Atra - The Fallen
(Special thanks to Becuzwecan’s site for this piece of House Rule content)
We’ve adopted the use of action points, but not at all in the way that they’ve been done in other games. Other games use action points as a potent, powerful resource which grant a wide number of abilities. These are not so.
• A player begins with 1 + (Dex or Con modifier, whichever is higher) at 1st level, and an additional action point every third level thereafter (3d, 6th, 9th, 12th, 15th, and 18th). Using an action point is a show of either incredible speed in a round, or pushing yourself beyond your normal limits, hence Dex OR Con, whichever is higher.
• Action points are used up when spent, and are replenished via healthy rest. The rate at which players renew their actions points is intelligently discriminated by the GM. For example, characters with less than 3 action points may only gain back a fraction of an action point with each full night’s rest. Players with more than 3 action points may gain back multiple action points in a night. Also, players may receive action points back by completing tasks or doing something exceptional as a non-xp reward.
• Dehydration, extreme conditions, or severe injury may cause the loss of one or more action points. The higher level players are, the more action points can be lost.
• In combat you may spend up to 1 action point per round.
• Action points may be used in three ways: gaining a bonus to a roll, gaining an action, or a healing surge.
1) Gaining a bonus to rolling. You may spend an action point to grant a +d6 to any roll made on a d20. You may declare the use of an action point in this way after you see the result of your d20 roll, but before the GM declares the consequences of your roll. You can also spend an action point to grant yourself an AC bonus of +d6, but you must declare this before the GM makes an attack roll against you.
2) Gaining an Action. As a review: during a normal turn, you have a Standard action, a Move action, and a Swift action, each of which can be downgraded into an action lower than it if desired. Ex: Standard action → Move action or Move action → Swift action.
Using an action point you can now take an extra action (of any type) during your turn. In this way, an action point may be used to do a Move action followed by a Full-Round action.
3) Use a Healing Surge. This is a mechanic from 4th Edition D&D that can come in handy during encounters. Basically, you can burn an action point as a standard action to gain a second-wind, but only once-per-encounter when a character is bloodied. A Second Wind will replenish 1/4 of a character’s hit points + the character’s CON modifier. By combining the Healing Surge and Action Point systems, I hope to encourage players to use their Second Wind in combat, as well as various other actions.
Action points are good because they allow players to avoid fumbling certain important rolls that no one (not even you) wants them to fail at. Because they can add an action, action points allow players to do more during their turns instead of feeling stuck and limited.