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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6
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2answers
298 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
329 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
358 views

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 ...
18
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3answers
1k views

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 ...
9
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2answers
402 views

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 ...
2
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0answers
147 views

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 ...
15
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6answers
4k views

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 ...
1
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2answers
2k 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 ...
10
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3answers
3k views

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 ...
11
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2answers
2k views

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 ...
24
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3answers
2k views

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 ...
1
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2answers
5k views

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 ...
3
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4answers
310 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 ...
3
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1answer
134 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
355 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 ...
7
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4answers
3k views

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 '...
3
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2answers
323 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 ...
10
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3answers
900 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 ...
9
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3answers
454 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 ...
11
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1answer
11k views

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 ...
59
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5answers
12k 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 ...
9
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3answers
370 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
773 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 ...
9
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3answers
681 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, ...
20
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2answers
4k views

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, ...
11
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3answers
1k views

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) ...
3
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2answers
275 views

When taking a non-combat action, do you move to the end of rank order first, or only after acting?

Sorry if it seems like a stupid question but I'm genuinely confused. On Page 62 of the core rule book it says: Once the fight has begun, if a combatant wishes to do something else besides ...
8
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1answer
568 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 ...
4
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2answers
311 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 ...
10
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2answers
1k 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 ...
4
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3answers
169 views

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 ...
8
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1answer
2k views

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 ...
1
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1answer
714 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 ...
24
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2answers
3k views

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 ...
2
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2answers
357 views

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 ...
13
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3answers
1k 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....
5
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2answers
207 views

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 ...
3
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2answers
257 views

Can you delay until you are no longer dazed?

I use a power that says "Target creature is dazed until the end of your next turn" against a monster that acts just before me in the initiative order. Can the monster delay its turn until my next ...
8
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3answers
2k views

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 ...
10
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2answers
1k views

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 ...
9
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3answers
5k views

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 ...
9
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3answers
1k views

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-...
4
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4answers
2k views

Conditions of readied actions

The fighter archetype, Crossbowman, has abilities called deadshot and greater deadshot. These abilities give bonus damage on crossbow attacks that come from readied actions. This gave me an ...
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1answer
145 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
124 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 ...
2
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1answer
231 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
755 views

Can I use Hero's Defiance (or an immediate action) before I've had a chance to take my turn?

Suppose I have a paladin in a fight with a tiger. We roll initiative, and the paladin is going to go last. In the first round, the tiger charges and deals 54 damage to my paladin, and takes them down. ...
-5
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1answer
366 views

Does haste trump first strike, or vice versa?

I've added a new enchantment to my AD&D game based on the "first strike" ability from Magic: The Gathering. It's simply defined as the ability to always go first in the round, every round. If a ...
12
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2answers
2k views

The Mysteries of AD&D 1e Initiative

Out of all the concepts I have learnt in AD&D 1e, I find initiative to be the most difficult to wrap my head around in a realistic way. I understand thus far that combat is divided into rounds of ...
7
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3answers
2k views

How to handle some new NPCs who enter a fight in progress?

I am GMing for the second time in my life, and do not know how to handle this situation: There are 5 PCs who walk through this map. In almost every room there are a couple of NPCs who might or might ...