Player Tips: Maximising Bonus Actions & Reactions

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Player Tips: Maximising Bonus Actions & Reactions


Whilst these paragons of roleplaying virtuosity can be drawn to the desk by means of means of the possibility to breathe life into their complicated three dimensional character, in what they intend to be as lots an improv theatre session as an RPG, there’s a big quantity of gamers who, if you’ll forgive the language, simply desire to fuck some shit up.

And so with out added apologies or explanations, let’s spoil ourselves with a bit powergaming. Today’s matter is all about how you may perhaps maximise your use of bonus actions and reactions so as to optimise your PC’s talent to whoop some ass.

Now, as you know, as soon as initiative is rolled and fight has started, time is delineated into rounds, with every one PC having their turn inside the round. But have you ever ever observed how some gamers handle to pack method additional into their turn than others? No one ever forgets to make use in their principal attack(s) or forged a spell, but truly you may perhaps typically sneak in a variety of additional sports if you’re gambling smart.

…have you ever observed how some gamers handle to pack method additional into their turn than others?

Let’s holiday issues down.

Your principal opportunity to impression the tide of battle, most seemingly you may perhaps judge to both Attack or Cast a Spell, but it’s value remembering that different actions you may perhaps take are Dash, Disengage (a robust getaway tool), Dodge (a robust defence device that also provides you merit on Dexterity saving throws), Help, Hide, Ready (useful for when person retains utilizing their transfer to duck again beneath cover, in among peppering you with arrows), Search or Use An Object (drinking a magic potion being a frequent example).

Every spherical you may perhaps transfer as so much as your pace (for 90% of characters that is 30 feet), and it’s virtually all of the time value thinking what you may perhaps do including your transfer to achieve a strategic advantage. Obviously if you’re engaged with an enemy you must believe about regardless of even if you desire to transfer out in their attain and initiate a chance attack, but it surely it’s attainable you ought to achieve an merit in conflict by means of means of utilizing 5, 10 or 20 ft of motion (depending at the measurement of the creature!) to outmanoeuvre the creature with out ever leaving their reach.

Bonus Action
Technically you simply get one among these if an talent says you do, but a nice participant will discover a method of utilizing a bonus motion on most in their turns. Typical issues you may perhaps do utilizing a bonus motion are: make an assault with a moment weapon (you ought to have certain the Attack motion to be capable to do so, meaning you can’t Cast A Spell after which sneak in an offhand attack); assault including your protect or butt of your polearm (requires feat); forged a spell that has a casting time of bonus action; take merit of your Cunning Action talent (Rogues only!) to Dash, Disengage or Hide.

Free Action
On p.190 of the PH it reads: “In combat, characters and monsters are in fixed motion, typically utilizing motion and function to achieve the larger hand…. Here are a couple of examples of the varieties of factor you may perhaps do in tandem including your motion and action:”

It then provides a lengthy listing of examples of issues you ought to do as a “free action” (unofficial title!), from which I’ll judge a couple of that ought to honestly come in handy…

  • Draw or sheathe a sword
  • Open or near a door
  • Withdraw a potion out of your backpack
  • Pick up a dropped axe
  • Fish a couple of cash out of your belt pouch
  • Pull a torch from a sconce
  • Turn a key in a lock
  • Hand an merchandise to one other character.

Reactions are actions which you simply may perhaps soak up response to a trigger, in all probability one of the foremost frequent being opportunity attacks, which you may perhaps take as a response to the cause of person shifting out of your attain (the logic being that this leaves themselves susceptible to assault for a holiday up second). Most of the time they don’t take vicinity throughout your turn, but as a response to what one other creature did throughout their turn inside the round. Whilst you may perhaps really experience that it’s tough to financial institution on being capable to make use of your response every one spherical (you simply get one), I typically discover a option to do so. In truth I typically discover myself ‘saving my reaction’ simply due to the very fact I even have so many concepts on how you may perhaps use them. Typical issues you may perhaps do including your response include: casting a spell, equivalent to protect or counterspell, utilizing Defensive Duelist feat, utilizing Uncanny Dodge talent (Rogues only), making a chance attack, making an assault utilizing the Sentinel feat 5e bonus action.

So there you go, removed from utilizing simply an Action every one turn you may perhaps truly use an Action, Move, Bonus Action, Free Action and Reaction!

Action Packed vs. Dull
Let’s believe about a situation the place (low level) Fighter 1 is locked in fight with Orc A, while Orc B is operating for the door to summon additional pungent inexperienced again up. Fighter 1 swings his longsword, hits Orc A but doesn’t kill him. Not in need of to initiate a chance attack, he’s caught engaged with the enemy.

Now let’s believe about the exact situation with Fighter 2, who’s exact to Fighter 1 unless that he certain the Shieldmaster feat. Fighter 2 first makes use of a Bonus Action to try to shove Orc A to the floor collectively with his shield. He is successful, after which may assault the orc with merit utilizing his Action. He hits but in addition doesn’t kill Orc A, but simply due to the very fact the orc is now susceptible it both wouldn’t be capable to make a chance assault (common sense!), or would achieve this at downside as he’s susceptible (p. 292, PH). Therefore Fighter 2 is capable to appropriately use his Move motion to chop off Orc B earlier than he reaches the door – and at the method he makes use of a Free Action to knock a flask of oil off the desk in entrance of Orc B, potentially causing him to slide on his turn. By positioning himself among Orc B and the door, Fighter 2 ensures that if Orc B have been to go him he would get a chance assault towards him utilizing his Reaction…

I suppose it’s reasonable to assert the guy (or girl) gambling Fighter 2 is exerting method additional impression at the combat, as properly as having lots additional fun in doing so, by means of means of utilizing every one of the energy actions reachable to them throughout the round.

Maximising Bonus Actions and Reactions
Ok, so we’ve seemed at how high quality the additional actions in Dungeons and Dragons can show in battle, now let’s appear at how you may perhaps larger take merit of them. The key right the following is picking expertise and spells that enable you to make use of bonus actions and reactions on a ordinary basis.

Whenever I play a caster the primary factor I do is appear for spells that I can forged with out utilizing a complete action. Here are all of those I discovered inside the Player’s Handbook. (There are a couple of additional in Xanathar’s Guide).

Spells You Can Cast with A Bonus Action
Banishing Smite
Blinding Smite
Branding Smite
Compelled Duel
Divine Favor
Divine Word
Ensnaring Strike
Expeditious Retreat (not simply for retreating!)
Flame Blade
Grasping Vine
Hail of Thorns
Healing Word
Hunter’s Mark
Lightning Arrow
Magic Weapon
Mass Healing Word
Misty Step
Searing Smite
Shield of Faith
Spiritual Weapon
Staggering Smite
Swift Quiver
Thunderous Smite
Wrathful Smite

Spells You Cast with a Reaction
Feather Fall
Hellish Rebuke

Having a few of those up your sleeve will supply you lots of additional versatility when fight starts.

Second Attack
For anybody that wields a weapon, the noticeable method of having additional bang in your dollar every one single spherical is to fight with NULL guns instead. This method you get to make one more assault in your turn, utilizing a bonus action.

Failing that feats are the greatest option to get a ordinary and potent use out of your bonus actions and reactions, as properly as giving you different additional powers…

Feats That Grant You a Bonus Action
Crossbow Expert
Great Weapon Master
Martial Adept (depending at the manoeuvres you choose)
Polearm Master
Tavern Brawler

Feats That Use Your Reaction
Defensive Duelist (uses your proficiency bonus so a huge feat to seize at a larger level)
Mage Slayer
Martial Adept (depending at the manoeuvres you choose… Riposte is cool)
Polearm Master
War Caster

Of these feats a couple of stand out for me. Shieldmaster for instance we may perhaps you use a bonus motion every one time you’re taking the assault action, while Polearm Master feat is possibly the greatest on the market simply due to the very fact it permits you to make use of a bonus motion every one spherical AND typically a response too. Sentinel permits you to make use of your response on a frequent basis, though shrewd monsters (and/or metagaming DMs) will objective you a lot. Defensive Duelist is underrated and a bright one to opt for up at a later stage simply due to the very fact it makes use of your proficiency bonus as a basis, and permits you to make use of your response every one time you’re attacked with a melee weapon.

I won’t hassle repeating precisely what every one does, but do delve again into your Player’s Handbook and believe about them in your subsequent PC, or subsequent time you get to opt for up a feat (always additional fun than taking a +2 modifier to an ability, and typically additional high quality too) bonus action 5e.

Plan A Strategy
One factor I desire to do is suppose about how I can positioned collectively all my actions in a spherical right into a coherent technique or gameplan.

For instance when gambling with Estelle, (5th stage paladin of devotion / 3rd stage battlemaster fighter), one frequent tactic was to soar my turn by means of means of casting thunderous smite (bonus action), then make my first melee assault doing additional 2d6 thunder damage. If my objective failed their saving throw and was knocked prone, then I would make my moment assault with merit and use my Greater Weapon Master feat to take the -5 to hit penalty (with merit I would nonetheless typically hit!) and do +10 damage. If my opponent was nonetheless status after this (potentially 6d6 +10 wreck plus modifiers), I ought to dissipate some divine smite and even my motion surge to end them off. Against a big quantity of weaker foes I relied at the truth I would scale back an enemy to 0 hit issues most spherical to get a bonus motion assault with Great Weapon Master (so I wouldn’t hassle with thunderous smite) dnd 5e reaction.

With Jaxx Storm, a combat-loving cleric of the Tempest (1st-3rd level), I certain the Shieldmaster feat, which collectively with proficiency in Athletics, allowed me to steadily knock foes susceptible with my bonus motion – giving me and my pals merit on our assault rolls towards them. The Wrath of the Storm talent allowed me to make use of my response to nice impact on celebration too.

Xenia Zanetti was my first ever 5th model man or woman and flexible as hell (5th stage Rogue Assassin, 5th stage Wizard, 3rd stage Battlemaster Fighter). She ought to apply a bonus motion to Dash, Disengage or Hide, to forged misty step, or to make a moment attack, or use a battlemaster manoeuvre equivalent to feinting assault to achieve merit (which supposed she ought to do sneak assault wreck even in a one on one situation). Whilst for her response she typically forged shield, or for so much less risky foes took merit of the rogue’s uncanny avoid ability.

My 5th stage rogue swashbuckler, Drake Leopold Florentine Griffinheart III (it’s all of the time the third!), fights with NULL weapons, meaning he virtually all of the time makes use of a bonus action. I also gave him the Martial Adept feat and certain the Riposte manoeuvre (as properly simply due to the very fact the Disarming Attack) meaning he can use a Reaction to make one more assault (once per brief relaxation only, sadly), and this truly permits him to deal his sneak assault wreck twice in a single spherical (once on his turn, as soon as on person else’s), making him really deadly. At 8th stage I plan to take the Defensive Duelist feat, which may assist disguise his principal weakness… his mediocre AC. Being a rogue with proficiency in acrobatics also provides you lots of scope for interacting including your environment in a inventive way, both for dramatic impact or for a tactical advantage, utilizing both a unfastened motion or bonus action.

Hipster’s Takeaway Tip
One huge tip is to put in writing down everything your PC can do with their action, bonus action, response in your man or woman sheet, and then, when it’s your turn, you may perhaps fast remind your self of your concepts in combat. This method you’ll hardly ever miss a chance to take complete merit of your character’s powers.


Player Tips: Maximising Bonus Actions & Reactions

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