View Full Version : Multiple Standard Actions in a Round: Gameplay Effects?

2011-03-15, 01:46 AM
Hi All:

I was recently thinking about a modification to 3.5 in which each characters round was composed of 2 Standard Actions and 1 Swift Action.

The Standard Actions could be used to:

Move up to your speed
Make a single attack
Cast a spell with a casting time of 1 Action

A few Consequences I see:

What happens to Iterative attacks?

The wouldn't exist. You can spend both of your actions attacking, but this has no associated penalty.

Ok, What happens to TWF or Flurry of Blows or effects that grant multiple attacks, smart guy?

TWF would allow you to make an extra attack as a Swift Action each round at a substantial penalty. Lacking appropriate feats, this penalty would be -10. With the Two-Weapon Fighting you would make you would make your extra attack at -5. Greater Two Weapon Fighting just allows you to make an additional attack without penalty.
You can only make 1 bonus attack each round with your off hand weapon, even if you use both of your actions to attack.

As for Flurry of Blows...I really don't know, but I am up for suggestions!

Doesn't this make Casters even more god-awful powerful? What are you trying to do, bucket-head, unbalance the game even further?

I'm thinking that there would be a 1 spell each round limit.

Furthermore, most spells would take 2 consecutive actions to cast (though these actions need not be in the same round). Only spells that are designed to be use in spell-duels would have a casting time of 1 Action (Most ray spells, Magic Missile, Shocking Grasp, etc).

This Idea Seems Dumb.

Yep, that's why I'm coming to you guys for help! Could this work in d20? What kind of changes do I need to make?

Thanks for any input!


2011-03-20, 01:52 AM
In the lower levels of play (pre 4), it makes initiative even more important, since you can get in multiple attacks quicker, or otherwise set it up to do so. Two attacks plus not many hit points equals quicker insta-kills.

In the later levels (post 10), meleers get weaker, since they never get their extra attacks from iterative attacks, while monsters still seem to get to attack with all their weapons. Furthermore, pure melee combat gets slower.

Spellcasters doing linear damage spells will be stronger than meleers at higher levels whereas right now they either remain equal or drop off. Spellcasters that use SoD(ie) or SoS(uck) tactics continue to shine of course, but now they shine even more in comparison.

In other words: This will not work without more tweaking than it is worth.

T.G. Oskar
2011-03-20, 02:20 AM
Hmm...this smells of partial attacks. What I wonder is how Haste would work on this new system.

IMO, it won't work, and it will increase the divide between spellcasters and melees. You can spend both actions attacking, but you'd only get two attacks with high chances of hitting instead of 4 attacks with low chances of hitting; this is good if the character has no way to increase its attack bonus, but if it does, then it's bad because you're reducing the attacks immensely. Meanwhile, spellcasters would cast their single spell each round, but they have the chance to cast 2 attack spells each turn; think how bad it is to double-fire Enervation without Quicken Spell and you might notice the magnitude of the situation.

Evidently, you need something to deal with that even larger divide. Most people here are fond of allowing iterative attacks as standard actions (I personally go with existing full attack as standard action and iteratives at highest BAB as full-round action), because it makes melees much more effective, since they can move and attack which pretty much increases their utility at least 50%. On the other hand, spellcasters must take a full-round action to cast spells, regardless of which kind; that way, they could use a spell or special ability to move, but they'd still have Quicken Spell and swift-action spells to provide some utility.

You should also make a difference between spellcasters; making spells consume 2 actions per turn would make full spellcasters only have some trouble but still hold their utility, but it would make the already ailing Paladins, Rangers, probably Bards, Duskblades, Hexblades, and other non-full spellcasters have less of a point to use spells. Consider spells of non-full spellcasters (those who cannot reach 9th level spells) be standard actions, and you could work fine. That might also apply for manifesters with 9th level powers, and other such characters (probably those who use spell-like abilities, though you can remove Warlock from that list because they could use the buff).

But, and this is important, you should consider anything that affects or grants move/standard actions. This could be a blessing for some (Marshal's Grant Move Action would be even greater for them because they'd give everyone an extra partial action) and a gamebreaker for others (Haste granting an extra attack each turn might not seem much, but Lesser Celerity granting an extra move at 3rd level does because you could turn it into a standard action, thus casting three attack spells in one round while the warrior gets only two attacks.

One thing I could favor, though: if you're gonna make the warrior have less attacks, increase the damage that they would otherwise deal. Using 4E terminology here, you could deal damage equal to your weapon damage (hence referred to as [W]) plus your Strength damage; at BAB +6l, you'd deal twice that amount (hence, 2[W+Str] + added damage), at BAB +11 you'd deal thrice that amount (hence, 3[W+Str] + added damage) and at BAB +16 four times that amount. You could treat weapon enhancement damage as if it were weapon damage (so it'd be [W + 1d6 fire|cold|electricity|acid damage + Strength]), but precision-based damage would be added only once (so, it'd be [W + Str] + SA dice). That way, melees would deal some nice damage, Rogues could do almost twice that amount but they'd have their limitations, and spellcasters would be slightly more limited in scope.

However, you need to deal correctly with abilities that grant move or standard actions, or else you'll end up having more actions than intended.