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Action TypesEdit

An action’s type essentially tells you how long the action takes to perform (within the framework of the 6-second combat round) and how movement is treated. There are four types of actions: standard actions, move actions, full-round actions, and free actions.

In a normal round, you can perform a standard action and a move action, or you can perform a full-round action. You can also perform one or more free actions. You can always take a move action in place of a standard action.

In some situations (such as in a surprise round), you may be limited to taking only a single move action or standard action.

Standard ActionEdit

A standard action allows you to do something, most commonly make an attack or cast a spell. See Table: Actions in Combat for other standard actions.

Move ActionEdit

A move action allows you to move your speed or perform an action that takes a similar amount of time. See Table: Actions in Combat.

You can take a move action in place of a standard action. If you move no actual distance in a round (commonly because you have swapped your move for one or more equivalent actions), you can take one 5-foot step either before, during, or after the action.

Full-Round ActionEdit

A full-round action consumes all your effort during a round. The only movement you can take during a full-round action is a 5-foot step before, during, or after the action. You can also perform free actions (see below).

Some full-round actions do not allow you to take a 5-foot step.

Some full-round actions can be taken as standard actions, but only in situations when you are limited to performing only a standard action during your round. The descriptions of specific actions, below, detail which actions allow this option.

Free ActionEdit

Free actions consume a very small amount of time and effort. You can perform one or more free actions while taking another action normally. However, there are reasonable limits on what you can really do for free.

Swift ActionEdit

A swift action consumes a very small amount of time, but represents a larger expenditure of effort and energy than a free action. You can perform one swift action per turn without affecting your ability to perform other actions.

Immediate ActionEdit

An immediate action is a swift action that can be performed at any time—even if it’s not your turn.

Not an ActionEdit

Some activities are so minor that they are not even considered free actions. They literally don’t take any time at all to do and are considered an inherent part of doing something else.

Restricted ActivityEdit

In some situations, you may be unable to take a full round’s worth of actions. In such cases, you are restricted to taking only a single standard action or a single move action (plus free actions as normal). You can’t take a full-round action (though you can start or complete a full-round action by using a standard action; see below).

Table: Actions in CombatEdit

Standard Action Attack of Opportunity1
Attack (melee) No
Attack (ranged) Yes
Attack (unarmed) Yes
Activate a magic item other than a potion or oil No
Aid another Maybe2
Bull rush Yes
Cast a spell (1 standard action casting time) Yes
Concentrate to maintain an active spell No
Dismiss a spell No
Draw a hidden weapon (see Sleight of Hand skill) No
Drink a potion or apply an oil Yes
Escape a grapple No
Feint No
Light a torch with a tindertwig Yes
Lower spell resistance No
Make a dying friend stable (see Heal skill) Yes
Overrun No
Read a scroll Yes
Ready (triggers a standard action) No
Sunder a weapon (attack) Yes
Sunder an object (attack) Maybe3
Total defense No
Turn or rebuke undead No
Use extraordinary ability No
Use skill that takes 1 action Usually
Use spell-like ability Yes
Use supernatural ability No
Move Action Attack of Opportunity1
Move Yes
Control a frightened mount Yes
Direct or redirect an active spell No
Draw a weapon4 No
Load a hand crossbow or light crossbow Yes
Open or close a door No
Mount a horse or dismount No
Move a heavy object Yes
Pick up an item Yes
Sheathe a weapon Yes
Stand up from prone Yes
Ready or loose a shield4 No
Retrieve a stored item Yes
Full-Round Action Attack of Opportunity1
Full attack No
Charge5 No
Deliver coup de grace Yes
Escape from a net Yes
Extinguish flames No
Light a torch Yes
Load a heavy or repeating crossbow Yes
Lock or unlock weapon in locked gauntlet Yes
Prepare to throw splash weapon Yes
Run Yes
Use skill that takes 1 round Usually
Use touch spell on up to six friends Yes
Withdraw5 No
Free Action Attack of Opportunity1
Cast a quickened spell No
Cease concentration on a spell No
Drop an item No
Drop to the floor No
Prepare spell components to cast a spell6 No
Speak No
No Action Attack of Opportunity1
Delay No
5-foot step No
Action Type Varies
Disarm7 Yes
Grapple7 Yes
Trip an opponent7 Yes
Use feat8 Varies
  1. Regardless of the action, if you move out of a threatened square, you usually provoke an attack of opportunity. This column indicates whether the action itself, not moving, provokes an attack of opportunity.
  2. If you aid someone performing an action that would normally provoke an attack of opportunity, then the act of aiding another provokes an attack of opportunity as well.
  3. If the object is being held, carried, or worn by a creature, yes. If not, no.
  4. If you have a base attack bonus of +1 or higher, you can combine one of these actions with a regular move. If you have the Two- Weapon Fighting feat, you can draw two light or one-handed weapons in the time it would normally take you to draw one.
  5. May be taken as a standard action if you are limited to taking only a single action in a round.
  6. Unless the component is an extremely large or awkward item.
  7. These attack forms substitute for a melee attack, not an action. As melee attacks, they can be used once in an attack or charge action, one or more times in a full attack action, or even as an attack of opportunity.
  8. The description of a feat defines its effect.



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