Dresden Files: New York
Types of Actions
Each character gets one basic action per turn. Under certain circumstances your character can take a single supplemental action and/or several free actions in addition to that main action, like if you are attempting to do something more complicated than a single, basic action allows.
It’s up to the GM to decide if you additional action is a free action or a supplemental action.
Free actions are minor things you can do that do not in any way impede the main action that you character is taking. They may or may not involve a roll of the dice.
Rolling for defense against an attack, casting a quick glance at a doorway, flipping a switch right next to your character, starting a car, listening for voices, and/or shouting a short warning are free actions.
There is no limit on the number of free actions your character may take during an exchange unless the GM and/or group feels should only impose limits if it seems like someone is taking undue advantage or it is physically impossible to complete all the actions in the relatively short time of a combat turn.
Supplemental Actions are minor things you can do that do impede the main action that you character is taking usually by splitting their focus. Supplemental actions usually do not involve a roll of the dice.
Moving one zone in addition to another action, drawing a gun before shooting it, opening a door and then intimidating the occupants of the room beyond, using a cell phone while shooting a gun, or snatching up a nearby vase to smash over the head of a burglar. These actions are called supplemental actions,
Because a Supplemental action impedes or distracts from the main action it imposes a –1 penalty on the roll for the main action.
Attack: Roll against an opponent to try to inflict stress or consequences on him directly (page 200).
Maneuvers: Roll against an opponent or against a fixed difficulty to try to place an aspect on the opponent or the scene (page 207).
Block: Roll to set up a preemptive defense against a specified future action; anyone committing that named action will have to roll against the block to succeed (page 210).
Sprint: Roll to change zones, with a higher roll allowing a greater degree of movement (page 212).
Assessments/Declarations: Roll to discover or establish in narrative an interesting aspect/detail about the story as it unfolds.
Full Defense: You can always choose to do nothing active in the exchange at all; your character is assumed to be concentrating entirely on defense. As such, any defense rolls you make to avoid attacks or maneuvers are done at +2.