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Playtest Results: Swift Action Economy


Player Feedback

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

3 people marked this as a favorite.

This feedback is based on my "Heroes of Hibernia" playtest campaign.

I was anticipating trouble with too many mythic abilities requiring swift and immediate actions, but was expecting this to be more of a problem at higher tiers, where PCs may need to spend immediate actions to boost d20 rolls every round just to stay competitive with non-mythic monsters of their effective APL. Instead, swift action economy became a problem at 2nd level/1st tier.

Specifically, my paladin player complained about mythic abilities requiring swift actions. Those abilities interfered with his ability to use lay on hands, one of the go-to abilities of his class. Granted, his mythic abilities gave him more swift-action options from which to choose, but PCs with no swift action class features were gaining more benefit from their mythic tiers than was the paladin.

This problem will likely extend to other classes whose main class features rely heavily upon swift actions to function: cavaliers, inquisitors, monks (especially those with style feats), and ninjas come to mind. As with the paladin, these classes will have to forgo using important class features in a round if they want to use some of the more interesting mythic abilities.

So far, this problem hasn't adversely affected the overall performance of any character in my playtest, but it has nonetheless caused frustration for one of my players. I don't yet have any specific recommendations regarding swift action mythic abilities, but will be watching them closely as my playtest continues into higher levels and tiers. I'll return to this thread when I have more playtest data.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Very good points.

Jason has stated that they aren't going to make a new action type, but I wonder if there are other solutions to the issue. Every class should at least have the potential to get the same out of Mythic abilities, and those classes that heavily rely on swift actions will be left behind.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

I have a few ideas for solutions, but I need to do more playtesting before I finalize any of my suggestions. In my playtest, action economy in general is easily the most complicated issue I have with the mythic rules.


Cheapy wrote:

Very good points.

Jason has stated that they aren't going to make a new action type, but I wonder if there are other solutions to the issue. Every class should at least have the potential to get the same out of Mythic abilities, and those classes that heavily rely on swift actions will be left behind.

There is no need to add a new action type, hero points could already be used without immediate actions and worked just fine in the campaings I GMed. Something like:

Mythic Power:

Once per round, you can use your mythic power for various effects:

-Gain an extra die to any d20 you have already, even if its not your turn.
-Activate your first level path ability.
-Other things

Just add a clause of this doesn't count against the maximum number times you can use mythic power in a round to the powers that aren't swift immediate.

Its not hard keepng track if you used mythic power in a round or not.

Humbly,
Yawar


People seem concerned about both this and the ability to nova. I say kill two birds with one stone and limit the number of times per round you can spend mythic power. Much neater than inventing a new action type and it will benefit all builds and classes equally.


You could try making mythic powers that require a swift action usable as part of another swift action so long as that action is not a mythic power as well.


Probably the cleanest thing would be making them all non-action and putting a cap on how many mythic point you can trow in a round. Point is, since a couple spell can ask for as much as 5 point to be cast, putting a cap like this is not going to help against the "nova factor".


Well, mythic damage is different from normal damage. Why wouldn't mythic swift actions be a thing unto themselves? Just an idea...


Based on no play testing, I'd prefer Mythic actions. Asit stands, my ranger/Sorceror uses a swift action every round in PFS, for either arcane armor or arcane strike, and that started at 5th level.

Osirion

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

My guess is, it's intended for swift actions to actually require a choice as far as when to use them. After all, if they just wanted you to be able to use the abilities whenever, they wouldn't take a once-per-round action. In addition, there are classes that hardly use swift actions at all, such as the Fighter and Rogue, and generally speaking they're considered weaker than other classes that fill similar roles. Giving them things to do with their swift actions helps level the playing field, since the classes that are generally considered "better" usually already use their swift actions (and in fact, that's one of the reasons those classes are usually considered better).

In other words, keep it as is. Resource management is part of the game.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

During the latest adventure in my playtest campaign, I created a rules patch to allow my paladin player to utilize both his class abilities and his mythic abilities in the same round. (The patch would also have benefited alchemists, cavaliers, gunslingers, inquisitors, magi, monks, ninjas, higher-level rangers; some barbarians, oracles, rogues, and witches; and any characters with swift- or immediate-action feats or items, including Quicken Spell and metamagic rods thereof.)

Specifically, I allowed my PCs to treat all swift and immediate actions that use mythic power as free actions instead, with a limit of one free action that uses mythic power per round. To compensate for the increased action economy, I removed the option to take an extra turn from amazing initiative. (I'll discuss more playtest results specific to amazing initiative in another thread.)

As a result of this patch, the paladin in my playtest had more cool things to do during his turn without having to worry about painful opportunity costs. I saw a modest bump in the paladin's damage output, but this was offset by the increased toughness of the opponents the party fought. The party as a whole performed as well as it did in the non-mythic version of the same adventure, even with the paladin's improved action economy.


William Senn wrote:
My guess is, it's intended for swift actions to actually require a choice as far as when to use them.

As I've noted before in another thread: In my experience with Eberron action points and Pathfinder monk ki points, if you restrict people to one use per round, players will usually just stick with the most useful application and they'll spam it over and over again, which sort of defeats the purpose of having a set of options.


William Senn wrote:
My guess is, it's intended for swift actions to actually require a choice as far as when to use them. After all, if they just wanted you to be able to use the abilities whenever, they wouldn't take a once-per-round action. In addition, there are classes that hardly use swift actions at all, such as the Fighter and Rogue, and generally speaking they're considered weaker than other classes that fill similar roles. Giving them things to do with their swift actions helps level the playing field, since the classes that are generally considered "better" usually already use their swift actions [...]

Good points.

William Senn wrote:


In other words, keep it as is. Resource management is part of the game.

True, Resource management is part of the game, but if every ability is based on immediate actions and swift actions some classes will suffer really bad at higher levels.

I don't mind making rogues and fighters better by giving them more options, but I'm not keen on mythic rules being the fix.

Still it's obvious that some classes can use 2 per round thanks to swift actions and some classes, like the fighter, never get to use swift actions. Heck even ranger got abilities based on swift actions, casting instant enemy being one of them.

BTW, Nice having you back WS/Z.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The "resource management" argument for how this is all fine falls completely flat in my opinion.

If the fighter is supposed to be balanced against the inquisitor, who has to use swift actions for most of his abilities, how are mythic benefits balanced if they have no opportunity cost for the fighter but enormous ones for the inquisitor?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Using the mystic rules as some kind of magical fix, to create balance between the classes … stinks, sorry. And aside from not working for all those characters without them, it would be a nightmare to balance, since there is no fixed formula. The fighter might be fixed with just the first tier of mythic power, but maybe the monk isn't happy until tier 5.
Worse is, that it could create some kind of “mental disease” in the heads of players and GMs that the use of mythic rules is somehow required to play the game.

No, if some classes are plain better than others, in each and every scenario – and I would argue that this is not the case, even if some are more interesting than others – you have to fix it in the existing rules. Preferably in the core rules.

Regarding the current issue, one free action per round to use a mythic power, that currently require swift actions seems reasonable. I wouldn't limit powers like adding a die to a saving throw, casting a mythic spell (or the abilities that enhance spells), after all battles can be pretty short and I want to give the PCs and the monsters a chance to shine.


RPG games are supposed to be about choices. opportunity costs are about choices. changing the rules to eliminate oppurtunity costs defeats the whole point of a RPG- see skyrim and oblivion for electronic examples.

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