It's time for a few small changes
The fight today with the wizard was epic. It was also excruciatingly long. Part of that was the tactics employed on both sides. Part of it was also some trends that, in high-level play, make decision-making longer than it should be. To that end, we’re getting a few new house rules:
1) Talking in combat: Speaking is a free action, which technically should be able to be done at any time once you can take actions and there is no hard limit in the book as to how many you can take. The new house rule is this: you can take as many free actions as are available to you in each round; however, you can only take each free action once. What this means for speaking is that once you have said something in combat, you may not say anything else. Casting a spell with verbal components will not count as your free action unless it’s a full-round action, in which case you may not say anything as you’re spending all round casting.
Speaking to other players out of character and in-combat is a no-no and will begin to draw the DM’s ire.
2) Hit Points: As of the next game, I will be tracking damage myself. You will not know how many hit points you have at any given time (unless you have full hit points. See below). Instead, you will know that you occupy one of five categories:
Full Health: 100% hit points
Lightly wounded: 99-75% hit points
Moderately Wounded: 74-50% hit points
Seriously Wounded: 49-25% hit points
Critically Wounded: Less than 24% hit points
Use of the Heal Skill as a Move Action can tell you which category another person is in. Most of the time, I’ll announce when you shift categories, but if you want to check on someone in particular, that’s a move action. This is based on the fact that most Skill Use is a standard action and treating injuries or administering first aid is a standard action. Diagnosing injury level is not as involved as treating those injuries, but it’s also not something you can tell at a glance either.