that initiative problem

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Pfr_Fate
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that initiative problem

#1 Postby Pfr_Fate » Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:27 pm

It seems that some if not most players coming from that other rpg have an initial trouble with the cards for Inititative. I think I know why and may have a solution.

It may stem from simply... control issues. Players feel more in control and connected when they are physically rolling an initiative die as opposed to having the ref deal them a card. Ponder that for a moment.

The solution may be to simply divide the deck after shuffling, keeping some for the ref and putting the rest on the table. Let the players draw in turn from the 'player deck' doing everything accordingly for edges and such. The ref draws from his deck. When a joker occurs, finish the round as usual, collect all cards, shuffle and divide the deck again.

I have not had the chance to try this yet and wonder how it will play out psychologically.

If anyone tries it out on those resistant crossover players ...let me know!
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#2 Postby Pfr_Fate » Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:32 pm

Initial thoughts???
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#3 Postby Enno » Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:43 pm

Why not simply pass the deck around between conflicts, so that every player has at least the opportunity to deal this evening once.

Or just put the deck in the center of the table, where every participant can take his initiative cards by himself.

Every group has their own variant in dealing the cards. Thats OK if you ask me, and really no big...
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#4 Postby Drue » Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:47 pm

Or single action deck and a player deals the cards.

Not so much a control issue as logistics. With players running the action deck, moving miniatures, drawing maps, etc., the game pace doesn't slow waiting for one person to do everything.

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#5 Postby Dylan S » Sun Nov 18, 2012 3:03 pm

Or, "Pick a card, any card..."

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#6 Postby Noshrok Grimskull » Sun Nov 18, 2012 3:07 pm

Dylan S wrote:Or, "Pick a card, any card..."

That might be a good solution.
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#7 Postby Jordan Peacock » Sun Nov 18, 2012 3:12 pm

What sort of "trouble" are they having? Do they not understand the use of cards? Or complain because they don't get to roll dice? Or is it that they complain because their stats do not have any impact on where they get to go in the round? (E.g., "I have high Agility so surely that means I should go first!") Or something else?
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#8 Postby Virgobrown72 » Sun Nov 18, 2012 3:22 pm

Their characters can take Edges that can improve thier initiative situation. I think they don't like the randomness of not having a static number for initiative. Savage Worlds isn't that game though...
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#9 Postby Kythkyn » Sun Nov 18, 2012 3:51 pm

I shuffle at the start of the night (and when a joker is dealt), but I allow my players to physically draw their card. It made it more fun for them than being handed a card, plus it took the anger of drawing a 2 away from me (hehe)

Oh, and I replaced my authoritative "roll inish" with the equally authoritative "draw inish".
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#10 Postby Other Mike » Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:25 pm

Jordan Peacock wrote:What sort of "trouble" are they having? Do they not understand the use of cards? Or complain because they don't get to roll dice? Or is it that they complain because their stats do not have any impact on where they get to go in the round? (E.g., "I have high Agility so surely that means I should go first!") Or something else?


Not that he is a fan of d20, but one of the players in our group finds using cards for initiative to be "gimmicky" and slow ... his words, not mine ... when compared to just having everyone role a die. The rest of the players in our group (including the big d20 fan) seem to have no trouble using cards.

I suspect his real issue is dealing the cards every round, as opposed to initiative being "fixed" at the beginning of the combat encounter. That's something, however, that I don't care for. :-) I prefer the randomness from round to round.
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#11 Postby Pfr_Fate » Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:44 pm

Welll...as to my players, I have a mix. Some Old School that rolled a d6 init every round, and some 4e young uns that rolled once per combat encounter.

They intellectually understood that the cards were as random as dice, that in order to have a menaingful effect you needed an edge (kinda like a +5 on the d20 init roll), and that it was superior in that there would never be re-rolls on doubles.

However, something didn't 'feel right' for some of them. i ignored their feelings in favor of the logic but they were somehow unconvinced. So, I thought that it was perhaps the control issue!

The only reason I would put half the deck behind the screen for the Ref is only out of speed and the desire to not reach across the table. Disregarding such, it would be just as good to keep the deck whole and on the table.

The main thrust of the argument is about the players actively involved in the initiative activity as opposed to being largely reactive...of course tht doesn't change the randomness.

I suppose it is the same reason why some people think dice run hot or cold....
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#12 Postby Other Mike » Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:53 pm

Pfr_Fate wrote:I suppose it is the same reason why some people think dice run hot or cold....


My dice simply hate me!! They roll high when I need low, and low when I need high. They will give me awesome rolls when I don't need them, and crappy rolls when it's important. :)

- - - - -

In no way was I trying to sum this thing up as to reasons ... just noting what one of our group said about cards.
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#13 Postby tigerguy786 » Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:11 pm

Also, there are lots of ways to mess with Initiative:

(Improved) Level Headed, Quick, and there are a couple of leadership edges that allow you to play with the cards. In the Core rules it allows you to roll Knowledge(Battle) and get cards to distribute. There's one in Suzerain that allows you to re-order the cards from willing participants
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#14 Postby supercOntra » Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:46 am

Why not just take turns dealing or put the cards somewhere where everyone can draw their own card. That way the players can make their mojo before drawing ensuring the jokers come up when needed :P
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#15 Postby Sean-Khan » Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:33 am

I've divided the decks that way just for efficiency; Instead of collecting and distributing usually 5-9 player cards (some bonus cards) and then npc cards, I now draw only the npc cards and let players handle their own cards.

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#16 Postby Jux » Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:16 am

I like the random initiative, but I hate when it is time to resolve who goes first, the GM starts to count down. Being usually the GM, I find it a bit slow and takes you out of the game for a moment. But I don't know a better solution either. Comparing the initiative numbers (when using dice) takes even longer.

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#17 Postby Clint » Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:39 pm

The "issue" I see with splitting the deck between the players and the GM is equally perceptual...

"Yeah, but you have all the high cards/Jokers in your deck, so we're boned this combat."

Sure, logically, all the uses would eventually balance out, but all it takes is that one combat where the GM pulls 3 Aces and two Jokers, and players won't remember the time the PCs got the same because it's one person drawing all those cards vs. dividing up the same results between each player.

If it truly is a perceptual control situation, then is there a logistical reason not to simply pass the deck around the table?

GM hands the deck to the person to his right, who draws their card/cards, then passes to the next person to his right and so on. Eventually the deck comes back to the GM from the person to his left, and he draws his cards for the NPCs.

I know someone who does this (he actually alternates passing the cards to his right with passing them to his left, so one person isn't always first or last), and it seems to work fine. It actually works really well for larger groups than having to toss a card to someone eight feet away. ;)

Jux wrote:I like the random initiative, but I hate when it is time to resolve who goes first, the GM starts to count down. Being usually the GM, I find it a bit slow and takes you out of the game for a moment. But I don't know a better solution either. Comparing the initiative numbers (when using dice) takes even longer.


What's your game location/position like? Most games I deal standing up (I typically run entire combats standing), so I can see the table and the initiative cards for all the players. I don't have to count down since I can see the actual card in front of each player (if clarity is an issue, Jumbo face decks help a ton).

When they finish their action, they turn in their card. If they go on Hold, they flip it over, so I know they have an action waiting to use.
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#18 Postby ValhallaGH » Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:50 pm

Clint wrote:If it truly is a perceptual control situation, then is there a logistical reason not to simply pass the deck around the table?

That one guy that cheats at cards. :( Long-removed from my group, but still out there. :|

Not sure if that counts as a logistical reason.

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#19 Postby Clint » Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:01 pm

ValhallaGH wrote:
Clint wrote:If it truly is a perceptual control situation, then is there a logistical reason not to simply pass the deck around the table?

That one guy that cheats at cards. :( Long-removed from my group, but still out there. :|

Not sure if that counts as a logistical reason.


Logistical would entail any "real world" reason that would prevent or negatively impact such a use.

Typically, it might mean not having all the players sit in a position where the deck can be easily passed around, but having someone who cheats at cards could fall under a logistical reason not to do it... but then having someone who is willing to cheat at all when playing an RPG typically reflects far greater issues than simple initiative. :1eek13:
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#20 Postby ValhallaGH » Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:05 pm

Clint wrote:having someone who is willing to cheat at all when playing an RPG typically reflects far greater issues than simple initiative. :1eek13:

Yeah. There's a reason I haven't seen him in almost two years; for all I know, he might be dead. <Redacted>


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