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Author Topic: The Chaos that is Initiative  (Read 732 times)

mythusmage

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The Chaos that is Initiative
« on: September 14, 2006, 04:34:15 am »
This is part of my d20 variant. In this initial write up we're dealing solely with two person combats. More people means more complications, and that can wait for later. In any case, the basic rule is...

Both participants role for initiative. To determine initiative you roll a d20 and add any applicable modifier. The higher die roll wins initiative.

In those cases where the modified die roll is higher than twenty, subtract twenty from that number, and that is the initiative the character has for the previous round. Yes, it does mean that it is possible for one to act prior to the start of combat. Think of it as the character being especially quick off the mark. Now, if the modified roll is a negative number, subtract that number from twenty. That is the initiative the character has for the next round.

The character with the initiative can choose his action. He is known as the actor. The character without the initiative can only react to what the actor does. He is known as the reactor. In the case of combat (the usual reason for rolling initiative) the actor can attack while the reactor defends. (Attack and defense is covered under Combat.) When both the actor and the reactor have determined the outcome of their respective actions both parties roll for initiative again.

Please note that under this system the reactor loses any action he may have planned for. It's not a case of first the one who won initiative performs an action, and then the one who lost initiative performs an action. Here the first gets an action, while the second can only react to the former's action.

Once both parties have acted initiative for the next round is determined. In the case of someone who was able to act in the previous round, he can roll for initiative in the current round. But, he cannot act before he acted previously. (Rules covering this to come.) In the case of someone who had to act in the round after, he gets to roll for the round after that.

That's pretty much it. Obviously it needs re-writing, too dang wordy right now. And re-organized. But it should serve to give you enough for feedback.
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Bagpuss

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The Chaos that is Initiative
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2006, 07:18:21 am »
Could you give a worked example, it might help me understand exactly what you are meaning.
 

mythusmage

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The Chaos that is Initiative
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2006, 09:56:17 am »
Quote from: Bagpuss
Could you give a worked example, it might help me understand exactly what you are meaning.


Okay.

Bob and Joe are facing off. Bob wants to get into a bar, Joe is there to keep him out. Bob is stonkered, and so has a -3 on his initiative. Joe is sober and kinda dextrous, so he gets a +1.

Bob's player rolls a 1 on the d20, meaning his initiative is a -2 (1 - 3). Which means his initiative is actually an 18 on the next round after this one (20 -2).

Joe's player rolls an 8 on the d20, meaning his initiative is a 9 (8 + 1). Figure that Bob is not steadiest target around, so it takes some time to assess the situation.

So Joe's attack is to take Bob by the arms and hustle him off, while Joe's defense is to ignore Joe and stumble into the club. Joe gets a +3, while Bob gets a -3.

Joe's roll is a 14. Bob's roll is a 0. Joe has a grip on Bob's arm and prepares to turn the drunk around. It's time for initiative again.

Bob's initiative is automatically an 18. Joe rolls a 12, so his initiative is a 13 (12 + 1).

Bob tries to get away, and rolls a 17 (20 - 3).

Joe tries to hold on, and rolls a 12 (9 + 3). This is going to be a long night.

Having lost initiative to Bob, Joe has to roll for the next round. He does, getting a 7 (6 + 1).

Bob rolls a 10 (13 -3). So he gets the first action, which he uses to stumble up to the doorway.

Since Joe didn't have to counter whatever Bob did, he gets an action. Which is to tackle Bob and bring him down. His roll is an 18 (17 + 1), and since Bob isn't trying to defend himself, he gets no defense. Bob, screeching and flailing with outrage, goes down. With the aid of some bar patrons Bob is subdued, cuffed, and in good time handed over to the police.

Was that what you were looking for?
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Bagpuss

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The Chaos that is Initiative
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2006, 10:12:14 am »
Yes.... but I think I'm even more confused now... :(
 

zamiel

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The Chaos that is Initiative
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2006, 12:32:10 am »
Why not just have init rolls over 20 end up being two attacks that round? Because that inits over twenty being an attack the previous round confuses and frightens me.
-Zam
 

mythusmage

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The Chaos that is Initiative
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2006, 06:53:22 am »
Bagpuss,

I'm simplifying the wording to make it easier to understand. But it'll be awhile before it's ready.

Zamiel,

You'll get used to it. :)

Essentially; the one who wins initiative gets to act, the one who loses initiative has to react. When both have completed their actions, both roll for initiative again.

But note that the actor can choose to ignore the reactor. That means the reactor can then act at his initiative, thus become the actor while the original actor becomes the reactor. You can have situations where both parties choose to ignore each other, which means you have a very short and bloodless combat. :D

A round is two seconds long, with 20 beats 0.1 seconds in length. The count goes from Beat 20 down to Beat 1. Casting, slow weapons, movement, and injury among a number of other things can slow a character down, and so a negative modifier is applied to the roll. At the moment a good Dexterity can speed up a character's reaction - as can Improved Initiative, but I'm thinking of adding a modifier for Wisdom, plus adding ranks in Spot to the roll.

The purpose behind this mechanic is to bring the uncertainty and chaos combat is prone to. As well as to simplify what can happen during the course of a round. It also fits in with the opposed roll task resolution the Dragon Earth system uses.

Anyway, a clarification will be posted as soon as I figure out how to word it.
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zamiel

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The Chaos that is Initiative
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2006, 07:22:40 am »
Quote from: mythusmage


Zamiel,

You'll get used to it. :)

Maybe if you gave me an example? I thought about a d20 init modifier that gave you an attack every ten. Not sure if that gaives me enough variability though. *shrug*
-Zam
 

Xavier Lang

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The Chaos that is Initiative
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2006, 11:41:09 am »
Quote from: mythusmage
Okay.

Bob and Joe are facing off. Bob wants to get into a bar, Joe is there to keep him out. Bob is stonkered, and so has a -3 on his initiative. Joe is sober and kinda dextrous, so he gets a +1.

Bob's player rolls a 1 on the d20, meaning his initiative is a -2 (1 - 3). Which means his initiative is actually an 18 on the next round after this one (20 -2).

Joe's player rolls an 8 on the d20, meaning his initiative is a 9 (8 + 1). Figure that Bob is not steadiest target around, so it takes some time to assess the situation.

So Joe's attack is to take Bob by the arms and hustle him off, while Joe's defense is to ignore Joe and stumble into the club. Joe gets a +3, while Bob gets a -3.

Joe's roll is a 14. Bob's roll is a 0. Joe has a grip on Bob's arm and prepares to turn the drunk around. It's time for initiative again.


You lost me there.  Joe shouldn't have to roll.  Bob has zero actions this round.  Bob has no defense, he can't act this round, his initiative was too bad.

I assume your going for maximum chaos with this system?  With a bad initiative penalty or terrible rolling, someone could only get an action every other round.

Did you specifically not use linked rounds, your desire for the above and below 20 affecting the rounds around it makes me think of them?
 

beejazz

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The Chaos that is Initiative
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2006, 07:28:53 pm »
Well, I certainly see alot more chaos in initiative, if that's what you were going for...

obryn

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The Chaos that is Initiative
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2006, 11:15:02 pm »
Even though I think I see what you're getting at, I think it would be unwieldy in actual use.  I don't think you'd get enough benefit from this change to offset the added layers of complexity and confusion.

I understand you want to start with 2 and move to a big group, but I really see no way this could work with a big group whatsoever, to be frank.

-O
 

JMcL63

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The Chaos that is Initiative
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2006, 01:02:53 am »
I agree. An initiative system where your roll can give you an action in the previous or succeeding round, and which is designed to sequence actions in 1/10ths of a second in 2 second rounds... sorry, but no way jose. I just wouldn't want to have to manage that system. I mean, I can't even fathom why you think it would be a good idea. ;)
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warren

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The Chaos that is Initiative
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2006, 09:56:53 am »
Yeah, it sounds rather complex to me too.

I have got an idea; dunno if it would work or not. Everybody announces what they are going to do in the round (Fighter: "I'm going to hit the Orc", Ranger: "I'm going to shoot the Wolf", Thief: "I'm going to creating a diversion and hide from that Wolf", GM: "The Orc is going to hit the fighter and the wolf is going to pounce on the Thief"). No dice are rolled at until everybody has said what they are going to do.

Once all the actions are stated, everybody rolls thier primary attack d20 (or skill check d20 instead, if they are out of combat) all at the same time. This natural roll is also the initative roll, and you go down from high roll to low roll, resolving the action. (Fighter rolls a 18, Ranger rolls a 6, Thief rolls an 11, GM rolls a 14 for the Orc and a 4 for the Wolf).

Fighter goes first, and uses his 18+Attack Bonus to hit the Orc. If the Orc is still alive after this attack, the Orc goes next (14) and uses his 14+Attack Bonus to hit the Fighter. The thief then makes his Bluff check (11) against the Wolf and then makes a successful hide check. The Ranger then uses his (6)+Attack Bonus as an attack against the Wolf, which misses. Finally, on his 4, the Wolf goes. He was going to attack the Thief, but as the Thief (his stated target) is now hidden, the Wolf doesn't get to do anything this round.

Just throwing it out there.