swapping places during combat

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Are there any rules for or against creatures / players swapping places during combat.

Last game I ruled  that such an action can occur if one player readies his action to a subsequent players movement.    During the second players turn both players shift through each others square at the same time.

Apparently some people think that this just can't be done.  Is that true?
Are there any rules for or against to creatures or players swapping places during combat.

Last game I ruled  that such an action can occur if one player readies his action to a subsequent players movement.    During the second players turn both players shift through each others square at the same time.

Apparently some people think that this just can't be done.  Is that true?
 



There are powers that let you swap places with an ally, but what you describe is not legal, no.
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Are there any rules for or against to creatures or players swapping places during combat.

Last game I ruled  that such an action can occur if one player readies his action to a subsequent players movement.    During the second players turn both players shift through each others square at the same time.

Apparently some people think that this just can't be done.  Is that true?
 



There are powers that let you swap places with an ally, but what you describe is not legal, no.



I don't see why it isn't, especially since the first player readied the shift.  No one got an extra movement out of it - seems perfectly fair to me.
I didn't say it wasn't fair, I said it wasn't legal.  There is no way to perform actions simultaneously in D&D.  If player 1 is moving, player 2 cannot move at the same time.  He either has to interrupt, or react, to the other character's movement, which puts that character's movement on hold until he completes his interruption/reaction.
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I understand it is legal to pass through a friendly square.   It is also legal for a player to enter a friendly square.   

What that means to me is that a player can ready his action to someone shifting into his square.   Once that action has completed the other player can take his action by moving out of his square.   This doesn't need to occur at the same time.   

Now the only problem is that the player that moved first may lose his standard action because his square his occupied.   I was also thinking that a tiny creature may not have to worry about losing its action.



 
I didn't say it wasn't fair, I said it wasn't legal.  There is no way to perform actions simultaneously in D&D.  If player 1 is moving, player 2 cannot move at the same time.  He either has to interrupt, or react, to the other character's movement, which puts that character's movement on hold until he completes his interruption/reaction.


But it could always be made to work with a readied action, except in the case where the two players are in two adjacent squares with no other open squares available.  For instance, P1 readies an action to shift when P2 leaves his square, then P2 moves back one square, P1 shifts as a reaction, then P2 continues and moves through P1 into P1's original square.  That works since immediate reactions can occur in the middle of movement.

If they were adjacent with no free squares, it would take at least two turns, since one of the players would need to drop prone, crawl, and then stand up again.
Wow... I'm a rules lawyer myself and I find all this ridiculous.

Readied action to shift into their square when they leave (this is a standard action for move action.. so you're giving up something already).  That's good, they leave the square into yours, you shift into their square.  Yes for a split second two characters are sharing a space during an action (this also happens if you opportunity attack someone who's walking through someone else's square).  Why freak out about it?

Always a GM, never a player (not really but sometimes feels like it).

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Why freak out about it?



Good question, why are you?

This is Rules Q&A, which means it's for determining how things work by the rules.  Technically, it's illegal.  Now, if the OP wants to allow it, that's fine.  I agree, I can't see how it would break anything and if the OP wants to allow it as a house rule, it's no big deal.
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I understand it is legal to pass through a friendly square.   It is also legal for a player to enter a friendly square.



It is legal to enter their square, but not to end their movement there.  As with all movement, if something forced them to end their movement there, they would go back to the last legal square they occupied.

Why freak out about it?



You don't want, for instance, every single character benefiting from flanking just by swapping in and out of the same square.

If you don't think it's a problem, feel free to houserule it.  But by RAW, you cannot do this.
how could every player benefit from flanking if it can only be done once between two players?

Actually, this would work easily in all cases:
- P1 ready to shift away when P2 enters his square.
- P2 moves into P1's square, with the intention of moving out again, so it is actually a legal move
- P1 shifts into the available space
- P2 decides not to move further after all.
I'm having a hard time understanding why this wouldn't be allowed since by the rules it seems to work.     Furthermore, isn't combat mobility a design philosophy of 4e?

But it could always be made to work with a readied action, except in the case where the two players are in two adjacent squares with no other open squares available.

Why not ready an action to shift when they enter your square?  Readied actions are reactions aren't they?

1) P2 ready an action "shift into {P1's starting square} when P1 shifts into my square.
2) P1 shifts into P2 square.  Movement has not yet ended.
3) P2 ready action triggers.  P2 shift into P1 starting square.  Movement ends.  Ready action ends.
4) P1 movement ends in P2's starting square (now empty).  P1 continues turn.


Edit: that's what I get for talking to someone about work before hitting post.

Also ... Salla, you're not allowed to be wrong!  ;)  quick find a reason this doesn't work. 

I'm having a hard time understanding why this wouldn't be allowed since by the rules it seems to work.     Furthermore, isn't combat mobility a design philosophy of 4e?


No reason not to allow it as as Jaelis/I descibed.  You're trading a standard action for a move action to do so.  Balanced.

Allowing it as a built in part of P1's move is giving P2 free out of turn movement without using a power to do so, or any action expenditure on P2's part.  That has all sorts of implications, almost all of which affect the balance of play.

how could every player benefit from flanking if it can only be done once between two players?



It would still take a character on the backside, but every other character could just rotate in and "step up to the bat" as it were.  This is what I meant.

@Fitz:  In your Step 2, why has movement not ended yet for P1?  Just because P2's readied action hasn't been resolved doesn't mean that P1 hasn't ended their movement in an illegal square before that.  They can't enter that square, meaning they can't trigger the reaction.

Edit: that's what I get for talking to someone about work before hitting post.


Well, I should have just gotten it right the first time


@Fitz:  In your Step 2, why has movement not ended yet for P1?  Just because P2's readied action hasn't been resolved doesn't mean that P1 hasn't ended their movement in an illegal square before that.  They can't enter that square, meaning they can't trigger the reaction.


P1 can simply claim that he is planning to move through P2's square, on his way to somewhere else.  (If nowhere else is availble, he could always plan to move back to his starting square.)  So there is nothing illegal about entering the square.

Then P2's ready goes off, interrupting (as a reaction) P1's turn.  Once the readied action is resolved, P1's turn continues.  But now he is in a legal space and can simply end his move action.
P1 can simply claim that he is planning to move through P2's square, on his way to somewhere else.



Not if he's shifting.

Ally: You can move through a square occupied by an ally.




Ending Movement: You can end your movement in an ally’s square only if the ally is prone. You can end your movement in an enemy’s square only if the enemy is helpless. However, Tiny creatures can end their movement in a larger creature’s square. If you don’t have enough movement remaining to reach a square you are allowed to be in, your move ends in the last square you could occupy.



P1 doesn't have to wait until movement is ended at all.   P1 simply readies his action for when P2 enters his square.   The action that triggers his movement is P2 entering the square.   Why is there a requirement for P2 to end his movement?This is similar to the example in the Ready and Action text.  The troll in the example doesn't have to end his movement. 



When you ready an action, you prepare to react to a creature’s action or an event. Readying an action is a way of saying, “As soon as x happens, I’ll do y.” For instance, you could say, “As soon as the troll walks out from behind the corner, I’ll use my pinning strike and interrupt its movement” or something like, “If the goblin attacks, I’ll react with a crushing blow.”





P1 can simply claim that he is planning to move through P2's square, on his way to somewhere else.



Not if he's shifting.


I'd say you're right for a shift (barring a special ability), but it works fine with a normal move.
P1 doesn't have to wait until movement is ended at all.   P1 simply readies his action for when P2 enters his square.   The action that triggers his movement is P2 entering the square.   P1 doesn't have to wait until movement is ended at all.   P1 simply readies his action for when P2 enters his square.   The action that triggers his movement is P2 entering the square.   Why is there a requirement for P2 to end his movement?



Either you switched who was P1 and who was P2 from the example, or I am misreading what you're proposing here.  P1 isn't readying an action in the example.

Anyway, it's not that there is a requirement to end his movement - it's that he cannot legally end his movement in an occupied square.  If he shifts (and can't shift more than 1 square somehow) then that square is where his movement must end, ergo he cannot shift there.
@Fitz:  In your Step 2, why has movement not ended yet for P1?  Just because P2's readied action hasn't been resolved doesn't mean that P1 hasn't ended their movement in an illegal square before that.

Yes it does mean that.  Immediate Interrupts triggered by movement explicitly resolve on a square by square basis, which means they occur before the action has ended.  Even for a Shift action, the action hasn't ended yet.
I don't know, I thought the immediate reaction took place after the triggering action was completed, and in the case of movement the triggering action was broken down square by square.  But that means the reaction wouldn't occur until the movement into the new square was complete.  And I would have said that once your movement into the new square is complete, the Shift action is resolved.  Why wouldn't it be?  The action simply consists of moving into the new square.
This is what I am talking about.
P1 can ready an action to when P2 moves out of his square (not when he ends his movement)
P2 moves into P1's square
P1 can then move into P2's square
P2 can then end his move in P1's square since it is not occupied.  

I'm afraid I don't understand why you are considering P1's square to be occupied?  Isn't it true that P2 can only end his movement after P1's reaction has completed?   Therefore, doesn't that mean that P1's square should be unoccupied?    P1s reaction must be completed before p2 can continue his movement or end his movement.  

For the sake of confusion, consider the following situation with a third pc.  We won't even swap places in this example. 
 
P1 readies an action for when P2 moves out of his square 
P3 readies an action for when P1 moves out of his square.

P2 moves out of his square
P1 reacts and moves in to an empty square
P3 reacts to P1's movement and moves  in to an empty square

P2's move action isn't done yet isn't?   He can now end his move action after waiting for the other two players to complete their reactions.

P2 should therefore be able to enter P3s square or P1's square.   In fact he can move anyplace now.   



This is what I am talking about.
P1 can ready an action to when P2 moves out of his square (not when he ends his movement)


Right, but P1's action takes place when P2 complete his first square of movement.

P2 moves into P1's square


This is iffy: P2 can't end his move in P1's square.  So P2 can only do this if he (P2) can legally continue his move into another empty square.

P1 can then move into P2's square
P2 can then end his move in P1's square since it is not occupied. 


Right.


I'm afraid I don't understand why you are considering P1's square to be occupied?  Isn't it true that P2 can only end his movement after P1's reaction has completed?   Therefore, doesn't that mean that P1's square should be unoccupied?    P1s reaction must be completed before p2 can continue his movement or end his movement. 


But P1's square is occupied at the time P2 moves into it.  That only matters if P2 is trying to shift, since (I think) that P2's movement would end before P1's readied action occurs.

In your 3 person example, I think that if P2 shifts, his action would be over before any of the readies occur.

As a DM, I would allow the action. It seems to fit the rules perfectly, as long as the rules are read carefully.

However, there are three fine points:

Isn't there a section that says specifically whether a triggered action occurs before or after the action? Could this section prevent the combo-move in some way? (I don't have my books handy right now to check.)

The other thing is what some have mentioned: The person whose turn it is must be either moving (with inherent effects, like granting opportunity attacks) or shifting MORE than one square.

Finally, the person who readied the shift would have his position in the initiative order moved.


I'm afraid I don't understand why you are considering P1's square to be occupied?  Isn't it true that P2 can only end his movement after P1's reaction has completed?



An immediate reaction (which is what a readied action resolves as) resolves *after* the trigger is *completely resolved*.  This is covered in the section on "ready an action"  and the section that explains the timing of immediate actions.


   Therefore, doesn't that mean that P1's square should be unoccupied?    P1s reaction must be completed before p2 can continue his movement or end his movement. 



In general, no.  You're thinking of immediate interrupts, which interrupt the triggering action, keeping it from resolving until the interrupt resolves.  But readied actions are not interrupts, they are reactions.

Regardless, though, what you're proposing can be made to work because there is a specific rule saying that even a reaction can interrupt movement.  The triggering creature just has to finish moving at least one square.  The relevant rule is on page 196 of the rules compendium.  Each square of movement seems to be treated as a separate trigger, which is good, because if it wasn't, this wouldn't work.  The triggering creature would have to finish his *entire move* before you could resolve the reaction, meaning he'd have to end his move in an occupied space, which is against the rules. 

This is what Jaelis is trying to tell you about shifting:  This won't work with a shift, because when you shift, the one square of movement is the entire action.  By the time your readied action starts to resolve, the other player's movement action (shift) is complete, and you are now in violation of the rule that says you can't occupy a space that's already occupied.  You'd have to do it as a move action.




but the trigger can be "when the creature starts to move"   can't it?
but the trigger can be "when the creature starts to move"   can't it?


"Starts to move" isn't an action.  Your trigger must be a completable action.

And think about it, if it were as easy as you're trying to make it (even at the cost of coverting a standard to a move), there would be no need for the Switcheroo power.
If your position is that the official rules don't matter, or that house rules can fix everything, please don't bother posting in forums about the official rules. To do so is a waste of everyone's time.
Looks perfectly legal to me. Costly but legal. Performing a Readied action is an Immediate Reaction, and these are said to interrupt movement.

Yes you cannot end a movement in the square of an ally that isn't Prone, but nothing says you are completing a movement between 2 squares if you get interrupted by an Imemdiate Reaction before moving again.

So in fact, your ally get to Shift after you finishes moving in his square but before he ends his movement. He could continue moving thereafter, or end his movement there since you don't occupy this square anymre.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

but the trigger can be "when the creature starts to move"   can't it?


"Starts to move" isn't an action.  Your trigger must be a completable action.

And think about it, if it were as easy as you're trying to make it (even at the cost of coverting a standard to a move), there would be no need for the Switcheroo power.




ok how about readying to a minor action?   

take this example.
P1 readies his action for when P2 to opens the door that is between them
P2 opens the door
P1 moves into P2 square
P2 shifts into P1's square.

problem solved.


 
but the trigger can be "when the creature starts to move"   can't it?


"Starts to move" isn't an action.  Your trigger must be a completable action.

And think about it, if it were as easy as you're trying to make it (even at the cost of coverting a standard to a move), there would be no need for the Switcheroo power.




ok how about readying to a minor action?   

take this example.
P1 readies his action for when P2 to opens the door that is between them
P2 opens the door
P1 moves into P2 square
P2 shifts into P1's square.

problem solved.


 



That on another hand wouldn't work for P2 isn't in any movement when P1 tries to Shift into his square. So he could Shift but couldn't stop his movement in P2's square.  Keep in mind that Immediate Reaction interrupt anything done after the trigger sort of.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter


take this example.
P1 readies his action for when P2 to opens the door that is between them
P2 opens the door
P1 moves into P2 square
P2 shifts into P1's square.


That version doesn't work, because P1 ends his move in an occupied square.  But what problem are you trying to solve, exactly?  There's no problem with switching, if you do it the way we've been saying.
but the trigger can be "when the creature starts to move"   can't it?


"Starts to move" isn't an action.  Your trigger must be a completable action.

And think about it, if it were as easy as you're trying to make it (even at the cost of coverting a standard to a move), there would be no need for the Switcheroo power.




ok how about readying to a minor action?   

take this example.
P1 readies his action for when P2 to opens the door that is between them
P2 opens the door
P1 moves into P2 square
P2 shifts into P1's square.

problem solved.


 



That on another hand wouldn't work for P2 isn't in any movement when P1 tries to Shift into his square. So he could Shift but couldn't stop his movement in P2's square.



in my example P1 didn't shift only P2 did
Keep in mind that Immediate Reaction interrupt anything done after the trigger sort of.

You said P1 move in P2 squares after P2 open a door. Where do you think P2 is standing right after he opens the door ? He is still in his square. P1 can Shift, but cannot therefore stops in P2's square for he still occupy it and isn't currently moving.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter


take this example.
P1 readies his action for when P2 to opens the door that is between them
P2 opens the door
P1 moves into P2 square
P2 shifts into P1's square.


That version doesn't work, because P1 ends his move in an occupied square.  But what problem are you trying to solve, exactly?  There's no problem with switching, if you do it the way we've been saying.



ok well if you want both players to shift into each others squares they could use a double move.    With a double move the first move action can end in an ally's square.  


ok well if you want both players to shift into each others squares they could use a double move.    With a double move the first move action can end in an ally's square.  




Kev, are you actually reading what we are writing?  We showed you the rules-legal legal way to do *exactly what you are asking for* several posts ago.  I don't understand why you keep proposing other, more problematic "solutions."

You don't *need* to double move.  Nor does this solve anything.  Have the first player ready an action to trigger on the second players movement.  the second player moves one square into the first players space.  Technically, he hasn't completed his move yet, but moving even one square triggers the readied action.  The first player can now move or shift into the second players former square.  The second player can now choose to end his movement.  The only restriction is that the second player can't shift, it has to be a move, or his move will be finished by the time the readied action triggers, at which point the rule on ending movement in an occupied square comes into play.
Actually I'm pretty sure both players can shift...  As long as P1 *can* make a second shift he could end his first move (shift) action in P2s square.  By "not being able to end movement in an allies square" it's always been interpreted to me as ending all available movements, thus both movement and standard (converted into a movement).  I'd have to go back and re-read, but I'm also nearly positive that I've read that exact thing.  After P2s readied action has resolved, P1 can then decide that he doesn't want to continue to move because he's now in a legal square.

P1 moving doesn't solve the problem.  What if P1 needs to shift to avoid an OA?
This works, and can even be used to rotate a number of characters into & out of flanking, if certain conditions are met.

1) Any character that wants to Shift to get into flanking position, must be able to Shift 2; otherwise, he must Walk into position.
2) Characters must have minor-action attack powers! This is because preparing a readied action is a standard action. Absent minor-action attacks they can shuffle around all they like, but they'll have to spend action points to be able to attack.

Here's how it works:
  • P1, already in position to attack with flanking (the other side of the flank is PX), uses his minor-action attack power and then readies an action to shift.

  • P2, who is adjacent to P1, proposes to move into P1's square and then back into his original square where he will end his movement.

  • P1 reacts to P2's arrival in his square by shifting into P2's original square.

  • P2 can no longer end his movement in his original square. He ends it where he is, flanking with PX.

  • now shift the numbers. The character who was P1 is no longer relevant. The character who was P2 is now P1. Another character takes over as P2.


When would you want to do something like this? When the monster is adjacent to a wall and you really need combat advantage, most likely. Otherwise it would usually make more sense to use standard-action attacks, possibly after moving to where more of you have flanking.
"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose


ok well if you want both players to shift into each others squares they could use a double move.    With a double move the first move action can end in an ally's square.  




Kev, are you actually reading what we are writing?  We showed you the rules-legal legal way to do *exactly what you are asking for* several posts ago.  I don't understand why you keep proposing other, more problematic "solutions."

You don't *need* to double move.  Nor does this solve anything.  Have the first player ready an action to trigger on the second players movement.  the second player moves one square into the first players space.  Technically, he hasn't completed his move yet, but moving even one square triggers the readied action.  The first player can now move or shift into the second players former square.  The second player can now choose to end his movement.  The only restriction is that the second player can't shift, it has to be a move, or his move will be finished by the time the readied action triggers, at which point the rule on ending movement in an occupied square comes into play.



can you point out the solution that allows two players to shift into each others square?  i don't see it here.


It is true that a few people have suggested solutions to this problem.   I was really just trying to respond to those who did not agree. Regardless, I guess you didn't read my original post.    If you want both players to shift into each others space then you could use of a double move.

Personally, I wouldn't rule this way as a dm.  I'm only arguing for the sake of the so called official "rules"
 

The main point of contention that I'm trying to address is the idea that a player must end his move action before the readied player can take his action.   A few people here seem to think that the readied action doesn't occur during P1s move, it only occurs after P1's move has ended.



Can you ready an action to "When an enemy enters a square" and then perform a bull rush on them that prevents them from ever completing their move action?

Also, what happens if that player shifts into the square?  

Lets say for example that there is a square on the battle map that will instantly teleport a creature that ends its movement in the square.  How exactly would you prevent the creature from ending its move if it shifted into the square?    As I understand it the shift must be completed before the readied action.
And I would have said that once your movement into the new square is complete, the Shift action is resolved.  Why wouldn't it be?  The action simply consists of moving into the new square.

I wouldn't.  There is a mechanical difference between moving a square and an action ending.  Reactions specifically occur in that mechanical space when movement or attacks are involved as the trigger.