Home > Gaming > “You just killed a helicopter with a car!” “I was out of bullets.”

“You just killed a helicopter with a car!” “I was out of bullets.”

Someone recently asked me, “What are action points in the Eberron Campaign Setting, and how do they effect you character’s carbon footprint?”

Well, the second bit’s a load of bollocks. By the time action points get useful, you’ve got more than enough gold to buy enough offsets from the King’s Environmental Protection Knights.

But what they are is a trickier question. The fundamentals are that you get 5 + (your level / 2) action points, rounded down, per level. When you go up a level, you get your new number of action points, and lose any old ones.

But what do you do with the blamed things? You act like John Woo. Or Samuel L. Jackson. Or Rick O’Connell. Remember the time in Die Hard when, with two bullets left, John McClane straps his handgun to his back with packaging tape and feigns surrender, then whips out the gun and blows away two bad guys? That’s what you do with action points.

The most common and standard use of an action point is to add a d6 to pretty much any d20 roll: attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks. There are a few exceptions, but I can’t remember them off the top of my head, and they’re pretty minor things. (I’m doing this all from memory because I don’t have a copy of the Eberron book handy.) Also, the d6 goes up to a d8 around 7th level, and to a d10 around 14th (I think…). You can choose to use the action point after you’ve made the roll, but before the result has been announced. This prevents you from wasting it on a natural 20 or 1, and lets you decide if you think your +10 modifier will be enough.

There are a few other things you can use them on, like automatically stabilising when you are at negative hit points (makes you harder to kill).

There are also feats and classes based around action points: getting more of them per level, and doing more with them. I don’t remember the details of the classes off the top of my head, but some of the feats let you do things like take an extra standard action in a round by expending an action point.

To wrap this up with a little perspective, here’s an example where an action point was used in an Eberron game. In a combat between two flying airships in Sharn, City of Towers, one piloted by baddies sideswiped the one piloted by the players, sending one of them flying over the edge. In a remarkable show of heroics, and expending an action point, another member of the party reacted instantly and deftly to catch the man thrown overboard before he fell miles down, to his splattery death.

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Categories: Gaming
  1. September 11, 2007 at 9:32 am

    I’m in favor of anything that will make the game more cinematic. I do not want my real life to be more like the movies, but the more a role-playing game resembles them, the better I like it.

  2. Princess Karin
    January 16, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    I have the biggest crush on John McClain. Or is the McClane? I don’t know, but whatever happened to men like this? It seems they’ve all turned into wimps.

  3. March 29, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    great read ^_^

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