I've always imagined that, unless a creature is taking free actions (hence, also, swift and immediate actions, all of which can be taken in conjunction with other actions), actions are taken sequentially, one action needing to end before another action can begin. However, after trying to puzzle out mounted combat again, I realized maybe I've been limited in my imagination.

While taking a move action to make a normal move to travel up to its speed, can a creature simultaneously, at any point during its movement and without stopping, take a move action that does not involve moving any distance? For example, can a creature take its first move action to make a normal move; take its second move action to, for example, sheathe a weapon or open a door; then continue moving up to the remaining distance from its first move action?

Note: Please show some sympathy for my ignorance if you've always played that Yes is the answer. If you've always played—like I have—that No is the answer, let me explain where I'm coming from. During mounted combat, it's the mount's actual movement that prevents a rider from taking full-round actions that also involve movement, the idea seeming to be that the mount's movement replaces the movement the rider would've taken (so a mount that must travel 10 ft. or more to a foe prevents a full attack by the rider, for instance, because the rider didn't start with a full-round action near enough the foe). However, even if the mount moves, the rider continues to be able to take non-movement move actions at any point along the mount's movement. What I don't know is if this situation is unique to mounted combat or should occur generally.

For example, one of my frustrations as a player and a DM is the difficulty creatures have in getting through doors: opening a door takes a move action, so it takes a creature its entire turn to move 10 ft. up to a closed door and open it. However, if the creature can move 10 ft., open the door, and, say, continue moving 20 ft., that's not nearly the issue it once was.

I've tagged this question as I'd really like to see either position supported by a text as I am uncomfortable extrapolating a general rule from implications alone (for example, the rules for mounted combat, the lack of a move-a-little-then-take-a-move-action-then-move-a-little-more feat similar to the feats Shot on the Run and Spring Attack). Likewise, I've tagged this question because, while as a DM I'm more interested in a answer, I'm a player in a Pathfinder campaign and that game, a D&D 3.5 offspring, uses an identical turn structure and may have additional information on this topic.


2 Answers 2


No. Unless you have some feat or special ability that allows you to take another action (be it a move action or standard action) during a move action, or an ability that let you open doors as part of another action, or allow you to do those actions as part of a full-round-action. Or a special rule that allows an exception to taking actions as another type of action, such as mount/dismount steeds as free actions with a DC 20 ride check, or channel energy as swift action as an attack action.

Otherwise, all move actions must start on square A and finish on square B, as long as your path isnt blocked in some way.

Alternatively, it seems that the intent of the game designers was that doors, unless they somehow block your path, shouldn't be that hard to open/close. We can read more about this on this post from 2009.

There is much discussion about "how long does one person takes to open or close a door while running" or "what kind of door is it?" or "what way does this door open". But, as a GM, you do have some backup on the rules if you decide that opening/closing doors should only take part of your movement instead of another move action.

Terrain and Obstacles

From tangled plants to broken stone, there are a number of terrain features that can affect your movement.

Difficult Terrain

Difficult terrain, such as heavy undergrowth, broken ground, or steep stairs, hampers movement. Each square of difficult terrain counts as 2 squares of movement. Each diagonal move into a difficult terrain square counts as 3 squares. You can't run or charge across difficult terrain.

If you occupy squares with different kinds of terrain, you can move only as fast as the most difficult terrain you occupy will allow.


Like difficult terrain, obstacles can hamper movement. If an obstacle hampers movement but doesn't completely block it, each obstructed square or obstacle between squares counts as 2 squares of movement. You must pay this cost to cross the obstacle, in addition to the cost to move into the square on the other side. If you don't have sufficient movement to cross the obstacle and move into the square on the other side, you can't cross it. Some obstacles may also require a skill check to cross.

On the other hand, some obstacles block movement entirely. A character can't move through a blocking obstacle.

You will see that many posters do rule it this way, opening a door takes 5 or 10 feet of movement instead of a move action. Personally, i would rule that if the door is open (ie: unlocked) it takes 10 feet of movement, if it's locked but you got the key, or if it's too big (like a double door), or too old (large dungeon metal or stone doors), it takes a move action.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It seems like this addresses my concerns only by example. I know that The rules don't say I can't is a nonstarter, but even both Equipment Trick feats involving opening doors (one with thieves' tools, the other—hilariously—with an anvil) don't seem to entirely prevent the notion of moving up to a door, opening it, and continuing moving. It just seems strange that there's a feat the enables moving, attacking a dude, and moving again, yet not for moving, opening a door, and moving again. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 18, 2016 at 18:04

No. Open or close a door is a specific action which is a move action (search for "Open or close a door" on the page).

That action is not included in the rule:

"If you have a base attack bonus of +1 or higher, you can combine one of these actions with a regular move."

Which is used for 'Draw Weapon', or 'Ready or drop a shield'.

Otherwise, you may not combine move actions with move actions. You will need to "waste" a part of a move action moving to a door, a move action to open the door, then unless you have another move action (such as from a Quick Runner's Shirt) that's the end of their movement for that turn.

Sorry, but unless you have a cool GM who knows to use the rules as guidelines, closed doors are going to be a very tedious obstacle. It doesn't make sense why it should take 6 seconds to move 10ft towards a door and open it but you wanted rules as written, that's what it says.

Really, the game cannot possibly hope to be an entire simulation of reality, it has to average out all doors, whether the door opens in towards you or away from you, whether the door latch is simple or not, whether the door is heavy or not.

A heavy door that has an old complicated latch that opens towards you will slow you down by about 3 seconds. A light well built door with an ergonomic latch that opens away from you should barely slow you down at all. The game Rules As Written does not make that distinction.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The universe averages doors is a phrase that may be soon incorporated into my gaming lexicon. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 13:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ Even though a creature with a base attack bonus of at least +1 can take a free action to draw a weapon while taking a move action to make a normal move, that, in and of itself, doesn't invalidate a creature also taking a move action during a normal move. I'm not sure I see the connection. I mean, because a combat-trained creature can draw a weapon faster while the creature's moving leads me to think maybe a noncombat trained creature just draws a weapon more slowly (i.e. taking a move action) while the creature's moving? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 16:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ That the rules set opening or closing a door at the same degree of severity of effort as moving 30 feet, seems a bit much. That or Greyhawk's universe needs to fix their door physics. \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 16:09

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