• cparadis

    Thank you for this! This is great and answered all of my questions.  I really like the initiative system. I like that there is no stop in the action to roll initiative, and I completely agree that it gets the comic book feel totally correct. I also love the fluidity. In my opinion, having initiative change every round makes conflict more dynamic, and this system allows you to do this without having to 1) roll initiative in every round or 2) use some arbitrary method like now the person to the left is the first to act this round. 
    Also, your explanation of how to use the system in practice really helped. Both from a PC standpoint and from a Watcher perspective. The idea of spending a doom die to interrupt the fastball special and then maybe even spending a doom die or effect die to change the team affiliation between Collosus and Wolverine is very appealing to me. It’s very cinematic and also tactical. One of the things I most enjoy about this game is that I think it does an excellent job of showing that grid-less does not mean tactic-less.
    Finally, I completely buy your argument for why this has benefits (if not outright superior) over roll-for-initiative-systems. I can’t wait to use this in MHR and probably even my DFRPG session this weekend!

  • Marc Majcher

    Wow. I love that so much. 


  • Selenio

    I’m reading through the Marvel Heroic RPG Operative Manual right now and this article of yours has made me love what I’m reading.

    I’ll also think about stealing it for my Dresden game of next week. Thank you for both systems!


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Douglas-Hagler/848645164 Douglas Hagler

    This is awesome, and consider it stolen.

  • GeekyNorseman

    One of the things that I did for my d20 system was to rethink initiative as well. I like some of the fluid nature of your initiative system however I think that I makes players make a tactical decision based on a system instead of what is actually going on in front of them. I went with a system where your tactics determine much of the initiative.

    For instance in chases the prey always has initiative. The reason is that the predator in the chase is always having to react to the prey’s actions of dodging around. In an ambush the attacker always has initiative because they initiated combat. At most you can roll to not be flat footed but that will never allow you to act first. Now if you have a scout that discovers the ambush then you can ambush the ambush and you will have initiative. In attacks with ships or larger groups I use tactics rolls to determine initiative for the whole side because that is part of the point of tactics. In situations where two enemies bump into each other I use perception tests since they are both surprised.

    In none of these situations does the “fast” character necessarily go first. The fast character has more simple actions available to them during their turn and higher defenses but nothing else. The reason is that just because the character is faster it doesn’t mean that the character can reason out what to do any faster.

    Now a prescient character might always have initiative but that would be a power. 

  • http://samhaine.wordpress.com/ Stephen

    Played with it this weekend and it was a lot of fun! I particularly liked that it just automatically accounted for small numbers of weaker foes: I just have them share a “I’ve gone” card and always pass to each other. As soon as I can figure out an elegant solution for how “doom pool vs. senses/reflexes for interrupts” might work for Initiative score, I’ll probably try this out in my other games.

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  • Tim Gray

    That is cunning! Speaking as someone who’s obsessed over initiative systems in the past. Will definitely add this to the relevant brain bank.

    One feature particularly relevant to supers is that it gets people collaborating to display a good story, as if to an audience (which is also them).

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  • tquid

    I notice that Fate Core went with pretty conventional turn order. Any reason this setup did not make it in?

    • fredhicks

      I’ll ask Lenny.

    • fredhicks

      Talking with Lenny now. I’m getting the impression that it has to do with the whole “how do you handle the Fast Guy concept in Fate, if that initiative system is in place?” and there not being a good answer. Cortex+ handles it in ways that Fate can’t as easily. We may try to get it into the Toolkit.

    • tquid

      Makes sense. I generally use Diaspora’s purposefully vauge “social turn order,” so it’s no skin off my nose really. Thanks!

  • Mark Rein-Hagen

    A fascinating system, and my favorite flavor as well, simple. I fully intend on stealing this, after adding a twist or two to make me look slightly better of course.

    • fredhicks

      Far as I’m concerned the more the idea makes it out into the world, the better. :)

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  • Bry Hitchcock

    I used this for my Fate Avengers game that I’ve run in person and online. It works great. Even people who don’t have any experience with MHRPG pick it up pretty fast and learn the value of not letting the villain go last. Online, each character has an initiative icon. Changing the background color of the icon let everyone know if you had an action coming or had already taken a turn that round. It’s a great system for team-based initiative. Not so surprised to learn the mad genius behind it. :)

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