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P. 137 BBB
The Combat actions box shows a list of actions, of which Run is a free action.
Since a character gets one free action per action phase, this means you cannot Run and Gesture, or Gesture and Eject Smartgun Clip. Correct?

So, though I can Run and shoot, or Run and melee by RAW I can not Run and Drop prone. This would be similiar to a sliding into home base, maybe as a GM you make it an agility or Athletics test?

The question is, does that 'extra' free action take up a simple?

Run and Eject Smartgun clip = 1 free + 1 simple action.
Run and Speak = 1 free + 1 simple action.
Speak and Drop prine = 1 free + 1 simple action.
Misread the section, yeah you can turn a simple into one free action. (edit)

Though I should add in that we don't really keep up with free actions. Someone ejecting a smartgun clip and yelling "cover me", seems a bit daft to take up a simple action. So we just let it slide.
Typically that is what I also did in SR3 and prior as a common sense ruling on the fly.
But not all GMs will have the same decision, so it becomes a consistancy issue. If for example you are playing publicly run Missions games.

Of course there are extreme examples that sometimes get by or you let get by for story telling purposes.
ala: Ok I want to run to cover, and yell a at my teammate, while sliding into base (the cover) and ejecting my smartgun clip.
In reality this can and does get done. (no cyber obviously) and In game I likely would call this the players entire action. However, the player also calling his simple actions to pull a fresh clip and insert it while prone acter the slide may or may not go over.

Mechanically that was 4 free actions and 2 simple.
Would you let that pass? or would you call this 2 action phases.
I kinda like converting simple actions to free. It's only partly about how 'actiony' the action is. Free actions are generally things that take very little time or concentration, but they don't take none. It might only take a split second to concentrate on changing a smartlinked gun's mode, but you'd have to spend yet another split second to subsequently eject its clip, or turn on your lowlight vision, or whatever. When you look at those free actions, it's pretty clear why you wouldn't want to let people do two things with one free action.

Now, the examples given in the OP, which are all instances of speaking while performing a free action, are easier to swalow from a realism perspective. Especially running and speaking at the same time. But I think that combining 4 free actions and 2 simple actions into one action phase is just flat out bogus. Remember, if someone has three action phases in one turn, they are three times faster than a regular person.

Here's what we'd have under the rules in 1 turn:

Sammy runs, yells to his teammates, and drops prone behind the cover. Then he pops in his new clip, changes to burst fire, and stands. Then he fires twice while yelling an insult at the badguys. All in the amount of time it would have taken a regular person to run, yell, and drop prone. He's moving pretty fast, no?

Here's what we'd have if we let players combine actions:

Sammy runs to cover, yells to his teammates, drops prone, ejects the clip, and puts in a new clip. Then he stands, changes the gun mode to burst fire, turns on his thermovision, and fires once. Then he fires two more times.

Now he's moving in fast motion, like B-movie slapstick speed. There isn't much of a problem if you play it loose with an unenhanced person. But if you let a wired person do it, you're giving them 3x the advantage because they move 3x faster than a normal person. You don't want to be loose with a wired person because they're fast enough already. But if you give extra actions to unenhanced people, aren't you sort of taking away the advantage wired people have?

I guess it comes down to this: I can see no reason to change the way actions work. There isn't even really a realism argument -- real life doesn't work based on actions or phases, so realistically it doesn't matter if it takes someone two phases or one phase to do something... Actions and phases are pure game mechanics, and should not be treated like actual measures of time. They exist only for balance's sake, so let's leave them alone wink.gif
I also like the idea of converting extra free actions into simple actions.

While you may be able to eject a smartgun clip while running, doing it while running in the middle of combat while you have things like dodging bullets on your mind is a bit different.

Take for example the adept power Multi-tasking. It lets a character take 2 free actions per pass but only when not directly involved in combat.
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