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It says in TPH (page 160)

The ready action lets you prepare to take an action later, after your turn is over but before your next one has begun. Readying is a standard action. It does not provoke an attack of opportunity (though the action that you ready might do so).

Do I take this to mean that the act of readying an action is itself a standard action?

If so, does this then "use" my standard action for the round, or is it simply a way to prevent someone from moving, standard acting, and then readying an additional standard action?

I.e. If I move 30ft then ready an action to attack; when my interupt happens, is my standard action (for the attack) still there, or was it "used" by the act of readying. Is it only "used" by the act of readying in order to be utilized at the time of interupt?

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I.e. If I move 30ft then ready an action to attack; when my interupt happens, is my standard action (for the attack) still there, or was it "used" by the act of readying. Is it only "used" by the act of readying in order to be utilized at the time of interupt?

The crux of your confusion, if I'm not mistaken, is "if I use my standard action to get ready, then how am I going to have an action left to actually use when my readied action is triggered?"

Readying an action is a standard action, but going through with the contingency does not require any action at all. When you ready an action, you are, in essence, taking it ahead of time.

For example, if you ready an action to hit a person with a spear when they come close, that will use the standard action on your turn. When an opponent ends up charging you, fulfilling the circumstances that you prepared for, then the strike you make against them doesn't exhaust another action; it just happens.

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Do I take this to mean that the act of readying an action is itself a standard action?

Yes.

If so, does this then "use" my standard action for the round, or is it simply a way to prevent someone from moving, standard acting, and then readying an additional standard action?

It's a way of preventing someone from moving, taking a standard action, then readying.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Note that it is perfectly possible to take a readied action without paying the cost - the poorly thought out power synchronicity gives you a readied standard action, and all you need to do is find a way to manifest it without using your standard action (through schism, Quicken Power, or Linked Power). \$\endgroup\$ – SPavel Mar 25 '16 at 1:27

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