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Stuart
Australia
Brisbane
Queensland
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Hi folks. At the risk of boring you all with another variant for this series of games, I just thought I'd share a variant initiative rule I recently came up with and will be testing this weekend.

Basically, it's:

- At the start of the game, each player rolls a d20 to determine their Hero's initiative score. Write this score down.

- When a monster is added to the board, the active player rolls a d20 to determine the initiative of the monster.

- The player with the lowest initiative score that still beats the monster's initiative takes control of the monster.

- If the monster was placed on the board as part of exploration/laying a tile, and the tile has a black arrow, the monster surprises the Heroes and gets an attack straight away. It will also get its normal attack.

Basically, the thinking behind it is that the entire Adventure is essentially one big melee - it's pretty rare for there to be no creatures on the board. So you just roll initiative once at the start. Now, in D&D, you don't reroll initiative every time a new monster enters a combat. The DM rolls initiative for the monster and slots it into the combat order according to its score. So that's what we have here when a new monster is added to the board, with the active player taking on the role of the DM.

Obviously, the Heroes getting a chance to kill monsters before they act is a bit unbalancing. So adding a "surprise round" (also from D&D) where a monster gets to go straight away (like it would in the normal rules) if the tile has a black arrow, and then ALSO gets its usual turn, should balance it out.

Anyway, I'll see how it goes this weekend!

 
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Won't every player end up with an initiative of 20 as a result of the rule that players receive the initiative of the monster if it has a higher initiative score than the players'?

Anyway, it sure sounds interesting, let us know how it works out!
 
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Chris Lawson
United Kingdom
Yateley
Hampshire
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Lan_Mandragoran wrote:
Won't every player end up with an initiative of 20 as a result of the rule that players receive the initiative of the monster if it has a higher initiative score than the players'?

It appears you have misunderstood something. I'm not sure exactly what but whatever you think the variant might say, it doesn't

Nowhere in the description does Stuart (Kurzon) say that a player receives the initiative of the monster.

Maybe it was this that confused you?
"The player with the lowest initiative score that still beats the monster's initiative takes control of the monster."

The player is taking control of the monster, not the initiative that the monster rolled.
 
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You're right - I failed to read it correctly!
 
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Sir Bartheus
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Wouldn't that lead to "clumping" of the monsters on one player? Consider a case with three heroes with initiative rolls of 18 (hero A), 5 (hero B) and 4 (hero C). Now statistically Hero B would only get 5 % of the monsters (monster initiative of 5), assuming that ties are given to the heroes. Hero A would get control of monsters with initiative roll of 6...18, which is 65 % of all the monsters. Hero C gets 20 % (monster rolls 1...4).

The proposed rule does not specify what happens when all the heroes lose initiative, which explains why the numbers don't add up to 100 %.

This clumping causes a problem with the rule that one hero may only control one instance of a specific monster. And either you will have to discard a lot of monster cards due to being duplicates or if that rule is waived then the duplicate monsters will get a huge number of actions between hero turns.
 
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Luke Jacobs
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Kurzon wrote:
Hi folks. At the risk of boring you all with another variant for this series of games, I just thought I'd share a variant initiative rule I recently came up with and will be testing this weekend.


Variants are awesome. I am not bored.

My thoughts on what you've proposed so far. It's not very different in some ways from the rules as written.

For instance, with 3 heroes(because turn order is fixed, like initiative). The first player has the highest initiative, the third the lowest and the second in the middle somewhere.

When a new monster is drawn, its place in the initiative order goes after the controlling player and after all the monsters which came before it.

So with that in mind:


Kurzon wrote:

- At the start of the game, each player rolls a d20 to determine their Hero's initiative score. Write this score down.


I think this is cool and will be easier to implement if removing the "control" mechanic.

Kurzon wrote:

- When a monster is added to the board, the active player rolls a d20 to determine the initiative of the monster.

- The player with the lowest initiative score that still beats the monster's initiative takes control of the monster.


I agree with the other poster, this current system could lead to monster clumping in some cases where the heroes all have high initiative scores.

Suggestion:

Think of your initiative order in terms of X+1 brackets, with the heroes as buffers between those brackets. X = the number of heroes.

so with 3 heroes, Initiative order looks like this:
1) Monsters with higher initiative scores than player 1
2) Player 1
3) Monsters with Init scores <= Player 1
4) Player 2
5) Monsters with Init scores <= Player 2
6) Player 3
7) Monsters with Init scores <= Player 3

I'd suggest then that instead of rolling init for your heroes, you give them a static order based on player order.

Perhaps, Player 1 has Init 18, player 2 14, player 3 10,...,

To avoid the clumping issue described in the above post, if a monster drawn would be placed in a bracket already containing a copy of that monster, move it down to the next bracket. If already at the lowest, wrap around to the top of the list. (yes that means sometimes a monster could roll a 1, but still wrap around to the top. It's better than continually discarding monster cards.)

I think that might get you the effect more cleanly.

With monsters that read, "then pass this card to the player on your left.), instead move them up to top of the next bracket. Once they hit the highest bracket, just leave them there.

That should keep their design intent intact.

For a little more fun, add a "Refocus" action, which takes the monster from the bottom of the bracket above the current player, and moves it one below the current player.(skip that monster's turn this time so it doesn't go twice.) Now you can play with initiative order without needing to keep track of numbers.


Kurzon wrote:

- If the monster was placed on the board as part of exploration/laying a tile, and the tile has a black arrow, the monster surprises the Heroes and gets an attack straight away. It will also get its normal attack.


I like this.

Kurzon wrote:

Anyway, I'll see how it goes this weekend!


Looking forward to hearing about it.
 
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