Question re Traveller Initiative

RandomNumber

Banded Mongoose
Hi, I'm reading Mongoose Traveller so I can run/play 2300AD. p.71 in the combat chapter says that for initiative Travellers should make a DEX or INT check. The Effect of this check is their initiative for the combat. The difficulty level isn't stated but I'm guessing is probably Average (8+). If I've understood it correctly the Effect is simply the difference between the total rolled and the target number and the target number is the same for everyone in this context.

So doesn't the initiative rule really just reduce down to roll 2d6, add the highest of either your DEX or INT mods and the highest total goes first? i.e subtracting an arbitrary target number from the total makes no difference because the mechanic is not trying to asses success or failure, simply ordinality.
 

ochd

Banded Mongoose
Yes, I think so. And that is how I have been playing it, as I read the rule incorrectly.
 

TrippyHippy

Cosmic Mongoose
Yes, it does, although the mechanic is kept consistent with the standard skill check by basing it on the effect. This just means that the range is different.

If you roll 2D6 and modify it (up to + or -3) , you get a range of -1 to 15.

If you base it on an Effect with a target number of 8, you get a range of -9 to +7.
 

ottarrus

Cosmic Mongoose
TrippyHippy said:
Yes, it does, although the mechanic is kept consistent with the standard skill check by basing it on the effect. This just means that the range is different.

If you roll 2D6 and modify it (up to + or -3) , you get a range of -1 to 15.

If you base it on an Effect with a target number of 8, you get a range of -9 to +7.

Plus appropriate Tactics or Leadership skill. That's an important adjustment.
 

TrippyHippy

Cosmic Mongoose
ottarrus said:
Plus appropriate Tactics or Leadership skill. That's an important adjustment.
Certainly true of Tactics skill, which allows you to add (or subtract on a failed roll) to everybody’s Initiative score with the extra Effect of the roll.

Leadership is a bit different in this current edition as it allows you to give Boons to the rolls of others rather than directly affect Initiative (as it was in previous editions). That said, I guess it could be used to add a Boon to Tactics rolls too.
 

RandomNumber

Banded Mongoose
Just feels a little too random for me. That said, I am coming from an entirely deterministic RQ Strike Rank system. The random element is in the range [2, 12] with minor modification from stats - it would be a fortunate character to have a +2. I'll probably cook up something with a smaller range based on DEX and INT DM, Tactics check Effect and # terms in a military career.
 

capital_q

Mongoose
Yes, it does, although the mechanic is kept consistent with the standard skill check by basing it on the effect. This just means that the range is different.

If you roll 2D6 and modify it (up to + or -3) , you get a range of -1 to 15.

If you base it on an Effect with a target number of 8, you get a range of -9 to +7.
The range is still an absolute value of 16 either way. Just rolling 2d6 +/- your modifiers is quicker/simpler than calculating effect.
 

Rikki Tikki Traveller

Cosmic Mongoose
The rules under skill or characteristic checks say the if there is no target number/difficulty listed, you assume 8+ as the target. So since no target was listed in the rule, you should use the 8+ target. :)
 

Saladman

Banded Mongoose
Just feels a little too random for me.

A houserule I used in 1e was: roll init only once, at the beginning of combat. Combatants keep their count thereafter, except that all modifiers that normally change initiative for a round now change their count permanently. So reactions, recoil and hastening. What happens is reactions especially are "free" at first and therefore a no-brainer, but over the course of combat sometimes you'll have to choose between dodging and keeping an action before an enemy. Which is a little bit player-facing and meta, but still more interesting to me than rolling every round.

Secondarily 1e didn't use Effect, just your raw 2d6 roll + Dex mod only. It's a purely cosmetic difference but I prefer the 2d6 so you're not tracking negative numbers right away.
 

TrippyHippy

Cosmic Mongoose
I mean, you could revert to a single die + modifiers just for Initiative if you want to reduce randomness. It’s just it won’t be consistent with the general skill system.
 
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