How often do creatures act in combat?

I've been having some trouble with interpreting the combat rules: as far as I can find, the rules don't clarify how monsters with a mix of powers and weapons function in combat. Do they only get to act once, with their initiative determined by whatever weapon or power they used at the start of combat, or is it the case that they can use a weapon - a dragon's claws, for example, at an Init of +4 - and then they can also use powers at the relevant intiative step - to continue the example, the dragon attacks with its claws at Init +4, then breathes fire using a power at Init +2? What about a monster with multiple natural weapons, say our dragon has both a bite and a claw attack: could it use both each round, or would it need to choose one each time?

It had seemed reasonable to me that the creature would just roll once, and act at a different point each round depending on what it chooses to use in that exchange, being able to use only one action each round, but from what I'm able to see in the rules it looks like powers can always be used in their initiative step, whatever else the creature has done. That doesn't seem to be explicitly spelled out though, and I don't see anything about the case of multiple weapons at all.

And finally - does any of this change if we talk about a human? Would a companion with two weapons get to fight at the initiative step of each, or do they pick a weapon each round?

Mostly this. Although when switching from a claw +4 (used in round 1) to fire breathing +2, their initiative would drop by 2 for that round.

A monster could attack twice, once with a claw at +4 and once with fire at +2, if the storyguide wants to make it a more dangerous monster, however this would be an exception for a "boss fight" rather than the rule.

A companion (or grog, mage..) would choose which weapon to use for each round.


That makes sense, thank you for the clarification.

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By default, everyone has one action. Bear in mind that Supernatural creatures, may have improved powers that gives them something akin to spell mastery for their powers, which could be used to buy fast-casting, which might allow the creature to act more than once just as an hermetic magi might with his mastered spells.

That's interesting, can you point me to where the improvement rules for powers are, or does it just work like mastering a Hermetic spell?

In RoP: M, you can find this under "Improved Powers" on page 41, which allows the creature to have the equivalent of a spell mastery, at the storyteller's discretion, with one quality point per spell mastery specialty. The faeries have this as well, see p. 55. I'm not sure where the rules are for Divine and infernal powers, but I'm assuming they have something similar, just don't ask me to quote a page :stuck_out_tongue:

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Much appreciated, thanks, I'll take a look at those.