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View Full Version : D&D 3.x Other Initiative. Refusal of "chess" fight



Mafusael
2015-04-13, 09:56 AM
Rule: At the beginning of round players declare the actions of their character (or monsters, in the GM's case), starting with the lowest initiative count. Once all players and the GM have declared their actions, they are resolved, starting with the highest initiative count. A Player which action rendered impossible is simply delayed his Initiative.
UPDATE after 11th post:
The player is allowed to do 5-foot step, free actions and immediate actions even if they were not stated in advance and as those actions are usually unpredictable to use in combat, in contrary of other actions.
UPDATE after 14th post:
A character which action rendered impossible is simply waste his action. Character with wasted action gets the highest initiative in next round.

Result: It grants more tactics in battle and dependence on high initiative. Maybe it can require rolling initiative every round. Also it divides combat in 2 phase: descriptive (claim) and mechanic (rolling) which gives vivid imagination during battle.

Comment: It will not increase time of combat drastically. Player should roll the dice and keep the result between his claim and implementing action to speed up combat. Any controversial actions can be easily resolved if we refer them to the standard rules of combat.

I tested this in my D&D 3.5 campaign. What you think? Tried that? Advantage? Disadvantage? Feedback?

Summary:
I stopped using this rule in my game. It is become time consuming and difficult to use after 7+ ECL.
Also it doesn't solve 4 my main problems in DnD combat: speed up combat, teamwork of party, realistic combat, spot-light for all

Djinn_in_Tonic
2015-04-13, 04:11 PM
What you think? Tried that? Advantage? Disadvantage? Feedback?

As a player, I would be very hesitant to accept this system. It makes Dexterity and Initiative bonuses (already quite useful) almost entirely mandatory in order to reliably have actions. It kills the full attack action (too risky to assume your target will remain next to you), and plays havoc with positioning dependent abilities.

In short, I see this as potentially causing a lot of frustration, while mechanically not increases the tactical options or depth of combat enough to make that annoyance worthwhile.

Mark Hall
2015-04-13, 04:39 PM
It's similar to earlier systems; it's more or less the base 2e initiative system.

Mafusael
2015-04-13, 08:05 PM
It kills the full attack action (too risky to assume your target will remain next to you)

Keep in mind that what is good for monsters is good for players. So you can actually do the same to avoid monster's attacks. There is an attack of opportunity also. To be sure that monster will not avoid your Full Attack action you choose one with lower initiative. Besides that if you lost your action you will be delayed and can get a highest initiative in next round. This is an example of tactic.

Mafusael
2015-04-13, 08:07 PM
It's similar to earlier systems; it's more or less the base 2e initiative system.

If you familiar with that can you tell me pros and con that initiative variant rule?

Jormengand
2015-04-14, 06:49 AM
Spellcasters now need crazyultrahigh initiative or they'll never get a spell off.

Mafusael
2015-04-14, 08:23 AM
Spellcasters now need crazyultrahigh initiative or they'll never get a spell off.

Like many other classes, I think.
Activating one-round casting spell has been always a subject to disrupt. To disrupt the usual spell (with a period of casting - a standard action), you must prepare action (shot from a bow). But you can prepare only standard action, movement action or free action. Not everyone wants to lose half of their actions in attempt to stop the wizard. Wizards should take care of his defense using spells and cover from obstacles and other characters. This is one more example of tactic.

Jormengand
2015-04-14, 08:31 AM
Wizards should take care of his defense using spells and cover from obstacles and other characters. This is one more example of tactic.

Only it's not. Because either there's a place where the wizard can stand and not get hit, or there isn't, or there's a place where he can stand and if he's lucky it will stop him getting hit. That's not tactics, that's luck and common sense.

Or, he could put his initiative through the roof to go first, because if there isn't anywhere he can stand and not get hit, he needs to go first.

Mark Hall
2015-04-14, 10:43 AM
If you familiar with that can you tell me pros and con that initiative variant rule?

The pros were that it favored good (in this case, low) initiatives, by letting them see what everyone else was doing before they declared. Since what you were doing influenced your actual initiative (weapon speeds and spellcasting times), it could get a bit tactical as to your spell choice... if the orcs went on 8, but you went on 5, a casting time 4 spell wasn't in your best interest.

Note that you also didn't have to map out your entire round in advance. At declaration, you could say "I'm going to charge the orcs", but you didn't have to pick AN orc, or map out your movement. Since 2e's full attacks were simply a matter of "I am a better combatant so can make more effective swings", rather than 3e's full-round actions, it didn't screw fighters that much... if anything, it tended to disadvantage casters, who have enough advantages as-is.

Djinn_in_Tonic
2015-04-14, 11:44 AM
The pros were that it favored good (in this case, low) initiatives, by letting them see what everyone else was doing before they declared. Since what you were doing influenced your actual initiative (weapon speeds and spellcasting times), it could get a bit tactical as to your spell choice... if the orcs went on 8, but you went on 5, a casting time 4 spell wasn't in your best interest.

It seems from the suggestion in the original post, however, that you'd have to declare your full action: "I take a 5-foot step towards this orc, and full-attack."

Which is very problematic if the target moves, for example.

Mafusael
2015-04-15, 09:51 AM
I've reviewed several combat situations and took few rule updates:
The player is allowed to do 5-foot step, free actions and immediate actions even if they were not stated in advance.
As these actions are usually unpredictable to use in combat, in contrary of other actions.

Examples: These updates are taken into account in cases A1, B1. But not in A0, B0 ones.
Initiative: Troll - 20, Warrior - 15, Wizard - 10.

Case A0. Warrior fighting with a troll in melee.
Claims: Warrior claims that he makes full attack (2 hits). Troll says that he will make a 5-foot step of the warrior and make full attack (reach - 10 feet, 2 attacks).
Turns: Troll takes a step back and makes two attacks. A warrior can not attack, as the troll beyond his reach. He delays to raise his initiative above troll.
Claims: Troll says that he runs up to 30 feets. This means that the distance between troll and warrior will be 35 feet. Warrior can not overcome such distance in one movement action. Thus he charges (+2 to attack, -2 to AC, 1 attack). If he does not want to charge, it just take 2 movement actions to reach troll and do not have time to something else.
Turns: Troll flees. Warrior reaches him and provoke an attack of opportunity (Reach of Troll - 10 feet). Warrior provoke attack of opportunity in the case of charge and simple movement either.

Case A1. Warrior fighting with a troll in melee. [updated rule]
Claims: Warrior claims that he makes full attack (2 hits). Troll says that he will make a 5-foot step of the warrior and make full attack (reach - 10 feet, 2 attacks).
Turns: Troll takes a step back and makes two attacks. A warrior take step too and make full attack.
Claims: Troll says that he runs up to 30 feets. This means that the distance between troll and warrior will be 30 feet. Warrior can overcome such distance in one movement action. Thus he can charge (+2 to attack, -2 to AC, 1 attack) or take 1 movement action to make an attack.
Turns: Troll flees and provoke an attack of opportunity from Warrior. Warrior reaches him, provoke an attack of opportunity from Troll (Reach of Troll - 10 feet) and make an attack. Warrior provoke attack of opportunity in the case of charge and simple movement either.

Case B0. Troll is at the distance of 30 feet. Wizard and Warrior keep together.
Claims: Wizard is going to cast spells. He wants be near Warrior as much as possible to be in save. Warrior waits, suggesting that the troll will come to attack him with a full attack. He does not declare prepared action, since it is not able to contain a full attack. So he just waits approaching troll. Troll sees that the wizard is going to cast a spell, but he wants to get warrior too. He applies what he will approach and attack the warrior.
Turns: Troll comes to warrior, and attacks him. Warrior makes full attack on the troll. Wizard casts a spell, being next to a warrior and, in fact, near troll. He gets an attack of opportunity and loses its spell.

Case B1. Troll is at the distance of 30 feet. Wizard and Warrior keep together. [updated rule]
Claims: Wizard is going to cast spells. He wants be near Warrior as much as possible to be in save. Warrior waits, suggesting that the troll will come to attack him with a full attack. He does not declare prepared action, since it is not able to contain a full attack. So he just waits approaching troll. Troll sees that the wizard is going to cast a spell, but he wants to get warrior too. He applies what he will approach and attack the warrior.
Turns: Troll comes to warrior, and attacks him. Warrior makes full attack on the troll. Wizard take 5-foot step and casts a spell. He still can provoke an attack of opportunity. It depends on location of troll, but more predictable than in Case B0.
Claims: Wizard is going to cast new spell, as he and troll have 10 feet of distance. Warrior will pursue a full attack action. Troll will change his position with 5-foot step to stay in one line with wizard and warrior and will try to make bull rash to throw them off a cliff.
Turns: Troll makes 5-foot step and begins bull rush. Warrior makes an attack of opportunity, and enters in struggle with a troll. Warrior loses and forced to move toward the edge of the cliff. Troll pushes warrior and Wizard together and, with the additional check, throws them off a cliff. Wizard casts a spell of feather falling (immediate action), and because he is connected to a warrior, they float down together.

p.s. sorry for my English

JeenLeen
2015-04-15, 10:03 AM
This sounds very similar to the system used in old World of Darkness by White Wolf.
In their system, you roll Initiative (different dice mechanic, but similar enough). Actions are declared in order from worst roll result to best, then resolved in the opposite way. So those who win initiative declare their action after everyone else has declared theirs (giving a benefit of knowing what the others will do) and they act first (giving a benefit of potentially wounding your foe or messing up their intended plans.)
If you cannot do what you intend to ("I was going to hit that guy, but he's dead now")... I forget the exact mechanic since we used a houserule, but I think it was you had to roll something or spend a resource to change your action. Maybe for D&D you allow a change in course of action if it's tactically nonsensical or simply impossible, but at a penalty to any dice rolls or a small (10%) failure chance?

I wouldn't recommend rerolling initiative each round, lest some folk act twice in a roll.

The major downside, and I think this applies to your system as well, is that it takes a longer and, at least for my group, it was hard to remember everything. We eventually did something more like D&D's default initiative because it saved time and headaches. I see in your opening post that you don't think it will take longer... and maybe it won't... but it did for my group when we tried something like this.

Eldan
2015-04-15, 10:09 AM
This doesn't work very well with detailed battlemaps especially.

Perhaps, as a suggestion: either one just has to vaguely describe the actions, not precisely, or one can include some conditions?

Either "I shoot my spell at where the enemy is standing" or "If he is still alive, I attack him, otherwise, I drink a potion".

Mafusael
2015-04-15, 11:57 PM
Maybe for D&D you allow a change in course of action if it's tactically nonsensical or simply impossible, but at a penalty to any dice rolls or a small (10%) failure chance?
I still thinking about that. I suppose that player just should waste his turn. I know it can be really frustrating, but there are reasons for that:
1. With that rule in my game combat is divided into 2 phases: descriptive (claims) and mechanic (implementing rolls). I don't want to player says what he want doing instead of previous claim in mechanic phase, because it stops a DM's descriptive process and make round longer in real time.
2. In game round is 6 seconds and ALL actions happens in one time, so I decided that character just can't figure out what to do in 1 sec in case of rapidly and dramatically changes in fight. It will be more perspective for that player to state a new highest initiative after delay. In next turn he will be in favor. (Character with wasted action gets the highest initiative in next round).

I wouldn't recommend rerolling initiative each round, lest some folk act twice in a roll.
I totaly agree with that. But some folks says that... "this was the problem I was presented with: static initiative. It would be unbalanced and unrealisitic to have any form of static initiative (which I will define as using the same initiative value round after round) with this variant, as combat will consiste purely of readied and delayed actions at that point. Instead, I solved the problem by insisting that combatants roll initiative round by round. High init guys still; have hte advantage, but are not omnipotent.--Change=Chaos"... In my game we don't roll initiative each round.

I see in your opening post that you don't think it will take longer... and maybe it won't... but it did for my group when we tried something like this.
Lets do some calculations. (My game data)

Round elements in classic rule:
Player states what he does - A (30 sec)
Player rolling the dice - B (10 sec)
DM compares throws with DC - C (10 sec)
DM says the result - D (30 sec)
Number of Players - 4

Time spent = (A+B+C+D)*4 = 80*4 = 5 min 20 sec on 1 round

Round elements in new rule:
Player states what he does - A (30 sec)
Player rolling the dice - B (10 sec)
DM compares throws with DC - C (to 30 sec)
DM says the result - D (to 60 sec)
Number of Players - 4

With the new rule B of one player is equal to A of another another player, as he rolling when the DM listen other player (then player keep dices untouched). It will be easier to compare your rolls with DC or AC in one implementation phase as DM does not have to frequently switch between players and monsters to check a static block. It can be speed up more with DM assistant to roll monster's dices.

Time spent = A*4+B+C+D = 30*4+10+30+60 = 3 min 40 sec on 1 round (-31% of time)

So we see economy one-third of the time, add brilliance and tactics to combat.

Mafusael
2015-04-16, 01:39 AM
This doesn't work very well with detailed battlemaps especially.
No, our game with this rule does not interfere map. It is more fun especially due to opening more options for attack of opportunity. As example, players may claim that his character will move from A to B, and troll can stand between these points. It is impossible with classic initiative and rises importance of Combat Reflexes feat.


Perhaps, as a suggestion: either one just has to vaguely describe the actions, not precisely, or one can include some conditions? Either "I shoot my spell at where the enemy is standing" or "If he is still alive, I attack him, otherwise, I drink a potion".
I appreciate your suggestion, but it was our first fault when we start to use this variant rule. Here is the thing. My players start to vaguely describe their actions, and I start to do the same for monster. After several games it comes to that there are no good-narrative claims and there are not enough tactic information to decide what to do with high initiative. (!) So rule was disappeared at all. (!) Please, read my upper post to understand what I want as DM from combat and what 2 phases of fight are exist in my game with the rule.

Mafusael
2015-10-01, 05:49 AM
I shared a new combat sytem here:
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?447073-Simultaneous-Combat-System

I was disappointed in this declared initiative system.