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Author:  Skyscraper [ Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:42 am ]
Post subject:  Initiative

Do you roll initiative each round or once at the start of combat, and then you keep that order throughout?

Also, when you have 15-20 PCs, do you actually map out one initiative for each PC and monsters, ending up with possibly 30+ creatures in the initiative order?


Author:  Rick [ Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Initiative

It's implied (if not stated outright) that you roll initiative at the beginning of the fight and keep that result from round to round.

For the Funnel with everyone controlling multiple characters it's probably best for each player to roll once for his or her group of zero levels, modifying it by the best (if any) Agility bonus of the bunch; all go at that same initiative count.

Author:  beermotor [ Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Initiative

I thought you rolled initiative each round.

Author:  Raven_Crowking [ Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Initiative

It is implied that initiative is rolled once per combat; I prefer rolling each round. Fear no rule.

Author:  beermotor [ Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Initiative

Hmm. I think I like once per combat better. !

Author:  Rick [ Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Initiative

beermotor wrote:
I thought you rolled initiative each round.

You certainly can do it that way, but the example of spell dueling (of all things) on pages 100-102 suggests that the original roll is kept throughout the combat

Example of Spell Dueling: The combat consists of The Emerald
Sorcerer, his two emerald soldiers, his nemesis Magnus
the Gray, and Magnus’ apprentice Athle the Astounding.
Initiative rolls are as follows:

17 = The Emerald Sorcerer
15 = the two emerald soldiers
12 = Magnus the Gray
6 = Athle the Astounding

Round one. The Emerald Sorcerer casts magic missile. Magnus
immediately declares a counterspell of magic shield. Athle
the Astounding declines to counterspell. Even though the
emerald soldiers are next in initiative order, the spell duel
is resolved first.
• At Magnus’ initiative count, he can take no action because
he already counterspelled.
Round two. In the second round, The Emerald Sorcerer
launches another magic missile. In this round, both Magnus
the Gray and Athle the Astounding choose to counterspell.
Magnus casts magic shield again, while Athle casts magic

Plus, I've been lucky enough to get to play in games run by Joseph, Harley, Doug, & Dieter, and that's the way they did it. :wink:

Author:  Pesky [ Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Initiative

I've always done initiative once per combat, but I may try initiative each round (keep the players on their toes!). :)

Author:  The Venomous Pao [ Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Initiative

Oh wow. I don't think I've ever played with one initiative per combat ever. Well, maybe in RuneQuest where strike ranks hard code things a bit. But never in a system with any kind of variable initiative. I'm far too fond of the chaos of battle and the turning of tides. Though I did notice a critical result that specified that the victim "falls to the bottom of the initiative count next round" (Table I, result 3). I'd just assumed it was merely a strange way of wording "victim goes last next round" and not an explicit reordering of a set order. The wording is less strange when considered in the light of this discussion :)

Author:  bholmes4 [ Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Initiative

My rule:

1. On the first round of combat roll d20, individual initiative + bonuses/penalties.
2. On all following rounds you roll straight d6 for each side.

You must declare you are casting a spell before initiative begins. I also don't play with "free whacks", dividing movement and other such rules. Simple and fast and there is a lot of tension when it comes time to roll for the sides.

Author:  Eyeball360 [ Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Initiative

I generally like to do once per combat. It just speeds things up a little.

Author:  Raven_Crowking [ Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Initiative

Eyeball360 wrote:
I generally like to do once per combat. It just speeds things up a little.

To each his own, but I have found that the opposite is true. The Init countdown keeps players focused on what is happening, IME, rather than drifting while waiting their turn. YMMV, though.

Author:  Pesky [ Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Initiative

Raven_Crowking wrote:
The Init countdown keeps players focused on what is happening, IME, rather than drifting while waiting their turn.

This is the main reason I'm thinking of trying the init/round convention. Almost all of my games are via VTT because group members live a couple hundred miles apart. There are a lot more potential distractions when a player is waiting at the PC for his turn (surf the web, etc.) as opposed to sitting at the game table. Even with video chat it can be hard at times to tell if someone is distracted...

Author:  Skyscraper [ Fri Aug 31, 2012 6:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Initiative

Thanks for all the comments.

I was also under the impression that the rules seem imply init/combat, and I think I'll stick with that and not go init/round.

For decades I've done init/round, but one player changed my mind when I was playing D&D 3E a few years ago. He was advocating init/combat and I would not be swayed as a DM. Then his PC, long into the campaign, got killed in a battle where his opponent got to act twice in a row before his PC could act another time. I.e. the opponent played last in the previous round, then first in the next round. The amount of damage he dished out was enough to kill the dwarven fighter-cleric who had lots of hit points. It was too bad in a sense because a small chunk of the storyline got lost with the death of that PC who had been a long-standing anchor in the campaign. The player was a good sport and he made a new PC and simply brought to my attention that his PC's death was a result of my decision to houserule to init/round because he could -and would - have easily healed himself if not for that. We had played long with that rule so there was not frustration, but his point hit home.

I guess init/round is fine if you want the battle to be more swingy. I feel however that RPG battles are swingy enough as it is. DCC moreso than others, i.e. it can be more lethal than other RPGs. Houseruling (since the rules seem to imply init/combat) to init/round will be detrimental to all creatures' survivability, including the PCs of course, who will be the ones paying the bill in the end since, frankly, the death of NPC #3 is of little importance in the storyline, but the death of a PC of course has more impact.

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