Full-Round Actions

A full-round action requires an entire round to complete. If it doesn’t involve moving any distance, a character can combine it with a 5-foot step.


Charging is a special full-round action that allows a character to move more than his or her speed and attack during the action. However, there are tight restrictions on how and when a character can charge.

Movement during a Charge: The character must move before his or her attack, not after. The character must move at least 10 feet and may move up to twice his or her speed. All movement must be in a straight line, with no backing up allowed. The character must stop as soon as he or she is within striking range of his or her target (the character can’t run past the target and attack from another direction). A character can’t take a 5-foot step during the same round as a full charge.

During the surprise round (or any other time a character is limited to taking no more than a single attack action on his or her turn) the character can still use the charge action, but he or she is only allowed to move up to his or her speed (instead of up to twice his or her speed).

Attacking after a Charge: After moving, the character may make a single melee attack. The character gets a +2 bonus on the attack roll. The character also takes a –2 penalty to his or her Defense for 1 round (until the beginning of the character’s turn in the following round).

Even if the character has extra attacks, such as from having a high enough base attack bonus or from using multiple weapons, a character only gets to make one attack after a charge.

Instead of attacking the target, a character can attempt to push the target back. See Bull Rush.

Full Attack

If a character gets more than one attack per action because his or her base attack bonus is high enough, because he or she fights with two weapons, because he or she is using a double weapon, or for some special reason, the character must use the full attack action to get his or her additional attacks. The character does not need to specify the targets of his or her attacks ahead of time. The character can see how the earlier attacks turn out before assigning the later ones.

Full attack is a full-round action. Because of this, the only movement a character can take during a full attack is a 5-foot step. The character may take the step before, after, or between the attacks.

If a character gets multiple attacks based on his or her base attack bonus, the character must make the attacks in order from highest bonus to lowest. If the character is using two weapons, the character can strike with either weapon first. If the character is using a double wea­pon, the character can strike with either part of the weapon first.

Committing to a Full Attack Action: A character doesn’t have to commit to a full attack until after the first attack. The character can then decide whether to make his or her remaining attacks or to take a move action. Of course, if the character has already taken a 5-foot step, he or she can’t use his or her move action to move any distance, but the character could still draw or put away a weapon, for instance (see Move Actions).

Fighting Defensively: A character can choose to fight defensively when taking a full attack action. If the character does so, he or she takes a –4 penalty on all attacks in a round to gain a +2 dodge bonus to Defense in the same round.

Attacking with Two Weapons: If the character wields a second weapon in his or her off hand, the character can get one extra attack per round with that weapon. Fighting in this way is very difficult, however—the character takes a –6 penalty on the regular attack or attacks with his or her primary hand and a –10 penalty on the attack with his or her off hand. A character can reduce these penalties in two ways.

1. If the off-hand weapon is light, the penalties are reduced by 2 each. (An unarmed strike is always considered light.)

2. The Two-Weapon Fighting feat lessens the primary hand penalty by 2, and the off-hand penalty by 6.

Table: Two-Weapon Fighting Penalties summarizes the interaction of all these factors.

Double Weapons: A character can use a double weapon to make an extra attack as if he or she were fighting with two weapons. The penalties apply as if the off-hand weapon were light.

Table: Two-Weapon Fighting Penalties
Circumstances Primary Hand Off Hand
Normal penalties –6 –10
Off-hand weapon is light –4 –8
Two-Weapon Fighting feat –4 –4
Off-hand weapon is light and Two-Weapon Fighting feat –2 –2


A character can run all out as a full-round action. When a character runs, he or she can move up to four times his or her speed in a straight line. (The character does not get a 5-foot step.) The character loses any Dexterity bonus to Defense since he or she can’t avoid attacks. However, the character gets a +2 bonus to Defense against ranged attacks while running.

A character can run for a number of rounds equal to his or her Constitution score, but after that the character must succeed at a Constitution check (DC 10) to continue running. The character must check again each round in which he or she continues to run, and the DC of this check increases by 1 for each check the character makes. When the character fails this check, he or she must stop running. A character who has run to his or her limit must rest for 1 minute (10 rounds) before running again. During a rest period, a character can move normally, but can’t run.

A run represents a speed of about 14 miles per hour for an unencumbered human.


Withdrawing from melee combat is a full-round action. When a character withdraws, he or she can move up to twice his or her speed. (The character doesn’t also get a 5-foot step.) The square the character starts from is not considered threatened for purposes of withdrawing, and therefore enemies do not get attacks of opportunity against the character when he or she move from that square.

If while withdrawing, the character moves through another threatened square (other than the one started in) without stopping, enemies get attacks of opportunity as normal.

Some forms of movement (such as climbing and swimming) require skill checks from most creatures. A character may not withdraw using a form of movement for which that character must make a skill check.

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