These basic functions of the game are available to all creatures, and are how the game represents common tasks like moving around, attacking, and helping others. Every creature can use basic actions, activities, free actions, and reactions except in some extreme circumstances, and many are used with great frequency. Most notably, you’ll use Interact, Step, Stride, and Strike a great deal. Many feats and other actions call upon you to use one of these basic actions or modify them to produce different effects.
For example, a more complex action might let you Stride up to double your Speed instead of just up to your Speed, and a large number of activities include a Strike.
Actions that are used less frequently but are still open to most creatures are presented in Specialty Basic Actions and Reactions. These typically have requirements that characters are less likely to meet, such as wielding a shield or having a burrow Speed.
Trigger An ally is about to use an action, activity, free action, or reaction that requires a skill check.
Requirements The ally is willing to accept your aid, and you have prepared to help (see below).
You try to aid your ally’s check in some way. To use this reaction, you must first prepare to help, usually by using an action during your turn. You must explain to the GM exactly how you’re trying to help, and she determines whether you can Aid your ally.
When you use your Aid reaction, attempt a skill check of a type decided by the GM. The typical DC for Aid is 15, but at the GM’s discretion this might change to DC 20 for particularly hard tasks or DC 10 for particularly easy tasks. The GM can add any relevant traits to your Aid reaction or to your preparatory action depending on the situation.
Success You grant your ally a +2 circumstance bonus to the triggering skill check.
Critical Success You grant your ally a +4 circumstance bonus to the triggering skill check.
Critical Failure Your ally takes a –2 circumstance penalty to the triggering skill check.
Requirements An enemy is within your melee reach, and is within the reach of one or more of your allies.
You help an ally attack the enemy or foil the enemy’s attacks against one of your allies. Choose one enemy you’re adjacent to and one ally adjacent to that enemy. Then, attempt a melee attack against the enemy’s AC.
Success The creature takes no damage. Instead, you either impose a –2 circumstance penalty to the enemy’s attack rolls against your chosen ally, or you grant your chosen ally a +2 circumstance bonus to attack rolls against your chosen enemy. You choose which effect you create. The penalty or bonus lasts until the start of your next turn.
Critical Success As a success, but the penalty is –4 or the bonus is +4.
Critical Failure Your chosen enemy either gains a +2 circumstance bonus to attack rolls against your chosen ally or your chosen ally takes a –2 penalty to attack rolls against the chosen enemy. Your chosen enemy decides which of these effects occurs. The penalty or bonus lasts until the start of your next turn.
Requirements You are prone and your Speed is at least 10 feet.
You move 5 feet.
Trigger Your turn begins.
You bide your time, waiting for the right moment to act. The rest of your turn doesn’t happen yet. Instead, you’re removed from the initiative order. You can return to the initiative order as a free action triggered by the end of any other creature’s turn. This permanently changes your initiative to the new position. You can’t use reactions until you return to the initiative order. If you Delay an entire round without returning to the initiative order, the actions from the Delayed turn are lost, your initiative doesn’t change, and your next turn occurs at your original position in the initiative order.
When you Delay, any persistent damage or other negative effects that you would have normally taken at the start or end of your turn occur immediately when you use the Delay action.
Any beneficial effects that would end at any point during your turn also end at this point. The GM might determine that other effects end when you Delay as well. Essentially, you can’t Delay to avoid negative consequences that would happen on your turn or to extend beneficial effects that would end on your turn.
Trigger Your turn begins, your turn ends, or you start to use an action.
You drop an item you’re holding in your hand or hands. Unlike most manipulate actions, Drop does not trigger reactions such as Attack of Opportunity.
You fall prone.
You use your hand or hands to manipulate an object or the terrain. You grab an unattended or stored object, open a door, or do some similar action. You may have to attempt a skill check to determine if your Interact action was successful.
You take a careful but short jump. You can Leap up to 10 feet horizontally if your Speed is at least 15 feet, or up to 15 feet horizontally if your Speed is at least 30 feet. You land in the space where your Leap ends (meaning you can typically clear a 5-foot gap if your Speed is between 15 feet and 30 feet, or a 10-foot gap if your Speed is 30 feet or more).
If you make a vertical Leap, you can move up to 3 feet vertically and 5 feet horizontally onto an elevated surface.
Jumping a greater distance requires using the Athletics skill.
You prepare to use an action that will occur outside your turn. Choose a single action you can use and designate a trigger. Your turn then ends. If the trigger you choose occurs before the start of your next turn, you can use the chosen action as a reaction (provided you still meet the requirements to use it).
If you have a multiple attack penalty and your readied action is an attack action, your readied attack takes the multiple attack penalty as if you had spent your readied attack on your turn. This is one of the few times the multiple attack penalty applies when it’s not your turn.
You scan an area for signs of unseen creatures or hidden objects. If you’re scanning for signs of unseen creatures, choose either a 30-foot cone or a 15-foot burst within line of sight. The GM attempts a single secret Perception check for you and compares the result to the Stealth DCs of any unseen creatures within the area. If your result is greater than the Stealth DC of a creature, you sense the creature until it Sneaks or otherwise avoids your detection (see Senses).
If you’re using Seek to search for hidden objects such as secret doors or hazards, you search up to a 10-foot square adjacent to you.
You may need to spend more than 1 Seek action for larger areas or if the area to be searched is cluttered. If your Perception check result equals or exceeds the DC of a hidden object (as determined by the GM or by the character Concealing the Object), you either learn its location or gain a clue as to its location (GM’s choice).
You stand up from prone.
Requirements Your Speed is at least 10 feet.
You carefully move 5 feet. Unlike most types of movement, Stepping doesn’t trigger reactions, such as Attacks of Opportunity, based on move actions or on leaving or entering a square. You can’t Step into difficult terrain or greater difficult terrain.
Move up to your Speed.
You attack with a weapon you’re wielding or with an unarmed attack, targeting one creature within your reach (for a melee attack) or within range (for a ranged attack). Roll the attack roll for the weapon or unarmed attack you are using and compare the result to the target creature’s AC to determine the effect. See Melee Strikes and Ranged Strikes for details on calculating your attack and damage rolls.
Success You deal damage according to the weapon or unarmed attack, including any circumstance and conditional bonuses and penalties.
Critical Success You critically succeed at an attack roll, dealing double damage. See the Critical Hit Damage sidebar above for more information.
Requirements You are benefiting from cover or are near a feature that allows you to take cover.
You press yourself against a wall or duck behind an obstacle to take better advantage of cover (see Cover). If you would gain a +2 circumstance bonus to AC and Reflex saves due to cover, you instead gain a +4 circumstance bonus to AC and Reflex saves from the cover while you’re taking cover.
Otherwise, you gain the normal benefits of cover. This lasts until you move from your current space, use an attack action, become
As long as you can act, you can also speak. You don’t need to spend any type of action, reaction, or free action to speak, but because a round represents 6 seconds of time, you can usually speak at most a single sentence or so per round.
Special uses of speech, such as attempting a Deception skill check to Lie or providing a Verbal casting action, can require spending actions and follow their own rules. All speech has the auditory trait. If you communicate in some way other than speech, other rules might apply. For instance, using sign language is visual instead of auditory.
Critical Hit Damage
When you double the damage on a critical success with a Strike, or with any other action or activity that multiplies damage, use the following rules to determine which values you multiply.
Roll double the usual number of damage dice for your weapon or unarmed attack.
Add double your ability modifier to damage, if one applies.
Add double any circumstance and conditional bonuses and penalties to damage.
Don’t double extra damage that occurs only on a critical hit, such as the damage from the deadly weapon trait.
unconscious, or end this effect as a free action triggered by the start or end of your turn.
Specialty Basic Actions And Reactions
These actions and reactions are useful only under specific circumstances. Some require you to have a special movement type.
Arrest A Fall
Trigger You fall.
Requirements You have a fly Speed.
You attempt an Acrobatics check to slow your fall (see Falling). The DC is typically 15, but it might be higher due to air turbulence or other circumstances.
Success You fall gently, taking no damage from the fall.
You take a deep breath. If you go without air at any point before the start of your next turn, you can use twice as many actions before you start suffocating.
Requirements You have a burrow Speed.
You dig your way through dirt, sand, or a similar loose material at a rate up to your burrow Speed. You can’t burrow through rock or other substances denser than dirt unless you have an ability that allows you to do so.
Requirements You have a fly Speed.
You move through the air up to your fly Speed. Moving upward (straight up or diagonally) counts as traveling through difficult terrain. You can move straight down 10 feet for every 5 feet of movement you spend. If you fly to the ground, you don’t take falling damage. You can use an action to Fly 0 feet to hover in place.
If you’re airborne at the end of your turn and didn’t use a Fly action this round, you fall.
Requirements You are adjacent to an allied animal companion or to a creature at least one size larger than you that you’ve controlled using the Handle an Animal action.
You move onto the controlled creature and ride it. If you’re already mounted, you can instead use this action to dismount, moving off the mount into a space adjacent to it.
Requirements A creature is not unseen by you, but it is unseen by one or more of your allies.
You indicate a creature that you can see to one or more allies, gesturing in a direction and describing the distance verbally. Allies treat that creature as sensed rather than unseen.
This works only for allies who can see you and are in a position where they could potentially sense the target. If your allies can’t hear or understand you, they must succeed at a Perception check against the creature’s Stealth DC or they misunderstand the distance to the target and believe it to be in a different location.
Raise a Shield
Requirements You are wielding a shield.
You position your shield to protect yourself. When you have Raised a Shield, you gain its listed bonuses to AC and TAC as circumstance bonuses and you can use the Shield Block reaction.
Your shield remains raised until the start of your next turn.
Trigger While you have your shield raised, you take damage from a physical attack.
You snap your shield into place to deflect a blow. Your shield prevents you from taking an amount of damage up to its Hardness— the shield takes this damage instead, possibly becoming dented or broken. See rules on dented and broken items.