Object Interactions Repealed (5e Variant Rule)

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How To Get Things Done[edit]

Following the RAW, characters get one free object interaction per turn - the same as actions, bonus actions, and reactions. The biggest problem with this is that every item in a character's inventory counts - even their own clothing. As a consequence,

  • Dual-wielders can only draw one weapon per turn if they want to attack. Their opening turn deprotagonizes them. (Unless they get a specific feat. This forces games with dual wielders to include feats simply for the sake of letting one character use both hands. And they can't even do it until they're level 4. It also forces such players to waste an ability score increase just to obtain the basic functionality of their character.)
  • Switching weapons without dropping one takes your entire turn - your free interaction, and your action interaction, unless you're a specific subclass of Rogue, the Thief, in which case you still need to consume your bonus action.

To remedy this issue of characters fumbling around with their gear all the time, here are my amendments to object interactions:

  1. Object Interactions are now called Environment Interactions and pertain only to exterior interactions with the setting, not stumbling around over your own two feet.
  2. Interactions with your inventory are not environment interactions. It is assumed that any item your character is using in combat was already believed to be of potential use in combat by the character beforehand, and carried in such a manner as to be readily accessed at a moment's notice. Explanation or description of how a character carries their items or accesses them is not necessary or desired. If provided, such description should be used to enhance the entertainment value of the action by providing flavor and style to the aesthetic of the shared imagined situation.
  3. Each character has 1 environment interaction.
  4. Each character also has 1 environment interaction per move, action, bonus action, and reaction.
  5. A character may use their environment interactions in conjunction with their paired actions, or forfeit the action for a stand-alone environment interaction. For example, a character could make 5 environment interactions in a single turn if they forfeited their move, action, bonus action, and reaction for the round. Alternatively, they could make an environment interaction with their move, another with their action, another with their reaction, etc.
    1. This sacrifice can happen at any time during the character's turn, and any environmental interaction can be taken, once available, at any time during the character's turn. Environmental interactions taken as part of a reaction must happen immediately before, during, or after the reaction.
  6. A character may interact with a number of objects limited only by their anatomy. (You can hold a door shut with one hand and stab people with the other, you can hold 3 wine bottles by their necks in one hand, etc.)
  7. Item exchanges between characters consume 1 environment interaction from the initiator and 0 from the recipient.

Upon implementation if these amendments, everything becomes snappier, sharper, quicker; characters move through their environment effortlessly, and truly exciting, cinematic actions can take place.

  • The dashing rogue can draw both blades and enter into a flurry of attacks on his first turn, and then deftly sheathe one to throw a dagger from his boot on the next before leaping from the balcony to swing from the chandelier!
  • You can pull every door shut behind yourself as you flee the masked murderer in the mansion!
  • The healer can throw a healing potion to each of his party members in rapid succession.
  • You can drink a potion, draw your sword, or throw caltrops at the same moment your reaction is provoked - in addition to your prepared action!
  • The fighter can decapitate a goblin with his great sword, sheath it, draw his bow, and shoot the bugbear leader in the chest with an arrow using his extra attack, in one turn.

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