Am I Kept to Take the Extra Action Immediately After Having Spent the Relative Action Point?

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PHB, page 286, explains that by spending an action point I gain an extra action to be spent this turn.

Spending an action point is a free action and the extra action I gain is another action, not part of the free action.

PHB, page 269, explains that you can take your actions any order you wish.

Of course, to be able to take an extra action, I must take a free action (spending the action point) before. Otherwise there is no extra action to take.

But after that, I understand that I'm free to take the extra action whenever I feel appropriate during my turn, not necessarily as soon as I have spent the action point.

Am I wrong?

Thanks a lot for the attention and the help.

lux 
You're over-complicating this. Just spend the action point when you want the extra action. You don't have to spend it at any specific point during your turn.
Ehm, no.
Yesterday night I wanted to spend an action point while close to an enemy, to give him ongoing damage; then move away to reach an ally, attack another foe and then heal the ally.

That's sequentially a free action, a move action, two standard actions. The action point is spent to take one more standard action but, if I spend it at that moment, I won't give ongoing damage to the first enemy, because I will be too far from him.

Conversely, if I spend the action point and my subsequent action is a move one, and I intend the move action as the extra action because I just spent an action point, I won't be able to take two standard actions later in the turn.

That's why I'm pondering the question.

Thanks a lot for the answer,

lux 
I think what Samrin was trying to say was: you're over-complicating this.


Spending an Action Point is a free action that you spend on your turn, so you can do it at any point in the 'taking actions' portion of your turn.

Your example, mechanically, is:

  1. Free Action -> Action Point (standard action)

  2. Move

  3. Standard

  4. Minor 

 You can just as easily do:

  1. Minor

  2. Move

  3. Standard

  4. Free Action -> Action Point (move action) 


Or:

  1. Standard

  2. Free Action -> Action Point (standard action)

  3. Minor

  4. Move

 



 

Returned from hiatus; getting up to speed on 5e rules lawyering.

He's trying to find out when he can activate his action point, in order to find out when he can get action point bonuses. Several paragon paths give benefits 'until the end of next turn' when spending an action point, or powers that hits all enemies adjacent when he spends an action point, or helps adjacent allies, etc etc.  In his example, he appears to have a power that gives ongoing damage to nearby enemies when an action point is used.

This means when the action point is used becomes important, but the use of the standard action might not be ideal.


To answer your question, loox, I believe that separating the standard from the action point free activation is ok.  Using an action point gives you another standard action "in the bank" for this turn, but you don't have to use it immediately; you can use other actions first.

(edit for clarity)
San Francisco Bay Area D&Der. Loyal fan of the Birthright campaign setting.
Tichrimo,
Please, read my reply to Samrin.
I needed to spend the action point in one place at the beginning of the turn and take the extra (standard) action in a different place and later in the turn.

None of the mechanics you propose solve the case.

Thanks a lot.
Yep - the wording of Action Points from HotFK is 'gains an extra standard action to use that turn' - so you can activate your action point at the start of the turn, gaining any action point bonuses, then take your turn as normal with two standard actions to use (either or both of which can be downgraded to move or minor actions).

If you do decide to do this, however, note that many action point benefits are only activated when you take the extra action, not when you spend the action point - depending on the particular AP benefit you want to use, you still might not be able to complete your turn as specified.

Which Paragon Path are you using?  What's the specific feature concerned?
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
He's trying to find out when he can activate his action point, in order to find out when he can get action point bonuses. Several paragon paths give benefits 'until the end of next turn' when spending an action point, or powers that hits all enemies adjacent when he spends an action point, or helps adjacent allies, etc etc.  In his example, he appears to have a power that gives ongoing damage to nearby enemies when an action point is used.

This means when the action point is used becomes important, but the use of the standard action might not be ideal.


To answer your question, loox, I believe that separating the standard from the action point free activation is ok.  Using an action point gives you another standard action "in the bank" for this turn, but you don't have to use it immediately; you can use other actions first.

(edit for clarity)

Roele,
you exactly got the point. My cleric chose the Exalted Angel epic destiny and, by spending an action point, can give his level as radiant ongoing damage to an enemy within 5 squares. The enemy was a powerful undead, vulnerable to radiant, and the chance to give him ongoing damage that way was paramount.

At the same time I had to reach an ally in trouble, farther away in the map.

Thanks for your answer.  
Erm... that ED doesn't give an action point benefit.  Where is the action point benefit coming from?
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Erm... that ED doesn't give an action point benefit.  Where is the action point benefit coming from?



My guess would be the paragon path Radiant Servant.

   Radiant Action (11th level): When you spend an action point to take an extra action, you can also choose an enemy within 5 squares of you. That enemy takes ongoing radiant damage equal to your level (save ends).
San Francisco Bay Area D&Der. Loyal fan of the Birthright campaign setting.
Yep - the wording of Action Points from HotFK is 'gains an extra standard action to use that turn' - so you can activate your action point at the start of the turn, gaining any action point bonuses, then take your turn as normal with two standard actions to use (either or both of which can be downgraded to move or minor actions).

If you do decide to do this, however, note that many action point benefits are only activated when you take the extra action, not when you spend the action point - depending on the particular AP benefit you want to use, you still might not be able to complete your turn as specified.

Which Paragon Path are you using?  What's the specific feature concerned?

My cleric chose the Radiant Servant paragon path (sorry for incorrectly referring to the epic destiny in another message), that has the following feature:

    Radiant Action (11th level): When you spend an action point to take an extra action, you can also choose an enemy within 5 squares of you. That enemy takes ongoing radiant damage equal to your level (save ends).

That's it, I thought of giving the ongoing damage to a close foe and taking the extra action later at another place on the map. My master objected to that, though. 
Yep, looks like it.  And yes, doing it that way is perfectly OK, if that is the case - the AP benefit there occurs at the spending of the AP, not the taking of the action.

EDIT: yeah, your DM is wrong.  The AP benefit of Radiant Servant lets you deal ongoing radiant damage when you spend your AP rather than when you take the extra action.  You can therefore spend your AP, choose an enemy to take damage, then take your turn as normal with two standard actions, in any order you want.

Sorry for the confusion =)
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
I understand that I'm free to take the extra action whenever I feel appropriate during my turn, not necessarily as soon as I have spent the action point.

You are correct.

Your understanding is correct. Declaring that you are spending an action point (free action) and actually taking the action point action (standard action) are two separate actions and don't have to be done at the same time. I had this same question and asked Customer Service about it, and they confirmed that that was how it worked.

Note that if the PP feature says "when you spend an action point to do X, then..." that you actually have to do X before the PP feature triggers. This doesn't apply to your particular case, but I thought I'd mention it. For example, if it says "when you spend an AP to make an attack" you wouldn't get the bonus until you're actually using you action point action to attack, even if you declared the AP at the beginning of your turn.

Not taking your action point action immediately can be risky though, so you should be careful doing it. For example, let's say a melee character wanted to spend an action point and then walk over to the BBEG and attack him twice. But in the process of walking over, they provoke from a minion who immobilized them. Now they're stuck next to a minion with two standard actions. If they had waited to declare they were spending their AP, they probably would have decided to save their AP for another round. Or maybe they walk up to the BBEG and he has an immediate reaction to teleport away. Now the PC is standing by himself with two standard actions and no one to attack. He could convert a standard action to a move action and then use the other standard action to attack, but no one likes converting standard actions. He could charge the BBEG, but then he loses his AP action because charging always ends your turn. (If you declare, as a free action, you're spending an AP after you finish charging then you can get the extra action. But you lose your extra standard if you declare the AP before your charge.) So it can be risky to do since unexpected things can happen during your turn (immediates, provoking, falling into a pit trap, etc.). But that's what D&D is all about, right - doing cost-benefit analyses and taking risks.

Lori Anderson

WotC Freelancer, LFR author

@LittleLorika

 

Dragon Magazine #412: Unearthed Arcana: Ships in Your Campaign

Calimshan Adventures (LFR): CALI3-3, CALI4-1, and QUES4-1

Epic Adventures (LFR): EPIC5-1 and EPIC5-3

Other LFR Adventures: NETH4-1, ADCP5-2, and MYTH6-3

 

 

 

 

For anyone who's curious, here was my (rather long) exchange with Customer Service about the matter:

Show

Question:
Under the Action Point section of the PHB it says "You gain an extra action this turn. You decide if the action is a standard action, a move action, or a minor action."

When you declare that you "spend an action point," are you required to take your extra "action point action" immediately or can you save that extra action until later in your turn?

Does declaring that you are using an action point simply add one standard action to your pool of actions for that turn? (i.e. When you say "I'm spending an action point" does that mean your turn now consists of 2 standard actions, 1 move action, and 1 minor action that can still be taken in any order you wish?) If you are allowed to save that action point action until later in your turn, when do benefits that happen "when you spend an action point" (e.g. warlord benefits, item benefits, feats, and paragon path features) actually trigger? For example, if I am immobilized, can I declare that I am spending an action point so I can make an immediate save (courtesy of my inspiring warlord), then walk up next to an enemy (move action, now that I'm not immobilized), make an attack (standard action), and then make another attack (action point action)?

The language "You gain an extra action this turn" might mean that you can take that action point action whenever you want. The text also says "Instead of taking an extra action when you spend an action point, you can use a paragon path feature or a feat that requires an action point" which seems to suggest that, when you spend an action point to take an extra action, you need to take your action point action immediately when you declare that you are spending an action point. Please clarify.

Answer:
When you spend an action point (AP), yes, it adds another action of your choice to your "action pool". You can do this anytime during your turn, but if you do it at the start of your turn there may be other benefits you can gain, if you have everything planned out.

This means if you spend the AP at the start of your turn and you have your warlords ability to make a saving throw, you can do this to stop the immobilized condition so you can now move around and smack that bugbear that has been annoying you for the last 10 minutes.

The wording for the Paragon Path you are referring to is that way so you do not spend the AP, get a standard action, and gain the benefit of the Paragon Path ability. You can spend the AP for the Paragon Path ability OR for another action; not both.

Question:
Thanks for your reply. I have some other questions though. It seems that not using your action point action immediately when you declare you're spending it opens up a whole can of worms...

There are a lot of things (e.g. paragon path features) that trigger "when you spend an action point to do X." Would those trigger when you declare that you are spending your action point (even though you haven't done "X" yet, assuming you will be able to do "X" later in your turn) or when you actually do "X" later in your turn.

For example, the Miracle Worker cleric paragon path (Divine Power, p 50) has Healing Action: "When you spend an action point to use a divine healing power, each ally adjacent to you regains hit point equal to 1d6 + WIS." If I declare that I "spend an action point," walk over somewhere else, make an attack, and then use a divine healing power (as required by my paragon path feature), when in my turn would my adjacent allies get healed (this could potentially be a different group of people depending on when during my turn it triggers)? Would my allies get healed when I actually use a divine healing power (at the end of my turn) or when I declare that I am using an action point (at the beginning of my turn, on the assumption that later in my turn I will meet the prerequisite of using a divine healing power)? If it triggers when I declare I'm spending an action point (even though I haven't met the requirements yet), what happens if I can't actually use my action point action to use a divine healing power? (For example, if I declared I was spending my action point, walked over, and provoked an opportunity attack that Stunned me.) Would my allies all "unheal" the damage I just healed them because it turned out I couldn't meet the requirements of my paragon path feature? Also, do I just lose out on the extra action? (Basically - too bad for me for getting Stunned so I lose my standard action and my action point action?)

Another example is the Battle Champion cleric paragon path (Divine Power, p 46): "When you spend an action point to make an attack, one ally adjacent to you or to the target of your attack can also make a melee basic attack as a free action with a bonus to the attack roll equal to your STR." This poses similar potential problems if you don't spend your action point action immediately. Is the "ally adjacent to me" an adjacent ally when I declare I'm spending an action point or the adjacent ally when I make my action point action (for this paragon path feature to trigger - attacking)? If it occurs when I declare that I am using an action point (even though I haven't "used my action point to make an attack" yet), does that mean I can have any of my allies attack any adjacent enemy on the assumption that later in my turn that particular enemy will be the target of my attack? If so, what happens if I become immobilized, stunned, etc. and become unable to attack that enemy or if my ally actually kills the enemy on their free attack (before I've actually targeted that enemy with my attack)?

Answer:
In both cases you would need to meet all of the criteria before you can gain the benefit of having spent the AP. Let's say at the start of your turn you spend the AP. You have a Paragon Path (PP) that gives you an ability when you spend it. You still have to meet all of the criteria defined by the PP before it will trigger. Using either of your examples, if you spend the AP and use that action to sustain minor a zone you have running, then neither of those PP abilities would trigger. If you spend it, then move up and attack a creature, then, just before you attack, your second example would trigger. If you become immobilized before you get there, you would need to find another way to make use of the AP (this is part of the strategy of spending it ahead of time).

Keep in mind that you do not need to spend it at the start of your turn, but there are some PP abilities that say "if you spend an action point all of your attacks are +3 damage" (this isn't a direct quote, but just to give you an idea) so this would be beneficial to ALL attacks made on your turn.

Question:
I have a question about another example. My druid has the Blood Moon Stalker paragon path (p 96 of PHB II).

"Blood Moon Action (11th level): When you spend an action point to take an extra action while you are in beast form, you can also make a melee basic attack as a free action."

When would this trigger? When I spend an action point while in beast form or when I use my action point action while in beast form? Or do I need to be in beast form when I spend the action point AND when I take my action point action?

Answer:
Unfortunately, there isn’t an official answer for the situation you describe.

In my campaign, I would require the druid to stay in Beast form for their free attack. The action from the Action Point could be in either form.

I’ve passed along this conversation to the game’s developers. Hopefully, we’ll see an update or FAQ entry covering it soon, but until then it’s up to the campaign’s Dungeon Master to decide. The DM is always the final arbiter on how they want their campaign to run. Have fun!


This conversation happened a year and a half ago and no updates or FAQ have been released about it as far as I know. So... *shrug*

Lori Anderson

WotC Freelancer, LFR author

@LittleLorika

 

Dragon Magazine #412: Unearthed Arcana: Ships in Your Campaign

Calimshan Adventures (LFR): CALI3-3, CALI4-1, and QUES4-1

Epic Adventures (LFR): EPIC5-1 and EPIC5-3

Other LFR Adventures: NETH4-1, ADCP5-2, and MYTH6-3

 

 

 

 

This conversation happened a year and a half ago and no updates or FAQ have been released about it as far as I know. So... *shrug*

fwiw: I just now added the following to the forum FAQ:
"When I spend an action point, to I have to take the extra action immediately? No, you just need to use the extra action befor the end of your turn (discussed here)."