All Card Initiative

Last 3 Edits

Aug30th, 2016. Page created.

Cards for Initiative

The idea below outlines how to use cards for each of the game systems we play. It is obviously adapted from the awesome Savage Worlds and is a quick and fun style of doing initiative without the need for a GM to track rounds. It also makes combat from round to round a little less predictable (such as with spell durations as your PC changes their position in the initiative from round to round).

1. Each player and NPC/group is dealt one card for initiative at the start of each round.

The order is Kings first, Aces last. The suits determine order for those with the same card, using reverse alphabetical order. So: Spades, Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs. (The GM decides how many groups the enemy will have and each receives their own card. So a leader and grunts might have 2 initiative cards. Though a GM is free to simply have one for all their creatures/NPCs).

2. Extra Bonus Cards.

PCs receive extra cards if they have selected any of the following options, according to game system used. You can select any card from the ones you receive.

D&D: Improved Initiative feat. Dealt +2 cards.
Cypher System: Anytime you would normally lower the difficulty of an Initiative roll, you receive an extra card instead. For example, Training = +1 card; Having an Asset = +1 Card; Spending Effort +1 card. (In this system, spending Effort applies only to the current round, like all other actions).
AGE: Dexterity (Initiative) focus. Dealt +1 card. (The Journeyman tier of the Quick Reflexes talent also gets you another card each round.
B&B: Any relevant Edge which tells you how many extra cards are received.
Savage Worlds: Any relevant Edge which tells you how many extra cards are received.

3. Extra Penalty Cards.

These are rare and only apply if you have selected some Drawback or Inability to receive extra penalty cards. If you receive extra penalty cards you must always take the LOWEST of the cards. (If you somehow end up receiving bonus and penalty cards, they just cancel each other out).

D&D: Any Drawback that would normally modify initiative. Major Drawback: 2 penalty cards; Minor Drawback: 1 penalty card. I still need to adjust the relevant Drawbacks.
Cypher System: An Inability in initiative = 1 penalty card.
AGE: None as of yet, until we get Drawbacks across the board.
B&B: Hindrances - need to check.
Savage Worlds: Hindrances - need to check.

4. Throwbacks

All throwback cards are replaced with another suitable card. Throwbacks continue until you get a card outside the 'throwback spread'. For example, if you can throwback 3's or lower, you keep doing so until you get higher than a 3. This includes ALL extra cards too. You never accept a 3 or less in this circumstance.

D&D: Throwback cards equal to or lower than your Dexterity bonus. However, if you have a Dexterity penalty, you are to also throwback cards at the high end of the scale equal to your penalty. For example, if you have a DEX penalty of -2, you must throwback all Kings & Queens.
Cypher System: Throwback cards equal to or lower than your Speed Edge.
AGE: Throwback cards equal to or lower than your Dexterity bonus. However, if you have a Dexterity penalty, you are to also throwback cards at the high end of the scale equal to your penalty. For example, if you have a DEX penalty of -2, you must throwback all Kings & Queens.
B&B: Need to adjust.
Savage Worlds: Need to check. Pretty sure it is Edges again.

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