Actions and action points

Remember when you used to play a cleric and you had a chance to finish the big bad guy but you didn't because if you did Bob the Fighter would have died from his wounds. So you cast your heal on Bob and forgo your attack for the round. The next round Bob smashes the bag guy, grabbing the glory as you mutter quietly to yourself.

Actions in the fourth edition make it possible for you to avoid this kind of situation. First each character can use three (3) actions* during their turn. A move action, and minor action and a standard action. So how can you and Bob keep Bob alive and slay the bad guy without the cleric giving up his shot at glory?

1. Bob can give up his standard action to heal himself with a healing surge (more on these another day).
2. Clerics can use certain healing abilities as a minor action so both you and Bob can both attack the bad guy.
3. You can attack the bad guy as a standard action and use an action point to heal the Fighter as a second standard action.

Action points are not really new to fourth edition but the coolness they add to the game can not be underestimated, allowing for heroic action sequences. Characters start with one action point and can earn them through game play. Don't hoard them though, when you rest you lose any unused action points and return to one action point.

So what kind of things can you do with an action?
A move action lets you move. Depending on where you start will determine how far you can move and whether or not you are going to give anyone an opportunity for a free attack.

A minor action lets you do all sorts of things. Drawing a weapon is a minor action, many at will abilities are minor actions. Healing Word for example is a minor action that allows you and one ally to both take a healing surge.

A standard action will let you make an attack use a skill and use many of the new abilities. The Clerical powers Turn Undead and Cure Light Wounds both use a standard action.

You can also take these action in whatever order you decide.

*There is also free actions, you can take as many free actions as the DM lets you take.

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