If a person has acted in a surprise round (i.e. no longer flat footed), do they get a reaction? The situation is, the PC has moved right up to an enemy, and the enemy is about to cast a spell. If the PC has a reaction, the spell would trigger an AoO.
The rule says, "combatants who started the battle aware of their opponents can each take either a standard or move action during the surprise round. Characters can also take swift actions during the surprise round."
A reaction is described as a "special action."
I read together, I read the surprise rule as being exhaustive of all possible actions that may be taken, and the reaction rule classifying a reaction as a "special" action, but an "action" nonetheless.
It just seems excessive to me for someone to be able to be able to take two actions in a surprise round in the normal course.
I don't think the list is exhaustive. People just don't normally get to take reactions unless they are triggered.
Arguing from the other direction, you can take an AOO unless something says you can't. Being flat footed already prevents you from taking an aoo. Not having acted already prevents the AOO when you're not supposed to. Those already cover someone going "huh?" when the fighting starts.
The player (another lawyer) I made this ruling against agreed with my reasoning, but we both agreed that we were being obnoxious for using rules of statutory interpretation to decide how a rule in an RPG worked.
there's a reason law books don't make the new york times best seller lists...