Author Topic: Steamspace- Initiative  (Read 1978 times)

Offline SolEiji

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Steamspace- Initiative
« on: December 21, 2014, 01:37:27 AM »
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The above issue has been "solved" and just not deleted for sake of the curious.  Changing the title and contents, and giving it a second shot with a new problem.

I've come upon a debate of using a 3.5e style system of rounds, vs an (apparently) AD&D style system of initiative counts.  That is, you could act on count 20, do an action that takes 3 counts to complete, and have your action go off at count 17.  If someone is at 18, they could totally interrupt you or change what they are doing.

While I like it, it seems like it may be overly complex and slow things down.

What are your opinions on it?
« Last Edit: January 03, 2015, 02:07:05 AM by SolEiji »
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Offline SolEiji

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Re: Steamspace- Initiative
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2015, 02:07:37 AM »
I have altered the contents above.  I don't normally bump for attention like this, but effectively it's been turned into a brand new post.
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Offline Unbeliever

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Re: Steamspace- Initiative
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2015, 10:05:09 AM »
I seem to recall AD&D using a rounds system, just having it adjusted for your various actions via Speed Factor and Casting Time.  But, that's neither here nor there.

I'm not intrigued by the Initiative Count system proposed above.  I think it just does weird things to the abstract sense of time involved in RPGs.  Suppose I tell you a round is roughly 10 seconds.  In the Initiative Count system, if you roll poorly for initiative, you end up able to do less than 10 seconds worth of actions.  Your round is "shorter," which seems weird, given that we're talking about more or just the order of actions, whereas this includes how many actions you can do.  Having that vary round by round seems like a huge power swing.  Likewise, doing 3E's rolling of initiative once at the beginning of a combat just makes it very swingy combat by combat.

I'm sure there might be nice reasons behind it -- a given character freezes for a second and can't do as much -- but the costs in complexity and balance difficulty seem to swamp all of that.

Offline SolEiji

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Re: Steamspace- Initiative
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2015, 11:11:04 AM »
Yay replies!

The way I reasoned it in my head was that whatever stretch of initiative counts was a "round", and that each individual "tick" was an arbitrary amount of time.

That is, say it is stated that it takes 6 seconds for all turns to pass and complete.  Some creatures get various initiatives.... 18, 4, 8, -1, and 21.  So it starts at 21, and counts down to -1, with 21 being right after -1.  So even though that is a total of 22 ticks, that's 6 seconds there.  As opposed to a different battle of 4, 8, and 5, where it goes from 8 to 4 for a total of 4 ticks, still in 6 seconds.

Unless you meant the fact that 1st place comes up immediately after last place, in which case yes.  Though I suppose it's no worse than having someone getting initiatives of 7 and 6, where their actions press right up against each other.

I never played it, but didn't AD&D reroll initiative each round?  That seems clunky.  Were I going this path I'd roll only once, and the only way you're change position would be delaying actions so you end up on count 21, or 19, or whatever you're going for.
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Offline Unbeliever

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Re: Steamspace- Initiative
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2015, 11:39:48 AM »
Hmmm, I don't think I understand.  Let me try and run through a quick example and you can tell me what you mean.  A and B are fighting.  A rolls a 9 for Initiative, B rolls a 2.  They are each armed with swords that take 3 ticks to swing, and you count Initiative down.

So, in a given round, A gets to start his swing at 9, complete his swing at 6, and then start another swing at 6 (or 5?) and then complete it at 3 (or 2), and so on.  While poor B doesn't even get to swing his sword, I guess? 

That strikes me as a less friendly version of Champions' venerable phase system, and a giant pain in the ass and all the wonky stuff I wrote above.

On the other hand, you could do something like how I recall AD&D's initiative system (note, I may totally be wrong, this is from 20+ years ago).  Where the "ticks" system really mattered for interrupting people, which was really where the rubber hit the road.  AD&D initiative counted upward, so suppose A rolled a 2 for Initiative and B rolled a 6.  A begins his swing on 2, and then, if it's got a speed factor of 3, completes it on 5, before B even gets to start.  Things get more interesting if A is using something with a large speed factor, like a greatsword, or a complicated spell, and B is using something light and quick like a dagger.  You get the idea. 

The small trick there is that by counting upward the round never "ended" till everyone got their chance to go.  As a side note, rolling each round isn't too clunky, I don't think it'd even queer my 3E D&D games if I implemented that and it's got some advantages to it.  But, it depends on how much happens in each round in the game.  If it's quite a bit, then the rolling each time isn't so bad.  If combats take place over many rounds, then it does add up.

I guess I'd ask, what are you aiming for out of the ticks system?  It seems most appealing to me if you want a granular difference between options -- the greatsword v. dagger comparison.  Otherwise, I think just allowing people on higher initiative counts to interrupt people going after them is a much simpler way to achieve the same ends.  I alluded to Champions' phase system above.  But, I think simply multiple actions -- either on a character's initiative or at the end of the round (a la White Wolf celerity) -- is a much easier way of getting that into a system.

Offline SolEiji

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Re: Steamspace- Initiative
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2015, 12:06:45 PM »
For the most part I won't need to worry about multiple attacks, and when there are I'm partial to just taking the slowest number and going with that for simplicity's sake, but I see where you're going, and yeah it is complex.  A little context; I'm actually undecided and was just gonna go with 3.5e esque rounds, but I have been swayed by others to try out this method.  It's also something similar to what I remember of Exalted, so I had a little experience.  Their reasoning amounted to situations where you might be doing something slow (aiming a big gun, casting a big spell) and being able to react to them before the ability goes off, such as ducking for cover or trying to interrupt the spell.  So yes, the main purpose is for interrupting more than anything.

In your example, why wouldn't B swing his sword?  Assuming he has the same sword (which apparently goes in 3s), wouldn't be swing on 8 next round?  Going tick 2, tick 9, tick 8 (that's 3).
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Offline Unbeliever

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Re: Steamspace- Initiative
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2015, 11:38:09 AM »
In the example, A is getting more actions than B is for a given number of rounds based on an Initiative roll.  That's the sort of thing I'd be very careful about.  Avoid really.  AD&D's approach, where you were counting up in initiative, avoided this particular issue by counting up, so the round was only over when everyone was done acting.

If you want to include interrupts, then some sort of tick/speed factor-esque system works.  You just need to have sensible numbers for the speed factors and a sensible system for interrupts.  It is a bit cumbersome, though.  So, I don't know how much you're gaining from that as opposed to a simpler "you're ahead in initiative, you can interrupt" system.  The only way I see it as desirable is if there are a bunch of different options w/r/t speed factor.

This, coincidentally, is why it didn't work all that well in AD&D.  Your delay was based on the weapon you chose, which was as much a stylistic choice as anything else, or the spell you cast.  AD&D didn't have nice systems for things like jabs or haymakers.  Maybe there was a little bit of something with spells -- I seem to recall casting time being related to spell level -- but the massive increase in firepower that higher level spells represent kind of swamped that. 

Offline SolEiji

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Re: Steamspace- Initiative
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2015, 11:10:07 PM »
Current modifications with the system I am going with so far....

It is basic 3.5e style to start with.  Roll, get a number, that's your initiative for the round.  Say, 21, 15, 9, 5, and -3.

Most attacks have no delays.  Some do.  Say you swing a heavy weapon, or cast a spell, and the delay is 4.

Your initiative does not change.  However, your attack doesn't go off (and thus people can try to interrupt you or foil your plans) until your initiative - your delay.  For the last person, the first person comes right after, so if -3 guy had a delay 4 spell it would go off at initiative 21... 20... 19... initiative 18.

This is functionally similar to someone casting a 1 round spell, like sleep, and people seeing it and choosing to either attack and interrupt it, or get out of the way.

Is this system ok?
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Offline Amechra

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Re: Steamspace- Initiative
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2015, 11:55:04 PM »
I'm reminded of how we played 1e.

When I first glanced through, I thought it was going to be something like 7th Seas' combat system:

1. Basically, there are 10 "counts" to a round. Basically, there are only 10 places where initiative can "go". You roll initiative at the beginning of each round.
2. You roll a number of 10-sided dice equal to your Panache (one of the attributes). Let's say you have a Panache of 3, and you roll a 1, 4, and a 6.
3. You get to take an action at counts 1, 4, and 6. An "active defense" counts as an action (basically, it's an option to use a skill roll instead of a static value for AC, turning the attack into skill roll vs. skill roll instead of skill roll vs. DC).
4. You can delay an action by as many counts as you want (as long as they are used by the end of the turn.)
5. You can "borrow" two actions from later counts to use an active defense if you've run out of actions from earlier in the round.

So, to use the example of a guy who rolls 1, 4, and 6, let's say he's fighting a guy who rolls a 1 and a 3. Guy A attacks on count 1, Guy B uses his action to make an active defense. Then, on count 3, Guy B attacks Guy A, who can either a) spend both their remaining actions to get an active defense or b) take the hit, and use them for attacks (or other combat actions) later on.

It's like that, except with a bunch of people; generally, you want to either act the earliest (force someone to waste actions boosting their defense) or the last (when they don't have actions to defend against you). Generally, which you favor varies based off your other stats.



Sorry for the derail.
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