Posted by : David Guyll April 25, 2012

Looks like the action economy might tank harder than America's, which apparently is being reduced to "do one thing, and you can also move if you want". I know that fighter bonus attacks were being pitched as free actions, so that characters multiclassing into fighter could still benefit from them, but I wonder how they will handle that if other classes can use them.

For example, what if rangers can use free actions for extra arrow attacks, wizards being able to unleash a salvo of magic missiles, druids making extra attacks with their animal companions/summoned minions, monks making their flurries, and so one and so forth.

I barely even remember how actions worked in 2nd Edition. I guess you could move and do something, because I recall moving up to a monster and then whacking it. 3rd Edition seemed to have a better handle on how to deal with things, with multiple types of actions that made it easier for a player to know what it would take to do something. There were some corner cases, such as drawing a weapon; normally it took a move action, but a foot note states that you can combine it with a move action if your Base Attack Bonus is +1 or higher. Later the game added in swift and immediate actions, which were both kind of like once-per-turn free actions.

4th Edition continued the idea that not all actions are equal, which made it easy to balance abilities and also prevented having to repeatedly write in exceptions for actions that can be used when you do one thing, do not take up your turn, or can be done once per turn, but not when you do something else, etc. Given that 3rd Edition eventually added in more action types--which retroactively changed plenty of previous content, such as Quickened spells--and I am guessing that this will likewise change during the public playtest (if it does not beforehand).

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