I couldn't find references about the action type(s) of the following acts (standard, move, full-round, etc.) nor if they provoke attacks of opportunity.

  • Retrieving an item attached to the character's equipment (such as a pan hanging from a hook on the backpack).
  • Retrieving an item in the main sack of the backpack.

Is this one of the case-by-case things left to the GM's discretion?
How would you model them in their commonest case?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ dont forget the havard's handy haversack - any item you reach for is always at the top so can be retrieved as a free move. and do not provoke an attack of opportunity - my GM banned us from having them as he couldnt attack us and we could get oil and potions too easily (party of 5 all with handy haversacks) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 10, 2011 at 13:09

2 Answers 2


In D&D 3.5, it would indeed be a move action in the general case:


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. Examples of this kind of action, along with whether they incur an attack of opportunity, are given in Table: Move Actions.

Checking the Pathfinder SRD at d20pfsrd.com shows that retrieving an item is still a move action in Pathfinder:


For the frying pan, you might rule that it's easy enough to grab on to that it behaves like a Handy Haversack, or drawing a weapon. In that case, it would still be a move action but would not provoke attacks of opportunity:

When the wearer reaches into [a Handy Haversack] for a specific item, that item is always on top. Thus, no digging around and fumbling is ever necessary to find what a haversack contains. Retrieving any specific item from a haversack is a move action, but it does not provoke the attacks of opportunity that retrieving a stored item usually does.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I can't quote chapter and verse right now, but getting something out of your HHH takes a full round. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ron
    Commented Mar 11, 2011 at 12:59
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Ron You're thinking of a bag of holding. The last paragraph of my post actually is quoted chapter and verse :) \$\endgroup\$
    – AceCalhoon
    Commented Mar 11, 2011 at 14:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AceCalhoon Bag of Holding only takes a full round if it contains more than a standard backpack (volume-wise) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 15, 2014 at 12:12

Generally, it's a move action that provokes attacks of opportunity (as in DM1). You can get around this with (for example) a Handy Haversack that makes it a Move action that doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity.

Dropping a held item is a free action.


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