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    MonkGuy

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    Default New new variant initiative

    I posted this in the 5E forum but they suggested I should post it here.

    Hey playground. I posted a thread a while back about an initiative system I came up with that didn't use initiative to resolve combat so as to model the chaos of real combat. Well that experiment proved to be unsuccessful. It was tooooo chaotic and was just too hard to keep track of everything going on especially from the DM point of view. The thing I realized was that what I was really looking for was to shake things up a bit and make things a little unpredictable but not too chaotic that you can't follow what's going. I wanted to get away from the standard I go and do everything then you go and do everything and so on until we get back to the top. So here's a new new initiative system. It does use initiative, rerolled every round. I think this will be more workable. Any comments or suggestions are welcome.

    https://homebrewery.naturalcrit.com/share/S1n76SZUB

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    ElfWarriorGuy

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    Thumbs up Re: New new variant initiative

    Well done! I would say to change something about the finesse property. It would make rogues able to attack several times, even sneak attack several times. I would maybe increase it or change the rules about it. This is coming from an assassinator murderhobo, so take it with a grain of salt.
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    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: New new variant initiative

    Quote Originally Posted by Envoy View Post
    Well done! I would say to change something about the finesse property. It would make rogues able to attack several times, even sneak attack several times. I would maybe increase it or change the rules about it. This is coming from an assassinator murderhobo, so take it with a grain of salt.
    Actually it's still considered all 1 turn, might be a long turn spanning a big part of the round but still 1 turn, with 1 start and 1 end, but may have multiple interruptions in between. So the rogue would still only be able to get 1 sneak attack on his turn. Of course the rogue could use their reaction to sneak attack on their off turn.

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    Default Re: New new variant initiative

    I made some clarifications to the rules and added an example scenario to show how the system works.

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    ElfWarriorGuy

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    Default Re: New new variant initiative

    Looking good! Wouldn’t change a bit.👌
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    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: New new variant initiative

    Thanks! Now I just need to try this out and see how it actually runs.

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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: New new variant initiative

    I would drop the unarmed strikes and after effects attacks down to one, or find a way to lower the movement costs of melee classes this will help offset with the cost of many of the after effects of their attacks and skills.

    Fighters, Monks, and Rangers, or any melee class with at least 3 attacks would face significantly reduced DPS as they will need at least a 15 (with movement) to deal any sort of constant damage and that’s not including the add-on attacks (Fighter:B.master) or effects (Monk:S.Strike) which would likely end up as over 20 quickly

    That being said I love this idea as it makes it feel more like an actual fight.
    Last edited by Ogrillian; 2019-09-11 at 08:20 AM.

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    Griffon

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    Default Re: New new variant initiative

    Rather than allowing the player to choose which Characteristic to use, why not just create an Initiative score by combining INT, WIS, and DEX and using this "stat" for the bonus. It would prevent "cherry-picking" the Initiative stat to get the best result.

    Another option would be to Combine the 3 stats to make an Initiative stat and then use that stat ITSELF to add to the roll. This would give you the points minimum to cover multiple attacks, reactions, and movement like Ogrillian pointed out without "going negative" on the count.

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    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: New new variant initiative

    Going negative has no consequences or penalties. You can still act and do whatever you still have left in your turn. It's just a relative measure compared to the other combatants. Someone with a -3 initiative can still act and would go before someone with a -4 and after someone with a -2, for example.

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    Griffon

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    Default Re: New new variant initiative

    Quote Originally Posted by Tzun View Post
    Going negative has no consequences or penalties. You can still act and do whatever you still have left in your turn. It's just a relative measure compared to the other combatants. Someone with a -3 initiative can still act and would go before someone with a -4 and after someone with a -2, for example.
    Going negative can be confusing to new players.

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    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: New new variant initiative

    Quote Originally Posted by olskool View Post
    Going negative can be confusing to new players.
    Yeah this variant would not be aimed at beginners, more for an experienced group that's looking for a little more complexity or just wants a change from the standard rules. Having said that hopefully most players playing this game would have a grasp of math of at least upper elementary school grade level. ;-)

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: New new variant initiative

    I like the idea!

    A few things...

    (I just glanced at it; please ignore my points if they make no sense).

    I wonder if this punishes fighters and 2H weapon unnecessarily (and these are not the best already). So a fighter cannot get 3 attacks (12) before the wizard can cast a wish spell (11)? And the wizard with better Int will beat the Str fighter most of the times...

    Maybe a concentration check is in order (this was the point of old-school initiative, IIRC).

    Rogues get to sneak attack only once, I assume.

    There is another issue: two similar foes roll initiative, and THAT SINGLE ROLL can finish the fight, since one of them could attack 10 times before the other could act... Not great, IMO. Maybe you should be rolling 1d10+Dex+Int (Wis is good enough already). This way, nobody can act take lots of attacks before the others barring some extreme circumstances.
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    Default Re: New new variant initiative

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Diaz View Post
    I like the idea!

    A few things...

    (I just glanced at it; please ignore my points if they make no sense).

    I wonder if this punishes fighters and 2H weapon unnecessarily (and these are not the best already). So a fighter cannot get 3 attacks (12) before the wizard can cast a wish spell (11)? And the wizard with better Int will beat the Str fighter most of the times...

    Maybe a concentration check is in order (this was the point of old-school initiative, IIRC).

    Rogues get to sneak attack only once, I assume.

    There is another issue: two similar foes roll initiative, and THAT SINGLE ROLL can finish the fight, since one of them could attack 10 times before the other could act... Not great, IMO. Maybe you should be rolling 1d10+Dex+Int (Wis is good enough already). This way, nobody can act take lots of attacks before the others barring some extreme circumstances.
    This is one of the issues that had me suggesting the Initiative stat.

    I really don't have a "dog in this fight" anyway. I use the Mythras system for initiative during my games.

    Under the Mythras system, you roll initiative to see who goes first, then second, etc... BUT everyone gets 3 ACTIONS and these ACTIONS are represented by chips which are surrendered when each participant acts. On their turn, each combatant gives up ONE chip and then performs ONE ACTION such as moving, attacking, or casting spells. After they take that one ACTION, the next participant goes until everyone has taken one ACTION. This is called an INITIATIVE PASS. Then the participants take their second ACTION one after another until the second pass is complete. Finally, the participants take their third ACTION in order. Casting a Spell requires one ACTION per Component required (Verbal, Somatic, & Material would require 3 ACTIONS).

    This system mixes all of the combatants together during the round. There is no more moving in, striking an opponent, then moving away.

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    Default Re: New new variant initiative

    Quote Originally Posted by olskool View Post
    This system mixes all of the combatants together during the round. There is no more moving in, striking an opponent, then moving away.
    You do realize that is a monks entire battleplan and fighting style right? Unless you have a way to increase their HP or survivability any monk in this system is going to die as fast as a slutty teen in a slasher film
    Last edited by Ogrillian; 2019-09-18 at 05:15 AM.

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    Default Re: New new variant initiative

    Quote Originally Posted by Ogrillian View Post
    You do realize that is a monks entire battleplan and fighting style right? Unless you have a way to increase their HP or survivability any monk in this system is going to die as fast as a slutty teen in a slasher film
    WHY? Monks get both their DEX modifier and their WIS modifier added to their AC. The average Monk is going to start with an AC of 15 or more. Fighters in my game will be lucky to have Ringmail or Scalemail Armor (I use all of the AD&D 1e armors) by 3rd Level. That is only an AC of 14. At 6th level, they may have moved up to Butted Chainmail (AC15) or Rivetted [Chain]Mail (AC16) and the majority won't see Brigandine/Splintmail (AC17) or a Coat of Plates or Platemail (AC18) until 10th Level due to the cost of armor. Full Plate at AC19 (200 Gold Sovereigns or 20,000 Silver Guilders, or 2,000,000 Copper Pennies in cost) doesn't show up until well after 10th Level. The 1st Level Monk stands a better chance of survival in a fight than a 5th or 6th Level Fighter based on AC alone.

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    Default Re: New new variant initiative

    Quote Originally Posted by olskool View Post
    WHY? Monks get both their DEX modifier and their WIS modifier added to their AC. The average Monk is going to start with an AC of 15 or more. Fighters in my game will be lucky to have Ringmail or Scalemail Armor (I use all of the AD&D 1e armors) by 3rd Level. That is only an AC of 14. At 6th level, they may have moved up to Butted Chainmail (AC15) or Rivetted [Chain]Mail (AC16) and the majority won't see Brigandine/Splintmail (AC17) or a Coat of Plates or Platemail (AC18) until 10th Level due to the cost of armor. Full Plate at AC19 (200 Gold Sovereigns or 20,000 Silver Guilders, or 2,000,000 Copper Pennies in cost) doesn't show up until well after 10th Level. The 1st Level Monk stands a better chance of survival in a fight than a 5th or 6th Level Fighter based on AC alone.
    Fighters, in their starting kit, get Chainmail (for heavy) and a shield. That's 16 AC (Chainmail) plus 2 (Shield) plus potentially another 1 (Defensive Fighting Style) if they REALLY want defense.

    Monks, meanwhile, start with an AC cap of 16 (16 Dex and Wis) in point buy or Standard Array, and only hit the Fighter's initial AC at level 1 (Chainmail, no shield, no style), 8 (Chainmail and Shield), or 12 (all three). And that means they've invested less in Constitution.

    Meanwhile, the Fighter will most likely have Full Plate by tier 2, going by the normal treasure hauls in the DMG.

    Now, you're free to run your game otherwise-but if you're going by the books, the Fighter's AC massively trumps the Monk's, if they care about it.
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    Default Re: New new variant initiative

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    Fighters, in their starting kit, get Chainmail (for heavy) and a shield. That's 16 AC (Chainmail) plus 2 (Shield) plus potentially another 1 (Defensive Fighting Style) if they REALLY want defense.

    Monks, meanwhile, start with an AC cap of 16 (16 Dex and Wis) in point buy or Standard Array, and only hit the Fighter's initial AC at level 1 (Chainmail, no shield, no style), 8 (Chainmail and Shield), or 12 (all three). And that means they've invested less in Constitution.

    Meanwhile, the Fighter will most likely have Full Plate by tier 2, going by the normal treasure hauls in the DMG.

    Now, you're free to run your game otherwise-but if you're going by the books, the Fighter's AC massively trumps the Monk's, if they care about it.
    NOBODY starts with Chainmail in my games. You BUY your armor and chainmail (which is either 15 AC for butted chainmail or 16 AC for rivetted mail, which is more expensive) is EXPENSIVE. Most 1st Level fighters have Leather armor or maybe Studded Leather.

    Nobody in my games gets to buy their stats with points. You ROLL for your stats and let "lady luck" have her way with you. I do let the players place their scores next to the Attributes they want.
    Last edited by olskool; 2019-09-18 at 06:08 PM. Reason: spelling

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    Default Re: New new variant initiative

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post


    Now, you're free to run your game otherwise-but if you're going by the books, the Fighter's AC massively trumps the Monk's, if they care about it.
    "By the book" is about as stupid as you can get. D&D 5e doesn't create "Adventurers," it creates "Super Heroes" with all of the Class Abilities, FEATS, the ability to increase Characteristics from 10 to 20 points in 20 Levels (AUTOMATICALLY), and the HP and healing rules. It needs significant "modding" to make it resemble either D&D or AD&D in any fashion. But, this is what my crew wants to play, so I'll continue to "mod" it until they are ready for a game of Mythras.

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    Default Re: New new variant initiative

    Quote Originally Posted by olskool View Post
    NOBODY starts with Chainmail in my games. You BUY your armor and chainmail (which is either 15 AC for butted chainmail or 16 AC for rivetted mail, which is more expensive) is EXPENSIVE. Most 1st Level fighters have Leather armor or maybe Studded Leather.

    Nobody in my games gets to buy their stats with points. You ROLL for your stats and let "lady luck" have her way with you. I do let the players place their scores next to the Attributes they want.
    Quote Originally Posted by olskool View Post
    "By the book" is about as stupid as you can get. D&D 5e doesn't create "Adventurers," it creates "Super Heroes" with all of the Class Abilities, FEATS, the ability to increase Characteristics from 10 to 20 points in 20 Levels (AUTOMATICALLY), and the HP and healing rules. It needs significant "modding" to make it resemble either D&D or AD&D in any fashion. But, this is what my crew wants to play, so I'll continue to "mod" it until they are ready for a game of Mythras.
    And that's fine. You play that way-I personally wouldn't enjoy it, but if your players do, more power to you.

    But when someone is talking about modifying the base 5E game, it's best to talk about the base 5E game and NOT your own, heavily modified version. (If you had initiative variants in use, that'd be more relevant, though.)
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    Default Re: New new variant initiative

    Yes this thread is indeed about a variation on the standard initiative system for D&D 5e and so the observations about the Monk are valid. In 5e, fighters, at least strength based ones, are usually ahead in AC and hit points compared to monks. I didn't think about this before but this system would definitely make skirmishing harder to pull off, although not impossible. If the Monk rolled really well on initiative and the opponent rolled poorly, there is still a chance the Monk could pull off all his actions before the other guy can act.

    But to be honest, I've played monks before and the skirmishing tactic was hard to make work even with the standard system. You really need the mobile feat to make it work and most times you still didn't have enough movement to move in, attack, and move out without retaliation on the next turn or round.

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    Default Re: New new variant initiative

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    And that's fine. You play that way-I personally wouldn't enjoy it, but if your players do, more power to you.

    But when someone is talking about modifying the base 5E game, it's best to talk about the base 5E game and NOT your own, heavily modified version. (If you had initiative variants in use, that'd be more relevant, though.)
    When last I looked, this WAS the Homebrew forum.

    Changing Initiative IS "heavily modding 5e." The game is built around the base initiative system and changing it will greatly affect a number of Classes, the least of which would be the Rogue and the Monk. It also greatly affects several FEATS by making it possible to do even more in your turn than Move, Attack, and Move away again (which is basically broken as is). I can see this initiative causing the bane of every tabletop RPG, the dreaded "DISCONNECT." This occurs when the DM takes so much time dealing with ONE Player's turn that the other players at the table "zone out," lose interest, and begin playing on their phones or talking about last night's game.
    This is why I said i don't have a "dog in this fight." I have already abandoned the basic Initiative system for one where I cycle through a player's actions one at a time in about one minute per action resolution. This keeps everyone at my table involved in the action and combat is more dangerous (and therefore more interesting). Yes, it destroys "established tactical practice" for thieves and monks who can no longer "waltz in, hit someone, and waltz out." My players seem to enjoy it never-the-less.

    To me, 5e is not "Scripture as writ" because I started gaming in the early '80s when EVERY game had to be "modded." The big issue I have with 5e is a lack of lethality and a loose interpretation of reality (due to FEATS and Class Abilities). My goal is to make the game feel "more dangerous" so the players treat encounters as something more than "kill the monster, collect its treasure."

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    Default Re: New new variant initiative

    Quote Originally Posted by olskool View Post
    When last I looked, this WAS the Homebrew forum.

    Changing Initiative IS "heavily modding 5e." The game is built around the base initiative system and changing it will greatly affect a number of Classes, the least of which would be the Rogue and the Monk. It also greatly affects several FEATS by making it possible to do even more in your turn than Move, Attack, and Move away again (which is basically broken as is). I can see this initiative causing the bane of every tabletop RPG, the dreaded "DISCONNECT." This occurs when the DM takes so much time dealing with ONE Player's turn that the other players at the table "zone out," lose interest, and begin playing on their phones or talking about last night's game.
    This is why I said i don't have a "dog in this fight." I have already abandoned the basic Initiative system for one where I cycle through a player's actions one at a time in about one minute per action resolution. This keeps everyone at my table involved in the action and combat is more dangerous (and therefore more interesting). Yes, it destroys "established tactical practice" for thieves and monks who can no longer "waltz in, hit someone, and waltz out." My players seem to enjoy it never-the-less.

    To me, 5e is not "Scripture as writ" because I started gaming in the early '80s when EVERY game had to be "modded." The big issue I have with 5e is a lack of lethality and a loose interpretation of reality (due to FEATS and Class Abilities). My goal is to make the game feel "more dangerous" so the players treat encounters as something more than "kill the monster, collect its treasure."
    Yes. But it helps to have a common base to talk from. Again-there's nothing wrong with making 5E more lethal and less generous on wealth, both mundane and magical, but it's NOT the standard that's being deviated from here.

    To the OP:

    I don't think I'd enjoy it. Part of why I like 5E is it's simple and intuitive-this isn't. Beyond some of the other mentioned issues, it's just kinda... I don't want to say "clunky", because it's reasonably well worded, but I'm struggling to find a better word. It'd add a lot of complexity for what I feel is little gain.

    Apologies if this has already been addressed, but what are you looking to add to 5E with these changes?

    Also, have you done any playtesting?
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    Default Re: New new variant initiative

    I admit this is more complicated than the standard system, but that was sort of the intent. I was looking for a more granular system, a little more tactical complexity, a little more realistic combat where things are happening more in parallel rather than in series where combatants finish their entire turn before others get a chance to react to those actions, and honestly I was getting bored of the standard way of doing things and looking for a change of pace. No I have not playtested this yet but that will be the real test as to whether this works or not.

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    Default Re: New new variant initiative

    Quote Originally Posted by Tzun View Post
    I admit this is more complicated than the standard system, but that was sort of the intent. I was looking for a more granular system, a little more tactical complexity, a little more realistic combat where things are happening more in parallel rather than in series where combatants finish their entire turn before others get a chance to react to those actions, and honestly I was getting bored of the standard way of doing things and looking for a change of pace. No I have not playtested this yet but that will be the real test as to whether this works or not.
    Yeah-I'd say it's ready for playtesting. It's probably not done, but it's done enough to be tested.

    Make sure you find a group to test it that likes the added complexity! As I said above, I'm not a fan, which wouldn't make me the best person to test it out. :P
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