Surprise round?

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Hi guys, yet another newbie question but I was just reading on the fourums that a DM could initiate a surprise round for characters who roll a succesful stealth check, and Im just wondering, what is a surprise round? what does it entail? what moves can be made during it? and can multiple creatures be attacked in a surprise round without being aware of their attacker?
First rule, all creatures are aware of where everyone else is on the battlefield unless they are Hidden, which is a specific state.  Even in a surprise round everyone knows where everyone is unless someone is Hidden.  To learn more about being Hidden, read the "Rules of Hidden Club" thread.

First of all, everyone rolls initiative as normal. 

Those creatures who are not surprised gain a surprise round.  That means that during the surprise round they can take ONE action and cannot spend an action point.  Each creature who was not surprised takes their turn in order of initiative.

All creatures who are surprised don't get a turn in that round so they can't take any actions at all.  They also grant combat advantage to everyone.

Once everyone who is not surprised has taken their one action, the next round continues as normal with everyone getting a turn in the order of initiative.

DISCLAIMER:  there is some debate as to whether surprised creatures actually get a turn in a surprise round or not (a turn that starts and then allows them to do nothing and ends).  But that's another topic ... 

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"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

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Just one small note, there are ways for some creatures in characters to get more than one action in the Surprise round. The ones that grant more than a move or minor action are generally Epic tier.

There are also ways for Surprised characters to get an action during the surprised round while remaining surprised, which seems to support the position that surprised creatures still have a turn during the surprise round. (But as RedSiegfried said, that's another debate and has its own threads)
Prepared for the Worst

Prepared for the Worst

You react as though you were on your guard, even though you were taken by surprise.

No Action      Personal

Trigger: You are surprised at the start of an encounter while you are conscious.

Effect: You can take a single move or minor action on your turn during the surprise round.

Note also that the Surprise Round is *not* the first round of combat.  So, if you have something that triggers at combat start and lasts until the end of the first round of combat, it lasts *through* the surprise round and into the "next" round, which is the first round.  Mostly, these will be leader feats and powers, but could be something on an item or from any other source, as well.
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