Attacking Before AND After a 5ft Shift


Rules Questions


We have a rules dilemma in our group.........

Traditionally we've never allowed attacking before AND after a 5ft shift, but having revisited the rules description of the 5ft shift we now believe it might be possible, but not 100% sure.

Please advise on the "Official" ruling on this subject.

What brought all of this on was.....
Our DM also ref's a game in CT @ a gaming store and someone used that tactic of attacking before, 5ft shifting, then attacking after.

The individual in question quoted, "You can take a 5-foot step before, during, or after your other actions in the round." as the reason for being able to do so.

If it's true........we've been doing it wrong for sooooo long, haha.

Anyway.......

Thx for any input on this matter.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Mumrah wrote:

We have a rules dilemma in our group.........

Traditionally we've never allowed attacking before AND after a 5ft shift, but having revisited the rules description of the 5ft shift we now believe it might be possible, but not 100% sure.

Please advise on the "Official" ruling on this subject.

What brought all of this on was.....
Our DM also ref's a game in CT @ a gaming store and someone used that tactic of attacking before, 5ft shifting, then attacking after.

The individual in question quoted, "You can take a 5-foot step before, during, or after your other actions in the round." as the reason for being able to do so.

If it's true........we've been doing it wrong for sooooo long, haha.

Anyway.......

Thx for any input on this matter.

You absolutely can. The quote is accurate.

Read here.

"The only movement you can take during a full attack is a 5-foot step. You may take the step before, after, or between your attacks."

The Core Rulebook specifically tells you that it's allowed. Remember that bad guys can do it too!


I'd say this was probably wrong. Getting multiple attacks is almost always based on a full round action.

And you have to take your action before or after you use the move. All the attacks coming form the full round action are part of the ACTION itself. That's why its call a full round ACTION, as in mechanically speaking a single action.

This wouldn't have nay bearing on things like Spring attack.

How did this come u anyway? Of what use was it that the player thought it up i the first place?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

It's allowed. See what Anguish said above.


The rules specifically allow it as the quote says.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Gwiber wrote:
Of what use was it that the player thought it up i the first place?

It actually adds an extra consideration when positioning on the battlemat. With this rule, you may choose to deliberately place yourself such that should you drop Target A, you have the option of making a 5ft step to continue whacking Target B, instead of staying far, far away from the second threat. Attacks that are wasted because your target is frail may be worth the danger that you're possibly about to get flanked.

Stuff like that.


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A 5ft step is not a move action; you can take it during a full attack. So yes, it is allowed.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Just to let you know, the relevant rule is also located on Page 187, of the Core Rulebook.

Grand Lodge

Anguish wrote:
Gwiber wrote:
Of what use was it that the player thought it up i the first place?

It actually adds an extra consideration when positioning on the battlemat. With this rule, you may choose to deliberately place yourself such that should you drop Target A, you have the option of making a 5ft step to continue whacking Target B, instead of staying far, far away from the second threat. Attacks that are wasted because your target is frail may be worth the danger that you're possibly about to get flanked.

Stuff like that.

It can also be useful when Target A, for example, is blocking a door or 5' wide corridor. Drop him, 5' into his space, then whack the healer/squishy he was protecting. While opening access to the protected area to the rest of your group, while providing a road block to the other guys, now.


assuming when you say "shift" you mean a "5-ft step" and not the "shift" abilities, then yeah

You can dull a full attack, hit with the first and second, then take a 5ft step and hit someone else with the next two.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

He's probably coming from D&D 4th Edition; the 5-ft.-step is called a "shift" there.


Zaister wrote:
He's probably coming from D&D 4th Edition; the 5-ft.-step is called a "shift" there.

Ooh I see. Thanks

I love how different editions and versions of very similar games have such varying nomiclature. I love Creole language differences (lingustically similar relation)

Paizo Glitterati Robot

Removed a post and replies to it. This kind of baiting is not helpful.


I have more trouble remembering that I can't combine a 5-foot step with any other movement-based action. So, no 5 foot step and charge. Or no charge and 5 foot step. I'm not sure if this was allowed in 3rd, or if we used to always play it wrong.


Could s/he have made multiple attacks if s/he had not taken the 5-foot step? If the adventurer could hit NPC A, then hit NPC B, while standing in one place, then I see no reason s/he couldn't still hit two enemies with a 5-foot step in between. But this shouldn't give them an extra attack.


daimaru wrote:
Could s/he have made multiple attacks if s/he had not taken the 5-foot step? If the adventurer could hit NPC A, then hit NPC B, while standing in one place, then I see no reason s/he couldn't still hit two enemies with a 5-foot step in between. But this shouldn't give them an extra attack.

It doesn't give an extra attack. It just allows you to move once using a 5 foot step before, during or after your other attacks during a full round action.


Combat Monster wrote:
daimaru wrote:
Could s/he have made multiple attacks if s/he had not taken the 5-foot step? If the adventurer could hit NPC A, then hit NPC B, while standing in one place, then I see no reason s/he couldn't still hit two enemies with a 5-foot step in between. But this shouldn't give them an extra attack.
It doesn't give an extra attack. It just allows you to move once using a 5 foot step before, during or after your other attacks during a full round action.

Basically, we're looking at this situation:

A I X B

Where A, B are enemies, I is me, and X is an empty 5' square.

I clock A, take a 5' step, and then swing at B (and probably miss, because iteratives are at a penalty). This is explicitly permitted by rule.

Similarly, if I'm TWF-ing, that would work as well.


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I think some people think multiple attacks in a full round action all happen at the same time, but they can actually be staggered throughout your full round action. For example, if you were dual wielding, you could attack with main hand, then 5 foot step and then attack with off-hand. You don't have to attack the same target with every attack, and you could even cut your attacks short, if you didn't want to overkill something.


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So after almost 5 years since posting this ...... Thanks for the responses folks. We now officially have a much better understanding of that particular battle tactic. :-)

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