Rules Sources: Our official rules source is the Rules Compendium. In case of a conflict between that source and another (such as the online Compendium), by default we will use the RC. By default, we will also use any updates or errata published by WotC, but rules changes marked “Playtest” will not be used.
You can spend an action point to do any of the following things:
- Gain an extra standard action on your turn (once per encounter).
- Gain a +2 bonus to a d20 roll after you roll it when not in initiative.
- Describe how one of your aspects gives you an advantage on a d20 roll when not in initiative, and either reroll it or gain a +5 bonus after you roll.
- Make a declaration: suggest a plot point or narrative detail appropriate to one of your aspects.
- Use a skill in an unintended but plausible way (e.g., using Stealth instead of Bluff to hide your elf ears and pass as human, Arcana rather than Stealth to help you hide, Nature rather than Perception to track something in a natural environment).
- Avoid having the DM compel an aspect.
When not in initiative, the only limit on how many action points you can spend is that you cannot spend more than one action point at a time on the same aspect. The effects of multiple action points stack. For example, if you have the Arcane Order background and one of your aspects is “I use magic to sneak around,” you might spend three action points on a single roll:
- One to use Arcana instead of Stealth to hide.
- One to gain a +5 bonus because you are “using magic to sneak around”
- One to gain a +5 bonus because you learned how to do this while studying with your Arcane order.
In that case, you would make an Arcana check at +10 instead of a Stealth check to hide.
You can gain action points by doing any of the following:
- Reaching a milestone.
- Completing a very hard encounter that is not a milestone (at the DM’s discretion).
- Allowing the DM to compel one of your aspects. The DM will offer you an action point to do something related to one of your aspects. If you do it, you gain an action point, but it costs an action point for you not to do it.
- Roleplaying an aspect in a way that creates a concrete disadvantage for you (at the DM’s discretion).
- You gain full XP for completing major and minor quests.
- You gain 1/4 the usual XP for defeating monsters, overcoming traps, etc.
- At 2nd level, you gain 2 XP per gp of treasure your character gains. These XP are awarded when the treasure is securely yours, which typically during down time. For art objects or treasure that needs to be fenced, the XP awarded depends on what the party decides to do with the treasure. If one character keeps it, then that character receives XP for its value, regardless of whether it is sold or fenced. If the party decides to sell or fence the item, then PCs receive XP for their shares of the proceeds of the sale.
Immediate Interrupts and Opportunity Actions
Immediate and opportunity actions with the same trigger are resolved in initiative order. These actions cannot modify any features of their trigger unless that is necessary for the power granting the action to work. (So, for example, Warp in the Weave prevents you from being targeted by the triggering attack, but a fighter’s opportunity attack marks the target for later attacks, not the triggering attack.) If an immediate interrupt or opportunity action would invalidate another immediate interrupt or opportunity action with the same trigger that has already been resolved, you cannot take the action.
At the end of a round of combat, the PCs or the enemies can attempt to surrender or escape. Other ways of ending combats early may arise.
Almost every skill challenge will have a “trump” and a “fold.” The trump is an action that automatically ends the challenge with success. The fold is an action that automatically ends the challenge with failure.
Skill and Ability Checks
With some exceptions, (e.g., using Stealth to hide in combat), you make a skill check by describing an action and then rolling whatever skill or ability check the DM says to make. Some actions will automatically succeed because they are the right thing to do, and others will automatically fail because they are the wrong thing to do.
After character creation, what you can buy, how much it costs, and how long it takes to get it all depend on where you are.