Wednesday, 30 April 1997

Initiative and All the Other Numbers

So Characteristics and Statistics were in.. but we still had a lot of little left over numbers. Days until starvation? ABR bonuses? Initiative? For the bulk of it, it was values that got listed on the back of your character. Your "background".

Height, weight, hair colour, all part n parcel of your character..

well that changes quickly as we needed Initiative & ABR on the front page, for combat.

So what was needed? Initiative was a value that has gone up and down over time, most games have some value of Initiative, Actions from Warhammer, Armour Bypass Rolls (ABR) from Dragon Warriors, Punch Damage was needed, Study & Crafting base abilities were added, as players would need a quick reference for 'deciphering manuscripts' or 'researching information' or just plain old 'make rope bridge'

Later, Some of these become core Statistics, or even reverted back to Skills. What is Crafting? at its core, its some level of mechanical reasoning and dexterity to perform the task, well thats just a WIS + DEX roll if you don't have any associated skills.

ABR was and still is, a nice clever way to increase damage, based on your characters strength (to puncture armour) and dexterity ( to aim for the weak spots) with a dash of wisdom (plain ole smarts) plus players could improve this value over time with skills, spells and attributes.

But Initiative.. well this was one of my crowning joys


In the beginning, Initiative was based on Speed, and that meant reflexes. But also wisdom, because you had to be able to think quickly. But what was Initiative?

So, with a lot of research..  Initiative is: your ability to swing a weapon fast (strength & dexterity) your ability to act quickly under stress (courage) your ability to take a blow (constitution) and recover from the pain (willpower), Your speed of though and wit (Intelligence and Wisdom) your attunement to the external forces (psychic), how quickly you can word your speech (charisma) and any distraction bonuses from your (Looks) and of course if your (Luck)y, Oh did I forget.. Reflexes? Speed? the Initiative starter.. lets include that twice for good measure.

Actually the inclusion of all the numbers didn't happen until later in '97, according to older charactersheets, it'd have been a set of bonuses from the above stats, to make a number to match a dice, then you rolled that dice. But for some insane reason, we abandoned that, in favour for something that was far more like D&D.. until years later when I was compiling version #3 and thought long and hard and said.. you know what? this makes more sense.. and put it back in.

But back in 97-00, it was something along the lines of Initiative of around 150. which divided by 10 into a combat Initiative of 15, which was your turn order & told you how many times you could swing a sword. and still works, mostly, like that today (except + a dice like as above)

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