A to Z: I is for InitiativePosted: April 9, 2011 Filed under: A to Z, rules 1 Comment
I = Initiative. “Who strikes the first blow?” There are two different rules I am thinking of using (leaning towards option 2):
Option 1: At the start of each round, one dice is rolled for the players and one dice is rolled for the referee’s creatures. Ties can be re-rolled or may just indicate that each action occurs simultaneously. Whichever side gets the higher score goes first. The players can resolve their actions in whatever order seems appropriate (perhaps starting with the character who has the highest dexterity, then the second highest, etc.). The referee resolves the monster attacks in whatever order seems appropriate. After everyone has had a chance to perform an action, the round ends and a new round is begun.
Option 2: 1 dice is rolled for each individual character and/or each monster type (thus the DM might roll one dice for all of the orcs and another dice for all of the ogres if orcs and ogres were attacking together). One starts at the highest score and counts down to the lowest, resolving all actions in order. The type of dice used is based on the creatures dexterity; average monsters and creatures might use a d6, faster ones use a d8 or d12 and slower ones use a d4.
It was interesting to read through the LBBs and discover that not only is initiative never mentioned, but none of the initiative techniques we're all familiar with appear there. When I looked at Chainmail to see what it had to say, it turned out the die roll was just to see who got first pick of when to move (first OR last) if not using written orders, and had nothing to do with when actions happened.
So I settled on this order of actions;
* missile attacks, if made instead of first move
* longer weapons first on charge or first round, shorter weapons first on later rounds
* Dexterity breaks ties. Equal Dexterity means simultaneous action
* low level spells go before high level spells; treat spell level as weapon length (in feet) when pitting magic against steel
* for other actions, roll a d6 for speed of action, treating it as weapon length