D&D General Players who take Excruciatingly long turns: solution?

payn

Legend
Ok, a twenty four rounds combat took us a bit less under two hours. A six round combat usually takes around 15 to 20 minutes sometimes less.
Edit: And we roll initiative every single round. Does it mean that you roll only once per combat?????
Rolling every round sounds like a headache but VTT makes it pretty easy if you want to do it. Though, I dont think its a popular method.
 

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Mort

Legend
Supporter
Ok, a twenty four rounds combat took us a bit less under two hours. A six round combat usually takes around 15 to 20 minutes sometimes less.
Edit: And we roll initiative every single round. Does it mean that you roll only once per combat?????

Sounds like a perfect opportunity to test out the Harengon fighter (ambush maneuver)/bard/gloomstalker/wizard (warmage) with the alert feat and a weapon of warning!
 

Reynard

Legend
Ok, a twenty four rounds combat took us a bit less under two hours. A six round combat usually takes around 15 to 20 minutes sometimes less.
Edit: And we roll initiative every single round. Does it mean that you roll only once per combat?????
Once at the beginning of combat has been the standard since 3E. What version/edition are you playing?
 



Once at the beginning of combat has been the standard since 3E. What version/edition are you playing?
5ed what else? :)
This has been something players has been advocating for in my games. They want to roll every round... So we use side initiative since... 1ed? BECMI? Honnestly, I have been doing this for so long that changing it would be pointless. This is what my players want, on this who am I to downgrade their pleasure?
 

Sounds like a perfect opportunity to test out the Harengon fighter (ambush maneuver)/bard/gloomstalker/wizard (warmage) with the alert feat and a weapon of warning!
Side initiative pretty much neuter initiative rolls. You would be first in your turn. But you would not affect the initiative roll. Only the pure die is used in side initiative.

Edit: Unless, if some reason, you had been separated from your party. Then all initiative modifiers would apply as per the rules. Of course.
 

The glib answer to 'how did you solve similar issues' is 'our high-level 3e campaign ground to a miserable halt due to system-breaking maths and option overload and we didn't start playing again until 5e and covid lockdowns came along'

More seriously, one thing that's occasionally worked for me in this sort of situation is to send out a group email asking everyone for ideas and feedback on how the game could be improved or made more fun. This makes it less likely that the slower players will think that it's all just you picking on them, and they get the chance to discuss how the game is working for them too. If your faster players (and you) talk about combat speed being an issue, then you can ask the entire group for ideas about how to speed it up. And this includes your slower players, because maybe they're finding it frustrating as well.

Basically, make it a collaborative effort to improve the game for everyone, not just the DM imposing rules that certain players might feel disproportionately targeted by.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Ok, a twenty four rounds combat took us a bit less under two hours. A six round combat usually takes around 15 to 20 minutes sometimes less.
Edit: And we roll initiative every single round. Does it mean that you roll only once per combat?????
That’s been the standard since at least 3e.
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Once at the beginning of combat has been the standard since 3E.
Which has always struck me as poor; it makes combat far too predictable and robotic and removes a lot of the fog-of-war unpredictability and chaos. It becomes far too easy to meta-play your character's actions based on the ongoing turn order. Bleah. :)

Not 3e's best idea.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Which has always struck me as poor; it makes combat far too predictable and robotic and removes a lot of the fog-of-war unpredictability and chaos. It becomes far too easy to meta-play your character's actions based on the ongoing turn order. Bleah. :)
I think that was intentional. More predictable turn order makes for more sytematic combat, which seems consistent with 3e’s design approach. Systematizing was kind of the watchword of the edition.
Not 3e's best idea.
Depends on what your goals are. I think it was a very good idea for what WotC was aiming to do with 3e.
 

Haiku Elvis

Adventurer
More seriously, one thing that's occasionally worked for me in this sort of situation is to send out a group email asking everyone for ideas and feedback on how the game could be improved or made more fun. This makes it less likely that the slower players will think that it's all just you picking on them, and they get the chance to discuss how the game is working for them too. If your faster players (and you) talk about combat speed being an issue, then you can ask the entire group for ideas about how to speed it up. And this includes your slower players, because maybe they're finding it frustrating as well.

Basically, make it a collaborative effort to improve the game for everyone, not just the DM imposing rules that certain players might feel disproportionately targeted by.
This what I was going to say it lets you get more information from your players, including if there are issues causing the players to be slow so you can address the root cause not just a symptom (if applicable) And can let you pre-emptive spot and address any other niggles before they become bigger problems, and lets you address the bigger issues under cover of lets try mixing it up.
It also avoids the situation where you are basically saying
"hey guys I'm talking about this problem like it's the whole group but obviously we know it's really Steve that's the issue. No don't look at Steve, we're keeping the pretense up here people.
Nobody...look... at...Steve."
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I think that was intentional. More predictable turn order makes for more sytematic combat, which seems consistent with 3e’s design approach. Systematizing was kind of the watchword of the edition.

Depends on what your goals are. I think it was a very good idea for what WotC was aiming to do with 3e.
Perhaps; but that doesn't explain carrying it forward into 4e, and then 5e.
 

IF it was to speed up combat, that failed miserably.
We roll for each and every rounds of combat and from what I get, people are complaining that combat takes forever.
Side initiative do not slow combat, it make it faster and since it is always one d20, It is very fast. It also has the advantage of making dexterity less of an uber stat.

But the real trick to speed up combat, is to put a hard limit on the turn of the players.
 

This does not seem like a good solution for anyone. It's not as if my players don't enjoy the tactical aspects of the game, they just aren't quick about it.
A way to help go faster I observe is to take time to describe and emphasis actions of our PCs. It may look silly but describing and speaking use others skills relying more on imagination and emotion, that are more quicker than reflexive skills.
Dense reflexion is usually slow, and shift toward emotion and intuition usulaly speed up things.
 

Reynard

Legend
Which has always struck me as poor; it makes combat far too predictable and robotic and removes a lot of the fog-of-war unpredictability and chaos. It becomes far too easy to meta-play your character's actions based on the ongoing turn order. Bleah. :)

Not 3e's best idea.
I play a lot of Savage Worlds too and the changing initiative does add to the tension and (good) chaos of the fight. I really should give variable initiative in 5e a try and see if it works well. My one worry is that it will play hell with "until turn" effects.
 

We're playing changing initiative in our current 5e game. I'd never do it on tabletop - rerolling and rewriting the initiative table every damn round for an entire party and potentially a couple of dozen enemies/allies is just too slow and painful. But we play using FG and there's a plugin that does it automatically.

It's ... interesting. It does remove a degree of tactical thinking (or possible metagaming, depending on your point of view) since if you're later in the initiative order you can't always have your turn in the knowledge of who will have their turns next and in which order. And as @Reynard says, sometimes it means that your 'until start/end of your next turn' effects will only last a couple of initiative ticks (though equally often they'll last nearly two full rounds, so swings and roundabouts)

On the whole, I kinda like it. It makes combat feel a little bit more chaotic and risky, a little bit less of an optimisation problem to be solved.
 
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billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
Perhaps; but that doesn't explain carrying it forward into 4e, and then 5e.
Rules around durations for all 3 WotC editions are built around cyclical initiative. They're far more standardized in their effects on targets than they ever were under editions with initiative rolled every round.
 

payn

Legend
We're playing changing initiative in our current 5e game. I'd never do it on tabletop - rerolling and rewriting the initiative table every damn round for an entire party and potentially a couple of dozen enemies/allies is just too slow and painful. But we play using FG and there's a plugin that does it automatically.

It's ... interesting. It does remove a degree of tactical thinking (or possible metagaming, depending on your point of view) since if you're later in the initiative order you can't always have your turn in the knowledge of who will have their rounds next. And as @Reynard says, sometimes it means that your 'until start/end of your next turn' effects will only last a couple of initiative ticks (though equally often they'll last nearly two full rounds, so swings and roundabouts)

On the whole, I kinda like it. It makes combat feel a little bit more chaotic and risky, a little bit less of an optimisation problem to be solved.
Using VTT is the only way Id adopt it.
 

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