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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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
Not an Action
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.
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).
|Standard Action||Attack of Opportunity1|
|Activate a magic item other than a potion or oil||No|
|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|
|Light a torch with a tindertwig||Yes|
|Lower spell resistance||No|
|Make a dying friend stable (see Heal skill)||Yes|
|Read a scroll||Yes|
|Ready (triggers a standard action)||No|
|Sunder a weapon (attack)||Yes|
|Sunder an object (attack)||Maybe3|
|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|
|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|
|Deliver coup de grace||Yes|
|Escape from a net||Yes|
|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|
|Use skill that takes 1 round||Usually|
|Use touch spell on up to six friends||Yes|
|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|
|No Action||Attack of Opportunity1|
|Action Type Varies|
|Trip an opponent7||Yes|