All Card Initiative

Last 3 Edits

19th Apr, 2017. Completely modified the YZE entries. Changed Throwback cards to 1/turn for all systems!
Apr 14th, 2017. Added rules for Cypher System and YZE.
Aug 30th, 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.

System Extra Cards
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). Also, add the following Combat Stunt: "Improve Initiative" 1-4. You gain an extra card next round for each stunt point. Replaces "Seize the Initiative".
YZE Talents (such as Combat Veteran - grants you an extra card, with the option of gaining more). The stunt effect that lets you add 2 to initiative now grants 1 card per stunt point applied to it.
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).

System Extra Penalty Cards
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
YZE Add this stunt to Close Combat, Defense & Ranged Combat. "Your target gets a penalty card for initiative next turn". (This is a separate stunt and not combined with making foe drop weapon, as it appears in Genlab Alpha.
B&B Hindrances - need to check.
Savage Worlds Hindrances - need to check.

4. Throwbacks

If you have the means to get a 'throwback', once per turn you can throw in a card and have it replaced. Note however though, that you can never get worse for your initiative. If you throwback card is still lower than the replacement, you can use the throwback card. You may be able to access multiple throwbacks through different features.

System Throwback Cards
D&D Throwback a card equal to or lower than your Dexterity bonus. However, if you have a Dexterity penalty, you are to also throwback a card at the high end of the scale equal to your penalty. For example, if you have a DEX penalty of -2, you must throwback a King or Queen.
Cypher System Throwback a card equal to or lower than your Speed Edge.
AGE Throwback a card equal to or lower than your Dexterity bonus. However, if you have a Dexterity penalty, you are to also throwback a card at the high end of the scale equal to your penalty. For example, if you have a DEX penalty of -2, you must throwback a King or Queen.
YZE Throwback a card equal to or lower than your Move/Dexterity skill.
B&B Throwback a card that is less than your Quickness specialty die.
Savage Worlds Appropriate Edge.
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