Keeping the Order Orderly

The following rules keep combat time running smoothly:

Surprise: The GM can rule that the heroes or their adversaries have the element of surprise when combat begins. When this happens, the GM elects up to two creatures on that side to be ambushers. During the first round of combat, only ambushers can act: no other combatant can move, take actions, or take reactions until the first round ends.

A side has the element of surprise only when no one on the opposing side can perceive a threat. This is usually the case when the heroes successfully sneak up on a monster (or vice versa).

Default Turn Order: The hero players can establish a default turn order to use for uncomplicated engagements. Examples include Agility Order (heroes take turns in order of highest-to-lowest passive Agility score) and Table Order (heroes take turns clockwise around the game table).

Friendly and Indifferent Creatures: For the purposes of turn order, a creature that is friendly to the heroes counts as a hero, and a creature that is indifferent to the heroes counts as an adversary.

New Combatants: When a new hero enters the battle, the hero players decide on its position in the heroes' turn order. In the case of a a new adversary, the GM decides on its position in the adversaries' turn order.