Pathfinder Roleplaying Tools

PF2 Rules Mode Encounter

Pathfinder 2 – Rules Review

Mode – Encounter

In pathfinder 2 there are three main modes of the game, Encounter Mode, Exploration Mode and Downtime Mode. Here I am examining the Encounter mode and where to find all the references in the game.

With the call to Initiative at the gaming table, you now have access to each of these activities. They represent the fact that when your action happens is important in the timeline of events.

If your going to be a murder hobo, here is where you will most likely only use Interact (Pull a weapon), Stride (move to target) and Strike (attack target). At no time will you be “Always Ready for Attack” with weapons drawn in Exploration Mode without suffering penalties every 10 minutes due to exhaustion. So be aware the default switch to Encounter Mode is I load my crossbow, draw a weapon or declare one of the actions below. While weapons are ready for combat, you will remain in Encounter mode.

What is Encounter Mode?

Encounter Mode is the initiate driven character by character interactions when timing is important. It is defined as “A mode of play in which time is measured in 6-second rounds and participants use precise actions. Combat takes place in encounters.” This is used when there are multiple characters interacting at the same time.

Encounter Mode Activities

The bases of this can be found in the Core Rulebook on page 468.

List of Basic Actions:

  • (A) Avert Gaze (p472)
  • (A) Crawl (p470) Move.
  • (A) Dismiss (Core p305)
  • (A) Drop Prone (p470) Move.
  • (A) Escape (p470) Attack.
  • (A) Interact (p470) Manipulate.
  • (A) Leap (p470) Move.
  • (A) Mount (p472) Move.
  • (A) Point Out (p472) Auditory, Manipulate, Visual.
  • (A) Raise a Shield (p472)
  • (AA) Ready (470) Concentrate.
  • (A) Recall Knowledge (p239) Concentrate, Secret.
  • (A) Seek (p471) Concentrate, Secret.
  • (A) Sense Motive (p471) Concentrate, Secret.
  • (A) Stand (p471) Move.
  • (A) Step (p471) Move.
  • (A) Stride (p471) Move.
  • (A) Strike (p471) Attack.
  • (A) Sustain a Spell (Core p304)
  • (A) Take Cover (p471)

List of Basic Free Actions:

  • (F) Delay (p470)
  • (F) Release (p470)

List of Basic Reactions:

  • (R) Aid (p470)
  • (R) Arrest a Fall (p472)
  • (R) Grab an Edge (p472) Manipulate.

Skill Encounter Mode Activities

Acrobatics (Dex):

  • (A) Balance (p240) Move.
  • (A) Tumble Through (p240) Move.

Athletics (Str):

  • (A) Climb (p241) Move.
  • (A – Trained) Disarm (p243) Attack.
  • (A) Force Open (p242) Attack.
  • (A) Grapple (p242) Attack.
  • (AA) High Jump (p242)
  • (AA) Long Jump (p242)
  • (A) Shove (p243) Attack.
  • (A) Swim (p243) Move.
  • (A) Trip (p243) Attack.

Deception (Cha):

  • (A) Create a Diversion (p245) Mental.
  • (A – Trained) Feint (p246) Mental.
  • (A) Lie (p264) Auditory, Concentrate, Linguistic, Mental, Secret.

Diplomacy (Cha):

  • (A) Request (p247) Auditory, Concentrate, Linguistic, Mental

Intimidation (Cha):

  • (A) Demoralize (p247) Auditory, Concentrate, Emotion, Mental.

Medicine (Wis):

  • (AA) Administer Fire Aid (p248) Manipulate.
  • (A – Trained) Treat Poison (p248) Manipulate.

Nature (Wis):

  • (A) Command an Animal (p249) Auditory, Concentrate.

Perform (Cha):

  • (A) Perform (p250): Concentrate.

Steath (Dex):

  • (A) Conceal an Object (p251) Manipulate, Secret.
  • (A) Hide (p251) Secret.
  • (A) Sneak (p252) Move, Secret.

Thievery (Dex):

  • (AA – Trained) Disable a Device (p252) Manipulate.
  • (A) Palm an Object (p252) Manipulate.
  • (AA – Trained) Pick a Lock (P252) Manipulate.
  • (A) Steal (p252) Manipulate.

Speciality Encounter Mode Activities

Requires Burrow Speed

  • (A) Burrow (p472) Move.

Requires Fly Speed

  • (A – Trained in Acrobatics) Manoeuvre in Flight (p240) Move.
  • (A) Fly (p472) Move.

Encounter Traits

  • Attack – An ability with this trait involves an attack. For each attack you make beyond the first on your turn, you take a multiple attack penalty.
  • Auditory – Auditory actions and effects rely on sound. An action with the auditory trait can be successfully performed only if the creature using the action can speak or otherwise produce the required sounds. A spell or effect with the auditory trait has its effect only if the target can hear it. This applies only to sound-based parts of the effect, as determined by the GM. This is different from a sonic effect, which still affects targets who can’t hear it (such as deaf targets) as long as the effect itself makes sound.
  • Concentrate – An action with this trait requires a degree of mental concentration and discipline.
  • Emotion – his effect alters a creature’s emotions. Effects with this trait always have the mental trait as well. Creatures with special training or that have mechanical or artificial intelligence are immune to emotion effects.
  • Linguistic – An effect with this trait depends on language comprehension. A linguistic effect that targets a creature works only if the target understands the language you are using.
  • Manipulate – You must physically manipulate an item or make gestures to use an action with this trait. Creatures without a suitable appendage can’t perform actions with this trait. Manipulate actions often trigger reactions.
  • Mental – A mental effect can alter the target’s mind. It has no effect on an object or a mindless creature.
  • Move – An action with this trait involves moving from one space to another.
  • Secret – The GM rolls the check for this ability in secret.
  • Visual – A visual effect can affect only creatures that can see it. This applies only to visible parts of the effect, as determined by the GM.
  • Secret – The GM rolls the check for this ability in secret.

Content Updates

  • 2021-08-05 – Updated the layout and menu.
  • 2020-06-16 – Added Dismiss and Sustain a Spell
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By thedarkelf007

I am a long term gamer, I run 6 RPG's a fortnight, host board game, card game and LANs each about once a quarter and have an addiction to buying more games. Games I am currently running are Pathfinder (1st and 2nd Edition) and Dungeons and Dragons (5th Edition).

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