Trying to hide a readied action?

Corran

Explorer
If someone readies an action (like 'I shoot the mage when he starts casting'); I think it should be possible for that character to hide the fact that he's readying*.

This can be important because of the choices people might make if they know someone is readying something (they can never no what exactly is readied of course; short of using detect thoughts).

It seems to me that the best way to do this is to make it a Bluff vs. Sense Motive check (with a -1 penalty per 10 feet distance like Spot).

Does anyone know of any (semi-)official rules for this, or have an improvement on the above?


*Of course by just looking at the initiative order it will be pretty easy to figure out that some is either readying or delaying, so it should take some effort not to metagame this.
 

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Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
I think the bluff vs. sense motive check is a fair way to deal with an issue not directly mentioned in the rules.
 

Lord Pendragon

First Post
For me, it depends on what you're readying. If you're readying a spear against a charge, you could have a Bluff skill of 500 and you still aren't going to be able to disguise the fact that you're holding a spear with its butt in the ground, pointed forward to receive a charge. Likewise if you ready to shoot a spellcaster with a bow and arrow, you can't hide the fact that you're holding an arrow nocked and ready to fire, pointed at the wizard. You can't not do these things, and still be readied to strike at the precise moment you want to.

Now, if a PC readied to throw a dagger at someone, and had quickdraw so they could draw the blade as a free action, I might allow a Bluff check to disguise the PC's readiness. But that's one of the few circumstances I can think of where readying could be anything but obvious.
 

William_2

First Post
I don't think readying to attack with a bow carries any requirement at all to perform the free action of accessing the ammunition ahead of time. The character is mentally preparing, certainly, but readying is a game term, not a description of what the character is doing. Someone with a bow can stand there holding it until the moment they launch an attack. While others may well be suspicious of anyone holding a bow, the character readying an action is not actually taking any action that is different from what they would do if they had no intention at all of attacking.

I happen to believe that a spear being set against a charge in the context of D&D combat does not represent someone in a line of pikes overtly preparing for a charging horse (for example), but merely the last second preparation for the impact of a charge. The perception that readying to set a weapon against a charge is an overt action seems pretty popular, but I don't agree with it, myself.

Or, to put it much shorter: the rules permit the readying of actions; there is nothing that says readying is anything but a state of mental preparedness, or that any actions accompany the decision to Ready, in my opinion.
 

Dimwhit

Explorer
Interesting. We've never played where a spellcaster knows that you've readied an action to disrupt his spell. Just never even occured to us that he would know. And I don't think he should know, but that's nothing more than my opinion.
 

Brain

First Post
Lord Pendragon said:
For me, it depends on what you're readying. If you're readying a spear against a charge, you could have a Bluff skill of 500 and you still aren't going to be able to disguise the fact that you're holding a spear with its butt in the ground, pointed forward to receive a charge. Likewise if you ready to shoot a spellcaster with a bow and arrow, you can't hide the fact that you're holding an arrow nocked and ready to fire, pointed at the wizard. You can't not do these things, and still be readied to strike at the precise moment you want to.

I envision someone with a spear standing ready to act and seeing someone start to charge them and then plant the butt and set it. With no facing in D&D, it seems it would be this way, rather than having the spear set in a certain direction.

Overall, I'd say I'm in the camp where you can tell if someone is ready to do something, but not neccessarily exactly what they have up their sleeve.
 

Peter Gibbons

First Post
William_2 said:
Or, to put it much shorter: the rules permit the readying of actions; there is nothing that says readying is anything but a state of mental preparedness, or that any actions accompany the decision to Ready, in my opinion.
Agreed. Normally, I don't announce to players that an NPC "readies an action" or anything like that. If a PC became suspicious and asked for it, I'd probably allow a DC 20 Sense Motive check to get a "hunch" about what's going on, but that's it.
 

Starglim

Explorer
I don't think there is any visible difference between readying an action to shoot, delaying with the intention to shoot or waiting for your initiative count while wielding a bow. In all of these cases, any other creature can see that the archer has an arrow nocked and may intend to fire, but has not yet done so.

It's very unlikely that the enemy could know what action the archer had readied against, unless he happened to shout out and tell them ("Drop the bat guano or yer dead!")
 

Jdvn1

Hanging in there. Better than the alternative.
Brain said:
Overall, I'd say I'm in the camp where you can tell if someone is ready to do something, but not neccessarily exactly what they have up their sleeve.
Exactly. Also, since there's a battle going on, this wouldn't be surprising to anyone.
 

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