Username:    Password:      Remember me       
Great White Games/Pinnacle Entertainment Group Forum Index Great White Games/Pinnacle Entertainment Group
Discussion Forum for PEG/GWG
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Initiative change from classic DL: why?

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Great White Games/Pinnacle Entertainment Group Forum Index -> SW General Chat & Game Stories
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Rambling Scribe
Seasoned


Joined: 06 Nov 2008
Posts: 161
Location: Ottawa, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 4:10 pm    Post subject: Initiative change from classic DL: why? Reply with quote

So my question is not so much about HOW the rules work, but WHY the rules are the way they are. This is based on my assumption that SWEX is derived from oldschool Deadlands.

In Deadlands, every character made an initiative roll which determined how many cards they got each round. In SWEX, each character gets one card and one action.

Was this change made to speed up play by removing the initiative roll, or was it a balance issue regarding some characters getting too many actions (or Agility being too important), or was it related to how movement relates to the variable number of actions per round, or something else?

I'm mostly curious because I liked the old rule, and part of me would like to bring it back, but I want to make sure I weigh that decision carefully. Obviously the change was made for a reason (or perhaps many reasons) and I don't want to assume too much.

I'm playing with the rule as written for a while before deciding as well.

Thanks!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ron blessing
Heroic


Joined: 08 Aug 2005
Posts: 1523
Location: Thornton, CO

PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 4:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Initiative change from classic DL: why? Reply with quote

Rambling Scribe wrote:
So my question is not so much about HOW the rules work, but WHY the rules are the way they are. This is based on my assumption that SWEX is derived from oldschool Deadlands.


You're close! Deadlands begot Great Rail Wars, which begot Savage Worlds.

Quote:
In Deadlands, every character made an initiative roll which determined how many cards they got each round. In SWEX, each character gets one card and one action.

Was this change made to speed up play by removing the initiative roll, or was it a balance issue regarding some characters getting too many actions (or Agility being too important), or was it related to how movement relates to the variable number of actions per round, or something else?


Speed is the answer. Every decision like this was made to make Savage Worlds Fast! Furious! Fun! (or FFF).

Quote:
I'm mostly curious because I liked the old rule, and part of me would like to bring it back, but I want to make sure I weigh that decision carefully. Obviously the change was made for a reason (or perhaps many reasons) and I don't want to assume too much.

I'm playing with the rule as written for a while before deciding as well.


You've got the right idea here. Play it as written first. You'll find it to be great this way, I think.

Quote:
Thanks!


You're welcome!
_________________
Ron
Gamer: The Blogging - Musings of a Father, Husband, and Gamer.
The Game's the Thing: Analog Gaming In a Digital World
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
Jordan Peacock
Legendary


Joined: 08 Sep 2007
Posts: 2463
Location: Orlando, Florida

PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just thought I'd toss in here that back in my days of playing Deadlands Classic, I found the repeated exercise of rolling Quickness to be a tedious exercise that unnecessarily added to the length of a round - especially in situations where players had reason to hold and wait for events to unfold, or for opportunities to strike. Tossing out a card is a bit faster than rolling some dice, negotiating how many cards that translates to, and THEN tossing out one or more cards.

A while back, I ended up doing a sloppy statistical analysis of the "average" rolls of various Quickness values (combination of die type and number of dice), calculating that value for every combatant, and using it to determine a flat number of cards each character would draw.

This resulted in certain strategic "break points" at which a higher value in Quickness would or wouldn't offer any benefit, but so be it: It seemed to be worth it to cut down the process a bit.

I can see how there could be some value in taking advantage of the card system to allow for faster characters in SWEX to draw more cards for more actions - but that strikes me as something appropriate for a superheroic setting. (E.g., you're playing a "Speedster" type, so you get an Edge that lets you draw an extra action card every turn ... though that'd be one HEFTY Edge, and it'd probably have to be at the top of a prerequisite chain. I just wouldn't want it to end up reintroducing another die-rolling step in the process.)
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Clint
Site Admin


Joined: 13 May 2003
Posts: 18071

PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 5:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Initiative change from classic DL: why? Reply with quote

Rambling Scribe wrote:
Was this change made to speed up play by removing the initiative roll, or was it a balance issue regarding some characters getting too many actions (or Agility being too important), or was it related to how movement relates to the variable number of actions per round, or something else?


I choose 1, 2, and 4. Wink

Really, I think this is something that really comes down to the tagline in a way few options cover every one of the F's as it were.

Fast! - It really does speed up play... a lot... no, a lot.

Furious! - SW does still have multiple actions in a round; they are just an option everyone has, and it takes a -2 MAP per additional action. Yeah, it works differently, but it makes it more "furious" I guess in that the decision to try multiple actions requires a risk... or it requires picking up an Edge to counter the penalties, making the character uber-cool. Wink

Fun! - I'll admit it, the multiple actions character "balance" thing was an issue. It's no fun to watch another player take consistently more actions (of any type), and take up consistently more time in a turn just because of basically a single aspect of their character build (as far as SW goes; Classic is a different critter there in some ways). It really is more fun for everyone when everyone has "equal time" at their action (unless they choose to take a risk or they have purchased an Edge to be able to pull off a specific multiple type of action).

I admit, it's cool to be the high Quickness guy getting loads of attacks in a single round (I played that character myself)... but it's really fun for that player, not necessarily that group.

With SW, I find that everyone is having fun, and that the "spotlight" in combat doesn't come down to character stats (or one stat), but player choices, and that seems to be a lot more satisfying in the final accounting.

Anyway, that's my take. The real reason is that SW came from a basis in the Great Rail Wars more than Classic Deadlands, and ultimately became a completely separate system in its own right.

That, and Shane said so. Wink
_________________
Clint Black
Savage Worlds Core Rules Brand Manager

www.peginc.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Rambling Scribe
Seasoned


Joined: 06 Nov 2008
Posts: 161
Location: Ottawa, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the responses. Very useful stuff.

I had been thinking that one die roll doesn't add much time, but it's the inherent math that slows things down in the old initiative system (IMO). A fixed scale for initiative is not a bad compromise, possibly.

I'm going to continue as is for now. There are enough initiative edges and multi-action effects to satisfy my needs for extra actions.

Actually, I really like MAP, TORG had a similar rule that I was always fond of. The thing that I like about it is your speed is more or less dependent on the particular skill you are using. It all comes down to whether or not you are good enough to take the penalty to get an extra action. So a hotshot spellcaster who is other wise clumsy can cast spells while doing something else, even though he couldn't fight with both hands.

The effect that is missing for me (and a few of my players) is one of simultaneous action. As in, I find it weird when my character stands there while the other guy runs around me and shoots someone behind me. It's admittedly a really hard thing to fix in a game and still have the game move quickly. At least in SW, there aren't so many cases of "I take all my five attacks while you stand there, then you take all of your six attacks" as in, say, D&D.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Lord Ben
Seasoned


Joined: 18 Aug 2005
Posts: 107

PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DL:Classic broke down with lots of players. When I play it with too many characters certain types usually got a ton more action cards than anyone else and became the center of attention.... especially after I drew the joker when I died and became harrowed... Smile

I remember battles taking several hours and waiting a terrible amount of time once when I failed my cognition to get action cards. I might as well have gone to Applebees and ordered a full meal instead of waiting around for everyone else.

One of the first times I ran SW I remember thinking it was awesome because we got 9 battles against Nazi Orc Paratroopers on Malta (some with vehicles, etc) crammed into one night instead of like 3 battles.

And those with slow, etc still get to go the same number of times per round as the super speedy guys who toss out anything less than a 6 and choose the highest of 3 cards to act on. They just don't have as much chance of drawing a joker. WAY more balanced.

I just miss hit locations and seperate damage tracks per body part.... Sad
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Jordan Peacock
Legendary


Joined: 08 Sep 2007
Posts: 2463
Location: Orlando, Florida

PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lord Ben wrote:
I just miss hit locations and seperate damage tracks per body part.... Sad


Actually, that probably wouldn't be a hard thing to house-rule back in. (Incidentally, are there any published official or licensed SW settings that use hit locations regularly? I can't claim familiarity with the entirety of the line by any means.)

I thought DL Classic's paperclip system was a really novel approach, incidentally. Alas, I had to substitute PINK paperclips for BLACK ones, since my supply of colored paperclips didn't have quite the right selection of colors, but it did the trick. I ended up borrowing the paperclip idea for a homebrew "Clix" campaign I ran, when I'd give out equipment/ammo cards with counters on them to keep track of charges/shots/uses. I don't really know how practical or F!F!F! it is compared to just writing things with a pencil, but there was a certain tactile boardgamey feel to the mechanic that was interesting.

Anyway, back to hit locations: I suppose the main way to facilitate it would be with a custom character sheet to accommodate it. My personal favorite of the character sheet designs right now would be the "Training Wheels" character sheet. (It's nice to have those handy little combat references on the bottom, to have all the skills broken down, and to have a nice orderly way to keep track of Advances over the career of a character.)

Off the top of my head (in brainstorm order - not orderly fashion):
I'm thinking that a character sheet based on that one could use some of the space currently occupied by permanent injuries or "catch phrase" (two areas of the sheet I rarely see actually used) to instead fill in with a wound-tally spot ala Deadlands Classic: Head, Torso, L Arm, R Arm, L Leg, R Leg, and somewhere a quick color-guide reminder for those paperclips. (White = -1, Yellow = -2, Green = -3, Red = Incapacitated, Black = Maimed.)

Then, upon any regular hit, you'd roll for hit location (a mini HL chart could be on the sheet simply by writing the die numbers next to the relevant body parts for the above), check to see what Armor applies, and handle damage normally. If you're Shaken, you're Shaken, regardless of hit location. If the area takes a wound, it's marked down. The highest penalty of any particular location counts as your wound penalty to actions in general, and leg hits affect your Pace in particular.

Any limb rendered Red (incapacitated) is useless, and Black (maimed) means it's gone. An Incapacitated head or torso means you're out of the action; a maimed head or torso means your character is dead. An incapacitated limb means you have to make a Vigor test (with applicable penalties) to keep soldiering on. A maimed limb in combat, until treated, requires you to make Vigor tests every round.

Explosions are the worst of all worlds: any damage done is applied to all locations (though local armor may reduce the hurt a bit - if you're wearing chest armor, a helmet, etc.); however, any Soak roll made against Explosion damage is applied against all locations as well, in this one case.

Healing would probably be applied per wounded area.

Oh yeah, and I guess you'd need to apply modifiers to the hit location chart for melee attacks vs. ranged attacks. (What was it ... -2 or -4 to the roll, with lower numbers tending toward upper parts of the body? Or something like that.) Head hits and "guts" hits should probably do more damage, but a multiplier would have devastating effects - so I'm not sure, off top of my head, what's the best way to handle that.

Hitting with a Raise would probably be used to modify hit location (maybe +/-1 on the hit location chart per raise), rather than adding extra damage. For Extras where wounds in different locations aren't kept track of separately, the benefit of this would just be to bypass armor (for partially armored targets), or to try to get "gizzard" or "head" hits for extra damage.

...

Okay, so that's a lot to cover, and I probably missed quite a few things. I can definitely see why hit locations were ignored for the sake of Fast-Fun-Furious. (I'd definitely skip keeping track of separate hit location wounds for Extras, at the very least.) Still, I figure that with some work, the hit location rules could probably be crammed onto a single sheet, complete with hit location chart; print that onto some card stock as player references to pass around, and that just might do the job.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Lord Ben
Seasoned


Joined: 18 Aug 2005
Posts: 107

PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always just use circles 6 circles in the rough shape of a human body for the head, torso, and 4 limbs.

---O--
O-O-O
-O--O-

Then I just fill them in with hash marks as damage is dealt. I use scrap paper for everything and never dirty up my char sheet.

If I were to do it I'd just give each hit location 3 wounds like a normal hero has. Treat damage to them like the normal death rules only ignore hit location and ignore the rolls to die with limb shots.

IE, taking 4 wounds to the leg and failing your vigor check gives you reduced pace, etc.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Clint
Site Admin


Joined: 13 May 2003
Posts: 18071

PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rambling Scribe wrote:
I had been thinking that one die roll doesn't add much time, but it's the inherent math that slows things down in the old initiative system (IMO).


One die roll doesn't sound bad, but in addition to the math, think of all the cascading effects in game. That's where it really stands out.

It's one die roll per player, but it's one die roll per NPC (or group) for the GM. Then there is the math, and then there is the dealing of the cards based on the math. That's the point that is surpising in some ways. Every round, the number of cards dealt to every player is going to change to some unique variable that has to be handled.

It's not deal a card to every player except Ron gets two because he has Level Headed and Veronica gets nothing below a 6 because she has Quick and it is (almost) always the same. Nope, it's asking each player in turn how many cards they get, dealing them, and then moving to the next player, and so on for every single round.

Ultimately, any initiative system is going to have a case of "how does he move and attack before I can react" to which the answer is often "because the initiative system determines if you character can react faster and you didn't beat him." But, sometimes it's not an issue of the initiative rules per se, and maybe another "solution" exists.

Is it really that the character does these things, or is it the time in which they do it? It may be the length of the round that's more of an issue. Players might feel it is more likely if a round were 3 seconds instead of 6. Such a change doesn't really change the system, but it might change the acceptance.

Really, I look at it kind of like each round in SW is like a segment in Classic where everyone gets to act, and not only act, but do more if they want.
_________________
Clint Black
Savage Worlds Core Rules Brand Manager

www.peginc.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Rambling Scribe
Seasoned


Joined: 06 Nov 2008
Posts: 161
Location: Ottawa, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think what I might need is some kind of intercept rule or something. Something that let's a character move to intercept someone who tries to get around them, or jump behind cover if someone tries to charge at them or things like that.

I'm thinking something like, make an agility roll to move up to half your pace in response to someone else's movement. You may not take any other actions on the intercept (except opportunity attacks if applicable), and any used movement is deducted from your pace on your next action.

That's kind of off the top of my head, so I want to think some more (and try the system as written more) before I implement something like this, but it strikes me as being not too different from the rules for evading a burst effect.

Hmm, I need to look at the vehicle rules now (I haven't needed them yet) and see if there's anything about avoiding collisions that might be relevant. One of my players frequently complains about an old PC getting run over by a car in d20 modern once, which he blamed on the vagaries of the initiative system. If there's already a way for him to avoid that, he'll be sold on SW for life!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Tuesday
Heroic


Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 1069

PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

... why not just use the "on hold" rules? If you're waitng, you can roll Agility to interrupt the driver, get out of the way, take your action, and then he drives past you. If you already used your action or if you fail your roll, you can't react fast enough and the driver runs you over. Simple, and already in the system!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Rambling Scribe
Seasoned


Joined: 06 Nov 2008
Posts: 161
Location: Ottawa, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The hold rules are useful in some circumstances, but it's still too all or nothing for my taste, especially in the first round of combat. Also, I'd rather have players saying "I do this cool thing" than "I hold so I don't get run over." Even if that results in the cool thing failing and the PC still wanting to jump out of the way of the car. May just be my taste, but holding is usually a signal in my games that a PC doesn't have anything useful to do (except for when it's a signal that they've got something AWESOME up their sleeve).

Still, I will try it out and suggest that option when appropriate before making a change.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
WickedRoland
Seasoned


Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 485
Location: Goldsboro, North Carolina

PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rambling Scribe wrote:
The hold rules are useful in some circumstances, but it's still too all or nothing for my taste, especially in the first round of combat. Also, I'd rather have players saying "I do this cool thing" than "I hold so I don't get run over." Even if that results in the cool thing failing and the PC still wanting to jump out of the way of the car. May just be my taste, but holding is usually a signal in my games that a PC doesn't have anything useful to do (except for when it's a signal that they've got something AWESOME up their sleeve).

Still, I will try it out and suggest that option when appropriate before making a change.


Well in this particular case...Ramming someone/something (that isn't a stationary object) is an opposed roll so in a sense they do get a free chance to jump out of the way.
_________________
Jesus Saves!!!....Passes to Noah... He Shoots! He Scores!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Rambling Scribe
Seasoned


Joined: 06 Nov 2008
Posts: 161
Location: Ottawa, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sweet! I still didn't have a chance to look that up! Thanks!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
WickedRoland
Seasoned


Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 485
Location: Goldsboro, North Carolina

PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not a problem. Glad I could help.
_________________
Jesus Saves!!!....Passes to Noah... He Shoots! He Scores!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Clint
Site Admin


Joined: 13 May 2003
Posts: 18071

PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rambling Scribe wrote:
I think what I might need is some kind of intercept rule or something. Something that let's a character move to intercept someone who tries to get around them, or jump behind cover if someone tries to charge at them or things like that.


One thing I'd advise is not to forget Edges. That really is the heart and soul of Savage Worlds. Moreso that other systems, Traits (Attributes and Skills) are just the basic foundation of the characters, but Edges (and Hindrances too) are what really make them special.

If a character wants the ability to intercept someone who passes them, then they want to pick up First Strike (Novice, Agility dCool. It's an attack and it doesn't even count as their action for the round. Later on, they can even pick up Improved First Strike and get an attack against anyone who moves adjacent to them in a round.

If they want a better defense, then they can take Dodge or Block (though they should have a d12 Fighting first). The description of the Edge can be that they grab quick cover or react in defense, but the ability remains the same.

No, it's not a basic ability of the characters, but the game starts them pretty much as inexperienced nameless people who just happen to be Heroes (Wild Cards but inexperienced). The more effective abilities are there, they just have to be picked up with experience. And that's another key, it won't take long. Level-ups should happen about every other session (or so), so it's not like these abilities will take five or six games to achieve. The players will see improvement fairly regularly (but happily without getting too powerful to handle).

The cool thing then becomes when the PCs have their special abilities, but they can still run around some NPC Extras to attack someone on the other side or do something else their opponents can't because the PC has X Edge and they don't.

Anyway, just something to consider and keep an eye open for.
_________________
Clint Black
Savage Worlds Core Rules Brand Manager

www.peginc.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Rambling Scribe
Seasoned


Joined: 06 Nov 2008
Posts: 161
Location: Ottawa, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another good point, Clint. I was aware of the First Strike edge, but I may create an edge for getting to move to block people as well. As an additional bonus, since it's an edge, I wouldn't need to worry about it for most npcs, but if I wanted to have an effective bodyguard (either as a PC or npc), I'd give them that edge.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Jordan Peacock
Legendary


Joined: 08 Sep 2007
Posts: 2463
Location: Orlando, Florida

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lord Ben wrote:
I always just use circles 6 circles in the rough shape of a human body for the head, torso, and 4 limbs.

---O--
O-O-O
-O--O-


I love that you conveyed the idea so nicely with an "ASCII graphic" like that! It looks like that'd do the trick ... but I will always have a special place in my heart for the novelty of using colored paper clips on the edge of the paper. Wink
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Great White Games/Pinnacle Entertainment Group Forum Index -> SW General Chat & Game Stories All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum