Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Initiative VS Range: A further explanation

One point I often see is using weapon range to determine initiative speed. I thought I would give more explanation to why I make them separate rules.

Weapon range as initiative works great in a duel situation. If combatant A with a knife tries to attack combatant B with a claymore, then B can go first. A great an effective way to abstract it out.

But what if this isn't a duel? What if PC 1 has a knife, Orc B has a sword and PC 3 has the Claymore. Can Orc B kill PC 1 before PC 3 can kill the orc? Does the range advantage of PC 3 matter since the Orc isn't attacking him?

I say it would not. This level of complication increases as the activities increase. What if Orc B is trying to slash a rope bridge before PC 3 slashes him?

One thing that is often forgotten in combat rules, is that combats often (and should) involve more than duels.


  1. Odd.
    --I never once thought of a duel when the post's title was read.

    I thought of firing a round or three into a target that is 15' distant, and then looking up to see another is 8' away and closing fast with a melee weapon, while I see sand flying up from the ground near my position due to a sharp-shooter trying to pick me off from a nearby rooftop.

    How does Piecemeal handle 'mixed media' combats?

  2. In melee range is a simple equation. If you are being attacked by someone with a greater range than your own, when you attack you roll 2d20 and pick the worse result. This means a spearman can get swarmed, and a pikeman backing up a group of "Sword and Buckler" men is much more effective at taking down a lone ogre.

    Initiative uses the "roll then interrupt" method. Lowest initiative does something, someone with a higher initiative can interupt. An example was the last pirate combat. The enemy boarders had the lowest initiave so they declare they were swinging over, the mage had a higher initiative so he interrupted with casting a wall of thorns (now the boarders will swing into a wall of thorns), the enemy captain has a higher initiative and interrupts by firing at the mage (hoping to screw up the spell), while the PC sharpshooter has the highest initiative and interrupted the captain with a shot, killing him. Then the captain would go (except he's dead) then the mage casts the wall of thorns, then the boarders swing into the wall of thorns. Then it continues.

  3. I, too, have used the Interrupt method, although I do not use it at present.

    I gather I have missed a post along the way.