It's all in the title. My party claims that you can stand up from prone with a move action and then take a 5ft step before using a standard action to attack.
I was under the impression that as soon as a move action was used to move, you would not be able to take a 5ft step.
Is there a ruling that validates what they are doing?
Yes this is true. You can take a 5ft step after any move equivalent action so long as that move action was not used to actually move out of your current square.
Standing up keeps you in the same square so this doesnt count as moving. Thus you can then take a 5ft step.
EDIT: from the take a 5ft step portion of the rules "..you can't take a 5-foot step in the same round that you move any distance" notice it says move any distance, since you stood up you didnt exactly move any distance, thus it works
The simplest move action is moving your speed. If you take this kind of move action during your turn, you can't also take a 5-foot step.
Standing up from a prone position requires a move action and provokes attacks of opportunity.
Stand up and Move are both move actions, but only move prohibits you from also taking a 5' step. So yes, you can stand up and take a 5' step in the same round.
A move action is not equivalent to moving. Drawing a weapon is a move action. Reloading certain weapons is a move action.
Moving requires you to actually move somewhere. You need to actually change what square you are in.
So yes, you can stand up and then 5 foot step and then use a standard action to attack.
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Maybe a clearer way to say it is:
"..you can't take a 5-foot step in the same round that you move any distance [use a move action to leave your square]"
You are conflating the English meaning of the word move with the in rules meaning of move. If I swing a sword I have "moved" but that certainly doesn't count as a "move action."
The rules are clear. You can't move 30ft on a move action then 5ft step. You also cannot 5ft step (say to avoid an AoO) and then move your speed.
Your confusing "Moving" with "Move Action". Technically yes your "Moving" when you stand up. but in this case "Moving" (As per Pathfinder) refers to actually moving a distance of 5ft or greater, or from one square to the next. Standing up is a "Move Action" not "Moving", therefore standing up and taking a 5ft step is legal.
This isn't RAW, it's RAI.
This is raw, as I quoted above from the Paizo PRD. Under move actions, both "move" and "stand up" are detailed. Move specifically says you can not take a 5' step in the same round you "move", "stand up" does not have that statement. It is 100% RAW detailed in clear text on the paizo PRD under the section "Actions In Combat", sub section "Move Actions".
Take any word from pathfinder that has a dictionary meaning, and throw out the dictionary and its meaning. Then look strictly at what Pathfinder has written for the meaning of the word, this is the sole meaning you should take. Any word that appears in pathfinder and a dictionary that has a meaning attached to it means you should completely forget the dictionary meaning.
In a dictionary "Moving" is defined as any type of movement, whether it be swinging your arm, moving your leg, jumping, running, climbing, swimming, etc. etc. (remember though, throw this meaning out because Pathfinder has its own definition for "Moving")
In Pathfinder, "Moving" is defined as moving 5ft or greater. when you stood up did your feet move your body 5ft or more? No? then its just a Move equivalent Action and now you can take a 5ft step.
This is completely RAW, not RAI.