3e SRD:Standard Actions

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Standard Actions

A standard action allows a character to do something and move that character's indicated speed during a combat round. A character can move before or after performing the activity of the action.


The attack roll is:

d20 + Attack modifiers vs. AC of target

If the modified attack roll is equal to or greater than the AC of the target, the attack is successful. The attack may also be a Threat. See Critical Hits and Dealing Damage, below, for more details.

Melee Attacks

The character attacks an opponent in a space that character threatens.

Attack modifiers consist of the character's base attack bonus, size adjustment, strength adjustment, and any other bonuses that apply to the attack roll.

Unarmed Attacks

Attacks of Opportunity

If the character is attacking an armed opponent while unarmed, the character provokes an immediate attack of opportunity from the target which is resolved before the character's attack. Note that under certain circumstances, a character attacking without a weapon is still considered "armed".

Unarmed Strike Damage

An unarmed strike from a Medium-size character deals 1d3 points of damage (with a character's Strength modifier, as normal). A Small character's unarmed strike deals 1d2 points of damage. All damage is subdual damage. Unarmed strikes count as Light weapons (for purposes of two-weapons attack penalties and so on).

Dealing Normal Damage

A character can specify that it's unarmed strike will deal normal damage before it makes an attack roll, but the attack suffers a -4 penalty.

Ranged Attacks

The character attacks an opponent in line of sight to the character, within range of the ranged weapon being used. A target is in line of sight if no obstructions between the character and the target grant 100% cover. The maximum range for a thrown weapon is five range increments, for projectile weapons it is ten range increments.

Attack modifiers consist of the character's base attack bonus, size adjustment, dexterity adjustment, and any other bonuses that apply to the attack roll. Each range increment of distance between the character and the target after the first will impose a penalty, per the weapon description.

If a character shoots or throws a ranged weapon at a target that is engaged in melee with an ally, that character suffer a -4 penalty on its attack roll. Two characters are engaged in melee if they are enemies of each other and either threatens the other. (A held, unconscious, or otherwise immobilized character is not considered engaged unless he is actually being attacked.)

If a character's target (or the part of a target a character is aiming at, if it's a big target) is at least 10 feet away from the nearest ally, the character can avoid the -4 penalty, even if the character being aimed at is engaged in melee with an ally.

Attack Rolls

The attack roll is:

d20 + Attack modifiers vs. AC of target

Automatic Misses and Hits

A natural 1 on the d20 is always a miss, and a natural 20 on the d20 is always a hit.

Damage Rolls

If the attack roll result equals or exceeds the target's AC, the attack is successful, and the attacker deals damage to the defender. Roll the appropriate damage for the attacker's weapon. The damage is deducted from the target character's current hit points.

Multiple Attacks

Shooting or Throwing into a Melee

Fighting Defensively as a Standard Action

A character can choose to fight defensively when taking the attack action. If a character does so, the character takes a -4 penalty on all attacks in a round to gain a +2 dodge bonus to AC for the same round.

Critical Hits

When a character makes an attack roll and gets a natural 20, the character hits regardless of the target's AC, and the character has scored a threat. The hit might be a critical hit (or "crit"). To find out if it's a critical hit, the character immediately makes a critical roll — another AC with all the same modifiers as the AC the character just made. If the critical roll also results in a hit against the target's AC, the character's original hit is a critical hit. If the critical roll is a miss, then the character's hit is just a regular hit.

A critical hit means that the attacker rolls for damage more than once, as indicated by the weapon description for the weapon that scored the threat, with all the attacker's usual bonuses, and add the rolls together to get total damage.

Exception: Bonus damage represented as extra dice is not multiplied when a character score a critical hit.

Increased Threat Range

Sometimes a character's threat range is greater than 20. In such cases, a roll below 20 is not an automatic hit. Any attack roll that doesn't result in a hit is not a threat.

Increased Critical Multiplier

Some weapons, deal better than double attack roll with a critical hit.

Activate Magic Item

Many magic items don't need to be activated. However, certain magic items need to be activated. Activating a magic item is a standard action (unless the item description indicates otherwise).

Activating a spell completion item is the equivalent of casting a spell. It requires concentration and provokes attacks of opportunity. A the spell fizzles if the character's concentration is broken while activating the spell completion item. The character can attempt to activate the spell completion item while on the defensive, as with a spell.

Activating a spell trigger, command word, or use-activated item does not require concentration and does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Cast a Spell

Casting a spell with a casting time of 1 action is a standard action. A character can move and then cast the spell, or cast the spell and then move.

Concentration to Maintain a Spell

Anything that could break a character's concentration when casting a spell can keep a character from concentrating to maintain a spell. If a character's concentration breaks, the spell ends.

Casting on the Defensive

A character may attempt to cast a spell while on the defensive. Casting a spell while on the defensive does not provoke an attack of opportunity. It does require a Concentration check (DC 15 + spell level). Failure means that the character loses the spell.

Touch Spells in Combat

A character may take a move before casting the spell, after touching the target, or between casting the spell and touching the target. A character can automatically touch one friend or use the spell on itself, but to touch an opponent, the character must succeed at an attack.

Use Special Ability

Spell-Like Abilities

Using a 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 a character's concentration is broken, the attempt to use the ability fails, but the attempt counts as if the character had used the ability. The casting time of a spell-like ability is 1 action, making its use a standard action, unless the ability description notes otherwise.

A character may attempt to use a spell-like ability on the defensive, just as with a spell. If the Concentration check (DC 15) fails, the character can't use the ability, but the attempt counts as if the character had used the ability.

Supernatural Abilities

Using a supernatural ability is usually a standard action (unless defined otherwise by the ability description). Its use cannot be disrupted, does not require concentration, and does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Total Defense

A character doesn't attack or perform any other activity other than moving at base speed, but the character gets a +4 dodge bonus to AC for 1 round. The character's AC improves at the start of this action, so it helps against any attacks of opportunity provoked while moving.

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