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D&D 5E Transitioning to Combat

Lyxen

Great Old One
If no one actually starts it then no combat. If someone declares to start it then roll initiative and enemies that go ahead that player realize his intent ie he started to move for his weapon or otherwise hostile act but they were prepared and reacted faster.

That would be generally true, but the problem remains that that preparedness is worth nothing as per the RAW, they don't get a bonus to initiative and they don't get prepared actions.

Assuming his target is otherwise distracted in the room then lockpick check to determine if he gets through silently. If he fails then target is aware. A particularly bad fail might result in the target being aware and the door staying locked.

On this one in particular, I agree that the scenario was not described in enough detail, because I did not want to railroad solutions directly to prepared actions, but the idea was to stay hidden but to ready an action for when the victim came out of the room.

Make the scene as concrete as needed. If the player suspects the assassain is behind the desk and the player carefully watches the desk when entering the room then he will not be surprised if the assassain is behind the desk. If the assassain is somewhere else or he doesn't have some specific idea of where the assassain is then perception vs stealth.

It's a good way to deal with it, on this one, my point was that, if prepared actions are allowed, the potential victim could declare a dodge if he sees an assassin emerge (from the desk, for example).

The orcs are either surprised or not surprised. 1 character cannot surprise the orcs while the others do not. This would occur vs normal stealth vs perception rules.

It's true, but not really the point in this case, it was more about coordination, on this @Umbran perfectly understood what I meant and how prepared actions to act after one ambusher triggers the rest is the right solution (at least the way I see it).

This depends on the specifics of the guards etc. He may not even be able to get close to the individual. He may be able to get close but have no chance of escape.

Very true, the question was, assuming that he is, he should be able to prepare something for his strike and getaway.
 

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Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Lol I was making pub for my topic " is the fighter a supercherie "
So you jump to unwarrented conclusions in a rude way, and when questioned it has nothing to do with the topic being discussed but because you were promoting a different thread that didn't even get mentioned.

Okay, I can see you don't actually add to discussions. No need to waste my time with your replies in the future.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
That would be generally true, but the problem remains that that preparedness is worth nothing as per the RAW, they don't get a bonus to initiative and they don't get prepared actions.
I would disagree. Preperadeness means they will be setting the position and terms of the engagement. Those alone are great incentives.

More importantly though, The alternative is worse. Making a rule that strongly incentivizes players to prepare in such a way is not the kind of game I want to run because they will start regularly doing so and that's just not the kind of game I'm interested in.

On this one in particular, I agree that the scenario was not described in enough detail, because I did not want to railroad solutions directly to prepared actions, but the idea was to stay hidden but to ready an action for when the victim came out of the room.
If the victim comes out of the room and the player is hidden and attacks (perception vs stealth and wins that contest) then the player will have surprised the victim. Otherwise he will not. There's no need for a prepared action out of combat to accomplish this. If the victim is particularly distracted, the DM may even rule no roll is required and it's essentially auto-success.

It's a good way to deal with it, on this one, my point was that, if prepared actions are allowed, the potential victim could declare a dodge if he sees an assassin emerge (from the desk, for example).
IMO, dodging requires perception of your attackers. You can't 'dodge' in the sense of the dodge action what you can't see coming.

It's true, but not really the point in this case, it was more about coordination, on this @Umbran perfectly understood what I meant and how prepared actions to act after one ambusher triggers the rest is the right solution (at least the way I see it).
Your question wasn't about the order they would go in. I answered your original question. If you want to pivot the discussion to why prepared actions are important outside combat I'm game, but just don't act like I'm not addressing what you actually said. I'm not a mind reader, i can't read your intent.

Very true, the question was, assuming that he is, he should be able to prepare something for his strike and getaway.
That wasn't the question you actually asked. I described how that scenario would work at my table. You seem to be fishing for something more. Just spell it out so we can discuss that instead of acting like you said something else.
 

  • Example 1: Why does no one want to be the one to initiate? Is there a possible non-combat resolution? Insight would be a good check that would let people know the situation and potentially find a non-combat option (or try to get the jump on the enemy).
  • Example 2: Not sure how this is a combat related situation, but I'd add a sleight of hand check to do it quietly (usually by pouring oil into the lock, which would be part of a normal thieves' tools). If failed, the lock opens, but the other party is alerted, preventing surprise once the door opens. Otherwise, the assassin can make a stealth check to surprise the target when they open the door.
  • Example 3: Watching the door would prevent surprise, as you'd see the door open and the assassin couldn't stealth (you can't hide from someone who can see you).
  • Example 4: My group has done this often. Assuming they can see each other, someone counts with their fingers, with everyone going on "3." This lead to a hilarious situation where half of us rolled so badly for stealth that we decided that we all yelled "THREE" at the same time, which is how we ruined surprise.
  • Example 5: This one is very tricky, and depends on the playstyle of the DM. I'm more likely to do this out of combat, but I'll focus on a combat method (since that's your goal). I'd setup the scene, then have the rogue roll deception against the guard's insight (to realize they're a threat). Success starts the combat with the rouge next to teh politician and everyone else surprised, and the rogue considered "hidden." Once they attack, the rogue is no longer hidden, and must deal with combat as normal. Once they can get to a spot they can attempt to hide, they can do so, and if they remain hidden for at least 1 full round I'd go out of combat. While the guards may not know where the rogue is, they know where they went, so the rogue had best move far away first.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Example 1: Why does no one want to be the one to initiate? Is there a possible non-combat resolution? Insight would be a good check that would let people know the situation and potentially find a non-combat option (or try to get the jump on the enemy).
Simple answer: no-one wants to be the first to initiate because neither side really has any sort of clear grasp on the capabilities of the other; and there's no future in starting fights you can't win.
  • Example 4: My group has done this often. Assuming they can see each other, someone counts with their fingers, with everyone going on "3." This lead to a hilarious situation where half of us rolled so badly for stealth that we decided that we all yelled "THREE" at the same time, which is how we ruined surprise.
A famous quote from an old game of mine, when the party were trying to co-ordinate and failing terribly time after time:

"OK, let's try this: count up to three. On one, we all hit."
 

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