Combat is cyclical; everybody acts in turn in a regular cycle of rounds. Combat follows this sequence:
- 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 actions during the surprise round. Combatants who were unaware do not get to act in the surprise round, though they may take immediate actions after the first turn (and are flat-footed during the first turn). If no one or everyone starts the battle aware, there is no surprise round.
- Combatants who have not yet rolled initiative do so. All combatants are now ready to begin their first regular round of combat.
- Combatants act in initiative order (highest to lowest), provided they have standard actions remaining for the round. Combatants who have used all their standard actions are skipped.
- When everyone has used all their standard actions, the combatant with the highest initiative acts again, and steps 3 and 4 repeat until combat ends.