View Full Version : A thought on full-round actions - what would this do for balance?

2010-03-22, 10:59 PM
It struck me today that full-round actions hurt melee more (as mobility is more important when you need to get within reach), but are simultaneously more important to melee. This seems backwards.

So, a suggested house rule:
One may get all iterative attacks on a standard action, at the usual decreasing attack bonus. (e.g. +17/+12/+7/+2)
One may get all iterative attacks on a full-round action, with the first and full attack bonus, and each of the rest at full attack bonus - 5. (e.g. +17/+12/+12/+12)
The vast majority of spells that require a standard action now require a full-round action. Quicken makes them Move actions. Certain evocations (Magic Missile, Fireball, etc.) remain standard actions, and normally swift-action spells become standard as well.
Casting a full-round action spell defensively increases its casting time to 1 round, thus it does not complete until the beginning of your next turn.
How would this affect balance?

2010-03-22, 11:13 PM
It makes wizards a lot weaker at the middle levels when they would normally start to dominate, but doesn't address the fundamental issue of imbalance: namely, that spellcasters have access to defensive spells that completely invalidate what melee can do to them. He'll have to spend a few more rounds buffing at the start of the day, but the wizard with Overland Flight, Superior Invisibility, Foresight, and Ghostform active isn't going to be in any danger taking a little extra time to cast his spells.

Levels 6-10 should be a lot more favorable to melee, though.

Archery also becomes a little less attractive, and it isn't all that attractive to begin with. Manyshot, especially, is pretty much useless, so you'd probably want to figure out something to do with that. Making it into a swift action is one possibility, although that might be too much. Also, the Scout (and, by extension, Swift Hunter) becomes a lot stronger now that a full attack + move is possible without any shenanigans, and with a swift action still available for spells.

So, basically, it's a huge boost to classes that probably need it, but it only increases their power - not their versatility. It's a good bandaid, but it's still a bandaid.

2010-03-23, 12:20 PM
I agree that it's just a band-aid, but I think it's a step in the right direction and as far as a fix that's simple to summarize in four bullet-points, it's pretty solid.

2010-03-23, 02:15 PM
I agree that it's just a band-aid, but I think it's a step in the right direction and as far as a fix that's simple to summarize in four bullet-points, it's pretty solid.

Oh yeah, it's definitely a good move. I especially like the increased casting time on spells, which is something that just feels right to me. A caster being threatened is going to find it almost impossible to actually cast a spell, under this system, since even casting defensively means he's going to get clobbered and have a lot of Concentration checks to make in the following round.

I like it.

2010-03-23, 02:26 PM
Well, it would give the tanks more work in keeping things off the caster. Hah, you might actually have the Fighter bull-rush an enemy to keep him out of range for an AoO on the caster so the caster doesn't have to cast defensively. That would be interesting.

2010-03-23, 02:53 PM
What about t3 and below casters, not to mention gishes?

2010-03-23, 03:01 PM
Yes, both had come to mind. I don't honestly know. It really was a spur-of-the-moment thing. I think that it makes most sense in a T4/T5 game, where you want to have Fighters and the like, and thus even T3 casters could take the nerf.

If you're using Tome of Battle and T3 casters (which would really be my first choice), then this is probably unnecessary.

2010-03-23, 03:06 PM
This reminds me of 2E, or what I think is 2E.

2010-03-23, 03:38 PM
swift-action spells aren't 'nerfed' when they're made standard actions. They're 'broken'. I'd say leave most of them out of this(particularly things like golem/grave/vinestrike), and just ban or homebrew the few that are still a problem. I can understand a desire to nerf quicken, though. Also, I don't think move actions are any harder to come by(I'd think they're easier) than swift actions.

2010-03-23, 03:40 PM
You're probably right about Swift actions, both facets of it. That does make sense.

2010-03-23, 03:45 PM
If you make Quicken make spells into Standard Actions, that should work out just fine. I'm of the opinion that Move Action should honestly be restricted to moving and acquiring objects and such; stuff you can do while taking a standard action, effectively.

I've always had more success perceiving the character acting on the move, and double move simply presenting the ability to move faster when you're not trying to fight while at it.

I like making spells take 1 round to cast as opposed to full-round. This makes all spells disruptable, and Quicken lets you get them off in one round. Some spells that aren't really worth an action like Vinestrike and such are fine as swift actions IMHO; they're the kinda stuff you need to use in conjuction with other actions anyways, and it doesn't really hurt that there's some "combinability" to spells.

You could also write up Greater Quicken that enables swift actions and has even more severe a level-cost like +6 or something. Though I never liked level cost as the balancing mechanic of Metamagic anyways; makes them too similar to higher level spells. But yeah. Enough of that; basically, I agree with the premise, but would avoid using move action for anything but moving.

As long as you mostly move as a move action, combat can remain mobile without hampering yourself (I hate making standard action attacks weaker than full-round action attacks too; doesn't really balance anything, but makes combat less interesting as the option of moving without gimping yourself just isn't there past level 6 or so, especially not once Haste-like abilities step in the picture).

If you use e.g. core casters with some restrictions (get rid of the stupid-good spells, restrict broken material, etc.) and ToB, this works quite fine. ToB doesn't really benefit of this much anyways; most strikes are standard action and generally you wanna be striking every round anyways. It just helps keep the others up to speed.