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The Rally Step and Replacing Actions

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I'm trying to get my head around the three act structure and the Rally Step for this weekend when I'm running v3 for the first time.  First of all, I really like three act concept that FFG's team have developed as a way to encourage more dynamic encounters which develop rather than turn into slugging matches. However, I'm struggling to see how it will work, especially in the impromptu fights and encounters that my group have a habit of finding.

This leads me to my second issue, if I'm struggling with incorporating the three acts, then I'm also going to struggle to include Rally Steps, which again is a mechanic I like as an opportunity to take a breather mid-fight, bind wounds and generally calm down for a moment.  A dramatic pause if you will.

Therefore I've wondered about doing away with the three acts (yes, I know some actions/effect have 'act' as their duration, but I'll replace act encounter) and the rally step and introducing the Rally Action.

Basically this will work the same as the rally step, but will be optional. It will also only be available if the are no enemies in close range and will not entitle the PC to a free manoeuvre and is essentially a round doing nothing but pausing for breath.  This gives the option for a PC to pull back from the fighting, or pause after slaying one opponent, or even put a lot of effort into one action (increase fatigue/stress) and wait a moment before enacting the next part of their plan.

I'd be interested to know from those running the game already, whether you've found the three act system unwieldy (if not then the above is probably not necessary), whether a Rally Action will have unforseen consequences, and whether you think it will work.

Also, I'm considering allowing players to take two manoeuvres in a round if they forego an action.  I was thinking that the exertion of a manoeuvre and an action would be roughly similar to two manoeuvres.  Essentially this would allow players to run without collapsing from exhaustion.  Thoughts?

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I am wondernig whether the rally action might possibly slow down the game or get it to lose its fluidity a bit? one of the key points about the rally step is the actual break in the game world and the break in the real world that acompanies that for all players at the same time; that toilet break or whatever.

If each player is taking the rally action individually, then the real life breaks aren't really possible. I can see why you might want to try and get it there, so that players can catch their breath etc and gain the benefits of a rally step, but that could probably also be achieved by a use a skill manoeuvre (first aid, possibly) and the assess the situation action; its not exactly right, but it is similar.

losing the option for having everyone take a break at the same time might not be a big deal, but you'll probably need to make sure you introduce full party rally steps at some point anyway.

If it was an impromptu fight, I personally would be inclined to run that without a rally step, unless as the fight progressed an opportunity arose for me to engineer a rally step "on the fly", so to speak.

The three act structure is great for mapping out the plans and encounters of the adventure, but i think there will come times when things simply don't fit into that structure, or rather the entire fight or whatever fits within a single act.

You obviously have the option of offering a rally step at the end of the fight, but considering its likely that the game will move to story mode at that point anyway, the usefulness of the rally step at that point is limited anyway.

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 I guess you're both right.  I'm perhaps reacting to something I'm not sure is a problem yet.  If I structure planned encounters with three acts then as you say, impromptu encounters I can just roll with.

Thanks for the feedback.  I'll try the system as is, and see if I still feel the same after.

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There is confusion because there isn't a good definition between "act" and "encounter" and the rules overlap and contradict each other (that's a first, I know ;)

They need to get rid of the term "encounter" and just use act and they need to get rid of the "3 act" limiting mindset.

Anyways, I'm doing exactly that.  BTW, here's a sequence chart for you:

WFRP3 Sequences
Active Player’s Turn
* Initiative is established with agility check (successes).
* Fortune Points may be spent anytime during a character’s turn.
* Maneuvers may be performed anytime during a character’s turn.

Beginning of Turn Phase:
1. Adjust stance one space for free. More costs Stress.
2. Resolve any other Beginning Phase effects

Middle of Turn Phase (Action Card Resolution)
1. Active player selects an action card and announces the target
2. Generate your starting dice pool.
3. GM assigns Purple (1 for combat) and black/ misfortune dice.
4. Dice pool is rolled and evaluated
5. If attack is successful, calculate Wounds Inflicted
6. Resolve all remaining Action Card Effects

End of Turn Phase (Next Person Can Start Their Action)
1. Mark Tracking Tokens on Action/Talents used
2. Remove one tracking token from brief conditions
3. Remove one tracking token from action cards
4. Remove one tracking token from talents
5. Adjust Power/Favor (Spellcasters)
6. Resolve any other End Phase effects

Rally Phase of Encounter/Act
1. GM awards fortune points to party
2. Move stance one towards neutral (required)
3. Remove one recharge token from from any recharging cards
4. Recover one stress and one fatigue
5. Adjust Power/Favor as if it were the PC’s End of Turn phase
6. Perform ONE Rally Step Action
a. One maneuver
b. Attempt one First Aid check
c. Attempt (1p) Reslilience check to recover fatigue equal to the number of successes generated
d. Attempt (1p) Discipline check to recover stress equal to number of successes generated.
e. Re-roll initiative for party’s slowest init’ token.
f. Perform action with “Rally” trait.
7. Non-PC’s may perform these, plus refresh A/C/E dice.

End Of Encounter/Act (and/or 8 hours of complete rest)
1. Recover Fatigue equal to Toughness
2. Recover Stress equal to Willpower
3. Willpower check for temporary insanity to become permanent insanity. (WFRP67)
4. Resilience check for temporary disease to become permanent disease (house rule).
5. Remove any non-permanent conditions

End of an Episode (GM will announce) ToA12,18; WFRP62
1. Recover Fatigue equal to Toughness
2. Recover Stress equal to Willpower
3. GM awards Fortune points to party

Interlude between Adventures (ToA37)
1. Submit character hooks
2. Healing & Recovery (including Disease & Insanity)
3. Activities (Research, Training, Employment, Travel, Gossip, Shopping, Prayer, etc.)
4. Encounter
5. Check Plot Triggers

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