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Combat Reactions v. Swift & Immediate Actions

Good afternoon, Trailblazers! :cool:

Just hoping to get a little clarification on the difference(s) between Combat Reactions and Swift/Immediate Actions.

The Trailblazer PDF makes the following statements:

"Combat reactions allow you to take certain actions when it is not your turn. You gain your first Combat Reaction at BAB +1. For each additional 5 BAB (6th, 11th, and 16th) you may make an additional Combat Reaction each turn" (p92).

"A swift action consumes a very small amount of time, but
represents a larger expenditure of effort and energy than a free action.
You can perform only a single swift action per turn" (p96).

"An immediate action is very similar to a swift action, but
can be performed at any time — even if it’s not your turn" (p96).​

So, a Combat Reaction isn't a Swift Action, because it lets you act when it isn't your turn. But, a Combat Reaction is similar to an Immediate Action because both allow you to act when it isn't your turn.

The interesting thing, to me, is that the number of Combat Reactions a combatant can make increases with BAB.

:1: Is a Combat Reaction an Immediate Action? If not, what is the difference?

:2: Are combatants with high BAB's able to make more than one Immediate Action per round?

:3: Was it ever considered in designing Trailblazer to allow multiple Swift Actions per round as BAB increased? If so, why wasn't it adopted? And, if not, do you see any downside to this? Especially, if Swift and Immediate Actions are drawn from the same limited pool as Combat Reactions?

Thanks!
 
Last edited:

GlassJaw

Explorer
Good morning Hrothgar! :cool:

Ok, some good stuff here.

This is mostly a "development timeline" issue and our development process behind this was fairly simple.

First off, the Combat Reaction system was meant as a replacement for Attacks of Opportunity. Of course our system encompasses more options but the AoO mechanic is at its core. In the SRD, a AoO is essentially an unnamed action. The closet it gets to classifying the type of action is a "free attack".

We chose to leave Combat Reactions that way.

After doing most of the TB development, we went back and included the definitions of Swift and Immediate actions mostly for completeness.

If you recall, Swift and Immediate actions came later in the 3ed development timeline. However, WotC didn't really go back and reclassify the actions in the SRD.

Is a Combat Reaction an Immediate Action? If not, what is the difference?
Combat Reactions are similar to Immediate Actions but there's one problem: like Swift Actions, you can only take one Immediate Actions per turn. Here's the complete definition of Immediate Actions from the SRD:

"Immediate Action: Much like a swift action, an immediate action consumes a very small amount of time, but represents a larger expenditure of effort and energy than a free action. However, unlike a swift action, an immediate action can be performed at any time - even if it’s not your turn. Using an immediate action on your turn is the same as using a swift action, and counts as your swift action for that turn. You cannot use another immediate action or a swift action until after your next turn if you have used an immediate action when it is not currently your turn (effectively, using an immediate action before your turn is equivalent to using your swift action for the coming turn). You also cannot use an immediate action if you are currently flat-footed."

I noticed that we didn't put the full definition in TB, which we probably should have (probably Wulf's fault :angel:).

Are combatants with high BAB's able to make more than one Immediate Action per round?
No.

Was it ever considered in designing Trailblazer to allow multiple Swift Actions per round as BAB increased? If so, why wasn't it adopted? And, if not, do you see any downside to this? Especially, if Swift and Immediate Actions are drawn from the same limited pool as Combat Reactions?
Not really, and I don't think I would do that. I'm not extremely well-versed on types of Swift Actions in various splatbooks but I'm sure I could find some very quickly that would make this a bad idea. I know there are certain spells that you can cast as a Swift Action for example.

Phew! This was kind of long and rambling - hope that helps!
 
Hrothgar,

FYI, Star Wars Saga Edition does quite a bit with swift actions. In SWSE you get up to three swift actions per round. Your first swift action is "free" per 3.5, you second swift action uses your standard action and a third swift action uses your move action. Essentially SWSE values a player's round as one swift action, one standard action (or a second swift action) and a move action (or a third and final swift action). Not sure if this helps or not but I figured I toss it out anyway.
 
Hrothgar,

FYI, Star Wars Saga Edition does quite a bit with swift actions. In SWSE you get up to three swift actions per round. Your first swift action is "free" per 3.5, you second swift action uses your standard action and a third swift action uses your move action. Essentially SWSE values a player's round as one swift action, one standard action (or a second swift action) and a move action (or a third and final swift action). Not sure if this helps or not but I figured I toss it out anyway.
:D Thank you, Black Kestrel. I've never played SWSE, but I have the book. I'd forgotten about that, entirely. Valuing swift actions in that way seems good, to me.

Does SWSE count an Attack of Opportunity as a Swift or Immediate Action or as something else?

Thanks!
 
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ValhallaGH

Villager
AoO is a free action that can be taken outside of your turn. It's not classified under any of the other action types in any d20 game I am aware of (Trailblazer, Pathfinder, Star Wars Saga, Star Wars Revised, Iron Heroes, D&D, d20 Modern, True 20, Mutants & Masterminds, and Judge Dredd).

That said, making it into an Immediate action would reverse the 4e idea of Opportunity Actions (you get one on each turn, other than your own, in an initiative round). Instead of having one for each character's turn, you'd have one for your entire round. Much like 3.0 when it first rolled out.
 

Inez Hull

Villager
I'm curious about the changes made to the combat reflexes feat. Adding Dex to BAB will at best add one combat reaction per round and often not unless you have a very high Dex bonus - why not seperate the feat from Dex and have it just add one combat reaction a round?
 

Wulf Ratbane

Villager
I'm curious about the changes made to the combat reflexes feat. Adding Dex to BAB will at best add one combat reaction per round and often not unless you have a very high Dex bonus - why not seperate the feat from Dex and have it just add one combat reaction a round?
That's exactly what we did in the revision.

My original thought was that characters of varying DEX might benefit from the feat at different levels, but that distinction is not worth the added book-keeping.
 

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