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The ideal action economy
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MGuy
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I wouldn't think anyone who wanted to reduce the time to take a turn at the table would talk about an Action Point system considering the downsides. I toyed with the idea of an action point type initiative system years ago when I first got the itch to create my own ruleset and jettisoned that idea within two weeks. It is hard enough to get people in game to stick to the standard initiative count. I even abandoned the idea that people just reroll initiative every turn to make it more dynamic. An AP system would be considerably worse if you wanted to streamline the game.
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Cervantes
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Can we just talk Initiative at this point? Because the complexity/time resolution thing with Initiative is fucking confusing to me. Is there really that much of an downside to doing fixed initiative or group initiatives so PCs and NPCs act at different times?
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Hicks
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

that creates the problem of first move advantage

lumping all NPCs together can lead to the enemies alpha striking the party before they get actions or vice versa. and it goes the other way as well, with PCs nuking their enemies before they get to act.

Remember, the DM has the monopoly of unlimited force, 100 level one sorcerers with magic missile all packed together in the same room is either a flawless victory or TPK for a level 10 party, depending on how the group initiative rolls.
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Last edited by Hicks on Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Chamomile
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

A fixed, alternating order can still work. If the enemy outnumbers the players, split up the extra guys as evenly as possible into groups who go in between the PCs.
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Kaelik
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

the main advantage to group initiative is that it means you have specific times you hassle the shit out of your players and specific times you move the monsters, I find that convenient as a DM, and theoretically, your game should be able to have challenging fights where the PCs are surprised, and where they are the suprisers.

I try to force most of the init rolling backwards onto the detection game personally.
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hyzmarca
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Having a resolution stack with simultaneous declaration and inititive-order resolution has some advantages.

Just do not combine it with grid-based positioning, or any positioning for that matter, as it ends up with characters attacking empty air more often than not.
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RobbyPants
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

hyzmarca wrote:
Having a resolution stack with simultaneous declaration and inititive-order resolution has some advantages.

Just do not combine it with grid-based positioning, or any positioning for that matter, as it ends up with characters attacking empty air more often than not.

Another option with that is allowing an end-of-turn change-your-mind action for those cases.
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Mord
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

hyzmarca wrote:
Having a resolution stack with simultaneous declaration and inititive-order resolution has some advantages.


I like the concept of simultaneous declaration, but how do you propose to actually do it at the table? It seems like there would have to be a lot of writing involved, which has the potential to be a real time sink. White Wolf's "reverse initiative declaration, initiative resolution" method runs into a similar problem when it comes to remembering what it is everyone said they'd do for long enough to do all the other things that come first.

Of course, all this is a solved problem if you're playing online.
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hyzmarca
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Mord wrote:
hyzmarca wrote:
Having a resolution stack with simultaneous declaration and inititive-order resolution has some advantages.


I like the concept of simultaneous declaration, but how do you propose to actually do it at the table? It seems like there would have to be a lot of writing involved, which has the potential to be a real time sink. White Wolf's "reverse initiative declaration, initiative resolution" method runs into a similar problem when it comes to remembering what it is everyone said they'd do for long enough to do all the other things that come first.

Of course, all this is a solved problem if you're playing online.


Cards.

You put combat actions on cards. You can even have them printed out on nice card stock, and color coded per player. This requires some prep, but no actual writing at the table.

Players play cards face down during the declaration phase, and they're flipped in initiative order.
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TheFlatline
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:25 am    Post subject: Re: The ideal action economy Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

OgreBattle wrote:
TheFlatline wrote:

Half, full, free. Easy peasy.


I've skimmed through Fantasycraft before, that's the same mechanics as Spycraft right?

I think they also have no out of turn actions, a quick google search brings up...

Quote:

* No attacks of opportunity. Adjacency will cause characters to get "tied up" in melee, but no out of turn attacking.
* No iterative attacks or partial/movement actions. Like Spycraft 2.0, Fantasy Craft splits a character's turn into one full action or two half actions + free actions. That means a first level character can attack twice. Feats enhance the number and types of actions you can take.
* Distinct, useful non-attack combat actions. Beyond the attack and move basics, characters can take a number of skill-based actions in combat, including Distracting, Tiring, Anticipating, Threatening, Taunting and so on - enough that any social or non-combat character can contribute in his own way, too (even if it's not about DPS Smile).
* Clarified and streamlined core actions. Grapple is a skill check, and winning that check triggers easy to parse and use effects (including my favorite - the Screaming Club, which allows the winner of the check to use the loser as a battering object!). Mounted combat deals with horse and rider as a single acting unit with powerful benefits, just like in the real world.
* Restricted actions unlocked by character options and abilities. Powerful aligned characters can Turn, winged characters may Buffet a foe with a blast of wind, and particularly huge monsters can Swallow enemies whole or Trample them underfoot. Like other "standard" combat actions, each option has its own unique set of benefits and uses, adding to the diversity of combat.
* Armor provides Damage Reduction, and Defense (3.5 AC) comes from class and other character options.
* Damage uses vitality/wounds instead of hit points, allowing a lucky shot to take down even the toughest character (if the attacker is particularly noteworthy or the stakes particularly high, at least Smile)
* Unique damage types. Damage types are more than just a descriptor - each type has its own special effects. Divine damage ignores armor and addles the target's brain; fire sets people align; acid disintegrates clothing, armor and weapons; force can blast even incorporeal targets; etc.


I liked the core of what I saw with fantasycraft but thought the classes were fiddly to put together


Pretty sure Spycraft & Fantasycraft were written by AEG and shared a lot of DNA. I don't remember if they have a lot of out-of-turn acting. I think you got that through class abilities and even then it was not particularly common. Also there's a lot less fidiliness than what you quoted.

That being said, there's some major issues in both 1.0 and 2.0 spycraft. Choice paralysis in 1.0 was insane as you had to buy your gear and equipment at the beginning of every mission and basically your "let's go to town" session in D&D now happens at the beginning of every mission, and still manages to take as long.

There are some other wonky decisions, especially in 2.0 (1.0 was a OGL hack, 2.0 was more thorough), but what do you expect for a core book with literally 400 pages of crunch to it?

I don't like the crit system in the game. It uses action points that are useful for all kinds of stuff. But you refresh action points per session or based on when the DM uses crits, so it's actually more damaging for the DM to *not* crit on people because it starves them of a resource. Not a big fan of it. Especially when your big abilities frequently rest on action points.


Last edited by TheFlatline on Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:34 am; edited 1 time in total
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TheFlatline
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

hyzmarca wrote:
Having a resolution stack with simultaneous declaration and inititive-order resolution has some advantages.

Just do not combine it with grid-based positioning, or any positioning for that matter, as it ends up with characters attacking empty air more often than not.


Isn't that kind of how AD&D worked? And what you did had Init modifiers on it too in addition to your dice roll?

Originally I used to hork at Warhamer FRPG doing team init. everyone rolls init, but anyone can go on your side's init count. It actually made "manipulating initiative" a party niche (albeit a small one) that one or two characters could specialize in to the benefit of the whole party. I'm a fan of it now and run it in many games.
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hyzmarca
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

TheFlatline wrote:
hyzmarca wrote:
Having a resolution stack with simultaneous declaration and inititive-order resolution has some advantages.

Just do not combine it with grid-based positioning, or any positioning for that matter, as it ends up with characters attacking empty air more often than not.


Isn't that kind of how AD&D worked? And what you did had Init modifiers on it too in addition to your dice roll?

Originally I used to hork at Warhamer FRPG doing team init. everyone rolls init, but anyone can go on your side's init count. It actually made "manipulating initiative" a party niche (albeit a small one) that one or two characters could specialize in to the benefit of the whole party. I'm a fan of it now and run it in many games.



AD&D initiative was just a mess.

First, everyone writes down their intended actions, then intitive is rolled for the party.

Hypothetically, there a single initiative roll that covered the entire team. Hypothetically. But there were no many "special case" exceptions and they covered so many common scenarios that the standard rules actually being used was the real special case.

There are one dice roll for the entire party. If you won, your party went first, if you lost, you went second. Except that there were a number of special exceptions to this, and those special exceptions were so numerous that they covered practically every common case.

Spellcasters mainly cared about casting speed. If their side lost initiative then weapons always beat them and interrupted their spells), no exceptions. If their side won initiative, then enemy weapons still might hit first and interrupt their spells, depending on casting time and weapon speed. Spellcasters were actually at a heavy disadvantage against weapon users. Spellcaster vs spellcaster only compared casting times and initiative didn't matter at all.

Weapon against weapon initiative mattered unless there was a tie, in which case Weapon Speed Factor mattered, or if one character had more attack routines, in which case he went first no matter what the initiative was.

Furthermore, while players can select their targets, the rules so that in large melees, these choices should be thrown out the window and the DM should determine who gets attacked by random roll.

In order to work out the initiative order you had to know exactly what everyone was doing and who they were doing it to, and then you'd have to look up multiple charts. And if they weren't fighting straight duels, then no one knew at all. If A attacks B and B attacks C and C attacks A, then no one has any clue what their initiative order should be because there are no rules for that.




It was all incredibly clunky and no one used it, not even Gary Gygax.


Last edited by hyzmarca on Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:41 am; edited 2 times in total
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Aryxbez
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

On the subject of Group Initiative, and different Initiative Methods:

Shadow of the Demon Lord, has Fast Turns/Slow Turns, that favors the player. On Fast you only have a Move or Action (plus Trigger =Immediate/Swift action equiv), and on Slow you have Both a Move and Action (plus Trigger =Immediate/Swift action equiv). First PC's choose who Go Fast, then after all PC's go, then NPC's who want to go Fast do so, then rest of PC's go Slow, and then the NPC's go Slow turn (If they didn't go Fast Turn already anyway).

In scenarios where PC's can gang up on one big monster, then it's basically a nuking effect, with the enemy having likely 1-2 turns at best by mid-late game. Sorta interesting as PC's can choose who does what if they're going on the same phase, so there's some synergy. Though End/Round effects favor the enemy, so like dropping a grenade (goes off end/round) is deadlier in the hands of the NPC's, or Tripping someone can mean nothing if NPC can go slow.

I also liked Edge of the Empire's Initiative Slot idea, as that sounded like it had Teamwork potential, or lets your big Bruisers get into melee if nothing else.
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JigokuBosatsu
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

hyzmarca wrote:


Cards.

You put combat actions on cards. You can even have them printed out on nice card stock, and color coded per player. This requires some prep, but no actual writing at the table.

Players play cards face down during the declaration phase, and they're flipped in initiative order.


Any systems that do this well? Or do it well enough that it could be hacked?
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Josh_Kablack
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

JigokuBosatsu wrote:
hyzmarca wrote:


Cards.

You put combat actions on cards. You can even have them printed out on nice card stock, and color coded per player. This requires some prep, but no actual writing at the table.

Players play cards face down during the declaration phase, and they're flipped in initiative order.


Any systems that do this well? Or do it well enough that it could be hacked?



Not an RPG, but the boardgame Colt Express has some maybe useful concepts for any such hack:

In that boardgame:

  • The card played determines the action taken, players also get choices as to how to execute that action. If you play a "shoot" card, you must shoot, but you don't need to pick which opponent you shoot until you actually resolve the card. If you play a "move" card, you must move but you can choose distance and direction when you resolve the card.
  • Each card is a single action (move, shoot, steal, punch, climb, etc) but you go around the table 4-6 times with each player playing one card at a time and then you execute them in first-in-first-out order.
  • Most (but not all) cards played are public knowledge during the card-playing phase. This results in a system where all attacks within range are auto-hit, but attacks still whiff fairly often due to imperfect information (and limited cards in hand) result it attack cards resolving when no targets are in range.

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