Pathfinder RPG Improved Initiative (proposal...ish)





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  1. #1

    Improved Initiative (proposal...ish)

    (proposalish in that I recommend further simplifying PMiller's system)

    For the most part, I like PMiller's way of doing initiative as one that promotes thinking as a member of a team, rather than as a lone show-off.

    I feel that it gives folks with high Init the opportunity to "double-dip" by getting both an individual bonus and group bonus from their high modifier, and it seems like an unnecessary amount of rolling which strongly promotes average results.

    My version:

    1. Each side, in advance, averages their individual initiative modifiers into a group score.
    2. Each side rolls 1 die to determine their initiative. If one side has surprise on the other, that side rolls with Advantage. (roll 2d20, take the highest)
    3. (the DM can average mods during prep, players can get their average during check-in, and then it's all done thenceforth!)


    I'm discussing it along with other streamlined initiative systems here, but I'm a bit more interested in the PbP angle than in Reddit's F2F leanings.
    Last edited by dammitbiscuit; Thursday, 12th July, 2012 at 12:56 PM.

  2. #2
    I'm new to community and PbP in general and while I've read through a few adventure threads I still don't fully understand Pmiller's system. I may have it right but I figure since this is here I would ask if you wouldn't mind clarifying his often used system rather than ask mid thread and break immersion.

  3. #3
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    I'm also new, but the first thing I see is that the simple group initiative penalizes people for trying to have high init, by dragging them down with the rest of the party. The LPF method still groups everyone together, but rewards people who want to go first.

    An alternative suggestion is to use the simple group initiative, but add each character's bonus to their groups roll. If someone in the losing group is higher than everyone in the winning group, that person goes first. less rolling, but still rewards big bonuses.

    Also, I don't see it as double dipping. If you go first, before the other team, it's because you lost, and your bonus didn't help the group enough.

    This is all from someone who doesn't worry too much about having a decent init bonus, though. I usually like to ready and delay, so starting first is rarely helpful to me.

  4. #4
    The thing that surprises me the most, both here and on Reddit, is that people really want their high-init characters to go first, like they've earned something special just for being a Dex-primary class.

    Me, even if I were playing a Rogue with Improved Init, I'd want to share that with the group so the Fighter can get out in front of me and the Wizard can lock down the enemy! I have no need to show off and be first myself; I want people who are better equipped to survive or prevent the enemies' attacks to jump in, provide flanking opportunities, and make the water safe for me.

    I'll get over the fact that my init was "diluted" because it overall helped the group as much as it helped me individually. Despite not having the luxury of being a Dexxer and thus not being able to get free cookies forever for maxing the most useful stat in the game, they get a lot out of going first! Helping them is being rewarded for a big bonus.

    Fair point about the double dipping. There's still a bit of extra mileage being gotten out of high init, IMO, because even if it doesn't help the group, you still can easily beat an averaged roll.
    @Chronikoce re: LPF system-

    1. Everyone rolls
    2. each team takes the average of their rolls to see which team goes first
    3. if your team loses, but your individual roll beats the winning team, you go first, not them
    4. the "winning" team then goes next
    5. the "losing" team all go now (because not only are their low rollers at the bottom of this turn, but their high rollers are at the top of next turn, so they all go now)

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    I really do like the idea that my (hypothetical rogue) abilities help the group, beyond making me better at shoot, and not getting hit. To me, the only reason a rogue would want to go first, before everyone else, is to get a sneak attack in, but dex-based or improved initiative fighters and barbarians might want to rush out, and start controlling, or leveling, the field.

    I was going to say that I think averaging the rolls is somewhat useful, because it prevents a single bad roll from putting the entire party at a disadvantage, but then I started thinking about it like a math person.

    When averaging 4 (or 5) dice, getting away from an average value of 10 or 11 is going to be very rare. (I haven't done the math yet, but the central tendency should be very strong.) Really, at this point, it might be of as much value to simply compare the average broup init bonuses, and only roll if they are within a point or two of each other.

    I'll have to do some math and some thinking before I formally pick a side, here, but right now I think a single bonus, single roll for the group would give a good balance between the traditional thrill of rolling a high init, and having it mean something, and keeping a PbP moving.

    One question about this, though: How do surprise rounds work?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dammitbiscuit View Post
    Me, even if I were playing a Rogue with Improved Init, I'd want to share that with the group so the Fighter can get out in front of me and the Wizard can lock down the enemy! I have no need to show off and be first myself; I want people who are better equipped to survive or prevent the enemies' attacks to jump in, provide flanking opportunities, and make the water safe for me.
    Quote Originally Posted by vmaaxt View Post
    I really do like the idea that my (hypothetical rogue) abilities help the group, beyond making me better at shoot, and not getting hit. To me, the only reason a rogue would want to go first, before everyone else, is to get a sneak attack in, but dex-based or improved initiative fighters and barbarians might want to rush out, and start controlling, or leveling, the field.
    It's not about wanting to go before everyone on your side, it's about wanting to go before everyone on their side so you can take every chance to get that precious precision based damage in - it's about the only thing that makes Rogues really useful in a fight (and I say that even though Rogues are far and away my favorite class to play!).
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