Actions in Combat
The fundamental actions of moving and attacking cover most of what a character wants to do in a battle. They’re described here. Other, more specialized options are touched on in Table: Actions in Combat, and covered in Special Initiative Actions and Special Attacks.
The Combat Round
Each round represents about 6 seconds in the game world. A round is an opportunity for each character involved in a combat to take an action. Anything a person could reasonably do in 6 seconds, a character can do in 1 round.
Each round’s activity begins with the character with the highest initiative result and then proceeds, in order, from there. Each round of a combat uses the same initiative order. When a character’s turn comes up in the initiative sequence, that character performs his or her entire round’s worth of actions. (For exceptions, see Attacks of Opportunity and Special Initiative Actions.)
For almost all purposes, there is no relevance to the end of a round or the beginning of a round. A round can be a segment of game time starting with the first character to act and ending with the last, but it usually means a span of time from a certain round to the same initiative number in the next round. Effects that last a certain number of rounds end just before the same initiative count that they began on.
|Table: Actions in Combat|
|Attack Actions||Attack of Opportunity1|
|Attack (aid another)||No|
|Bull rush (attack)||No|
|Escape a grapple||No|
|Feint (see the Bluff skill)||No|
|Ready (triggers an attack action)||No|
|Make a dying character stable||Yes|
|Attack a weapon||Yes|
|Attack an object||Maybe2|
|Use a skill that takes an attack action||Usually|
|Start/complete full-round action||Varies|
|Move Actions||Attack of Opportunity1|
|Move your speed||Yes|
|Use a piece of equipment||No|
|Climb (one-quarter speed)||No|
|Climb, accelerated (one-half speed)||No|
|Draw a weapon3||No|
|Holster a weapon||Yes|
|Move a heavy object||Yes|
|Open a door||No|
|Pick up an object||Yes|
|Reload a firearm with a box magazine or speed loader||Yes|
|Retrieve a stored object||Yes|
|Stand up from prone, sitting, or kneeling||Yes|
|Use a skill that takes a move action||Usually|
|Full-Round Actions||Attack of Opportunity1|
|Bull rush (charge)||No|
|Coup de grace||Yes|
|Use a skill that takes a full round||Usually|
|Reload a firearm with an internal magazine||Yes|
|Free Actions||Attack of Opportunity1|
|Drop an object||No|
|Drop to prone, sitting, or kneeling||No|
|Action Type Varies||Attack of Opportunity1|
|Load a weapon||Yes|
|Trip an opponent4||No (Yes if unarmed)|
|Use a feat5||Varies|
|No Action||Attack of Opportunity1|
1Regardless of the action, if a character moves out of a threatened square, the character usually provokes an attack
of opportunity. This column indicates whether the action itself, not moving, provokes an attack
2If the object is being held, carried, or worn by a creature, yes. If not, no.
3If the character has a base attack bonus of +1 or higher, he or she can combine this action with a regular move. If the character has the Two-Weapon Fighting feat, he or she can draw two light or one-handed weapons in the time it would normally take to draw one.
4These 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.
5The description of a feat defines its effect.