(Adapted from WotC’s Unearthed Arcana)
Action points work like one-shot magic items that give characters means to affect game play in significant ways: by improving important rolls or unlocking special abilities.
Getting Action Points
Characters will receive action points for particularly heroic exploit in game, as well as contributing to the campaign out of game. Action Points can be held from one session to the next, and there is no limit to the number you can have at one time.
At the end of each game session, the players can select one moment of play to be deserving of an action point. This could be a moment of incredible bravery, sheer dumb luck, a funny joke, unbelievable coolness, or really good roleplaying (for example: seducing an orc captain, disrupting the plan by plunging a party member into the lake, or stabbing a guy with a roasting spit). Only one point will be awarded each session, and the players must agree who deserves it; the GM can suggest moments that deserve recognition, but he doesn’t get any say in which.
Players will receive an action point for helping to flesh out the game world by providing character backgrounds, character illustrations (or minis), or for writing a session’s Adventure Log on Obsidian Portal. The Adventure Log can be done in character (as a diary entry or letter), or out of character (as a story or even in bullet points). These types of tasks are intended to be fun, not chores, so we’ll select someone to do the Log before we break for the night.
You may have noticed that parts of the wiki are what we will diplomatically call “under-developed”. If something that is there sparks an idea, go ahead and explore it (a more detailed description of a Halfling caravan, for example, or a set of ancient ruins in the mountains). Give me the write-up (or image if that’s your bag), and as long as it fits the tone of the game (such as it is), and doesn’t conflict too badly with something I already have planned (no giant bomb underneath Mendoros that will explode and kill everyone, for example), I will format it for the site and add it to the wiki. You can also provide details on an NPC from your background, you will get a point for that too.
Using Action Points
Action Points (AP) can be spent to add to a single d20 roll, to take a special action, or to improve the effectiveness of a feat. You can only spend 1 Action Point in a round. Unless otherwise noted, spending an AP is a free action; if the you use the AP to perform an action, the action still takes the usual amount of time.
Add to a Roll
When you spend 1 AP to improve a d20 roll, you add 1d6 to your d20 roll (including attacks, saves, checks, anything that uses a d20) to help you meet or exceed the target number. You can declare the use of 1 AP to alter a d20 roll after the roll is made, but only before the DM reveals whether that roll was a success or failure. You can’t use an AP to alter a check when taking 10 or 20.
At 8th level, and again at 15th level, a character gains an extra die to roll when spending 1 AP to add to a d20 roll. In that case, only count the highest roll; you may still only add 1d6 to your d20 roll.
A character can perform certain extraordinary tasks by spending an AP.
- Activate Limited Ability: A character can spend 1 AP to gain another use of a class or racial ability that has a limited number of uses per day. For example a monk might gain another use of her stunning fist ability, or a bard might spend an action point for another use of his bardic music ability.
- Boost Defense: A character might spend 1 AP when fighting defensively to gain double the normal bonus for 1 round (+4 dodge bonus to AC; +6 if she has 5 or more ranks in Tumble).
- Emulate Feat: At the beginning of a character’s turn, he may spend 1 action point to gain the benefit of a feat that he doesn’t have, although he must meet the prerequisites of the feat. He gains the benefits until the beginning of his next turn.
- Extra Attack: During any round in which a character makes a full attack action, she may spend 1 action point to make an extra attack at her full attack bonus. The point should be declared and spent before attack rolls are made.
- Extra Move: During any round, a character may spend 1 AP to gain an extra Move action. He may spend this extra action normally, in addition to her usual allotment of actions on her turn.
- Recover: At the end of her turn, a character who is suffering from an ongoing effect, such as stunned or bleed damage, may immediately cancel the effect.
- Spell Boost: Before casting a spell, a character may spend 1 AP to increase his effective caster level for that spell by 2 for one round. He must declare the use of the action point before casting the spell.
- Spell Recall: After casting a spell, a character may spend 1 AP to recall the spell just cast. The spell takes effect normally, but she may count the spell as unused (it remains prepared, or does not cost a spell slot, as applicable).
- Stabilize: On his turn, a character who is dying may spend 1 AP to become stable at -1 hit point.
Improve a Feat
Below are a few examples of how some Action Points may interact with some feats. Additional uses might be possible, a the GM’s discretion.
- Blind-Fight: You can spend 1 AP to negate your miss chance for a single attack.
- Combat Expertise: You can Spend 1 AP to to double the AC Bonus granted by the feat for the rest of the encounter. For example, if you take a -3 to your attack roll, you gain a +6 dodge bonus to your AC.
- Dodge: You can spend 1 AC to increase the bonus to your AC to +2 for the rest of the encounter. Alternatively, you can instead choose to select 2 dodge targets for the rest of the encounter, gaining +1 AC against each of them.
- Improved Critical: You can spend 1 AP to Triple your critical threat range, rather than doubling it, until the next time you score a critical hit, or until the end of the encounter whichever is first.
- Improved Initiative: You can spend 1 AP when rolling initiative to gain double the bonus from this feat (+8 instead of +4).
- Metamagic Feats: You can spend 1 AP when casting a spell to add 1 metamagic feat you know to the spell without increasing the spell level or the casting time.
- Power Attack: You can spend 1 AP to double the bonus granted by the feat for the rest of the encounter.
- Spell Focus: You can spend 1 AP to double the bonus granted by the feat, from +1 to +2, for the rest of the encounter.
- Spell Penetration: You can spend 1 action point to double the bonus granted by the feat, from +2 on caster level checks to +4, for the rest of the encounter.