D&D 5E Why use initiative?

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
It is in the sense of allowing actions to be resolved one at a time for each participant instead of taking all your actions at once.

For example:

A moves
B moves
C casts
D attacks

A attacks
B attacks
C moves
D attacks again

instead of:

A moves and attacks (while B, C, and D are frozen)
B moves and attacks (A, C, and D are frozen)
C casts and moves (A, B, and D are frozen)
D attacks twice (A, B, and C are frozen)

RAW taking all your actions at once and then being frozen while every one else resolves theirs isn't very simulationist, but by allowing actions to be resolved one at a time all creatures are acting "more" at the same time, and not frozen (as long anyway).

It keeps players more engaged as well. No one is waiting around, looking at their cell phones, etc. because they know their next action is coming up soon. Tactics play a bigger role as well (we've added some things though to enhance this even more).
As you note, the freezes are still there, they are just in different places. Moving around the freezes isn't more simulationist. It's just moving around the freezes to different places.

*Note my focus is solely on calling it simulationist. Whatever other merits or issues it has aren't my focus.
 

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DND_Reborn

Legend
Moving around the freezes isn't more simulationist.
Breaking up the action (shortening the "freeze" time) and allowing each action to resolve and determine the next action is more simulationist because it allows you to create move vivid and realistic combat.

You might not see that (which is fine), but having used it for over a year now, it is.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
How do you have initiative die size vary depending on the declared Action then?
I personally don't. I don't think die size variation is the way to go as I said in my first post. Were I going to try and make a more realistic system, I'd just bring back weapon/spell speeds. Those can be quickly added to the number rolled once the action is declared, with a d6 rolled if movement is performed. Personally I wouldn't bother with the d6 myself.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
I personally don't. I don't think die size variation is the way to go as I said in my first post. Were I going to try and make a more realistic system, I'd just bring back weapon/spell speeds. Those can be quickly added to the number rolled once the action is declared, with a d6 rolled if movement is performed. Personally I wouldn't bother with the d6 myself.
Makes sense.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
You can kind of resolve this by replacing all instances of “until the start/end of your/the target’s next turn” with “one round” and defining “one round” as “until the current initiative count on the next round” (that is to say, if the effect started on count 3 of round 1, it ends on count 3 of round 2). That would insure that such durations always last for at least one of everyone’s turn. Though, it creates the new problem of some creatures having two turns occur within that duration, if they acted after it on the round it started and before it on the round where it ends.
Agreed, you can work around it. And I touched on this as half the solution that early editions used - the other half being most durations were for a longer time, so if it effects someone 4 or 5 times that's only +20%, vs. all of the single turn activations in 5e (both PC and monster) where it can turn a 1 into a 2 - +100% isn't really within a reasonable boundary.

Having it have the chance to affect each being on the combat exactly once, regardless of the new initiatives, seems both more paperwork and potentially gamist. "Well, your Shield spell was down for that last guy since he attacked you last round, but it's still up for this guy since he hadn't".

Again, this isn't a problem with variable initiative, just the intersection of that with 5e short streamlined durations.
 
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FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Breaking up the action (shortening the "freeze" time) and allowing each action to resolve and determine the next action is more simulationist because it allows you to create move vivid and realistic combat.
The reason I keep saying it isn't simulationist is because there's no attempt to simulate anything. Instead what happens is that the combats derived from your system feature more back and forth action - which I assume you find more appealing and possibly more realistic on some level. But, you still have PC's moving 30ft while everyone stands around doing nothing. You still have people drawing a bow and aiming and firing at stationary targets. There's nothing remotely simulationist about a system where things like this are common place.

What I will give you is that you've increased the back and forth action, which I believe is a huge bonus with such a system, not because it's more simulationist, or realistic or vivd, but because that sounds more fun. Though, I am a bit afraid of how much breaking everything up might slow the combat down - but maybe that impact ends up being minor.

You might not see that (which is fine), but having used it for over a year now, it is.
Have you ever had anything good come from essentially saying, "I'm right and you're wrong"?
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
But, you still have PC's moving 30ft while everyone stands around doing nothing. You still have people drawing a bow and aiming and firing at stationary targets. There's nothing remotely simulationist about a system where things like this are common place.
No, we don't have PCs moving while others stand around. If you declare you are moving, you begin moving and arrive on your next action. While you are moving, others are shooting, casting spells, etc. The system is more in depth than you know. Granted, I haven't presented the whole thing, so not knowing that I can understand any misunderstandings.

So, things like that aren't commonplace. We have casting times beyond just 1 action depending on spell level. So, a caster might spend 1 to 3 of their turns casting before the spell is finished.

What I will give you is that you've increased the back and forth action, which I believe is a huge bonus with such a system, not because it's more simulationist, or realistic or vivd, but because that sounds more fun. Though, I am a bit afraid of how much breaking everything up might slow the combat down - but maybe that impact ends up being minor.
Well, with initial declarations early on, and choosing your next action as you resolve the current action, and keeping everyone engaged and paying attention (so no recaps to "what is going on?") then it actually makes things a bit faster IME, but since we've never actually timed it, I can't say for certain.

Have you ever had anything good come from essentially saying, "I'm right and you're wrong"?
LOL, it has gotten people to stop trying to make the same point again and again when they haven't tried it?

Seriously, though, I get your point, which I think is more it isn't truly simultaneous, but no system really can be because you have to have things broken into discrete units. However, to say it isn't more simulationist than RAW 5E is simply wrong. 5E doesn't model real combat at all IMO in keeping turns absolutely discrete (A goes, then B, then C, etc.) regardless of how much you try to imagine it is all "happening at the same time". By breaking up the actions creatures can take, we are "more simulationist" than 5E. Is it perfect? No, of course not, because IME that isn't possible, but it is, in fact, "more" as I've claimed repeatedly.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
No, we don't have PCs moving while others stand around. If you declare you are moving, you begin moving and arrive on your next action. While you are moving, others are shooting, casting spells, etc. The system is more in depth than you know. Granted, I haven't presented the whole thing, so not knowing that I can understand any misunderstandings.
Your initial statements about your system didn't mention that there were other significant changes. When I first objected, still no reference was made to those other changes (like using declared actions you finally mention below). That's very frustrating.

So, things like that aren't commonplace. We have casting times beyond just 1 action depending on spell level. So, a caster might spend 1 to 3 of their turns casting before the spell is finished.


Well, with initial declarations early on, and choosing your next action as you resolve the current action, and keeping everyone engaged and paying attention (so no recaps to "what is going on?") then it actually makes things a bit faster IME, but since we've never actually timed it, I can't say for certain.

LOL, it has gotten people to stop trying to make the same point again and again when they haven't tried it?
In my experience, it usually leads to the other side just proclaiming back 'No! You are wrong, I am right'

Seriously, though, I get your point, which I think is more it isn't truly simultaneous, but no system really can be because you have to have things broken into discrete units. However, to say it isn't more simulationist than RAW 5E is simply wrong. 5E doesn't model real combat at all IMO in keeping turns absolutely discrete (A goes, then B, then C, etc.) regardless of how much you try to imagine it is all "happening at the same time". By breaking up the actions creatures can take, we are "more simulationist" than 5E. Is it perfect? No, of course not, because IME that isn't possible, but it is, in fact, "more" as I've claimed repeatedly.
It's not about it being non-simultaneous. It's about whether we are simulating simultaneity. For example, when the intention of the orc and the fighter is to charge each other and attack, do the mechanics allow them to 'meet in the middle'? That would be an example of mechanics simulating simultaneity - even though the mechanics are structured in a turn-based system.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
Your initial statements about your system didn't mention that there were other significant changes. When I first objected, still no reference was made to those other changes (like using declared actions you finally mention below). That's very frustrating.
Well, I don't expect to have to lay out the entirety of our house-rules/system, when I was simply expressing to the OP that changes to the RAW initiative system can make for a more involved and fun system of combat, which certainly is more simulationist than RAW.

For example, when the intention of the orc and the fighter is to charge each other and attack, do the mechanics allow them to 'meet in the middle'?
Depending on the encounter, it certainly can happen. If the distance between them is less than each of their speeds, they will meet and have speed remaining.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Well, I don't expect to have to lay out the entirety of our house-rules/system, when I was simply expressing to the OP that changes to the RAW initiative system can make for a more involved and fun system of combat, which certainly is more simulationist than RAW.
Based on your admittedly incomplete depiction of your system, I've seen nothing that suggests it's more simulationist than RAW.

If you want to actually lay out what it's simulating that RAW isn't I'm all ears. But repeatedly asserting that it does so isn't going to get us anywhere. If you don't want to actually discuss your system then feel free not to. If you don't want to provide details about it then feel free not to. Just please don't keep repeatedly saying 'you are wrong about it' without actually being willing to discuss and provide additional information about it. I only comment on the details of your system that you have currently provided to us.

Depending on the encounter, it certainly can happen. If the distance between them is less than each of their speeds, they will meet and have speed remaining.
I don't even know if you understand what I meant by 'meets in the middle'. What I mean by 'meets in the middle' is: if the Fighter says he wants to move to the Orc and the Orc says he wants to move to the fighter and the fighter's initiative roll is lower, does the orc then move to the fighters location, does the fighter move to the orcs location, or does the orc and fighter meet somewhere in the middle?
 

Initiative is definitely a pro/con game. Run it as @Scruffy nerf herder suggests, and you add time to combat. Not a big deal at really low levels, but definitely a larger deal at higher levels if you want the game to run at a specific pace. Same is true for initiative rolls for each character and NPC and opponent versus group initiatives. And same is true for initiative each round versus one initiative per combat.

But the OP's suggestion is a neat take on initiative. And while for most, adding another rule to remember is no big deal, I can see it affecting some players negatively.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
If you want to actually lay out what it's simulating that RAW isn't I'm all ears. But repeatedly asserting that it does so isn't going to get us anywhere. If you don't want to actually discuss your system then feel free not to. If you don't want to provide details about it then feel free not to. Just please don't keep repeatedly saying 'you are wrong about it' without actually being willing to discuss and provide additional information about it. I only comment on the details of your system that you have currently provided to us.
Frankly, at this point, no I really don't. I'm tired of this exchange. The point to the OP still stands without further justification or details needed. If you fail to see that, such is life.

But since you asked, a final answer to your question:
does the orc and fighter meet somewhere in the middle?
Yes.
 


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