How to use Improvise Interrupt Action?

Can anyone here give me examples of how or what you’ve done with the Improvise Action?

The Improvise Action is something we’ve never really used much and tend to kind of ignore, if we were going to use the Interrupt Action, it is mostly to make a Defend Action to avoid a potential exceptional success attack.

It’s underused because we think it’s actually kind of a sucky option.
It’s description and what you could do with it is very vague and the vagueness feels sort of limiting.
The only example given is the whole saving someone from falling thing and that rarely ever comes up. Other than that there are no other examples or guidelines that can help us determine what could count as an Improvise Action. It says the action should be limited to support type things but that doesn’t give a lot of options or spark any ideas for uses…

Which is why I’m interested if anyone here uses the Improvise Action or what they’ve done with it, what the GM has allowed and such.

Also, sudden thought, wasn’t intended to ask but will ask here now…
Could Sentinel grant you more Improvise Actions too? If not, could you allow it and it would be okay? Like Sentinel increases the amount of Interrupt Actions you could do, not just Defend Actions.
So you could at tier 1 in 1 round make like… 2 defend actions, or 2 improvise actions, or do 1 of each.

If it turns out no one actually uses Improvise and I’m not a minority, should we discuss a homebrew fto make it usable? heh…


To answer a bit out of order here.

Sentinel only applies to Defend Actions RAW. I don’t think it would be broken to allow it to grant you a Defend Action if you used a regular Improvise Action, since in a way and Improvise Action would probably be used in defense of someone in the first place (the falling off a cliff example).

The thing with OL is that there are several things (feats, boons, banes, perks) that are situational. In some situations they are far more powerful or even effective, but aren’t something that might be used often.

Improvised actions are available to everyone for this reason. They aren’t something you will use often, but they are there for those situations where they can make a difference.

In a campaign you might never use the Seeing Boon, but in another, it may get used quite often. This doesn’t mean something should be made so it would be used more often though.

The improvise action has a lot of power potential, as in the given example, just as Defend Actions have a lot of power potential as well. It’s in there as a just in case, to allow that freedom of additional actions in the narrative of Combat. Not having to use it isn’t a bad thing. Having the option there if it comes up gives just a little more usability, and especially the option for a big narrative moment (rescue, save the day, etc).

Just how powerful it can be will vary a little from GM to GM b/c of this part:

Improvised interrupt actions should generally be limited to non-offensive reactions meant to assist allies. Improvised actions should help tell an exciting story, if a particular improvised action doesn’t fit the narrative well, the GM should disallow it for the sake of the story.

So a lot of GMs wouldn’t allow it to be used to throw a Heal or Resistance out, for example.


It’s a niche case to allow for the potential of adding to an exciting story, being niche is a good thing.

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Which is why I guess I was looking for examples in the first place. I want to find the niche moments where this action could be used.
I think there may have been times where an Improvise action could have been used to save their butts but since my player considers them worthless (as do I) we often tend to ignore it even if it might’ve been useful.

I’m okay with things being more niche than others. Tongues, and Reading are our 2 most underused boons. (We always use Seeing for reconnaissance, using shapeshift to blend in or through items like drones)
But for those Boons I could come up with scenarios so that people could use them and they’d feel good and special.
For Tongues I finally for the first time made the players interact with people that spoke a different language so they had to cast tongues to avoid potential conflict since they had no time to learn the language and had to react fast. Reading was used on an investigation mystery where after a while of Reading, we were able to use Detection to hunt down the scent of a guy after using Reading to detect the evidence the guy worked so hard to hide.

But Improvise Actions I can’t come up with any scenario where they could be used. Apart from the falling example written in the rulebooks.

I just really felt like making a scenario where Improvising would be used but came out empty. On a whim as well, decided to ask about it.


Some others will probably respond with a few examples ( I just happened to be the first to catch the post ). I know it’s been used once or maybe twice in my campaigns. I enjoy the stories, so hearing what others have done can be fun.

Creating situations for characters to use abilities is a great thing to do. However, with Improvise, it would feel a bit convoluted/forced to try and create a situation beforehand (and a bit counter to the design of it). It’s suppose to be an in the moment sudden decision type of thing. It would end up being pretty… pushed upon the players to force such a situation, especially when the player who might otherwise need it already has an idea for something they can do on their turn anyways, thus cutting into their own thoughts.

So many ways to do things in OL, you can easily try and create a situation, and the players will come up with an entirely different thing to use to solve/get around it.


A moment my group used improvise was just recently. They prepped a trap against my boss monster and one player used an interruption/improvisation to try to freeze water with their ice magic to make the boss accessible to the fighter.


Sorry I am late to the party on this one! I have 2 examples I can think of off the top of my head, but I know there have been more in 1 shots I have run. The first is pretty much the book example, but maybe will inspire other ideas. Both will be on our show if you wanna see it play out as well.

  1. (Ep 54 @ 56 min) Was running an NPC party against the PCs and the NPC mage got brought to 0 and smashed through the window of an upper floor cabin on a cruise ship. The NPC leader used an interrupt to dive for him and save him from falling to death. One PC tried to stop it through a feat and another PC asked to use his interrupt to stop the NPC’s interrupt but decided against it. I wish he had tried it cuz that could have been interesting not attacking each other but doing a contested roll trying to stop the NPC from grabbing his literally falling comrade. Which would change the flow of the next round since both would have been without major actions.

  2. (Ep 82 @ 36 min) (This episode will be up in 2 weeks as of posting this but there are no spoilers) @Great_Moustache used his Interrupt to cast a bolster on a dying enemy as part of his custom flaw which I think is a great use of it since it could create an unexpected twist in combat and earn a player a legend point for using their flaw too!

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