[RPG] Can a character react to an action and take a regular action in the same round


I've been looking for clarification on the rules around reactions. I know this is a topic that seems to pop up on here a lot so there are many related questions (this one, this one, and this one ), but none that I have found that directly answer this question.

Can a character react to another person's action, and then take a full action on their turn? Does it work the same in reverse; Can a character take their normal turn to do an action, and then react to an action later in the same round? What about a bonus action?

Now I know the rules state that a character can only have one reaction per round, but I don't see anywhere in the rules that it says a character can't have both an action and a reaction in the same round.

Let me give an example: Say Sorcerer Tim casts fire-bolt on his turn, but says he will cast blade ward on himself as a reaction if anyone attempts to strike him with a melee weapon, do the rules support him in still being able to blade ward himself. (Note that blade ward does take 1 full action to cast).

Example 2: Sorcerer Tim casts fire-bolt on his turn, but says he will cast expeditious retreat as a reaction if anyone attempt to strike him with a melee weapon, do the rules support him doing this? (Note that expeditious retreat can be cast as a bonus action).

Best Answer


Once initiative has been decided, the Round is made up of each creature's turns. Your turn is generally comprised of Actions and Bonus Actions, but a specific turn can include a reaction. You can only take Actions and Bonus Actions on your turn within a round. Your Reaction can be taken on your turn or on someone else's within the round.


On your turn, you are able to Move and take an Action. Examples of actions can be found in the PHB (192-3) and include Attack, Cast a Spell, Dash, Disengage, Dodge, Help, Hide, Search, and Use an Object.

There is one Action you can take that will use your reaction if you choose to use it after your identified triggering event as well: The Ready Action. Should you take this, you have an opportunity to use your Reaction to take an Action based off of a triggering event. Rules for this can be found in the PHB on page 193.

Bonus Actions

If you have an ability, spell, or some other means where a Bonus Action is available to you, you may use one on your turn.


These are typical in response to a triggering event. Either one that you decide, As with the Ready Action or one that is used as defined by another class ability or spell. An example of this is Counterspell (PHB, 228)

As some reactions can be taken on or outside your specific turn, such as Ready and Counterspell, others can be taken later or earlier in the round, such as Counterspell or Shield - a character is able to use Actions, Bonus Actions, and Reactions during the Initiative Round.

Of course, the standard rules regarding the number of Actions or Reactions still remain and must be followed. While there may be more than one Action available to a player, there is never more than one Bonus Action or Reaction available for a player in a round.

Your examples

Example 1 - No, Tim would not be able to do this. He has spent his Action casting Fire Bolt. He can't prepare Ready Action because he no longer has an Action to spend.

Example 2 - No, Tim is still limited by his use of his Action casting Fire Bolt. If he had another Action available (e.g. Fighter's Action Surge), he might be able to set up that reaction, but it takes an Action in order to have a Reaction. There are numerous other roadblocks to why this example fails (Readied actions require completion of trigger - so a defensive buff would be 'too late' and that you can only ready a spell with a 1 action cast time.)

My Example of an Action and Reaction on same turn

Tim casts fireball at a group of enemies using his Action. It is now the turn for the enemy Wizard, who follows up with his own Fireball. In response, Tim uses his Reaction to counterspell it.