How Combat Works:
Combat is cyclical; everybody acts in turn in a regular cycle of
rounds. Combat follows this sequence:
1: Each combatant starts out flat-footed. Once a combatant acts, he or
she is no longer flat-footed.
Determine which characters are aware of their opponents at the start of
the battle. If some but not all of the combatants are aware of their
opponents, a surprise round happens before regular rounds of combat
begin. The combatants who are aware of the opponents can act in the
surprise round, so they roll for initiative. In initiative order
(highest to lowest), combatants who started the battle aware of their
opponents each take one action (either a standard action or a move
action) during the surprise round. Combatants who were unaware do not
get to act in the surprise round. If no one or everyone starts the
battle aware, there is no surprise round.
3: Combatants who have
not yet rolled initiative do so. All combatants are now ready to begin
their first regular round of combat.
4: Combatants act in initiative order (highest to lowest).
When everyone has had a turn, the combatant with the highest initiative
acts again, and steps 4 and 5 repeat until combat ends.
The Battle Grid:
battle grid is a grid of squares used to measure movement in battle.
Each square represents a five foot by five foot area in the game world.
The Combat Round:
round represents 6 seconds in the game world. A round presents an
opportunity for each character involved in a combat situation to take
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 entire round’s worth of actions. (For exceptions, see
Attacks of Opportunity and Special Initiative Actions.)
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 one round to the same initiative
count in the next round. Effects that last a certain number of rounds
end just before the same initiative count that they began on.
the start of a battle, each combatant makes an initiative check. An
initiative check is a Dexterity check. Each character applies his or
her Dexterity modifier to the roll. Characters act in order, counting
down from highest result to lowest. In every round that follows, the
characters act in the same order (unless a character takes an action
that results in his or her initiative changing; see Special Initiative
If two or more combatants have the same initiative
check result, the combatants who are tied act in order of total
initiative modifier (highest first). If there is still a tie, the tied
characters should roll again to determine which one of them goes before
the start of a battle, before you have had a chance to act
(specifically, before your first regular turn in the initiative order),
you are flat-footed. You can’t use your Reflex bonus to AC (if any)
while flat-footed. A flat-footed character can’t make attacks of opportunity.
Even if you can’t take actions, you retain your initiative score for
the duration of the encounter.
When a combat starts, if you are not aware of your opponents and they
are aware of you, you’re surprised.
all the combatants on a side are aware of their opponents, sometimes
none are, and sometimes only some of them are. Sometimes a few
combatants on each side are aware and the other combatants on each side
some but not all of the combatants are aware of their opponents, a
surprise round happens before regular rounds begin. Any combatants
aware of the opponents can act in the surprise round, so they roll for
initiative. In initiative order (highest to lowest), combatants who
started the battle aware of their opponents each take a standard action
during the surprise round. You can also take free actions during the
surprise round. If no one or everyone is surprised, no surprise round
who are unaware at the start of battle don’t get to act in the surprise
round. Unaware combatants are flat-footed because they have not acted
yet, so they lose any Reflex bonus to AC.
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
In some situations (such as in a surprise round), you may be limited to
taking only a single move action or standard action.
A standard action allows you to do something, most commonly make an
attack or cast a spell.
A move action allows you to move your speed or perform an action that
takes a similar amount of time.
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 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
Some full-round actions do not allow you to take a 5-foot step.
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.
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.
Not an Action:
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.
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).
Making an attack is a standard action.
With a normal melee weapon, you can strike any opponent within 5 feet.
(Creatures within 5 feet are considered adjacent to you.)
a ranged weapon, you can shoot at any target that is within line of
sight. If the target is more than 40 feet away from you, you suffer a
-2 penalty on your attack rolls; if the target is more than 80 feet
away from you, you suffer a -4 penalty on your attack rolls; this
pattern repeats (more than 120 ft is -6, etc).
ranged weapons are the main method of attacking from a distance, you
can throw melee weapons to strike from a distance. However, this
suffers an additional penalty on top of the distance penalty. Daggers,
spears and longspears suffer no throwing penalty. All other simple
weapons suffer a -2 throwing penalty; all other martial weapons suffer
a -5 throwing penalty.
An attack roll represents your attempts to strike your opponent.
attack roll is 1d20 + your attack bonus with the weapon you’re using.
If the result is at least as high as the target’s AC, you hit and deal
Automatic Misses and Hits:
A natural 1 (the d20 comes
up 1) on the attack roll is always a miss. A natural 20 (the d20 comes
up 20) is always a hit. A natural 20 is also a threat— a possible
If the attack roll result equals
or exceeds the target’s AC, the attack hits and you deal damage. Roll
the appropriate damage for your weapon. Damage is deducted from the
target’s current hit points.
If the target of an attack has damage reduction, the damage of the
attack is reduced by their damage reduction.
character who can make more than one attack per round may need to use
the full attack action in order to get more than one attack. If a
character has a base attack bonus of at least +11, they can make one
extra attack when making an attack as a standard action; this attack is
made with a -4 penalty (or -2, see Open Palm Fighting).
However, a full attack grants more extra attacks based on base attack
bonus (see Full Attack).
Shooting into a Melee:
you shoot a ranged weapon at a target engaged in melee with a friendly
character, you take a -4 penalty on your attack roll. Two characters
are engaged in melee if they are enemies of each other and either
threatens the other. (An unconscious or otherwise immobilized character
is not considered engaged unless he is actually being attacked.)
your target (or the part of your target you’re aiming at, if it’s a big
target) is at least 10 feet away from the nearest friendly character,
you can avoid the -4 penalty, even if the creature you’re aiming at is
engaged in melee with a friendly character.
Fighting Defensively or Furiously as a Standard Action:
can choose to fight defensively or furiously when attacking. If you do
so, you take a -4 penalty on all attacks in a round to gain a +2 dodge
bonus to AC or a +2 bonus to damage rolls for the same round. See also:
Fighting Defensively or Furiously as a Full-Round Action.
you make an attack roll and get a natural 20 (the d20 shows 20), you
hit regardless of your target’s Armor Class, and you have scored a
threat. The hit might be a critical hit (or "crit"). To find out if
it’s a critical hit, you immediately make a critical roll—another
attack roll with all the same modifiers as the attack roll you just
made. If the critical roll also results in a hit against the target’s
AC, your original hit is a critical hit. (The critical roll just needs
to hit to give you a crit. It doesn’t need to come up 20 again.) If the
critical roll is a miss, then your hit is just a regular hit.
critical hit means that you roll your damage more than once, with all
your usual bonuses, and add the rolls together. Unless otherwise
specified, the threat range for a critical hit on an attack roll is 20,
and the multiplier is ×2.
Exception: Extra damage dice over and above a weapon’s normal damage is
not multiplied when you score a critical hit.
Cast a Spell:
spells require 1 standard action to cast. You can cast such a spell
either before or after you take a move action. Casting a spell provokes
attacks of opportunity.
Note: You retain your Reflex bonus to AC while casting.
Dismiss a Spell:
Dismissing an active spell is a standard action that doesn’t provoke
attacks of opportunity.
magic items don’t need to be activated. However, certain magic items
need to be activated, especially scrolls and wands. Activating a magic
item is a standard action (unless the item description indicates
a special ability is usually a standard action, but whether it is a
standard action, a full-round action, or not an action at all is
defined by the ability.
spell-like ability works like casting a spell in that it requires
concentration and provokes attacks of opportunity. Spell-like abilities
can be disrupted. If your concentration is broken, the attempt to use
the ability fails, but the attempt counts as if you had used the
ability. The casting time of a spell-like ability is 1 standard action,
unless the ability description notes otherwise.
a supernatural ability is usually a standard action (unless defined
otherwise by the ability’s description). Its use cannot be disrupted,
does not require concentration, and does not provoke attacks of
Using an extraordinary
ability is usually not an action because most extraordinary abilities
automatically happen in a reactive fashion. Those extraordinary
abilities that are actions are usually standard actions that cannot be
disrupted, do not require concentration, and do not provoke attacks of
can defend yourself as a standard action. You get a +4 dodge bonus to
your AC for 1 round. Your AC improves at the start of this action. You
can’t combine total defense with fighting defensively or with the
benefit of the Combat Flow feat (since both of those require you to
declare an attack or full attack). You can’t make attacks of
opportunity while using total defense.
simplest move action is moving your speed. If you take this kind of
move action during your turn, you can’t also take a 5-foot step.
Many nonstandard modes of movement are covered under this category,
including climbing and swimming.
can crawl 5 feet as a move action. Crawling incurs attacks of
opportunity from any attackers who threaten you at any point of your
Draw or Sheathe
a weapon so that you can use it in combat, or putting it away so that
you have a free hand, requires a move action. This action also applies
to weapon-like objects carried in easy reach, such as wands. If your
weapon or weapon-like object is stored in a pack or otherwise out of
easy reach, treat this action as retrieving a stored item.
Drawing ammunition for use with a ranged weapon (such as arrows) is a
bows and crossbows take no appreciable time to reload and ready for
another shot, pistols take time to reload. After a pistol is shot, it
takes a move action to reload it.
Ready or Loose a
a shield to your arm to gain its shield bonus to your AC, or
unstrapping and dropping a shield so you can use your shield hand for
another purpose, requires a move action. If you have a base attack
bonus of +1 or higher, you can ready or loose a shield as a free action
combined with a regular move.
Dropping a carried (but not worn) shield is a free action.
In most cases, moving or manipulating an item is a move action.
This includes retrieving or putting away a stored item, picking up an
item, moving a heavy object, and opening a door.
Redirect a Spell:
spells allow you to redirect the effect to new targets or areas after
you cast the spell. Redirecting a spell requires a move action and does
not provoke attacks of opportunity or require concentration.
full-round action requires an entire round to complete. Thus, it can’t
be coupled with a standard or a move action, though if it does not
involve moving any distance, you can take a 5-foot step.
your base attack bonus is +6 or higher, you can make an extra attack
each round. If your base attack bonus is +11 or higher, you can make an
additional extra attack each round on top of the one from being +6 or
higher. If your base attack bonus is +16 or higher, you get a yet
another extra attack top of the first two. The first extra attack is at
a -4 penalty, the second extra attack is at a -8 penalty and the third
is at a -12 penalty.
If you get more than one attack per round
because your base attack bonus is high enough, you must use a
full-round action to get your additional attacks. You do not need to
specify the targets of your attacks ahead of time. You can see how the
earlier attacks turn out before assigning the later ones.
only movement you can take during a full attack is a 5-foot step. You
may take the step before, after, or between your attacks.
get multiple attacks because your base attack bonus is high enough, you
must make the attacks in order from highest bonus to lowest.
Two weapon Fighting:
you are holding a finessable weapon in your off-hand when you use a
full attack, you get an additional attack with that weapon. This attack
is made with no penalty.
Open Palm Fighting:
If you are
holding nothing in your off hand, the penalties for making extra melee
attacks gained from high BAB are reduced by 2 (so the first extra
attack is at -2, the second is at -6 and the third is at -10).
Deciding between an Attack or a Full Attack:
your first attack (or first two, if your BAB is at least +11), you can
decide to take a move action instead of making your remaining attacks,
depending on how the first attack turns out. If you’ve already taken a
5-foot step, you can’t use your move action to move any distance, but
you could still use a different kind of move action.
Fighting Defensively or Furiously as a Full-Round Action:
can choose to fight defensively or furiously when taking a full attack
action. If you do so, you take a -4 penalty on all attacks in a round
to gain a +2 dodge bonus to AC or a +2 to damage rolls for the same
The extra attack granted by the Cleave feat
can be taken whenever it applies. This is an exception to the normal
limit to the number of attacks you can take when not using a full
from melee combat is a full-round action. When you withdraw, you can
move up to double your speed. The square you start out in is not
considered threatened by any opponent you can see, and therefore
visible enemies do not get attacks of opportunity against you when you
move from that square. (Invisible enemies still get attacks of
opportunity against you, and you can’t withdraw from combat if you’re
blinded.) You can’t take a 5-foot step during the same round in which
If, during the process of withdrawing, you move
out of a threatened square (other than the one you started in), enemies
get attacks of opportunity as normal.
You may not withdraw using a form of movement for which you don’t have
a listed speed.
Note that despite the name of this action, you don’t actually have to
leave combat entirely.
you are limited to taking only a standard action each round you can
withdraw as a standard action. In this case, you may move up to your
speed (rather than up to double your speed).
can run as a full-round action. (If you do, you do not also get a
5-foot step.) When you run, you can move up to four times your speed in
a straight line.
You can run for a number of rounds equal to
your Constitution score, but after that you must make a DC 10
Constitution check to continue running. You must check again each round
in which you continue to run, and the DC of this check increases by 1
for each check you have made. When you fail this check, you must stop
running. A character who has run to his limit must rest for 1 minute
(10 rounds) before running again. During a rest period, a character can
move no faster than a normal move action.
You can’t run across difficult terrain or if you can’t see where you’re
A run represents a speed of about 12 miles per hour for an unencumbered
Move 5 Feet
through Difficult Terrain:
some situations, your movement may be so hampered that you don’t have
sufficient speed even to move 5 feet (a single square). In such a case,
you may spend a full-round action to move 5 feet (1 square) in any
direction, even diagonally. Even though this looks like a 5-foot step,
it’s not, and thus it provokes attacks of opportunity normally.
actions don’t take any time at all, though there may be limits to the
number of free actions you can perform in a turn. Free actions rarely
incur attacks of opportunity. Some common free actions are described
Drop an Item:
Dropping an item in your space or into an adjacent square is a free
general, speaking is a free action that you can perform even when it
isn’t your turn. Speaking more than few sentences is generally beyond
the limit of a free action.
Concentration on Spell:
You can stop concentrating on an active spell as a free action.
Take 5-Foot Step:
can move 5 feet in any round when you don’t perform any other kind of
movement. Taking this 5-foot step never provokes an attack of
opportunity. You can’t take more than one 5-foot step in a round, and
you can’t take a 5-foot step in the same round when you move any
You can take a 5-foot step before, during, or after your other actions
in the round.
can only take a 5-foot step if your movement isn’t hampered by
difficult terrain or darkness. Any creature with a speed of 5 feet or
less can’t take a 5-foot step, since moving even 5 feet requires a move
action for such a slow creature.
You may not take a 5-foot step using a form of movement for which you
do not have a listed speed.
feats let you take special actions in combat. Other feats do not
require actions themselves, but they give you a bonus when attempting
something you can already do. Some feats are not meant to be used
within the framework of combat. The individual feat descriptions tell
you what you need to know about them.
skill uses are standard actions, but some might be move actions,
full-round actions, free actions, or something else entirely.
The individual skill descriptions tell you what sorts of actions are
required to perform skills.
This section summarizes the statistics that determine success in
combat, and then details how to use them.
attack roll represents your attempt to strike your opponent on your
turn in a round. When you make an attack roll, you roll a d20 and add
your attack bonus. (Other modifiers may also apply to this roll.) If
your result equals or beats the target’s Armor Class, you hit and deal
If you make an attack with a weapon you are not proficient with, you
suffer a -8 penalty to the attack roll.
natural 1 (the d20 comes up 1) on an attack roll is always a miss. A
natural 20 (the d20 comes up 20) is always a hit. A natural 20 is also
a threat—a possible critical hit.
Your attack bonus with a melee weapon is:
attack bonus + Strength score + size modifier (if a melee weapon is
listed as finessable, you may apply your Dexterity score instead)
With a ranged or thrown weapon, your attack bonus is:
Base attack bonus + Dexterity score + size modifier
base attack bonus is an attack roll bonus derived from character class
and level or creature type and Hit Dice (or combinations thereof). Base
attack bonuses increase at different rates for different character
classes and creature types. A second attack is gained when a base
attack bonus reaches +6, a third with a base attack bonus of +11 or
higher, and a fourth with a base attack bonus of +16 or higher. Base
attack bonuses gained from different sources, such as when a character
is a multiclass character, stack.
your attack succeeds, you deal damage. The type of weapon used
determines the amount of damage you deal. Effects that modify weapon
damage apply to unarmed strikes and the natural physical attack forms
Damage reduces a target’s current hit points.
If penalties reduce the damage result to less than 1, a hit still deals
1 point of damage.
you hit with a melee attack or a thrown weapon, add your Strength score
to the damage result. If a melee weapon is listed as finessable, you
may apply your Dexterity score instead.
When you hit with a ranged attack, add your Dexterity score to the
When you deal damage with a two-handed weapon, you add double your
you lack a proper weapon, other objects can be pressed into service.
Treat such items as the weapon they most resemble, but they suffer a -2
penalty to damage.
If you attack unarmed, you can deal 1d2 damage with punches and kicks.
you multiply damage by some factor, such as on a critical hit. Roll the
damage (with all modifiers) multiple times and total the results. Note:
When you multiply damage more than once, each multiplier works off the
original, unmultiplied damage.
Exception: Extra damage dice over and above a weapon’s normal damage
(e.g. a rogue's sneak attack) are never multiplied.
you deal damage, you may choose to make that damage nonlethal.
Nonlethal damage does not reduce the target's hit points. Instead, it
is just recorded.
Armor Class (AC) represents how hard it is for opponents to land a
solid, damaging blow on you. It’s the attack roll result that an
opponent needs to achieve to hit you. Your AC is equal to the following:
10 + armor bonus + shield bonus + Reflex save bonus + size modifier
Reflex save bonus is all bonuses that apply to your Reflex save
(including your Agility score and your base save from your class).
you can’t use your Reflex bonus (if you have one). If you can’t react
to a blow, you can’t use your Reflex bonus to AC (If you don’t have a
Reflex bonus, nothing happens).
Many other factors modify your AC.
Enhancement effects make your armor better.
Dodge bonuses allow you to slip away from attacks.
Deflection bonuses are magical barriers that deflect attacks.
Natural armor improves your AC.
Your hit points measure damage. Your maximum hit points are how many
hit points you can have at one point in time.
you gain a level in a class, your maximum hit points increases. The
number of hit points is listed under the classes table. However, you
get additional hit points each level equal to your Constitution score.
If your Constitution score increases, your maximum hit points increase
as if you had always had that Constitution score.
When your hit point total reaches 0, you’re dying. When it gets to -10,
speed tells you how far you can move in a round and still do something,
such as attack or cast a spell. Your speed depends mostly on your race.
you use two move actions in a round (sometimes called a "double move"
action), you can move up to double your speed. If you spend the entire
round to run all out, you can move up to quadruple your speed.
when you are subject to an unusual or magical attack, you get a saving
throw to avoid or reduce the effect. Like an attack roll, a saving
throw is a d20 roll plus a bonus based on your class, level, and an
ability score. Your saving throw modifier is:
Base save bonus + ability score
Base Save Bonus:
saving throw modifier derived from character class and level. Base save
bonuses increase at different rates for different character classes.
Base save bonuses gained from different classes, such as when a
character is a multiclass character, stack.
Saving Throw Types:
The three different kinds of saving throws are Fortitude, Reflex, and
saves measure your ability to stand up to physical punishment or
attacks against your vitality and health. Apply your Constitution score
to your Fortitude saving throws.
These saves test your ability to dodge area attacks. Apply your
Dexterity score to your Reflex saving throws.
saves reflect your resistance to mental influence as well as many
magical effects. Apply your Wisdom score to your Will saving throws.
determine whether your target has cover from your ranged attack, choose
a corner of your square. If any line from this corner to any corner of
the target’s square passes through a square or border that blocks line
of effect or provides cover, or through a square occupied by a
creature, the target has cover (+4 to AC).
When making a melee
attack against an adjacent target, your target has cover if any line
from your square to the target’s square goes through a wall (including
a low wall). When making a melee attack against a target that isn’t
adjacent to you, use the rules for determining cover from ranged
low obstacle (such as a wall no higher than half your height) provides
cover, but only to creatures within 30 feet (6 squares) of it. The
attacker can ignore the cover if he’s closer to the obstacle than his
Attacks of Opportunity:
You can’t execute an attack of opportunity against an opponent with
cover relative to you.
Cover and Hide
You can use cover to make a Hide check. Without cover, you usually need
concealment to make a Hide check.
creature with a space larger than 5 feet (1 square) determines cover
against melee attacks slightly differently than smaller creatures do.
Such a creature can choose any square that it occupies to determine if
an opponent has cover against its melee attacks. Similarly, when making
a melee attack against such a creature, you can pick any of the squares
it occupies to determine if it has cover against you.
you don’t have line of effect to your target he is considered to have
total cover from you. You can’t make an attack against a target that
has total cover.
determine whether your target has concealment from your ranged attack,
choose a corner of your square. If any line from this corner to any
corner of the target’s square passes through a square or border that
provides concealment, the target has concealment.
When making a
melee attack against an adjacent target, your target has concealment if
his space is entirely within an effect that grants concealment. When
making a melee attack against a target that isn’t adjacent to you use
the rules for determining concealment from ranged attacks.
gives the subject of a successful attack a 20% chance that the attacker
missed because of the concealment. If the attacker hits, the defender
must make a miss chance percentile roll to avoid being struck. Multiple
concealment conditions do not stack.
You can use concealment to make a Stealth check. Without concealment,
you usually need cover to make a Stealth check.
you have line of effect to a target but not line of sight he is
considered to have total concealment from you. You can’t attack an
opponent that has total concealment, though you can attack into a
square that you think he occupies. A successful attack into a square
occupied by an enemy with total concealment has a 50% miss chance
(instead of the normal 20% miss chance for an opponent with
concealment). In addition, if you have total concealment, all creatures
you attack are considered flat-footed for that attack (i.e. they are
denied their Reflex bonus to AC).
You can’t execute an attack of
opportunity against an opponent with total concealment, even if you
know what square or squares the opponent occupies.
isn’t always effective. A shadowy area or darkness doesn’t provide any
concealment against an opponent who can see in the dark (e.g. dwarves
or orcs). Although invisibility provides total concealment, opponents
may still make Perception checks to notice the location of an invisible
character. An invisible character gains a +10 bonus on Stealth checks
(even though opponents can’t see you, they might be able to figure out
where you are using their other senses).
making a melee attack, you get a +2 flanking bonus if your opponent is
threatened by a character or creature friendly to you on the opponent’s
opposite border or opposite corner.
When in doubt about whether
two friendly characters flank an opponent in the middle, trace an
imaginary line between the two friendly characters’ centers. If the
line passes through opposite borders of the opponent’s space (including
corners of those borders), then the opponent is flanked.
Exception: If a flanker takes up more than 1 square, it gets the
flanking bonus if any square it occupies counts for flanking.
Only a creature or character that threatens the defender can help an
attacker get a flanking bonus.
The DC for a save is determined by the attack itself.
Automatic Failures and Successes:
natural 1 (the d20 comes up 1) on a saving throw is always a failure
(and may cause damage to exposed items; see Items Surviving after a
Saving Throw). A natural 20 (the d20 comes up 20) is always a success.
Attacks of Opportunity:
a combatant in a melee lets her guard down. In this case, combatants
near her can take advantage of her lapse in defense to attack her for
free. These free attacks are called attacks of opportunity.
threaten all squares into which you can make a melee attack, even when
it is not your action. Generally, that means everything in all squares
adjacent to your space (including diagonally). An enemy that takes
certain actions while in a threatened square provokes an attack of
opportunity from you. If you’re unarmed, you don’t normally threaten
any squares and thus can’t make attacks of opportunity. Ranged weapons
don't threaten squares.
Attack of Opportunity:
kinds of actions can provoke attacks of opportunity: moving out of a
threatened square and performing an action within a threatened square.
out of a threatened square usually provokes an attack of opportunity
from the threatening opponent. There are two common methods of avoiding
such an attack—the 5-foot step and the withdraw action. Remember that
even actions that normally provoke attacks of opportunity may have
exceptions to this rule.
Performing a Distracting Act:
actions, such as spellcasting, when performed in a threatened square
provoke attacks of opportunity as you divert your attention from the
Making an Attack
An attack of
opportunity is a single attack, and you can only make one per round.
You don’t have to make an attack of opportunity if you don’t want to.
experienced character gets additional regular attacks (by using the
full attack action), but at a lower attack bonus. You make your attack
of opportunity, however, at your normal attack bonus—even if you’ve
already attacked in the round.
An attack of opportunity
"interrupts" the normal flow of actions in the round. If an attack of
opportunity is provoked, immediately resolve the attack of opportunity,
then continue with the next character’s turn (or complete the current
turn, if the attack of opportunity was provoked in the middle of a
Injury and Death:
hit points measure how hard you are to kill. No matter how many hit
points you lose, your character isn’t hindered in any way until your
hit points drop to 0 or lower.
Loss of Hit
The most common way that your character gets hurt is to take lethal
damage and lose hit points.
What Hit Points
points mean two things in the game world: the ability to take physical
punishment and keep going, and the ability to turn a serious blow into
a less serious one.
Effects of Hit Point
Damage doesn’t slow you down until your current hit points reach 0 or
lower. At from 0 to -9 hit points, you’re dying.
At -10 or lower, you’re dead.
Dying (0 to -9
When your character’s current hit points drop to between 0 and -9
inclusive, he’s dying.
A dying character immediately falls unconscious and can take no actions.
A dying character loses 1 hit point every round. This continues until
the character dies or becomes stable (see below).
Dead (-10 Hit
Points or Lower):
your character’s current hit points drop to -10 or lower, he’s dead. A
character can also die from taking ability damage or suffering an
ability drain that reduces his Constitution to 0.
a character is at or above 50% of their maximum hit points, no single
attack can deal enough damage to reduce that character to zero or
lower. If a single attack would reduce that character to zero or lower,
it reduces that character to one hit point. Multiple attacks made in
one action counts as one attack for this rule.
a character has nonlethal damage exceeding their current hit points,
they immediately fall unconscious and can take no actions. They remain
unconscious until their nonlethal damage is below their current hit
points. However, a character who is unconscious due to nonlethal
damage is not dying.
Stable Characters and
On the next turn after a character is reduced to between 0 and -9
hit points and on all subsequent turns, roll 1d10 to see whether the
dying character becomes stable. If that roll is a 1, the character
becomes stable. If they don’t, they lose 1 hit point. (A character
who’s unconscious or dying can’t use any special action that changes
the initiative count on which his action occurs.)
If the character’s hit points drop to -10 or lower, they're dead.
You can keep a dying character from losing any more hit points and make them stable with a DC 15 Heal check.
If any sort of healing cures the dying character of even 1 point of damage, they stop losing hit points and become stable.
that raises their hit points to 1 or more makes them fully functional
again, just as if they'd never been reduced to 0 or lower.
stable character who has been tended by a healer or who has been
magically healed eventually regains consciousness and recovers hit
points naturally. If the character has no one to tend to them, however,
their life is still in danger, and they may yet slip away.
Recovering with Help:
hour after a tended, dying character becomes stable, roll 1d10. If that
roll is a 1, the character becomes conscious and disabled (a disabled
character can only take free actions). If he remains unconscious, they
have the same chance to revive and become disabled every hour. Even if
unconscious, they recover hit points naturally. They are back to normal
when their hit points rise to 1 or higher.
A severely wounded character left alone usually dies (basically, they
die unless the GM sees fit to save them in some fashion).
taking damage, you can recover hit points through natural healing or
through magical healing. In any case, you can’t regain hit points past
your full normal hit point total.
a full night’s rest (8 hours of rest or more), you recover 1 hit point
per character level. Any significant interruption during your rest
prevents you from healing that night.
If you undergo complete bed rest for an entire day and night, you
recover twice your character level in hit points.
Various abilities and spells can restore hit points. Such effects state
how many hit points they restore.
can never recover more hit points than you lost. Healing won’t raise
your current hit points higher than your full normal hit point total.
Whenever a character regains hit points, they lose an equal amount of nonlethal damage.
effects give a character temporary hit points. When a creature gets
temporary hit points, note down how many temporary hit points they get.
When a creature with temporary hit points takes damage, that damage is
subtracted from their temporary hit points; if the damage exceeds the
temporary hit points, the excess is subtracted from the creature's hit
If a creature gains temporary hit points while
unconscious, they regain consciousness while they have temporary hit
points (if the creature was dying, they are still dying).
hit points go away once one of two things occurs; either the duration
of the effect that granted the temporary hit points ends or damage
takes them all away. When temporary hit points are lost, they cannot be
restored as real hit points can be, even by magic.
If a creature
gains temporary hit points while they have temporary hit points, the
new temporary hit points replace the old ones; a creature can only have
temporary hit points from one source at a time.
Special Initiative Actions
Here are ways to change when you act during combat by altering your
place in the initiative order.
choosing to delay, you take no action and then act normally on whatever
initiative count you decide to act. When you delay, you voluntarily
reduce your own initiative result for the rest of the combat. When your
new, lower initiative count comes up later in the same round, you can
act normally. You can specify this new initiative result or just wait
until sometime later in the round and act then, thus fixing your new
initiative count at that point.
You never get back the time you
spend waiting to see what’s going to happen. You also can’t interrupt
anyone else’s action (as you can with a readied action).
Consequences of Delaying
initiative result becomes the count on which you took the delayed
action. If you come to your next action and have not yet performed an
action, you don’t get to take a delayed action (though you can delay
If you take a delayed action in the next round, before
your regular turn comes up, your initiative count rises to that new
point in the order of battle, and you do not get your regular action
ready action lets you prepare to take an action later, after your turn
is over but before your next one has begun. Readying a standard action
is a standard action; readying a move or free action is a move action.
It does not provoke an attack of opportunity (though the action that
you ready might do so).
can ready a standard action, a move action, or a free action. To do so,
specify the action you will take and the conditions under which you
will take it. Then, any time before your next action, you may take the
readied action in response to that condition. The action occurs just
before the action that triggers it. If the triggered action is part of
another character’s activities, you interrupt the other character.
Assuming he is still capable of doing so, he continues his actions once
you complete your readied action. Your initiative result changes. For
the rest of the encounter, your initiative result is the count on which
you took the readied action, and you act immediately ahead of the
character whose action triggered your readied action.
You can take a 5-foot step as part of your readied action, but only if
you don’t otherwise move any distance during the round.
Consequences of Readying:
initiative result becomes the count on which you took the readied
action. If you come to your next action and have not yet performed your
readied action, you don’t get to take the readied action (though you
can ready the same action again). If you take your readied action in
the next round, before your regular turn comes up, your initiative
count rises to that new point in the order of battle, and you do not
get your regular action that round.
can ready an attack against a spellcaster with the trigger "if they
start casting a spell". If you damage the spellcaster, they may lose
the spell they were trying to cast (as determined by their Fortitude