October 25, 2023

Split Initiative

I’ve been doing a thing for a while in OSR Thinking Adventures style games I’ve been calling split initiative which I almost certainly read somewhere else and stole but here we are. Those of you using the Wolves rules have seen this before.

Basically at the beginning of each round of combat (or general dangerous time) each character rolls to get over/under some value. Those passing the check go before the monsters (or danger or whatever) and those failing go after. Simple as.

This adds a bunch of chaos - in the Wednesday game today this lead to all the high-level PCs going last, allowing a bunch of Level 1 characters to be killed by carrion crawlers. The easiest form of the check is just a d20 under Dexterity, although Wolves does d10 under AC - reinforcing the Armour-as-Class thing those rules are doing. If you wanted to decouple this from stats it could be as simple as roll 4+ to go first” on a d6, giving an even 50/50.

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When Entering a Polity… Whenever the PCs enter the domain of a lord, government, municipal council etc etc, roll 1d10. If this is under the average level of the PCs, they