0 APs of time is the equivalent of 4 seconds. It’s the length of one round of Combat; everything that round happens in 4 seconds. (We often fudge a little when it comes to dialogue.) In 0 APs of time, a Character can do up to three Actions, made from any combination on this list: attempt one Dice Action such as an attack or a Recovery Check; activate an Automatic defensive power; Move up to the distance allowed on a single Movement Power or (if no Movement Power available) run 4 APs/swim 3APs/jump 0 APs; speak a short line of dialogue; operate any Gadget if that action is an Automatic Action; or do any other Automatic Action that the GM will buy as reasonable in the current situation, unless the Character in question is a superspeedster such as Silverwing, in which case several more shenanigans may ensue.
A lengthy conversation would prevent a Dice Action.
Dodging prevents a Dice Action.
Grappling severely limits the available Dice Actions and the Movement of the Characters involved.
Remember the Doubling rule for ranges of AP measurements; it affects Time just like it affects other measurements.
1 AP of time is up to 8 seconds.
2 APs of time equal up to 16 seconds.
3 APs of time equal up to 32 seconds.
4 APs of time is where the system starts rounding off its ranges; it’s equal to anything above half a minute, up to a full minute. One minute equals seven and a half phases of combat!
5 APs of time is 2 minutes, or fifteen phases of combat, which is probably a sign that the fight isn’t going well for the protagonists.
9 APs of time reaches from sixteen-and-a-third minutes up to thirty-three and a third minutes; usually when we say 9 APs of time, we mean about half an hour.
10 APs of time is technically up to one hour, six minutes, forty seconds. For most in-game purposes, this is generally considered “an hour”.
15 APs of time is about a day. Technically, the range goes up to 1 day, 9 hours, 20 minutes.
18 APs of time is roughly a week.
20 APs of time is roughly a month.
22 APs of time is roughly a quarter of a year.
24 APs of time would, therefore, probably be a full year.