Wolves in Wolf's Clothing
Initiative is determined by your character’s Dexterity + Composure.
Any time multiple people are trying to act simultaneously in a time sensitive manner (most commonly combat, but not always), Initiative is rolled to determine the order people may act in. Once this order is established, it usually remains for the scene, unless someone changes their place in the Initiative order. There are two ways to do this.
Your character may hold their action when their initiative comes up, choosing to wait for later in the round before declaring an action. When you wish to re-enter Initiative, you will be placed next in order. In future turns, you will be at your new initiative. This is the primary way to change the order of combat. You may not interrupt another character’s action when you are delaying. If you wish to respond to something someone is doing, you may be placed after whoever is currently acting.
If multiple people are Delaying, their previous Initiatives determine who has priority if they want to rejoin initiative at the same time. Someone with a higher initiative may choose to go first, or let any number of people go before them.
Any effects based on your turn happening (taking ongoing damage, regeneration, defence resetting) happen on your original Initiative, until you have selected a new one. On subsequent turns, they occur on the new Initiative (delaying your action does not delay regeneration).
Ready An Action
If your character is waiting for a very specific purpose and wishes to prepare for it, they can Ready an action. Declare on your turn to the Storyteller (this can be secret from other players, though sometimes it will be obvious) the action you would like to take and a single trigger for it. The character then acts immediately, interrupting whatever is currently happening.
This allows a character to Ready that if their rival they are staring down takes one more step forward, they’ll shoot. Unlike delaying, you don’t have to wait for the other person to finish their turn before entering initiative.
For future turns, your place in the Initiative is immediately before the point at which your condition triggered.
If the condition is not met before your next turn, your action is lost. You may then spend your next action to continuing readying, if you so choose.
If the condition is met but you no longer wish to respond in your prepared manner, you have the option to cancel your action. You are placed in the Initiative immediately before the trigger, but get no action this turn. The character spends their turn stopping themselves from what they were about to do and loses some momentum in the process. An example would be someone in a safe-house hearing a knock on the door and grabbing their shotgun. They Ready an action to open fire when the door opens, but when it does, it isn’t who they were expecting and they take their finger from the trigger.
If multiple Readied actions trigger at once, the character’s previous Initiatives determine who has priority. In order of Initiative they must decide whether to take the action or lose it and cannot wait to see what others are doing.
If you are no longer able to perform the action, you lose your action. For example, “Readying to start the car when the signal goes” is lost if you are thrown from the vehicle first. Your initiative moves to right after you were interrupted, but you lose the action for this round.
A character whose Initiative is interrupted will finish their turn after the Readied character takes their action. If a character was attempting an action that becomes impossible due to a readied action, they will usually lose the action, at Storyteller discretion (If you were going to pull a lever, and someone takes a readied action to break it off as you make the attempt, you do not then get to decide to do something else with your action). However, if a character triggered an action by walking into a room, they could get interrupted during their movement, but could then take an Instant action if they had not yet acted.