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View Full Version : [3.5]question about casting swift-action spells



Crazy Scot
2008-09-15, 05:28 AM
A hopefully simple question: I know that with the feat "Quicken Spell" it specifically states you can only cast one quickened spell per turn, but if you had two spells that normally took "swift" actions to cast, could you cast both of them in one round? Simply put, could you use one as your "swift-action" spell for the round, and then use your "standard" action for the round to cast an additional "swift" spell? I would think that if you are willing to burn a standard action (take longer than normally required) to cast a spell, that you could do it, and still cast a "swift" spell in the same round. But I was wondering if there were any rules out there in RAW about this? I guess another way of asking this is: is there anything in RAW prohibiting you from purposefully taking longer to cast a spell than it is originally disigned to take?

BobVosh
2008-09-15, 05:57 AM
I'm pretty sure you can sub a standard action to do a swift.

I believe move is a move, but can be skipped to do a 5foot.

Standard can be used to do any other kind of action.

Swift, immediate only are swift and immediate.

Hunter Noventa
2008-09-15, 06:17 AM
I think you can trade any action for a 'lesser' action. The only exception being you can only take one immediate action per round no matter what.

So Bob has the right idea, you can trade a standard for a move or a swift, or a move for a swift.

Eldariel
2008-09-15, 06:18 AM
That's a dangerous interpretation though since it allows casting 3 spells per turn (Standard, Move, Swift). But yea, it's also the rational one. Not RAW though - in fact, "Arcane Spellsurge" specifically notifies how you can't cast any spells as a Standard Action if all your spells become Swift Actions because of it.

Crazy Scot
2008-09-15, 07:03 AM
This is the kind of thing I was unsure of. To me it makes sense to use a longer action to do something quicker, but I too would be hesitant to use the Move action -> swift action -> cast "swift" spell. For me that is just too much of a stretch. I was more looking at the concept that most spells require a swift action, standard action, full-round action, or longer to cast (not a move action). So using a move action to cast a spell seems just too out there, and if I were DM I would probably nix that idea.

I am familiar with the "Arcane Spellsurge", but that is shortening the casting time of all spells. My thought was the other way around. I know that "AS" says you can't cast any spells as a Standard Action if all your spells become Swift Actions, but they aren't all Swift actions. I mean, in that situation, if you were to take 2 "swift" spells and turn one into a standard action, then it would be turned back into a "swift" action spell again. What I was looking at was, if you could cast a quickened magic missile, and a fireball in one round (still just 2 spells), why can't you cast 2 normally "swift" spells?

If you look at the general power of spells vs. casting times, the shorter the casting time, the less powerful the spell. For instance: magic missile vs. quickened magic missile. Both of these do the same damage, but one requires a much higher spell level to pull off, meaning you are burning a higher level spell (that could do much more damage filled by a different spell) to get it to work faster. And that is just one example. Actually, if you were to use the 2 "swift" spells in a round, you would probably be hampering your abilities more than helping unless there were a specific combination you were looking at. (And yes, there is a specific spell I am looking at.)

weenie
2008-09-15, 07:07 AM
Actually casting a Quickened spell is a free action by RAW(unless it has been errata-ed)



QUICKEN SPELL [METAMAGIC]

Benefit: Casting a quickened spell is a free action. You can perform another action, even casting another spell, in the same round as you cast a quickened spell. You may cast only one quickened spell per round. A spell whose casting time is more than 1 full round action cannot be quickened. A quickened spell uses up a spell slot four levels higher than the spellís actual level. Casting a quickened spell doesnít provoke an attack of opportunity.

Special: This feat canít be applied to any spell cast spontaneously (including sorcerer spells, bard spells, and cleric or druid spells cast spontaneously), since applying a metamagic feat to a spontaneously cast spell automatically increases the casting time to a full-round action.


So in theory you should be able to cast a quickened spell, a swift spell and still have a standard & move action at your disposal.

Eldariel
2008-09-15, 07:12 AM
Complete Arcana mentions, in the Swift Action-sidebar that "casting a Quickened Spell is a Swift Action (instead of a Free Action, as stated in the Quicken Spell feat description in Player's Handbook)".

weenie
2008-09-15, 07:18 AM
Complete Arcana mentions, in the Swift Action-sidebar that "casting a Quickened Spell is a Swift Action (instead of a Free Action, as stated in the Quicken Spell feat description in Player's Handbook)".

Oh. Well, never mind my first post then :smalltongue:

Crazy Scot
2008-09-15, 07:41 AM
I guess I could have been more specific earlier, but the reason for this question comes down to certain situations. I have read a spell (can't remember the name or source right this moment), that can be cast as a swift action, that allows the casting of spells even in areas that wouldn't normally allow it (like in an Antimagic area) "until the end of your turn" (if I remember correctly). I may have it wrong here, but the big question was, could you cast this spell then follow it up with a different "swift" spell in an anti-magic area?

KillianHawkeye
2008-09-15, 09:14 AM
I realize that this is a 3.5 thread, but D&D 4th Edition and Star Wars Saga Edition both explicitly allow for "action trade-down." Thus it is possible to trade your Standard Action or Move Action for a Swift/Minor Action, or give up your Standard Action for another Move Action.

Since this seems to have become standard practice in newer WotC RPG systems, it doesn't seem like it would be too much of a stretch to houserule it into 3.5, but then again I'm not a balance expert. I hope that helps. :smallbiggrin:

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-09-15, 09:17 AM
I realize that this is a 3.5 thread, but D&D 4th Edition and Star Wars Saga Edition both explicitly allow for "action trade-down." Thus it is possible to trade your Standard Action or Move Action for a Swift/Minor Action, or give up your Standard Action for another Move Action.

Since this seems to have become standard practice in newer WotC RPG systems, it doesn't seem like it would be too much of a stretch to houserule it into 3.5, but then again I'm not a balance expert. I hope that helps. :smallbiggrin:The problem then is ToB and 2 boosts for your strikes.

AmberVael
2008-09-15, 09:21 AM
Swift Action spells assume your ability to cast two spells per round. As such, I've always believed a fair and reasonable way to handle casting multiple swift action spells was to allow you to trade a Standard action for a Swift action, but not a Move Action for a Swift Action.

That way you can still get off more than one swift action spell- but you can't exceed the limitations assumed in their design.

KillianHawkeye
2008-09-15, 09:31 AM
The problem then is ToB and 2 boosts for your strikes.

Well, I said I wasn't a balance expert. Also, I've never used ToB.

It's possible 3.5 just has too much stuff designed with only 1 Swift Action per round in mind for something like this to work out in reality, but that's not a judgement I can render.

Person_Man
2008-09-15, 09:45 AM
BY RAW, you cannot substitute a Move or Standard action for a Swift Action in 3.5 D&D. You can do it in other d20 games though, and its a common house rule.

I allow it. But I and my players all know that Action Advantage builds are by far the most broken in any game system. If a player uses an Abjurant Champion who use Celerity and Quick Recovery or something similar, then the game quickly breaks down for the other players. If that happens, then the spirit of Temporal Order should show up and inform them that they are breaking the laws of the cosmos a bit too much, and that if they persist, they will be dealt with.

Crazy Scot
2008-09-16, 04:45 AM
Thanks to all who posted. I guess the ultimate answer is: not by RAW, but it is a common house-rule. If you use it to create an Action Advantage build, then your DM should be smiting you (OOC) anyway. By the way, on a side tangent, does anyone remember the name of the spell I mentioned in my earlier post (and a reference, if able)? Thanks again.

Wolfpack
2008-09-16, 07:40 AM
Thanks to all who posted. I guess the ultimate answer is: not by RAW, but it is a common house-rule. If you use it to create an Action Advantage build, then your DM should be smiting you (OOC) anyway. By the way, on a side tangent, does anyone remember the name of the spell I mentioned in my earlier post (and a reference, if able)? Thanks again.

9th level spell in Lords of Madness that allows you to cast in an AMF, can't remember the name off hand.

Chronos
2008-09-16, 12:36 PM
Allowing players to trade a standard action for a swift would be a houserule, but it probably wouldn't break anything: Swift action spells tend to be less powerful than standard, anyway. Allowing a move action to be converted to swift, though, would mean that spellcasters can get off three spells in a round, while not providing any benefit for most other classes (who don't have anything they can use swift actions for). Anything that makes spellcasters significantly more powerful, without helping non-casters, is probably a really bad idea.