Expanded Interactions (5e Variant Rule)

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Expanded Interactions[edit]

Currently, characters can make a single interaction with an object or with the environment on their turn, in tandem with their action or movement, such as drawing their sword or opening a door. This mechanic has been dubbed "Object Interactions", or simply, your "Interaction". Interacting with a second object requires you to use your action to take the Use an Object action (or bonus action if you are a Thief Rogue).

So if you open a door, you can't close it unless you want to give up all of your attacks that turn. If you want to pull out your second sword without waiting for your next turn, you have to give up your attacks (until you reach level 4 and your DM allows you to give up your Ability Score increase just so you can use both of your hands to get the Dual Wielder feat).

Your Interaction and Using Movement to Take Object Interactions[edit]

Using this variant rule, creatures have one Interaction on each of their turns, like they currently do. A creature can use its interaction to interact with an object as described in the Player's Handbook (see the above description and links) as usual.

Interacting with additional objects, however, only uses 5 feet of movement. This means if your speed is 0, you can't make additional object interactions, and taking the Dash action allows you to make more object interactions. This makes gameplay smoother and allow for fun, cinematic experiences without adding anything else to keep track of, as players already track their movement on their turn.

This maintains realism, as it makes sense to be able to open a door, walk through, and close it behind you, at the cost of moving slightly slower. You can pull several weapons or items from your satchel, but you can't move as efficiently while you reach for it. You can pick up a dropped item as you run by stooping down, moving slightly slower as you do so. If I want to pull that level 12 times, I can, but I can't move anywhere while I spend the time doing it. The DM may still require some object interactions to require your interaction or even your action as it makes little sense to be able to "drink all the ale in a flagon" twelve times in a single turn.

Using Your Interaction to Take the Use an Object Action[edit]

Most players will agree that making an attack seems far more useful than pouring out a bag of ball bearings, and deciding to use a potion instead of attacking usually ends in not using the potion. While this helps balance the game, the metagame gets in the way of creativity.

In this sub-variant rule, a creature can also use their interaction to take the Use an Object Action (such as to pour out a bag of ball bearings or use a healer's hit), don or doff a shield, or take the Use a Magic Item action to drink a potion. A creature cannot take these actions by using 5 feet of movement, only by using its interaction or action (or bonus action if that creature is a Thief Rogue).

Movement and Interactions During Readied Actions[edit]

In this sub-variant rule, when you use your reaction to take a readied action, you can use any movement left over from your turn in addition to your readied action. This movement can be used to make object interactions, and you can use your interaction during this time.

This allows for more cinematic sequences, usually outside of the rules as written, such as jumping out from behind furniture to fire your crossbow, or moving from behind the corner to slash as the goblin when it comes through the door, or dumping ball bearings on the hallway floor when the kobold gets near before blasting him with thunderwave before turning to run.


This variant rule was inspired by the Object Interactions Repealed variant rule.

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