How much can you say in 1 round?

Corran

Explorer
The rules assume you can speak a little as a free action each round, but they are far from crystal clear.

A few questions come to mind:

Can you only speak on your turn or also as a free action at any other point in the initiative order?

How much can you say as a move action, standard action and a full round action. This becomes important when you have a spell-like ability that gives you a Message spell useable for 1 round.

Can you talk (more than a few words) and at the same time fight / cast a spell without vocal component / disable a device without penalties?
 

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werk

First Post
I've seen this question on these boards before, and IIRC there were some varying opinions.

IMC, a round is 6 seconds, so a character can speak for up to 6 seconds as a free action, or have a 6 second conversation. The SRD says that speaking is a free action that can be done even when it is not the speaker's turn.

Also, IMC I have limited the number of free actions, so speaking uses one of those, making it a valuable commodity at times.
 

Henry

Autoexreginated
Corran said:
The rules assume you can speak a little as a free action each round, but they are far from crystal clear.

A few questions come to mind:

Can you only speak on your turn or also as a free action at any other point in the initiative order?

How much can you say as a move action, standard action and a full round action. This becomes important when you have a spell-like ability that gives you a Message spell useable for 1 round.

Can you talk (more than a few words) and at the same time fight / cast a spell without vocal component / disable a device without penalties?


All I can give is an interpretation: I don't think these have been clarified by official rules somewhere, but I'm sure someone can correct me on this if I'm wrong:

At some point, reasonable limits has to enter in, but the way we play it in our group:

Speak when you like, but only a couple of sentences. All the actions are supposed to be effectively happening over the same 6 second period, so no problems there.

You can say the same thing as a move or standard action as you can a full action - one or two short sentences. It's free BECAUSE it takes no effort, not because it's quick enough to squeeze in. You're presumed to be speaking WHILE you're charging to hit, or loading your crossbow, or shooting your bow, etc.

Fighting? Yes. Disabling a trap? Stretchy, but yes, even though I personally can't carry a conversation and type at the same time. :) Casting a spell? If it's silent, I don't see why not, but otherwise, no.

That's all my interp.
 

Infiniti2000

First Post
Corran said:
Can you only speak on your turn or also as a free action at any other point in the initiative order?
Whenever you wish. SRD: "In general, speaking is a free action that you can perform even when it isn’t your turn."

Corran said:
How much can you say as a move action, standard action and a full round action. This becomes important when you have a spell-like ability that gives you a Message spell useable for 1 round.
Speaking is a free action, meaning that it occurs before, during, or after your other actions. It does not require move actions and so forth, so you are not actually taking time from your other actions. With that in mind, it becomes illogical to suggest that you can, in effect, consume more time. If you wanted to allow it, though, I still would not allow too much more. Currently, as a free action, per the SRD: "Speaking more than few sentences is generally beyond the limit of a free action." A few sentences as you might realize is not quick. It probably takes 6 seconds for that and therefore the designers probably accounted for the time over a full round action.

Corran said:
Can you talk (more than a few words) and at the same time fight / cast a spell without vocal component / disable a device without penalties?
Yes.
 

Darth K'Trava

First Post
I think we're usually only given a chance for a sentence. Maybe two. But I don't think it's much more than that.... after all, how much can you say RL in six seconds?
 

nittanytbone

First Post
I would be fairly generous. Most adventuring parties are together 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Undoubtedly they would work out a few verbal shorthands, quick code phrases, and other signals which players are too busy to do in their limited gaming time. So if in the real world it takes 18 seconds to say, I'd just assume that the message is truncated down in the game world.

Then again, I wouldn't allow a dissertation in one round either, and communications to non-party members should be short and concise if there is to be any hope of clarity.
 

Henry

Autoexreginated
nittanytbone said:
I would be fairly generous. Most adventuring parties are together 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Undoubtedly they would work out a few verbal shorthands, quick code phrases, and other signals which players are too busy to do in their limited gaming time.

"T! Gank the Mage!" :) (aka, "Thomas, target the most obvious spellcaster and keep spoiling his spells!"

Of course, it can also means, "KILL him" but, hey, the fog of war and all that, right? :)
 

kenobi65

First Post
Think about it this way...

Back when we were in grade school, playing touch football, we had a five-second rush rule. That is, if you were playing on defense, you had to count, "one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, three-one-thousand, four-one-thousand, five-one-thousand" out loud before you could rush the quarterback. (Some people used the "five-Mississippi" rule instead.)

Speaking at a normal rate, it takes about a second to say four syllables (one-one-thousand). Thus, in a round (6 seconds), a normal rate of speech would give you something like 24 syllables (or, roughly, a sentance or two).

You can probably assume that, during combat, people are speaking more quickly (though, I'd suspect it'd be challenging to both speak loudly and quickly), so you might give them 30 or 35 syllables. Much more than that is probably just too much to say in a round.
 

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