Action Points and Aspects

Action Points and Aspects

Action points are the fuel that drive characters. They allow a character to push his limits and perform great tasks. They are, however, limited.

Aspects represent important facets of a character's narrative. A character with the aspect Sworn Bodyguard finds it important to defend another person or persons, while a character with the aspect Quick in Guile is a slippery and canny operator. An aspect should also have negative qualities, as these negative qualities allow a character to gain action points.

Invoking Aspects

Aspects are very useful; a character can invoke an aspect in order to accomplish tasks that are in line with the aspect. A character with the Quick in Guile aspect could invoke the aspect in order to aid in a Bluff check or a Sneak Attack, but not to make a Knowledge check, as an example. In order to invoke an aspect, the character must spend an action point. A character may invoke an aspect to accomplish the following:

  • Gain a +5 bonus to a skill check.
  • Gain a +3 bonus to an attack check.

Compelling Aspects

Aspects may also be compelled by the Dungeon Master in order to make life more complicated for a player. A successful compel yields an action point for the player. For example, a character with the Quick in Guile aspect may be considered untrustworthy by an honest character. When this happens, the character in question gains an action point. Though this should be rare, character may resist a compel by spending an action point. A character can suggest to the DM that the aspect should be triggered if he wishes; it's then up to the DM.

Tagging Aspects

The Dungeon Master may have an NPC tag a player character's aspect in order to get a bonus to their roll. As an example, a character with the Aspect Graduate of the Academy may have this aspect tagged by an enemy in order to gain a bonus in melee combat because the character's bookish. This allows the DM to gain any of the Invoking or Miscellaneous bonuses. As a reward for the trouble, the character gains an action point.

Miscellaneous Uses

An action point may be spent to accomplish the following tasks:

  • An action point may be spent to gain a reroll on any roll. The player may choose the higher of his rolls.
  • Once per encounter, an action point may be spent to gain an extra standard action.

Number of Aspects

A character gains three aspects at first level. One aspect must be closely linked to the character's class and role; the second must be linked to the characters background; the third may be anything.

A character gains an additional aspect in the Paragon Tier and Epic Tiers. Thus, an Epic character should have five aspects total.

Example Aspects

Master of Subterfuge
You are a master of subterfuge and guile, whose words drip silver to hide the knife in your hand.
Invoke: When trying to hide or trick people.
Tag: When you fail to fool the target in a serious way, such as a major scheme or a feint in combat.
Compel: When an honest NPC who knows about your reputation refuses to work with you or sometimes unable to tell the honest truth.

Oath-Sworn Protector
You have sworn an oath to protect a character or ideal. This oath gives you strength in trying times.
Invoke: When called upon to act against enemies who are directly targeting character's oathbond.
Tag: When the oathbond is directly insulted.
Compel: Insults or threats to the oathbond can distract or force actions.