Losing initiative is described as:

When your foe has initiative against you, they are forcing you to react. ... Some moves are inherently proactive or offensive and can only be made when you have initiative. Others are reactive or defensive and are made when your foe has initiative.

Reading the rules, I only see two moves are specifically described as reactive: Face Danger and Clash. The rules, however, also list other moves in other category than combat, but I'm having difficulty in deciding which can be used when my character doesn't have initiative.

Other than Face Danger and Clash, what other moves can be triggered when I don't have initiative?


1 Answer 1


It depends on how you describe what you do.

Ultimately, the answer to which moves you can or must perform when you don't have initiative comes down to what actions you perform in the fiction (see page 50: "Fiction First, Then Move") that fit both A) the pressure that being on the back foot places upon you, and B) move triggers. If you don't run into a move trigger, that's a sign that your table isn't finished describing what you do and what the world does in response.

The core rulebook does spell out the application of Other Moves in Combat (starting on page 85), and it's mostly intuitive (Secure an Advantage/Aid Your Ally only when you have initiative, Face Danger whether you have initiative or not, and the universal suffer moves and fate moves apply any time peril befalls you or you have questions about what happens next), but Compel is specifically called out as being usable regardless of initiative as long as you can justify its use (for instance, when you surrender).

Moves you might be required or allowed to use in combat regardless of your initiative status might include having to Test Your Bond, run away to Write Your Epilogue, complete a challenge to Reach A Milestone or Fulfill Your Vow, or Forsake Your Vow.

Bear in mind that Compel also sets a standard for alternate outcomes; when decisive action brings finality to a skirmish, that's when you End the Fight, but cowardice or coercion can bring a more socially- or psychologically-angled conclusion to the battle instead, or you could perhaps Face Danger to flee.


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