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Initiative Slots & Death


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#1 Exalted5

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 04:47 AM

What happens to an "allied" initiative slot when someone (either a PC or NPC) dies?  For example, let's say I have a small battle between two PCs and three (ungrouped) NPCs.  Everyone rolls a simple vigilance check which results in the following order:

PC Slot

NPC Slot

PC Slot

NPC Slot

NPC Slot

On the first turn of combat, Bob fires his disrupter rifle and kills a stormtrooper.  What happens to the initiative order?  Which NPC slot is removed from the order? The complexity of this can compound (or be simplified, depending on how you look at it) when certain NPCs have acted and others have not, forcing a sort of "process of elimination" to rationalize which slot is taken out.

I couldn't find anything in the rules about this.  How is everyone else handling this, and does this need to be added into the rules somewhere?

 

 



#2 LethalDose

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 05:15 AM

 It should be handled in the rules, but I don't think it is.  My group has handled the situation by removing the last initiative position from the order of the side that lost an acting party.

 

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#3 LethalDose

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 05:18 AM

 I should amend that to say the slot is removed on the following turn, to make sure all the parties on a side have the chance to act. on the round when someone dies.



#4 Doc, the Weasel

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 06:05 AM

 In WFRP you keep the initiative order and just ignore the unused slots.


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#5 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 06:34 AM

Exalted5 said:

What happens to an "allied" initiative slot when someone (either a PC or NPC) dies?  For example, let's say I have a small battle between two PCs and three (ungrouped) NPCs.  Everyone rolls a simple vigilance check which results in the following order:

PC Slot

NPC Slot

PC Slot

NPC Slot

NPC Slot

On the first turn of combat, Bob fires his disrupter rifle and kills a stormtrooper.  What happens to the initiative order?  Which NPC slot is removed from the order? The complexity of this can compound (or be simplified, depending on how you look at it) when certain NPCs have acted and others have not, forcing a sort of "process of elimination" to rationalize which slot is taken out.

I couldn't find anything in the rules about this.  How is everyone else handling this, and does this need to be added into the rules somewhere?

I think it depends on how you run the bad guys in regards to initaitive.  Some GMs are probably just noting at which points the NPCs get to act, and then choosing an NPC as that slot comes up in the round.  Others follow more of an old-school mindset where the NPCs act in order of their initiative results from highest to lowest.

If you're doing the former (choose an NPC as each slot comes), then for the example you gave, the GM would simply pick one of the two remaining stormtroopers to act in the 1st NPC slot, and drop the 3rd NPC slot off the list.

If you're doing it the old-school way (each NPC has a dedicated initaitive slot based on their result), then if the first PC vapes the first stormtrooper in the initiative order, that slot would be removed and the second PC would get to go.

it's for something like this that I'd honestly suggest simply making a single roll for NPCs of the same type (even if they're not grouped), so as to cut down on this sort of headache and make it easier on the GM to keep track of which NPCs have gone.

 


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#6 Callidon

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 06:59 AM

Doc, the Weasel said:

 In WFRP you keep the initiative order and just ignore the unused slots.

This.

Players and their opponents can't take more than a single turn in a round, so the extra slots won't negatively effect combat.  Other than the tumble-weeds and grief stricken absence of an ally's action.  Once everyone has gone, the extra initiative slots can be ignored.  If people want to pass on an initiative slot for some reason they can also do that and still go later in the round with one of the slots remaining.


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#7 Exalted5

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 07:12 AM

Thanks for the feedback – that makes sense to me.

It seems to me that (assuming every PC and NPC will prefer to act as soon as possible), ignoring the slots is mechanically the same as removing the last slot on the following round.

Removing the slots seems to keep the game moving at a quick pace and takes away any kind of unimpactful analysis (should I go now, or wait and take the spare slot).

At the same time, if a player or nemesis is KO'd, it is possible they may get stimpacked back into the fight… so taking away slots may create more headaches. That said, it might be better to just leave them in? Considering FFG designed the WHFRPG, it might have been their intention anyway.

In either case though, these are all solid ways to approach the issue. I'd definitely recommend that the devs get this updated before release.



#8 Slaunyeh

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 07:41 PM

Exalted5 said:

At the same time, if a player or nemesis is KO'd, it is possible they may get stimpacked back into the fight… so taking away slots may create more headaches. That said, it might be better to just leave them in? Considering FFG designed the WHFRPG, it might have been their intention anyway.

I don't know how it's handled in WHFRPG, or how it was intended, but in our group it never occurred to us to remove initiative slots as combatants go down. The remaining just get to pick from the available slots (which, most of the time, would probably be the equivalent of removing the slowest slot, but in some cases it could still be useful)



#9 Doc, the Weasel

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 05:04 AM

Slaunyeh said:

Exalted5 said:

 

At the same time, if a player or nemesis is KO'd, it is possible they may get stimpacked back into the fight… so taking away slots may create more headaches. That said, it might be better to just leave them in? Considering FFG designed the WHFRPG, it might have been their intention anyway.

 

 

I don't know how it's handled in WHFRPG, or how it was intended, but in our group it never occurred to us to remove initiative slots as combatants go down. The remaining just get to pick from the available slots (which, most of the time, would probably be the equivalent of removing the slowest slot, but in some cases it could still be useful)

That's been my experience with WFRP. Just leave them in.


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#10 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 05:45 AM

Slaunyeh said:

I don't know how it's handled in WHFRPG, or how it was intended, but in our group it never occurred to us to remove initiative slots as combatants go down. The remaining just get to pick from the available slots (which, most of the time, would probably be the equivalent of removing the slowest slot, but in some cases it could still be useful)

Just curious, but would you remove the slots from the top of the initiative order, or from the bottom?

Either option has it's pros and cons both for and against the PCs (depending naturally on whether it's a PC or an NPC that gets taken out of the fight).


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#11 LethalDose

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 06:02 AM

Donovan Morningfire said:

Slaunyeh said:

 

I don't know how it's handled in WHFRPG, or how it was intended, but in our group it never occurred to us to remove initiative slots as combatants go down. The remaining just get to pick from the available slots (which, most of the time, would probably be the equivalent of removing the slowest slot, but in some cases it could still be useful)

 

 

Just curious, but would you remove the slots from the top of the initiative order, or from the bottom?

Either option has it's pros and cons both for and against the PCs (depending naturally on whether it's a PC or an NPC that gets taken out of the fight).

The bottom.  If you need to have characters or NPCs acting later, They can just 'hold' or delay actions until the time to act comes up. You can't do this if you drop the earlier slots.  With the ability to delay an action, I've never seen a player need to fully skip his turn.

 

-WJL 



#12 Doc, the Weasel

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 06:25 AM

Out of curiosity, does anyone see any actual benefits to removing slots over just leaving them there?


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#13 Donovan Morningfire

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 06:27 AM

Doc, the Weasel said:

Out of curiosity, does anyone see any actual benefits to removing slots over just leaving them there?

Well, as I asked Slaunyeh above, it depends on where you remove them from.

If from the bottom, it makes no real difference at all.

If from the top, it can make quite a big difference.


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#14 Doc, the Weasel

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 06:40 AM

Donovan Morningfire said:

 

Doc, the Weasel said:

 

Out of curiosity, does anyone see any actual benefits to removing slots over just leaving them there?

 

 

Well, as I asked Slaunyeh above, it depends on where you remove them from.

If from the bottom, it makes no real difference at all.

If from the top, it can make quite a big difference.

 

 

Oh, I can see differences. What I'm asking is do people think that it is better.


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#15 Callidon

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 06:41 AM

Doc, the Weasel said:

 

Out of curiosity, does anyone see any actual benefits to removing slots over just leaving them there?

 

I don't really understand the desire for an extra layer of complication m'self, so I dunno.  I'm just going to stick with initiative slots being vacant and flapping in the breeze.  If personal preference leads some groups into a direction of removing the top, middle or bottom initiative points to have more fun or make things seem more ship-shape that's cool too.  Then there's always Jay H's method of: Good-guys, then Bad-guys…rinse repeat until combat is over :-)

 


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