Pitfalls of Giving Characters Extra Actions?


Advice


I'm finna run a DBZ-inspired game, and aim to give PCs extra actions to represent the speed gap between them and others. I figured roughly 1/5 levels would be plenty, and many named NPCs will be similarly juiced.
I've only dipped into PF2e, but it seems like a perfect system for what I'm trying to do, from the actions, to Inner Radiance Torrent.

What sorts of whacky things can characters do with 4-7 actions per turn?
Does it inherently break any rules which would need fixing?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The multiple attack plenty prevents a lot of fast attacks from hitting, meaning that 2 action strikes than don't progress it more would be much more valuable. Also save spells are mostly balanced around using 1 a turn, map isn't really an issue there so you could have someone casting 3 pretty strong spells a turn. The main issue I can see if that having more actions mainly benefits offensive play as you can only stack so many defensive buffs and more actions means more actions you can use to move so squishy characters are much easier to get in on. There is also the issue of class balance, most notably monks get a lot worse because they frequently kind of struggle to find stuff to do with their 3rd action because of how efficient they action wise and most agile builds (agile grace fighters and flurry rangers mainly) get a lot better because they can actually hit pretty accurately even on max multiple attack plenty.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Offhand, Flurry Rangers should become significantly nastier (and the party Rogue that ranger buffed with Warden's Boon / Shared Prey). Preparation would probably become mandatory for Rogues, and Assurance for Athletics would probably be quite popular for MAP-free maneuvers for those extra actions...


4 people marked this as a favorite.

It's an intentional design point that two action activities are things you can do at most one time in a round (which is why quickened limits you to basic actions) and that three action activities are ones you generally ones you cannot expect to reposition for maximum effect.

So for balance questions, I would look at those things in particular.

Since letting people attack twice, move, and raise a shield isn't a hugely unbalancing thing. But two spells in a round might be.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

honestly, if you just dipped in pf2e I would advise you for something dbz inspired to pick another system

or if you want to stick to pf2e get another setup

there are some tried and true variant rules that dont mess (much) with the overall balance

but while pf2e is definitly high fantasy with some partially fitting tropes and moves (heck, the monk can go super sayan at high level) going with something dbz inspired and putting in extra actions for the speed is probably something that will screw over much of the balance

as above stated, the whole system is build around the action economy (and some math assumptions that go with it) so extra actions is a baaaad way to represent the power

at high level the mooks are almost incapable of htting the character while they get mowed down in numbers

also 4-7 actions will make every turn long and if someone has a good setup they might just annihilate many enemies

not to mention that notably strong enemies, who are probably above party level, with so many actions will absolutely destroy you

there are no pitfalls of giving (use unlimited) extra actions, that is a whole chasm in itself, there is a reason why the feats that give you extra actions are all endgame and limited to 1-2 specific action types

edit: as my very wise girlfriend notes, maybe consider this: reduce the actions of mooks when you go to higher levels and say all actions are in a smaller time frame
if all characters are super fast then it equalizes (you still might get especially nasty enemies a single extra action)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

A way to simulate this that may not be as game breaking is to let everyone be hasted. That means less options for the extra actions and no multiple spells. Maybe at a higher level increase what they are allowed to do. (This is off the cuff, but it feels like it would be a boost but not a game breaking one)

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Maybe instead of giving extra actions per turn, you can give them extra turns per round.

For example, your character can go on their initiative. At level 5, they go on their initiative and on their intiative-10. At level 10, it's on their initiative and their initiative-5. At level 15, their initiative, their intiative-5, and their intiative-10. Finally at level 20 they go on their initiative, their intiative-2, their intiative-5, and their initiative-10.

Now to make up for poor intiative rolls, you just continue the initiative count. So if my 20th level character somehow rolled a 7 for their intiative, they would go on 7, then again at 5, then again at 2, and then after everyone else had acted in the round, they'd go again.

Just a thought.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I would also keep the number of actions the same but give additional specific abilities to the characters such as a Haste effect or Ki Rush.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

If I wanted to run PF2e with >3 actions being a somewhat common thing, I wouldn't give a default of tons of actions, I would instead let players get power spikes by spending some sort of metacurrency or banking actions to charge up.

Then in doing so you could create activities that cost 4+ actions, that are *really* powerful. That could give you the DBZ feel.

Something like "everybody is permanently quickened 1, with the extra action only for stride, strike, step, or charge."

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

You might also consider giving everyone Free Archetype: Monk, especially if you also give them Ki Rush for free.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Seems to me that the rule unnecessarily punishes those with low initiative, as there is a much greater risk that those who go first will finish the fight before you're able to do much of anything at all.

I have seen this phenomenon occur in games with high numbers of players, and I wouldn't wish it upon anybody. Nobody likes being a benchwarmer while they watch everyone else have a good time.

I think the level disparity and myriad of high level options (many of which grant additional actions or action economy condensors) is more than enough to grant an anime'esque feel.

If you want the heroes to feel invincible, just pit them against several low level enemies. If you want them to dread the high powered individual they face before them, make said foe 1-4 levels higher.

It's easy enough to describe someone as moving in a blur, or as having made numerous attacks, the results of which are represented mechanically by a single strike.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I had a houserule that a PC can spend a hero point to gain an extra action. One character occasionally used it to set up complicated multi-action tactics.

The sorcerer in my campaign often cast the six-target 7th-level Haste spell as her opening move in a combat encounter. She targeted her teammates who would be likely to move around the battlefield in melee. We had seven PCs, three animal companions, and often an NPC or two in the party, so she could not target everyone. Giving Haste to an animal companion was more useful than giving Haste to a spellcaster.

However, giving extra actions to a spellcaster is different from casting Haste on a spellcaster. The developers have explained that 2-action spells are more than twice as powerful as 1-action spells because a spellcaster can cast only one 2-action spell per turn. A spellcaster with 4 actions per turn would probably stand still and cast a pair of 2-action spells.

At 20th level, the ranger could Strike four times per turn and his multiple attack penalty was only -4 on the 4th Strike due to other ranger abilities. He often stood still shooting. Later when all visible opponents were down, he had to run to catch up with the rest of the party, who had been advancing through the stronghold or up the valley every turn.

An extra action does not give speed, because combat does not necessarily need speed. It gives opportunities instead, which will be used for spells or Strikes as often as for speed.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I would like to echo most of the sentiments here, that just flat adding extra player actions is not the best way to approach this, IMO.

-----------------------------------

If I were you, I'd do the Free Archetype, and have all player characters get a bonus Feat to be automatically Dedicated to your homebrew DBZ Archetype.

Done like that, you can poach and modify neat feats and features from all over the game that you like, and put them into your custom Archetype.

Some player(s) want to punch 3 times in a round? They can pick that Feat.

Another wants to blink-teleport? Make it a Feat, ect.

The game is flexible, but only to a certain point.

Something like "Urgent Focus: Focus spell, burns a focus point to give one more action" would work fine.
But something like always there extra actions would break things pretty quick, IMO.

Heck, you could just make your own "Ki well" and make that a separate copy of the Focus Point system that refills between fights, but doesn't overlap with the focus points they might be using for normal stuff.

-----------------------------------

I would be super, duper careful about intentionally making the players OP and then trying to buff the enemies/monsters to compensate. There's a whole lot of horror stories about tables like that, as the work needed to rebalance the game skyrockets.

If you want a more power fantasy / easy game, using the Weak adjustment on purpose is totally fine. Your fun is yours.


Mathmuse wrote:
However, giving extra actions to a spellcaster is different from casting Haste on a spellcaster.

It is but I also want to mention that spellcasters are usually one of the best targets for haste in mid/high level play. Not in your example of a party full of bodies (10 characters in play changes movement dynamics / value) but in the standard 4 player set-up, I would generally advise haste going to casters over many martials.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Rest assured that I am dissuaded of my ambitious idea. You've all convinced me to work more within the system. I'll settle for relative speed, and use a homebrewed, specific free archetype.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
BlueCherryFizz wrote:
Rest assured that I am dissuaded of my ambitious idea. You've all convinced me to work more within the system. I'll settle for relative speed, and use a homebrewed, specific free archetype.

👍

The great thing about that method is that you can make the Base Dedication and Feats as OP as yall want, and even have players pitch/invent some themselves over time between sessions.

A blanket +action thing is just... boring, I guess. There's fun to be had with creation/writing.

------------------

Btw, it looks like unicode symbols work in the forums, not sure why I don't seem them used.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Trip.H wrote:
BlueCherryFizz wrote:
Rest assured that I am dissuaded of my ambitious idea. You've all convinced me to work more within the system. I'll settle for relative speed, and use a homebrewed, specific free archetype.
Btw, it looks like unicode symbols work in the forums, not sure why I don't seem them used.

Unless something has changed recently, only some of them work consistently.

Forum emoji have been thoroughly tested and it is publicly known that they are very limited.

Most if the time, attempting to include them in a post causes Paizo goblins to swarm in great numbers screaming "Death to the thought stealers!" before burning the thread post to ashes.

Of those that do work, they're sometimes used in map diagramming here on the forums though (check the links in the above thread for some awesome examples).

Gisher even made area effect templates out of them for everyone.

Finally, even if you do stick to the "stable" emoji in the above test thread, or get lucky and get an occasional unstable emoji to work without losing your whole post, they tend to look different in different browsers and devices. This means that one person might see something similar to or entirely different from what another person sees.


Ravingdork wrote:
Trip.H wrote:
BlueCherryFizz wrote:
Rest assured that I am dissuaded of my ambitious idea. You've all convinced me to work more within the system. I'll settle for relative speed, and use a homebrewed, specific free archetype.
Btw, it looks like unicode symbols work in the forums, not sure why I don't seem them used.

Unless something has changed recently, only some of them work consistently.

Forum emoji have been thoroughly tested and it is publicly known that they are very limited.

Most if the time, attempting to include them in a post causes Paizo goblins to swarm in great numbers screaming "Death to the thought stealers!" before burning the thread post to ashes.

Of those that do work, they're sometimes used in map diagramming here on the forums though (check the links in the above thread for some awesome examples).

Gisher even made area effect templates out of them for everyone.

Finally, even if you do stick to the "stable" emoji in the above test thread, or get lucky and get an occasional unstable emoji to work without losing your whole post, they tend to look different in different browsers and devices. This means that one person might see something similar to or entirely different from what another person sees.

Ah, that's super neat to see, thanks for taking the time to share that.

I find it most informative to discuss Unicode symbols like any other language symbols, a la the Spanish ñ.

They are simply characters that don't have matching keys on the board.

Which is how you get the "different appearance on different machines" issue, ect. Lowercase 'e' is defined as en exclusive symbol, but different font settings change how it looks.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unicode

I've got no clue, but my first guess about the "some and not others" is that the forum supports an old-ish version of UTF. Looks like thumbs up was back in version 6, 2010.

It's tricky in that sometimes newer devices/interfaces may actually type something that's not the real unicode character, which is why I'm avoiding the word emoji. Copy/paste of the visible character or manual entry of the character code is the reliable way to ensure it's the actual unicode character, and not something else under the hood.

If you ever want to test some others, I'd recommend a site like:

https://unicodeplus.com/U+1F44D

I keep a number of individual symbol pages bookmarked in my browser for easy/quick copy & paste, as typing the unicode via Windows is kinda non-functional for me atm. Idk, might get around to seeing if I can fix that, it's not supposed to be a problem.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Second Edition / Advice / Pitfalls of Giving Characters Extra Actions? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.