It only strikes me now, after reading your post, that the enemies should have an equal advancing bonus. At no point did I decide they shouldn't but I just hadn't gotten round to revising the opponent templates to include it.
In this post I'm going to give more information on the system so things I say elsewhere make sense. I didn't do so in the first post as not to try and make sure most of the replies are directed toward game system action economy in general, not tailored toward my system.
Something I didn't mention in the original post is that in lieu of classes everyone has an attribute archetype (inspired by D20 Modern hero types) which provides a slight bonus to some kind of character progression. It helps in that I can then use the same 'class' for creatures/opponents as well as players. The archetype tied to dexterity ('fast') provides slightly increased action point progression - not gamebreakingly so, at the early levels it provides no benefit, in the mid fast types often get the new action point a level earlier and by maximum the fast type has one additional point over other types.
Character progression goes from level one to ten*
and action point progression currently looks like this;
Combat and Non-Combat Actions
- At 1st level everyone has 6 action points.
- At 3rd level everyone has 7 action points.
- At 5th level fast archetypes have 8 action points.
- At 6th level all other archetypes have 8 action points.
- At 8th level fast archetypes have 9 action points.
- At 9th level all other archetypes have 9 action points.
- At 10th level fast archetypes have 10 action points.
As far as 'what these actions can do' goes, a single bonus action point won't grant you an extra 'real' action like moving or attacking. What it will do is give you more options. Most actions take longer in combat (with the exception of moving/attacking, fluff: fight or flight) so attempting something that isn't super easy/quick (e.g. dropping something) or a 'real' combat action (e.g. shooting a gun, reloading, moving, going prone) takes four action points (or more!). Since this would leave you with two action points at 1st level the only 'real' thing you can do is move**
). The extra action point instead leaves you with three which open up a wealth of other things you can do in the turn/round***
By the time you get that second additional action point then you can start doing extra things in combat that actually matter, but by that point you're halfway through the level progression. In total a maximum level character should have 50% more action points (or slightly more if of the 'fast' archetype****
) than a 1st level character, and no more than that.
Defence and Interrupts
In terms of whether you need to expend actions to defend - well you do and you don't. Defence happens automatically, roll XdX + X against a DC of X, that sorta thing. You mentioned Palladium*****
, I'm not familiar (although it'll be the next thing I look up after this reply), but expending actions in order to counter-attack a character/opponent is something I've incorporated in part. It doesn't allow you to stop outright actions without some form of difficult check/additional training however. The original system (I've revised it since then but I don't have the file to hand) allowed you to expend your actions during the turn of another, allowing you to act ahead of schedule but leave yourself defenceless /weakened in your own turn.
I think I scrapped that in favour of something similar, possibly something akin to readying an action in DnD, but 'interrupts' are very much part of the combat system. The best possible example of it that I can think of is 'opponent Y is attacking you', 'alright I'm going to interrupt with a move over here', 'ok this costs you X action points and gives opponent Y a penalty of X to his attack roll'. I can't be sure as I rarely keep notes on what inspired what but I think the idea of the interrupt system was stolen from the fictional 'Index' game system from AGC.
*Progression potentially will go on beyond tenth but by this point players are supposed to be manning spaceships and colonising planets, not engaging in man-to-man combat. Also I'm toying with alternate progression methods beside level, in order to keep feeding that player 'reward' instinct beyond equipment bonuses. Think D&D Online in terms of levels and limited ability progression inbetween levels.
**Attacking with nearly all weapons costs three action points whereas simple movements take two action points. Extremely light weapons (e.g. knives) can attack with only two action points. Corollary: extremely heavy weapons take slightly more action points to use.
***I call it a turn in the system but I'm referring to it as both in the text for less confusion. The system started out heavily D20/D20M influenced but it's slowly becoming it's own thing.
****The attribute archetypes are new so are currently undergoing scrutiny and revision at the moment. I've noticed that two, 'tough' and 'fast' have exponential rewards whereas the rest have linear. I'm either going to bring the others up to par or weaken tough/fast archetypes.
*****Looked it up, I had in fact heard of it but I've never read any of the rulebooks, gotta try track 'em down now. Man these additional notes got carried away.