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

Rune

Once A Fool
Simultaneous initiative

I prefer to call them "Dexterity (Initiative)" checks, and, yes, that does mean each contested instance triggers its own roll--just like any other opposed check.

As for the six-second turn headache, I get around that by lengthening the amount of time that a round represents. 1 minute is a little too long, if you're sticking to the movement speeds, but 30 seconds feels about right to me. Short enough to be cinematic, long enough for reinforcements to plausibly arrive. Just have to adjust the 1- and 5-minute spell/ability durations upward.

I think that the above improves cyclical initiative, but, at least for my tastes, it happens to go very well with the simultaneous initiative* variant that I run.


* "Concurrent outcome resolution?"
 

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So are there any ways to break this combat resolution system?
Could you rephase your question to be more specific? What are you trying to discover? What are you trying to break, in what way, and why?

You can still get unrealistic outcomes from this system; the Peasant Railgun still works. This doesn't fix all issues with discretized actions in D&D; it just fixes enough issues to be more fun than the PHB initiative system is.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Could you rephase your question to be more specific? What are you trying to discover? What are you trying to break, in what way, and why?

You can still get unrealistic outcomes from this system; the Peasant Railgun still works. This doesn't fix all issues with discretized actions in D&D; it just fixes enough issues to be more fun than the PHB initiative system is.
Does your system make it any easier/harder to kite enemies. Or does it make it any easier/harder to close into melee? Does it often lead to not being able to have a valid target for their declared action and thus ending their turn and if not how is such an issue prevented, very generic declarations or the ability to change the action when no targets exist? Do enemies abide by the same rules?
 

mellored

Explorer
The activities the PCs are engaged in are simultaneous. E.g. the goblin is hiding at the same time Eladriel is attacking. In practice, it's rare that you even need to impose an ordering at all. It only happens once in the OP.
Except you do.
I don't mean rolling dice, but you have to decide if the goblin hides before or after the attack.

That's ordering the events.
 

Except you do.
I don't mean rolling dice, but you have to decide if the goblin hides before or after the attack.
That's ordering the events.
No--the goblin is hiding while she's shooting at it. It's not an instantaneous event. If she misses the goblin, or if the goblin fails to hide, then it doesn't matter if she shot at it before or after it finished hiding. Either way she shot an arrow and it didn't hit a goblin, so choose whatever ordering is convenient and nobody (player or DM) will object.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Except you do.
I don't mean rolling dice, but you have to decide if the goblin hides before or after the attack.

That's ordering the events.
Thank you for saying what I've been trying to say all thread and in 1-2 lines to boot.

A truly simultaneous system could be interesting though. And it may can be achieved with 2 small rule changes.

1. allowing melee attacks without penalty if at any part of the round you are adjacent to your target. Allowing ranged attacks without penalty if at any point in the round you are at range from an enemy. Basically you take the best opportunity to hurt an enemy that round that you can.
2. Reactionary movement.

Phase 1: Declare movement and actions
Phase 2: Resolve Actions and Declare Reactions
Phase 3: Resolve Reactions
Phase 4: Resolve all reactionary movement

All effects of actions are applied at same time. Buffs and negative conditions only apply the round after they occur and similar to melee and ranged a character is able to benefit from them next turn even if you end the condition on the next turn.
 

Does your system make it any easier/harder to kite enemies. Or does it make it any easier/harder to close into melee? Does it often lead to not being able to have a valid target for their declared action and thus ending their turn and if not how is such an issue prevented, very generic declarations or the ability to change the action when no targets exist? Do enemies abide by the same rules?
It makes it harder to kite enemies. That's by design--I like chaos, and I don't like cheesy exploits. Asking if it makes it easier to close to melee is redundant--that's the same thing as asking if it's easier to kite.

Yes, enemies abide by the same rules. There is no difference between PC and NPC when it comes to game rules; they are all characters, including the monsters, and they all play by the same rules.

I don't understand the intent of your question about "does it often lead to not being able to have a valid target". Are you really interested in knowing details of my players' and monsters' behavior, or are you looking for something else? What are you really trying to discover here that you can't figure out yourself, and why? I'm a little bit skeptical because so far you haven't engaged constructively with this thread; you've only seemingly attempted to derail it, and the context in which you're asking this question makes it appear like another attempt to disrupt.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
I have listed all my comments before the one you replied to below. I'll let them stand for themselves against your crazy and unfounded accusations.

That said I'm really not here to have a fight with you. I'm trying to understand your system better.

It makes it harder to kite enemies. That's by design--I like chaos, and I don't like cheesy exploits. Asking if it makes it easier to close to melee is redundant--that's the same thing as asking if it's easier to kite.

Yes, enemies abide by the same rules. There is no difference between PC and NPC when it comes to game rules; they are all characters, including the monsters, and they all play by the same rules.

I don't understand the intent of your question about "does it often lead to not being able to have a valid target". Are you really interested in knowing details of my players' and monsters' behavior, or are you looking for something else? What are you really trying to discover here that you can't figure out yourself, and why? I'm a little bit skeptical because so far you haven't engaged constructively with this thread; you've only seemingly attempted to derail it, and the context in which you're asking this question makes it appear like another attempt to disrupt.
So are there any ways to break this combat resolution system?
Yea, I still don't get how this is simultaneous initiative or anything remotely similar. Is it just the part about decoupling action declaration from the moment you resolve the action?
A separate thought, I read the first post and I don't see anything simultaneous about it.

Basically the only nuance I picked up on sounded like you allowed someone to delay their whole turn.
Do you break up the movement phases and the attacking phases?

Or does movement have a higher precedence than attacking or something?
 

mellored

Explorer
No--the goblin is hiding while she's shooting at it. It's not an instantaneous event. If she misses the goblin, or if the goblin fails to hide, then it doesn't matter if she shot at it before or after it finished hiding. Either way she shot an arrow and it didn't hit a goblin, so choose whatever ordering is convenient and nobody (player or DM) will object.
So what happens when they both roll well?

Simultaneous-when-it-doesn't-matter-and-ordered-by-speed-when-it-does is a bit of a mouth full. And still misses the main point of declaring your action being separate from the resolution.
 

So what happens when they both roll well?
Then you're in that rare case where you have to impose an ordering, which you do by determining whose initiative is higher. That will tell you whose action was performed more quickly. If El spent two seconds aiming and her arrows was in the air for half a second, and the goblin was most of the way into the right bushes but not quite hidden yet (i.e. would take three seconds to finish hiding), then that is one plausible interpretation of what happens when [Eladriel hits; goblin rolls well on Stealth; Eladriel's initiative is high; goblin's initiative is not as high] are all true: Eladriel hits him while he is still trying to hide.

Simultaneous-when-it-doesn't-matter-and-ordered-by-speed-when-it-does is a bit of a mouth full. And still misses the main point of declaring your action being separate from the resolution.
Yes, separating action from resolution is the key point. Everything else is just an optimization for speed or an elaboration for additional fun. If you're a DM looking for ideas to steal, the big idea I'd recommend to you is "separate action declaration from action resolution." That's where 70-80% of the gains come from.
 


FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
So what happens when they both roll well?

Simultaneous-when-it-doesn't-matter-and-ordered-by-speed-when-it-does is a bit of a mouth full. And still misses the main point of declaring your action being separate from the resolution.
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?
 

mellored

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?
It seems that you make conditional declaration. So you say "I shoot that goblin, or some other one".

Thus if he hides before you shoot, you switch targets. Presumably with the same 20. Otherwise you just out of luck because you spent your time aiming at someone who ran away, which is realistic, and works both ways. If your smart and fast enough, you can easily get people to waste actions.

Overall, I like the separation of declaring and resolving, but it doesn't seem to mesh well with 5e's action economy. Also having 20 creatures declare and then trying to resolve them all without any structure can get difficult. I think it would only work in the right group, or as part of another game built with it in mind.
 

It seems that you make conditional declaration. So you say "I shoot that goblin, or some other one".

Thus if he hides before you shoot, you switch targets. Presumably with the same 20. Otherwise you just out of luck because you spent your time aiming at someone who ran away, which is realistic, and works both ways. If your smart and fast enough, you can easily get people to waste actions.
Precisely. Players love it when that happens. One of the best things ever was when the necromancer Nox, who was facing a Death Slaad which (due to prior events in play) was wearing Nox's own Robe of the Archmagi, managed to just barely kill the Death Slaad right before it finished Plane Shifting to safety, taking his Robe forever with it. I think there were six skeletons (out of 18 or 20) which hit the Slaad with arrows that round, and all six of them needed to beat its initiative to kill it. IIRC the Slaad rolled a 2 or something on initiative so they all managed to still beat it, but everything was on the line for poor Nox when initiative was rolled. Nox didn't even have clothes on, he was wearing makeshift clothing he had rigged out of leaves and tree bark. I can still remember the look on S.'s (the player's) face as we rolled the dice.

I like that kind of drama, and yet you can never have it in standard PHB initiative. With concurrent initiative, every time initiative is rolled, it's because something exciting is at stake. (Or because the combat is so complex, with dozens of combatants and so many conditional actions declared that rolling initiative is actually simpler than not rolling it.)
 
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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I acknowledge though that the word "simultaneous" has created confusion. "Concurrent" might be better.
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.
If you haven't rolled initiative for the round, it's because nobody cares what order things happened in. If I hit you and do 7 HP of damage, and you hit me and do 4 HP of damage, and we're both still alive--it doesn't matter who had higher speed. Conceptually someone still landed their blow first but it doesn't matter who. They happened at approximately the same time (concurrently).
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
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
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.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
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
I'd say yes; the goblin this time got lucky.
or is he free now to target the other goblin?
With his next shot, sure; but this one's left an arrow in a tree instead of in a goblin.

EDIT: But if what's concealing the goblin won't stop an arrow (e.g. a bush, or magical darkness) then maybe your '20' just shot a hidden foe by sheer luck. This would, obviously, be situation-dependent.
Hemlock said:
Yes, separating action from resolution is the key point. Everything else is just an optimization for speed or an elaboration for additional fun. If you're a DM looking for ideas to steal, the big idea I'd recommend to you is "separate action declaration from action resolution." That's where 70-80% of the gains come from.
Which is more or less how 1e did it, only with a boatload of fiddly rules on top which very few people (including me) ever fully used.

In 1e you declared and locked in your action(s) including targets at the start of the round, as did everyone else on your side, then they all resolved. Then the other side went. Unless there were complications, which there invariably were; the full rules for 1e initiative are an essay unto themselves. But the chassis it all sits on is declare-then-resolve.

It's not a good system as written. That said, I've yet to see a RAW D&D initiative system that is.

Lan-"houserule system for the win"-efan
 
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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
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.
Or maybe the change in action IS your reaction...you're reacting to the change in situation. Makes sense...
 

mellored

Explorer
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
You could simply have it be

1: 7 is faster.
2: 4 is faster.
3: They are the same speed. (Don’t roll a tie breaker)
 


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