Archlyte

I think I'm going to have to ditch the Initiative system

123 posts in this topic

6 hours ago, Stan Fresh said:

Just ask them how they manage to get the drop on the guy with the gun. Encourage awesomeness instead of imposing arbitrary punishments.

 

Yeah any kind of descriptive way of resolving it with a leaning toward the players and awesomeness like you said. I think ties are supposed to resolve in favor of the players anyway so they end up going first usually in my experience.

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You can switch to a "conventional" die for initiative, but there are a lot of talents, etc. that give boost die to initiative rolls. How will you hand that? A flat +1 per boost die, or something else? It could work, but boost dice can also produce no result (read: 0). And what about setback dice? Will those become an automatic -1? Those, too, can sometimes produce no result (0).

Also, there are two different skills for initiative and the number of dice people are rolling for initiative often vary. How will that be handled? If you use multiple dice there are two different factors you introduce, especially with "whole number" dice with a lot of sides: 1) bell curves, and 2) a disparity in potential results 

If I were to do this I would use D4s as it will more closely resemble the number of successes you can actually get per die, depending on type. However, I think its better just to count successes and use advantages as "tie breakers." Another option: just do initiative once per combat and keep rotating through it per turn.

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1 hour ago, Vondy said:

Another option: just do initiative once per combat and keep rotating through it per turn.

Wait. Isn't this RAW?  Initiative once per combat?

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5 hours ago, ThreeAM said:

Wait. Isn't this RAW?  Initiative once per combat?

I believe so, yes. I don't lug my books around with me.

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Personally, I do houserule initiative to speed it up. 

I just have one player make the check against one opponent as an opposed cool/vigilance vs cool/vigilance check. If the check succeeds, the PCs get the first slot and it alternates from there. If it fails, the NPCs go first and it alternates from there. two advantage can buy another PC slot after the first PC slot. Threat buy another NPC slot after the first NPC slot. Triumph gives a surprise round to the PCs. 

It speeds up the initiative check itself. It speeds up the GM figuring out the slot order, too. It works for me. 

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6 minutes ago, KRKappel said:

It speeds up the initiative check itself. It speeds up the GM figuring out the slot order, too. It works for me. 

I still don't see why this takes any table longer than about 30 seconds to figure out.  We roll, note numbers, and arrange it all in that time.  Of course I have a player handle that while I set things up, so perhaps it's the combined GM duties that slow things down?  You're kinda the man KRK, so if YOU have problems with it, then that gives me pause.  All the rest of us plebians, well, that's just us.  

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Just now, themensch said:

I still don't see why this takes any table longer than about 30 seconds to figure out. 

Yeah, I really don't get the "it's too slow" argument.  I get more disruption from someone needing to take a whizz.  Everybody is pretty invested in both their result and that of the NPCs, so there's no loss of tension.  If I had a lot of NPCs to work out I'd just ask the players to roll for them too.  Using the T.S.A notation makes it really easy to rank them, and for that matter, most of the time I don't even bother to rank them, I just write them down in the order I receive them.  It's not that hard to scan the list to see who goes next.

I don't say this lightly, but, if you think it takes too long "you're doing it wrong".

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I like using it as is.  It allows me to incorporate Difficulty/Setbacks into the initiative checks to account for surprise situations/environment, and thereby allow the high Cool/Vigilance people to shine. Not using it takes away from the Triumphs that can be very beneficial on Cool/Vigilance checks for them, and either guts/or overweights Talents like Uncanny Reactions and Ready for Anything/Improved, and probably other stuff I can't talk about because the line between playtest and released has gotten blurry for me off the top of my head.....

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Everyone rolls at once.

GM: "Anyone has 2 Successes and 1 Advantage, or better?"

Player 1: "Yes, 2 Successes and 2 Advantages."

GM: "Okay, we start with a PC slot then, and an NPC slot afterwards. Anyone has at least 1 Success?"

Players 2: "2 Successes."

Player 3: "1 Success and 1 Advantage."

GM: "That's two slots for the PCs, and another NPC slot afterwards, then. Anyone got less than 1 Success?"

Player 4: "Just an Advantage".

GM: "So the final slot goes to the PCs. Let's start."

All of this takes, what? Half a minute? A minute?

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21 minutes ago, Stan Fresh said:

Everyone rolls at once.

GM: "Anyone has 2 Successes and 1 Advantage, or better?"

Player 1: "Yes, 2 Successes and 2 Advantages."

GM: "Okay, we start with a PC slot then, and an NPC slot afterwards. Anyone has at least 1 Success?"

Players 2: "2 Successes."

Player 3: "1 Success and 1 Advantage."

GM: "That's two slots for the PCs, and another NPC slot afterwards, then. Anyone got less than 1 Success?"

Player 4: "Just an Advantage".

GM: "So the final slot goes to the PCs. Let's start."

All of this takes, what? Half a minute? A minute?

And what if you don't solicit responses based on the roll, you just go around the table and write results down with room in between rows in case things change? That's worked well for us too.  

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4 minutes ago, themensch said:

And what if you don't solicit responses based on the roll, you just go around the table and write results down with room in between rows in case things change? That's worked well for us too.  

That works too, sure.

My method doesn't require note-taking on paper, you can use counters for PC and NPC slots and just line them up in a row as responses are made and reuse them for the next combat again.

 

 

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On 8/28/2017 at 2:25 PM, Archlyte said:

In further testing I realized that the difficulty dice negative results a lot more than I thought they would, which means that I have to admit this idea does not work. Thank you for all of your input. It helped me to test this. I guess I'm stuck with RAW.

 

All I could think when I read your average difficulty idea, was that all the low willpower/presence characters would get shafted HARD.

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12 hours ago, Degenerate Mind said:

All I could think when I read your average difficulty idea, was that all the low willpower/presence characters would get shafted HARD.

Yeah it was one of those things where I had to eat my words once I started rolling dice. I still like this idea but it's not really something I can use. I decided to ditch the dice all together and just use a Narrative Initiative System. I started working on it and then I found an article some guy did in which he used pretty much the same ideas. 

1) Combat is considered simultaneous unless otherwise stated (Ranged vs. melee goes first if range is short or greater)

2) Turn Tokens are given to each combatant or minion group

3) Whoever narratively starts the fight goes first. 

4) Disputed situations can be solved by a roll (Vigilance, Cool, Leadership) or use of a talent that applies

5) You can hold your token to use as a reaction to another attack if you haven't gone, this is how you win by waiting because you trade quick action for information and act on that info. 

 

Any feedback on this (constructive please, not trying to get me to use RAW or another system) would be very helpful

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On ‎9‎/‎28‎/‎2017 at 5:14 PM, whafrog said:

Yeah, I really don't get the "it's too slow" argument.  I get more disruption from someone needing to take a whizz.  Everybody is pretty invested in both their result and that of the NPCs, so there's no loss of tension.  If I had a lot of NPCs to work out I'd just ask the players to roll for them too.  Using the T.S.A notation makes it really easy to rank them, and for that matter, most of the time I don't even bother to rank them, I just write them down in the order I receive them.  It's not that hard to scan the list to see who goes next.

I don't say this lightly, but, if you think it takes too long "you're doing it wrong".

It does take a long time in any game for my tastes. The random order thing is great for representing the mechanics and the Game aspect of what you are doing, but combat in TTRPGs slows down play instead of speeding it up like in video games. I will take TTRPGs over video games any day of the week, but I still see that things slowing down once combat is joined is kind of a bummer. The game I have played with the most fluid rules is Fate, and the combat in that system fairly well flies compared to other systems I have played. If it doesn't seem slow to you to have to have everyone roll and then order the rolls, and then start acting in order, then I think you are just used to the typical TTRPG pace and find it fine. 

For my tastes, it is slower than usual integer systems because it requires being ordered from symbols to an integer and a decimal or just doing as you say you do and just looking at a pictogram and going up and down the order received to determine order of next move. Maybe you're some kind of savant who processes such information super fast.

All of this to try and get a random order that may not even make sense given the actual events in the scene. Why is this better than just having things happen simultaneously or by order of common sense (melee guy won't go before a ranged guy when the two are fighting from a distance)?

Sometimes I think this stuff just gets opposed in a knee-jerk fashion because people don't like to examine alternative ideas, and have RAW memorized to the point of extreme comfort and complacency. No one will make you play any different if, for the sake of evaluation, you can get past the emotional taste of a new idea, and get down to objectively examining it based on the actual ideas, not the feeling the ideas give you. You have 500 games in the can and are an expert on this system, ok cool, but that doesn't help me when I say I find the initiative system counter-intuitive and needlessly weird for a linear count-off D&D style trade blows system. I'm not mistaken, I really do find it to be bad. 

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On 10/4/2017 at 3:31 PM, Archlyte said:

Yeah it was one of those things where I had to eat my words once I started rolling dice. I still like this idea but it's not really something I can use. I decided to ditch the dice all together and just use a Narrative Initiative System. I started working on it and then I found an article some guy did in which he used pretty much the same ideas. 

1) Combat is considered simultaneous unless otherwise stated (Ranged vs. melee goes first if range is short or greater)

2) Turn Tokens are given to each combatant or minion group

3) Whoever narratively starts the fight goes first. 

4) Disputed situations can be solved by a roll (Vigilance, Cool, Leadership) or use of a talent that applies

5) You can hold your token to use as a reaction to another attack if you haven't gone, this is how you win by waiting because you trade quick action for information and act on that info. 

 

Any feedback on this (constructive please, not trying to get me to use RAW or another system) would be very helpful

Okay . . . this seems like a serious taint on the narrative, but <shrug> lets see what boils down.

1) I've seen this work on a limited basis, so if I understand ALL of the combatants declare their actions and the ALL of the combatants do their actions/attacks and the results are tallied AFTER everyone has gone.  This may result is some kill stealing (which happens when multiple people gang up) but mechanically it's probably a bit more "realistic."  I think it also might ruin the times where someone works to get the drop on an opponent in an active fight.  I'm having issues with this because I'm used to RPG's (as opposed to CRPG's) being inherently turn based.  It's kind of like when X-Com 3 (the one before the current X-Com 2) tried to introduce simultaneous actions to a game system which DEFINED turn based computer gaming.  Oh how hard that sucked.  Don't know what I mean?  CASE IN POINT!  But I digress.

2) Turn tokens are given to each combatant or minion group.  Why?  If principle one is in effect, who cares what order you go in?  Although if you have one group move from short to engagement to get into combat and the other group moves from short to sort of medium to STAY out of engagement, I can see an issue with turn order THERE because it will REALLY matter whether or not the melee munchkin gets in an attack or not.  How would you handle that?  Hmmmmm.  I'll have to put some more thought into this one.

3) Han shot first.  Gotcha.

4) Please define "Disputed Situations . . ." or see principle 2 again.  So you have tokens already assigned to each group to represent a turn order . . .  This might be unnecessarily unnecessary.

5) Yeah . . . . . .  This is a pretty standard initiative clause for most games.  I would recommend checking out GURPS because they have a good handle on interrupts and wait actions.

Speaking of GURPS, what if you were to do something creative like just NOT using dice at all and use the raw (not RAW) skills?  So a character with a YYGG would go before a YYG and they would both act before someone with a YGGGG.  I think a turn precedence of Yellows then Greens and then Blues would resolve tie breakers, and PC's still go before NPC's.  Does this work?

Interesting thought exercise.  But I'm also VERY sleep deprived and running on caffeine.  Ooo!  I spelled caffeine right the first time!  (Shiny)!

 

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13 hours ago, Mark Caliber said:

Okay . . . this seems like a serious taint on the narrative, but <shrug> lets see what boils down.

1) I've seen this work on a limited basis, so if I understand ALL of the combatants declare their actions and the ALL of the combatants do their actions/attacks and the results are tallied AFTER everyone has gone.  This may result is some kill stealing (which happens when multiple people gang up) but mechanically it's probably a bit more "realistic."  I think it also might ruin the times where someone works to get the drop on an opponent in an active fight.  I'm having issues with this because I'm used to RPG's (as opposed to CRPG's) being inherently turn based.  It's kind of like when X-Com 3 (the one before the current X-Com 2) tried to introduce simultaneous actions to a game system which DEFINED turn based computer gaming.  Oh how hard that sucked.  Don't know what I mean?  CASE IN POINT!  But I digress.

2) Turn tokens are given to each combatant or minion group.  Why?  If principle one is in effect, who cares what order you go in?  Although if you have one group move from short to engagement to get into combat and the other group moves from short to sort of medium to STAY out of engagement, I can see an issue with turn order THERE because it will REALLY matter whether or not the melee munchkin gets in an attack or not.  How would you handle that?  Hmmmmm.  I'll have to put some more thought into this one.

3) Han shot first.  Gotcha.

4) Please define "Disputed Situations . . ." or see principle 2 again.  So you have tokens already assigned to each group to represent a turn order . . .  This might be unnecessarily unnecessary.

5) Yeah . . . . . .  This is a pretty standard initiative clause for most games.  I would recommend checking out GURPS because they have a good handle on interrupts and wait actions.

Speaking of GURPS, what if you were to do something creative like just NOT using dice at all and use the raw (not RAW) skills?  So a character with a YYGG would go before a YYG and they would both act before someone with a YGGGG.  I think a turn precedence of Yellows then Greens and then Blues would resolve tie breakers, and PC's still go before NPC's.  Does this work?

Interesting thought exercise.  But I'm also VERY sleep deprived and running on caffeine.  Ooo!  I spelled caffeine right the first time!  (Shiny)!

 

Hey thank you very much for this post. When I made that list I was trying to come up with the things I figured were in my brainstorming box for this at the time. I don't know why you say it is a taint on the narrative though, are you referring to gameplay or the thread? I am the OP so I figured I could just go ahead and update the thread based on where I was in the subject currently. After 30+ years of rolling initiative I think I would like to have another way of having the combat order be expressed. I started out using RAW, then looking for a modification (I thought that maybe putting Difficulty dice in might change the results to be more intuitive, but I was wrong), and now I have decided that in play this system is just too much like D&D in the way that the combatants interact in a combat situation. The main culprit of this as I see it is the initiative system. 

Turn Tokens: This idea was originally in place to give players and NPCs each a shot at doing something in a round. One drawback I have seen to Narrative Initiative Systems (NIS) in previous dabbling is that sometimes people can actually be overlooked in combat if they are passive, while active characters can tend to go more than once because they are being exciting or leading the narrative. But I don't want to really have scenes going on in media res in combat, so I needed something to represent the concept of Tempo--namely, given mutual awareness and ability to act,  if I have time to do something so do you. Not understanding tempo is where some games go wrong with things like dual wielding weapons and other actions which on paper would seem to be superior but when put to the test don't end up that way n real time execution. 

Declaration: I would prefer not to have declaration because that is even slower than Initiative, but if it has to be then it has to be. Combat description is the thing here. Question: In any given combat do you have time to perceive what is going on? Players are almost always operating at an information deficit because they are going off of the image in the GM's mind as explained verbally or with a map or drawing. In my experience what you have to adopt with players is a stance of "close enough," otherwise they become understandably frustrated as they swing at a piñata that they cannot see. So this to me is a matter of Just How Fast is this Happening? Rounds in this game are not a set duration of time, which means that the time of each round can be elastic from the Instantaneous to lasting up to a minute. A minute is an eternity in combat, and so depending on what is going on the characters would have more or less information depending on the pace. 

How to determine the Pace? 

Well since I am using Narrative then it would seem to me that the situation would determine the pace. A firefight in which both sides have cover is going to be slower than a frantic dogfight in a space battle or a duel between two skilled melee combatants.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Disputed Situations: This was something I decided might be necessary because the narrative might suggest two probable likely outcomes A before B and also B before A, so I thought that to solve such a dispute (which is the primary function of Initiative anyway) that random would possibly be a good way to go. I have changed my mind on this though, because it would probably devolve into gong back to RAW, especially as a way for someone used to RAW and having that agenda to get the NIS put away. What this would probably look like would be an incidental skill check. You and the Stormtrooper sergeant both race for the bridge control, he wants to lock it and you want to open it, who gets there first? PC make Athletics check to get there first. If you fail the Stormtrooper gets there first. That kind of thing.                                      

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13 hours ago, Mark Caliber said:

Okay . . . this seems like a serious taint on the narrative, but <shrug> lets see what boils down.

1) I've seen this work on a limited basis, so if I understand ALL of the combatants declare their actions and the ALL of the combatants do their actions/attacks and the results are tallied AFTER everyone has gone.  This may result is some kill stealing (which happens when multiple people gang up) but mechanically it's probably a bit more "realistic."  I think it also might ruin the times where someone works to get the drop on an opponent in an active fight.  I'm having issues with this because I'm used to RPG's (as opposed to CRPG's) being inherently turn based.  It's kind of like when X-Com 3 (the one before the current X-Com 2) tried to introduce simultaneous actions to a game system which DEFINED turn based computer gaming.  Oh how hard that sucked.  Don't know what I mean?  CASE IN POINT!  But I digress.

2) Turn tokens are given to each combatant or minion group.  Why?  If principle one is in effect, who cares what order you go in?  Although if you have one group move from short to engagement to get into combat and the other group moves from short to sort of medium to STAY out of engagement, I can see an issue with turn order THERE because it will REALLY matter whether or not the melee munchkin gets in an attack or not.  How would you handle that?  Hmmmmm.  I'll have to put some more thought into this one.

3) Han shot first.  Gotcha.

4) Please define "Disputed Situations . . ." or see principle 2 again.  So you have tokens already assigned to each group to represent a turn order . . .  This might be unnecessarily unnecessary.

5) Yeah . . . . . .  This is a pretty standard initiative clause for most games.  I would recommend checking out GURPS because they have a good handle on interrupts and wait actions.

Speaking of GURPS, what if you were to do something creative like just NOT using dice at all and use the raw (not RAW) skills?  So a character with a YYGG would go before a YYG and they would both act before someone with a YGGGG.  I think a turn precedence of Yellows then Greens and then Blues would resolve tie breakers, and PC's still go before NPC's.  Does this work?

Interesting thought exercise.  But I'm also VERY sleep deprived and running on caffeine.  Ooo!  I spelled caffeine right the first time!  (Shiny)!

 

Also I like your idea of simply comparing the dice for these results. I originally thought of simply ordering Initiative in this way, but I felt it was too static, but this would work well for some disputed situations. I expect arguments form players on some of this stuff, and I feel that they are due this ability to argue the merits of what they are doing because they are seeing it in their own mind a certain way. People have more fun when they are winning, but you can't let them win all the time or it becomes boring. A random schedule of reinforcement is the most powerful on things like this, so keeping the action feeling like it is organic and not just the whim of the GM is important. So it would seem to me that a big variety of ways to solve disputes is desirable as long as it is not so varied or nebulous as to increase the player's sense of vertigo (the anxiety brought on by too many available equally valued choices in a game). 

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On 2017-10-11 at 0:33 AM, Archlyte said:

Sometimes I think this stuff just gets opposed in a knee-jerk fashion because people don't like to examine alternative ideas, and have RAW memorized to the point of extreme comfort and complacency.

Sorry, but you're off base here.  My system isn't RAW, actually, the T.S.A decimal system is never mentioned in RAW.  What you perceive as people stuck in their ways is people who've been here for several years already and worked it out.  I've long forgotten who to give credit to for how I do it now (and may they live a long and happy life!)

Besides, isn't it kind of arrogant for you to just show up and imply we're slavish troglodytes when you can't even provide a workable alternative?  Why would I entertain your complaints and need for conditions and lists and other codification when the solution I use works great?  It's not "knee-jerk" opposition, it's "show me better, faster, stronger".

On 2017-10-11 at 0:33 AM, Archlyte said:

For my tastes, it is slower than usual integer systems because it requires being ordered from symbols to an integer and a decimal or just doing as you say you do and just looking at a pictogram and going up and down the order received to determine order of next move. Maybe you're some kind of savant who processes such information super fast.

I ain't no savant.  Maybe before you decide what "your taste" is, just give the decimal system shot.  Like anything it might take a bit of practice.  Get some graph paper, write T, S, A over three columns, go around the table and gather the results, adding in the NPCs.  I'll bet after a couple of times you won't even have to sort them.

On 2017-10-04 at 2:31 PM, Archlyte said:

Whoever narratively starts the fight goes first. 

Booo.  Once again, too much codification for too little gain.  Narratively you can explain anyone going first.  Alice might get a great score, but isn't in the best position to do something, so she yells "Lookout!" (as an Incidental) to Bob who, forewarned, snaps out his truncheons and goes to town.  That seems way more dynamic and fun.  Why would you add restrictions to this possibility?

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Decimals aside as a PC I would never want to ditch that Triumph result potential on a Vigilance check.  That is just way too useful tactically.  Cool's is more nichey and situational but still not bad.  Sam had mentioned he just house rules Triumphs on any initiative check use the Vigilance result.  

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1 hour ago, whafrog said:

Sorry, but you're off base here.  My system isn't RAW, actually, the T.S.A decimal system is never mentioned in RAW.  What you perceive as people stuck in their ways is people who've been here for several years already and worked it out.  I've long forgotten who to give credit to for how I do it now (and may they live a long and happy life!)

Besides, isn't it kind of arrogant for you to just show up and imply we're slavish troglodytes when you can't even provide a workable alternative?  Why would I entertain your complaints and need for conditions and lists and other codification when the solution I use works great?  It's not "knee-jerk" opposition, it's "show me better, faster, stronger".

I ain't no savant.  Maybe before you decide what "your taste" is, just give the decimal system shot.  Like anything it might take a bit of practice.  Get some graph paper, write T, S, A over three columns, go around the table and gather the results, adding in the NPCs.  I'll bet after a couple of times you won't even have to sort them.

Booo.  Once again, too much codification for too little gain.  Narratively you can explain anyone going first.  Alice might get a great score, but isn't in the best position to do something, so she yells "Lookout!" (as an Incidental) to Bob who, forewarned, snaps out his truncheons and goes to town.  That seems way more dynamic and fun.  Why would you add restrictions to this possibility?

First off I want to say that I appreciate your posts here and I suspect that you are a really good dude, so I must put in that I don't mean any disrespect by anything I have written as a response to your posts. I gave you your due as someone with a great deal of expertise with the system, and I never said that you were arrogant for your positions, so I don't know why it is arrogant of me to explain my thinking concerning how it is that any kind of a deviation gets a rapid smackdown. I can see saying that it won't work, but I notice that there are definitely Status Quo rangers in these forums (like in any) and only you know if you are one or not. 

Again, you can't dictate to me my taste, I just can't really understand that one. If I tell you I don't like something you can't just say "yes you will." Even if it does come to pass in that moment it has no way of being a useful reference and it basically just sounds like a Be Quiet. 

I have used the RAW setup, I made several laminated charts to track the order, to include one like they have for the Official Game Mat. I didn't find the process fast, exciting, or good. I'm not saying that RAW doesn't work, I'm saying that it doesn't do what I want it to do. 

I think at least part of this is that after 30+ years of linear random + stat mod count-off initiative in RPGs, I just don't like it any more. This game just happened to be the one I am playing when the last straw hit.

There are no more restrictions on describing a scene by other means than there are by random roll, so that's just a false assertion.  More so, the behavior at the table is often modified by calling for that roll, and scenes become interrupted while we introduce some counting and deciphering. We step out of the scene while we roll, consult the appropriate stats, skills, talents, and rules, and then still sometimes have a dispute over who would have gone first. 

In your example if Alice gives the first slot to Bob, this is better than most games so I will agree, but why not just decide that plan of action as you described rather than have to decipher sometimes random, and thus counter-intuitive or crazy, results into that narrative. Again with this thing against anything that is not complete ad-lib in the moment in a vacuum. I just don't get that one and I think I won't. Even if you don't write them down these restrictions are there anyway most of the time. The At-At is heavy is something that is evident, so if I write it down I'm not reducing possibilities because no one is going to think it's light as balsa wood. I would only put rules in to keep certain things in mind, not as a wall against variety as you suggest. I have a friend who thinks the way you seem to think, that you just do it in the moment and you shouldn't have any expectations or guidelines. That works fine if you don't really care about the results, if whatever happens is cool then writing down possibilities will not make sense to you because you lack discernment in the results. I am restricting outcomes to those I find interesting. Infinite options paired down to hundreds of options is fine, and if someone suggests something different but cool, I'm open to it. People like to think they are more unpredictable than they actually are, and that their personal thoughts are magically special. Most of the time people just do the same thing a lot but feel like they did something different. 

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Again, injecting my thoughts and experiences from GURPS.

In GURPS, I would sort Initiative based on the character's Basic Speed Score, and would break ties based on the Dexterity "Characteristic" and then do a dice off if that didn't resolve the issue.

Once initiative was established for THAT combat, as a GM, I could then just go down the list and do the action sequence based off of that static list.

It worked pretty well.  No one got skipped, and if you wanted to do something 'passive' those passive re-actions were dealt with in an orderly manner.

 

I DO have the benefit of never having to deal with combat IRL (except for Junior High School, but no one really knew what they were doing so I don't count that)  BUT, I have participated in a lot of combat exercises, mostly Paint Ball, A bit of fencing, and culminating in several exercises with the US Army.  So that makes me a trained (but inexperienced) combatant.

Sure, real life combat is NOT a turn based experience, but there is a lot of action and reaction cycles to armed combat.  Most "war" storied (that I've told and listened to) seem to play out as well defined sequential events.

Especially when comparing Paint Ball (which allows groups of people to interact in armed combat several times in different scenarios in a relatively short time span) it seems like people who are better trained and with more experience to tend to act/react sooner.  However anyone is able to react first.  (Even the worst N00b occasionally gets the drop on the best combatant once in a while).

So based on a combination of my experiences, the Star Wars turn sequence rules work out pretty well when it comes to defining a turn order.  In fact I really like the Star Wars RPG initiative system very well.  And the way I ran turn sequence in GURPS favored the experienced combatants well too.

I think in developing a new turn sequence, figuring out what you are trying to model makes for a good foundation.

So if you are going to try to come up with a new model, I would recommend using something that favors people with higher cool and vigilance skills (or whatever characteristic you so choose).

It'll be interesting to see what you come up with.

AS for tainting the narrative comment, the Star Wars RPG is a narrative system and you seem to be tainting the intent of their narrative system!  Tainted you are.  TAINTED!!!!

And yeah, it's kinda hard not to be a troglodyte.  ;)

 

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3 minutes ago, Mark Caliber said:

Again, injecting my thoughts and experiences from GURPS.

In GURPS, I would sort Initiative based on the character's Basic Speed Score, and would break ties based on the Dexterity "Characteristic" and then do a dice off if that didn't resolve the issue.

Once initiative was established for THAT combat, as a GM, I could then just go down the list and do the action sequence based off of that static list.

It worked pretty well.  No one got skipped, and if you wanted to do something 'passive' those passive re-actions were dealt with in an orderly manner.

 

I DO have the benefit of never having to deal with combat IRL (except for Junior High School, but no one really knew what they were doing so I don't count that)  BUT, I have participated in a lot of combat exercises, mostly Paint Ball, A bit of fencing, and culminating in several exercises with the US Army.  So that makes me a trained (but inexperienced) combatant.

Sure, real life combat is NOT a turn based experience, but there is a lot of action and reaction cycles to armed combat.  Most "war" storied (that I've told and listened to) seem to play out as well defined sequential events.

Especially when comparing Paint Ball (which allows groups of people to interact in armed combat several times in different scenarios in a relatively short time span) it seems like people who are better trained and with more experience to tend to act/react sooner.  However anyone is able to react first.  (Even the worst N00b occasionally gets the drop on the best combatant once in a while).

So based on a combination of my experiences, the Star Wars turn sequence rules work out pretty well when it comes to defining a turn order.  In fact I really like the Star Wars RPG initiative system very well.  And the way I ran turn sequence in GURPS favored the experienced combatants well too.

I think in developing a new turn sequence, figuring out what you are trying to model makes for a good foundation.

So if you are going to try to come up with a new model, I would recommend using something that favors people with higher cool and vigilance skills (or whatever characteristic you so choose).

It'll be interesting to see what you come up with.

AS for tainting the narrative comment, the Star Wars RPG is a narrative system and you seem to be tainting the intent of their narrative system!  Tainted you are.  TAINTED!!!!

And yeah, it's kinda hard not to be a troglodyte.  ;)

 

Awesome :) Yeah and what I said about that isn't actually meant to be insulting. I feel like an insult is more about trying to say something is other than it is for the purpose of ridicule, whereas I am just making what I feel are honest observations for the purpose of describing something. 

I agree that of the systems of it's kind (except for the whole symbol to integers translation) SWRPG has the best initiative by far. That slot system is inspired. 

I am also a trained vet but not a combat vet. I have dabbled in some of the same stuff that you have and I think we both have some idea of what tempo is like at least. What we lack is the psychological aspect, but to be honest that really doesn't have much place in Star Wars unless you are running a very dark game. Most people have no idea how they will react in combat because some of what happens is autonomic. Even if you want to do something your central nervous system can override you and tell you to get your *** down or run. I have worked with combat vets, and I have close friends who have legit PTSD, and the effects of having your brain decide to avoid danger without your permission causes guilt in survivors when it shouldn't because of societal values and training throughout the lifespan that tells us we are 100% in control at all times or you are a piece of ****. My father also has PTSD and is 100% disabled from Viet Nam war exposure to intense danger, combat, and of course witnessing death, so I grew up seeing the effects close up. 

Anyway, I don't seek to represent combat 100% to fidelity, but more like I seek to have combat be described and resolve in a way that I find entertaining (which oddly requires a certain degree of verisimilitude which comes from realism). I recognize that it's basically a random table story at heart, and I feel like I could improve the story angle if I remove that initiative roll. I have yet to get a whole table of people who completely eschew the gamey aspects and go for the feel rather than the numbers, and there is a reason: because the mechanics make things real in the game space, so you can't blame people for following the numbers. I figure if we make combat about description then the numbers are gone for at least that part, and actions can be made on a different criteria. 

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2 hours ago, 2P51 said:

Decimals aside as a PC I would never want to ditch that Triumph result potential on a Vigilance check.  That is just way too useful tactically.  Cool's is more nichey and situational but still not bad.  Sam had mentioned he just house rules Triumphs on any initiative check use the Vigilance result.  

Yeah that Triumph will be a casualty of my system. 

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