Tuesday, November 5, 2013

initiative

I've talked about initiative before, albeit in a slanted way, and I noticed while self-examining my GM style of DCC RPG that I no longer treat initiative as stringently and compulsory as I had in the past.

A situation arose in my last game session where the PCs were confronted with a second monster at the tail end of a round where they just finished dealing with another monster, and instead of rolling initiative and bringing in the second adversary I let the players dictate what they would do before attacks were launched. It resulted in a temporary end to combat and a need to re-roll initiative later when it started again. A later scene in the same game had a player announcing his character's attack in order to initiate combat, and rather than roll for surprise or initiative, as the rules of D&D and it's many variants usually calls for, I had him roll his attack to see what would happen first. He managed to score a critical hit and ended the combat before it had a chance to begin.

I still think surprise and reaction rules have their place, but I just believe a game is more fun for everybody involved if the GM maintains that the players drive the action of the story. In purely mechanical terms, when a player declares an attack than they should be allowed to complete it before moving on to reaction, surprise or initiative rolls.