Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
5 Posts

Shadows of Brimstone: City of the Ancients» Forums » Variants

Subject: An Initiative System I'm Testing rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
R.P. Kraul
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mb
Here is a new system I'm going to be testing. I think the problem with initiative is that it rarely if ever changes, which means that players take comfort in not having to adjust. A hero with high initiative typically goes first, which means he is going to have first crack at collecting XP, and this, over the long term, produces repetitive fights. I'm not comfortable just adding a die roll to initiative, as this can produce mercurial results. Instead, I'm using an AH-style system where 5s and 6s are successes. I've done some initial testing with the system below, and it tends to produce more subtle changes and yields some additional options and perils. How it plays over an entire mine, we shall see.

Rolling for Initiative
At the start of each fight, all hero and monster groups roll for initiative. Any new monster groups that join the fight later will roll for initiative and situate themselves within the current rankings. This can be marked with either an initiative track or counter tokens. For monsters, you obviously have to roll for initiative before placing them.

1. Heroes and Monsters roll a number of dice equal to their initiative.

2. Each roll of five or six counts as a success. Add up the number of successes. This is the monster’s or hero's effective initiative for the fight.

3. For heroes only, each six counts as an ambush success. Add up the number of sixes. This is the hero’s effective initiative against ambush monsters.

Note: it is necessary to track both effective initiative against normal and ambush monsters, because additional enemy groups can enter the fight at any time.

4. Rank all heroes and monsters according to their effective initiative, prioritizing as follows:

• Monsters win all ties
• Against ambush monsters, heroes count only 6 as a success
• When monsters tie, priority goes to the monster with the highest natural initiative, and if this still results in a tie, monsters act simultaneously
• When heroes tie, priority goes to the hero with the highest natural initiative, and if still tied, players choose the priority
• When a new monsters joins the fight, it rolls for initiative to see where it ranks within that fight
• Ambush monsters do not get two additional dice for initiative. Instead, they handicap heroes, who only count a 6 as a success. They do, however, get an initiative benefit of +2 when resolving ties against other monsters

5. A hero may use grit to reroll initiative

In addition, heroes have an option, and monsters a circumstantial benefit:

• A hero may decide to not roll initiative—he would have an initiative of 0 for the fight—in order to add one to range, melee, or defense for the duration of the fight
• A monster or monster group that rolls 0 for effective initiative gains an additional attack die for the duration of the fight
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Griffin
United States
Marietta
Georgia
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This sounds complicated to implement, but if you and your players want to take the effort I don't see anything wrong with it. For Solitaire play it's way too much trouble for limited advantage (at least for me).

Also, with my history of rolling badly at inopportune times, I'm not eager to add any new die rolls for me to mess up! It's way Mage Knight appeals to me -- there are very few dice rolls for me to roll 1 on.cry
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ben Turner
Australia
Melbourne
VIC
flag msg tools
From the dark depths of the ancient ocean, a kindly cetacean spirit with a penchant for board games and dumb made up bios
badge
I like themes. I like stories. I like plastic. I like brutal co-ops. I am kickstarter's whipping boy. Come game with me!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yeah, some variation on initiative always felt like a nice thing to have; but if there's one more thing this game doesn't need it's MORE dice rolls, so can't say this would ever catch on. The "add a d4 in the existing initiative" variant is slightly less chaotic but much quicker.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel U. Thibault
Canada
Québec
Québec
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Here's a similar in spirit but completely different in implementation idea for an alternate initiative system.

Imagine a bag. Now put in that bag as many tokens representing each Hero or Monster as the Hero or Monster has initiative (Ambushing Monsters have higher initiative and therefore get more tokens). Once the Darkness has been Held Back, we draw a token from the bag. This indicates who goes. Once he/she/it is done, we draw again for the next one to go. If someone who (or something which) has already gone is drawn, put the token aside and draw again. Once the bag is empty, any Heroes or Monsters at initiative zero or less get to go.

Now, one obvious and significant problem with this system is that once a token has been drawn, all repeats of that token are duds and really ought to be removed from the bag. Maybe cards in a deck could be used instead: once a Hero/Monster is drawn, another player can go through the deck and remove the duplicate cards (and reshuffle) while the current initiative holder is going. Either way, you'd need a lot of tokens and/or cards (e.g. a Gunslinger with Init 10).

On the other hand, such a system would be real easy to implement using an app.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Griffin
United States
Marietta
Georgia
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
That is a LOT of rolling. It adds unpredictability and the game is already too unpredictable IMHO. Do it if you want to though.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls