Clarification on reactions at the beginning of a turn


Rules Discussion


I'm on my second reading of the core rules before my game in a couple of weeks, and one thing felt strange both times through. Standard RPG logic is that you get X actions per turn, resetting when your turn starts once per round. I've asked elsewhere, and it has caused confusion and disagreement. So, here's the question. Bear with me and read, because this isn't as straightforward as it seems:

If a player takes a reaction with the trigger "Your turn begins", where does that reaction come from?

Standard logic says that your turn just started, so it is your reaction for that turn.

The rules, on pages 468/469, however, specify that there are several things that happen at the start of your turn, including reactions with the 'Your turn begins' trigger. It also specifies that regaining your actions and reaction is always the *last* thing that happens at the start of your turn. IE - you have to take 'Your turn begins' reactions *before* you gain your reactions for the round.

The relevant text, extra stuff snipped:

" At the start of each of your turns, take these steps in any order you choose:
• If you created an effect lasting for a certain number of rounds, reduce [SNIP]
You can use 1 free action or reaction with a trigger of “Your turn begins” or something similar.
• If you’re dying [SNIP]
Do anything else [SNIP]
The last step of starting your turn is always the same.
Regain your 3 actions and 1 reaction. If you haven’t spent your reaction from your last turn, you lose it — you can’t “save” actions or reactions from one turn to use during the next turn.

Regaining your actions and reactions occurs *after* you have the opportunity to use 'Your turn begins' reactions. So, again, where does that reaction come from? Does that mean that in order to use your reaction at the beginning of your turn, you have to have not used a reaction during your previous turn in the previous round?

I assume that the 'one reaction per round' rule kicks in that case, too.


The point is generally moot imho. Barring a readied action from a previous turn, I can't find a reaction that has a trigger of, "your turn begins".

But generally I would say that since the trigger must be before you regain your actions for that turn, you would have to use a previous turns reaction to use such an ability.

I see two arguments at play here. The first is that you could get to the "last" portion of the "beginning" of your turn then trigger the reaction you just regained with an ability with such a trigger.

The second is that at that point your turn hasn't just begun but has been going for some small amount of time.

So say you as a character readied an action and set the trigger as My next turn begins. Say it was to stride. What makes the most sense?

Using the reaction that you gained with the actions that you spent to ready the action? Or regaining your actions then spending a new reaction on that readied action?

Generally I would say that in the second case, your window for triggering that readied action has already lapsed, and you lost that readied action by the time that you regain actions. That is how I would run that situation.


Greybird wrote:

I'm on my second reading of the core rules before my game in a couple of weeks, and one thing felt strange both times through. Standard RPG logic is that you get X actions per turn, resetting when your turn starts once per round. I've asked elsewhere, and it has caused confusion and disagreement. So, here's the question. Bear with me and read, because this isn't as straightforward as it seems:

If a player takes a reaction with the trigger "Your turn begins", where does that reaction come from?

Standard logic says that your turn just started, so it is your reaction for that turn.

The rules, on pages 468/469, however, specify that there are several things that happen at the start of your turn, including reactions with the 'Your turn begins' trigger. It also specifies that regaining your actions and reaction is always the *last* thing that happens at the start of your turn. IE - you have to take 'Your turn begins' reactions *before* you gain your reactions for the round.

The relevant text, extra stuff snipped:

" At the start of each of your turns, take these steps in any order you choose:
• If you created an effect lasting for a certain number of rounds, reduce [SNIP]
You can use 1 free action or reaction with a trigger of “Your turn begins” or something similar.
• If you’re dying [SNIP]
Do anything else [SNIP]
The last step of starting your turn is always the same.
Regain your 3 actions and 1 reaction. If you haven’t spent your reaction from your last turn, you lose it — you can’t “save” actions or reactions from one turn to use during the next turn.

Regaining your actions and reactions occurs *after* you have the opportunity to use 'Your turn begins' reactions. So, again, where does that reaction come from? Does that mean that in order to use your reaction at the beginning of your turn, you have to have not used a reaction during your previous turn in the previous round?

I assume that the 'one reaction per round' rule kicks in that case, too.

I think you actually already answered the question by describing it so thoroughly. You would have to have a reaction from your previous turn available.


Agree with Aratorin here. If a reaction triggers on the start of your turn, then it would be reset for that turn.

There's also the interesting question of whether characters get reactions before their first turn in combat. I've heard varied opinions here (believe some of them came second-hand via developers), but I'd generally grant reactions any time the PCs were expecting trouble (essentially, they were in "turns" previous and had the reaction from the previous turn available).


Thanks. I wanted to make sure I wasn't misreading it, as it isn't the way most games handle things (all types of actions tend to be isolated by turns.)

This does mean, however, that I'll have to keep track of reactions for all of the NPCs/beasties for two rounds at a time instead of one. At the end of the round 3 when the villain goes, I'll have to remember what happened back in round 2. Brain is sad.


You can't ready an action on the "Your turn begins" event as you must use a ready action before the beginning of your next turn. But it's true that you could ready an action just after the turn of the last enemy, and thus have a 4-action turn. It's an interesting strategy, a costly one (as you lose one action in the process), but can be pretty nice if you have a round where you can't act properly.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

"My turn begins" is also an absolutely terrible trigger to try to use for a readied action, because your trigger should be something in the world that your character could observe, not strictly a mechanical abstraction.


tivadar27 wrote:

Agree with Aratorin here. If a reaction triggers on the start of your turn, then it would be reset for that turn.

There's also the interesting question of whether characters get reactions before their first turn in combat. I've heard varied opinions here (believe some of them came second-hand via developers), but I'd generally grant reactions any time the PCs were expecting trouble (essentially, they were in "turns" previous and had the reaction from the previous turn available).

This is addressed in the rules.

CRB 472 wrote:

Reactions in Encounters

Your reactions let you respond immediately to what’s
happening around you. The GM determines whether you
can use reactions before your first turn begins, depending
on the situation in which the encounter happens.


Aratorin wrote:
tivadar27 wrote:

Agree with Aratorin here. If a reaction triggers on the start of your turn, then it would be reset for that turn.

There's also the interesting question of whether characters get reactions before their first turn in combat. I've heard varied opinions here (believe some of them came second-hand via developers), but I'd generally grant reactions any time the PCs were expecting trouble (essentially, they were in "turns" previous and had the reaction from the previous turn available).

This is addressed in the rules.

CRB 472 wrote:

Reactions in Encounters

Your reactions let you respond immediately to what’s
happening around you. The GM determines whether you
can use reactions before your first turn begins, depending
on the situation in which the encounter happens.

Ahh okay, so it's spelled out explicitly as maybe :-P. May have known/forgotten about that, because it does look familiar and still ends with the same result of "expect table variation".


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I would say "situation variation" rather than just "table variation" for that one.

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