Take the 2-minute tour ×
Role-playing Games Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for gamemasters and players of tabletop, paper-and-pencil role-playing games. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I can't use the card initiative system for a web-based game that I have started. The web-page have a full dice-roller with lots of options, so... which are the best alternative ways to do initiative?

Please state procedure, with objective pros and cons if possible. Please try to keep subjective opinions to the comments, they are valuable for me, to avoid that the question is closed as argumentative.

share|improve this question
    
Can you note write a virtual card dealer code? You could even find images for all the cards... –  Sardathrion Sep 30 '11 at 16:06
    
I'm not the owner of the site (comunidadumbria.com). The site is quite complex and offers lots of features to play tabletop rpgs, including boards, dice-rollers, character portraits, notifications, etc, etc... rewriting all of this will take a team of five coders, working in their free time, two years (I know because they are just finishing a complete rewrite). –  Javier Rivera Sep 30 '11 at 16:10

4 Answers 4

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Roll d20. Count 20s as Joker. Reroll ties. Simple and dumb.

Sure, the probabilities are different, but you want something fast.

share|improve this answer
    
I'd like both answers. I choose this one because it's FFF even if it statistically less accurate. –  Javier Rivera Oct 1 '11 at 16:45
    
Getting an initiative order is easy for any system, but the Jokers are a special case that can't easily be duplicated without a deck of cards. The probability of drawing a Joker starts at 2/54 (3.7%) and goes up as the deck is exhausted, e.g., halfway through the deck the probability is 2/27 (7.4%). A d20 gets you a uniform 1/20 (5%). –  okeefe Oct 3 '11 at 15:00

Dice Replacing Cards

There are 4 suits of 13, plus two extras (jokers). use a d12, d4 combo and you lose little. Use a d13, d4 combo, and you lose only the jokers.

The D4 reads as
1 Clubs 2 Diamonds 3 Hearts 4 Spades

The d12/d13/d14 reads as 1 Ace 2-10 same as shown 11 Jack 12 Queen 13 King 14 Joker

If you really want true duplication, use a d14 instead... and reroll results of Joker of Hearts or Spades. That gets you exact duplication of the deck. For lazy man, just Jokers of hearts and diamonds are red joker, and clubs and spades black.

The advantages: It generates the exact same spread for person 1, and no changes needed to rules. The disadvantages: each player is drawing from a fresh deck every time, so either you sequence them, rerolling later duplicates, or accept the small increase in chances of simultaneous actions.

Deal at Home

Dealing out the initiative at home, then simply telling people what they got, can work quite well. Only the GM really needs to have the knowledge, but players like knowing where they fall in the count... but the count really isn't very useful in online play anyway.

So, just deal out the initiatives, Private Message each player with their card, then call only those steps YOU know will be needed.

Drawback is that you might need to set aside a deck for the game if you are uncomfortable sorting, shuffling a partial, and then continuing...

share|improve this answer

We use the characters Agility stat with greater than 16 begin used as a Joker. The initiative edges instead give +2 to your roll. It is simple to understand and relatively quick. We did consider the d20 as per okeefe but we wanted the character agility to count. If we where to use the d20, we would probably add the characters Agility dice value as a bonus ie Ag d4 = +4, d8 = +8 etc.

share|improve this answer

I wrote up an alternative a while back on reddit:

http://www.reddit.com/r/savageworlds/comments/buhj8/alternative_dicebased_initiative_system/

But here's the gist of it:

Roll d20 + Agility die to get a number from 2-32. Ties are resolved by the following:

  1. Agility die trumps, so if one person gets a 10 on the d20 and a 6 on the agility die, that beats someone who gets a 12 on the d20 and a 4 on the agility die.

After that,

  1. Wild cards beat regulars.
  2. PCs beat NPCs.
  3. If two PCs are tied, roll a d6: 1-3, the player on the left edges out, 4-6, player on the right.

Rolling a 20 on the d20 indicates a joker.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.