Suggestion: Single action type for casting.


General Discussion


I was thinking about spellcasting and how having most spells having verbal and somatic components required them to be 2 actions.

What if it was changed so that there was only a single type of casting action, and verbal, somatic and material became traits.
I think it would have a few benefits.

1) It would cut down on the action types for spellcasting. (I honestly think having 3 different action types for spellcasting and 3 more types for item use is a bit much)

2) It would free up design space for more single action (or variable action) spells without requiring them to be verbal or somatic only.

3) It would make spells follow the same format as weapon actions. They just list how many actions it takes and have stuff like Attack, Open, Stance, etc. in the trait list.


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It's very easy to add a 'Somatic Action, Verbal Free Action' spell if they want a 1-action spell with both traits. The current design, for better or worse, just doesn't want many 1-action spells.

With this said, I don't see much upshoot of this change. The action types are easy to understand, don't hostage design space, and already have traits (such as concentration) that can be expanded to those other ideas without removing action types.


Lyee wrote:
With this said, I don't see much upshoot of this change. The action types are easy to understand, don't hostage design space, and already have traits (such as concentration) that can be expanded to those other ideas without removing action types.

It also leads to oddities like not being able to spend three actions on Magic Missile in a zone of silence or when bound. There's certainly precedent for it, with the vast majority of spells in 1e having a verbal and a somatic component, with no material or focus components, but once you start tying it to augmenting spells, it gets weird.

"Sorry, I can only fire two magic missiles this turn. My spell component pouch is missing."

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