Do you like 3e's Swift Actions?

I like 'em. 4e sorta replaced 'em with minor+reactive powers, but I like the idea of holding on to this resource that you either use to boost your current action or save up for a reaction, or can spend when you need it but it then recharges next turn.

How do others feel about it?
Minor >> Swift. Easier to keep track of, easier to remember, opens up triggered actions and handles very nicely a lot of simple stuff such as non-attacking actions and knowledge checks.
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Reflavoring: the change of flavor without changing any mechanical part of the game, no matter how small, in order to fit the mechanics to an otherwise unsupported concept. Retexturing: the change of flavor (with at most minor mechanical adaptations) in order to effortlessly create support for a concept without inventing anything new. Houseruling: the change, either minor or major, of the mechanics in order to better reflect a certain aspect of the game, including adapting the rules to fit an otherwise unsupported concept. Homebrewing: the complete invention of something new that fits within the system in order to reflect an unsupported concept.
Ideas for 5E
I think I like the way minor worked better than swift. It was simpler to understand.
Yeah I like everybody getting Standard/Move/Minor all the time.  It is one of the things I really liked about 4e.

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As I keep finding 3e players and DMs that never knew swift and immediate actions use up the same resource, I much prefer minors.

And going with that: You don't "save up for a reaction." If you don't use a swift action on your turn, then that swift action is gone. There's no saving it. You use the swift for a reaction or save for use durring your turn. Immediate actions consume the swift action of your next turn. So, more proof that the swift/immediate mechanic is clunky, prone to misinterpretation, and should be shelved.
So, more proof that the swift/immediate mechanic is clunky, prone to misinterpretation, and should be shelved.



The problem I have with it is I find 3e didn't really use it to its full potential. It was more like a smorgasbord of random actions tied to the mechanic.
Say the 3e monk. it sort of makes use of swift actions in a unified way tied to Chi, but it was still worded in a cumbersome manner.
Yeah, I wound up playing with swift/interrupt actions in a way that was intuitive to me, but wrong by the books, so we just houseruled it away.

For example, a houserule for warrior-types to use Swift/Interrupt actions-
On your turn: Use it to boost damage
As interrupt: Use it to boost AC/save against enemy attack

This is largely what power attack/expertise does, but now it's tied to a resource that, if you absolutely need to defend against the ogre's crushing blow, your defensive action jolts you just enough to prevent a powerful counterattack (but your ranger ally who was not the target of the ogre can swift action a killer blow)
While I can certainly deal with either, I am not particularly a fan of swift actions or minor actions.

I prefer free actions with the DM adjudication of, "come on, that's just too much."
I like the idea of minor actions and immediate actions being the same resource.

I don't like the idea of them having different names and being the same resource.

You could just call them ALL Swift Actions.

You'd have Swift Action: you use this on your turn.
Swift Interrupt: Use this during another event, that triggers it.
And: Swift Reaction: Use this after a triggering event.

You get one swift per turn, and can convert other actions down to swifts.

Having Swift and Immediate as the same thing with different names is a recipe for confusion.
Either give them the same name, or make them seperate. 
I like the idea of minor actions and immediate actions being the same resource.

I don't like the idea of them having different names and being the same resource.

You could just call them ALL Swift Actions.

You'd have Swift Action: you use this on your turn.
Swift Interrupt: Use this during another event, that triggers it.
And: Swift Reaction: Use this after a triggering event.

You get one swift per turn, and can convert other actions down to swifts.

Having Swift and Immediate as the same thing with different names is a recipe for confusion.
Either give them the same name, or make them seperate. 

The problem with this comes quickly apparent with class mechanics.

If you have a cleric use heal as minor action and then not be able to do anything as immediate action on the next round, I don't think it is fair for the cleric player.
Same goes for many other potential class mechanics that could use a minor action on the PC's turn to do something (warlock's curse, paladin's challenge, whatever stuff like this).

If two classes are roughly balanced with each other in power and one of them regularly needs to use a minor action on their turn to do class specic stuff, then the other guy gets a benefit from being able to use immediate action items more - why would we want this?
I'm not even sure what a swift action is.  My 3.5 PHB didn't have them included, and there were some later books that referenced them (like with Ranger spells).  So, I don't really have a clue.

That said, I think it's imperative that core game mechanics remain the same from the beginning.  Adding new things (like Swift Actions) late in the product cycle is very confusing. 
I'm not even sure what a swift action is.  My 3.5 PHB didn't have them included, and there were some later books that referenced them (like with Ranger spells).  So, I don't really have a clue.

That said, I think it's imperative that core game mechanics remain the same from the beginning.  Adding new things (like Swift Actions) late in the product cycle is very confusing. 



The swift and immediate action were actually added very early in 3.5, in the Expanded Psionics Handbook.  A swift action is like a free action, but can only be performed once per turn.  You can take a swift action any time you could normally take a free action.  Quicken Spell was errataed to turn a spell into a swift action, instead of the clunkier "free action but only once per round" description originally used.  It forms the cornerstone of many features which require the class to be able to use full-round actions at the same time, such as boosts in Tome of Battle, reallocating essentia in Magic of Incarnum, and numerous magic item abilities.

An immediate action is like a swift action that you can use when it's not your turn, consuming your next turn's swift action.  Feather fall was errataed to be an immediate action to cast.  Any ability which can be activated when it's not your turn is done as an immediate action, such as counters in Tome of Battle and many reactive spells and psionic powers.

I prefer the standard/move/minor/free/immediate/opportunity method, personally.  It allows you to distinguish between abilities which are equivalent to making an attack, abilities which are equivalent to moving, abilities which shouldn't hinder your use of either of the above but can only be done once per turn, abilities which you should be able to use as much as you want whenever you want, abilities you should be able to use reactively but only once per turn, and abilities which you should be able to use reactively as many times as the opportunity happens to do so.  Having your immediate consume your swift can make you reluctant to use your immediate.  The full-round action is something I would like to stay gone, as it reduces the dynamic nature of combat by making it better or even vital strategy to stand still.

If two classes are roughly balanced with each other in power and one of them regularly needs to use a minor action on their turn to do class specic stuff, then the other guy gets a benefit from being able to use immediate action items more - why would we want this?


You're assuming that this would be plugged into 4e, and nothing else changed.

If, hypothetically, this system is used in 5th, the game will be balanced around it.

If there were two minor actions per round, and you were to propose reducing it to 1, people could cry foul on balance. But 4e has 1 minor action, and it works fine.

You could say that in 4e classes with immediate action class features are weaker, 'cause they can't easily use immediate action items, and that's... almost true. However, the immediate action class features tend to be quite potent, so it cancels out.

4e may have a minor and an immediate, but a game with only Swift could work fine.

If two classes are roughly balanced with each other in power and one of them regularly needs to use a minor action on their turn to do class specic stuff, then the other guy gets a benefit from being able to use immediate action items more - why would we want this?



If this is the cornerstone of a new system, it's built with it in mind.

I like the idea of Swift/Minor/Interrupt taking the same resource to give a sense of momentum to the game.
Say your fightguy has a swift action "doublehurt swing". He uses it to hit for double hurtiness.
But he also has a swift[interrupt] "I ain't hurt!", he uses it to shrug off hurtiness.

He attacks an ogre with the doublehurty maneuver. Later the ogre lands a critical hit and the fighter says "I ain't hurt!". Next turn he can't use the doublehurty swing.

If it takes a swift to bring up a spellshield and swift to boost magic missile to magic machinegun, the Wizard can go pew pew pew until he needs to expend his arcane attention towards protecting himself, then he can only pew pew.

Basically instead of "once per X" mechanics, I'd rather have it be a "You can do THIS, but then you can't do THAT"
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