Special Initiative Actions

A character can take one of the following actions to change when he acts during combat by altering his place in the initiative order.


By choosing to delay, the character takes no action and then acts normally on whatever initiative count he decides to act. When delaying, he voluntarily reduces his own initiative result for the rest of the combat. When his new, lower initiative count comes up later in the same round, he can act normally. The player can specify this new initiative result or just wait until some time later in the round and act then, thus fixing his new initiative count at that point.

A character can never get back the time he spends waiting to see what's going to happen. He can't, however, interrupt anyone else's action (as he can with a readied action) - if he chooses to act, it always takes place after the other action, not before.

Initiative Consequences of Delaying: If the character comes to his next action and has not yet performed an action, he doesn't get to take a delayed action (though he can delay again); his initiative count remains the same.

If he takes a delayed action in the next round, before his regular turn comes up, his initiative count rises to that new point in the order of battle, and he does not get his regular action that round (he effectively sacrifices an action in one round to gain a higher initiative count in the next and for the rest of the combat).


The ready action lets a character prepare to take an action later, after his turn is over but before his next one has begun. Readying is a standard action. It does not provoke an attack of opportunity (though the action being readied might do so).

Readying an Action: A character can ready a standard action, a move action, or a free action. To do so, the player must specify the action his character will take and the conditions under which he will take it. Then, any time before his next action, he can take the readied action in response to that condition, if it occurs. The action occurs at the same time as the action that triggers it. If the triggered action is part of another person or creature's activities (such as spellcasting), he may interrupt the other person. Assuming the target is still capable of doing so, it continues its actions once the character completes his readied action. Each round he maintains a readied action, it takes up one attack of opportunity (meaning he can make one less AoO for that round). If the readied action goes off, he loses a standard, move, or free action on the next round (whichever type the readied action used). He can otherwise act normally until the readied action is used.

A character can take a combat stride as part of his readied action, but only if he doesn't otherwise move any distance during the round.

Initiative Consequences of Readying: If the readied action takes place, the character's initiative result changes - for the rest of the encounter, his result is the count on which he took the readied action, and he acts at the same time as the person or creature whose action triggered his readied action. If he comes to his next action and hasn't performed his readied action, he doesn't get to take the readied action (though he can ready it again).

Distracting Spellcasters: A character can ready an attack against a spellcaster with the trigger "if she starts casting a spell." If the attack damages the spellcaster, she may lose the spell she was trying to cast (as determined by her Concentration check result).

Readying to Counterspell: A character can ready a counterspell against a spellcaster (often with the trigger "if she starts casting a spell"). See Counterspelling for more details.

Readying a Weapon Against a Charge: A character can ready certain piercing weapons, setting them to receive charges. A readied weapon of this type deals double damage if he scores a hit with it against a charging character or creature.

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