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A swift action consumes a very small amount of time, but represents a larger expenditure of effort and energy than a free action. Swift actions can only be taken during your turn.
You can normally perform only a single swift action per turn. However, you may degrade either your standard action or your move action to swift actions, potentially performing as many as 3 swift actions in your turn (by degrading both your standard and move actions each to swift actions, plus the one you normally get each turn). A swift action cannot be converted up to a move action or a standard action.
Common uses for swift actions include:
- Cast a Quickened Spell
- Castigate (Cleric class ability)
- Wolf Pack Tactics (Ranger class ability)
- Smite Enemy (Paladin class ability)
- Rage (Barbarian class ability)
- Enter a stance