Initiative Dilemma?

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Longman
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Re: Initiative Dilemma?

Post Wed May 18, 2016 6:54 pm

gorkowskij wrote:But, I started this thread on “initiative dilemma” because I perceive (and you can certainly disagree) that a deeper issue – which also does NOT break the game – persists and seems unfair to casters
Actually you started the thread saying casters could game the system by delaying their own actions, so that their spells could never be ruined. Then, you moved the goalposts and started saying their spellcaster's spells could almost always be shut down by others. Then you told us we all needed more baseline clarity on the issue.
gorkowskij wrote:We all know the rules can't define everything; that's why we like this game rather than one that tries to. That's why we're here and not in a D&D 2nd edition or GURPS forum. But, that's not what's at issue here. Rather, there is a need for some baseline clarity that does not expect all readers to make the same assumptions.
Say, what's the difference between "defining something" and providing "baseline clarity" on it? Seems kinda similar to me...

Personally, I don't care much about the initiative dilemma so I do not need baseline clarity in that area. I care about things like:

What are the chances for a non-thief to move silently?
What are the various rates to don and remove armor?
What armor can you sleep in?
Can you hold a torch in your shield hand?
How fast can people swim in different conditions?

But hey, I'm not expecting "baseline clarity" in the rules on on every single thing that interests me personally, because it's a basic game so I know I am expected to make some of that stuff up, and if I dislike something enough, I know I can change it. It's not like we all have to play the game exactly the same way...

I think it's cool if you want to keep talking about various initiative rules interpretations. But continually saying there's a "rules dilemma" that needs to be addressed is a bit off base in my view. I'll butt out from now on...
gorkowskij
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Re: Initiative Dilemma?

Post Thu May 19, 2016 4:32 am

By your own admission, my theme as been initiative all along. I started with a case in point, and then the conversation developed, as they often do. But always returning to initiative, which is at the heart of the game. All the red herrings you keep throwing out just indicate that you're not seeing the forest through all the trees. You could start separate threads on all those items of interest to you? But, I'm not sure many people would care what armor you can sleep in.
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Longman
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Re: Initiative Dilemma?

Post Thu May 19, 2016 6:45 am

OK dude. Like I said, I'll butt out. Hope you solve your initiative dilemma.
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Solomoriah
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Re: Initiative Dilemma?

Post Thu May 19, 2016 8:37 am

This is the closest thing to an acrimonious discussion we've had on this forum since I started it. I'm not happy. Wall-of-text posts arguing the same point over and over while picking apart your opponent is not the sort of thing I want to see here.

gorkowskij, if you want to continue this discussion, make a post of under a thousand characters containing no references to previous posts (yours or anyone else's) explaining the exact situation you believe is problematic. I believe I've lost sight of the forest for the trees.

Or if you have reached the point where you can see no value in continuing, then do nothing and this will all be over.
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gorkowskij
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Re: Initiative Dilemma?

Post Thu May 19, 2016 9:39 am

Sure.

I've stated the crux of the matter before, and will repeat here.

The underlying problem is the ability of those who win initiative to “lock on” and “track down” to the caster’s number to disrupt a spell. It invites "gamey" behavior that shuts down casters since there's no need to "hit," but rather just "attack."

Would it be so bad if characters and monsters just had to act on the initiative number which they rolled so that this “lock on” and “track down” aspect of initiative just went away? Spells could still be disrupted if and when the dice handed opponents the same initiative number.
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Solomoriah
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Re: Initiative Dilemma?

Post Thu May 19, 2016 10:43 am

Yes, it would be bad. Intentionally disrupting a spellcaster is intended to be a valid strategy in the game. Besides this, it is entirely reasonable to wait for an opponent to close before attacking, and there should be no undue penalty for that. Example: setting a spear to receive a charge... the attack must obviously occur when the charging creature arrives at the end of the spear. Or waiting until an oncoming foe moves within short range for a bow attack.

This situation that so bothers you is really only a significant situation when a single spellcaster faces a single fighter. Magic-users are supposed to depend on "meat shields" as they are soft and squishy by nature. And yes, when a magic-user faces a fighter one-on-one, he should probably DIE because he has very likely done something wrong to find himself in that situation (or the fighter has been very clever or very lucky).

A magic-user surrounded by a party of adventurers is only at risk of this in the rules as written when confronted by someone making a ranged attack on him. As I said, this was probably a mistake on my part... how many times do I have to say that?

Put yourself in the shoes of the fighter. You know that magic-user has something nasty up his sleeve... attacking him as he tries to whip it out makes PERFECT SENSE. There is no reason to say that it cannot or should not happen. Now be the magic-user... if you know that guy has the drop on you, trying to cast a spell is probably a mistake. If you can, you should RUN AWAY or take some other reasonable defensive action, and cast your spell when you know you can do it.

If this still offends you, well, I can't help that. With the exception of the ranged attacks, which I have admitted were handled wrong, this behavior is by design and does not represent a problem to me.
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entr0py
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Re: Initiative Dilemma?

Post Mon May 23, 2016 11:11 pm

Wow... i actually shudda read this post before bringing up initiative in my 'Monsters Dexterity' thread... now im even more convinced simultaneous initiative is bad.

Actually, i always played that a caster "looks like he's casting" the whole round and unleashes the magic on his initiative segment. Someone mentioned it, and i like the idea of a caster losing his spell -- but only for the round -- if he takes damage anytime before his init segment. It fits with my "No Simultaneous Actions allowed" mantra.

I obviously have no problem with house rules.
Heck, the rest of the RAW is up for grabs too ...heehee...
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Solomoriah
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Re: Initiative Dilemma?

Post Mon May 23, 2016 11:51 pm

entr0py wrote:Wow... i actually shudda read this post before bringing up initiative in my 'Monsters Dexterity' thread... now im even more convinced simultaneous initiative is bad.

...

I obviously have no problem with house rules.
Heck, the rest of the RAW is up for grabs too ...heehee...
Did it ever occur to you that calling a standard element of the Core Rules (present since the 1st edition) "bad" might be offensive to the fellow who wrote it?

(me)
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entr0py
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Re: Initiative Dilemma?

Post Tue May 24, 2016 6:13 am

My apology for any offense, Solo; t'was poor choice of wording on my part...

The rule isn't what is 'bad'; what's 'bad' are the arguments it creates at my table, and in the case of this original post, players 'working the system'... so we houserule it away.

This system remains my 'rule set of choice'. What you have written is nothing short of a masterpiece. It really captures the heart of the game that i played in the early 80's... but we house-ruled that system plenty too ;)
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Obombo
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Re: Initiative Dilemma?

Post Tue May 24, 2016 10:47 am

Hi all,

I'm new to this site and ancient to P&P RPGs.

Every D&Dish RPG has had snags in the area discussed in this thread. The way I have handled it since D&D days was to 1) Remember that the init, combat sequence system ONLY exists to put some order into playing & reff'ing a combat at the table top level. 2) Common sense rules. Example: A combat round represents x seconds of time where EVERYONE is acting. What is being simulated is a time frame where ALL are in motion at the same time.

How does this work out? Well, in the game being discussed the round is 10 seconds. One can move and attack in that time. So I just allot roughly 5 seconds for both. A spell takes about 5 seconds to cast. I have players announce roughly what they plan on doing. "I will guard the door and attack any monster that tries to escape" -- "I will wait to see if the monsters try to flee and if so hit them with a fireball. If they start towards us I'll cast a web right in front of us."

I make it simple for my casters. They can tell whether a monster is close enough to attack them before they can get off a spell (that takes 5 seconds to cast). Sometimes it is a toss up and they have to chance it. My players know that "in reality" the other characters/monsters are NOT under a Time Stop spell while their character is acting in the melee round. So they can think accordingly.

Therefore, meta-gaming doesn't work in my game. In this area at least.
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