Personal Action Points

Has anyone experimented with allowing each player to have their own pool of action points? I ran my first session with five players last Saturday. Six AP for the group to use wasn’t nearly enough. By the time the last player’s turn came up there was never any AP left and no one, and I mean NO ONE, wanted to buy AP from me.

Anyone else having a problem with this?

1 Like

I have had no problem with PCs replenishing the AP as they go. Every extra success generates one. The party is almost always capped out at 6 and they use them constantly.

Are your players just using as many AP as they can on their turn? Taking tons of extra attacks and such?

Or are they not tagging their combat skills?

I’m not sure why they would be depleting it so quickly without replenishing otherwise.

I agree it’s really quite rare for AP to be depleted though it can happen with a group that more of a “me first” mindset rather than a group one.

Without an idea as to why the group is blowing through AP so fast it’s hard to say but John Carter does use personal momentum rather than a group pool so it can work but you need to put a much stricter limit on it. 6 AP per player with 5 players is going to be way too potent for the NPCs and challenges to be more than a speed bump.

No, I have had this problem too and I have only three players as of my last session. For me, the problem is one particular player though. I know when my game continues I am going to have a talk with that player and take it from there. I may implement this same house rule but I am loathe to do so because as another person pointed out; doing so can flood the game with action points that can unbalance the game and reduce threats to insignificance.

Maybe the first thing you should do is sit your players down and discuss the need to share the action points and the success they bring. Let everyone do awesome things instead of focusing on what they can do immediately. Also, point out that you are not the enemy, and that you having action points doesn’t spell inevitable doom for them.

I would suggest this first before implementing new rules.

1 Like

If you have a problem with players just not sharing and spamming their own resources indiscriminately I think a decent workaround option is to have each player “own” 1 AP. Any leftovers are group pool. AP would be spent first from their individual stash, then the group pool. If a player wants more AP than they own or are in the group pool then they have to borrow it from another player with their permission.

Then any AP that player generates go first to the players they borrowed from, in the order they were borrowed, then to the group pool, then to their individual stash.

This would make it so the players can rein in overuse by some players by refusing to loan them AP that they have no expectation of getting back.


Don’t forget that players can do Difficulty 0 tasks to generate AP.

It’s a very cool way to have 1 character, which might not even have much combat skills, support the other players with actions such as inspiring, or shouting out enemies positions or leading the group with combat tactics, or heck, just being a decoy or super annoying (aka the Jar-Jar effect) :wink:

Perhaps do 1 personal AP and a pool equal to 6 - number pf players (minimum 1 or 2).

I would also throw in a situation tailored to the AP Hog. Wait for him to deplete the pool and throw in a task specifically suited to his skills, but difficulty 5. Watch them cry because they have no AP to spend.

Another approach may be to handle initiative differently.

I plan to have my players roll either 1d20 (or 2d6–I’ve not yet decided) and add their initiative score to determine their turn order in each combat encounter.

Shuffling the turn order each encounter limits the opportunities for the same character to hog all the AP in every encounter, unless their initiative is dramatically higher than everyone else’s.