Types of Abilities
In addition to things that all classes share (such as the ability to make attacks and move around), your character’s choice of tracks determines the kind of special abilities they get. Different abilities are divided into one of four categories with general rules that govern them. The type of ability is indicated by a superscript.
Extraordinary AbilitiesEX are abilities acquired through mundane training and effort. Extraordinary abilities cannot be dispelled and, unless otherwise stated, do not provoke attacks of opportunity. Some extraordinary abilities are "passive," or always on, and do not require activation. Extraordinary abilities that require activation commonly require a swift, immediate or standard action to activate.
Rules for activating, using, and recovering an extraordinary ability are contained within the text of each specific ability, and can vary from ability to ability.
Extraordinary abilities are not limited to feats that normal humans can perform. As a humanoid creature (or any other) gains high levels, extraordinary abilities enable actions that are fantastic and epic in nature. However, these actions take the form of superhuman speed, strength, resistance, insight, or persuasion – overtly supernatural abilities such as calling fire from heaven are, by definition, not extraordinary abilities.
Spells are instances of magic subject to defined rules for casting and recovery, available via specific tracks entirely dedicated to spellcasting. Spells are subject to [dispelling] effects. Casting a spell generally provokes an attack of opportunity (however, casting a spell as a swift or immediate action does not). The full rules for spells can be found in Magic and Spellcasting.
Spells are not marked with a superscript, since they never appear as circles of a track. Instead, characters gain access to spells through a dedicated spellcasting track.
Spell-like AbilitiesSLA create effects similar to those generated by spells, but are not subject to the same general rules for casting and recovery. Spell-like abilities are generally activated as a standard action, but some are activated as a Swift action|swift]] or immediate action. Activating a spell-like ability generally provokes an attack of opportunity, unless it is activated as a swift or immediate action or the text of the ability states that it does not provoke an attack of opportunity. They can be accessed in tracks not dedicated to spellcasting. Spell-like abilities are subject to [Dispelling] effects.
Rules for activating, using, and recovering a spell-like ability vary from ability to ability.
Supernatural AbilitiesSU generate magical effects, including effects similar to those of spells and spell-like abilities as well as unique effects. Some supernatural abilities are "passive," or always on, and do not require activation. Supernatural abilities that require activation are usually activated as a standard action, but are sometimes activated as a swift or immediate action. Supernatural abilities do not provoke attacks of opportunity, unless otherwise stated. Supernatural abilities are not affected by [Dispelling] effects.
Rules for activating, using, and recovering a supernatural ability vary from ability to ability.