Pathfinder – Combat, what can you do?


Exciting words!  The RP (mostly) stops here and players start thinking about spells, loading weapons, moving in close, backing up and other options that GMs just didn’t think would come up.

Now, there are a multitude of places that you can head to that will give you information on what you can do in a combat turn, even down to what each class should do on first and even subsequent turns; which seems pointless to me as there are too many unknowns!  I suppose there are more logical things to do, but surely you wouldn’t approach a L20 Vampire the same way you would a L1 Goblin!?

So, to answer the question, you can trawl google or use this little gem:

In a round of combat, you can do either :

1 Full-round action OR

1 Standard action plus 1 Move action (in any order) OR

2 Move actions (effectively trading your Standard action for a Move action)

Plus a combination of :

1 Swift or Immediate Action AND

Any number of Free Actions

A few special cases

The 5 ft. step
Provided you don’t take any other action that actually involves using a move speed (walking/running/flying…) during the same round, you can take a 5′ step as a free action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity once per round.

While most spells have a casting time of 1 Standard action, others can take a Swift action, a Full-round Action or more. For those spells that take longer to cast, you’re effectively using up a Full-round action each round for the duration of the casting.
Also, be they Quickened spells or whatever, you can never take more than 1 Swift action per round.


It really is that simple, however, if and when you need to know a little information, you can check out this:

Actions in Combat

Standard Actions Provokes an Attack of Opportunity?
Attack (melee) No
Attack (ranged) Yes
Attack (unarmed) Yes
Activate a magic item other than a potion or oil No
Aid another Maybe2
Cast a spell (1 standard action casting time) Yes
Channel energy No
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
Read a scroll Yes
Ready (triggers a standard action) No
Stabilize a dying friend (see Heal skill) Yes
Total defense No
Use extraordinary ability No
Use skill that takes 1 action Usually
Use spell-like ability Yes
Use supernatural ability No
Move Actions Attack of Opportunity1
Move Yes
Control a frightened mount Yes
Direct or redirect an active spell No
Draw a weapon3 No
Load a hand crossbow or light crossbow Yes
Open or close a door No
Mount/dismount a steed No
Move a heavy object Yes
Pick up an item (see FAQ) Yes (see FAQ)
Sheathe a weapon Yes
Stand up from prone Yes
Ready or drop a shield3 No
Retrieve a stored item Yes
Full-Round Actions Attack of Opportunity1
Full attack No
Charge4 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 a touch spell on up to six friends Yes
Withdraw4 No
Free Actions Attack of Opportunity1
Cease concentration on a spell No
Drop an item No
Drop to the floor No
Prepare spell components to cast a spell5 No
Speak No
Swift Actions Attack of Opportunity1
Cast a quickened spell No
Immediate Actions Attack of Opportunity1
Cast feather fall No
No Action Attack of Opportunity1
Delay No
5-foot step No
Action Type Varies Attack of Opportunity1
Perform a combat maneuver6 Yes
Use feat7 Varies




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