There are times when players will want to attempt to perform multiple actions at the same time. Usually, this is a combination of wanting to perform and action while moving. Simultaneous Actions often combine two or more normal actions that do not usually require any sort of roll on their own, such as moving across a room and picking up an item from the floor.
By combining the actions into a Simultaneous Action, these normal actions may end up requiring a roll to make sure all are completed properly.
When the player declares what he wants to do, the GM needs to first decide if the actions can or cannot be performed at the same time. He must then decide how many Action Points are required, and whether or not a roll of some sort is required.
The following example shows how one GM works this out.
Example: John, Mark, and Andy are playing Fighters. John and Mark are in a 20’ x 20’ room. In the center of the room is an opening down to the next level. Andy has recently fallen through it. To one side of the opening, our intrepid heroes have begun to attach a rope to a spike driven into the floor to rescue Andy. Unfortunately, the hammering has attracted the attention of a small group of Orcs. Hearing them coming, John’s character has already scrambled to the door to attempt to hold them off while Mark continues to finish attaching the rope. Mark is 10’ from the door and the coil of rope is halfway between where Mark is attaching it to the spike and the doorway. The GM has determined that it is now time to begin the Combat Round, and he calls for the actions of the players after having them roll initiative. John and Andy have already declared their actions.
Mark: “I want my character to run to the door, kicking the rope into the hole for Andy’s character along the way, and drawing his sword at the same time and then melee attack the Orcs with whatever Attack Bonus he has available to him.”
The GM’s thought process: “Well, drawing your sword is 1 AP, and running to the door (10’ away) is also 1 AP. Since neither interferes with the other (i.e. feet and hands), I will let him do both at the same time as for 1 AP and not require a roll. Kicking the rope into the hole as he runs across the room will slow him down slightly, but not much, so we add in the base Action Point cost for a Simple Action of 1 AP to bring the total move across the room to 2 AP. And since he is only running half of the distance that he is allowed to run in 1 AP, I won’t give him a -2 to his other actions this round. However, I am going to require him to make a Save vs. Spd to accomplish this as kicking the rope could throw him off balance and mess up his later attack. Once there he will have to make a Snap Attack, using 3 AP, and thus receive a -4 to his Attack Bonus.”
What the GM says to Mark: “Okay, you can run to the door, kicking the rope into the opening as a 2 AP action, however, you will need to make a Save vs. Spd to keep from stumbling. As long as you don’t stumble, you can then make a Snap Attack at 3 AP, giving you a -4 modifier to your Attack Bonus.
As we can see from the example, the GM determined that drawing a sword and moving at the same time was possible, and doesn’t really slow each other down, and doesn’t require a roll. Kicking the rope into the opening, on the other hand, as he is moving is what requires the roll, according to the GM’s reasoning. Moving and performing an action with his feet could upset his balance, thus the need for the Save vs. Spd. The GM then points out that the Combat Move, Snap Attack, fits the bill for the attack Mark wants to make.