A dire situation is any part of gameplay where the timing of action sequences is important, often because the threat of injury or death is imminent. When gameplay enters a dire situation, the free-form gameplay style found during calm situations is replaced by a strict turn-based gameplay style (until the dire situation ends).
A dire situation takes place of a series of rounds. During each round, each character will take one turn.
At the start of a dire situation, turn order must be determined - for each character (PCs and NPCs) involved in the dire situation, they must perform an Initiative vs Initiative opposed check; that is, all characters make a normal check using their initiative attribute, and rank the results from highest to lowest.
Once the turn order has been established, the first round begins. Each round, each character takes their turn in the established turn order. A character who is unconscious or dead cannot take their turn.
On a character's turn, they can, in any order they choose:
Note that a character may split their movement (that is, move some, take an action, and continuing moving).
Once per round, a character may use up to one action not on their turn, provided the following criteria hold: