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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Stycotl's Avatar

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    Default (3.5) new mechanic for figuring pbp initiative

    i created this mechanic in order to speed up pbp a bit. every group has unique challenges, and this certainly won't solve all of them. but i do think it will solve ONE of them at the least; my group's problem is a combination of waiting on players, and waiting on the dm (me) with his multitude of npcs in between all of the players.

    in a normal initiative setup, each player has to wait on the player before him (and sometimes the dm too). with my new idea, there should only be consistent waiting between *groups* of players, not individuals.

    but, i have tunnel vision, so tell me if you think that this will help or what i can change to make it better.


    Initiative––Aggressive Action

    Figure out the initiative order normally.

    If you have a higher initiative order than another individual, you receive a +1 swift bonus to AC, attacks, caster level checks, opposed ability or skill checks, saving throws, and saving throw DCs against that individual.

    If your initiative score is 10 point higher than the individual, your swift bonus to these rolls becomes +2, and for every further 10 points by which you beat the individual's initiative score, your swift bonus vs that foe is increased by another +1.

    Swift Bonuses: A swift bonus does not stack with itself. An individual loses any swift bonuses that it might have during any round in which it is flat-footed, stunned, or helpless.

    Once initiative order is figured, one party or the other takes its turn until all of its members capable of taking a turn have, and another party goes. The dm is the one that decides which party goes first in an encounter, though generally the party with the lowest initiative score goes last.

    Within a party though, whoever posts first acts first; initiative will not actually determine who goes first within a party.

    Effects that would normally terminate during or after your turn in a round terminate instead at the end of that specific round. Note that this may increase the duration of some effects by as much as almost an entire round.

    Delayed Actions: Individuals can delay actions indefinitely while it is still their party's turn without taking a subsequent initiative penalty. However, once the party's turn is over and the dm declares that it is another party's turn, delaying individuals have lost their turn for the round (though immediate actions, AoOs, etc still apply normally).

    Reading the thread and deciding that your character can't yet do anything and that you are going to wait for a few posts before making up your mind is the same as delaying an action; once you've read the thread, it is your turn. An individual that intends to delay needs to post this intention as soon as they decide on this course of action so as to make it clear to the others that they are not just absent from the computer (we don't want to have one individual delaying until the rest of the party acts while the others are delaying until he acts, and none of them are communicating their plans with each other).

    Readied actions: Readied actions can allow an individual to take an action during another party's turn without actually changing his or her initiative score if the predetermined events of the readied action take place. But if nothing happens, that individual has lost a turn for the round (again, barring immediate actions, etc).

    Specific Mechanic Fixes

    There will be certain feats, spells, etc that will need to be tweaked in order to work with this system. They will be added as they are brought up.

    ––white raven tactics: this maneuver still moves another creature's initiative count to your own -1. If the individual has already acted in the round, it can act again as if it hasn't acted. Immediately after the round in which this maneuver is used ends, that individual returns to its normal initiative count. If the individual hasn't acted yet during the round, that individual now acts permanently on your own initiative count -1, until it is again affected by an ability that changes its place in the initiative count.
    This makes WRT inherently more powerful, but it solves some of the problems that would otherwise come up trying to stick closer to the original intent.

    ***

    I think that this system could do a few things well. It would mitigate some of the tedious waiting periods commonly observed in play by play, as no one intrinsically has to wait on other team members in order to act; whoever comes first goes. The only waiting that should happen would be between parties, and the dm can simply end a party's turn if everyone has gone except for a lone slacker.

    But, this system also rewards an individual for high initiative rolls–more so in fact than the normal system (though it would be a simple matter to incorporate swift bonuses and high initiative effects into the normal system)–so that the initiative system does not become obsolete.

    "for pbp, i don't think that it [just lumping player characters in one group and npcs in another in the initiative order] works as well, and once we decide to "fix it" by allowing players to go in any order, it takes the oomph out of initiative. there would be no reason to ever take improved initiative if everyone goes in any order, even if it is just by team. that is primarily why i decided to look outside of the box to see in real life combat, why the aggressive initial momentum is so important.

    in rl, if your side of the battle has what we call in the marine corps, "violence of action," you crush the opposition more times than not. it is about momentum and overwhelming the enemy.

    ...if someone had a spell that granted them a +40 initiative, something obviously powerfully supernatural, then i think that they would deserve the +4 to rolls against their foes–they would be acting before the opposition even knew what was going on and they would steamroll right over them. (from further conversation a few posts down)."

    Last edited by Stycotl; 2010-10-01 at 11:36 AM.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: (3.5) new mechanic for figuring pbp initiative

    example

    player A rolls a 16 initiative, while npc B rolls a 12, and npc C rolls a 3. player A would receive a +1 aggressive bonus to most d20 rolls against npc B, and a +2 bonus against npc C.

    this post will contain other examples if needed.
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    Default Re: (3.5) new mechanic for figuring pbp initiative

    A problem is that you get a HUGE advantage to the party that wins initiative since they get ALL their actions before the other party gets ANY. This can lead to single round kills against what would normally be 2 round opponents that would normally get a few hits in.
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    Default Re: (3.5) new mechanic for figuring pbp initiative

    Here's an important consideration: the effects of initiative only have an effect during one round. After that, you're trading turn for turn, and it really doesn't matter who went first, so initiative is only the equivalent of one round's worth of action.

    What you're proposing lasts throughout an entire encounter.

    For example: with the barbarian that I play I chose to take the flaw -6 initiative, on the basis of his ability to withstand a lot of punishment. With this system, he'll suffer -1 to AC and attack throughout. That could potentially be HUGE, as opposed to only waiting to go last.

    What you might do instead would be a much larger bonus that only lasts one round, or some other more temporary thing.

    EDIT: here's another possibility, perhaps as part of the bonus system. Break it up into tiers.

    In the first round, those in the top third of each bracket get a full round's actions. Those in the middle get either a standard or move, and those in the bottom get nothing. After the first round, proceed normally.
    Last edited by Barbarian MD; 2009-07-28 at 09:27 PM.

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    Default Re: (3.5) new mechanic for figuring pbp initiative

    Quote Originally Posted by DracoDei View Post
    A problem is that you get a HUGE advantage to the party that wins initiative since they get ALL their actions before the other party gets ANY. This can lead to single round kills against what would normally be 2 round opponents that would normally get a few hits in.
    that can definitely be a problem in some encounters, and even as i have been considering this, i've thought that there would be some encounters that i would have to switch to the old system. one of those occasions would be an encounter that i knew or felt would be done in less than two rounds.

    however, like mhvaughan says below, this part only matters in the first round of initiative. after that, it is a cycle, and no matter who goes first and who goes last, the guy with the highest initiative ends up going after the guy with the lowest (starting a new round). for battles that last longer than one or two rounds, i think that to be a decent trade.

    Here's an important consideration: the effects of initiative only have an effect during one round. After that, you're trading turn for turn, and it really doesn't matter who went first, so initiative is only the equivalent of one round's worth of action.

    What you're proposing lasts throughout an entire encounter.
    that is true, but that doesn't make it inherently bad. in fact, having lingering effects from an ability that is otherwise hardly considered seems to be a good thing to me.

    For example: with the barbarian that I play I chose to take the flaw -6 initiative, on the basis of his ability to withstand a lot of punishment. With this system, he'll suffer -1 to AC and attack throughout. That could potentially be HUGE, as opposed to only waiting to go last.
    yes, but it is a flaw. granted, it is now more of a flaw than you had anticipated, but your character was arranged around the idea that this flaw wouldn't be that much of a hindrance, or in other words, that much of a flaw.

    it kind of fits the flavor too; kyrill is a monster that takes some time to build up inertia, and because of that the bad guys can take advantage of it. now when i give you guys the opportunity to buy off flaws, you'll be that much more appreciative (mildly tongue in cheek)!

    What you might do instead would be a much larger bonus that only lasts one round, or some other more temporary thing.
    that is a possibility, but i actually like the whole idea of initiative meaning more throughout combat.

    in fact, this isn't a viable option because of time, energy, confusion, and sanity constraints, but when i used to play ad&d 2nd ed on tabletop, we'd reroll initiative every round. it got tedious at times, but was well worth the extra time just for the extra importance that it gave having a high initiative modifier (nowadays, i can't even remember how to roll initiative in 2nd ed...).

    EDIT: here's another possibility, perhaps as part of the bonus system. Break it up into tiers.

    In the first round, those in the top third of each bracket get a full round's actions. Those in the middle get either a standard or move, and those in the bottom get nothing. After the first round, proceed normally.
    this becomes bogged down in what i don't like about surprise round mechanics though, and would actually (it seems like) conflict with surprise round mechanics, unless you wanted a normal surprise round, and then an initiative-tier action-round.

    ultimately, i don't think that there is a perfect answer to what i see as our problem. when we discussed it, it was mentioned that one of the things that would make pbp easier would be to allow the players to act out of order. this accomplishes that, but it does so in a way that keeps a high initiative as something to be desired.

    it also groups everyone, so that the characters all go together, and then the npcs all go together, or if for some reason i need to split npcs into two or more groups, or if i have two or more groups of player characters, they are all in their own groups, and all can coordinate better when they are up.

    all in all, this represents an average of a -1 penalty to characters that roll a low initiative. there will be times when it is a higher penalty, but a -1 is not that bad, especially when we are playing a level 11 gestalt game, and probably running through epic play.

    also, the "aggressive bonus" is just a temporary name. i had it "swift bonus" earlier, and liked that one more, but in some of the context that the phrases swift bonus and swift action come up, it seemed confusing.

    also, i will need number-crunching powergamers (you know who you are) to tell me what other spells and abilities will need to be tailored to fit into this system, because the only one i could think of off the top of my head was white raven tactics.
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    Default Re: (3.5) new mechanic for figuring pbp initiative

    The one I've been using is like this

    1. Players each roll for initiative
    2. DM rolls once with a bonus equal to the average of all the enemies initiative.
    3. Anyone that beats the enemy roll takes their turn
    4. Enemies take their turn
    5. All the players can take their turns in whatever order they want.
    6. Back to enemies and repeat ad nauseum


    The only time I don't use a combined initiative is if there is an especially strong enemy or unique enemy. They get their own initiative.

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    Default Re: (3.5) new mechanic for figuring pbp initiative

    I still maintain that this mechanic benefits ranged fighters and weapon finessers and penalizes heavy hitters to an unfair degree.

    Think about this:

    Ranged:
    Dump stat: Strength
    Important stat: Dexterity
    High Dex = high AC, high attack
    Low Str = low grapples, jump, climb, etc.

    Now add this mechanic, and they get an even HIGHER AC and attack bonus.

    Melee:
    Dump stat: Dex
    Important stat: Strength
    High Str = high attack. AC based on items.
    Low Dex = low MS/H/T/B (and note that Balance has been given a prominent position in this campaign as well).

    One could pump up Dex at the cost of an important stat, but it wouldn't improve AC due to the Max Dex of heavy armors anyway.

    Add this mechanic, and it cancels out the benefits of weapon focus, improved natural armor, and half-cancels improved grapple.

    Conclusion: High Dex builds already have these sorts of bonuses (AC and Attack), and this mechanic will reward them twice. On top of that, it rewards them in other ways as well, giving them a blanket 1 or 2 point bonus on EVERYTHING. That's the equivalent of numerous feats, all for choosing one class over another. It unbalances the classes.

    AND, because we're not getting WBL, this has the potential to be exacerbated still further at higher levels. My VoP monk's AC will only continue to go up as he gains more ability increases. My barbarian, on the other hand, is permanently locked into his current AC unless he can pay for bigger magical enchantments on his armor (his Dex is already maxed). However, we received only 200 gp for the jump from 10th to 11th level, instead of the 17,000 gp that we should have gotten.


    Other discussions:
    When I suggested acting out of order, I didn't mean initiative order. I just suggested that if Player A was up, and Player B was online, Player B could go ahead and post conditionally what they will do when it reaches their turn (much like I did in the previous encounter). This would allow posting to progress more quickly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    yes, but it is a flaw. granted, it is now more of a flaw than you had anticipated, but your character was arranged around the idea that this flaw wouldn't be that much of a hindrance, or in other words, that much of a flaw.
    It is a flaw, but it's a managable flaw. You'll note that because of this flaw, Kyrill only acted once during the encounter with the moon calves. In every encounter we have faced so far, our enemies have had the ability to shut him down through Will-based effects before he's been able to truly bring himself to bear in battle because of his low initiative.
    Last edited by Barbarian MD; 2009-07-29 at 02:16 AM.

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    Surgebinder in the Playground Moderator
     
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    Default Re: (3.5) new mechanic for figuring pbp initiative

    mhvaughan has a point, this does reward a focus on dexterity over strength a little much.

    If you keep this as is, Moment of Alacrity turns into a reusable unlimited stacking +2 to everything for the rest of the encounter, which I think is overpowered even with the need to regain the maneuver between uses.

    I like Limos' idea. It solves the core problem of having to wait for each player in turn with the DM interspersed multiple times through that, but keeps the nature of initiative's advantage the same as normal. After the first round it turns into the same players-in-any-order alternating with one-DM-post-for-all-enemies-at-once that is the chief benefit of your system for PbP, and the first round is a simple case of only the characters that beat the collective monster initiative get to act.
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    Default Re: (3.5) new mechanic for figuring pbp initiative

    i've used limo's system, and variations of it, for most of my gaming experience. in fact, usually that is what i use even in pbp. for tabletop, i think it works better than any system that i have used.

    for pbp, i don't think that it works as well, and once we decide to "fix it" by allowing players to go in any order, it takes the oomph out of initiative. there would be no reason to ever take improved initiative if everyone goes in any order, even if it is just by team. that is primarily why i decided to look outside of the box to see in real life combat, why the aggressive initial momentum is so important.

    in rl, if your side of the battle has what we call in the marine corps, "violence of action," you crush the opposition more times than not. it is about momentum and overwhelming the enemy.

    i need to include that reasoning in the op, i think...

    anyway, i figured that the best way to approach that would be a *minor* penalty. -1 per 10 points doesn't seem that hefty to me. toward that end, if someone had a spell that granted them a +40 initiative, something obviously powerfully supernatural, then i think that they would deserve the +4 to rolls against their foes–they would be acting before the opposition even knew what was going on and they would steamroll right over them.

    as for the idea that it favors dex more than str, i completely agree. but there are so many other mechanics that favor strength over dexterity that i don't feel it to be too bad a trade here. however, i had thought that in the interest of quelling whatever complaints i had, i might come up with a method by which a player could pick which ability score they added to initiative. intelligence, wisdom, and even to a degree, charisma or constitution i can figure pretty easily, but i couldn't come up with a reason why it would make sense fluffwise to add str to initiative.

    str: ?
    dex: duh.
    con: tenacity; ?
    int: logic; you are good at analyzing situations, and can pick up on clues that something is wrong...
    wis: intuitive; your wits and instinct keep you alive.
    cha: luck; your force of character is such that the universe favors you in certain ways.

    what i haven't figured out is if i do this, do i allow it to anyone, or do i make it a feat? precedent says make it a feat, and i am more inclined to do this, but i don't know for sure. if i did make it a feat, i could give it benefits on top of just switching the initiative modifier, because i hate those kind of feats. maybe at +11 bab, it gives you some other ability on top of the initiative modifier switch. or if we can think of enough benefits, i'll make it like an F&K feat, and at +1 bab, +6 bab, +11 bab, +16 bab, it will give different benefits.

    ok; now my wheels are spinning. this here is an idea; douglas and mhvaughan, help me come up with some possibilities and then i'll homebrew a feat to go along with this initiative mechanic that will make everyone happy (especially since in the campaign, we're going to be training in just these issues in no time...).
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    Default Re: (3.5) new mechanic for figuring pbp initiative

    Hmmm... Eeen-teresting idea. You realize that everyone will take this feat, right? Initiative will become more a thing of luck than anything else. What will make it interesting is when people select an ability focus that isn't their highest, in order to gain the benefit...

    I suppose each feat could be in two parts, since you hate "those kinds of feats." I'm just going to brainstorm and list everything I can think of.

    Strength: Something like the "Immovable Object" from "When an unstopable force..." Attacks crash over you like a wave over a rock.
    -the martial arts style that makes a monk totally immovable

    Dexterity: Swift response. It should be noted that this will be redundant unless you give some additional bonus to Initiative.
    -Speed bonus

    Constitution: Tenacity.
    -DR (stackable)
    -Die-Hard

    Intelligence: Logic bonus.
    -Analyzing weaknesses (improved criticals?)

    Wisdom: Intuitive.
    -Three words: 'Equilibrium' + 'Gun Kata'. Some kind of blindsense/fight.

    Charisma: Luck.
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    I'll come back and edit this periodically as I think of more options. Admittedly, a lot of these additional benefits could swing to a number of different abilities.

    It might be more fun if the additional benefits were role-play, instead of mechanic based, and players could come up with different benefits as the situation called for.
    Last edited by Barbarian MD; 2009-07-30 at 03:43 PM.

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    Default Re: (3.5) new mechanic for figuring pbp initiative

    Muscle speed is really a part of strength.

    Coordination dictates reaction times but so does the ability to start moving fast [people imagine giants as slow; this is likely at their end of the stick but their club will be moving a heck of a lot faster than a sword would be]

    Your proposed system would make more sense if it were possible to tear down your target's initiative but you've not tabled that idea so far. Perhaps a hit that deals more than 10 damage knocks you 5 points down the stack? Multiples stacking...

    I use a system where turns have a definate end and you can only make AoOs once you've acted. This has actually prompted more use of Bullrushing and such and my Bide action [Full action, +10 initiative] has become a fan favourite. That and you can't hold ready actions between turns. Combat Reflexes negates the limit on AoOs btw; suddenly a really attractive feat...

    Maybe you'd like that better?
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    Default Re: (3.5) new mechanic for figuring pbp initiative

    Quote Originally Posted by Mulletmanalive View Post
    Muscle speed is really a part of strength.
    that is true.

    Coordination dictates reaction times but so does the ability to start moving fast
    also true.

    [people imagine giants as slow; this is likely at their end of the stick but their club will be moving a heck of a lot faster than a sword would be]
    tangent.

    Your proposed system would make more sense if it were possible to tear down your target's initiative but you've not tabled that idea so far.
    meaning that you think it doesn't make sense until then?

    Perhaps a hit that deals more than 10 damage knocks you 5 points down the stack? Multiples stacking...
    this is definitely a cool idea, but this would be a feat or spell or something, not part of the mechanic to begin with.

    I use a system where turns have a definate end and you can only make AoOs once you've acted.
    on every round, or kind of like a surprise round just at the beginning? i can understand at the very beginning, but every round doesn't make sense to me. you don't suddenly become flat-footed after making an attack unless you really suck at swinging a sharp stick.

    This has actually prompted more use of Bullrushing and such and my Bide action [Full action, +10 initiative] has become a fan favourite. That and you can't hold ready actions between turns. Combat Reflexes negates the limit on AoOs btw; suddenly a really attractive feat...
    your version of combat reflexes allows unlimited AoOs?

    Maybe you'd like that better?
    i'm gonna stick with this, though i am still open to tweaks.

    so, to recap, you think that i need a method to be able to whack the crap out of someone until their initiative roll drops. that sounds very reasonable; i will have to start dreaming up some feats for this...

    but, you think that this mechanic doesn't make sense until then. i'd like some elaboration on that so that i can understand your reasoning.
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    Default Re: (3.5) new mechanic for figuring pbp initiative

    You said earlier that a -6 to initiative wouldn't be that much of a flaw. But with this, it's basically getting the -1 to AC, -2 to attack (well, -1 on all attacks), and the -1 to everything else flaws in one. Not a good trade off; -6 init is like two or three flaws worth.

    As for the system... interesting, but I'd prefer if you dropped the entire bonus system (it has nothing to do with PbP) and did it like this:

    Party initiative modifier = average initiative (or initiative bonuses added together, but that makes it weird to have more or less enemies). If you don't think the modifier is enough, average initiative times two or three or something could work.

    All parties roll against each other. All parties can act in any order on their turn, and then it's the other parties turn. Simple.

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    Default Re: (3.5) new mechanic for figuring pbp initiative

    Quote Originally Posted by Milskidasith View Post
    You said earlier that a -6 to initiative wouldn't be that much of a flaw.
    no, i didn't. you misread the quote. go back and look at it again.

    But with this, it's basically getting the -1 to AC, -2 to attack (well, -1 on all attacks), and the -1 to everything else flaws in one. Not a good trade off; -6 init is like two or three flaws worth.
    wait, the -3 ability mods are better? i'd still rather have a -6 init than a -3 to one ability score, even on the few occasions when i play a dump stat.

    either way, i didn't say that a -6 is hardly a flaw. i said that it is more of a flaw than it used to be, especially since the player took the flaw with the idea that it wouldn't hinder him (and therefore ruining the idea that it was supposed to be a flaw).

    As for the system... interesting, but I'd prefer if you dropped the entire bonus system (it has nothing to do with PbP) and did it like this:
    i appreciate the input, but i am not dropping a bonus system. the mechanics of the bonus system are still up for debate, but there will be one there.

    Party initiative modifier = average initiative (or initiative bonuses added together, but that makes it weird to have more or less enemies). If you don't think the modifier is enough, average initiative times two or three or something could work.

    All parties roll against each other. All parties can act in any order on their turn, and then it's the other parties turn. Simple.
    i don't think that this is actually any simpler. now you are averaging initiative scores, etc. this has already been addressed.

    simply using initiative to determine which group goes first is great, simple, brainless. i've covered that too.

    that is not what i want. i *want* a bonus system for initiative. right now in the normal system, it is useful for round one. period. that is it.

    i want a system where it is always useful. thus, the bonuses.

    i am aware that not everyone likes it. kudos to them. they don't have to play in my pbp games. those that want to play in my pbp games deal with it. so far i don't think that it has been a deterrent, though i could be wrong (none of them have dropped out since i homebrewed this...).

    also, it does have something to do with pbp; that was the whole impetus for its creation. in a tabletop game, this wouldn't even be an issue, except that i like the bonus system enough that i would probably incorporate it there too (hard to say since i haven't played tabletop for a while now––rl gets in the way).
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    Default Re: (3.5) new mechanic for figuring pbp initiative

    I never said that my system rendered you flatfooted, simply unable to make AoOs against more agile characters. It can be recouped with a Full action to gain a +1 Initiative anyway.

    Combat Reflexes grants the additional attacks of opportunity but also acts a little like Uncanny Dodge, removing the requirement to have acted. I lowered the minimum Des to 13 [why is it impossible to have only 2 AoOs per round? Anyway...]

    Part of the difference is that i use reflex saves as the Initiative base [and pulled the poor saves to being just 2 points behind the good ones throughout]. This means that the major advantage tends to go to higher level characters unless they have a really bad roll.

    There is actually an advanteage to lower initiative because it allows REACTION. Poisons, Burning etc are resolved in the endphase, meaning that high initiative characters may well find themselves stood in poison gas come the end of the turn while medics seriously prefer being at the bottom of the stack.

    Anyway, back to your point now that i've tried to clarify mine. You accused my system of penalising a character throughout and encounter for sake of one bad roll. That's exactly what yours is doing, just in a different way. If there is a benefit to high initiative that's permanent, then you're unjustly punishing low Dex builds and pushing it even more into God-stat territory.

    If it were possible to negate some or all of this benefit then it becomes more reasonable. For instance, the L5R [Legend of the 5 Rings] system has a bunch of powers that grant benefits for high initiative and a couple that benefit low ones. The difference there is that it's possible to drag the Kikita Duelist's Initiative down by concentrating all of your Tides of Battle dice on him, whereas here, your high inititative dude is unstoppable.

    That's my concern; from experience, the Initiative powers in L5R are horrendously unfair if the GM refuses to use Tides of Battle.
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    Default Re: (3.5) new mechanic for figuring pbp initiative

    Quote Originally Posted by Stycotl View Post
    i said that it is more of a flaw than it used to be, especially since the player took the flaw with the idea that it wouldn't hinder him (and therefore ruining the idea that it was supposed to be a flaw).
    Not really a critical point, but I still maintain that -6 to initiative, even with the old mechanic, is still a flaw, and has adversely affected my character numerous times. He's almost always at the bottom of the initiative list, and only had a round or two's worth of actions in our first encounter.

    I knew it would hinder me; my point was that I could accept the hindrance under the RAW mechanic and it was worth the trade-off for a bonus feat, but it would become an unacceptable burden under the proposed mechanic.

    I will cede that, with our new mechanic of all going together, I need to pick a new flaw, since it's not a flaw at all under the new mechanic without bonuses and penalties (which seems to be what we're using now).
    Last edited by Barbarian MD; 2009-10-31 at 11:15 AM.

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    Default Re: (3.5) new mechanic for figuring pbp initiative

    Quote Originally Posted by Mulletmanalive View Post
    I never said that my system rendered you flatfooted,
    one facet of flat-footedness. it was simply the best term to use, and still illustrates the point that i was trying to make with my confused understanding of what you were trying to say.

    simply unable to make AoOs against more agile characters. It can be recouped with a Full action to gain a +1 Initiative anyway.

    Combat Reflexes grants the additional attacks of opportunity but also acts a little like Uncanny Dodge, removing the requirement to have acted. I lowered the minimum Des to 13 [why is it impossible to have only 2 AoOs per round? Anyway...]

    Part of the difference is that i use reflex saves as the Initiative base [and pulled the poor saves to being just 2 points behind the good ones throughout]. This means that the major advantage tends to go to higher level characters unless they have a really bad roll.
    ok. so now i understand your system a bit better.

    There is actually an advanteage to lower initiative because it allows REACTION. Poisons, Burning etc are resolved in the endphase, meaning that high initiative characters may well find themselves stood in poison gas come the end of the turn while medics seriously prefer being at the bottom of the stack.
    understood. i agree that there are some advantages to rolling low init.

    Anyway, back to your point now that i've tried to clarify mine. You accused my system of penalising a character throughout and encounter for sake of one bad roll.
    no i didn't. i don't remember even mentioning anything about how bad rolls affect your game. the only thing that i can see that might have come close to accusing you of anything would be my disagreement that you should become [partially] flat-footed after making your actions. i don't think that is necessary. that's all.

    That's exactly what yours is doing, just in a different way. If there is a benefit to high initiative that's permanent, then you're unjustly punishing low Dex builds and pushing it even more into God-stat territory.
    wrong. i'm simply switching the permanent benefits. in a normal game, the benefit is that you get to act first. in highly optimized games where encounters tend to last little over two rounds, that makes a huge difference, as noted by mhvaughn's comments.

    in my game, anyone can act first. that permanent benefit was replaced with a piddly +1/-1 modifier. granted, that modifier can go up, but i don't see this as therefore a bad idea.

    it comes down to the idea that someone is always going to be penalized in some way. if you're not, then you are cheating or powergaming, and the game ceases to be fun (at least for everyone else).

    no matter what abilities you focus on, the ones that you dump are going to leave you weak. low wisdom in order to pump your intelligence for wizard spells? now you crumple to even 3rd level enchantments. low strength in order to pump your dexterity for ac and reflex saves? good luck carrying the loot you're winning, or dealing any reasonable damage with a melee weapon.

    you can't say that the system is broken because it favors dex over other stats; that is how it is supposed to work.

    If it were possible to negate some or all of this benefit then it becomes more reasonable. For instance, the L5R [Legend of the 5 Rings] system has a bunch of powers that grant benefits for high initiative and a couple that benefit low ones. The difference there is that it's possible to drag the Kikita Duelist's Initiative down by concentrating all of your Tides of Battle dice on him, whereas here, your high inititative dude is unstoppable.
    bull. the direct correlation to this theory with the canon initiative system would be, "if there was a way to make sure you act before the bad guy that beat your initiative, it would be reasonable. till then, it is not."

    again, it was set up to have that as a penalty to low-dex, low-initiative individuals.

    if there were a way to consistently drop high-initiative characters, then there would be no penalty to a low initiative, would there?

    now, providing a way to negate the high-init advantage *some* of the time seems reasonable to me. i have a few ideas running through my head (certain conditions, such as stunned, nauseated, etc, automatically apply initiative penalties; make a feat or two that allows you to beat the hell out of someone bad enough that they lose their "violence of action").

    but in the end, the low initiative is supposed to come with a fairly permanent penalty, and the high initiative is supposed to come with a fairly permanent reward.

    again, even if you roll a 4, and your foe rolls a 24, that is only a +3 modifier. if he's routinely rolling a 24, you are likely playing in at least the mid-levels, maybe higher.

    That's my concern; from experience, the Initiative powers in L5R are horrendously unfair if the GM refuses to use Tides of Battle.
    i won't comment since i know nothing of this game.

    so, in summary, there needs to be a penalty, whether or not there is a way to negate it.

    Quote Originally Posted by mhvaughan View Post
    Not really a critical point, but I still maintain that -6 to initiative, even with the old mechanic, is still a flaw,
    i was not trying to imply that it wasn't. but for a character that expects to go last, going last is hardly an issue. that is like giving a ranged penalty to a melee combatant.

    i understand your point, and i am not trying to say that you cheesed a flaw; i'm just saying that, as everyone does (even in real life), you worked around it to the point that it wouldn't bother you as much.

    and has adversely affected my character numerous times. He's almost always at the bottom of the initiative list, and only had a round or two's worth of actions in our first encounter.

    I knew it would hinder me; my point was that I could accept the hindrance under the RAW mechanic and it was worth the trade-off for a bonus feat, but it would become an unacceptable burden under the proposed mechanic.

    I will cede that, with our new mechanic of all going together, I need to pick a new flaw, since it's not a flaw at all under the new mechanic without bonuses and penalties (which seems to be what we're using now).
    i have been using the new system since i posted it on the homebrew forum, here. i thought that i had made it clear that i wanted all of you to take into account the penalties/bonuses too, but now that i am thinking about it, i probably didn't.

    anyway, yeah. pick a new flaw, or get rid of it all together, and we'll get the show in the road.
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