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[Exalted] Initiative tracking in 2E.

David J Prokopetz

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After slogging through the debate on whether tick-based initiative in Exalted 2E represents too much bookkeeping or not, a thought occured: rather than using counters, dice, or columns of numbers on paper to keep track of initiative, how 'bout the following?

SETUP

1. Take a sheet of 8.5"x11" paper (or A4, if you live in Europe).

2. Draw a big, thick ring on it.

3. Add hash marks to divide the ring into ten equal-sized sectors.

4. Assign each character in the combat - both PCs and NPCs - a unique token, like a minifig, a chess piece, or a plastic widget. Generic NPCs can be represented with dice, with the number on the upward face differentiating individuals; for clarity, all generic NPCs of the same "type" (zombies, bandits, etc.) should use the same colour of die.

5. Join Battle as normal.

6. Plunk the fastest character's token down on the outside of the ring in any sector you please.

7. Arrange the rest of the tokens around the outside of the ring, advancing them one sector clockwise from the fastest character's sector for every tick they have to wait before acting.

8. Place another token - a coin works well - on the inside of the ring, in the same sector as the fastest character. This is the "pointer".

PLAY

1. Every character whose token is in the same sector as the pointer gets to act.

2. As each character acts, advance the appropriate token a number of sectors clockwise around the ring equal to the Speed of the action(s) they just performed.

3. When there are no tokens left in the current sector, the GM advances the pointer clockwise around the ring, one sector at a time, until it arrives in a sector that has tokens in it. When it does, stop and return to step 1.

***

Whew... it sounds a lot more complicated when you write it out like this than it actually is. ^^;

What do you think?
 
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bartkusa

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Classy. It's always fun to see computer science data structures show up in RPGs to make things easier.
 

domino

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It looks like it would work. I like me the dice, myself.

Here's another thought, especially for those who knock over their dice. Y'know those "clicker counters" that people use to count stuff. You can click them up to Speed when you take an action and click them back down one at a time.

They could be moderately expensive, though, , especially with one per player. And I don't expect an ST wants six of them in a row on his side of the table.

Eh.
 

David J Prokopetz

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domino said:
It looks like it would work. I like me the dice, myself.
Oh, using one die per character and flipping them down one place at a time until they zere out works, too. I was trying to formulate something that would minimise the the number of times you need to juggle numbers or manipulate tokens during play, tho'; this is the thing I can come up with.

(Significantly, the method I've proposed allows you to track an arbitrary number of NPCs without making the GM keep track of dozens of tokens - he only has to be concerned with the ones in the current sector, and the rest takes care of itself.)
 

Vargo Teras

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As a GM, I'd use an abacus. As a player, counters for the number of ticks I have left. It doesn't seem that hard to me.
 

damion4242

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Great! This seems perfect for GM's to use. I like the token method in the text for players, but this is perfect for a GM to use. You could even produce a nice PDF for it.
 

D. Archon

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David J Prokopetz said:
After slogging through the debate on whether tick-based initiative in Exalted 2E represents too much bookkeeping or not, a thought occured: rather than using counters, dice, or columns of numbers on paper to keep track of initiative, how 'bout the following?

SETUP

*snip*

What do you think?
Dude.

That's brilliant!

Since i tend to use glass beads for keeping track of stuff, i was trying to figure out a way of keeping, say, 10 or 20 piles of beads separate on my end of the table if there was a big pile of extras, but this just means i need to keep 10 or 20 beads in one spot and shuffle them a couple of inches.
 

TygerTyger

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David J Prokopetz said:
What do you think?
It's a good idea in concept, but will ten sections necessarily be enough? What happens if the total initiative spread is greater than ten ticks?
 

David J Prokopetz

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TygerTyger said:
It's a good idea in concept, but will ten sections necessarily be enough? What happens if the total initiative spread is greater than ten ticks?
It doesn't matter how great the spread is, 'cause (IIRC) no action has a Speed greater than six or seven - you'll never "lap" the pointer as the result of your action as long as the number of sectors on the ring is equal to (Speed of slowest possible action + 1). I just used "ten" because it's nice and easy to conceptualise.
 
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