If the target is truly unaware of the attacker, how can he then get an initiative roll at all before the attacker reveals himself?

9 thoughts on “If the target is truly unaware of the attacker, how can he then get an initiative roll at all before the attacker reveals himself?

  1. Gregory Kirk says:

    The way inattentive and surprise work, the surprised characters do not get to act until those with surprise do something, then actions happen as per usual in the initiative order. So you don;t have t stop and say “roll for initiative. Start something like this:

    DM: “as you are riding down the roadway, a shower of arrows strikes at your party (roll the attacks by the well hidden bandits against the party). An arrow barely misses you, Hinton, another one hits in your horse and it bucks, make a an animal handling check.
    Hinton: :huh? what’s happening. oh oh, 7.
    DM: OK you fall of your horse. You’re prone.
    DM: Alaric, you’re hit by an arrow, make that two. Alaric replies I use my reaction and cast shield, increasing my AC by 5.
    DM: OK only one hits.
    Etc until the bandits exhaust their actions for the turn

    DM: Ok, they have a 14 initiative. Everyone roll for initiative, anyone above a 14 was surprised, so no actions this turn…

    • Jeremy Graten says:

      If you want to break the rules, sure, you can do the situation you described. For those that would follow the rules, that situation wouldn’t play out that way.

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