Simultaneous Turns

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corky
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Simultaneous Turns

Post Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:57 am

Can someone please explain how this works? We spent hours trying to figure it out and couldn't get our head around it. We might be at the point where we revert to tiebreakers, but then wed also have to get rid of spell fizzling and we dont want to do that either.

Who declares movements first?
Who declares their attack first?
When does the moving and attacking take place?
What happens when the two people attempt to interact with one another?
Doesn't this also mean almost any ranged attacker can shut down a caster if his initiative is higher?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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SmootRK
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Re: Simultaneous Turns

Post Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:18 am

It means that actions are declared by both sides, then results are applied at the same time. Sounds wonky but it can work.

Who declares first (moves and attacks)? For this I have players declare (both movements and actions) first, having my own actions already in mind (as GM). There has to be an environment of trust between GM and Players. Remember this is not a Him vs. Us or Players vs. GM game; it is a collaboration.

Events transpire on the initiative number (a vague thing), but when ties occur, everyone rolls their "to hit"/whatever based upon where they think they ought to be and who they think they will be next to (available targets). They may not have an available target because the target moved/acted at about the same time, effectively nulling their attack.

Archers are very effective at negating spell casters... your answer is essentially yes. Protect your spell casters.

This can be all very confusing, and believe me, I have issues with this process when I play with my young children. To solve these issues (for the most part), I have a few house-rules that I utilize for Initiative and determining whose turn it is. In my experience, young children (6 to10ish) understand taking turns well, but it is substantially harder for them to wrap their head around the concepts of things happen at the same time.
- First, we roll d20 instead of d6 adjusting for DEX or other factors.
- Instead of Re-Rolling each round we keep the same sequence, only adjusting a character/monster position in the que when one does something like a delay, set against charge, or other things that might cause the character to wait a bit. An individual who is knocked out/stunned/sleeped/ etc. who subsequently wakes is at the end of the que.
- Ties still happen (even with d20), so individual with highest DEX bonus acts first, and we have a roll off for any ties that still exist (rolling d20 unmodified, highest roller wins).
- Because the order becomes set once rolled, a character to forgo his/her attack in order to 1) re-roll initiative (hoping for a better placement on next round, or 2) simply add 2 plus their Dex bonus to their current initiative result (moving them up the que by a set amount). A character may still move (but not attack/cast/do other actions) during the round he uses to adjust his initiative.

If one wants to be scientific about it, with d20 determining initiative, each 10 second turn can be looked at as broken into 1/2second segments (roughly, as there are still modifiers to the roll). My house rules are to move the game along reasonably well (children and even many adults seem to work well with this), perhaps at the expense of some combat realism.. but it works well for us.
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corky
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Re: Simultaneous Turns

Post Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:55 pm

I had guessed that the "spirit" of the simultaneous actions would require the DM to use an "honor system" of sorts when declaring NPC movements after a player. Thanks for that clarification.

My guess is that, in this case, it is up to the DM to move pieces around as he would assume a player would want. For example, let's say an NPC archer and a PC mage act simultaneously. The steps would be something like:

1) DM chooses what the NPCs will do: The archer will attempt to get within 10' of the mage or as close as possible...then attack the mage in an attempt to interrupt a potential casting.

2) The PC announces what his character will do: The mage will attempt to run behind a pillar, giving himself full cover from the archer, and cast a Shield spell

3) The DM interprets these actions and moves the characters as he deems appropriate.

4) The DM attempts to perform each of the players actions (if the archer can see the mage, the archer makes an attack roll and the spell fizzles. If the archer cannot see the mage, the mage casts his spell and the archer loses his action.)

Does this sound okay? I can see there being issues when PCs argue against moving into certain squares along the way or asking for differing "positioning". On the other hand, allowing the DM to use common sense and his own judgement might make for a lot faster paced game...even @ the expense of players' complete control over their own character.
prongbuck
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Re: Simultaneous Turns

Post Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:23 pm

It does require trust between the players and DM.

I am still new to Basic Fantasy, having moved over from Labyrinth Lord, so forgive me for falling back to that game for examples, I just don't know the Basic Fantasy book well enough yet.

Download (for free) and take a look at the Labyrinth Lord book by Goblinoid Games, page 52 under Combat (Basic Fantasy may have a similar break down but I couldn't find it with a quick search). If you run your combat as per the LL Combat section I find it eliminates many of the problems when it comes to simultaneous actions. Although I would add "Step 0. DM determines monster actions".

When it comes to order of player declaration the way we do things is go around the table clockwise from whoever rolled initiative for the party this round, and then rotate which payer rolls for initiative clockwise from round to round as well.

With 3 players; A, B, C:
Round 1 - A rolls initiative for the group, declares actions, then B declares, then C declares
Round 2 - B rolls initiative for the group, declares actions, then C declares, then B declares
Round 3 - C rolls initiative for the group, declares actions, then A declares, then B declares
and so on.

(Full disclosure: I stopped doing it this way because I could never remember to get the players to declare actions before combat. I am still looking for a way to run combat that works for me and my group. )

I tend to let players be pretty vague with these declared actions; a fighter saying I am drawing my bow and shooting is usually good enough although sometimes I do ask players to be more specific, choose targets, etc.

I'll leave it at that for now because I can get pretty long winded ;) but if you want more details on methods I have tried for running combat, what works, what didn't, let me know and I can write up more.
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JoeCarr28
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Re: Simultaneous Turns

Post Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:07 am

SmootRK wrote:Archers are very effective at negating spell casters... your answer is essentially yes. Protect your spell casters.
Sorry Smoot, I don't understand this. Spells in BFRPG don't have any casting time (like in, for example, AD&D). I always assumed the action of casting in BFRPG was instantaneous. On the caster's initiative number he/she just casts the spell. This doesn't mean that he/she started casting the spell at the start of the round (highest initiative number) and can be interrupted. The only way to negate a caster would be for a higher initiative adversary to kill the caster before they can act. No? You can't 'interrupt' them, unless you do something special like wrestling them to the ground and restraining them (like the goblin shaman in Marketstone).

Prongbuck - the rules as they are written (to my understanding) don't require a separate declaration of actions at the start of the turn. Players just act on their own individual initiative number. There's no group initiative. It's on a player-by-player basis. Each player states and resolves their actions when their individual initiative number comes up. At least that's my interpretation. Of course, back to the original post, simultaneous actions will then require a degree of co-operation between the players and/or GM, with the GM having the final say. But a little common sense goes a long way.
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SmootRK
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Re: Simultaneous Turns

Post Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:19 am

You could be right. Probably an assumed rule that I carried over from my gaming with other editions/games.

It occurred to me that I have another stipulation with my above House-Rules for Initiative. Because the order become set once rolled, I allow a character to forgo his/her attack in order to 1) re-roll initiative (hoping for a better placement on next round, or 2) simply add 2 plus their Dex bonus to their current initiative result (moving them up the que by a set amount).

I will edit the above post too, for any who might want to copy/paste those rules from this forum.
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Joe the Rat
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Re: Simultaneous Turns

Post Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:53 am

Initiative, orders, and narrative flow can get really weird at times.

Something to consider is that spellcasting is as instantaneous as any other attack action (drawing, waiting for an opening, and firing; fighting your way through an opponents defenses and skewering them with your sword) - and those aren't "instant." You can be quick, but there's still a bit of time between start and finish. Conceptually, the fellow with the initiative may note the start of an action, and be swift enough to interfere.

As the rules go, if you are attacked on the initiative number you are casting a spell, the spell is lost (this is the classic 'interrupt'). An attacker with initiative is allowed to wait for another character to act, and make their attack on that character's initiative action. In other words, if you don't hold until his action, he is free to cast after you've pincushioned him. Doesn't even have to be a hit, either - dodging tends to break one's concentration, it seems.

By this read, spells are the last thing to resolve on a given initiative count, given that attacking on a natural 'tie' would still count as a disruption. You might also argue that the one holding his or her action has priority on the count that they actually 'act.'

So yes, protect your casters.
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JoeCarr28
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Re: Simultaneous Turns

Post Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:46 pm

Joe the Rat wrote:As the rules go, if you are attacked on the initiative number you are casting a spell, the spell is lost (this is the classic 'interrupt').
Hi Joe - where does it say this in the rules? I didn't think spells could be disrupted in this way. For example, if a caster casts a magic missile on the same initiative number that he's fired upon by an archer, why should the spell be automatically disrupted? I always thought both actions just happened simultaneously - so the archer's hit by the magic missile and the caster's hit by the arrow. It seems unfair to me that conventional weapons should 'trump' magic as you suggest. (Just questioning my sanity :?. If you could point me to the relevant page in the rules I'd be very grateful!).
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JoeCarr28
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Re: Simultaneous Turns

Post Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:02 pm

JoeCarr28 wrote:
Joe the Rat wrote:As the rules go, if you are attacked on the initiative number you are casting a spell, the spell is lost (this is the classic 'interrupt').
Hi Joe - where does it say this in the rules? I didn't think spells could be disrupted in this way. For example, if a caster casts a magic missile on the same initiative number that he's fired upon by an archer, why should the spell be automatically disrupted? I always thought both actions just happened simultaneously - so the archer's hit by the magic missile and the caster's hit by the arrow. It seems unfair to me that conventional weapons should 'trump' magic as you suggest. (Just questioning my sanity :?. If you could point me to the relevant page in the rules I'd be very grateful!).
Sorry, just found it - page 15. Truly, you live and learn! Still seems unfair to me though :). If Solomoriah reads this, I'd be interested to understand the thinking behind the by-the-book rules (e.g. in my caster/archer example).
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dymondy2k
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Re: Simultaneous Turns

Post Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:15 pm

JoeCarr28 wrote:
JoeCarr28 wrote:
Joe the Rat wrote:As the rules go, if you are attacked on the initiative number you are casting a spell, the spell is lost (this is the classic 'interrupt').
Hi Joe - where does it say this in the rules? I didn't think spells could be disrupted in this way. For example, if a caster casts a magic missile on the same initiative number that he's fired upon by an archer, why should the spell be automatically disrupted? I always thought both actions just happened simultaneously - so the archer's hit by the magic missile and the caster's hit by the arrow. It seems unfair to me that conventional weapons should 'trump' magic as you suggest. (Just questioning my sanity :?. If you could point me to the relevant page in the rules I'd be very grateful!).
Sorry, just found it - page 15. Truly, you live and learn! Still seems unfair to me though :). If Solomoriah reads this, I'd be interested to understand the thinking behind the by-the-book rules (e.g. in my caster/archer example).
I kind of agree. Hmmm.. maybe a house ruled 'Concentration' check?
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