Is there a meaningful difference between giving a monster multiattack and giving it multiple turns per round?

I’m creating a CR21 boss for my medium-level party of six players to fight. I know that action economy is a big disadvantage for a single enemy fighting an entire party, so I’m giving the boss the ability to attack 4 times per turn (20-35 damage per most attacks).

I know the most common way to give a creature multiple attacks is to give it Multiattack, an action that allows it to use its attack abilities several times in one go. I’m considering instead rolling initiative for the boss 4 times and giving it a whole turn for each initiative value, giving it 4 separate attacks.

Will this have a significantly different effect on the battle than giving the boss a standard multiattack?


A couple thoughts I’ve had:

  • This allows the boss to use more bonus actions per round. The boss I’m designing doesn’t have any nonstandard bonus actions, so I don’t think this will make a big difference.
  • This allows the boss to move more often. I’ve divided the speed I want the boss to have by the number of turns it gets per round, so its total movement per round will be the same.
  • This gives the boss more reactions. I can see this making it quite a but more difficult. I’m not planning on using many reactions when I play the boss, though.

RAW, can you break up turns between a rider and their controlled mount?

Can’t seem to find clarification on this, it always just directs me to the Mounted Combat rule.

Mounted Combat
[…] The initiative of a controlled mount changes to match yours when you mount it. It moves as you direct it, and it has only three action options: Dash, Disengage, and Dodge. A controlled mount can move and act even on the turn that you mount it. […]

Rules as written, can a rider attack, have the mount take the Disengage action and move, and make another attack on the same turn?

When do the skeletons, zombies, or ghouls created by Orcus’ lair action take their turns in initiative?

Orcus’ second lair action reads

Orcus causes up to six corpses within the lair to rise as skeletons, zombies, or ghouls. These undead obey his telepathic commands, which can reach anywhere in the lair (MTF 153, OoTA 245).

It seems like a fairly straightforward summon effect at first. But when do they act? There are a few possibilities, pulled from similar mechanics, none of which match the text above.

Compare to the spell conjure animals (PHB 225) and similar PHB conjure-creature spells, whose relevant text reads:

The summoned creatures are friendly to you and your companions. Roll initiative for the summoned creatures as a group, which has its own turns.

We also have the summon fiend spell (TaCo 112) and the other summons from that book, which read:

The creature is an ally to you and your companions. In combat, the creature shares your initiative count, but it takes its turn immediately after yours.

It is also possible that since it’s a lair action, the Orcus-summoned undead act on initiative count 20, but that is pure speculation. However, the other examples don’t match his feature text either, and so are just as speculative.

What are the drawbacks of placing time limits on turns?

I personally find general concept of enforcing time limits on player turns during combat a very, very good thing for the following reasons:

  • Just like in a real battle, you don’t have a lot of time to think. Time limit represents this quite well.
  • You don’t have enough time to get distracted until you are acting again, no time is wasted while you think of something else, check Facebook feed etc, because waiting for everyone to finish may get boring.
  • You can go through more encounters per hour, combat doesn’t take forever to resolve.
  • Combat becomes much, much more intense.

Etc, etc.


How I suppose time limits to work:

  • You are only allowed to talk during your turn. That includes no asking for any clarifications, tactical advice, discussing what goes on while it’s not your turn.
  • While turn of the player who acts before you starts, GM calls out your name and says that your turn is next.
  • When that player has acted and math is applied, GM describes what has changed. You are supposed to listen carefully, GM doesn’t describe what’s happening for each player individually. Sometimes it can take 10 seconds, sometimes minutes — doesn’t matter.
  • Your turn starts, you have 30 seconds per action your character can do. During that time you are supposed to tell the GM what are you doing and roll dice. Math doesn’t count. If you need any clarifications, you have to use those 30 seconds. Same if you want to say something to anyone in-character during combat. Once you roll, you stop talking, GM counts and announces the result of your roll and current situation.
  • If you don’t both describe your actions and roll dice during those 30 seconds, which most likely means that you didn’t have any plan in your head, you make a “default action”, which is decided in advance.
  • If you only described what you want to do partially and your time ran out, you have ~3 seconds to say if you do what you had time for to describe, if you perform a default action of if you do nothing.
  • Of course, people may ask for a game to pause if they need to bring some tea, answer phone etc. After all, such intense combat may get people tired.
  • GM describing what goes on between your actions doesn’t count.
  • Taking a full-round action has to be described during your first 30 seconds. If you don’t do it, you cannot perform a full-round action that round, and one of your actions is lost as usual. Though, you might (in advance) name any full-round action as your default action.

The only real problem I see is that new players need more time to think anyway, sometimes even some help from others, but there are some experienced players who object to such solution.

I am myself new to Pathfinder E6, which I am going to use this solution for, so answers related to this system are most welcome.

What are the drawbacks of setting time limits on turns?

I expect answers stating exact problems that were caused by time limits actually observed during gameplay.

What are the game playing impacts of allowing players to take turns out of initiative order? [duplicate]

As per a previous question I asked RAW do not allow players to go later in initiative order in 5E as they could in earlier editions of DnD and other roleplaying systems.

What are the potential things to consider if I choose to home brew changes to this behavior as part of my own rules?

The rule I am considering is as follows.

In a players turn they may either hold an action based on a trigger as per RAW or they can choose to delay there entire turn until after another stated players turn. A player may only delay once per round and cannot name a player Or NPC higher in initiative order to wait for. E G a 5 character combat 4 players and NPC roll initiative and are in order players 1 to 4(high to low) with the NPC sitting after player 3

Player 1 can choose to delay their turn and take it after players 2-4, or the NPC, they state they will go after player 3

On player 3 go they may choose to either go after player 4 or now, they cannot decide to go directly after player 1

Player 1 now takes their turn and must have a turn they may not choose to delay again.

Next round the players return to original initiative order.

In order to stick to stack guidelines I am looking for specific examples from players and GMs who have tried this rather then opinions.

When you get extra turns or dash actions, can you go faster?

The answer to the Amazing Lightspeed Horse exploit seems to indicate that no matter how many turns you get in a round (and thus no matter how many actions you get), you should only be allowed to move twice your speed after using at least one dash action, other dash actions being wasted.

Rogues get dash actions as bonus actions via ‘cunning action’, allowing them to potentially use two dash actions in a single round starting at level two. When I’ve played and GMed I’ve certainly allowed that to let people go thrice speed rather than double, for the same reasons explained in our question on that topic. Thieves also get an extra turn each first-round-of-combat at level 17, from Thief’s Reflexes, whose dashes I would also allow to move them up to their speed each, and who I would probably also have let move an extra set of movement for free.

This seems to contradict the highly upvoted and accepted answer claiming that no creature can ever for any reason use more than its speed in movement in a single round, though (except for a single dash action because ???).

Which interpretation is correct?

Does Empowered Spell metamagic work over multiple turns?

The Sorcerer’s Empowered Spell metamagic option reads

Empowered Spell When you roll damage for a spell, you can spend 1 sorcery point to reroll a number of the damage dice up to your Charisma modifier (minimum of one). You must use the new rolls.

While the spell Immolation reads (emphasis added):

Flames wreathe one creature you can see within range. The target must make a Dexterity saving throw. It takes 8d6 fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. On a failed save, the target also burns for the spell’s duration. The burning target sheds bright light in a 30-foot radius and dim light for an additional 30 feet. At the end of each of its turns, the target repeats the saving throw. It takes 4d6 fire damage on a failed save, and the spell ends on a successful one. These magical flames can’t be extinguished by nonmagical means.

If a sorcerer with +5 CHA uses Empowered Spell on Immolation to re-roll 3 of the 8d6 and the target fails its save on its next turn can the Sorcerer re-roll an additional 2 dice of the 4d6 damage?

This question might include whether Empowered spell should be read as:

"When you roll damage for a spell, you can spend 1 sorcery point to reroll a number of the damage dice [from that damage roll] up to your Charisma modifier"
or
"When you roll damage for a spell, you can spend 1 sorcery point to reroll a number of the damage dice [for that spell] up to your Charisma modifier"

How many turns does it take for an unseen servant to pass a healing potion in combat?

Unseen servant reads:

Once on each of your turns as a bonus action, you can mentally command the servant to move up to 15 feet and interact with an object. The servant can perform simple tasks that a human servant could do, such as fetching things, cleaning, mending, folding clothes, lighting fires, serving food, and pouring wine. Once you give the command, the servant performs the task to the best of its ability until it completes the task, then waits for your next command.

Assume I used my bonus action to command it to give the healing potion in my pocket to another character, and that it is within reach when I do. It would take a player one turn to complete the task. A free item interaction to draw the potion, then movement, followed by an action to safely pass it over. But the unseen servant seems to be solely capable of movement then a single item interaction.

How many turns would it take for it to perform this task? And if two or more are necessary what is the order of operations? Can it move after interacting with an object?

Can you cast Mirror Image twice on successive turns and have 6 duplicates of yourself instead of 3?

Mirror image (PHB, pg. 260) is a spell that has a casting time of 1 action, and a duration of 1 minute. My question is, can you cast Mirror image twice on successive turns, gaining 6 images by turn 2?

Sample Turns:

Turn 1: Mirror Image (3 images)

Turn 2: Mirror Image again (6 images, with 3 of them lasting 1 turn less)

Since Mirror Image doesn’t require concentration, there should be no interference between the 2 casts in terms of concentration. I know that this could be up to DM Fiat, but I was wondering if there was a proper interpretation of the printed rules for this situation.