I posed a question in my previous post, and I think I have an answer. The idea of certain actions on the part of a character being a “Free action” (one that occurs pretty much whenever at little or no cost to the player) exists in multiple forms. (see: Talking is a Free Action and Changing Clothes is a Free Action)

Somewhere in Encounter Power territory, I think there’s room for Free / Triggered actions that specifically interact with allies, and may even need a new set of terms to define them. It’s sort of new territory in turn-based games, since almost everything has an order and a priority, and I’m honestly not sure where “simultaneous actions” might fit. Incidentally, does anyone know of any games with examples of this?

I was thinking, perhaps the most simple application / adjudication of such a thing, would be to make Free actions “piggyback” on other actions. They are considered part of whatever action they overlap-or-are-triggered-by, as opposed to the normal before/after deal that most actions have. A character talks while they attack.

In programming terms, I think it would be equated to “while.”

It does make me wonder though, how that might alter the normal function of Free actions. As it stands, a Free action is (as suggested above) an action that takes such a negligible amount of time as to not require any real action on the part of the user. That might actually make it perfect for this application, but there’s a big “but.”

But what does it do to Free actions?

Maybe it’s that there technically are no Free actions without specific triggers? For instance, talking is an action, except when it’s made a Free action under specific circumstances? “You can talk as a Free action” when you perform X other action. Honestly, that might be the place to start. Where does life for a Free action begin?

I’ll have to ponder this for a bit and get back to you.