscious and dying, and the party cleric's turn is not until after mine in the initiative round. I would like to avoid wasting a turn by delaying until after the ...
15
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1answer
2k views

Can you take actions after being healed at 0hp?

Suppose the case: There are three participants fighting, a Fighter, a Cleric and a goblin, the Fighter and the Cleric fight against the goblin. The initiative is Fighter (18), Cleric (12) and goblin (...
6
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1answer
185 views

End of combat / turn order dilemma

To keep things simple: In a party of adventureres, there are 2 rogues; we'll say one has an initiative of 20, the other of 10. The rogue with the initiative of 20 kills the second-to-last enemy ...
24
votes
2answers
1k views

Can you use a reaction to affect initiative rolls?

Expanding upon this question in a tweet at Jeremy Crawford who confirms once again that Initiative is a skill check and can be modified by things that modify ability checks. Cutting Words states ...
2
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0answers
94 views

Are there games in which a natural 20 on initiative has specific effects? [closed]

Pretty much every d20-game uses a d20 roll to determine initiative at the beginning of an encounter. Also, pretty much every d20-game has some instances in which a natural 20 gets a special treatment (...
27
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4answers
4k views

What happens when your group is victim of a surprise attack but you can't be surprised?

My character was unaware of a group of bandits, but my character cannot be surprised (I have a Weapon of warning) but the rest of my group is out of the range of my weapon of warning, do I get to ...
10
votes
1answer
344 views

Which aspects of D&D 5e will be affected by incorporating the Savage Worlds “Card Draw Initiative”?

The Savage World System In Savage Worlds, Initiative is determined by using a 54-card deck (standard 52-card deck, including the Jokers). Each player and enemy is dealt a card (or group of enemies, ...
5
votes
3answers
905 views

Should I be able to use the Gloom Stalker ranger's Dread Ambusher class feature when attacking before initiative has been rolled to add a d8 damage?

There was a case in a in a session of my Homebrewy D&D 5e game that I played recently where I was playing a Gloom Stalker Ranger lvl 4 and was hidden from an enemy that was unaware of an incoming ...
36
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6answers
6k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
143 views

Can I decide to lower my Initiative after rolling it in order to permanently change my position in the sequence of turns? [duplicate]

The current question is in some sense a follow-up to the following one: Can I delay my turn in D&D 5e? The answer to that question is no. The only means to acting at a different turn in the ...
8
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2answers
530 views

Does a surprised creature stop being surprised after its first turn, even if nothing happened? [duplicate]

Surprised creatures are no longer surprised after they took their first turn in combat. But it feels counter-intuitive to apply this to a situation like the one below. A group successfully sneaks up ...
11
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4answers
2k views

Initiative: Do I lose my attack/action if my target moves or dies before my turn in combat?

I am new to 5E. Something I am wondering about is if I declare that this turn I am going to move X feet and attack target A and then move X feet and attack target B, what happens if my target moves or ...
7
votes
1answer
133 views

Can conjured creatures act in the round they're conjured in?

Specifically, if someone casts the Create Homunculus (Creation 26) spell, could the homunculus created thusly act immediately? Taken to extremes, this could well set up a budget grey goo scenario: ...
5
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2answers
139 views

How can I make initiative useful as a stat, when I'm removing it from combat?

I'm running a D&D 3.5e game over a private forum. In order to keep combat moving, I've decided that each combat round will be "resolved" once a day (or more often if everyone posts). The players' ...
8
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4answers
1k views

How does initiative work when teleporting into combat?

A Wizard PC Teleports their party from a safe place directly to the location of a group of foes, who the party intends to attack. If the foes did not know this was about to happen, they should be ...
25
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3answers
2k 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, ...
10
votes
1answer
411 views

If the DM rolls initiative once for a group of monsters, how do end-of-turn effects work?

A wizard rounds a corner to find two kobolds brandishing their weapons. Roll initiative! The DM determines that neither side is surprised. The DM then makes a single initiative roll (10) for the two ...
1
vote
1answer
137 views

Can I drop concentration on a damaging spell before it affects an ally in combat? [duplicate]

If on my turn I cast a damage spell that requires concentration, can I keep it up on subsequent enemy turns then drop it before it damages an ally at the start of their turn? For example, this is ...
2
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0answers
62 views

How to properly initiate combat when leading with an assassination as an Assassin Rogue? [duplicate]

I'm somewhat new to the game so sorry if this question is a stupid one and my english isn't the best either so pls excuse that as well ^^. That being said, I'm unsure how initiating combat with an ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

Moving from one room/cave to another within the same dungeon

I am a new GM and new to D&D. Currently, I am running the Lost Mines of Phandelver (LMoP) D&D 5e starter campaign. My group have just finished the Cragmaw Hideout section, but as we ran it we ...
8
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3answers
2k views

Will rerolling initiative each round stop meta-gaming about initiative?

I am thinking of implementing Speed Factor Initiative, but I don't really want to use all of it. Speed Factor Initiative "RAW" would work like this: Everyone must declare an action prior to rolling ...
3
votes
1answer
534 views

Can a character take a reaction before their turn? [duplicate]

Can a character use his reaction in the first round of combat before their turn? There is no surprise involved here.
7
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3answers
3k views

How do I handle initiative and turns for a group of monsters?

A monster group consists of three kobolds. Firstly, as DM do I roll initiative once for the whole group? Secondly, when it is the kobolds turn, do I roll a separate attack for each kobold? If so ...
24
votes
3answers
3k views

How to handle initiative for a sleeping creature?

Imagine a rogue PC sneaks into a room where a goblin -- who ought to be standing watch -- is instead taking a nap. The PC's stealth roll is enormously high (as befits a rogue), such that the goblin ...
29
votes
5answers
12k views

How high can a PC's initiative bonus get?

Usually, most PCs rely solely on their Dexterity ability score modifier for their initiative; however, there are ways to get bonuses to initiative. How high can this bonus get? For example, there's ...
-2
votes
2answers
491 views

Can I use Assassination twice if I use it before combat initiative? [closed]

In my game I'm playing as a assassin rogue and I have just reached level three. My question is if I attack something in my understanding I get my assassination feature. If we then roll initiative and ...
6
votes
4answers
657 views

Can players decide at the start of combat what order to act in when planning an attack on a known enemy?

What keeps a player from deliberately planning their own initiative action themselves by choosing to act in a predefined sequence and waiting until a monster has acted? If all the players do this, ...
4
votes
3answers
508 views

Is initiative order affected by a player volunteering to begin combat? [duplicate]

In the campaign I run, it is frequently the case that one player will make an attack against an unsurprised enemy to start combat. For example: DM: "At the end of the long hall, you see a large ...
55
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14answers
14k views

How to break the “Death Loop” resulting from unfortunate initiative order

In a recent session, an encounter with a single particularly tough Orc (who was my doppelganger, trying to kill me) left the party dealing chip damage a few rounds at a time while they attempted to ...
12
votes
3answers
959 views

Is it possible to repeatedly give someone else the Help Action for an eventual Initiative roll?

Let's say Bob really wants Fred to act quickly for an eventual fight which they feel will come soon. Can Bob repeatedly give Fred the Help Action for his eventual Initiative roll ("Stay focused! Stay ...
14
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2answers
1k views

How do I have creatures move in formation?

Here's the scenario. A group of 4 adventurers move into a room of 5 highly trained kobolds who employ group tactics. Their main strategy is shield walls with kobold-sized pikes. They try to form up ...
1
vote
2answers
820 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
66 views

Who attacks first in a battle of Readied Attacks? [duplicate]

This question is best illustrated in an abridged example: Combat has already begun and a goblin sees a Paladin on his noble steed. He readies an attack on this trigger: When the Paladin enters my ...
4
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1answer
88 views

How is initiative affected by dice pool modifiers?

Initiative rolls do not generate hits, so how are the dice pool modifiers from sustained spells subtracted?
19
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7answers
3k views

Is this alternative initiative house-rule balanced?

As a fairly new DM, one thing that has commonly occurred in my sessions so far is my PC's starting combat outside of initiative. For example after a telepathic conversation with a Nothic was going ...
21
votes
3answers
2k views

If an attack alerts someone to your presence, can their initiative save them from being surprised in time?

In D&D 5e "Surprise" is a condition that can affect a creature during the first round of combat, only until the end of their turn: [... T]he GM compares the Dexterity (Stealth) checks of anyone ...
3
votes
1answer
166 views

Deferred Initiative Breaching A Shut Door [duplicate]

If the party rolls but our first man through is not first in order, may the other characters defer their spot to follow the tank in and proceed with their turns? Or would they just have to skip their ...
13
votes
3answers
6k views

When exactly does combat start and surprise take effect?

So 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 ...
13
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4answers
3k 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 ...
29
votes
5answers
5k views

How does combat start when one PC is not seen as a threat?

Imagine a party of four - three honest characters standing face to face against three evil bandits, one sly, backstabbing type some 30 ft behind the bandits' backs; the bandits may know he's there, ...