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I'm playing Pathfinder for the first time and was wondering exactly what I can do with one turn in combat. My character has a reach weapon and so I an trying to figure out what my options are once a opponent has come within 5 ft. It looks like I can drop my current weapon (free action), draw another(movement action) and attack all in one turn. Is that correct?

Also on a side note, would I also get an attack of opportunity when a opponent leaves the area I threaten (10 ft from me) and comes within 5 ft? I assume because my reach weapon cannot be used at this range I do not threaten within 5 ft, and thus the enemy would be leaving a square I threaten?

Thanks!

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4 Answers 4

My character has a reach weapon and so I an trying to figure out what my options are once a opponent has come within 5 ft. It looks like I can drop my current weapon (free action), draw another(movement action) and attack all in one turn. Is that correct?

Yes, that's accurate.

Would I also get an attack of opportunity when a opponent leaves the area I threaten (10 ft from me) and comes within 5 ft? I assume because my reach weapon cannot be used at this range I do not threaten within 5 ft, and thus the enemy would be leaving a square I threaten?

If they only take a 5-foot step, they don't provoke your opportunity attack since a 5-foot step never does that.

If they're not taking a 5-foot step: based on a question I just asked about it because it's really not clear, they do provoke an opportunity attack and you get to attack them whilst they're still at a distance at which you can attack.

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The withdraw action would also allow somebody to leave the threatened square safely, but it wouldn't make much sense to approach somebody that way. It's more for running away. –  Bradd Szonye Jun 12 '13 at 8:46
    
Withdraw only gets them out of their initial square for free. Someone starting adjacent to you (if you are wielding a reach weapon) would provoke an attack of opportunity on leaving the second square since you still threaten that square. –  Jacob Proffitt Jun 12 '13 at 15:13
    
@JacobProffitt I was talking about somebody starting in the threatened ring, not adjacent to the opponent. –  Bradd Szonye Jun 12 '13 at 18:27
    
@BraddSzonye Yeah, I just wanted to clarify given the author's original example of having a reach weapon. –  Jacob Proffitt Jun 13 '13 at 15:09

Yes, you can combine any given set of standard, move, and free actions in that manner. Additionally, if you have a BAB of +1 or higher, you can draw a weapon as a free action when moving. So if you want to, you can drop a weapon, move + draw, and attack. Or you can get Quick Draw, drop, do some other move-equivalent action, draw, and attack.

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+1 for pointing out the move+draw option. –  Bradd Szonye Jun 12 '13 at 8:35

Yes, you can drop your weapon (free), ready a new one (move), and attack (standard), all in the same turn. However, if you're switching between a reach weapon and a one-handed weapon, you can actually do better than that:

Two-Handed Weapons: What kind of action is it to remove your hand from a two-handed weapon or re-grab it with both hands? Both are free actions. For example, a wizard wielding a quarterstaff can let go of the weapon with one hand as a free action, cast a spell as a standard action, and grasp the weapon again with that hand as a free action; this means the wizard is still able to make attacks of opportunity with the weapon (which requires using two hands).

Therefore, you can remove your main hand from the reach weapon (free), ready a one-handed weapon (move), and attack (standard). When you want to use the reach weapon again, you can sheathe the backup weapon (move), put both hands back on the reach weapon (free), and attack (standard). You can switch between weapons and attack in the same turn, without needing to drop either.


Yes, opponents provoke an attack of opportunity if they pass through your threatened space:

Provoking an Attack of Opportunity: Two kinds of actions can provoke attacks of opportunity: moving out of a threatened square and performing certain actions within a threatened square.

Moving: Moving out of a threatened square usually provokes attacks of opportunity from threatening opponents. There are two common methods of avoiding such an attack—the 5-foot step and the withdraw action.

Note that this applies any time they leave a threatened square, regardless of whether they move toward you, away from you, or side to side. It's especially dangerous to move near somebody with reach from size or a spiked chain, since you can't easily escape with a 5-foot step or withdraw action.

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Scratch "many GMs" re holding in one hand – that's the official rule. –  KRyan Jun 12 '13 at 13:34
    
@KRyan Thanks! That's the rule I used in D&D3, but I wasn't sure whether it was still correct for Pathfinder. –  Bradd Szonye Jun 12 '13 at 18:01

This hasn't been answered so far, so i'll mention it.

You can also take a 5' step (free action) away from your opponent, and attack them with your reach weapon. This is the usual course of action for reach-weapon wielders - create some space, and strike at the foe.

You also intimated that you think the opponent must leave your entire threatened area before you get an attack of opportunity. In actuality, a foe leaving any threatened square provokes an Attack of Opportunity (although, keep in mind, you can only provoke one AoO from any individual character/creature per turn from movement - i.e. you can provoke from other things (like spellcasting), but leaving multiple threatened squares only ever provokes one attack per turn per attacker).

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