Tales of the Rampant Coyote

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Frayed Knights: Initiative and Haste

Posted by Rampant Coyote on August 15, 2011

We’re in the final stretch of development for Frayed Knights: The Skull of S’makh-Daon, and today I wanted to talk about some more of the nuts-and-bolts of the game system. Some of it is discussing features that even the beta testers haven’t seen yet (though many have requested them). Much of this is post is taken right out of the current draft of the manual.

In a turn-based game like this, initiative is pretty important. Being able to act first in a turn is a key advantage – especially for spellcasters who can change the entire flow of a combat with a single spell. And then there’s Haste, which allows characters to act more than once per turn.

Every turn, all active characters get to act in an order of initiative determined by their Reflexes, equipment, feats, and a random factor. In general, a character with a high Reflexes score, light weaponry, and light or no armor will get to act earlier in the turn than others. But due to the random factor, there are no guarantees.

The order in which your party members act is displayed by the initiative order marker – a gold circle with a black number inside it. This is updated with each action, so characters who have already taken their action(s) will have no marker. The markers only show the order of the party members, not enemies. You won’t know exactly when the enemies will act.

Nuts and Bolts: The actual formula for determining initiative order is the characters Reflexes + Weapon Speed Modifier + Armor Speed Modifier + a random value between 1 and 6. It is also increased directly by haste modifiers. The “Ready for Action” feat provides a +5 bonus to initiative on the first turn of combat.

In the case of a tie, player characters get priority ahead of enemies, ad characters closer to the front of the party get priority over those behind them.

Most of the time, a character only gets one action per turn in combat. However, a character with a haste effect (usually obtained through the Speedy or Extra Speedy feats, spells, or magic items) or a high reflexes score can perform multiple actions in a turn. This usually doesn’t happen every turn. But haste effects cause a “build up” which can be seen from the character sheet status page. When ten haste points have been accumulated, the character can take an additional action in combat.

This additional action isn’t shown in the initiative display. After taking a first action, the character gets a new (lower) initiative order for their next action. This may even occur before other characters have taken their first action. Speed has its rewards.

Heavier armor inhibits haste point build up, subtracting any speed penalties from any haste points accumulated during the turn. Weapon speed adjustments have no effect on haste build-up.

Nuts and Bolts: When the base initiative score (before adding haste modifiers or the Ready For Action feat modifier) is greater than 12, one point of haste build-up is accumulated “naturally” for the turn. It’s not much, but characters with fast weapons, light armor, and high reflexes can enjoy the occasional extra action without any magical boosts.


Filed Under: Frayed Knights - Comments: 2 Comments to Read

  • Maklak said,

    Perhabs “Ready for action” should give +5 (or +3) initiative on the first round, and +1 on all consecutive rounds. I’d preffer it that way.

    Ah, so extra actions from haste are not counted from beginning of combat, so you don’t have to wait 5 or 10 turns, but may have an extra action “pre-charged”. Makes much more sense now.

    Maybe haste bonus times 10 should add to initiative, so that 10% is +1 and 20% is +2. It makes sense for a “fast” character to also have high initiative.

    I like it that feat “speedy” can counteract heavy armor.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    Actually, haste build-ups are not supposed to carry over between combat. You could go back to the inn, sleep, come back, whatever in that time… so it wouldn’t make sense for haste actions to carry over. You typically won’t get the extra action on the first round.

    I should really track the average length of time (in turns) combats take … and the number of combats between sleep sessions.

    Haste does add to initiative – as a bonus at the end. Pretty much exactly as you say. It’s treated separately only because of the extra haste build-up from a high initiative… I don’t want the haste to double-dip on haste build-up. 🙂

    And yeah – while “speedy” and extra speedy can lead to extra actions, my main thought with it was to help counteract armor penalties.