A Dragon in AMBer
Free Actions are simple, nearly automatic actions that require little or no effort to accomplish. Examples include Speaking a Word, Drop an Object, Drop Prone, or Casual Observation.
A character may take a Free Action during any Combat Phase of the Combat Turn, even if it is not a phase in which he is eligible for action. A character may NOT take a Free Action PRIOR to their first action of the Turn, unless that character has delayed an action from the previous Turn ‘stored’.
Free Actions generally require no Success Tests of any kind, though special circumstances may warrant one. This is a partial list of Free Actions available to Characters in Shadowrun.
A character may use a Free Action to activate a piece of Cyberware that is not continually turned on. This equipment includes (but is not limited to) headware radio/telephone, thermographic vision and so on.
Call a Shot
A character may “Call a Shot” (aim for a vulnerable portion of a target) with this Free Action. This action must Immediately be followed by a Take Aim, Fire Weapon, Throw Weapon or Melee Attack action. Calling a Shot adds +4 to the Target Number of the attack taken (unless using Smartlink II technology).
Change Smartgun Fire Mode
Characters holding a ready Smartgun (with associated Smartlink cyberware) may change their weapons fire mode as a Free Action. They may select any mode available to the weapon (Single Shot/Semi Auto/Burst Fire or Full Auto).
A character may delay an eligible action by expending a Free Action. This is only possible during a Combat Phase in which a character is eligible for an action.
A character may drop prone at any time, as long as they are not surprised. A character who is surprised may not drop prone. A Spellcaster sustaining a spell must make a Willpower 2* Test to avoid losing concentration on the spell when dropping prone.
A character may drop a held object as a Free Action. If they are holding the object in both hands, they may drop both objects as a single Free Action.
Drop Sustained Spell
A Magician may drop a sustained spell as a Free Action.
Eject Smartgun Clip
A character holding a ready Smartgun (with associated Smartlink cyberware) may use a simple cybernetic command to eject the weapons clip. It still takes a Simple Action to insert a new, fresh clip.
A character can execute one gesture as a Free Action (However ludicrous this may sound, it pertains primarily to the use of gestures as silent communication in combat situations)
A character may observe as a Free Action. A character who is observing can only see what is immediately obvious, though active vision enhancements (thermo, low light, etc) apply. No actual Perception Tests are possible at this level of observation.
Speak a Word
Each word spoken is a Free Action, but for all practical purposes GMs will normally allow the characters to speak a single simple sentence, or fragment of a larger, more complex one. If conversations get too unrealistic for the short time-span, GMs are encouraged to enforce the one word rule.