Spell components should not be actions


Skills, Feats, Equipment & Spells


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I think I get the idea as to why they were made into actions, it just rubs me the wrong way in terms of the execution. I don't have anything against the idea that one spell might take up 2 actions or 3 actions or 1 reaction or whatever, but...

1. At a basic level, the idea that the somatic part is 1 action and the verbal part is another action doesn't make any logical sense. It is not hard to talk and move my hands at the same time (though I can understand the material part being a separate action as I have to get something from my bag).

2. It's not consistently applied to spells anyway since certain spells can change the action cost of each component. By this I mean that there is no point assigning an action cost to a component if in practice it is variable anyway.

Since I have to look at the spell to see the real action cost anyway, I propose to just assign an action cost to each spell and do away with the needless complication of assigning action costs (that aren't honored in all cases anyway) to the components of the spell. Makes more sense in terms of the "realism" and it's just simpler.


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Or let actions of differing types be executed as a single action.

Eg. "Verbal, Somatic" can be done at the same time leaving you with 2 actions, but "Verbal, Verbal" takes 2 actions.

Somatic and Material would only stack if you have a hand for each one (perform the gestures with one hand while producing the materials with you other).


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

There doesn't seem to be any necessary connection between the number of actions required to cast a spell and the types of actions required anyway. Decoupling them could allow spells like the following:

Long speech spell: The spell has only a verbal component but requires three actions to cast.

Short but complex spell: The spell has verbal, somatic, and material components but can be cast in a single action.


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David knott 242 wrote:
There doesn't seem to be any necessary connection between the number of actions required to cast a spell and the types of actions required anyway.

The vast (vast) majority of spells are SV. There's some material ones sprinked around, but they're less common.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I kinda like the simplicity of it, honestly. It has a certain charm, imo.


Lets see, spells that are cast in less than 3 actions (base, that is ignore spells like Heal and any that take minutes to cast) the following spells are not SV:

Dazzling Flash (power 2) MV
Disappearance (spell 8) MS
Forced Quiet (power 1) MV (that's a little ironic: a spell enforcing quietness requires verbal!)
Hallucination (spell 5) MS
Hypnotic Pattern (spell 3) MS
Invisibility (spell 2) MS
Invisibility Cloak (power 4) MS
Invisibility Sphere (spell 3) MS
Master's Illusion (power 2) MV
Scintilating Pattern (spell 8) MS
Vibrant Pattern (spell 6) MS

None are SS or VV (although some are VS which is somehow different than SV *shrug*).


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The verbal component for Forced Quiet is, obviously, a stern "SHHHH!"


Doing stuff where you can combine components of different types into a single action would make metamagic all wonky.

I mean, it already kinda is because it gives an extra free action components but a new rule like that would make it worse imo.


Zorae wrote:

Doing stuff where you can combine components of different types into a single action would make metamagic all wonky.

I mean, it already kinda is because it gives an extra free action components but a new rule like that would make it worse imo.

I'm not sure I agree. You still can't apply it to a spell with 3 components (SVM base? Too bad), but lets you take things like Chill Touch (SV) and apply Reach Spell (S) and still move, letting you close the gap so that you can actually be in range.

Would things need to be rebalanced a little? Sure. Not saying they wouldn't, I'm just saying that it would make for a more interesting play space.


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The biggest problem with this is it's ramifications to other things. Can you swing 2 one handed swords as a single action or toss 2 bombs at the same time. The action requirements are there mainly for balance. I do like the idea of makeing a spell multiple actions and just listing the components that are done during those actions. The down side is that when a spell is interupted with an aoo a caster might only lose one action, if it where changed the caster might lose 2 or 3 actions.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Casting a spell is no more a case of simply talking and moving your hands at the same time than attacking with a sword is simply waving a pointy object in an opponent's general direction. It is speaking words of power to unleash the power contained within your mind, or calling upon the might and grace of a powerful deity, while at the same time making complex gestures that result in the warping of reality itself in order to bend it to your will.

At least that's how I play the game. Reducing something to its base mechanics can make anything in RPGs seem silly.


WizardsBlade wrote:
The biggest problem with this is it's ramifications to other things. Can you swing 2 one handed swords as a single action or toss 2 bombs at the same time. The action requirements are there mainly for balance.

...Yes, actually.

They're class feats rather than something anyone can do. Talking and Gesturing at the same time anyone can do ("Look over there, what's that.. *waves hand* weird thing on that building?"). Pulling something out of your pocket at the same time is doable (if its in the right left pocket), though not easy. (I wouldn't allow "draw an item" to stack with casting actions: so no drawing a wand and casting at the same time, but reaching for material components from a hip pouch, sure. Waving around a holy symbol, sure).

Need some examples?

- Twin Takedown
- Flurry of Blows
- Hunted Shot

Double Shot and Double Slice are close, as they don't suffer MAP for doing two actions at the same time, but it does cost two actions worth of time.

Alchemist Quick Bomber and Combine Elixers come close to also qualifying (two actions worth of benefits for the cost of 1).


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For the sake of in-game logic, I like to think that it is less a case of gesturing and talking at the same time, as it is gesturing and talking involving two unrelated actions. You can gesture involving a thing you're discussing, but it's MUCH harder to sign-language the Gettysburg address while simultaneously reciting a passage from Caesar's Gallic Wars. :-) thus, performing the magic symbols and saying the magic words of power takes almost twice the level of concentration, and hence two actions.


ENHenry wrote:

For the sake of in-game logic, I like to think that it is less a case of gesturing and talking at the same time, as it is gesturing and talking involving two unrelated actions. You can gesture involving a thing you're discussing, but it's MUCH harder to sign-language the Gettysburg address while simultaneously reciting a passage from Caesar's Gallic Wars. :-) thus, performing the magic symbols and saying the magic words of power takes almost twice the level of concentration, and hence two actions.

I give you this guy.

Beat for beat, note for note, instrument for instrument, he can imagine in his head four entire symphonies simultaneously and keep perfect time in all of them.

I'll grant its an exceptional example, but anyone can learn to multitask.


I like the system as is.

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