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Initiative System using a Seconds Tracker

plerps

Villager
I'm working on r/WyrdTales and have created an initiative system that I think works well for it. Essentially the initiative is tracked using a number line that counts down from ten to one. Common actions have a prescribed number of seconds they would take, but players can discuss with the GM actions not covered by the common action list to determine how many seconds they would take.This can be an added component or just a drawn number line.
What do people think about an initiative system like this?

Turn Order and Seconds
When the GM thinks it is important to know who acts first in a scene, the GM tells the players something along the lines of “The timing here is important.” This is always the case during combat, but timing can be important to the story at a variety of points. For example, if the PCs are trying to cross a rope bridge before another character cuts the ropes, it would be important to know who makes it across in time.

When timing is important, time is broken down into ten second increments by the Seconds Tracker below. The numbered space a character's token is on represents how many seconds that character has to act before the next ten seconds begin. Most of the time the GM will set the stage by placing a token for each character onto the ten space. However, the GM can place a character token lower on the Seconds Tracker if that character is delayed in the narrative. For example, if the PCs are attacking a goblin in the middle of that goblin’s meal, then that goblin probably didn’t react in the first second or two and the GM should place the goblin character token on the nine or eight space.

The GM picks a character on the highest numbered space to take the first turn. The GM should pick the character who in the narrative is starting the fight or is most ready. When a character completes an Action and is no longer on the highest numbered space, their turn ends. The character whose turn is ending chooses a character on the highest numbered space takes the next turn.
Once all characters are on the Next Ten Seconds space and the current turn ends, move all characters’ tokens to the ten space. Again, the character whose turn is ending chooses a character on the highest numbered space takes the next turn.

 

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pogre

Legend
There was an old skirmish game by GW called Inquisitor that had a somewhat similar initiative system. I remember enjoying it.

Have you created a cheat sheet for players outlining how much time each action takes?
 

GMMichael

Guide of Modos
Most of the time the GM will set the stage by placing a token for each character onto the ten space. However, the GM can place a character token lower on the Seconds Tracker if that character is delayed in the narrative.
This sounds like an invitation for players to argue with the GM. Especially if the GM decides that the opponents go before the PCs.

How does movement work? Going from point A to B takes time, so it would be strange to say, "your movement would take nine seconds, so you remain in place until the 9th second, at which point you appear at point B."

The character whose turn is ending chooses a character on the highest numbered space takes the next turn.
I need clarification on this sentence.
 

plerps

Villager
After playtesting this system a bit, I decided to scrap it. It adds a complexity to turn order that some players enjoyed, but I think I'd rather save that weight for other places in the game. Essentially, it doesn't really fit the feel I want the game to have.

@pogre there was a cheat sheet that detailed how many seconds each action took.

@GMMichael
The move action took two seconds. Without other modifiers a PC could move from one zone to an adjacent one when they took a move action.

When a player's turn ends they choose who goes next. They can only choose a character on the highest numbered occupied space.

Let me know if you have other questions about this playtest!
 

TarionzCousin

Second Most Angelic Devil Ever
Hackmaster 5E, their latest edition, lost the rights to AD&D. So they rebuilt the framework and use seconds as an initiative order.

I expect you could learn more about it in their free "Basic" rules here: Kenzer & Company
 

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