Extra Turn

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This trope in its most basic form -- and it's so powerful that it got banned.

In any game that divides itself into turns, it's natural for there to be ways to change the way the turns work. The most common of these is the simplest: the spell or effect that allows you to take an extra turn. Sometimes this comes in the form of your opponent skipping their turn, which isn't quite the same thing if there are more than two people involved.

Taking extra turns tends to be very useful, and in some cases obscenely powerful—these are apt to be Game Breakers if the developers are not careful. On the flipside, if the developers are too aware of the potential for breakage, these have a good chance of being made into Useless Useful Spells.

Examples of Extra Turn include:


Card Games

  • The iconic (and heavily overpowered) Magic the Gathering card Time Walk, from the game's first edition. Other cards with this effect are often nicknamed "Time Walks" after it.
    • Numerous other spells with this effect in Magic: The Gathering qualify, many of which have "Time" in the name, such as Time Warp (a far more balanced version of Time Walk), Time Stretch (which lets you take two extra turns but costs ridiculous amounts of mana), and Walk the Aeons (which has the potential to be used an unlimited number of times thanks to its "buyback" effect, but sacrificing three lands is a hefty cost). Such effects are normally limited to blue cards, but there are exceptions such as the red spell Final Fortune, which is equivalent to the original Time Walk and also only costs 2 mana, but causes you to lose the game at the end of your extra turn—unless, of course, you manage to win before the turn is up.
  • The Yu-Gi-Oh! card game has several cards that make your opponent skip draws or other parts of their turn, but one of the most infamous is "Yata Lock". This clears all cards on the field and both players' hands, but with additional cards, you can force the draw of Yata-Garasu, and attack with that. When Yata-Garasu successfully attacks, the opponent cannot draw on their next turn, and as they have no cards in their hand, this effectively skips their turn. Repeat ad infinitum for complete victory.
    • As such, this combo and all key cards have been banned from tournaments for five years.
    • Unfortunately, it was replaced for a while with "ZA WAARUDO Lockdown", a deck based on exploiting one of the coin-flip effects of the card Arcana Force XXI: The World, an effect that lets you skip the opponent's entire turn at once, but at a cost of two of your monsters.
    • Naturally, the anime have cards that can skip whole turns without so much as a card or life point payment.
    • It's worth noting that Yata Garasu returns to the hand after it's been played, and it has just 200 ATK points. This is important because the player using the Yata-Lock must still draw a card each turn, and so is in danger of milling himself if the opponent has too many life points, since he must use his only summon for the turn resummoning Yata Garasu. Played correctly, however, this is the combo's only weakness.
      • That, and cards like Treeborn Frog and Necro Gardna that could potentially block the Yata's attack from the graveyard.
  • Uno has the "Skip" card, which skips an opponent's turn, and the "Reverse" card, which acts as a skip in a 2-player game.
  • In many card-driven strategy board games (where both sides typically alternate playing one card at a time and play the same amount of cards during each turn), players must be careful when able to play two cards at once because this may decrease their hand size and give their opponents two consecutive plays at the end of the turn with no counter.
  • Dominion: Seaside has the Outpost, which grants an extra turn after the turn it's used. However, it has two caveats that keep it from being overpowered:
    • It can't be used to take more than two turns in a row.
    • You only draw three cards instead of five after the turn is over.
    • There's also Possession (take another turn, using your opponent's hand), and Tactician (discards your hand immediately, but gives you double cards, actions, and buys next turn). The former is great (unless your opponent had a junk hand), and the latter is great (especially since you can play cards before it discards your hand).
  • The Doomtrooper card game had 'ruthless efficiency' card.
  • Bill was a Trainer in the very first Pokémon TCG set that allowed players to draw two cards, with no real cost. Since having a well-stocked hand is advantageous in Pokémon, while not allowing a "turn skip" so much it did speed up card draws beyond the "draw at the beginning of your turn" step, and used in tandem with similar cards on the same turn, could very well give its player a huge advantage over the opponent (since just by playing 4 Bills- the maximum of any card allowed in a deck- one could obtain eight turns' worth of draws in one turn). This led to the eventual change of such cards getting their own class, "Supporter", and the rule that only one Supporter can be played per turn.
    • Later on, there was a card for Dialga, a Pokémon that controls time, that could cause the opponent to skip his or her next turn. However, if it went wrong, the Dialga player would have to skip a turn instead, so it barely saw any play at any level.
  • Fluxx has an Action Card called Take Another Turn. Playing it allows you to take another turn after you finish your current one.


Game Shows

  • The Free Spin on Wheel of Fortune worked like this, allowing a contestant to take another turn when his/her turn would normally end (from guessing a wrong letter or hitting Bankrupt or Lose a Turn).
    • It was retired in season 27 for Free Play, which allows the contestant to make any move without penalty — an incorrect letter or incorrect solve keeps the turn. Free Play also allows for a free vowel if hit, again without penalty if it's not in the puzzle. If a letter called on it is in the puzzle, it functions as a $500 wedge.
    • Wild Card can also act like this: it can be passed in to call a second letter during a turn, for whatever value the contestant is currently sitting on (usually the top dollar value).
  • On Press Your Luck, many of the money squares on the Big Board also had "+ One Spin", which gave the player another chance to press their luck.
    • However, since an extra spin also meant an extra chance to hit a Whammy, these free spins often ended up being passed to other contestants near the end of the game to avoid this. This strategy was taken Up to Eleven in the famous "Spin Battle" between Cathy and Lori who passed a total of eight spins between them until the inevitable Whammy was hit.


Music

  • Music example: referenced in MC Frontalot's protest song Special Delivery (most Frontalot songs have at least one gaming reference even if that's not the subject matter):

Ain’t that how every war gets scored?
Big gun wins. Winner gets a free turn.
Enemy after enemy burns.


Tabletop RPGs

  • Dungeons & Dragons has the high level arcane spell Time Stop, which basically grants the caster around three rounds in which generally nobody else can do anything.
    • Time Stop is limited in use, as the caster can't attack people or cast offensive spells during it, only move around and cast personal spells. However, one popular trick is "Time Stop, Delayed Blast Fireball, Delayed Blast Fireball, run for your life".
      • Except in the Infinity Engine games, where there's no such limit. Combined with Improved Alacrity this allows a Mage to spam their entire spellbook in less than a second of 'real time'.
        • The Infinity Engine is based on 2nd Edition D&D, while the rule change that Time Stop won't allow attacks was added as late as 3.5th Edition.
    • In 4th edition, Time Stop only grants the caster two free standard actions rather than three whole turns. It's still quite useful.
    • There's also the 'Celerity' spell chain - which let you steal time from your future self, with a net effect of taking an extra action now, and being 'dazed' on your next real turn. Sometimes seen as a gamebreaker.
      • Seen as a gamebreaker because Celerity takes place now - immediately - regardless of whose turn it is. Celerity (free standard action any time at all) plus Teleport (one standard action casting time) means that you can never get hit by anything.
    • The 9th-level Diamond Mind maneuver in the Book of Nine Swords allows the user to make two full attacks in one round. Not quite as versatile, but with feats and a Speed weapon that's still ten attacks with a greatsword (or twenty with a pair of lighter weapons).
    • In older editions of Dungeons & Dragons, the spell Haste used to let you take an extra turn. Then they bumped it down to taking an extra action. Finally, they nerfed it to a boost in speed, armour class, and one additional attack with a full attack action, since a spellcaster able to cast two spells a round is a lot more powerful than a fighter swinging his sword twice as often.
    • The 3.0 version of haste was considered a Game Breaker as it granted and extra action every turn for one round/caster level.
    • The 3.5 supplement the Expanded Psionics Handbook has the power Temporal Acceleration that grants extra turns.
    • The 3.5 Wonderous Item, Belt of Battle, allows its wearer an extra movement, standard, or Full-Round action, depending on the number of daily charges spent. Extremely useful when the one wearing it is only remotely kept in line by limits on what they can do per turn. You see that comatose great wyrm? Great Wyrm Red Dragon+shivering touch+shivering touch (it didn't even get a save).
    • The Prestige Class Swiftblade gains an extra move action as part of it's progression. It is not "broken" because 1) Swiftblade loses a few caster levels to get it, and 2) Move actions don't really have much to spend them on beyond moving.
    • 4th edition has action points that allow an extra action when spent.
    • 4th edition also has the wizard spell Steal Time, which stuns an enemy and allows the caster to make an extra action.
  • Avernum and Geneforge cross-pollinated then changed their mechanics together: carrying over from Exile, the Haste spell with modifying gear could grant Action Points equivalent to an extra turn. Quick Action skill had a chance of granting an automatic second attack, limited to the same target with the same weapon. Quick Strike skill first had a chance of granting extra AP, then after Haste was nerfed, it gave the chance to grant extra AP that again with +AP gear added up to an extra turn.
  • Enhanced Time Rate in GURPS gives you a whole extra turn every turn. It's immensely powerful even at 100 points per level.
  • Several characters in the Star Wars Miniatures Game have abilities that verge on this. Darth Revan and one version of Boba Fett let you move around before the turn starts; there are several characters that let you change how many actions you can get in each round of the turn (very useful when you have special abilities that trigger off of whether or not your target has acted yet this turn), and one character (Darth Caedus, aka Jacen Solo), whose Force power lets him take a whole extra turn.


Video Games

  • Quick or Quicken in the Final Fantasy series. (Specifically V, VI and the Tactics subseries.) Also Doublecast, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • The djinni Kite in Golden Sun is not a perfect example, but it allows the character it is used on to take two actions instead of one on the following turn.
    • This becomes basically useless when you consider the fact that you have to use up a turn in order to get an extra one later, meaning the net gain is null. Timed correctly, though, it can be somewhat useful (like if you set Kite the turn immediately before an opponent recovers from a Standard Status Effects condition), but is nowhere near a Game Breaker.
  • The Fire Emblem series, starting with the third game, has the Dancer class, which can grant any unit an additional turn (and in some instances, every adjacent unit). The sixth and seventh games also have bards, but the Tellius games use Herons instead. Thracia 776 also had "Movement Stars", with each one increasing a unit's chance to simply move again in a turn. Most characters that have them at all have only one star, so it's more of a sweet bonus than anything you could work into a strategy.
  • Many of the status inflictions in Pokémon count as extra turns for the user. When a Pokemon paralyzes its foe, there is a 25% chance that they will get an extra turn because the victim will be stiffened from the paralysis. When the foe is asleep, the Pokemon that inflicted it gets two to five consecutive extra turns, but that can be avoided if the victim has Snore or Sleep Talk. When the victim is frozen, the freezer can potentially have an infinite number of free turns, though with a 20% chance of the victim defrosting, more often than not freezing results in two extra turns at most, and sometimes none at all.
    • With the advent of double and triple battles, the benefit is lessened, though.
  • Each round of the computer game Lexi-Cross had four safety tokens, two hidden on each player's board. A safety token could be used (more properly, passed to the opponent) whenever a "bad" board space (blank, minus points, poke row/column, lose turn) was revealed on the controlling player's board or the spinner stopped on End of Turn, Lose Turn or Bankrupt.
  • The Intrude skill in the Wild ARMs series. It was practically a Game Breaker when it was first introduced in Wild ARMs 4, since the Mighty Glacier who can use it possessed obscene levels of damage and could spam it as long as there is at least one level in Force Gauge, so even boss battles tend to end once she gets her turn.
  • Most of combat in the Press Turn System and its variants used in the Shin Megami Tensei series is built around this. When an attack hits an enemy's weakness, it grants the attacker "One More" turn, a chance to attack, buff, guard or do whatever it wants, including hitting another enemy weakness for yet another turn. Enemies can take advantage of this system as well.
    • Certain powerful bosses, meanwhile, often possess an ability that shoots up their turn counts.
    • Press Turn's successor in Persona 3 and Persona 4, One More system, grants an extra turn for knocking a combatant down by exploiting their elemental weakness or scoring a critical hit.
  • All bosses in Beyond the Beyond have the ability to attack twice in one round - once during the normal agility turn cycle, and again when everyone has taken their turn. This can be somewhat frustrating when you've already been hit for big damage and need to plan out how you're going to ration your healing spells (if you've got Annie or Lorelei on your team).
    • Some late-game bosses in the Dragon Quest series also have this ability.
  • In Ogre Battle, you can use the "Emperor" tarot card during battle to give your units an extra attack after they've already taken theirs. In addition, if you manage to get a Princess unit under your command, every unit in her army will gain an extra turn as long as she is the leader.
  • In Civilization IV and Revolution, units can acquire the Blitz promotion which allows them a second attack.
  • There are card combos in Metal Gear Ac!d 2 which permits a player to take turns until they win.
    • One method is to use cost reducing cards in order to ensure that you always end your turn on 0 or low cost. As the character with the lowest cost moves next, you can prevent any other character from getting more than one turn. It can be hard to keep the cost low depending on the cards you draw.
    • On the other hand, the Infinite Turns Deck uses Extra Action type cards to allow more cards to be dealt each turn, cards that deal you a new hand in case you don't currently hold the cards you need and extra action cards that ensure you get another turn immediately regardless of your cost. It's vanishingly rare to be dealt a hand that prevents you from being able to continue the combo once you have enough copies of each card in the deck. You end up with a cost that's through the roof, but combining that with the Super Dragon weapon, which deals 15×Cost damage and you can one-shot-kill bosses before they even have a chance to move.
      • Of course if the combo does fail, you're stuck with triple-digit cost, meaning your opponents have all the time they need while you're stuck unable to fight back.
  • Dragon Quest Monsters has "Focus," which allows its user to perform two actions the following turn. It only counts for the monster that uses it, however.
  • Goombella in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door learns Rally Wink, which allows Mario to perform two actions. Since he gets to take them one right after, this is somewhat more useful. To a lesser extent, there's also the Double Dip and Triple Dip badges, which allow you multiple actions... but only when using items.
    • Macho Grubba, boss of chapter 3, can also gain the ability to attack twice.
  • Eagle from Advance Wars, has the Super CO Power (just CO Power in the first) "Lightning Strike" once he builds up enough power, to let all non-infantry units move again, essentially gaining two turns. In the first game, it also renders such units weaker, and in Black Hole Rising and Dual Strike makes them stronger. Also, in Dual Strike, his regular CO Power "Lightning Drive" does what "Lightning Strike" did in the first game.

The titular Dual Strikes in Dual Strike let every unit take two turns (and if Eagle is involved, 3).

    • Which matches so well with Andy's Super (Heal all units, massive attack and defense bonus until next turn) that its straight Game Breaker. Andy attacks with super strong troops, Eagle attacks with super strong troops, Eagle attacks again (STILL with super troops- cause his turn hasn't ended yet) then Andy goes, AGAIN. If the enemy even survives this its almost impossible that they have the strength to win, because in Advance Wars your HP strongly affects your attack power (More troops= more shots fired)
  • The easiest way to win at Puzzle Quest is to build enough mana to cast a near-endless chain of these.
  • Full Custom (and Folder Back a stronger version that lets you reuse every chip you used) in Mega Man Battle Network allows you to skip to the start of the next "turn" whenever it is used. This allows you to select another 5 (assuming you are running a fluid folder) chips to use, very nice if you are aiming for particular combination of chips.
  • In Master of Orion II, any ship fitted with a Time Warp Facilitator will get extra turn in combat at the end of every round. Makes a very deadly combination with Phasing Cloak (if the ship doesn't attack, it recloaks, becoming untouchable at the end of its turn).
  • A sufficient speed stat in Breath of Fire III would allow the character in question to take extra turns every round of battle. Generally, only Rei and Nina could ever achieve such a feat. However, there was a hidden battle formation which would allow every character in the game to have the same speed as the group's leader. It was something of a Game Breaker, to say the least.
    • It's not so much a gamebreaker as you might thing - that formation offers no other offensive or defensive bonusses; all of a sudden, you realize just how much you rely on protection from your formation!
  • Avalon Hill's World War II game Third Reich: The player with the most BRPs (resource points) moved first every turn. By careful restriction of BRP expenditures, a player could arrange to move last in one turn and first the next turn, thus moving twice in a row. This allowed the player to perform a devastating blitzkrieg attack like the ones the Nazis used during the Real Life invasions of Poland, France and the Soviet Union.
  • A Jupiter Djinni in Golden Sun: The Lost Age and Golden Sun: Dark Dawn lets a character act twice in one turn. The Final Boss in the series and every Bonus Boss can also take 2 or 3 turns at once.
  • The Frozen status in Digimon World 3 acts as this. It's similar to paralysis in Pokémon, but with the frustration turned Up to Eleven, as it is next to impossible to move when you're frozen.
    • An official version also occurs normally in battle if one digimon's speed is obscenely higher than the other's. The result is that the first digimon is so fast that it can attack twice for each time the other one attacks once.
  • In the first Mario Party game, landing on a mushroom space will give you either a "Super Mushroom" (Extra Turn) or a "Poison Mushroom" (lose next turn).
  • Baldur's Gate has time stop, one of the most useful of any spell. It allowed you to attack and cast spells while using it, although area of effect spells wouldn't go off until the effect ended. Which meant they'd all happen simultaneously, giving no chance for automatic defenses to activate. The only drawback was that against a few exceptionally powerful enemies, Time Stop froze time for everyone but the caster...and that enemy.