D&D 5E Continuous Initiative in 5E

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
. I just think it's going to result in the spotlight being shared unequally because of the amount of times the DM is going to take a turn.
I hear and appreciate a lot of what you said, so don't take this response as wholly negative.

But I want to highlight that the above is just not something I consider a problem. Assuming that everyone is using the same rules, "spotlight time" is a function of the tactics the players choose.
 

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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Here's the problem as I see it. (Please remember that I fiddled around with a similar idea for a number of years.)

In a standard 5e combat, each player gets a turn, and the DM gets one or more turns. This means everyone is sharing the spotlight somewhat evenly throughout the combat. Let's say the group is fighting 4 goblins. As a DM I'll probably have one turn with all four goblins attacking. If there are different kinds of enemies, I might have multiple turns as the DM if I give them each a separate initiative. But the more separate turns I have, the greater share of the spotlight is going towards me.
Why wouldn't you be giving your Goblins individual initiatives in any case?

That they'd get such would seem to almost go without saying.
 


Vael

Legend
I'm trying to not just dismiss the idea, but I think it's such a radical rework of 5e's action economy one would be better off building a new RPG around it. Some questions/concerns:
1. How are multiple things going off in a particular round resolved?
2. How do reactions function, opportunity attacks and such?
3. Part of 2, when can a PC regain an ability/action? If I use a reaction to cast Shield, how long does it last, and when can I again use a reaction? If I take a bonus action to cast a Quickened Spell, when can I do so again?
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
I'm trying to not just dismiss the idea, but I think it's such a radical rework of 5e's action economy one would be better off building a new RPG around it. Some questions/concerns:
1. How are multiple things going off in a particular round resolved?
2. How do reactions function, opportunity attacks and such?
3. Part of 2, when can a PC regain an ability/action? If I use a reaction to cast Shield, how long does it last, and when can I again use a reaction? If I take a bonus action to cast a Quickened Spell, when can I do so again?
All good points.

if I were going to try and actually build a first iteration of this to start a testing process, i would begin with assigning some basic count costs.

Move 1 square/5 feet: 1
Melee weapon attack: half damage die type
Ranged weapon attack: as melee +1
Cast spell: those with "action" as casting time would be 3 + spell level
Except attack cantrips: same as ranged attacks
Bonus actions: if it allows you to do something normal, half the usual cost; if not, I'd start with 2 and see how that went
Drinking a potion: 3
Taking Cover or Hiding: 2
Climbing, swimming and difficult terrain: 2 per square

Effect durations that are "until; the start of your/their next turn" are hard. I feel liek they could easily be abused and/or rendered useless with smart use of the count. I will have to think on that.

As to reactions: maybe you get 1 per 10 count but doesn't cost anything or move your count?
 

cimbrog

Explorer
My homebrew for AD&D 2E used this kind of system. Certain actions had action point values that you added to your initiative roll to determine when your next action was along the track. Movement was usually considered to be part of the action if you wanted it - you determined where you were moving to when you declared your action. How far you could move was determined by how long your total initiative roll was (something like 1" per X initiative clicks based on the character's movement.)

The system, combined with my Armor Value rules, rules for bypassing AV on critical hits and different types of armors having different critical hit ranges with potentially different AV scores for the critical hit ranges, made things pretty complicated looking back. But I don't have memories of it slowing us down any more than usual...

The thing about this kind of system, though, it is really encourages the "one roll = one swing" mentality which D&D combat is NOT meant to represent (mostly). There's supposed to be all sorts of shuffling around, feinting and non-important attacks going on during your combat action.
 

Couldn't you achieve the same feel bet with smoother gameplay with phase-based initiative? Casting Phase, Movement Phase, Consumable Phase, Melee Phase, Spell Phase, etc etc. You could even shrink it to something like Killteam with Initiative Phase -> Tactics Phase -> Action Phase -> End Round.

I think if you're assigning initiatives to different things, you need to have categories anyway because otherwise there are thousands of possible different actions that can take place on different initiatives or have different "weight." And if you make categories for different weights, you've created Phase Initiative but with numbers instead of names. If you're adding numbers to initiative instead, you've created a more time-intensive Phase Initiative too, so either way you end up with a Phase model.
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
Couldn't you achieve the same feel bet with smoother gameplay with phase-based initiative? Casting Phase, Movement Phase, Consumable Phase, Melee Phase, Spell Phase, etc etc. You could even shrink it to something like Killteam with Initiative Phase -> Tactics Phase -> Action Phase -> End Round.

I think if you're assigning initiatives to different things, you need to have categories anyway because otherwise there are thousands of possible different actions that can take place on different initiatives or have different "weight." And if you make categories for different weights, you've created Phase Initiative but with numbers instead of names. If you're adding numbers to initiative instead, you've created a more time-intensive Phase Initiative too, so either way you end up with a Phase model.
I don't think so? I want order to be a direct result of action, and I want some chaos.
 


Reynard

Legend
Supporter
Is speed of play a concern of yours? That'll change what kind of idea I try to think up.
I mean, not really if it is at least within reason. That is, I think there is a certain level of acceptable trade off between speed and the other stuff you are looking for. But also remember that all systems speed up with proficiency.
 

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