D&D 5E Declarations that start combat vs. initiative

Combat starting mid-RP without sneakiness, when does the declaring PC/NPC go?

  • In normal initiative order. The one who's action started this may not actually be the first action.

    Votes: 53 52.0%
  • At the top of initiative, since there is no combat until they make their move.

    Votes: 11 10.8%
  • During normal initiative but with chance of people on both sides could be surprised.

    Votes: 20 19.6%
  • At the top of initiative, with the chance people on both sides could be surprised it's starting now.

    Votes: 3 2.9%
  • Other (explained below).

    Votes: 15 14.7%

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
it has to do with how close it is... it is close enough to not be measurable by most people... hence ABOUT
That isn't the definition. The definition is reasonably close, not unable to be measured by most people. A claim you haven't even proven by the way. I can easily tell the difference between 30 seconds and a minute. I'm skeptical that most people are unable to tell the difference.
wrong again About is an estimate, and estimates aren't proven wrong when they are completed quicker or slower...
Yes. Yes they are. If you estimate that you will be done on Wednesday, then on Thursday you were wrong about that estimated time. It's true that it wasn't guaranteed to be done on Wednesday, but the estimated completion time is still wrong.
when you messure in game time NOT in combat rounds if something is said to be 'about 5 minutes' can it be 4 minutes or 7 minutes and still be 'about 5 minutes... cause that is 3 minute spread.... so 180 seconds...
That's because more time is involved. 4 minutes or even 7 minutes could be about 5 minutes. Neither could be about 10 minutes though. 55 minutes can be about an hour, but 45 minutes can't be. When talking about 6 seconds, the window of time that is "about" that long is much narrower, since it's a significantly smaller amount of time.
so yeah 180 seconds seems to me to be 'about 5 minutes' and 27 seconds can be 'about 6 seconds' especially if we spend 12 combat rounds in a night and 1 is 44 seconds, 1 is 3 seconds, 1 is 1 second, 1 is 11 seconds and the other 8 are 6 seconds... I would say they are all 'about 6 seconds'

the average of the above is actually 8.91 seconds...
"about" is not an average, though, so the higher numbers that are reduced by the smaller numbers don't become "about" 6 seconds of time. 44 seconds will never be "about" 6 seconds. Neither will 27 seconds, which is "about" 30 seconds.
 

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That isn't the definition. The definition is reasonably close, not unable to be measured by most people.
and I say it is reasonable to say 24 seconds is so close to no time that it is perfect... and it is reasonable to say 'about' if it is a time frame you need a stop watch to measure.
A claim you haven't even proven by the way. I can easily tell the difference between 30 seconds and a minute. I'm skeptical that most people are unable to tell the difference.
then where does the saying 'a watched pot never boils' from if not our inability to tell precise time?
Yes. Yes they are. If you estimate that you will be done on Wednesday, then on Thursday you were wrong about that estimated time. It's true that it wasn't guaranteed to be done on Wednesday, but the estimated completion time is still wrong.
except it was an estimate... not an exact count. it isn't wrong it just took a bit longer... and in this case it is 24 seconds.
That's because more time is involved. 4 minutes or even 7 minutes could be about 5 minutes.
if 4-7 minutes is about 5 minutes... and that is hundreds of seconds off how can 24 seconds bug you?
55 minutes can be about an hour, but 45 minutes can't be.
says who? I want to know who told you 45 minutes ISN'T about an hour?
When talking about 6 seconds, the window of time that is "about" that long is much narrower, since it's a significantly smaller amount of time.
where is this rule? what dictionary shows you the sliding scale of how often 24 seconds is and is not 'close enough?
"about" is not an average, though,
no... it's an estamat...
so the higher numbers that are reduced by the smaller numbers don't become "about" 6 seconds of time. 44 seconds will never be "about" 6 seconds. Neither will 27 seconds, which is "about" 30 seconds.
where do you get this from? Who taught you that any amount of time less then a minute (except in rare cases of exact measurements) can't be just rounding errors... and as such 'about'...

if in real life someone told me something would take 'about 30 seconds' I would never say they were 'wrong' for it taking 5 second, or 55 seconds... its still 'about 30 seconds'
 

I'm going to make dinner, my fiance just called on her way home from work and said it will take her 'about 30 minutes' I guess if she hits traffic and it takes 45 minutes she was wrong... or if she hits all green lights and it takes 20 minutes... maybe I should break out the stop watch to make sure it doesn't take her 30 minutes and 26 seconds...
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
and I say it is reasonable to say 24 seconds is so close to no time that it is perfect... and it is reasonable to say 'about' if it is a time frame you need a stop watch to measure.

then where does the saying 'a watched pot never boils' from if not our inability to tell precise time?
It's just a saying because staring at something and waiting for it to happen makes time seem longer. You're focused on that moment. It's not a general statement about humanity's ability to tell time.
except it was an estimate... not an exact count. it isn't wrong it just took a bit longer... and in this case it is 24 seconds.
Which makes the estimated time wrong. You don't get to say, "Since I estimated it would take a minute, the fact that it took 3 weeks doesn't make the estimate wrong." You estimated the time and were wrong with the estimate. An estimate is just good for not being pinned down to a time. The difference between, "I estimate that it will take an hour." and "It will take an hour." is that you have an out if you just estimate it. In both cases if it takes two hours you were wrong, though.
if 4-7 minutes is about 5 minutes... and that is hundreds of seconds off how can 24 seconds bug you?
"About" is relative to the amount of time you are talking about. About 5 minutes gives you more time within the "about" range than 6 seconds does. You're saying with that argument that since 345 days is about a year, that 5 days is about 6 seconds. I mean, if 345-380 days is about a year, how can 5 days bug you?
says who? I want to know who told you 45 minutes ISN'T about an hour?
Because it's about 3 quarters of an hour. It's unreasonable to try and claim that it's about an hour, and reasonably close is the definition of "about."
if in real life someone told me something would take 'about 30 seconds' I would never say they were 'wrong' for it taking 5 second, or 55 seconds... its still 'about 30 seconds'
I would, and I'd be right. ;)
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
5e doesn’t distinguish between start and end time of casting, so I’m not sure what you mean here.
If the action can be changed before the casting starts, that's fine.

If the action can be changed after the casting has been interrupted resulting in the casting retroactively never having been attempted, that's not fine.

And if 5e doesn't distinguish between start and end time of casting then there is no point between those two where casting can be interrupted in such a way as to both deny the spell but use the slot (which is the whole point of interruption!).
 

If the action can be changed before the casting starts, that's fine.

If the action can be changed after the casting has been interrupted resulting in the casting retroactively never having been attempted, that's not fine.

And if 5e doesn't distinguish between start and end time of casting then there is no point between those two where casting can be interrupted in such a way as to both deny the spell but use the slot (which is the whole point of interruption!).
Is this about realism or balance?
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Is this about realism or balance?
Yes.

Realism in that despite the awful rules abstraction spells do take in-game time to cast; and balance in that making spells more easily interruptable serves to rein in casters significantly - to the point of allowing some de-nerfing elsewhere, mostly of spell effects.
 

Yes.

Realism in that despite the awful rules abstraction spells do take in-game time to cast; and balance in that making spells more easily interruptable serves to rein in casters significantly - to the point of allowing some de-nerfing elsewhere, mostly of spell effects.

I mostly care about interesting decision points. If you cast a spell, and somebody uses their reaction to interrupt you, you might get hit, and if you get hit you might lose the spell slot. So I think it's interesting to then offer the caster a hard bargain: keep going and hope for the best, or make a decision that preserves your spell slot and reduces the chances of you being hit*, but you can no longer use your action to do something interesting. If you take that choice, and the attacker rolls poorly, you've basically wasted your turn.

*It could also be "impose disadvantage on the attack" instead of "take the Dodge action". Or something else. I'm not stuck on the exact mechanic as much as I like forcing players to make hard decisions.
 

It's just a saying because staring at something and waiting for it to happen makes time seem longer. You're focused on that moment. It's not a general statement about humanity's ability to tell time.
except it is the proof that 1 minute can feel like 10, and 10 can feel like 1... see also 'time flies when you are having fun'
Which makes the estimated time wrong.
no in order to be wrong it has to not be an estimate.
You don't get to say, "Since I estimated it would take a minute, the fact that it took 3 weeks doesn't make the estimate wrong."
hey we agree... when you estimate 1 hour and it takes 3 weeks, that was a bad estamate... but if you estamate it will take 1 hour and it takes 1 hour and 24 seconds no one will call you wrong... 24 seconds (anything less then a minute I would say) is so neglagable it is just 'about'
An estimate is just good for not being pinned down to a time.
yet you are upset at someone saying they don't pin down a time... cause it is 'about'
"About" is relative to the amount of time you are talking about. About 5 minutes gives you more time within the "about" range than 6 seconds does.
okay... but 24 or 30 seconds are so negligible that it doesn't matter
You're saying with that argument that since 345 days is about a year, that 5 days is about 6 seconds. I mean, if 345-380 days is about a year, how can 5 days bug you?
yeah, if you estamate 'about a year' 5 days under/over is nothing...
no matter WHAT you are measuring 'about 30 seconds' is negligible
Because it's about 3 quarters of an hour. It's unreasonable to try and claim that it's about an hour, and reasonably close is the definition of "about."
no... you are wrong
I would, and I'd be right. ;)
nope you would be wrong
 

Irlo

Hero
no matter WHAT you are measuring 'about 30 seconds' is negligible
X-ray exposure?
Dipping your hands into scalding water?

Whether a time-frame is reasonably said to be "about X time" is relative to what's being measured AND relative to the expectations of the people communicating. The word "about" isn't defined in such a way that one can pin down what percent of the estimate can be added or deducted and still remain in the "about" range.

For someone who desires fixed-length rounds in D&D, the range for "about six seconds" is very narrow. For someone who wants more flexibility with rounds of variable and indeterminite length, "about six seconds" leaves a much wider window.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
except it is the proof that 1 minute can feel like 10, and 10 can feel like 1... see also 'time flies when you are having fun'
And how people get it right a whole lot more often. Internal clocks wake them without alarm clocks, etc.
no in order to be wrong it has to not be an estimate.
That's........................................not how estimates work. An estimate is just a guess about when you will be done. You're literally claiming guesses can't be wrong.
yet you are upset at someone saying they don't pin down a time... cause it is 'about'
Not upset. They're just wrong if it doesn't work out how they guessed it would.

Edit: Google it man. Not only can estimates be wrong, they are ALWAYS wrong.
 



And how people get it right a whole lot more often. Internal clocks wake them without alarm clocks, etc.

That's........................................not how estimates work. An estimate is just a guess about when you will be done. You're literally claiming guesses can't be wrong.

Not upset. They're just wrong if it doesn't work out how they guessed it would.

Edit: Google it man. Not only can estimates be wrong, they are ALWAYS wrong.
seriously, you are just arguing to argue. I am done. 'about' doesn't have a defined amount of variable, and 30 seconds is bearly noticable... to the point that you CANT be acounting for every 20-30 seconds out of combat
 

Plaguescarred

D&D Playtester for WoTC since 2012
Personally, i just use exact 6 seconds round rather than an about number as spells and features don't have about durations but set one. So if an effect last 1 minute, it last 10 rounds, not about 10 which can be more or less such as between 7-13 rounds because a round about 6 seconds could be 4-8 seconds for exemple.
 

Personally, i just use exact 6 seconds round rather than an about number as spells and features don't have about durations but set one. So if an effect last 1 minute, it last 10 rounds, not about 10 which can be more or less such as between 7-13 rounds because a round about 6 seconds could be 4-8 seconds for exemple.
tbh i never track time down to a round... like you said minute duration is about 10 rounds, but i rarely if ever have a fight go past 6... so 1 minute basically becomes '1 fight' things that are 10 minutes or 1 hour (or more) I never track the seconds so no matter how many rounds of combat there are they just become rounding error.
 


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