With a normal melee weapon, you can strike any opponent within 5 feet. (Opponents within 5 feet are considered adjacent to you.) Some melee weapons have reach, as indicated in their descriptions. With a typical reach weapon, you can strike opponents 10 feet away, but you can't strike adjacent foes (those within 5 feet).
Striking for damage
with punches, kicks, and head butts is much like attacking with a melee weapon, except for the following:
"Armed" Unarmed Attacks:
Sometimes a character's or creature's unarmed attack
counts as an armed attack. A monk
, a character with the Improved Unarmed Strike
feat, a spellcaster delivering a touch attack spell, and a creature with natural physical weapons all count as being armed.
Unarmed Strike Damage:
An unarmed strike from a Medium character deals 1d3 points of damage
(plus your Strength modifier, as normal). A Small character
's unarmed strike deals 1d2 points of damage
, while a Large character's unarmed strike deals 1d4 points of damage
. All damage
from unarmed strikes is nonlethal damage
. Unarmed strikes count as light weapons (for purposes of two-weapon attack
penalties and so on).
With a ranged weapon, you can shoot or throw at any target that is within the weapon's maximum range and in line of sight. The maximum range for a thrown weapon is five range increments. For projectile weapons, it is ten range increments. Some ranged weapons have shorter maximum ranges, as specified in their descriptions.
An attack roll
represents your attempts to strike your opponent.
Your attack roll
is 1d20 + your attack bonus
with the weapon you're using. If the result is at least as high as the target's AC, you hit and deal damage
Automatic Misses and Hits:
A natural 1 (the d20 comes up 1) on the attack roll
is always a miss. A natural 20 (the d20 comes up 20) is always a hit. A natural 20 is also a threat-a possible critical hit
If the attack roll
result equals or exceeds the target's AC, the attack hits and you deal damage
. Roll the appropriate damage
for your weapon. Damage
is deducted from the target's current hit points
Shooting or Throwing into a Melee:
If you shoot or throw a ranged weapon at a target engaged in melee with a friendly character, you take a -4 penalty on your attack roll
. Two characters are engaged in melee if they are enemies of each other and either threatens the other. (An unconscious or otherwise immobilized character is not considered engaged unless he is actually being attacked.)
If your target (or the part of your target you're aiming at, if it's a big target) is at least 10 feet away from the nearest friendly character, you can avoid the -4 penalty, even if the creature you're aiming at is engaged in melee with a friendly character.
Fighting Defensively as a Standard Action:
You can choose to fight defensively when attacking. If you do so, you take a -4 penalty on all attacks in a round to gain a +2 dodge
bonus to AC for the same round.
When you make an attack roll
and get a natural 20 (the d20 shows 20), you hit regardless of your target's Armor Class
, and you have scored a threat. The hit might be a critical hit
(or "crit"). To find out if it's a critical hit
, you immediately make a critical roll-another attack roll
with all the same modifiers as the attack roll
you just made. If the critical roll also results in a hit against the target's AC, your original hit is a critical hit
. (The critical roll just needs to hit to give you a crit. It doesn't need to come up 20 again.) If the critical roll is a miss, then your hit is just a regular hit.
A critical hit
means that you roll your damage
more than once, with all your usual bonuses, and add the rolls together. Unless otherwise specified, the threat range for a critical hit
on an attack roll
is 20, and the multiplier is x2.
Increased Threat Range:
Sometimes your threat range is greater than 20. That is, you can score a threat on a lower number. In such cases, a roll of lower than 20 is not an automatic hit. Any attack roll
that doesn't result in a hit is not a threat.
Increased Critical Multiplier:
Some weapons deal better than double damage
on a critical hit
Note: You retain your Dexterity bonus to AC while casting.
To cast a spell
with a verbal (V) component, your character must speak in a firm voice. If you're gagged or in the area of a silence
spell, you can't cast such a spell. A spellcaster who has been deafened has a 20% chance to spoil any spell he tries to cast if that spell has a verbal component.
To cast a spell
with a somatic (S) component, you must gesture freely with at least one hand. You can't cast a spell
of this type while bound, grappling, or with both your hands full or occupied.
To cast a spell
with a material (M), focus (F), or divine focus (DF) component, you have to have the proper materials, as described by the spell. Unless these materials are elaborate
preparing these materials is a free action
. For material components and focuses whose costs are not listed, you can assume that you have them if you have your spell component
Some spells have an experience point (XP) component and entail an experience point cost to you. No spell can restore the lost XP. You cannot spend so much XP that you lose a level, so you cannot cast the spell unless you have enough XP to spare. However, you may, on gaining enough XP to achieve a new level, immediately spend the XP on casting the spell rather than keeping it to advance a level. The XP are expended when you cast the spell, whether or not the casting succeeds.
You must concentrate to cast a spell
. If you can't concentrate you can't cast a spell
. If you start casting a spell but something interferes with your concentration
you must make a Concentration
check or lose the spell. The check's DC depends on what is threatening your concentration
(see the Concentration
skill). If you fail, the spell fizzles with no effect. If you prepare spells, it is lost from preparation. If you cast at will, it counts against your daily limit of spells even though you did not cast it successfully.
Casting on the Defensive:
Casting a spell while on the defensive does not provoke an attack of opportunity
. It does, however, require a Concentration
check (DC 15 + spell level) to pull off. Failure means that you lose the spell.
Touch Spells in Combat:
Many spells have a range of touch. To use these spells, you cast the spell and then touch the subject, either in the same round or any time later. In the same round that you cast the spell, you may also touch (or attempt to touch) the target. You may take your move before casting the spell, after touching the target, or between casting the spell and touching the target. You can automatically touch one friend or use the spell on yourself, but to touch an opponent, you must succeed on an attack roll
Touching an opponent with a touch spell is considered to be an armed attack
and therefore does not provoke attacks of opportunity
. However, the act of casting a spell does provoke an attack
of opportunity. Touch attacks come in two types: melee touch attacks and ranged touch attacks. You can score critical hits
with either type of attack
. Your opponent's AC against a touch attack
does not include any armor bonus, shield bonus, or natural armor bonus. His size modifier, Dexterity modifier, and deflection bonus (if any) all apply normally.
Holding the Charge:
If you don't discharge the spell in the round when you cast the spell, you can hold the discharge of the spell (hold the charge
) indefinitely. You can continue to make touch attacks round after round. You can touch one friend as a standard action
or up to six friends as a full-round action
. If you touch anything or anyone while holding a charge
, even unintentionally, the spell discharges. If you cast another spell, the touch spell dissipates. Alternatively, you may make a normal unarmed attack
(or an attack with a natural weapon) while holding a charge
. In this case, you aren't considered armed and you provoke attacks of opportunity
as normal for the attack. (If your unarmed attack
or natural weapon attack doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity
, neither does this attack.) If the attack hits, you deal normal damage
for your unarmed attack
or natural weapon and the spell discharges. If the attack misses, you are still holding the charge
Many magic items don't need to be activated. However, certain magic items need to be activated, especially potions, scrolls
, and staffs
. Activating a magic item is a standard action
(unless the item description indicates otherwise).
Start/Complete Full-Round Action