Combat Actions in 4E - What Do We Know?

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Obviously the combat round, and combat actions are changing on a fundamental level in 4th Edition:

• From 4e Design and Development the Longsword Fighter says: "Yeah. I thought about going high Con and using a hammer, but I wanted to start with the chance to make a couple of attacks, so I’m using rain of blows as my good weapon attack, and I went with high Wis so that I can switch to the better oppy powers later.”

• The Dragon combat example in the 4e design & development included: a free action "inferno of flame burst", a free action tail-slap, two claw attacks as a standard action, a special ability which enables a 2nd standard action (spitting a "ball of fire"), and an immediate action "cone of fire".

• Some of you have been saying that 4th edition will be borrowing from the combat system from the Star Wars SAGA rpg.

• In the most recent podcast one of the designers said that they were surprised because message board posters were "hitting bullseyes" while speculating about 4e rules. So lets speculate!

QUESTION: What can we *confidently* assume the combat round will be like in 4e? What actions will a character typically get in a given round? What specific actions will a certain class get to make that other classes will not?
Well, I think it's already been confirmed that combat is going to become more mobile, with fewer things that provoke AoOs. I would guess that fighter will be able to get into melee a LOT easier, even against Large and bigger creatures. I'd bet that the strikers (rangers, rogues, etc) will be able to move around the battle more effectively as well.

From what I've seen so far, Immediate action will be much more prevelant in the game, and I'd bet that all classes get at least something they can do as a Reaction sooner or later.
Immediate action will be much more prevelant in the game, and I'd bet that all classes get at least something they can do as a Reaction sooner or later.

In another thread it was speculated that Attacks of Opportunity (one of the few immediate actions that currently exist in 3.5) would become class-specific abilites, with Rogues being the only class that can make movement-provoked AoOs.

That seemed like a grand idea to me.
I suspect we will see several reaction/immediate action abilities similar to the Counter type combat maneuvers of ToB. A couple examples being in the Playtest report when Heron the Ranger was able to fire an arrow at the goblin sharpshooter that missed him as well as, I think, when the Warlord struck the wolf and the Warforged was able to strike back.

On the second one some people speculate that it may have just moved the warforged up in the initiative order but given that they are attempting to simplify the rules and make them easier to track and work with I think it more likely that the attack made by the Warlord allowed one or more people threatening the target creature to make an immediate attack on the creature possibly with some bonuses. Kind of similar to Bigby's Slapping hand from the D&D Mini's game which allows all creatures threatening the target creature to make an immediate AoO. That was a fun spell.
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