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Author Topic: D&D and Initiative - A question for people who know more than me.  (Read 685 times)
herebewonder
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« on: February 19, 2013, 01:04:12 AM »

Something I was pondering about initiative:

Let's say you have 3 PCs and 3 monsters and they roll initiative.

In one scenario, the PCs clump up in slots 1-2-3 and the monsters in 4-5-6.

In the other scenario, the PCs and monsters are evenly distributed: PCs at 1-3-5, monsters at 2-4-6.

Here is my question: Is there, in the long run, any difference in these scenarios? Is one "better" than the other?

I see that in the 1st case, the PCs can gang up on a monster before it gets its turn, but the monsters could gang up too, right?

I'm guessing there is a difference that I'm just not seeing.

Thanks!

-c
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Revenant Sorrow
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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2013, 01:17:13 AM »

The best you could hope for is the Party attacks first (If you're a PC). The reason for that being you have a chance to maybe take out 1 guy before they monsters get to attack and the Healer will get to use his/her attacks with out worrying about healing someone in the first round.

After the first round it really doesn't matter for the line up all that matters is everyone gets a turn. I've seen fights go both ways but the true fact is it doesn't matter in the end who goes first.

That's pretty much it it's only helpful for round 1 the rest of the rounds after don't matter as much what order everyone goes in. Also it's likely that if there was a huge benefit to it in the long run PC's or Monsters would drop there initiative with a readied or delayed action to line up in that formation.
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herebewonder
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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2013, 02:06:33 PM »

Also it's likely that if there was a huge benefit to it in the long run PC's or Monsters would drop there initiative with a readied or delayed action to line up in that formation.

I hadn't thought about that, but that's a good point.

Thanks for the response!

-c
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vandalous
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« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2013, 11:33:38 AM »

Echoing RS here... focus fire tends to be the result of a party having initiative before monsters, assuming that there aren't other considerations like location, movement, etc.
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dantemarx
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« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2013, 04:21:40 PM »

I actually kind of feel like initiative in 4e is a hold over from a time when there was more chance to kill a monster if you went first. For example, in 3e, a first level PC versus an orc, the PC is much more likely to survive if he/she has initiative.

In 4e, that first blow will not really kill the orc. Even with focus fire, the orc may survive.
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Revenant Sorrow
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« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2013, 06:16:25 PM »

I actually kind of feel like initiative in 4e is a hold over from a time when there was more chance to kill a monster if you went first. For example, in 3e, a first level PC versus an orc, the PC is much more likely to survive if he/she has initiative.

In 4e, that first blow will not really kill the orc. Even with focus fire, the orc may survive.

I would have to say I don't agree. In my home game last month was our 2nd session so naturally the players were still level 1.

Shade Rouge used his daily hand spring assult to prefore a charge which he had CA for allowing hime to throw in his sneak attack damage.

31 points of damage total rolling I think it was 5d6+mod total. The monster was an Elven Archer and only has 35 HP or so. The Wizard was able to shoot it with a spell and finish it off leaving my other 3 PC's to attack something else.

Now yes I will admit that he had to use a Daily and roll almost a 6 on every roll to get the damage that high but it can be done.
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sliksham
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« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2013, 04:20:43 AM »

yup, the barbarian in the game I run is charge optimised and can (at level 9) knock out a nova round with well over 180 damage, averaging about 120 damage, and thats not including if he crits or reduces the creature to 0 HP on the charge, then things get nasty.
I've had him bloody a dragon in 1 go, luckily the dragon went first, and unluckily for the party it got to breath weapon again as it was bloodied.
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