2014/05/01

Who gets the first swing? (Dragon magazine 71)

I'm adopting this method for initiative, as found in Dragon magazine issue 71.

Inititative in Powers & Perils is normally based on weapon lenght, whereas the clever method presented in that issue has separate tables for weapon lenght and weapon speed when you are in close combat situations.

I know that that article had been praised somewhere and so i decided to give it a read. It's cool, and it even has tables for all of the monsters found in Monster manual for ad&d 1st edition.

So, what i did was basically to change the weapon lenght values as found in book II of P&P and i used those values as weapon speeds instead.

Once you got to know what weapon speed you have (fastest weapons are thrown ones, which get a WS of just 1), you subtract from that value your bonus in strenght and dexterity and at that point you have your "attack priority number".

You should subtract your "experience level" as well, but i skipped those passage because in P&P the speed of monsters attacks is based on their OCV (same as hit dices in AD&D), so i couldn't add those value for calculating the total speed of player characters in combat, otherwise they would have add an obvious advantage over monsters.

If you use a slow weapon (such as a two-handed sword), you start with a weapon speed of 8. Let's say you are a strong fighter then you have bonuses of +1 both in strenght and dexterity, so your actual attack priority value is 6 (8-2).

You roll 1D10 for initiative. The lowest score, the better. You roll a 5, so 5+6=11, that's your initiative speed total for that round.

I decided to only use the IN RANGE modifiers and not the CLOSING modifier from the article cited, to speed up things a little bit, but all in all i'm pretty satisfied at how initiative now works in my game, because i thought the rule in P&P was limited, for the simple reason that it took into account just weapon lenght and consequently a character with a longer weapon ALWAYS attacked first in each round. That seemed a little weird in my humble opinion.

Yes, Powers & Perils is almost perfect as for rules details (together with its closest rivals Rolemaster and Chivalry & Sorcery), but sometimes you found odd rules even in the most detailed systems.

4 comments:

Matthew Skail said...

How is your P&P clone coming? I can't wait to see the finished version. P&P always had a strange place in my heart, despite it's many oddities and intense math.

Catacomb librarian said...

sooner or later my friend!
Seriously, comments like yours above ignites me with the energy to carry on.

I never abandoned the project, i do love P&P (this tuesday we are starting sessions again after the summer break), and i currently began writing a P&P version in my own language (a little book i'd like to publish through Lulu.com to give to my players), and after that i can concentrate on the english version.

Basically, i think P&P would have reached a far wider audience if Mr. Snider had edited the books in a more organized way.Maybe i should write a condensed version of it..but i'll surely cut off some pieces from the official rules which i maintain are unnecessary.

Matthew Skail said...

Glad to hear it's still going. P&P was always a guilty pleasure of mine. Yeah there is a BUNCH that could be dropped, clarified, and or simplified which is why I would like to see a clone of it to fix up those things.

Good luck!

Catacomb librarian said...

thank you. P&P is somehow always on my mind, though i am currently dungeon mastering Ravenloft, The One ring, and Phantasy conclave ^_^

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