Can you use free action(s) as part of a Ready Action?

The most obvious example of this, which came up in regards to another question’s answer, is Quickened Casting Metamagic, but there may be other Free Actions that modify following actions or might otherwise be useful as part of Readying to act.

Are you able to perform one or more Free Actions as part of and/or when you perform your Ready activity activation?

Does Mind whip prevent bonus actions if you take away an action?

The text for mind whip states

You psychically lash out at one creature you can see within range. The target must make an Intelligence saving throw. On a failed save, the target takes 3d6 psychic damage, and it can’t take a reaction until the end of its next turn. Moreover, on its next turn, it must choose whether it gets a move, an action, or a bonus action; it gets only one of the three. On a successful save, the target takes half as much damage and suffers none of the spell’s other effects

Meanwhile, the rules state

[…] anything that deprives you of your ability to take actions also prevents you from taking a bonus action.

If the target chooses a bonus action, it technically shouldn’t be able to do so, as it was deprived of its action. Or is this a case of specific beats general?

Do named actions in monster statblocks use the Attack action?

This question is inspired by the following and stems from wondering whether the Steel Defender’s "Force-Empowered Rend" action involves taking the Attack action:

  • Can a hasted steel defender benefit from its extra actions?

Take the Lich for example, It has an action titled "Paralyzing Touch"; does this involve the Attack action? Similarly, the Ogre has the "Greatclub" and "Javelin" actions; do these involve the Attack action? Does the Adult Black Dragon’s "Acid Breath" involve the Attack action? How does one know if something listed under "Actions" in a monster’s statblock involves taking the Attack action or not?

This matters for various features that key off of taking the Attack action while somebody is polymorphed, shapechanged, Wild Shaped, or by some other means has become one of these creatures while maintaining their class features such as Extra Attack or the Monk’s Flurry of Blows.

Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Immediately after you take the Attack action on your turn, you can spend 1 ki point to make two unarmed strikes as a bonus action.

The only thing I have managed to find that I think might be relevant is the following SAC ruling:

Q. Can you use a melee spell attack to make an opportunity attack? […]

A. […] A few monsters can make opportunity attacks with melee spell attacks. Here’s how: certain monsters—including the banshee, the lich, and the specter—have a melee spell attack that isn’t delivered by a spell. For example, the banshee’s Corrupting Touch action is a melee spell attack but no spell is cast to make it. The banshee can, therefore, make opportunity attacks with Corrupting Touch.

Note that this question is different from my previous question:

Does using an Owl's "Talons" action while Wild Shaped count as taking the Attack action?

The question failed to ask what I actually wanted to ask. It happened to be asking about an action that could effectively be accomplished through unarmed strikes and was not explicitly asking about things like the Lich’s Paralyzing Touch and a Dragon’s Breath. This question, in contrast, is asking about such features explicitly.

Can a hasted steel defender benefit from its extra actions?

Haste provides an extra action that can be used to Attack (one weapon Attack only), Dash, Disengage, Hide, or Use an Object.

In combat, the defender shares your initiative count, but it takes its turn immediately after yours. It can move and use its reaction on its own, but the only action it takes on its turn is the Dodge action, unless you take a bonus action on your turn to command it to take another action. That action can be one in its stat block or some other action. If you are incapacitated, the defender can take any action of its choice, not just Dodge.

Can a hasted steel defender benefit from its extra actions? Or is limited to one action total?

  • For example can a steel defender be commanded to attack twice using its normal attack and the extra attack provided by haste?

Timing of Suggested actions and a target’s “best ability”

The first level enchantment spell Command specifies that the action the target is forced to take happens

on its next turn

The second level enchantment spell Suggestion, on the other hand, says that for the target,

On a failed save, it pursues the course of action you described to the best of its ability.

Since the action is not specified as starting on its next turn, it is possible that it could be started or even completed before its next turn, provided the action was one which it could take even while not on its turn. Furthermore,

the spell ends when the subject finishes what it was asked to do.

How should the GM, or possibly the GM playing as the target of the spell, interpret "to the best of its ability"? Is it better to act sooner, before its turn, or wait until its turn so as to have more options or more powerful options available in order to complete the suggested course of action?

As a specific example, suppose a target with Extra Attack was subject to the suggestion "attack the guard". The guard then leaves the reach of the target before the target’s turn. The target could choose to use its reaction to make a single attack, which would end the suggestion effect. The target could also choose to wait until its turn, allowing it to take the Attack Action, attack multiple times with Extra Attack, and possibly use other abilities such as bonus actions or movement to make its attacks more effective.

Of these two choices (less sooner or more later), which would be considered pursuing the course of the action to "the best of its ability"?

This question is related, and asks (in part) whether the target will perform actions before its first turn. However, my question is different in that asks about the resolution of the "to the best of its ability" clause by supposing a tradeoff between acting sooner for less effect or later for more effect.

Are all other Spell-Like Abilities standard actions?

I’ve seen a lot of questions regarding SLA but regarding actions and casting time – specifically, do you consider "casting time" as the SLA "otherwise noted" part?

A Witch Tree is casting Dominate Person as a: 1 round action or Standard action?

It seems at one point someone added unless otherwise noted in the spell or ability, but is that official?

Does the Beast Master’s Primal Companion feature allows the beast to take two Actions in a single turn?

I watched a video from Dungeon Dudes on YouTube where they rated the Ranger subclasses. Around the 23:18 mark, they mentioned that the new Beast Master’s Primal Companion feature from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything can allow the Ranger to forgo one of their attacks to allow the Beast to take the Attack action, on top of the action that they can make using the Ranger’s bonus action. The Primal Companion feature description says the following:

Primal Companion

In combat the beast acts during your turn. It can move and use its reaction on its own, but the only action it takes is the Dodge action, unless you take a bonus action on your turn to command it to take another action. That action can be one in its stat block or some other action. You can also sacrifice one of your attacks when you take the Attack action to command the beast to take the Attack action. If you are incapacitated, the beast can take any action of its choice, not just Dodge.

As far as I know, a creature can only take one action on their turn. Is this a specific ruling for the Primal Companion since it doesn’t have its own turn because "it acts on your [the Ranger’s] turn?" Also does this mean that the Ranger can break up their movement, actions, and bonus actions with the Beast’s on their turn, essentially controlling two characters freely? In the video, Monty mentioned that a level 11 Beast Master Ranger can make one attack and have the beast attack four times which is crazy in my opinion.

Can a player controlling an NPC use its Legendary Actions?

Let’s say my players used Dominate Monster on a Kraken:

While the creature is Charmed, you have a Telepathic link with it as long as the two of you are on the same plane of existence. You can use this Telepathic link to issue commands to the creature while you are conscious (no action required), which it does its best to obey.

Or my Necromancy Wizard successfully commanded Stradh:

If it fails, it becomes friendly to you and obeys your commands until you use this feature again.

Can the player have the creature use its legendary actions, lair actions, and regional effects?

I’m aware that spells like True Polymorph don’t allow this. I wondered whether these do (or should!).

What actions can a burrowed creature take?

A player in my upcoming game wants to play a burrowing race. I couldn’t find rules about what sort of actions a burrow creature can take.

Do rules exist for burrowing creatures:

  • Attacking from underground?
  • Getting cover underground?
  • Casting spells underground?

Note: I see this question has been answered for 4E, but this question is specifically about RAW Pathfinder.