Combat Initiative

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Combat Initiative

Postby deejaay » Mon Jan 03, 2011 7:26 pm

Hi, having questions and issues about tracking combat initiative. The key word here is TRACKING. I'm Rather new to Traveller and am working with the rules for combat as stated in the book. I want or need insight on the mechanics or 'Tricks' people use to track and maintain initiative order during combat. I am having trouble keeping the dynamic and flowing order straight. Thought about delegating the job to a PC, but then they would know total number of enemies (especially the ones hiding around the corner). I am currently using index cards and rearranging the stack order as they make reactions and such...but it seems a little tedious, especially when resetting the order at the top of a new round and remembering who's reactions are carried over, thus not letting them go back to their original init order for that round. So either I'm making this harder than it is, or have not come upon the 'Common sense' method to keeping this manageable. Ideally a nice program tailored to this alone would be nice to have. Please submit your ways on how you track init orders during combat. Thanks!
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Postby Egil Skallagrimsson » Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:59 pm


Method we use is to let the players track their own init (writing in margin on character sheets)and changes, and any allied NPCs, while the GM tracks other NPCs.

At the start of each combat round the GM calls out "higher than 12" (we have a slightly modified system for those with very high init), they take their actions, then "initiative 12", "initiative 11" etc. Each player records his own init, and modifies as appropriate.

Not so long ago we ran a combat involving 4 PCs, 8 allied NPCs, 1 grav carrier (acting as fire support), about 50 hostile NPCs and 1 very hostile NPC robot, which worked out in a very convincing manner. In fact, it worked very smoothly, much better than I expected.

Once you get your head around the system it works well.

Hope this helps

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Postby deejaay » Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:41 pm

See? I knew I was making it too hard to manage. Excellent and very simple...and clearly written/explained too! Thanks for your input.
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Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:02 pm

Have each person use a D6 to show their initiative number. As they take actions that move their initiative UP or (more likely) down, change the number on the dice. Again, each person keeps track of their own character's initiative.
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Postby DigitalMage » Fri Jan 07, 2011 6:10 pm

I suggest each PC use a d20 to track their own initiative (just in case characters get really high initiatives boosted by Leadership or Tactics etc) and the count down as suggested above.

For NPCs I have a combat tracker form I use to track DM and Initiative mods.
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Postby mattman » Fri Jan 07, 2011 7:20 pm

GameMastery combat pad initiative tracker

This thing is great and tidy. Have others used it?
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Postby Dark Lord Skippy » Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:43 pm

I usually just ask and then write it down on a sheet of paper.
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Postby Rikr Strumpf » Sat Jan 08, 2011 1:36 am

Ditto the dark lord. I call out who's up and the PCs correct me if I slip up.

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