There are a number of different types of actions you can take in combat. Normally, you can choose to take a Full Round Action, or 1 Standard, 1 Move, and 1 Minor in each of your turns. Extended actions take multiple turns to complete, and Free actions take so little time that they don't count.
Standard actions are amongst the most common action you're likely to take. Most Powers are performed as a standard action. Additionally, most instances of the Survival, Stealth, Bluff, Intimidate, Diplomacy, Craft, Perform, and Use Magic Device skills in combat are likely to be standard actions.
You may use a Standard action to withdraw from combat. This action is used to move from a threatened area to a non-threatened area without provoking opportunity attacks.
Move actions are also very common actions. With a move action, you may move up to your speed, in any direction. The speed that you use should be appropriate to the medium; you can't use your Fly speed to move underwater, or your Land speed to move underground. Most in-combat Acrobatics and Athletics checks are made as a move action, and most non-standard actions that involve manipulating the world is also a move action; fetching objects from packs or saddlebags, directing a mount, etc.
You may also elect to devolve a move action into a minor action.
Minor actions are small actions that require more time or consideration than none. These include things like drawing weapons, flipping obvious switches, pulling well-maintained levers, etc. Most in-combat Perception, Knowledge, Concentration, and Insight checks are minor actions.
Minor actions are also used to maintain ongoing effects.
Full Round Actions
Full Round Actions take your entire round to complete. Powers that normally require a Standard action can be used as a Full Round action. If they are, you gain +2 to the Point Limit of that power.
You may Run as a full round action. If you do, you may move up to 4 times your move speed. For every time you change direction or encounter a minor obstacle such as stairs or small, easily moved objects of furniture, you lose 1/2 of your move speed in movement (ie, 3.5x total for the first, 3x total for the second) and must succeed a DC10 Acrobatics check or halt your movement.
Extended actions take multiple rounds to complete. This type of action is uncommon in combat, as most are extended move actions and are handled as separate movements.
One example of an Extended action is the ritual. A ritual will normally take several minutes to conclude, once started. Since they require concentration and prescribed actions, it is inadvisable to attempt them in combat, but if you do, it will be done as an extended action.
Free actions are actions that take such little time or effort that they're not worth considering. However, there is a reasonable limit on what you can do for free; barking an order is free, but reciting the Art of War is not.
Typical free actions are:
- Dropping an item
- Voluntarily falling prone
Reactions are free actions made in response to something. There are no prescribed reactions, except those made by Readied actions.
If the condition is met, then you may choose to perform the action. If you do, you perform the action as normal as a reaction to the triggering action. Your initiative position changes to be after whoever triggered your readied action.
If the condition is not met, you lose the action but your initiative position doesn't change.
The trigger may be nearly anything. Some examples include:
- A door opening
- An ally being attacked
- A Power being used
Delaying can also change your initiative order. On your turn, you can choose not to act at all, in order to take your turn at a later date. To do so, declare that you are delaying. You may then declare that you're taking your turn any time another entity's turn ends, but before the next entity takes an action.