Reliable Escape Route (Jul 19, 2012)
Basic Combat Powers for July (Jul 13, 2012)
Surge and Reserving Your Nukes (May 29, 2012)
May-End Norvendae Progress Report (May 28, 2012)
Rally, the Sixth Basic Power (May 25, 2012)
The Five-Power Chassis (May 2, 2012)
Building From the Bottom Up (Oct 5, 2011)
Back to Basics (Jul 31, 2011)

Good grief, I almost need an entry for all the posts I’m referencing. This post relates the newest versions of the player powers forming the core “character chassis” upon which all other features and powers are based.

Basic Attack [Basic, Attack]: You can use a Standard action to choose one of the following — make a melee attack against an adjacent creature, or a ranged attack against a nonadjacent creature. This is a basic action.

Refocus Effort [Basic, Focus]: Once per turn, you can use a Free action to realign your abilities. This is a basic action.

Saving Grace [Basic, Save]: You can use a Swift action to remove a single ongoing effect from yourself. This is a basic action.

These are all “basic” powers, which are the easiest to use and the most-referenced powers in the chassis. Unlike many other powers and effects, these can’t easily be prevented or denied — the Confused status effect prevents a character from Focusing and the Weakened effect prevents hitting or dealing damage.

Basic powers like attacking, focusing, and saving, are the three “standard” uses for the Action Surge power, which you’ll find below. Various classes and themes will no doubt grant access to additional “basic” actions, but these three are the main ones.

Action Surge [Surge]: Once per encounter, you can use a Free action to take an extra basic action on your turn.

Charge Attack [Attack, Move]: You can use a Standard action to move two spaces, then make a basic melee attack. You must end your move in different space than you started.

Opening Gambit [Attack]: Once per turn when a creature leaves a space adjacent to you, you can use a Quick action to make a basic melee attack.

Second Wind: Once per encounter, you can choose one of the following — use a Standard action to remove damage from yourself, or use a Swift action to remove damage from an adjacent ally.

Sudden Sprint [Move]: You can use a Sudden action to move up to four spaces. You may not end your move in the space you started.

Tactical Shift [Move]: Move up to two spaces as a Sudden action. You may end your movement in any legal space, but must move at least one space.

There are three essential movement powers: Charge Attack, Sudden Sprint, and Tactical Shift. Movement is rarely, if ever, considered basic — and this is for a variety of reasons. Gambits are nearly always triggered by movement, in contrast to D&D’s shift (compare the “five-foot step”). Movement is nearly always hazardous.

Part of the reason for this is to encourage the use of conditional bonuses based on using certain types of movement. What good is a bonus to defense against Opportunity Attacks if you never provoke them? Well, the simple answer would be to make it so you always provoke them, making such a specialized bonus effective.

Many of the more specialized combat effects that you find in D&D – Bull Rush, Mounted Combat, Overrun, Trample, Trip — will be based around a particular movement type. Your typical Bull Rush will only be possible with a Sprint under normal circumstances. Forced movement will similarly be keyed to specific movement types.

Bonuses to “speed” can be granted to different movement types. Some characters will “sprint” better than others, some characters will “shift” better than others, and some characters will “charge” better than others. But everyone starts in the same place.