What is the difference between a Free Action and a No Action?

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What is the difference between a Free Action and a No Action?   Is there a defined difference spelled out?  An example of a No Action power would be lvl 6 Fighter utility Battle Awareness.

I'm pretty sure Free Actions cannot be taken if you are surprised but what about a No Action power?
What is the difference between a Free Action and a No Action?   Is there a defined difference spelled out?  An example of a No Action power would be lvl 6 Fighter utility Battle Awareness.

I'm pretty sure Free Actions cannot be taken if you are surprised but what about a No Action power?

Mostly, there are times when you can't take any action including a free action, such as when you are stunned, petrified, unconscious, dead or surprised

A No Action is still allowed at those times because it takes no action.  You can take a No Action when surprised if they are triggered by something that would allow it.  For example, the skill power Foil Ambush is a No Action triggered by being surprised that lets you not be surprised and shift half your speed.
 
  Battle Awareness could also be used when you are surprised because it triggers when you roll initiative and that occurs at the start of the surprise round.

(edited to add more examples)
No Action means "not an action." If for any reason you cannot take actions, you can still take no action. Also free actions attack powers are limited to one/turn, whereas No Actions have no limitations of any kind.
No Action means "not an action." If for any reason you cannot take actions, you can still take no action. Also free actions attack powers are limited to one/turn, whereas No Actions have no limitations of any kind.


What's your source on the 1/turn free action attack powers?
No Action means "not an action." If for any reason you cannot take actions, you can still take no action. Also free actions attack powers are limited to one/turn, whereas No Actions have no limitations of any kind.


What's your source on the 1/turn free action attack powers?

Rules Compendium page 194.  "A creature can take a free action to use an attack power only once per turn ... This limitation does not apply to free actions that a creature is forced to take by an enemy."

I don't believe you'll find that rule in the Player's Handbook since it was a rule added later on to prevent free action attack exploits.

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

No Action means "not an action." If for any reason you cannot take actions, you can still take no action. Also free actions attack powers are limited to one/turn, whereas No Actions have no limitations of any kind.


What's your source on the 1/turn free action attack powers?

Rules Compendium page 194.  "A creature can take a free action to use an attack power only once per turn ... This limitation does not apply to free actions that a creature is forced to take by an enemy."

I don't believe you'll find that rule in the Player's Handbook since it was a rule added later on to prevent free action attack exploits.




OK say I'm wielding a Harmony Blade (MBA on a crit, I'm assuming this is a free action), and a Reaper's Handaxe (MBA and shift on a kill, again is this a free action?), does that mean if I crit & kill an enemy, I can only shift then do an MBA only once against another enemy? Furthermore, if I use Dual Weapon Attack (a free action attack), would I not be able to MBA on kills and crits on that turn?

As no action type is listed for either harmony blades or reapers axes' triggered MBAs, a strong argument can be made for them being No Actions. Just keep in mind many DMs will not like that, regardless of how correct it is.
As no action type is listed for either harmony blades or reapers axes' triggered MBAs, a strong argument can be made for them being No Actions. Just keep in mind many DMs will not like that, regardless of how correct it is.

Right, if it doesn't have an action type listed, it's not an action, free or otherwise.  To say otherwise is just making stuff up.  So yeah, some DMs might not like that but if they didn't like it they shouldn't give those two weapons to you, and since they're Uncommon you shouldn't be able to make them yourself ... so ...  ;)

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”