Delay into the next round


Rules Discussion


Hi, we had an argument with my players - if it is allowed to delay into the next round?
I say yes as the only restriction is "you can't delay an entire round". As per my understanding if you skip till the end of the round and you are not the first person in the initiative - you are not skipping "an ENTIRE round", just the part of it. Any ideas?


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You are correct. You can Delay into the next round because the end of the round is not a special time, though hitting your original initiative position is (that's when it's been an entire round).


Actually, I don't think that is correct.

I can see why the rules can be read that way.

However, looking at the Encounter Mode section in the CRB on p. 486, it says:

"Step 2: Play a Round: A round begins when the participant with the highest initiative roll result starts their turn, and it ends when the one with the lowest initiative ends their turn."

This would not seem to allow you to delay into the top of the next round.

Delay (p 470, CRB) says, "You wait for the right moment to act. The rest of your turn doesn’t happen yet. Instead, you’re removed from the initiative order. You can return to the initiative order as a free action triggered by the end of any other creature’s turn."

Delay removes you from the Initiative order, but it does not say that you can go past the end of the round.

Normally, I think they would say that you could delay until the beginning of your next turn if that's what they meant.

I can see the argument to allow it, I don't think it would be necessarily unbalanced to allow it since you still essentially lose your turn in the current round when you delay into the new round and reset your initiative number, but I think the stronger rules interpretation is that you cannot delay outside of the round you are in.

Happy gaming...


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It's the line that says, "...the actions from the Delayed turn are lost, your initiative doesn't change, and your next turn occurs at your original position in the initiative order," that should indicate you can't delay into the next turn and thus jump the line in order to have a better initiative position for the rest of the combat. You can choose to worsen your position, but not loophole your way into bettering it.


I see where the confusion may come from. Rounds are (like hours) both a measure of time and duration. So, there is round 1, round 2, round 3 (1PM, 2PM, 3PM) and there is 1 round, 2 rounds, 3 rounds (1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours).
When the rules say you can delay an entire round (hour), you don't stop it when you change round (hour) but when your are back at the very same moment in the next round (hour).
So, Fuzzy-Wuzzy answer is right, you can delay as long as it's not back to your turn, even if it means acting during the next round.


Should the character who is last in initiative order be able to just essentially say, "I'm delaying, now I'm first"?

That's an actual question, as I'm not sure what the answer should be. Leaning toward agreement with Baarogue on this though.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

What would it matter if he is last or first? Nothing happens the instant one round is over and the next begins. Whether the PC is at Ini 2 or Ini 29 is irrelevant, he doesn't get any benefit of that.

(Also he can't delay in that way, because the trigger to return into Initiative order is "the end of any other creature’s turn".)


Franz Lunzer wrote:

What would it matter if he is last or first? Nothing happens the instant one round is over and the next begins. Whether the PC is at Ini 2 or Ini 29 is irrelevant, he doesn't get any benefit of that.

(Also he can't delay in that way, because the trigger to return into Initiative order is "the end of any other creature’s turn".)

True, so the best he could do is become second in initiative order. And then if it got all the way back to his initial position he'd have lost his turn completely. And since using the Delay action triggers everything that would have happened at the start of his turn immediately anyway, I guess it doesn't matter. So the net effect is nothing exploitable.

I am switching my vote.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
SuperBidi wrote:
So, Fuzzy-Wuzzy answer is right, you can delay as long as it's not back to your turn, even if it means acting during the next round.

I don't see why not. If one of my players delayed and delayed all the way until their turn in the next round, then their character effectively did nothing for a round, skipping their turn. It would be the same result as if they "spent" all three actions to do nothing.


Fumarole wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
So, Fuzzy-Wuzzy answer is right, you can delay as long as it's not back to your turn, even if it means acting during the next round.
I don't see why not. If one of my players delayed and delayed all the way until their turn in the next round, then their character effectively did nothing for a round, skipping their turn. It would be the same result as if they "spent" all three actions to do nothing.

You can Delay until it is exactly back to your turn, at which point your actions and reactions have been wasted, your Delay is over, and your new turn begins. You can of course Delay again, with the same effects as the first time; e.g. you take persistent damage immediately. You just can't Delay through your original initiative position, as that would let you skip things like persistent damage. Delays are max one round each, string 'em together if you like but they're all distinct.


Fumarole wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
So, Fuzzy-Wuzzy answer is right, you can delay as long as it's not back to your turn, even if it means acting during the next round.
I don't see why not. If one of my players delayed and delayed all the way until their turn in the next round, then their character effectively did nothing for a round, skipping their turn. It would be the same result as if they "spent" all three actions to do nothing.

My formulation was not ideal. I was trying to say it stops when it's back to your turn.

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