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  • M20 Initiative

    Sorry if this has been covered elsewhere. I'm about to launch a new Chronicle using M20 and I was looking for clarification on something.

    Did they do away with the "reverse initiative" from the old World of Darkness in 20? You used to declare your intended action last-to-first then resolved them first-to-last. It doesn't appear that it works like that anymore.

  • #2
    Yeah, all the 20 books did away with that in favour of a more conventional "highest to lowers" structure.

    Personally I don't like it, and prefer to do the whole reverse initiative thing. It means going first doesn't entail going in without regard for the rest of your team. You see what everyone else is doing and can plan accordingly.
    It also means you can react to the enemy rather than just take the hit because "oh dear, you've already spent your turn, too late now".


    Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running Chapter 37: The Shadow Coven

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    • #3
      M20 did away with it. V20 and W20 did not. 20th Edition is not a consistent rule-set between the game lines, but a nostalgia edition that seeks to create books that cover as much of the original editions as possible in one place, with some rules clean up, and an eye towards enabling people to run the games with the feel of what they liked best of the old.

      I would speculate the feeling was that Mage - esp. with its lack of easy access to multiple action powers like Celerity or Rage - didn't benefit as much from the declaration phase the majority of the WoD books use. Most mages aren't going to be have a lot of actions per turn to make the tactical options as meaningful. But I don't recall any specific statements from Satyros on the subject.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
        M20 did away with it. V20 and W20 did not. 20th Edition is not a consistent rule-set between the game lines, but a nostalgia edition that seeks to create books that cover as much of the original editions as possible in one place, with some rules clean up, and an eye towards enabling people to run the games with the feel of what they liked best of the old.

        I would speculate the feeling was that Mage - esp. with its lack of easy access to multiple action powers like Celerity or Rage - didn't benefit as much from the declaration phase the majority of the WoD books use. Most mages aren't going to be have a lot of actions per turn to make the tactical options as meaningful. But I don't recall any specific statements from Satyros on the subject.
        Seriously? That's appalling. Are they trying to make crossover games more of a headache?


        Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running Chapter 37: The Shadow Coven

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        • #5
          That does seem like it would be especially troublesome in a crossover game.

          I'm polling my players to see if they're as attached to the old way as I am.

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          • #6
            Well, they're not trying to make them less of a headache anyway. Though nothing in M20 breaks if you use the declaration phase.

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            • #7
              I never particularly liked the declaration phase because it made having Initiative even more important than in other game systems (not only do I punch you first, I also get know what you are doing before you do it). It was an artifact of the 'all-out' nature of cWoD, which you can easily deal with by making defense a reflexive, but active, dice pool (it does not count as an action but you have to be aware of the attack and not Immobilized to defend). You turn the difficulty modifiers in dice pool modifiers, reduce the dice pool by one per attempted defence after the first during the turn, and the combat system gets a lot more balanced (multiple attacks are less broken when people can naturally take multiple defenses).

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              • #8
                I never used the declare phase mainly since it slowed down combat even more so. Neither could I justify it realistically. How does me acting first let me decide to respond to what you are going to do if you haven't done it yet? Ya I get that I can see you are going to do something and I move to beat you to it but if I have a 15+ on my initiative and you have a 6 I'm so far ahead of you I will have acted before you even started.

                Besides, delayed actions make up for acting responsively (is that a word?), and again is faster gameplay wise.

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                • #9
                  I don't use the declare phase either - it just makes combat too slooooooow

                  You can still decide to dodge if your attacker goes first and you can still decide to split your dice pool if your (potential) attacker goes after you.

                  Also, pretty much every other game system uses the simpler act in initiative order.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dogstar View Post
                    I don't use the declare phase either - it just makes combat too slooooooow

                    You can still decide to dodge if your attacker goes first and you can still decide to split your dice pool if your (potential) attacker goes after you.

                    Also, pretty much every other game system uses the simpler act in initiative order.
                    The way M20 does it has it so much slower, first attack round, then defence round, then damage round.

                    I prefer to do Declare round, result round. Done.


                    Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running Chapter 37: The Shadow Coven

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                    • #11
                      cWoD has always had issues with combat.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Tuch View Post
                        I never used the declare phase mainly since it slowed down combat even more so. Neither could I justify it realistically. How does me acting first let me decide to respond to what you are going to do if you haven't done it yet? Ya I get that I can see you are going to do something and I move to beat you to it but if I have a 15+ on my initiative and you have a 6 I'm so far ahead of you I will have acted before you even started.
                        One of my favorite WoD GMs used pre-emption as a mechanical fix to the delcaration phase. The character with the lowest Initiative declares their action and anyone who wants to pre-empt them may do so. I suspect it had the potential of generating a clusterfuck of people interrupting each other, but in practice it worked out well.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Saikou View Post

                          The way M20 does it has it so much slower, first attack round, then defence round, then damage round.

                          I prefer to do Declare round, result round. Done.
                          The number of steps in this regard isn't the same as the length of the steps in application.

                          All of the steps in the M20 method are present in the previous WoD methods, even if they're arranged differently.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post

                            The number of steps in this regard isn't the same as the length of the steps in application.

                            All of the steps in the M20 method are present in the previous WoD methods, even if they're arranged differently.
                            There isn't a Doge step in preM20 Wod, you just use your action to doge.


                            Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running Chapter 37: The Shadow Coven

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                            • #15
                              That's still how M20 functions in play. If you actually look at the M20 Defense phase section, it says you can apply a defense action at any point in the round if you still have actions to use.

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