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D&D 3E
Free Actions. 
12th-May-2005 04:55 pm
bitch
Is there an official ruling on how many free actions a character can possibly do in one round?
Comments 
13th-May-2005 12:15 am (UTC)
There is no absolute rule. *Usually* the limit is one per round. A lot of entries will say as much. I usually assume you can only do one per round.

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/actionsInCombat.htm#freeActions

I've also seen the term "instantaneous action" in official text, but I've not found an official definition.
13th-May-2005 01:22 pm (UTC)
*one*???

Speaking is a free action. You're saying if I speak during my turn I shouldn't take any more free actions? Same with a 5 foot step. And reloading a crossbow with rapid reload.

Free actions are, by definition, free. DMs should put reasonable limits on them, but almost every round my characters take at least 3 free actions.
13th-May-2005 12:30 am (UTC)
From the DMG: "Free actions don't take any time at all, though your DM may limit the number of free actions you can perform in a turn."

Some of the recent books also define 'swift actions' and 'immediate actions.' Swift actions are free actions that require some concentration and effort, such as casting a quickened spell, and so can only be done once per round. Immediate actions are also free actions, but they can be done even when it isn't your turn, such as casting feather fall. They also count as having used a swift action when your turn comes up.
13th-May-2005 12:31 am (UTC)
Sorry. I should've said that swift actions are LIKE free actions in that they don't take any time, but they require substantially more concentration and effort.
13th-May-2005 01:11 am (UTC)
the limit on free actions is at DM's discretion
13th-May-2005 04:50 am (UTC)
...what the monkey said...
13th-May-2005 10:44 pm (UTC)
No official rule. I think I start to raise eyebrows at about the 3-per-round level.

The important point is just not to let people abuse them to get some sort of unfair advantage. If they want to speak, and take a five foot step and drop their weapon and draw another one with Quick Draw, and stamp their feet in irritation and take a full-round action all in the same turn, I'm okay with that. If they want to use Quick Draw to draw and drop fifty-seven daggers and create several squares of Difficult Terrain on the map, that's a no-no.
13th-May-2005 11:16 pm (UTC)
I once had a character use gloves of storing, rapid reload, and light crossbows to wield two crossbows in a round.

Was that wrong of me? :P
13th-May-2005 11:17 pm (UTC)
Grah gg accidental post instead of preview ;)
13th-May-2005 11:16 pm (UTC)
I once had a character use gloves of storing, rapid reload, and light crossbows to wield and use two crossbows at the same time.

Was that wrong of me? :P
14th-May-2005 02:10 pm (UTC)
I recall it being one free action per round.

The limit is one, but it doesn't count against any of your other actions for that round.

You can use more free actions later in the round, but they merely take less time than a standard action (I'd say 2 for every standard action).

This helps the balance issues involved with things like Quicken Spell.
14th-May-2005 03:07 pm (UTC)
As others have posted, Quicken Spell is are now covered by Swift and Immediate actions (which has also opened the door to plenty of cool inherently-Quickened low-level spells in Complete Adventurer).

Whether an extra Swift action can be taken later in the round at the expense of a Standard action has been debated on Usenet: the conclusion was "yes".
14th-May-2005 07:23 pm (UTC)
You can't have more than one quicken spell in a round anyway without an epic feat, as I remember it...
15th-May-2005 04:45 am (UTC)
You can, just one is truly a free action.
14th-May-2005 02:15 pm (UTC)
My character has Sleight of Hand high enough to make the roll as a free action with some chance of success (+21): with the rules as written I think I can frisk a dead body (on someone who isn't going to object to a failed roll i.e. be a combatant, where "Disarm" is needed instead) as many times as it takes to remove every small item from their person. I have never dared try it though: I reckon I should be allowed one attempt per Spotted item?
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