Readying an action to any trigger you want


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

In tonight's game, the players walked out of a beachside fortress right into the broadside of a ship's cannonade.

Thing was, the ship had readied actions to fire their cannons upon their commander's command.

The command wasn't given until one of the PCs started casting a spell. The commander saw what was happening, spoke his command out of initiative order, and the sorcerer ate a face full of cannon.

When I called for a concentration check to see if she kept the spell, the table blew up at me.

They cited that if you could ready actions off of a verbal command, and verbal commands could be given any time outside of initiative order, then why would anyone ever choose a trigger?

By making the trigger a verbal command, you could literally take your readied action at any time, for any reason.

I'm inclined to agree that it seems kind of cheesy, but the rules do seem to support it.

Am I missing anything? Or is this just a really powerful way to make use of readied actions?

In any case, my group calmed down somewhat when we agreed that she would eat cannon ball, but it would not disrupt the spell (they argued that the timing wouldn't match up and, by that point, I just wanted to get on with the game).


Technically you have at least 2 readied actions going on there one dependent on the other occuring. First, imo, the commander needs to ready an action to give the command ... and it has to be fairly specific. Such as "when I see spell casting, or drawing of weapons, etc,." The more vague the conditions the more 'abusable' or open to 'woops' it becomes. In this case he has to actually perceive and identify that a spell is being cast (plus or minus any other conditions associated with the readied action). Then second you have the ready action by the gunnery crew(s). You could go with just the one crew readying an action but then the commander has to roll for and deal with the initiative order which might lead to the Sorcerer and others taking their actions prior to the crew firing.

My 2 cents anyway.

Edit: And stupid question but what type of action is firing the cannons? I know very little about ship combat in PF. Guessing it is not a full round action as that can't be readied.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Except talking is clearly stated to be a free action that can be taken outside of initiative order. Insofar as I can tell, no readied action is necessary on the part of the commander.

In this case, he shouted for the cannons to fire, while pointing at the spellcaster. That's it.


Hmmm perhaps. That is I see why you are saying that. I think RAW and RAI are colliding full tilt here and why it feels/felt a bit cheesy to your players. Think this really boils down to a GM call. Perhaps combat has already started i.e. it's really more of an ambush which has generated no end of threads about initiative. The PC's perhaps let their guard down, screwed up ... otherwise how did they ALL walk out into view of the cannons? Obviously I don't know the details but if my whole party walked out in full view of a bunch of cannons I'd be slapping our scout(s) and/or caster(s) up side the head asking them what happened to our recon among other things?


I would say the commander can use his free action to speak out of turn, but as it is not a readied action he cannot do it to interrupt another character's turn. So it could happen at the end of the sorcerer's turn, but not during the spellcasting.


Readied actions are a mess against players, and they usually complain no matter how well you set the scene.

Did the PCs hear an order to shoot only when the Commander said so? Did you give an indication that the cannons were manned?


It does seem cheesy. On the other hand,the default assumption should be that the cannons are manned...

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Maybe because I started playing as a wargamer and then discovered RPGs, but it don't seem weird to me.

The limit is that the commander had no time to specify against who they should fire. That was probably defined beforehand, probably something like: "At my order all cannons should fire against the people on the near the fortress gate. Guns 1 and 2 at the leftmost target, 3 and 4 to the second on the left ... "and so on.
They wouldn't all fire at the spellcaster as giving out that order in advance is really difficult.


Ravingdork wrote:
talking is clearly stated to be a free action that can be taken outside of initiative order

Talking is, yes. But noticing someone doing something specific - like casting a spell - isn't. Nor is barking an order, which is something quite different from regular speaking. And when you have one of these in response to the other: noticing spellcasting, then ordering a counter-attack, then you've gone far beyond normal conversation.


I would have asked for the concentration check if the gunnery crews had readied their actions against the PCs (using the Distracting Spellcasters part of Ready) instead of the verbal command. Since the trigger was a verbal command, the crews could roll perception checks to see if they spot who the captain was pointing at. If so, fire at the sorcerer after the spell is cast. If not, fire at a PC but not necessarily who the captain targeted. In this situation, no one had a readied action with the trigger “if she starts casting a spell” so the Distracting Spellcasters section doesn’t apply.


I, personally, think it makes sense.

Would it be possible for a PC to do a similar thing?

Could I ready an action to shoot an arrow at the first enemy who speaks? I think this is a valid "Readied Action."

Could I ready an action to shoot an arrow at the first enemy who makes a specific gesture (such as pointing)? I think this is also a valid "Readied Action"


Couple questions. What size of ship was it? I'm assuming a rather large ship if it has a broadside of cannons available. If so, you're looking at a pretty deep draft, so the ship would have to be a far bit off-shore. The perception check (and spellcraft to know a spell was being cast) increases with range. Even hearing them talking can be difficult (a range of 3000 feet from a beach is not impractical for a ship galleon size).
As others have pointed out, how did the crew know which person to target. If you had say 12 cannons on the side, and 3 targeted to each member of party (assuming a 4 person party) that would be reasonable...but having the commander shout out "fire at the dude in the funny hat on the left who is waving his arms!" would be more than a free action. Aiming a cannon takes a full round action so as others have stated cannot be used as a readied action.


I'd agree that the action sequence of ready to fire on captain's command, and captain making a command based on perception check against hostile target(s) all triggered by hostile target action is valid.

I'd also say that yes, the perception check to spot the hostile action is questionable but there is the lame "spellcasting manifestations" argument which would signal hostile action anyway.

I haven't vetted the cannon firing but based on above statements about targeting time the gunners would have to set up a target square before the readied action as it takes to long to retarget the cannon, so targeting a specific individual out of a group of possible hostiles is questionable. I would have spread the attacks evenly among the group or squares that they occupy and the row behind them.


The issue I see is that aiming a siege engine(cannon) appears to require a full round action according to the table I found here.
https://www.d20pfsrd.com/gamemastering/other-rules/siege-engines/


Targeting a specific person, probably not. If they had cannons aimed at the door and ready to fire on command, sure I'd say the captain redies his action to command and the others ready to fire on it and...

Here's the more important thing, you're the GM. Rule 0, the rules are there to make the story better. If breaking the rules makes the story better, then it works because it needs to and your players need to understand that you've probably allowed a lot of very flexible one time cool stuff they wanted to do like swinging from chandeliers and throwing goblin poo to blind something. It's perfectly fine with them when it happens for them to have a cool moment, why can't I happen for the NPC once in a while to give them a moment of crushing despair before they claw their victory from you? That's the basis of narrative power. If there's never an awesome moment of defeat, the story gets boring.


assuming the ship and crew were there for awhile setting up, they could target the squares as I suggested and set up readied actions (but - it's out of combat...). Then when the group comes out of the fortress opening (probably 4 squares wide) it's a classic ambush. I would have called for perception checks and run a surprise round but that's just me.

It's not my job to rate GM quality or second guess what happened in a game in a chat forum... what happens happens and you move on. It's not NFL coaching from your couch. LoL

Raving has been posting to the boards for awhile. Review his postings and see what you think.
I'm sure his game will continue no matter what the opinion is here...


Azothath wrote:
...

I feel like that might have been targeted towards me, so I'll clarify: I know Raving, I'm not questioning gm ability (though honestly I didn't look at the name and just responded independently to the question), so much as reaffirming what I feel is the appropriate solution to the problem. Not a rules based solution, a narrative based one where the rules themselves are irrelevant and not particularly worth a lot of fine detail thought in this case. If I came across disrespectful, I definitely apologise as it wasn't my intention at all.


Shiroi wrote:
...

it's fine. I'm not addressing you specifically as I didn't quote you. People post their ideas and opinions, as do I, and that's what this thing is for. This forum is a bit special as it tends to be RAW centric.


i'll only point one thing.
talking is a free ACTION.
in surprise round, anyone not aware can not take an action. (unaware combatant can not act in surprise round).

even as pointed above, if the players surprised the captain, then even if he did ready an action (and he needed to state what he ready for.like stated above- say a caster casting a spell etc) if he is an unaware combatant he can not act while the party does.

one more thing that might interest you about reading an action. you can ready an action to ready an action. and while the 1st's trigger need to be specific the 2nd readied action and it's trigger need not be.
so for example if you have a brace weapon. and you don't know if the enemy would charge or not, you can ready an action to ready an action once he get in range (or better yet 5 foot sooner as you can add a 5 foot move to the readied action. good to get into reach of mobs with greater reach).
say you have a nodachi -brace weapon with no extra reach. and facing an ogre -got reach of 10.
on your turn you ready an action (need to state a standard action, but not specifics of said action, say reading to cast a spell doesn't need to state specifics of said spell before hand) to ready an action and take 5 foot step once he is at 10 away from you. when he does if he charged you can ready an action to brace(after getting 5 foot closer without provoking). if he walked or otherwise got closer without charging you can ready an action to hit him normally after the 5 foot step (since it was made clear before in other rule questions that reading to set a brace for a charge is different then reading an attack)


zza ni wrote:
... you can ready an action to ready an action...

unfortunately you cannot ready to ready action until your next turn. The opening text of Ready clearly forbids it.

Ready, CRB wrote:
The ready action lets you prepare to take an action later, after your turn is over but before your next one has begun. Readying is a standard action. It does not provoke an attack of opportunity (though the action that you ready might do so).

Thus you prepare to take an action after your turn is over.

Additionally, as Ready and Delay are Special Initiative Actions, they are not take an action. Both are preparations to delay action until later. There are various examples cited in the text of what you can ready. It would be highly unusual to have a reentrant action in the d20 model.


Heh, blasting a sorcerer with readied cannons.

I approve.


In this particular case, I believe that the cannon operators would need to have the Readied Action to fire contingent upon the Commander's "Fire!" command, to which the Commander can use that as a free action even out of initiative order. The actual action requiring any significant amount of time in the round would be the physical aiming and sparking the fuse of the cannon. The commander wouldn't need to ready an action at all if his only action is to yell “Fire!”, it would be a readied action from the cannon operators.

However, a ship's cannon is fixed in place (and cannot be aimed as easily, so it takes a -6 to hit), as opposed to a cannon with wheels (which must be re-aimed each time it fires, and it's easier to aim properly so it only takes a -4 to hit.). So it’s not possible for a cannon crew to aim precisely at the Sorcerer and fire, but it is possible to fire the cannon in whatever direction it’s currently aiming.

So, in the case with your Sorcerer, the cannon operators can ready an action to fire contingent to the Commander's "Fire!" command (which he can do as a free action upon seeing the Sorcerer start casting a spell), but the operators would not have the time to properly aim at the sorcerer. Personally (and this isn't RAW), I'd draw a cannonade spread and make a d% check to see where the cannonade volley lands and roll d20's vs anyone in the area, or if you have a detailed map of where the cannons are currently aimed, fire in a straight line and if any PC is in that direct line, the GM rolls a d20 to hit them.

.

Siege Engine: Ship’s Cannon

Cost: 2000 gp
Damage: 4d8
Range Increment: 200 ft.
Typical Crew 5

A ship’s cannon is a smaller version of a cannon fixed into position, usually on a sailing ship. It requires only 2 full-round actions to clean and load, but still requires 2 full-round actions to prepare the ammunition.

Being fixed in place with limited mobility makes this cannon harder to fire, so it is fired with a -6 penalty to hit.

A single cannon load costs 10 gp.

A ship’s cannon takes up a space 5 feet across.

.

Siege Engine: Cannon

Cost: 1500 gp
Damage: 6d8
Range Increment: 250 ft.
Typical Crew 7

Firing a cannon requires a series of full-round actions. It takes four full-round actions to clean and load a cannon, and a further two full-round actions to prepare the ammunition to be loaded. These actions can all be performed concurrently if a cannon has a large enough crew.

A cannon is difficult to aim, so anyone firing a cannon takes a -4 penalty to hit. Unlike a catapult, the recoil from a cannon moves it to such a degree that it must be re-aimed every time it is fired.

A single cannon load costs 10 gp.

A cannon takes up a space 10 feet across.


SorrySleeping wrote:
Readied actions are a mess against players

That bit is all you needed.

I much prefer Starfinder's rules that readied offensive actions occur after triggering events. However, this isn't about Starfinder.

By the rules, you are right RD. However, I would also cry foul and say it's cheesy. To me, the proper way to handle it would have been to say that the captain readied an action (what were they doing that they couldn't ready?) and used that action to signal the cannons to fire. You could have avoided the whole problem if you had said that.

Grand Lodge

I assume initiative had been rolled, and the cannoneers had already had their chance and readied it on their turn?

It's really no different than all of them readying against the caster.

I've never used cannons before, but I'll assume you're running those mechanics correctly.

My only concern would be if you are readying actions outside of combat.


tchrman35 wrote:
My only concern would be if you are readying actions outside of combat.

Readying actions out of combat makes sense, you just have to be careful about it.

Example: You know your enemy is coming through the door (because they're breaking it down) any second now. You ready to shoot him with your bow or gun. It makes sense. You should probably require a perception check to make sure that you actually notice when the enemy comes through, but it makes sense that you're waiting to respond, even if you aren't technically in combat.


Azothath wrote:
zza ni wrote:
... you can ready an action to ready an action...

unfortunately you cannot ready to ready action until your next turn. The opening text of Ready clearly forbids it.

Ready, CRB wrote:
The ready action lets you prepare to take an action later, after your turn is over but before your next one has begun. Readying is a standard action. It does not provoke an attack of opportunity (though the action that you ready might do so).

Thus you prepare to take an action after your turn is over.

Additionally, as Ready and Delay are Special Initiative Actions, they are not take an action. Both are preparations to delay action until later. There are various examples cited in the text of what you can ready. It would be highly unusual to have a reentrant action in the d20 model.

hmm?

when you ready an action you change your initiative to just before the triger action is happening. it's allways outside ur turn. you need to ready a standard or move action. since reading an action IS a standard action you can ready an action to ready an action like you can ready any other standard action.
you end ur turn when you ready an action(untill triggered). so reading a ready action is ending your turn then starting it again when the 2nd trigger happen. it can be imidiate or delayed like any other readied action.

plaese explain how it is forbiden in the text you quoted, i don't see it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

Given that Ready is a combat standard action, I'm not sure how you do it outside of combat. While I appreciate the idea that I ready an action to attack as soon as someone opens the door, I'm not sure that the rules support it.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

What I think being missed here is that the commander wasn't trying just to speak out of turn. He was trying to determine exactly what was happening and give a command at exactly the right time. To me that is an active, not reactive use of perception and thus requires a move action.

Perception as a passive action will only give you knowledge you can act on when it is your turn (or to trigger a readied action).


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Dave Justus wrote:

What I think being missed here is that the commander wasn't trying just to speak out of turn. He was trying to determine exactly what was happening and give a command at exactly the right time. To me that is an active, not reactive use of perception and thus requires a move action.

Perception as a passive action will only give you knowledge you can act on when it is your turn (or to trigger a readied action).

Would you have accepted a position of "the captain readied an action to give the command to fire when they saw the enemy take an offensive action"


I was assuming that the PCs were standing in the blast area of the canons already and the combat was already underway. (Not surprise round)

Example:

Captain knows PCs are coming. Canons are pre-positioned on an area. Captain tells crew to wait at cannons and wait for his signal. Crew will end up with a surprise round to ready their actions, as they are aware combatants and PCs are unaware (of them.) Captain engages them in the general area of the canons. On his signal, they fire.

As long as they don't try to aim the cannons and just fire, would there be an issue?


Mallecks wrote:


I was assuming that the PCs were standing in the blast area of the canons already and the combat was already underway. (Not surprise round)

Example:

Captain knows PCs are coming. Canons are pre-positioned on an area. Captain tells crew to wait at cannons and wait for his signal. Crew will end up with a surprise round to ready their actions, as they are aware combatants and PCs are unaware (of them.) Captain engages them in the general area of the canons. On his signal, they fire.

As long as they don't try to aim the cannons and just fire, would there be an issue?

Nope, that's a perfectly acceptable scenario. As long as the cannon crew just sparks the fuse without aiming it's all kosher with the RAW. I think the main issue with the OP's dilemma is that he aimed at the sorcerer as a reaction to the sorcerer casting a spell, and then fired at him (all within the span of a spell cast's worth of time).

I think the table was right to call BS on that. Unless of course, if the cannons were drawn out on a map and it showed exactly where the cannons were pointing, and the sorcerer stepped into the direct firing path of the cannon, then that's all on the sorcerer PC.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Claxon wrote:


Would you have accepted a position of "the captain readied an action to give the command to fire when they saw the enemy take an offensive action"

Yes, that would seem reasonable to me.


After reading the thread and other responses I'd have to say I agree that firing at the sorcerer (or any specific pc) specifically is the biggest issue I have with the whole scenario. As Ryze has pointed out cannons of the sort employed are not going to readily acquire the sorcerer and the target selected for a ready action almost by necessity is going to have to be a square for each cannon since the readied actions presumable occur prior to the PCs arrival. If the sorcerer happened to be standing in the line of fire so be it.

As for would I accept "the captain readied an action to give the command to fire when 'they' saw the enemy take an offensive action" Yes, but I also feel that is somewhat vague and open to being interpreted (by the captain) and could lead to firing at potentially still friendly targets.


just to be clear.
i didn't talk about this specific case when i wrote about reading a ready action. i just derailed a bit since this thread seem to go into specifics of reading an action. so i thought id bring that option up -not as an answer to the op but as a general thing that might interest people.("one more thing that might interest you about reading an action...")


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but back to the point, i think that while the rules imply that you need to be in combat to use action, a deeper look will show that that is not the case. as some skills are standard or full round action to use, this would mean someone need to go into initiative to use swim or climb etc.

basically the initiative turn order is used to decide the ORDER things are been done when a lot(or more then one) of people act at the same time. but there is nothing to stop someone from using action out of combat. like reading an action, casting a spell etc.


Was the commander doing something else or just waiting? If the commander was waiting to see what happened this seems perfectly fine. If the commander was doing a bunch of other stuff I can understand your player’s objections.


Ok, let's go through this:
You can perform most actions outside combat but readying an action is a Special Initiative action, which alters your initiative result. So if you haven't rolled initiative you can't use it. If multiple creatures want to do something first, that's what the initiative check is. I'm not going to argue semantics about this but the game works a whole lot better if played this way (IMHO).

So, the commander and the gunners prepare to shoot on command outside of combat but this isn't the ready action.

Combat kicks off when the PC decides to cast the spell. One side is aware, the other isn't, so there is a surprise round.

The sorcerer should get a Perception check (or possibly a Sense Motive check) to notice something is up, and to be able to act in the surprise round.

Perhaps the sorcerer notices the commander is staring too intently or sees the smoke from the burning wicks held by the gunners etc.

If the sorcerer succeeds, then s/he realises something is about to kick off and may change her action.

Everyone rolls initiative, but to avoid metagaming, this may need to be done secretly by the GM for the sorcerer character.

If the sorcerer is unaware of the threat, her action in the surprise round will be to cast the spell she declared. I know this slightly contradicts the 'can't act in the surprise round', but it is the easiest way to resolve it. (A swimming character who is about to be ambushed in a surprise round doesn't stop swimming and sink just because s/he didn't take the Swim action in the surprise round.)

If the sorcerer's initiative result is higher than the commander and gunners, she gets the spell off before they were expecting it. They can still bombard her in the surprise round of course. If the commander and gunners act before the sorcerer, they can take ready actions and then cannonade the sorcerer as she casts the spell, forcing concentration checks. The GM should probably roll individual initiative checks for the gunners (especially if it takes multiple gunners to man a cannon).


you assume that not having an initiative order stop one from doing things that will effect their later on initiative. there is no rule for that. if this was so then an ambush can never be set.

one can always just "start combat" with himself if he need an initiative score to play with. but it seem redundant.


zza ni wrote:

...

when you ready an action you change your initiative to just before the triger action is happening. it's allways outside ur turn. you need to ready a standard or move action. since reading an action IS a standard action you can ready an action to ready an action like you can ready any other standard action.
you end ur turn when you ready an action(untill triggered). so reading a ready action is ending your turn then starting it again when the 2nd trigger happen. it can be imidiate or delayed like any other readied action.

plaese explain how it is forbiden in the text you quoted, i don't see it.

that is incorrect. Your initiative changes after you complete your readied action. Notice the text order in the description. This is a trivial point and may be over parsing the text but it seems intentional.

the root of the problem is reading comprehension of conversational english with jargon, editing style, and knowing when word usage is a symbol/token/keyword. Treating every word as a keyword is going to lead to chaos. Over parsing the text leads to interpretation issues.

Action(attack, grapple, charge) define how much action-time(std, full, move actions) it takes to complete the action. Action-time is an element or attribute of that Action. Action implies action-time to complete, AoO, etc. An action-time does not imply a specific Action. So it is a one way relationship.

Special Initiative Actions are different than an Action. It even says Special and Initiative.
As your turn is over you cannot change or initiate non-immediate actions.
In Ready an Action the term 'take action' means to take a regular Action (as outlined in the examples following the Ready description). A special initiative action isn't possible as you do not have initiative (it was earlier in the round), it is not your turn, and Ready is a preparation to take a specific named trigger and then specific Action, not an action(which is to do something as outlined in the description) or Action(which is more general).
More specific language could have been used but it is conversational english rather than a math textbook or science textbook.

Hopefully that clarifies things for you.


again, all this assume one can't start his own initiative order by himself. which would mean some normal things are impossible like an ambush or some basic training (i mean training stuff like' oh idk, getting ready to strike, 'knowing to strike is not as important as knowing when to strike'). hack sine initiative is for combat, how do you play volleyball?


In summary;
[zza ni] ... you can ready an action to ready an action...
[azothath] can't do that & here's why...
[zza ni] using a standard action definition for the prepared action
[azothath] that's faulty logic and an incorrect reading of the text
[zza ni] again...
for further replies please refer to my profile. We can continue based on a professional basis.


I think while you may be able to do what you want, there's some issues.

One, for example, is the captain knowing the spell trigger was offensive. This would require spell craft.

Plus, I think it is a little vague and while it seems doable it opens your game to massive abuse by players who Will, by all rights, return the favour.


zza ni wrote:
you assume that not having an initiative order stop one from doing things that will effect their later on initiative. there is no rule for that.
prd wrote:

Special Initiative Actions

Here are ways to change when you act during combat by altering your place in the initiative order.


Cavall wrote:

I think while you may be able to do what you want, there's some issues.

One, for example, is the captain knowing the spell trigger was offensive. This would require spell craft.

Plus, I think it is a little vague and while it seems doable it opens your game to massive abuse by players who Will, by all rights, return the favour.

I don't see why knowing the spell was offensive makes any difference in this scenario. The captain may not even care if its an offensive spell. The captain simply didn't like what he was seeing whether he knew the sorcerers intent or not.

From a purist RAW perspective, everything RD did was legal regarding the triggering of readied actions (there are some side issues like aiming the cannons, were they in combat rounds, etc). As a GM I would be very hesitant to allow a certain phrase/speech be the trigger for a readied action when the party in question has complete control over when they speak the command word. I WOULD allow a player to make a readied action if a NPC said a specific thing, or vice versa - because there is the chance said thing will not ever be said.


bbangerter wrote:
Cavall wrote:

I think while you may be able to do what you want, there's some issues.

One, for example, is the captain knowing the spell trigger was offensive. This would require spell craft.

Plus, I think it is a little vague and while it seems doable it opens your game to massive abuse by players who Will, by all rights, return the favour.

I don't see why knowing the spell was offensive makes any difference in this scenario. The captain may not even care if its an offensive spell. The captain simply didn't like what he was seeing whether he knew the sorcerers intent or not.

From a purist RAW perspective, everything RD did was legal regarding the triggering of readied actions (there are some side issues like aiming the cannons, were they in combat rounds, etc). As a GM I would be very hesitant to allow a certain phrase/speech be the trigger for a readied action when the party in question has complete control over when they speak the command word. I WOULD allow a player to make a readied action if a NPC said a specific thing, or vice versa - because there is the chance said thing will not ever be said.

Here's why I mentioned it.

Quote:


Would you have accepted a position of "the captain readied an action to give the command to fire when they saw the enemy take an offensive action"


As I was the one who wrote that, I can tell you that I include all spell casting as offensive unless I can identify the spell or know the person to be friendly towards me. I was not using the word offensive in some very gamist way to describe the sorts of things that can be done with actions in the game. I am saying offensive as in "this person seems to be taking actions that could harm/threaten me". The question remains valid, even if I worded it poorly in your opinion.


Well "taking actions that could threaten/harm me" seems like a poorly worded trigger in and of itself, yeah.


I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

I'm still stuck on how do you ready an action outside of combat. Do you allow your spellcasters to ready an action when I see someone I cast a spell, and I do this before a dungeon door is opened. Do I get a free attack on any monsters behind said door. Does this happen before surprise, after surprise, in initiative order? What if the monsters on the other side of the door are doing the same thing? Seems like a bit of a problem with how to adjudicate the sequencing. You would need a perception check to detect said individuals, but when in the sequence does that happen. Seems to me that you need initiative order to properly sequence things but many seem to say you can ready an action outside of combat, an as such don't have an initiative order...so how does that really work.


If both sides have readied actions and are aware of each other there is no surprise round. Readied actions go off in initiative order, if it matters. As for "do I get an attack against any monster inside", no, not quite. You could ready for something like "I ready to attack any creature that attempts to pass through the door". I personally wont allow any readied condition that can't fail. There has to be some set of conditions which will cause your action to fail. But, ultimately I will definitely agree that readied action are a very contentious and difficult thing to run fairly.

And yes, absolutely it makes sense to allow readied action outside of combat. Otherwise the whole "A points gun at door, while B opens door" can't be simulated at all. IMO, "combat" just means tracking initiative order. So, if people want to start readying actions "combat" is essentially happening (even if you're unaware of an enemy currently) and I will start tracking actions and action economy. Personally I find the whole "not in combat, can't ready an action" to be a very disingenuous argument.

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