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Sacrificing actions for faster actions?


Rules Questions


I know you can use a standard action to get a 2nd move action.

Does the same apply for getting another swift action?

Logically swift actions are fairly fast, faster than move or standard actions. If I wanted to take 2 or 3 swift actions, could I sacrifice move actions (which definitely take longer) to do so?

A good example would be a monk activating more than 1 combat style in a round.


No, that is not allowed. There is not general rule for sacrificing actions, only rules for specific cases.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

No extra swift actions.

You can replace a standard with move action, and take two move actions, instead of a move and a standard.


That is how it works in D&D 4th ed.- see my post here. It does not work that way in PF.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

This is not 4E.

Silver Crusade

I'm pretty sure that, if you can cast a spell or use a spell-like/supernatural ability as a swift action, you can use your standard action to do so if you've used your swift action already.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
I'm pretty sure that, if you can cast a spell or use a spell-like/supernatural ability as a swift action, you can use your standard action to do so if you've used your swift action already.

By RAW I do not believe so. A Swift Action is a Swift Action not a real quick Standard Action. This may be only for spells but you cannot Quicken a spell & then cast a swift action spell. But you can Quicken a spell & cast a standard action spell.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

You only get one Swift action per round.

No way to get more.


In my opinion, 4e has the right of it.

Having run into a situation where my wizard player had used his Swift action (as an Immediate the previous round, actually) and then wanted to cast a spell he only had prepared as a Quickened spell... No, I was not going to tell the Wizard "you have a full round of actions available but you don't have enough time to cast a spell that takes the second-smallest unit of time available in this game to cast".

So yeah, if someone wants to burn a move or a standard for an extra swift, I am all for it. But that is a house rule, RAW is no-go.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Please, 4E rules don't work, because Pathfinder is not 4E.

Pathfinder Core Rulebook wrote:

Swift Actions

A swift action consumes a very small amount of time, but represents a larger expenditure of effort than a free action. You can perform one swift action per turn without affecting your ability to perform other actions. In that regard, a swift action is like a free action. You can, however, perform only one single swift action per turn, regardless of what other actions you take. You can take a swift action anytime you would normally be allowed to take a free action. Swift actions usually involve spellcasting, activating a feat, or the activation of magic items.

Even if you put forth a houserule, it would be a bad houserule, as the restriction is a core to balance.


I have not found that house rule to unbalance the game, actually, having used it for two games a week for over a year now. Usually it affects nothing. Occasionally my players are grateful for it, because it makes sense. Every now and then my Wizard giggles at his ability to throw three fireballs in the same round... and then I remind him that those are 7th level spell slots that could have been intense maximized fireballs (or, you know, actual 7th level spells) and he calms down.

I also disagree that rules are bad just because they come from 4e - 4e was a poor RPG, but had some good ideas (AC increasing with level is another of them).

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
MaxAstro wrote:
4e was a poor RPG

Please, please add an "IMHO" :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
blackbloodtroll wrote:
Even if you put forth a houserule, it would be a bad houserule, as the restriction is a core to balance.

While I would definitely watch the usage of such a house rule, I don't see how it is inherently unbalancing. In Max's example, being unable to cast a quickened spell as a standard action (I don't think I would allow it as move action) seems way too limiting. The restriction seems way too arbitrary considering if he had it prepared as a normal spell it would work just fine.

I believe the intent of limit on swift actions is to prevent using an infinite number of swift actions in a single round; to cast three quickened fireballs let's say. I don't believe the intent was to prevent you from using a standard action to perform a swift action.

Maybe a better house rule would be that you can cast a spell with an immediate action or swift action casting time as a standard action if you wish.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

Please, 4E rules don't work, because Pathfinder is not 4E.

Pathfinder Core Rulebook wrote:

Swift Actions

A swift action consumes a very small amount of time, but represents a larger expenditure of effort than a free action. You can perform one swift action per turn without affecting your ability to perform other actions. In that regard, a swift action is like a free action. You can, however, perform only one single swift action per turn, regardless of what other actions you take. You can take a swift action anytime you would normally be allowed to take a free action. Swift actions usually involve spellcasting, activating a feat, or the activation of magic items.

Even if you put forth a houserule, it would be a bad houserule, as the restriction is a core to balance.

Emphasis added. It does explicitly say "only one swift action per turn", but given the bolded text house-ruling it to say you can use a swift action instead of a standard action seems entirely reasonable.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

RAW is clear, but you should feel free to houserule as you please though.

I would at least be aware of the possibility of such a houserule could imbalance things.


I've always allowed a standard to be used as a swift, I think it's silly that you can't. Definitely never allow a move action to be replaced with a swift, though.

But it is not allowed by RAW in 3E nor PF. Of course in 3E there were tricks to get extra swift actions anyway...


There was at least one spell in 3.5 that was balanced (although that particular word is pretty anathema to the spell in question) by the understanding that you couldn't reduce a standard action to a swift action:

Dragon Magic's arcane spellsurge wrote:

The spell begins by explaining that it reduces the casting times for all arcane spells, with a table [standard = swift; full round = standard; 2-10 rounds = 1 round less than normal], before coming to the relevant part.

You can't choose to ignore this effect; that is, you can't opt to cast a spell using its normal casting time. Thus, if all your spells normally have casting times of 1 standard action, they take 1 swift action instead, and because you can't take more than 1 swift action in a round, you won't be able to cast multiple spells per round while under the effect of arcane spellsurge.

The spell finally explains that you can still cast multiple spells per round if one spell has a normal casting time of 1 full round (making it a standard action to go along with the swift action), or by applying a metamagic feat to a regular spell (making it a standard action).

Grand Lodge

By RAW, yes, absolutely a no go...however, I have found standard for a swift isn't unbalanced at all...but I found that 99% of the reason why I get asked this question is because somebody wants to use a move for a swift so they can cast a quicken spell, normal spell after they used an immediate action. And I bet that most of the replies of it's unbalanced comes from experience of such things.


RumpinRufus wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:

Please, 4E rules don't work, because Pathfinder is not 4E.

Pathfinder Core Rulebook wrote:

Swift Actions

A swift action consumes a very small amount of time, but represents a larger expenditure of effort than a free action. You can perform one swift action per turnwithout affecting your ability to perform other actions. In that regard, a swift action is like a free action. You can, however, perform only one single swift action per turn, regardless of what other actions you take. You can take a swift action anytime you would normally be allowed to take a free action. Swift actions usually involve spellcasting, activating a feat, or the activation of magic items.

Even if you put forth a houserule, it would be a bad houserule, as the restriction is a core to balance.
Emphasis added. It does explicitly say "only one swift action per turn", but given the bolded text house-ruling it to say you can use a swift action instead of a standard action seems entirely reasonable.

2nd Emphasis added. Read it again.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

One Swift action per turn is fundamentally RAW.

To argue against, is to provide evidence of a lack of knowledge of the rules, or willful ignorance.

Silver Crusade

blackbloodtroll wrote:

One Swift action per turn is fundamentally RAW.

To argue against, is to provide evidence of a lack of knowledge of the rules, or willful ignorance.

If you cast a spell with a casting time of 1 swift action, then cast another spell in the same round, and the second spell also has a casting time of 1 swift action, then you must use a standard action to cast the second spell.

This doesn't break action economy. You can still only cast two spells in one round, and your round still has only one swift and one standard action in it.


Where do the rules say you can change the casting time of a swift action spell to a standard action spell?


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

That's still one swift action per turn, and a houserule.


Trading a standard for a swift, while a houserule, doesn't seem unbalancing to me. The essential danger is in letting people trade a move for a swift, because that would allow you to cast three spells per turn - two per turn is bad enough. :)


I agree BBT. I am just wanting to see where Malachi is getting his info from?


blackbloodtroll wrote:

You only get one Swift action per round.

No way to get more.

not entirely true, a Guide archetype ranger can use an Inspiring moment to gain another swift or move action.

granted that's a 1/day ability (2/day at 19th) for a single archetype of a single class, but it's still a way to get one.

combines great with Bow Spirit (use a swift action to make an attack at full BAB + dex + relevant feats) to get 2 extra attacks that round.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Well, that's a rather unique power.

It's level should be an indicator of how powerful multiple Swift actions are.

Silver Crusade

wraithstrike wrote:
Where do the rules say you can change the casting time of a swift action spell to a standard action spell?

To be brutally honest, Wraithstrike, if I could remember I'd have quoted it by now. : )

I know it was a 3.5 source. When I first brought it up in this thread I framed it as a question, hoping that someone else would remember and supply the quote. I'm disappointed that they haven't.

I realise how weak this sounds in a debate, and I'm embarrassed I can't remember the source. If you guys doubt my memory I don't blame you, but the memory of the fact of it is clear even if the exact source isn't.

Sorry, guys! : /


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Pathfinder is not 3.5, and this is important.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Where do the rules say you can change the casting time of a swift action spell to a standard action spell?

To be brutally honest, Wraithstrike, if I could remember I'd have quoted it by now. : )

I know it was a 3.5 source. When I first brought it up in this thread I framed it as a question, hoping that someone else would remember and supply the quote. I'm disappointed that they haven't.

I realise how weak this sounds in a debate, and I'm embarrassed I can't remember the source. If you guys doubt my memory I don't blame you, but the memory of the fact of it is clear even if the exact source isn't.

Sorry, guys! : /

I have the rules compendium, and that does not say it can be done either. The only subbing involved is when it says an immediate action takes the place of your swift action.


Yeah, I remember from my 339 days that this is specifically why Arcane Spellsurge abusers needed a metamagic feat: so they could bump a spell's casting time up to full-round for AS to knock it back down to standard, because otherwise you'd be stuck with a standard action that you couldn't use for your now-swift-action spells.


My group plays with trading down actions (Standard -> Move, Move -> Swift), even allowing 3 Swifts in a single round. We don't have any balance problems. If we do, we just throw in another houserule. For example, the moment someone got access to Quicken Spell, we simply place the restriction of only one Quickened Spell a round. Problem solved.

I like it more than not doing it. It opens up all kinds of tactical gameplay that makes the game more enjoyable to us.


nothing wrong with trading a move for a swift, it just means you can't summon that round and have probably blowed through a 3rd high level spell slot that round. if you need to blow through 3 high level slots a round to have any meaningful effect on the enemy. i would say the problem is from your spell choice. in such a case, you are probably most likely an evoker or something. 3 7th level slots spent dealing a combined 30d6 fire damage is the least of my worries.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

It is still a houserule.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
It is still a houserule.

a houserule that makes sense. if a caster is blowing through 3 high level spells a round. that is simply a case of poor spell management.


Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
It is still a houserule.
a houserule that makes sense. if a caster is blowing through 3 high level spells a round. that is simply a case of poor spell management.

Not always. If it is a PC doing that for every encounter sure, but players like myself might not even cast a spell for an encounter. Get to the BBEG and nova or the BBEG can nova against the players.


wraithstrike wrote:
Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
It is still a houserule.
a houserule that makes sense. if a caster is blowing through 3 high level spells a round. that is simply a case of poor spell management.

Not always. If it is a PC doing that for every encounter sure, but players like myself might not even cast a spell for an encounter. Get to the BBEG and nova or the BBEG can nova against the players.

BBEG would be better off having minions than trying to nova. the effects of a 3rd level spell quickened for a 7th level slot pale in comparison to a proper 7th level. with maybe the exception of fly and haste.

the worst i see, is a gish getting off multiple buffs and wading into combat sooner than before.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
It is still a houserule.
a houserule that makes sense. if a caster is blowing through 3 high level spells a round. that is simply a case of poor spell management.

That's a matter of opinion.

If a caster would already be casting three spells in one combat, why wouldn't want to get all out on their first turn.


Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
It is still a houserule.
a houserule that makes sense. if a caster is blowing through 3 high level spells a round. that is simply a case of poor spell management.

Not always. If it is a PC doing that for every encounter sure, but players like myself might not even cast a spell for an encounter. Get to the BBEG and nova or the BBEG can nova against the players.

BBEG would be better off having minions than trying to nova. the effects of a 3rd level spell quickened for a 7th level slot pale in comparison to a proper 7th level. with maybe the exception of fly and haste.

the worst i see, is a gish getting off multiple buffs and wading into combat sooner than before.

That does not mean being able to fire off a couple of spell is a bad thing. He might also have rod of quicken metamagic or those feats that allows you to ignore one metamagic spell or reduce the cost.


All the down-trading problems relate to quicken spell. Quicken spell is a must have feat that lets the most powerful classes in the game break action economy.

The only reason to forbid swift->move down trading is to avoid making a very strong candidate for the second most broken feat in the entire game even more broken. Maybe Quicken Spell should be fixed rather than making stuff like Arcane Armor Training and the pitiful Eldritch Knight capstone and level 13 bards and style feats and the like suffer for its brokenness.

Shadow Lodge

I didn't realize that you couldn't swap another action for a Swift by RAW, and have been doing so occasionally with my Inquisitor to activate both Judgement and Bane and then take a single attack. My current DM has played 4E previously and is probably also unaware of Pathfinder RAW in this case. I'll let him know, but I don't think he's going to change it. It's a bit of a boost for characters with Quickened spells or swift-action buffs, but it makes sense as a simulation and I don't think it's a game-changer.

blackbloodtroll wrote:
Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
It is still a houserule.
a houserule that makes sense. if a caster is blowing through 3 high level spells a round. that is simply a case of poor spell management.

That's a matter of opinion.

If a caster would already be casting three spells in one combat, why wouldn't want to get all out on their first turn.

Because the caster who relies on this tactic is preparing a lot of Quickened spells, which has a high cost in spell slots. A Quickened 4th level spell added to your first turn is a 7th level spell you can't cast later. In some cases, it might be worth it to hit the problem fast. In some cases, you'll be wishing for that 7th level spell down the line.

A metamagic rod would make this a little more abusable, but those things are pricey.

Atarlost wrote:

All the down-trading problems relate to quicken spell. Quicken spell is a must have feat that lets the most powerful classes in the game break action economy.

The only reason to forbid swift->move down trading is to avoid making a very strong candidate for the second most broken feat in the entire game even more broken. Maybe Quicken Spell should be fixed rather than making stuff like Arcane Armor Training and the pitiful Eldritch Knight capstone and level 13 bards and style feats and the like suffer for its brokenness.

And if Quickened Spell is the only problem, it's easy to house rule that you can trade a move for a swift, but can still can't cast more than two spells a round.


Pathfinder Core Rulebook wrote:

Swift Actions

A swift action consumes a very small amount of time, but represents a larger expenditure of effort than a free action. You can perform one swift action per turn without affecting your ability to perform other actions. In that regard, a swift action is like a free action. You can, however, perform only one single swift action per turn, regardless of what other actions you take. You can take a swift action anytime you would normally be allowed to take a free action. Swift actions usually involve spellcasting, activating a feat, or the activation of magic items.

This part implies that it should be possible to trade other actions for Swift ones, else it should have ended before the bolded part.


That's simply saying you can still perform a full-round action, or a move and a standard action, on the same turn you're performing a swift action. Nothing more is implied by the bolded part.


By the way, even if there's a method for gaining multiple swift actions during one round, you still won't be able to cast multiple swift-action spells:

PRD wrote:
A spell with a casting time of 1 swift action doesn't count against your normal limit of one spell per round. However, you may cast such a spell only once per round. Casting a spell with a casting time of 1 swift action doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity.

Silver Crusade

The way I read it, you don't trade in a standard action for a swift action, you increase the casting time of a spell from swift to standard.

Action economy untouched.

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Vendis wrote:

My group plays with trading down actions (Standard -> Move, Move -> Swift), even allowing 3 Swifts in a single round. We don't have any balance problems. If we do, we just throw in another houserule. For example, the moment someone got access to Quicken Spell, we simply place the restriction of only one Quickened Spell a round. Problem solved.

I like it more than not doing it. It opens up all kinds of tactical gameplay that makes the game more enjoyable to us.

I have found that if you have to make a house rule to cover balancing issues created by a house rule, it is usually better to just use the original rule as written/intended.

"Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

The way I read it, you don't trade in a standard action for a swift action, you increase the casting time of a spell from swift to standard.

Action economy untouched.

There is no language that even remotely insinuates that you can extend the casting time of a spell, though it might seem reasonable that one should be able to place such restrictions on themselves, if they so desire. Of the books that I have (crb, apg, uc, & um), there are perhaps 30 or so spells that have a casting time that is less than 1 standard action. Of those spells, the very clear intent is that you are supposed to move or attack once the spell has been cast (or you are affecting a die roll or outcome with an immediate action spell); so in these cases, such a houserule would provide zero benefit (in fact, doing so would be harmful). As far as quickened spells, the only ones affected would be prepared casters (it is a moot issue for spontaneous casters), and the only thing that is occurring is giving them the option to unnecessarily waste a higher level spell slot. Which is, again, harmful not helpful.


MaxAstro wrote:

I have not found that house rule to unbalance the game, actually, having used it for two games a week for over a year now. Usually it affects nothing. Occasionally my players are grateful for it, because it makes sense. Every now and then my Wizard giggles at his ability to throw three fireballs in the same round... and then I remind him that those are 7th level spell slots that could have been intense maximized fireballs (or, you know, actual 7th level spells) and he calms down.

I also disagree that rules are bad just because they come from 4e - 4e was a poor RPG, but had some good ideas (AC increasing with level is another of them).

It would be very powerful definitely. He should buy a lesser quickened rod. It will let him get off 2 buffs early in the fight(Haste + Shield for instance) and let him cast a high level damaging spell.


Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
nothing wrong with trading a move for a swift, it just means you can't summon that round and have probably blowed through a 3rd high level spell slot that round. if you need to blow through 3 high level slots a round to have any meaningful effect on the enemy. i would say the problem is from your spell choice. in such a case, you are probably most likely an evoker or something. 3 7th level slots spent dealing a combined 30d6 fire damage is the least of my worries.

He can just buy a lesser rod of quicken spell(somewhat pricy, but worth it) and use 3 3rd level spell slots.

Shadow Lodge

Nope, no triple spell by using swift-move-standard, it's not even a house rule:

Are wrote:

By the way, even if there's a method for gaining multiple swift actions during one round, you still won't be able to cast multiple swift-action spells:

PRD wrote:
A spell with a casting time of 1 swift action doesn't count against your normal limit of one spell per round. However, you may cast such a spell only once per round. Casting a spell with a casting time of 1 swift action doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity.

So this is going to be used by people who have used an immediate action in their previous round and want to swap a move or standard for a swift, and by those who want to activate two swift-action buffs (bane, judgement, combat styles, bardic music, several Magus abilities, etc) in the same round in exchange for their move or standard.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps Subscriber
Sereinái wrote:
Pathfinder Core Rulebook wrote:

Swift Actions

A swift action consumes a very small amount of time, but represents a larger expenditure of effort than a free action. You can perform one swift action per turn without affecting your ability to perform other actions. In that regard, a swift action is like a free action. You can, however, perform only one single swift action per turn, regardless of what other actions you take. You can take a swift action anytime you would normally be allowed to take a free action. Swift actions usually involve spellcasting, activating a feat, or the activation of magic items.

This part implies that it should be possible to trade other actions for Swift ones, else it should have ended before the bolded part.

You're ignoring this part, though.

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