Tales from the Outer Rim
The combat round
Combat consists of a series of rounds, each of which is further broken down into a series of turns. During each round, each PC or NPC (or group of NPCs) gets the opportunity to accomplish tasks and complete actions.
Keep in mind that a round does not last for a set period of time; rather it lasts long enough for a character to move and perform an important action. Also note that while turns occur sequentially, narratively they all occur at roughly the same time.
Combat follows these steps:
1. Determine Initiative
At the beginning of the first round of combat, all PCs and NPCs determine what the initiative order will be. Each player, NPC or group of NPCs makes a Simple (-) Cool or Vigilance check (generally using Cool if the roller is aware and ready or Vigilance if not). Note that different characters can end up using different skills, depending on the circumstances.
Once all Initiative checks are made, the GM notes the results of each check and ranks them in order, from highest number of successes to the lowest. If two checks are tied, the check with more advantages is ranked higher. If a PC and NPC are tied, the PC is ranked higher.
2. Assign Initiative Slots
Once the GM has determined the Initiative order, he notes which results were generated by the PCs, and which were generated by the NPCs. The results generated by PCs become PC slots; the results generated by NPCs become NPC slots.
3. Participants take turns
Beginning at he top of the initiative order, the players and GM fill each slot one at a time with a character turn – if the slot is a PC slot, one PC who has not taken a turn may go. IF it is a NPC slot, the GM chooses on NPC (or group) to go.
4. Round ends
Once all PCs and NPC slots have been used, the round ends. The GM determines if the combat is over. If it is not, steps 2-4 are repeated until it is.