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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3
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1answer
160 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? ...
6
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1answer
141 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 ...
9
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1answer
351 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?
5
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2answers
481 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 ...
22
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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 ...
6
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1answer
244 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 ...
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 ...
34
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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
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3answers
419 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 ...
10
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1answer
228 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 ...
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 ...
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1answer
221 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 ...
2
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1answer
178 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 ...
12
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2answers
992 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)?
10
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2answers
274 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 ...
5
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1answer
129 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. ...
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1answer
260 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
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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 ...
5
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1answer
126 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 ...
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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 ...
11
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1answer
215 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 ...
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0answers
64 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 ...
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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
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1answer
149 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 ...
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0answers
183 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
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1answer
651 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 ...
4
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6answers
790 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 ...
2
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1answer
146 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 ...
0
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1answer
175 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 ...
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 ...
28
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2answers
4k views

Can I use Flash of Genius on an initiative roll?

The Artificer's Flash of Genius says: When you or another creature you can see within 30 feet of you makes an ability check or a saving throw, you can use your reaction to add your Intelligence ...
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4answers
342 views

Order of resolution of several identical initiative Attacks

It sometimes happens that several identical monsters, all using the same initiative, attack a single character. In my games, this is often a volley of missile fire after a PC has shown themselves to ...
22
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4answers
1k views

Interaction between Subtle Spell, Initiative and Alert Feat

I'm running a game and I'm trying to gank a few of my players with an NPC Sorcerer with Subtle Metamagic. However, one of the players has the Alert feat which states he cannot be surprised. Can I cast ...
4
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2answers
283 views

Is this magic Ranger amulet balanced?

Item description The following item was made with a 5th level ranger in mind. The goal was to create an item that is mechanically fitting, and combat-relevant but not a weapon or armor. Amulet of the ...
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2answers
1k views

Can an enemy "surprise" a character with the Alert feat by readying the Attack action before initiative is rolled?

My character with the Alert feat was attacked and received damage pre-combat. Specifically, our party was walking through a dark cave, and on the ceiling there was a swarm of insects (that none of the ...
6
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2answers
194 views

Mechanical tool for combat adjudication management

I'm working on my own homebrew RPG system which I want to keep light on rules. Therefore I add only rules when they are needed. One rule which I did not use was an implementation of "initiative&...
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2answers
514 views

Wood elf initiative

I am playing a Wood Elf Monk. I have a 20 dex, so my initiative is +5. Do wood elves gain any other pluses to initiative?
8
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1answer
183 views

What can you do in combat if you don't have initiative?

Losing initiative is described as: When your foe has initiative against you, they are forcing you to react. ... Some moves are inherently proactive or offensive and can only be made when you have ...
6
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1answer
252 views

In the Ubiquity RPG system, what is the advantage of using continuous combat?

In the Ubiquity RPG system (as used in Hollow Earth Expedition or Space 1889), an alternative initiative system ("continuous combat", where actions take place continuously, without use of combat turns)...
2
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0answers
67 views

Do creatures of the same type go on the same turn? [duplicate]

According to the Basic Rules: Initiative determines the order of turns during combat. When combat starts, every participant makes a Dexterity check to determine their place in the initiative ...
10
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2answers
503 views

Ranged-attack initiative and sequencing for monsters and NPCs

How interesting that after over 20 years of playing RPGs, new basic rule questions still crop up...: The PC group I'm DM-ing got into a fight with two bugbears and eight goblins in a long 10-foot ...
6
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2answers
602 views

When does a banished creature act in initiative once the concentration on Banishment ends?

I have a question regarding the banishment spell in Dungeons & Dragons 5e, when can the banished target act? The spell duration end, the target acts in her turn? Rolls a new initiative because he ...
22
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7answers
4k views

Would this house rule on initiating combat be balanced?

My question is similar to this question about a house-rule that the initiator of combat acts first but skips their first turn in initiative, but about the opposite situation. The author of that ...
11
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2answers
4k views

How can I become guaranteed to move first in an encounter?

3.5e is a very exploitable game and I am vaguely aware of a number of ways to make it highly probable that my character will be the first to move in any given combat encounter. To name just a few ...
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7answers
4k views

Can I delay my turn to the end of a round, by not rolling for initiative?

I am a Cleric and the main healer in the party. I've noticed that often it can be quite helpful for me to have my turn towards the end of the round rather than at the beginning, but I tend to come up ...
14
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4answers
3k views

Are creatures in combat aware of the effects of others turns' in the same round before they begin their own turn?

I have never played tabletop D&D before. Lots of NWN and BG on my PC though, so I know the basics. I got a 5e D&D "Essentials Kit" for my birthday and I'm going to try to run a ...
2
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2answers
351 views

Can Nerveskitter be cast during a surprise round, let's say directly when you realize that you are being ambushed?

Let's say my group is ambushed and no one is aware, the ennemies then have a surprise round against us. As soon as I am aware of the attack (they could jump/charge in front of us, shoot an arrow AND ...
3
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1answer
367 views

How do the rules on Combining Game Effects and Combining Magical Effects relate to damage types?

How do the rules on Combining Game Effects and Combining Magical Effects relate to damage types? Fire Bolts and Fireballs! I have a question about how to interpret the sections on Combining Game ...
13
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6answers
772 views

How to manage players wanting to carry out opposing actions?

I need to pick your brains for experience in dealing with this sort of situation. So, in our campaign there was recently an occasion where a character interfered with another character's actions. [I ...

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