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5E The "Bonus" Turn for high Initiative

dnd4vr

Adventurer
You are very welcomed.

If you want something different and wild, you should look into the Troika! initiative system :)
Interesting. I like the concept, but the use of cards or tokens would slow things down too much IMO. I wonder if I can work something into this with a simple die roll...?
 

Li Shenron

Adventurer
Open for discussion: is this a decent idea? too much/OP? I am toying with it for now, and would like some constructive feedback (please not just "this is a bad idea"--tell me why! :) ).
So if you roll 20+ initiative and also win surprise, do you get 3 full turns before the surprised enemies? :eek:
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
So if you roll 20+ initiative and also win surprise, do you get 3 full turns before the surprised enemies? :eek:
I suppose, depending on how you play and work with surprise, if you rolled really well and had a huge bonus. Say you have a +10, rolling an 18. So you are going on 28 and 8. If your enemy rolled below 8, say a 6, you would go 28, 8, 6 (surprised), new round, 8, 6.

How we do surprise, however, is you miss the first round, but are then no longer surprised once your first turn comes. You don't get to act on that turn, but after it you can act normally (take reactions, act on your next turn, etc.).

So, for us anyway, you would get to act on 28 and 8 with the target surprised, but once the target's turn on 6 passes, they are no longer surprised and can act. Thus, when you go again on 8 in the second round, there is no longer surprise.

For something like Assassinate, both 28 and 8 would be against surprised targets. But on the second round, the target is no longer surprised. You would still get advantage since the target hadn't acted yet (unless they used a reaction), but no critical necessarily.
 

coolAlias

Explorer
Because it's cyclic, everybody is going first or last, depending where you place your arbitrary 'starting' point. In the first round that's at the start of the fight, but thereafter it makes no difference. No spoke on a bicycle is first or last.
Yes, it's cyclic, but as soon as someone goes down they are no longer in the cycle, so if they didn't get to go yet, they've effectively lost a turn, no matter which round it is.

Going first prevents you from ever losing a turn in that manner, that's all I'm saying.
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
Yes, it's cyclic, but as soon as someone goes down they are no longer in the cycle, so if they didn't get to go yet, they've effectively lost a turn, no matter which round it is.

Going first prevents you from ever losing a turn in that manner, that's all I'm saying.
Well, it prevents you from not acting in the first round. That's it. After that, it is pointless. Seems like not that much for someone who invests a lot in Initiative.
 

coolAlias

Explorer
I suppose, depending on how you play and work with surprise, if you rolled really well and had a huge bonus. Say you have a +10, rolling an 18. So you are going on 28 and 8. If your enemy rolled below 8, say a 6, you would go 28, 8, 6 (surprised), new round, 8, 6.

How we do surprise, however, is you miss the first round, but are then no longer surprised once your first turn comes. You don't get to act on that turn, but after it you can act normally (take reactions, act on your next turn, etc.).

So, for us anyway, you would get to act on 28 and 8 with the target surprised, but once the target's turn on 6 passes, they are no longer surprised and can act. Thus, when you go again on 8 in the second round, there is no longer surprise.

For something like Assassinate, both 28 and 8 would be against surprised targets. But on the second round, the target is no longer surprised. You would still get advantage since the target hadn't acted yet (unless they used a reaction), but no critical necessarily.
Running 5e surprise by the book, nice!

In your example, would you allow the assassin to Assassinate the same target twice (w/Sneak Attack both times)?
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
Running 5e surprise by the book, nice!

In your example, would you allow the assassin to Assassinate the same target twice (w/Sneak Attack both times)?
Sure, on 28 and 8. Like I said in the OP, I know certain features could be subject to abuse by this depending on your point of view. Of course, this is why I wanted feedback from others.
 

coolAlias

Explorer
Well, it prevents you from not acting in the first round. That's it. After that, it is pointless. Seems like not that much for someone who invests a lot in Initiative.
If the examples by Fanaelialae (see below) are not convincing to you, then we'll just have to agree to disagree.
I really like the idea in Shadowrun myself, but 5e isn't designed like Shadowrun. In Shadowrun, boosted reflexes come at a hefty cost. You can pretty much build your concept around getting extra turns in combat.

You'd need a major redesign of 5e to allow the same in a balanced manner.

You're already getting an extra turn in 5e when you win initiative. Lets assume that the PCs will win the encounter (which is usually the case), that the combat will last 3 PC turns, and for simplicity that we are using group initiative.

1) PCs win initiative:
PCs - Enemy - End Turn 1 - PCs - Enemy - End Turn 2 - PCs - WIN!

2) Enemy wins initiative:
Enemy - PCs - End Turn 1 - Enemy - PCs - End Turn 2 - Enemy - PCs - WIN!

3) PCs win initiative (initiative > 20) in your proposed system:
PCs - Enemy - PCs - End Turn 1 - PCs - WIN!

4) Enemy wins initiative (initiative > 20) in your proposed system:
Enemy - PCs - Enemy - End Turn 1 - Enemy - PCs - End Turn 2 - Enemy - PCs - WIN!

In scenario 1, the enemy gets 2 turns during the encounter. In scenario 2, the enemy gets 3 turns.

In scenario 3, the enemy gets 1 turn. And in scenario 4, the enemy gets 4 turns.

As you can see by comparing scenarios 1 and 2 to 3 and 4, your system introduces a level of initiative contingent swinginess that 5e wasn't designed to handle.

That's not even considering the fact that in scenario 4 the enemy's actions are so front loaded that the PCs are likely to be forced to take a more defensive stance (damage mitigation) and therefore that encounter is likely to last even longer, and be deadlier.
 

doctorhook

Adventurer
And also, quick characters acting twice in round one might take out the BBEG-types before they get to act. It works both ways.
Yeah but characters sometimes take out the BBEG before they get a chance to act anyway, so I’m stoked for any suggestion that makes the PCs hurt.
 

Stalker0

Adventurer
My group regularly gets surprise due to a focus on stealth, so I can confidently say this.

There is no greater force multiplier in the game than an extra action before the enemy...none. Surprise turns difficult encounters into ones so trivial I might not have bothered creating them.

People say initiative is overrated, I say it’s under. Initiative is cyclic, but it’s not equal. Players that go early more often get more actions overall (because once the monsters die whoever is at the bottom doesn’t get an action), and more importantly...the early players get to take their action before the monsters get to throw down their whammies...which can be an incredible difference.

For a controlling type wizard, there is nothing stronger than going first, because it often means the monsters don’t go at all.

Initiative is strong, doesn’t need to be stronger
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
My group regularly gets surprise due to a focus on stealth, so I can confidently say this.

There is no greater force multiplier in the game than an extra action before the enemy...none. Surprise turns difficult encounters into ones so trivial I might not have bothered creating them.

People say initiative is overrated, I say it’s under. Initiative is cyclic, but it’s not equal. Players that go early more often get more actions overall (because once the monsters die whoever is at the bottom doesn’t get an action), and more importantly...the early players get to take their action before the monsters get to throw down their whammies...which can be an incredible difference.

For a controlling type wizard, there is nothing stronger than going first, because it often means the monsters don’t go at all.

Initiative is strong, doesn’t need to be stronger
Experiences differ and that's fine.

While Initiative can be good, other than features such as Assassinate, I don't see it begin a major factor. I have seen characters invested heavily in initiative and going first doesn't seem worth it.
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
So, for anyone interested I had a discussion with a former player today about this idea, and I realized it isn't as powerful as some people think. The only time it makes a difference is if the lowered initiative turn (initiative total - 20) is better than the target's total initiative.

Example:

I am going on 27 and then again on 7. You are going on 5. Result: I get an extra turn.
I am going on 27 and then again on 7. You are going on 15. Result: I don't get an extra turn.

Now, if you are wondering why I am not getting an extra turn in the second situation when you go on 15, I will tell you:

Because the sequence is 27, 15, 7, 15, 7, 15, 7, etc. I go-you go-I go-you go- and so on, compared to RAW:
27, 15, 27, 15, 27, 15, etc. = I go-you go-I go-you go- and so on. Nothing changes.

If you don't care, sorry you wasted your time reading this. If you do, well--there you go. :)
 
There is an advantage to acting before your opponents in ANY round. It's just not as great an advantage as it might seem unless the opponent can one-shot you. I think it'd be better for the game to have initiative randomized each round just to keep things lively and unpredictable. The advantage isn't great.
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
So, it's great to have a good initiative modifier, right? Well, I guess, at least for that first round... but after that, it is really inconsequential. With the RAW system of cyclical initiative, it is always "you go, they go, you go, they go..." and so on.

But, what about if a high modifier could actually give you an "extra" turn the first round? The idea is this:

You roll initiative as normal. If your total is above 20, you get to act again, gaining a complete extra turn, at 20 below your total. After this, you act on the 20 less total for the remainder of the encounter.

I think the idea is straight forward, but here is an example:

A: 24
B: 21
C: 19
D: 13
E: 2

A would get to act on 24 and again on 4. After the first round, A would have to decide to act on 24 or 4 for the rest of the combat. B would act on 21 and on 1, also having to decide to act on 21 or 1 for the remainder of the battle.

A-1: 24
B-1: 21
C: 19
D: 13
A-2: 4
E: 2
B-2: 1

Now, of course this would make certain features VERY good under the right conditions, and I get that. But it has been my experience with cyclical initiative that getting a good bonus isn't as important really unless your class features (such as assassinate) really depend on going first. But even then, you only benefit from those features once.

Open for discussion: is this a decent idea? too much/OP? I am toying with it for now, and would like some constructive feedback (please not just "this is a bad idea"--tell me why! :) ).
So with person A and person B this would go

A 21
B 10

A
B
A
B
A
B
A
B
A
...

I'm not seeing what's changed?
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
So with person A and person B this would go

A 21
B 10

A
B
A
B
A
B
A
B
A
...

I'm not seeing what's changed?
In this example, nothing. That is my point. But, someone with a good initiative modifier has a chance to get to act twice before someone with a poor modifier.

But in this example, A gets to act twice before 5.

A 27
B 5

A - 27
A - 7
B - 5
A - 7
B - 5
etc.
 

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