Welcome to the D20 Homebrewery

Welcome. This blog is designed to help DMs create a better D20 SRD 3.5 based gaming experience by facilitating the sharing of house rules and ideas. 

If you have an idea for a feat, rule, class, prestige class, skill trick, spell, or any other aspect of the game, then please feel free to post it here in a comment on the weekly post titled "New Rule Ideas". I also encourage people to give a rating of 1-5 on each rule, and will eventually create a list of the top rated rules. 

Please refrain from discussing existing rules unless they relate to a rule you would like to create.

Thanks, and Game On!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Initiative idea

I was reading a hackmaster RPG book today, and one of their concepts intrigued me. They gave an example of a round where a band of orcs attacks the party. The initiative was counted down, with every 5 representing the orcs moving closer (20: Orcs begin yelling and drawing weapons, rogue gets to move on initiative 18. 15: orcs begin to move, fighter and ranger take actions. 10, orcs speed up to a full charge. 5 orcs arrive and the unlucky wizard with initiative 5 gets hammered.
I liked the description and the way it added realism to the actions of the players ( ie, the faster ones were able to react quicker). I also thought about what to do if the party were in the orcs' position. I believe that a party should be able to self-determine initiative depending on their plan in a surprise round, and if they are capable of communication or devising a way of timing the attack. I know the rules basically allow that with delay and ready, but I think initiative in surprise rounds should be open and rolled after the battle joins.

Any ideas on how to add to this kind of action? (I love the countdown as the players wait in turn to act. It would seem to add urgency)

1 comment:

  1. It seems pretty administratively burdensome, no?

    What about the floating initiative idea?

    Create an excel sheet that produces random numbers between 0 and 19 (with no decimal places) and add 1 + the Init mod of each player for each line. Each round recalculate (a simple F9 on a PC) and then sort high to low and you have a floating initiative.

    The beauty of this is the dynamic feel of the flow of battle. You may catch an opponent on their heels and get two actions on them back to back, or vice versa. It really rewards those with high initiative mods.

    The pain in this is the adjudication of round durations for effects. If rage lasts 4 rounds on your action, then you may get cheated out of some hp if your 4th round has you go first, and the baddies have a full round on a winded barbarian.