Initiative determines the order that characters and NPC will take action during a combat round. Characters having the highest initiative act first. Any effects that occur during that initiative are applied immediately, before the next initiative.
Initiative is determined by rolling 1D6. This may be modified based on training and situations. There are 3 basic scenarios for calculation initiative modifiers:
Characters are engaged in military or paramilitary operations. +1 each for Tactics, Leader or prior military experience.
The characters are in a non-military fight situation (e.g. bar fight). +1 each for Streetwise, Leader, law enforcement of criminal background.
Characters are engaged in zero-G combat. +1 per level of zero-G, +1 for leader, prior spacing experience.
Characters wearing Battledress add +3 to their intiative.
CRI who are in a 'triggered state' add +3 to their initiative.
Gunfighters who are executing a fastdraw add +1 to their initiative per level of holster skill.
If one side's initiative exceeds the others by 3 or more, they have achieved surprise. The suprised characters may not act this turn. Surprise is automatically lost on subsequent turns unless the attacker is using silent weapons/attacks, or is attacking from a hidden position.