Combat is cyclical; everybody acts in turn in a regular cycle of rounds. Combat follows this sequence:
1. Each combatant starts out flat-footed. Once a combatant acts, he or she is no longer flat-footed.
2. Determine which characters are aware of their opponents at the start of the battle. If some but not all of the combatants are aware of their opponents, a surprise
round happens before regular rounds of combat begin. The combatants who are aware of the opponents can act in the surprise
round, so they roll for initiative
. In initiative
order (highest to lowest), combatants who started the battle aware of their opponents each take one action (either a standard action
or a move action
) during the surprise
round. Combatants who were unaware do not get to act in the surprise
round. If no one or everyone starts the battle aware, there is no surprise
3. Combatants who have not yet rolled initiative
do so. All combatants are now ready
to begin their first regular round of combat.
4. Combatants act in initiative
order (highest to lowest).
5. When everyone has had a turn, the combatant with the highest initiative
acts again, and steps 4 and 5 repeat until combat ends.