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Primer on Actions, Opportunity and Otherwise

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1 Primer on Actions, Opportunity and Otherwise on Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:55 am

A Primer on Actions, Opportunity and Otherwise

Ok, everyone, just to clarify again.

In D&D, combat takes place in both rounds and turns.

A round is the entire sequence of events around the table, while a turn is taken by a single character. So, for example, in this round of combat, we - the PCs and the monsters - all get one turn each.

Some abilities can be used once per round, others once per turn. Please read your own powers carefully, to ensure you don't use your powers more often than you actually can.

On your turn, you have 3 actions - a standard, a move, and a minor. You can take these actions in any sequence; you don't have to attack and then move, or vice versa. There are also free actions, and the rare and aptly-named no actions, which you can usually do as many times as they turn up. (Yes, they don't turn up very often.)

If you so wish, you can also trade in action types for less time-consuming and complex actions. So you can trade in a standard for a move, and a move for a minor. So in any given turn, you can take:

1 standard, 1 move, and 1 minor, or
2 moves, and a minor, or
1 move, and 2 minors, or
3 minors

Special considerations

1) Unspent Movement: if you decide to take a move action, you can move up to your speed in squares. You don't have to move your full speed, if you don't want to. However, once you have stopped to take an action - let's say to attack - you cannot move again, even if you still have squares of unspent movement. You have expended your move action for this turn.

2) Charge: a charge is a special kind of standard action. You can move and make a melee basic attack at the end of your movement. However, you can take no further actions in this turn (except for those free actions and "no actions", or if you spend an action point to get an extra action).

3) Shift: A shift is a special kind of movement. You move only 1 square, but you do not provoke OAs when you shift. If you shift, you cannot make any other move actions this turn, barring special cool powers from your class, race, or gear. This brings us to OAs...

Opportunity Actions and Immediate Actions

There are two kinds of things you can do when it's not your turn in the combat round. Basically, these are things you do in response to other characters' actions; other characters' actions trigger these actions. Remember, you can never make these actions on your own turn.

Opportunity Actions are the most common. An opportunity attack is an example of an opportunity action. Basically, you can make one opportunity attack per turn - so let's say I move past Enraged Blood Ape, and he makes an opportunity attack, swiping at me with his dirty claws. I stand adjacent to the monkey of doom, then use a ranged attack to hit another foe - and he can no longer swipe me anymore, even though using ranged attacks in melee would usually trigger an OA, because on this turn (i.e. MY TURN), the monkey's already made an OA. However, if another PC, let's say Josh, tries the same thing later, the simian menace gets to do an opportunity beatdown on him as well, because it is now Josh's turn.

Immediate Actions are much rarer, and are usually the purview of funky powers. There are two kinds: Immediate Interrupts and Immediate Reactions. Interrupts stop the normal time sequence and apply their effects immediately - so let's say Demon Monkey uses his special power on me during his turn, and in response, I use my non-existent special Interrupt power to push an adjacent enemy away.

The great fun about interrupts is that you can use them at any time, even after dice have been rolled - so let's say Demon Monkey rolls a 20 and crits me. I use my interrupt, and push Demon Monkey away 3 squares. Monkey does not have Reach 3, cannot reach me, and has already spent his move action, so now he cannot target me with his melee attack, and so he cannot hit me. His critical hit is 'wasted'.

Reactions occur immediately after the triggering effect is applied. So let's say Demon Monkey crits me again on the next turn. I have a special power that doesn't exist again - an Immediate Reaction which allows me to spend a healing surge when I get hit. So monkey punches me so hard in the gut that my armor and ribs break, and as a response to that, I suck in my breath and try to recover from the blow, etc.

You get only ONE Immediate Interrupt or Immediate Reaction for the whole combat round, so make your choice wisely.

Hope that helped to clarify combat for you all.


Last edited by shao on Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:30 pm; edited 1 time in total

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You get only ONE Immediate Interrupt or Immediate Reaction between your turns, so make your choice wisely.

Just to clarify, the above means I get one Immediate Interrupt OR Immediate Reaction PER Round. Right?

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Yeap. Either a reaction or an interrupt, just one.

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