I Do Declare! Do you? (POLL)

Does your table use a declaration phase?

  • Our table declares actions before each round begins.

    Votes: 5 4.7%
  • Our table didn't before, but now we do declare actions.

    Votes: 2 1.9%
  • Our table declared actions before, but now we don't.

    Votes: 4 3.7%
  • Our table never declares actions until your turn comes.

    Votes: 96 89.7%

  • Total voters
    107

Myzzrym

Explorer
Not necessarily, it's just different ways of playing the game.

I just like the "snapshot in time" every round, everyone declares at that moment what their intention is, poof resume action, time freezes again, everyone declares, etc etc. In my experience it allows me (as a DM) to describe the round as a whole.

The other way of seeing it is considering that everything happens sequentially, and you do descriptions in between each PC / Monster decision. I don't think there's anything wrong with either.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
Did wind up voting for "used to but not now" cuz we have played systems with declare and resolve as separate stages.
 

Sword of Spirit

Adventurer
The general assumption with cyclical initiative is that everything is taking place at about the same time. We just represent it sequentially for ease of play. Nobody actually thinks it means everyone is waiting around for their turn. However, it is true that it isn’t really easy to imagine things happening simultaneously. Mostly you don’t think about it. I think declaration stages can reduce that issue, but honestly it’s only a matter of degree—the game still stops for everyone to resolve their actions individually.
 

ParanoydStyle

Peace Among Worlds
Should have an "only in Shadowrun" option, since I think that is the only game where I have used "declare actions in reverse initiative order then resolve actions in initiative order as declared" and I'm sure it's the only game I've played that asked me to.
 
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5ekyu

Adventurer
The general assumption with cyclical initiative is that everything is taking place at about the same time. We just represent it sequentially for ease of play. Nobody actually thinks it means everyone is waiting around for their turn. However, it is true that it isn’t really easy to imagine things happening simultaneously. Mostly you don’t think about it. I think declaration stages can reduce that issue, but honestly it’s only a matter of degree—the game still stops for everyone to resolve their actions individually.
Actually, most of the gsmes i played in had a different set of assumptions.

Rather than "all simultaneous" or the notion of "standing around" the assumption is that characters are always active, doing stuff, ducking, looking, etc - looking for the opening to get time to do what you need. .

The "initiative order" is simply when your opening occurs.

Thats sort of why you get AO, the enemy is exposing themselves, letting a shot thru that they would have avoided otherwise. So, there are plenty of swings, partial casts, etc that are off-camera all the time but the opening comes (is forced) and you take your shot.

This assumption then avoids the conflict between a model of simultaneous vs sequential since it supports sequential all the way.

For some, the "clock" of "six seconds" might seem tight but if so just assume 12 seconds and adjust the perception. Or just accept things happen fast in a world of magic and dragons.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
I like declaration but my current players hate it. The thought of somehow losing an action is apparantly the most henious thing that can ever happen at the table, at least according to the reaction I got from them when we tried a couple of alternatives.
When you get one action every 15-20 minutes because of the speed of combat, then losing an action is the most heinous thing. It's long stretches of boredom, which is the most critical lose condition of any game.
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
When you get one action every 15-20 minutes because of the speed of combat, then losing an action is the most heinous thing. It's long stretches of boredom, which is the most critical lose condition of any game.
Having seen some people post about losing actions because of the situation changed after declarations, I have to say that over 25 years of playing D&D using declarations this has never happened in any group I have played it--EVER.

I suppose it depends on how rigid and detailed your declarations have to be and the table you are at...
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
Having seen some people post about losing actions because of the situation changed after declarations, I have to say that over 25 years of playing D&D using declarations this has never happened in any group I have played it--EVER.

I suppose it depends on how rigid and detailed your declarations have to be and the table you are at...
Agreed to a point. Even something generic like "I'm going to move and attack a goblin" can be pretty loose when there's lots of goblins, but restraining when there is only one and monsters of other types. Yet once you get to the non-rigidness of "I'm going to move if needed and attack a foe", you've diluted it down to the point that there is little reason to declare.

Back in AD&D when we declared I have seen characters lose actions. Enough that I played more ranged characters (archers or casters) who were less likely to do so until the DM house ruled re-purposing missed actions at the end of initiative.

But I do agree with your basic intent - if you are going to be declaring, allow and encourage general instead of highly specific declarations to avoid lost actions which lead to having players bored for long stretches of time.
 
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