This is how I've been running games, and I encourage the players to respond with any ability they can justify. If it's inappropriate, penalize it or deny it (usually by huge penalties).
>2) The other aspect of this is the use of 'active' magic in a
>defensive role. If you consider an action to be an exchange then
>both sides could fire at each other... I shoot him with arrows vs I
>shoot him with arrows, OR I cast "Burn his body to a cinder" at him,
>I reply by casting "Stop his heart from beating"... the exchange and
>rolls would merely represent which one got their effect out first?
>Both actions are "attacking".
>Or am I pushing this too far?
Off the top of my head, this is how simple contests can work, but extended contest exchanges have an actor and a resistance. Simultaneous attacks in an extended contest sounds like no active resistance (default resistance, but what would be the advantage of doing this rather than using a better resistance, unless you have changed the nature of extended contests to a "fast draw" each time), and could work as a house rule.
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