[RPG] How do initiative passes and multiple actions work


I'm really confused with the initiative pass system in Shadowrun. For a "normal" combat situation with no augmentations or spells that increase the number of actions you can get, it looks rather easy.

On your turn, you get either a Complex action or 2 Simple Actions.

Where things get confusing is the following paragraph:

Everyone gets to act during the
first Initiative Pass (in order according to their Initiative Score), characters
with two actions get to go again during a second Initiative Pass,
characters with three actions get a third action during a third Initiative
Pass, and so on.

So additional actions give additional Initiative Passes?

When I look at the Synaptic Booster augmentation, it says:

booster confers a bonus of +1 Reaction and + 1 Initiative Pass per
point of rating.

So if I get this correctly, an Initiative Pass is "an action"? What action? Complex, Simple, Free, an Action Phase?

I would like to know if a Street Sam with IP 3 get 6 Simple actions or if I'm totally wrong in my understanding.

Best Answer

The paragraph's phrasing is a bit nebulous. When it refers to extra actions, it actually is referring to characters who are granted extra Intiative Passes by gear, magic, etc. Characters with rating 1 Synaptic Booster will have +1 IP, for a total of 2 IPs - two sets of actions within a single Combat Turn.

Imagine that a troll named Solifuge gets into a scrap with the street sam Gonzales and his mundane lawyer pal, Bob. Solifuge rolls an Initiative of 16 and he has 2 IPs - quick on his feet. Gonzales is sporting some wired reflexes and has a total of 3 IPs, but he only nets 15 on the Initiative test. Bob is hopelessly out of league of these two, going last with Initiative 9 and only 1 IP.

This Combat Turn would play out in the following manner:

Pass 1: Solifuge (16), Gonzales (15), Bob (9).

Pass 2: Solifuge (16), Gonzales (15).

Pass 3: Gonzales (15).

Gonzales has more overall passes available to him in the Combat Turn, but he won't be taking them all consecutively. He also has to worry about Solifuge getting in the first blows in this example.

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