What happens to my action if it becomes invalid due to an AoO or readied action.


Rules Questions

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Please click FAQ on this post:

If I have an action interrupted by another characters readied action (or AoO), and my action is no longer valid as a result, can I choose to take a different action in place of the one that triggered the readied action?


The above question gets mentioned in nearly every thread related to readied actions and how they function. So to get it resolved... click the above post for FAQ.

There are two primary schools of thought on this.

You can choose to take another action.

PRD wrote:


The action occurs just before the action that triggers it.

Because the readied action takes place before the triggering action, the character is free to choose a different valid action.

OR

You cannot change your action. If you change your action to something else, then what triggered the readied action in the first place?


If you go back in time and kill your father....


MichaelCullen wrote:
If you go back in time and kill your father....

You create a separate timeline in which your father is dead, and you never existed. So now you have two timelines: One where your father is dead and you don't exist, a version of you from another timeline does, and one where both you and your father exist, but you warp yourself over to another timeline to kill him.

Timeline 1 past: Your father exists.
Timeline 1 present: Your father exists, you exist.
Timeline 1 future: Your father exists, you do not exist, because you are in another timeline.

Timeline 2 past: Your father is dead, yourself from timeline 1 exists.
Timeline 2 present: Your father is dead, yourself from timeline 2 does not exist, yourself from timeline 1 exists if you haven't left yet.
Timeline 2 future: Your father is still dead, yourself from timeline 2 does not exist, yourself from timeline 1 exists if you haven't left yet.

Reality goes on as normal.

Hint: Don't try this in a pathfinder game, doubling up the same game is not worth it.


I fail to see how this is relevant. Please enlighten me with an example.


Rub-Eta wrote:
I fail to see how this is relevant. Please enlighten me with an example.

There's plenty of examples that could be used, but the most common one is:

A readies an action to attack and 5' step if he is attacked.
B attacks A, triggering the readied action.
A attacks and 5' steps away from B and is now out of range to be attacked by B. B's attack action is now invalid.

Another example would be drinking a potion, the potion gets sundered and destroyed, your action to drink the potion is now invalid.

Grand Lodge

You declared the action. Events have occurred as a consequence. It has become a fact in the game timestream.

If you're unable or unwilling to complete it, you don't get that action back. Your sneaky enemy has used his resources to deprive you of your turn and gets to enjoy it.

Nothing prevents you taking the action again, if you have more actions of that class available in your turn.

Liberty's Edge

Starglim wrote:

You declared the action. Events have occurred as a consequence. It has become a fact in the game timestream.

If you're unable or unwilling to complete it, you don't get that action back. Your sneaky enemy has used his resources to deprive you of your turn and gets to enjoy it.

Nothing prevents you taking the action again, if you have more actions of that class available in your turn.

Two level one fighters are sparring with swords. One fighter wins initiative and readies an action to attack and take a five foot step back whenever he would be attacked. He continues to read this action whenever his turn comes up. How does the other fighter ever land a melee attack?

Edit: I actually agree with your interpretation of the rules, I just think they're nonsensical as written.


The same thing as if he hadn't readied and just stepped back - the other fighter would need to move (possibly using a move action if more than 5ft) and make a single standard attack. All that has changed is the timing.

In the 5ft move case above, if the attacker declared a 5ft move and full attack I would allow the attacker to change this to a normal move and standard attack as I imagine the order would be...

1. Attacker steps in
2. Defender attacks and steps back
3. Attacker continues moving and then attacks.

Have still marked for FAQ though.


The Sword wrote:

The same thing as if he hadn't readied and just stepped back - the other fighter would need to move (possibly using a move action if more than 5ft) and make a single standard attack. All that has changed is the timing.

In the 5ft move case above, if the attacker declared a 5ft move and full attack I would allow the attacker to change this to a normal move and standard attack as I imagine the order would be...

1. Attacker steps in
2. Defender attacks and steps back
3. Attacker continues moving and then attacks.

Have still marked for FAQ though.

Wow, this is one of the least rules legal ways of handling this I've seen.

A 5ft step prevents other movement on your turn. So if I declare a 5ft step and then swing, you're not only taking back the standard action swing, but the 5ft step and transforming that into a normal move action that they can "continue".
Because number 1.5 is that the attacker starts to make attack against defender.


DrSwordopolis wrote:
Starglim wrote:

You declared the action. Events have occurred as a consequence. It has become a fact in the game timestream.

If you're unable or unwilling to complete it, you don't get that action back. Your sneaky enemy has used his resources to deprive you of your turn and gets to enjoy it.

Nothing prevents you taking the action again, if you have more actions of that class available in your turn.

Two level one fighters are sparring with swords. One fighter wins initiative and readies an action to attack and take a five foot step back whenever he would be attacked. He continues to read this action whenever his turn comes up. How does the other fighter ever land a melee attack?

Edit: I actually agree with your interpretation of the rules, I just think they're nonsensical as written.

Rather than tell you how to solve this, I'm going to ask you to think about what you'd have your character do if you faced this situation. Come back when you figure out the answer (sorry, I'm just really tired of explaining how trivial this is to shut down over and over and over again in every thread on this topic - or how much of a non-issue this actually is in the vast majority of games).


OH wow, two combatants taking some time not swinging, expecting their opponent to be waiting for the opening to strike waiting for an opportune moment. person 1 wasted their whole turn, why is "wasting" yours to negate their plan a bad thing?


Chess Pwn wrote:
The Sword wrote:

The same thing as if he hadn't readied and just stepped back - the other fighter would need to move (possibly using a move action if more than 5ft) and make a single standard attack. All that has changed is the timing.

In the 5ft move case above, if the attacker declared a 5ft move and full attack I would allow the attacker to change this to a normal move and standard attack as I imagine the order would be...

1. Attacker steps in
2. Defender attacks and steps back
3. Attacker continues moving and then attacks.

Have still marked for FAQ though.

Wow, this is one of the least rules legal ways of handling this I've seen.

A 5ft step prevents other movement on your turn. So if I declare a 5ft step and then swing, you're not only taking back the standard action swing, but the 5ft step and transforming that into a normal move action that they can "continue".
Because number 1.5 is that the attacker starts to make attack against defender.

The sad thing is that this is all 100% rules legal, and is perhaps one of the smartest Anti-Martial tactics to do.

From the PRD:

Take 5-Foot Step wrote:

You can't take more than one 5-foot step in a round, and you can't take a 5-foot step in the same round that you move any distance.

You can take a 5-foot step before, during, or after your other actions in the round.

Since a Readied Action is still an action, it can be performed (and since your turn technically occurs before the enemy, it would still be allowed that way). This means that a Reach build can A. Ready a Trip Attempt when an enemy gets within his melee reach, and B. Have a failsafe for if the Trip attempt fails (especially if an enemy is trying to Charge). They also get an Attack of Opportunity, which means that if they had a bad roll, they can very easily make up for it.

This also means that if either Trip attempt succeeds, the Readied Reach build could get a Full Attack in against a Prone enemy next round (which means -4 AC), and if the prone Enemy stands up again, they'll get another smack to the face, and can only get a single attack. The round after that, the Reach build then either proceeds to Full Attack again to finish the target off, or readies a 5-foot + Trip Attempt when the enemy attempts to attack them.

That's a major disadvantage for those who aren't Reach-based, and is now making me seriously consider building a Trip-focused Martial who can grow in size.


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My interpretation is that if your action is invalidated by a readied action, you can do anything else that you want to. It's more balanced and reasonable, and it's actually practical to use at the table.


CampinCarl9127 wrote:
My interpretation is that if your action is invalidated by a readied action, you can do anything else that you want to. It's more balanced and reasonable, and it's actually practical to use at the table.

we actually don't know rule for "balanced" because I feel the other option is more balance, I spend my action to MAYBE do something, if that something comes up it gets to be a bit stronger than normal. I think it's more reasonable because there's no take backs.

And that losing the action is easy to do at a table.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

The problem here is mainly readying a 5' step. That should not be a legit way to avoid an attack. That's what the Dex component of your AC is for.


Except that interpretation can completely shut down anybody that relies on melee attacks, just flat out canceling them as long as you can back up.


CampinCarl9127 wrote:
Except that interpretation can completely shut down anybody that relies on melee attacks, just flat out canceling them as long as you can back up.

I'll refer you to my above post :).


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Bill Dunn wrote:
The problem here is mainly readying a 5' step. That should not be a legit way to avoid an attack. That's what the Dex component of your AC is for.

The problem isn't that you can ready it; 5-foot step isn't an action, and you can't ready something that isn't an action, case closed. This means you can't spend a Readied Action just to 5-foot step.

The problem is that you can take a 5-foot step before, during, or after any of your actions within the round. So this means per RAW, if you were to use an Immediate Action ability, you could, in fact, take a 5-foot step in addition to that Immediate Action if you haven't moved throughout the round. Of course, this doesn't mean you can use it as a means to help trigger the readied action, but if an enemy provokes the trigger, you could use the 5-foot to, in fact, escape. It'd actually be a smart tactic to bait enemies out, readying Total Defense

In addition, whenever you Ready an Action, your place in the initiative is adjusted, and your Readied Action takes place right before the triggering activity (i.e. If an enemy attempts to attack you, you go Total Defense and 5-foot away from them), symbolizing that the Readied Action still takes place on your turn.

This could easily be countered with things like the Step Up and Strike feat chain, where even if they could 5-foot step away from you, you can keep up with them and beat their faces in, but the problem then becomes "How do I reach the enemy in the first place," and "Why do I have to spend 3 feats just to counter what a lot of tables would call shenanigans, even though it is permitted by the Pathfinder rules?" And most importantly, "Who the F!@# created these shenanigans?"


For me it would depend on what the activity the player had interrupted by the readied action as to what they might be able to do afterwards. It isn't necessarily as simple as the dichotomy listed in the OP. In some instances you could choose a new action in other cases no.

You can ready an attack and that attack might be a trip attempt.
You can not ready a 5 ft. step. One may or may not depending on what the readying player has done be able to choose to take a 5 ft. step as part of the attack/trip attempt.

Player A declares he will ready a trip attack should he be attacked by player B (or any other creature).
Player B moves up to the adjacent 5 ft space (and player A goes ugh I should have stated that a bit different) and then declares an attack on player A triggering the trip attempt by player A.

Assuming Player A takes a 5 ft step after his trip attempt we continue:
Trip fails ... I'd let player B continue to move (provided he didn't use all his movement) and attack Player A
Trip succeeds ... player B is now prone in a space 10 ft from player A and has a standard action still available to them.

"Another example would be drinking a potion, the potion gets sundered and destroyed, your action to drink the potion is now invalid"

I'd say you've used a standard action and have a move action remaining. Hopefully you use that action to get to a safe distance to retrieve and drink another potion.


Kayerloth wrote:

For me it would depend on what the activity the player had interrupted by the readied action as to what they might be able to do afterwards. It isn't necessarily as simple as the dichotomy listed in the OP. In some instances you could choose a new action in other cases no.

You can ready an attack and that attack might be a trip attempt.
You can not ready a 5 ft. step. One may or may not depending on what the readying player has done be able to choose to take a 5 ft. step as part of the attack/trip attempt.

Player A declares he will ready a trip attack should he be attacked by player B (or any other creature).
Player B moves up to the adjacent 5 ft space (and player A goes ugh I should have stated that a bit different) and then declares an attack on player A triggering the trip attempt by player A.

Assuming Player A takes a 5 ft step after his trip attempt we continue:
Trip fails ... I'd let player B continue to move (provided he didn't use all his movement) and attack Player A
Trip succeeds ... player B is now prone in a space 10 ft from player A and has a standard action still available to them.

"Another example would be drinking a potion, the potion gets sundered and destroyed, your action to drink the potion is now invalid"

I'd say you've used a standard action and have a move action remaining. Hopefully you use that action to get to a safe distance to retrieve and drink another potion.

That's the entire point of the Readied Actions clause: You state a condition, and you state what you will do in response to that condition happening. If the condition is either not met, or you aren't physically capable of fulfilling the response to that condition (such as being knocked unconscious or paralyzed), then you do nothing.

That being said, your examples are pretty spot-on. If the Readied Action is "If (creature) attacks me, I will Trip him with my Reach Weapon," then the trigger doesn't occur until the creature attempts the attack roll. From there, if the player did not move for that round, he could take a 5-foot step before he makes the Trip attempt, as the rules permit him to take a 5-foot step before, during, or after an action (which a Readied Action certainly is).

If, however, the player spent a Move Action to move 5 or more feet prior to readying his Trip attempt, the player would not be able to perform the ability to Trip him with his Reach Weapon, and therefore would not get any reconciliation for his Readied Action, and is the part that needs to be enforced.

Regardless of the result of the Trip attempt, we know that the player with the Reach Weapon did not react (that is, the proxy the player set for his Readied Action) until the creature spends a Standard Action to perform the Attack Action (which is the condition the proxy was set for), and once the player resolves his Readied Action, the creature is left with nothing but Swift and Immediate Actions.

With that said, the premise is simple: If the conditions for the proxy aren't met, then the proxy required for the Readied Action to execute does not take place, and therefore nothing happens. Inversely, if the conditions are met, but the proxy required for the Readied Action cannot be executed, then nothing happens. The proxy is set depending upon which action is taken. In my above example, the proxy was set to when a specific creature performs the Attack Action on the player.


CampinCarl9127 wrote:

Imagine this.

A: I ready an action to disarm if B attacks me.
B: I attack A.
A: I interrupt B, disarming him (rolls dice) successfully.

At this point is where we differ.

My Interpretation
B: Oh, in that case I draw my backup weapon.

Your Interpretation
B: Well that cancels my action, now it's lost and I can't do anything else.

I believe my interpretation is correct because it prevents you from canceling part of the timeline by using very questionable rules interpretations. I won't be so bold as to say my interpretation is absolutely RAW or that yours absolutely isn't, but I think mine is far more balanced and reasonable in its practicality.

My interpretation is correct, there is no cancelling of timeline in mine while there is in yours.

Your's
A: I ready an action to disarm if B attacks me.
B: I attack A.
A: I interrupt B, disarming him (rolls dice) successfully.
B: Oh, in that case I was attacking with my backup weapon and not my main weapon. Let me take back my attack, draw a new weapon, and now actually attack.
And this leads to, "well, can I change my mind and cast a spell now since I'm already taking back that I attacked." or, "I'm now going to move over here since I don't have a weapon"

Mine
A: I ready an action to disarm if B attacks me.
B: I attack A.
A: As B is swinging his weapon I interrupt B, disarming him (rolls dice) successfully.
B: Finishes his swing and is confused as there wasn't any resistance, looks in his hand and sees his weapon is missing.

But also mine
A: I ready an action to disarm if B attacks me.
B: I attack C, or used a ranged weapon to attack A, or many other things that cause A to "waste" his readied action.

My line of thought is since your readied action can fail to activate and prevents you from full attacking, that if it does work it'll be better than just swinging on your turn.


Kayerloth wrote:

For me it would depend on what the activity the player had interrupted by the readied action as to what they might be able to do afterwards. It isn't necessarily as simple as the dichotomy listed in the OP. In some instances you could choose a new action in other cases no.

You can ready an attack and that attack might be a trip attempt.
You can not ready a 5 ft. step. One may or may not depending on what the readying player has done be able to choose to take a 5 ft. step as part of the attack/trip attempt.

Player A declares he will ready a trip attack should he be attacked by player B (or any other creature).
Player B moves up to the adjacent 5 ft space (and player A goes ugh I should have stated that a bit different) and then declares an attack on player A triggering the trip attempt by player A.

Assuming Player A takes a 5 ft step after his trip attempt we continue:
Trip fails ... I'd let player B continue to move (provided he didn't use all his movement) and attack Player A
Trip succeeds ... player B is now prone in a space 10 ft from player A and has a standard action still available to them.

"Another example would be drinking a potion, the potion gets sundered and destroyed, your action to drink the potion is now invalid"

I'd say you've used a standard action and have a move action remaining. Hopefully you use that action to get to a safe distance to retrieve and drink another potion.

The bolded parts I don't see how you think they make sense with the rules. If he's finish his movement and started his standard action how can he "continue moving" and use another standard action? Why do they get to take back and change their minds as to what they are doing?


CampinCarl9127 wrote:

That is the most pathetic strawman I have ever seen. Since you fail to even understand the opposing view, I cannot possibly see how reasonable discussion can happen. Good day, feel free to rule however you want in your games. Just make sure your players know that your interpretation of readied actions can make a level 1 commoner take down a level 20 fighter.

This thread is turning into an embarrassment. I tried to be civil and fully explain my view as well as my understanding of the opposition and where the confusion might be happening, but I only get strawmans and accusations in return. Hit FAQ and move on, I refuse to comment on this joke of a thread any longer.

I'm sorry, not intending to strawman. I am stating what I see your view to be when I say "yours" If I am incorrect it is the perfect time to say, "Hey you got my view wrong, I'm not saying X like you thought I was I'm trying to say Y."

If that's not what you meant, then what do you mean?

You say you're not cancelling timeline, that the enemy B starts to swing, gets disarmed, can draw a new weapon and attack again all with the same attack. To me that seems like cancelling timelines, you cancelled the first attack and change what you're doing to make a different attack.
And how if you're doing that is there any difference from changing to cast a spell instead of attacking now?
If that's not what you meant, then what do you mean?

So the only ways I'm "failing to understand to opposing view" is that when I reflect back what I feel you're side trying to say I either don't get a response or a response like yours where you say I'm grossly strawmaning your view or similar reaction.
If that's not what you meant, then what do you mean?

But as far as your side goes, I feel the biggest support for your stance is, we don't like someone's planned and prepared for action specifically set to negate one option the enemy can do, to negate the one option the enemy can do if the enemy chooses to do that one.
If that's not what you meant, then what do you mean?

*And the easy solution is, you move up and ready an action to (attack, move with them, whatever you want) if they (move, attack, really whatever), if they move then they can't 5ft step on their readied action and now you're good to go hit them. If they stay near you you'll be able to match their 5ft with your own. This is assuming that you're forced to only go make melee attacks against this character. I'm really hopeful that the lv20 fighter who refuses to use a back up bow could figure this out and not be trumped by the commoner.


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Note: I have edited my above post. I decided to change how I responded.

I never, ever said they got to draw and attack. That is blatantly false.

In your interpretation, their standard action is gone. Nonexistent. Erased from the timeline.

In my interpretation, they can use their standard action to do something else now that what they were trying to do is impossible. In this particular example, he decided to draw a weapon (you can replace a standard action with a move action) instead.

In my interpretation, his standard action was not destroyed. It is simply invalidated so he must choose something else to do.

To do what you want is like this:

Player: I walk forward.
GM: There is a door there. Since your proposed action is impossible, your action is consumed for this round as your character stares in confusion as the wall.
Player: Uhh, could I open the door instead?
GM: No, you already said you were going to walk forward, and since that cannot happen, your action is gone.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The rules for initiative state how the combattants act. From higher initiative to lower. Exceptions to this come from taking special actions such as readied or AoO. Once you start your action, you continue doing it. You cannot change it in any way, because you are not using one of these special actions that specifically do not follow the initiative order.


Chess Pwn wrote:
The Sword wrote:

The same thing as if he hadn't readied and just stepped back - the other fighter would need to move (possibly using a move action if more than 5ft) and make a single standard attack. All that has changed is the timing.

In the 5ft move case above, if the attacker declared a 5ft move and full attack I would allow the attacker to change this to a normal move and standard attack as I imagine the order would be...

1. Attacker steps in
2. Defender attacks and steps back
3. Attacker continues moving and then attacks.

Have still marked for FAQ though.

Wow, this is one of the least rules legal ways of handling this I've seen.

A 5ft step prevents other movement on your turn. So if I declare a 5ft step and then swing, you're not only taking back the standard action swing, but the 5ft step and transforming that into a normal move action that they can "continue".
Because number 1.5 is that the attacker starts to make attack against defender.

Just to be clear. If I have moved one 5ft square, why can't I continue moving if I haven't yet attacked or made any other actions??

Edit: My understanding of Pathfinder was that you continued to take actions until your options had gone. Not that you had to declare in advance. If the ready action takes place before the attack then you can't attack at that point, but because you have only taken moved 5ft up to that point you can continue moving and then take your standard faction, or take a different full round action.


The Sword wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
The Sword wrote:

The same thing as if he hadn't readied and just stepped back - the other fighter would need to move (possibly using a move action if more than 5ft) and make a single standard attack. All that has changed is the timing.

In the 5ft move case above, if the attacker declared a 5ft move and full attack I would allow the attacker to change this to a normal move and standard attack as I imagine the order would be...

1. Attacker steps in
2. Defender attacks and steps back
3. Attacker continues moving and then attacks.

Have still marked for FAQ though.

Wow, this is one of the least rules legal ways of handling this I've seen.

A 5ft step prevents other movement on your turn. So if I declare a 5ft step and then swing, you're not only taking back the standard action swing, but the 5ft step and transforming that into a normal move action that they can "continue".
Because number 1.5 is that the attacker starts to make attack against defender.
Just to be clear. If I have moved one 5ft square, why can't I continue moving if I haven't yet attacked or made any other actions??

Because apparently you used your standard action by "failing to attack".


CampinCarl9127 wrote:

Note: I have edited my above post. I decided to change how I responded.

I never, ever said they got to draw and attack. That is blatantly false.

Sorry, when I saw "draw backup weapon" I assumed you were under the view of using quickdraw to do it free and could then continue your attack. Or have done it as part of movement prior to that attack. (both of these I feel people on your side are espousing and support.) I'm sorry that you thought it was an attempt to make your example seem absurd, and that I added to your words.

CampinCarl9127 wrote:

In your interpretation, their standard action is gone. Nonexistent. Erased from the timeline.

In my interpretation, they can use their standard action to do something else now that what they were trying to do is impossible. In this particular example, he decided to draw a weapon (you can replace a standard action with a move action) instead.

In my interpretation, his standard action was not destroyed. It is simply invalidated so he must choose something else to do.

Okay, I think we have differing view of erased from timeline and altering timeline. My interpretation is that their standard action was used to make an invalid attack. Similar to casting a spell and failing the defensive casting. Your standard action is "gone" because you tried to do something and failed to do it.

This is why I feel yours is altering the timeline and playing take back. You've already chosen what you wanted to do with your standard action and started it. Getting to do something else invalidates the trigger for the readied action because now you're not doing that action. Thus it's like, Move action to move, standard to trigger their readied action, extra standard to do whatever I want.

It seems you feel that, because their standard action didn't have full effect, that they should still have a standard action to do something with. That it doesn't matter that they started a different standard action, since it's impossible to finish they get to do something else with their standard action.

CampinCarl9127 wrote:

To do what you want is like this:

Player: I walk forward.
GM: There is a door there. Since your proposed action is impossible, your action is consumed for this round as your character stares in confusion as the wall.
Player: Uhh, could I open the door instead?
GM: No, you already said you were going to walk forward, and since that cannot happen, your action is gone.

No, first off the GM should have laid out the room and you'd know there was a closed door there to not make such a mistake.

Second, if we're not in combat it doesn't matter, but assuming it's in combat, and that you have a rule that if you say you're doing something you must do it, then me saying I walk forward would mean I'm going to try and walk through the door, maybe as a "bullrush" to break it, or just walking thinking it was an illusion.
Now assuming that this is a more friendly GM, again no, because you've not done anything that depends on what you're doing. You say you move forward but can't, well unless something happens when you think you wanted to walk and then realized there was a closed door, you haven't done any movement or anything to have spent your move action on. See my next point for clarification. I'd let them alter what they are actually doing.
so to apply this to the disarm example.
A readies.
B I move over and make a swing against A,
GM are you sure you don't want to do (other options)? he didn't do anything last round and he's not looking like he total defended.
B yes that's what I want to do.
GM Okay, A readied action goes off and stops your attack.

Thirdly it would be more like, I want to move down this 10ft hallway to the next room, I'm going to go ahead and provoke the AoO for leaving my square. Then after the first 5ft of movement you hit an invisible wall (we have those right?) you can now not finish moving down the hall like you thought, you can keep moving since you have more movement and move is fluid, not pre-planned all the way. You cannot say, oh that was just a 5ft step, lets take back his AoO. You can't say, oh since what I was trying to do is impossible I'm going to change this move action to a draw weapon action.

To support my side I present the rule of readied action. I'll be paraphrasing for quickness. "Assuming you can, you continue." TO me at least, I view that as saying, if you can, you do, if you can't, then you don't. This to me means that if you can't finish your standard action you don't finish through with the full effect, nor do you continue with a different standard action.

Another support is that you've already commenced with your action for my interrupt. Moving from a threatened square and being tripped, or making an attack against me and me moving away, both of these only happen if you do the action, thus you can't swap that action out for something different, you have to try to continue if you're able to, and if not then you just tried to do was foiled.

Also, nothing stops the guy from continuing his swing into the square you were in, which is what he was doing when you were in there, thus allowing you to finish your attack.

Do you have rule support to your view of getting to do something different because the enemy countered my plan?


The Sword wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
The Sword wrote:

The same thing as if he hadn't readied and just stepped back - the other fighter would need to move (possibly using a move action if more than 5ft) and make a single standard attack. All that has changed is the timing.

In the 5ft move case above, if the attacker declared a 5ft move and full attack I would allow the attacker to change this to a normal move and standard attack as I imagine the order would be...

1. Attacker steps in
2. Defender attacks and steps back
3. Attacker continues moving and then attacks.

Have still marked for FAQ though.

Wow, this is one of the least rules legal ways of handling this I've seen.

A 5ft step prevents other movement on your turn. So if I declare a 5ft step and then swing, you're not only taking back the standard action swing, but the 5ft step and transforming that into a normal move action that they can "continue".
Because number 1.5 is that the attacker starts to make attack against defender.

Just to be clear. If I have moved one 5ft square, why can't I continue moving if I haven't yet attacked or made any other actions??

Edit: My understanding of Pathfinder was that you continued to take actions until your options had gone. Not that you had to declare in advance. If the ready action takes place before the attack then you can't attack at that point, but because you have only taken moved 5ft up to that point you can continue moving and then take your standard faction, or take a different full round action.

the reason is because you stopped moving and started your standard action attack, because the readied action was waiting for you to have started your standard action to attack. If the readied action was for when an enemy got near me, then yes, you could continue your move since you didn't finish it by starting a different action.


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CampinCarl9127 wrote:
Well mostly because you have a track record of being a jerk

If you're aware of that then you should be aware that after almost all of the times people call me a jerk I appologize and ask what was I doing that was jerkish. This would kind of translate to a diplomacy penalty. But I hardly ever get anyone responding as to what I did that was jerkish to be able to stop it in the future. Personally I feel to many people read this with as much insult as they can, but until I can get someone to help point things out it's kinda hard to change, you know?


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Chess Pwn wrote:
Your standard action is "gone" because you tried to do something and failed to do it.

Here is the problem. You did not fail to do it. It is not possible, anymore than walking strait up without the help of magic.

They have not taken their standard action. It has not happened. Period. Therefore they still have a standard action to use.

Chess Pwn wrote:
To support my side I present the rule of readied action. I'll be paraphrasing for quickness. "Assuming you can, you continue." TO me at least, I view that as saying, if you can, you do, if you can't, then you don't. This to me means that if you can't finish your standard action you don't finish through with the full effect, nor do you continue with a different standard action.

Again, where we differ. If you can't, you don't.

Which means you need to do something else. Or do nothing if you want.

Do you have rule support to your view of not getting to do something different because the enemy countered my plan?

We have different interpretations of the English language at this point, which is where rules disagreements devolve into screaming matches. I think both views are perfectly valid by RAW, but that mine is far more reasonable and balanced. At this point I suggest we agree to disagree and walk away from the keyboards, hoping that the design team gets us a response after the holidays.


CampinCarl9127 wrote:
The Sword wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
The Sword wrote:

The same thing as if he hadn't readied and just stepped back - the other fighter would need to move (possibly using a move action if more than 5ft) and make a single standard attack. All that has changed is the timing.

In the 5ft move case above, if the attacker declared a 5ft move and full attack I would allow the attacker to change this to a normal move and standard attack as I imagine the order would be...

1. Attacker steps in
2. Defender attacks and steps back
3. Attacker continues moving and then attacks.

Have still marked for FAQ though.

Wow, this is one of the least rules legal ways of handling this I've seen.

A 5ft step prevents other movement on your turn. So if I declare a 5ft step and then swing, you're not only taking back the standard action swing, but the 5ft step and transforming that into a normal move action that they can "continue".
Because number 1.5 is that the attacker starts to make attack against defender.
Just to be clear. If I have moved one 5ft square, why can't I continue moving if I haven't yet attacked or made any other actions??
Because apparently you used your standard action by "failing to attack".

Similar in effect to a spellcaster failing to cast defensively.


Chess Pwn wrote:
CampinCarl9127 wrote:

Note: I have edited my above post. I decided to change how I responded.

I never, ever said they got to draw and attack. That is blatantly false.

Sorry, when I saw "draw backup weapon" I assumed you were under the view of using quickdraw to do it free and could then continue your attack. Or have done it as part of movement prior to that attack. (both of these I feel people on your side are espousing and support.) I'm sorry that you thought it was an attempt to make your example seem absurd, and that I added to your words.

CampinCarl9127 wrote:

In your interpretation, their standard action is gone. Nonexistent. Erased from the timeline.

In my interpretation, they can use their standard action to do something else now that what they were trying to do is impossible. In this particular example, he decided to draw a weapon (you can replace a standard action with a move action) instead.

In my interpretation, his standard action was not destroyed. It is simply invalidated so he must choose something else to do.

Okay, I think we have differing view of erased from timeline and altering timeline. My interpretation is that their standard action was used to make an invalid attack. Similar to casting a spell and failing the defensive casting. Your standard action is "gone" because you tried to do something and failed to do it.

This is why I feel yours is altering the timeline and playing take back. You've already chosen what you wanted to do with your standard action and started it. Getting to do something else invalidates the trigger for the readied action because now you're not doing that action. Thus it's like, Move action to move, standard to trigger their readied action, extra standard to do whatever I want.

It seems you feel that, because their standard action didn't have full effect, that they should still have a standard action to do something with. That it doesn't matter that they started a different standard action, since it's impossible to...

Your interpretation is undefined - nothing in the rules says what happens, but your interpretation creates a "meta" where people just ready actions to avoid getting hit. The more logical RAI is that the attacker moves 5' more and attacks the defender.


Chess Pwn wrote:
CampinCarl9127 wrote:
Well mostly because you have a track record of being a jerk
If you're aware of that then you should be aware that after almost all of the times people call me a jerk I appologize and ask what was I doing that was jerkish. This would kind of translate to a diplomacy penalty. But I hardly ever get anyone responding as to what I did that was jerkish to be able to stop it in the future. Personally I feel to many people read this with as much insult as they can, but until I can get someone to help point things out it's kinda hard to change, you know?

This is actually the first time I've seen you do that.

But you are right, I was being overly harsh. I apologize for accusing you of being a jerk, and I apologize for acting like a jerk myself. I was in the wrong there.

The reason I thought you were being a jerk is because of what I interpreted as a strawman, and because you were expressing your interpretation of the rules as the only one that is valid by RAW.

Edit: To add, I don't think your interpretation is "wrong". The English language is dicey at best, and your interpretation is a perfectly valid way of reading it. I just believe that the way that combat functions, that interpretation is unbalanced and illogical.

Edit 2: Perhaps I'm just a little bristly from sparring words with Crimeo the other day. He can test the patience of a saint.


Chess Pwn wrote:
Similar in effect to a spellcaster failing to cast defensively.

That is different. We have very clear rules defining what spell fizzling is.

Chess Pwn wrote:
Your interpretation is undefined - nothing in the rules says what happens, but your interpretation creates a "meta" where people just ready actions to avoid getting hit. The more logical RAI is that the attacker moves 5' more and attacks the defender.

^^^ Exactly. It's an easily abused interpretation. It reminds me of my friend who always thought that if he yelled at me quick enough when combat started he would get a surprise round.


FAQ button clicked.

RAW is clear, and also clearly broken. It needs a caveat that you can't use a 5ft as part of a readied action.

The Concordance

If you weren't allowed a 5ft step as part of a ready, would this be solved? Would it be balanced?


nicholas storm wrote:
Your interpretation is undefined - nothing in the rules says what happens, but your interpretation creates a "meta" where people just ready actions to avoid getting hit. The more logical RAI is that the attacker moves 5' more and attacks the defender.

If people are readying an action, hoping it triggers and being prevented from full attacking, to avoid being hit by a melee attack then your ranged attackers and spellcasters will be having a hay day as their targets and worst fears are to busy hoping to negate someones attack.


Chess Pwn wrote:
nicholas storm wrote:
Your interpretation is undefined - nothing in the rules says what happens, but your interpretation creates a "meta" where people just ready actions to avoid getting hit. The more logical RAI is that the attacker moves 5' more and attacks the defender.
If people are readying an action, hoping it triggers and being prevented from full attacking, to avoid being hit by a melee attack then your ranged attackers and spellcasters will be having a hay day as their targets and worst fears are to busy hoping to negate someones attack.

Yeah, if the opponents have rangers and spellcasters. That is not always the case. A great deal of low-level encounters have only melee combatants, and even a few higher-level ones do. At high levels these kind of rules shenanigans aren't as bad, but when you're fighting a couple of half-orcs trying to rob you it shouldn't be possible to literally negate their ability to attack you with nothing but repeated readied actions.


CampinCarl9127 wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
nicholas storm wrote:
Your interpretation is undefined - nothing in the rules says what happens, but your interpretation creates a "meta" where people just ready actions to avoid getting hit. The more logical RAI is that the attacker moves 5' more and attacks the defender.
If people are readying an action, hoping it triggers and being prevented from full attacking, to avoid being hit by a melee attack then your ranged attackers and spellcasters will be having a hay day as their targets and worst fears are to busy hoping to negate someones attack.
Yeah, if the opponents have rangers and spellcasters. That is not always the case. A great deal of low-level encounters have only melee combatants, and even a few higher-level ones do. At high levels these kind of rules shenanigans aren't as bad, but when you're fighting a couple of half-orcs trying to rob you it shouldn't be possible to literally negate their ability to attack you with nothing but repeated readied actions.

An easy solution is, you move up and ready an action to (attack, move with them, whatever you want) if they (move, attack, really whatever), if they move then they can't 5ft step on their readied action and now you're good to go hit them. If they stay near you you'll be able to match their 5ft with your own. This is assuming that they're forced to only go make melee attacks against this character.

Also if you're fighting two the first will get stopped and the second will still be able to attack.


Chess Pwn wrote:

An easy solution is, you move up and ready an action to (attack, move with them, whatever you want) if they (move, attack, really whatever), if they move then they can't 5ft step on their readied action and now you're good to go hit them. If they stay near you you'll be able to match their 5ft with your own. This is assuming that they're forced to only go make melee attacks against this character.

Also if you're fighting two the first will get stopped and the second will still be able to attack.

Now you get in a vicious cycle of failed readied actions as both characters ready for when the other does something, but they never do it. A full minute later the fighter is still dancing in circles with the enemy barbarian and the wizard yells in confusion, asking what's going on. The fighter yells "We're both doing readied actions, it's impossible to attack! The first person that stops using readied actions loses!"

It's utterly ridiculous. It's a very novel interpretation of how the rules should function, and such nonsense is best kept away from the gaming table.


CampinCarl9127 wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
CampinCarl9127 wrote:
Well mostly because you have a track record of being a jerk
If you're aware of that then you should be aware that after almost all of the times people call me a jerk I appologize and ask what was I doing that was jerkish. This would kind of translate to a diplomacy penalty. But I hardly ever get anyone responding as to what I did that was jerkish to be able to stop it in the future. Personally I feel to many people read this with as much insult as they can, but until I can get someone to help point things out it's kinda hard to change, you know?

This is actually the first time I've seen you do that.

But you are right, I was being overly harsh. I apologize for accusing you of being a jerk, and I apologize for acting like a jerk myself. I was in the wrong there.

The reason I thought you were being a jerk is because of what I interpreted as a strawman, and because you were expressing your interpretation of the rules as the only one that is valid by RAW.

Edit: To add, I don't think your interpretation is "wrong". The English language is dicey at best, and your interpretation is a perfectly valid way of reading it. I just believe that the way that combat functions, that interpretation is unbalanced and illogical.

Edit 2: Perhaps I'm just a little bristly from sparring words with Crimeo the other day. He can test the patience of a saint.

Crimeo's the worst I've ever seen, and I thought I had seen some stubborn incorrect people.

RAW I feel taking back actions started isn't anywhere or hinted at anywhere. RAI, they did a haphazard job when they defined these interrupts, but that they meant these (readied and AoO) to interrupt someone whose already doing something. RAW, we have failed standard actions, and you can swing at any square, hoping for an invisible person in that square. So yes, I feel that taking back actions and getting to do something other than the triggering action isn't RAW supported in any way. And the closest thing to support it I feel is that, people think it's "unbalanced and illogical" for interrupts to have any power to them of interrupting and stopping an action.


That seems like metagaming and also shuts down full round actions.

I would instead suggest there is a difference between readying if someone attacks me as opposed to if someone appears to be about to attack me.

1. Readied action if someone attack me. The person attacks you, you then take your action.

2. Readied action if someone appears to be about to attack me. You act before and the attacker gets to do something else. The action never happened so you aren't taking anything back.

You might want to do the first if you have readied a potion to drink, or want to cast a healing spell. The second might be a defensive action.

The way the rules work aren't clear, but it seems to me you either ready to be triggered before an action or after - you can't have it both ways. What is being suggested by some people puts all the benefits for both options on the readying character. This slows the game down and allows weak characters to invalidate strong characters. I know how the party X would feel if a kobald stopped his attack through such trickery.


Chess Pwn wrote:
CampinCarl9127 wrote:
Edit 2: Perhaps I'm just a little bristly from sparring words with Crimeo the other day. He can test the patience of a saint.
Crimeo's the worst I've ever seen, and I thought I had seen some stubborn incorrect people.

Oh my god I know. Even when I think I'm absolutely right I try to leave room for the bit of doubt, saying something like "Well it's possible, perhaps if the design team weighs in..." It must be the engineer in me. Nothing is absolute!

Chess Pwn wrote:
RAW I feel taking back actions started isn't anywhere or hinted at anywhere. RAI, they did a haphazard job when they defined these interrupts, but that they meant these (readied and AoO) to interrupt someone whose already doing something. RAW, we have failed standard actions, and you can swing at any square, hoping for an invisible person in that square. So yes, I feel that taking back actions and getting to do something other than the triggering action isn't RAW supported in any way. And the closest thing to support it I feel is that, people think it's "unbalanced and illogical" for interrupts to have any power to them of interrupting and stopping an action.

The problem is that I don't see an action as failing if it didn't occur. Attacking an empty square because you thought an invisible person was there is a miss, but the attack did happen, just as much as if you missed a completely visible person by rolling too low to hit their AC. But it's another thing if the attack didn't occur, which is what we're talking about. That is where our fundamental disagreement lies. I do not see it as a failed action, because it has not occurred yet.


CampinCarl9127 wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:

An easy solution is, you move up and ready an action to (attack, move with them, whatever you want) if they (move, attack, really whatever), if they move then they can't 5ft step on their readied action and now you're good to go hit them. If they stay near you you'll be able to match their 5ft with your own. This is assuming that they're forced to only go make melee attacks against this character.

Also if you're fighting two the first will get stopped and the second will still be able to attack.

Now you get in a vicious cycle of failed readied actions as both characters ready for when the other does something, but they never do it. A full minute later the fighter is still dancing in circles with the enemy barbarian and the wizard yells in confusion, asking what's going on. The fighter yells "We're both doing readied actions, it's impossible to attack! The first person that stops using readied actions loses!"

It's utterly ridiculous. It's a very novel interpretation of how the rules should function, and such nonsense is best kept away from the gaming table.

no vicious cycle, A readies and doesn't move, B moves in and readied/total defends whatever. A can no longer kite, if he readies to attack and move, B, when he attacks, can take his 5ft step during his attack to get him in reach again to land his blow and no dancing needed.

Honestly I feel that your side blows interrupts as some win all card or something. When they really only work against un-creative enemies or accomplish things you could have done on your turn. And they aren't even guaranteed to go off. It's not novel as many people support this view when it's been discussed, normally with AoO of moving out of threatened squares or spellcasting and doing a different action.


Is it all powerful? Not by any stretch.

But it shuts down any build that relies upon hitting things in melee. While there may be a hundred other ways to do that, something as trivial as readied actions should not be able to do that. Hence I will never allow that at my table.

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