98

Our group writes the names on pieces of colored paper, about half the size of 3x5 index cards. These are folded in half and the names of each combatant written twice upon the card, so that it forms a little tent, with the name readable from either side. When initiative is rolled, the cards are placed in order straddling atop the DM screen, shoved over to one ...


89

You could break out of the loop if the druid had any healing potions and 1 spell slot remaining upon realizing the loop existed. Here's the general flow: Enemy orc's turn finishes, with friendly orc having 2 failed death saves. Friendly orc's turn comes and goes, hopefully without a failed death save. (Not much to do if this fails!) Druid's turn comes. ...


73

I recently saw an excellent post by Matthew Colville on Twitter and use a slightly modified version of this system. It consists of a dowel rod and clothes-pins with names written on both sides for the players and clothes-pins with colored stickers (Walmart link) for the baddies and NPCs. Everyone can see the order and it's very expandable for use with minis.


56

Yes! The initiative roll is a Dexterity ability check, and is intend to gain a benefit from "Jack of all Trades". Per Player's Handbook p. 177: At the beginning of every combat, you roll initiative by making a Dexterity check. Rules designer Jeremy Crawford unofficially confirmed this on Twitter: Is the bard's Jack of All Trades feature intended to ...


56

You were right! In that type of situation, everyone is ready to begin fighting at any moment. Everyone basically is 'readying' for their fight - not just the PCs. Readied Actions These actions do require a trigger to be specifically stated, as well as the action they will take if triggered. In a general situation, most Readied Actions take place during ...


53

In this scenario, your bandits were no doubt taken by surprise when one of them got shot. Unless there's some sort of telepathy or pre-planning involved, I would've ruled that the other PCs were also surprised. In this case, for the first round all combatants bar your shifty PC are surprised (which is sometimes helpful to think of as a condition), meaning ...


49

Yes, the Bard adds 1/2 proficiency to initiative. In 5e all checks are ability checks. This is why every check in published materials is listed as Ability (Name), such as Strength (Athletics). Initiative is a Dexterity check. Under Initiative in the PHB: every participant makes a Dexterity check to determine their place in the initiative order. (p. ...


46

No. There is no delay action in the PHB or BD&D. The only way to postpone your action is to ready an action and wait for the specified trigger. Using this action burns your reaction, but does not change initiative as in previous editions. There is actually no way to jump around the initiative order (temporarily or permanently) at all at this time in ...


45

Since the goblin is sleeping, you could rule that the rogue surprises the goblin and gets a free round of actions before the goblin can react. In this case initiative is rolled as usual, but only the rogue gets to act on the first round (so if the goblin wins initiative, it still gets to act only after the rogue completes their turn). Even if you don't rule ...


44

What you're looking for is the definition of the Casting Time entry in a spell's description, on page 129 of the Player's Handbook. (Segments are from AD&D 1st edition and aren't relevant if you're playing AD&D 2nd edition.) The relevant part on that page is: If only a number is given, the casting time is added to the caster's initiative die rolls....


44

If you read the following paragraph in the PHB after the section you mentioned on turn order (pg. 189) you'll see it says: If you’re surprised, you can’t move or take an action on your first turn of the combat, and you can’t take a reaction until that turn ends. On top of that, it's important to note that A round represents about 6 seconds in the ...


44

I'm going to disregard any DM sanity here, and assume anything and everything published is on the table... Attributes - +10 +10 from any attribute, because there are shenanigans that will allow you to get them to 30 involving combinations of attribute-increasing tome/manuals, Deck of Many Things Star cards, etc. Base bonus is therefore +10 from Dexterity. ...


43

I have always handled this by not having the one who starts the combat roll initiative. After all, initiative rolls are for determining who goes when, but we already know who acts first in the round. Rolling initiative for that character only interferes with what we already know about the situation. It's simple and seamless to just leave the attacker who ...


43

The narration of the event seems strange to you because you are confusing the planned order of events with the actual order of events. The plan was that the encounter begins when A throws their dagger. So if the characters had followed the plan then the order of events for round 1 would have been: X does nothing because they don't know they are in an ...


43

You take your turn and can act as normal The Weapon of Warning (DMG, p. 213) states: [...] you and any of your companions within 30 feet of you can't be surprised, except when incapacitated by something other than nonmagical sleep. [...] You have stated that your companions were all outside of the range for this effect, however that does not prevent it ...


39

The Rogue could attempt a Grapple. Athletics may not be a Rogue's strong suit, but you mentioned that the Rogue was having trouble dealing damage anyway. So instead of attacking, the Rogue could attempt to Grapple the Orc (contesting their Athletics check with the Orc's Athletics or Acrobatics). The nice thing about this is that where AC is fixed, with a ...


38

You risk creating an atmosphere which is toxic to your own game if you concern yourself with this kind of nuance of speech. You have established that the action would have been completely permissible and legal with subtly different phrasing; the player was open, honest, and clear with you about the specific one that he was attacking, rather than being vague ...


37

You enter turn-based action when you need to track time* that closely. You leave it as soon as you don't need that close tracking. Turn-based time tracking dominates combat, but it can also be used for chases (DMG 252), complex traps (DMG 121), even tense social scenes. That said, it's a really clunky mechanism, right up there with alignment and "what HPs ...


36

The Fighter must wait until round 3 During round two in your scenario, when the Cleric heals the Fighter, the Fighter's turn has already ended for that round, so they would need to wait until the next round to take another turn. The rules for death saving throws state the the saving throw is made at the start of the dying creature's turn (the Fighter, in ...


35

Thinking like a monster There's no question: focus fire is a good idea. No matter how you look at it, the mathematics are in your favor if you try to injure one enemy until it is down, and then move on to another. Once you realize this, it may seem like you either have to use this tactic, or be completely unrealistic to what an enemy would do. But there are ...


34

Your problem as described doesn't sound like meta-gaming. It sounds like making tactics, and working together. You should encourage this! If your team can act faster than the goblin, it makes perfect sense to take it out before it can take an action. From your comment: I am trying to stop full conversations about what to do next in combat To me it ...


32

I think you handled that correctly. I generally handle such situations that whoever chooses to act first gets one action to start the conflict, then everyone rolls initiative, and we proceed from there. If someone else in the situation effectively had a "readied action" -- in this case, the wraith was clearly on edge, ready to duck at the slightest ...


32

You can't For the situation you've described and based upon the motivations of the enemies involved, you cannot practically escape the loop you are in. For thematic story reasons, the orc will continue to pummel you into the ground until you are dead even while being slowly whittled down by the Rogue from range. The best thing that could be done is for the ...


32

Yes, That Description is RAW That is the way mechanics happens in RAW. How you narrate that to make sense is up to you. Remember the rules have to be turn based to make it run and everything that happens in a round is happening inside 6 seconds and at roughly at the "same time". Two Common Alternatives There are two common alternatives I've seen: ...


31

You don't declare your actions beforehand; you just take them. Chapter 9 of the PHB/basic rules describes how actions in combat work. The "Combat Step-by-Step" sidebar in the "The Order of Combat" section lists how combat proceeds: Determine surprise. The DM determines whether anyone involved in the combat encounter is surprised. Establish ...


30

The key phrase here is "during your turn". That doesn't mean "At any point during the round". It is specifically on your turn, which is the point in the round where your initiative roll is up. In both the examples you give, it is during a different character's turn, so the bonus action can't be taken (unless the rules for that particular bonus action ...


30

The wizard can't Ready a spell before combat begins The wizard can cast spells during her first round, but she can't release a readied spell before her first round because she can't Ready a spell before combat begins. As Jeremy Crawford clarified: The options, including Ready, in the "Actions in Combat" section (PH, 192–93) are meant to be used in ...


29

From the SRD: Initiative Initiative determines the order of turns during combat. When combat starts, every participant makes a Dexterity check to determine their place in the initiative order. The GM makes one roll for an entire group of identical creatures, so each member of the group acts at the same time. The GM ranks the combatants ...


29

No. Readying actions is not how you should handle an ambush. It is a mistake for the DM to allow players to spend actions (by readying an action to use later) before combat has started. Until you roll for initiative, gameplay isn't broken up into actions in that way. Instead, the DM should rule that the Orcs are surprised by the players, who have set up an ...


27

No, initiative is used only to determine the initial order. Initiative Checks: At the start of a battle, each combatant makes an initiative check. An initiative check is a Dexterity check. Each character applies his or her Dexterity modifier to the roll. Characters act in order, counting down from highest result to lowest. In every round that follows, the ...


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