Earning Action Points
Characters begin play with Action points equal to 4+ character level. They are replenished whenever a level is gained, or when an adventure path (usually 3-5 sessions) is completed (At DM's discretion). Action points may also be given out at the DM's discretion when a PC performs an especially heroic, epic or otherwise amazing feat. Examples include jumping off a tower to attack a fleeing wizard, even though the PC possesses no personal protection from falling damage and the Wizard can fly, or running back into a burning building to rescue an orphan, or trying to right a falling airship so it doesn't hit a halfling village only jumping off at the last minute.
Using Action Points
Action points provide a player with the means to alter d20 rolls in dramatic situations, reflecting the luck that can change crushing failure into heroic success. Your character has a limited number of action points, and you must use them wisely, since you don’t replenish this supply until your character attains a new level.
Main Use: You can spend an action point to improve the result of an attack roll, a skill check, an ability check, a level check, or a saving throw. Certain feats and prestige class features allow you to spend action points in different ways, but this is their most basic use. When you spend an action point, you add the result of a roll of 1d6 to your d20 roll to help you meet or exceed the target number for the roll. You can declare that you are spending an action point after you have already rolled the d20, but you must do so before the Dungeon Master reveals the result of your roll (whether the attack roll or check or saving throw succeeded or failed). You can’t use an action point on a skill check or ability check when you are taking 10 or taking 20.
You can only use action points once in a round. If you spend 1 or more action points on a special action (see below), you can’t spend a point in the same round to improve a die roll, and vice versa. No spell, power, or other special ability can allow a character to reroll an action point die. If a character suffers permanent level loss, he does not lose any action points he has remaining, and any subsequent level advancement provides new action points as normal.
If your character level is 8th or higher, you can roll more than one d6 when you spend an action point. If you do so, apply the highest result and disregard the other rolls. As a 15th-level character, for example, you can roll 3d6 and take the best result of the three. So, if you rolled 1, 2, and 4, you would apply the 4 to your d20 roll.
|Character Level||Action Point Dice (d6) Rolled|
Other Action Point Uses
Instead of altering the result of a d20 roll, you can use action points to perform one of the special actions described below. In addition, some prestige classes and feats allow you to spend action points to gain or activate specific abilities.
Activate Class Feature: You can spend 2 action points to gain another use of one of the following class features that has a limited number of uses per day: bardic music, rage, smite evil, Stunning Fist, turn or rebuke undead, or wild shape.
Hasten Infusion: On his turn, an artificer can spend 1 action point to imbue an infusion in 1 round, even if the infusion’s casting time is normally longer than 1 round.
Stabilize: When your character is dying, you can spend 1 action point to stabilize at your current hit point total. Spending an action point does nothing for you if you’re already dead.
Temporarily Gain use of a Feat: You can spend an action point to gain the use of a feat for one action; for example, a dragonmarked character can use an action point to gain the Bane of Argonessen feat to deal extra damage against a dragon he was facing.
Action Points and Monsters
Monsters normally can’t use action points and don’t gain action points as they advance in level, even if they have character class or prestige class levels. Action points are typically the purview of player characters and are thus reserved for their use.
However, monsters can use action points if they have the Heroic Spirit feat, which provides a monster with 3 action points to use at every level. The DM should not give a monster this feat without careful consideration, and even then only if the monster is crucial to the campaign and the storyline.