log in or register to remove this ad

 

5E Concurrent initiative variant; Everybody declares/Everybody resolves [WAS Simultaneous Initiative]

Overall it looks pretty close (I'm short on time and just read the bold bits). I think it still doesn't mention legendary actions, and bullet #3 is different from how I do it: I have no issue with someone Delaying again, as you can see from the OP--Jack explicitly Delays once, and Cranduin and Vlad explicitly Delay once and implicitly Delay again (the DM knows the goblins have already gone so he lets Jack resolve his action immediately before Cranduin and Vlad declare, which means they were Delaying).

(2c) is an interesting variant but also not how I would do it, specifically with the "damage aborts ranged attacks if you fail a concentration save" thing.

RE: "Movement: Declarations of movement are not exactly precise. Fudge it." I'm not sure where this perspective originates. I wouldn't let someone move more than their movement allotment, so I don't think I would "fudge it." However, I don't require them to declare movement to a spatial location; declaring movement intention is just fine. "I stay next to Cranduin" is fine by me, as long as Cranduin doesn't Dash.

I didn't read it closely enough to spot any other differences.
 
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad

What is the difference between these two examples? Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that they are exactly the same, except the player in the second example didn't have to go to the effort of actually thinking through the situation in advance.
The difference is that condition resolution has a clunkier flow. The DM can't just resolve actions, he has to interrupt himself in the middle of action resolution to add new complexity (solicit additional declarations) in the middle of the round.

(Also, there's now a divergence between the character's thoughts and the player's thoughts, because you're pretending the PC saw this possibility coming all along and is ready for it, but the player becomes aware of it only after the character does. That feels clunky to me too; I'd rather make the PCs' thoughts reflect the player's.)

Not for me, no thank you.

EDIT: After some more thought, it occurs to me that in other situations, it might not be the exact same decision, and maybe CD and CR are not mutually exclusive. One could allow CD to reward players for thinking ahead, and still have CR as a safety net for players who aren't that advanced.
This is a solution in search of a problem. If you want to help new players, help them. You don't need to switch to a conditional resolution system with extra steps in combat just to give them advice. If a new player says, "I'll attack the same zombie as [some other player]," you can help them out right then and there by clarifying, "Okay, and if she kills the zombie before you get set up, do you want to wait or run over to whatever is closest and start attacking it immediately?"

If your goal is to help new players learn to proactively think ahead, help them learn to think ahead. Additional benefit: they may learn to think more than one round ahead. With conditional resolution, you're teaching them to think reactively.

I will stick with declare/resolve. Declare/resolve-declare-resolve-declare-resolve doesn't appeal to me.
 
Last edited:

dave2008

Legend
I disagree. High risk, but not high reward. Declaration/Resolution makes melee weaker since the enemy may not even be there.
With range, it much less likely to matter if the guy moves first or not. And 5e already slightly favors ranged.
Of course with this system everyone can move to cover before being shot by the ranged attack (if cover is available).
 

GX.Sigma

First Post
[sblock="Perpetuation of slightly off-topic, thread-derailing argument"]
The difference is that condition resolution has a clunkier flow. The DM can't just resolve actions, he has to interrupt himself in the middle of action resolution to add new complexity (solicit additional declarations) in the middle of the round.
I don't see why that'd be a problem, since resolution will consist of the DM resolving each action, one at a time, speaking aloud while the PCs listen. So, it wouldn't be much of an interruption to ask for a little clarification like that.

If you want to help new players, help them. You don't need to switch to a conditional resolution system with extra steps in combat just to give them advice.
I don't think it's adding an extra step. Declaring a conditional action is itself an extra step. I'm just moving that step to a different point in time (and, often, removing that step altogether).

If a new player says, "I'll attack the same zombie as [some other player]," you can help them out right then and there by clarifying, "Okay, and if she kills the zombie before you get set up, do you want to wait or run over to whatever is closest and start attacking it immediately?"
This seems like more of a clunky interruption. With my method, you're giving the player that exact same decision (a) less frequently, and (b) at a more natural time, i.e. when it actually matters. If anything, I'm trying to reduce the time it takes to declare actions--that's the main reason I'm looking for an alternative initiative system in the first place.

To clarify: It's not just new players. I have multiple friends whom I've been gaming with for years, and they can still barely remember how to make an attack roll. These are smart people; they're not incapable of learning the rules, they just don't want to. They just want say "I hit the bad guy with my axe" and move on. That's the level of involvement they're comfortable with.

But even if all the players are willing and able to play with conditional declaration, the low skill cap is problematic. I mean, a 'great' player will be no better at it than a 'good' player. It's just a mental calculation--you either get the correct answer, or you don't. The only reason you could get anything less than a perfect solution is if you make a mistake. The only reason you could make a mistake is if you didn't spend enough time and effort thinking about it. In other words, the optimal practice is to take more time before declaring your action.

If the hardcore players are going to do it perfectly 99% of the time, why even waste the time and energy on it?
If the casual players don't want to put the time and energy into it, why punish them for that?[/sblock]
Not for me, no thank you.
Point taken. I'm happy to continue this conversation, but it seems unlikely we're going to convince each other. We have such different goals for these rules, it makes more sense to split them than to combine them. I want to complete the project of codifying your system--it's helping me to understand it better; I hope it helps other people too. Maybe later I'll work on my own houserules of your (house)rules (lol).

On that note:
as you can see from the OP--Jack explicitly Delays once, and Cranduin and Vlad explicitly Delay once and implicitly Delay again (the DM knows the goblins have already gone so he lets Jack resolve his action immediately before Cranduin and Vlad declare, which means they were Delaying).
Ah, I missed that. So, "implicit delay" is a tool the DM can use to resolve actions in a more natural flow. Interesting. I'll put that in. Personally, I'm resistant to the idea of multiple delays because it might make the round feel longer than 6 seconds; have you encountered any problems with that?

(2c) is an interesting variant but also not how I would do it, specifically with the "damage aborts ranged attacks if you fail a concentration save" thing.
Are you OK with interrupting spells, or should that not even be a part of these rules yet?

RE: "Movement: Declarations of movement are not exactly precise. Fudge it." I'm not sure where this perspective originates....I don't require them to declare movement to a spatial location; declaring movement intention is just fine. "I stay next to Cranduin" is fine by me, as long as Cranduin doesn't Dash.
OK. I guess that's what I meant, I just wasn't sure how to express it as a rule. This helps.
 
Last edited:

Ilbranteloth

Explorer
That's actually a great Segway to explain what I mean by not having a target. So say there are 2 goblins. An archer declares he is targeting the closer one. The closer goblin declares he is going to hide. The archer rolls a 20 on his attack. The goblin rolls a 20 on his stealth. The tiebreaker system is brought out. The goblin wins it. Does the goblin succeeding at his hiding before the archer attacks him invalidate the archers whole turn or is he free now to target the other goblin?
Been away for a bit, but this seems like a good place to jump in.

If this were my game, it always depends on the circumstances, but we probably wouldn't make a Dexterity (Initiative) check here.

1) If the arrow is nocked and ready to shoot, then the arrow is released as the goblin is moving to hide.

-If the goblin is simply hiding (like in brush), then the arrow hits as originally rolled. This is because when the goblin was targeted (and the arrow loosed) it could be seen. Hiding doesn't change the trajectory of the arrow (or the goblin).

-If the goblin is ducking behind cover, though, then the chance of hitting the goblin is greatly reduced if it gets their first. In that case, they'd make a check and if the goblin wins, the effect of cover is calculated against the archer's attack (although since it was a 20, it's going to hit anyway, but let's assume it was a 19 instead).

The archer can't change his mind, since he's making the attack as the goblin is ducking into concealment/cover.

2) If the arrow was not nocked and ready to shoot, then it depends on how far the goblin has to go before it attempts to hide. Nocking an arrow and aiming takes longer than you might think.

In which case the goblin would be hidden before the shot is taken (and applicable penalties apply, since it cannot be seen when the shot is aimed and taken), and the archer could choose an alternate target.

The point is, when you're working through action like this on the fly and in your head(s), it needs to be fairly simple and logical. In general, my approach as a DM is to reward strategic thinking and actions (such as ducking behind cover), but also to be able to react on the fly when appropriate. Dexterity (Initiative) checks should be rare.

There's certainly not a problem if you want to make the opposed Dexterity (Initiative) check here, but we wouldn't.
 

Ilbranteloth

Explorer
Only because you called it one thing then talked about another.

Simultaneous initiative (or at least the possibility of some things being able to happen at the same time) is what I'm after; that and a way around cyclic turns.
But what if the 4 h.p. puts you down. Did you get your swing in for the 7 in return or not, and if so did that 7 put the foe down?

There should be three possible answers:
- the 7 got the foe first, he's down and I'm still up
- the 4 got me first, I'm down and he's still up
- the hits were simultaneous and we're both down

The game as is cannot possibly generate the third option, which to me is a very serious bug. On reading some of these other ideas I wonder if they might only generate the third option, which would be equally as bad.

Lanefan
By using an opposed Dexterity (Initiative) check, all three are possible. Simultaneous hits would be the least likely result, but a tie can occur.
 

Ilbranteloth

Explorer
Rather than allowing conditional declarations I would consider allowing a change in action, but at disadvantage or perhaps at the cost of your reaction - maybe both. The idea is that you want there to be a cost for having to make last minute adjustments.
We base it on the circumstance. We'd like to avoid the "game" of combat and instead allow the rules to adjudicate the actions in the combat. So if circumstances make it reasonable to alter your action, then go right ahead. If that change seems to put you at a disadvantage, then so be it. But I wouldn't want a rule that requires it.

So if you're charging across the battlefield at an orc, and your ranger buddy puts an arrow through its throat and drops it, you can alter your charge to attack another orc somewhere more or less in front of you (say, like a 20 or 30 degree arc on either side of your original target). On the other hand, if the only other possible target is an orcish sorcerer on a ridge 90 degrees to your left and at least 150 feet away, then you can (and almost certainly will) change your course of action, but it probably won't resolve this round.

Part of the idea for us is to focus on the action, rather than whether you resolve an action in every round. You've taken an action - you charged across the battlefield. You expected to have to clobber the orc you were screaming at, but that turned out to be moot. So you kick the orc in the head as you turn to survey the battlefield and consider your next move.
 

GX.Sigma

First Post
Been away for a bit, but this seems like a good place to jump in.

If this were my game, it always depends on the circumstances, but we probably wouldn't make a Dexterity (Initiative) check here.

1) If the arrow is nocked and ready to shoot, then the arrow is released as the goblin is moving to hide.

-If the goblin is simply hiding (like in brush), then the arrow hits as originally rolled. This is because when the goblin was targeted (and the arrow loosed) it could be seen. Hiding doesn't change the trajectory of the arrow (or the goblin).

-If the goblin is ducking behind cover, though, then the chance of hitting the goblin is greatly reduced if it gets their first. In that case, they'd make a check and if the goblin wins, the effect of cover is calculated against the archer's attack (although since it was a 20, it's going to hit anyway, but let's assume it was a 19 instead).

The archer can't change his mind, since he's making the attack as the goblin is ducking into concealment/cover.

2) If the arrow was not nocked and ready to shoot, then it depends on how far the goblin has to go before it attempts to hide. Nocking an arrow and aiming takes longer than you might think.

In which case the goblin would be hidden before the shot is taken (and applicable penalties apply, since it cannot be seen when the shot is aimed and taken), and the archer could choose an alternate target.

The point is, when you're working through action like this on the fly and in your head(s), it needs to be fairly simple and logical. In general, my approach as a DM is to reward strategic thinking and actions (such as ducking behind cover), but also to be able to react on the fly when appropriate. Dexterity (Initiative) checks should be rare.

There's certainly not a problem if you want to make the opposed Dexterity (Initiative) check here, but we wouldn't.
How do you decide whether or not the arrow was nocked and ready to shoot?
 

Ilbranteloth

Explorer
It's mainly the options for interruption of movement (including rendering an opponent unconscious or dead) available to 5e characters that really throw a monkey-wrench in the machinery.

Let's say that Orc Killington wants to rush 30 feet over to Wizard Squishypants and chop him up real good. Fighter McHackenslash wants to intercept Orc Killington's movement en route and shove him to the ground (and then live up to his name).

Those are mutually exclusive objectives that cannot play out simultaneously. If you have opposed initiative checks (in some form or another), but allow ties, it is clear what a success looks like for either side. I have no idea what a tie would look like for Orc Killington and Fighter McHackenslash.

This is why the way I run things, Fighter McHackenslash's declaration would have required both a readied action (or some other triggered reaction could let him do it after all declarations had been made) and a successful opposed Dexterity (Initiative) check.

The default, here, is that the outcomes do happen simultaneously. The option is to give up resources (a reaction plus extra attacks) to force an opposed check and try to make that not so. (The good news for the character is, if you have already heard an opponent's declaration, you already know your readied action will be triggered.)

And in my campaign, provided the speeds are such that McHackenslash (love the name) can get to the Killington first, then he would simply make his shove attempt. There's no reason in my mind for an initiative check of any sort here. If they are both 30 feet away, then it's a different story because you might want to see who arrives first.

Also, even in your example the outcomes do not occur simultaneously. The initiation of the actions might, but it's not the initiation of the action that's important, it's the resolution of the action.

At my table, I will describe any action that can be seen. So there's no need to ready anything.

DM: "The orc with the missing tusk starts to run toward Wizard Squishypants.

McH: "I'll try to head off the orc and shove him to try to knock him prone"

DM (During resolution): The orc's speed is 30, and so is McH, but McH is 10 feet away from WS: "The orc rushes across the field but you intercept him and attempt to shove it (the shove attempt is successful) and you knock it prone."

If McH is 30 feet away, then he might have to make a Dexterity (Initiative) check since the orc is already moving. Or I might simply give him disadvantage on his shove attempt.

I guess what it comes down to is that we use an opposed Dexterity (Initiative) check only when the circumstances are very unclear as to what action would resolve first. Just the fact that your blow is a killing blow doesn't automatically trigger a check, only if it's unclear, based on the circumstances, that either action resolves first.
 

Ilbranteloth

Explorer
How do you decide whether or not the arrow was nocked and ready to shoot?
By the actions and descriptions given both before and during the current round.

For example, it's not uncommon for one of my players to indicate that they are going to nock an arrow when they feel that they are in imminent danger. If the party was just ambushed, and the archer hadn't suspected anything or indicated they were nocking an arrow, and this is the first round, then they don't have one nocked. Also, if it's not the first round of combat, if the character is hanging back in order to make ranged attacks, then the assumption is that after each attack they are immediately drawing and nocking the next arrow.

Everything flows together.
 

Ilbranteloth

Explorer
To be clear, are you disagreeing with my point that declaration/resolution creates a risk/reward transaction that's not present in the core rules? Or are you just talking about the balance issues of melee vs ranged?

Good point. As I showed in my examples, this system actually does penalize ranged attacks a bit (if you declare a ranged attack, and then someone gets in front of you, you have to shoot with disadvantage), but not as much as melee attacks.

Since 5e does already favor ranged attacks, I've already been thinking of ways to nerf ranged weapons. I think this system might make it easier to bring in some nerfs:
  • Much higher chance to hit things you weren't trying to hit
  • You can't move and shoot in the same round
  • Ranged attacks can be interrupted like spells
Or you could handle it more realistically -

The speed of an arrow from a self bow is around 100 mph, and a recurve bow about 150 mph. That sounds fast, but consider that a fastball is around 90 to 100 mph. A soccer ball can be kicked as much as about 130 mph.

Most hunters won't attempt a kill outside of about 30 yards, maybe 40 yards.

When you start getting to long range with with a bow, the time it takes to get there is too long to aim at a moving target. Instead, you target an area, and hope you luck out. That's why it's much more effective to have several archers targeting an area - at least one of them should hit.

Shooting into melee, where everybody is moving, is a crap shoot. Trying to shoot somebody that is using a human shield is different, they just have cover. While the rules below might seem complicated, they really aren't. It's just that they all work together to give you a lot of options, but also to bring things more in line with reality.

These are my archery rules:

Some ranged attacks, such as those made with a longbow or shortbow, have three ranges. Attacks at short range can target a specific creature and normal bonuses and penalties apply.
Attacks at medium range, which is double your short range, are made with disadvantage, but you can still target a specific creature. Long range is anything beyond medium range, and the number given is the maximum range.
Attacks at long range are with disadvantage, and you target a 10’ x 10’ area. If the target can see you and the shot you take, it can simply move to avoid the shot. Otherwise, creatures within that area might be hit. In a normal formation, up to 4 creatures can be in this area, in a close formation, up to 12. Regardless of the number of creatures, assign a number to each creature and roll a d12 to see which, if any of them, are the target of the attack roll.
While the chances of hitting a creature at this distance is low, several archers can target the same 10’ x 10’ area with a volley of arrows, greatly increasing the chances of a hit.

Misses
When attacking with a ranged weapon, if you miss it might be important to know where the missile landed. To determine this roll 2d6.
If the total on the 2d6 is less than 7, then you shot that many feet short, and if it’s more than 7 you shot that many feet long.
If the total is 7, your range was good, and the shot was wide by the AC – your attack roll, in feet.
If the attack roll was odd you shot left, or even you shot right.

Shooting into Melee
Shooting or throwing a ranged weapon into the midst of a melee combat is a dangerous business. At least for those in the melee. In most cases, the target in a melee is determined randomly, as everybody is in motion. If your target is stationary, such as somebody threatening another creature and using them as a shield, then your attack is made with disadvantage. If you miss, then the higher of the two rolls is used to determine if you hit the cover, or a random target if there are multiple possibilities.

Ranged Attacks in Close Combat
Aiming a ranged attack is more difficult when a foe is next to you. When you make a ranged attack with a weapon, a spell, or some other means, you have disadvantage on the attack roll if you are within 5 feet of a hostile creature who can see you and who isn’t incapacitated.

Ranged Attacks at Long Range
If all hostile targets are too far to close for melee within a round but within range, then you can use your bonus action and your reaction to make additional ranged attacks in that round.

Shields provide cover against ranged attacks (instead of increasing AC) and many types of armor in my campaign provide resistance to ranged piercing weapons (arrows). The only thing I haven't completed is tweaking the rules for getting struck at short or medium range. Arrows at this distance are deadly. Hunters kill in a single shot.

I no longer have the Sharpshooter feat as it's been rolled into the Archer Fighting Style. I use Fighting Styles as feats, but fighters gain at least one automatically.

Archer
Prerequisite: Elf; or fighter, ranger or paladin; or proficiency in bows and Dexterity 13 or higher.
You are skilled with the art of archery. When using a bow, you gain the following benefits:
• You can make an extra attack as a bonus action if no hostile creature is within 20 feet of you.
• Your short range is increased to 120 feet (normal is 90 feet).
• You ignore resistance to ranged piercing weapons due to armor at short range.
• Attacking a creature with partial cover doesn't impose disadvantage on your attack rolls.
• Attacking a creature in melee combat at 60 feet or less doesn’t impose disadvantage on your attack rolls.
• You can choose to take a -5 on your attack roll. If you hit, you add +10 to the attack's damage.
If you are a fighter, ranger or paladin, you have additional maneuvers available to choose when you can select a new maneuver:
Disarm. You can attempt to disarm the target or force them to drop something they are holding with a ranged attack.
The target has advantage on their check if using both hands to hold the item.
Double Shot. You can fire two arrows with a single shot to attempt to hit up to two targets within 5 feet of each other. You roll separately for each arrow, and each attack is made with disadvantage.
Groin/Pain Point. You can attempt to hit your target in the groin, solar plexus, nose, or other sensitive location. The target must make a Constitution saving throw or be incapacitated
If it fails by more than 5, the target is stunned.
Staple. You can attempt to restrain your target with a ranged attack by stapling them to a solid object within 5 ft. of them.
The target must make a Dexterity saving throw or be restrained.
Sunder. You can attempt to break an item that is held, wielded, or worn with a ranged attack. The target must make a Dexterity saving throw or you damage the item.
If the saving throw fails by more than 5, the item is broken.
Kill Shot. You can attempt to hit the target’s throat, head, heart, or other with a ranged attack. The target must make a Dexterity or Constitution saving throw (their choice). If they fail their saving throw by more than 5, it’s automatically critical hit.

Note that the maneuvers tie into my modified fighter classes (including Paladin and Ranger), and also leverage my called shot rules:
Called shots are made with disadvantage, and cannot be made when you have disadvantage for another reason.
The target makes a saving throw (usually Dexterity or Constitution) DC = 8 + your attack modifier. If they fail, they suffer the effects.

Also, limbs (arms, head, throat) have a base AC of 15, or the AC provided by the armor, along with benefits like resistance as I noted.
 

Ilbranteloth

Explorer
[MENTION=6787650]Hemlock[/MENTION]- I'm really liking what you and Ilbranteloth are proposing as I'm starting to hate the "combat swoosh" (as the AngryGM calls it) of rolling initiative. But a question occurs to me that I don't think has been discussed yet? How do you resolve multiattacks, lair effects and legendary actions?
Without the turn-based initiative, they occur when they make sense based on the time it takes, or when the creature decides to use them.

Legendary actions are less of an issue, because a key point of their design is to allow a legendary creature to spread its attacks through the entire round - by using them on other creature's turns. That's irrelevant now. If the dragon decides to use a wing buffet, then it just does. So they can be lumped into the rest of its normal actions, with the restrictions on how many can be used in a given round.

Lair actions serve a similar function, but with a slightly different mechanic - they are on a schedule. They will rarely happen first, since by the time a group can attack an adult dragon, for example, their initiative rolls will probably tend toward higher than 20 anyway. So I also just lump them into the arsenal with stated restrictions of use.
 

Ilbranteloth

Explorer
I was thinking the exact same thing. Some random ideas on that, in no particular order:
  • If you take damage before you finish casting a spell, you must make a concentration save or lose the spell.
  • You lose the action, but not the spell slot.
  • Or, you do lose the spell slot.
  • Or, the spell misfires and something wild happens.
  • Bonus action spells and reaction spells probably can't be interrupted.
  • Maybe cantrips can't be interrupted?
  • Maybe melee attack spells can't be interrupted?
That makes sense. I'll add that to my rules.
I use a modification of wild magic that is very similar to this. This is used when concentration is lost, when you suffer damage when attempting to cast a spell, when attempting to cast a spell you haven't mastered yet, or when under difficult circumstances (whispering, partially restrained, with substitute material components, when using a damaged wand (replaces wand of wonder), and counter spells.

The Wild Magic Surge table is designed so that in circumstances where you have advantage or gain a bonus for some reason, then the chance of something occurring is less. A penalty increases the chances something will go wrong. Without modifiers, there's a 50% chance the spell is cast as normal.

Also note that in AD&D, spells took a certain number of segments to cast, based on the level of the spell. I am working on a similar (but simpler) concept to help determine when during the course of a round the spell completes.

Wild Magic Surge
d20 Effect
1-2 The spell creates a random effect. Roll on the Wild Magic Surge table (PHB 104).
3-4 The spell backfires and affects the caster instead. If the target is the caster, the spell misfires instead.1
5-6 The spell misfires, roll on the Misfire table.
7-10 The spell fizzles, roll on the Spell Fizzles table.
11-20 The spell functions normally.

1If a backfire is not possible due to the nature of the spell, then roll on the Spell Misfire table and target the caster.

Spell Fizzles
Your Action is used, the energy fizzles and sputters (can cause any harmless visual effect desired); and:
D6 Effect
1 The spell slot is used.
2 The spell slot is not used.
3 You cast the pyrotechnics spell in a random direction in front of you. The spell slot is not used.
4 You cast the pyrotechnics spell in a random direction in front of you. The spell slot is used.
5-6 The spell creates a random effect. Roll on the Wild Magic Surge table (PHB 104).

Spell Misfire
The energy of the spell is catastrophically released.
D6 Effect
1-2 The spell releases its energy as a line 10 ft. long per level of the spell. Roll 1d6:
1) fire
2) force
3) lightning
4) necrotic
5) radiant
6) thunder
Damage is equal to 2d6 per level of the spell. Creatures that make a successful Dexterity saving throw take half damage.
3-4 The spell violently explodes.
Creatures in a 30 ft. radius:
• Take 2d4 damage per level of the spell (no saving throw).
• Must make a Strength saving throw or be knocked back 10 feet and prone. Creatures immune to force damage do not need to make the saving throw.
5 The spell violently explodes.
The caster:
• Takes 2d4 damage per level of the spell (no saving throw).
• Must make a Strength saving throw or be knocked back 10 feet and prone. Creatures immune to force damage do not need to make the saving throw.
6 The spell creates a random effect. Roll on the Wild Magic Surge table (PHB 104).
 

Ilbranteloth

Explorer
Thanks Hemlock, that helps. I'm a little surprised that in practice fights aren't this complicated. This seems like a pretty routine example (at least with Hold Person). My campaigns tend to run up to 20th level and right now involve 6 players.

We make use of miniatures and grid and it also because of this reason I am looking for something that works in that environment.

I hope the conversation keeps going!
I would recommend you try miniatures with no grid. I'd go with rough distances - close enough to close to melee in that round, too far to close, but within charging distance, beyond melee range, but in short range for a bow. Medium or long range for a bow, etc.
 

Ah, I missed that. So, "implicit delay" is a tool the DM can use to resolve actions in a more natural flow. Interesting. I'll put that in. Personally, I'm resistant to the idea of multiple delays because it might make the round feel longer than 6 seconds; have you encountered any problems with that?
Not that I've noticed. Sometimes I've been surprised to find that a three-round battle has taken us most of an hour, but (1) that occurs in large battle with lots of actors (especially if one player is giving orders to multiple individual NPCs on his side as well as his PC); and (2) most of the time seems to be taken in the action-declaration/deciding phase, with resolution being (I think) pretty fast, which makes the battle itself seem like it's going fast; (3) I can never figure out where all the time went because it seems quick, so my impression of #2 may be off.

Note that movies have the same problem(?): a fight with eleven Avengers in it may be "supposed" to take only a minute or so of real time, but it takes longer to show in screen time because everyone wants to know what Captain America was doing while Spider Man was fighting Falcon, etc.

Are you OK with interrupting spells, or should that not even be a part of these rules yet?
I have thought about restoring spell interruption a la AD&D, but haven't done anything about it yet. It's still something I'm just chewing on. One of my motivations for restoring spell interruptions would be to weaken magic slightly relative to force-of-arms, to give Conan the fighter more openings at shutting down Thulsa Doom the warlock. It would go well with adding in speed factors for weapons and spells; but all of that is more complex than I'm ready to commit to in a TTRPG implementation right now, so it might be something I implement on the CRPG side without doing in TTRPG play.

If the casual players don't want to put the time and energy into it, why punish them for that?[/sblock]Point taken. I'm happy to continue this conversation, but it seems unlikely we're going to convince each other. We have such different goals for these rules, it makes more sense to split them than to combine them. I want to complete the project of codifying your system--it's helping me to understand it better; I hope it helps other people too. Maybe later I'll work on my own houserules of your (house)rules (lol).
LOL. I'm 100% fine with that. I'm not so much interested in evangelizing my particular system as I am in evangelizing a perspective: the fun that happens when you discard turn-by-turn initiative and embrace concurrency. I'm happy to answer questions about the particular way I do it, because I don't believe in having secrets and I usually answer pretty much any questions on any topic, but other people like @Lanefan, @Ilbranteloth, and yourself have different goals and perspectives and ways you'd prefer to implement your own concurrent initiative system and I think that's great! The main chassis is intact; everyone is just tweaking their own details. I hope you find something that feels right to you and gives your players that good experience that comes from embracing concurrent play.

Good gaming!
 
Last edited:

Ilbranteloth

Explorer
This is a fascinating thread. How are spells such as Hold Person adjudicated? When does the effect take place? When does it end? Let's assume a caster wants to target an enemy fighter with Hold Person. His ally wants to attack after the spell takes effect and another ally wants to attack at the same time as the spell is cast (not caring if the spell is in place). How would this need to be described? Assuming the target is affected, when can the effect be removed by the target?

I intend to test this out with my group. Just trying to understand the ins and outs.

One other question. Over the course of a campaign, don't low Int PCs begin to resent having to declare first (or close to it most times)?
I'll start with the last part. Hemlock's variation adds an order for declaration, and a delay option. I would recommend against both as unnecessary complications. If, as a DM, you have difficulty keeping track of the declarations, then use a system that works for you, but make it fast. Going around the table at random is a good option. The reason I recommend at random is it keeps people on their toes, and avoids the feeling of it being routine or cyclical.

For spells, you'll notice that they tend to allow a save at the beginning or the end of the creature's next turn, or your next turn. This is because they accomplish different things.

If the target can make a save before or after their next turn, nothing changes except that the exact duration might be a second or two different. No big deal.

For effects that last until the beginning or end of your next turn, I go with the beginning or end of the next round.

I consider spells as relatively fast to cast, and it's the refocusing of the magical energy that forces you to wait until the next round to cast another spell. As such, a spell is usually cast before any attack against the spell caster. Exceptions would be attacks that are bonus actions or a reaction to the caster casting a spell. In that case they might interrupt the act of casting the spell.

In my campaign, the same thing occurs - a Concentration check. If the caster is struck while casting, then the spell could be ruined before it's cast. Otherwise, the spell's effects occur, and the attack can only break concentration (and potentially ruin the spell). I use a Wild Magic system for both situations.
 

Ilbranteloth

Explorer
On that note:
Ah, I missed that. So, "implicit delay" is a tool the DM can use to resolve actions in a more natural flow. Interesting. I'll put that in. Personally, I'm resistant to the idea of multiple delays because it might make the round feel longer than 6 seconds; have you encountered any problems with that?

Are you OK with interrupting spells, or should that not even be a part of these rules yet?

OK. I guess that's what I meant, I just wasn't sure how to express it as a rule. This helps.
I would recommend against the "Delay" declaration altogether. The point for me, and the reason we initially did away with rolling initiative at the start of a round was to allow things to flow naturally. This includes the process of running the combat itself.

I think you'll find that as you start using a system like this, you might be asking what characters are doing, and somebody might not know yet. That's all you need to know. No need to add a "Delay" option as an explicit declaration.

Or to put it a different way, the "Delay" option basically means one of two things: either the player doesn't know what they want to do, or the character doesn't.

If the player doesn't then they either ask questions, or wait a moment until they have a better understanding of the situation before declaring anything.

If the character doesn't know what they want to do, then they aren't "delaying" - they aren't acting. That's the Ready action and leaves them with only a reaction in this round in terms of how much they can accomplish. I don't require them to tell me exactly what they are Readying, but their options are more limited if they don't. I also allow them to alter their reaction to what's going on around them, although if it's significantly different it might trigger a Dexterity (Initiative) check, unlike a normal Ready action.

See my last couple of posts for my thoughts on interrupting spells.

One other thing I'll point out, or perhaps clarify, I don't see this as a strict Declaration then Resolution process. We cover the broad strokes (I attack the orc to the left, I'll cast whatever as a level 2 spell, etc.), and the specifics are covered as we play through the round. It's not uncommon for the broad strokes to be largely the same as what is occurring through the round.

Really what usually happens is I'll tell them what it looks like the monsters are doing, they tell me what they are doing, and start rolling dice. Then I'll start describing what's going on, and rolling dice for the monsters. In the midst of that, something might change, and we address any modifications to actions in the moment.

I'll also point out that it can also become more reactive (which is what we like). The Ready action is essentially a guaranteed success on a Dexterity (Initiative) check. You can do less in that round, but may very well be more effective, such as targeting an enemy spell caster. Which has led to both sides circling, taunting, talking, and otherwise waiting for the other to make the first move. Which means that the PCs work out some strategies to make the first shot successful and as effective as possible. It does a wonderful job of altering the nature of conflicts with intelligent creatures.

So back to my first point, rather than introducing a "Delay" option, force the player to be in character and opt to wait until things unfold before committing to an action. That generally means their only action, if any, that round is to react. We're attempting to get out of the "Combat Game" and get back into character.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I have thought about restoring spell interruption a la AD&D, but haven't done anything about it yet.
Do it do it fortheloveofdice do it!

And in post #193 [MENTION=6778044]Ilbranteloth[/MENTION] even gives you a basic wild magic surge (WMS) system to work with - how convenient is that?!

One of my motivations for restoring spell interruptions would be to weaken magic slightly relative to force-of-arms
That's exactly why I will never get rid of it regardless what edition I might ever run.

Lan-"more on WMS in a moment"-efan
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I use a modification of wild magic that is very similar to this. This is used when concentration is lost, when you suffer damage when attempting to cast a spell, when attempting to cast a spell you haven't mastered yet, or when under difficult circumstances (whispering, partially restrained, with substitute material components, when using a damaged wand (replaces wand of wonder), and counter spells.
More or less ditto, the specifics differ but the idea is the same - with one notable exception: a counterspell never triggers a WMS (I see that as a built-in part of how counterspell would work) nor does being interrupted by Dispel Magic.

The Wild Magic Surge table is designed so that in circumstances where you have advantage or gain a bonus for some reason, then the chance of something occurring is less. A penalty increases the chances something will go wrong. Without modifiers, there's a 50% chance the spell is cast as normal.
I don't bother with the modifiers, but if your spell is interrupted etc. then it's lost (and thus won't resolve as normal)...at which point we go to:

Wild Magic Surge table:

(with a tiny bit of rounding I could use d20 for the base table but as I'll need d% for the effects table anyway I use them here too)

01-50 spell fizzles, maybe get a soft 'pop' or a small puff of smoke or a brief glow
51-70 full reversal if possible (e.g. cure wounds becomes cause wounds, darkness becomes light, etc.) or see below
71-85 minor surge, table 1
86-94 significant surge, table 2
95-00 major surge, table 3

if reversal not possible then 51-62 = minor surge, 63-68 = significant surge, 69-70 = major surge.

Tables 1 2 and 3 referred to are the actual effects, ranging from silly to deadly to extremely beneficial and sometimes combinations of all three. Each table has about 97 entries, with the remaining gaps saying something like "just make spit up". As their names would indicate, the effects increase in severity as the table numbers go up. Each entry also indicates who might be affected out of caster, target, or what I unflatteringly refer to as SPIN; which stands for Some Poor Idiot Nearby.

So, at most I usually only have to do 2 dice rolls: one to see if there's a WMS and sometimes a second to see what the surge does. Sometimes subsequent rolls are required (saves, damage, etc.), case by case.

The WMS table also sometimes comes into play if a magic item gets broken; but the more common result there is a simple 'boom' as the magic contained in the item gets released all at once in a way its designers never intended.

Lan-"I've also introduced jumped-up Wands of Wonder called Wands of Wild Magic, which also use these tables except without the fizzle chance"-efan
 

tomBitonti

Explorer
I'm finding the approach to be a refreshing idea. This is more or less how I played 1e and then rolemaster after that. Players declared their actions, then the DM worked out what happened, with the actions occurring simultaneously. I rather miss this approach.

A lot of the ideas re: conditional actions is more sophisticated than what we did, and, I think, helps to make the system work.

The idea does go against the 3.5 and 4e style of play, and it relies a lot on a very good DM.

I'm evisioning this as players declaring what they are trying to do, and how they are trying to do it, then the DM outlining what happens, with dice rolls at contested points.

Also, I'm thinking that highlighting that the resolution step is considering the declared actions occurring simultaneously is an important part of the description of the system.

Thx!
TomB
 

Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top