[think tank] Everything happening at the same time


Homebrew and House Rules

Sovereign Court

Hi, I'm a 10 year veteran of DnD/Pathfinder, and I've always been bugged by the abstraction of turn based combat representing simultaneous combat. Thus I am wanting to create some houserules so that the next time I try to run Rise of the Runelords we are going to have Simultaneous rounds. I came here so that I could get advice/different opinions on how to go about it.

Just one thing to keep things moving, this is for my game, so if I decide I'm going to use something someone suggests, go with it. recommend ways to change or optimize it, don't try to argue against it.

  • A round starts with everyone around the board declaring what they want to do in the round. They can also declare one conditional (I.e. I close and attack the ogre, if he falls I close and attack the wizard instead) or (i move to here and cast color spray, if there's only one guy there I cast chill touch instead)

  • delay actions allow you to skip first stage and declare actions in second stage, but you can only declare a move or a standard action at this time (charge can be done the same as in a surprise round at this time). Ready actions work the same as they did before, you declare what you are readying for and if it happens your ready action happens first but if it doesn't you loose your action for the round.

  • after all players declare actions the DM resolves based on this order in three stages, the first stage is the first 3 seconds, the next stage is the next three second the final stage is resolving actions that took the whole round. Initiative is now factored in and you resolve in initiative order the first three seconds (whether a creature used a move or standard action. the same for the second three seconds, then you resolve anything that took the whole round.

  • Spellcasting now takes on a new dimension as when you get hit plays a factor. If your spell is a standard action casting time and you get hit during resolution in the same stage as your spell would get cast you'll need a concentration check to keep the spell, but if you cast it and don't get hit during that stage you don't. Obviously if your spell is a 1 round spell and you get hit anytime during the round you have to make a concentration check to resolve it. Area selection for targeting with area attacks is chosen when you resolve the spell.

  • declaring full attack on a creature is still possible but be prepared with a conditional for if your target makes it invalid. If a full attack is declared your first attack is made during the first stage in initiative order, if the target falls you can change your declaration to move during the second stage. If not then your remaining attacks are resolved in the third stage if it is still valid.

  • 5 foot steps are special, they can be declared at during declaration, but they can also be declared spontaneously when your characters actions are being resolved (before or after) as long as they are valid.

  • AoOs work as normal.

    That's what I'm thinking so far, but none of it has been decided on yet, so lets hear it. I want your thoughts and opinions and suggestions.


  • Does the GM declare what the NPCs are doing?
    When someone declares they're going to do something, that's important information for everyone else. Declaring first is a big disadvantage if your enemies have any way to respond.

    Sovereign Court

    Matthew Downie wrote:

    Does the GM declare what the NPCs are doing?

    When someone declares they're going to do something, that's important information for everyone else. Declaring first is a big disadvantage if your enemies have any way to respond.

    No the DM decides actions of the enemies but does not tell the PC what they are doing, I guarantee that when I do this that the Actions of the monsters will be decided on their abilities and what happened on the previous round, not what the players declare. Players shouldn't know what the enemy is going to do until the enemy does it, they can only react to what the enemy does. I guess that should be a rule.

  • DM decides monster actions before asking for players to declare their actions, but does not tell players his decisions until resolution.

    this way monsters and pcs are all acting under the same information. I know this means you need to trust that your DM isn't a dick who changes his decisions after players declare, but really if you're playing together you should be able to trust this anyways, otherwise why are you playing with them.

  • Sovereign Court

    correction replace monsters with NPCs in the last rule.


    It sounds like you've developed the idea enough to try it out at the table. There may well be disadvantages that won't become apparent until you test it properly (Players forget what they were supposed to be doing? Or are forced to do stupid things that will get their allies killed because of what they wanted to do earlier? Combat taking twice as long?) but there's only one way to find out.

    Sovereign Court

    Matthew Downie wrote:
    Combat taking twice as long.

    This is my biggest worry, but I'm pretty good at round management as long as everyone knows how their s&$* works, So I think once we get used to it, it will work much better.

    Liberty's Edge

    i haven't had a chance to try my idea out yet but this is the basics
    I've been toying with the idea for about a year.

    1 standered=1 move and swift action
    1 standered=3 secs
    1 standered into full round atks=5
    1 swift=1 sec
    5 ft time is included in any atk and can happen during a full-atk as normal
    move=2 secs
    free actions=no time
    speaking takes at lease 1 sec to reply

    typical round

    swift actions happen

    everything moves or makes an attack(w/5 foot step if desired/needed to hit)
    Or
    Start/Finish full-round spells
    part two

    swift actions(if any and hasn't done 1 yet)

    people move and or make their attack(w/5 foot step if desired and haven't done one yet)
    OR
    finish full-round and 5 foot(if nothing but a 5 foot step and swift action was taken earlier.)
    This includes full attacks, full-action spells
    OR
    start full-round spells(does starting)

    hopefully i'll be able to test this out this week and report on my method on Friday.
    (i'm starting with mostly new players, at level one so not too many options to slow combat around[except spellcasters/psionineers, and stealthers])

    Last knight standing please let us know how your method plays out thank you.
    Just thowing out my idea for more thermodynamic play.
    questions and thouhts welcomed.

    What are some other "everything happening at the same time" in combat ideas other GM's have thought of?

    Sovereign Court

    I'll be honest I'm having trouble understanding what happens in your round, I understand that you've broken everything down into the time it takes to persform the actions but I don't understand how you actually resolve it when people take their turns simultaneously. Does everyone just do their own characters action at the same time (which seems like an interesting thing to attempt but also like it could be confusing)

    Right now I'm a player in a reign of winter campaign, but I think I might be next in cue to run the game. So it'll be a couple of weeks before I get a chance to try this out. I've run RotR a couple of times already so I know it pretty well that's why I'm going to use it if I do implement this houserule, as I'm very familiar with the creatures/story and won't have to slow things down to double check things if we do wind up with slower adjudication.

    PS I'm not standing, I'm left :)

    Liberty's Edge

    Honestly I like the idea but I'm not sure about the execution, experienced combatants are going to be able to read their enemy's movements and react to even minor changes on the fly, your system doesn't allow for that much. Beyond that penalizing martial characters by making full attacks risky is bad.


    yes

    everyone will take their swift & move action. attack actions happens at end of movement(or decide to use their move if they can't make the atk so they move up to target.)

    if you've attacked you can now move and make a swift action.
    all who have a standered action left can use it. i.e. spell, standered, rest of full atk, spell, another movement, ready action,

    end of round
    does that help?

    The down side to any method that causes stuff to happen at the same time is that it throws all but suprize rounds of Inititive out the window.
    hmm possible solutions intitive is separated into two portions? sub round 1 the rogue goes, then boss, party group A, minions party group B
    repeat for sub round B
    Or should we through out inititive, hmm?

    P.S. Shadowcat have you ever played a game where the only indication of turns is the boss & minios go, followed by the whole party.it's not too bad. i recommend both of you try this out:

    players go, NPC's go.
    if every PC goes at once what is the point of asking every player(low levels) what they do?
    all you need to know is what they roll+bonuses to kit, and who did they hit is all you need to know(unless someone is casting a spell) most likly the caster will be patiant and wait to see fi they actually will need to cast the spell or not, other wise it's "Hold on let me cast Fireball/haste" or other area effect spell i.e. detect X

    Sovereign Court

    ShadowcatX wrote:
    Honestly I like the idea but I'm not sure about the execution, experienced combatants are going to be able to read their enemy's movements and react to even minor changes on the fly, your system doesn't allow for that much. Beyond that penalizing martial characters by making full attacks risky is bad.

    Full attacks aren't risky you declare I'm making a full attack on the ogre if I can't do that I'll follow it and attack. declaration and conditional The turn resolves, if you had the initiative you attack before the ogre moves away then your conditional resolves and you follow the ogre or if the ogre had the initiative and it moved away you follow in stage one and attack in stage two. The conditional is reacting on the fly. I do suppose that a rule of

  • if the targets of both your action and conditional are killed before you act in a stage you can declare a new standard or move action on your initiative in the stage.

    would also help mitigate the risk of you take your first attack and then someone kills your target now you have nothing to do in the second stage.


  • it's good to note that during a full-round atk that normally if you were to kill the target on the first swing you may, choice to change targets(like normal) or take a move action instead. here's the url:
    http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/combat.html#full-attack-action
    read the:
    Deciding between an Attack or a Full Attack

    Sovereign Court

    Abrir wrote:

    it's good to note that during a full-round atk that normally if you were to kill the target on the first swing you may, choice to change targets(like normal) or take a move action instead. here's the url:

    http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/combat.html#full-attack-action
    read the:
    Deciding between an Attack or a Full Attack

    that's what the conditional allows, when you can't complete the action you chose (say cause you hit them and they go down with the fist hit) then the conditional takes effect. you just have to chose your conditional wisely. Also the rule that says if the enemy of both your action and conditional are killed before you act in a stage (so if you focused on one monster and they got killed by you in stage 1) you get to change your action. between the conditional and that rule the only thing you can't do is hit a guy when declaring a full attack, and even though he's still up and still a valid target, then not finish your full attack. I've never seen that happen in a game anyways so I'm okay with it...


    For a while I ran a version of this. It worked pretty well.

    Basically, I had people declare their actions in reverse initiative order (but not actually act yet). I'd jot them down on my initiative paper.

    People with high initiative could hear what other people's intentions were and react or change their actions accordingly.

    Then, when everyone had declared, I'd resolve them in standard order.

    If someone's intended action was rendered impossible by an action higher on the initiative list, or if they decided to do something different they were allowed to switch to a different action on their turn with a small penalty (usually a Concentration check to cast a spell or a -4 to their attack roll)

    Players could also choose to "hide" their intentions by not declaring an action or declaring a false action during the declaration phase and just taking the "changing actions" penalty.

    This made initiative extra important and gave people with high initiative the sense that they could "read" the combat more effectively than people who reacted slowly.

    I stopped using it mostly for simplicity's sake but I always liked the system.

    Sovereign Court

    anything in particular I should look out for

    Sovereign Court

    I really thought this would generate more ideas and discussion :/


    I got to be honest, I could never give it much thought. As a DM I describe everything as if it were happening at the same time. From my experience it makes everything take too long to actually play timing out realistically and avoid the meta-game.

    However, if you want inspiration, you might check out the mage system. The way that works is everybody states their intentions, low initiative stating their intentions first (That way people with a higher initiative can react to it) and then when the highest initiative character states his or her action tings start happening. Depending on what's happening, lower initiative characters can cancel their action, but they can't replace it with another action.

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