View Full Version : A New Concept for Order of Combat

2011-04-24, 10:37 PM
Lately it has come to my attention that D&D's current system for taking turns in combat doesn't quite make sense. The way I see it having some one be able to move and attack and all while you're essentially just sitting there is illogical. While attacks of opportunity remedy this to an extent, it doesn't fix the fact that combat is not so clean cut as to have separate turns, no everyone is acting simultaneously. In order to solve this I propose a system of combat where instead of having initiative deciding order of turn it determines order of action. Essentially you go through initiative order having everyone take either a standard or move action. This would be repeated to make up a round. Please give me any feedback you might have.

2011-04-24, 10:51 PM
Well, first that makes life suck for fighters, because they can no longer full attack but wizards can still cast.

2011-04-24, 10:56 PM
I forgot about fighters, what do you think I could do to make this work for them?

2011-04-24, 10:58 PM
While it is true that initiative is not a perfect model of real time actions, neither is what you are suggesting. Initiative is set up the way it is in order to promote expediency (though some people still take forever to take a damn turn). With your proposed change you would have to run through every round twice, if not more than twice. What would you do with Swift Actions? What about abilities that give you extra actions? Will Full Attacks go the way of the dodo because you'll get up next to someone and start the full attack chain, only for them to walk away and interrupt it? (Edit: Ninja'd on the full-attack bit.) Are you sure you want to keep track of turns in which people may be using Standard Actions on Turn 1A at the same time as others are using Move Actions, and are you prepared to keep track of who does what when for each and every NPC?

No, initiative as it is may not be perfect, but for a game to be played with multiple people, and especially with any more than like 2 Non-PC entities active in any given combat, it flows well enough. Yeah, going first in initiative may mean that Orc#32 will never get his turn because by then he's dead, but thats a small price to pay. If anything, assuming you accept the workload, I'd suggest having everything go down the line of initiative and then reconciling anything you feel should happen at the same time, such as Orc#32 trying to Full Attack Krusk the Barbarian, who actually has a higher initiative and kills him during his own full attack. Perhaps Orc#32 gets off a single attack after getting a greataxe shoved in his chest.

In the end, changing the initiative system to promote more realism is probably only going to create more work for the DM.

2011-04-24, 11:04 PM
That makes sense, thank you.

2011-04-25, 04:44 AM
Or you could go for a Star Fleet Battles style initiative system. One chapter, a summary appendix that spans two pages (and that's just to summarise what's in the first core book), and battles normally schedule five minutes at the start of each round to plan your actions for the round :smalleek:

2011-04-26, 06:48 PM
Here's an idea: 1. Have everyone roll initiative. Then, start a countdown clock, starting at the highest initiative and counting down by one to 0.

2. Each character can take an action when the clock gets to their Initiative Count. Initiative Count starts at the number they rolled in step 1. All actions have a certain Delay. For example, a Standard action could have a Delay of 7, Move actions could have a Delay of 5, and Minor actions could have a Delay of 3.
When you take an action, your Initiative Count goes down by the Delay of your action.

3. When the clock hits 0, everyone rolls Initiative again, and the clock starts over.

You can introduce feats that decrease your delay.

2011-04-27, 07:36 PM
You could use the pre 3.0 version of inits, where you run around the table getting what people are doing each round (in order of their init, optionally this data is secret between the DM and the acting agent), then resolving the fight in order.

Basically, older versions of D&D did NOT have this problem, but in doing so each round took a good piece more time.

Also weapons had speed factors. I miss those, even if it made no sense that the dagger guy got to attack the spear guy first, cause dagger = fast.