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House Rule Question, Initiative

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  • Veilheim
    replied
    Originally posted by Mad Paladin View Post
    So I'm relatively new to Savage Worlds. Picked up the system around the time of the first Rifts kickstarter. Have run a few times, and I'm trying to get my group together to do virtual sessions. The issue is with the initiative system in the rules as written, using playing cards. This is awkward enough at the tabletop, but gets oh so much worse online through Discord or other chat program. Has anyone come up with a decent alternate system?
    Late to the party, and I haven't used it personally, but there's a bot called savagebot specifically for playing SW on discord.

    Leave a comment:


  • ValhallaGH
    replied
    Originally posted by Mad Paladin View Post
    Again, I'm looking for alternatives to cards, not "cards are cool/useful" arguments. They're NOT for me and my group, and I'm trying to find a way to avoid the uncool stuff.
    Fair enough.
    In defense of the others, the ones that weren't paying attention, we have seen a few folks that were highly skeptical of the cards before actually trying them; some of us were those guys. And most of us really like card-based initiative.

    You're looking for an alternative. It looks like you want:
    • Dice roll based, so you can just call for a roll and get it done.
    • Similar odds of Jokers.
    • Ability to incorporate the various Initiative affecting Edges.
    I would suggest: using an Agility roll.
    +2 for the Quick Edge.
    Additional die, like RoF, for Hesitant / Level Headed, but only keep one total.
    Total of 20+ is a Joker.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mad Paladin
    replied
    Originally posted by The Stray View Post
    They're also used a lot on adventure Builder tables in the various GM's guide.
    In 30 years, I have never actually used those types of tables. Seriously, I get how they can be useful for some styles, but not for mine. And only time I've seen cards used for a chase (not in Savage Worlds, but a similar system)... it took longer to set up the cards than it took to resolve the chase. Which also breaks flow.

    Again, I'm looking for alternatives to cards, not "cards are cool/useful" arguments. They're NOT for me and my group, and I'm trying to find a way to avoid the uncool stuff.

    Leave a comment:


  • The Stray
    replied
    They're also used a lot on adventure Builder tables in the various GM's guide. Oh, and I use them for Adventure Cards, assigning an Adventure Card to each card in the deck. That works quite well.

    Oh, and I absolutely love the Ghost Towns book for Deadlands, which uses all parts of the card (including making hands) to generate town-based adventures.

    Once you get used to it, the cards add a great extra resource for randomization.

    Leave a comment:


  • SeeleyOne
    replied
    There are some other mechanics that use cards, too. Chases, Dramatic Tasks, Interludes and many adventures feature them in place of rolling on random tables. They are not *just* for determining initiative.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mad Paladin
    replied
    Originally posted by zgreg View Post

    For online sessions there are a lot of tools which make handling initiative easy, already proposed in this thread. Furthermore, like others have already noted, Action Deck is referenced in many places, you would have to put some more work to hunt them down and adapt.
    I'm okay with doing those adoptions. See, the issue isn't with virtual tools, it's the cards themselves are... intrusive, is the best phrase I can think of. I know that the cards have been a thing since they did the first edition of Deadlands (and even moreso back then). But having to use that deck for JUST THAT is enough of a shift that it doesn't feel natural, and for our group it breaks the flow. A paradigm shift without a clutch, as it were. We have had similar issues in the past with Fate and it's specialized dice (despite otherwise liking the system), and with... all the strange stuff Fantasy Flight does (that didn't last as long). So yeah, I can probably come up with something (some combination of Quickness or Notice with mods). Of course, there are other initiative systems that don't involve rolling anything, but still have a good flow (the recently developed GYRO system is one). I was always a fan of the old West End d6 system, where you rolled perception and the lowest roll declared actions first, but the highest roll ACTED first (which would go well with a notice/quickness roll... hmmm maybe roll both and add?).

    Thanks for the votes on Roll20, everyone. I have been eyeing it as a possibility. Glad the support is in there.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ndreare
    replied
    Originally posted by mikeawmids View Post
    I've never had an issue with card-based initiative, but if I HAD to use dice I would have every participant make an Agility roll (+2 for Quickness, -2 for Hesitant, free re-rolls with Level Headed, etc...). I'd allow the use of Bennies to reroll. Not sure how I'd represent getting a Joker...probably just abandon that mechanic altogether until I was able to get everyone using cards again.
    Using your system of making an agility role wouldn't it be better to have them roll in additional dice kind of like with frenzy.. Then if they have level headed they take the higher die and if they have hesitant they take the lower die. I think +2 for quickness sounds right.
    I think Joker would be if your roll was 2 Raises or more over the next highest initiative.

    Leave a comment:


  • mikeawmids
    replied
    I've never had an issue with card-based initiative, but if I HAD to use dice I would have every participant make an Agility roll (+2 for Quickness, -2 for Hesitant, free re-rolls with Level Headed, etc...). I'd allow the use of Bennies to reroll. Not sure how I'd represent getting a Joker...probably just abandon that mechanic altogether until I was able to get everyone using cards again.

    Leave a comment:


  • AndrewKennett
    commented on 's reply
    When we play by Skype I get one of the players to deal the cards and keep track of initiative. Works well since he doesn't have dice at home I have to roll for his character

  • zgreg
    replied
    Originally posted by Mad Paladin View Post

    I am the GM, and I was looking for a way less awkward than the cards.
    While I acknowledge that everyone has their own preferences I'm a bit puzzled what do you find awkward. When I first read about cards I frowned at the idea but when I tried it I immediately loved it. Compared to other initiative systems I know (die roll, comparing stats, bidding) I find cards to have several advantages:
    - perfect ordering, no draws,
    - graphic (easy to see the order by comparing cards on the table), no need to write anything down
    - dynamic (order can change each round),
    - allows for special effects like misfortune on clubs and Jokers

    For online sessions there are a lot of tools which make handling initiative easy, already proposed in this thread. Furthermore, like others have already noted, Action Deck is referenced in many places, you would have to put some more work to hunt them down and adapt.

    Leave a comment:


  • zgreg
    commented on 's reply
    I second that. It's also easy to setup: https://wiki.roll20.net/Savage_Worlds

  • Oneiros
    replied
    Another vote for roll20. Been using it for over a year during the pandemic.

    In addition to allowing easy dealing of cards for initiative, it can handle bennies, power effect templates, a decent character sheet that let players roll with just a click, and lets you upload custom maps and tokens. And you can get all of that for free.

    It has it's own built in text and audio chat, though our group prefers Discord for audio.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mad Paladin
    replied
    Originally posted by SeeleyOne View Post
    You could also have the GM draw cards for people. The players should already trust the GM (I would not game with a GM that I did not trust), so while it passes the burden to the GM, you still get the same effect of drawing from a deck. Bonus points if you can draw to a camera that players can see as that makes it kind of exiting where you draw and see the back and then flip it over for a reveal to yourself and everyone.
    I am the GM, and I was looking for a way less awkward than the cards.

    Leave a comment:


  • broxen
    commented on 's reply
    Didn't know they offered this. Awesome!

  • SeeleyOne
    replied
    You could also have the GM draw cards for people. The players should already trust the GM (I would not game with a GM that I did not trust), so while it passes the burden to the GM, you still get the same effect of drawing from a deck. Bonus points if you can draw to a camera that players can see as that makes it kind of exiting where you draw and see the back and then flip it over for a reveal to yourself and everyone.

    Leave a comment:

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