View Full Version : Random Thought on Action Points and Spellcasters

2008-04-01, 02:25 AM
So, perhaps this belongs in homebrewing, but I had an idea.

I like the concept of Action Points (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/adventuring/actionPoints.htm). This likely comes from playing WoD and BESM, which both have mechanics for getting that 'extra oomph' when you really need it.

I also like the idea of using magic having a cost. So, here is the idea.

1) Action Points
2) Spellcasters don't get them.
3) Supporting Fluff (perhaps ap represent luck, and spellcasters are unlucky)

Kurald Galain
2008-04-01, 05:22 AM
Yes, action points are a nice idea, and sorely lacking in every incarnation of D&D so far (including, near as I can tell, 4E, because the action points there are something completely different).

I wouldn't say that "spellcasters don't get them"; if you simply remove the "recall a spell" option, they should be fine with it (since they don't make all that many attack rolls to begin with). And if you intend to balance casters to non-casters, you should pursue other methods because this isn't sufficient for that anyway.

2008-04-01, 05:28 AM
I really like the Ebbron action points, I think they work really well and can change the game but with out it controlling the game. I dont like the ones in UA cos I dont like the idea that it can grant you another spell or another attack I think thats a bit over powered.

2008-04-01, 05:47 AM
Well, it is and it isn't a matter of balancing. I see it more like this*: Action Points represent an untapped mystical potential that on occasion lets you change things subtly in your favor. For spellcasters, that untapped mystical potential doesn't exist, because they have learned how to tap into it to very directly and dramatically alter things around them. So, fluffwise, they don't get action points, because that potential is represented by their spellcasting ability.

This has a side effect of being part of a shift in balance towards the non-spellcasting classes, which, when combined with taking an axe to some of the more broken spells, and adding some tweaks to some of the weaker classes (fighter, monk), helps balance things.

Mostly I like the concept.

*disclaimer: this is totally fluff I am making up, not canon fluff.

Also, action points do a LOT more than just add to attack rolls. They can add to any d20 roll, can do things like grant extra uses of class features, extra attacks, grant temporary feat access, enhance the effectiveness of feats, and auto-stabilize.

I think that is a not insignificant step in terms of balance.

Further thought: Action Points can be spent to get access to a feat. Fighters need versatility. What are your thought on giving fighters a free action point 1/[insert appropriate time period here] that can only be spent on the "get access to a feat/improve a feat" option?

Kurald Galain
2008-04-01, 06:42 AM
Further thought: Action Points can be spent to get access to a feat.

Nice, but based on the KISS principle I'd personally restrict action points to either modifying a dice roll (through a bonus or a reroll) or an additional use of an x/day class ability; and give fighters the class ability of some kind of floating feat that they can change every day.

Fighter ability (req. fighter level 3): retrain. By spending one hour practicing and training, the fighter can swap out a feat he possesses that is on the list of fighter bonus feats, for another such feat (assuming he meets the prereqs thereof, and doesn't break prereqs for anything by losing the feat he swaps out)