What determines which reaction occurs first?


Rules Discussion

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

If two reactions (1 for two different player) are triggered from one event which occurs first?

Example Includes a two sword and board players 1) is a Fighter using Shield block and 2) is a Champion with Shield of Reckoning
Trigger: Player 1 takes damage.

Who goes first? The player with the higher initiative? Is it up to the players to decide?

Sczarni

I can't find an exact answer to your question (although one may exist).

Based on something similar - Limitations on Triggers - I think the safest option would be to leave it up to GM discretion.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber

I would stick with the current initiative order, ie whichever of the two characters had their turn coming up first would make the first reaction.


Let the players choose?

Sczarni

Or have someone not participating in the game roll a d3 to determine one of the aforementioned methods.


Why should they choose?

Quote:

You can use only one action in response to a given trigger. For example, if you had a reaction and a free action that both had a trigger of “your turn begins,” you could use either of them at the start of your turn—but not both. If two triggers are similar, but not identical, the GM determines whether you can use one action in response to each or whether they’re effectively the same thing. Usually, this decision will be based on what’s happening in the narrative.

As I read it, it seems to refer to the reader while it says "you".

It also make an explicit example of a player having both reaction and free action but having to choose just 1 among the 2 available.

If their reaction is available, they should be able to use it without any problem ( like if an enemy uses an action move and all the fighters go with an AOO ).

The 1/trigger limit I think is meant for stuff like.

- A fighter with shield not raised
- Enemy attack and hit.
- The fighter can use reactive shield to raise his shield, but not shield block since he can't use them in sequence against a single trigger.

Or I got his example ( or the reading ) wrong?

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
HumbleGamer wrote:
Or I got his example ( or the reading ) wrong?

I think that misses the point of the question. If I understand the issue, an example would be a storm druid and paladin adjacent to an enemy.

The enemy attacks and critically hits the druid, then the paladin could perform a Retributive Strike and the druid could do Storm Retribution. If something in the rules dictates the order (say the druid is required to go first because they're higher in the initiative order, as one solution here suggests), the Storm Retribution would push the enemy out of range of the Retributive Strike, so the paladin wouldn't get to strike.

If the paladin gets to go first, they could take full advantage of their Retributive Strike and the druid could then Storm Retribution the enemy away from them.

Personally, I'd probably use the same rules as initiative and allow the players to decide, unless it doesn't make sense, such as a reaction based on an ally taking damage and followed by a reaction that would negate that damage altogether (which I think is what the OP is getting at).


HumbleGamer wrote:

Why should they choose?

Quote:

You can use only one action in response to a given trigger. For example, if you had a reaction and a free action that both had a trigger of “your turn begins,” you could use either of them at the start of your turn—but not both. If two triggers are similar, but not identical, the GM determines whether you can use one action in response to each or whether they’re effectively the same thing. Usually, this decision will be based on what’s happening in the narrative.

As I read it, it seems to refer to the reader while it says "you".

It also make an explicit example of a player having both reaction and free action but having to choose just 1 among the 2 available.

If their reaction is available, they should be able to use it without any problem ( like if an enemy uses an action move and all the fighters go with an AOO ).

The 1/trigger limit I think is meant for stuff like.

- A fighter with shield not raised
- Enemy attack and hit.
- The fighter can use reactive shield to raise his shield, but not shield block since he can't use them in sequence against a single trigger.

Or I got his example ( or the reading ) wrong?

The question is about 2 players having a reaction with the same trigger, not 1 player having 2 reactions with the same trigger.

Sczarni

Exactly.

That's why I tried to be clear that the link I provided did not answer the question.

But since it gave an answer of "GM discretion" in that instance, one could argue that GM discretion is viable for other instances where a choice is available.

Or not. This appears to be open ended and up to interpretation.


I'd probably use initiative order (next upcoming) to determine this if it was reactions from opposing teams, and let the players/beasties decide if they were working together. There are no rules for this so far as I can tell.


What I was trying to say ( and indirectly ask for correction ) is to explain me where it is said that there could be only one reaction per trigger.

The part I quoted seems to just refer to a single character ( the example is also for a single player ) and I couldn't find anything pointing out that there's just one reaction per trigger on the quoted part I previously posted ( I am going to explain step by step my reasoning, hoping it could help ).

Quote:
You can use only one action in response to a given trigger.

You Player

Quote:
For example, if you had a reaction and a free action that both had a trigger of “your turn begins,” you could use either of them at the start of your turn—but not both.

This support the fact the rules are speaking about a single character having to decide what to use on a specific trigger ( whether it is between 2 reactions, 2 free actions or 1 reaction/1free action ).

Quote:
If two triggers are similar, but not identical, the GM determines whether you can use one action in response to each or whether they’re effectively the same thing. Usually, this decision will be based on what’s happening in the narrative.

There could be different examples here, depending the class/race combination.

Sczarni

If you're asking about one character having two reactions per trigger, you quoted the answer yourself:

"you could use either of them at the start of your turn—but not both"

If you're asking about two characters reacting to the same trigger, nobody in this thread has stated that only one could be used.

The topic is who gets to use their trigger first. So far the answers are:

1) GM discretion
2) Initiative order
3) Player discretion


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Nefreet wrote:

If you're asking about one character having two reactions per trigger, you quoted the answer yourself:

"you could use either of them at the start of your turn—but not both"

If you're asking about two characters reacting to the same trigger, nobody in this thread has stated that only one could be used.

The topic is who gets to use their trigger first. So far the answers are:

1) GM discretion
2) Initiative order
3) Player discretion

***

Thanks, now I got it.

Dark Archive

I, honestly, would go with player discretion or initiative order. As those are equally "fair" to the PCs and NPCs alike. If it becomes GM discretion, then they have the fact they choose order from both the players, AND the beasties, when such situations arise.

Personally, I leave it to player discretion. This speaks well to the narrative of a group of adventurers working together since they should know each-other's abilities, it also makes for the best "feels good" moment for the players. As well as giving them agency, and rewarding tactical play...

Just my 2 cents


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I actually appreciate someone posting this. I hadn't considered the possibility previously, but it can matter in some cases, so it helps to have thought it through, even if it was a fairly easy answer for me, before it comes up in game.

Dark Archive

Agreed. Well thought out, and important, question


TomParker wrote:

I think that misses the point of the question. If I understand the issue, an example would be a storm druid and paladin adjacent to an enemy.

The enemy attacks and critically hits the druid, then the paladin could perform a Retributive Strike and the druid could do Storm Retribution. If something in the rules dictates the order (say the druid is required to go first because they're higher in the initiative order, as one solution here suggests), the Storm Retribution would push the enemy out of range of the Retributive Strike, so the paladin wouldn't get to strike.

If the paladin gets to go first, they could take full advantage of their Retributive Strike and the druid could then Storm Retribution the enemy away from them.

I like the concrete example here. It makes things easier to understand why it is important to even ask the question.

Ideally all of the reactions should have full effect since they are basically happening at the same time in the game. So if the order becomes important, it should be up to the GM to order them such that they all happen. Or even rule that the effect still happens even though the game ordering of events make that a bit strange. Such as having the Storm Retribution push the enemy out of range but still allowing the Retributive Strike to take effect.

I can't think of any scenario where the two character's reactions being triggered are from characters on opposing sides of the battle, but that could happen. Again in that case all of the reactions should have their effect. So either the GM should order the events such that they all happen, or allow all of the effects to be applied even if that bends the rules a bit.

Scarab Sages

The order matters a little in the example the OP gave, too. If the shield block happens first, the shield takes more damage than if the retributive strike happens first. Though the triggers aren’t exactly the same in that situation. For shield block, it’s “you would take damage,” and for retributive strike, it’s “damages your ally.” So, arguably, the shield block would trigger before the damage, and retributive strike would trigger after. And if the shield block reduces the damage to 0, then the Paladin couldn’t take their retributive strike. That seems to be the RAW for that particular situation, though I might just let the players decide anyway without a further clarification, since the wording is similar.

It’s definitely something I hope they clarify, but that may end up being that a GM needs to decide if the triggers really are the same or not.

(Edit: I’m not arguing that retributive strike can’t reduce the damage. Just that if shield block stops the ally from ever taking damage in the first place, then retributive strike arguably wouldn’t trigger.)


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

I'd leave it up to the players to decide, or initiative order in the case of NPCs and monsters.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I would concur. My group would go with whoever spoke up first. I could easily see the player whose reaction would move the foe giving the other player a nudge.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Second Edition / Rules Discussion / What determines which reaction occurs first? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.