I'm still little confused about actions in Pathfinder. There are standard actions, move actions, full round actions, free actions, etc. I need to know which combinations of these actions I can use in one round. Could someone give me a summary and clarify it for me?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you, you have just cleared up so much confusion at the table. \$\endgroup\$
    – user4424
    Sep 16, 2012 at 13:58

1 Answer 1


According to The ever useful d20PFSRD:

In a round of combat, you can do either :

Plus a combination of :

A few special cases

The 5 ft. step
Provided you don't take any other action that actually involves using a move speed (walking/running/flying...) during the same round, you can take a 5' step as a free action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity once per round.

While most spells have a casting time of 1 Standard action, others can take a Swift action, a Full-round Action or more. For those spells that take longer to cast, you're effectively using up a Full-round action each round for the duration of the casting.
Also, be they Quickened spells or whatever, you can never take more than 1 Swift action per round.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Any references on "trading down"? Can I do 2 swift actions instead of 1 Std + 1 swift? \$\endgroup\$
    – Gates VP
    Sep 15, 2012 at 0:03
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @gatesVP no, not supported. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Sep 15, 2012 at 15:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ I would allow "trading down" in cases where the ability normally takes a standard or move action, and the character has an ability that "improves" it to a swift action. I know that there were definitely places in 3.5 where the limitation of 1 swift action a round was used as a balancing feature on special abilities; I'm not sure about PF but it wouldn't surprise me. \$\endgroup\$
    – starwed
    Sep 15, 2012 at 18:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ @starwed Oh! You meant that you'd allow players to trade up swift actions to Standard or Move actions, so long as the new action type is the appropriate action type of the action if it hadn't been altered by a character ability. I see! Yes, that takes care of the balance issue nicely. I'm sorry it took me so long to get your meaning. Thanks for being patient with me. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Sep 19, 2012 at 3:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ How strict is the 5-ft step special case? Say I take a 5-ft step. I still have my standard action. Can I still "trade" the standard action for a move action? \$\endgroup\$
    – null
    Jan 28, 2018 at 0:09

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