Dealing with Doors


Rules Discussion


Yesterday in my Ironfang Invasion game adapted to PF2, I ran into trouble with a closed unlocked door. I wonder whether there was a better way to play it. Houserules are an acceptable solution to me.

The party was trying to get non-combatant people across the Phaendar bridge to escape from hobgoblin soldiers. NPC Aubrin the Green asked the elf Chernasardo-hopeful ranger Zinfandel to fetch an item out of a nearby shed where Aubrin had stashed it until needed. Two people, husband and wife, had taken shelter in the shed after the husband was hit by a arrow shot by a hobgoblin soldier. The hobgobins were deliberately targetting the civilians in order to intimidate them into surrendering. Aubrin wanted them over the bridge, too.

Zinfandel Strode 15 feet to the shed's door as her first action. She Interacted to open the door as her second action, and I allowed her to Step through and close the door behind her as part of the same action. She spoke firmly to the two people, making a Request as her third action.

If I had played this by the book it would have taken five actions: Stride to the door, Interact to open the door, Step to go through the door, Interact to close the door, and Request to speak to the couple inside. Zinfandel had to close the door behind her; otherwise, the hobgoblin heavy trooper would have had a clear line to shoot at the couple through the open doorway, with Zinfandel providing soft cover.

On the townsfolks' turn, the wife Stepped 5 feet to the door, Interacted to open it, and Strode 25 more feet. In contrast, her injured husband who followed took 3 Stride actions and ended up 40 feet ahead of her. Zinfandel asked her to leave the door open, because getting shot with an arrow would be less trouble than dealing with a closed door.

During my PF1 games, I used a rule that opening a door during Movement cost 5 feet of movement. I don't recall whether that was a houserule or not.

The issue is not so much that opening the door costs a full Interact action. The main loss of movement is that first Stride action has to be cut short in order to Interact with the door. Maybe I should invent a two-action Acrobatics-based activity Moving Interact that allows Interactions during a Stride. But I hope that the rules as written provide a more realistic method of moving through a closed door.


Personally, I would have done exactly what you did. Opening the door as part of the stride seems too lenient, but pulling it closed behind you with a step? I'm into it.

If someone wants to get through a door without breaking their stride, I'd probably require them to make an athletics check to break it down. That is also a the grounds for a skill feat I've made.


That's far from the worst. If you are 5 ft. away from a 5ft. wall, and have a climb speed, you need 1 action to get next to the wall, one action to climb 5ft. then a last action to Stride after that. 2 actions to make 10ft instead of 50ft...

I must admit, in the case of this door, I may have authorized the Step, especially if the character was having tons of movement left after getting to the door. Otherwise, not.


SuperBidi wrote:

That's far from the worst. If you are 5 ft. away from a 5ft. wall, and have a climb speed, you need 1 action to get next to the wall, one action to climb 5ft. then a last action to Stride after that. 2 actions to make 10ft instead of 50ft...

I must admit, in the case of this door, I may have authorized the Step, especially if the character was having tons of movement left after getting to the door. Otherwise, not.

Yeah you're better off leaping up that wall in that situation.

Grand Lodge

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I think I might have ruled that as her third action she could step or move in and close the door as a free action after her move since she spent an interaction to open it, meaning she flipped the latch or turned the nob already and her hand was in place. She would have to wait a round to make the "Request".

But that is my opinion no rules backing it up.


In terms of closing door which seems main issue, I'd like a simple ruling like "Interacting to open door also allows closing it as free action as long as you remain adjacent" i.e. after stepping thru door (or even not, if looking into room, you decide you want to close the door without entering). That seems reasonable, considering any significant lock mechanism can impose further action cost (even crossbar that isn't Thievery check, just autosuccess action).

I would also say the Request thing is something not always necessary, that is using Diplomacy specifically to "push" a certain course of action. Just speaking info doesn't require an action, so you can say "Commander Aubrin said we should do XYZ" and they can freely respond to that info.


Quandary wrote:
I would also say the Request thing is something not always necessary, that is using Diplomacy specifically to "push" a certain course of action. Just speaking info doesn't require an action, so you can say "Commander Aubrin said we should do XYZ" and they can freely respond to that info.

Aubrin is a half-blind retired Chernasardo ranger living in the village of Phaendar. She has respect but no formal authority.

I felt that the two scared townsfolk in the shed needed a push, a stern Diplomacy or Intimidate check to persuade them to move. By the rules of Trail of the Hunted getting both over the bridge is worth 20 pf2 xp for each PC, so the players had to work at it. Zinfandel had not trained Diplomacy nor Intimidation, so they shared the same bonus (a common side effect of the proficiency rules). The one-action Request was the fastest method for a Charisma check. He rolled 15.

By the way, Zinfandel is an androgynous male character played by a female player, and I frequently mess up his pronoun. He used to have an androgynous female miniature until his player bought a new one, elf fighter.


OK... I think in general though the system is built assuming party cooperation, in which case one person can open, one person can close, one person can Diplomacize etc, with the people not opening getting better efficiency from 1st move action. If facing solo scenario some rules-improvisation to make it not ultra onerous is reasonable like here... Possibly a Diplomacy check could also trigger the civilians to close door for you is other way to run it.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Sounds like this was happening in the midst of a combat encounter. The other characters were probably cooperating by fighting off hobgoblins!


Sure, I was also trying to address general rules relevance considering this is Rules Discussion, and OP did say he hopes "that the rules as written provide a more realistic method of moving through a closed door" which is issue beyond scope of this specific encounter, and it's specific context.

I think that conservatively, the rules should allow for more flexibility especially when a door opens towards the direction of movement, which shouldn't ever need to cancel full movement speed (when door intersects full movement segment). Dealing with door opening in opposite direction of movement is more awkward and perhaps doesn't deserve the same facilitation, although this is strict stance I don't expect everybody to adhere to 100% when it would overly impede their game.

But if requesting for Errata/FAQ on this topic, it doesn't seem productive to expect homegame convenience of ruling, official Errata/FAQ needs to conservatively approach rules because it can and will be strictly applied as the rules in all situations, it is made with assumption home games can rule more flexibly.


I would like rules for creating custom "Activities" that include multiple actions, like the above step/interact/speak action.

This could even be an interesting feat chain, starting with something everyone has, and unlocking additional possible actions to use in your custom activity.

I could see everyone being able to use steps in conjunction with interact actions and speech actions, then a feat to include strides and other movement speeds, then a last feat to be able to use a single strike with those options perhaps.

All of these would have to be GM balanced, for instance spellcasting actions may not be allowed, and you would have to set a limit of maybe one per turn, but this could give players some needed flexibility in situations like the OP stated.

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