The Cursed Planet Malice V
Combats are referred to as skirmishes (to distinguish them from the Mass Combat rules), and skirmishes are played out in a series of short time-units known as Rounds. A combat Round is a very short period of time, measured in seconds. Combat situations can vary wildly depending upon the circumstances, so there is no strict determination of how long a Round lasts, but it can be assumed that one Round never takes longer than ten seconds. Although the Round is short, there are a lot of options for what a character can do during that time, and ten seconds can be very busy.
Definition of Terms
Action: What a character does when it is their Turn during a combat Round.
Initiative: A measure of how quickly a given character reacts compared to other participants in a skirmish.
Round: A unit of time, 3 to 10 seconds in length, during which all participants in a skirmish have an opportunity to take Actions.
Turn: The opportunity for an individual character to take Actions during a combat Round. Under normal circumstances, every participant in a skirmish has one Turn, which takes place on their Initiative.
Sequence of Events
A combat Round unfolds in the following stages:
Stage 1: Initiative– During the first Round of a skirmish, all participants make an Initiative Roll, rolling Agility and Class Rank, keeping Agility. The result of this roll, called the Initiative Score, determines the order in which all characters will act. An Initiative Roll is only made on a character’s first Round of participation in the skirmish, and the resulting Initiative Score is used for the remainder of the skirmish. However, in subsequent Rounds, Initiative Scores may potentially change as a result of different character abilities or situational modifiers. During the first Round of combat, characters also select their Stance immediately before they make their Initiative Roll.
Stage 2: Turns– The bulk of a combat Round involves each individual participant taking their Turn. When this stage begins, the character with the highest Initiative Score takes their Turn first, and may take any legal Action. A character may choose to delay taking their Turn, and instead allow the character with the next highest Initiative Score to take their Turn. After that, the character who delayed their Turn has the chance to take it or delay again, and so on. Delaying a Turn has no effect on a character’s Initiative Score the following Round, and Turns cannot be “saved” from one Round to the next. If every participant Delays their Turn, when the participant with the lowest initiative score is reached he must take his Turn, then the Round ends. After the first Round of a skirmish, characters may change their Stances at the beginning of their Turn, before taking any Actions. A character only ever has one Turn per Round, regardless of how many Actions he may take during the Round.
Stage 3: Reactions– At the end of a Round, when all characters have taken their Turn, there are certain abilities that take effect as a result of the events of the Round. For example, spell effects that have expired end during the Reaction Stage. All such effects happen simultaneously during Stage 3. Reaction effects, typically generated by Techniques, Spells, or Advantages, are always clearly labeled as such.