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Author Topic: Is Initiative Dumb?  (Read 5454 times)

WillInNewHaven

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Is Initiative Dumb?
« Reply #75 on: May 19, 2020, 11:19:08 AM »
Quote from: Psikerlord;1130524
I think like this idea. GM declares first, then players declare?


I have run games where the GM declared first and where the GM wrote down what the NPCs and monsters were doing, so the GM couldn't take advantage of the player's declarations. My current players trust me not to be playing against them, so I don't bother. I  should have given the option of declaring or writing down the intentions in the rules because not everyone has played together for twenty or thirty years.

VisionStorm

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Is Initiative Dumb?
« Reply #76 on: May 19, 2020, 11:33:43 AM »
[
Quote from: nDervish;1130575
Pre-declared spellcasting resolves this: Everyone knows that the wizard is casting Fireball at point X. The character who beat the wizard's initiative notices this in time to move clear of the blast zone. The character whose initiative is worse than the wizard's reacts too slowly and gets fried.


How does this logic even work?

Both PC warriors are charging into a melee. No one in the PC's side would be able to know that an enemy spellcaster is casting a spell, or when or where. Even if they notice the wizard is casting something that still requires a Spellcraft (or is it called Arcana now?) check to even know what spell they're casting.

And the PC with the highest Initiative notices the wizard but the other doesn't? When did an Initiative roll become a Perception check?  And how was he able to strike at someone in the melee if he's now avoiding the spell's blast radius covering that same area? How did the other one get there first if he hasn't had time to act that round?

None of this really addresses the actual scenario. It's just jumping through hoops to justify initiative and favor characters with high initiative rolls by giving them extra abilities, like evading area effects that took effect after they were already supposed to have moved into the blast area, or interrupting casters who aren't even within melee range.

Itachi

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Is Initiative Dumb?
« Reply #77 on: May 19, 2020, 12:08:12 PM »
I don't think it's dumb, but I think it's been replicated without much thought. Lots of games adopted it as if it were an integral part of RPGs. I think from 00s onward games began to play with the concept more and the design space became better for it.

estar

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Is Initiative Dumb?
« Reply #78 on: May 19, 2020, 12:43:40 PM »
Quote from: Itachi;1130597
I don't think it's dumb, but I think it's been replicated without much thought. Lots of games adopted it as if it were an integral part of RPGs. I think from 00s onward games began to play with the concept more and the design space became better for it.
Not only that some system recognize that initiative is nuanced that a "one mechanic fit all situation" doesn't cut it.

For example in my Majestic Fantasy Rules based on Swords & Wizardry, I have the players roll 1d6+bonuses, high roll goes first.
Except when it comes to polearms, if an opponent comes into reach of your polearm you get a free attack before they can continue to move and attack you. Why? Because is how polearms work according to account and my own experience in renactnments. Now you only get one of these free attacks per round so it possible for two opponent to rush and you can only attack one of them. Which is also fits my experence trying to use a polearm to fend off multiple attackers and from what I read.

Also if fighting in confined quarters I will that initiative goes from front to back for both side. The people in the rear attack last. Why? Because when fighting that like that the action in the front is fast and furious while those in the back needs a little more time for keep up their situational awareness due to the crowding. However on the other hand they are further from the action and have a little more freedom to pick and choose how they act.

Itachi

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Is Initiative Dumb?
« Reply #79 on: May 19, 2020, 02:41:03 PM »
Quote from: estar;1130600
Not only that some system recognize that initiative is nuanced that a "one mechanic fit all situation" doesn't cut it.

For example in my Majestic Fantasy Rules based on Swords & Wizardry, I have the players roll 1d6+bonuses, high roll goes first.
Except when it comes to polearms, if an opponent comes into reach of your polearm you get a free attack before they can continue to move and attack you. Why? Because is how polearms work according to account and my own experience in renactnments. Now you only get one of these free attacks per round so it possible for two opponent to rush and you can only attack one of them. Which is also fits my experence trying to use a polearm to fend off multiple attackers and from what I read.

Also if fighting in confined quarters I will that initiative goes from front to back for both side. The people in the rear attack last. Why? Because when fighting that like that the action in the front is fast and furious while those in the back needs a little more time for keep up their situational awareness due to the crowding. However on the other hand they are further from the action and have a little more freedom to pick and choose how they act.
This is what I'm taking about, yes. You tailored the concept to fit your premise instead of blindly using what came before.

estar

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Is Initiative Dumb?
« Reply #80 on: May 19, 2020, 04:03:58 PM »
Another thing I do with my rules is allow character to hold their action if they win initiative. At any point afterwards they can interrupt and take their turn. If two combatant hold their actions and opt to take their turns then whoever had the higher initiative goes first. Which can mean they maintain their hold to see what the second person interrupting does.

Related this to this, you can do an attack and pin. Where you make a successful attack but hold the damage. You can opt to inflict the damage at any point. Until the start of your next turn. There is a risk that the attacker will suffer enough damage from a source they are not aware of that they will be taken out. But that been very rare in the decade I been using this rule.

I use it to give D&D combat some non-lethal options.

Shasarak

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Is Initiative Dumb?
« Reply #81 on: May 19, 2020, 04:50:53 PM »
Quote from: S'mon;1130571
AD&D healing is 1 hp/day. In the rare case of healing for an entire week, you add CON bonus ONCE at the end of the week. Ie 1 week's healing is 7 + CON bonus.


Quote from: Shasarak;1130554
ADnD hit points claim to be a mixture of luck, magic, skill etc and then only heal as per your Constitution.


Yeah.
There will be poor always,
pathetically struggling,
look at the good things you've got! -  Jesus

Trond

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Is Initiative Dumb?
« Reply #82 on: May 19, 2020, 05:00:34 PM »
It's not so bad if done once for a conflict. Some systems ask you to do initiative every turn though.

Steven Mitchell

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Is Initiative Dumb?
« Reply #83 on: May 19, 2020, 05:18:04 PM »
Quote from: Trond;1130631
It's not so bad if done once for a conflict. Some systems ask you to do initiative every turn though.

I think part of that problem results from trying to cram too many options in a system that only does "rounds" or "turns" compared to the whole encounter.  Sure, it's simple to have "rounds" where everyone does a limited set of things, and then repeat until the encounter is over.  But if you want to include enough options, some of them don't work very well in a "round".  If nothing else, the handling time won't justify their inclusion.  Or you need to set the round to approximate time that is either too short  or too long or a compromise for all the options.

Which is why my system uses 2 levels of rounds, with the detailed stuff being 3 repeated steps in the "round", and the round being a longer unit of time where initiative can shift, major movement can happen, some accounting for fatigue, etc.  The repeat set to 3 is just an arbitrary number to give decent pacing, but still allow a combat to go for 2-4 rounds usually.

ffilz

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Is Initiative Dumb?
« Reply #84 on: May 19, 2020, 05:29:11 PM »
Quote from: estar;1130625
Another thing I do with my rules is allow character to hold their action if they win initiative. At any point afterwards they can interrupt and take their turn. If two combatant hold their actions and opt to take their turns then whoever had the higher initiative goes first. Which can mean they maintain their hold to see what the second person interrupting does.

Related this to this, you can do an attack and pin. Where you make a successful attack but hold the damage. You can opt to inflict the damage at any point. Until the start of your next turn. There is a risk that the attacker will suffer enough damage from a source they are not aware of that they will be taken out. But that been very rare in the decade I been using this rule.

I use it to give D&D combat some non-lethal options.

Do you roll the damage at the time of the hit, or when choosing to inflict the damage? How do you visualize a pin on a relatively healthy target?

estar

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Is Initiative Dumb?
« Reply #85 on: May 20, 2020, 01:07:36 AM »
Quote from: ffilz;1130638
Do you roll the damage at the time of the hit, or when choosing to inflict the damage? How do you visualize a pin on a relatively healthy target?
Damage is rolled when you choose to inflict it. It visualized as either the blade positioned in a way that the target can't avoid being cut or stabbed like a sword to the throat. Or in the case of a blunt weapon the target is so badly out of position or controlled physically in a way they can't avoid being bashed.

estar

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Is Initiative Dumb?
« Reply #86 on: May 20, 2020, 01:18:17 AM »
Quote from: Shasarak;1130554
ADnD hit points claim to be a mixture of luck, magic, skill etc and then only heal as per your Constitution.
Basically that is after the fact justification after hit points being criticized after D&D was released. What hit point amount too is combat endurance, having twice as many hit point on average you will last twice as long in combat. The only mention as to what they are in OD&D in Book 3. Hit point damage is called common wounds in the healing wounds section.

nDervish

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Is Initiative Dumb?
« Reply #87 on: May 20, 2020, 06:34:14 AM »
Quote from: nDervish;1130575
Pre-declared spellcasting resolves this:  Everyone knows that the wizard is casting Fireball at point X.  The character who beat the wizard's initiative notices this in time to move clear of the blast zone.  The character whose initiative is worse than the wizard's reacts too slowly and gets fried.

Quote from: VisionStorm;1130596
How does this logic even work?

Both PC warriors are charging into a melee. No one in the PC's side would be able to know that an enemy spellcaster is casting a spell, or when or where.


Both soldiers are rushing an enemy position.  No one on their side would be able to know that an enemy is preparing to throw a grenade, or when or where.

See how ridiculous that is?  If the enemy is taking physical actions to prepare an upcoming attack, you can see and respond to that, regardless of whether the actions are wild gesturing to cast a spell or the relatively more subdued act of pulling the pin on a grenade.  And we know from real-world data that people can sometimes (but not always) react to incoming grenades before they go off, so arguing that they can't have a similar possibility of reacting to spells being cast at them seems a bit off, unless you're interpreting spells as being cast instantaneously, rather than requiring some seconds of gestures and incantations before the spell takes effect (as the fluff of most RPGs says they require, even when the rules treat them as being instantaneous).

Quote from: VisionStorm;1130596
Even if they notice the wizard is casting something that still requires a Spellcraft (or is it called Arcana now?) check to even know what spell they're casting.


This part beats the hell out of me.  I haven't played D&D on the regular in decades, so I have no idea what their current rules on identifying spells look like.

Quote from: VisionStorm;1130596
And the PC with the highest Initiative notices the wizard but the other doesn't? When did an Initiative roll become a Perception check?


There's a lot more to situational awareness than just perception.  One fighter might notice the guy in robes gesturing wildly (or one soldier might notice the guy grabbing a grenade and pulling out the pin) while the guy standing next to him is too focused on something else, even if the second guy is more perceptive and keenly aware of every tiny detail of the thing he's focused on.

Quote from: VisionStorm;1130596
And how was he able to strike at someone in the melee if he's now avoiding the spell's blast radius covering that same area? How did the other one get there first if he hasn't had time to act that round?


I have no idea where you got this order of events, where one guy runs into the blast radius, takes a swing, and runs back out, while the second guy stands outside the blast radius doing nothing at all, and then the second guy gets hit.

Let me spell it out for you, step-by-step:

1) Wizard declares that he's casting a fireball at the space where two opposing fighters are currently standing and begins the process of casting it.

2) Everyone rolls initiative.  Fighter 1 gets initiative 76.  The wizard gets initiative 67.  Fighter 2 gets initiative 18.

3) On initiative 76, fighter 1, seeing that the wizard is in the process of casting a fireball in his direction, moves out of the blast radius.

4) On initiative 67, the wizard finishes casting his fireball.  Fighter 1 is not affected because he is no longer in the blast radius.  Fighter 2 is affected because he has not yet reacted to the spell being cast.

5) On initiative 18, fighter 2 does whatever, assuming he's still up and fighting.

Note that fighter 1 does not get any extra actions as you seem to have presumed ("how was he able to strike at someone in the melee if he's now avoiding the spell's blast radius covering that same area?").

Quote from: VisionStorm;1130596
None of this really addresses the actual scenario. It's just jumping through hoops to justify initiative and favor characters with high initiative rolls by giving them extra abilities, like evading area effects that took effect after they were already supposed to have moved into the blast area, or interrupting casters who aren't even within melee range.


He's not "evading area effects that took effect after they were already supposed to have moved into the blast area", he moved out of the blast area while the spell was still being cast, before it took effect (because the casting was not yet complete).  In the modern-day equivalent, he moved out of the blast area while the opponent was pulling the pin on his grenade and throwing it, not after it had already exploded.

You seem to be viewing all actions as happening instantaneously when they are declared, and my point is that some actions take time (casting a spell, or pulling the pin on a grenade, throwing it, and waiting for the fuse to run out before it goes off), which allows people to react to - or, yes, potentially interrupt - the lead-up to the final event before it happens, whether that reaction is to leave the fireball's blast radius, or trying to pick up a grenade and throw it back before it goes off.

ffilz

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Is Initiative Dumb?
« Reply #88 on: May 20, 2020, 10:24:33 AM »
Quote from: estar;1130679
Damage is rolled when you choose to inflict it. It visualized as either the blade positioned in a way that the target can't avoid being cut or stabbed like a sword to the throat. Or in the case of a blunt weapon the target is so badly out of position or controlled physically in a way they can't avoid being bashed.

Can you lose your pin if your target gets an action and moves away from you and you don't take your damage right then? I'm guessing most folks would chose to do so since the pin is generally going to be taken with an announcement like "yield or else" or "call your men off or else". Any action the target takes to avoid the pin is going to be considered by most as a forfeit.

I'm sure most issues with the rule sort out easily by examining the fiction of the actual situation in play.

VisionStorm

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Is Initiative Dumb?
« Reply #89 on: May 20, 2020, 10:54:50 AM »
Quote from: nDervish;1130689
Both soldiers are rushing an enemy position.  No one on their side would be able to know that an enemy is preparing to throw a grenade, or when or where.

See how ridiculous that is?  If the enemy is taking physical actions to prepare an upcoming attack, you can see and respond to that, regardless of whether the actions are wild gesturing to cast a spell or the relatively more subdued act of pulling the pin on a grenade.  And we know from real-world data that people can sometimes (but not always) react to incoming grenades before they go off, so arguing that they can't have a similar possibility of reacting to spells being cast at them seems a bit off, unless you're interpreting spells as being cast instantaneously, rather than requiring some seconds of gestures and incantations before the spell takes effect (as the fluff of most RPGs says they require, even when the rules treat them as being instantaneous).



This part beats the hell out of me.  I haven't played D&D on the regular in decades, so I have no idea what their current rules on identifying spells look like.



There's a lot more to situational awareness than just perception.  One fighter might notice the guy in robes gesturing wildly (or one soldier might notice the guy grabbing a grenade and pulling out the pin) while the guy standing next to him is too focused on something else, even if the second guy is more perceptive and keenly aware of every tiny detail of the thing he's focused on.



I have no idea where you got this order of events, where one guy runs into the blast radius, takes a swing, and runs back out, while the second guy stands outside the blast radius doing nothing at all, and then the second guy gets hit.

Let me spell it out for you, step-by-step:

1) Wizard declares that he's casting a fireball at the space where two opposing fighters are currently standing and begins the process of casting it.

2) Everyone rolls initiative.  Fighter 1 gets initiative 76.  The wizard gets initiative 67.  Fighter 2 gets initiative 18.

3) On initiative 76, fighter 1, seeing that the wizard is in the process of casting a fireball in his direction, moves out of the blast radius.

4) On initiative 67, the wizard finishes casting his fireball.  Fighter 1 is not affected because he is no longer in the blast radius.  Fighter 2 is affected because he has not yet reacted to the spell being cast.

5) On initiative 18, fighter 2 does whatever, assuming he's still up and fighting.

Note that fighter 1 does not get any extra actions as you seem to have presumed ("how was he able to strike at someone in the melee if he's now avoiding the spell's blast radius covering that same area?").



He's not "evading area effects that took effect after they were already supposed to have moved into the blast area", he moved out of the blast area while the spell was still being cast, before it took effect (because the casting was not yet complete).  In the modern-day equivalent, he moved out of the blast area while the opponent was pulling the pin on his grenade and throwing it, not after it had already exploded.

You seem to be viewing all actions as happening instantaneously when they are declared, and my point is that some actions take time (casting a spell, or pulling the pin on a grenade, throwing it, and waiting for the fuse to run out before it goes off), which allows people to react to - or, yes, potentially interrupt - the lead-up to the final event before it happens, whether that reaction is to leave the fireball's blast radius, or trying to pick up a grenade and throw it back before it goes off.


You are still not addressing the actual point or the actual scenario that I was describing and are just get me with gotcha points working backwards from your flawed set of assumptions, focused on trying to justify initiative instead of actually reading and comprehending what I wrote before replying. I mean Jesus fucking Christ, you're trying to dictate ME what the actual order of events is when I'M the one laying out the actual scenario. And you don't even get what the scenario is, but are still stuck trying to get warrior 1 to be the one who actually evades the blast for no apparent reason, like who evade the blast or doesn't is the point of the exercise. This entire discussion is pointless.