Corefinder Design Digest #19: Reactions

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In any event, below you’ll find a summation of what reactions are (including an optional rule for how to implement them), followed by a bunch of non-AoO reactions that your characters can try out in their Corefinder campaign! 



These actions are quick actions the depend in part on reflexes and your ability to react to a situation. They take very little time and often are done almost without thought. Reactions are actions that you can take when it is someone else’s turn, often in response to something they are doing. Unless otherwise specified, a reaction takes place before the action to which you are responding, so any bonus or penalty it grants applies when resolving that action. You cannot take reactions when you are flat-footed, grappled, or incapacitated.

Optional Rule: Recharging Reactions: At the beginning of an encounter, you have one reaction, which you can use at any time. Once you use your reaction, you cannot take additional reactions; however, on your turn you can spend a swift action to recharge your reaction, allowing you to take reactions once again. Unless otherwise specified, you cannot have more than one reaction at a time, though certain feats or abilities may grant you additional reactions that you can use only for specific purposes (such as the Combat Reflexes feat).

Block: You use your shield to deflect a single attack made by a creature you can see. You cause that attack roll to take a -2 penalty if the attack was against you, or a -1 penalty if the attack was directed at another target adjacent to you. You must be wielding a shield to take this action.

Brace: When an opponent uses a power combat maneuver or makes an opposed Strength check against you, they take a -1 penalty as you brace yourself against their effort.

Drop Prone: You drop to a prone position. A ranged attack against you takes a -2 penalty when you drop prone (rather than the normal -4) because you were not prone when the attack roll was made. At the GM’s discretion, being prone may affect your ability to benefit from cover.

Duck: You gain a +1 competence bonus to AC and/or Reflex save against a single attack or effect used by a creature you can see.

Extra Effort: You can expend some of your personal reserves of luck, vitality, courage, wit, and so on to add a bonus to a d20 roll you have just made. You immediately take nonlethal damage equal to 1d6 plus your level, but you may add 1d6 to the result of the die roll. You may use this ability after you have rolled but must use it before you determine the success or failure of your check.

Fall Back: When an enemy moves adjacent to you, you can move 5 feet away from them. Your movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity from one enemy you choose that is adjacent to you before you move, but it does from any other adjacent enemies. Unlike most reactions, fall back takes place after another creature acts.

Grab On: When an effect would make you move out of your current space against your will, such as a combat maneuver to push or pull you, a powerful gust of wind or rush of water, or falling off a bridge or cliff, you can gain a +2 circumstance bonus on any check or saving throw made to resist that effect if you have one free hand, or +4 if you use two (or more) hands. You can drop items you are wielding as part of taking this action. This bonus does not reduce or prevent damage from an effect (unless that damage is solely caused by your movement).

There must be some solid object, structure, or surface you can grab to brace yourself to take this action, so you cannot use it when flying or falling in midair, floating in a body of water, etc. At the GM’s option, some surfaces may be so smooth they cannot be grabbed. You must have at least one free hand to use this action.

Help: When an ally adjacent to you makes a skill check or ability check, you grant them a +1 circumstance bonus on that check. This bonus does not stack with that provided by the Aid Another action.

Hinder: When an enemy you threaten makes a skill check check, you attempt to confuse, distract, or impede them by making an attack roll against AC 10 plus the target’s BDB. The enemy takes a -2 penalty on their skill check if you succeed, or -4 on a critical success.

Parry: You use your weapon to deflect a single melee attack made by a creature you threaten and can see. You cause that attack roll to take a -2 penalty if the attack was against you, or a -1 penalty if the attack was directed at another target adjacent to you. You cannot parry ranged attacks or an attack from a creature more than one size category larger than you. You must be wielding a weapon or have the Improved Unarmed Strike feat to take this action.

Pursue: When a creature in your threatened area moves away from you, you can move 5 towards them (into the square they just vacated, if they were adjacent to you). Your movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity from the creature you pursue, but it does from other creatures.

Refocus: When you are performing an action that requires concentration and an attack or effect would cause you to lose concentration due to a failed d20 check, you can reroll the d20 check you just failed. You take a -5 penalty on this rerolled check.

Switch: When an ally moves into your square you can move 5 feet into a square they just left. Both of you must be willing and able to move. You and your ally must occupy the same number of spaces to take this action, though one of you could be Small and the other Medium.

Trade Item: When an ally uses the Pass Item action to give you an item, you can take this action to give them an item you are wielding or holding in return.


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