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

Ilbranteloth

Explorer
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.

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
Here's the Counterspell portion. It's an opposed check (d20 + spell attack modifier + level of the spell/counterspell. The idea is to allow the sort of magical battles a la Harry Potter or other movies/books/etc.:

The caster of the original spell checks on the Counterspell table:
Difference Effect
-5 or less The counterspell succeeds and the original spell is canceled (and the spell slot is lost).
-4 Roll on the Wild Magic Surge table.
-3 to +3 Contest continues. You must maintain concentration, cannot take other actions or reactions, and must make another opposed check next round.
+4 Roll on the Wild Magic Surge table.
+5 or more The counterspell fails, and the original spell is cast as normal.

The caster of the original spell rolls on the Wild Magic Surge table if appropriate, and applies the +/-4 modifier to the roll. If the result on the Wild Magic Surge table is a backfire, it affects whichever caster has the upper hand in the contest.
 

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Torgaard

Explorer
Proposed this non-sequential initiative style to my (Fantasy Grounds) table last week, and after a media blitz where I outlined how I see it working (I plan on keeping the spirit of Hemlock's outline, but will be modifying it there and there), wrote up an exhaustively detailed example of how an initial round of combat my go - with screenshots, the excitement level has ramped up considerably.
Well, I'm happy to report that non-sequential initiative was a huge hit at my table! After the dust settled on the first fight, the talk at the table was that it might the most epic fight of the campaign, thanks to the new system. They were jabbering excitedly about it for quite awhile afterward, talking about how so many things happened in that fight that never could have happened in a sequential world, and how cool it was. The feeling was that it was like going from playing a game of chess, to creating an action scene in a movie.

Anyway, we're still working on things: It took a bit longer to resolve a fight (maybe 10 or 20% longer). I've got several House Rules that need some polish. Plus I just need to work on ways of streamlining the process in Fantasy Grounds a little, though I was actually pretty happy with how FG handled it as is.
 

miggyG777

Explorer
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.
@FormerlyHemlock I must say that I really enjoy your initiative system so far. However I also liked the idea of the Greyhawk Initiative, to the point where I had modified it to my likings and played with it for a while. This is why I was wondering if you actually ever implemented weapon / spell speedfactors or spell disruption into your Concurrent Initiative system.
I would really like to merge the systems at some point and see your approach of how to achieve this.
 

Tried to message a couple of you.....I'm working on a PDF on initiative systems, and want to use this thread as the basis for chapter 7 "No Initiative Systems".

a: happy to credit anyone here that wants it
b: anyone that has updated thoughts on not using initiative at all, I'm all eyes and ears, as it were

thanks,
 

Ilbranteloth

Explorer
Tried to message a couple of you.....I'm working on a PDF on initiative systems, and want to use this thread as the basis for chapter 7 "No Initiative Systems".

a: happy to credit anyone here that wants it
b: anyone that has updated thoughts on not using initiative at all, I'm all eyes and ears, as it were

thanks,
I’m happy to participate, just remind me and I’ll send you a link to our rules. You can use our “no initiative” approach with or without our “no rounds” approach, and we have also completely separated movement from the turn equation as well after we realized that was nearly as big a problem for us as initiative itself.
 

I’m happy to participate, just remind me and I’ll send you a link to our rules. You can use our “no initiative” approach with or without our “no rounds” approach, and we have also completely separated movement from the turn equation as well after we realized that was nearly as big a problem for us as initiative itself.
I'd love a link. Yes, as I try to write up some 40 systems, I see why Mearls kept movement out of the equation when he first introduced Greyhawk initiative.
 

Hemlock

Villager
Tried to message a couple of you.....I'm working on a PDF on initiative systems, and want to use this thread as the basis for chapter 7 "No Initiative Systems".

a: happy to credit anyone here that wants it
b: anyone that has updated thoughts on not using initiative at all, I'm all eyes and ears, as it were

thanks,
Sorry for the late response. I left this message board a few years ago (2017) when Enworld's owner Russ pointedly disinvited everyone who didn't share his political views. I'm cautiously giving it another look now to see if things have changed.

For me the main change since 2017 is, yes, rolling initiative more rarely. If there's a situation in which one character or monster is obviously going to be faster than another (an NPC running 60' at top speed to try to get through a doorway, and a PC standing right next to the door intending to close it), I am more willing than ever to just make a DM call and say "door closer goes first" without rolling initiative. If you're trying to catch someone only 10' ahead of you in a race, I'd probably still roll initiative then to represent a burst of speed, but not if he's 50' ahead.

Anytime sticking strictly to the initiative rule could result in something very strange happening, there's no need to roll. Just make the non-strange thing happen.
 

TaranTheWanderer

Adventurer
Well, I'm happy to report that non-sequential initiative was a huge hit at my table! After the dust settled on the first fight, the talk at the table was that it might the most epic fight of the campaign, thanks to the new system. They were jabbering excitedly about it for quite awhile afterward, talking about how so many things happened in that fight that never could have happened in a sequential world, and how cool it was. The feeling was that it was like going from playing a game of chess, to creating an action scene in a movie.

Anyway, we're still working on things: It took a bit longer to resolve a fight (maybe 10 or 20% longer). I've got several House Rules that need some polish. Plus I just need to work on ways of streamlining the process in Fantasy Grounds a little, though I was actually pretty happy with how FG handled it as is.
Yesterday, I briefly read the first couple posts regarding simultaneous initiative and decided to try it with my group and they absolutely loved it as well. They thought the combat was much more fluid and fights actually went quicker.

@FormerlyHemlock I do have some questions, though that maybe I missed the details of in this 200+ post thread.

1. How do you resolve things like, "I run in to attack enemy" and enemy, likewise says, "I run in to attack PC"
On a tabletop, do they just meet halfway? Do they attack at the same time and both take damage? Is there no way to finish off your foe before they get a strike in?

I was just running it that both people get hit and whoever got around to moving their token first is where the attacks took place.

2. How do you resolve attacks of Opportunity that might pop up.
PC: "I back up and shoot"
ENemy: "I close and attack"

Does the enemy close and get his attack and then get an AoO as the PC withdraws to shoot? Or does the PC move away out of reach of the enemy as the enemy closes? Is this an instance where initiative should be rolled? Can the shooting PC decide to not withdraw and just drop his bow and attack with a sword?

I'll read through the thread again to double check. Maybe I was just doing it wrong?

Edit: I just noticed this is a Necro thread.... still, can anyone answer my questions
 
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dave2008

Legend
Yesterday, I briefly read the first couple posts regarding simultaneous initiative and decided to try it with my group and they absolutely loved it as well. They thought the combat was much more fluid and fights actually went quicker.

@FormerlyHemlock I do have some questions, though that maybe I missed the details of in this 200+ post thread.

1. How do you resolve things like, "I run in to attack enemy" and enemy, likewise says, "I run in to attack PC"
On a tabletop, do they just meet halfway? Do they attack at the same time and both take damage? Is there no way to finish off your foe before they get a strike in?

I was just running it that both people get hit and whoever got around to moving their token first is where the attacks took place.

2. How do you resolve attacks of Opportunity that might pop up.
PC: "I back up and shoot"
ENemy: "I close and attack"

Does the enemy close and get his attack and then get an AoO as the PC withdraws to shoot? Or does the PC move away out of reach of the enemy as the enemy closes? Is this an instance where initiative should be rolled? Can the shooting PC decide to not withdraw and just drop his bow and attack with a sword?

I'll read through the thread again to double check. Maybe I was just doing it wrong?

Edit: I just noticed this is a Necro thread.... still, can anyone answer my questions
You might try @Hemlock as he has started a new account I believe
 

Rune

Once A Fool
I’ve run this style of initiative with varied levels if formalized rules over the years. Personally, I prefer a looser approach (certainly looser than I’ve advocated for in the past) guided by a simple guideline:

Only roll for initiative when it matters, and then make it an opposed check.

“When it matters” can vary by playstyle, of course, but for me it means that I’ll contest initiative if one or both of two attackers have a chance of dropping or otherwise stopping the other (through violence, grappling, magic, or otherwise). If not, both will get their attacks.

If positioning is dependent on an oponent’s (a chase, a race, or interception), an opposed check will be appropriate. Other situations won’t matter.

I prefer to play theater of the mind, but if you’re using a grid, Two opponents charging toward each other can alternate moving square by square easily enough. Or just pick a spot in the middle, because, if positioning is going to matter (next to a ledge, for instance), it’s going to be part of the description of intended action.

Provoking an opportunity attack is always something the provoker chooses to do (by moving away), so it isn’t governed by an initiative check, although the desire to escape the reach of someone who wishes to prevent it (fundamentally, a chase) would necessitate it. And that, of course, could lead to an opportunity attack.

In all cases, a readied action will preempt a spontaneous one, if triggered.
 
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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
1. How do you resolve things like, "I run in to attack enemy" and enemy, likewise says, "I run in to attack PC"
On a tabletop, do they just meet halfway? Do they attack at the same time and both take damage? Is there no way to finish off your foe before they get a strike in?
Were it me they'd meet in the middle, or close, unless one had a dramatically higher move speed than the other; and there'd be a d6 roll to see who struck first; if the rolls tied then they struck simultaneously.

2. How do you resolve attacks of Opportunity that might pop up.
PC: "I back up and shoot"
ENemy: "I close and attack"

Does the enemy close and get his attack and then get an AoO as the PC withdraws to shoot? Or does the PC move away out of reach of the enemy as the enemy closes? Is this an instance where initiative should be rolled? Can the shooting PC decide to not withdraw and just drop his bow and attack with a sword?
Again, were this me, it'd come down to a die roll as to who's faster (if either): if the shooter's faster she gets her shot away without provoking an AoO because the attacker's not there yet, but then gets attacked with only a bow for defense; if the enemy's faster he gets his swing in (and the shooter can choose between foregoing all attacks that round in order to switch to weapon and shield) then if the shooter still tries to shoot the attacker would get a free swing at her as well.

Trying to make everything simultaneous is perhaps a path to madness. The trick, IMO, is to instead use a much smaller and unmodified initiative die (we use d6) re-rolled each round, with tied rolls resolving simultaneously. (so, if there's a whole bunch of participants in a battle all the 6's get resolved; then all the 5's, etc.)
 

Ilbranteloth

Explorer
Yesterday, I briefly read the first couple posts regarding simultaneous initiative and decided to try it with my group and they absolutely loved it as well. They thought the combat was much more fluid and fights actually went quicker.

@FormerlyHemlock I do have some questions, though that maybe I missed the details of in this 200+ post thread.

1. How do you resolve things like, "I run in to attack enemy" and enemy, likewise says, "I run in to attack PC"
On a tabletop, do they just meet halfway? Do they attack at the same time and both take damage? Is there no way to finish off your foe before they get a strike in?

I was just running it that both people get hit and whoever got around to moving their token first is where the attacks took place.

2. How do you resolve attacks of Opportunity that might pop up.
PC: "I back up and shoot"
ENemy: "I close and attack"

Does the enemy close and get his attack and then get an AoO as the PC withdraws to shoot? Or does the PC move away out of reach of the enemy as the enemy closes? Is this an instance where initiative should be rolled? Can the shooting PC decide to not withdraw and just drop his bow and attack with a sword?

I'll read through the thread again to double check. Maybe I was just doing it wrong?

Edit: I just noticed this is a Necro thread.... still, can anyone answer my questions
I'm not FormerlyHemlock, but I can tell you how we handle it.

First, we separate movement from your turn. The players describe what they are going to do, and I do the same for the monsters. We then resolve attacks and actions in a logical order

If there is a chance that somebody will finish off their foe, or there's some other thing that you need to know what order something takes place (like two creatures trying to grab the same thing), then we roll an opposed Initiative check, but only the relevant creatures.

Attacks of opportunity operate as normal. If the situations that provoke an opportunity attack arise, then they get an opportunity attack.

Since we separate movement from your turn, the answer to the last question is quite often, yes. If you have movement left and a creature is running toward you, you can run away without provoking an opportunity attack, since they need to be within reach before you move away.

It all becomes a question of the DM/table adjudicating the action appropriately. I say DM/table, because while the DM is the one adjudicating the action, since this is also all happening in your heads, the players need to be engaged in the process so everybody is on the same page.
 

Hemlock

Villager
Yesterday, I briefly read the first couple posts regarding simultaneous initiative and decided to try it with my group and they absolutely loved it as well. They thought the combat was much more fluid and fights actually went quicker.

@FormerlyHemlock I do have some questions, though that maybe I missed the details of in this 200+ post thread.

1. How do you resolve things like, "I run in to attack enemy" and enemy, likewise says, "I run in to attack PC"
On a tabletop, do they just meet halfway? Do they attack at the same time and both take damage? Is there no way to finish off your foe before they get a strike in?

I was just running it that both people get hit and whoever got around to moving their token first is where the attacks took place.

2. How do you resolve attacks of Opportunity that might pop up.
PC: "I back up and shoot"
ENemy: "I close and attack"

Does the enemy close and get his attack and then get an AoO as the PC withdraws to shoot? Or does the PC move away out of reach of the enemy as the enemy closes? Is this an instance where initiative should be rolled? Can the shooting PC decide to not withdraw and just drop his bow and attack with a sword?

I'll read through the thread again to double check. Maybe I was just doing it wrong?

Edit: I just noticed this is a Necro thread.... still, can anyone answer my questions
RE: #1, back in 2017 I would have rolled initiative, 5E-style, but nowadays I would have them meet in the middle and probably just have the PC roll his attack first (order doesn't really matter on a first attack so might as well let the player go first).

Your way of doing it ("whoever got around to moving their token first") sounds 100% fine to me too.

RE: #2, again, back in 2017 I would have rolled initiative for this, but today I'd just make a judgment call based on relative movement speeds and the distance between them. If they're starting off 30' away from each other there's no reasonable way the enemy could close fast enough to still attack this turn, so I'd just convert that into a Dash by the enemy[1], but the PC gets a shot off before the enemy gets into range. No initiative roll needed. If they were only 10' away instead I'd go ahead and roll initiative between them.

[1] My players and I usually call this move "Charge". "I charge the Goristro" means "I move towards the Goristro intending to attack in melee, but if I have to I'll Dash instead."

You might try @Hemlock as he has started a new account I believe
The old one for some reason won't let me change my username back to Hemlock, so yeah, I had to create Hemlock as a sesparate account. [shrug]
 


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