View Full Version : A new way to do iniative? OMG! ...Characters faster than others?

Paragon Badger
2007-09-14, 04:04 PM
Like most of my homebrew rules, this is only an idea, meant to spark creativity in other, more experienced players/DMs.

Extremely fast characters can now take multiple actions before others have a chance. But this should be rare...

Take the number 1000 and divide it by your DEXTERITY score, plus your iniative bonus. Subtract your levels/hit die from this number.

That's your iniative. Smaller numbers equal faster times, and occasionally more actions.

Desne, 5th level scout with a dex of 18, has an iniative modifier of 5. (1000/23=43.47) He subtracts his levels from this number, resulting in 38.47.

He is (unfortunately) fighting a Vrock with 15 dex, and an iniative modifier of 2.
(1000/17=58.82) It subtracts its levels/hit die from this number, resulting in 48.82

The battle then goes on in 'ticks'. And everytime a character's tick is reached, they take an action.

Desne goes first. (38.47)
Then the Vrock. (48.82)
Then Desne. (76.94)
Then the Vrock. (97.64)
Then Desne. (115.41)
Then the Vrock (146.46)
Desne (153.88)
Desne again! (192.35)
The Vrock (195.28)

Of course, you can simply round up, which will be less accurate but easier to compute on the fly, if you don't have a TI-83. Heh.

Note, characters with huge dex and iniative WILL take multiple actions often against characters with abysmal dex and iniative who are of equal level....but then the DM should inform the players that dex is now practically as important as constitution..

Just some thoughts, since I always found that even with haste and such, characters always took nice little turns. :-/

Speaking of which, magic would need to be altered to change 'ticks', like Slow and Haste. Perhaps a +x/-x initiative score equal to your spellcasting level?

2007-09-14, 04:19 PM
This has been done in computer and console RPG's before, Final Fantasy being the most well known version (active time battle anyone?) It actually does make a lot of sense that a very speedy character would be able to get more done in the same amount of time, but it makes things damn hard to balance. You really don't want every melee-er to become a dex-based weapon finesse-er, do you?

2007-09-14, 08:00 PM
I'm afraid it will have the same problems as encumbrance have: It's realistic, and add lots for a combat. But it gets complex and tiring after a while. Just rolling d20 + Dex + Misc is easier.

Okay, lemme try this:
Joe has Dex 18, and improved initiative, a total of 22, at level 6. That's 1000 / (18+4) = 45.45 - level(6) = 39.45

Bob has Dex 10, at level 6. That's 1000 / 10 = 100 - level(6) = 94

It means that Joe can act 2 times, before Bob gets to act?

2007-09-14, 08:18 PM
Hmm...I can see this potentially breaking down at the high levels, where an ability score of 30+ is very possible. A 20th level Dex 30 character with Improved Initiative would get a turn every two or so ticks, where even a Dex 18 20th level would get one every 25. That's twelve actions with the opponent flat-footed.

Extra turns are also very powerful in D&D, so a system like this could make initiative a bit too powerful. If you wanted init to provide extra turns, though, you could always say that characters get another turn on initiative count = their init - 20 (or, if init were excessively high, -40, -60, etc). So for example, if your 5th level scout rolls a natural 20 on init (total 25), it would get its first turn on count 20, and a second turn each round on count 5. If some Dex-mongering 20th level swordsage//scout with an init of +22 rolled a 20, it would get a turn on 42, a second turn on 22, and a third turn on 2. If you want level to be involved, you could add level to init, or add it on a scaling basis (say full level for quick types, 3/4 for melee types, 1/2 for casters) or add base Reflex save to init for a simpler variant.

The Neoclassic
2007-09-14, 08:36 PM
I'm not a big rules person, but I applaud the idea. The regular "taking turns" in combat, while easier to follow, is sort of boring and unrealistic.

2007-09-14, 08:52 PM
Letsee, to try to break it:
Wizard! (everything broken starts with a wizard!) Any class who started with 16 dex just for this, +1 from a level [the rest to int], +3 from tomes, +6 from item, eventually. 26, with imrpoved init. so... +12 init for 38. 1000/38 = 26.315789473684210526315789473684 (26.32 for simplicity sake)

Now, lets look at big red dragons, er, colossal. 10 dex. No init bonuses. So... ticks at 100.

26.32 (pc)
52.64 (pc)
78.96 (pc)
100 (dragon)
then 4 more rounds from the pc...

so, to double the speed of the dragon, one could use.. 14 dex + improved initiative. Which, isn't that hard to achieve. Throw in a +4 item and you are always going twice to the dragon's one.
Oh, what happens when two things have the same tick?

2007-09-14, 09:03 PM
I'd rather base "simulated real time" on the following:

Class choices. "Speed" (not movement speed) would be a quantity that got modified each level in much the same way that BAB and saves get modified, and different classes/PrCs would have different "Speed" modifiers (Rogues, rangers and monks, for example, would have high Speed modifiers. Clerics, fighters and paladins would have low ones).

Feat/Skill choices. Certain feats and skills could improve speed via synergy or directly, and perhaps a few feats with powerful repercussions elsewhere might penalize Speed. Some might also influence which stat can modify your speed (perhaps adding Wisdom instead of Dexterity, for example, or heaven forbid, allowing you to add BOTH of them).

Choice of action in combat. Some actions might take longer than others to resolve, and some would take longer than others to recover from (spells, in particular, would start getting unique "charge times" following such a system, instead of being described in actions/rounds).

Current equipment. Heavy armor now penalizes BOTH Speeds, movement and recovery time, for example.

A laptop or computer nearby with software capable of quickly crunching numbers and spitting out nice, easy-to-read results during a fight, including adaptation to what's going on. I'm not going to mentally keep track of this stuff.

Speed checks, for resolving ties. Yet another check you have to complete in order to get combat rolling.

But see how quickly this is devolving into a video game? I don't like that. Using rounds is ok with me.

2007-09-15, 06:25 PM
In my game, add base reflex save to initiative. No funny math to do, simple addition.

This means that the Rogue is most likely to go first, with Rangers, Bards and Monks all being likely to go second, possibly beating the Rogue.

2007-09-15, 07:35 PM
...actually, that could work with this. I like the way badger's 'tick' system works, but it's far too math heavy as written. Roll + Reflex save (which already includes Dex) + Misc, then simply do ticks from there. It will be a pain to have to recalculate turn order every round, though.